Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Halloween Pumpkin 2008

Carved with TLC by Karen T.

McCain's Bizarre Reaction

Do you Republicans REALLY want this man running the country during serious times?

Everyday Marxism

Ezra Klein makes a good point on his blog:

"The ER is the most Marxist building in the modern American hospital. By law, it treats anyone who decides to bleed in the waiting room, no matter their ability to pay, thus fulfilling the 'From each according to his ability' requirement. It parcels out medical attention based on severity of condition rather than thickness of wallet, thus fulfilling the 'to each, according to his need' requirement. It's a socialists redoubt in a capitalist system."

Palin Fears Losing Her Rights?

Sarah Palin, in a radio interview this morning suggested that her First Amendment rights are at stake, being threatened by none other than those darned leftist, elite media-types! Here's part of her quote:

If (the media) convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to
call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don't know what the future of our
country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions
without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.

Her understanding of the Constitution is, of course, about as sophisticated as her mastery of Alaska's ethics code. The First Amendment also says that the "Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press." (Italics added) Oops. Guess she didn't get briefed on the last part!

Happy Halloween From a Real Hockey Mom!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Amateur Hour

"What he's done for America"???
Are you f***ing kidding me???

CNN Rick Sanchez Catches McCain Spokesman Mike Goldfarb Lying

Part of the problem here is not just that Goldfarb is peddling smears, but that both Goldfarb and Sanchez operate under the assumption that Khalidi is an anti-Semite, when neither has offered evidence to support that assertion. This is an old Rovian tactic of peddling a lie and telling it over and over again, until the truth or non-truth of it is no longer even considered a legitimate question.

Words or Phrases I Never Want To See or Hear, Part 2

KJC sends me "my friends" (how could I have missed that one??)
change (I have to appear fair and balanced)
"pallin' around"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain and Palin - Bottom Feeders

When someone like Joe Wurzelbacher is held up as a foreign policy authority by this campaign, we all need to worry a LOT about the direction of our country. We are witnessing the culmination of eight years of a dumbed-down presidency and the conscious decision by John McCain to appeal to the lowest, most base and primitive fears of a people, exploited purely for his own gain. This is not a man of principle. This is a sad, selfish pathetic excuse for an American citizen. He is not only stirring the pot of hatred that boils in the poor and undereducated areas of this country, he is adding the fuel and watching with gleeful pride as Palin dances around the flames. McCain and Palin are attempting to substitute character assassination for policy. They are stoking the fears of the electorate as a proxy for real patriotic passion. This cannot stand. This canNOT be what this country is about. We must, we MUST love this country more than that. And we must show it.


A FOX Reporter Speaks the Truth--Finally

Palin's Free Advertisement on Cable News

Yesterday, Elizabeth Hasselback referred to Obama's purchase of 30 minutes of airtime as "repulsive". This morning, Palin gave a very long winded talk about energy. Its went on for at least 15 uninterrupted minutes on all the cable news channels. Usually, the channels cut away from such obvious attempts to get free advertising and say such things as "We'll come back to this if there is some breaking news." Today, they let her drivel on about the same old same old we have heard for months, with no cut away or interruption. Granted, it needed to be covered because this is presented as her signal issue, but the reality is that she said nothing new.

Two things were interesting, though. She actually said at the beginning that there is a big difference between McCain and Obama on the energy issue. She said that the Obama administration would continue the policies of relying on foreign oil. What planet has she been on the last 2 years? This is patently false and she knows it. Its another one of those Rovian lies that the McCain campaign tells everyday, hoping that the uninformed masses will believe it as truth, because its said over and over again.

The other point, albeit a small one, is that she mispronounces two pretty important words. She insists on parroting Bush and saying "nuc-u-lar" instead of properly pronouncing it "nu-clee-ar". She also repeatedly mispronounced "infrastructure" as "infastructure". Is it too much to ask that our country's leaders sound smart, even if they're ignorant buffoons?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

From the "Alaska Dispatch"

McCain not going quietly under Palin’s bus

October 27, 2008
By Amanda Coyne
Much is being made of the McCain campaign’s mishandling of Sarah Palin, and of Palin’s recent rebellion in the face of such mishandling.

First, she challenged McCain’s decision to pull out of Michigan. Then, in an interview with Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, she said that McCain would support the 2008 Republican Party platform, which opposes stem cell research and supports a constitutional amendment banning abortions with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. The problem: McCain supports stem-cell research and opposes a constitutional amendment that does not make exceptions for cases of rape and incest.

On the stump yesterday, she talked about her wardrobe, which she wasn’t supposed to do. She dissed robo calls while McCain was defending them, had an impromptu press conference, and is, according to a CNN story, generally playing the part of a “diva.”
All of this leads many to conclude that Palin is setting herself up to blame the McCain camp in the face of a big loss.

In the coming weeks, many in Alaska won’t be surprised if Palin starts to subtly allude to those “good ol’ boys” who are running McCain’s campaign; the ones who made her wear fancy clothes and tarnished her image by keeping her from the press. It’s a familiar Palin-refrain.
As the conservative Voice of the Times columnist Paul Jenkins put it in a column about Palin: “She is an opportunist always looking for buses with lots of room underneath, lots of room for all the political bodies.”

But Palin is working with professionals now who will not go quietly under that good bus, and they seem to be prepping for a fight. In addition to the diva comment, the CNN story cited two sources inside the campaign who defended her handling. They said that she simply was not ready to meet the press. “Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic,” one CNN source said. The other source said it was “hardest” to get her “up to speed than any candidate in history.”

Move Over Boomers!

30 Days | 30 Reasons : Kids (#8)

Monday, October 27, 2008

"I am an American and I choose to fight!"

Okay, here's my theory about John McCain. People have wondered what effect(s) his 5 years in Hanoi had on him. He (amazingly) claims its had no negative effect, but his approach to challenges suggests otherwise. I think McCain, for all intents and purposes, missed the Vietnam War. Through no fault of his own, he didn't get a chance to fight in the way that he wanted. He wanted to be a hero. One might argue that he needed to be a hero to stand toe-to-toe with the legends of his father and grandfather. And while he certainly embraces the hero mantel placed upon him for surviving torture, I don't believe that McCain feels its genuine enough, because it wasn't done in battle. The only person he saved was himself.

So what does he do? After he fails to advance further in the military due to injuries from captivity, he eventually gets elected to the Senate, and goes about pissing people off on a regular basis because he really loves the fight. He calls himself "maverick" but one could just as easily call him a "contrarian". He wants to see himself as a warrior and creates situations where that will be his role. So here we are now, in the 11th hour of the presidential campaign, and McCain is reprising his earlier mantra "I choose to fight!". In a way, its all he knows. When he talks about winning in Iraq, we all know what he's really talking about. He's still fighting another war in another time. Only this time he wants us to give him the power to play this out on the grandest scale of all. For me, that's a bit too much to ask to assuage one man's battered ego. We've seen that play the last eight years. We know how it ends---badly.

Palin Ignorant About Scientific Research

And this is the woman who wants to school us on "socialism"?? This is the campaign that thinks it can teach us anything? Simply moronic.

McCain's Health

More and more, it seems McCain is showing signs of wear and tear. This is no surprise, really, that a 72 year old man would be exhausted at this point in a grueling political campaign. So maybe what we're seeing is just that--the face of exhaustion. But it is increasingly troubling to see McCain stumble over his words. His "economic announcement" this morning was as disjoint and bumbling as recent campaign speeches have been. One has to assume he would be a little more energized in the morning, and yet here he was barely able to read the teleprompter, followed by increased anger directed at Obama.

Yesterday at a rally, he started coughing in mid-sentence. Maybe he has a cold. Maybe its no big thing. But between the twitching left eye, constant blinking, inability to read a prepared statement without stumbling, and poor memory he looks more and more like someone who has no business in any decision-making, much less being the heir to Bush's "decider" role.

Words and Phrases I Never Want To See or Hear After November 4th

you betcha
I know how to
Joe the plumber
anyone's first name followed by "the----"
hockey mom
and any word that ends in "ing" and is pronounced "in' "!

Got any more? Let me know and I'll add them.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

McCain has Memory Block on Meet The Press

The fact that these kind of mental stumbles keep happening to McCain is more than a little concerning. Yes, we all forget a name or misspeak on occasion, but this guy is supposed to be on his game all the time, right? Especially when on Meet The Press! (h/t to Amy L.)

30 Days | 30 Reasons : His Background (#16)

30 Days | 30 Reasons : This Dude (#14)

These are in no particular order. I just love what Stranahan has done.

Reporter Tries To Shake Biden

In what can only be seen as a rather right-winged bias, Barbara West assails Biden with questions that imply both her opinion and how he should be answering. He doesn't bite and he doesn't get angry--regardless of what right winged bloggers are saying. See for yourself. Does he look incredulous at the bias or enraged? You decide.

30 Days | 30 Reasons : Number 10 - Grace Under Pressure

Palin Going Rogue on McCain

Its become increasingly clear over the past few days that Palin doesn't approve of the way she's been handled by McCain staffers. She has started talking to the press when she's not scheduled to, she complained about pulling out of Michigan and referred to robocalls as "annoying".

Today, she appeared with Elizabeth Hasselback and spoke for 4 minutes about her $150,000 wardrobe after Hasselback brought it up in her introduction. Now its safe to say that the last thing the McCain folks want her talking about is another one of their blunders. But there she was, going off message. The message itself is not so damaging, because most people have already formed an opinion about it. But the fact that she's spending valuable campaign time and face time with the voters talking about it is the miscalculation. This is the true mark of an amateur campaign.

Maybe Palin recognizes how poorly this thing is being run. Maybe she thinks she can do a better job without her handlers. Perhaps. But I think this is where her naivete catches up with her. I don't think she knows enough about big time politics, nor do I think she knows how the rest of America (outside of her select religious right) thinks--the real America, if you will, to exercise wise judgement.

Truth in Numbers

Crowd for Senator Obama in Albuquerque, N.M., last night: 35,000 inside the venue and another 10,000-15,000 outside.

Crowd for Senator McCain in Albuquerque, N.M., yesterday: 1,400 according to the McCain campaign, 1,000 or less according to reporters.

100,000 Strong In Denver

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What Will We Remember on Nov. 4th, 2009?

I wonder, as I read through blogs and newspapers and watch cable t.v. and Sunday morning news talk shows, what will really register as important, after all is said and done, and this election is finally in our collective rear view mirror. What do you remember about the 2000 Presidential election, other than it was stolen? If you're like most Americans, you probably remember the guy with his glasses off, staring intently at the "hanging chad", trying to determine its intent. Do you remember much more than that? Sure there are fleeting images of Gore giving up the fight, Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, etc. But a lot of it has faded for me.

I remember even less from 2004, except that I was depressed for weeks.

So, as bloggers (including myself) go nuts about Palin and her wardrobe, the McCain staffer attack hoax, McCain's left eye twitch, Joe Six-pack, Joe the Plumber, Biden's gaffes, right wing rage, "he's a Muslim", "he's a socialist", Reverend Wright, Bill Ayres, Trig, Piper and Track, and on and on and on, I wonder what will remain at the end of this campaign.

Funny how a campaign season can be parsed ad nauseum by the press and pundits, but then, when its over, they all find some neat and tidy conclusionary statement to explain it all, as if they knew all along that this was the way it would go. You can almost smell the press begging for a closer race so they have more exciting things to talk about.

I hope that what we remember is the beginning of a shift back to the America we once knew and love, that was once respected in the world. I hope we remember a landslide so convincing that no amount of bogus voter registrations by Acorn can sully the victory or question the intent of the American people. I hope it is the greatest voter turnout in American history.

I hope that Palin fades into the woodwork and is recalled as an interesting oddity, like Ross Perot. And I hope McCain decides to retire after his term expires. And has a nice long life at his Sedona ranch with his wife. All of that might be worth remembering for more than a few years... or at least until the next election :)

The picture says it all

"It'd be fun to win Missouri"

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Vet Who Did Not Vet

(h/t to KBR)

And the Hits Just Keep On Coming

Charles Fried
William Weld
Scott McClellan
Colin Powell
Ben Bernanke
Kathleen Parker
Andrew Sullivan
Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Buckley
probably David Brooks, depending on the day
Susan Eisenhower
William Ruckelshaus
Lincoln Chafee
Jim Leach
Lynwood Holton
Richard Reardon
Michael Smerconish
Douglas Kmiec
Julie Nixon Eisenhower
Ed Koch
Gen. Tony McPeak
Lilibet Hagel (Chuck's wife)
Lowell Weicker
Alison Goldwater Ross

All of these people are registered REPUBLICANS! Most have never supported a Democrat and most have either served or are serving in Republican administrations or write for conservative Republican papers, magazines or blogs. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Rush Limbaugh, most of them are white.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Seth Kantner: " Sarah Palin is America's bridge to nowhere"

From Alaska Dispatch, Seth Kantner writes an article from the Last Frontier: "That Sarah Palin is one unreal Alaskan". You can read the full text here:

"Morning Joe" Hits New Lows

Live blogging "Morning Joe": Joe Scarborough is on a roll right now defending Palin's "impressive intellect". Mika is doing her blonde best to disagree, but her opinion blows with the wind. Her intellect is as impressive as Palin's, which is one way of saying "not so much".

Now they're attacking David Brooks for calling her "a cancer" on the Republican party. They're drawing comparisons to Ronald Reagan and basically saying its the "elite Republican media" as well that are skewering Palin.

Now they've brought in Jonathan Capehart from the Washington Post to say "this race isn't over". The need for all of them to spin this thing in favor of McCain is amazing. Joe Scarborough's need to have his opinion justified is insatiable. And unfortunately, at the expense of better political t.v., the crew around him is compelled to agree with him. So, when Joe sets the agenda, like any good Republican campaign, they follow the talking points instead of having livelier debate. Bottom line: don't disagree with Joe. "I LOVE that woman!" Joe concludes about Palin. Mika agrees. After that statement they agree that Bill O'Reilly is right about what he says about the women on "The View" taking themselves too seriously. I guess its not okay for a group of women to have a serious political discussion, but everyone needs to lockstep it with Joe Scarborough. Hmmm....

"There is a beating heart of conservatism out there" Peggy Noonan just announces as her reason that this election is not over. She identifies the country as "center right". I think this country is centrist, but certainly waivers when it comes to social issues. Most people want legal abortion even if they don't agree with it. Most people are for some form of gay marriage. Most people want government protections that go beyond what true conservatives want. The country is not center right. In the last election, the voters that voted were center right. And look what happened when we let them choose our president.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Republican Rally Ends With Flag Desecration

The scene from a McCain rally in Missouri yesterday. Guess along with not knowing the duties of Vice President, they missed the rules on how to handle the American flag, as in, YOU DON'T LET IT TOUCH THE GROUND, YOU F***ING MORONS!! Where do they get off calling Democrats un-American? Unbelievable hypocrites.

Another Senior Moment or the Old Freudian Slip?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Murphy Knows What Time It Is

Mike Murphy, McCain's senior strategist for his 2000 campaign says this about Powell's endorsement of Obama:

"...Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama today was a real sledgehammer blow to the already staggering McCain campaign...The General showed he still knows how to launch a brutal offense. Powell's remarks were an across the board indictment of the McCain campaign."

Parker's Defense of Buckley

Excerpts of "The Buckley Son Rises...and runs"
By Kathleen Parker

Christopher Buckley’s endorsement of Barack Obama — followed by his abrupt departure from the back page of the magazine his father founded, National Review — has caused a ripple of contempt from the conservative Right.

Nay, make that a tsunami of hostility. An avalanche of venom. A cataclysm of ... well, you get the idea. People are mad. Good riddance, they say, and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.Let us proceed, gingerly.

I am not a passive bystander to these events. Buckley is a friend, as are other members of his family, especially Uncle Reid, with whom I have worked for several years. National Review is home to many friends, and its online editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, kindly subscribes to my column. Like Buckley, I have enjoyed a decent fragging for suggesting that Sarah Palin excuse herself from the Republican ticket.

What gives here?

What does it mean that the right cannot politely entertain dissenting opinions within its ranks? What, if anything, does it portend that Buckley The Younger has bolted from the Right, even resigning from the family flagship? Some have opined, ridiculously, that Buckley — son of the famous William F. Buckley (WFB) — was merely seeking attention...So why did he do it? Because he had to. It’s in his genes. True believers of whatever stripe too often forget that the men and women who create movements are first and foremost radicals...Paraphrasing Ronald Reagan, the younger Buckley said: “I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.”

Radical conservatives are still having an interesting time of it, though these days they are being mutilated by fellow “conservatives.” The well-fed Right now cultivates ignorance as a political strategy and humiliates itself when its brightest sons seek sanctuary in the solitude of personal honor. The truth few wish to utter is that the GOP has abandoned many conservatives, who mostly nurse their angst in private. Those chickens we keep hearing about have indeed come home to roost. Years of pandering to the extreme wing — the “kooks” the senior Buckley tried to separate from the right — have created a party no longer attentive to its principles. Instead, as Christopher Buckley pointed out in a blog post on explaining his departure from National Review, eight years of “conservatism” have brought us “a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance.”Republicans are not short on brainpower — or pride — but they have strayed off course. They do not, in fact, deserve to win this time, and someone had to remind them why.

An American Soldier

This is the photo of the soldier that Colin Powell referred to in his comments on Meet The Press. His point, of course, was that there is nothing wrong with being Muslim, that American citizens who also happen to follow the faith of Islam have given their lives for this country. Something for everyone to think about when they throw around the word "Muslim" as if its a dirty word.

Photo by Platon appeared in The New Yorker.

Colin Powell and REAL Straight Talk

Powell expounds upon what he said on "Meet The Press" this morning and tells it like it is. This is in sharp contrast to McCain's lame defense of his negative robo-calls on Chris Wallace's program this morning on Fox.

The Endorsements Keep Coming

There is a significant shift going on this year. Many right leaning newspapers are endorsing Obama. Here is a partial list:

Chicago Tribune (first Democrat endorsement for president in the paper's history)

Houston Chronicle (first Democrat endorsement for president since 1964)

The Salt Lake Tribune (backed Bush in 2004)

The Denver Post (backed Bush in 2004)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Chicago Sun-Times

The Kansas City Star

More to come....

What Colin Powell's Endorsement Means

Powell's endorsement today on "Meet The Press" was significant for several reasons. Powell put McCain's campaign problems in clear perspective and went into depth about why he doesn't trust a McCain presidency and why he does trust an Obama presidency.

It all came down to temperament and judgment. He pointed to McCain's handling of the economic crisis (his infamous "suspending" the campaign stunt) vs. Obama's calm and steadiness. He spoke about the choice of Palin as an example of poor judgment, while he supported Obama's pick of Biden for the "readiness" test.

What Powell also did was describe the "narrowing" of the Republican party. He made it very clear to more centrist-minded Republicans that this is no longer the party they knew. And he didn't let McCain off the hook with this shift, because its the McCain campaign that is accentuating this division on the campaign trail.

We'll see what a difference this makes. I think it grabs the headlines, causes some conservative soccer moms and NASCAR dads to think twice, if they were afraid to vote against their party line. Powell's words elucidate the problems with McCain and Palin. He flatly says that Palin isn't ready to be president. Bottom line: people of all parties admire Powell and trust what he says. That's worth something in the last two weeks of a campaign. Way to go, Colin Powell. A patriot to the end.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

100,000 in St. Louis for Obama

Pfotenhauer Puts Foot in Mouth

Nancy Pfotenhauer puts her foot in her big mouth. I have had second thoughts about this after reading other people's blog comments about it and talking with my partner, who was not offended by it. Here's my take: She chose her words poorly. I think what she meant was "traditional" Virginia not "real" Virginia, because, of course, the latter implies that NOVA is "fake" or "not real". Northern Virginia is different from the majority of Virginia, but you could probably argue that about lots of states that have a large metropolitan area. Is Chicago not the "real" Illinois? St. Louis not the "real" Missouri? Gary not part of the "real" Indiana?

One can argue that these cities are not representative of the state they are in, but its a foolish idea to state that they are "not real", which implies they are somehow not as genuine or as relevant. I guarantee that the votes in Northern Virginia will count just as much as those in the rest of Appalachia. The bottom line is that these words sound divisive, and given all the Republicans have been saying on the campaign trail, it looks as if she is trying to divide the state. Not the kind of message you want to hear from the campaign of a man who constantly promises to reach across the aisle. Is his campaign trying to say that they're the real Americans?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bachmann Wingnut Overdrive

Rep. Bachmann (R-Mn) clearly is following her provided script by using the word "leftist" instead of liberal or left-wing, or Democrats, maybe? I'd love to see this woman lose her seat but the Dems have a guy named Winkelburger or Winkeltinker or something running against her. Sounds like a pretty leftist name to me.

Double Standard, Anyone?

Democracy is not average people selecting average leaders. It is average people with the wisdom to select the best prepared. Facts are powerful!! Obama/Biden vs McCain/Palin, what if things were switched around?.....think about it.

Would the country's collective point of view be different? Could racism be the culprit? Ponder the following:
What if the Obamas had paraded five children across the stage, including a three month old infant and an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter?
What if John McCain was a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if McCain had only married once, and Obama was a divorcee?
What if Obama was the candidate who left his first wife after a severe disfiguring car accident, when she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Obama had met his second wife in a bar and had a long affair while he was still married? What if Michelle Obama was the wife who not only became addicted to pain killers but also acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama had been a member of the Keating Five? (The Keating Five were five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s.)
What if McCain was a charismatic, eloquent speaker?
What if Obama couldn't read from a teleprompter?
What if Obama was the one who had military experience that included discipline problems and a record of crashing seven planes?
What if Obama was the one who was known to display publicly, on many occasions, a serious anger management problem?
What if Michelle Obama's family had made their money from beer distribution?
What if the Obamas had adopted a white child?

You could easily add to this list. If these questions reflected reality, do you really believe the election numbers would be as close as they are? This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference.

Educational Background:

Barack Obama: Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude

Joseph Biden: University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.) vs.

John McCain: United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Sarah Palin: Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism

Education isn't everything, but this is about the two highest offices in the land as well as our standing in the world.

(h/t to Claire W.)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

If Palin were in the Oval Office

Just for fun, check this out and be sure to click on everything for a good laugh!

(H/T to KBR)

John McCain Drops His Jaw

One of the better moments of this last (thankfully) debate. McCain goes on from this point to roll his eyes, clench his jaw, and generally treat Obama with contempt. Once again, the people spoke afterwards in focus groups and went strongly for Obama. This was true of both Fox and CNN groups, much to Fox's dismay.

Obama did what he needed to do--hold his lead, keep his cool and make his points. McCain needed to hit a homerun, and instead, he hit another grounder to second and grumbled all the way back to the dugout.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Anchorage Daily News Editorial

"Palin vindicated?"
She claims the report "vindicates" her. She said that the investigation found "no unlawful or unethical activity on my part."
Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian.
Page 8, Finding Number One of the report says: "I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act."
In plain English, she did something "unlawful." She broke the state ethics law.
Perhaps Gov. Palin has been too busy to actually read the Troopergate report. Perhaps she is relying on briefings from McCain campaign spinmeisters.
That's the charitable interpretation.
Because if she had actually read it, she couldn't claim "vindication" with a straight face.
Palin asserted that the report found "there was no abuse of authority at all in trying to get Officer Wooten fired."
In fact, the report concluded that "impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired."
Palin's response is the kind of political "big lie" that George Orwell warned against. War is peace. Black is white. Up is down.
Gov. Palin and her camp trumpeted the report's second finding: that she was within her legal authority to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. But the report also said it's likely one of the reasons she fired him was his failure to get rid of her ex-brother-in-law trooper.
That's not "vindication," and surely Gov. Palin knows it.
Gov. Palin does have a defense. She could have said:
"I'm gratified that the report confirmed what I said all along, that I had the authority to terminate Walt Monegan as public safety commissioner.
"I absolutely disagree that I violated state ethics law. In repeatedly complaining about trooper Mike Wooten, Todd and I were not pursuing a personal vendetta. We were trying to protect the integrity of the Alaska State Troopers from having an arrogant, almost-out-of-control law-breaker in their ranks. Because the action we were seeking was in the public interest, not purely our personal interest, there is no ethics law violation."
Gov. Palin and her husband felt so passionately about Wooten because the case was so personal to them. Their passion blinded them to any other considerations.
They had no sense that the power of the governor's office carries a special responsibility not to use it to settle family scores. They had no sense that legal restrictions might prevent the troopers from firing Wooten. They had no sense that persistent queries from the governor's office might be perceived as pressure to bend state personnel laws.
Gov. Palin and her husband were obsessed with Wooten the way Capt. Ahab was obsessed with the Great White Whale. No Wooten, no peace.
Has Gov. Palin committed an impeachable offense? Hardly.
Is what she did indictable? No.
But it wasn't appropriate, especially for someone elected as an ethical reformer. And her Orwellian claims of "vindication" make this blemish on her record look even worse.
You asked us to hold you accountable, Gov. Palin. Did you mean it?
Bottom line: Gov. Palin, read the report. It says you violated the ethics law.

Christopher Buckley Leaves The National Review Over Obama Endorsement

"The son of William F. Buckley has decided—shock!—to vote for a Democrat.
Let me be the latest conservative/libertarian/whatever to leap onto the Barack Obama bandwagon. It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance.
Or would they? But let’s get that part out of the way. The only reason my vote would be of any interest to anyone is that my last name happens to be Buckley—a name I inherited. So in the event anyone notices or cares, the headline will be: “William F. Buckley’s Son Says He Is Pro-Obama.” I know, I know: It lacks the throw-weight of “Ron Reagan Jr. to Address Democratic Convention,” but it’ll have to do."

Read the full post here:

Just a little seasonal fun!

Check out these awesome pumpkins! Whoever thought this up from the Obama campaign was a clever son-of-a-gun.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Maddow vs. Frum

Rachel Maddow just entertained a lively discussion on her show with David Frum, a conservative journalist and former speech writer for Bush. He capped off his comments with "You guys have a symbiotic relationship with negativity." She bristled at that and at his suggestion that our political discourse needs to be more adult, referring to her show as an example of the lack of seriousness. Maddow likes a little sarcasm like I like a little chocolate sauce on my ice cream. She never met a sarcastic retort she didn't love, and its part of her shtick. I agree with her that all politics doesn't have to be serious, but I wonder if Frum isn't making a larger point that she missed.

He seems to be suggesting that its not enough to simply trade accusations and expressions of righteousness. Yes, it might be so that the Democrats have the upper hand right now because we don't have nitwits yelling "Kill him! and "Terrorist!" about McCain at Obama rallies. And its pretty obvious that Obama has been consistent in taking the high road throughout the campaign.
But is it enough to feel righteous indignation over those nitwits at rallies or the buffoons at FOX? They have FOX and now we have Maddow and MSNBC? Is that the best we can do? I sort of felt like Frum was challenging Maddow to rise above the obvious and have more intelligent conversations with people she may not necessarily agree with. That is the hallmark of truly intelligent, mature political discourse.

Much to my disappointment, she balked and kept reciting the line that she doesn't see it as the equivalent when the other side is yelling "Kill him!" She may have a point, but is that the only point to be made? Its certainly the easiest one to make.

Maddow is an extremely bright woman and can go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Wouldn't it be so much more enlightening if she did, for example, have Paul Wolfowitz on (as Frum suggested) and have an honest to God debate about their differences? I think she's up to it, and, what's more, I think the American electorate is hungry for an honest exchange of ideas. We're all sick of the partisan bullshit, and we're all guilty of it. Twenty-two days and counting.....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Collins Gets Nostalgic

New York Times
Op-Ed Columnist
Dear Old Golden Dog Days

Published: October 10, 2008
I miss the good old days. Remember when the presidential campaign was all about oil drilling? That sure was fun.
I miss August. August was neat. The Dow was over 10,000 and nobody had ever heard of Sarah Palin.
Remember how we used to joke about John McCain looking like an old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn? It’s only in retrospect that we can see that the keep-off-the-grass period was the McCain campaign’s golden era. Now, he’s beginning to act like one of those movie characters who steals the wrong ring and turns into a troll.
During that last debate, while he was wandering around the stage, you almost expected to hear him start muttering: “We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious.”
Remember when McCain’s campaign ads were all about his being a prisoner of war? I really miss them.
Now they’re all about the Evil That Is Obama. The newest one, “Ambition,” has a woman, speaking in one of those sinister semiwhispers, saying: “When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers. When discovered, he lied.” Then suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, she starts ranting about Congressional liberals and risky subprime loans. Then John McCain pops up to say he approved it. All in 30 seconds! And, of course, McCain would think it’s great. For the first time, the Republicans appear to have captured his thought process on tape.
The Republican campaign strategy now involves sending their candidates to areas where everybody is a die-hard McCain supporter already. Then they yell about Obama until the crowd is so frenzied people start making threats. The rest of the country is supposed to watch and conclude that this would be an enjoyable way to spend the next four years.
Maybe the Republicans should have picked somebody else. I miss Mitt Romney. Sure, he was sort of smarmy. But when Mitt was around, the banks had money and Iceland was solvent. And, of course, when we got bored, we could always talk about how he drove to Canada with his Irish setter strapped to the car roof.
I miss the old George W. Bush. When he came out of the White House and made an announcement, you would usually think that whatever he wanted to do was a terrible idea. But at least you thought he could actually make the terrible idea happen.
I miss the old American public that was too busy shopping to worry about the state of the world. Now everybody is getting scared and weird. They’ve been racing off in great numbers to see “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” And nagging Target to take the Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo dolls off the shelves because people think that when it gurgles you can hear the baby say “Islam is the light.”
I miss the old Cindy McCain. The one who used to go to rallies and sit huddled in the corner looking as if she thought the audience had a communicable disease. Now, she’s right up there on stage, standing behind her husband and making disgusted faces when he rails on about the opposition. And she’s started railing herself. (The family that rants together ...) Obama is waging “the dirtiest campaign in American history.” His votes on Iraq were votes “not to fund my son when he was serving.”
Remember when the McCains wouldn’t talk about the fact that their son was in Iraq? Oh well.
Maybe Cindy is trying to hold her own against Sarah, who is with John almost as much as she is. I miss the old guy-guy McCain who had so many male pals around he looked like a walking fraternity reunion. Now, he’s starting to resemble an ambulatory patient accompanied by female attendants on an outing.
Palin has been pressing the line that people don’t really know “the real Barack Obama,” and who could make the argument better than a woman who we’ve already known for almost six weeks? Really, she’s like one of the family.
We’ve gotten so close we’ve already learned that she didn’t actually sell the plane on eBay, didn’t actually visit the troops in Iraq and didn’t really have a talk with the British ambassador. As soon as we get the Trooper thing and Alaska Independence Party thing and the tax thing figured out, she’ll be an open book.
And she’s got a point about Obama. True, he’s been campaigning for 19 months and has been interviewed by everybody from “Meet the Press” to “Men’s Health.” Which would be O.K. if we were talking about somebody from a small town rather than, as a McCain campaign co-chairman noted delicately, a “guy of the street.”
Back in August, women politicians were afraid of going negative because it might have made them look too strident. Amazing, the things you wind up being nostalgic for.
More Articles in Opinion » A version of this article appeared in print on October 11, 2008, on page A23 of the New York edition.

Flyers Fans Rock!

Palin resoundingly booed by Flyers fans at their home opener. Awesome.

Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain's Own Crowd Undermines His Leadership

In the earlier video of the McCain town hall meeting in Minnesota, McCain is forced to confront the hostility and bigotry of his own crowd. When he reminds them to be "respectful" and describes Obama as a "decent person", he is booed more than once. Does this seem a bit ironic? They clamor for him to fight for them in one breath, and interrupt him and boo him in the next breath. Do they really believe he is their leader? If they don't respect McCain at one of his own rallies, what message does that send about his ability to be respected as a leader of the whole nation?

Who's in the driver's seat of the McCain campaign? Anyone else feel like Palin is hijacking this thing with the Rovians? And what does that say about McCain's leadership?

What's the New "N-Word"?

Scared, white, conservative folks everywhere are searching their vocabularies for the latest and greatest way to label Obama with the obvious (he's black) without using the word that has
clearly fallen out of fashion. So they flail around for a while and, low and behold, they stumble upon some real beauts. "He's a socialist!" "He's a liberal!" (ooohhnnooooo!) "He's a terrorist!"

But the best one was seen today, at a McCain rally in Minnesota. Everyone was confessing their fears to McCain, begging him to rescue them from the great Democratic terror, and he decided this would be a great time to calm the rabble with reassuring words about what a decent guy Obama is. Watch and see if you think the crowd is really behind McCain:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

John McCain's Rage

"When great evil occurs, great good will follow"

Written by Buddhist teacher Nichiren Daishonen over 600 years ago, it seems to capture what is happening this very week in the campaign. I do not mean to reduce McCain to the term "evil", because I think that is too reductionistic. But the McCain campaign is actively and vigorously appealing to the ugly underbelly of their party--yes, the bitter, angry, God-fearing, gun-toting rabble that Obama described once to the San Francisco "elite". These people are angry as hell and they are quickly transforming the McCain campaign into a mob, with an increasingly hostile mob mentality. Comments directed at Obama like "kill him!", "terrorist!" and "off with his head!" are being heard more and more frequently at McCain rallies.

McCain supporters have decided for the sake of convenience to brand Obama as their 21st century Salem witch, and have deemed him a worthy receptacle for all of their own personal ills, failures, fears, resentments and regrets. Obama burning in effigy is, no doubt, coming soon to a "Country First" rally near you.

To say that McCain has lost his way would be a gross understatement. To see him and his faithful female sidekicks stoke the fires, is the most blatant example of how and why he is NOT fit to lead. He is either allowing the mob to lead him, or he is encouraging the mob to take him and his country down into the sludge, for the sake of his own ego.

McCain's claim to have the "steady hand on the tiller" is an absolute farce. The only person on either side who has been steady throughout this entire campaign is Barack Obama. Even when surrogates in his own campaign begged him to get angry, get tough, come out swinging, Obama remained steady. He is as unflappable as any man I have ever seen under fire. He seems to proceed with the calmness of a man who has already arrived at the destination, when everyone else is complaining about the stones on the road in front of them. His ability to see and describe the "big picture" is the very thing the Republicans mock, but it is also the thing they cannot envision with their own candidate, and they know it. In a word, they are jealous, and their egos are as bruised as McCain's. And McCain's solution for these people? Get mad and get even.

Obama, on the other hand, continues to stay on the high road. When his campaign has flirted with the negative snipes in ads, thousands of supporters and bloggers like myself have contacted the campaign demanding cease and desist. And they have listened. They are not perfect. Nor is he. But the contrast between hope and despair is so apparent now, that I almost feel sorry for these angry masses as they swirl around the cesspool of their own making.

(Tip of the hat to JumpyPants for Daishonen's quote)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

McCain Revealed

Tim Dickinson goes in depth to show a John McCain that few have heard or read about. His article in "Rolling Stone" is a must read:

Thanks to KBR for the link!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"That One!"

McCain accomplished much tonight. He solidified the suspicion shared by many that he has true contempt for Obama. He allowed the camera to age him significantly. He proved that his strongest statement of his qualifications always starts with "I know how to...".

On the radio he sounded snippy, petty and sophmoric. On HDTV he looked like someone who has pulled a tight rubber mask over his head, followed by two inches of pancake makeup.

Between the shameful McCain-Palin Smear Express and this bumbling, tottering, snarky performance by McCain, the answer for undecideds is becoming all too clear--Obama, er, that one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Debates in Wordle Form

Palin above vs. Biden below

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Northside Implosion

Unbelievable. I was going to "live blog" the Cubs game but there was nothing "live" about them tonight. For the second year in a row, they have decided to go on vacation two weeks early. They forgot to tell the fans who loyally supported them for 165 games that the fans should go on vacation, too. No, instead, a million suckers like me out there are more faithful to the team than the players themselves.

If Lou doesn't light a fire under their Cubbie blue butts, fans will not forget this one. Last year was supposed to be an anomoly, not the highwater mark for post-seasons to come.

One hundred years.......unbelievable. Why do I have to love this team so much?

Biden Rocks With A Strong Finish

He totally wiped the floor with her at the end. After it was over, she met Biden away from the podiums and her body language was that of a high school girl doing an "awe shucks, thanks" like she was greeting her debate coach for his grade of her performance.

I think Biden won on content and, in the end, on style. Palin did just fine in the first half, but her chirpiness was grating after a while. Guess that's a reflection of her lack of substance.

Buchanan said she was "phenomenal". Pat is a joke! How can Rachel Maddow sit next to him and not want to pull the last few strands of hair out of his dufus head!

Grand Slam By Biden!!

"I know what its like to be a single parent." He's talking about losing his wife and daughter and raising his sons on his own. He gets choked up but keeps it together enough to finish his sentiment. Awesome moment.

Palin crashes it with chirpy soundbites. It makes her look petty. Hard to take her seriously when she sounds chipper at the wrong time. Show some respect, Sarah and learn when to let a moment to stand on its own.

Say It Ain't So, Sarah!

Oh, no she didn't. She had to use the line "say it ain't so, Joe" and follow it with a "doggone it". I bet she's been looking for a place to use that all night. The Ohio men don't seem to like her planted lines, but occasionally the women gobble it up. Overall, people seem to be responding to Joe's seriousness with positive responses. The pattern seems to be clear here that Joe gets overall more positives and she gets the Dow Jones rollercoaster.

Joe just hit it out of the park (which is more than I can say for my lovable losers) with a line about Cheney being the most dangerous VP in American history. Top scores on the tally line!

Live Blogging the Veep Debate

Palin is more than holding her own, but is this really a surprise? The set up here is an opportunity for both to give multiple mini-speeches with little rebuttal. Joe is doing okay but he's in a box--can't be too strong but can't look weak either. She had this "won" before it started.

What I am watching is the running tally at the bottom of CNN's Ohio uncommitted voters and the pattern is interesting. Joe's tally line appears to stay middle to positive, with very few dips below the middle line. Palin's, on the other hand, fluctuates more wildly with both higher marks but also lower dips. It seems to dip low when she tries to be folksy. What does all this mean?

Hopefully, what it means is that 38 days from now, none of this will matter. If Palin is deemed "the winner" of this debate, then she should be happy to grant press conferences or more interviews. I don't think that will happen, but if they "quit while they think they're ahead", it will actually benefit the Obama-Biden ticket. This will probably convince the people who never thought she was stupid that they now have their belief confirmed. Oh well...we weren't going to get them anyway.

Live blogging now switches to the contest that really matters tonight--THE CUBS GAME!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Its only one game, its only one game...keep repeating, its only one game...

Cubs go down to Dodgers 7-2

McCain does it again on NPR

Okay, he doesn't exactly implode here, but his defensiveness and contemptuous posture with the press is palpable. What ever happened to the McCain that used to refer to the press as "his base"? Have a listen:

Murphy makes a good point

Mike Murphy, GOP consultant and former McCain 2000 strategist, states what should be obvious about McCain and the Des Moines Register interview---why is he there?? Why is he even doing an interview with a liberal newspaper in a state where he is too far behind? To persuade them to endorse him? After listening again to his combative tone, and hearing him repeatedly say "I respect your opinion" when its very clear he thinks 'their' opinion is horseshit, I'd say his chance of that endorsement is about as likely as Palin knowing the Preamble by heart.

It speaks to the fundamental (McCain likes that word a lot) flaw with the McCain campaign, that is, that they focus too much and too personally on little skirmishes that are irrelevant to the bigger battle. They actually take the time to respond ad nauseum to things like the "lipstick on a pig" comment, and then play fast and loose with important issues like, oh say, properly vetting Palin for the job. And then when they're cornered with information they don't want to hear, they either use projection in awkward ways (the accusation of "gotcha journalism" when a voter asked Palin a good question) or fall back on the argument that McCain, as a former POW, is beyond reproach and anything that challenges him besmirches his reputation as a veteran.

Murphy reaches the conclusion that it is "a stunning lack of competence".

(To read more:

Back To His Old Ways--The Real John McCain

Right after many pundits expressed concern that McCain may have looked angry or contemptuous at the debate with Obama, he goes to Iowa (a state he would sorely love to win)and gives this display to the respected Des Moines Register editorial board. If you can't keep it together for 15minutes with them, what happens when the real heat is on?