Senate Republicans are Idiots - Auto Bailout Edition

The Auto Bailout is a necessity.  Across the spectrum, industry experts say two of the Big Three are in such dire straights that they may fail in a matter of weeks.  Bankruptcy isn't an option for these giants, since it would be impossible to find loans for the temporary cash flow they need in order to keep the doors open.  The credit crisis took care of that.  On top of that technical consideration, there's the well documented fact that Americans wont make a huge capital purchase from a company that might not be around to support that purchase in the coming years.  For most of us a $20k car is not a purchase to be made lightly.  So, bankruptcy equals extinction in this case.

The car companies cannot be allowed to fail for a number of reasons.  First, going into what could be the 2nd Great Depression is the wrong time to lose 2-3 million jobs.  Duh.  Second, there is a very real national security cost to losing our manufacturing sector completely.  Remember, in WWII it was the auto manufacturers that were effectively nationalized in order to make tanks, jeeps, and aircraft.  Without an American manufacturing sector that expertise will bleed out of our populace, making the nation weaker and therefore less safe.

Enter the Neo-Hooverite Senate Republicans.  They don't have a problem with throwing money at their Wall Street buddies, but the thought of bailing out an industry chock full of Democrats is beyond the pale.  In fact, in a leaked strategy memo the Senate Republicans say that killing the Auto Bailout is a "first shot against organized labor."  Wasn't this the party whose slogan in the last election was Country First?  Go figure.

All the same, through the process of negotiation the Senate Republicans procured a number of very meaningful concessions from the companies - things I support.  Most importantly, they forced a move to wage parity with the foreign auto-makers U.S.-based workforce.  Over the course of 18 months, the UAW's wages would fall to match those of Toyota's workers.  Although this isn't the most important action for transforming the Big 2-3 into healthy companies (that would be building cars that people like me want to buy), it is nonetheless key.   I heartily approve of union's efforts to ensure that a company's profits are shared with the workers and do not accrue solely to the benefit of stockholders and executives, but the unions need to be willing to give some of those increased wages back during tough times, so long as the pain is shared with management and shareholders.  

Here's where the Senate Republicans reveal themselves to be the idiots they are.  The UAW workers have contracts, so without the availability of bankruptcy as an option for forcing them to change those contracts, it is only through their agreement that their wages can be changed.  The Senate Republicans succeeded in convincing the UAW to give consent to just such a adjustment to the contract, but then the Republicans killed the bailout!  The UAW's consent was in the context of that bailout!  Therefore, by killing the bailout they killed the only chance they had of actually firing a "first shot at organized labor."

So, given that the bailout died in the Senate, unable to overcome a Republican filibuster, what do you think would happen next?  Do you think the Bush Administration, newly christened lovers of socialism, will be happy going down in history as the government that did nothing while the U.S. Auto Industry to go extinct?  Did the Senate Republicans think the Bush Administration, who had given $700 billion to the financial sector, would balk at a measly $17 billion for one of the cornerstones of the U.S. economy?  OF COURSE NOT, YOU IDIOTS!

What do we have at the end of this towering monument to stupidity?  The Big Three get their money, and the UAW is forced to make no concessions at all!  And when the new Senate convenes, do you think the remaining 41 Republicans will be able to get as many concessions as 49 of them just did on any future bailout?  OF COURSE NOT, YOU IDIOTS!

I wanted to see the UAW's wages fall to parity with the Big Three's competitors, but now we have to trust that the Democrats will work against their electoral interests to secure that concession.  I don't think that's out of the question for a party that puts practicality above ideology, but in an oppositional system, such as we have, trusting the majority to do the right thing is a gross failure of the minority party.

Global Warming NOT Caused by Cosmic Rays

Via Slashdot:
A new study conducted by Norwegian researchers finds (again) that changes in cosmic rays most likely do not contribute to climate change. Previously, other researchers have claimed to have found a link between cosmic rays and surface temperatures."
Yeah.  Big surprise.  But don't expect the deniers to drop the talking point.  Zombie Lies everywhere!  They can't be killed!


Rick Warren is the New Falwell

Last night on Fox News, Sean Hannity insisted that United States needs to "take out" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Warren said he agreed. Hannity asked, "Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?" Warren responded, "Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped.... In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers."
Maybe he should hang out with Robertson, who said we should assassinate foreign leaders we don't like.  Ra-Ra, Christianity!  Woooo!

William Jefferson, Democrat-Lousiana

Rush Limbaugh's favorite example of Democratic corruption lost his re-election bid last night in his indigo-blue district. Good riddance.

It's worth noting that when the Democrats have an indicted Member running for re-election, we refuse to endorse him. The DNC and the DCCC didn't lift a finger to help Jefferson, and this morning we're all thrilled to see him go.

By contrast, when the Republicans have a convicted felon running for the Senate, not only does the entire party apparatus work for his re-election (coming shocking close to victory in the process), but prominent Republicans endorse him. A certain lipstick-wearing pig comes to mind.

Good on ya, Democrats.

Shinseki to Veterns Affairs

Another inspired choice from President-Elect Obama.  He's getting an excellent public servant - someone willing to sacrifice his career for the sake of doing the right thing - while simultaneously sticking it to George W. Bush.  We love that.

He's putting together an incredibly diverse cabinet without ever seeming to select someone for diversity's sake.  When do we get an Old White Guy for a cabinet post?


Torture Motivates Our Enemies

I learned in Iraq that the No. 1 reason foreign fighters flocked there to fight were the abuses carried out at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Our policy of torture was directly and swiftly recruiting fighters for al-Qaeda in Iraq. The large majority of suicide bombings in Iraq are still carried out by these foreigners. They are also involved in most of the attacks on U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. It's no exaggeration to say that at least half of our losses and casualties in that country have come at the hands of foreigners who joined the fray because of our program of detainee abuse. The number of U.S. soldiers who have died because of our torture policy will never be definitively known, but it is fair to say that it is close to the number of lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001. How anyone can say that torture keeps Americans safe is beyond me -- unless you don't count American soldiers as Americans.
It's so obvious... the soldiers volunteered.  The all-volunteer force allowed the Bush Administration to use them in ways that no government with a conscripted force would ever contemplate.  They are expendable, both in the field and once they return home.  The GI Bill and the Walter Reed scandal is all the proof you need on that last point.  "Support the Troops" really means "Support All Wars."

I'd say it is equally obvious that these practices have made our homeland less secure as well as our troops in the field.  In the mythical Jack Bauer situation, where we know there is an imminent attack and we know that someone in custody knows how to stop it, then no jury would convict a Bauer-type for doing what they thought they needed to do to avert the attack.  The problem is enshrining that torture as legal.  If it's legal, it'll happen routinely.  It will become the norm rather than the exception, and then America will cease to be a Shining City on the Hill, and join the ranks of ordinary nations and tinpot dictators.  In fact, that is exactly what has happened under the Bush Torture Regime.  To think that these dirt-poor, illiterate youths that are susceptible to radicalization will only strike in Iraq against US Forces is naive.  If they had the chance to strike America itself, I don't think there is much doubt as to which target they would prefer.

This concern isn't borne out of some liberal hippie-dippie desire to be nice to everyone and drop flowers instead of bombs.  Being seen as the Shining City is the greatest Strategic Weapon America has at its disposal.  It is a weapon we can use freely, for it creates no blowback.  Ronald Reagan understood this, but the Republican Party that worships him has decided he was wrong.  They're still on board with the deficit-spending, favor-the-rich, tax-cuts-solve-everything policies, but the Shining City - that's liberal mushiness and naivete.

Palin's $300K Look

And we thought $180k was a lot.
Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist was paid $68,400 and her hair stylist received more than $42,000 for roughly two months of work, according to a new campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Ms. Palin’s makeup artist, Amy Strozzi — who was nominated for an Emmy award for her cosmetics work on the television show “So You Think You Can Dance?” — was paid $32,400 by Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign between Oct. 16 and Nov. 24, the period covered by the most recent reports filed with the commission.

This amount came on top of the $36,000 she had already been paid in previous reports, dating back to September.

In addition, Ms. Palin’s traveling hair stylist, Angela Lew, was paid a total of $42,225, with $23,400 coming during the period covered by the latest reports to the commission, which were due at midnight on Thursday.

Much attention has been paid to the $150,000 the Republican National Committee spent on outfitting Ms. Palin in September at high-end department stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well as on makeup services.

Republican officials said this week that additional clothing charges would appear on the Republican National Committee’s campaign finance report totaling less than $30,000. But the committee’s report, which was due at midnight on Thursday, was not yet available as of late evening.
Thank God for Real Americans, huh?

Please, let her be the face of the Republican Party.


Supremes to Hear Al Marri Case

So, the Supreme Court has finally agreed to hear the Al-Marri Case.  They're years late, but it's better late than never.

Al-Marri is one of the greatest travesties of Bush's misguided war on our civil liberties.  He must ultimately find Justice for the good of the nation, but this leads to a perverse situation.  If Obama moves to give him that Justice expeditiously, he could accidentally enshrine the powers seized by our recent Monarch, George W. Bush.  Without his continued indefinite incarceration, the Supreme Court will rule that the issue is moot, since the injustice has been righted.  They've done the same thing before in the Padilla case, where the Bush Administration transferred him to a civilian prison just before the Supremes were to hear the case.  The conservative court (with 7 of 9 Justices appointed by Republicans) refused to grant review in the Padilla case, thereby preserving Bush's justification for his indefinite detentions, and they will surely do so again if given the chance.

So, as awful as it is, I say let him rot in jail for another few months.  Then the Court will be forced to rule, and we will finally have a Supreme Court precedent saying what none of us ever thought would be necessary - that the President does not have the powers of a King in wartime, and cannot simply imprison Americans on American soil without charge or trial on his say-so alone.  That we need to establish this precedent via the Court rather than just relying on the plain reading of the Constitution is a sad, sad thing for the Republic.


Smooth Sailing in the New World

So, +21 in the House, +7 in the Senate. Not a bad haul, after 8 years of Republican rule, favoring the richest amongst us at the middle class' expense. Who would have thought the Permanent Republican Majority - built from fears of terrorism and politicization of the DOJ - would end up discrediting the Republican Brand so thoroughly? Supply Side Economics lays in the wastebasket of discarded ideas, and Drill Baby Drill is almost as dead.  When we get the final stake through that one, it'll be a good day for humanity.

There are two Senate races still outstanding - The First Senate Felon looks like he'll pull off re-election in Alaska, home of the voters that elected Sarah Palin. The Minnesota Senate race is still in recount mode, but the early indications are favorable for the Republican, despite his recent ethics cloud.  Still, I'll keep my fingers crossed on both of these...  I'd love to see the GOP's collective head explode by having to deal with the man that wrote a book titled "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot."


My Election Day

View Larger Map

My route for election day. I get one of the jobs where I don't have to wake up at 3AM, so that's a plus.

After that, I'm setting up the party! Woooo, technology and booze!


GOTV! Blogging Suspended

I'm already down in Miami working for Annette Taddeo.  So far we've had 16, 17, and 18 hour days.  I assume 18 is where it'll cap out... please God, let it not increase further... 

I think this campaign is run significantly better than my last, so that should preclude the all-nighters.  I'm eating utter crap, taking vitamins, and sleeping like the dead.  Feels about right.


Conservatives for Obama

  1. Rep. Leach
  2. Thomas
  3. Johnson
  4. Smerconish (right wing talkshow host)
  5. Adelman (hardcore hawk!)
  6. Powell
  7. Bartlett (Reagan/Bush 1 senior advisor)
  8. Kmiec (Head of Legal Counsel for Reagan/Bush 1, Pro-Life)
  9. Kuo (Director of Faith Based Initiatives in Bush 2)
  10. Cafardi (Pro-life Catholic)
  11. Mrs. Hagel
  12. Eisenhower x2
  13. Coates (Friedman's student makes the libertarian case)
  14. Goldwater x2
  15. Buckley
  16. Fischel
  17. Drezner
  18. Lorman
  19. Ross
  20. Frum (Bush 2 speechwriter)
  21. Sen. Chafee
  22. Rep. Gilchrest
  23. McKinnon (McCain '00, McCain '08)
  24. Hart
  25. Lowry (not full endorsement)
  26. Bennet (Bush 2)
  27. Cole
  28. Sullivan
  29. Gov. Weld
  30. Balko (Libertarian case for Obama)
  31. McClellan (Bush 2 "true believer" and Press Sec.)
  32. Gov. Carlson
  33. Fried (Sol. General and McCain Adviser!)
  34. Hitchens
  35. Dowd (Cheif Strategist Bush 2)
  36. Allison (National Review Editor)
  37. Zakaria

Adam Smith the Socialist

It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
So there.


Biden Finally Does It

Behold, an interview that even Sean Hannity would call "hard hitting:"

Biden has been a little weak so far in his role as VP nominee.   I don't have a big problem with his putative "gaffes," but rather his less than full-throated offense.  This quells that sentiment nicely.


Powerful Stupid & FoxNews Says McCain has Lost

If you've been anywhere near the newsbox the last two days then you know about the story of the Big Black Mugger Blacky Fondler BlacketyBlackBlack Obama Supporter Who Assaulted a White Woman.  Drudge said it was true, so it was reported all day long that this big darky had targetted the white woman because she was a McCain supporter.  In addition to the beating, fondling, and political rage, the man carved a "B" into her cheek with a dull knife so she'd remember who she was supposed to vote for come election day.

For much of yesterday, the Pennsylvania McCain campgaign flogged the story.  They were the ones that informed us that the "B" stood for Barack, in fact.  Very helpful.  In response to this story, Fox News Editor John Moody said this:
If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.
Now, finally we come to the victim herself.  Look at this picture and see if anything jumps out at you:

That's right, the "B" is backwards... like you would get if you did it in a mirror.  Or perhaps the welfare loving darky is so uneducated by his ghetto schools he writes his B's backwards like Toys 'R Us.  Of course, the girl has recanted the whole story.  She made it all up.

That is some powerful stupid.

Finally, for those who think that racism is a thing of the past we can safely ignore, and moreover condemn people like Reverend Wright for not being able to move on, remember that within living memory such a craven lie of a story would have lead to a good old fasioned lynching of the nearest black guy.  Sometimes the leaders of the lynchmob would even be prosecuted for it!  ... but I wouldn't hold my breath on that one.

Update: She's now telling the police that she's "upset with the media for blowing this into a political firestorm."  Hahaha!

Bomb the Pentagon = Terrorist. Bomb an Abortion Clinic = Not Terrorist

"But Abortion Clinics kill babies," they will scream. Therefore, the ends justify the means. Of course, if you believe that in a representative democracy you bear moral responsibility for an unjust war that was killing innocent civilians and maiming your fathers and brothers, then perhaps you too would believe that the ends justified the means.

Palin is a morally bankrupt tribalist.

Greenspan Destroys Pure Libertarianism

Alan Greenspan, admitting that ideological libertarianism is wrong:
“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said.

....Mr. Waxman pressed the former Fed chair to clarify his words. “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Mr. Waxman said.

“Absolutely, precisely,” Mr. Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”
Alan Greenspan's chief failing is believing that The Market is always be right.


Ahhhhhh ha ha! Hilarious.

Now we're going to hear all about Bill Clinton's brother in the comments. :)


McCain the Socialist

I know I've said it before, but John McCain should really get with the times. You see, we have these things called video tapes...

Mickey is Voter Registration Fraud? Maybe Not.

I recently said that apparently fraudulent voter registrations like Mickey Mouse wouldn't result in actual votes cast on election day.  Turns out I was wrong:
That's Drudge's point here - Hahahaha, they tried to register Mickey Mouse!  Fools!  But here's the thing: there are 32 people named "Mickey Mouse" listed in the White Pages nationwide, including two in Florida ... On MSNBC, NBC deputy political director Mark Murray just referred to "Harry Potter" and "Han Solo" as other obviously fake names.  There are 77 Harry Potters in the White Pages.  No Han Solos, but there is a Hans Solo.  And 8 Luke Skywalkers.  This is really simple: You cannot tell that a voter registration form is illegitimate based solely on the name.
Go figure.

AP: Al Qaeda Endorses McCain!

Al Qaeda knows who will play into their grand strategy.  The Republicans:
Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, "impetuous" Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier," the message said. "Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."
As I said.

$150k for Palin's Dress Up

Even the Republicans aren't happy about this one:
The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.
Thank God for Real Americans, huh?

Ambinder reports:
There is already an attempt to blame the media -- as in, the liberal media would have looked askance at Palin if she wasn't clad in Neiman Marcus, but this won't wash. Republicans, RNC donors and at least one RNC staff member have e-mailed me tonight to share their utter (and not-for-attribution) disgust at the expenditures.
The coming Republican civil war will be between those who drank the Palin Poison, and those who didn't. Let's hope the country club crowd wins out over the Bible thumpers, but I suspect we'll have to wait until 2016 to see that come to pass. In 2012 the thinking will be, "McCain was a centrist, and he lost! Given the choice between Democrat and Democrat Lite, the people will choose the real thing every time. It's time to return to our conservative roots," by which they mean a return to the Tom Delay, Rick Santorum GOP base craziness. It'll be a landslide, and then they'll come around.

Oh, and get this precious reaction from a Palin spokesperson:
"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses. It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."
Awwwww. I wonder, what lucky welfare recipient or thrift-store shopper will be waltzing around in a $12,000 jacket next year?

Atrios ads the following to the discussion:
Remember the good ol' days (of about 8 months ago) when the GOP was outraged over $400 haircuts?

By contrast, here's a picture of Obama's shoes.  He's had them resoled once already during the campaign.

That elitist bastard.

Palin Charges Alaska for Kids

We all know that Sarah Palin charged the AK taxpayers a per diem for living in her own home.  Now it is revealed that she charged the State for the travel of her children as well:
Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006.


After Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain chose Palin his running mate and reporters asked for the records, Palin ordered changes to previously filed expense reports for her daughters' travel.
Ouch. There she goes again editing expense reports after the fact. Worst. Vetting. Ever.

And what kind travel was this, exactly?
In October 2007, Palin brought daughter Bristol along on a trip to New York for a women's leadership conference. Plane tickets from Anchorage to La Guardia Airport for $1,385.11 were billed to the state, records show, and mother and daughter shared a room for four nights at the $707.29-per-night Essex House hotel, which overlooks Central Park.
They stayed in that hotel for 5 nights, even though her involvement with the conferences lasted only 1. Nice vacation, eh?
In July, the governor charged the state $2,741.26 to take Bristol and Piper to Philadelphia for a meeting of the National Governors Association. The girls had their own room for five nights at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel for $215.46 a night, expense records show.

Expense forms describe the girls' official purpose as "NGA Governor's Youth Programs and family activities." But those programs were activities designed to keep children busy, a service provided by the NGA to accommodate governors and their families, NGA spokeswoman Jodi Omear said.
And finally, let's remember what we learned during the "Palin Paid to Live at Home" mini-scandal:
The IRS also strictly forbids deductions for expenses incurred bringing a spouse and kids along on a business trip. Tax authorities say any reimbursement for travel costs for family members would likely incur income taxes.
She's a tax cheat just like Joe the Plumber! God, it's good to have a Real American running for office, isn't it?


Powell Endorses Obama

My man, Colin Powell. The way he frames this endorsement is so eminently reasonable - so old-school Republican - that it can't help but sway some of the Republican Party faithful. He is coldly vicious to McCain in the same breath despite their 25 year friendship.

Of course, not even Powell can overcome the crazification factor.

They Are Going to Get Obama Shot

That's Todd Palin, with Senator Norm Coleman, holding a sign that says "Charles Manson was a Community Organizer."  They are inciting violence with their rhetoric, and their followers are acting it out.

$150 Million

After hearing month after month that I am a traitor to America for opposing the Iraq War, and after hearing the McCain Campaign divide "real America" from the "anti-America" parts of the country, this news brought tears to my eyes.

Obama has raised over $150,000,000, with 623,000 new donors, and an average donation of under $100.

Keep talking about how we're not Real Americans, you sons of bitches!  We will bury you with it.  Maybe then the Republicans will realize that relentlessly dividing America is no longer an electoral winner.


Obama's Going to Get Shot

100,000 people in Ohio. A security nightmare. What is that man thinking?

Update: My new favorite picture:

ABC Vigorously Disputes ACORN Allegations

ABC smacks the ACORN argument around, in a piece called "McCain ACORN Fears Overblown":
But McCain's voter fraud worries – about Acorn or anyone else – are unsupported by the facts, said experts on election fraud, who recall similar concerns being raised in several previous elections, despite a near-total absence of cases.

"There's no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes," said David Becker, project director of the "Make Voting Work" initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Becker should know: he was a lawyer for the Bush administration until 2005, in the Justice Department's voting rights section, which was part of the administration's aggressive anti-vote-fraud effort.

"The Justice Department really made prosecution of voter fraud of this sort a big priority in the first half of this decade, and they really didn't come up with anything," he said.
"ACORN is stealing the election" is not a serious argument.  It is the last rationalization of a campaign that is going to lose, casting about wildly for some way to excuse their terrible, terrible performance in this campaign.  It's pathetic.

Racism Exists

These videos from McCain/Palin rallies are real eye-openers for us Whiteys. I've sorta always thought that racism still exists, but that it couldn't be that wide spread even here in the south. But seeing this exact performance parroted again and again, in city after city, makes me considerably more open to the "racism affects our lives" argument that some minorities make.

"Go back to Africa" indeed.

McCain: Tax Cuts for Middle Class = Welfare

McCain is finally going where the WSJ went a few months ago. John McCain is saying that tax cuts directed towards the middle and lower classes are in fact a welfare program, since the poor "pay no taxes."  Oy.

Remember, the top 1% wealthiest Americans, who pay 34% of total income tax revenue, got 52% of Bush's tax cuts.  These tax cuts were financed with deficit spending, increasing the debt burden of every American citizen.  Bush's tax cuts were therefore a redistribution of wealth, just in the other direction.  This is just another data point proving that if there is a class war, the wealthy are winning decisively.

DOJ Partisanship Continues

Two senior officials in the Bush Justice Department have just leaked the fact that the FBI is conducting a nationwide investigation into Acorn.  Why did they leak it, you might ask, instead of issuing a press release?  Because they are breaking the law by doing so, that's why.

Luckily a Democrat has finally decided to fight this when there was still a chance to do something about it.  Obama's campaign is pursuing legal options as we speak, not after they've already lost.

Fortunately for us there's a special prosecutor looking into the U.S. Attorney/Bogus Vote Fraud thing already, and this dovetails perfectly. The Obama campaign is fighting back preemptively, not when its too late to do anything.  About time!

In fact, David Iglesias, the most troubling of the nine political firings, said the following:
Iglesias, the most important of the 9 dismissed attorneys, says he's seen this all before, and is astounded that the current US attorneys are falling for this. It looks like a real strong possibility that the politicisation has succeeded.
People who would know are saying so, like the DOJ's ex voting right's chief:
Gerry Hebert described the investigation, word of which was leaked off the record to the Associated Press less than three weeks before the election, as "a continuation of injecting DOJ into what has clearly become a political issue."

He continued: "That's really not the proper role for the DOJ, and why their policies counsel otherwise."


Hebert, noting that he had been at DOJ during the administrations of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, added: "During the twenty-one years I was there, even though there were political appointees who I worked with, never did we inject partisan considerations into our law-enforcement responsibilities. That has clearly not been the case in recent years under this administration. And it's going to take a long time to cleanse the Department of Justice."
Politicisation succeeded!  Rove can put a check in that box!  If only that Permanent Republican Majority he hoped to use a politicized DOJ to enforce had materialized, huh?  Instead, he's helped create a new precedent - one of the many that a President Obama could use to make himself the most powerful President  in American history.  Obama the Monarch.  Reap what you have sown, Republicans, and weep bitter tears.


FL Governor Discounts ACORN Effect

Gov. Crist of Florida, a man who got married to have a shot at being McCain's VP, is no longer towing the party line.
Florida's governor says his fellow Republicans may be exaggerating claims of voter fraud in the state.

Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday that he has confidence in Secretary of State Kurt Browning, who says there's only been a scattering of isolated incidents.

Crist said in the closing days of any campaign "there are some who sort of enjoy chaos." There may be more of that going on than fraud, he said.
Of course Mickey Mouse is not going to vote in November, no matter how many of them register.

California Women's Group and Racism

I know I'm saying this a lot, but all I can come up with is "Wow.  Just wow."


Virginia GOP

The Virginia GOP's latest mailer.  America must look evil in its (big black) eyes:

Yup.  No racists here.  Move along.


Ha haha haa Ha!


"Health" of the Mother, with Scare-Quotes!

I have a friend that insists that the "life of the mother" exemption for abortion has always been part of the Republican Party Platform. Here's John McCain calling exactly that position an "extreme pro-abortion position."

Yup. It's extreme to believe that an abortion should be legal when not having one might result in the mother's death.  ...And John McCain thinks he's going to take part of the Hillary vote? What a joke.

Debate the Final!

I've never been a huge fan of Obama the Debater, preferring long uninterrupted crescendos of rhetorical beatdown.  But in this final debate I think Obama did great.  Some have said that he was on the defensive all night, but if you haven't noticed, that's just Obama.  Attacking is not something he does well.  But as long as you play defense well, in a way that plays into your narrative, defense is just fine.  He sounded reasonable and mainstream as he shot down Ayers, Baby Killers, and various distortions of his tax record.  In fact, here's McCain looking absolutely blown away by one of Obama's defenses:

You know someone at the McCain Debate Camp is catching hell for that one.

Also, after Obama brought up the calls of "terrorist and 'kill him,'" McCain went on the Ayers/Acorn attack.  Once again, it seems a little like he didn't have the bawls to bring it up without being taunted.

At the end of that clip McCain segues from Ayers/Acorn to taxes in perhaps the most jarring non sequitur I've ever seen.  I guess he's been watching the polling and knows that no one seems to care about this Ayers crap, so he doesn't have the confidence to make the attack without simultaneously minimizing its importance.  To use the word of the month, it was an erratic segue.  

Heck, even McCain thinks Obama did a "God job.  Good jobgoodjob... Good Job."

Score another for Obama.


McCain Supporters Still Want Obama Dead

Chris Hackett addressed the increasingly feisty crowd as they await the arrival of Gov. Palin.  Each time the Republican candidate for the seat in the 10th Congressional District mentioned Barack Obama the crowd booed loudly.

One man screamed "kill him!"
Can we stop the big Obama rallies now?  I'd prefer to see him speaking in small, windowless rooms with metal detectors at all the entrances, thank you very much.

DOJ Partisanship and Voting Fraud

Because Josh Marshall brought the US Attorney's Scandal to light, leading to Alberto Gonzales' humiliation and resignation, I'll just leave this all to him.  
It's time again to remember the backstory of the US Attorney Firing scandal. The firings were one thing. But the story behind the firings, what led to them, is key to understanding the current 'vote fraud' scam being played by the Republicans and the media outlets that are going along with the scam.

Remember, the US Attorneys in question were all either Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. In every case, they were appointed by George W. Bush. In most of the cases their firing was tied to 'vote fraud' claims stemming from the 2004 election.

The pattern was very consistent. During the final weeks of the 2004 campaign Republican partisans started pressing claims of widespread voter fraud. In many, though not all cases, the examples they pointed to were not even allegations of voter fraud, but allegations of voter registration fraud: examples of people being registered more than once, non-existent people being registered, etc.

The Republicans making these claims argued that these problems with registration cards were opening the coming election up to widespread vote fraud. Logically, this makes no sense. And, more importantly, all evidence shows this has never happened, certainly not in any widespread sense. Every person who claims otherwise is either ignorant or speaking in bad faith.

Nonetheless, CNN and other national news outlets and especially local media outlets, either out of ignorance or bad faith, ran hard with these stories -- just as CNN is doing now.

After the election, there was a lot of pressure from Republicans in states like Nevada, Washington, New Mexico, etc. (not surprisingly, all key swing states) to have local US Attorneys prosecute these cases. The word came down from Washington, DC, particularly the political office at the White House that this was a top priority. And the local US Attorneys launched into it.

But there was a problem. Most of these were ethical prosecutors. And when they looked into it there just wasn't anything there. Most of the stories weren't even true. And those that were, were obviously isolated and in most cases not done with malice. The number of people who could actually be prosecuted could be counted on one hand. Local Republicans got angry; Karl Rove got angry. And the US Attorneys got fired.

That's the real story of the US Attorney firing scandal. And what we're seeing today is textbook -- exactly the same as what we saw in 2004 and 2006. It's a scam. And the very recent history should be enough for news networks like CNN and others not to let themselves become complicit in this disgrace.
Well done, Josh.

Wall Street Journal on ACORN

The Wall Street Journal examines ACORN:

Officials in Ohio are investigating voter fraud connected with Acorn, and Florida's Seminole County is withholding Acorn registrations that appear fraudulent. New Mexico, North Carolina and Missouri are looking into hundreds of dubious Acorn registrations. Wisconsin is investigating Acorn employees for, according to an election official, "making people up or registering people that were still in prison."

Then there's Lake County, Indiana, which has already found more than 2,100 bogus applications among the 5,000 Acorn dumped right before the deadline. "All the signatures looked exactly the same," said Ruthann Hoagland, of the county election board. Bridgeport, Connecticut estimates about 20% of Acorn's registrations were faulty. As of July, the city of Houston had rejected or put on hold about 40% of the 27,000 registration cards submitted by Acorn.

That's just this year. In 2004, four Acorn employees were indicted in Ohio for submitting false voter registrations. In 2005, two Colorado Acorn workers were found to have submitted false registrations. Four Acorn Missouri employees were indicted in 2006; five were found guilty in Washington state in 2007 for filling out registration forms with names from a phone book.

It looks to me like this went exactly as it should. ACORN is required by law to turn in every voter registration they receive, even if it is a registration for Mickey Mouse.   And, although the WSJ doesn't mention it, all of those indicted ACORN employees were actually turned in by ACORN.  ACORN marks those registrations it feels are suspect before "dumping them" on the registration office.

The WSJ provides a nice list of voter registration fraud, but rejecting bad registrations is exactly what the people at the voter registration office do.  And when the registration forms arrive pre-marked for fraudulent activity it can only make that job easier.

Now, if the people gathering registrations for ACORN had been paid by the registration rather than by the hour, ACORN would have built in an incentive to commit registration fraud and would be guilty of something. But they don't. ACORN appears to act within the rules as best as it can, and gladly turns over its gatherers to the authorities when fraud is suspected.  After all, the gatherers of fraudulent registration forms are stealing from ACORN.  Registrations for Mickey Mouse certainly don't translate into fraudulent votes.

I suppose ACORN could make Republicans happy by stopping existing.  Or by holding voter registration drives at country clubs.


Obama Taking on his Party

For those who say Obama has never taken on his party, Hilzoy has the documentation.

bin Laden's GOTV Effort

Isn't it about time for a Osama bin Laden to release a video?  He's the Republican's best Get Out The Vote organization.

I wonder, do you think bin Laden knows the saying "The friend of my enemy is my enemy?"

Incidentally, McCain's campaign manager has said an attack or bin Laden video would be good for the campaign, and McCain himself, after the video released right before the 2004 election, said "Bin Laden may have just given us a little boost. Amazing, huh?"


Mr Puddles, I have Snausages!

The Daily Show's Debate Reaction:

About 6:30 in begins one of the funniest segments I've ever seen. I'm rolling.

Lol. LOLS. Lolster. Lollercoaster. ROFLCOPTER! LOLLERSKATES!

Petraeus thinks McCain is Wrong on Foreign Policy

General Petraeus, hippie liberal that he is, thinks John McCain is wrong on the Foreign Policy of not talking with our enemies.

Remember, this is the man who wont use the word "victory" to describe our goal in Iraq. It seems like he doesn't see America the way you and I see America. I bet he's about to start palling around with Terrorists! [/Palin]


Boortz Call Notes - Fail x2!

Here are my notes for a call to Neal Boortz call I've been trying and failing to get on the air.  I restructure it each time, but I only ever get a few of sentences into it before being muted and kicked off the air.  Last time he disputed the value of examining my associations by saying the business I owned was probably a ghetto crabshack.  So this time, I tried to provide a couple of sentences of resume first.  He called me boring and threw me off the air.  Oy.  I'll get it out there eventually.

Subject for Screener: the Ayers attack is unfair

Howdy Neal! I can't WAIT to get your thoughts on this.

Now last time I tried to make this point, you called me a crabshack owner and kicked me off the air. So allow me just two sentences of preface: I am the owner of a IT security corporation that does work with small and medium businesses. I'm not a millionaire, but I DO meet a payroll. I have hundreds and hundreds of associations, and one in particular is instructive in the Ayers case.

One of my first big clients, a guy named John, was the owner of a civil engineering firm, and a retired army ranger. They were VERY successful, and I made a LOT of money from John. We've had dinner! He's given me gifts!

Now should I have vetted this guy John before I started doing business with him, becoming friendly in the process? Cuz guess what? It turns out this successful former army ranger had been a cocaine trafficker! Who knows, maybe he's KILLED people! He's in his fifties, and got popped back when he was like 35.

Now, he's reformed now, but he's not apologetic for it. You know? He doesn't believe drug laws are valid, since its a personal choice, and that's that.

Does this association mean I am unfit for elected office? because of bad judgement?


So the fact that I didn't vet my associations is ok? I'm in my 20s, Neal. I'm a grown man! I didn't make this association when I was 8, I made it when I was a grown man. Does that disqualify my judgement from office?


Ayers has as much chance of influencing Obama as Shaqueille Oneal does of influencing McCain. Now *Phil Graham* on the other hand, is probably going to be McCain's Treasury Secretary! The guy that called us a nation of whiners for being worried about the economy! The guy that created Credit Default Swaps, the shadow banking system that created this disaster!


McCain Forgets the Last Week Happened

McCain you crazy old coot! Don't you remember last week?
"Even after [Obama] refused to lift a finger to prevent this crisis, when the crisis hit, he was missing in action. He didn't start making calls to round up votes until after the rescue bill failed in the House and the markets crashed. We continue to see the price of delay today as the markets continue to fall. Today the Dow has fallen below 10,000. And yet, members of his own party said they felt no pressure to vote for the bill."
It's like the last week never happened. Has he forgotten that the "leadership" he showed in suspending his campaign led to the Republican Congressmen voting 2-1 against the bailout bill he emphatically endorsed? McCain and Palin said there might well be a Great Depression last Monday if that bill didn't pass, and the Republicans still told them where to shove it.

Keating Economics

Very interesting entrant into the question of where our current financial crisis came from.


US Oil Reserves

By request.

The U.S. has less than 3% of world oil reserves.  What Obama has been saying about the US Energy situation is the truth, and those calling him liars for it don't know how to use the google.


PA Laughs at Fox News

Fox News just can't get a break this cycle.  In this video a reporter takes a poll of the room and only Obama supporters respond.  He reports "an even split here," to which people guffaw:

It's never good when your subjects laugh at you on camera.

Anchorage Daily News on TrooperGate

Anchorage Daily News, skewering Palin with her own words on TrooperGate.  Brilliant video from a local news organization.  Thank goodness for ADN.


Awesomest Post Debate Poll EVER

This is teh most awesomest evah!
This is a fascinating nugget:The CBS poll of undecideds has more confirmatory detail. Obama went from a +18 on "understanding your needs and problems" before the debate to a +56 (!) afterward. And he went from a -9 on "prepared to be president" to a +21.


Competing Visions of Debate Prep

This is just precious.

McCain's going to prepare for the first debate with a nap, and Obama will prepare with a workout.

George Will Blast McCain Again

When George Will is attacking the Republican candidate, you know there's something badly wrong:
Channeling his inner Queen of Hearts, John McCain furiously, and apparently without even looking around at facts, said Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, should be decapitated. This childish reflex provoked the Wall Street Journal to editorialize that "McCain untethered" -- disconnected from knowledge and principle -- had made a "false and deeply unfair" attack on Cox that was "unpresidential"

In any case, McCain's smear -- that Cox "betrayed the public's trust" -- is a harbinger of a McCain presidency. For McCain, politics is always operatic, pitting people who agree with him against those who are "corrupt" or "betray the public's trust," two categories that seem to be exhaustive -- there are no other people.

Conservatives who insist that electing McCain is crucial usually start, and increasingly end, by saying he would make excellent judicial selections. But the more one sees of his impulsive, intensely personal reactions to people and events, the less confidence one has that he would select judges by calm reflection and clear principles, having neither patience nor aptitude for either.

It is arguable that, because of his inexperience, Obama is not ready for the presidency. It is arguable that McCain, because of his boiling moralism and bottomless reservoir of certitudes, is not suited to the presidency. Unreadiness can be corrected, although perhaps at great cost, by experience. Can a dismaying temperament be fixed? "
I've always loved George Will.  It's nice when he reaffirms that affection with his brand of sane, old-school conservatism.


Powell Smacks McCain

Powell says that Georgia provoked this conflict foolishly, and if they had been advised differently by the people they were talking to it might have been avoided.  Remember, McCain was talking to the Georgian President "every day."

He says that "one of our candidates" jumped in on one side of the conflict "inappropriately" and "emotionally."

I can't wait for his endorsement of Obama.

Uncovered - The Truth about the Iraq War

This documentary chronicles many of the reasons I was against the Iraq War before it began.

Released in 2003, most of this stuff was publicly knowable within hours of Powell's UN presentation.


McCain Supports Torture

Let's remember that, despite the credit Obama wants to give McCain on the issue, McCain does support torture.  As long as the right people are doing it.
While McCain deserves credit for the landmark 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign-finance reform bill, the only other major law on which his office says his "name appears" (Palin's standard) is the "McCain Amendment" prohibiting torture in the armed forces. But that has little meaning because of a bill this year, supported by McCain, that allows torture by the CIA. Under longstanding government practice, military intelligence officers can be temporarily designated as CIA officers ("sheep-dipped" is the bureaucratic lingo) when they want to go off the Army field manual. In other words, the government can still torture anyone, any time. McCain caved on an issue he insists is a matter of principle.
Obama is far too gracious on this point.  Of all the issues McCain should be an expert on, torture is the most viscerally personal.  A man that gave a false confession under torture should know better.

Cry me a River!

Wow.  This guy needs some political lessons on the subject of playing on people's sympathies.
"A lot of those people will have to sell their homes, they're going to cut back on the private jets and the vacations. They may even have to take their kids out of private school," said [Robert] Frank. "It's a total reworking of their lifestyle."...."It's going to be very hard psychologically for these people," Frank said. "I talked to one guy who had to give up his private jet recently. And he said of all the trials in his life, giving that up was the hardest thing he's ever done."
"Of all the trials in my life, giving up my private jet is the hardest."  Wow.  Just wow.


Hagel Smacks Palin and McCain Around

Good old Chuck Hagel:
WASHINGTON - Nebraska Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel said his party's vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, lacks foreign policy experience and called it a "stretch" to say she's qualified to be president.


Could Palin lead the country if GOP presidential nominee John McCain could not?

"I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States," Hagel said.
Listening to him is like reminiscing about the days when Republicans were sane, before the Christianists and NeoCons took over.
McCain and other Republicans have defended Palin's qualifications, citing Alaska's proximity to Russia. Palin told ABC News, "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

Hagel took issue with that argument. "I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, 'I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,'" he said. "That kind of thing is insulting to the American people."


Book Banning confirmed.

Despite Palin's assurances to the contrary, we've got confirmation that she sought to ban books from the Wasilla library.
Witnesses and contemporary news accounts say Ms. Palin asked the librarian about removing books from the shelves. The McCain-Palin presidential campaign says Ms. Palin never advocated censorship.

But in 1995, Ms. Palin, then a city councilwoman, told colleagues that she had noticed the book "Daddy's Roommate" on the shelves and that it did not belong there, according to Ms. Chase and Mr. Stein. Ms. Chase read the book, which helps children understand homosexuality, and said it was inoffensive; she suggested that Ms. Palin read it.

"Sarah said she didn't need to read that stuff," Ms. Chase said. "It was disturbing that someone would be willing to remove a book from the library and she didn't even read it."
Well of course she didn't read it. Being gay is a choice, remember, so you must insulate yourself from any exposure, lest the siren song of homosexuality lure you into Teh Gay!


They Lie about EVERYTHING

It's all mythology with these guys. This is just like the Palin teleprompter lie.
Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can't substantiate the figures McCain's aides are claiming.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin's attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

``The 23,000 figure was substantiated on the ground,'' McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said. ``The campaign is willing to stand by the fact that it was our biggest crowd to date.''

``Since day one, this campaign has been consistent that we're not going to win or lose based on crowd size but the substance of John McCain's record,'' Bounds said.

Town Hall Meetings

Until Palin, 44, joined him on the campaign trail, McCain, 72, had limited his political events to smaller town hall meetings and rallies of a few hundred people. His Democratic rival, Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, routinely draws thousands of people to his speeches, a phenomenon McCain has tried to use to his advantage by labeling Obama, 47, a celebrity.

That changed on Aug. 30, at Palin's first big public appearance after her nomination. The McCain campaign said 10,000 people showed up at the Consol Energy Arena in Washington, Pennsylvania, home of the Washington Wild Things baseball team.

The campaign attributed that estimate, and several that followed, to U.S. Secret Service figures, based on the number of people who passed through magnetometers.

``We didn't provide any numbers to the campaign,'' said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. Wiley said he would not ``confirm or dispute'' the numbers the McCain campaign has given to reporters.

They are pathological liars. They lie even when they must know they'll be caught. I ask you, why would the fire marshall care about a gathering outside?

McCain Says Palin is Unqualified

McCain says mayors and short-term Governors are not ready to be President, smacking Palin in the process:

This was during the primaries, of course. After the pick of Palin for VP the experience argument has really been off the table.

Palin's Lies about Travel

My god. I think we're far into territory where any Democrat would be branded "pathological."

When the McCain campaign was first asked about Sarah Palin's foreign policy credentials one of the questions was what international travel she had done? What countries she had visited in the one year she has held a passport? They listed four countries. Iraq, Kuwait, Ireland, and Germany.

We found out first that she only refueled in Ireland. I myself have been through Narita a half dozen times, but that does not mean I've visited Japan.

Well, it turns out we can strike another off the list. The commander of the Alaska National Guard unit that facilitated her visit says she never went into Iraq.  So during her "trip to Iraq" she never actually crossed the Kuwait border. Fully half of her stated visits to other countries were lies.


Palin Admits Lying about Bridge

Palin even lies in this little clip! At 25 seconds in she says she was wearing a shirt with a zipcode of the community. But it also says NOWHERE. It's a shirt supporting that earmark, plain and simple.

One Heartbeat Away

She hasn't spent any time in the last 7 years so much as thinking about international issues. She's been more worried about making sure Alaska was a strong state for the endtimes. You know, attempting to ban books about The Gay, making sure she knows how to shoot a gun and field dress a moose, and being anointed with protection from witchcraft.

McCain's choice for VP is the most reckless in presidential history.  He is temperamentally unfit to be President.


Lying about Factcheck! Wow.

McCain is now airing an ad saying FactCheck called Obama's attacks dishonest.  Of course, FactCheck was actually on Obama's side, not criticising him.
A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama's attacks on Palin "completely false" and "misleading." That's what we said, but it wasn't about Obama.

Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.

The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background." The ad quotes the WSJ as saying the team was sent to "dig dirt."
It's stunning arrogance, thinking that you can lie about the organization whose job it is to call out lies.

Palin and Rape Kits

We now have some confirmation of the story of Palin's town charging victims of sexual assault for their own rape kits.
"There was one town in Alaska that was charging victims for this, and that was Wasilla," Knowles said

A May 23, 2000, article in Wasilla's newspaper, The Frontiersman, noted that Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies regularly pay for such exams, which cost between $300 and $1,200 apiece.

"(But) the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests," the newspaper reported.

It also quoted Wasilla Police Chief Charlie Fannon objecting to the law. Fannon was appointed to his position by Palin after her dismissal of the previous police chief. He said it would cost Wasilla $5,000 to $14,000 a year if the city had to foot the bill for rape exams.
Protection from the law based on your ability to pay for it.  Free market police forces!  Wait... doesn't that sound a lot like the Mob?

Reinvigorated Militias

Counting my chickens before they hatch, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that by this time next year a swath of the political right will realize the horrific thing they have given birth to by supporting President Bush's expansion of Executive Authority. Revoking Habeas Corpus for American citizens renders all other rights moot, for you cannot exercise them from jail. As Churchill said, holding a man without charge or trial "is the foundation of all tyranny."

Remember the Militias from the 90s? Remember how those rugged individualists stockpiled weapons and acted all menacing? Remember how it all culminated with the most deadly terrorist attack on American soil to that point - the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma by a small group of right wing zealots.

They will be back. Here's hoping the first thing they agitate for is the impeachment of George W. Bush. That's the only way they'll be able to win their liberty back for themselves. Barring that we'll have to rely on Obama being the rarest of Presidents - one who diminishes the power of his office.

Whistleblower on McCain and Cindy

Oh dear. The full writeup is here.

Short version: McCain intervened to prevent a federal investigation into his wife's protracted theft of prescription medication from a charity.

Latest Bush Admin Scandal - Sex and Drugs for Oil

There have been so many scandals during the Bush Administration that no one pays attention anymore. We just found out yesterday that the Bush Administration Department of the Interior has been engaged in widespread corruption. You'd think that trading sex and cocaine for oil leases would raise people's eyebrows.

I'm sure the rules will be the same under an Obama Administration.

Update: Yglesias ads that these are the same people who will be overseeing our new plan for energy independence, offshore drilling! Woooooo, offshore drilling! $0.08 discount in 20 years! Woooooo, energy independence!

Our Liberal Media

Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman, on the supposedly liberal MSNBC:
MATTHEWS: Now, it'll die, as we said, it'll jump the shark. Two days ago, no, we're all talking about -- you're waving the tabloids around, come on. Two days from now -- I want to ask you, what will we talk about two days from now?

SCARBOROUGH: Whatever the McCain campaign wants us to talk about, because the McCain campaign is assertive.
That's about right.

Kevin Drum Reads National Review

It's a morning full of right-wing blog reading! We do it so you don't have to. Kevin Drum:
Just now, however, I happened to surf over to The Corner for the first time in a day and it was....instructive. The very first mention of lipstick-gate was a brief link at 6:53 pm. This was followed by a couple of straight reax posts and then this from Yuval Levin:
Does anybody really think Obama meant to call Sarah Palin a pig? Come on. Can this really be worth anyone's time?
Of course not! That's just dumb! This was then followed by an avalanche of 31 separate posts on the subject in less than 24 hours. Turns out it was worth NR's time after all. And make no mistake: after a couple of hours of momentary confusion about whether they could get away with it, they decided that Obama had indeed meant to call Sarah Palin a pig. By early this morning everyone was obediently on board, the chum was in the water, and the moral dudgeon was so thick you could stir it with a stick. In fact, their only real argument was over how Palin should handle things: attack back or play it cool? (For the most part, they decided cool was the way to go.)

And that, my friends, is how it's done in the big leagues. It's the noise machine at work.
What do you bet that Charlie Gibson asks Palin about this lipstick thing in her first interview with the media? There goes 2 precious minutes of question time. Tack a question about sexism to that, and you've got 4 minutes controlled!

RedState Check-in II

I know, I'm going for a lot of punishment today:
Just yesterday, Obama's "lipstick" remark came at the end of a riff he swiped from Washington Post cartoonist Tom Toles.
That link goes to NewsBusters, which, I assure you, is above bias. /sarcasm. There the claim is made that Obama used the quote without attribution, even though the only reason I know Toles' name is from hearing it from Obama's mouth. NewsBusters uses as its source the Free Republic - the original Republican online forum where they can "freely express themselves" by calling people fags, spics, and generally unAmerican. Good stuff.

At the Free Republic thread referenced by this "News" organization, they are shocked, shocked to find that other people have used the phrase "Lipstick on a pig" before Obama did! Clearly, Obama plagiarized this line!

Or, you could do just a bit of critical thinking, remember Occam's razor, and postulate that maybe "Lipstick on a pig" is just a colloquialism that millions of Americans know and use. Either that, or Obama is plagiarizing from millions! We report, you decide!

RedState.com Check-in

Under the title: Everything You Need to Know About Why Voting Obama is a Crap Decision.
The survey of 16,063 people in 17 nations found majorities in only nine countries believe al Qaeda was behind the attacks on New York and Washington that killed about 3,000 people in 2001.
More than 22,000 people were questioned by pollster GlobeScan in countries ranging from Australia to India and across Africa, Europe and South America. The margin in favour of Senator Obama ranged from 9 per cent in India to 82 per cent in Kenya, while an average of 49 per cent across the 22 countries preferred Senator Obama compared with 12 per cent preferring Senator McCain. Some four in 10 did not take a view.

That's the entire post. I'll leave it without comment.

Palin's Book Banning

"She never actually banned any books." That's right, because the librarian wouldn't cooperate and was fired for it. A massive local outcry caused the librarian to be reinstated, her lack of "full support of the mayor" be damned. Therefore, no actual book banning was accomplished.

Matt F-ing Damon has More Sense than the Entire GOP

How have we come to this? Our empty-headed celebrities are the voices of reason!


Palin the Liar

Oy.  This from the Wall Street Journal.  I'm not sure that branch of the conservative establishment like her much.  She's catnip for the snakehandlers, not the stockbrokers.
WSJ: In confidential letter, one-time Palin ethics advisor warned her that Trooper-gate scandal was "grave" and recommending she and her husband publicly apologize for their actions.
She's Dick Cheney all over again, but minus the competence-in-evil.

McCain Flops without Palin

Without Palin, McCain couldn't even complete an event. He got mobbed by Obama supporters because Palin's thousands weren't there to drown them out. Pathetic performance on his very first campaign event without her by his side.

Bush Gives Order Allowing Attacks in Pakistan

This is yet another instance in Foreign Policy where the Bush Administration has come around to Barack Obama's view:
President Bush secretly approved orders in July that for the first time allow American Special Operations forces to carry out ground assaults inside Pakistan without the prior approval of the Pakistani government, according to senior American officials.
Remember that McCain mocked Obama for exactly this policy. I wonder, will he be grilled on whether or not he supports this latest move by the increasingly realist Bush Administration?

GOP is Limbaugh's Party - Redstate.com

Redstate is all up in arms that Obama called Palin swine by using an idiom that anyone can understand. Putting lipstick on a pig is a classic Midwestern idiom that I knew from childhood, and obviously doesn't have anything to do with actual pigs.

Redstate says this is absolutely intentional, and cites this historical example of Obama making personal affronts, embedding a video of Obama "flipping off Hillary."

That's two fingers, ladies and gentlemen.  Every picture you see of it, from every angle except the straight-on camera that Fox News used to stoke the story.  It's yet another transparent lie.

Everything they can do to piss off liberals and avoid talking about the issues, they do.  They're terrified of a legitimate debate.  It's Limbaugh's Party.

Life in the Lab

Here's our (almost) proof of abiogenesis.

Palin the Child Abuser

Wow.  Newsweek reports:
Court documents show that Judge Suddock was disturbed by the alleged attacks by Palin and her family members on Wooten's behavior and character. "Disparaging will not be tolerated—it is a form of child abuse," the judge told a settlement hearing in October 2005, according to typed notes of the proceedings. The judge added: "Relatives cannot disparage either. If occurs the parent needs to set boundaries for their relatives."

"It is the mother's responsibility to set boundaries for her relatives and insure they respect them, and the disparagement by either parent, or their surrogates is emotional child abuse,"He added that: "If the court finds it is necessary due to disparagement in the Mat-Su Valley for the children's best interests, it will not hesitate to order custody to the father and a move into Anchorage."
Court records obtained by NEWSWEEK show that during the course of divorce hearings three years ago, Judge John Suddock heard testimony from an official of the Alaska State Troopers' union about how Sarah Palin—then a private citizen—and members of her family, including her father and daughter, lodged up to a dozen complaints against Wooten with the state police.

As the divorce case dragged on, the judge's concern about family "disparagement" appeared to deepen. In an order signed Jan. 31, 2006, which granted Palin's sister and Wooten a final divorce decree, Judge Suddock continued to express concern about attacks by Palin's family on Wooten. The judge even threatened to curb Palin's sister's child custody rights if family criticism of Wooten continued.
Are there any among you who would still doubt that this pick was made without vetting, and solely on the basis of politics?


TPM on Bridge to Nowhere

A takedown of this cynical lie with full documentation. Beautiful work, guys.