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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Best Interview Ever: Barbara West vs. Joe Biden

Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden gave it to Florida WFTV anchor Barbara West Thursday when she asked him a slew of questions straight out of John McCain's talking points.
West began the interview by asking whether Biden was "embarrassed" by Barack Obama's association with ACORN. Biden refuted the false association between ACORN and Obama and rightly mentioned John McCain's speech during a rally sponsored by ACORN in 2006. Watch the interview below:

If you don't think West was laying a trap for Biden with rhetorical questions that are central to John McCain and Sarah Palin's speeches, then watch her treatment of John McCain in an interview on October 14th.
Biden asked her if his interview was a "joke" and wondered aloud who was writing her questions. Conservative writers, like Michelle Malkin, are trying to use Biden's negative reaction to biased questions as proof that he's even more erratic than John McCain. It's a huge stretch. Not only has John McCain increasingly accused the entire media establishment of being in the tank for Obama after years of calling the press his "base," but on Thursday he showed clear erratic behavior by snapping at a reporter over an immigration question:

LinkHere

YouTube Videos Draw Attention to Palin’s Faith (after interview w/ CBN)

Source: NYT
In an interview this week with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, was asked to “clear up exactly what you believe in” about her religious faith, including her involvement with Pentecostalism.

Ms. Palin responded by speaking generally, but extensively, about how she counts on God for strength, guidance and wisdom. “My faith has always been pretty personal,” she said. But she did not talk more specifically about her church affiliation or her beliefs.

Ms. Palin’s faith has come under scrutiny after two videos taken in her former church surfaced on YouTube and became immediate sensations. The first showed a visiting preacher from Kenya praying fervently over Ms. Palin in a gravelly voice and asking God to favor her campaign for governor and protect her from “every form of witchcraft.”

The second showed Ms. Palin at an event in June praising the African preacher’s prayer as “awesome” and “very, very powerful.” She is also seen nodding as her former pastor from Wasilla prays over her and declares that Alaska is “one of the refuge states in the Last Days,” a piece of prophecy popular in some prayer networks that predicts that as the “end times” approach, people will flock to Alaska for its abundant open space and natural resources.

Ms. Palin declined an interview, and the McCain campaign did not respond to specific questions about her faith. Thus, it is difficult to say with certainty what she believes.
LinkHere
SHOCK: US automaker will cease payments on all employee 401(k) savings.

FEC complaint says McCain camp repeatedly broke fundraising laws.

Palin pipeline terms questionable

Bidding for AK pipeline contracts 'flawed,' steered toward Palin pals.

I don't know if you're gonna use the word 'terrorist' there,"

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who has accused Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists," has refused to call people who bomb abortion clinics by the same name.
When asked Thursday night by NBC television presenter Brian Williams whether an abortion clinic bomber was a terrorist, Palin heaved a sigh and, at first, circumvented the question.

Obama bids dying grandmother farewell

SEN. OBAMA RETURNS to campaign trail as grandmother's health failing.
HONOLULU, Hawaii, (AFP) – A heavy-hearted Barack Obama Friday said goodbye for perhaps the last time to the ailing grandmother who brought him up, who he said may not live the 10 days until the presidential election.The Democratic nominee grabbed some precious time with Madelyn Dunham, 85, in her apartment complex in Hawaii, after stepping off the campaign trail for a day and a half and flying halfway across the Pacific to his native state.He spent a total of seven hours with Dunham, who he affectionately knows as "Toot" after arriving in Hawaii on Thursday, and was due to hit the campaign trail again in Reno, Nevada on Saturday.At one stage in the morning, a somber looking Obama emerged from the building for a solitary walk around his boyhood haunts, trailed by a lone Secret Service agent, before spying some reporters and heading back in an SUV.Obama's decision to quit the White House trail so close to the election raised some eyebrows, but his wife Michelle and vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden picked up the pace.

So When Will Banks Give Loans?

Banks Have No Intention Of Using Bailout Money To Make New Loans
By JOE NOCERA
Published: October 24, 2008
“Chase recently received $25 billion in federal funding. What effect will that have on the business side and will it change our strategic lending policy?”
It was Oct. 17, just four days after JPMorgan Chase’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, agreed to take a $25 billion capital injection courtesy of the United States government, when a JPMorgan employee asked that question. It came toward the end of an employee-only conference call that had been largely devoted to meshing certain divisions of JPMorgan with its new acquisition, Washington Mutual.
Which, of course, it also got thanks to the federal government. Christmas came early at JPMorgan Chase.
The JPMorgan executive who was moderating the employee conference call didn’t hesitate to answer a question that was pretty politically sensitive given the events of the previous few weeks.
Given the way, that is, that Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had decided to use the first installment of the $700 billion bailout money to recapitalize banks instead of buying up their toxic securities, which he had then sold to Congress and the American people as the best and fastest way to get the banks to start making loans again, and help prevent this recession from getting much, much worse.
In point of fact, the dirty little secret of the banking industry is that it has no intention of using the money to make new loans. But this executive was the first insider who’s been indiscreet enough to say it within earshot of a journalist.
(He didn’t mean to, of course, but I obtained the call-in number and listened to a recording.)
“Twenty-five billion dollars is obviously going to help the folks who are struggling more than Chase,” he began. “What we do think it will help us do is perhaps be a little bit more active on the acquisition side or opportunistic side for some banks who are still struggling. And I would not assume that we are done on the acquisition side just because of the Washington Mutual and Bear Stearns mergers. I think there are going to be some great opportunities for us to grow in this environment, and I think we have an opportunity to use that $25 billion in that way and obviously depending on whether recession turns into depression or what happens in the future, you know, we have that as a backstop.”
Read that answer as many times as you want — you are not going to find a single word in there about making loans to help the American economy. On the contrary: at another point in the conference call, the same executive (who I’m not naming because he didn’t know I would be listening in) explained that “loan dollars are down significantly.” He added, “We would think that loan volume will continue to go down as we continue to tighten credit to fully reflect the high cost of pricing on the loan side.” In other words JPMorgan has no intention of turning on the lending spigot.
It is starting to appear as if one of Treasury’s key rationales for the recapitalization program — namely, that it will cause banks to start lending again — is a fig leaf, Treasury’s version of the weapons of mass destruction.
In fact, Treasury wants banks to acquire each other and is using its power to inject capital to force a new and wrenching round of bank consolidation. As Mark Landler reported in The New York Times earlier this week, “the government wants not only to stabilize the industry, but also to reshape it.” Now they tell us.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Missouri vandals kick, stomp and steal Obama signs

Polls: White Support For Obama At Historic Level

Barack Obama, the first black major party nominee, is positioned to win the largest share of white voters of any Democrat in more than three decades, according to an exclusive Politico analysis of recent Gallup and Pew Research Center polling.
The most recent two weeks of Gallup polling, which includes roughly 13,000 interviews, show 44 percent of non-Hispanic white voters presently support Obama -- the highest number for a Democrat since 47 percent of whites backed Jimmy Carter in 1976.
Read the whole story here.

"There were problems and there still are problems,"

On any given day in Iraq, about 140,000 Iraqi soldiers are on duty. But some 1,000 are in jail, 2,000 are in the hospital or recuperating from injuries, and around 1,000 are absent without leave -- though all are counted as part of the Iraqi army that is supposed to one day replace U.S. soldiers on the battlefield.
Nobody, in fact, is exactly sure how many Iraqis are actually on duty -- partly due to problems with a government contract designed to count the soldiers, according to a recent audit.
As a result, five years into the war, the U.S. still doesn't know how many Iraqis stand ready to defend their country.
"There were problems and there still are problems," Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq, said in an interview. "We are hopeful, but it's self-evident that it'll take a whole lot of time to work its way out."

Palins looks, $22,800 for the first two weeks of October should have them livid.

MCCAIN CAMP PAID PALIN'S MAKEUP ARTIST $22,800 FOR TWO WEEKS... HIGHEST PAY AMONG STAFF... PALIN'S $150,000 SHOPPING SPREE REVEALED TUESDAY...
If Palin's $150,000 shopping spree had Republicans disgusted, then the report that her makeup stylist cost $22,800 for the first two weeks of October should have them livid. The stylist, Amy Strozzi, was apparently paid more than any other McCain staffer during that period.
Check out a slideshow of Palin's looks during the first half of October:

Waaaasup!

Waaaasup! The Pro-Obama Version
Wassup 2008

Here is the original, for those interested in making a trip down memory lane to the days when things were simpler and the beer a bit smoother.
wasup

Ahahahahahah I love it. Reminds me of me.


Larry David Waiting for Nov. 4th
I can't take much more of this. Two weeks to go, and I'm at the end of my rope. I can't work. I can eat,...

The Hartford Courant will endorse Sen. Obama this weekend

Source: Editor & Publisher

The Hartford Courant will endorse Sen. Obama this weekend, making it the newspaper’s second endorsement of a Democratic presidential candidate in its 244-year history.

The pro-Obama editorial will appear on the newspaper’s Web site late Saturday afternoon and in the print edition on Sunday, E&P has learned.

The endorsement selects the Democratic candidate because of his leadership qualities. It calls America “starved for a leader who can restore pride and once again make the nation a beacon for the world,” and argues that Obama is the candidate who could do it. The editorial projects that the Illinois senator would govern from the middle and maintain a calm temperament if elected president.

The Courant chose not to back the McCain campaign this election season because it has not succeeded in breaking from policies of the Bush Administration. “ Republican Sen. John McCain has failed to persuade us he could wake the nation from this seven-year nightmare” of the loss of 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001, 4,000 American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the greatest economic threat since the Great Depression, the endorsement reads.

... The Courant is the oldest continuously published newspaper in the nation.
LinkHere

"thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor".

Now facing charges; FOX exec: If this turns out to be bogus, McCain is finished.

CNN Reports on McCain Supporter Attack Hoax

REPORTERS: MCCAIN AIDE PUSHED OBAMA MUTILATION HOAX

McCain Aide Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of Story

McCain Adviser Endorses Obama

The Wall Street Journal today rounds up the horde of prominent Republicans jumping ship to Barack Obama. Now one of John McCain's actual advisers has switched sides:
Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.
This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."
TPM has the press releases touting Fried's presence on the McCain campaign.

Exclusive: Obama Explains Why His Campaign Will Wait for 'Toot'

Barack Obama is home today in Hawaii with his ailing grandmother rather than on the campaign trail because he fears she won't make it to Election Day.

video

Obama, who polls show is the front-runner in the election to become the leader of the free world, is likely doing chores right now for the woman he affectionately calls Toot.

"I want to give her a kiss and a hug," the Democratic presidential candidate told Robin Roberts in an exclusive interview for "Good Morning America" before heading for Hawaii to see his 85-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, the woman who largely raised him.

"And then we're going to find out what chores I can do, because I'm sure there's been some stuff that's been left undone," he said.

The Illinois senator took the unprecedented step of quitting the presidential campaign with less than two weeks to go so he could hurry home to the apartment he grew up in and see Dunhill. He rejoins the campaign Saturday.

Toot, which is short for "tutu," the Hawaiian word for grandparent, has been sick for a while and recently fell and broke her hip.

"Without going through the details too much, she's gravely ill," Obama told Roberts in an interview that aired today on "GMA." LinkHere

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"The African-American journey from slavery to within grasp of the presidency."

News special ... as polls show Barack Obama on the verge of being the first black US president, our multimedia timeline tracks the African-American journey from slavery to within grasp of the presidency.

Colombia's intelligence chief resigns over scandal (Bush's South American ally)

Source: Reuters

Colombia's intelligence chief resigns over scandal
Thu 23 Oct 2008, 16:18 GMT

By Patrick Markey

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombia's intelligence chief has stepped down after acknowledging her agents secretly spied on left-wing political opponents of President Alvaro Uribe, in the latest surveillance scandal to tarnish his administration.

DAS security agency director Maria del Pilar Hurtado resigned after a leading opposition lawmaker charged this week that officers had illegally kept tabs on members of his Democratic Pole party, the government said on Thursday.

Uribe last year fired his top police chiefs after an illegal wiretapping scandal that fuelled worries about intelligence practices in Colombia, where Washington has spent billions in aid to help fight guerrillas and cocaine barons.

"The country still can and should count on the DAS; it would not be fair for the work of hundreds of agents to be stained by the actions of a few," Hurtado said in a statement.
LinkHere

Palin office defends charging state for children's travel

Source: Brett J. Blackledge & Adam Goldman AP via Anchorage Daily News

PACKAGE DEAL: They, too, represent the State of Alaska.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is allowed to charge taxpayers for her children's commercial airline tickets because they represent the state wherever they go with her, the governor's aides said Wednesday.
LinkHere

And all of them are wardrobed by the RNC...

Election officials telling college students they can't vote

Here's his photo: too bad it's not his mugshot!

Source: McClatchy

WASHINGTON — Colorado Democrats accused a Republican county clerk Wednesday of falsely informing Colorado College that students from outside the state could not register to vote if their parents claimed them as a dependent on their tax returns.

At a news conference in Colorado Springs, Democrats also criticized Robert Balink, the El Paso County clerk and recorder, who was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, for taking other steps they said would dampen voting by college students, who are expected to heavily favor Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"When election officials spread false information about who is eligible to vote and remove, not add, polling places, we need to be concerned that eligible voters will be denied their right to vote," said Pat Waak, chairwoman of the Colorado Democratic Party.

Balink issued a statement saying his office had misinterpreted state law and “mistakenly published information that was incorrect.”

Balink's actions are the latest of several instances in which local election officials, including some in Virginia and South Carolina, have discouraged college students from voting in a year in which legions of students have thrown their energy behind Obama.
LinkHere

McCain Urged Reagan To Meet Terror Groups Without Pre-Conditions

In 1987, John McCain cast several votes in an attempt to force the Reagan administration to meet with RENAMO1, a guerrilla organization in Mozambique that State Department officials at the time described as a "terrorist group," 2 without requiring that the group meet any preconditions.
McCain's support for RENAMO directly contradicts his attacks on opponent Barack Obama for having "worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers" and having "pledged to meet, without preconditions, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea." Senator Obama has made it clear that this policy does not extend to non-governmental organizations. In response to questions about the Palestinian militant group Hamas, Obama specified that "we should not be dealing with them until they ... renounce terrorism."
According to a Congressional Research Service report in 1988, the initially doctrinaire Marxist FRELIMO government of Mozambique began moving towards privatization and progress on human rights in the early 1980s, signing a non-aggression treaty with neighboring South Africa in 1984. Due to this progress, the Reagan administration provided the FRELIMO government with non-lethal military aid in their fight against RENAMO -- until Reagan was stymied by a 1985 Congressional prohibition . Reagan himself hosted FRELIMO leader and Mozambican President Samora Machel at the White House in September of 1985.
The Reagan administration's embrace of the nominally Marxist Mozambican government, even as it funded anti-communist resistance in Angola(UNITA), Afghanistan(the mujahideen) and most famously Nicaragua (the Contras), had a lot to do with the nature of the anti-communist resistance forces in Mozambique. At a June 1987 Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Chester Crocker, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, testified that RENAMO was "created by the Rhodesian secret services in 1977" as a fake anti-communist black liberation movement, designed to "punish Mozambique for that country's assistance to the Zimbabwean liberation movements." After the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, apartheid South Africa began sponsoring RENAMO, with their support becoming clandestine after the signing of the 1984 non-aggression treaty.
LinkHere

Chris Matthews Battles Nancy Pfotenhauer Over Elementary School Civics

Yesterday, Sarah Palin was asked to describe the duties of the Vice President, which is something she'd never before been briefed on by anyone other than maybe Dick Cheney, because she answered by straight making stuff up off the top of her topsy-tailed dome:
PALIN: A Vice President has a really great job because not only are they there to support the President's agenda, they are like the team member, the teammate to the president. They are in charge of the United States Senate. If they want to, they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that make life better.
Oh. But? No! Of course, the Vice President is not "in charge" of the Senate, and, similarly, does not have the opportunity to "really get in there with the senators" and "make a lot of good policy." I know this to be the case because, if Palin became Vice President, she'd face a Senate run by ... uhm ... the Democratic Party. I also know this because I successfully graduated from elementary school. LinkHere

video

Chuck Todd On McCain-Palin: No Chemistry, No Trust, Possibly No Chance

Commenting on a new joint interview with John McCain and Sarah Palin, NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd described the Republican ticket as lacking cohesion, chemistry, and (he hinted) trust.
"There was a tenseness," Todd told MSNBC's Chris Matthews. "I couldn't see chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin. I felt as if we grabbed two people and said 'here, sit next to each other, we are going to conduct an interview.' They are not comfortable with each other yet."
Todd, who was remarking on the interview conducted by NBC's Brian Williams (he was in the room), speculated that the candidates had come to the realization that "they are losing" the campaign, and guessed that McCain may have begun to hold his vice presidential choice responsible for his dwindling White House chances.
"When you see the two of them together, the chemistry is just not there. You do wonder, is John McCain starting to blame her for things? Blaming himself? Is she blaming him?" asked the highly regarded NBC newsman. "And maybe they don't feel they can win right now, so they are missing that intensity. That was the thing that struck me more than anything. You almost wonder why they wanted the two of them sitting next to each other."

LinkHere

A key Democratic official refused to provide his own list but said, "I'd rather be us than them."


Voter displeasure with the war and economy, coupled with Sen. Barack Obama's popularity, has the House GOP running for cover. Even though polls have shown that Americans don't like congressional Democrats any more, a new internal GOP tally of House races suggests a Democratic route that could keep the Republicans in the minority for decades. A document provided to Washington Whispers from a House GOP official shows that they could lose a net 34 seats. That means the Democrats would have a 270-165 advantage in the 111th Congress. In the Senate, Republicans expect to lose also but to keep up to 44 seats, ensuring their ability to stage a filibuster.
The document provided to Whispers is no gag: It comes from one of the key House GOP vote counters. The source called it a "death list."
LinkHere

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Judge blocks retrial of war objector Watada

Source: Army Times / Associated Press
Judge blocks retrial of war objector Watada
By Phuong Le - The Associated Press
Posted : Wednesday Oct 22, 2008 7:54:59 EDT

SEATTLE — The Army can’t retry a Fort Lewis-based Iraq war objector on several key charges because that would violate the soldier’s constitutional protection against double jeopardy, a federal judge ruled late Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle of Tacoma said the government could not retry 1st Lt. Ehren Watada on charges of missing his unit’s deployment to Iraq in June 2006 and for denouncing President Bush and the war.

To do so would violate Watada’s Fifth Amendment rights by trying him twice for the same charges, Settle held.

“He dismissed the heart of their case,” Watada lawyer Jim Lobsenz said. “We’re very pleased. It’s taken a long time.”
Former Bush aide met protests, attempt at citizen's arrest for treason.

"Palin fashions"

RNC has spent $150k on Palin fashion
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.The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission's long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs.Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.“The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent," she said.But hours after the story was posted on Politico's website and legal issues were raised, the campaign issued a new statement:
"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," said McCain-Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt
Slideshow LinkHere
Amendments eyed despite warning from US military that time is running out.

India's first moon mission blasts off

India has successfully launched its first unmanned mission to the moon.

The Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft blasted off from the Sriharikota space center in southern India at dawn, kicking off a two-year mission aimed at laying the groundwork for further Indian space expeditions. Chandrayaan means "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit.
"What we have started is a remarkable journey," said G. Madhavan Nair, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
India's national television channels broadcast the event live. Some scientists thumped their chests, hugged each other and clapped as the rocket shot up into space. LinkHere

Key lifelong conservative backs Obama

First Colin Powell, Now…
Ken Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan’s director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld’s second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. Adelman’s friendship with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their wives goes back to the sixties, and he introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in.
In recent years, Adelman and his friends Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz fell out over his criticisms of the botching of the Iraq War. Still, he remains a bona-fide hawk (“not really a neo-con but a con-con”) who has never supported a Democrat for President in his life. Two weeks from now that’s going to change: Ken Adelman intends to vote for Barack Obama. He can hardly believe it himself.
Adelman and I exchanged e-mails today about his decision. He asked rhetorically,
Why so, since my views align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s? And since I truly dread the notion of a Democratic president, Democratic House, and hugely Democratic Senate?
Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.
When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.
Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.
That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.
I sure hope Obama is more open, centrist, sensible—dare I say, Clintonesque—than his liberal record indicates, than his cooperation with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid portends. If not, I will be even more startled by my vote than I am now.
LinkHere

WSJ Editorial: Bernanke Endorses Obama

Bernanke Endorses Obama
There was a time when Fed chairmen feared to even seem political.
Ben Bernanke apparently wants four more years as Federal Reserve Chairman. At least that's a reasonable conclusion after Mr. Bernanke all but submitted his job application to Barack Obama yesterday by endorsing the Democratic version of fiscal "stimulus."
While the Fed chief said any stimulus should be "well targeted," even a general endorsement amounts to a political green light. Mr. Bernanke certainly knows that Mr. Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill are talking about some $300 billion in new "stimulus" spending, while President Bush and Republicans are resisting. And by saying any help should "limit longer-term effects" on the federal deficit, he had to know he was reinforcing Democratic opposition to permanent tax cuts.
Mr. Bernanke could have begged off -- and would have been wiser to do so -- given how much the Fed has already made itself a political lightning rod with its many Wall Street interventions. He might also have thought twice about endorsing one party's policy preferences a mere two weeks before Election Day given his obligation to preserve the Fed's independence. We can remember when tougher Fed chairmen used to refrain from adjusting interest rates close to an election for fear of seeming to be political; they would never have dreamed of meddling in campaign tax and spending debates.
Perhaps Mr. Bernanke's blunderbuss political intrusion will win him more Democrat friends, and maybe even Mr. Obama's goodwill. To the rest of the world, he has harmed the Fed and made himself less credible.

Old-Time Celebs Launch Ads For Obama

The Jewish Alliance for Change, a pro-Obama group, is launching a series of three ads in swing states that use humor and celebrity narration to go after John McCain.
An ad titled "Ain't Funny -- Vice President" features old-time movie and TV stars such as Carl Reiner, Danny Devito, and Jerry Stiller riffing on topics ranging from the price of gas ("it costs more than the car") to health care and Sarah Palin. Linkhere

Ain't Funny - Vice President. Vote Obama-Biden.


WATCH McCain Accidentally Agrees: Western Pennsylvania Is Racist

McCain Agrees with Murtha in Moon, PA

Sen. John McCain offered, on Tuesday, what may go down as one of the more awkward moments of this campaign cycle, in which -- speaking in Western Pennsylvania -- he declared he 'couldn't agree more' with the sentiment that some of the people from that region were openly racist.
"You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately," McCain told the audience in the town of Moon Township. "And you know, I couldn't agree with them more." LinkHere

Colin Powell, Barack Obama, Specialist Khan, and You

Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.
"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America. I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star - showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life."

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Little Known Truth of Barack Obama's Legislative Record

C'mon, take a guess.
Nope, sorry, take another guess.
As we all know, Barack Obama hasn't passed any major legislation. He's inexperienced, never done anything. We know this. We know it because John McCain and Sarah Palin, bless her accomplished heart, have said so. And so, we know.
Far be it from me not to take their word for it, but I decided to check things out. And shockingly... it doesn't turn out to be true! Really. So, take a guess on how much legislation Barack Obama has sponsored in the United States Senate, which has become law.
C'mon, take a guess.
Nope, sorry, take another guess.
Barack Obama has authored or co-sponsored 579 bills in Washington. And as a state senator, he sponsored 820 laws for Illinois.
That's 1,399 bills in all. Not bad for someone who apparently had done zero -- okay, according to his opponents.
I know, I know. Those 820 are just for a "state," so they don't really count. Except... well, wait, a "state" is what Sarah Palin is governor of. (At least for 21 months.) So if sponsoring pesky "state" laws doesn't count, what in the world does she have on her resume then? Other than ethics violations.
Besides, y'know, Illinois is an awfully big state. If someone passes a law there, it does affect the lives of 26 million people.
And, yipes, it turns out that there is a wide-ranging record of bipartisan laws he's co-sponsored, as well, working across the aisles with Republicans. Go figure, who knew?!
LinkHere

Todd: McCain's Got No Ground Game (VIDEO)

Chuck Todd had nothing but bad news for John McCain on "Morning Joe" today. "Lets get realistic," he said, before adding Colorado, Virginia, and Florida to Barack Obama's column. Other battleground states Todd rated as "pure tossups," but then he added, "So what? If Obama is up in these three, and you're hearing very negative comments come out of the McCain campaign about Colorado, Virginia ... and then there's Florida, which has really slipped away from McCain."
"There is no ground game," Joe Scarborough responded. Todd agreed, adding that Democrats were already doing better in early voting, based on ballot requests. "The ground game, it is just absent from the McCain campaign ... At this point, the only state that I feel good about for McCain is Ohio." He posited that McCain could win that state but lose the election, which would be "very frustrating to Republicans."
Read more about McCain's failures in Florida here, and about the campaign's pessimistic outlook on Colorado here.

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NYT Mag Lifts Curtain On Palin Choice, Angst With Schmidt, Worry In McCain Campaign

The New York Times Magazine is set to publish an explosive story this Sunday on the inner workings and combative personalities of what has been a wild few months for the McCain campaign.
The piece, written by Robert Draper and titled "The Making (and Remaking and Remaking) of the Candidate," breaks some new reportorial ground, including a growing weariness within a campaign that seems more interested in tactical victories and the next compelling narratives than an overarching strategy. Draper writes:
"By October, the succession of backfiring narratives would compel some to reappraise not only McCain's chances but also the decisions made by [Chief Strategist Steve] Schmidt, who only a short time ago was hailed as the savior who brought discipline and unrepentant toughness to a listing campaign."
Having interviewed several of the Senator's chief aides, Draper details the process by which McCain ultimately chose his running mate (New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was surprisingly high on the list). And the decision may have been even more impulsive than initially thought. Gov. Sarah Palin, who had never been on the VP shortlist, was advanced at the last minute by Schmidt and Rick Davis, and was picked after a less-than-hour-long chat in with McCain at his ranch in Arizona.
From there, Draper tracks the campaign through Palin's widely praised convention speech, the roaring early campaign events, and then the first glimmer of doubts. There are additional, juicy nuggets that he uncovers earlier and along the way. These include the birth of the Obama-as-celebrity attack line -- the campaign felt it was on the wrong track, its pollster described their situation as "third and nine," and Schmidt "blurted out the epiphany concerning Obama. 'Face it, gentlemen,' he said. 'He's being treated like a celebrity.'"
Then there is Schmidt's -- perhaps fatal -- push for McCain to "go all in," leave the campaign trail and head to Washington to work on the financial bailout package.
"Schmidt evidently saw the financial crisis as a 'true character' moment that would advance his candidate's narrative."
Ultimately, Draper defines the McCain campaign in a series of different narratives: the heroic fighter, the country first deal-maker, team of mavericks, etc. His reporting will undoubtedly spur an early start to the campaign postmortems. Even McCain aides waxed skeptically about their bosses chances.
"Despite their leeriness of being quoted," Draper writes, "McCain's senior advisers remained palpably confident of victory -- at least until very recently."

Pew Poll: Obama Expands Double-Digit Lead

Barack Obama has a double-digit lead over John McCain in the latest Pew poll, 52 percent to 38 percent with registered voters, and 53 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. The Democratic candidate has made particular strides on national security and expanded his lead on the economy. Meanwhile, doubts about McCain's campaign, age, and judgment are growing:
Obama's strong showing in the current poll reflects greater confidence in the Democratic candidate personally. More voters see him as "well-qualified" and "down-to-earth" than did so a month ago. Obama also is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates. Most important, Obama now leads McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions by a wider margin (53% to 32%).
Obama's gains notwithstanding, a widespread loss of confidence in McCain appears to be the most significant factor in the race at this point. Many more voters express doubts about McCain's judgment than about Obama's: 41% see McCain as "having poor judgment," while just 29% say that this trait describes Obama. Fewer voters also view McCain as inspiring than did so in mid-September (37% now, 43% then). By contrast, 71% of voters continue to think of Obama as inspiring.
In addition, Sarah Palin appears to be a continuing - if not an increasing - drag on the GOP ticket. Currently, 49% of voters express an unfavorable opinion of Palin, while 44% have a favorable view. In mid-September, favorable opinions of Palin outnumbered negative ones by 54% to 32%. Women, especially women under age 50, have become increasingly critical of Palin: 60% now express an unfavorable view of Palin, up from 36% in mid-September. Notably, opinions of Palin have a greater impact on voting intentions than do opinions of Joe Biden, Obama's running mate.
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A longtime Republican State Senator in Wisconsin history announced on Tuesday that she would be supporting Barack Obama, in part because of the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign and, specifically, the use of "dishonorable" anti-Obama robocalls.
"All of us should be extremely wary of the half truths and outright untruths that have been spread by the recent negative campaigning and shameful automated phone calls," said Barbara Lorman of Fort Atkinson. "While my admiration for Senator Obama has grown with his positive approach to addressing the challenges facing our nation, my disappointment with the McCain campaigned has deepened. The negative tactics are inappropriate, downright dishonorable and have no place in the State of Wisconsin."

"recession"

In March, 5 states were in recession, now there are 27 with 14 more at risk.

Palin Claims Vice President "In Charge Of The U.S. Senate"

Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) sat for an interview with KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Colorado. In response to a question sent to the network by a third grader at a local elementary school about what the Vice President does, Palin erroneously argued that the Vice President is “in charge of the United States Senate“:
Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, “What does the Vice President do?”
PALIN: That’s something that Piper would ask me! … [T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.
Sarah Palin: VP Is 'In Charge Of United States Senate'

CNN Host "Mystified" By McCain Camp Silencing Muslim Organizer



The American News Project captured Zubairi this past weekend intervening when a racist McCain supporter got into a heated exchange with rally attendees over the anti-Muslim literature and message that he was promoting. We don't "endorse that behavior" said Zubairi. The tiff ended with the man walking away from the rally with his pamphlets and bumper stickers in hand.

Deep-Red Indiana Becoming Battleground As Suburban GOPers Flip

Turning Indiana blue
Put off by the McCain-Palin ticket, suburban Republicans are backing Barack Obama -- who might score a rare Democratic win in the Hoosier State.
Oct. 20, 2008 INDIANAPOLIS -- In presidential elections since the Depression, Indiana has been the lone industrial state where the elephants always roam. For all the talk of independent Hoosiers, the state has gone Republican in 16 of the last 17 races for the White House, with Lyndon Johnson in 1964 the sole exception. In 2004, the networks began painting Indiana Republican red exactly two minutes after the polls closed with the breathless verdict justified by George W. Bush's eventual 60 to 39 percent rout of John Kerry.
So what was Sarah Palin doing in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Noblesville Friday afternoon motivating the GOP faithful? Why are Barack Obama and the Republican National Committee advertising heavily on Indianapolis television? How come most recent polls (there have been only a handful of statewide surveys this month) show Obama within striking distance of the lead? Why has Indiana become 2008's most unlikely battleground state?
Obama's unexpected strength here cannot simply be attributed to the Chicago media market, which reaches only about 20 percent of the state, or a heavy African-American vote (Indiana is 86 percent white). The hotly contested May 6 primary, which Hillary Clinton won by a 51 to 49 percent margin, did attract 1.27 million Democratic voters, about 300,000 more Hoosiers than turned out for Kerry four years ago. Indiana -- whose economy more revolves around manufacturing than that of any other state -- has also lost 150,000 factory jobs since 2000, and its 6.2 percent unemployment rate in September was close to a 20-year high. "What has changed in Indiana," says Dan Parker, the Democratic state chairman, "is that in manufacturing towns, people are voting less on social issues and more on the loss of jobs."
But if Obama wins the state, more than anything it will be due to the best voter-contact operation Indiana has ever seen. Even Murray Clark, the Indiana Republican chairman, says with grudging admiration in his voice, "Obama's done these things right. That's how he nearly beat Hillary in the primary."
Ignored for decades by presidential candidates, Indiana in 2004 boasted a dubious distinction -- the lowest turnout rate among registered voters (57.4 percent) of any state in the union. Had the Obama campaign been pinched for cash instead of raking in a jaw-dropping $150 million in September, Indiana probably would have remained the Midwest's leading flyover state. Instead, buoyed by the primary turnout, the Obama team saw opportunity amid the decades of neglect. As Emily Parcell, the Indiana Obama coordinator puts it, "Unlike Iowa, where every election is hard fought and where a good field operation can add only about 3 percentage points, there is a much greater opportunity for a good field operation here. Hoosiers are not used to Democrats coming to their door. They're not used to being told about early voting."

Fresh Face on Cable, Sharp Rise in Ratings

Rachel Maddow, a woman who does not own a television set, has done something that is virtually unheard of: she has doubled the audience for a cable news channel’s 9 p.m. hour in a matter of days.
More important for her bosses at MSNBC is that “The Rachel Maddow Show,” her left-leaning news and commentary program, has averaged a higher rating among 25- to 54-year-olds than “Larry King Live” on CNN for 13 of the 25 nights she has been host. While the average total audience of her program remains slightly smaller than that of Mr. King’s, Ms. Maddow, 35, has made MSNBC competitive in that time slot for the first time in a decade. The channel at that hour has an average viewership of 1.7 million since she started on Sept. 8, compared with 800,000 before.
Given that advertising dollars — and the reputations of networks — rise and fall on prime-time ratings, Ms. Maddow’s rise has been closely watched by media executives.
“I’m pinching myself,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC, who used to caution that it “takes two or three years for a show to find its audience.” That was certainly true for Keith Olbermann, whose five-year-old “Countdown” program at 8 p.m. (which leads into Ms. Maddow’s program) now beats CNN in the 25-to-54-year-old demographic segment every evening.
Mr. Griffin said that Ms. Maddow’s advantages included her regular appearances on “Countdown” and her popularity on the Internet, where, he said, “word spread like wildfire” about her new show. Ms. Maddow, a former AIDS activist, was also presumably helped by her four years on the Air America radio network.

"We're All Socialists Now, Comrade."

Today Republican John McCain dropped the word "socialism" from his attacks on Democrat Barack Obama, telling a crowd in St. Charles, Mo., only that his opponent wants to "spread the wealth around" but resisting the "S" word.
He believes in redistributing wealth -- not in policies that grow our economy and create jobs and opportunities for all Americans. Sen. Obama is more interested in controlling who gets your piece of the pie than in growing the pie.
Ditto the GOP's vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, who told a crowd in Colorado Springs, Colo., that Obama favors tax hikes to redistribute wealth. Sort of a reprise of the argument Obama heard from Joe the Plumber.
Our opponent's plan is just more big government, and John and I think that that is the problem, not the solution. Instead of taking your hard-earned money and spreading your wealth, we want to spread opportunity so people like you and Joe the Plumber can create new wealth.
Why the change in tone?
First, Obama has been shredding the charge by reminding voters, in an incredulous tone of voice, that he has been endorsed by such Titans of the Establishment as Warren Buffett and Colin Powell.
But the larger problem for the McCain-Palin ticket's attempt to tie Obama to socialism is ... George W. Bush.
In the last four weeks, President Bush has proposed a $700-billion bailout of the financial sector, pressed his Treasury secretary to push equity into the system and met with key world leaders on how to regulate the global markets.
"The fly in the ointment for this socialism argument is the recent bank bailout," Larry Sabato, who heads the University of Virginia's nonpartisan Center for Politics, told CNN. "That's probably the most egregious example of socialism in American history."
As Countdown to Crawford noted in an earlier post, London's Telegraph captured this shift with its headline: "We're All Socialists Now, Comrade."

Todd: McCain is 'conceding the popular vote'

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Sunday morning, NBC's Tom Brokaw talked with MSNBC political analyst Chuck Todd about how the polls are shaping up just several weeks prior to the election. Todd told Brokaw that at this point, McCain appears to be "conceding the popular vote" in order to pursue victory through the Electoral College, similar to how outgoing President George W. Bush came to power.

Todd, making the argument that older voters could be the crucial demographic in the election's endgame, claimed there's been some evidence that they are shifting toward Obama.

"That's how this thing becomes, from a close Electoral College battle to a landslide," he said.

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MCCAIN'S TIES to group involved in Iran-Contra examined by AP.



Sen. backed group that ran death squads, participated in Contra scandal.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Raw Story | Denied black relative urges McCain to accept ancestry

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Olbermann "Special Comment" On 'Real America,' Palin, Bachmann

Obama Assembles U.S.'s `Largest Law Firm' to Monitor Election

Source: Bloomberg

In Florida, Democratic lawyer Charles H. Lichtman has assembled almost 5,000 lawyers to monitor precincts, assist voters turned away at the polls and litigate any disputes that can't be resolved out of court.

``On Election Day, I will be managing the largest law firm in the country, albeit for one day,'' said Lichtman, 53, a Fort Lauderdale corporate lawyer and veteran of the five-week recount after the 2000 election when Florida eventually delivered the presidency to George W. Bush.

Obama's lawyers also have pressed allegations that Michigan Republicans planned to use mortgage-foreclosure lists to challenge voters. Indiana labor unions allied with Democratic presidential nominee Obama, an Illinois senator, are battling a Republican chairman over early voting in the state's second- largest county
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Tampa Bay Rays Come Out for Obama

Barack Obama shakes hands with members of the World Series-bound Tampa Bay Rays baseball team Monday during a rally at Legends Field in Tampa, Fla. (AP)

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Barack Obama will be joined at an event today by several members of the World Series-bound Tampa Bay Rays at an event marking the first day of early voting in the Sunshine State.

Pitcher David Price will introduce Obama, according to his campaign. Outfielder Fernando Perez, and teammates Carl Crawford, Cliff Floyd, Jonny Gomes, B.J. Upton, Edwin Jackson, and Jason Bartlett will also appear on stage.

Getting the effective endorsement of the same guys who earned Tampa its first-ever trip to the World Series can’t help but give an oomph to Obama’s popularity in central Florida, where the Rays have won a large following during a miraculous season. Last year, the Rays were the worst team in baseball. Yesterday, they downed last year’s world champs, the Boston Red Sox, to clear their way to the fall classic.

According to his prepared remarks, Obama kicks off his speech by congratulation the baseball team. The Illinois senator is campaigning in Florida until Tuesday. It remains to be seen if Obama is courting any endorsements from the Philadelphia Phillies, who the Rays will face in the series and who likewise represent a key battleground state. ...

FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) – Barack Obama fired back against charges his tax policy amounts to “socialism,” arguing John McCain simply wants to redistribute wealth to the already wealthy.

“It’s kind of hard to figure how Warren Buffet endorsed me, Colin Powell endorses me, and John McCain thinks I’m embracing socialism,” Obama said. “This is his argument because I want to give a tax cut to the middle class, because I want to give a tax cut to 95 percent of American workers.”

The Democratic nominee also said that while McCain may call giving regular Americans a tax break “socialism,” he calls it an “opportunity.”

“Here’s the truth, North Carolina. This debate – and this election – comes down to what we value. In the America I know, we don’t just value wealth, we value the work and workers who create it,” he said. “He can call me any name he wants but what he’s talking about is not right, it’s not change, that’s why we’re going to beat him in this election on November 4th.”...
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Local (Massachusetts) Republican caucus chairman endorses Obama

Source: Politicker MA

The chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of Massachusetts endorsed Barack Obama late Sunday night, joining other Republicans who have recently moved away from their party's own standard bearer, John McCain.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)Jason Burkins, who is also a member of the Somerville Ward 5 Republican Committee, said in an email that he no longer sees eye-to-eye with the principles of the national GOP.

"Though I have always disagreed with the party on various issues, I have always been able to find more common ground with my fellow GOP brethren than with the Democrat Party," he said. "Since the election of George W. Bush as president, over the past eight years, that common ground has slipped and dwindled."
...
Burkins repeatedly praises McCain and says he wishes the GOP had nominated him in 2000 over George W. Bush. However, Burkins also criticizes McCain for how he has conducted his current campaign.
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Burkins also lambasted McCain for selecting Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, which he called a political ploy.
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Obama Cancels Events to Visit Ailing Grandma in HI

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Democrat Barack Obama is cancelling nearly all his campaign events Thursday and Friday to fly to Hawaii to visit his suddenly ill 86-year-old grandmother.

Campaign spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters Monday that Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Payne Dunham, who helped raise him, was released from the hospital late last week. But he says her health has deteriorated to the point where her situation is very serious.

Gibbs said Obama would return to the campaign trail on Saturday, though he was unsure where.
Obama events originally planned for Madison, Wis., and Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday will be replaced with one in Indianapolis before he makes the long flight to Hawaii
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The US military has not yet commented on the report.

US warship 'catches fire in Persian Gulf'
A vessel belonging to the US Navy has reportedly caught fire in the northern Persian Gulf near the Iraqi port cities of Al-Bakr and al-Amaya.
CNN's John King reports McCain is conceding CO., NM., and IA.

McCain Mailer Puts Palin On Top Of The Ticket

The McCain campaign and the RNC are sending out a mailer that pushes Gov. Sarah Palin as both the figurehead of the GOP ticket and a centrist.
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