October 31, 2008
"Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama talks during movies. During a recent screening of The Dark Knight, Barack Obama irritated several pro-America patrons when he echoed the famous 'Why so serious?' line to his wife, Michelle, who hasn't always been proud of being an American, much like the Joker. ...and,
"Hello. I'm calling for John McCain and the RNC because you need to know that Barack Obama doesn't use his turn signal when he merges onto a freeway.There's much more, go read.
October 30, 2008
Here's a really really bad Halloween story for you: Smelling the Coffee: A Halloween Coffee Story
October 29, 2008
In Europe they get 5 weeks vacation, fully-paid health care for everyone, generous pensions at an earlier age, full maternity benefits AND child care.
They get PROTECTION from poison in their food, workers getting injured by their jobs, companies dumping crap in their air and water, corporate scams and other general exploitation of the public.
They get some say in how big corporations are run, and the corporations BENEFIT THE PEOPLE.
When McCain complains that Obama is going to "spread the wealth around" ... COMPLAINS about that!! I think maybe everyone in the entire country might just turn out to vote for Obama. Except a few, very few, fatcat corporate executives who are stealing everything they can get their hands on, at our expense. HELL yes, spread the wealth around! HELL yes!
Socialism -- another name for things that work. Compare that to what we've had here for twenty or thirty years. Is there even a question? Sign me up!
Who is our economy FOR, anyway?
Do you remember the "Wassup" commercials? Here is a 2008 version:
This is one -- just one -- of the sleaziest Republican smear/deceit ads this year. Sen. Dole in North Carolina hires a voice impersonator to sound like her opponent, to say "There is no God" in an ad, saying her opponent "took godless money."
Wow. That's really creepy. And Sen. Dole apparently thinks North Carolina voters are really, really stupid. Is she right?
One thing that comes out of this election: I think it has become pretty obvious what the Republican Party is about. They say nasty and things to trick people who don't follow the news into voting for them, and then they hand over public money to a few wealthy corporation owners who fund all of this.
I think people are starting to become well-enough aware of this game to start doing something about it. ONE thing would be to stop allowing a few people to use corporate resources to influence our politics. It isn't corporations that are the problem, it is this abiloity of a few people to access corporate resources and use them to subvert democracy.
October 28, 2008
This is a question not a statement. It might be an emerging story. There is a report out that John McCain was involved in a fatal car crash in 1964, and that it has been covered up.
For the past two months, a major American magazine and an allied news service have been engaged in a legal battle with the United States Navy over records that they believe show that John McCain once was involved in an automobile accident that injured or, perhaps, killed another individual.Go read.
Vanity Fair magazine and the National Security News Service claim to have knowledge "developed from first-hand sources" of a car crash that involved then-Lt. McCain at the main gate of a Virginia naval base in 1964, according to legal filings. The incident has been largely, if not entirely, kept from the public. And in documents suing the Navy to release pertinent information, lawyers for the NS News Service allege that a cover-up may be at play.
Please go read this short, powerful post by Max Cleland.
Max lost three limbs in VietNam. He was head of the Veterans Administration under Carter. Later he was elected to the Senate in Georgia. But in the post-9/11 fear-frenzy Saxby Chambliss, a Republican draft-dodger, ran Karl Rove ads saying Cleland was unpatriotic and a coward. Those ads, with a little help from voting machine problems, put Chambliss in the Senate.
Now Chambliss has a challenger, Democrat Jim Martin. And Max Cleland wants you to know his feelings about the race. So go read Max Cleland: Georgia On My Mind.
If you are in Georgia, or know anyone in Georgia, please ask them to read this, too.
I suggest that the day after the election we start a RECALL of ANY members of Congress who voted for the bailout package.
It did not have sufficient protections and guarantees for taxpayers. It just handed a ton of our money over to the Bush administration to do with as they pleased.
It didn't limit compensation. It didn't specify how the money was to be used by the receiving companies. It didn't require that the public receive a voting share of control of the companies. It didn't require that the public receive sufficient oversight of the process.
October 27, 2008
Be afraid, be very afraid!
This ad from Campaign Money Watch will run in VA and FL. But that doesn't mean YOU can't forward it around!
October 26, 2008
prescience: When this man predicted a global financial crisis more than a year ago, people laughed. Not any more...
prescience (prĕsh'əns, -ē-əns, prē'shəns, -shē-əns)
Knowledge of actions or events before they occur; foresight.
Nouriel Roubini: I fear the worst is yet to come
When this man predicted a global financial crisis more than a year ago, people laughed. Not any more...
As stock markets headed off a cliff again last week, closely followed by currencies, and as meltdown threatened entire countries such as Hungary and Iceland, one voice was in demand above all others to steer us through the gloom: that of Dr Doom.
For years Dr Doom toiled in relative obscurity as a New York University economics professor under his alias, Nouriel Roubini. But after making a series of uncannily accurate predictions about the global meltdown, Roubini has become the prophet of his age, jetting around the world dispensing his advice and latest prognostications to politicians and businessmen desperate to know what happens next – and for any answer to the crisis.
My investment advisor at a major national bank wants me to invest my savings in stocks and bonds (50% - 50%). He thinks we have maybe a 2,000 downside, before we see a 10,000 point upside. The bank requires a 1.5% fee based on the value of the portfolio.
I started my introductory face to face conversation with my advisor by letting him know that when it comes to what comes next in the economy, that was more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.
I still am. In fact I'm beginning to experience a palpable sense of panic.
God help us all.
October 25, 2008
This is one of my favorites from Max and the Marginalized: Hounds. Go read the story of this song.
Max does a song each week, and posts it. He feels that this way his music is current and meaningful.
It still takes a caller to call out the hounds. Wow. He nails it. Watch the video to see what I mean.
We're saying what we're saying, do what you're going to do with it
A slur or a slaying, we've got nothing to do with it
You can phone in contrition, Hollywood Listerine
Wash you mouth with detergent, your hands will never get that clean
'Cause when they call out the hounds there's no calling them back
Without blood on their mouths or a corpse on their backs
And I can hear all the howls for miles around
But it still takes a caller to call out the hounds
Derringers, Berettas, old movie Tommy guns
To finish up a vendetta that you're going to leave undone
No court would convict you, I'll hold you responsible
For an uptick in tension or worse, something far more demonstrable
'Cause when they call out the hounds there's no calling them back
Without blood on their mouths or a corpse on their backs
And I can hear all the howls for miles around
But it still takes a caller to call out the hounds
'Cause when they call out the hounds there's no calling them back
So duck your head out of bounds and brace for attack
Long after it's over, the odor will still stick around
In a faint ugly echo from when you called out the hounds
October 23, 2008
If they say you can't vote:
1) Don't take no for an answer.
2) Demand a provisional ballot.
3) Follow up to be sure it is counted.
4) Call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-OUR-VOTE (they are on the web at http://www.866ourvote.org/ same as the phone number.)
5) Be ready, go to the No More Stolen Elections website now.
Here's a scam I'm hearing about. Some people used the easy loan situation to buy multiple houses. They rented them out. They had tons of cash coming in, maybe not enough to cover the payments and taxes, etc. but they figured they would sell the properties after a while for much more than they paid.
Lately they have stopped making payments on the mortgages, but are still charging the rent. So lots of money still comes in, but none goes out. This goes on and on.
Maybe eventually things catch up, and they are foreclosed. The tenants are evicted - often with no notice at all, with the rent and deposit already paid in advance. The scammer ends up with six months, maybe a year of rent money. Or maybe they haven't been foreclosed yet and the scam continues.
Will the scammers be eligible for government help to "keep them in their homes" because they haven't been making their payments?
What about the people who HAVE been making their payments? They won't be eligible for help? This whole idea of helping people with their mortgages is a dangerous path to go down...
October 22, 2008
Great name for what the Republicans are doing: Race Boating.
October 21, 2008
McCain is running an entirely negative, divisive, racist campaign based on lies, intending to trick, manipulate, deceive, divide or otherwise do whatever it takes to get enough people to vote for him.
And we all know it.
So if it works, where are we? Do we accept such a government, elected based on the appeal his campaign is making?
Set aside for a minute all the the voter suppression, problems with voting machines, etc. -- that's not what I want to write about here, go here for what to do about that -- and instead imagine that Nov. 5 we learn that McCain is the "winner of the election" and that it comes from a surge of voters responding to his current campaign.
What would that mean? And what do we do? Do we accept a government that we all know is in power entirely based on lies, division and racist appeal? This is a serious question: is such a government legitimate?
I'm asking for a discussion, not making a declaration.
Update - An email I received:
Unless there is evidence of illegal activity, yes, we must accept such a government, and, yes, it is legitimate. It is not illegal for an individual operating in an unofficial capacity (as a presidential candidate as opposed to a senator) to lie. Citizens have a responsibility to verify the accuracy of the information they receive. If they choose not to verify it and choose to believe a lie and to act on it with their vote, that is their right, and they deserve to be governed by the lying president they've chosen. There's nothing in a democratic political system that requires a candidate to tell the truth. It is we, each individual citizen, who must require it by refusing to accept any information we haven't verified for ourselves. We fail miserably at that, so we generally get the government we deserve.
Volunteers at the Center for Media and Democracy’s Election Protection Wiki continue to collect reports of ongoing voter suppression.
Among the reports on the Election Protection Wiki from the last few days:
The volunteers are collecting information on polling place shortages, voting machine malfunctions, ballot misprints, voter roll purges, voter intimidation and other election threats. At the same time they are contributing to issue articles on exit polls, student disenfranchisement, the ACORN controversy and other important topics. All of this is being collected into a central location for use by media, activists, advocates and policy-makers on and after election day.
We need every hand we can get to help us get this information ready in time. Come to the Election Protection Wiki and help keep this election honest.
People in my area think a 2-bedroom, 1-bath house for "only" $550,000 is a "bargain" that they should "snap up" because "prices will go back up like they always do."
That is the language of bubble.
Think about this: People thought that stock in sillyname.com was a "bargain" when it fell to $20 a share, but a little while later no one thought the same stock was a bargain at ten cents a share.
October 20, 2008
I haven't been blogging as much because I am working on the Election Protection Wiki.
Go see what AfterDowningStreet.org is up to: A McCain "Win" Will Be Theft, Resistance Is Planned
October 19, 2008
Our Congress was manipulated by fear into voting hundreds of billions for a Wall Street Bailout.
So see if you can guess where the money is going?
Financial workers at Wall Street's top banks are to receive pay deals worth more than $70bn (£40bn), a substantial proportion of which is expected to be paid in discretionary bonuses, for their work so far this year - despite plunging the global financial system into its worst crisis since the 1929 stock market crash, the Guardian has learned.I'm sorry, what? You expected something different?
Staff at six banks including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup are in line to pick up the payouts despite being the beneficiaries of a $700bn bail-out from the US government that has already prompted criticism. The government's cash has been poured in on the condition that excessive executive pay would be curbed.
Every member of Congress who voted for this bailout needs to be recalled.
October 18, 2008
This video plays one of the nasty smear robocalls that McCain and the Republicans are blasting around the country in these days before the election. Obama is a terrorist, etc.
We're about to see the full force power and fury of the right-wing machine unleashed. I'm not so sure Obama will keep his lead through the next phase, or if there will be a country when they're done.
The RNC and the McCain campaign has been accusing Obama and Democrats of being "un-American" or "anti-American" and "dangerous" and "terrorists" and anything they can think of. Today McCain said Obama's tax policies are "Socialist." Across the country the first phase of robo-calls has started, with nasty smears, lies, fear-mongering and you-name-it being pumped into people's homes at all hours.
It is only going to get worse. And then it will get worse. And then it will get really nasty. The next two weeks will go down in history. The corporate right faces the prospect of the people bringing them back under control, and a look at where all the money went. The authoritarian right faces investigations for torture and war crimes. The party operatives face jail time for illegal politicization of the entire government. They will not go without a huge fight.
I really don't know where things will go in the next two weeks, but keep up your spirits, and fight back.
And, of course, watch your backs.
October 17, 2008
The Obama campaign today sent a letter to Attorney General Mukasey asking that he expand the scope of the ongoing investigation into Justice Department politicization to "include a review of any involvement by the Justice Department and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC)'s systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud."
Briefly, the DOJ politicization scandal stems from Republican efforts to conduct partisan vote fraud investigations before the 2006 election. Prosecutors who refused were fired, prosecutors who played along were not fired (and are still there). After an outcry and the resignation of Attorney General Gonzales the new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, appointed a special prosecutor to look into the politicization. The current vote fraud accusations and accompanying Justice Department, FBI and White House involvement follow the same pattern, and are based on no credible evidence, so the Obama campaign believes that it may be related to the ongoing partisan politicization of the government's law enforcement.
Update - Ari Melber at The Washington Independent has more,
Citing an “unholy alliance” between Republican operatives and potentially illegal conduct by law enforcement targeting voter fraud, the Obama campaign demanded Friday that the U.S. special prosecutor looking into the U.S. attorney scandal investigate the matter.
General counsel Bob Bauer sent a letter to Atty. Gen. Michael Mukasey charging that coordinated “misconduct” by McCain campaign representatives and GOP officials were relevant to the special prosecutor’s work, because the activities may relate to the dismissal of seven U.S. attorneys in late 2006.
The letter requests that the special prosecutor’s inquiry “include a review of any involvement by Justice Dept. and White House officials in supporting the McCain-Palin campaign [and RNC's] systematic development and dissemination of unsupported, spurious allegations of vote fraud.”
While I'm at it, take a look at Steve Young for Congress, too.
I received this about Charlie Brown running for Congress in California and want to pass it along:
Recent developments show that Charlie Brown is poised to make history by winning the Congressional seat in CD4 but we still need your help. Even TIME magazine is covering the race. You can read the TIME article here.
Charlie is leading in the polls but being outspent by his hyper partisan rival Tom McClintock 2-1. To keep his lead in the polls, Charlie needs the financial resources to continue to fight and win. You can read the press release on the quarterly filing on the website or click here. As you know Charlie is a retired Lt Colonel from the United States Air Force where he served 26 years. Charlie knows how to fight. He is a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee "Red to Blue" candidate, a Democracy for America All-Star and has many national and local endorsements. You can see Charlie's endorsements on his website. (By the way, Charlie's active duty son has served 4 rotations in this war and will do another next year.) And his wife Jan also served as a nurse in the USAF.
Imagine what it would be like to have Charlie in the House and voting on every bill that comes before it. Voting for health care, education, and the environment. And Charlie will be an experienced voice on national security, he will be one of the very few in Congress who has "been there, done that" and knows what real intelligence means and what it does not.
How can you help? Donate now to the campaign, by clicking here to reach Charlie's website or mail a check to:
Brown for Congress
PO Box 368
Roseville, CA 95661
And then tell your friends about this candidate and about this race. Tell them with their help Charlie will WIN!
Republicans want everyone to feel sorry for them all the time. They lust to feel persecuted. Here's an example. Some 7th-graders call another 7th-grader a racist. This brings headlines across the Republican universe. Featured at Fox and Drudge, echoed within minutes across the right-wing whine machine:
She's only 12 years old but Ashleigh Jones is feeling the heat of this election year.Oh poor, poor, picked-on Republicans. I weep for their sacrifice.
That’s because the seventh grader at New Smyrna Beach Middle School was called a racist by classmates for wearing a pro-Sarah Palin t-shirt.
Christy at Firedoglake blogged about Obama's closing remarks to the Al Smith Dinner last night. Obama: Each Of Us Has The Responsibility Of Service In Our Communities, Especially Now. Please click through.
This video is the entire event, both McCain and Obama. Lots of great jokes. Obama's closing remarks are at 22:14:
Here is Christy's transcript of the closing remarks:
The fact that each October, in the closing weeks of a hard-fought campaign, people of all political persuasions can come to this dinner, and share a meal and honor the work of this foundation, underscores the reality that no matter what differences or divisions or arguments we are having right now -- we ultimately belong to something bigger and more lasting than a political party.
We belong to a community. We share a country. We are all children of God.
And in this country, there are millions of fellow citizens, our brothers and sisters, who need us very much. Especially now. We are being battered by a very serious economic storm, and for many Americans it's only deepened the quiet storms they've been struggling through for years.
Beyond the walls of this hotel, on the streets of one the greatest cities in the wealthiest nation on earth, there are men and women and children who've fallen on hard times and hard luck. Who can't find work or even a job that pays enough to keep a roof over their heads. Some are hanging on just by a thread.
Scripture says God creates us for works of service. We are blessed to have so many organizations like this one, in the Catholic diocese that perform these acts of God every day. But each of us also have that responsibility. Each of us has that obligation. Especially now.
So, no matter who we are or what we do -- and what I believe is each of us in this room asks for, and hopes for and prays for enough strength and wisdom to do good and to seek justice, and play our small part in building a more hopeful and compassionate world for the generations that will follow.
Before Al Smith was a candidate who made history, he was a man who made a difference. A man who fought for many years to give Americans nothing more than a fair shake and a chance to succeed. And he touched the lives of hundreds of thousands, of millions as a result. Simply put, he helped people. And that's a distinction we can all aspire to. And we can all achieve.
Young or old, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican or Independent. And I have no doubt if we come together at this moment of crisis with this goal in mind, America will meet this challenge and weather this storm. And, in the words of Al Smith, "walk once more in eternal sunshine."
October 16, 2008
Take a look at this latest racist ad from McCain. "Welfare" and "Government handouts:"
So what do they think this could work? Well, take a look at this:
McCain's campaign will be remembered for a long time...
This in the news today: Officials: FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud,
The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election. A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday.First, it is ILLEGAL for anyone in the government to leak news of an FBI investigation. That by itself should be a tipoff to what is going on here.
A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.
Second, this is what the Justice Department politicization scandal was about: prosecutors fired for refusing to involve themselves in phony pre-election investigations of vote fraud, and others who were not fired because they played along. Those prosecutors are still on the job. Get it yet?
I am seeing 24.7 hysteria in the media that ACORN is engaged in a conspiracy to steal the election. But once you look into it there is not a single fact behind the charges. In fact, there were a total of 26 cases of voter fraud in the United States in a 5-year period studied.
Meanwhile the Republicans are fighting to purge millions of citizens from the voting rolls before the election. Do you not get it yet?
The Election Protection Wiki needs more tipsters and volunteers to help build our library of reports of voter suppression, questionable voting machines and the like before Election Day!
Volunteers at the Center for Media and Democracy’s Election Protection Wiki have collected unbelievable reports of voter suppression nationwide in the nine days since it went online.
Among the reports on the EPWiki:
- In Colorado and New Mexico there are not enough voting booths or machines for Election Day.
- Students in Virginia are receiving probing questionnaires from voting officials falsely implying they don’t have the right to vote there.
- In Ohio alone, more than 600,000 newly-registered voters are threatened with purging.
- There are reports of sometimes-illegal mass voter roll purges in Michigan, New Mexico, Florida, Georgia, Colorado
and other states. Several states are even purging voter rolls of people who are “Bob” on driver’s licenses and “Robert” on voter registration forms.
- Officials in Indiana are avoiding setting up polling places in areas of the state heavily populated by minorities.
- The Republican Party in Michigan planned to challenge the registrations of every voter whose home had been foreclosed on recently.
- ACORN, which has been held out as a bogeyman for voter fraud (though only 26 TOTAL cases of voter fraud were prosecuted nationwide from 2002 – 2005), has bad registration rates below the California Republican Party’s and a lawsuit alleging fraud in 2004 was dismissed by a judge for lack of merit?
- And, of course, there are ongoing worries across the country about electronic voting machines.
We need your help to collect more reports. No experience is necessary and CMD staffers are here to help with ready-to-go simple tasks and any support you need. Please join us in protecting the right to vote – go to EPWiki.org and click on “things you can do” to begin.
October 15, 2008
White privilege means always getting to have the last word.
Republicans are accusing ACORN, Obama and Democrats in general of "massive vote fraud" based on problem registrations.
Here is the fact: "From 2002 to 2005 only one person was found guilty of registration fraud. Twenty people were found guilty of voting while ineligible and five people were found guilty of voting more than once."
That is the entire United States. 26 examples of vote fraud in four years. THIS is what Fox News, CNN, all of talk radio, all the right-wing blogs, etc. are going on about 24 hours a day right now -- 26 cases in four years.
Reference: Lorraine C. Minnite, [http://www.demos.org/pubs/Analysis.pdf "An Analysis of Voter Fraud in The United States,"] Dēmos, Undated, (Adapted from the 2003 report Securing The Vote, by L. Minnite and D. Callahan, with updates.)
From The Progress Report: The Truth About Voter Fraud
Also, take a look at the Election Protection Wiki.
October 14, 2008
Apple's new notebook line is announced. They still cost about double what a PC costs, and still don't offer Blu-Ray drives for watching HD movies. Oh well, I was hoping...
So, I hear you can install MacOSX on a PC. What's up with that?
October 13, 2008
Columnist Paul Krugman wins Nobel economics prize and stocks are up almost 600 points on the news!
This came in my email:
SIGN THE PLEDGE OF ACTION: CLICK HERE
Many say the 2008 election is being stolen right now. If two stolen elections are two too many, are you prepared to accept a third?
Please read the following important call to action from Liberty Tree, together with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Bill Fletcher, Daniel Ellsberg, David Cobb, Frances Moore Lappé, Frances Piven, Holly Near, Jerome Scott, Jim Hightower, John Cavanagh, John Nichols, Manning Marable, Marcus Raskin, Maude Hurd, Medea Benjamin, Mimi Kennedy, Norman Solomon, Rabbi Michael Lerner, Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Robert McChesney, Starhawk, Tom Hayden, Van Jones, and many more.
Finally, please forward this message far and wide. Let's make certain that ~this~ time, the will of the people decides Election Day.
CALL TO ACTION: No More Stolen Elections!
October 12, 2008
This is at a popular right-wing blog. Warning you will need a strong stomach to see this. It is a photo of Obama and a noose and the words "The F**king Solution" - and more, with the usual nasty right-wing victim-complex justifications, all followed by some really nasty comments frok readers. Just go see for yourself.
Update It was removed there, but it is still up here. Update - It's gone there too. Good riddance. Also, I have learned that the one posted at Say Anything was a reader blog, and not from the bloggers at that site. I want to point that out, the blog itself was not responsible.
Update - The whole thing is covered here.
The original post continues:
This had better get the Secret Service involved fast.
And just to document where this stuff is heading, this at Fox news Forums, whipping people up that Obama is rigging the election by accusing ACORN of "vote fraud" even though there has never been a single fraudulent vote cast as a result of voter-registration mistakes.
It makes your everyday smear look almost trivial...
Sarah Palin repeatedly accuses Obama of having various "ties" to terrorists, and pretty buch of being a terrorist himself.
Remember the Seeing the Forest Rule: When Republicans Accuse it is a good idea to see if it is what THEY are really doing. The accusation serves as an inoculation. It works like this: Billy steals a cookie from the cookie jar. Billy runs to mommy and tells her Bobby took a cookie. Bobby responds with "No, mommy, Billy did it." This gets Bobby is serious trouble, and Billy gets away scott-free -- plus a cookie.
So of course an investigation into Sarah Palin reveals ... you guessed it. A DailyKos post explains, and David Neiwert has a summary at his blog:
# That Gov. Palin, when a Wasilla city council member, formed an alliance with some of the more radical far-right citizens in Wasilla and vicinity, particularly members of the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party who were allied with local John Birch Society activists. These activists played an important role in her election as Wasilla mayor in 1996.
# Once mayor, one of Mrs. Palin’s first acts was to attempt to appoint one of these extremists (a man named Steve Stoll) to her own seat on the city council. This was a man with a history of disrupting city council meetings with intimidating behavior. She was blocked by a single city council member.But really, what did you expect?
# Afterward, Mrs. Palin fired the city’s museum director at the behest of this faction.
# She fomented an ultimately successful effort to derail a piece of local gun-control legislation which would simply have prohibited the open carry of firearms into schools, liquor stores, libraries, courthouses and the like. The people recruited to shout this ordinance down included these same figures, notably the local AIP representative (who became the AIP’s chairman that same year).
# She remained associated politically with the local AIP/Birch faction throughout her tenure as mayor on other issues, particularly a successful effort to amend the Alaska Constitution to prohibit local governments from issuing any local gun-control ordinances.
October 11, 2008
It looks like questions are coming up on the $12.5 million in architect /construction contracts for building Wasilla's Sports Complex. The charges: the construction contracts went to Palin/Republican campaign contributors, and then the contractors also may have built Palin a house for free.
October 10, 2008
Cute. Absentee ballots in NY force voters to vote for "Osama." Go see The BRAD BLOG : Barack 'Osama' on Ballots Sent to Voters in NY
Are you too busy to vote? Watch this.
The Republican noise machine is going absolutely full-force after ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), accusing them of committing vote fraud on a massive scale. You can't turn on the radio or TV without hearing that millions of illegal votes will be cast for Obama because of ACORN's massive vote fraud. If you Google "Acorn" and "rigging" you get over 50,000 hits.
The Republican National Committee website is headlining the effort. And they are issuing accusation press releases all day, every day, to drive this effort. They have a "fact sheet" listing numerous accusations.
Here's the thing: ACORN is registering voters and is REQUIRED BY LAW to submit voter reg forms as the voter fills them out. Even so, the total "fraudulent" registrations they are accused of submitting nationwide is very low, maybe a few thousand. This is across the entire country when they have registered more than 1.3 million new voters. And this is all about registration forms that are filled out wrong by the voter, not ACORN, or a voter submitting more than one registration. This is what all the noise is about.
This is the key thing to know: None of these faulty registrations are capable of resulting in a single fraudulent vote. The problem is ACORN workers turning in forms that were filled out wrong, in some cases by the workers themselves to make it look like they were working when they weren't. But vote fraud? The most common problems is duplication but if someone fills out 12 registrations, they're still only goign to vote once. It is up to county election officials, not ACORN to worry about election fraud. And on a call today with ACORN they pointed out that while there are bad registration forms submitted, there is not one case of a person commiting actual vote fraud as a result of ACORN's efforts. Not one, ever, anywhere.
So the question is, why? Why the huge hissy fit over ACORN?
Remember the Seeing the Forest Rule: When Republicans accuse, it is because it is what they are doing themselves.
Working on the Election Protection Wiki I am seeing more and more accusations of a massive nationwide effort to throw millions of voters off of the registration lists, and otherwise keep them from voting. One example accusation: states like Florida are purging voters whose names do not exactly match their Social Security or drivers license, so "Bob" on one and "Robert" on another disqualifies them from voting. Another, across the country the Republicans are accused of mailing faulty absentee voter applications to Democrats -- they have incorrect addresses for sending the application, or when they can send them in they are thrown out for various reasons to do with the forms. Another: across the country students are being told they can't vote. These are just a few examples -- you may have heard that some states are even throwing people off voter registration roles if their homes are foreclosed.
Could THIS be why there are so many accusations against ACORN? To provide cover for the REAL voting scam that is going on?
Among the accusations is that they have "employed convicts to register people." That sure SOUNDS bad, but so what? Also among the crimes they are accused of is submitting duplicate registrations for voters. Here is the thing to keep in mind, when a duplicate registration is submitted, the person is registered once and the duplicates are thrown out. Again, so what?
ACORN is an organization that helps poor and minority communities. One thing ACORN does is organize people to vote. They have submitted over 1.3 million new voter registrations this year. From their website,
ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is the nation's largest community organization of low- and moderate-income families, working together for social justice and stronger communities.This sounds exactly like something Repubicans would hate. A lot.
Among the hundreds and hundreds of stories, these today:
October 9, 2008
I am working with the Election Protection Wiki project, and we need your help gathering and entering relevant information before election day.
The Election Protection Wiki will be an election-day clearinghouse for election information for all states but focusing on key swing states. The EP Wiki organizes information about problems that have come up in the past, problems that are likely to come up, who to contact, national and state election protection organizations and other resources. This will help people to overcome election-day problems.
The EP Wiki isn't trying to duplicate any of the number of great election integrity sites out there - we are instead trying to fill a gaping hole in the greater election protection movement: to be a central hub with spokes out to all the sites and information that even dedicated researchers can easily overlook in the noise of the web.
We are trying to locate and link to every relevant organization and gather or link to all relevant information. Because this is a project of SourceWatch the EP Wiki already has a very high Google ranking, with its information coming up at or near the top of searches.
It is not difficult to add information to a Wiki. Every existing page has an Edit tab, and sections of the page have Edit links. One you sign up for an account you can click to edit the page, add the information, and save it. There are how-to guides and help/reference articles as well as editors like myself available to work with you.
The Election Protection Wiki project is working in conjunction with the Voter Suppression Wiki. VSW is taking an activist bent to engage in election protection efforts. The information we collect at the Election Protection Wiki project about the threats to elections in each state helps highlight the greatest ones and provide the necessary background to take informed action.
Please visit and let others know about the Election Protection Wiki project, and help us get this project ready for election day.
There are several stories circulating about McCain playing lots of craps at casinos. Here's one: Report: McCain Exploded With Rage During Gambling Outing
Here is a video of McCain exploding at a casino:
This is a window into the next several years if McCain becomes President.
October 8, 2008
It is possible, just possible that the Treasury is so scared by the financial meltdown that they might, just might do the right thing with some of the bailout money.
This just out from the New York Times, U.S. May Take Ownership Stake in Banks,
Having tried without success to unlock frozen credit markets, the Treasury Department is considering taking ownership stakes in many United States banks to try to restore confidence in the financial system, according to government officials.This is very different from buying the bad debts with taxpayer money. This injects capital into the banks, enabling them to make loans again and because it is an ownership stake the taxpayer will reap the returns.
Compare the reaction of Obama and his campaign to last nights "that one" comment by McCain, to McCain and his campaign's reaction to Obama saying that McCain's policies put "lipstick on a pig."
Basically the Obama reaction was to ignore it, while the McCain campaign and supporting Republican noise machine went into a several-day hissy fit.
After eight years of government by fear and hysteria, it is going to be a relief to have some reasonable adults in charge.
The National REPUBLICAN Congressional Committee has received $8 MILLION from Wachovia Bank.
Credit crunch? Unsecured loans impossible to find?
Chris Bowers at OpenLeft writes that,
in the short term, this is effectively an $8 million donation to the NRCC from Wachovia at a time when Wachovia is supposedly in dire straits, about to be bought out by other banks, and will receive money from the government via the bailout.The Bush administration is about to start handing out taxpayer cash for bad debts, and suddenly the NRCC gets $8 million from Wachovia. Come on. How blatant can it be?
A serious question: Has deregulation ever led to anything except corruption, environmental destruction, harm to citizens and consumers and financial disaster?
Think about what deregulation is. We, the People pass laws to govern and benefit ourselves. Deregulation really means reducing the amount of control that We, the People have over the decisions that are made -- and handing that control to a few wealthy people who control businesses. It is also a redistribution of the benefits from those businesses away from We, the People and to a wealthy few.
WHY would we ever want do do that?
Why was I subjected to a debate moderator telling us "everyone agrees" that Social Security is broke -- when it's just not true?
Wasn't that out of place for a debate moderator to say? Is the job of a debate moderator to inject right-wing anti-government propaganda into my head?
October 7, 2008
Oh My God! That is my comment on the things that McCain is saying during this debate. Fannie and Freddie? So he's going with the racist nonsense promoted by the far right that loans to black people are the cause of this crisis.
He's saying that Obama "took money" from them, as a bribe to ignore the excesses, when his campaign manager was a top lobbyist for them?
Oh My God! He's just going to lie and smear.
That is the entirety of my Debate Live Blogging. Or not.
Update - Well OK, why doesn't McCain think that kids should visit planetariums?
Update - Tom Brokaw is a good moderator for a McCain debate. I don't mean that as a compliment.
Update- Apology. I meant Oh My God! My Friend.
Less than a week after the federal government offered an $85 billion bailout to insurance giant AIG, the company held a week-long retreat for its executives at the luxury St. Regis Resort in Monarch Beach, Calif., running up a tab of $440,000Exactly what did you expect?
McCain pretends Obama "associates" with terrorists. So after McCain opened the idea of associations, the press looked at McCain. The result? An AP report: McCain linked to group in Iran-Contra affair,
In the 1980s, McCain served on the advisory board to the U.S. chapter of an international group linked to ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America.
[. . .] McCain's tie to Singlaub's council is undergoing renewed scrutiny after his campaign criticized Obama for his link to Ayers, a former radical who engaged in violent acts 40 years ago.
At their rallies McCain and Palin have been encouraging the worst from the Republican base. Accusations of "palling around with terrorists" and causing the financial crisis, and you-name-it they're accusing. Jack Turner says what needs to be said, at Jack & Jill Politics,
Everything we need to know about John McCain and Sarah Palin is summed up by their reaction to these incidents. Their positions on health care no longer matter. Their tax policies are irrelevant. Their talking points made moot. Not only do they bring out the worst in people, but they feed the worst in people. They are basing their campaign on painting Obama as a terrorist and monster. They are cultivating prejudice, racism, fear and ugliness.Go read the rest.
America has been down this path before, and it is the exact opposite of what this country needs right now.
History awaits moments like these. We are on the brink. When a society’s pent up frustration and anger searches for an outlet, it is a leader’s job to step up and focus those wild emotions away from destruction and toward something productive. At least that is what a good leader would do. [emphasis added]
So McCain and Palin want to accuse Obama "associating with terrorists."
Remember the Seeing the Forest Rule: When Republicans accuse, it usually means they're doing whatever it is they are accusing others of.
Maybe we ought to look at Palin's associations:
Headlined at Drudge, this Republican newspaper complains that homeless people are allowed to vote: PRO-OBAMA GROUP "VOTE TODAY OHIO" PICKS UP HOMELESS AND REGISTERS THEM TO VOTE
Of course, one-dollar-one-vote Republicans would object to a one-person-one-vote system. God forbid citizens should be allowed to register and vote!
October 6, 2008
On Friday Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin released her tax forms. It turns out that the money she was taking as a "per diem" was never claimed as income, and she owes thousands in back taxes. Was she caught in old fashioned corruption with a tax fraud scheme?
Several tax experts have weighed in on this, all saying she owes taxes and should have claimed the income. See MyDD :: Tax Profs: Palin Owes Thousands in Back Taxes for more.
"Now it turns out, one of his earliest supporters is a man named Bill Ayers," Palin said.Go read the rest. Wow.
"Boooo!" said the crowd.
"And, according to the New York Times, he was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, 'launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,'" she continued.
"Boooo!" the crowd repeated.
"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.
Palin went on to say that "Obama held one of the first meetings of his political career in Bill Ayers's living room, and they've worked together on various projects in Chicago."
I am working on the Election Protection Wiki project. You can see the Election Protection Wiki at epwiki.org and electionprotectionwiki.org. This launched this morning. (Yes, we are working with the Voter Suppression WIki project.) Here is the press release for the project:
Please come join the project and help enter information.
The Election Protection Wiki: A Dynamic Website Helps Safeguard America’s Right to Vote
The non-profit, non-partisan Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) has launched a unique website to help safeguard the fairness and integrity of US elections, using the power of citizen journalism. The Election Protection Wiki is now online at http://www.EPWiki.org . It enables citizens, journalists and government officials to actively monitor the electoral process in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. CMD and its community of volunteer editors will continue to improve, expand and update the EP Wiki beyond the upcoming November 4th election.
The EP Wiki is part of CMD’s award-winning SourceWatch website and operates on wiki software which allows anyone who registers on the website to participate in creating and updating articles. SourceWatch contains in-depth articles on every member of (and most candidates for) the US Congress at http://www.Congresspedia.org . CMD employs both professional and volunteer editors who work together online to ensure articles are fair, accurate and fully documented.
Recent presidential elections were marred by controversies and disputes. Scores of individuals and organizations have been working to investigate and reform US elections, issuing reports and information on topics such as electronic voting machines, voter suppression campaigns and student voting rights. However, this information is spread across many different websites, news sources and databases. The Election Protection Wiki seeks to provide a single web portal for accessing this disparate information. Its information is non-partisan and factual; anyone of any political persuasion will be able to both read from and write to the wiki to help us all protect every American’s right to vote.
“We’re not on the side of any candidate or political party, we're on the side of the American voter. But we’re happy if anyone, partisan or not, uses the Election Protection Wiki,” said Managing Editor Conor Kenny. “For example, the Voter Suppression Wiki is already utilizing information in our Election Protection Wiki; even if they decide to move in a partisan direction (as they're currently discussing), any reports posted by their participants are also available to Republican-leaning or non-partisan activists as well. Journalists, bloggers, activists, election officials and anyone with web access can use the Election Protection Wiki to both read current articles and create new information regarding election problems."
The Election Protection Wiki’s professional staff members include Project Editor Dave Johnson, a Fellow at the Commonweal Institute and Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Renewal of the California Dream; and Senior Researcher Dr. Steve Freeman of the Center for Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania. (Titles are for identification purposes only.) CMD’s Conor Kenny is the Managing Editor of both the Election Protection Wiki and Congresspedia, CMD’s partnership project with the Sunlight Foundation that reports on every member of Congress.
The Center for Media and Democracy is based in Madison, Wisconsin, and located online at http://www.prwatch.org .
October 5, 2008
Palin says Obama is a traitor. So maybe it's worth pointing out that Palin is associated with groups that hate America enough to call for dissolving it.
Yes, as weird and extreme as it sounds, it is really the truth. Her husband, for example, is a member of one such "secessionist" group that talks about "hatred" of America. I used the word "hatred" in quotes because it is a quote. Remember the Seeing the Forest Rule: When Republicans accuse, it usually means it is something THEY are doing.
Sarah Palin attacked Obama's patriotism today over his association with former Weatherman Bill Ayers -- a move that makes it perfectly legitimate to raise questions about the Palins' associations with a group founded by an Alaska secessionist who once professed his "hatred for the American government" and cursed our "damn flag."Go read the rest.
The Republicans are again trying to change the subject away from the economy and scare people into thinking Obama is a "terrorist." The Obama campaign has a great response:
Will it work?
October 4, 2008
Please email the below message to your progressive friends and family.Go read the rest and sign the pledge! And tell others!
This week, Democrats helped George W. Bush and Republicans loot the federal treasury and hand billions over to Wall Street.
For some reason, we can never find money for kids' health care, clean energy, or other progressive priorities. But when it comes to right-wing priorities like war and giveaways to failed Wall Street executives, Republicans always find the money and Democrats go along.
There were progressive solutions to the financial crisis that would have truly held Wall Street accountable and helped the middle class. But instead of fighting for a bold progressive alternative, Democrats caved to the least popular president in history.
ENOUGH. Anyone with common sense will vote for Barack Obama and Democratic congressional candidates this November. But it's time for citizens to fight back and take this pledge -- will you join in signing it?
"In 2009 and beyond, I will be part of the movement that pushes Democrats to be bold progressives -- and that helps pass a bold progressive agenda into law."
Here it comes, the desperate horror show of an imploding Republican Party -- just in time for Halloween. Palin says Obama 'palling around' with terrorists
Palin told a group of donors at a private airport, "Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country." She also said, "This is not a man who sees America as you see America and as I see America."So they're trying to trigger some of the far-right crazies to go after Obama. This is going to get much worse in the next month as the election approaches.
Palin, Alaska's governor, said that donors on a greeting line had encouraged her and McCain to get tougher on Obama. She said an aide then advised her, "Sarah, the gloves are off, the heels are on, go get to them."
Obama ad -- More of the same, job loss:
October 3, 2008
Here is something Sarah Palin said during last night's debate. As you read this, substitute the words, "decision-making by We, the People" or "democracy" for the word "government."
Patriotic is saying, government, you know, you're not always the solution. In fact, too often you're the problem so, government, lessen the tax burden and on our families and get out of the way and let the private sector and our families grow and thrive and prosper.Palin says that decision-making by We, the People is not always the solution. Palin wants We, the People and democracy to "get out of the way." So, OK, see if you can guess what replaces decision-making by We, the People if we get out of the way.
Oh, and for a big clue, think about the bailout bill that just passed. How much decision-making by We, the People was involved in that?
The Senate passed the bailout bill Wednesday night and the Dow dropped about 350 points yesterday. Nasdaq dropped about 4%.
The House passed the bill today, and the Dow, which was at plus 260, dropped to minus 160. How many points of a drop is that, anyway? Nasdaq down 29.
But hey, thanks for the money, suckers!
Note: The word 'pwned' isn't spelled wrong. It "implies domination or humiliation of a rival."
October 2, 2008
Biden won on words, substance and experience. Palin won on image.
For people who care about substance, Biden won. Does that mean he won?
We'll see what it means...
Is "phony folksy" a good description?
If true, this is a very good sign. Jonathan Martin's Blog: McCain pulling out of Michigan - Politico.com,
John McCain is pulling out of Michigan, according to two Republicans, a stunning move a month away from Election Day that indicates the difficulty Republicans are having in finding blue states to put in play.So the "Hail Mary" aptempts to set fire to his campaign backfired and set the campaign tent on fire. Dropping in the polls, running out of money, and looking ever more unstable, McCain is consolidating his efforts.
McCain will go off TV in Michigan, stop dropping mail there and send most of his staff to more competitive states, including Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida. Wisconsin went for Kerry in 2004, Ohio and Florida for Bush.
What this will mean, if it continues, will likely be attempts to prevent an absolute landslide and keep at least enough Republicans in the Senate to block everything.
Forward this to five people:
October 1, 2008
Here is a good alternative plan: Recapitalise the banking system.
Instead of the government (us) buying toxic debt we invest in those banks that are solvent, which gives them reserve capital for lending. Other investors will then step in as well. Current shareholders are diluted.
The public ends up profiting. The banking system recovers. The bad actors lose out.