Friday, October 24, 2008

Headlines - Friday

Less than two weeks until election day and the McCain campaign is getting desperate. So desperate that they're now flooding voters with Rudy Giuliani Robocalls.
That's right, Rudy Giuliani is going to call you at home.
Before you rip your phone out of the wall and run out to your garage to set it on fire, take a breath. Yes, the thought of hearing the voice of arguably America's most repulsive politician on your home telephone is something no American should ever even have to imagine, let alone experience. But you can get through it. Below are some instructions to help you provide the care and support needed by a loved one who has just received a robocall from Rudy Giuliani.
Click the link for your laugh for the day:
Thanks, Rachel:
Attention Sara Palin Button
Despite being sidelined with a brain tumor, Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has been "orchestrating meetings with lobbyists and lawmakers from both parties to craft legislation that would greet the new president with a plan to provide affordable medical coverage to all Americans, a measure he has called 'the cause of my life.'" Kennedy's goal is to introduce the bill as soon as the new Congress convenes in 2009.
Larry David: Waiting for November 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, but mostly standing up. I'm anxious all the time and taking it out on my ex-wife, which, ironically, I'm finding enjoyable. This is like waiting for the results of a biopsy. Actually, it's worse. Biopsies only take a few days, maybe a week at the most, and if the biopsy comes back positive, there's still a potential cure. With this, there's no cure. The result is final. Like death.


Joe Conason: A Perverted Idea of Fairness


Thousands of academics sign on to support Bill Ayers:
The Reformer - part 348,820
Remember that plane Sarah Palin said she sold on eBay, that wasn't really sold on eBay and she took a loss on? Well she dumped that one, but started using her state law-enforcement agency's twin-engine plane to travel around Alaska, accounting for about 20 percent of its flying time. The police plane is a King Air turboprop that is primarily used for police-related missions and search and rescue missions:
And when that one was busy, she just let the taxpayers pay for all the commercial flights her family took.
The number of homeowners ensnared in the foreclosure crisis grew by more than 70 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2007, according to data released Thursday.

nearly 766,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice from July through September, up 71 percent from a year earlier, said foreclosure listing service RealtyTrac Inc.
The most qualified VP in recent history tries to explain what a precondition is:

Yglesias pounces:

That's just not what preconditions are. As Ilan Goldenberg says, she's talking about the need to prepare before a meeting, which is different, "not negotiating until preconditions are met means not starting your negotiating until the other side has met some kind of condition you imposed." That's our current policy — that we need to isolate Iran until they preemptively give in to all our demands, and then we can talk. Obama's proposal is also Palin's proposal — to negotiate first in hopes of getting a deal. Of course you have to prepare. You don't just fire up Air Force One and head to Pyongyang without some kind of bargaining strategy and preliminary meetings. But that's uncontroversial.


Mormons vs civil rights:
Fact: $17.67 million has been contributed by 59,000 Mormon families since August. Mormons have also contributed $6.9 million to pass a a similar law, Proposition 102, in Arizona.
If only they were so concerned about polygamy.
And this: The bigots allegedly doing the Lord's work in California are getting really nasty. Now they are extorting money from companies that support gay marriage:
Utah's Senator Orrin Hatch, whose last years in Congress will most likely be ruined by the upcoming "liberal supermajority" tries in vain to warn MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell of impending doom: 

85 years ago, Evansville, Indiana, was home of the Grand Wizard of the Indiana KKK, and the governor of Indiana was a KKK member. Today, early voting in Evansville, Indiana happened.


For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president.
The KKK ruled Indiana when this old woman was a child. Now she is voting for a black man for President. There are still racists and violent bigots of all sorts in America. But that's change, and it's change to be proud of, even if there is so much more left to do. 

Update: Michelle Bachmann's insane appearance on Harball has now cost her $1.4 million. 
Who's the marketing genius that envisioned the First Dude as Rum Pitchman?

Thanks to his newfound fame, Caribaya Rums wants to make Alaska's First Gentleman, Todd Palin, their spokesperson. Take that Joe Six Pack! We found out the NY-based alcohol company sent a letter to Mr. Palin asking him to be the face of their rum and believes he "would become a sex symbol to the millions of women that enjoy our product." A hockey mom's gotta have her daiquiris!

In the letter, Caribaya mentions a possible ad could feature Todd showing off his "bare chest, dressed in Hawaiian boxer shorts, surrounded by our rum." Just like every other Alaskan male on a Saturday night.

No word if Todd has accepted the offer.

I thought these people were Christians. Is there anything in Scripture about encouraging drinking?

This is turning into 'Mr. Smith goes To Washington,' only starring the Beverly Hillbillies.
Yeah, Mr. 'The Market Will Police Itself.' Friggin' brilliant.

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says the current financial crisis has uncovered a flaw in how the free market system works and that has shocked him.

Greenspan told the House Oversight Committee on Thursday that his belief that banks would be more prudent in their lending practices because of the need to protect their stockholders had proven in the latest crisis to be wrong.

Greenspan said he had made a "mistake" in believing that banks in operating in their self-interest would be sufficient to protect their shareholders and the equity in their institutions.

Greenspan said that he had found "a flaw in the model that I perceived is the critical functioning structure that defines how the world works."

Yeah, Greenspan, I found a flaw, too - what seems to be a genetic disposition among Republicans to never, ever be able to think things through. These chumps work in a vacuum, and if something looks good on paper they just go with it.
Imagine not factoring in traditional human Rebuplican greed. Some genius.
Of the 32 states that receive more money back from the federal government than they send to the federal government in taxes, 21 of them are polling ahead for McCain. Here are the amount of federal dollars these McCain states get for every one dollar they pay in taxes:
Currently 95% of the McCain states feeding off the teat of the government are supporting McCain despite his pledge to reduce the spending from which they benefit.
As you know, Palin has said that the election is in God's hands.
The one thing these right wing, brainwashed people won't believe on November 5th is that God has chosen Barack Obama. No. Freakin'. Way. Palin puts this "in God's hands," speaking of His "perfect will," but if McCain-Palin loses on election night, the religious right won't get down on their knees and thank the Lord for His perfect selection. Oddly, God's will is never contrary to their own. They worship their leaders, who in turn worship themselves and project their own ambitions on some god. God's perfect will is sometimes imperfect -- and then you wind up with a Democrat in the White House.

So it's not "in God's hands," it's in ours. We the people are the Electoral Gods and the Electoral Gods are displeased. We've seen the torture and war and crimes committed by the last president chosen by the perfect god and, Lo, it is not good. We see the world economy in shambles, our international reputation destroyed, and our world warming and we finally wise up. These people aren't any holier, they aren't any more just, they're just crazier.

For a very, very long time, we'll be able to use Bush as a bad example. Want to privatize Social Security? Well, Bush wanted that, so it must suck. Want to invade a country based on mere suspicion? That's there's what you call your "Bush doctrine" -- it's stupid, we have proof. After decades of work, the religious right finally got the exact president they wanted and he was unbelievably blowful. We tried it your way guys... It didn't work. Now go away.

It may be that the only good thing that the Bush presidency accomplished was that it discredited these fools.

Still, they aren't going away. Which, I suppose, is almost a good thing. They're going to get even crazier after November 5th, because the choice of their incredibly weak god was rejected by the Electoral Gods. It's not really a fair fight, since we have the advantage of being real. They're going to be meaner, they're going to be crazier, and they're going to shriek louder. Which, of course, only makes them look even less attractive. You think the people at McCain rallies are angry mobs now? Just wait until there aren't any more McCain rallies. "Come join the rabid, foaming, gibbering lunatics!" isn't all that great a recruiting poster.

The elections aren't in God's hands, Sarah. They're in ours. And that means you're screwed.

In the large library of truly bad mugshots, this just may be the worst. Preacher Tony Alamo's mugshot was released with new allegations that he had multiple wives, including a nine-year-old girl. Story here.
Sean Hannity and Andy Martin are saying that Barack Obama is not Barack Obama. You see, Obama's father was Frank Marshall Davis. Obama is really Frank Marshall Davis Jr. And he's flown to Hawaii to stop his dying grandma from spilling her guts about the family secret:
Andy Griffith, the Fonz, and Opie Cunningham want you to vote for Obama:

Poor John McCain. Every time he tries to hitch his star to someone he thinks will help him win the presidency, they turn out to be duds. First Sarah Palin scared the you-know-what out of every sane American, and now Joe the Plumber is costing McCain poll numbers. After a week of campaigning in Joe's name, McCain is down at least seven points.

And in a related story... 

The toilet breaks on McCain's bus in Florida.

If only the campaign knew the name of somebody who could repair it…

Shouldn't there be a law against a "government" report being written by an industry that has a financial stake in the outcome of that report? jsonline
Trig or Treat




You'll need scissors, some string, and a disregard for evolution and birth control. More


So a woman in Pittsburgh claims to have been mugged at an ATM last night. And when the mugger saw the McCain sticker on her car, he began punching and kicking her and then he used his knife to scratch a "B" into her face. The woman refused medical treatment at the scene, and the ATM security camera caught none of it. Here's a photo:

Not buying it:


Good news for our future: kids less likely to graduate than parents - h/t Dick:


A Republican county election clerk in Indiana distributed copies of an apparent chain letter referring to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama as a "young, black Adolf Hitler" to two employees but later told police she intended it to be a More from AP


AIG has used up 3/4 of the federal loan it was given ($123 billion) and it may not be enough.


Funny....New York and Washington DC were American enough for Republicans to score cheap political points off it for eight years


Uh oh. Palin has betrayed the base on immigration amnesty:

And here's a clip of her interview with Brian Williams, where she is asked if abortion clinic bombers were terrorists. Note the sigh she gave after Brian Williams asked his question, as if she were upset at facing a gotcha' moment. It was also the shake of her head as she spoke, suggesting she actually felt they weren't terrorists.

Fact: McCain has repeatedly voted against protecting Americans from domestic terrorists carrying out violence at abortion clinics.


The party of "family" values

Republican strategist Brad Blakeman has no shame. When asked about Sarah's new wardrobe, he said the real outrage was "taking a 767 campaign plane to go visit his grandma."

Using your campaign plane to rush to your dying grandmother's side (the woman that raised you) is in no way morally equivalent to breaking campaign finance law to tart up Caribou Barbie "because she needs clothes." The fact that this asshat thinks it's worse tells you all you'll ever need to know about the morality and values of the right wing.

You know what to do. There's an Act Blue page where you can donate to Obama in his grandmother's name. 

And speaking of the wardrobe, there seem to be some irregularities here. The numbers don't add up....

Consider also the $4,902.45 charge at Atelier New York, a high-end men's store, presumably for Ms. Palin's husband, Todd, the famous First Dude.

Karlo Steel, an owner there, said he had gone through the store's receipts for September, twice, and found no sales that matched that amount, nor any combination of sales that added up to the total. Because the store carries aggressively directional men's wear, he caters to a small clientele and knows most of his customers by name, as well as the history of their purchases.... "We have no recollection of that sale and no idea what they are talking about," Mr. Steel said.

Similarly, the RNC records show a charge of $98 at a high-end children's boutique in Minneapolis, but after going through their receipts, the store owners found no record of the sale.

And I wonder what Brad thinks about the fact that Bristol's boyfriend Levi got free clothes too.


4,186 soldiers killed in Iraq; 622 in Afghanistan.

Just because events like this never make the news anymore doesn't mean they aren't happening: Nine Afghan soldiers were killed and four others injured by a U.S. airstrike on an Afghan army checkpoint Wednesday in an apparent friendly-fire incident. 

Or another airstrike in the region today that hit a Pakistani school and killed at least eight

We've been bombing Afghanistan for so long, as a band-aid to make up for the lack of troops, that I'm not sure if you asked an Afghan civilian that they would tell you that the Taliban is the real enemy and not the guys in the airplanes in the sky. 

BTW, in a recent interview, Obama told Klein that U.S. negotiations with the Taliban may be worth pursuing. And David Petraeus agrees. 

The question now is how does one attack Obama for his willingness to talk to the Taliban without also attacking David Petraeus for agreeing with Obama's approach? For that matter, how does one make John McCain look credible on foreign policy and national security, when his approach is so far from the mainstream?

In light of that, it's not surprising that I see an opera singer striding towards center stage.


Never pick a fight with someone that buys ink by the barrel

That is one of the oldest rules in politics: Don't pick fights with the people who cover you. You will not win. But that is exactly what the McCain/Palin Campaign has been doing: Pointing fingers at the press and complaining about the coverage and encouraging the rally audiences to boo the reporters.

The result:
Coverage of the Republican candidate has been overwhelmingly negative since the conventions ended, a study released Wednesday found.
The McCain tactic of attacking the press has worked as well as it did for the RMS Titanic to order "all engines ahead flank" in a field of icebergs.

Reporters Without Borders today released its annual Press Freedom Index. Despite purporting "to be a beacon for the rest of the world" for human rights protections and freedom of thought, the U.S. has been ranked 36 out of 173 countries — a spot also shared by Bosnia and Herzegovina. Iceland ranked number one in press freedom, with Ghana, Slovenia, Trinidad and Tobago, Surinam, and Jamaica also ranking higher than the U.S. The report singled out "wars carried out in the name of the fight against terrorism" as a cause for the steep decline in press freedoms around the world.




Jeff said...

Word on the street is that you published news without giving the proper kudos to Sam and Laura...what has this blog come to?

BurrDeming said...

Very entertaining stuff. My advice is to relax. Even if Palin/McCain wins, there is a bigger picture.

Republicans face a structural problem that has profound implications carrying well beyond election day.