Thursday, October 2, 2008

Headlines - Thursday

Happy debate tonight!
The bar has been set so low that if Sarah shows up and displays more intelligence than a styrofoam cup, all the pundits will probably say she did much, much better than expected. Low expectations have their benefits in a debate; just ask George W. Bush.

Erick has graciously added the daily headlines to his blog. If you'd rather read the news there and not receive daily emails, let me know and I'll remove you from the list. 
Thanks, Erick!
The Senate passes the bailout bill 74-25. 
h/t Dick: FBI deputizes business:
Shouldn't we be like, revolting?

Russia to give Venezuela with a $1 billion dollar loan to fund the procurement of defense material


A candidate for president should not be judged by the color of his skin. And to - and to anyone who thinks differently, I say, please do not reject John McCain just because he's white. I think the recent news from Wall Street has made us all less tolerant, and only reinforced the stereotype that white people are shiftless, thieving welfare queens. - Bill Maher











An Ode to Crybaby Republicans

By Madeleine Begun Kane

Republican leaders assert
That the plan that attempts to avert
A depression just failed
Cuz Pelosi's speech nailed
Bush's failures — their feelings were hurt.

They are patriots first, they proclaim,
But when action's a must they hurl blame,
Rushing out to condemn
"Hurtful" words from a Dem.
They treat critical bills like a game.



Rolling Stone's Tim Dickerson gets brutal in a 10-page expose of The Real McCain.

A long read, but well worth it. And it ain't pretty.


Campaign strategies in a nutshell:

McCain: Obama is a BIG SCARY BLACK MAN! And I'm a WAR HERO!

Obama: I'm actually a cute, cuddly teddy bear with good judgment, and its safe for white people to vote for me. My opponent is a war hero, but he's also JUST LIKE BUSH, and he's a REPUBLICAN.

And that's probably as much of a narrative as many uninformed, attention span limited Americans can handle. So, the election will come down to who is scarier: the Black Guy, or the Angry Old White Republican Dude.


Compare and contrast the following: Clinton Defense Department spending bill for the year 2000 (last year of Clinton Presidency - covered Fiscal year 2001 DOD budget): $288 Billion Dollars

Bush Defense Department spending bill for the year 2008 (last year of Bush Presidency - covers Fiscal year 2009 DOD budget): $488 Billion Dollars, which doesn't include a $70 Billion dollars of spending previously approved in a supplemental defense spending bill for 2009 operations in Iraq and Afghanistan passed this summer. That adds up to Total Approved DOD spending for Fiscal Year 2009 of $558 Billion Dollars.

And our top general in Afghanistan says he doesn't have enough troops or other aid, and wants more sent to him as soon as possible.

Do any of you still wonder why things are so messed up in this country?


McCain Was A Worse Pilot Than Bush -  And, Yes, He'd Be A Worse President Too 

"Oh, that was Cindy's idea-- I didn't have anything to do with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can't imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a shopping cart in Arizona. No, it wasn't my idea at all."



In case you missed it, more of the Couric/Palin interview:


The Brennan Center is following the vote suppression efforts around the country and released a new study yesterday that sends chills down my spine.

Some of this "purging" is undoubtedly innocent. But when you have national vote suppression projects like those initiated by the Republican National Lawyers Association, scandals like the US Attorney firings around the same issues, and a decades long campaign to create a sense of crisis around something that doesn't exist in any meaningful way - voter fraud - this kind of thing becomes a lot more suspicious.

We have special challenges with this election that make this election potentially open for all kinds of shennanigans -  the Democrats have registered millions of first time voters, who, by definition, have no experience with the system and can often be manipulated in the face of difficulty at the polls. And, as ever, creating difficulties and delays alone tends to keep some people from voting because they just don't have the time to spend in long lines.

I would suspect, just as an observer of human beings over the years, that even honest Republican election officials have been persuaded by their party's own propaganda that their primary responsibility is keeping people from voting illegally. I'm sure they think they are doing their patriotic duty by ensuring that felons and illegal immigrants and unregistered young voters can't vote. And if some legitimate Democratic voters are kept from casting a vote, well - it's the price we pay for vigilance.

Paper or absentee ballots.


Matt Yglesias points to a 1998 interview with John McCain in which the Senator appears to downplay the danger posed by Osama bin Laden.  Said McCain, "Look, is this guy, Laden, really the bad guy that's depicted?  Most of us have never heard of him before."  Not that I blame McCain much for his nonchalance. As Matt quite correctly notes, many people, Democrat and Republican alike (the Clinton administration included), failed to truly appreciate the scope of the al-Qaeda threat prior to 9/11.

But that's the thing. On 9/11, al-Qaeda's destructive capacity was made visceral in what was a deeply traumatic episode.  Yet, a mere month later John McCain was busy trying to convince people to invade...Iraq.  A country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and no connection to al-Qaeda.  An undertaking that would divert valuable and limited assets from the actual pursuit of al-Qaeda - the hunt for Osama bin Laden, the guy that no American could rightly doubt was every bit as bad as depicted.

Here's some video of McCain's post-9/11 non-wake up call (via Juan Cole).  Barack Obama should make a bigger point of the "morning after" nature of McCain's Iraq war cheerleading.  It wasn't just that McCain advocated shifting away from the hunt for al-Qaeda in the fall of 2002 or winter of 2003 when the Iraq invasion was n the final preparation stages.  McCain started beating that drum while ground zero embers were still smoldering. 


McCain's 13 bedroom McMansion is on the market: 


That sign was defaced in Abingdon, Virginia. It's kind of par for the course this year.

Just in the last month: In Fulks Run, Virginia, someone
painted the letters "KKK" on an Obama for President sign. For a really charming take, check out what the yahoo puke savages at some godforsaken discussion board for the deluded and self-defecating have to say. The best phrase? Put the article through "your jewspeak translator."

In Pittsfield Township, Michigan, just south of college town Ann Arbor, on an Obama
billboard, "Black spray paint was used to draw three swastikas, Klan hoods, a poorly rendered Confederate flag; and to write 'KKK,' 'Rebel' and two racial slurs." The Rude Pundit loves the idea of a couple of drunk, racist fucktards trying to figure out how to draw a Confederate flag at 3 in the morning.

In Cookeville, Tennessee, another sign, another
defacing. This one in the middle of the town. A friend tells the Rude Pundit that it was up for maybe a day before someone painted "nigger" and "KKK" on it.

In Edmond, Oklahoma, same
story, different landscape. And in Spokane, Washington. And in Sacramento, California. In Upper Arlington, Ohio, the variation was to spray paint "Death Obama" on the house that had a sign in the yard.

This, of course, is not to mention the Oregon
incident of the cardboard Obama hanged in effigy.

Yeah, most of these are just a couple of knuckle-dragging idiot teenagers or college students looking to do something stupid because they can't smoke enough basement meth to quell the despair in their lives or maybe they wanna impress some other shithead or whatever. But it still bespeaks a sorrowful, shameful infection that will never be cut out or cured. And that has to be actively ignored in this political season because there ain't enough time to address it.

Just a short reminder here today of what exactly we're up against.


The Department of Homeland Security just began its new $634 billion dollar satellite surveillance program, despite some Democrats prattling on about how this thing violates "civil liberties" and "the law" or some such. [Wall Street Journal]
h/t Dick
Ex-Secretary of the Treasury (under Bush), John Snow, sits on the board of Cerberus Capital Management. 

Cerberus is headquartered in New York City with affiliate and/or advisory offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Baarn, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Osaka and Taipei.

Cerberus holds controlling or significant minority interests in companies around the world. In aggregate, these companies currently generate over $100 billion in annual revenues."

The company's portfolio: - hint: it includes Chrysler and some banks.

How much of the recent bailouts (including the $25 billion to the auto industry) will be handed over to them?


You remember back when we were all being promised vigorous oversight of the bailout U.S. Attorneys firings?

And you remember when the various Congressional committees who were subpoenaing Karl Rove, Harriet Miers, Josh Bolten, et al.? And you remember how we eventually had to wait, like, a year to start enforcing those subpoenas, because the Congress was still "negotiating" with the White House to try to avoid an irreconcilable clash between the legislative and executive branches, and the White House was insisting that the Congress was a bunch of jerks because all these people would surely have agreed to be "interviewed" if we had just given them that option?

Well, turns out it was... wait for it... bullshit!

The Justice Department probe of the firings of nine U.S. attorneys was severely hampered by the refusal of former White House political aide Karl Rove and other White House officials to be interviewed by investigators, according to a report made public by investigators today.

Yep. So concludes the report from the Department of "Justice" Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility. Gee whiz! What a shocker!


China now sending us candy with melamine:


NPR: Given what you've said Senator, is there an occasion where you could imagine turning to Governor Palin for advice in a foreign policy crisis?

MCCAIN: I've turned to her advice
many times in the past. I can't imagine turning to Senator Obama or Senator Biden cuz they've been wrong, they were wrong about Iraq, wrong about Russia...

"Many times in the past"? He's only known her a month!


Tom Brokaw is in the tank for McSame. Not only was he responsible for getting Olbermann kicked off as anchor, he is actively working to appease the McNuts campaign - as an NBC liaison. 

Tuesday's New York Times features a profile of Tom Brokaw ahead of the October 7 presidential debate being hosted by the once-respected talking head. 

Mr. Brokaw said that over the summer he had "advocated" within the executive suite of NBC News to modify the anchor duties of the MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews on election night and on nights when there were presidential debates. Their expressions of strong political opinions from the MSNBC anchor desk has run counter to the more traditional role Mr. Brokaw played on "NBC Nightly News" for more than two decades.

His mission was assure the candidate's aides that -- despite some negative on-air commentary by Mr. Olbermann in particular -- McCain could still get a fair shake from NBC News.



4,176 soldiers killed in Iraq; 609 in Afghanistan - that we know of.


Former Abu Ghraib guard says prisoners were treated even worse than was reported

Recommended viewing: Taxi to the Dark Side.


1 comment:

McDouchbag said...

"I came back and suspended my campaign and got the House into the negotiations at the table, which they had not been before. We were able to get a large increase in the number of Republicans who voted for it. We were able to make significant changes in the bill, which improved it rather dramatically. And I'm confident it will go through the House of Representatives."

McCain said Obama's approach was to "phone it in" -- in regards to working with congressional leaders.

"That's the difference. I suspended my campaign and put my country first. And even if I had failed, it was still the right thing to do. We didn't fail. It's going to pass."

What do you think? Significant changes would be arrows, race tracks and rum in Costa Rica? For someone who says it would be a "travistry" to add pork to this bill surly had no problem signing it, did he?