Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Obama Ad: Lobbyists


Best Posts Of The Week

George Eastman House: Woman in kitchen peeling vegetables
Date: ca. 1910

Mocking the Republican spin machine's latest lie, that McCain can't use a computer because of his war injuries: John Cole's Balloon Juice (coup de grace: he threw out the first pitch at the 2001 World Series.)

Digby at Hullabaloo on Sarah Palin, Feminist Icon (she's not)

A very powerful post from Christy Hardin Smith at firedoglake: In Support of Choice telling her personal story of having a medically necessary abortion.

Sarah Palin is Pro-Lie

John McCain is Pro-Lie

John McCain v. John McCain:

Musical Interlude

Les Mis(barack)


The McCain camp is desperately trying to portray their empty dress Sarah Palin as having strong foreign policy credentials. Ludicrously, they claim that because you can see Russia from Alaska, or because Alaska is right next to Russia, she has foreign policy experience.

They've also attempted to present her as a citizen of the world who has traveled.

When she was chosen by John McCain as his running mate, aides said she had traveled to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq.

Let's look at the record, shall we?

Visited Ireland? LIE

Her "visit" to Ireland was an airline stopover at Shannon Airport. Maybe two hours in an airport lounge.

Visited Germany? Exaggeration.

She made a "morale tour" of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Landstuhl, Germany. One day at most.

Kuwait? Yes. Two days.

Iraq: LIE

She never set foot in Iraq. Zero time in Iraq.

In the infamous Charles Gibson interview, Palin now claims to have visited Canada and Mexico.

The facts? Vacations:

Canada: Once, last year. No details available. (If there were details beyond it being a vacation, wouldn't the campaign have rushed them out?)

Mexico: On vacation. No details available. (I am thinking, Cabo counts as foreign travel?)

I own a two-year old suitcase that has traveled more than One-Heartbeat-Away Sarah Palin.

Boston Globe: Palin camp clarifies extent of Iraq trip
Says she never ventured beyond Kuwait border

Just For Laughs

Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

If I just put in my first name, I am Beretta Hockey Palin. (I rock!)

If I put in first and last, I am Shove Maggot Palin. (?????)

Obama on Taxes

In Dover, New Hampshire yesterday.

Edited to note: You think he met with the Big Dog? You think? This speech could have been given by Bill (albeit with more twinkle. No one loves campaigning more than Clinton.)

Drill, Baby, Drill!

You can't make this stuff up:

hat tip to


This YouTube video is 10 times better than any ad the Democrats have paid their rich consultants to come up with:

Tag line: "John McCain said he refuses to define honor. Maybe that's because honor no longer defines John McCain."

hat tip to Americablog.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin Mashup

Women Aren't Fools

"Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving."
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Sarah Palin's no feminist. Over 100,000 women agree:

Women Against Sarah Palin

Obama: Run This Ad


hat tip to the fabulous Jed Report

McCain = Liar

If John McCain's lips are moving, he's lying.

Why Palin's Ignorance of the Bush Doctrine is Critical

James Fallows: The Palin Interview

What Sarah Palin revealed is that she has not been interested enough in world affairs to become minimally conversant with the issues. Many people in our great land might have difficulty defining the "Bush Doctrine" exactly. But not to recognize the name, as obviously was the case for Palin, indicates not a failure of last-minute cramming but a lack of attention to any foreign-policy discussion whatsoever in the last seven years.

Read the whole thing.

Defenders of Wildlife Ad

Wolves! Good, tough, and not for the squeamish:

Most of the real hunters I know scoff at people who do this kind of trophy "hunting". Hunting from a plane is like shooting fish in a barrel. It's repulsive.

By the way, where is Joe Biden? Have the Democrats put him in the witness protection program? Why are we fighting with one hand tied behinds our backs?

New Planned Parenthood Ad

Obama made a huge mistake by cutting the 527s out of the ad process. He's finally figured that out, and they're riding in to his rescue.

He's got 53 days to figure out that John McCain is lying when he says he's going to run a respectful campaign. Republicans never play fair. Realpolitik is their MO. Obama's got 53 days to get up off the mat and fight.

If you don't fight, you will never win. There is a difference between nonviolence and passivity.

The Marques of Queensbury rules don't apply. They never did. Get dirty and win.

New Obama Ads

Still too wimpy for me. I want wolves. Or pigs.

I actually like the second, serious one more than the first.

New Look

Well, just a little added feature. I've added a button on each post that lets you recommend it to "Digg", which is kind of a word-of-mouth recommendation site for the web.

Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. You won’t find editors at Digg — we’re here to provide a place where people can collectively determine the value of content and we’re changing the way people consume information online.

How do we do this? Everything on Digg — from news to videos to images to Podcasts — is submitted by our community (that would be you). Once something is submitted, other people see it and Digg what they like best. If your submission rocks and receives enough Diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of our visitors to see.

You have to register to use the site or recommend posts. The more unique people recommend a post, the higher you travel in their rankings. So you just can't recommend all of your own posts and expect to move up that way. (I discovered this when I read an article about how Mark Cuban's brother (Mark Cuban, dotcom billionaire, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, prospective owner of the Cubs) got banned from Digg for putting in a script in his blog that auto-recommended his posts to Digg. Another asshole in the Cuban family, shocking.). I'm not trying to do anything like that. But if I write something that you like, give it a go.

Cindy McCain Drug Abuse Story Up on WaPo


Editor & Publisher: UPDATE: The Case of the Missing 'Post' Posting (Probably) Solved!

It looked like 1) just a technical glitch or hacking 2) the usual case of a news outlet pulling back a story to do more checking 3) someone pushed a button too early on a story being held for a later date 4) a bombshell report was killed because of pressure from a presidential campaign 5) none of the above.

We still don't know for certain, but The Washington Post says it had something to do with an unedited caption to a video that should not have gone up. But what about the video itself? And a separate documents file?

WaPo: A Tangled Story of Addiction
Consequences of Cindy McCain's Drug Abuse Were More Complex Than She Has Portrayed

"Blizzard of Lies"

Flickr, user Dalboz17

Go read Paul Krugman in today's NYTimes.

Friday Funny

Bill O'Lielly and Geraldo Rivera arguing in half-speed slow motion. You're on the Slo-Reilly Factor:

hat tip to BoingBoing


Watch video of Sarah Palin struggling to define the Bush Doctrine alongside Miss South Carolina at Miss Teen USA 2007 saying why Americans can't locate the US on a map. You can play them at the same time for even more fun.

The website's tagline: Sarah Palin: She's like Harriet Miers, if Harriet Miers shot at wolves from a helicopter.

Sarah Palin: "Cocky Whacko"

Dependable Renegade

That's what former Republican Senator from Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee called Sarah Palin yesterday. He also called her dangerous. He's right on both counts.

She holds whacky and dangerous views. In saying goodbye to her son who was deploying to Iraq, she said Iraq had caused 9/11 -- a view so extreme that even George W. Clusterfuck doesn't say that any more.

In her series of interviews with Charlie Gibson, she said that if Russia invaded Georgia, we would go to war (bottom of page, continues on to page 3). And starting World War III didn't phase her one bit. She delivered her answers in her bizarrely chirpy cheerleader voice as though it were perfectly normal to contemplate World War III. She'd be a war president.

Sarah Palin isn't lipstick on a pig. She's George W. Bush in lipstick, ready to be a war president but having no idea or concern about what that would mean for the country and for the world. A dangerous cocky whacko.

House-rich McCain Stealing The Right To Vote From Americans Whose Homes Have Been Foreclosed.

John McCain owns between 8 and 10 houses. (He's not sure how many!) He is rich beyond the imagination of most Americans. His Republican Party has run Washington for the last eight years. (They've run Congress for the last 14 years.) McCain's chief economic adviser Phil Gramm wrote the legislation that deregulated the banking industry and gave us the mortgage crisis.

Now the Republican Party is trying to get the owners of foreclosed homes thrown off the voting rolls.

The Republican Party is further abusing the suffering Americans who are losing their homes because of the Republican Party's terrible economic policies. Losing their homes isn't enough? Now the Republican Party must steal their right to vote, too? How cruel of the very wealthy John McCain to let his party do this to poor voters. Haven't they suffered enough?

McCain is the nominee. He rules the party that is doing this. This is his policy. House-rich McCain is stealing the right to vote from Americans who no longer have homes.

That's the Republican Party for you. First they steal your money, then they steal your house, then they steal your right to vote.

Obama/Biden '08

Crooks & Liars: GOP seeks to contest voters from foreclosed homes

The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

But That Wasn't On The Study Sheet!

With her vast foreign policy experience, somehow Caribou Barbie does not know what the Bush Doctrine is. I guess two weeks in a room with Karl Rove's minions is not enough to become familiar with the depth and breadth of American's foreign policy. Preemptive war? Never heard of it.

Now we know why they've been hiding her from the press. She is not ready to be Vice President. She's not ready to teach current events in a high school history class. Charlie Gibson doesn't let her hang out there very long; he gives her the answer after she says the Bush Doctrine is "his worldview".

My friends, this ill-informed dolt is John McCain's choice to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Charlie: Do you agree with the Bush Doctrine?

Palin: In what respect, Charlie?

Charlie: What do you interpret it to be?

Palin: His worldview.

Charlie: No, No, the Bush Doctrine. He enunciated it in September 2002, before the Iraq War.

Palin: I believe that what President Bush has attempted to do is to rid this world of Islamic extremism, terrorists who are hellbent on destroying our nation. There have been blunders along the way, though. There have been mistakes made. And with new leadership--and that's the beauty of American elections and democracy--with new leadership comes the opportunity to do things better.

Charlie: The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory defense. We have the right to preemptively strike any other country that we believe is going to attack us.

Non Compos Mentis

Watch entire video of McCain being interviewed on WCSH-TV, Portland Maine.

Excerpt dealing with Palin's national security credentials

McCain hasn't had a press conference in over a month. Last night he was interviewed by a local television reporter in Maine. (Who did a great job, by the way. Much better than I've seen a national reporter do in years.) He couldn't seem to answer the questions, kept slipping back into his rhyming schtick that he does on the stump all the time, and just seemed off. And he made many factual errors (see HuffPo article below). The reporter asks what Palin's national security experience is and he says "Energy". (Huh?) I wonder what we would find if he released his complete medical records. Surely his doctors have done testing for memory and other cognitive impairments.

Coach Mom (age 76) tells me that he's too old to be President. From this video, I have to agree.

Seth Colter Walls, HuffPo: McCain Interview On Palin Riddled With Errors

Dead Soul Mates

When he introduced her as his running mate last week, John McCain declared that he and Sarah Palin are soul mates. Sure they are. Dead soul mates. Both McCain and Palin were in favor of forcing rape victims to pay for the rape kits used by police in the investigation of their victimization.

These Republican hypocrites have been running around pretending to be feminists, but let's be real. They are arch conservatives who have been against every development in women's rights in their lifetimes. McCain voted against treating rape victims like the victims of every crime. He singled out rape victims for punitive treatment. You wouldn't ask a victim of a burglary to pay for the CSI work on their house, but McCain/Pain asked rape victims to pay for their own investigations. These people are beneath contempt. They are awash in the money they have been scamming from the taxpayers for the years (why does McCain and his $300 million wife still take his social security?) yet they deny rape victims the ordinary access to justice a crime victim deserves.

Any woman who votes for this ticket is a fool. A Log Cabin Republican. A Pat Buchanan Jew. A fool.

JedReport: McCain Voted Against Biden Law Requiring Free Rape Exams

In 1994, John McCain voted against legislation -- pushed through Congress by Joe Biden -- that helped put an end to the practice of charging rape victims for sexual assault exams.

Twisted as it may sound, charging victims for a forensic exam was a real problem. For example, as AMERICAblog has documented (and the media is now reporting), when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the town charged rape victims for the exams.

Biden's legislation required that state, local, and Indian governments provide the rape exams to victims free of charge as a condition of receiving federal funds under the Violence Against Women Act.
In 2000, Alaska finally passed state legislation in order to qualify for federal funding.

McCain not only opposed Biden's legislation, but also has voted against funding it as recently as October 2007.

McCain voted against final passage of Biden's legislation. He had supported an earlier version, but on the question of actually making the legislation the law of the land, McCain joined 35 conservative Republicans (and 2 Democrats) and said "no" to ensuring that all women had access to rape exams free of charge.

McCain = Bush

McCain is so wedded to Bush he's recycling his old campaign ad footage. Remember Bush's wolves? McCain's ads have the very same wolves. Not a coincidence, as Karl Rove's team is running McCain for Bush's third term.

You Won't Read This Story In the Washington Post Today

It's been scrubbed. (Of course, their IBM Selectric tech team couldn't figure out that if you were going to pull the article, you needed to pull all the places where the article got archived, like The Google [right now it's the last result on page 1, and that will change as more blogs cover this story] and Yahoo Buzz!. And their own website, which still has an active link to the scrubbed story, which people have been leaving comments on.)

What story, you ask? Tom Gosinski, the former director of government and international affairs for the American Voluntary Medical Team, a nonprofit organization headed by Cindy Hensley McCain, gave a videotaped interview (two excerpts from YouTube are at the end of this post) to the press yesterday alleging that John McCain used his Senate staff and position to cover up his wife's drug use, and that he intervened with the Drug Enforcement Agency to prevent her being prosecuted.

Basically, Cindy McCain was stealing pain medication that was supposed to be going to the children her charity served. She had a huge painkiller addiction (taking 30 to 50 pills a day) and started forging prescriptions on the prescription pads of doctors who volunteered for the charity, and because she was taking so many, used the names of her employees to get even more pills. Gosinski found out she had forged his name on a prescription, complained and got fired.

McCain has always claimed he didn't know about Cindy's drug abuse, but Gosinski says this is nonsense as he picked her up from the hospital in 1991 after she overdosed. Gosinski also says McCain through his Senate office got Cindy McCain a diplomatic passport, which allowed her to pass through Customs without having her bags searched. After Gosinski got fired, McCain got a political buddy of his, Maricipa County Attorney Rick Romley, to open an investigation into Gosinski. So Gosinski, the man whose name was forged onto prescriptions so Cindy McCain could get drugs illegally, he gets investigated; John McCain used his position and influence to shut down the investigation of his wife, the actual criminal. If she hadn't been married to a Senator, she would have gone to jail, as Arizona has some of the harshest mandatory minimum sentences for drug use in the country.

Not exactly the rosy picture the Republicans painted of the McCains at their disgusting convention last week.

And it looks like McCain is still wielding his powerful position to keep the truth about his wife's abuse out of the public eye.

Matt Stoller, OpenLeft: Did McCain Tamper with the Drug Enforcement Agency to Protect His Career?

dailykos: Whistleblower Says McCain Hid Wife's Drug Abuse

What Books Did Mayor Sarah Palin Want To Ban?

Report on the subject by ABC. Palin's Assembly of God church was big on book-banning, so the test would have been a religious one. I bet Harry Potter was on her list.

Good News

The Veterans Administration, under pressure from citizens, Congress, veterans groups, and state election officials, has reversed its ban on voter registration in Veterans Administration facilities.

WaPo: V.A. to Allow Voter Signup for Veterans at Facilities

Stop Calling John McCain a Fish!

McCain = Bush
So if McCain is a fish, so is Bush.

Seriously, that is the argument Republicans were pushing on TV yesterday.

Puts The Expression "In Bed With The Oil Companies" In a Whole New Light

user USB, flickr: Bush Oil Stencil

WaPo: Report Says Oil Agency Ran Amok
Interior Dept. Inquiry Finds Sex, Corruption

Government officials in charge of collecting billions of dollars worth of royalties from oil and gas companies accepted gifts, steered contracts to favored clients and engaged in drug use and illicit sex with employees of the energy firms, federal investigators reported yesterday.

Investigators from the Interior Department's inspector general's office said more than a dozen employees, including the former director of the oil royalty program, took meals, ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings from industry representatives. The report alleges that the former director, Gregory W. Smith, also netted more than $30,000 from improper outside work.

The report from Inspector General Earl E. Devaney contains fresh allegations about the practices at the beleaguered royalty-in-kind program of Interior's Minerals Management Service, which last year collected more than $4 billion worth of oil and natural gas from companies given contracts to tap energy on federal and Indian lands and offshore. The revelations come as Congress is set to consider opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and areas off the coast of Florida for drilling.

The royalty-in-kind program, based near Denver, allows energy companies to pay the government in oil and gas, rather than cash, for the privilege of drilling on government land. It has been the subject of multiple investigations since 2006 by the Interior Department's secretary, its inspector general, the Justice Department and Congress for alleged mismanagement and conflicts of interest.

In the report released yesterday, investigators said they "discovered a culture of substance abuse and promiscuity" in which employees accepted gratuities "with prodigious frequency." The report cited one e-mail from a Shell Pipeline representative asking a woman in the royalty office to attend "tailgating festivities" at a Houston Texans football game: "You're invited . . . have you and the girls meet at my place at 6am for bubble baths and final prep. Just kidding."

Besides Shell, the energy company employees mentioned in the report worked for Chevron, Hess and Gary-Williams Energy. The social outings detailed in the report included alcohol-, cocaine- and marijuana-filled parties where certain employees of the Minerals Management Service were nicknamed the "MMS Chicks" by the energy employees. The companies paid for federal workers to attend football and baseball games, PGA Tour events, Colorado ski trips, paintball outings and "treasure hunts," investigators found.


The inspector general's release comprised three separate reports, including one devoted to the program's former director, Smith, 56, who resigned last year. It alleges that Smith improperly worked part time for Geomatrix Consultants, an Oakland, Calif.-based environmental and engineering firm, and marketed the company to government clients.

Additionally, the report said, Smith had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a subordinate whom he paid to buy cocaine, allegedly promising her a $250 bonus in return. The report stated that Smith admitted to the sexual encounter.

NYTimes: Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department

Video Lasts Forever

Comcast New England: Jonathan Papelbon: The High School Years

Click on the link to see three videos of Jonathan Papelbon, the intimidating closer of the Red Sox, dancing in a high school talent show. (He's actually quite good!) The videos were supplied by his mother to the Red Sox, so the first video is of the Red Sox team showing them in the lockerroom before last night's game. Hilarious.


Dependable Renegade: The camera never lies, redux.

Dan Payne, Boston Globe: Unfit to stand so close to presidency

TODAY, on the anniversary of the horror of Sept. 11, 2001, we should recall what happens when an unqualified candidate captures the presidency. An incurious western governor, George W. Bush, arrived in Washington unprepared for the job. And it showed every day of his presidency.

Chicago Sun-Times: Roger Ebert on Sarah Palin: The American Idol candidate

[] I don't want a vice president who is darned near good enough. I want a vice president who is better, wiser, well-traveled, has met world leaders, who three months ago had an opinion on Iraq. Someone who doesn't repeat bald- faced lies about earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere. Someone who doesn't appoint Alaskan politicians to "study" global warming, because, hello! It has been studied. The returns are convincing enough that John McCain and Barack Obama are darned near in agreement.

I would also want someone who didn't make a teeny little sneer when referring to "people who go to the Ivy League." When I was a teen I dreamed of going to Harvard, but my dad, an electrician, told me, "Boy, we don't have the money. Thank your lucky stars you were born in Urbana and can go to the University of Illinois right here in town." So I did, very happily. Although Palin gets laughs when she mentions the "elite" Ivy League, she sure did attend the heck out of college.

Five different schools in six years. What was that about?

And how can a politician her age have never have gone to Europe? My dad had died, my mom was working as a book-keeper and I had a job at the local newspaper when, at 19, I scraped together $240 for a charter flight to Europe. I had Arthur Frommer's $5 a Day under my arm, started in London, even rented a Vespa and drove in the traffic of Rome. A few years later, I was able to send my mom, along with the $15 a Day book.

You don't need to be a pointy-headed elitist to travel abroad. You need curiosity and a hunger to see the world. What kind of a person (who has the money) arrives at the age of 44 and has only been out of the country once, on an official tour to Iraq? Sarah Palin's travel record is that of a provincial, not someone who is equipped to deal with global issues.

And, to go along with the picture, above:

HuffPo: Palin Quoted Anti-Semite in Convention Speech

Barack on Letterman

From CBS, an video excerpt with just the serious parts of the conversation.

From HuffPo, a video excerpt with the first three minutes of his appearance.

You can go to the David Letterman Show's website for a longer clip of the appearance, but it's slow as hell. Why don't they just use Youtube or Brightcove or one of the other easier to play video sites? Or at least use their technology.

Here are some videos where John McCain uses the phrase "lipstick on a pig" in describing Hillary Clinton's health care plan:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lipstick on a Pig '08

Lipstick on a Pig

Yesterday's Daily Inspiration - prescient

When Barack Obama said John McCain's campaign was like putting lipstick on a pig, why was the first thing McCain thought of Sarah Palin?

McCain's complaining about Obama's use of the expression is even more ridiculous when you realize that he used it to describe Hillary Clinton's health care plan -- in 2007. Was he calling Hillary a pig? I call on Johnny Hothead to apologize immediately.

Firedoglake: Dumber than a stump

Note to self: McCain desperation meter rising. Hide lime jello and cottage cheese.

Also, send his campaign a note that they should consult with his former advisor, Torie Clark, whose last book was entitled "Lipstick on a Pig" before they make even bigger asses of themselves.

On second thought, scratch that. Bless his heart. Fax McCain a copy of his own words regarding Hillary Clinton back in 2007, because he probably forgot about this:

While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's health-care plan, he said it was "eerily reminiscent" of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the early 1990s.

"I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig," he said of her proposal.


You know what is sexist, though? Joking about rape. Calling your wife a c#*&. Or joking about Chelsea Clinton's parents being Hillary and Janet Reno. Pot, this is kettle, McCain. (That's a joke, too. Have your wife look it up for you on teh Google.)

Michelle Obama on Ellen

No more posting until tomorrow as I am going offline for 24 hours (A life!)

Damn Straight

The all-white Republican convention laughing heartily at Sarah Pain calling Barack Obama a "community organizer" derisively surely were using it as a stand-in for n**ger. I had no doubt while I was watching it. For whose community was Obama serving? The Southside of Chicago. New York Governor David Paterson said it yesterday. About time.

NYTimes: Code Words Hint of Race in Campaign, Paterson Says

Gov. David A. Paterson said on Tuesday that he detected “overtones of potential racial coding” in the presidential campaign, drawing a sharp retort from the campaign of Senator John McCain, the Republican candidate.


... “I think the Republican Party is too smart to call Barack Obama black in a sense that would be a negative. But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican convention — a ‘community organizer.’ They kept saying it, they kept laughing, like, ‘What does this mean?’


A McCain spokesman, Peter Feldman, said in a statement that criticisms of Mr. Obama’s early work as a community organizer by Mr. McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, were well within the bounds of respectable political debate.

“Governor Palin’s remark about Barack Obama’s work as a community organizer was in response to the Obama campaign’s belittling of her executive experience,” Mr. Feldman said. “There is certainly a place for community activism, as demonstrated by Sarah Palin’s own record of civic involvement. But Barack Obama’s role as a community organizer pales in comparison to Governor Palin’s demonstrated experience.”

Mr. Paterson on Tuesday seemed to bristle at such attacks. Defining what a community organizer was, Mr. Paterson said: “It means that an individual who could have gone to Wall Street and made a lot of money — and then run for office because he can buy media time — chose to go back and work in programs in neighborhoods where he thought he can make a difference and became an elected official based on his involvement right in his own community.”

Good Advice

I don't usually use this much of an article, but this advice is right on. To persuade you must have boiled your message down to its essence. Then pound it home, for Christ's sake. No time to be wishy-washy.

Leah McElrath Renn, HuffPo: For God's Sake, Get on Message! Ten Tips for the Obama Campaign

1. GET ON MESSAGE AND STAY ON MESSAGE. McCain = Bush, the economy sucks, our national security situation is more dire than ever due to the failed Republican policies. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat...

2. STOP REPEATING REPUBLICAN PROPAGANDA FOR THEM. If you don't believe that McCain is a maverick, then say what he is. Say he's unpredictable and impulsive in his decision-making and ask people if those are really the qualities that we want in our Commander in Chief.

3. Stop talking about Sarah Palin and rebutting her lies. NOBODY CARES WHAT THE FACTS ARE. They are influenced by her persona -- the impression they take away from her appearances. When you allow yourselves to become distracted and start serving as a Republican fact-checker, you come across as petty and self-congratulating. Same applies to McCain.

4. FOCUS ON OBAMA'S PERSONA AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF. Obama's special gift as a politician is to inspire people's trust -- work it to its fullest. Be hopeful and positive, sure, but also be strong and fierce. Show that Obama's leadership will combine the strength of the sword with the compassion of the chalice. He did a great job of this in his nomination acceptance speech -- but lately his pull-quotes are either wonky-to-the-extreme or on the self-congratulatory side.

5. BOLSTER OBAMA'S COMMANDER IN CHIEF CREDENTIALS. Get as many visuals of you with General Wesley Clark and other leaders in the fields of defense and foreign relations circulating as you can. The Republicans are running on the myth of McCain as a benevolent warrior -- and will be further ratcheting up the fear level in the weeks to come if their convention was any indication (repeated exploitation of 9/11 imagery, hundreds of recapitulations of McCain's POW story, etc.). GET AHEAD OF THIS ISSUE NOW.

6. USE MORE AND BETTER VISUALS in general. Recently, I was in South Carolina and saw, over and over again, one particularly ineffective Obama ad about reworking the US economy to employ more skilled labor again. Not only was the message was too esoteric for the purposes of the final 60 days of the campaign, but the visuals used in the ad were pathetic. Were they perhaps close-up photos of the time-ravaged faces and hands of working class Americans (toward whom the ad was apparently aimed)? No. The most common visual was windmills. Yes, that's right. Windmills. How working class America is supposed to be swayed to vote Democratic when they are viewing ads about windmills is just beyond me. Let's have some ads of a flag draped coffin in close up -- and then multiplied by more than 4000 times. Let's have some ads that feature a close up of a foreclosed home and a family who has been evicted -- then multiply that times however many thousands of foreclosures have taken place. Now those are visual that will reach working class Americans.

7. DON'T BE AFRAID TO GO NEGATIVE. Not all negative campaigns are equal. Describing John McCain as unpredictable, short-tempered and impulsive in his decision-making is a far different field of play than belittling John Kerry's war record. This is a war -- play to win. Once we're back in office, you can be as gracious as you please.

8. KISS: keep it simple, stupid. Every time we Democrats get into the "we're right, so if maybe we just explain it well enough then they'll understand" mode, we lose. The reality is that the vast majority of people feel condescended to when things are "explained" to them. Most people function on "gut" feelings and imagery and understand things best when they are presented in simplified, symbolic and concrete terms. This isn't because most people are stupid, however. It's because life is overwhelming as it is. People do not have the time, attention or inclination to take in and process units of complex information. If we learn nothing else from the influence of Karl Rove, let us at least learn this.

9. THE SUPREME COURT. My God, the stakes are high. Perhaps some ads that delineate how high and use testimonials from women might be in order? We do, after all, need to reach undecided women. My bet is that Sarah Palin's glamour will be a little less appealing once women are reminded that, under a Supreme Court dominated by Republican-appointed judges, their daughters might face a future in which they will not have the freedom to terminate a pregnancy even in the case of rape or incest.

10. GET ON MESSAGE AND STAY ON MESSAGE. McCain = Bush, the economy sucks, our national security situation is more dire than ever due to the failed Republican policies and the loss of the American moral high ground. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

An Ad I'd Like To See

An ad I'd like to see from the Obama campaign.

Several clips of George W. Bush talking about WMD. Then a screen showing some conservative paper (WSJ?) saying that there were never any WMD. Then show Bush joking about looking for them under his desk.

Several clips of John McCain and Sarah Palin saying she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere. Then a screen showing her in the Nowhere, Alaska t-shirt. Then a screen of WSJ debunking of that lie.

Show Obama saying on the stump, Do they think you're stupid? Do they think you're that stupid?

Obama/Biden '08

What do you think?

Liar, Liar

TPM goes after the "Bridge to Nowhere" lies of Sarah Palin and John McCain:

Richard Clarke to Stump for Obama in Mass.

Metrowest Daily News (Framingham, MA): Former Bush counter-terrorism adviser to stump for Obama in Sudbury


A past presidential adviser and longtime critic of the Bush administration will speak at a local fundraiser for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama later this month.

Richard A. Clarke, former counter-terrorism adviser to both former President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush, is scheduled to appear at an Obama fundraiser on Sept. 26 in Sudbury.
Clarke has spent the last several years criticizing Bush's handling of Al Qaeda before Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the administration's rationale for invading Iraq in 2003.

Clarke is on the faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he teaches a course called "Terrorism and the American Response" as an adjunct lecturer in public policy. Sudbury resident Doug Barth, who attended the Kennedy School, got in touch with Clarke through a mutual friend and sent Clarke an e-mail invitation.

"He responded in 30 seconds: 'I'll be there,' " said Barth.


Clarke, who served as counter-terrorism chief for Bush until March 2003, has charged that the Bush administration ignored al Qaeda up until Sept. 11, 2001, then reacted poorly. From the beginning, Bush's focus was on Iraq, not terrorism, he has argued.

In June, the Senate released a report that reportedly concluded the Bush administration exaggerated available intelligence and ignored disagreements between intelligence agencies about Iraq's weapons programs and ties to al Qaeda. In response to the report, Clarke ripped into the administration during an interview with Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

"These weren't close calls; they made things up," Clarke said about the White House's case leading up to the war.

Later in the interview, he said decision-makers involved with the war should ask forgiveness from Americans in a forum like a "truth and reconciliation" commission used in some countries.

"Someone should have to pay in some way for the decisions they made to mislead the American people,"
Clarke told Olbermann.

Vet/Palin '08

Palin and her Bridge to Nowhere t-shirt

The real Sarah Palin is the exact opposite of the new politics/reformer she tried to present to the world at the Republican convention.

First, she lied her ass off in her convention speech. Not only did she not tell the feds to "give back" the Bridge to Nowhere, she supported it (even wearing a "Bridge to Nowhere" t-shirt) and kept the money anyway.

Against earmarks? Again, a bald-faced lie. Even the Wall Street Journal has concluded that this was false, and brazenly so: As governor of Alaska, she requested more money in earmarks per capita than any other governor in the nation. She was the #1 earmark seeker in DC. Against earmarks. Hogwash.

Today's hogwash:

- She paid herself to live at home, billing the state thousands of dollars for 312 nights she spent in her own home during her 19 months in office.

She billed the state for working on Thanksgiving Day, because she "had" to go to the Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament. Governoring is hard work, as Chimpy might say.

She billed the state for "information gathering" by her husband.

She charged the state over $2,000 for a three-night stay at a $707 per night hotel room in New York City.

She doesn't know the basic economic fact that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are private companies (that the taxpayers spent nothing on until we bought them this weekend.)

Now for the final, most disgusting public policy decision at a local level that I have ever seen. While Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the official town policy was to make rape victims pay for their own rape kits. Rape victims were forced to pay for the forensic investigation of the very crime they had just suffered through. Just despicable. ari at Edge of the American West says it best:

And yet, [] around that same time, Palin oversaw the construction of a massive taxpayer-funded boondoggle white elephant sports complex for her hometown. I’d like to make a joke here. I really would. But words fail me. What is there to say about a politician who believes that government should be big enough to provide people with hockey rinks but small enough that citizens in their darkest hour must spring for the cost of investigating the crimes committed against them?

No More War

John McCain wants to be a war president, just like George W. Clusterfuck. He expects more wars. He wants more wars in more places. He thinks there is a military solution to every problem.

No to more wars. No to four more years. No to McCain. (Warning, graphic scenes of violence in this five minute film. The violence the Pentagon has erased from the media for six years now.)

Your Daily Inspiration

'Pigs Might Fly' by Damien Hirst (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Independent (uk):
Rembrandt? I'm just like him, says Hirst – it's all about cash
A ground-breaking auction of new works by Damien Hirst could fetch £65m, but his gallery won't see a penny of it. Arifa Akbar reports

Abby Wambach Back On Her Feet

JEN RYNDA staff photographer
Abby Wambach talks during Abby Wambach's Youth Soccer Clinic.

Via JordanCornBlog, this Rochester Democrat & Chronicle article on Abby Wambach. Good to see Abbs up and about. (I hope she's wearing sunscreen out there in sunny California. I'm sure after growing up in Rochester where six-feet-of-snow winters last from October to May, she's reveling in the good weather, but easy does it, there, kiddo....)

Pittsford native Wambach discusses injury, nutrition at youth soccer camp
Star discusses injury, advocates nutrition

The former high school and college All-American and U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year said her comeback is on schedule for next spring, when the second women's professional league will start. She'll have to wait three more years for the next World Cup. Wambach also conducted two clinics this week in the Albany area and one in Syracuse that attracted about 1,500 children combined.

She flies back to Los Angeles, where she lives and the U.S. team is based, today to resume full-scale rehabilitation about four times a week. The Americans' top scorer the past four years, she has been in upstate New York for about three weeks.

Wambach spent most of the Olympics with her family near Alexandria Bay, where they vacation each summer. That's where she proudly watched her team, cast as underdogs without her, triumph by upsetting Brazil in overtime, 1-0, in the final.

"I'm so proud of them. It was so amazing for me to watch that last game," said the player who scored the winning goal in OT in the 2004 gold-medal match in Athens, Greece.

She flirted with the idea of going to China to root her team on in person and got permission from her coach, Pia Sundhage, but then changed her mind. She also turned down offers from USA Today and TV networks to provide commentary.

"Most people would say for sure, but that's just not me. I didn't want to negatively affect the team. I didn't want to be a distraction," she said. "The truth is I want to be back on that team for a lot more years and when you start criticizing and analyzing your teammates publicly, you cross over into territory that's not suitable to me."

Photo Gallery

There's also an article at which links to a local TV piece in which Abby says she wants to play for the national team for eight more years and play in two more Olympics. (Click on the "Watch" icon to the right of the headline for the TV piece.)

More video from (ch. 9), and News10 WHEC (NBC) (click on "watch the video" halfway down the page).

Republican Convention Condensed

Down to 1 minute 38 seconds:

If they put in all the "John McCain was a POW" stories, it would be 10 minutes longer.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Now That's An Analogy

Thank you Hillary Clinton!

Asking the Republicans to clean up the mess they made is like asking the iceberg to save the Titanic.

Obama campaign: More analogies, please! That's memorable. You need more like it.

Michael Palin for President

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition! More qualified than Sarah, for sure. She may eat mooseburgers, but he eats Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, baked beans and Spam!

Johnny Hothead On Display

Via Hullabaloo, here's video of McCain berating a woman who runs a POW/MIA organization for daring to criticize his committee's work. Remember while you are watching this video that McCain has all the power here. He will win. His committee will come to a decision and that is what the government will do. All this woman is doing is criticizing the decision his committee has made to shut down the search for POW/MIAs in Vietnam. He is yelling at a private citizen, a woman, Dolores Apodaca Alford, whose brother disappeared in Vietnam in 1967. He is kicking someone who is already down.

I do not want this man anywhere near the nuclear football.

New Obama Ad: "No Maverick"

Much better. More focused, sharper attack.

Johnny Hothead

John McCain is a hothead. He has a terrible temper. His brain is wired "impulsive", which is probably why he picked Sarah Palin, someone he had met just once, as his running mate. (Would you make someone guardian of your children that you had only met once? Of course not. But McCain just rashly chose the guardian of your children's government -- on a whim.) Tellingly, when McCain was a two-year-old, he'd have tantrums where he'd hold his breath until he passed out! He is not wired for calm, reflective leadership.

Kansas City Star: McCain's history of hot temper raises concerns

John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased.

Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship.

McCain called Cornyn's claim "chicken-s---," according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations.

"F--- you," McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses.

It was another instance of the Republican presidential candidate losing his temper, another instance in which, as POW-MIA activist Carol Hrdlicka put it, "It's his way or no way."

There's a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.


At age 2, McCain's tantrums were so intense that he'd hold his breath for a few minutes and pass out.
His parents would dunk him in cold water to "cure" him, he wrote in his memoir, "Faith of My Fathers."

Daily Inspiration

Horse by Fernando Botero, one of 20 modern sculptures standing in the 105-acre garden

Guardian (uk): Baby boom at Chatsworth House

A photo gallery of outdoor sculptures.

Read Liberally

What the heck happened in Georgia? Tristero at Hullabaloo points to an article in the NYTimes Review of Books explaining how the US helped Georgia rise to Russia's bait, with predictably disastrous consequences. (No one could have anticipated that Russia would fight back. Where have we heard that before?)

Voter caging is coming to a state near you. Mebe at dailykos points out that voter lists are being purged right now in Ohio, Louisiana, Michigan, Kansas, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada. And this year they're going after absentee ballots. Christy at firedoglake has a new "scholarly" article by Hans Von Vote Suppressor, and predicts that he is setting the stage for this year's election mau-mau by the Republicans, just as his previous articles set the stage for their voter fraud and voter caging shenanigans. Check that you are properly registered TODAY.

dengre at dailykos points out that Sarah Palin's $40 billion dollar natural gas pipeline will be both an environmental disaster and a boondoggle that will cost US taxpayers billions. And like all these hairbrained drilling proposals, there's no guarantee that the giant energy companies won't just sell all the gas to China anyway.

Josh Marshall outlines why the Charles Gibson interview of Sarah Palin will be unwatchable: Gibson has agreed to interview her over several days. He won't ask tough questions, because he won't want his access cut off. Journalism is dead, long live the bought and paid for corporate media.

Jill of Brilliant at Breakfast rips into NBC for dropping Olbermann/Matthews from their debate and election night coverage. Because the Republicans complained. No liberals on TeeVee! They're giving us David Gregory, the man who demonstrated his lack of journalistic integrity by dancing backup to Karl Rove at a White House press dinner. Lackey, anyone? Booman Tribune calls this the first GOP scalp in the war on the media.

Alaska blogger Mudflats (Palin: Republican Party Infiltrator?)has a video of the Vice Chairman of the Alaska Independence Party (the secessionists) claiming that Sarah Palin was indeed a member, and that she is only now a Republican to carry out their mission. Their founder Joe Voegler famously said:

“The fires of Hell are frozen glaciers compared to my hatred for the American government, and I won’t be buried under their damn flag!”

Republican Convention Delegates Agree: McCain = Bush

Sunday, September 07, 2008

USWNT on Oprah Tomorrow

The WNT Blog: Gold Medalists on Oprah!

The gold-medal winning U.S. Women's National Soccer Team -- along with 175 U.S. Olympic medalists -- will appear on a very special season premier of the The Oprah Winfrey Show on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. Check your local listings for air time.

Check your local listings.

McCain Gets Obama-Rolled


Triumph the Insult Dog Sees the RNC

Best review of the Republican Convention I've seen yet:

Boxer TKOs McCain
(more here) Barbara Boxer Rips McCain

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is the kind of no-nonsense politician who puts out more straight talk in one year than John McCain has in his entire political career and she laid a bit of that on McCain again today in comments on his convention speech last night.

She's worked with McCain in the Senate for a lot of years and it shows in the following assessment:

Last night at the Republican National Convention, John McCain used the word "fight" more than 40 times in his speech. In the 16 years that we have served together in the Senate, I have seen John McCain fight.

I have seen him fight against raising the federal minimum wage 14 times.

I have seen him fight against making sure that women earn equal pay for equal work.

I have seen him fight against a women's right to choose
so consistently that he received a zero percent vote rating from pro-choice organizations.

I have seen him fight against helping families gain access to birth control.

I have seen him fight against Social Security
, even going so far as to call its current funding system "an absolute disgrace."

And I saw him fight against the new GI Bill of Rights until it became politically untenable for him to do so.

John McCain voted with President Bush 95 percent of the time in 2007 and 100 percent of the time in 2008—that's no maverick.

We do have two real fighters for change in this election—their names are Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Women Aren't Stupid

LATimes: Sarah Palin's appeal to working-class women may be limited
For many of these critical swing voters, economic interests trump any admiration of the Alaska governor's maternal grit, and some are repelled by her sarcastic jabs at Obama

"I wanted Hillary to win so bad, but I saw Sarah, and it just didn't work for me," said Heckman [a disappointed Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter], a 49-year-old restaurant cook taking a break in the empty courtyard of J. Paul's restaurant in a downtown struggling to revive. "I have no retirement. Obama understands it's the economy. He knows how we live."

We Have Achieved Equality?

I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.
- Maureen Reagan

Juneau Empire: Troopers dub Mat-Su area [Wasilla] the meth capital of Alaska

The calls about meth to children's services in Wasilla accounts for as many as 40 percent of the agency's total monthly child protection calls. Palin's Hockey Rink Leads To Legal Trouble in Town She Led

WASILLA, Alaska -- The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.

The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin's legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.

MotherJonesBlog: Palin's First Year as Mayor: Off With Their Heads!

The Seattle Times has unearthed three boxes of archived documents on Palin's first year as the mayor of Wasilla. The year is 1996, and Palin can't seem to decide whether she wants to be Karl Rove or the Queen of Hearts. Elections in this town of 5,000 are officially nonpartisan, but Palin and her supporters turn the race into a senseless proxy war for national issues: they tar her opponent as "pro-abortion" and question his marital status, trumpet her endorsement by the NRA, and roll out the slogan, "Conservative, More Efficient Government." Her backers include an only-in-Alaska coalition of the religious right and bar owners who want to make sure they can keep serving until 5 a.m.

After she's elected, she gets drunk on power and goes on a firing binge. We already knew she laid off the anti-book-banning librarian, but here we learn more: she fires the police chief, who'd recently been named Wasilla's employee of the year, and, in a sort of Lord of the Flies scenario, asks the three employees of the town museum to decide among themselves who will get the ax (all three decide to quit). The same year, she's stopped by the city attorney after she tries to stack the city council. The local paper, the Frontiersman, condemns her in blistering editorials and citizens talk of a recall.
Frank Rich, NYTimes: Palin and McCain’s Shotgun Marriage

We still don’t know a lot about Palin except that she’s better at delivering a speech than McCain and that she defends her own pregnant daughter’s right to privacy even as she would have the government intrude to police the reproductive choices of all other women. Most of the rest of the biography supplied by her and the McCain camp is fiction.

She didn’t say “no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere”
until after Congress had already abandoned it but given Alaska a blank check for $223 million in taxpayers’ money anyway. Far from rejecting federal pork, she hired lobbyists to secure her town a disproportionate share of earmarks ($1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the per capita average in other states). Though McCain claimed “she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” she has never issued a single command as head of the Alaska National Guard. As for her “executive experience” as mayor, she told her hometown paper in Wasilla, Alaska, in 1996, the year of her election: “It’s not rocket science. It’s $6 million and 53 employees.” Her much-advertised crusade against officials abusing their office is now compromised by a bipartisan ethics investigation into charges that she did the same.

How long before we learn she never shot a moose?


Jackson, Mason and Weston Taylor

Boston Globe: A promise kept
Utah children live their father's dream of seeing Red Sox play at Fenway

Photo Gallery: A promise lives