Saturday, October 25, 2008

New Obama Ad: "Defining Moment"

A serious ad from a serious candidate.

News Roundup, Saturday, October 25, 2008

The original Maverick

Washington Post reports that public perceptions of Sarah Word Salad are dropping precipitously. The more people know about her and the more they learn about her, her polls go down. And that's without ever giving a press conference!

The New York Times reports on a growth area in the Bush Economy: yard sales.

You can watch most of Bill Maher's show on HBO last night at this dailykos diary. The third clip is the most important (watch it here) as Tim Robbins warns of voting shenanigans and how to protect your right to vote.

Media Matters reports on the right-wing media losing their ever-loving minds.

John McCain's brother
called 911 to complain about traffic (really!) and swore at the 911 operator when she chastised him for using 911 for this. Now he's withdrawing from the campaign. He can go hang around with Carly Fiorina, I guess.

A College Republican, volunteer for the McCain campaign, Ashley Todd, said she got attacked by a black man who carved a "B" on her face because she had a McCain sticker on her car. The McCain campaign jumped on the story and pushed it hard to reporters. John McCain and Sarah Palin even "called the family of the {sic} 'victim'". Problem: it was a hoax, in fine Karl Rove/Lee Atwater tradition, except for one thing -- the B was backwards, like, you know, a B would be if you tried to carve it on your own face in the mirror. She's been arrested and arraigned on charges of making a false police report.

This is your brain on dope:

We Love Lists

Ancient Americas: Colossal stone head, La Venta archaeological site, Mexico (1st millennium BC)
Photograph: Danny Lehman/Corbis

Guardian (uk): 1000 artworks to see before you die

Photo Gallery: 21 artworks from Volume One

Peek-a-Boo Panda

Too cute. Pictures from The Daily Mail (uk)

McCain-Palin Rallies: Document the Atrocities


Denver, Colorado, October 24, 2008:

Kids pretending to be monkeys, calling Obama a monkey, Obama wears a turban, is a Muslim, a socialist, a communist. Your modern Republican Party.

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain Adviser Resigns, Votes For Obama

Obamacon Charles Fried

This is a big one in Republican intellectual circles. Charles Fried, Ronald Reagan's Solicitor General, former Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, current Harvard Law Professor and, until this week, McCain adviser, resigned from the campaign and announced that he has voted for Obama by absentee ballot.

Why? Palin is not qualified to be President.

New Republic: Reagan Appointee and (Recent) McCain Adviser Charles Fried Supports Obama

Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.

This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

The Real John McCain Opposes Clean Energy

Video from the League of Conservation Voters, contrasting McCain's sudden embrace of clean energy to his 20+ year record opposing clean energy.


The John McCain we know has repeatedly voted against national clean energy goals, against clean and efficient cars, and has accepted nearly $2 million from oil and gas interests.

Thanks, George W. Clusterfuck

Worst President Ever in Louisiana, October 20, 2008 (image via BAGNewsNotes)

Thanks for destroying our economy.

Thanks for destroying our reputation around the world.

And a serious thanks, for destroying the Republican Party in our time.

NYTimes: U.S. Stocks Dive After Rout Overseas

WaPo: Wall Street Falls After Slide on Global Markets

Who is the McCain Campaign's Highest Paid Staffer?

Why, Sarah Palin's makeup artist, of course. $22,800 for the first two weeks of October.

Words fail me.

Yes, He Can

I needed to know: can Obama pick a fantasy team? So I asked him.

Yes, he can.

Out Here in the Wilderness

Chester H. Hall III of Royalston displays what he believes is a wild Russian boar that was hit by a vehicle Wednesday morning on Route 2 in Shirley.

Big local news:

Worcester Telegram: Wild boar struck and killed on Rt. 2

Chester H. Hall III of Royalston was contacted to take away the carcass. Mr. Hall is known locally as a coyote hunter. He said he was offered what he was told was a pig for coyote bait.

“I went to pick up a wild pig and there was a full-blown Russian boar,” he said.

The boar was about 200 pounds, dark brown and slightly reddish in color. Mr. Hall said it looked to him like the classic image of a werewolf with a hump on its back and a long snout. The animal had tusks but they were barely visible because they were broken.

Mr. Hall said he was surprised because wild boars are not supposed to be found in Massachusetts.

“I spoke to a biologist and he said it’s only the third time he has heard of one in Massachusetts,” he said.

Mr. Hall said it is unclear where the boar may have come from. He said it might have been living in the Oxbow Wildlife area not far from where it was killed.

There are wild boar populations in New Hampshire, Vermont and Pennsylvania, but the animals are rarely seen in other parts of the Northeast.

Russian wild boars were introduced to New Hampshire in the 1890s at the 20,000-acre Corbin wild game preserve. Mr. Hall said some escaped when a fence was blown down during a hurricane.

Musical Interlude

Obama Zydeco from Louisiana, via Fighting Liberals

Sarah Palin's "Executive Experience"

More like Cronys-R-US:

LATimes: Palin appointed friends and donors to key posts in Alaska, records show
100-plus jobs went to campaign donors or their relatives, sometimes without apparent regard to qualifications. Several donors got state-subsidized loans for business ventures of dubious public value.

She makes George W. Clusterfuck look like Einstein. Well, maybe that's giving Bush too much credit. She makes George W. Bush look smart. To be stupider than Bush, now there's an achievement.

John McCain: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

Meeting without preconditions, palling around with terrorists, for John McCain, that's all Been there, Done that, Got the Armani t-shirt.

HuffPo: McCain's Private Visit With Chilean Dictator Pinochet Revealed For First Time

John McCain, who has harshly criticized the idea of sitting down with dictators without pre-conditions, appears to have done just that. In 1985, McCain traveled to Chile for a friendly meeting with Chile's military ruler, General Augusto Pinochet, one of the world's most notorious violators of human rights credited with killing more than 3,000 civilians and jailing tens of thousands of others.

How Low Than They Go?

Republican mouthpiece compares Marie Antoinette Palin's $150,000 clothing spree to Barack Obama going to visit his dying grandmother.

Looks up to see curb.

Bandwagon Jumpers

Republican/independent endorsements for Obama now that it is clear he will win (yes, I said it. It's ok, don't hyperventilate.)

William Weld ("The Orange-Headed WASP", as John Silber memorably derided him during the 1990 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign)

Scott McClellan, former Bush Press Secretary

Arne Carlson, former governor of Minnesota

Barry Goldwater's granddaughter C.C. Goldwater

New York Times

GOP "Goner" List

The House Republicans are circulating a "goner" list of House members who will lose their races:

Running for reelection, expected to lose:

Reps. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.)
John R. Kuhl (R-N.Y.) [aka Randy Kuhl, NY-29, running against Eric Massa]
Don Young (R-Alaska
Tim Walberg (R-Mich.)

Republican rep has retired, seat loss expected:

Rick Renzi of Arizona,
Jerry Weller of Illinois,
Jim Saxton of New Jersey,
Mike Ferguson of New Jersey,
Vito Fossella of New York,
James Walsh of New York and
Tom Davis of Virginia.

Election Protection News, October 24, 2008


Indiana judge rejects Republican party lawsuit seeking to shut down early voting in Lake County, Indiana (Indiana's second-largest county).

Wisconsin judge rejects state Attorney General von Hollen's lawsuit trying to have all new registrations checked against flawed state databases. (No coincidence, von Hollen is a Republican and co-chair in Wisconsin for John McCain's presidential campaign.)

In Ohio, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has issued two directives: (1) election officials cannot challenge voters on Election Day or reject absentee ballots based solely on discrepancies from verifying new voter registrations, and (2) county election workers cannot uses mismatches as the basis for not counting an absentee ballot.

The Nevada Secretary of State has ruled against a Republican Party motion to have voter registrations invalidated for typos.


Military ballots are thrown out in Fairfax County, Virginia because while they comply with federal law, they don't comply with a Virginia law requiring the voter's current address be on an absentee ballot.

More Sarah Palin/Tina Fey on Thursday SNL


WILL FERRELL AS PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH - "Hello, my fellow Americans. I have chosen to schedule this impromptu address at night because quite frankly every time I speak during the day, the Stock Market goes in the crapper. So, sorry, Asian markets. You take the hit on this one. I come to you tonight in the midst of a very important election between two very qualified candidates: the hot lady and the Tiger Woods guy. Both candidates are heavily patriotized and display much characterization. And yes, I did have three Xanax and a Silver Bullet about a half-hour ago. I'm out of here in a few months, so screw it. But before I leave I wanted to help Sarah Palin and John McCain by giving them what every candidate wants most: a prime-time heavily publicized network endorsement from George W. Bush. Hey, don't pinch yourself John, you are awake!"

FERRELL AS BUSH (CONT'D) -- "Now I tried to do this several months ago but somehow it kept getting pushed to a written press release or a shouted sentence as I walked to the helicopter. I began to suspect that they didn't want my endorsement to be too public. But now with the country on a big upswing and my numbers on the rise, I thought it was time to give a proper, large scale 'much love' to McCain and Palin..."

(WILL FORTE, as an AIDE enters and whispers in BUSH's ear)

FERRELL AS BUSH (CONT'D) - "What? Really? Why didn't you tell me Jeff? I've just been told by my trusted aide Jeff, that the country is actually in a horrible downward spiral and that my approval numbers are lower than ever. That one's on me. Four months ago, I declared the Oval Office a bummer-free zone. So... You know what, let's bring on Senator McCain and Governor Palin."

(TINA FEY as GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN enters smiling and waving and sits next to BUSH on the front the desk)

TINA FEY AS GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN - "So nice to meet you, Mr. President. I've seen you on TV."

FERRELL AS BUSH - "Where's McRage?"

FEY AS PALIN - "You know, John McCain and I have been so busy travelin' around this great country of ours talkin' about change and energy independence and William Ayers, and doin' a little shoppin', but unfortunately Senator McCain, upon hearing you wanted to give him a super public endorsement, cannot be found. He was last seen travelin' on foot through the Adirondacks. But my husband and two of his drinkin' buddies are in pursuit on snowmachines.

FERRELL AS BUSH - "Well, We'll smoke him out. George Bush always finds his man save for one huge exception."

FEY AS PALIN - "We are gonna get 'er done."

FERRELL AS BUSH - "My God you are folksy."

FEY AS PALIN - "Why thank you Mr. President. I like to think I'm one part practiced folksy , one part sassy and a little dash of high school bitchy."

FERRELL AS BUSH - "For a little while I was trying to be folksy but after a bit, it just came off douchey. All right, let me get into my endorsement for you as Vice President. As you know America, the office of Vice President is the most important office in the land. The Vice President decides when we go to war, how we tax the citizens and how we interpret the Constitution. The President can do nothing without checking with the Vice President. That is why Sarah Palin..."

FEY AS PALIN - "Actually, Mr. President, I don't want to go all Katie Couric on you, but I think it's actually the other way around. I think the Vice President reports to the President."

FERRELL AS BUSH - "Really? That's not what Dick Cheney told me when he sat me down on the first day."

(DARRELL HAMMOND as SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN is brought in, struggling with JASON SUDEIKIS as TODD PALIN in a snowsuit.)

SUDEIKIS AS TODD PALIN - "We out-mavericked the maverick!"

HAMMOND AS MCCAIN - "Good evening, my friends. Mr. President, always a pleasure."

FERRELL AS BUSH - "Good to see you, John. Hey let's get a photo of this; it'll really help your campaign out. Now let me do this: I, George W. Bush, endorse John McCain and Sarah Palin with all my heart..."

(MCCAIN tries to drift out of frame but is pulled back by BUSH)
FERRELL AS BUSH (cont'd) - "John was there for me ninety percent of the time over the last eight years. When you think of John McCain, think of me, George W. Bush. Think of this face. When you're in the voting booth, before you vote - picture this face right here. A vote for John McCain is a vote for George W. Bush.
(to MCCAIN) You're welcome. So, I want to be there you, John for the next eight years."

FEY AS PALIN -The next sixteen years!

FERRELL AS BUSH - (to an off-camera photographer) "Let's get a safety. I think I blinked on that last shot. Thumbs up, everybody. But most of all I support them because...Live from New York...It's Saturday Night!!!!

Daily Inspiration


"Fading Scroll," a huge metal tapestry by El Anatsui that has graced the lobby of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Ahmanson Building for several months, has been jointly purchased by LACMA and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The acquisition, made with support from the Broad Art Foundation, gives the two museums a major work by a leading African artist who was born in Ghana in 1944 and has lived and worked in Nigeria since 1975.

Like many of Anatsui's works, in museum collections around the world, "Fading Scroll" is constructed of metal castoffs. In this case, the artist has gathered thousands of liquor bottle wrappers and tops and stitched them together with copper wire.

The Fowler introduced Anatsui to Los Angeles last year in a critically acclaimed traveling exhibition. "Fading Scroll" will remain on view at LACMA until Nov. 2. Its next appearance will be at the Fowler in "Transformations: Recent Contemporary African Acquisitions," Feb. 22 to June 14.

You can click on the picture for a larger version. Coach Mom & I saw an entire exhibit of El Anatsui's work -- I think at one of the Smithsonian Museums -- and they are very fascinating, huge, powerful and fluid from a distance, incredibly detailed up close. Plus they're made of consumer refuse so they're recycling projects.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama Inspires

Richmond Times-Dispatch, Slideshow, Barack Obama at "Change We Need" Rally in Richmond, Virginia, October 22, 2008

Mayberry for Obama

Ron Howard, Andy Griffith, and Henry Winkler reprise their old roles (complete with wigs) for Barack.

I Wish There Were Video

But this is a great story, sent by a Cincinnati reader to Ben Smith at Politico:

Upon arriving at the Hamilton County Board of Elections in Cincinnati to vote early today I happened upon some friends of my mother's — three small, elderly Jewish women. They were quite upset as they were being refused admitance to the polling location due to their Obama T-Shirts, hats and buttons. Apparently you cannot wear Obama/McCain gear into polling locations here in Ohio.... They were practically on the verge of tears.

After a minute or two of this a huge man (6'5", 300 lbs easy) wearing a Dale Earnhardt jacket and Bengal's baseball cap left the voting line, came up to us and introduced himself as Mike. He told us he had overheard our conversation and asked if the ladies would like to borrow his jacket to put over their t-shirts so they could go in and vote. The ladies quickly agreed. As long as I live I will never forget the image of these 80-plus-year-old Jewish ladies walking into the polling location wearing a huge Dale Earnhardt racing jacket that came over their hands and down to their knees!

Mike patiently waited for each woman to cast their vote, accepted their many thanks and then got back in line (I saved him a place while he was helping out the ladies). When Mike got back in line I asked him if he was an Obama supporter. He said that he was not, but that he couldn't stand to see those ladies so upset. I thanked him for being a gentleman in a time of bitter partisanship and wished him well.

After I voted I walked out to the street to find my mother's friends surrouding our new friend Mike — they were laughing and having a great time. I joined them and soon learned that Mike had changed his mind in the polling booth and ended up voting for Obama. When I asked him why he changed his mind at the last minute, he explained that while he was waiting for his jacket he got into a conversation with one of the ladies who had explained how the Jewish community, and she, had worked side by side with the black community during the civil rights movements of the '60s, and that this vote was the culmination of those personal and community efforts so many years ago. That this election for her was more than just a vote ... but a chance at history.

Mike looked at me and said, "Obama's going to win, and I didn't want to tell my grandchildren some day that I had an opportunity to vote for the first black president, but I missed my chance at history and voted for the other guy."

Fake Russians Mock Palin


Phonetic transcript:

soon as i wayk up in the morning
i go to my window
i made this teliscop myself out of duck tape and the thing that holds the rapping paper

so i can see if ur there
i fix it on ur howse in Alaska
my next door neybor here in moscow

what r u doing rite now lets see
r u and todd ok?
u say u can see me and my country from ur state well im looking at u evry day!!!

misses palin!
i want to fly into ur Airspase!
misses palin!
i want to reer my little Head!
misses palin!
why wont You reply to my Emails?!!
I made a teliscop for YOU and i luv u so

we share a small merry-time border but the borders of r harts is thick
u dont like news-papers well neether of us can say or reed english

we are madw for eachuther!!!
so fly ur playn my way
i live at 45454 RUSSIA AVE

repeet misses palin chorus

I say dog gone it you betcha you betcha dog gone it you betcha dog gone it say it aint so joe you betcha dog on it etc

Musical Interlude

Inspiring song parody by 7th graders at Ron Clark Academy, at the Coca-Cola Leadership Conference in Atlanta, Georgia:

"We Can Vote However We Like"

I'm still humming "Obama on the left, McCain on the right, so we can talk politics all night, and you can vote however you like!"

New MoveOn Ad: "Moose"

Via HuffPo

It doesn't move me, but the undecided voter is a mysterious species to me.


Q: What's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom?

A: Lipstick You can feed a pit bull for 483 years with 150 grand.

via the JedReport

Poll Candy

Taegan Goddard's Political Wire: Quinnipiac: Obama Leads in Big Three

With 12 days to go, a new Quinnipiac poll finds Sen. John McCain is narrowing the gap in Florida, but fading in Ohio and barely denting Sen. Barack Obama's double-digit lead in Pennsylvania.

Florida: Obama 49%, McCain 44%

Ohio: Obama 52%, McCain 38%

Pennsylvania: Obama 53%, McCain 40%

Said pollster Peter Brown: "As we enter the home stretch, Sen. Obama is winning voter groups that no Democrat has carried in more than four decades, and he holds very solid leads in the big swing states. If these numbers hold up, he could win the biggest Democratic landslide since Lyndon Johnson in 1964."

Jon Stewart on Palin Wardrobe: "Project Beltway"

I loved this because he called the Palins "The Grifters" (I called them that two days ago!) and described the grifter technique thusly (my rough transcript):

My God! They're a family of grifters! I know how they're doing it. The hot one finds an elderly victim...yeah...all right...or a mark, if you will. And then she seduces him with her unfancy talk and once he pulls out the checkbook, BOOM, here come the relatives. The old fart never had a chance. Seriously, they're grifters.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

I agree! Vote Democratic.

Forget the Constitution, she doesn't even know the symbol of her own party.

Republicans for Obama

Interesting interviews with life-long Republicans and conservatives who are going to vote for Obama. via dailykos.

Compare and Contrast

Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe v. the Obama wardrobe. So who's the real elitist? The woman with the $150,000 wardrobe or the guy who has his shoes resoled? You decide.

Photo by Callie Shell, 3/1/08

Here's what the photographer said about this photo: "Senator Obama was doing press interviews by telephone in a holding room between events. Sometime later as he was getting ready to begin his event, he asked me if I was photographing his shoes. When I said yes, he told me that he had already had them resoled once since he entered the race a year earlier. Providence, R.I., 3/1/2008."

More from HuffPo:

In early July the Obama family sat down for an interview with Maria Menounos of "Access Hollywood." One of the topics discussed was Barack's status as a style icon, which amused his wife and daughters because, as Michelle points out in the interview, his belt and shoes need replacing, and his pants are 10 years old ("I hate to shop," he explains). Michelle also reveals that the sundress she's wearing is from the Gap: "Fortunately now they make really pretty stuff at all price ranges... [Barack] will be happy to know that this is, like, a $30 dress." Her husband then high-fives her, and daughter Sasha announces "Mommy buys everything from Gap!"

Congressional Updates

1. Eric Massa, Democrat trying to take NY-29 from crazy mofo Randy Kuhl, is up in the polls (yeah) and is getting a little help from his opponent, who said this

I firmly believe the Democratic majority wants the American public to suffer and to hurt so that they can make some political gains at election time and I think that's wrong.

and now Markos Moulitsas, of dailykos, is asking dailykos readers to contribute to Massa's campaign. You can, too. Eric is a good guy, served under Wes Clark, very smart and very progressive.

Eric Massa for Congress

P.S. If you live in New York, check your voter registration status. New York has purged 1.6 million names from the voting rolls this year; mistakes have surely been made. Make sure your vote counts. If you find out now that you've been purged, you may be able to avoid voting by provisional ballot on election day. They can fix it now; they're not going to have the time on election day.

2. The national Republican Party has pulled all its funding from the race of Joe McCarthy-channeling Michelle Bachmann (MN-6). Ha. Guess she will have to investigate the un-American members of Congress by herself - from home after she loses her seat.

3. The Rethugs are also pulling out the races of Tom Feeney (FL-24) and Marilyn Musgrave (CO-4). I only wish Angie Paccione, who lost a close race to Musgrave two years ago, was her opponent this time; but Democrat Betsy Markey seems likely to win this seat.

Mangled Debate


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Don't Ask Sarah Palin What A Precondition Is

'Cause she does not know. She did not know that vocabulary was going to be a precondition for the vice presidency!

Asked what a precondition is, she tries "diplomatic strategy", which doesn't even get partial credit.

You can watch Part 1 of the Brian Williams interview (a little over 11 minutes) here. Lots of Sarah Word Salad at play.

Obama: "We All Love This Country"

Obama is the anti-McCain. Anti-hate, anti-small thinking, anti-hopelessness. This clip from his speech in Richmond, Virginia today is inspiring.

At a defining moment like this, we don't have the luxury of relying on the same political games, the same political tactics, that we've become accustomed to. This slash-and-burn politics that divides us from one another... which the challenges and crises we face right now, we can't afford to divide this country. By race, by class, by region, by who we are, by what policies we support. Let me tell you something, because I know you've been hearing a lot of stuff lately. There are no real parts of the country and fake parts of the country. There are no pro-America parts of the country and anti-America parts of the country. We all love this country. No matter where we live. Or where we come from.


I'm asking you to believe. Believe in yourselves, believe in each other, believe in the future we can build together.

McCain/Palin: "They Know They're Losing"

Dumb and dumber appeared together for an interview with Brian Williams, and this is what NBC political director Chuck Todd thought:

Chuck Todd: Well, Chris, I wouldn’t blame Brian for wanting to say this. There was a tenseness between, first of all, between the two. There’s no chemistry. I couldn’t see chemistry between John McCain and Sarah Palin. It was.....I felt as if we grabbed two people and said ‘here sit next to each other, we’re going to conduct an interview.’ There wasn’t, they’re not, uuugh, not comfortable with each other yet.

The other thing about it is that you can tell they know that they’re losing. There’s an intensity there, they’re drained, the entire campaign staff is drained. The two candidates seem guarded, they seem on edge. It’s not as if they were rude or anything. It’s not as if they weren’t trying to be forthcoming. It’s just, they just seemed, it’s a negative intensity. I don’t know how else to describe it. But you’ll see that when you see the two of them together, the chemistry is not all do wonder "is John McCain starting to blame her for things, blaming himself, is she blaming him?" You just wonder what’s going on inside their heads are they upset with how the other has treated them and is that why her the numbers low? It’s just a negative vibe that you get in that room.

Vote Barack!

Funny, goofy rap video:

I love it when they call Sarah Palin "Moose-olini".

John McCain: For Socialism Before He Was Against It

From ThinkProgress:

At an October 2000 town hall on MSNBC’s Hardball, an audience member asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about why the rich pay higher taxes than the middle class. McCain defended progressive taxation, stating, “I think it’s to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more”:

[T]he very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. […]

So, look, here’s what I really believe, that when you are — reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more. … And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they’re the ones that I would support tax cuts for first.

The problem with switching every position you've ever held in your life for an election -- in the YouTube age -- is that every prior position is on videotape.

And sadly, look how much younger John McCain is in this 2000 townhall meeting.

Musical Interlude

Takin' It Back With Barack, Jack! Swing along:

Sarah Palin starring in "The Grifters"

Sarah Palin took her kids along to public events to which they were not invited, and charged Alaska taxpayers for the kids' travel expenses. On August 6th, after Alaskan reporters questioned those expenses, she amended the forms to say "First Family attended" and "First Family invited", even to events the organizers say the kids were not invited to.

She's a real Republican, all right. A liar and a tax cheat.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

Help Spread the Truth About ACORN

Forward this video by Robert Greenwald's Brave New Films far and wide.

Brave New Films

Host a house party:

In recent weeks, the McCain campaign has been attacking ACORN, a widely respected voter registration organization, claiming ACORN knowingly participated in "voter fraud." In reality, this is just another calculated attempt by the McCain campaign and the RNC to suppress new and marginalized voters.

You can help spread the truth about ACORN by hosting a house party. Have your friends over and make new friends while watching ACORN's video and Brave New Films' REAL McCain series to keep the dialogue going about these issues.

Barbie Needed A New Wardrobe

Sarah Palin, in a red leather jacket, waves as she steps on stage before a crowd at a baseball field in Grand Junction, Colo., on Monday.

The RNC spent more than $150,000 putting lipstick on Sarah Palin. Might have been better off sending her to a crash course on civics. I think the 2004 President Barbie (above, left) is more qualified than Sarah Word Salad.


The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

Best comment on this story, by David Kurtz at TPM:

Nothing says Main Street quite like Saks Fifth Avenue.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

New Defenders of WIldlife Ad: "Polar Bears"

From Defenders Action Fund:

Rather than working to save our polar bears, Governor Sarah Palin has launched an all-out effort to block protections for them. According to the Anchorage Daily News, Palin covered up evidence from her own scientists showing the need for polar bear protections. Now shes doing the bidding of the oil companies and trophy hunters in a lawsuit to prevent the government from listing of our polar bears as a threatened species. As governor, Sarah Palin has been a disaster for polar bears, wolves and other wildlife. A heartbeat away from the presidency, she could do even worse.

Dazed and Confused

HuffPo: McCain Accidentally Agrees: Western Pennsylvania Is Racist

It's kind of sad watching John McCain these days.

New Obama Ad: "Erratic"

I saw this ad at Politico, which calls it an "unreleased ad" yet says it has already run once in Virginia.

I don't really like these completely negative ads, but this one is accurate. From the "The fundamentals of our economy" statement on, McCain has been bouncing around like a pinata. And the ad is smart in that it takes the criticisms directly from the press.

Sarah Palin Is Stupid

I mean, really, really stupid. Shouldn't you know at least a little about what the job you're running for entails? Watch this fool:

Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, “What does the Vice President do?”

PALIN: That’s something that Piper would ask me!.... [T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.

From ThinkProgress:
Article I of the Constitution establishes an exceptionally limited role for the Vice President — giving the office holder a vote only when the Senate is “equally divided”:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

Moreover, the U.S. Senate website explains that the modern role of Vice Presidents has been to preside over the Senate “only on ceremonial occasions.” ThinkProgress contacted Senior Assistant Paliamentarian Peter Robinson, who also disputed Palin’s characterization of the Vice President’s role:

In modern practice the Vice President doesn’t really control the Senate. … If anyone has a responsibility to try to govern the Senate, it’s the responsibility of the two leaders

If someone came in to interview for a paralegal job, and told me she was looking forward to filling in for me in court, I'd smile at her and show her the door. Hopefully America will do the same with Stupid Palin.

Obama to Visit Ailing Grandmother

NYTimes: Obama Leaving Trail to Visit Ailing Grandmother

If I were advising Obama I'd tell him to leave now. You can't predict the course of a serious illness. The campaign will take care of itself. The organization he built can take over for a few days. And what will McCain do, go on the stump and attack Obama as a socialist terrorist while he's at the bedside of his grandmother? That will hurt McCain far more than leaving the campaign trail will hurt Obama.

Here's an ad from the primary campaign that features a brief appearance by Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham:


Rob Bennett for The New York Times

Rachel Maddow on the set of her new program for MSNBC.

America is a liberal country (sorry Jon Meacham, you are eight ways of wrong). Put a wicked smart liberal on TV, people watch!

NYTimes: Fresh Face on Cable, Sharp Rise in Ratings

Hope You Didn't Miss Last Night's Daily Show

I couldn't stop laughing.

Jon Stewart on "pro-America" parts of the country:

The Daily Show goes to Wasilla, Alaska. Hilarious!

Election Protection News, October 21, 2008

John McCain has hired veteran Republican fraudster and vote suppressor Nathan Sproul to do voter registration, paying his company $175,000 in June alone.

The website of Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner was hacked into yesterday, part of a campaign of intimidation. "[It's] the latest in a string of recent harassing efforts to disrupt the recent weeks, phone lines and e-mail channels have been barraged, even in the business filings section of the office, with menacing messages and even threats of harm or death. Last week, a suspicious package covered with threatening messages and containing an unidentified powder was mailed to the Secretary of State's office..."

Voting machines in Jacksonville and elsewhere in Duval County, Florida broke down on the first day of early voting yesterday. Optical scan voting machine problems were reported in Leon County (Tallahassee) Florida.

More West Virginia voters have come forward to report voting machines flipping their votes from Democrat Barack Obama to Republican John McCain.

PBS and YouTube have started a new channel on YouTube called "Video Your Vote" so voters can document any problems they have voting. Warning, in some states it is illegal to film within the polling place, so check local laws before filming.

Note to readers, posting will be slower today as I have a busy schedule.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Obama Ad: "Golden Years"

I love the combination of attacking McCain's {crappy) healthcare plan with reminding the voters that McCain is a gambler -- electing him would be a crapshoot.

Election Protection News: Michigan Republicans Admit Scheme to Steal Foreclosed Homeowners Right to Vote

emptywheel: MI Republicans Admit to Illegal Foreclosure Scheme, “Surrender” to Democrats

This is from the statement issued by the Michigan Democratic Party:

An agreement announced today by Obama for America, the Republican National Committee, the Democratic National Committee, the Michigan Republican Party, the Michigan Democratic Party, the Macomb County Republican Party, the Macomb County Democratic Party, and plaintiffs Duane Maletski, Sharon Lopez, and Frances M. Zick protects the voting rights of foreclosure victims. The settlement acknowledges the existence of an illegal scheme by the Republicans to use mortgage foreclosure lists to deny foreclosure victims their right to vote. This settlement has the force of law behind it and ensures that Republicans cannot disenfranchise families facing foreclosure. [emphasis added]

Republicans deny that the settlement acknowledges the vote suppression scheme. I will link to the settlement agreement if and when it comes online.

Chicago Tribune: GOP, Dems announce settlement in foreclosure flap Dems, GOP settle foreclosure lawsuit; debate over plan continues

Republicans Are Only Against Socialism for The Rest Of Us

David Gergen on redistribution of wealth as practiced by the Republican Party. Since 1979, the bottom 80% of the American population have lost $600,000,000,000 in wealth, and the top 1% has gained that $600 billion.

McCain/Palin are throwing "socialism" out there to keep that money from flowing back to the people.

Who Is John McCain Going to Work For?

Bush & McCain's Base: The Haves

Top donors to the McCain campaign:

Merrill Lynch $349,170
Citigroup Inc $287,801
Morgan Stanley $249,377
Goldman Sachs $220,045
JPMorgan Chase & Co $206,392
AT&T Inc $183,663
Credit Suisse Group $175,503
PricewaterhouseCoopers $163,670
Blank Rome LLP $153,426
US Government $152,118
US Army $150,470
Wachovia Corp $147,456
Greenberg Traurig LLP $145,737
UBS AG $141,365
Bank of America $133,975
FedEx Corp $121,904
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher $120,246
US Dept of Defense $118,125
Lehman Brothers $115,707
Bear Stearns $108,000


Zbigniew Brzezinski discusses the Colin Powell endorsement, Barack Obama's qualifications, and the terrible state of our nation, on "Morning Dead Intern" this morning. He leaves Joe Scar sputtering.

How John McCain Ended Up With Caribou Barbie

They met her on a neocon cruise and she wowed them with the grace she said before lunch. Really!

Jane Mayer, The New Yorker: The Insiders
How John McCain came to pick Sarah Palin.

Shortly after taking office, Palin received two memos from Paulette Simpson, the Alaska Federation of Republican Women leader, noting that two prominent conservative magazines—The Weekly Standard, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, and National Review, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr.—were planning luxury cruises to Alaska in the summer of 2007, which would make stops in Juneau. Writers and editors from these publications had been enlisted to deliver lectures to politically minded vacationers. “The Governor was more than happy to meet these guys,” Joe Balash, a special staff assistant to Palin, recalled.

On June 18, 2007, the first group disembarked in Juneau from the Holland America Line’s M.S. Oosterdam, and went to the governor’s mansion, a white wooden Colonial house with six two-story columns, for lunch. The contingent featured three of The Weekly Standard ’s top writers: William Kristol, the magazine’s Washington-based editor, who is also an Op-Ed columnist for the Times and a regular commentator on “Fox News Sunday”; Fred Barnes, the magazine’s executive editor and the co-host of “The Beltway Boys,” a political talk show on Fox News; and Michael Gerson, the former chief speechwriter for President Bush and a Washington Post columnist.

By all accounts, the luncheon was a high-spirited, informal occasion. Kristol brought his wife and daughter; Gerson brought his wife and two children. Barnes, who brought his sister and his wife, sat on one side of Governor Palin, who presided at the head of the long table in the mansion’s formal dining room; the Kristols sat on the other. Gerson was at the opposite end, as was Palin’s chief of staff at the time, Mike Tibbles, who is now working for Senator Stevens’s reëlection campaign. The menu featured halibut cheeks—the choicest part of the fish. Before the meal, Palin delivered a lengthy grace. Simpson, who was at the luncheon, said, “I told a girlfriend afterwards, ‘That was some grace!’ It really set the tone.” Joe Balash, Palin’s assistant, who was also present, said, “There are not many politicians who will say grace with the conviction of faith she has. It’s a daily part of her life.”


[In July of 2008 on] “Fox News Sunday,” Kristol again pushed Palin when asked whom McCain should pick: “Sarah Palin, whom I’ve only met once but I was awfully impressed by—a genuine reformer, defeated the establishment up there. It would be pretty wild to pick a young female Alaska governor, and I think, you know, McCain might as well go for it.” On July 22nd, again on Fox, Kristol referred to Palin as “my heartthrob.”

Hey, maybe McCain wouldn't have been stuck with Sarah Wingnut if she'd used my favorite grace: "Good bread, good meat; Good Lord, let's eat!"

Election Protection News, October 20, 2008

Brad Friedman breaks the story on the arrest of Republican vote suppressor in California, live on Fox yesterday.

A new article in Rolling Stone by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Greg Palast about the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots.

In California, the head of the firm the Republican Party hired to register voters -- that has been charged with fraudulently getting voters to change their registration from Democratic to Republican -- has himself been charged with voter registration fraud.

Touchscreens in West Virginia
switching Democratic votes for Obama to votes for McCain.

Ballot confusion in North Carolina. You vote for President at the top of the ballot, then your next choice is to vote a "straight Democratic ticket". Problem? You must vote separately for President. This trouble was caused by a racist 1967 law that was intended to prevent North Carolina Democrats from voting for a liberal Presidential candidate (like Kennedy, Johnson, or Humphrey) while voting for Democrats in local races.

To counter all this, Obama is assembling a team of thousands of lawyers (I'm one of them!) to monitor the election in every state.

Powell Decimates McCain Campaign

A compilation by Jed Lewison of dailykos, with Powell's statements contrasted with the Republican behavior he is decrying.


Geograph: Bronze profile, Bristol cathedral

The corporate media profiles some of our favorite liberal voices:

Digby (Hullabaloo)

Seymour Hirsch

Rachel Maddow

Sunday, October 19, 2008

New Obama Ad: "Barney"

About time. We loved Barney Smith's appearance at the Democratic National Convention in August:

Powell to Republicans: Stop Dividing Us, Stop the Negative Campaigning

This is the photograph Colin Powell referred to this morning in his endorsement of Barack Obama. From the transcript of the Meet the Press appearance:

I'm also troubled by not what Sen. McCain says but what members of the party say and it is permitted to be said. Such things as: well you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim. Well the correct answer is he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian. He's always been a Christian.

But the really right answer is, what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America.

Is there something wrong with some seven year old Muslim-American kid believing that he or she could be President? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop this suggestion -- he's a Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists' This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards: Purple Heart, Bronze Star. Showed that he died in Iraq. Gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross, didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was 14 years old at the time of 9-11. And he waited until he could go serve his country and he gave his life.

Now we have got to stop polarizing ourselves in this way. And John McCain is as nondiscriminatory as anyone I know but I'm troubled about the fact that within the party we have these kinds of expressions.

Powell was even more pointed in his remarks to the press after the Meet the Press appearance:

This is the brief clip of the crazy Congresswoman, Michelle Bachmann, with her McCarthy-esque claims.

CNN FactChecks ACORN Attacks

CNN reporter Drew Griffin correctly reports, “Our research is showing — this more looks like a fraud perpetrated on ACORN,” not by ACORN. The people who ACORN paid by the hour to register voters committed fraudulent acts against the organization.

Obama Has Good Weekend

yahoo: US Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) speaks at a campaign rally at The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, October 18, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Young (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008

Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press this morning.

Obama speeches draw 100,000 in St. Louis, MO, and 75,000 in Kansas City, MO. Wow. Click on both those links for photos.

Obama campaign announces that the campaign raised a stunning $150 million dollars in September, from 632,000 new donors, both record-breaking numbers.

I just watched the morning talk shows and they are all talking about what President Obama will do. Wow.

I'm going to do some phonebanking this afternoon before I head to my friend's house to watch the Red Sox win the ALCS. Go Jon Lester.

Here's a short video of Jill Biden demonstrating how you, too, can affect this election in swing states by phonebanking.

Let's get out the vote and crush the Republican Party on election day.

Oh Captain, My Captain

Matt Stone, Boston Herald
Jason Varitek hits a solo home run in the sixth inning.

One more game. One more win.

Last night was a great win for the Red Sox, but it was not fun. It was tense. And it started out with a cable disaster, as TBS didn't have the game on. They were showing a rerun of some not-funny show. We were in full panic mode. Checked Fox, the nets, ESPN, no game. Ran to computer, no video. My friend is on the floor trying to find a radio station -- we are lost in the wilds of Central Mass., lousy radio. Then after about 10 minutes TBS finally runs the technical difficulties crawl. Finally find the game at 1280 AM and THEY STARTED WITHOUT US! They couldn't postpone the game until the fans could see it? We hear that Upton has hit a home run, but don't know if anyone was on and the score.

Finally, picture and we learn that it is only 1-0. Much cursing of TBS. If our curses work, Ted Turner is going to hell. Go and take your lousy announcers with you. (OK, you can leave Ron Darling behind.)

The game itself was tight. We were tight. Beckett was pitching like a pitcher, not a young fireball, not trying (probably unable) to blow by hitters with his diminished fastball. Most of the scoring came from one run homers that landed in the front row. We kept leaving men on base, 12 in total, which made everything all the more ominous. Wasted opportunities, leaving the door open for the Rays.

When Varitek got up with two outs in the 6th I (dramatically) announced, oh, just call the inning and take the field; the guy's 0-for-the-series. And Varitek promptly hit the homer! I took full credit. And Crisp gets on, Bartlett commits an error (which ends up wiping out his HR) and The Large Father singles in an insurance rune. But even with a lead we were still quiet. Could this really be happening? Yes, it is. Okajima looked like 2007 Okajima. Masterson put on one runner but settled down after John Farrell came out to the mound and talked to him. And Pap was Pap, Mr. I Do Not Give Up Postseason Runs. Ever. shut down the Rays and lifted his index finger as Youkilis caught the final out. One more win. One more game.

The Red Sox are 9-1 in elimination games, including 9-0 in ALCS elimination games, with Terry Francona as manager. Let's make it 10-1 tonight.

Boston Globe Photo Gallery: Game 6 ALCS

Boston Globe Photo Gallery: The scene in St. Pete

Boston Herald Photo Gallery: Game 6 ALCS

Boston Globe: For Varitek, 'C' stands for clutch
Captain hits crucial blow

Bob Ryan, Boston Globe: Captain deserves a big salute

Boston Herald: Homer is good sign for Sox
’Tek adds to crazy run

But on those occasions when Varitek produced anything even remotely above average on offense, the Red Sox were nearly unbeatable. They went 9-0 when he recorded a two-out RBI with runners in scoring position, 11-0 when he recorded a two-out RBI of any kind, and 29-5 (.853) when he drove in a run, period.

Boston Herald: Storybook ending
Time to write off the Rays

Nancy Lane, Boston Herald
Jonathan Papelbon celebrates the Red Sox win.

One more game for all the marbles, baby. One more game.

Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live

What a clueless fool.