Category Archives: politics

Palin press avoidance clock Political Action: Democracy in Action

UPDATE:Palin agrees to interview – Mike Allen –

Update 2: Countdown hasEnded.


Barbara Boxer on McCain’s “fights.”

Daily Kos: Boxer Fights Back: “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.

What do Tarzan of the Apes, Twelfth Night, and Death of Salesman have in common?

  1. A. They are all known beloved stories stories.
  2. B. Among my personal favorites.
  3. C. Mayor Sarah Palin tried to ban them from her hometown public library.
  4. D. All of the above.

If you said “D.” you win a front row seat to the decline and fall. Here is a list: Stop Sarah Palin! The Books She Wanted BANNED! « Mike Cane 2008. These books she wanted banned from the PUBLIC library, not, say, a school library (which would have been bad enough)> Honestly, I’ve never heard of a public servant trying anything on the level in book banning. I’m sure there are others, but I just haven’t heard about them. Palin later tried to fire the librarian.

It’s not sexist to bring this stuff up, is it Mr. McCain?

Update: This list has not been validated (or vetted). The article in TIME discusses the allegation that Palin sought to bans books she found objectionable, and also that she tried to fire the city librarian as well as other city officials over “loyalty issues” but so far I can’t find any confirmed list of what books, if any, she actually identified for banning.

The Palin Equation (first draft)

Jesus (Thatcher – Foreign Policy Experience – evolution + Succession Party Background+Trooper Gate) / Palin = Armageddon 2013.

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Could Palin be the most effective VP pick for McCain?

No they were not going to dump her ala Eagleton no matter how many scandals came out. The Republicans make their own reality. But Palin is clearly energizing the religious base of the party who might have stayed home this time. Add that votes lost to the expertise Republicans have gained over the past decade in vote stealing (Greg Palast » Steal Back Your Vote!) and it might be just enough for McCain to take the Electoral College plurality.

Then an increasingly infirm McCain, embittered and withdrawn after being bogged down with military actions in Iraq and Iran without an end in sight, is convinced to resign three and a half years into his third term. Palin/Huckabee 2012. The religious right can put up with McCain for one term or less. They’ve waited 2000 years for the Second Coming after all.

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Peggy Noonan, Mike Murphy Caught On Tape Disparaging Palin Choice: “It’s Over,” “Political Bullshit,” “Gimmicky”

I love it when pundits — who get msm air time to say what they think — get caught on tape actually SAYING WHAT THEY THINK!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Leave her kids alone.

This needs to stop. There are plenty of Sarah Palin stories out there: troopergate, bridge to nowhere flip-flop, mayorial recall attempt, poor vetting proves McCain in too impulsive, former member of a separatist party, doesn’t believe in global warming, thinks I.D. should be taught alongside evolution.

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My week: The Democratic National Convention, and even more about Gov. Palin

So sometime in the last couple weeks I became convinced that Obama would lose, because the same thing was happening that always happens. The Republicans manage to convince everyone that the Democrat is an effete, traitorous foreign-born agent sent to destroy our freedoms and impose mandatory homosexuality. Outlaw meat and Jesus, legalize pot and pay welfare queens to smoke crack. At the beginning of the week, I thought the only chance Obama had was to pick Hillary for VP so she could fight dirty for him and appease the PUMA’s, but when he picked Biden I thought, “oh it won’t be enough, he didn’t take the bold way of picking his chief rival — he’s going to play it safe now, and lose like Gore and Kerry.”

But I watched the convention anyway, which was incredibly well organized and on message. Great 20 minute speeches, not self-serving two-hour ones. Loved Michelle Obama’s speech. Love her anyway, she’d make a great First Lady (I hate that term, but that’s the term I guess). She’s a real woman, not like that creepy Stepford heiress that McSame is currently married to. I love the whole Obama family, the kids seems so grounded, adorable little sunbeams. My impression is that the Obamas have a marriage that is a true partnership, two people without a lot of the personal character flaws that hold too many of us back in life. I saw the so-called (in Fox-News-speak) “terrorist fist jab” and I thought “wow, these two are so connected, so in sync, such an admirable, beautiful marriage.”

So when Obama passed over Clinton I thought he messed up, because picking her would have caused a sensation, and shown his confidence and fearlessness. People say, “oh he doesn’t want to have to deal with Billary once he’s in power”. But I felt he should man-up. If he’s ready to run the country he should be able to handle the Clintons. So like with his earlier moves to the center, I started getting less enchanted. Then Hillary spoke and then Bill spoke. And they really did NOT phone it in. Ted Kennedy wouldn’t even stand next to Jimmy Carter in 1980 and Carter was done for. Hillary was tough on the sore losers and she needed to be. I think she gave a great wake-up call to people who were resentful of Obama beating her. She said “It’s not about me, it’s about what I wanted to accomplish”. (And that is exactly opposite to the kind of thinking that makes McCain pick Palin, or George H. W. Bush pick Clarence Thomas, or W. pick Harriet Miers — the Republicans claim to hate preferences and affirmative action, yet they go right for the identity politics if they think that’s what will get them over. This is exactly what is meant by “not getting it.”)

Then Biden spoke, and though I still think Obama blew it, passing over Clinton, I sort of started to get his thinking on this. Biden’s speech sounded so unpompous and natural. He can communicate in an ordinary style, not a career-in-Washington style. I thought: “He’s going to bitch-slap Romney or Lieberman — whoever McCain picks.” And Obama greatly admires him from their time working together in the Senate. Unfortunately, Palin totally takes Biden out of play. A man of Biden’s generation can’t go too hard on Palin, he will look like a bully. If he goes too soft he will look condescending. It’s a no-win. Hillary would have buried her. Of course, if Hillary were the VP, McCain never would have picked Palin anyway. He’s not fooling anybody here — well, maybe himself, is all.

Then Barack spoke and I cried, (real tears — not metaphorical ones) because he acted like a grown man, and that’s not something you see a Democrat doing every day. A grown man who’s not going to stand around looking at his note cards, and pretend he doesn’t hear it when they attack his patriotism, when they says he’s not up to the job or out and out lie about his tax plans, and his life story. It’s what we’ve all waited so long for a Democrat to stand up there and do. So win or lose, at least he is going to take the fight to them, and that’s why I’m proud to support him, even if, in the end, he doesn’t attain all I hope he will.

I think he will be a centrist, and do things in office that I would rather he didn’t, but so did Clinton, and Reagan and Nixon (in some areas anyway) were centrist too. Only a moron (W.) tries to govern as if only half the country existed. And with predictable results. The reason Nader is so discredited now is that his central message turned out to be completely mistaken. There really was a difference between Bush and Gore. True, Gore would not have been as liberal a president as he is a private citizen speaking out now, but he would not have invaded Iraq and he would not have appointed his poker buddies to run FEMA and the other agencies, and he might have even acted on the Aug 2001 CIA memo to the President entitled “Bin Laden determined to attack within United States” because he would have been in his office, not out at the Crawford ranch for the summer. The entire world would be a much better place today. The legacy of Bush is that: why yes, one person actually does make a difference.

And then Obama got to the part of the speech where he nailed Republicans for misunderstanding Obama’s whole rise, “because it was never about me, it’s about all of you,” at that moment I realized that Obama had been about five steps ahead the whole time. It was classic rope-a-dope, Hillary started the week out saying “it’s not about me, it’s about what I want to accomplish what I want to change,” and Obama closed with the same message, and I realized it had all been managed to communicate this point. THE point. The reason he can win, and the reason he should win, namely: things in this country have got to change. This is organization, this is vision, this is how you GET STUFF DONE. He took all these factions, all these different egos, ambitions, agendas in the party and he unified them. If that doesn’t say leadership, then nothing does. That was never a foregone conclusion. In fact, many pundits predicted a clusterfuck. And he did it all outside, with 100,000 people on the waiting list to get in, and he did it all on HIS timetable, flawlessly. All week the pundits were saying, “there’s no red meat here,” it’s all too touchy feely. Occasionally Obama would pop in and make a toothy cameo, but he never showed his real teeth until just before the final bell. Obama showed the whole country (well 38 million viewers anyhow) that the opposition had — even at this late date — severely underestimated him — STILL. And the Republicans were stunned. The conservative pundits, Peggy Noonan and the rest, looked positively shame-faced as they forced themselves to spew their pre-scripted pre-approved “analysis” on the cable networks calling Obama’s speech fluff, boring, and short on specifics.

And McCain was an hour late to his own VP announcement Friday and local radio stations had trouble giving the tickets away.

So, Obama can win, and that will be a good thing, and we will regain some self-respect in this country. And if he doesn’t win, well things will get even worse before they get better. That’s possible too.

So that’s what I thought that night, but the next day with the Palin pick I felt worse again. The Palin pick was such a bizarre turn that I think it really took a lot of the heat away from Obama’s stellar performance. BUT. there are two polls out today ALREADY however, showing that Palin has FURTHER DAMAGED McCain’s standing with women. Total backfire on that front, dude. True, it helps him with the Christian right, but they weren’t going anywhere anyway. Palin does scare me though, because she is no Dan Quayle — she isn’t a moron, and she isn’t a mannequin. Listening to her speak on youtube she sounds really confident, engaged, and capable. And she believes all the family values stuff that Bush, Cheney, McCain et al. don’t give a rat’s ass about but exploit to gain the family-values vote. So she’s pretty dangerous I think because she really is different, and I think she really could handle being President. Certainly, not the kind of President I want. I could be wrong, lots of stuff is already coming out about her wrecking her hometown economy while she was mayor etc, but she strikes me as someone with the mind and temperament to hold her own with the big guns, I don’t think Dick Cheney would be able to keep her in his back pocket like he does W. for instance. I hope people realize this. I don’t think we can just merely joke about her the way we could about Dan Quayle or Katherine Harris or Alan Keyes or any number of other Republican nutburgers. And even if we could, Quayle and Bush Sr. DID get elected after all. So I think McCain may have made his best possible pick, albeit, for all the wrong reasons.

And that’s where I’m at right know.

Get over it. She’s qualified.

At least Palin strikes me that way, after seeing her at the announcement. She strikes me an engaged, energetic, intelligent, competent person — all striking opposites to my impression of W. for example. I hope the Obama people realize that. I like her personally, and think a lot of other people would also. I hope Obama doesn't discount the value of that to McCain either.

Granted this is my impression based on seeing her once, but that's the position McCain has put us in, choosing someone so unknown. No, we don't know much about her stance on a variety of major issues, and perhaps McCain is thinking that is a plus too. The fact that she was a teen beauty queen — irrelevant. W. was a Yale cheerleader. The fact that she has a newborn — irrelevant, I don't know how she and her husband divide up the child raising duties. She can lead people, she can hold meetings, she can ask questions, she can meet with foreign leaders and engage them — she has the personal confidence and presence to do that. She can be president. An actor was president, a rich lazy son of president who failed in every private venture he ever tried is president today, and Palin would be a much better custodian of the office than he has been.* Get real.

And frankly, if I lived in a country that had never elected a man as P or VP in two centuries, and Palin were the first man even nominated by the Republicans I might, might, take a second look. And then I'd consider what I really care about.

This is what I care about: Palin in a religious right's and neocon's dream candidate, an absolutist on abortion, rejecting even exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother (however, that's the only intellectually honest position for a pro-lifer to take). Rush loves her. On "Arrested Development" Michael Bluth's dim older brother GOB, once said "I hear the jury's still out on science" and that thinking may qualify him for a high-level cabinet position in a future Palin administration. She believes Intelligent Design should be taught in school. She wouldn't directly answer the question on whether she believes in evolution or not. She believes human activity does not contribute to global warming. I don't want Sarah Palin making judicial appointments. She flipped-flopped on the "bridge to nowhere," apparently she only decided she was against it yesterday. She's qualified enough to be president but I don't want her as my president.

She also, by the way, imposed windfall taxes and the oil companies in Alaska, to bolster the Alaskan state budget, and she called for a time-table for Iraq withdrawal. Those are two great ideas. And, I promise you, you won't hear the McCain/Palin campaign touting those two ideas any time soon.

Barack Obama for President!

*Update: My point here is not that the job of president is easy, or that "W. turned out okay, didn't he?" or any such nonsense, but just that there's nothing magical or supernatural about the position, and human beings, flawed vessels that we are, are the only game in town. God does not appoint the president, nor is there a magic sword buried in a sword somewhere in Georgetown to be pulled out by the rightful one every four years.

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That other time no one expected a Palin: “Our Chief Weapon is Surprise”

“amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency …”

Sarah Palin

McCain barely knows his own VP pick. The selection was a shocker even to insiders in the campaign and the Republican party. This was a rash decision made by an impulsive candidate to serve an expedience, and it reveals a lot about McCain how he will govern, how he will react in those so-called “3am moments.”

Just sayin’.

Why I am still for Obama

Yes, yes he has all those horrible qualities like charisma, optimism, and hasn’t spent the last twenty years in Georgetown, but …

I like Obama because he spent time overseas in school as a kid, has a varied and multi-cultural background, and might be able to stand on the world stage with other world leaders and not be so arrogant. He’s the anti-Bush. I really think a President can only set a tone (or invade stuff).
No matter who is the next President there won’t be any universal health care and we will be Iraq for another decade.
But the longer this goes on, the more Clinton makes me sick.

Any other the three front runners would be better than Bush because they are all competent. McCain is the hardest to read, because he has reversed himself this year on almost everything he has ever stood for, in order the get the Republican nomination. So the hope with him, is that he is really just I liar and isn’t really planning on serving W.’s third term. One thing about him that is consistent is his world view — namely that war is the natural state on humankind. Maybe that comes from his background from a family of officer-class military elites, maybe it is even true, but it’s a little too Julius Caesar for me.

Clinton just depresses me, because she is really invested in the 50/50 blue/red divide. She enjoys perpetual political war. She courts it. In ’92 the thinking in congress was that they were going to have to give something in terms of health care reform to the Clintons. Maybe not everything they wanted but something. However, she walled herself and her team off completely, came up with a giant plan in secret, presented it in a take-it-or-leave it manner and accomplished the near impossible in allowing a Democratically-controlled congress to reject it. As President I don’t believe she will work with people. She will work against them. Why? Because she would rather fail and be self-satisfied in her superiority, then get something achievable. If nothing gets done in her administration she will always have the Republicans and the media, or sexism to blame. I see it every day in the way she campaigns. Temperament-wise she is closest to W. than anyone else who has run this cycle: “I am right. My side has all the good ideas. If you aren’t with us, you’re against us.” It scarcely matters what the issue is, or who the opponent is: could be Obama, or Kenneth Starr, or MSNBC, or whoever. It doesn’t matter to Clinton, an enemy is an enemy.

I don’t want to sit through four more years of that.

I think getting a new guy in there, one who hasn’t been entrenched in Washington power for close to 20 years is the best chance of shaking things up. The worst thing for our decaying republic is to continue the concentration of power into the few. A McCain or a Clinton presidency won’t do much to reverse the Bush years of steady-slide into soft fascism, because it keeps the same people in power that have been in power, and those Bush power plays against the constitution won’t be given up easily because power is difficult to give up. But if you get a new group, there is a chance at least. Maybe. The alternatives are either rewarding the party that has destroyed the economy by borrowing billions from China to prosecute an unnecessary war for fun and (by openly embracing torture and trashing habeas corpus) given aid and comfort to radical Islam. Or to put the spouse of a popular former leader into power like a banana republic would.

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Gary Hart’s Take

via Huffpo:

It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party’s nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party’s nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.