Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How McCain Could Steal the Election

Here's why we need a landslide.

Chelsea Green: Stephen Spoonamore has been working in the technology field for 20 years. In this time he has worked extensively with electronic credit card security, bank security, corporate security, military security, and voting security. Lately, Spoonamore has been working in the political technology field. He is a Republican, a McCain supporter, and a man who cares about a clean vote.

In a recent interview, Spoonamore asserts that not only have elections been stolen in the past (2000 and 2004, duh), but the election will be stolen again in 2008.
Video interviews here with Spoonamore, who says McCain will win by theft.
More on election theft already underway in several states.
Voter purging CBS. Florida was decided in 2000 by 537 votes.

Obama Hate PAC Uses Palin to Solicit Donations

Our Country Deserves Better, one of the producers of the video Obsession, which whispers Obama is a terrorist Muslim (the video is about terrorists), is soliciting donors via Palin. 
Below is the email I received via humanevents.com. Who writes for humanevents? New Gingrich, Bill O'Reilly, all of the staunch conservatives. They paint themselves pretty rosy in this email, making no mention of just how much -- or how -- it opposes Obama:

A Special Message From A Military Mom In Support of Sarah Palin:

I've had just about all I can take of the constant criticism and second-guessing of our exceptional, principled and inspirational vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, by the liberal news media and supporters of Barack Obama's campaign.

With the Vice Presidential candidate's debate set to take place in just 2 days, we can expect to see the attacks against Gov. Palin intensify even further. I am asking you to stand in solidarity with me and support Governor Sarah Palin. She needs our support now more than ever! You can make a donation to our campaign to "Support Sarah Palin" - HERE.

Now, a little bit about me and what I'm doing to support the McCain/Palin campaign.

I'm Deborah Johns, the mother of a United States Marine - Sergeant William Johns - who has served on several missions in the War on Terror, including three tours of duty in Iraq. You might have seen or heard me on some of the hundreds of television and radio interviews I've conducted the past several years, urging Americans to support our military men and women.

Gov. Sarah Palin shares my role as a "Blue Star Mom" (mother of a U.S. military service member) as she has sent her son, Track, off on his own tour of duty in Iraq. Service to America is a hallmark of the Palin family, as they have proven time and again.

Besides being a proud military mom, I am also a leader of the Our Country Deserves Better committee, a registered federal political action committee that strongly supports the McCain/Palin ticket and opposes the Obama/Biden campaign.

McCain should be outing these kinds of groups but they're all in on it. If enough people believe Obama is a Muslim terrorist, McCain could win. At this point, he seems willing to do whatever it takes to win an election.

Palin the Liar: More with Katie Couric

I guess lying is a Christian value. But she's oh so cute. 

Watch CBS Videos Online
More babble from Palin, who believes being gay is a choice.

The governor told us though she's not a member of any church, she visits a couple of them regularly when she's home. She took issue with news reports that one of them, The Wasilla Bible Church, sponsored a conference where gays could be made straight through prayer.
Palin: Well, it matters though, Katie, when the media gets it wrong. It frustrates Americans who are just trying to get the facts and … be able to make up their mind on, about a person's values. So it does matter.

But what you're talking about, I think, value here, what my position is on homosexuality and you can pray it away, because I think that was the title that was listed on that bulletin. And you know, I don't know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. I don't know what's prayers are going to be asked and answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships. I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years happens to be gay, and I love her dearly. And she is not my "gay friend," she is one of my best friends, who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I am not going to judge people.
Notice that she never answered the question. 

The Scary America

This is the scary America that some of us, depending on where we live, don't get to see often. But they're out there. I'm just hoping not in large numbers.

Palin Mocks Biden

She's something else.

Maher on The View mocks Palin

Chuck and Sally Don't mock Palin. They seem nice. They're worried about Palin's children.

Palin Inspires Other Imitators



Ron Carey: Palin Will Be Amazing in Debate


Mark Ron Carey's words.  

NYT: “Thanks to the mainstream media, quite a low expectation has been created for her performance,” said Ron Carey, chairman of Minnesota’s Republican Party. “The style of Sarah Palin is going to amaze people. She is going to be able to amaze people with the substance she is going to deliver.”

And Mr. McCain’s aides disputed the expressions of concern and said that if anything, the barrage of criticism and the performance in the few television interviews she has done gave her a low bar to clear in the debate. “I seriously hope that people continue to underestimate the most popular governor in America and a woman who speaks to the heart of America’s economic angst,” said Nicolle Wallace, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain.

And Mr. McCain, appearing with Ms. Palin in another interview with Ms. Couric on Monday night, offered a hearty endorsement. “I’ve seen underestimation before,” he said. “I’m very proud of the excitement that Governor Palin has ignited with our party and around this country. It is a level of excitement and enthusiasm, frankly, that I haven’t seen before.”

Is America Addicted to Gambling?

We know that John McCain likes to roll the dice, both in and out of the casinos and with other people's money, so to speak, but so does -- did -- Wall Street.

Poynter: We are a gambling, risk-taking culture, perhaps a product of our frontier origins, where greed overcomes any vestige of Puritan temperance. I've not seen a discussion of how gambling has consumed us in the context of the catastrophic risk-taking that has led America to the brink of economic disaster.

America is addicted to gambling. Let us count the ways:
State lotteries have been used more and more to fund essential government services, such as education. If you don't think lotteries penalize the poor, go to a 7-Eleven sometime and check out who is purchasing tickets.
Casino gambling, much of it related to Native American tribes, has spread from places such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City to all corners of the country, including the Bible-thumping South.
Poker -- especially Texas Hold 'em -- has become a television sport on ESPN and other cable channels. Online gambling, along with pornography, is one of the few businesses to make huge profits through the Internet.
The World Series of Poker is attracting younger and younger gamblers, many of whom learned their trade online as high school students.
Fantasy sports leagues have changed the way people, especially men, view sporting events, not through the lens of their favorite team, but through the success of individual players they have drafted onto their virtual team.
Sports gambling is huge in America. Oddsmakers advertise on sports radio programs, and almost every newspaper I know publishes the betting odds in agate type. An NBA referee is in prison for point shaving.
But what has this to do with Wall Street, you may ask. Read on

New Yorker Cover Mocks Palin

But they do it in a nice way.

Obama: Economy Needs New Roof and Boiler

Obama, campaigning in Reno, suggests a financial services fee on the financial industry to recoup potential losses in the bailout plan.

This would be separate of the bill that's being reworked. For the current bill, he proposed raising the FDIC insurance coverage for up to $250,000, up from $100,000. This would help small businesses.

Obama says we need to pass this legislation because of the ripple effect, which would lead to layoffs. He says we're all skeptical of Bush and rightly so, but Bush aside, this legislation. Now Obama is using the word "rescue" instead of bailout. I've been against the bailout but now I'm leaning for.

He said the rescue plan will not be the end of strengthening the economy, only the beginning. The economy needs a new roof and a new boiler, he said.

I should also note that Obama struck a serious tone this morning. He wasn't messing around.

Election Theft Underway

We've learned that election theft has become a republican strategy. If the republicans can't win the election, they're going to try and steal it. Act as if your vote is precious because it is.
Please read this entire story and note where your vote might be stolen and consider how you can protect it. Visit voteforchange.com and see if you're registered or get registered. Deadlines are coming up. 

Chelsea Green: The Election Justice Newsletter has compiled the following list of crimes against our increasingly fragile democracy:

Fraudulent absentee ballot applications are being mailed out by the McCain campaign to registered Democratic voters in many states states. Voters attempt to apply for absentee voting, when in fact their application is being sent to the wrong place and they are not being registered.
McCain camp charged with election fraud in Wisconsin: Caught sending out out fake absentee voter forms to Democratic voters that could cause their votes to be ignored.
Newsweek: The GOP is working to keep eligible African-Americans from voting in several states.
Lose your house, lose your vote: Michigan Republicans foreclosing on African American voters. 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.
Virginia: Mailings sent out, 70,000 returned unopened

Obama's New 2 Minute Ad on Economy

McCain Needs Calm Palin Needs to Go

Palin doesn't understand the question, says Fareed Zakaria, who wrote that Palin is unqualified.

Here's her partner talking about his lack of qualifications in economics and Wall Street

McCain needs to calm down. He's doing too much squawking. He keeps saying we should stop blaming and his next breath is blame. 

CNN: But it was a majority of McCain's own Republicans in the House who voted against the bailout by a 2-1 ratio Monday afternoon, leaving the outcome of the bailout in doubt and sending the stock market diving 778 points. Despite McCain's lobbying efforts, 133 House Republicans voted against the bill. 

After the vote, McCain was defensive, accusing his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, of just wanting to "phone it in" when it came to the bailout and introducing partisanship into the process.

"Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to fix the blame. It's time to fix the problem," the Arizona Republican said after the vote. 

But on Tuesday morning, McCain said the bill failed "because we haven't convinced people that this is a rescue effort, not just for Wall Street, but for Main Street America, for working families, for small businesses, for the heartland of America.

"I may fail a first or second or third time, but we have to get this job done for America. And I have a plan to restore our economy," McCain added

Joe's Debate Strategy

I'd also add that Joe has to be careful not to make his own serious slip, though his are just silly and not based on being dim witted or uninformed or over his head.

Politico: If Sarah Palin goofs, flounders, stumbles or blunders during her debate against Joe Biden on Thursday night, Biden is going to let it slide.

“If she makes a gaffe, he underplays it,” one of the people prepping Biden for his vice presidential debate told me. “At most, he says, ‘I am not sure what Gov. Palin meant there.’”

There are three reasons for this. First, Biden does not want to look condescending. For the same reason, he plans on referring to Palin as “Gov. Palin” during the debate and never as “Sarah.” (He will sometimes refer to John McCain as “John,” however, because they have been senators together for many years.)

Second, Biden knows the press is going to pounce on any mistakes, and so he does not need to.

Third, and most important, Sarah Palin is not Biden’s true target.

“Joe Biden’s No. 1 job during the vice presidential debate is to keep the focus on the top of the ticket,” the Biden debate prepper told me. “He is going to keep the focus on John McCain."

Strategy talk for Biden and Palin

Obama Proposes Increasing FDIC LImits

Yesterday, within the course of a few hours, the failure to pass the economic rescue plan in Washington led to the single largest decline of the stock market in two decades.

While I, like others, am outraged that the reign of irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created the current crisis, I also know that continued inaction in the face of the gathering storm in our financial markets would be catastrophic for our economy and our families.

At this moment, when the jobs, retirement savings, and economic security of all Americans hang in the balance, it is imperative that all of us – Democrats and Republicans alike – come together to meet this crisis.

The bill rejected yesterday was a marked improvement over the original blank check proposed by the Bush Administration. It included restraints on CEO pay, protections for homeowners, strict oversight as to how the money is spent, and an assurance that taxpayers will recover their money once the economy recovers. Given the progress we have made, I believe we are unlikely to succeed if we start from scratch or reopen negotiations about the core elements of the agreement. But in order to pass this plan, we must do more.

One step we could take to potentially broaden support for the legislation and shore up our economy would be to expand federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses across America who have invested their money in our banks.

The majority of American families should rest assured that the deposits they have in our banks are safe. Thanks to measures put in place during the Great Depression, deposits of up to $100,000 are guaranteed by the federal government.

While that guarantee is more than adequate for most families, it is insufficient for many small businesses that maintain bank accounts to meet their payroll, buy their supplies, and invest in expanding and creating jobs. The current insurance limit of $100,000 was set 28 years ago and has not been adjusted for inflation.

That is why today, I am proposing that we also raise the FDIC limit to $250,000 as part of the economic rescue package – a step that would boost small businesses, make our banking system more secure, and help restore public confidence in our financial system.

I will be talking to leaders and members of Congress later today to offer this idea and urge them to act without delay to pass a rescue plan.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Palin Can't Name Supreme Court Cases

More Palin doozies on the way.

Politico: Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.

The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.

There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.

Don't Feel Sorry For Palin

She should've told McCain --No, I'm not ready. But she's cocky and doesn't seem to realize just how outrageous she's been. She doesn't even seem the least bit embarrassed, so she must have a really big ego and really big ambitions.
The more I think about what McCain pulled -- choosing Palin to win an election --the madder I get.
Here's a story that gets right to it:

Sarah Palin is no wilting flower. She is a politician who took the national stage and sneered at the work of community activists. She boldly tries to pass off incuriosity and lassitude as regular-people qualities, thereby doing a disservice to all those Americans who also work two jobs and do not come from families that hand out passports and backpacking trips, yet still manage to pick up a paper and read about their government and seek out experience and knowledge.

When you stage a train wreck of this magnitude -- trying to pass one underqualified chick off as another highly qualified chick with the lame hope that no one will notice -- well, then, I don't feel bad for you.


When you treat women as your toys, as gullible and insensate pawns in your Big Fat Presidential Bid -- or in Palin's case, in your Big Fat Chance to Be the First Woman Vice President Thanks to All the Cracks Hillary Put in the Ceiling -- I don't feel bad for you.

When you don't take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don't support, I don't feel bad for you.

When you don't have enough regard for your country or its politics to cram effectively for the test -- a test that helps determine whether or not you get to run that country and participate in its politics -- I don't feel bad for you.

Obama Newspaper Endorsements General Election

This blog did a terrific job tracking superdelegates, now they're tracking newspaper endorsements and other good stuff. The Washington Post endorsed Obama. 
The Stockton Record endorses Obama:

Endorsing a Democrat for president for the first time in 72 years, the Stockton Record in California praised Obama as an inspirational leader.

"He has demonstrated time and again he can think on his feet. More importantly, he has demonstrated he will think things through, seek advice, and actually listen to it," the newspaper said in its Sunday editorial. "Obama is a gifted speaker. But in addition to his smarts and energy, possibly his greatest gift is his ability to inspire."

Of McCain, the editorial compared him unfavorably to President Bush, saying "He tends to shoot from the hip and go on gut instinct. The nation cannot go through four more years of literally and figuratively shooting now and asking questions later."

It also questioned the Republican for his surprise choice of Palin, who struggled in her interview last week with Katie Couric of CBS. "We worry he won't have four years," the editorial said. "If elected, at 72, he would be the oldest incoming president in U.S. history. He's in good health now, we're told, although he has withheld most of his medical records. That means Gov. Sarah Palin could very well become president. And that brings us to McCain's most troubling trait: his judgment.

McCain's Odd New Ad

Demconwatch points out something strange about this ad. I'll point out another thing -- at the end, it doesn't say McCain Palin, it says Change is Coming.

Oh the Irony

Bob Herbert points out the irony of republicans sticking to their guns on the bailout as a matter of principle, when their principles are what led to the bailout.

NYT: Madness.

I’m not holding my breath, but I would like to see the self-proclaimed conservative, small government, anti-regulation, free-market zealots step up and take responsibility for wrecking the American economy and bringing about the worst financial crisis since the Depression.

Even now, with the house on fire, the most extreme among them won’t pick up the fire hoses and try to put it out.

With the fate of the Bush administration’s desperate $700 billion bailout of the financial industry hanging in the balance, Representative Darrell Issa, a Republican from California, stuck to his political playbook like a man covered in Krazy Glue. He pronounced himself “resolute” in his opposition to the bailout because to be otherwise would amount to a betrayal of party principles.

To deviate from those principles, in Mr. Issa’s view, would be like placing “a coffin on top of Ronald Reagan’s coffin.”

We are in very strange territory here.

Bill Clinton Florida Rally Oct. 1

Video added below
Live streamed at cnn.com
Bill Clinton has two rallies Oct. 1

This Wednesday, October 1st, please join President Bill Clinton in Orlando, where he will talk about Barack's vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Change We Need Rally
with President Bill Clinton

University of Central Florida
Old Arena
North Gemini Blvd.
Orlando, FL

Wednesday, October 1st
Doors Open: 11:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 12:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however, am RSVP is strongly encouraged. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.


This Wednesday, October 1st, please join President Bill Clinton in Fort Pierce, where he will talk about Barack's vision for creating the kind of change we need.

Change We Need Rally
with President Bill Clinton

Historic Downtown Fort Pierce
Marina Square
Between the Marina and the Library on Melody Lane
Fort Pierce, FL
Wednesday, October 1st
Doors Open: 2:00 p.m.
Program Begins: 2:45 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however, am RSVP is strongly encouraged. Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted

Some fun while you wait. Obama is the "goodest."

Obama Rally Grand Rapids Oct. 2

Obama Virginia rally

This rally should be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com.
Please join us Thursday, October 2nd, for a rally with Barack Obama in Grand Rapids, MI:

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

Calder Plaza
300 Ottawa Avenue NW
Public entrance will be off Lyon Street
Grand Rapids, MI

Thursday, October 2nd
Gates Open: 7:30 a.m.
Program Begins: 9:30 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public, and will be held rain or shine. Tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.

For more information please call the Grand Rapids Campaign for Change office at 616-356-6120

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items and umbrellas. No signs or banners permitted.

Obama Rally La Crosse Wisconsin Oct. 1

Video below
Obama before the debate.


This event will be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com
Please join us Wednesday, October 1st, for a rally with Barack Obama in La Crosse, WI:

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

Downtown La Crosse
Intersection at Pearl and 2nd Street (beside the La Crosse Center)
La Crosse, WI

Public Entrance: 2nd and Main Street

Wednesday, October 1st
Gates Open: 8:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 10:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis. 

For more information, please call: (608) 785-5860

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

McCain and Palin CBS Interview

McCain holds Palin's hand in new CBS interview. He blames journalists for Palin's Pakistani comment and leads Palin into what she needs to say and then the tag: "I'll let Gov. Palin speak for herself."
Palin jumps in, blames questioner for asking a bad question and blames journalists. 

Neither answer Katie's question. 
These two are perfectly in over their heads. If Americans "bless us," Palin says. McCain is "so proud of the work that she's doin'" Now, he's startin' to sound like Palin. I'm now convinced that she's not just only in over her head. She is dim. It's just that she's been used to being a big fish in a little pond living in Alaska. Biden is going to eat her up like goldfish.  

McCain on This Week Sept. 28 Video


McCain gets icky.

Obama in Detroit Sept. 28 Video


Palin Setting Up Debate Failure Excuse

It's the campaign's fault, says Todd Palin. She's not being prepared properly.
McCain's crew is a bunch of finger pointers. Palin is going to need an act of God to get her through the debate. I wonder how many pastors she's called upon to bless her. What about us? If Palin-McCain win we're going to be in some deep doo doo.
I agree. Let her free.

CNN: The New York Times conservative columnist Bill Kristol argued in his column on Monday that McCain must "liberate his running mate from the former Bush aides brought in to handle her -- aides who seem to have succeeded in importing to the Palin campaign the trademark defensive crouch of the Bush White House.

"McCain picked Sarah Palin in part because she's a talented politician and communicator. He needs to free her to use her political talents and to communicate in her own voice," Kristol wrote.

One McCain source said Palin's husband, Todd Palin, was frustrated with how the campaign was preparing his wife for the debate, but did not elaborate. Another McCain aide, however, dismissed those reports.

But a McCain adviser said the conservatives worried that the campaign was squeezing the charm out of Palin were missing the point.

The adviser said preparing her for the debate was "really hard" because the Alaska governor was learning about issues she had never dealt with before -- including those regarding North Korea and other hot spots around the globe.

Palin's Parents Say She's Ready

They're proud parents. They think Tina Fey did a good job.

McCain Takes Credit for Bailout Bill- At First

He took credit for it while it looked like it was going to fly and blamed Obama when it didn't. He and Palin make a perfect team. They're both in over their head.

Politico: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his top aides took credit for building a winning bailout coalition – hours before the vote failed and stocks tanked.

Shortly before the vote, McCain had bragged about his involvement and mocked Sen. Barack Obama for staying on the sidelines.

“I've never been afraid of stepping in to solve problems for the American people, and I'm not going to stop now,” McCain told a rally in Columbus, Ohio. “Sen. Obama took a very different approach to the crisis our country faced. At first he didn't want to get involved. Then he was monitoring the situation.”
McCain, grinning, flashed a sarcastic thumbs up.

“That's not leadership. That's watching from the sidelines,” he added to cheers and applause.

Doug Holtz-Eakin, McCain's senior policy adviser, told reporters on a conference call that McCain "dedicated the past week" to addressing the problem but made "a conscious decision not to attract attention to John McCain."

All they've been doing is bragging about McCain, every chance they get.

Obama Edges up In Polls

In Virginia, he's up 5.

Rasmussen: The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds Obama with 50% of the vote while McCain earns 45%. Last Sunday, McCain was up two points. The week before, the candidates were tied.
The current poll marks the first time that either candidate has had more than a two-point advantage in Virginia since May. George W. Bush won Virginia by eight percentage points in 2000 and 2004, but Democrats have focused on Virginia this year as a red state they hope to peel away from Republicans.
Just nine percent (9%) of Virginia voters rate the economy as good or excellent while 57% say it is in poor shape. Just five percent (5%) say the economy is getting better; 83% say it is getting worse.
Ohio now a tossup:
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Ohio finds John McCain with 47% of the vote while Barack Obama picks up 46%. That’s a slippage of three percentage points for McCain since Sunday night. In four previous surveys conducted over the past month, McCain has held an advantage ranging from three to seven points.
Similar trends have been found nationally as the recent economic crisis has unfolded: Support for McCain has declined while Obama’s totals remain steady.
Just eight percent (8%) of Ohio voters rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent while 54% say it's poor. Only three percent (3%) say it’s getting better while 54% say it’s heading in the opposite direction.
It's tie in Florida.
Obama leading in the electoral map.

McCain Blames Bailout Failure on Obama

I walked away from the computer for a few hours today and what happens, the stock market jumps off a cliff. Big babies on Wall Street.

I have to admit being sort of happy that the bailout failed. I don't trust George Bush. I think we're bailing out a lifestyle. I'd like to see what happens in the next couple of weeks. I'm on the fence really.

Minutes ago, McCain blamed the failure of the bailout bill on partisanship. It's all Obama's fault, he said. I paraphrased but that's pretty much what he said. Then he said congress should act immediately. I don't think I could stand listening to him for four years. McCain has no ability whatsoever to inspire.

Meanwhile, Obama is leading the way:

Sen. Barack Obama expressed confidence Monday that lawmakers would come through with a financial rescue package, while John McCain's campaign accused Obama and Democrats of putting "politics ahead of country."

Sen. Barack Obama says he thinks lawmakers will be able to get a rescue package through Congress.

Obama told voters at a campaign event in Denver, Colorado, that it's important to "stay calm, because things are never smooth in Congress."

"There are going to be some bumps and trials and tribulations and ups and downs before we get this rescue package done," he said. "I'm confident that we are going to get there, but it's going to be a little rocky."

Shortly before Obama's event, the House of Representatives rejected a $700 billion plan to bail out the financial system, putting a roadblock in front of the largest government intervention in the market since the Great Depression.

Why the bailout failed.

McCain's version of events

Palin's Debate Strategy

The McCain camp is out with its debate strategy -- the debate questions are stacked against Palin! I hope the questions are softies, then we'll really see if she's dull, or just in over her head, or both. OH PLEASE ask about dinosaurs and humans walking the Earth together.
Fox News: the McCain mouthpiece

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Obama Hate Group Clarion Fund Hires PR

The Clarion Fund, a non profit being secretly funded, recently sent out DVDs that whisper Obama is a Muslim, and therefore a terrorist. It has hired a public relations person to fend off opposition -- Obama supporters are fighting back. The DVDs are propaganda to keep Obama out of office. The producers of the film are Obama haters. People who subscribe to newspapers in swing states received these DVDs, so if you get one, trash it. 

NPR: As we reported, one of the promoters of the DVD is Joe Wierzbicki, who is active in two anti-Obama political action committees.

One group, Move America Forward, recently produced an ad we already showcased. The other, Our Country Deserves Better PAC, just put up a Web video contending that Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama. "All Barack Obama has ever run," it says, "has been his mouth." The video, which runs over 3 minutes, goes into a blooper reel of Obama's gaffes, tongue-tied moments and controversial comments.

At least the people of Appalachia admit they won't vote for a black man. Others who choose to hate on Obama, such as the Clarion Fund, do it in more slimy ways.

Palin and McCain Art

Paintings by Zina Saunders. Obama paintings and posters at by way of Obamaartreport.


McCain to Get Nastier

Take a look at Think Progress, where they track McCain's numerous lies.
McCain's aide Steve Schmidt says here on out McCain is going to say that Obama is going to make everything all bad. I'm sure that the covert Obama smear machine will kick into overdrive as well.

WaPo:
Schmidt said the campaign will press two arguments as forcefully as possible in the coming days. One is that Obama is not ready to be commander in chief and that, in a time of two wars, "his policies will make the world more dangerous and America less secure." Second, he said, McCain will argue that, in a time of economic crisis, Obama will raise taxes and spending and "will make our economy worse."

Obama signaled yesterday that his focus will be on painting McCain as out of touch on the economy. Appearing at a rally in Greensboro, N.C., Obama ripped into his rival's remarks about the economy during the debate -- but more for what McCain didn't say.

"The truth is, through 90 minutes of debating, John McCain had a lot to say about me, but he had nothing to say about you. He didn't even say the words 'middle class.' Didn't say the words 'working people,' " Obama told a cheering crowd of about 20,000 people on a rainy morning. He later appeared in Fredericksburg, Va., and spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner in Washington. [Story, A14.]

The middle-class omission also is the subject of an Obama television ad that the campaign rolled out yesterday, asserting: "McCain doesn't get it. Barack Obama does."

McCain Disses Obama

McCain's disdain for Obama was sooooooo obvious during the debate. He's such a liar pants. He lies about the big stuff and the little stuff. 

Palin Was an Avoidable Gamble

Joe Biden left the Detroit rally and headed home to prep for the debate. We all know that Biden is well qualified to be vice president and president if need be. We know he knows his stuff, even though he blurts out some stupid things sometimes.

We now know that Palin may be smart, at least that's what some keep saying, but she's in way over her head as a vice presidential candidate. This morning on This Week with George S., McCain sang Palin's praises. He said the American people love her. Out of touch? Maybe they loved her 3 weeks ago but not after she started talking.

She's also  holed up at "debate camp" in one of McCain's 7 or so houses -- the "ranch" one. Her family is joining her. At least that will keep her out of trouble with the media. 

But how does Joe compete in a debate against Palin? Joe must've seen all three interviews that she's done and he must be tickled.

Does he deliver knock out punches, sparing nothing? Or does he exercise some humility? I say give it to her. She's been relentless in her audacity to attack Obama while drowning in her own quicksand. You'd think she would exercise some humility.

But can Joe really give it all without looking like a big meany? It seems he may have to hold back. Who knows, maybe Palin will surprise everyone. Maybe she's a good crammer. At least she now knows that Bono isn't the King of Ireland.


The Green Room on the set of This Week. George Will says Palin was an avoidable gamble. If you didn't know, McCain is a big gambler. 

Obama on Face the Nation Sept. 28

Obama says the financial crisis is dire and needs to be handled quickly. I hate this bailout but if Obama says it's urgent and the parties agree that it's urgent and McCain agrees and Warren Buffett says it's urgent, it must be urgent and dire.

McCain Corrects Palin

This morning's Sunday political shows suggest that people are getting to thinkin' (a little Palin for ya) that she could bring down McCain if they keep spending time mopping up after her.

CNN: Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin's stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama's support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists

"She would not…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're not going to do anything except in America's national security interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position… This is a free country, but I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin."


More McCain defending his lobbyists

Obama Rally in the Virginia Rain Video

A House With a Yard

Wall Street is much to blame for the current economic meltdown, as is George Bush and his lack of leadership and foresight and basic ignorance and small world view... need I go on?

The republican platform of give more to the rich so that they can trickle down wealth is also to blame. Democrats who didn't speak out loud enough are also to blame.

Under-regulated lenders who gave people money for a house they couldn't afford --blame. But the financial catastrophe also has been caused by Americans trying to keep up with the Joneses (not realizing the Joneses could barely keep up with themselves) and feeling entitled to a house. A standard has been set and too many people have tried to live up to it. Who set the standard? Wall Street and corporate America.

We fell for it.

If we didn't have easy credit, fewer people would have a house and our economy wouldn't have been a house of cards. We would've been able to see the economy for what it was -- too much wealth concentrated at the top, not being trickled down. We would've been able to see how little buying power the middle class actually had. We could've then made real change, as Obama might say.

But that fact was hidden because people were able to buy a house they couldn't afford and they could take out lines of equity on those homes and buy lots of stuff. That helped enrich the rich, which is why the Bush administration didn't care. As long as wealth was being created at the top, it didn't matter. The creation of wealth in the middle was just a charade.

Americans are in serious credit card debt and that debt is likely to grow as more people lose their houses and their jobs.

The poor and middle class need the opportunity to create REAL wealth -- not pretend -- via a vastly improved education system that values science and math, art and music, and meeting the basic need of healthcare. These are the things Obama talks about.

When a health issue puts a family at risk of bankruptcy, that's not a path to wealth. Why is it that so few of us can afford healthcare? That concludes my economic rant of the day.

Thomas Friedman, columnist for the NYT, talks about the importance ramping up a green revolution to build the economy and create REAL wealth.

In a green economy, we would rely less on credit from foreigners “and more on creativity from Americans,” argued Van Jones, president of Green for All, and author of the forthcoming “The Green Collar Economy.” “It’s time to stop borrowing and start building. America’s No. 1 resource is not oil or mortgages. Our No. 1 resource is our people. Let’s put people back to work — retrofitting and repowering America. ... You can’t base a national economy on credit cards. But you can base it on solar panels, wind turbines, smart biofuels and a massive program to weatherize every building and home in America.”

Here's more.
NYT: Yes, this bailout is necessary. This is a credit crisis, and credit crises involve a breakdown in confidence that leads to no one lending to anyone. You don’t fool around with a credit crisis. You have to overwhelm it with capital. Unfortunately, some people who don’t deserve it will be rescued. But, more importantly, those who had nothing to do with it will be spared devastation. You have to save the system.

But that is not the point of this column. The point is, we don’t just need a bailout. We need a buildup. We need to get back to making stuff, based on real engineering not just financial engineering. We need to get back to a world where people are able to realize the American Dream — a house with a yard — because they have built something with their hands, not because they got a “liar loan” from an underregulated bank with no money down and nothing to pay for two years. The American Dream is an aspiration, not an entitlement. Read the whole story.

Why the bailout is necessary:
Billionaire Warren Buffett told congressional negotiators that if they can't agree on a proposed financial bailout, the nation will face "its biggest financial meltdown in American history," two sources familiar with the talks said.


Warren Buffett told congressional negotiators that failure to act could cause a financial meltdown, sources say.
1 of 2

Word of Buffett's omen came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced "great progress" in reaching a deal on the White House's proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial system.

Fey Brings Back Palin on SNL

If you missed Saturday Night Live last night, Tina Fey's portrayal as Sarah Palin was brilliant. She even had Palin's hand motions down and Amy Poehler as Couric, noted how Palin gets cute when she's cornered. You can see it here. 
You can also get more Palin news here
Other morning notes: "She'll get better," said Lindsey Graham on Sarah Palin's ability to see Russia from her house. He was on Fox with John Kerry. Then he falls back on Palin as an agent of change and Obama is just a talker. 
John Kerry needs to be taken off of Sunday duties. He's smart but just isn't good at going on the offense. I can see why people consider him an elitist but he would've been a way better president than Bush. 
Obama, on Face the Nation, refused to say if Palin is or is not qualified. He said he's more concerned that she's just like Bush on foreign policy. He talked a lot about the economy and foreign policy as well. I'll put video up later. 


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Un-Scaring Voters

As I've said in earlier posts, the attacks on Obama haven't been just willy nilly. They've been an ongoing, concerted effort by the crazy wing of republicans, fueled by Fox News, to keep Obama out of office. It's been happening for at least a year.

The wingnuts have used email, Internet, YouTube, DVD and other methods to wage their hate campaign. They could've just argued against him on policies and issues but they decided to be utterly ignorant. Reminds me of the vice presidential candidate.

It seems to be a republican theme this year. But I don't want to lump all republicans together because I know that many aren't voting for Obama but they aren't racist. But it's clear that a contingent of the party has racial prejudices or is just using race to manipulate voters.

Republicans like to play victim on this, that they're being accused of racism if they oppose Obama. They know better. That's just another trick. Look no further than Sarah Silverman's perfect video to see how people have been scared and why we must unscare them if we can with facts and information.

Here's a compilation video of Fox's efforts

The Obamas





This story is 100% true. The Obamas are a perfect family role model. Michelle and Barack obviously love each other and that's good for everyone. Obama would be the last person to pull a Clinton or an Edwards. 

HP: One of the greatest benefits of an Obama presidency is hidden in plain sight: the relationship between Michelle and Barack. They provide a great role model of a healthy relationship, at a time when such models are sorely needed.

For example...
Imagine having a president who is not distracted from the nation's business by the stresses of secrets in the presidential marriage.

Imagine having a president who likes his partner and values her as an equal, a president who touches his wife affectionately in public and actually listens to her when she talks!

Fortunately we don't have to imagine it, because we already have that potential at the tip of our voting fingers. For Americans, one of the most important aspects of an Obama presidency is being overlooked: the model of a healthy relationship. In the 28 years of our own marriage, we've worked with more than 4,000 couples in our office and seminars, so we have a reasonably good idea of what kinds of behavior one sees in a healthy relationship. For example, Michelle and Barack do something we've never seen before in a presidential couple: they actually look directly at each other when they're speaking to each other. They also laugh at each other's humor, and they allow their sexual attraction for each other to be visible. Contrast that with other presidential marriages, in which the sexual attraction to each other was not visible but their sexual attraction to others became highly visible. Michelle and Barack talk openly about their feelings for each other. They're real.









Next Gen Veterans for Obama Ad

Bailout Protests




I'm no fan of the bailout, though it looks like a bill will be in place by end of day tomorrow. It seems it is necessary, more than we know, and it appears to be urgent, but Americans should get a bigger piece of that bailout pie. Why shouldn't we get a healthcare plan as part of the deal? Or extra money for all of us? Student loan forgiveness? Reworking mortgages?
Protests are being held around the nation.
Check this out.

Jill and Michelle in Tallahassee Sept. 27

McCain Likes to Gamble - In Las Vegas Too

We've all seen how much McCain likes to gamble. I didn't realize that he's into all forms of gambling, or as they say in Vegas, gaming. I guess with 7 houses and 11 cars, it's easy to come up with some gambling money.

NYT: In May 2007, as Mr. McCain’s presidential bid was floundering, he spent a weekend at the MGM Grand on the Las Vegas strip. A fund-raiser hosted by J. Terrence Lanni, the casino’s top executive and a longtime friend of the senator, raised $400,000 for his campaign. Afterward, Mr. McCain attended a boxing match and hit the craps tables.

For much of his adult life, Mr. McCain has gambled as often as once a month, friends and associates said, traveling to Las Vegas for weekend betting marathons. Former senior campaign officials said they worried about Mr. McCain’s patronage of casinos, given the power he wields over the industry. The officials, like others interviewed for this article, spoke on condition of anonymity.

“We were always concerned about appearances,” one former official said. “If you go around saying that appearances matter, then they matter.”

The former official said he would tell Mr. McCain: “Do we really have to go to a casino? I don’t think it’s a good idea. The base doesn’t like it. It doesn’t look good. And good things don’t happen in casinos at midnight.”

“You worry too much,” Mr. McCain would respond, the official said.

Here's more:
As a two-time chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Mr. McCain has done more than any other member of Congress to shape the laws governing America’s casinos, helping to transform the once-sleepy Indian gambling business into a $26-billion-a-year behemoth with 423 casinos across the country. He has won praise as a champion of economic development and self-governance on reservations.

“One of the founding fathers of Indian gaming” is what Steven Light, a University of North Dakota professor and a leading Indian gambling expert, called Mr. McCain.

As factions of the ferociously competitive gambling industry have vied for an edge, they have found it advantageous to cultivate a relationship with Mr. McCain or hire someone who has one, according to an examination based on more than 70 interviews and thousands of pages of documents.

Mr. McCain portrays himself as a Washington maverick unswayed by special interests, referring recently to lobbyists as “birds of prey.” Yet in his current campaign, more than 40 fund-raisers and top advisers have lobbied or worked for an array of gambling interests — including tribal and Las Vegas casinos, lottery companies and online poker purveyors.
McCain hangs with Las Vegas titans. Sig Rogich loves McCain:
But he has rarely wavered in his loyalty to Las Vegas, where he counts casino executives among his close friends and most prolific fund-raisers. “Beyond just his support for gaming, Nevada supports John McCain because he’s one of us, a Westerner at heart,” said Sig Rogich, a Nevada Republican kingmaker who raised nearly $2 million for Mr. McCain at an event at his home in June.

Only six members of Congress have received more money from the gambling industry than Mr. McCain, and five hail from the casino hubs of Nevada and New Jersey, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics dating back to 1989. In the presidential race, Senator Barack Obama has also received money from the industry; Mr. McCain has raised almost twice as much.
The McCain camp won't answer back on this story. You might want to give the whole thing a read.

Palin Refuses to Respond on Rape Kits

Her small town of Wasilla made rape victims pay for their own kits. Palin's camp refused to respond to the NYT on this issue.

NYT: Even in tough budget times, there are lines that cannot be crossed. So I was startled by this tidbit reported recently by The Associated Press: When Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, the small town began billing sexual-assault victims for the cost of rape kits and forensic exams.

Ms. Palin owes voters an explanation. What was the thinking behind cutting the measly few thousand dollars needed to cover the yearly cost of swabs, specimen containers and medical tests? Whose dumb idea was it to make assault victims and their insurance companies pay instead? Unfortunately, her campaign is shielding the candidate from the press, so Americans may still be waiting for answers on Election Day.

The rape-kit controversy is a troubling matter. The insult to rape victims is obvious. So is the sexism inherent in singling them out to foot the bill for investigating their own case. And the main result of billing rape victims is to protect their attackers by discouraging women from reporting sexual assaults.

That’s why when Senator Joseph Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, drafted the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, he included provisions to make states ineligible for federal grant money if they charged rape victims for exams and the kits containing the medical supplies needed to conduct them. (Senator John McCain, Ms. Palin’s running mate, voted against Mr. Biden’s initiative, and his name has not been among the long list of co-sponsors each time the act has been renewed.)

That’s also why, when news of Wasilla’s practice of billing rape victims got around, Alaska’s State Legislature approved a bill in 2000 to stop it.

“We would never bill the victim of a burglary for fingerprinting and photographing the crime scene, or for the cost of gathering other evidence,” said Alaska’s then-governor, Tony Knowles. “Nor should we bill rape victims just because the crime scene happens to be their bodies.”

If Ms. Palin ever spoke out about the issue, one way or another, no record has surfaced. Her campaign would not answer questions about when she learned of the policy, strongly supported by the police chief: whether she saw it in the budget and if not, whether she learned of it before or after the State Legislature outlawed the practice.

All the campaign would do was provide a press release pronouncing: “Prevention of domestic violence and sexual assault is a priority for Gov. Palin.”

Obama Rally Reno Sept. 30

Video below

Art at obamaartreport.com

This event should be live streamed at cnn.com or barackobama.com.
Please join us Tuesday, September 30th, for a rally with Barack Obama in Reno:

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama

University of Nevada, Reno
Quad
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno, NV 89557

Tuesday, September 30th
Doors Open: 8:00 a.m.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is encouraged. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.



Obamas and Bidens Rally Detroit Sept. 28

An alternative feed here
This event should be live streamed at barackobama.com or cnn.com.

Please join us this Sunday, September 28th, for a rally with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, and Jill Biden in Detroit:

Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama, Joe Biden,
Michelle Obama, and Jill Biden

Woodward Ave. in front of the Detroit Public Library
5200 Block of Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI

Sunday, September 28th
Gates Open: 11:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 1:30 p.m.
Public Entrance: Woodward Ave. and W. Warren Ave.

The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required but an RSVP is strongly encouraged. Rain or shine. Space is available on a first come, first served basis.

For security reasons, do not bring bags and please limit personal items. No signs or banners permitted.

Use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. Limited public parking will be available at Wayne State University parking facilities

Palin Utterly Unqualified

I keep thinking that maybe Palin's playing the part of being utterly ignorant to create really low expectations, only to strike out like a mad woman and make Joe Biden cry during the debate.

But the reality is that Palin is more likely to cry during the debate. If she did, that would truly be sad to see, though her supporters would rally to her side.

Surely then McCain would have to admit an error in judgment and send Palin packing back to Alaska. But as I've said before, being unqualified doesn't matter to McCain. She would have no real duties as vice president. It would be the office of public affairs. I think many republicans know this, which is why some of them aren't so worried. Palin is like a sacrificial lamb, meant to woo a certain kind of voter --Jesus, guns and babies.

It would be Joe Lieberman or Lindsey Graham who would hold vice presidential powers. The only danger in Palin is if something happens to McCain. The Palin pick also demonstrates McCain's lack of judgment and his rash leadership style.
Newsweek:

This is nonsense—a vapid emptying out of every catchphrase about economics that came into her head. Some commentators, like CNN's Campbell Brown, have argued that it's sexist to keep Sarah Palin under wraps, as if she were a delicate flower who might wilt under the bright lights of the modern media. But the more Palin talks, the more we see that it may not be sexism but common sense that's causing the McCain campaign to treat her like a time bomb.

Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start. The next administration is going to face a set of challenges unlike any in recent memory. There is an ongoing military operation in Iraq that still costs $10 billion a month, a war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan that is not going well and is not easily fixed. Iran, Russia and Venezuela present tough strategic challenges.

Fact Check on the Debate

More debate pics.
Very interesting:

Obama claimed Iraq “has” a $79 billion surplus. It once was projected to be as high as that. It’s now down to less than $60 billion.
McCain repeated his overstated claim that the U.S. pays $700 billion a year for oil to hostile nations. Imports are running at about $536 billion this year, and a third of it comes from Canada, Mexico and the U.K.
Obama said 95 percent of “the American people” would see a tax cut under his proposal. The actual figure is 81 percent of households.
Obama mischaracterized an aspect of McCain’s health care plan, saying “employers” would be taxed on the value of health benefits provided to workers. Employers wouldn’t, but the workers would. McCain also would grant workers up to a $5,000 tax credit per family to cover health insurance.

McCain misrepresented Obama's plan by claiming he'd be "handing the health care system over to the federal government." Obama would expand some government programs but would allow people to keep their current plans or chose from private ones, as well.

On McCain's healthcare:
Health Care Hyperbole

Obama and McCain traded incorrect statements on each other's health care plan.
Obama: So you may end up getting a $5,000 tax credit. Here's the only problem: Your employer now has to pay taxes on the health care that you're getting from your employer.
As we said before, McCain’s plan doesn’t call for taxing employers on health care benefits; it would instead tax employees. As the law stands now, employees don’t pay taxes on the dollar value of their health insurance benefits. Under McCain’s plan, they would.

McCain also misrepresented Obama's plan when he said that his opponent favored "handing the health care system over to the federal government."
McCain: Well, I want to make sure we're not handing the health care system over to the federal government which is basically what would ultimately happen with Senator Obama's health care plan. I want the families to make decisions between themselves and their doctors. Not the federal government.
McCain made a similar claim in his acceptance speech, when he said that
Obama's plans would "force families into a government run health care
system." We called it false then and we stand by that. Obama's plan mandates coverage for children, but not for adults, and it does not require anyone to be covered by a nationalized system. Obama's plan expands the insurance coverage offered by the government, but allows people to keep their own plans or choose from private plans as well.

McCain also screwed up in history:
McCain mangled his military history:
McCain: President Eisenhower, on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letters.
One of them was a letter congratulating the great members of the military and allies that had conducted and succeeded in the greatest invasion in history, still to this day, and forever.

And he wrote out another letter, and that was a letter of resignation from the United States Army for the failure of the landings at Normandy.
The story is widely circulated in military circles but not entirely true. Eisenhower (then a general, not yet a president) did in fact write a letter taking responsibility should the D-Day invasion fail. But Eisenhower's letter does not mention resigning. Here's the full text:
Eisenhower (June 5, 1944): Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
No mention of quitting the Army, or his command.
Read it all

Kissinger Lying for McCain?

Right after the debate last night Katie Couric said she called Henry Kissinger to clear the air on what he thinks about talks with Iran -- McCain said Kissinger didn't believe in talks with Iran's president. Katie said that Kissinger agreed that the next president needs to meet with the obnoxious (my word choice) world leaders, without preconditions. That was yesterday.
Here's what he says now:

CNN: Immediately following Friday night's debate, the McCain campaign released a statement from Kissinger, backing the Republican nominee's sentiment on Iran.

"Sen. McCain is right. I would not recommend the next president of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the presidential level," Kissinger said in the statement.

"My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Sen. John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."
Here's a story from three weeks ago of his stance:
UPI: Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger says the United States should begin direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program.
Kissinger, speaking Monday at George Washington University along with four other former U.S. State Department secretaries, said the next president should initiate high-level discussions with Iran "without conditions," ABC News reported.

The opinion of the former secretary of state for Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford differs sharply with that of the current GOP administration, which has maintained a strict policy of not negotiating directly with governments deemed to sponsor international terrorism. The Bush administration has demanded that Iran dismantle its nuclear program as a precondition for any direct talks.
Whatever. It doesn't matter what Henry Kissinger thinks, especially if he's going to lie to protect McCain. What matters is the U.S. has to improve its standing in the world for many reasons but most importantly, for national security. Obama has a broader view of international relations and McCain views it like a soldier.

Did anyone see 20 20's Portrait of a President? McCain has a great story. 20 20 told it really well. They did a great job with Obama's story, too. I was touched by both.

The Fact Check organization says Kissinger is lying: 
Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.

Palin Spent Debate Night At Irish Pub


Palin didn't -- or couldn't -- answer questions post debate, as Joe Biden did. Where was she? She spent the night in a Philadelphia pub with 400 fans. Outside were 300 non-fans.

McCain Goes Back to Washington

That's what today's fundraising email says:

My Friends,

Last night, Senator Obama and I participated in the first debate of the general election. It was a spirited debate and I believe the difference between our visions for America were made very clear.

I have returned to Washington to resume negotiations with the Administration and Congressional leaders from both parties to forge a bipartisan solution to our economic crisis. I am optimistic we will come to a final agreement soon. All voices must be represented in the final agreement, especially those of taxpayers and homeowners.

We cannot be interested in who would get credit for finding a solution and who would be blamed if an agreement cannot be reached. We must put our country first to solve this economic crisis. Because in the end, that's what leaders do in times of crisis.

Palin Red Flag

McCain actually offered praise for Sarah Palin last night. I was sort of surprised and sort of not. McCain seems like the loyal type, so I wasn't surprised. He'll defend Palin because he chose her and he genuinely seems to like her, even though she wasn't his first choice. But this raises a flag, Palin has made it clear that she's in over her head but McCain will loyally stand by her. More than anything, it calls McCain's thinking into question. 
The Biden Palin debate is Oct. 2. Interestingly, this is what the Obama camp said:

“We’ve looked at tapes of Gov. Palin’s debates, and she’s a terrific debater,” Plouffe told reporters on a conference call. “She has performed very, very well. She’s obviously a skilled speaker. We expect she’ll give a great performance next Thursday. “

What's up with that? Meanwhile, republicans are getting nervous.
NYT: History has shown again and again that a vice president must be ready to assume command of the ship of state on a moment’s notice. But Ms. Palin has given no indication yet that she is capable of handling the monumental responsibilities of the presidency if she were called upon to do so.

In fact, the opposite is the case. We know that there are some parts of Alaska from which, if the day is clear and your eyesight is good, you can actually see Russia. But the infantile repetition of this bit of trivia as some kind of foreign policy bona fide for a vice presidential candidate should give us pause.

The McCain campaign has done its bizarre best to shield Ms. Palin from any sustained media examination of her readiness for the highest offices in the land, and no wonder. She has been an embarrassment in interviews.

But the idea that the voters of the United States might install someone in the vice president’s office who is too unprepared or too intellectually insecure to appear on, say, “Meet the Press” or “Face the Nation” is mind-boggling.

The alarm bells should be clanging and warning lights flashing. You wouldn’t put an unqualified pilot in the cockpit of a jetliner. The potential for catastrophe is far, far greater with an unqualified president.