Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Newt In The Center Of The Storm

Ahhh. The plot thickens ...

Now that House Republicans are insisting their vote against the bailout yesterday had nothing to do with Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s supposedly “partisan” speech, some are wondering what in fact turned at least 10 Republican votes Blunt thought he had against the bill.

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported this morning that conservatives may have been taking their marching orders from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who “was whipping against this up until the last minute” — despite issuing a statement supporting the bill as the vote was taking place:

MITCHELL: I’m told reliably by leading Republicans who are close to him, he was whipping against this up until the last minute when he issued that face-saving statement. Newt Gingrich was telling people in the strongest possible language that this was a terrible deal, not only that it was a terrible deal, that it was a disaster, it was the end of democracy as we know it, it was socialism. And then at the last minute comes out with a statement when the vote is already in place.

Watch it ...


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No one is listening to you!
US President George W Bush has warned the US economy is at a "critical moment", and vowed to get his Wall Street rescue plan through Congress.

He said the consequences would be "painful and lasting" if the $700bn (£380bn) deal rejected by the US House of Representatives was not passed.


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Monday, September 29, 2008

Wachovia Gone

Who is next?
Citigroup will acquire the banking operations of the Wachovia Corporation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said Monday morning, the latest bank to fall victim to the distressed mortgage market.


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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Has Died

That man was foine!
Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money" _ and as an activist, race car driver and popcorn impresario _ has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman had dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men," citing unspecified health issues.

He got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, a legend held in awe by his peers. He was nominated for Oscars 10 times, winning one regular award and two honorary ones, and had major roles in more than 50 motion pictures, including "Exodus," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "The Verdict," "The Sting" and "Absence of Malice."

Newman worked with some of the greatest directors of the past half century, from Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston to Robert Altman, Martin Scorsese and the Coen brothers. His co-stars included Elizabeth Taylor, Lauren Bacall, Tom Cruise, Tom Hanks and, most famously, Robert Redford, his sidekick in "Butch Cassidy" and "The Sting."

He sometimes teamed with his wife and fellow Oscar winner, Joanne Woodward, with whom he had one of Hollywood's rare long-term marriages. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray. They wed in 1958, around the same time they both appeared in "The Long Hot Summer," and Newman directed her in several films, including "Rachel, Rachel" and "The Glass Menagerie."

With his strong, classically handsome face and piercing blue eyes, Newman was a heartthrob just as likely to play against his looks, becoming a favorite with critics for his convincing portrayals of rebels, tough guys and losers. "I was always a character actor," he once said. "I just looked like Little Red Riding Hood."

Newman had a soft spot for underdogs in real life, giving tens of millions to charities through his food company and setting up camps for severely ill children. Passionately opposed to the Vietnam War, and in favor of civil rights, he was so famously liberal that he ended up on President Nixon's "enemies list," one of the actor's proudest achievements, he liked to say.


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

WaMu Down

We knew it was coming.
The federal government has arranged for Washington Mutual to sell its deposits and some branches to JPMorgan Chase, people briefed on the matter said Thursday night.

The deal does not include any branches in New York City.

Washington Mutual has seen its stock slide nearly 88 percent this year.

The firm recently hired Goldman Sachs to solicit potential buyers, and the list has included the likes of Citigroup, Wells Fargo, HSBC and Banco Santander.

While Washington Mutual argued that it has adequate capital, it has suffered debilitating downgrades of its credit rating over the past two weeks, endangering its financial health.

The talks have continued amid heightened concern about all financial companies and an intense political battle over creation of a giant bailout fund on Capitol Hill. Washington Mutual plunged into the subprime mortgage and credit card business over the last few years, and has been ravaged by the worsening housing crisis. Analysts suggest that it could rack up losses totaling $30 billion or more.


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Not A Lick Of Sense

Yes, I'm so glad I missed that Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin. The things that she says make you want to snatch her yet, I know that the more she talks, the more stupid she will appear.
Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin defended her remark that the close proximity of Russia to her home state of Alaska gives her foreign policy experience, explaining in a CBS interview airing Thursday that "we have trade missions back and forth."

Palin has never visited Russia and until last year the 44-year-old Alaska governor had never traveled outside North America. She also had never met a foreign leader until her trip this week to New York. In the CBS interview, she did not offer any examples of having been involved in any negotiations with the Russians.

Palin's foreign policy experience came up when she gave her first major interview, on Sept. 11 to ABC News. Asked what insight she had gained from living so close to Russia, she said: "They're our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska."

The comment met with derision from Palin's critics and was turned into a punch line for a "Saturday Night Live" skit featuring actress Tina Fey. Appearing as Palin, she proclaimed, "I can see Russia from my house!"

In the interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric, Palin said: "It's funny that a comment like that was, kind of made to ... I don't know, you know? Reporters ..."

Couric said, "Mock?"

"Yeah," Palin said, "mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah."

When Couric asked how Alaska's closeness to Russia enhanced her foreign policy experience, Palin said, "Well, it certainly does because our ... our next-door neighbors are foreign countries." Alaska shares a border with Canada.
Palin didn't answer directly when Couric inquired about whether she had been involved in any negotiations with the Russians.

"We have trade missions back and forth," she replied. As she continued, Palin brought up Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"It's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where — where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is — from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to ... to our state," she said.


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McCain Wants To Waste More Money

This time, it is Ole Miss' money. They've spent $5.5 preparing for the debate that McCain is too afraid to attend.
ABC News' Tahman Bradley Reports: A senior University of Mississippi official reacted Wednesday to the news that Sen. John McCain R-Ariz., wants to postpone Friday's presidential debate, saying that such a move would be "devastating" for the university which has already invested millions in preparation for the debate.

Andrew Mullins, special assistant to university Chancellor Robert Khayat, told ABC News that the Ole Miss campus has been transformed to accommodate the candidates and the press. Road blocks are in place on campus and in the community and the debate television set for the candidates has already been constructed. He said the university has spent roughly five and half million dollars getting ready for the debate.

Mullins also noted that if the Commission on Presidential Debates asks the campus to hold the debate at a later date, he is not sure the university would be able to accommodate them.

"It's huge. You cannot just say that you're not going to do this thing," Mullins said. "I don't have any idea whether we do the debate" at a later date. "(We) probably wouldn't do it."

For now, Mullins, says the university is proceeding like they're still having the debate until the commission makes a decision. The university was instructed by the commission on Wednesday to move forward as though the debate is still going to happen, Mullins said.

Sen. McCain, who suspended his campaign activity Wednesday, called for the debate to be postponed so that he could focus on the current economic crisis.

Postponed until win? Networks block out time for events like this well in advance. He's acting as though this is some barn meeting with a few locals. He needs to show up for the debate!!!


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The Hiding Of Sarah Palin

We totally know why they don't want her out on her own, especially after her hot mess of an interview with Katie Couric yesterday, but Campbell is right!
Frankly I have had it, and I know a lot of other women out there who are with me on this. I have had enough of the sexist treatment of Sarah Palin. It has to end.

She was in New York on Tuesday meeting with world leaders at the U.N. And what did the McCain campaign do?

They tried to ban reporters from covering those meetings. And they did ban reporters from asking Gov. Palin any questions.

I call upon the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower who will wilt at any moment.

This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong, she is tough, she is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Video Watch Brown call on the McCain campaign to 'Free Sarah Palin' »

Allow her to face down those pesky reporters just like Barack Obama did today, just like John McCain did today. Just like Joe Biden has done on numerous occasions. Let her have a real news conference with real questions.

By treating Sarah Palin differently from other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves.

Free Sarah Palin.

Free her from the chauvinistic chains you are binding her with.

Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. Video Watch a debate on whether the GOP is hiding Palin »

So let her act like one.


At 9:27 PM, Blogger mb said...

yes free her to demonstrate the true total lightweight that she is. Free her to demonstrate that even though she has a vagina she is against women having the right to determine what happens to their bodies,with the notable exception of her daughter. Free her to demonstrate her complete lack of comprehension of the world of hurt this country is in. She is George Bush in a skirt.


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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be There Or Be Square!

McCain is looking really crazy about now and Obama isn't letting him play the nut role!
Senator John McCain on Wednesday injected another surprise into his presidential campaign, announcing that he would suspend campaigning on Thursday and seek a delay in this week’s planned debate so that he could return to Washington to try to forge a consensus on a financial bailout package.

“I am calling on the President to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Barack Obama and myself,” Mr. McCain said in New York on Wednesday afternoon. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”

A short time later, Mr. Obama appeared at a hastily called news conference in Clearwater, Fla., and said he agreed “there are times for politics and there are times to rise above politics and do what’s right.” But he said he saw no need to cancel he debate, scheduled for Friday night at the University of Mississippi.

“This is exactly the time when people need to hear from the candidates,” Mr. Obama said.

He added: “Part of the president’s job is to deal with more than one thing at once. In my mind it’s more important than ever.”


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We Need To 'Fight The Power' Now

If there was ever a time to Fight the power, it is now. That's probably why it was named the #1 hip-hop song.
Let the debates begin: VH1 has compiled its list of the 100 greatest hip-hop songs, and Public Enemy's black power anthem "Fight the Power" tops the list.

The cable channel will count down its list in a series of shows starting Monday. At No. 2 is the Sugarhill Gang's groundbreaking song, "Rapper's Delight," followed by Dr. Dre's "Nuthin but a 'G' Thang" at No. 3. Run-D.M.C.'s "Walk This Way" with Aerosmith and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message" round out the top five.

Salt-N-Pepa was the only female act in the top 10, with their early hit "Push It." Two of rap's biggest names — Jay-Z and Eminem — didn't make the top 10, though they are in the top 20.

Other acts on the list include the Notorious B.I.G., 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, Biz Markie, Black Sheep, and J.J. Fad.

The list comes as VH1 prepares to honor the pioneers in rap once again as part of its annual Hip-Hop Honors show, which this year celebrates Slick Rick, De La Soul, Cypress Hill, Naughty by Nature, and Too Short. That show airs Oct. 6.


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Ah, This Is So Nice

Officials of a Christian university say a life-size effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was hung from a tree on the campus.

George Fox University President Robin Baker says a custodian discovered the cardboard cutout of Obama early Tuesday at the Oregon school and removed it.

The effigy was accompanied by a message targeting participants of a minority student scholarship program called Act Six.

It read, "Act Six reject."

Baker says he met with the students in the Act Six program, who receive full scholarships, late Tuesday and plans to address the school's student body Wednesday.


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More Reasons Not To Debate

More proof that John McCain and company will bring no change!
Since 2006, the federally sponsored mortgage giant Freddie Mac has paid at least $345,000 to the lobbying and consulting firm of John McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement.

Freddie Mac had previously paid an advocacy group run by Davis, called the Homeownership Alliance, $30,000 a month until the end of 2005, when that group was dissolved. That relationship was the subject of a New York Times story Monday, which drew angry denunciations from the McCain campaign. McCain and his aides have vehemently objected to suggestions that Davis has ties to Freddie Mac—an especially sensitive issue given that the Republican presidential candidate has blamed "the lobbyists, politicians and bureaucrats" for the mortgage crisis that recently prompted the Bush administration to take over both Freddie Mac and its companion, Fannie Mae, and put them under federal conservatorship.

But neither the Times story—nor the McCain campaign—revealed that Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month—long after the Homeownership Alliance had been terminated. The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told NEWSWEEK that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, because "he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no," said one of the sources. [McLoughlin did not return phone calls].


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Running Scared!

Oh please! He wants to "postpone" the debate too?
Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced Wednesday that he is “suspending” his campaign to return to Washington and focus on the “historic” crisis facing the U.S. economy.

The Arizona senator called on his Democratic rival, Barack Obama, to do the same. He also urged organizers of Friday’s presidential debate at the University of Mississippi to postpone the event.

“I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself,” McCain told reporters in New York. “It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem.”


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This Just In!

In my best Gomer Pyle voice: "Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!" Clay Aiken is gay!

Clay Aiken has come out of the closet. In an edition of People magazine to be published tomorrow, Aiken poses with his newborn son Parker and confirms the rumors that have dogged the singer since he belted out his first glory note on American Idol.

The content of the article has not yet been released, but some hints can be gleaned about his long-anticipated confession from the Aiken quote teased on the cover: "I cannot raise a child to lie or hide things."

May wonders never cease! I tell ya. The next thing they'll be telling us is that water is wet!


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Sunday, September 21, 2008


Sorry! I saw $700 Billion bailout in the headlines today and my mind just checked out. I don't even know WTF this means!
Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the last two independent investment banks, will become bank holding companies, the Federal Reserve said Sunday night, fundamentally altering the landscape of Wall Street.

The move fundamentally changes one of the mainstay models of modern Wall Street, the independent investment bank, soon after the federal government unveiled the biggest market rescue since the Great Depression. It heralds new regulations and supervisions of previously lightly regulated investment banks. It is also the latest signal by the Federal Reserve that it will not let Goldman or Morgan fail.

The move comes after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the near-collapses of Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch.

Now, Goldman and Morgan Stanley, which have been the subject of merger speculation in recent weeks, can become direct competitors to larger firms like Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Those firms combine investment-banking operations with the larger capital cushions that come with retail deposits, giving them a stability that pure investment banks lack.

JPMorgan acquired Bear Stearns this spring in a fire sale brokered by the federal government, while Bank of America has agreed to buy Merrill Lynch for $50 billion. Barclays of Britain agreed to buy the core capital-markets business of Lehman Brothers out of bankruptcy late last week.

Announced without fanfare on Sunday night, the move signals the final end to the Glass-Steagall Act, the epochal legislation of 1933 that signaled a split between investment banks and retail banks. A law passed in 1999 repealed the earlier regulation, though Goldman and Morgan remained independent investment banks.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Oh, I Feel So Much Better Now!

They broke into regularly scheduled programming today to show Bush ramble for less than two minutes and for what?
"The American people are concerned about the situation in our financial markets and our economy, and I share their concerns," Bush said at the White House. "The American people can be sure we will continue to act to strengthen and stabilize our financial markets and improve investor confidence."

Bush offered no assurances Thursday about the strength of the country's economy, taking a more sombre tone than he did earlier in the week, when he described the financial markets as "flexible and resilient."

His comments came only hours after the U.S. Federal Reserve injected $55 billion US into the country's financial system to avoid a credit crisis. The Fed, in co-ordinaton with other central banks, added $247 billion overall to the international lenders.

"These actions are necessary and they're important, and the markets are adjusting to them," Bush said. "Our financial markets continue to deal with serious challenges.

Seems they had to drag him his office and push him out in front of that microphone to get a few words out - which really amounted to nothing. These folks have GOT TO GO!


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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dead At 158

I still just cannot believe this ...
The leverage party's over for the masters of the universe. Shed a tear. When you trade pieces of paper for other pieces of paper instead of trading them for real things, one day someone wakes up and realizes the paper's worth nothing. And Lehman Brothers, after 158 years, has gone poof in the night.

We're witnessing the passing of more than a venerable firm. We're seeing the death of a culture.

For years, accountants, rating agencies and Wall Street executives decided to shoot craps and collect fees. Regulators, taking their cue from a distracted President Bush, took a nap. The two M's - Money and Me - became the lodestones of the zeitgeist, and damn those distant wars.

The biggest single-day market drop since 9/11 reminded me that when trading reopened on Sept. 17, 2001, and the Dow plunged 684.81 points, some executives backdated their options to re-price them at this post-attack low in order to increase their potential gains.

So that's what "financial killing" really means. No better illustration exists of a culture where private gain has eclipsed the public good, public service, even public decency, and where the cult of the individual has caused the commonwealth to wither.

That's the culture we've lived with. It's over now. Some new American beginning is needed.


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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who Benefits?

That's the question you always have to ask when the McCain's of the world come up with a plan that is supposed to help the common man. Who will benefit and who will end up worse off?
For starters, the McCain health plan would treat employer-paid health benefits as income that employees would have to pay taxes on.

“It means your employer is going to have to make an estimate on how much the employer is paying for health insurance on your behalf, and you are going to have to pay taxes on that money,” said Sherry Glied, an economist who chairs the Department of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.

Ms. Glied is one of the four scholars who have just completed an independent joint study of the plan. Their findings are being published on the Web site of the policy journal, Health Affairs.

According to the study: “The McCain plan will force millions of Americans into the weakest segment of the private insurance system — the nongroup market — where cost-sharing is high, covered services are limited and people will lose access to benefits they have now.”

The net effect of the plan, the study said, “almost certainly will be to increase family costs for medical care.”

Under the McCain plan (now the McCain-Palin plan) employees who continue to receive employer-paid health benefits would look at their pay stubs each week or each month and find that additional money had been withheld to cover the taxes on the value of their benefits.

While there might be less money in the paycheck, that would not be anything to worry about, according to Senator McCain. That’s because the government would be offering all taxpayers a refundable tax credit — $2,500 for a single worker and $5,000 per family — to be used “to help pay for your health care.”

You may think this is a good move or a bad one — but it’s a monumental change in the way health coverage would be provided to scores of millions of Americans. Why not more attention?

The whole idea of the McCain plan is to get families out of employer-paid health coverage and into the health insurance marketplace, where naked competition is supposed to take care of all ills. (We’re seeing in the Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch fiascos just how well the unfettered marketplace has been working).

Taxing employer-paid health benefits is the first step in this transition, the equivalent of injecting poison into the system. It’s the beginning of the end.


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Okay, Let's Go There

... because the Yee-Hah/Yahoo crowd packing the stage at the RNC made me ill ...
For those who still can’t grasp the concept of white privilege, or who are constantly looking for some easy-to-understand examples of it, perhaps this list will help.

White privilege is when you can get pregnant at seventeen like Bristol Palin and everyone is quick to insist that your life and that of your family is a personal matter, and that no one has a right to judge you or your parents, because “every family has challenges,” even as black and Latino families with similar “challenges” are regularly typified as irresponsible, pathological and arbiters of social decay.

White privilege is when you can call yourself a “fuckin’ redneck,” like Bristol Palin’s boyfriend does, and talk about how if anyone messes with you, you'll “kick their fuckin' ass,” and talk about how you like to “shoot shit” for fun, and still be viewed as a responsible, all-American boy (and a great son-in-law to be) rather than a thug.

White privilege is when you can attend four different colleges in six years like Sarah Palin did (one of which you basically failed out of, then returned to after making up some coursework at a community college), and no one questions your intelligence or commitment to achievement, whereas a person of color who did this would be viewed as unfit for college, and probably someone who only got in in the first place because of affirmative action.

White privilege is when you can claim that being mayor of a town smaller than most medium-sized colleges, and then Governor of a state with about the same number of people as the lower fifth of the island of Manhattan, makes you ready to potentially be president, and people don’t all piss on themselves with laughter, while being a black U.S. Senator, two-term state Senator, and constitutional law scholar, means you’re “untested.”

[keep reading]


At 2:24 PM, Blogger The Love Collective said...

Cool blog! Just showing love.



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She's So Not Ready

... not by a long shot ...
With all of that and more being the case, how can it be a good idea to set in motion the possibility that Americans might wake up one morning to find that Sarah Palin is president?

I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

To burnish the foreign policy credentials of a vice presidential candidate who never even had a passport until last year, the Republicans have been touting Alaska’s proximity to Russia. (Imagine the derisive laughter in conservative circles if the Democrats had tried such nonsense.) So Mr. Gibson asked Ms. Palin, “What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?”

She said, “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska. From an island in Alaska.”

Mr. Gibson tried again. “But what insight does that give you,” he asked, “into what they’re doing in Georgia?”

Clueless and scary ...


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Let's Hope So

Despite my nagging worry that the American public will veer towards stupidity once again, I've been trying to ride this out. I think her 15 minutes may come to an end ...
The Sarah Palin Phenomenon is doomed.

But it's not because of her lack of foreign policy experience or her deer-in-the-headlights look during part of her interview last week with ABC's Charles Gibson.

The primary reason why the Palin bubble will burst is that the media will decide that they are bored with her. They'll need to move to shine a light on a fresh issue or individual.

This is how the world works in the age of 24/7 news cycles. Whether the subject is Britney Spears, Michael Jordan or Sarah Palin, we inevitably raise stars to mythic levels, out of all reasonable proportions. Then we knock them down. (Look out, Michael Phelps. Your time is coming, too.)


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McCain Not Passing The Smell Test

At least not according to Thomas Friedman ...
I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq, even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency.

In order to disguise the fact that the core of his campaign is to continue the same Bush policies that have led 80 percent of the country to conclude we’re on the wrong track, McCain has decided to play the culture-war card. Obama may be a bit professorial, but at least he is trying to unite the country to face the real issues rather than divide us over cultural differences.

A Washington Post editorial on Thursday put it well: “On a day when the Congressional Budget Office warned of looming deficits and a grim economic outlook, when the stock market faltered even in the wake of the government’s rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, when President Bush discussed the road ahead in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what did the campaign of Senator John McCain spend its energy? A conference call to denounce Senator Barack Obama for using the phrase ‘lipstick on a pig’ and a new television ad accusing the Democrat of wanting to teach kindergartners about sex before they learn to read.”

Some McCain supporters criticize Obama for not having the steel in his belly to use force in the dangerous world we live in today. Well I know this: In order to use force, you have to have force. In order to exercise leverage, you have to have leverage.

I don’t know how much steel is in Obama’s belly, but I do know that the issues he is focusing on in this campaign — improving education and health care, dealing with the deficit and forging a real energy policy based on building a whole new energy infrastructure — are the only way we can put steel back into America’s spine. McCain, alas, has abandoned those issues for the culture-war strategy.

Who cares how much steel John McCain has in his gut when the steel that today holds up our bridges, railroads, nuclear reactors and other infrastructure is rusting? McCain talks about how he would build dozens of nuclear power plants. Oh, really? They go for $10 billion a pop. Where is the money going to come from? From lowering taxes? From banning abortions? From borrowing more from China? From having Sarah Palin “reform” Washington — as if she has any more clue how to do that than the first 100 names in the D.C. phonebook?


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Greenspan Is Comforting

The United States is mired in a "once-in-a century" financial crisis which is now more than likely to spark a recession, former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan said Sunday.

The talismanic ex-central banker said that the crisis was the worst he had seen in his career, still had a long way to go and would continue to effect home prices in the United States.

"First of all, let's recognize that this is a once-in-a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event," Greenspan said on ABC's "This Week."

Asked whether the crisis, which has seen the US government step in to bail out mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, was the worst of his career, Greenspan replied "Oh, by far."

"There's no question that this is in the process of outstripping anything I've seen, and it still is not resolved and it still has a way to go," Greenspan said.

"And indeed, it will continue to be a corrosive force until the price of homes in the United States stabilizes.

"That will induce a series of events around the globe which will stabilize the system."

Greenspan was also asked whether the United States had a greater-than 50 percent chance of escaping a recession.

"No, I think it's less than 50 percent.

"I can't believe we could have a once-in-a-century type of financial crisis without a significant impact on the real economy globally, and I think that indeed is what is in the process of occurring."


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Uh Oh ...

Other things in the world are going on ...
Ukraine's pro-Western coalition was dissolved on Tuesday, opening the way for what could be difficult talks on finding a viable alternative to govern.

The coalition, made up of groups led by President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, collapsed earlier this month when the president's allies walked out.

"I am obliged to fulfil my constitutional duty. This has been long expected, but for me it is extremely sad," parliament's chairman Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the chamber.

"I officially declare the coalition of democratic forces ... in Ukraine's parliament dissolved."

Tymoshenko and Yushchenko stood side-by-side in the 2004 "Orange Revolution" that swept the president to power but, with Tymoshenko twice serving as prime minister, they have bickered constantly.

Relations with Russia have deteriorated sharply, largely over the president's drive to win NATO membership for the country of about 47 million people and over his denunciation of Russia's military intervention in Georgia last month.

With all Ukrainian politicians focusing on their chances in a presidential election in 2010, 10 days of talks failed to patch up differences. Both the president and prime minister adopted entrenched positions.

Politicians now have 30 days to revive the coalition or produce a combination able to secure a majority. Should talks fail, the president can dissolve the chamber and call what would be the third election to parliament in as many years.


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That Poor Kettle

I'm so sure I am going to buy Karl Rove being "appalled" at McCain's campaign ads. What a great big pot he is ...
Former Bush adviser Karl Rove said Sunday that Sen. John McCain had gone "one step too far" in some of his recent ads attacking Sen. Barack Obama.

Karl Rove said both candidates are guilty of going too far in their attacks.

Rove has leveled similar criticism against Obama.

"McCain has gone in some of his ads -- similarly gone one step too far," he told Fox News, "and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the '100 percent truth' test."

The Obama campaign immediately leaped on the quote.

"In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove -- the man who held the previous record -- said McCain's ads have gone too far," said campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor, in a statement sent to reporters minutes after Rove's on-air comments. Rove masterminded both of President Bush's successful White House bids.

Rove said both candidates need to "be careful" about their attacks on each other.

"They ought to -- there ought to be an adult who says, 'Do we really need to go that far in this ad? Don't we make our point and won't we get broader acceptance and deny the opposition an opportunity to attack us if we don't include that one little last tweak in the ad?' " he said.

Ninja please!


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So Many Lies

McCain has to use them to win this race at all costs ...
The precise moment of McCain's abasement came, would you believe, not at some news conference or on one of the Sunday shows but on "The View," the daytime TV show created by Barbara Walters. Last week, one of the co-hosts, Joy Behar, took McCain to task for some of the ads his campaign has been running. One deliberately mischaracterized what Barack Obama had said about putting lipstick on a pig - an Americanism that McCain himself has used in the past. The other asserted that Obama supported teaching sex education to kindergartners.

"We know that those two ads are untrue," Behar said. "They are lies."

Freeze. Close in on McCain. This was the moment. He has largely been avoiding the press. The Straight Talk Express is now just a brand, an ad slogan like "Home Cooking" or "We Will Not Be Undersold." Until then, it was possible for McCain to say that he had not really known about the ads, that the formulation "I approve this message" was just boilerplate. But he didn't.

"Actually, they are not lies," he said.

Actually, they are.

McCain has turned ugly. His dishonesty would be unacceptable in any politician, but McCain has always set his own bar higher than most. He has contempt for most of his colleagues for that very reason: They lie. He tells the truth. He internalizes the code of the McCains - his grandfather, his father: both admirals of the shining sea. He serves his country differently, that's all - but just as honorably. No more, though.

I am one of the journalists accused over the years of being in the tank for McCain. Guilty. Those doing the accusing usually attributed my feelings to McCain being accessible. This is the journalist-as-puppy school of thought: Give us a treat and we will leap into a politician's lap.

Not so. What impressed me most about McCain was the effect he had on his audiences, particularly young people. When he talked about service to a cause greater than oneself, he struck a chord. He expressed his message in words, but he packaged it in the McCain story - that man, beaten to a pulp, who chose honor over freedom. This had nothing to do with access. It had to do with integrity.

McCain has soiled all that. His opportunistic and irresponsible choice of Sarah Palin as his political heir - the person towhom he would leave the country - is a form of personal treason, a betrayal of all he once stood for. Palin, no matter what her other attributes, is shockingly unprepared to become President. McCain knows that. He means to win, which is all right; he means to win at all costs, which is not.

America has been cheated on too many times - the lies of Vietnam and Watergate and Iraq. So many lies.


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The Power Of Positive Unthinking

Maureen Dowd isn't feeling Sarah either. The chick just is not ready ...
The really scary part of the Palin interview was how much she seemed like W. in 2000, and not just the way she pronounced nu-cue-lar. She had the same flimsy but tenacious adeptness at saying nothing, the same generalities and platitudes, the same restrained resentment at being pressed to be specific, as though specific is the province of silly eggheads, not people who clear brush at the ranch or shoot moose on the tundra.

Just as W. once could not name the General-General running Pakistan, so Palin took a position on Pakistan that McCain had derided as naïve when Obama took it.

“We must not, Charlie, blink, Charlie, because, Charlie, as I’ve said, Charlie, before, John McCain has said, Charlie, that — and remember here, Charlie, we’re talking about John McCain, Charlie, who, Charlie, is John McCain and I won’t be blinking, Charlie.”

She tried to finesse her previous church comments about Iraq, asking worshipers to pray “that there is a plan, and that plan is God’s plan.” Earnestly repeating after her tutors, she said she had meant to echo Abraham Lincoln, that in war we must pray that we are on God’s side rather than that he is on ours. But her original comments sounded more W. than Abe — taking your policy and ideology and giving it the hallowed mantle of a mission from God.

Sarah has single-handedly ushered out the “Sex and the City” era, and made the sexy new model for America a retro one — the glamorous Pioneer Woman, packing a gun, a baby and a Bible.

Her explosion onto the scene made Obama seem even more like a windy, wispy egghead. Like W., Sarah has the power of positive unthinking. But now we may want to think about where ignorance and pride and no self-doubt has gotten us. Being quick on the trigger might be good in moose hunting, but in dealing with Putin, a little knowledge might come in handy.


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Monday, September 15, 2008


My, my ... lookey here .... She's a gem of a woman ...
Fascist writer Westbrook Pegler, an avowed racist who Sarah Palin approvingly quoted in her acceptance speech for the moral superiority of small town values, expressed his fervent hope about my father, Robert F. Kennedy, as he contemplated his own run for the presidency in 1965, that "some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow flies."

It might be worth asking Governor Palin for a tally of the other favorites from her reading list.


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Friday, September 12, 2008

Biden Is The Brokest

It's not a bad salary. I think Michelle Obama's salary was higher than the Biden's joint income. How much do VPs make?
Joe Biden's newly released tax returns appear to confirm what the Democratic VP candidate has long contended — he is among the poorest U.S. senators currently serving.

At least half the nation’s senators are millionaires. But Biden and his wife Jill earned a relatively small $320,000 in 2006, paying about $66,000 in taxes. Over the last 10 years Biden and his wife earned just shy of $2.5 million — an average income of roughly $245,000 per year.

The Obama campaign released the 10 years worth of documents earlier Friday, in part to pressure the McCain campaign to do the same with Sarah Palin and her husband Todd's returns.

“The last eight years have brought Americans' faith in their government to its lowest point in over thirty years," Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said. "The only answer is to change the way we do business in Washington. That starts with something as simple as transparency. That's why Senator Biden is releasing his tax returns for the last 10 years."

A McCain aide told CNN Friday the campaign would release Palin's documents, but on their "own timeframe."

The Bidens' returns do not specify the various sources of the income, but the Delaware Democrat earns $165,000 per year as a senator and draws roughly $20,000 annually from his visiting law professorship at Widener University. Jill Biden is a teacher in Delaware and draws a salary of about $66,000. The 2007 tax returns also indicate Biden earned $71,000 in royalties for his book "Promises to Keep."

Biden, who does not hold a second residence in Washington and commutes back to Delaware daily via Amtrak train, often jokes about his relatively poor financial standing on the campaign trail. His modes net worth is also touted by the Obama campaign as a sign Biden has not become a creature of Washington or a fixture on its cocktail circuit.

"I make a good salary, although I am listed as the second-poorest man in this Congress," Biden said in Missouri last week. "I’m not proud of it. I’m not proud of it. But that’s what happens when you get elected when you’re 29 years old."


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Are We In 3rd Grade Again?

Mc Cain sure acts like it. But, given what appears to be the low level of intellect by the large number of Americans who seem to hang on his every word, he can get away with it ...
So everyone's talking about the nasty spike of nastiness in the presidential race -- a spike brilliantly orchestrated by the Republican machinery -- and Republican John McCain takes a moment to point out that even this is Barack Obama's fault.

Y'see, all the crap being thrown at Obama -- the fear-mongering, the half-truths, the full lies -- all the character assassination hurling Obama's way, is in fact, his own doing.

"I think the tone of this whole campaign would have been very different if Senator Obama had accepted my request for us to appear in town hall meetings all over America," the Senator from Arizona tells us.

Am I just losing my friggin' mind? Seriously. I keep looking around the room to see if I'm living in some suddenly altered state where everything we know is now called the opposite, and nobody notices. Or can stop it.

"I wish I didn't have to take your lunch money, but you should'nt of hadda brung it."

We're in the 3rd grade again. The skinny, smart kid who just moved in to the neighborhood is getting roughed-up by the asshole bully. The kid who hits you in the head with your hand and says, "Why're you hitting yourself? Why're you hitting yourself?"


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Mc Cain Grilled On The View

I'll watch the tape when I get home from work but here are some clips. They, surprisingly, let him have it!
The ladies of "The View" confronted John McCain today for lying in recent attack ads. In arguably his toughest interview yet, View co-host Joy Behar asked McCain:

"There are ads running from your campaign... Now we know that those two ads are untrue, they are lies. And yet, you at the end of it say you approve these messages. Do you really approve these? Barbara then threw in her condemnation, by telling McCain: "You, yourself said the same thing about putting lipstick on a pig..."


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Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Cocky Wacko

Sounds about right to me ...
Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee was known for keeping a low-key profile on Capitol Hill, but the Republican -turned -Independent is making waves with his exceedingly blunt comments on newly-minted Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin:

She's a "cocky wacko," he told a Washington think tank earlier this week.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Pigs Are Nicer Than Pit Bulls

Even if the "lipstick on a pig" remarks were directed at Sarah Palin (which they weren't but we know how lying is part of the GOP's campaign strategy), I'd say it's a step up from her calling herself a child eating bitch. She is a female and, I believe, a pitbull is a dog, right?
BARACK Obama has dismissed the US presidential campaign of rivals John McCain and Sarah Palin as putting "lipstick on a pig" in his most direct attack on the Republican odd couple aiming to keep him out of the White House.

However the line is being interpreted by some - especially those in the McCain camp - as a personal sledge against Mrs Palin, Senator McCain's surprise running mate who described herself as a "pit bull with lipstick" when she accepted the Republican vice-presidential nomination at the party's national convention last week.

"We've been talking about change when we were up in the polls and when we were down in the polls," Senator Obama told a rally in Virginia as surveys suggested Senator McCain and Mrs Palin have overhauled his lead for the election to be held on November 5 (Australian time).

"The other side, suddenly, they're saying 'we're for change too'. Now think about it, these are the same folks that have been in charge for the last eight years.

"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough," he said to instant applause.


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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Cook Her

Obama is doing exactly what he needs to do. He's turning up the heat on that Palin person.
Listening to Barack Obama, it can seem like Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin is the main person standing between him and the White House instead of John McCain.

Obama is putting as much heat on Palin as he is on the man at the top of the GOP ticket, objecting to the Republican Party's portrayal of her as a reformer who can bring change to Washington.

That is supposed to be Obama's distinction, and he's not taking kindly to Palin trying to claim it. Especially when it appears the new star on the GOP ticket is helping to boost its standing: McCain has jumped to a dead heat or narrow lead over Obama in the latest national polls since choosing Palin as his running mate.

Obama said last week's Republican National Convention did a good job of highlighting Palin's biography — "Mother, governor, moose shooter. That's cool," he said. But he said Palin really is just another Republican politician, one who is stretching the truth about her record.

"When John McCain gets up there with Sarah Palin and says, `We're for change,' ... what are they talking about?" Obama said Monday, arguing that they aren't offering different ideas from President Bush and they are just trying to steal his campaign theme because it seemed to be working.

"It was just like a month ago they were all saying, `Oh, it's experience, experience, experience.' Then they chose Palin and they started talking about change, change, change," he said.


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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Somebody Snatch This Fool!


At 8:41 PM, Blogger Waleed said...

"If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would." --Malcom X


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Stand Up And Fight?

How could this be? I totally forgot to blog about John McCain's WTF acceptance speech at the RNC. It's not like I missed much because he didn't say much. Every single person who spoke before him, went on and on about his time as a POW ... which was decades ago and not really relevant to anything we need now or in the future. Then he gives a hollow speech which addresses nothing that affects the kitchen table issues of the average American. Yet, he worked the crowd into a frenzy talking about fighting. Not about fighting for decent and affordable health care. Not about fighting for jobs that are being shipped overseas. Not about fighting to keep gasoline under $4/gal. I have no idea what the heck he was talking about.

You know, I am not knocking the 5 years he spent as a POW eating roaches and rice in Vietnam. But he never wants to talk about the other bad things, that were his own fault, that happened since then. He cheated on and left the wife who waited for him while he was imprisoned. He left her for a much younger and richer woman who is the reason why he is what he is today. He was involved in that savings and loan disaster that ruined many people. He's been in the hip pocket of one of the worst presidents in American history. Yet, all he wants to do is evoke sympathy for him being a POW before many of the voters out there were born. Is this what the American people want? A war hero who has no idea how to lead us to a prosperous future?

The only thing I'm going to stand up and fight for is keeping him and that bat shit crazy lady with the knocked up daughter out of office.


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Black McCain Supporter Disappointed

I'm glad someone on the other side had the guts to come out and say this. I am utterly appalled at what the Evangelical crowd is trying to pass off as family values.
This is a strange time to be a Republican. Am I just supposed to be cool with all this? Should I now recalibrate my family values to adjust for this unfortunate mess? Is teen pregnancy now just a sign of An American Family? Is the desire to secede from the United States now a sign of patriotism? What the hell is going on here?

First of all, I don’t want to hear from anyone that “Sarah Palin’s family should be off limits”. This isn’t about Bristol Palin or Trig Palin or Earwax Palin or Mack Truck or whatever the hell the other ones are called. This is about the judgement, the beliefs and the managerial style of the woman who could be President of the United States. I see no reason to be polite. I think Palin’s decision to drag her daughter’s teen pregnancy into the international spotlight is not just ill-considered, it is morally bankrupt.

And the story just gets creepier by the minute. So Bristol wasn’t pregnant last winter, but she is NOW? Did she get knocked up while she had mono? Was her mother so irresponsible that her daughter was having unprotected sex while bedridden with an infectious disease? Does this dude, who proclaimed not only that he doesn’t want kids but Ya f - - - with me I’ll kick [your] ass really want to marry her? Are these the kinds of marriages that are supposed to build strong families? My head is spinning.

I’m a Republican because this party supports my beliefs: personal accountability, family values, country first. But now that same party is telling me that while those things are still important, they don’t mean what I thought they meant.

We are being mocked the world over. Our pundits are being laughed off every major news network for their inability to make a clear argument in favor of this decision. Can you blame the poor bastards? YOU go out and explain why Sarah Palin is the most qualified Republican for the job. (And no, you can’t say it’s because she sold a state government plane on EBay.)

I never thought I’d say it, but my vote is on the line. This choice is not aging like a fine wine, it’s molding like sour cream in the sun. DROP SARAH PALIN NOW. Send her back to Alaska and reclaim our values as conservatives and as Christians. A family is made up of a man and a woman who love each other, not a teenage girl and a douchebag, one of whom thinks she’s in love because she’s a child and the other who doesn’t give a rat’s ass because he only wants to hang out with the boys, do some fishing, shoot some s- - - and just f - - -in’ chill I guess. The fact that this poor girl has been forced by her mother to eschew birth control and then take responsibility for the consequences is not good parenting. It’s child abuse.

A shotgun wedding is child abuse. Seventeen and fiance don't even belong in the same sentence in the civilized world. I was insulted watching them parade that child on stage with her baby daddy as though they were some bastion of virtue. Had it been Barack Obama's daughter ... well I don't even need to go there ...


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Pitbull Palin Needs To Be Banned

Given the number of attacks, maulings and killings just in my metropolitan area, I can see why many cities and counties are banning pit bills. I'm sure that in a place where shooting moose and caribou are a part of everyday living, wild and uncontrollable dogs are too. But we don't need one that is one heartbeat away from the Presidency.
With a self-described pit bull wearing lipstick afoot on the political landscape, this could be a scary stretch run in the presidential election.

I mean, for starters, if you see a pit bull with red lips coming down the street, how are you supposed to distinguish whether that's lipstick or blood?

In such a situation, I think the standard advice is to show no fear and LEAVE IT ALONE (as I suggested a week ago before we even knew what we were dealing with), then get inside as quickly as possible until you can find somebody with expertise to check it out more closely.

Under no circumstances are you to put your face or hands anywhere near its mouth, although it was clear last week during the Republican National Convention that there are any number of folks --but fellas especially -- all across our great country who would like to do exactly that ...


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Friday, September 05, 2008

Westmoreland Calls The Obamas Uppity Negroes

Even if they are uppity, so what?
U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who was born and raised in the South, said Thursday that he’s never heard the word uppity used in a racially loaded fashion and meant nothing more than elitist when he applied it to Barack Obama and his wife Michelle.

If anyone read more into it, no undercurrent was intended, Westmoreland spokesman Brian Robinson said this evening.

In a Washington D.C. conversation with reporters, the two-term Sharpsburg congressman was discussing the speech of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin when he was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they’re a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they’re uppity, Westmoreland said, according to The Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill.

When asked to clarify, Westmoreland said, Uppity, yeah.


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Mop The Floor With Her Joe

I'm ready for this fight.


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Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Economist Speaks

Kinda harsh ...
The moose in the room, of course, is her lack of experience. When Geraldine Ferraro was picked as Walter Mondale’s running-mate, she had served in the House for three terms. Even the hapless Dan Quayle, George Bush senior’s sidekick, had served in the House and Senate for 12 years. Mrs Palin, who has been the governor of a state with a population of 670,000 for less than two years, is the most inexperienced candidate for a mainstream party in modern history.

Inexperienced and Bush-level incurious. She has no record of interest in foreign policy, let alone expertise. She once told an Alaskan magazine: I’ve been so focused on state government; I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq. She obtained an American passport only last summer to visit Alaskan troops in Germany and Kuwait. This not only blunts Mr McCain’s most powerful criticism of Mr Obama. It also raises serious questions about the way he makes decisions.

Mr McCain had met Mrs Palin only once, for a 15-minute chat at the National Governors’ Association meeting, before summoning her to his ranch for her final interview. The New York Times claims that his team arrived in Alaska only on August 28th, a day before the announcement. As a result, his advisers seem to have been gobsmacked by the Palin show that is now playing on the national stage. She has links to the wacky Alaska Independence Party, which wants to secede from the Union. She is on record disagreeing with Mr McCain on global warming, among other issues. The contrast with Mr Obama’s choice of the highly experienced and much-vetted Joe Biden is striking.

Mr McCain’s appointment also raises more general worries about the Republican Party’s fitness for government. Up until the middle of last week Mr McCain was still considering two other candidates whom he has known for decades: Joe Lieberman, a veteran senator, independent Democrat and Iraq war hawk, and Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania (a swing state with 21 Electoral College votes) and the first secretary of homeland security. Mr McCain reluctantly rejected both men because their pro-choice views are anathema to the Christian right.

The Palin appointment is yet more proof of the way that abortion still distorts American politics. This is as true on the left as on the right. But the Republicans seem to have gone furthest in subordinating considerations of competence and merit to pro-life purity. One of the biggest problems with the Bush administration is that it appointed so many incompetents because they were sound on Roe v Wade. Mrs Palin’s elevation suggests that, far from breaking with Mr Bush, Mr McCain is repeating his mistakes.


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She Read That Speech Real Good!

Let me preface my remarks by saying that I've grown up in a culture where being a great orator is pretty much par for the course for anyone who wants to be a mover and shaker in the community. Part of the reason why I wasn't knocked over with a feather by Barack Obama in 2004 (although I was impressed) was because I've witnessed so many great speeches by black men and women that there wasn't much to say but "what else can he do?" During any given election cycle within my sorority, I will hear some of the most creative, moving and powerful speakers ever. At any given luncheon or banquet, the keynote speaker will be rousing and thought provoking. Hearing a good speech has become rather passe for me because I've been hearing them my whole life.

Sarah Palin delivered a good speech that was prepared for whomever John McCain's nominee would be. Of course it had to be tweaked to fit her but had McCain had his way, Joe Lieberman would have been getting the applause for all of the cheap shots that were taken at Barack Obama. By mainstream standards, she introduced herself to the country with a bang. By my standards, she was ... good enough. Compared to some of my teachers, preachers, girl scout leaders and, most definitely, national officers of my sorority, Palin seemed like a cute little PTA president from one of the suburbs where open housing was an issue when I was growing up. She was definitely no Ann Richards but she was pretty good for a lady from rural Alaska.

Barack Obama's camp issued a statement in response to Sarah Palin's speech:

"The speech that Governor Palin gave was well delivered, but it was written by George Bush's speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we've heard from George Bush for the last eight years. If Governor Palin and John McCain want to define 'change' as voting with George Bush 90% of the time, that's their choice, but we don't think the American people are ready to take a 10% chance on change."

On Obama's campaign plane, top strategist David Axelrod responded:

"There wasn't one thing that she said about Obama or what he's proposing that is true. She tried to attack Senator Obama by saying he had no significant legislative achievements. Maybe that's what she was told."

On Wednesday, Republicans sought to define Obama as untested and inexperienced, making light of his past work as a community organizer in Chicago.

"For everyday people, ... that seems like real work," said Axelrod.

Ultimately, Axelrod said, the Republicans squandered an opportunity to promote their candidate. He also questioned the emphasis on McCain's years as a prisoner of war, saying the Arizona senator's history already was well known.

"They're shedding an awfully lot of heat but no light," he said. "It almost defies the laws of physics."

As for Palin's claim to be an outsider, Axelrod said that given her pointed criticism of Obama, "for someone who makes the point that she's not from Washington, she looked very much like she would fit in very well there."


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That's Because We Were Watching

She had a lot of curious Dems watching (even though I'm still Independent). I think we padded her numbers.
More than 37 million U.S. TV viewers tuned in to watch Sarah Palin accept the Republican nomination for vice president on Wednesday, just shy of the record set last week by Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, Nielsen Media Research reported.

The 38.4 million-viewer average for Obama's address last Thursday at a Denver football stadium is believed to be the biggest television audience ever for a single night of a U.S. political convention, and Palin's tally of 37.2 million came close to that.


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When The Teleprompter Is Gone

I guess Sarah Palin really excited her base and may have eased the minds of some in the party who thought her being chosen was a mistake. But, it was just one speech folks! Tomorrow is another day ...

Ultimately, however, I suspect that the shelf life of tonight's speech will be brief. It was short on specifics substance-free. It was largely negative--and while sarcasm works in the moment, it tends to curdle as time goes by. And many of its assaults on Obama's record were misleading. That said, none of these complaints will affect the all-important narrative. Before tonight, Sarah Palin was a cipher to most Americans--more a collage of talking points, headlines, biographical details, rumors, speculation and opposition research than a real person. But now voters know something about her, firsthand: that she confronted her opponents head-on--even if the opposition was in part a "sexist" press corps that exists only in the fevered minds of McCain's strategists--and triumphed, as it were, over adversity. For them, clearing that bar is a credential of its own.

Tomorrow, the Palin storyline will shift from "Who is this person?" to "Wow, she was pretty good"--and after a week under siege, that should come as a relief to McCain and Co. Still, it's now up to Palin to prove that she can handle the crucial questions--on inexperience, on Troopergate, on whether her reform record is really what she says it is. And she'll have to do it without a teleprompter.

That said, the GOP was ready to fall in love. The more interesting reactions will come from the press, and, by extension, the rest of America. I guarantee that the reviews will be positive, and rightfully so. For much of the week, the media has obsessed over Palin's complicated (and largely irrelevant) personal life, from her DUI husband to her pregnant teenage daughter. In the absence of any additional appearances--she's spent the five days since joining the ticket ensconced in a Minneapolis hotel room--the pundits and prognosticators simply had nothing else to talk about.

Now they can obsess over her performance. Fixated on process, they'll marvel at how smoothly she plays the attack dog, allowing McCain--in whose mouth the same lines would sound cantankerous and cranky--to float above the fray. They'll note that Palin's smiling attacks are particularly dangerous to Dems because they're aimed at women and middle-class voters who see themselves in her. They'll analyze the sexual subtext of the new McCain-Palin ticket, claiming that middle-American men will be drawn to an attractive "gal" (Palin) who "stands up for her man" (McCain). They'll explain the lack of "policy details" in Palin's speech by saying that her focus on biography and character is the best way for the GOP to appeal to independents--a group that votes for people first and issues second (and would recoil from her hard-right record). And they'll celebrate how, as a woman and a "reformer," she helps McCain compete with Obama for the mantle of "change." Of course, none of this stuff--all of which I've distilled from real conversations with reporters here in the hall--would've surprised anyone remotely familiar with Palin's spunky charisma. But before tonight, most MSMers weren't. As a result, the chatterati set the bar very low--and they'll give Palin a lot of credit for clearing it (which she did with room to spare).

Ultimately, however, I suspect that the shelf life of tonight's speech will be brief. It was short on specifics substance-free. It was largely negative--and while sarcasm works in the moment, it tends to curdle as time goes by. And many of its assaults on Obama's record were misleading. That said, none of these complaints will affect the all-important narrative. Before tonight, Sarah Palin was a cipher to most Americans--more a collage of talking points, headlines, biographical details, rumors, speculation and opposition research than a real person. But now voters know something about her, firsthand: that she confronted her opponents head-on--even if the opposition was in part a "sexist" press corps that exists only in the fevered minds of McCain's strategists--and triumphed, as it were, over adversity. For them, clearing that bar is a credential of its own.
Tomorrow, the Palin storyline will shift from "Who is this person?" to "Wow, she was pretty good"--and after a week under siege, that should come as a relief to McCain and Co. Still, it's now up to Palin to prove that she can handle the crucial questions--on inexperience, on Troopergate, on whether her reform record is really what she says it is. And she'll have to do it without a teleprompter.


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A Community Organizer To Palin


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A Wasilla Resident On Palin

This is part of one woman's opinion.
Sarah campaigned in Wasilla as a fiscal conservative. During her 6 years as Mayor, she increased general government expenditures by over 33%. During those same 6 years the amount of taxes collected by the City increased by 38%. This was during a period of low inflation (1996-2002). She reduced progressive property taxes and increased a regressive sales tax which taxed even food. The tax cuts that she promoted benefited large corporate property owners way more than they benefited residents.

The huge increases in tax revenues during her mayoral administration weren’t enough to fund everything on her wish list though, borrowed money was needed, too. She inherited a city with zero debt, but left it with indebtedness of over $22 million. What did Mayor Palin encourage the voters to borrow money for? Was it the infrastructure that she said she supported? The sewage treatment plant that the city lacked? or a new library? No. $1m for a park. $15m-plus for construction of a multi-use sports complex which she rushed through to build on a piece of property that the City didn’t even have clear title to, that was still in litigation 7 yrs later to the delight of the lawyers involved! The sports complex itself is a nice addition to the community but a huge money pit, not the profit-generator she claimed it would be. She also supported bonds for $5.5m for road projects that could have been done in 5-7 yrs without any borrowing.

While Mayor, City Hall was extensively remodeled and her office redecorated more than once. These are small numbers, but Wasilla is a very small city. As an oil producer, the high price of oil has created a budget surplus in Alaska. Rather than invest this surplus in technology that will make us energy independent and increase efficiency, as Governor she proposed distribution of this surplus to every individual in the state.

In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today’s surplus, borrow for needs.


At 6:47 PM, Blogger Judith said...

Thanks for some information of substance.


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Well ...

Toward the end of Sarah Palin’s pugnacious nomination speech tonight, Republican National Convention officials clashed with one of the party’s faithful on the packed hall’s jammed floor.

Several convention volunteers blocked at least three elderly Republicans from leaving the floor of the hall to use restrooms but threatened to arrest one of the few African-American delegates, who also happens to be a retired cop.

You can’t come through here. We apologize for the inconvenience, one stocky volunteer repeatedly told those trying to exit through a tunnel near the VIP seats during Palin’s long speech.

But Krim Ballentine, an elderly at-large delegate from the U.S. Virgin Islands and retired chief deputy U.S. marshal, really had to go.

You better let me through or I’m gonna wet myself like a baby, Ballentine said.

The convention heavies wouldn’t budge.

Then give me a cup, Ballentine insisted. The man - who refused to identify himself and hid his official credential in his coat - handed him an empty water bottle.

This is our convention, not yours, Ballentine complained, showing his marshals badge and demanding to speak to nearby Secret Service agents there to protect GOP nominee John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin’s families. They refused to comply ...


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The Community Organizer Insult

I got a good laugh out of many of the zingers thrown at Republicans during the DNC last week. This week, I expected turnabout to be fair play. If you can dish it, you can take it. But, of all the cheap shots thrown - particularly last night - I found the cracks about Barack Obama forfeiting a hefty salary to serve an under served community wholly insulting. This is why ...
Last night, while listening to first Giuliani and then Palin sneer at Obama for being a "community organizer," I nearly lost my everloving shit with fury not just because, on its face, it shows a deep contempt for an engaged citizenry (back to treating activist like a dirty word again), but because, beneath its surface, it was an ugly racist dog whistle.

Ezra succinctly explains the subtext:
When Giuliani sneered about community organizers on the "South side" of Chicago, it's pretty clear what he's saying: Barack Obama spent his time rabble-rousing among black people. It's no different then when the RNC called him a "street organizer." It's fairly clear what they're trying to evoke. No reason anyone should help them mask it. A community organizer can be a PTA member or a Christian Coalition lieutenant. But that's really not what Palin and Giuliani are getting at. Obama organized poor black people. That's change you can fear.
Not just change you can fear, but change you should fear, if you're a white American with any sense. Not only are there Arabs trying to kill us, Mexicans trying to invade us, and Chinese trying to take over the world, but now there's a goddamned black community organizer from the South Side of Chicago who wants to run the country; it wasn't enough we were getting it from all sides—now we've got an inside problem, too!

All of which is buried, naturally, in every speech at the Great White Hope Revival Republican National Convention, just below perfunctory acknowledgments that Obama is a patriotic man who loves his country and that should never be questioned but we've been proud of our country our whole lives and hey did you hear he's a *cough cough* community organizer?!

I can see we're back to divisiveness again - fully sponsored by the GOP. Last week someone said that the Grand Old Party wasn't grand, it was just old. Well, it is old and so are their tactics.


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Where Are The Coloreds?

I heard on NPR the other day that the black delegate count dropped nearly 80% since the 2004 election. While it used to be just over a paltry 6%, it is now under 2%. Where have all the coloreds gone?
Organizers conceived of this convention as a means to inspire, but some African American Republicans have found the Xcel Energy Center depressing this week. Everywhere they look, they see evidence of what they consider one of their party's biggest shortcomings.

As the country rapidly diversifies, Republicans are presenting a convention that is almost entirely white.

Only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the convention floor are black, the lowest number since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies began tracking diversity at political conventions 40 years ago. Each night, the overwhelmingly white audience watches a series of white politicians step to the lectern -- a visual reminder that no black Republican has served as a governor, U.S. senator or U.S. House member in the past six years.

"It's hard to look around and not get frustrated," said Michael S. Steele, a black Republican and former lieutenant governor of Maryland. "You almost have to think, 'Wait. How did it come to this?' "

Republicans spent much of the past decade working to improve their minority outreach, particularly to blacks and Hispanics. But a number of setbacks, including an anti-Republican national mood, anger over the response to Hurricane Katrina and the Democratic nomination of Sen. Barack Obama, have largely negated their efforts, several Republicans said.

One week after Democrats nominated the nation's first black presidential candidate on the eve of the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, Republicans have only one African American -- Steele -- scheduled to speak during prime time at their convention. The united, diverse coalition that Republicans once envisioned instead looks uniform.

The good news, Republicans said, is that they think Sen. John McCain can still win this election with the kind of demographics on display in St. Paul. In an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors Tuesday morning, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis outlined a strategy in which his candidate targets women and white working-class voters and essentially cedes the black vote.


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Palin's Wasilla = Meth Capital Of Alaska

Good family living in the Wasilla area.
The Matanuska-Susitna area is the methamphetamine capital of Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

In 2003, authorities uncovered nine meth labs in the area. Last year, the number increased to 42, said Kyle Young, an investigator with the troopers who works with the Mat-Su narcotics team.

Officials with the Office of Children's Services in Wasilla said the problem affects children. The office receives about 40 calls a month from people reporting abuse or neglect involving some aspect of the highly addictive drug.

In late February, the Mat-Su narcotics unit arrested a couple at their Willow home. Michelle Motta said for years she tried to warn authorities that her three young nieces lived in the midst of a methamphetamine operation run by their parents, Phillip Dean and Laura Jackson.

Alaska State Troopers reported finding a "large active meth lab" in a detached garage shop. The house was a frigid mess, with piles of dirty dishes, clothes everywhere and frozen pipes, investigators said.

Through a hatch in the shop floor, the team found an underground room with a meth lab in one corner, as well as old marijuana root balls and lights from a past pot-growing operation.

An investigator said the team didn't find the children at home but saw signs of them there. Motta said the girls - ages 14, 8 and 6 - at times slept in the garage with the lab.

A year ago, the oldest girl detailed the household's rampant drug problems and squalid living conditions in a handwritten letter to a judge.

"My parents grow marijuana and crystal the(y) did the drugs that they bought in front of (my sisters)," the letter begins. "They spent most money on them instead of food or doing laundry. I got left home with nobody there I got left home with drug(g)ies..."


At 10:56 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Matanuska-Susitna Burough is 25,260 square miles total. That makes it bigger than 10 of our states in terms of size. If it were a state, it would rank ahead of West Virginia and behind South Carolina in size. Your assertion that the problem is limited to Wasilla is nonsense. Wasilla is where the Office Of Childrens Services is located.

If this is the best you can come up with, give up blogging.


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Oh The Hipocrisy

Jon Stewart gets 'em!
Wednesday night on "The Daily Show," Jon Stewart hit Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly with damning evidence of their hypocrisy regarding Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

While Rove recently praised Palin's experience as the mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Stewart showed video of Rove trashing Virginia Governor — and former Richmond Mayor — Tim Kaine's executive experience, listing all the cities that are bigger than Richmond and calling such a pick "political."

Then, after recent video of O'Reilly describing Bristol Palin's pregnancy as a family issue, Stewart showed a clip of the Fox News host blaming Jamie Lynn Spears' parents for her teenage pregnancy.

Finally, after showing video of Dick Morris complaining about the rampant sexism in the media coverage of Sarah Palin, Stewart unveiled a clip of Morris saying that Hillary hides behind the sexism defense, and that anytime "the big boys" pick on Hillary, "she retreats behind the apron strings."

"In Dick Morris' defense," Stewart said, "he is a lying sack of sh*t."

Watch it!


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Palin Fact Check

This is what happens when you read what was written for you. You risk being WRONG!
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state by population.

MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.


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I'm Sorry ... Who's Elitist?

I'm not knocking her because if I had it like that, I'd wear it like that ... Must be nice!

One of the persistent memes in the Republican line of attack against Barack Obama is the notion that he is an elitist, whereas the G.O.P. represent real working Americans like Levi F-in’ Redneck Johnston.

It caught our attention, then, when First Lady Laura Bush and would-be First Lady Cindy McCain took the stage Tuesday night wearing some rather fancy designer clothes. So we asked our fashion department to price out their outfits.

Laura Bush
Oscar de la Renta suit: $2,500
Stuart Weitzman heels: $325
Pearl stud earrings: $600–$1,500
Total: Between $3,425 and $4,325

Cindy McCain
Oscar de la Renta dress: $3,000
Chanel J12 White Ceramic Watch: $4,500
Three-carat diamond earrings: $280,000
Four-strand pearl necklace: $11,000–$25,000
Shoes, designer unknown: $600
Total: Between $299,100 and $313,100


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Taking Jindal's Black Card Back

Somebody is always trying to snatch my black card. Sometimes I want to give it back. Looks like Bobby Jindal
has similar "issues."
The story of Piyush "Bobby" Jindal reads like an assimilation fairytale: A son of immigrants rises through the ranks to become the first Indian-American governor at 36, overcoming racial boundaries in his home state of Louisiana.

As Hurricane Gustav threatened his state, Jindal took center stage to preside over what was shaping up to be a national catastrophe. He canceled his speech at the Republican National Convention, which was scheduled for tonight, to avoid a repeat of the government failures that plagued Katrina. Heavily mentioned as one of John McCain's choices for vice president, Jindal's story is meant to be representative of the American Dream and the inclusiveness of the GOP.

Whether or not his duties as governor prevent him from actually making it to the Twin Cities, his place on the national radar is assured.

But the more press Jindal gets, the more he becomes the subject of fierce debate among Indian Americans questioning if he's "Indian enough." Politics aside, the dialogue sounds an awful lot like the growing pains the black community struggled with for generations and still struggles with in many ways. In Indian communities around the country, the pressing questions bubble quickly to the surface. Is it enough to have "one of our own" in a position of power? Does it really achieve anything for our community in a larger, more permanent sense, simply to have this young Republican ascend?


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If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "token hire." If you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."

If you live in an Urban area and you get a girl pregnant you're a "baby daddy." If you're the same in Alaska you're a "teen father." (Actually, according to your own MySpace page you're an F'n redneck that don't want any kids, but that's too long a phrase for the evil liberal media to take out of context and flog morning noon and night).

Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America. White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."

If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic." Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story."

Similarly, if you name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic." Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're "reckless." A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."

If you say that for the "first time in my adult lifetime I'm really proud of my country" it makes you "unfit" to be First Lady. If you are a registered member of a fringe political group that advocates secession that makes you "First Dude."

A DUI from twenty years ago is "old news." A speech given without proper citation from twenty years ago is "relevant information."

And, finally, if you're a man and you decide to run for office despite your wife's recurrence of cancer you're a "questionable spouse." If you're a woman and you decide to run for office despite having five kids including a newborn... Well, we don't know what that is 'cause THAT'S NOT A FAIR QUESTION TO ASK.


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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Before I Get Serious About The RNC Tonight ...

The best part of Sarah Palin's speech was her daughter giving her baby brother a spit shine:

While it's a bit different from the way that Obama's daughter stole the show, she STILL STOLE THE SHOW!


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It's Over

Peggy Noonan is not happy!
Two Republican message-crafters who are well known within party circles but who in this presidential campaign find themselves outside looking in -- Mike Murphy and Peggy Noonan -- offered unvarnished opinions of the Sarah Palin VP pick today when they thought they were un-miked after an appearance on MSNBC.

The mikes turned out to be hot, their thoughts were not complimentary toward John McCain's choice and the comments quickly made their way onto YouTube.

Murphy terms the Palin pick "cynical;" Noonan says it means the race is "over" (and presumably not in a favorable way for her party).


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The Bookies Say ...

He'll drop her!
The smart money thinks there's a better chance today than yesterday that John McCain will dump Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Before the Republican senator's presidential campaign disclosed the pregnancy of Palin's 17-year-old daughter, bookmakers in Britain and Ireland were offering 20-1 odds or higher on a bet that she would be forced off the ticket, meaning a 1 pound ($1.78) bet would pay 20 pounds. Now that same bet will pay no more than 8 pounds.

``While it is rare that a VP candidate gets dropped, it's not completely impossible,'' said Ken Robertson, political betting analyst at Paddy Power Plc, a Dublin-based gambling company. ``Lots of our punters are betting `Shocking' Sarah's days are numbered,'' he added, using a nickname he came up with for the first-term Alaska governor.

I'm not sure that's true. Unless something else major comes out about her, McCain will be too stubborn to let her go.


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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

It Just Gets Better With Time

There was a time when I wouldn't even stand next to a National Enquirer in the grocery store. Over the years, they've been sued so many times for publishing inaccurate information that they didn't have a choice but to clean it up a bit. Lately, and most recently with John Edwards, they've shown they know how to sniff dirt out of thimble. They say they are on to something with this Palin lady.
Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to quietly have her daughter Bristol get married before news of her pregnancy leaked out, the NATIONAL ENQUIRER is reporting exclusively in its new issue.

Palin planned for the wedding to take place right after the Republican National Convention and then she was going to announce the pregnancy.

But Bristol, 17, refused to go along with the plan and that sparked a mother-daughter showdown over the failed coverup.

The ultra-conservative governor’s announcement about her daughter’s pregnancy came hours after The ENQUIRER informed her representatives and family members of Levi Johnston, the father of Bristol’s child, that we were aware of the pregnancy and were going to break the news.

In a preemptive strike Palin released the news, creating political shockwaves.

The ENQUIRER has also learned that Palin’s family is embroiled in a vicious war that is now exposing her darkest secrets, threatening to destroy her political career.

Palin’s ongoing war with her ex brother-in-law Mike Wooten, a state trooper, has caused multiple sources to come forward with shocking allegations about the governor.

OMG! What was John McCain thinking. Is she really worth all of this?


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Bush Girls Remix

So, it looks like the VP candidate's pregnant and soon to be betrothed daughter loves to party. What is it about the children of the GOP that turns them into girls gone drunk and wild?


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I'm Sorry, This Is Just Sordid

Fine! Have the baby but I think it is a mistake to force a shotgun wedding. Both she and the boy are too young to play house.
THE Republican national convention, scaled back because of Hurricane Gustav hitting Louisiana, was again turned on its head yesterday with the news that John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, has a 17-year-old unmarried daughter who is five months pregnant.

In an announcement greeted with a mix of shock and awe from political players - who in almost equal measure say it will hurt or help the Republican presidential ticket - a statement from the Palins said their daughter Bristol was expecting a child in December.

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents," Sarah and Todd Palin said in the statement.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realise very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family," they said.

The campaign named the father as Levi Johnston, aged 18, who according to the Boston press is home-schooled.

He may have been schooled at home but he definitely missed out on some home training. What a mess!


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The Would Be VP's Baby Daddy In Law

I don't know why the GOP is trying to spin this into some romance story and example of fine family values. Like her mother who boarded a plane while leaking amniotic fluid, the younger Palin had unprotected sex and is now 5 months pregnant by a self-proclaimed redneck.
Doe-eyed Bristol Palin, 17, and ruggedly handsome Levi Johnston, 18, have been dating for about a year, locals in their hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, told the Daily News...

..."They've been together quite a while, more than a year," she said. "I hope everything comes out well. These are local kids."

Johnston, broadchested and wearing a No. 15 jersey, can be seen in photographs hitting the boards as a Warrior in action.

A closeup shot shows the handsome teen with a light dusting of whiskers on his chin - his dark brown hair curly and wet.

"Levi has got huge potential," Jennie Johnston said. "He's a smart kid."

The New York Post has excerpts from Johnston's MySpace page:

On his MySpace page, Johnston boasts, "I'm a f - - -in' redneck" who likes to snowboard and ride dirt bikes.

Sweet! Just what we need to see in the inauguration photos: a teen bride and her redneck husband.


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A Well Traveled Woman ... Sorta

Most folks in America haven't strayed very far beyond their own backyards. They usually aren't running for Vice President but at least we know she's an average American.

At some point, one has to expect that we will finally come to know all there is to know about Sarah Palin. But until that day comes, here's another tidbit, courtesy John Aravosis. See, back when Palin was announced as McCain's Veep, inquiring minds wanted to know: had she ever traveled abroad? Her spokeswoman told Politico's Ben Smith that she had been to Germany, Kuwait, and Ireland.

At least one Irish blogger, Suzy Byrne, stepped forward to call blarney on that:

Two words to describe that visit to Ireland I think.



*For US readers the Shannon Stopover refers to planes landing at Shannon Airport to refuel when on their way to and from parts of Europe/Middle East. Shannon Airport sees many US Military and contractor flights arrive there each month for refueling -- passengers get off the plane for a while and then get back on again. Hardly a visit to Ireland?

Well, give it up to the international blogosphere, folks, because as it turns out, Byrne was absolutely correct. Ben Smith, today:

The Ireland trip was a refueling stop on her trip to military installations in Germany and Kuwait, spokeswoman Maria Comella said.

Do you need anything from duty-free, America?

I've met any number of less than well traveled people who try to pad their list. One guy I know hadn't strayed too far from California (he'd been to Las Vegas, NV) but then told me he'd been to Virginia and Maryland. So, I replied "Oh, you went to D.C." ... Layover, stopover, refueling ... Technically, she's been to Ireland. Technically, I've been to a lot of places too!


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I Don't Know About This Chick ...

I know this story has more legs and more updates but I've got to start here because, like Andrew Sullivan, I have issues with this:
Questions for the McCain-Palin campaign:

Where has Bristol Palin (far right, holding Trig, with a ring on her wedding finger) been for the past year? Has she been attending high school? Or was she absent because of infectious mononucleosis for between five and eight months, as is now being reported on the Internet?

Why would a 43 year old woman, on her fifth pregnancy, with a Down Syndrome child, after her amniotic fluid has started to leak, not go to the nearest hospital immediately, even if she was in Texas for a speech?

Why would she not only not go to the hospital in Texas, but take an eight-hour plane flight to Seattle and then Anchorage?

Why would she choose to deliver the baby not in the nearest major facility in Anchorage but at a much smaller hospital near her home-town?

Why did the flight attendants on the trip home say she bore no signs of being pregnant?

I have never been pregnant but I do know that most doctors don't even want you to fly after a certain point - let alone fly once you've gone into labor. Granted things worked out but it doesn't make a lick of sense to me that a woman would risk taking a lengthy flight knowing that her water had broken. Why not go to the hospital, call her husband and doctor and let her husband fly to Texas to be with her. Do we really want a second in demand who'd make this kind of potentially life threatening decision. Can someone explain?


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