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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Video From Palin Debate Prep Leaked to Press

This video of Sarah Palin being prepped in Arizona for this Thursday's vice-presidential debate just got leaked out of the McCain campaign. Pretty remarkable stuff:

Palin Can't Name a NEWSPAPER That She Reads

You seriously can't make this sh*t up. The gaffes, bullsh*t, lies and embarrassments just seem to keep coming from Sarah Palin and her encounters with Katie Couric. In a recent impromptu Q&A, Palin couldn't even name a single NEWSPAPER that she reads!

Here's what was said:

Couric: And when it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?

Palin: I’ve read most of them, again with a great appreciation for the press, for the media.

Couric: What, specifically?

Palin: Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.

Couric: Can you name a few?

Palin: I have a vast variety of sources where we get our news, too. Alaska isn’t a foreign country, where it’s kind of suggested, “Wow, how could you keep in touch with what the rest of Washington, D.C., may be thinking when you live up there in Alaska?” Believe me, Alaska is like a microcosm of America.

Are we sure Palin and Bush weren't separated at birth?

Pollster: Obama Climbs; McCain in Free Fall

Wow, here is the latest Pollster poll of polls. McCain is dropping like a lead balloon:

Palin Makes the Case for 'New Ideas' Over 'Experience'

I can't believe they're still letting Sarah Palin talk to the press.

In this clip, she pretty much says that voters should choose fresh ideas over decades in Washington. Hasn't John McCain installed a gaffe-triggered shock collar on her yet?

Watch CBS Videos Online

David Gergen: Republicans 'Shockingly Irresponsible'

You go, David Gergen:

Here's what he said:

“It’s really the House Republicans who bear special ignamy tonight because two-thirds of them voted against it. It was House Conservative Republican member who derailed it. They had strong reasons they voted against it but let their be no doubt, if we pay a huge price like we did today, it was the house Republicans who [bear responsibility]. This business about Nancy Pelosi making a speech, yes she shouldnt have said it, yes it was inappropriate, but the fact that it changed their minds? Oh poor babyies. Yes, a few words from the House Speaker made them run and go back into their boxing corners? Come on.”

Cute Kids Alert: 'Sing for Change'

I am a sucker for cute kids singing:

Premier Bush Hits Lowest Approval Rating Ever

Oh, our poor Premier Bush. The retarded-monkey-in-chief is now less popular than at any point in his eight years in office:

Republicans Back Off 'Pelosi Made Us Do It!' Claim

Republicans yesterday claimed that Nancy Pelosi was being mean to them and, as a result, that is why they decided to vote against the bailout bill.

The claim was so stupid and tone-deaf that even Peter Wehner of the ultra-conservative National Review Online had this to say:

I have been defending House Republicans for a week against friends who thought they were acting in an irresponsible fashion. I argued they were people with admirable free-market principles who were simply trying to improve legislation and have their voices heard, something to which they were certainly entitled. And I thought they made the bill better than it was. But yesterday’s vote, and the excuses that followed the vote, have made me reassess my judgment. Watching Boehner, Blunt, and Cantor blame the outcome on the Pelosi speech was an embarrassment.

Well, cue the frantic backpedalling:

– Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “We are not babies who suck their thumbs.”

– Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO): “I think you don’t want to give too much blame to that speech.”

– Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ): “It was embarrassing for leadership on both parties to lose the bill, so they went out and made a stupid claim.”

– Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “That speech was not the reason I voted against the bill.” [MSNBC, 9/30/08]

Quote of the Day

"I’ve spoken with several House Republicans over the past few days and most admirably believe in free-market principles. What’s sad is that they still think it’s 1984. They still think the biggest threat comes from socialism and Walter Mondale liberalism. They seem not to have noticed how global capital flows have transformed our political economy." -- conservative columnist David Brooks

Palin Debate Footage Leaked

Breaking news. The following video was leaked today and shows the prep work that Sarah Palin is undergoing before her debate this Thursday:

Pity Palin? Cry Me a Freaking River

I admit that I have occasionally lapsed into a bit of pity at watching Sarah Palin f*ck up so stupendously over the last two weeks.

Sharp literary minds have repeatedly woven her trials and tribulations into a metaphorical tableau evoking simpler times when, yes, we too experienced the pains of a book report in seventh grade gone awry or a mean teacher in high school who called us on something we didn't know.

Regardless of the college debate I once flubbed, I am 100% done with the Sarah Palin pity party. After all, we're not talking about a college debate, a book report or a mean teacher. We're talking about someone that could conceivably ascend to the most powerful political office in the world.

Seriously, just think on that the next time you feel the urge to lactate in sympathy to the crying of Sarah Palin's inner child yearning to run free.

When McCain and his campaign came a-calling, she had all the power. She could have done the right thing and politely said NO and spared her family (and the world) the pain she has now foisted upon us.

Here's Salon's Rebecca Traister with sentiments echoing my own:

Like everyone else, I can barely take the waves of embarrassment that come with watching someone do something so badly. Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem, Sophia Coppola acting in "The Godfather: Part III," Sarah Palin talking about Russia -- they all create the same level of eyeball-squinching discomfort...

It was so predictable that we would get to a pity-poor-helpless-Sarah phase. The press was already warming up for it on the day McCain announced her as his running mate, when NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell speculated that McCain's choice was designed to declaw scrappy Joe Biden, whose aggressive style would come off as bullying next to the sweet hockey mom from Alaska. Now, of course, we know about the hockey moms and the pit bulls; the more-powerful-than-expected Palin juggernaut forestalled the pity/victim/mean boy/poor Sarah phase.

So here it is, finally. And as unpleasant as it may be to watch the humiliation of a woman who waltzed into a spotlight too strong to withstand, I flat out refuse to be manipulated into another stage of gendered regress -- back to the pre-Pelosi, pre-Hillary days when girls couldn't stand the heat and so were shooed back to the kitchen.

Obama Surges in Battleground States

New polling out of some battleground states shows Obama with a huge post-debate surge:

Among registered voters surveyed in Colorado, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and Nevada, Obama tops McCain 50 to 40%. Just a week ago, Obama led 45% to 42%.

h/t Daily Dish

Monday, September 29, 2008

In Crisis, McCain Attacks, Obama Calls For Calm

Steve Benen nails what this crisis is telling us about the candidates:

This afternoon, responding to the economic crisis, the Obama campaign issued a statement calling for calm, encouraging lawmakers to keep working, and urging investors not to panic. The McCain campaign attacked Obama. It's a reminder that one can tell a lot about a person's character by how they respond to adversity.

MoveOn's New Ad on the Economy: 'McCain's Friends'

Hmm, I can't imagine why John McCain is doing so poorly in the polls right now. Could it have something to do with how mind-numbingly wrong he's been on deregulation during his three decades in Congress?

Klein: McCain's 'Puerile Histrionics' Helped Scuttle Bill

Joe Klein assigns part of the blame for today's mess on McCain's "puerile histrionics":

I do blame McCain for his puerile histrionics and for dragging this issue--which should have been above partisanship--into presidential politics. Let's make no mistake about it: his various gimmicks had absolutely nothing to do with the substance of the issue. He doesn't know all that much about the substance of the issue. The gimmicks were a failed attempt to make it seem as if he had powers, and knowledge, he didn't have. Clearly, he was in a more difficult position than Obama--the populist conservative wing of House Republicans was unwilling to take responsibility for the fruits of the deregulation that they promoted--and that might have required a more aggressive effort to move votes on his part, but the flailing about only confused Republicans (was he for, was he against?) and made matters worse.

The Failure of John McCain - Video Collection

Here's a collection of today's commentators speaking the truth and calling out McCain for his failure of leadership today:



Blame Democrats? House Leadership Blasts Back

McCain and the GOP leadership earlier today blamed anyone and everyone (but themselves) for the failure of the bailout bill, singling out Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi for their wicked, wicked ways:

“Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.

This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.”

Well, Banking Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank was having none of it:

A good jab from the video above:
Here's the story. There's a terrible crisis affecting the American economy. We have come together on a bill to alleviate the crisis. And because somebody hurt their feelings, they decide to punish the country... I'll make you an offer. Give me those twelve peoples' names and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are and maybe they'll now think about their country.

McCain Blames Obama for Failure of Bailout -- Seriously

If I didn't need a job right now and such antics might make people look twice at me, I would be smashing my head against my computer monitor right now and screaming profanities in tongues.

I know, I should try to not let these things affect me but, well, some things are really beyond the fucking pale. The McCain campaign just issued a statement blaming Obama for the failure of the bailout bill:

“Just before the vote, when the outcome was still in doubt, Speaker Pelosi gave a strongly worded partisan speech and poisoned the outcome.

“This bill failed because Barack Obama and the Democrats put politics ahead of country.”

[Cue primal scream...] In these trying moments, just repeat the mantra I suggested earlier, "The Blame Falls Mainly on McCain."

Blame for Bailout Plan Falls Mainly on McCain

Now that Congress has scuttled the revised Bush/Paulson bailout plan, can we all now agree that the blame for the failure falls squarely on McCain's shoulders?

Before you start tut-tutting me over this notion, consider the fact that McCain's top surrogates were all over the airwaves over the last several days giving the lion's share of the credit to McCain for ushering in an alleged bipartisan consensus. Here are some examples from Think Progress:

[T]his bill would not have been agreed to had it not been for John McCain. … But, you know, this is a bipartisan accomplishment, a bipartisan success. And if people want to get something done in Washington, they just watch John McCain.” — Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, 9/29/08

“Earlier in the week, when Senator McCain came back to Washington, there had been no deal reached. … What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all the parties to the table, including the House Republicans.” — Senior adviser Steve Schmidt, 9/28/08

“But here are the facts, and I’m not overselling anything. The fact is that the House Republicans were not in the mix at all. John didn’t phone this one in. He came and actually did something. … You can’t phone something like this in. Thank God John came back.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), 9/28/08

“Before John McCain suspended his campaign yesterday, the situation that we’re looking at today looked very different then. After he showed leadership and called for bipartisanship, for us to partisanship aside and tackle this solution head on, here we are.” — Spokesman Tucker Bounds, 9/25/08

Now that this supposed bipartisan consensus has failed in an epic and explosive way, isn't turnabout fair play?

If McCain and his surrogates want to go running around giving McCain credit for drumming up conservative support for the bailout plan, shouldn't they be required to also lay the blame on McCain for his failure to deliver the aforementioned support?

As Andrew Sullivan puts it:
If McCain is to receive, or at least claim, credit for a compromise is he now to blame for the failure of the compromise? Will he now abandon his newly found populism and go back to being the free market zealot that he once claimed to be given that the base of his party has spoken so loudly? In short - I think this puts John McCain in an even more difficult position. "His" compromise failed and now he must stay in Washington until this is resolved or admit that the suspension of his campaign was in fact nothing but a stunt!

Update: Even the ultra-conservative National Review sees dark clouds on McCain's failure/blame horizon:
Not that it's the most important fallout, but this vote is very bad for McCain. He was trying to get House Republicans on board, after all, and he failed. Blaming the Democrats for the failure will not and should not work, given the ratios on both sides.

Repeat after me: "The Blame Falls Mainly on McCain."

Premier Bush and Our Still-Slumbering Outrage

All of the sh*t dumped on us by Premier Bush and his cronies over the last seven+ years is kind of getting to me today. Here's an excerpt from a recent IM exchange with a friend of mine:

me: i mean, can you think of anything that would "shock" you at this point? how would we react if we found out, say, cheny organized a blackwater raid, disguised as Iranian military, to slaughter babies in a neonatal clinic? shocked? dismayed? defeated?

[friend]: nothing
i am sort of expecting to learn that the 2000 election machines were rigged
same w/ 2004 in ohio
not all just enough in key places
that he never should have been pres in the first place

the thing that kills me most of all is that there is SO little of meaningful RAGE out there to gel a movement around. i mean, getting obama elected is a good start but where are the mass protests? why aren't we calling for the literal head of bush and cheny, with torches and pitchforks on Pennsylvania Avenue?

[friend]: because the people can handle getting fucked over and over again, as long as the govt does it sorta slowly

The Failure of Premier Bush's Bailout Plan

Honestly, I don't know what to think of the $700 billion bailout bill being scuttled in the House today. The subject matter is so arcane to me that I don't know where to begin. When it comes down to it, I suppose this is where I come out:

ONE: Nearly every major person President Bush has hired over the last seven+ years has turned out to be a major f*ck-up.

TWO: Hank Paulson was hired by President Bush, failed to see the financial crisis coming, repeatedly claimed that he had the situation under control and is NOW telling Congress, with a gun pointed toward the American economy's collective head, that the bailout plan he proposed is the wise panacea that will magically stave off financial ruin (oh, and by the way, it needs to be passed yesterday).

Thus, THREE: From One and Two, I am inclined to believe that whatever Premier Bush's Executive Branch of Idiocracy tells me is -- at least -- a corrupt, dissembling lie. As a result -- and I may live to regret it if the American financial system really does die today -- I ultimately think the House scuttling the bailout bill today was probably a good thing. The question of whether they can come up with something better if, of course, an open question.

Palin Both Incompetent and a Liar

Reflecting on the Palin-Couric interview intellectual catastrophe, let us not forget that she is not only a bad interviewee but also a pathological liar. Andrew Sullivan sums up the state of her lies as of today:

Palin could not have asked her girls for permission to accept McCain's veep offer if she also says she accepted the offer unblinkingly and right away. Palin did fire a police chief even as she insisted to a reporter she hadn't. She did violate the confidential medical records of Mike Wooten. She hasn't met with any trade missions from Russia. She does not have any gay friends that anyone can find. She did not oppose the Bridge to Nowhere. She did not sell that plane on eBay. Her Teleprompter did not fail in her convention speech. Alaska's state scientists did not conclude that polar bears were in no danger. She did deny publicly that humans had anything to do with climate change.

Alaska does not provide "nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy," as she claimed. The gas pipeline she touts as her major "mission accomplished" has not broken ground and may never do so. She did not take a pay-cut as mayor of Wasilla. And on and on. Anyone with Google can check all of these out. Including reporters.

Alaska Becomes McCainistan

Alaskans appear to be none-too-pleased that the operations of the Alaska Governor's and Attorney General's offices have been handed over to the McCain campaign:

As one watches Governor Palin stumble through the three interviews she’s done since being announced as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate, and as one reads the reports in the national media of Palin being sequestered far away from inquisitive reporters, and as one hears that requests for information about both her record as governor for the past 21 months and the legislative investigation into whether she improperly dismissed former Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan are being shunted to the McCain campaign, it’s a bit jaw-dropping to attend one of the “truth squad” pressers and repeatedly hear that Palin is “an open book.” Actually it’s worse than jaw-dropping: It’s insulting.

A visibly frustrated Sean Cockerham of the Anchorage Daily News expressed what most in the room were thinking at Tuesday’s installment of the Palin “truth squad” charade: “[Governor Palin] says she’s an open book, she wants her story to be told, then why does she not speak to the press?”

Read More

Interview Sarah Palin

Feeling down that Sarah Palin won't give press conferences and the few interviews she's given have been incoherent brain-melters on a colossal scale? A new website allows YOU to interview a virtual Sarah Palin!

Check it out here

Worst Campaign Ever

John Cole makes the case that the McCain campaign is an enormous clusterf*ck:

Spend weeks talking about bi-partisanship, spend weeks saying how McCain can work across party lines, jab Obama during the debates because he is so liberal he can not work with Republicans, spend the week saying the financial crisis needs a bi-partisan solution, and then your idiot campaign manager and ad team want to pretend that agreeing with the opposing candidate is bad.

And so on. They drive their point home as if it is the most important thing ever, make sure everyone knows what their point is (Schmidt is not subtle), then the next day they pull the rug out and something else is the new most important thing ever. The cumulative effect of all of this is to create a staggering level of incoherence, and it is rational to think these guys are insane or full of shit or unstable, or maybe all three. Add to it the foolish jihad against the media, and you have the current disaster.

Read More

Sunday, September 28, 2008

SNL Lampoons Sarah Palin Again - Video

Saturday Night Live last night was brilliant in lampooning Sarah Palin again. The funniest part about it is that much of the words coming out of Tina Fey's mouth were originally spoken by Sarah Palin!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Morning Joe: McCain was 'Angry', 'Contemptuous'

Even Morning Joe today was dissecting how mean, bitter, angry and contemptuous McCain came off looking last night:

Quote of the Day II

Conservative writer Daniel Larison has more on the Palin-Couric interview debacle:

[Sarah Palin] is a natural product of mass democracy’s ongoing pursuit of charismatic mediocrity, in which voters not only seek someone with whom they can identify but also actively discourage politicians’ cultivation of expertise. Expertise grates against their egalitarianism, and so they try to avoid it in their political leaders.

Quote of the Day

Here's Fallows on the Palin-Couric interview fiasco:

George W. Bush is in a completely different and superior league to what we've seen from Palin. When people made fun of his inexpressiveness in the 2000 campaign (and onwards), it was because he mispronounced words or used cliches. It was nothing like the total inability to express any coherent thought on any issue outside "values politics" that Palin has revealed.

Reactions to First McCain/Obama Debate

I had a lot of thoughts and feelings about last night's debate between Obama and McCain. In some ways, I thought it was a draw. In many others, I thought Obama was the victor. I think the key thing for me -- and for a large portion of people watching -- was the utter, angry contempt in which McCain holds Obama. He couldn't conceal it for a second! If McCain can't bottle up his rage and contempt when facing Obama (even going so far as to mumble 'horseshit' a couple times), how is he going to deal with situations where he must someday face our adversaries. McCain is an unstable, dramatic person and comes as mean-spirited, angry and dismissive.

All the polling out there shows that Obama won the debate hands-down:

Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think each one better described Barack Obama or John McCain during tonight's debate:

Was more intelligent: Obama 55%, McCain 30%

Expressed his views more clearly: Obama 53%, McCain 36%

Spent more time attacking his opponent: McCain 60%, Obama 23%

Was more sincere and authentic: Obama 46%, McCain 38%

Seemed to be the stronger leader: Obama 49%, McCain 43%

Was more likeable: Obama 61%, McCain 26%

Was more in touch with the needs and problems of people like you: Obama 62%, McCain 32%

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cafferty: Palin Should 'Scare the Hell Out of You'

CNN's Jack Cafferty unloads on Sarah Palin in this clip, saying "if [the thought of Sarah Palin becoming President] doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should", and that her interview was "one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen for someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in the country." Ouch.

Orwell, Sarah Palin and the Utility of Meaningless Words

Michael Leddy makes a great point when reflecting on the blathering nonsense that came out of Sarah Palin during her Katie Couric interview:

As George Orwell points out in "Politics and the English Language," one need not take on the responsibility of thinking when composing sentences:
You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent — and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear.

Look at what we have here — ready-made phrases, stray bits of language, as if pulled together from some desperate cramming for an exam: back on the right track, health care reform, job creation, one in five jobs, opportunity, reform that is needed, reducing taxes, reining in spending, shore up our economy, tax reductions, tax relief, the trade sector, the umbrella of job creation.

Right-Wing National Review Writers Are Over Sarah Palin

Oh, how quickly the Palin sweater unravels with the incessant tug-tug-tugging of reality and incompetence.

Even some ultra-right-wing writers over at the National Review have jumped off the Palin Doubletalk Express:

Here's Kathleen Parker:

“It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted. Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there.”

Even Kathryn Jean Lopez ain't impressed:
I know I like a lot of what I’ve heard her say. I also know a lot of what I like about her could be projection. I’m not where my friend Kathleen Parker is — wanting her to step aside to spend more time with her family and Alaska — but that’s not a crazy suggestion.

McCain Ads Claims Pre-Debate Win. WTF?

Ok, seriously, can someone out there please pinch me? Hard? I need to confirm that I am not dreaming or living in some accidental parallel reality.

The McCain campaign put up this web ad claiming that he won today's debate... many hours before the debate and even before they announced that McCain was going to attend the debate!

McCain's Economic Histrionics

Matt Cooper sums up McCain's unhinged histrionics since the start of the financial crisis last week and his gumming up of the Congressional works:

McCain certainly hasn't helped and now we're at a point where a deal seems unlikely tomorrow in time for the debate which means McCain will have to make another decision--whether to swallow his pride and show up for the Meeting in Mississippi or be the biggest no-show in the history of American politics. Since he doesn't seem to have added anything to the negotiations in Washington, it's hard to see why on earth he should show up for the debate with Barack Obama.

Incredibly, McCain has said that he hasn't read the Treasury plan--all three pages of it. Since this crisis began ten days ago, nothing McCain has done, from declaring the economy strong to calling for the illegal firing of Chris Cox to flailing about the bailout to shrilly trying to blame the crisis on Obama and finally to the debate-canceling gambit has been reassuring about the prospect of a McCain presidency. This is the 3 AM phone call and McCain is blowing it.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quote of the Day III

Referring to Sarah Palin's travesty of an interview on CBS last night, conservative Daniel McCarthy has this to say:

After watching this, I think the McCain-Palin ticket is on course to disprove the old adage that no one ever went broke overestimating the stupidity of the American public. Even Homo boobiens has to be smarter than this.

Alaskans Favor Joe Biden Over Sarah Palin for VP

A new poll out shows that Alaskans prefer Joe Biden as a VP choice over Sarah Palin:

Alaskans believe, by 43 to 37 percent, that Joe Biden has the better background and experience to be vice-president, and by 44 to 32 percent, that Biden is better prepared to handle an unexpected international crisis... If this is how Alaskans feel, what about the rest of the country?

Even Taylor Marsh Thinks Bill Clinton is Being a Dick

Maybe I'm onto something by pointing out that Bill Clinton is being a wounded, sensitive little baby right now and doing Obama no favors. Even Taylor "Hillary or Bust!" Marsh is discontented by bubba's pouty bullsh*t:

WJC is truly testing my patience. There's no doubt he doesn't need to get nasty or partisan, you know, like the old Bill of the 1990s who went on to win two general elections, plus beat off the wingnuts handily. But he could at least choose to quit pontificating and serving up quotes that actually aid the other side. It certainly doesn't help Hillary with the activist base and Obama supporters; you know, those people Bill knows she'll need if this election doesn't turn out so well. Just read some of the comments he's getting from Dems across the web that is beginning to blow back on Hillary, which is what matters to me. Hillary has been nothing but stalwart in her work for Obama. So I'm done biting my tongue, especially after hearing WJC played back on Rush today, who riffed, then dissed the debates, which was *!@&ing infuriating.

Quote of the Day II

Well, it's a longish quote but it's worth it. Here's "Crunchy Con" Rod Dreher on Sarah Palin's trainwreck of an interview yesterday:

I remember the morning I woke up in my college dorm room and went in to take my final exam in my Formal Logic class. I knew I was unready. Massively unready. And now I was going to be put to the ultimate test. I sat down in Dr. Sarkar's class and resolved to wing it. Of course I failed the exam and failed the class, because I had no idea what I was talking about. I wasn't a bad kid, or even a stupid kid. I was just badly unprepared, and in way over my head. Seeing the Palin interview on CBS, I thought of myself in Dr. Sarkar's exam. But see, I was a college undergraduate who had the chance to take the class again, which I did, and passed (barely). I wasn't running for vice president of the United States.

Quote of the Day

Wisdom from conservative Daniel Larison on John McCain's fake 'suspension' of his campaign:

In the end, knowing when you can contribute something and knowing when to avoid complicating an already difficult situation by intruding on ongoing negotiations is what separates grandstanding from leadership. It is what separates the simple egomaniacs from the ambitious pols who nonetheless have some idea what public service is. McCain’s belief that he is indispensable in a time of crisis is the surest sign that he is unfit for any office in republican government, much less the chief magistracy of the Republic.

McCain Has Not 'Suspended' His Campaign

Ok, all you mainstream media dipsh*ts, stop uncritically reporting that McCain has "suspended" his campaign. Do a little goddamn reporting (or maybe even check The Google) and you will find that -- Gasp! -- McCain is big stinking liar.

That's right, McCain's campaign continues, full steam ahead, even though McCain threw a fake Haily Mary play and claimed that he was "suspending" his campaign starting today. Here are some examples from Steve Benen of what a fake "suspended" campaign looks like:

* McCain campaign offices in battleground states are open and operating, just like yesterday.

* McCain's television ads are on the air, just like yesterday.

* McCain media flacks are all over the news networks, just like yesterday.

* McCain's campaign staffers are working, just like yesterday.

* McCain's campaign website is up, soliciting contributions and promoting McCain's message, just like yesterday.

* For the big White House meeting today, Barack Obama was told not to bring any campaign aides, so he's bringing a legislative assistant from his Senate staff. John McCain is bringing a campaign advisor.

Craig Ferguson Lays Into McCain

Craig Ferguson in last night's show laid into McCain's faux suspension of the campaign, comparing him to Napoleon and Castro:

CNN's Campbell Brown Decries Bush, Paulson Incompetence

My, my, Campbell Brown is en fuego lately (check out her dressing down of the McCain campaign's sequestration of Sarah Palin here):

Sarah Palin Thinks Bailout is About HEALTHCARE

Look, I know some of you fair-minded people out there wanted to give My Fair Lady From Alaska a little leeway before you judged her qualifications to become President of the United States if something happened to John McCain. But, at this point, and after last night's train wreck of a Katie Couric interview, if you still have any reservations, I must insist that you give back your right to vote:

COURIC: "Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?"

PALIN: "That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, were ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it's got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and getting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade -- we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation."

Watch It:

As Steve Benen puts it:
[T]he truth is, Palin is getting worse at answering questions, not better... With some time in government, Palin might become a less embarrassing candidate. But at this point, it's almost unfair for McCain to set her up for this kind of fiasco.

Palin's Performance 'Frightening', 'Pity-Inducing'

Salon's Glenn Greenwald (finally) sees the light:

Sarah Palin's performance in the tiny vignettes of unscripted dialogue in which we've been allowed to see her has been nothing short of frightening -- really, as I said, pity-inducing. And I say that as someone who has thought from the start that the criticisms of her abilities -- as opposed to her ideology -- were much too extreme. One of two things is absolutely clear at this point: she is either (a) completely ignorant about the most basic political issues -- a vacant, ill-informed, incurious know-nothing, or (b) aggressively concealing her actual beliefs about these matters because she's petrified of deviating from the simple-minded campaign talking points she's been fed and/or because her actual beliefs are so politically unpalatable, even when taking into account the right-wing extremism that is permitted, even rewarded, in our mainstream. I'm not really sure which is worse, but it doesn't really matter, because with 40 days left before the election, both options are heinous.

Judge for yourself in this video of her on Katie Couric. If the thought of this unprepared neophyte as President of the United States doesn't chill you to your bones, you're an ignorant buffoon:

Bill Clinton Isn't Helping

You know what, I'm over being nice and reserved about this. Bill Clinton is being a dick right now and I am tired of trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. It's just oh-so-convenient that after Bill's pull-out-all-the-stops, full-throated campaigning for his wife, now he wants to be a nice little meek elder statesman and praise John McCain and Barack Obama equally in every goddamn speech and appearance.

Here's the wounded little sensitive baby on Good Morning America giving McCain the benefit of the doubt on why he "suspended" his campaign.

"You can put it off a few days the problem is it's hard to reschedule those things," Clinton said, "I presume he did that in good faith since I know he wanted -- I remember he asked for more debates to go all around the country and so I don't think we ought to overly parse that."

It's telling that Bill the only one out there being an even-handed equally laudatory pussy right now. The future of your fucking country is at stake, you egomaniacal asshole. Stop licking your wounds and step up to the fucking plate.

David Letterman Calls McCain on His Bullsh*t

Isn't it surreal that the media people out there calling McCain on his bullsh*t are people like David Letterman, John Stewart and Steven Colbert?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bailout Figure Chosen Because It's 'A Really Large Number'

Well, this makes me more comfortable with giving Hank Paulson carte blanche to spend $700 billion without any oversight:

Forbes writes on part of the reason that the American public is so skeptical of the Bush administration’s bailout proposal.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.

No Excuse for Being Undecided Anymore

John Cole unpacks the John McCain "Suspend the campaign! Ride back to Washington!" nonsense in his typically deliciously acerbic way:

Let me unpack this for the rest of you retrograde morons out there who are still undecided and can not figure out whether you will vote for Obama or McCain. And no, I am not with the Obama campaign on any official level, so I feel perfectly comfortable calling you a total moron if you are an undecided at this point.

1.) McCain is not putting politics aside. He is injecting a massive dose of politics into this debate. Now, when the negotiators stick on points over the next 36 hours, they will have to wonder if it is being done in bad faith in order to suspend the debate.

2.) Sarah Palin is clearly not ready to debate next week, and the McCain campaign is desperate for a way to postpone her appearance.

3.) McCain is giving you another glimpse of his temperament. Obama quietly, without alerting the press, approached McCain. McCain staged a media stunt. Wait till you all hear the statement from McCain to Katie Couric in which he derided Obama’s attempt to issue a joint statement.

4.) If you want some moron to run around like his hair is on fire in a time of crisis, McCain is your man.

My god, this is the easiest choice in an election in my lifetime.

McCain is Now Officially Nucking Futs

I missed much of the brouhaha over McCain flipping out and unilaterally suspending his campaign so he could go to Washington to help solve exploit the financial crisis.

As we all know by now, McCain and his campaign have sunk to a breathtaking level of lies, deceit and double-talk. As a result, my bullsh*t-busting conclusion has been that McCain:

  • is scared by all the bad polls out recently showing him trailing Obama;
  • realizes that most of America blames McCain Republican-backed deregulation for the crisis and wants to toss some chum over the side to deflect the rising headlines about how complicit McCain was in deregulation; and
  • has officially gone certifiably batsh*t and is two steps away from the funny farm.
Well, throw one more reason into the mix. Here is CNN reporting that McCain wants to move the postponed Presidential debate in order to cancel the Vice Presidential debate!
McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

Too clever by half I suspect...

Update: Click through to watch Obama's as-always cool, collected yet firm response.

McCain the Fundamental Deregulator - Video

Look, the election is over if anyone with half a brain looks at three fundamental points:

ONE: We are on the verge of a financial meltdown that is blamed by everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, on insufficient government oversight of the financial markets and lax regulation.

TWO: McCain and his Republican colleagues have spent much of the last few decades demonizing government regulation and doing everything they could to successfully strip meaningful regulation and oversight from the financial markets.

Thus, THREE: As a result, McCain and his Republican "Deregulation!" cronies are largely responsible for the current financial meltdown and it would be the height of stupidity to now reward McCain with the keys to the Presidency and thereby the stewardship of our economy.

Here is a new video that highlights how, up until just last month, McCain and the Republican party have been screaming about the need for MORE deregulation!

New Rule: 'Paulson's Law'

Comrade John Cole has created what I think is an excellent new way to look at what comes out of a campaign surrogate's mouth. It's called Paulson's Law:

“If the very first thing that comes out of your mouth is a lie or an outright distortion, there is no reason for anyone to pay any attention to or believe anything you have said afterwards.”

CNN's Campbell Brown: 'Free Sarah Palin'

Ooh, snap! CNN's Campbell Brown today laid into the McCain campaign for what she called their "sexist" and "chauvinistic" treatment of Sarah Palin as "a delicate flower" by keeping her locked away from media and public scrutiny. Methinks McCain overplayed his "F&ck the Media!" card:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Repub Platform 'We Do Not Support Bailouts'


"We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself." - Republican Party Platform, 2008.

Best Lede from Associated Press Ever

Methinks the McCain/Palin "F*ck the Media!" strategy might be backfiring. Here's a recent lede from the normally McCain-friendly Associated Press:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Less than a week after balking at the Alaska Legislature's investigation into her alleged abuse of power, Gov. Sarah Palin on Monday indicated she will cooperate with a separate probe run by people she can fire.

Palin October Wedding Surprise

My friend at VoteJacked has a scary new post up today that poses the unnerving proposition that Sarah Palin may give us an October wedding surprise: "What if the media were to learn that Bristol Palin is planning to get married in October?" He lays out a six-point list of why the shifty McCain campaign might just do it.

Why do I feel like I'm living in The Twilight Zone?

Sarah Palin with Sean Hannity: Interview or Infomercial?

This is a pretty telling juxtaposition by the Daily Show of Sarah Palin's interview with conservative blowhard Sean Hannity and a debt counseling infomercial. Hard to tell the difference, no?

So sad that the "fake news" has become "real" and the "real news" has become "fake".

Obama Press Conference on the Financial Meltdown

This is exactly the kind of leadership we need right now: reasonable, authoritative, firm, calm and collected:

Yesterday, the President said that Congress should pass his proposal to ease the crisis on Wall Street without significant changes or improvements.

Now, there are many to blame for causing the current crisis, starting with the speculators who gamed the system and the regulators who looked the other way. But all of us now have a stake in solving it and saving our financial institutions from collapse. Because if we don’t, the jobs and life savings of millions will be put at risk.

Given that fact, the President’s stubborn inflexibility is both unacceptable and disturbingly familiar. This is not the time for my-way-or-the-highway intransigence from anyone involved. It’s not the time for fear or panic. It’s the time for resolve, responsibility, and reasonableness.

And it is wholly unreasonable to expect that American taxpayers would or should hand this Administration or any Administration a $700 billion blank check with absolutely no oversight or conditions when a lack of oversight in Washington and on Wall Street is exactly what got us into this mess.

Read More

John McCain's Complicity in the Savings & Loan Scandal

For those of us who weren't paying attention during the savings and loan scandal in the 1980's (described by most analysts as the worst financial scandal in U.S. history [well, before this week]), you owe it to yourself and your country to watch and circulate this video, which recounts John McCain's involvement in the so-called "Keating 5". McCain was admonished by the Senate for his involvement and, not surprisingly, his complicity in the current financial meltdown sounds a lot like what he was up to 20 years ago.

Urgent Message from the Ministry of the Treasury

This cheered me up in a strange sort of way:

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed informations about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully, Minister of Treasury Paulson

T. Boone Pickens Being Stonewalled By Republicans

T. Boone Pickens -- a conservative billionaire oil tycoon who is putting billions of dollars into a plan to develop wind farms and convert our car fleet to natural gas -- recently gave an interview and said that Republicans in Congress are stonewalling him because the only thing they're interested in is more oil drilling. What a f*cking surprise!

Q: You told the New York Times last month that you’d never vote for a Democrat. Are you finding that difficult in reaching out to Democrats then with your plan? […]

PICKENS: So I am having no problem working with the Democrats. Having a little problem working with the Republicans. They don’t like it because I want to do more than just drill. And they, somehow have gotten it, a lot of them have, that you can drill your way out of this. But you can’t do it. There’s not enough oil there to do it.

As Think Progress puts it:
Pickens made it clear that, despite five straight weeks of calls for an “all of the above” energy strategy, congressional conservatives are interested in little besides drilling. In fact, last week, when the House passed an energy bill that included conservatives’ demand for offshore drilling, House Republicans opposed it because it would have repealed Big Oil tax breaks to invest in renewable energy. Apparently to Republican ears, “all of the above” sounds just like “Drill Baby drill.”

Quote of the Day

"We should be frightened by the political implications of this Great Implosion of presumed wealth. Some group of somebodies will have to clean up this mess. Moving toward a major election, it is hard to imagine the American people giving the clean-up task to the very group that created the mess -- no matter how many cute little faces Sarah Palin can make on TV." Jim Kunstler

The Decay of American Exceptionalism

Jim Kunstler has an amazing new must-read post up on his blog. I warn you, it is frightening and difficult not to internalize.

The Republican Party amounts to today's Whigs. Their candidate for president, John McCain, is trying to run away from his own party -- as one might shrink away from a colony of importuning lepers. I am actually not kidding when I label the Republicans "the party that wrecked America," because I believe that is truly how the popular strain of history will regard them when (maybe if) the wreckage of their ministrations ever clears...

Some of the issues yet-to-be-clarified concern the behavior of the American public in the broad sense. We have obdurately resisted the reality of the energy crisis that hangs over everything we do (as slavery hung over the 1850s), from the way we inhabit the landscape to the way we do daily business in our 240-million-plus fleet of cars and trucks that ply the ribbons of asphalt and the lagoons of parking that now run from sea to shining sea where the fruited plain was replaced by the Wal Marts.

Read the Whole Post Here

The Twelve Primary Lies of Sarah Palin

Andrew Sullivan has compiled a list of twelve lies told by Sarah Palin that have, to this day, not been factually refuted by the McCain. After the last eight years of lying and secrecy, millions of Americans believe that Sarah Palin should become President. Truly frightening:

- She has lied about the Bridge To Nowhere. She ran for office favoring it, wore a sweatshirt defending it, and only gave it up when the federal congress, Senator McCain in particular, went ballistic. She kept the money anyway and favors funding Don Young's Way, at twice the cost of the original bridge.

- She has lied about her firing of the town librarian and police chief of Wasilla, Alaska.

- She has lied about pressure on Alaska's public safety commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law.

- She has lied about her previous statements on climate change.

- She has lied about Alaska's contribution to America's oil and gas production.

- She has lied about when she asked her daughters for their permission for her to run for vice-president.

- She has lied about the actual progress in constructing a natural gas pipeline from Alaska.

- She has lied about Obama's position on habeas corpus.

- She has lied about her alleged tolerance of homosexuality.

- She has lied about the use or non-use of a TelePrompter at the St Paul convention.

- She has lied about her alleged pay-cut as mayor of Wasilla.

- She has lied about what Alaska's state scientists concluded about the health of the polar bear population in Alaska.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fight Whining With Whining

Ok, so this is a bit low-brow but I think it's pretty funny. The below video provides an overlaid self-explanatory riposte to McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt's whining today about how unfair the press has been to them:

Quote of the Day IV: Journalism

Wisdom from Beutler:

[A]ll media outlets should really be called What Liberal Arts Majors Can Figure Out with Two Hours of Googling.

Quote of the Day III

Greenwald on the Republican revolt over Hank Paulson's hastily crafted bailout plan:

Apparently, the same political faction that has cheered on every instance of unchecked, absolute executive power over the last eight years -- which demanded that the President, and he alone, decide which citizens, including Americans, can be spied on, detained, even tortured, and that no oversight or disclosure was needed for any of that -- has suddenly re-discovered their desire for checks on federal government power.

Malkin: Hank Paulson Must Be 'Contained'

You know the Republicans and the Bush administration are up sh*t creek without a paddle when ultra-right wing hack Michelle Malkin screams bloody murder about the current bailout plan:

Both parties in Washington are about to screw us over on an unprecedented scale. They are threatening us with fiscal apocalypse if we don’t fork over $700 billion to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and allow him to dole it out to whomever he chooses in whatever amount he chooses — without public input or recourse. They are rushing like mad to cram this Mother of All Bailouts down our throats in the next 72-96 hours. And right there in the text of the proposal is this naked power grab: “Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.”


My question for fellow conservatives: Do you trust this man?

I don’t.

Do you trust Hank Paulson’s judgment?

I don’t.

Why Intelligent, Rational Policymaking is Hard to Do

People sometimes accuse me of being mean for saying that a large swath of the American voting public are irrational buffoons. Consider this nugget from a new ARG poll:

Among Republicans, 46% approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 48% disapprove.

That's right, 46% of Republicans approve of Bush's handling of the economy after leading us into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Which is worse: "Stupidity" or "Willful Ignorance"? Is there a difference?

Sarah Palin Sequestration Watch

Even the conservative Washington Post editorial desk is outraged by the McCain campaign hiding Sarah Palin away from questioning by the media:

Mr. McCain's selection of an inexperienced and relatively unknown figure was unsettling, and the campaign's decision to keep her sequestered from serious interchanges with reporters and voters serves only to deepen the unease. Mr. McCain is entitled to choose the person he thinks would be best for the job. He is not entitled to keep the public from being able to make an informed assessment of that judgment. Ms. Palin's speech-making skills are impressive, but the more she repeats the same stump speech lines, the queasier we get. Nor have her answers to the gentle questioning she has encountered provided any confidence that Ms. Palin has a grasp of the issues.

Read the Whole Op-Ed Here

Quotes of the Day II: Sam Harris

I love the new article by Sam Harris in Newsweek. Here are some choice quotes on Sarah Palin:

Here, finally, was a performer who—being maternal, wounded, righteous and sexy—could stride past the frontal cortex of every American and plant a three-inch heel directly on that limbic circuit that ceaselessly intones "God and country." If anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could.
Refusing to hesitate isn't a primordial truth of wise governance.
What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. Watching her deny to Gibson that she had ever harbored the slightest doubt about her readiness to take command of the world's only superpower, one got the feeling that Palin would gladly assume any responsibility on earth.

San Harris on Sarah Palin

I of course hate the fact that I have to waste even a few minutes of my day to address the farce of a candidate that Sarah Palin is. However, one of my favorite authors, Sam Harris, has a new essay in the Newsweek that you need to read. Here's a flavor:

I believe that with the nomination of Sarah Palin for the vice presidency, the silliness of our politics has finally put our nation at risk. The world is growing more complex—and dangerous—with each passing hour, and our position within it growing more precarious. Should she become president, Palin seems capable of enacting policies so detached from the common interests of humanity, and from empirical reality, as to unite the entire world against us. When asked why she is qualified to shoulder more responsibility than any person has held in human history, Palin cites her refusal to hesitate. "You can't blink," she told Gibson repeatedly, as though this were a primordial truth of wise governance. Let us hope that a President Palin would blink, again and again, while more thoughtful people decide the fate of civilization.

Read the Whole Article Here

Everyone Just TRUST the Bush Administration!

Why don't you naysayers and nattering nabobs of negativism out there just sit back and TRUST the Bush administration to bail us out of our current economic crisis!?

I mean, my God, people! What has the Bush administration done over the last eight years to warrant your expressed distrust? It's not like they've royally f*cked up absolutely every major challenge they were faced with. Leaving aside Hurricane Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan and global warming, the Bush administration has been a paragon of virtue, competence and transparency!

With that snark aside, a reader at the Daily Dish sums up my actual feelings:

After nearly eight years, the phrase "trust us" no longer works... [W]e are as usual placed in a position in which great pressure is brought to bear to quickly accept a deal which will reverberate for decades without close inspection. We are again told that things are vastly complicated and we should trust Treasury and the Fed to do the right thing. My trust reservoir is exhausted. I actually respect Paulson, but I also believe he is "playing the hand he's been dealt," as he said. This is not the way decisions should be taken that have long-term consequences for the nation's future.

If in fact all of this bubbled to the surface quickly, without being anticipated, then the folks at Treasury are incompetent. However, I don't believe that for a second--I am convinced that in this case, again, the Bush Administration knew what was up and calculated that it could just muddle through until after the elections. We should all be apprehensive about what is coming after election day.

Quote of the Day

Some conservatives aren't bamboozled by McCain's sophistry on the economy:

"I suppose the McCain campaign's hope is that when there's a big crisis, people will go for age and experience. The question is, who in this crisis looked more presidential, calm and un-flustered? It wasn't John McCain who, as usual, substituting vehemence for coherence, said 'let's fire somebody.' And picked one of the most experienced and conservative people in the administration, Chris Cox, and for no apparent reason... It was un-presidential behavior by a presidential candidate ... John McCain showed his personality this week and it made some of us fearful." - conservative columnist, writer and commentator George F. Will, on ABC's This Week.

McCain: Doesn't Regret Deregulating Wall Street

As I pointed out in my post over the weekend, the emerging consensus is that lax oversight over Wall Street and a lack of meaningful regulation is responsible for our current financial crisis. Primarily responsible for this "Deregulation!" fiasco? John McCain and his cronies in the Republican party.

Faced with the opportunity to express regret on CBS for how wrong he was on deregulation, John McCain gave us this:

Q: In 1999, you were one of the senators who helped pass deregulation of Wall Street. Do you regret that now?

McCAIN: No. I think the deregulation was probably helpful to the growth of our economy.

John McCain: Fundamentally Unqualified to Lead Us Out of an Economic Crisis

Sunday, September 21, 2008

McCain: 'Cheerleader for a Team of Arsonists'

Austan Goolsbee describes John "I'm always for less regulation" McCain's about-face on regulation about as succinctly as I can imagine (h/t Economists for Obama):

It’s good Senator McCain has suddenly become a champion of financial oversight and regulatory oversight. He, George Bush, Phil Gramm, and their crew have been about burning down the rules of the road and trying to deregulate the financial environment. It’s a little strange for a guy who was cheerleader for a team of arsonists to now be coming forward and saying he’d be a great fire department chief.

I Can Haz Bailout?

Bob Shieffer: 'No Game Works Without an Umpire'

On Face the Nation this morning, Bob Shieffer ended the episode with a commentary on how the [McCain/Gramm-championed] culture of deregulation has led to our current crisis. As I pointed out in my earlier post, John McCain's complicity in slavishly pushing for deregulation of the financial markets has now made him fundamentally unqualified to become Presidnet of the United States. Here's an excerpt from the comments of normally hyper-nonpartisan Shieffer:

This is not the work of those who broke the law. It is the work of those operating within the law, those who pushed the law to the limit, making loans the law allowed but common sense dictated should not have been made.

[D]eregulation has become all the rage - Sweep away the cumbersome rules that make it hard to do business. A worthy goal for the most part, but as we're finding out, we have allowed deregulation to the point that in some cases the only rule left standing is that "anything goes."

Our financial system has come to resemble a ball game where the umpires let the players call the balls and strikes.

In the debate over how much government our new nation needed, one of the founders, James Madison, said, "If men were angels, there would be no need for any laws, much less government."

Our free market system remains the best system ever devised, but we're still not angels.

Besides, no game works without an umpire.

SNL : I'm John McCain and I Approve These Lies

More truth-to-power telling from Saturday Night Live:

ABC 'This Week' Panel on Economy Tears Into McCain

Thank God people out there aren't buying McCain's bullsh*t. This panel on ABC's 'This Week' was just brutal to McCain's inability to speak intelligently about the economy and the current financial crisis:

Lobbyists Push for No-Strings-Attached Bailout Bill

Financial industry lobbyists are, not surprisingly, telling their sycophantic Republican bootlickers in Congress to just give them the g-d money, attach no strings and DO IT NOW!

House Republican staffers met with roughly 15 lobbyists Friday afternoon, whose message to lawmakers was clear: Don't load the legislation up with provisions not directly related to the crisis, or regulatory measures the industry has long opposed.

"We're opposed to adding provisions that will affect [or] undermine the deal substantively," said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of government affairs at the Financial Services Roundtable, whose members include the nation's largest banks, securities firms and insurers.

A deal killer for the group: a proposal that would grant bankruptcy judges new powers to lower the principal, interest rate or both on a mortgage as part of a bankruptcy proceeding.

Quote of the Day II

Here's how McCain described his health care proposal earlier this year:

Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.

That's right, that was McCain referring to how he helped open up "vigorous nationwide competition" in the banking industry by tearing down the walls of excess government regulation.

McCain thinks, "Wow, insufficient government regulation in the financial industry worked GREAT! Let's try it on the health care sector too!!"

This deluded man is profoundly dangerous.

Update: Here's Obama's response:
My opponent actually wrote in the current issue of a health care magazine -- the current issue -- quote -- 'Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.' So let me get this straight -- he wants to run health care like they've been running Wall Street. Well, senator, I know some folks on Main Street who aren't going to think that's a good idea.

Quote of the Day

Here is a quote from an email sent by an unnamed Washington lawmaker talking about the legislative response to the financial crisis:

I find myself drawn to provisions that would serve no useful purpose except to insult the industry, like requiring the CEOs, CFOs and the chair of the board of any entity that sells mortgage related securities to the Treasury Department to certify that they have completed an approved course in credit counseling... I'm open to other ideas, and I am looking for volunteers who want to hold the sons of bitches so I can beat the crap out of them.

McCain, Deregulation and the Economy: The Bottom Line

I just watched all the Sunday morning talk shows and one overriding theme emerged.

Nearly everyone, Democrat or Republican, that got up and talked about our current economic crisis largely blamed the lack of oversight and regulation.

Let me repeat that. The consensus is that a lack of meaningful oversight and regulation is now causing us to socialize the financial industry and put at risk at least $1 trillion of taxpayer money to bail it out.

In light of this, the choice for President in this coming election has now become absolutely and unarguably clear.

McCain has spent his nearly three decades in Washington being aided and abetted by Phil Gramm and his cronies in pushing through every possible measure to keep the financial industry from being subject to meaningful oversight and regulation. This is how the New York Times describes his pedigree:

[McCain's] record … suggest[s] that he has never departed in any major way from his party’s embrace of deregulation... [H]e has consistently characterized himself as fundamentally a deregulator [yet] he has no history prior to the presidential campaign of advocating steps to tighten standards on investment firms.

McCain has always been in his party’s mainstream on the [economic] issue. In early 1995 … McCain promoted a moratorium on federal regulations of all kinds. 'I’m always for less regulation,' he told The Wall Street Journal last March…. 'I am fundamentally a deregulator.'

The bottom line: John McCain's loving embrace of the fundamental Republican dogma of "deregulation, deregulation, deregulation" has caused the worst financial crisis in American history since the Great Depression.

John McCain, Phil Gramm and their Republican cohorts got us into this mess. It would be, at this point in history, absolutely and profoundly wrong for the American people to reward John McCain's failure by electing him to lead the world's biggest economy.


There is no more room for debate. None.


This is the video library that we need to circulate far and wide to highlight how wrong John McCain has been (and will be) on the economy:

Obama Campaign on McCain's Disgraced Economic Advisers:

Obama Campaign on McCain's belief that the "Fundamentals of the Economy are Strong":