Sunday, August 31, 2008
Posted by Metavirus at 8/31/2008 11:03:00 PM
Right from the horse's mother-in-law's mouth:
"I'm not sure what she brings to the ticket other than she's a woman and a conservative. Well, she's a better speaker than McCain," - Faye Palin, Sarah Palin's mother-in-law, laughing.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/31/2008 09:36:00 PM
I just got back from my friend's wedding and have been absorbing the profoundly disturbing news that McCain made one of the most incomprehensibly irresponsible, politically motivated decisions in the history of modern presidential politics: the selection of Sarah freaking Palin as his VP. Are you kidding me? Seriously?
I've had some time to digest a large number of reactions from around the media and blogosphere and I am still unable to fully comprehend how shockingly reckless, craven and "manifestly unserious" this decision truly was.
On the one hand, you have Sarah Palin and how dishonest, inexperienced, extreme, corrupt and unvetted (seriously unvetted) she appears to be (see below for a 50-point list of what we know about her to date). Don't even get me started on the shameless tokenism that this represents. Even the Republican Alaska Senate Senate President had this to say of her:
"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"
On the other hand, you have John McCain and how this decision so blatantly reveals him to be an intellectually incurious, cynical, impulsive, "shoot-from-the-hip" nutjob who is more concerned with winning an election than choosing a qualified person to fill the second-most important job in the world.
I will post more on the topic but in the meanwhile, check out this remarkable list of what we know about Sara Palin thus far, compiled by an intrepid kossack:
- Sarah Palin has an Abramoff problem - a Pro-Palin illegal mailer was sent during her gubernatorial campaign on behalf of Palin by the RGA, the DC group that got money from Abramoff, Reed, etc.
- She advocated AGAINST mine safety / pollution control
- She has an ANTI-ENVIRONMENT RECORD and is on the wrong side of global warming and doesn't think polar bears should be listed as endangered because it interferes with her drilling plans.
- She's against sex education - abstinence only.
- She appears to oppose windfall taxes on oil companies at the national level but supported them to benefit her state.
- Don't believe the whispers that she supportive of the GLBT community. She's opposed to state health benefits for same-sex partners and only vetoed a resolution that would have ended state benefits because the Supreme Court had already declared it unconstitutional.
- She's opposed to universal health care and stem cell research
- No foreign policy experience? According to the folks at FOX think she has foreign policy experience because "Alaska is near Russia." Oh, and she didn't even have a passport until last year.
- McCain only met Sarah Palin ONCE and talked to her TWICE making this a purely cynical and desperate political appointment by HIS CAMPAIGN not by him! She's not really HIS VP choice.
- She's deeply connected to the Bridge to Nowhere.
- She stated that she would force her own daughter to have a rapist's child.
- She has 3 houses
- Terre pointed out that she's connected to VECO - the company at the heart of Ted Stevens' troubles. She also received an endorsement from Ted that has suddenly disappeared from her webpage.
- She called candidate Clinton a whiner. Why does everyone in the McCain campaign think others are whiners?
- She apparently hasn't taken a stand on most major political issues
- Past quotes by Rove make Palin's selection look like desperation.
- Palin may have been scrubbing her own wikipedia page
- Sarah Palin, Buchanite - Palin supported Pat Buchanan in 2000, a fact which may alienate certain Florida voters. Hat tip to misslotus
- She's still focused on Alaska not the fact the she would be Vice President for the whole nation.
- She participated in a profane on-air attack againt the Alaskan State Senate President and giggled at the word b*tch..
- Like Bush and McCain, she can't admit when she's wrong.
- She's linked to the Dominionist movement and Joel's Army.
- The United Steelworkers have already spoken out against her.
- Some of the PUMA's believe that John McCain is patronizing them.
- Additionally, this choice eliminates the "He's not ready" attack on Obama.
- This choice raises the issue of McCain's age (Is Palin ready to take over if he keels over).
- It also raises the issue of McCain's past unfavorable statements against women.
- Additionally, this choice reminds us that McCain is an adulterer and raises the spectre that he is just a dirty old man with wandering eyes.
- Palin's husband is on BP's payroll creating a possible conflict of interest.
- She made extremely poor use of Eminent Domain during her time as mayor.
- She favors censoring library books (Alert your local librarian!)
- Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young (both under investigation) campaigned for her in 2006.
- She didn't support McCain in the primaries.
- The top 2 ALASKAN newspapers question her fitness for the job.
- She supports aerial hunting of wolves even though it was outlawed by Congress. She's using a loophole.. Hat tip to Scarce
- More environmental problems - She fighting to prevent Belugas from being listed as endangered. Thanks again Terre!
- In addition to polar bears, belugas, and wolves, for the first time in Alaskan history she is supporting hunting black bear sows and cubs. Thank you for the information Bodean.
- She's either going to be distracted by being deposed soon or she is going to draw negative attention by trying to avoid being deposed.
- There have been discussion of witness tampering and possible impeachment hearings related to charges of her abuse of power
- MEME: Palin's selection provides a clear example of John McCain's hasty decision-making and poor judgement on important issues (like who would be best qualified to take his place if he could not complete his term).
- Palin stated "I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq.."
Posted by Metavirus at 8/31/2008 07:37:00 PM
Tags: Abortion , Alaska , Blunders , Bush , Case for Obama , Desperation , Distractions , Election 2008 , General Election , Hillary Clinton , John McCain , Judgment , McCain File , Republicans , Sarah Palin , Women
Friday, August 29, 2008
Republican stalwart Pat Buchanan was gushing so much about Obama's speech tonight that he had to be cut off by Keith Olbermann. Here what he said, with video.
"It was a genuinely outstanding speech. It was magnificent. It is the finest - and I saw Cuomo's speech, I saw Kennedy in '80, I even saw Douglas MacArthur, I saw Martin Luther King - this is the greatest convention speech, and probably the most important because unlike Cuomo and the others this is an acceptance speech. This came out of the heart of America and he went right at the heart of America..."
Not only that, supreme Republican douchebag Alex Castellanos (who produced disgusting race-baiting ads for the late King Racist Jesse Helms) also couldn't find a negative word to say about it:
"Whoever didn't get picked for Republican VP today may be a lucky Republican."
Posted by Metavirus at 8/29/2008 01:41:00 AM
Here is the Obama biography tribute video from earlier tonight.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/29/2008 12:44:00 AM
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wow, I can't begin to describe how profound Obama's speech was just now. Here is the video. My thoughts were best summed up by Andrew below. I am so proud to have been able to witness Obama's speech tonight.
Here is the transcript of Obama's masterful speech.
- "It's time for [the Republicans] to own their failure."
- “[John McCain] says he will follow him to the gates of hell, but he will not even follow him to the cave where he lives.”
- "I've got news for you, John McCain: We all put our country first."
Here's Andrew Sullivan's thorough and well-crafted take:
It was a deeply substantive speech, full of policy detail, full of people other than the candidate, centered overwhelmingly on domestic economic anxiety. It was a liberal speech, more unabashedly, unashamedly liberal than any Democratic acceptance speech since the great era of American liberalism. But it made the case for that liberalism - in the context of the decline of the American dream, and the rise of cynicism and the collapse of cultural unity. His ability to portray that liberalism as a patriotic, unifying, ennobling tradition makes him the most lethal and remarkable Democratic figure since John F Kennedy.
What he didn't do was give an airy, abstract, dreamy confection of rhetoric. The McCain campaign set Obama up as a celebrity airhead, a Paris Hilton of wealth and elitism. And he let them portray him that way, and let them over-reach, and let them punch him again and again ... and then he turned around and destroyed them. If the Rve Republicans thought they were playing with a patsy, they just got a reality check.
He took every assault on him and turned them around. He showed not just that he understood the experience of many middle class Americans, but that he understood how the Republicans have succeeded in smearing him. And he didn't shrink from the personal charges; he rebutted them. Whoever else this was, it was not Adlai Stevenson. It was not Jimmy Carter. And it was less afraid and less calculating than Bill Clinton.
Above all, he took on national security - face on, full-throttle, enraged, as we should all be, at how disastrously American power has been handled these past eight years. He owned this issue in a way that no Democrat has owned it since Kennedy. That's a transformative event. To my mind, it is vital that both parties get to own the war on Jihadist terror and that we escape this awful Rove-Morris trap that poisons the discourse into narrow and petty partisan abuse of patriotism. Obama did this tonight. We are in his debt.
Look: I'm biased at this point. I'm one of those people, deeply distressed at what has happened to America, deeply ashamed of my own misjudgments, who has shifted out of my ideological comfort zone because this man seems different to me, and this moment in history seems different to me. I'm not sure we have many more chances to get off the addiction to foreign oil, to prevent a calamitous terrorist attack, to restore constitutional balance in the hurricane of a terror war.
I've said it before - months and months ago. I should say it again tonight. This is a remarkable man at a vital moment. America would be crazy to throw this opportunity away. America must not throw this opportunity away.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 10:57:00 PM
I am watching a series of real people in something called "The American Voices Program" speaking before Barack Obama gets on stage in a little while. It is unfortunate that none of the nets except for C-SPAN are carrying it because the people's stories are very compelling. I will try to post video when I can find it.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 09:37:00 PM
This made me laugh out loud. In a recent blog entry, Vanity Fair writer James Wolcott discussed the idea of Joe Lieberman as a McCain VP possibility:
We saw what a lethargic, uninspired veep candidate he was in 2000 and he hasn't exactly picked up speed with age. His Joementum has pretty much come to a dead halt. Together on stage, he and McCain would look like a gay Metamucil ad.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 08:34:00 PM
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 08:05:00 PM
Carter said that whether [McCain] was asked about religion, domestic or foreign affairs, every answer came back to McCain's 5½ years as a POW.
"John McCain was able to weave in his experience in a Vietnam prison camp, no matter what the question was," said Carter. "It's much better than talking about how he's changed his total character between being a senator, a kind of a maverick … and his acquiescence in the last few months with every kind of lobbyist pressure that the right wing Republicans have presented."
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 07:46:00 PM
- Defending His Amnesty Bill, Sen. McCain Lost His Temper And “Screamed, ‘F*ck You!’ At Texas Sen. John Cornyn” (R-TX). “Presidential hopeful John McCain - who has been dogged for years by questions about his volcanic temper - erupted in an angry, profanity-laced tirade at a fellow Republican senator, sources told The Post yesterday. In a heated dispute over immigration-law overhaul, McCain screamed, ‘F— you!’ at Texas Sen. John Cornyn, who had been raising concerns about the legislation. ‘This is chickens—stuff,’ McCain snapped at Cornyn, according to several people in the room off the Senate floor Thursday. ‘You’ve always been against this bill, and you’re just trying to derail it.’” (Charles Hurt, “Raising McCain,”
New York Post, 5/19/07)
- In 2000, Sen. McCain Ran An Attack Ad Comparing Then-Gov. George W. Bush To Bill Clinton. SEN. MCCAIN: “I guess it was bound to happen. Governor Bush’s campaign is getting desperate, with a negative ad about me. The fact is, I’ll use the surplus money to fix Social Security, cut your taxes and pay down the debt. Governor Bush uses all of the surplus for tax cuts, with not one new penny for Social Security or the debt. His ad twists the truth like
Clinton. We’re all pretty tired of that. As president, I’ll be conservative and always tell you the truth. No matter what.” (McCain 2000, Campaign Ad, 2/9/00; www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHoXkCprdL4)
- Sen. McCain Repeatedly Called Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) An “A**hole”, Causing A Fellow GOP Senator To Say, “I Didn’t Want This Guy Anywhere Near A Trigger.” “Why can’t McCain win the votes of his own colleagues? To explain, a Republican senator tells this story: at a GOP meeting last fall, McCain erupted out of the blue at the respected Budget Committee chairman, Pete Domenici, saying, ‘Only an a–hole would put together a budget like this.’ Offended, Domenici stood up and gave a dignified, restrained speech about how in all his years in the Senate, through many heated debates, no one had ever called him that. Another senator might have taken the moment to check his temper. But McCain went on: ‘I wouldn’t call you an a–hole unless you really were an a–hole.’ The Republican senator witnessing the scene had considered supporting McCain for president, but changed his mind. ‘I decided,’ the senator told Newsweek, ‘I didn’t want this guy anywhere near a trigger.’” (Evan Thomas, et al., “Senator Hothead,” Newsweek, 2/21/00)
- Sen. McCain Had A Heated Exchange With Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) And Called Him A “F*cking Jerk.” “Senators are not used to having their intelligence or integrity challenged by another senator. ‘Are you calling me stupid?’ Sen. Chuck Grassley once inquired during a debate with McCain over the fate of the Vietnam MIAs, according to a source who was present. ‘No,’ replied McCain, ‘I’m calling you a f—ing jerk!’ (Grassley and McCain had no comment.)” (Evan Thomas, et al., “Senator Hothead,” Newsweek, 2/21/00)
- In 1995, Sen. McCain Had A “Scuffle” With 92-Year-Old Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC) On The Senate Floor. “In January 1995, McCain was midway through an opening statement at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing when chairman Strom Thurmond asked, ‘Is the senator about through?’ McCain glared at Thurmond, thanked him for his ‘courtesy’ (translation: buzz off), and continued on. McCain later confronted Thurmond on the Senate floor. A scuffle ensued, and the two didn’t part friends.” (Harry Jaffe, “Senator Hothead,” The Washingtonian, 2/97)
- Sen. McCain Accused Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Of The “Most Egregious Incident” Of Corruption He Had Seen In The Senate. “It escalated when McCain reiterated the charges Oct. 10 in a cross-examination, calling McConnell’s actions the ‘most egregious incident’ demonstrating the appearance of corruption he has ever seen in his Senate career.” (Amy Keller, “Attacks Escalate In Depositions,” Roll Call, 10/21/02)
- Sen. McCain Attacked Christian Leaders And Republicans In A Blistering Speech During The 2000 Campaign. MCCAIN: “Unfortunately, Governor Bush is a Pat Robertson Republican who will lose to Al Gore. … The political tactics of division and slander are not our values… They are corrupting influences on religion and politics, and those who practice them in the name of religion or in the name of the Republican Party or in the name of
America shame our faith, our party and our country. Neither party should be defined by pandering to the outer reaches of American politics and the agents of intolerance, whether they be Louis Farrakhan or Al Sharpton on the left, or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell on the right.” (Sen. John McCain, Remarks, Virginia Beach, VA, 2/28/00)
- Sen. McCain Attacked Vice President Cheney. MCCAIN: “The president listened too much to the Vice President . . . Of course, the president bears the ultimate responsibility, but he was very badly served by both the Vice President and, most of all, the Secretary of Defense.” (Roger Simon, “McCain Bashes Cheney Over
Iraq Policy,” The Politico, 1/24/07)
- Celebrating His First Senate Election In 1986, Sen. McCain Screamed At And Harassed A Young Republican Volunteer. “It was election night 1986, and John McCain had just been elected to the U.S. Senate for the first time. Even so, he was not in a good mood. McCain was yelling at the top of his lungs and poking the chest of a young Republican volunteer who had set up a lectern that was too tall for the 5-foot-9 politician to be seen to advantage, according to a witness to the outburst. ‘Here this poor guy is thinking he has done a good job, and he gets a new butt ripped because McCain didn’t look good on television,’ Jon Hinz told a reporter Thursday. At the time, Hinz was executive director of the Arizona Republican Party. … Hinz said McCain’s treatment of the young campaign worker in 1986 troubled him for years. ‘There were an awful lot of people in the room,’ Hinz recalled. ‘You’d have to stick cotton in your ears not to hear it. He (McCain) was screaming at him, and he was red in the face. It wasn’t right, and I was very upset at him.’” (Kris Mayes and Charles Kelly, “Stories Surface On Senator’s Demeanor,” The
Arizona Republic, 11/5/99)
- Sen. McCain “Publicly Abused” Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL). “[McCain] noted his propensity for passion but insisted that he doesn’t ‘insult anybody or fly off the handle or anything like that.’ This is, quite simply, hogwash. McCain often insults people and flies off the handle…. There have been the many times McCain has called reporters ‘liars’ and ‘idiots’ when they have had the audacity to ask him unpleasant, but pertinent, questions. McCain once… publicly abused Sen. Richard Shelby of
Alabama.” (Editorial, “There’s Something About McCain,” The Austin American-Statesman, 1/24/07)
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 05:44:00 PM
File this under "Are you fu^%ing kidding me?" John McCain just said that Iraq is "peaceful" and "stable" "now"!
Today, Time Magazine published an interview with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that it conducted aboard McCain’s campaign airplane. Reporters James Carney and Michael Scherer described McCain as “prickly” and “at times, abrasive” during the course of the interview.
Carney and Scherer noted to McCain that the Iraqi government is calling for a deadline for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq even though McCain’s previously stated definition of “victory” — “a peaceful, stable, prosperous democratic state” — has not been achieved. The Arizona senator dismissed their characterization of the situation, saying that Iraq is “a peaceful and stable country now”:
Q: Some members of the [Iraqi] government have made it clear in the last month or two that they might want to withdraw before complete stability, before totally secure borders, before some of the completeness of victory as you described. Is there any change, do you think there is some wiggle room there because what you described with Petraeus was an end point that was rather complete — a peaceful, stable country.
MCCAIN: Its a peaceful and stable country now.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 05:28:00 PM
"I'm not voting for McCain," Kathleen Hensley Portalski tells Us. "I have a different political standpoint.
"I'm voting for Obama," the Phoenix resident says. "I think his proposals to improve the country are more positive and I'm not a big war believer"...
Portalski's son Nathan, an aerospace machinist, is also backing Obama.
"I wouldn't vote for John McCain if he was a Democrat," he tells Us. "I would not vote at all before I'd vote for him.
"I question whether Cindy is someone I'd want to see in the White House as first lady," he adds.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 04:10:00 PM
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 04:01:00 PM
I don't pay much attention to the Gallup Daily Tracking Poll (which has been described as "the worst thing that's happened to journalism in 20 years") but today's poll shows a nice bounce for Obama even before he's given his acceptance speech (click the graphic to see a larger image):
The important analysis, however, is, as always, an analysis of the electoral college map, which is looking ever-stronger for Obama:
Electoral College: Obama 260, McCain 206, Toss-up 72 (270 to win)
(Dark Blue (183): Obama +7.6% or more
Lean Blue (77): Obama +2.6%-+7.5%
White / Toss-up (72): Obama +2.5% to McCain +2.5%
Lean Red (44): McCain +2.6%-+7.5%
Dark Red (162): McCain +7.6% or more)
New polls from California, Colorado, Florida (2), Nevada, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. The only category change is Missouri moving from "Lean McCain" to "Solid McCain." Here is the swing state chart:
(Swing States are defined as states closer than 5.0%)
|State||EV's||Obama %||McCain %||Margin||Obama Total|
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 03:49:00 PM
I don't know who compiled there but they're up as a comment on Ben Smith's site. A good compilation:
Gov. David Paterson on John McCain: "If he's the answer, then the question must be ridiculous."My Favorite:
Gov of Arizona, Janet Napolitano: "Barry Goldwater ran for president, and he lost. Mo Udall ran for president, and he lost. Bruce Babbit ran for president, and he lost. For this next election, that's one Arizona political tradition I'd like to see continue."
Gov of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius delivers the line of the century about John McCain: "John McCain's version: There's no place like home...or a home...or a home...or a home...or a home..."
Senator from PA, Bob Casey: "John McCain calls himself a maverick, but he votes with George Bush more than 90% of the time...that's not a maverick, that's a sidekick."
Former Gov of VA, Mark Warner: "This election isn't about liberal versus conservative. It's not about left versus right. It's about the future versus the past. ... In four months, we'll have an administration that actually believes in science. "
Gov of Montana Brian Schweitzer: We simply can't drill our way to energy independence, even if you drilled in all of John McCain's backyards, including the ones he can't even remember.
Gov of OH, Ted Strickland: Recalling Jim Hightower's quip that George H. W. Bush was born on third base and thought he'd hit a triple, "George Bush started on third base and then stole second, with John McCain cheering him every step of the way."
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 03:41:00 PM
Hurricane Gustav is suspected to land in New Orleans on Monday of next week (ironically enough on the day that Bush is scheduled to speak at the Republican Convention).
Pastor Hagee, the right-wing nutjob minister who blamed New Orleans and the Gays for Katrina's horrific devastation, was contacted about the current storm. His silence is rich:
Earlier today, ThinkProgress contacted John Hagee Ministries to see if erstwhile John McCain endorser Rev. Hagee saw the Lord’s hand in reports that President Bush might not speak at the Republican National Convention on Monday because of Tropical Storm Gustav.
Back in 2006, Hagee declared that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.” Hagee said that “New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God,” because “there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”
ThinkProgress asked Rev. Hagee’s spokesperson, Kara Silverman, whether Gustav’s possible impact on the Republican National Convention might be seen as punishment against Republicans for their not having done enough to combat the “homosexual agenda,” or whether this storm could be attributed to some other target of divine wrath.
Ms. Silverman said Hagee had “no comment.”
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 03:34:00 PM
Check out this great new site that helps the 95% of Americans who will receive a tax cut under Barack Obama's tax plan find out how much they'll save.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 03:17:00 PM
Wow, this is truly disturbing. Apparently, our State Department is explicitly trying to interfere in the case of a man who claims that he was tortured by Moroccan authorities who were acting as US proxies:
In a remarkable development at the High Court in London, an email from a senior US State Dept. official has been revealed, apparently threatening to curb co-operation with Britain on international intelligence sharing if details on a detainees interrogation are revealed. Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, held at Gitmo, have taken legal action in the UK to force the release of details which, they say, will prove Mohamed was ilegally abducted and tortured into a confession. Mohamed claims that his torture included having his penis cut with a razor blade by Moroccan proxies for the US.
In an email to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which was sent on to the court, Stephen Mathias, a legal adviser to the US state department, said that the disclosure of information would cause “serious and lasting damage to the US-UK intelligence-sharing relationship and thus the national security of the UK, and the aggressive and unprecedented intervention in the apparently functioning adjudicatory processes of a longtime ally of the UK, in contravention of well-established principles of international comity.”
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 02:49:00 PM
From Political Animal:
* A Time/CNN poll shows Obama leading McCain in New Mexico by 13, 53% to 40%.
* A Time/CNN poll shows Obama leading McCain in Nevada by five, 49% to 44%.
* A Time/CNN poll shows Obama leading McCain in Pennsylvania by five, 48% to 43%.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 02:39:00 PM
This is just incomprehensibly beyond the pale:
In an interview with the Dallas Morning News yesterday, John Goodman, the “Father of Health Savings Accounts” and architect of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) health care plan, said the term “uninsured” is a misnomer because Americans have Emergency Room access. According to Goodman, “only people who are denied care are truly uninsured – everyone who gets care is effectively insured by some mechanism,” the paper states:
Mr. Goodman, who helped craft Sen. John McCain’s health care policy, said anyone with access to an emergency room effectively has insurance, albeit the government acts as the payer of last resort. (Hospital emergency rooms by law cannot turn away a patient in need of immediate care.)
“So I have a solution. And it will cost not one thin dime,” Mr. Goodman said. “The next president of the United States should sign an executive order requiring the Census Bureau to cease and desist from describing any American – even illegal aliens – as uninsured. Instead, the bureau should categorize people according to the likely source of payment should they need care. “So, there you have it. Voila! Problem solved.”
Update - This thinking is surprisingly common among Republicans:
This nonsense is surprisingly common in Republican circles. Last year, Tom DeLay argued, "[N]o American is denied health care in America," because everyone can go to the emergency room. Around the same time, George W. Bush said the same thing: "[P]eople have access to health care in America. After all, you just go to an emergency room." In 2004, then-HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said our healthcare system "could be defined as universal coverage," because of emergency rooms.
Update 2: This is the same guy that gave us this recent racially offensive gem:
"Here is the variation in life expectancy among ethnic and racial groups in the United States and as you can see, it's all over the map. [...] but doctors just don't control our over eating, over smoking, and shoot outs in the hood." Listen to the audio
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 02:19:00 PM
I am not much of a conspiracy buff these days but our President has done far worse things than this that have been proven:
In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.
Putin told CNN his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate -- Republican John McCain ..."U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict," Putin said. "They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader."
Remember this story about Cheney trying to artificially foment war with Iran?
There [were] a dozen ideas proffered [by Cheney] about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up.
Might cost some lives. And it was rejected because you can’t have Americans killing Americans. That’s the kind of — that’s the level of stuff we’re talking about. Provocation. But that was rejected.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 01:41:00 PM
A bit late I admit but Dennis Kucinich gave a fantastic speech yesterday at the convention with the some of the best Bush-slicing red meat thus far.
Here's the video:
Posted by Metavirus at 8/28/2008 12:29:00 AM
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
From The Daily Dish
Crowley on Clinton:
...that was full-throated, sincere-sounding, and sophisticated case for his wife's former mortal rival. He didn't even mount a touchy retroactive defense of his record fom the 1990s, which I had somewhat expected. I predict a wave of, "Oh, Bill, how can we stay mad at you?" commentary in the coming days.
I was feeling sorry for John Kerry having to follow Bill Clinton in the speaking lineup, but he electrified the audience as I have never seen him do before. As Scherer just said to me: Zell Miller without the mean.
Bill Clinton gave two speeches tonight. He closed with the stronger one, namely that the GOP doesn't deserve to be rewarded for the past 8 years. That argument works because it's fundamentally true in many ways. But he began with a speech endorsing Barack Obama, and that was, well, embarrassing...What he showed tonight is that even one of the best salesmen in the Democratic Party can't make the case for President Obama.
Bill Clinton's speech rightfully grabbed attention, but John Kerry's appearance--interrupted by a commercial break on CNN--was the best stab the Democrats have taken towards establishing something they've desperately needed: A master narrative for understanding John McCain.
It was striking that Bill Clinton never uttered the words "John McCain." Four years ago, that steady insistence on retaining the robes of the presidency, levitating an inch or two above the fray, made sense. It was Clinton choosing a particular, and honorable, path that forever defined him as an ex-president rather than an ex-candidate. But after heatedly involving himself in the Democratic primary, after often attacking Barack Obama by name, it seemed peculiar that he would hold that portion of himself in reserve. Four years ago, Clinton wasn't a campaigner. This year, he was.
John Kerry is whining. He isn’t helping Obama. He just used “swift-boating” as a verb. Now he’s droning on about having been criticized as an anti-war protestor. [sic] They should have kept him as far away from a podium as possible.
Bill Clinton gave the strongest, most compelling, and persuasive political speech of this entire season. He has upstaged Biden, but that doesn’t matter...Here is a sign that things don’t look promising: as soon as the speech was over, Sean Hannity of Fox News started whining about why Clinton was not staying for Obama’s Thursday night speech. This is a speech that needs to be refuted, not complained about.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 11:59:00 PM
It is sad to see another hurricane barreling its way toward New Orleans but I suppose there is a certain poetic justice for President Bush that it might land there on Monday on the same day Bush is expected to speak at the Republican Convention. For the residents of the Gulf states, of course I hope the hurricane misses you entirely. However, this I point it out because this story will reflect poorly on a President that so poorly managed our response to Hurricane Katrina.
As a blogger recently put it: "Excuse Me, Pat Robertson, But Why Is God Sending Another Hurricane Towards New Orleans For The Start Of The GOP Convention?"
TPM describes the situation thusly:
MSNBC just noted that with Gustav likely to hit the Gulf Coast next week this could be a "split-screen convention" for the Republicans.
A Gulf Coast hurricane disrupting the GOP's messaging during convention week -- three years after Katrina hit (the anniversary is tomorrow) -- the irony would be enough to make my head explode.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 11:50:00 PM
Great speech from Joe Biden tonight. He took a little bit to get warmed up but had a great series of barbs for McCain.
Here is the video:
Here is the transcript.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 10:56:00 PM
I'm listening to John Kerry deliver a series of razor-sharp jabs into the side of John McCain on C-SPAN. It's too bad that the usual suspects aren't carrying the speech. you really need to watch it. I'll post the video in an update once it's up.
One great quote among many: "Sometimes patriotism demands that you tell truth to power."
Andrew Sullivan was impressed too:
Was I hallucinating or was that not a stirring, passionate, acerbic and moving speech? Kerry expressed the rage so many of us feel when contemplating not just the failures of the last eight years but the chutzpah, contempt and arrogance that have accompanied them. And he went after McCain's betrayal of the very virtues he still lays claim to.
This convention has turned. The roll-call vote, the Clinton speech and now Kerry have ramped this up. Game on.
Here's the video:
Go here to view a full transcript of John Kerry's speech.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 09:42:00 PM
I just watched Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic Convention and I thought it was excellent. He hit all the right notes -- fully endorsing Obama, taking Bush to task and calling out McCain for toeing the extremist Republican ideology that has so roundly hurt our country over the last eight years.
Here's Andrew Sullivan's take:
Tonight, I think, was one of the best speeches [Clinton] has ever given. It was direct, personal and powerful endorsement of Obama. But much, much more than that: it was a statesman-like assessment of where this country is and how desperately it needs a real change toward reform and retrenchment at home and restoration of diplomacy, wisdom and prudence abroad. Yes, he nailed it with this line: "People around the world have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power"...
[S]ince 2000, the worst aspects of Republicanism have crowded out its once necessary virtues. The reflexive impulse to use force over diplomacy, to use aggression over persuasion, to spend and borrow with no concern for the future, and to violate sacred principles such as the eschewal of torture with no respect for the past: these must not just be left behind. They have to be repudiated.
The United States needs this, as does the world. McCain, alas, cannot provide this. He may once have. But his party is too far gone, and his moment passed. His use of fear and deception and brattish contempt in this campaign have sealed the deal for me. But Clinton reminded all of us of what is mor broadly at stake. He did it with passion and measure and eloquence.
We've seen the worst of Bill Clinton these past few months, Tonight, we saw the best. And it's mighty good.
Here's the video:
Update: Go here to view the full transcript of Bill Clinton's speech.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 09:33:00 PM
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, the top diplomat of one of our closest allies, derided John McCain's bellicose rhetoric, calling his excessively provocative proposal to kick Russia out of the G8 "knee-jerk":
In a tough speech delivered in Kiev, Ukraine, Miliband said Russia will face consequences for its actions in Georgia. But he added: "In all international institutions, we need to review our relations with Russia. I do not apologize for rejecting knee-jerk calls for Russia to be expelled from the G8, or for EU-Russia or NATO-Russia relations to be broken. But we do need to examine the nature, depth and breadth of relations with Russia."
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 07:52:00 PM
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 03:44:00 PM
I just found the video of Bob Casey's speech from the convention yesterday. Casey noted that while McCain casts himself as a "maverick," he has voted with Bush 90 percent of the time. Casey then said, "That's not a maverick, that's a sidekick."
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 02:16:00 PM
I am livid over McCain's new ad that falsely claims that Obama doesn't think that Iran poses a serious threat to the United States. It is one thing to attack Obama over his policy positions, it is quite another to put out a completely bald-faced LIE.
Here is Jake Tapper from ABC News, saying that the ad "crosses a new line into dishonesty":
Today's new McCain ad -- "Tiny," which you can watch HERE -- crosses a new line into dishonesty...
The script reads; "Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities to 'generate power' but threatening to eliminate Israel.
"Obama says Iran is a 'tiny' country, 'doesn't pose a serious threat,'" the ad continues. "Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't 'serious threats'? Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president."
This is a dishonest representation of Obama's words.
...Watch [Obama's actual words] HERE.
That is not even close to Obama saying Iran is a "tiny" country that "doesn't pose a serious threat."
Not even close.
Here is part of the Obama response:
What McCain Won't Tell You About Iran: The McCain campaign's latest false attack ad raises the issue of Iran. What Senator McCain doesn't want you to know is that many of his top advisors lobbied for companies doing business with Iran or otherwise have a vested interest in Iran. At the same time, and despite all his bluster to the contrary, John McCain opposed closing a loophole that allowed foreign subsidiaries of American corporations to do business with Iran and refuses to support a bipartisan bill written by Barack Obama that would direct divestment from Iran.
Click here to see the rest of the response.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 01:53:00 PM
I'll amend this if I'm mistaken but on first read of Hillary's speech text I see no clear, flat assertion that Obama is qualified and prepared to be commander in chief from day one, which of course was always her central critique of him. That was something I had expected to see.
I agree with the rapidly-emerging conventional wisdom that she did everything he could possibly want, and I think Hillary's delivery is miles ahead of where she was when she began this race. She ate her Wheaties this morning.
I'd say that Sen. Clinton has had the best performance so far, by a wide margin, both in terms of attacking John McCain and the Republicans head-on and defining a nauseatingly comprehensive set of plans for raising taxes, getting mad at companies for "shipping job overseas," and pushing universal health care (or more accurately, even more expensive and less effective health care).
Most of this speech could have been given a year ago. It has nods to Obama, but it's almost entirely about her. It's not an attack on McCain, it's not a case for electing Obama, it's just nostalgia and platitudes.
Clinton did little to sell Obama's personal characteristics, his qualities or ability as commander in chief. She mentioned Obama 12 times, McCain 12 times. But Clinton's speech probably did what it had to, closing out ambiguity and putting Obama in a position to close the deal on Thursday.
After watching Hillary tonight I imagine the William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Reverend Michael Pfleger, Reverend James Meeks and Samantha Powers (ousted Obama advisor) wish they had backed her. This woman does not throw people under the bus. She is a person of integrity and sticks to her word. She sticks with people who, by their conduct, deserve to be abandoned. But she finds in herself the grace to forgive and look pass the sin. She promised to support the nominee, no ifs, ands, or buts. And she delivered. She gave Barack Obama everything he could want and much more than he deserves.
Maybe it's unfair to expect this of Hillary specifically, but what I want at some point during the convention is the equivalent of what Zell Miller did in 2004 with his keynote: vicious, personal attacks against John McCain. The kind of attacks that Obama can't do because of his image, and Biden can't do because of his friendship with the Macker.
It wasn't a speech about Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, or even George W. Bush. It was a speech about being a Democrat, and what electing a Democrat will mean for the country. Tonight, she was the party's standard bearer. And she, and those of her supporters who aren't using her candidacy as a means to elect John McCain, deserved that.
...this was an immensely powerful delivery, and a richly woven together speech. The beginning seemed fine but not remarkable. But it slowly built into something very powerful.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 12:12:00 AM
Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer gave a great, little noticed speech tonight that touched on some great energy issues.
If we drilled everywhere… if we drilled in all of John McCain’s backyards- even the ones he doesn’t know he has.
Here is the video:
Posted by Metavirus at 8/27/2008 12:05:00 AM
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I just watched Hillary Clinton's speech at the Convention and I think she did a great job. As many of you know, I was not exactly a supporter of her during the primaries but I am proud of the job she did tonight. I think this will do a lot of good for Obama.
Update - Here is the video:
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 11:25:00 PM
Well, I'll say it, Virginia Governor Mark Warner's speech at the convention just now was okay, yet -- compared to what it needed to be -- it ultimately limped across the finish line without much meat or spice. The worst part was his 4-minute spiel about how much of a wonderful governor he's been for Virginia -- WTFC (who the f cares)? I have been skeptical about recent assessments about how lame much of this convention has been but, well, Warner's speech was just so embarrassingly bland.
As Andrew Sullivan put it:
I'm not judging their accomplishments, merely noting that Mark Warner and Bob Casey were terribly mediocre speakers, their speeches unfocused, their themes muddled, and their style close to non-existent. I guess none of this matters much until the networks move in at 10 pm. But what's been broadcast tonight has been a meandering, tedious mess. I always associated the Obama campaign with crisp, clear messaging. Not tonight.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 10:22:00 PM
Would someone please just wake me up once this election is over? At this rate of ever-increasing simplification and childishness, McCain is going to wind up simply throwing wads of poo at Obama by the time we come to November:
My opponent had the chance to express such confidence in America, when he delivered a much anticipated address in Berlin. He was the picture of confidence, in some ways. But confidence in oneself and confidence in one's country are not the same. And in that speech, Senator Obama left an important point unclear. He suggested that the end of the Cold War proved that there was, quote, "no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."
Now I missed a few years of the Cold War, as the guest of one of our adversaries, but as I recall the world was deeply divided during the Cold War -- between the side of freedom and the side of tyranny. The Cold War ended not because the world stood "as one," but because the great democracies came together, bound together by sustained and decisive American leadership.
Aside from the - Gasp! - POW reference du jour, McCain is basically saying that (i) internationalism is for pussies and (ii) we defeat evil by whipping internationalist pussies into doing what we want them to do. Sigh...
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 02:07:00 PM
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has made it 100% crystal clear in recent days that they want a firm date for the withdrawal of American forces by 2011 (not "aspirational time horizons" or any other similar bullcrap).
This of course vindicates Obama's call for a firm timetable and eviscerates McCain's stubborn rhetoric on the issue. As Yglesias puts it:
"There can be no treaty or agreement except on the basis of Iraq's full sovereignty," al-Maliki told a gathering of Shiite tribal sheiks. He said any agreement must be based on the principle that "no foreign soldier remains in Iraq after a specific deadline, not an open time frame."
Al-Maliki said the U.S. and Iraq had already agreed on a full withdrawal of all foreign troops by the end of 2011 — an interpretation that the White House challenged. Until then, the U.S. could not conduct military operations "without the approval" of the Iraqi government, al-Maliki said.
Progressives think the United States should set a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq. Iraqi politicians uniformly want this. And the Iraqi public is overwhelmingly on board. But conservative analysts have been labeling this policy irresponsible forever. How do they react?
Remember what McCain said in 2004?
Question: "What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there?"
McCain's Answer: "Well, if that scenario evolves than I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because -- if it was an elected government of Iraq, and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people."
Pretty clear, isn't it? A democratically elected Iraqi government wants us out by 2011.
Game, set, match.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 12:38:00 PM
I agree with Steve Benen; former Republican Rep. Jim Leach got a surprisingly small amount of coverage yesterday for his speech at the Democratic Convention. He definitely got less coverage than Liebertraitor is expected to get. I thought his speech was great:
As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic.... Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment.... I stand before you proud of my party's contributions to American history but, as a citizen, proud as well of the good judgment of good people in this good party, in nominating a transcending candidate, an individual whom I am convinced will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president: the senator from Abraham Lincoln's state -- Barack Obama.... This is not a time for politics as usual.... Obama will recapture the American dream and be a truly great president.
Update - Here's the video:
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 12:33:00 PM
* Quinnipiac shows Obama leading McCain in Pennsylvania by seven, 49% to 42%. This is unchanged from July.
* A Suffolk University poll shows Obama leading McCain in Colorado by five, 44% to 39%.
* A Detroit News poll shows Obama leading McCain in Michigan by two, 43% to 41%.
* A Columbus Dispatch poll shows Obama leading McCain in Ohio by one, 42% to 41%.
* Quinnipiac shows Obama leading McCain in Ohio by one, 44% to 43%. The same poll showed Obama up by two in July.
Via Political Animal
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 12:31:00 PM
It is truly sad to see a genuine war hero debase himself in such a cynical way:
Via Andrew Sullivan
LENO: Welcome back, Sen. McCain, for one million dollars, how many houses do you have?
MCCAIN: You know, could I just mention to you, Jay, and a moment of seriousness. I spent five and a half years in a prison cell, without—I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a kitchen table, I didn’t have a table, I didn’t have a chair. And I spent those five and a half years, because—not because I wanted to get a house when I got out.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 11:32:00 AM
Must-read new analysis of Obama's economic ideology. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but it's impressive:
John McCain’s economic vision, as he has laid it out during the campaign, amounts to a slightly altered version of Republican orthodoxy, with tax cuts at the core. Obama, on the other hand, has more-detailed proposals but a less obvious ideology.
Well before this point on the presidential calendar, it’s usually clear where a candidate fits within the political spectrum of his party. With Obama, there is vast disagreement about just how liberal he is, especially on the economy. My favorite example came in mid-June, shortly after Obama named Jason Furman, a protégé of Robert Rubin, the centrist former Treasury secretary, as his lead economic adviser. Labor leaders recoiled, and John Sweeney, the head of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., worried aloud about “corporate influence on the Democratic Party.” Then, the following week, Kimberley Strassel, a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board, wrote a column titled, “Farewell, New Democrats,” concluding that Obama’s economic policies amounted to the end of Clintonian centrism and a reversion to old liberal ways.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 11:28:00 AM
Dave Barry captures my almost-nervousness about today:
Sen. Clinton is scheduled to address the convention Tuesday night, when she will either call on her supporters to unite behind Obama, or attempt to snatch the nomination and escape with it by helicopter to a secret mountain fortress. ''We are fully confident that Sen. Clinton will do the right thing,'' stated a Democratic party official, adding, "but we have a net.''
Posted by Metavirus at 8/26/2008 11:25:00 AM
Monday, August 25, 2008
This is really disturbing if any element of this story is true:
Authorities are investigating a possible assassination plot against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama. At least three people have been arrested in connection with a possible plot to kill Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech at Invesco Field at Mile High, according to CBS4 News...
According to the TV station, one of the suspects "was directly asked if they had come to Denver to kill Obama ... [and] he responded in the affirmative."
This is especially disturbing given the fact that an independent right-wing group is planning to run ads accusing Obama of consorting with terrorists.
I cannot make this plainer to any reasonable minds out there -- the danger of stoking ultra-right wing fears about about Obama being some kind of foreign Manchurian candidate terrorist sympathizer is that it will directly lead to a greater chance of disconnected white supremacists taking it upon themselves to hurt Obama in order to "protect America".
Fielding these swiftboat-type lies about Obama is not simply innocuous politics. Smears like this jeopardize his life! We cannot let this stand.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/25/2008 11:54:00 PM
Ben Smith: "Michelle could hardly have done better in the biggest speech of her career. She's been on the trail for more than a year, but still gives the impression of being a little realer than the seasoned pols."
Andrew Sullivan: "One of the best, most moving, intimate, rousing, humble, and beautiful speeches I've heard from a convention platform. Maybe she should be running for president. You don't need any commentary from me. This was a home-run. And sincere. Thank God that in the end, the truth struggles out there."
Purple State: "I had thought going into tonight that Ted Kennedy's speech would be the one that could bring Democrats together across the Obama-Clinton divide. I was wrong. Michelle Obama proved herself a dynamic, captivating, and fantastic public speaker. I will post the video tomorrow. If you didn't see her speech tonight, watch it."
Click here to read the transcript of her speech.
Update: Here's the video
Posted by Metavirus at 8/25/2008 11:48:00 PM
Posted by Metavirus at 8/25/2008 09:38:00 PM
Besides all the trumped up media B.S. that McCain successfully ginned up today about the ephemeral Hillary/Obama rivalry, the silliest thing I've noticed on the convention coverage so far is CNN's ridiculous "Sound from the Floor" meter, which I assume is designed to be an applause meter. Needed? I don't think so.
My thoughts exactly from the Glasgow Herald:
It seems incredible, but as the Democrats gather in Denver to anoint Barack Obama, America could be on course to re-elect a Republican as their President. Not just any Republican either, but a belligerent 71-year-old who can’t remember how many houses he owns, would happily nuke Iran and whose answer to global warming is to drill for oil in environmentally sensitive areas off the coast of America which don’t even have much oil. But according to the polls, John McCain is drawing level with Barack Obama, and even pulling ahead.
Really, America is a strange, strange country. After a disastrous and illegal war, in which 4000 American soldiers have died, in the middle of an economic crisis largely caused by the investment houses that finance the Republican party, you would have thought it almost inconceivable that the Republicans could be re-elected. Could any political brand be more toxic? Has any party in history deserved to be thrown out at an election more than the Republicans in 2008?
… Yet enough American voters believe that John McCain might have the answers for him to become a serious contender. Which is scary. McCain is not an unknown quantity - he is a highly excitable politician with a notoriously short temper, who would bring his impetuous and confrontational style into American foreign policy. With the world entering a global economic slump, and old enmities raging in Europe, John McCain as President would be like a flamethrower in a fireworks factory.
Posted by Metavirus at 8/25/2008 09:24:00 PM
I am really about to lose my cool over all the lying and obfuscation coming out of the McCain camp about his stance on abortion. Just to clear everything up for ignorant idiots like supposed HRC-supporter-turned-McCain-surrogate Debra Bartosevich, here is McCain's position on abortion (from his own freaking website):
Also, here is what he said at the Saddleback Forum a couple of weeks ago:
I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate. And as President of the United States, I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies. That’s my commitment, that’s my commitment to you.
I am done with this. If there really are women out there that still think that McCain is somehow arguably pro-choice then, well, I'll leave it to someone else to try to pierce their willful veil of ridiculous blind ignorance.