Saturday, November 01, 2008

Internet Now Passes Newspapers When It Comes To Campaign News

  No surprise there. Now, let's knock television news off of its pedestal..

    From Pew Research

While use of the web has seen considerable growth, the percentage of Americans relying on TV and newspapers for campaign news has remained relatively flat since 2004. The internet now rivals newspapers as a main source for campaign news. And with so much interest in the election next week, the public's use of the internet as a campaign news source is up even since the primaries earlier this year. In March, 26% cited the internet as a main source for election news, while the percentages citing television and newspapers remain largely unchanged.


Barack Obama Comments On Dick Cheney's Endorsement of John McCain

  I do not think that I would want a Cheney endorsement make public if I were John McCain. But then again, they do share the same values.

   Barack Obama...


From his prepared remarks in Pueblo, Colorado:

President Bush is sitting out the last few days before the election. But earlier today, Dick Cheney came out of his undisclosed location and hit the campaign trail. He said that he is, and I quote, “delighted to support John McCain.”
I’d like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement because he really earned it. That endorsement didn’t come easy. Senator McCain had to vote 90 percent of the time with George Bush and Dick Cheney to get it. He served as Washington’s biggest cheerleader for going to war in Iraq, and supports economic policies that are no different from the last eight years. So Senator McCain worked hard to get Dick Cheney’s support.

So George Bush may be in an undisclosed location, but Dick Cheney’s out there on the campaign trail because he’d be delighted to pass the baton to John McCain. He knows that with John McCain you get a twofer: George Bush’s economic policy and Dick Cheney’s foreign policy – but that’s a risk we cannot afford to take.

Republicans For Obama

  An interesting video about a few Republicans for Obama.

  Not all of the Republicans in America will just fall over and vote for John McCain.

Will George Bush's Legacy Be The Economy?

  Once again we take a look at an overseas view of the United States and our soon to be gone President, George Bush.

Watching America

Bush: Mission

By Fernando Canzian

Translated By Anthony Enriquez

Edited by Lauren Abuouf

Brazil - Folha Online - Original Article (Portuguese)
Bush: Mission Accomplished
WASHINGTON – Between the US election on November 4th and the inauguration of the new president, the world still has 77 days of George W. Bush.
Luckily, Bush can’t escape so easily from history: in the world of images, or the “cultural industry,” using the term coined by Horkheimer and Adorno, Bush has just been exposed for the public at large in the wonderful “W.,” the new film from director Oliver Stone (“JFK,” “Doors,” and others). Josh Brolin gives a spectacular and moving performance as the President.
Even without taking shots at Bush (just the opposite, in fact), the film ends up hammering one more nail in the coffin of the president and his family, pecking around the edges of power in the United States for 200 years now.
It’s also a slap to the face of Americans who have twice elected him. The second time, by the way, Bush and the Republicans achieved a complete victory in 2004: in the popular vote, in the Electoral College, in the House and Senate, and in the majority of the states.
Between Bush’s reelection and the end of his second term now, the US went from the heights of unilateralism, arrogance, and the use of force to an unprecedented appeal for international cooperation. If countries could go broke, Bush’s America would be the most spectacular case of bankruptcy in contemporary history.
In four years, the United States’ and Bush’s fortunes went from flying to failing, with a strong negative push coming from the President’s commands and his tiny and obtuse nucleus of power.
In 2003 and 2004, I had the privilege of witnessing in Washington both the events preceding the War in Iraq as well as, more closely, Bush’s reelection.
The United States was a different country. Distinguished newspapers unquestioningly believed in everything the President said. People stocked water, food, and batteries in their houses at every sign of a new terrorist catastrophe. The Patriot Act permitted the monitoring of millions of telephone lines of everyday Americans, and the government filled the atmosphere with the most potent fear it could create.
That is how Bush was reelected: by duping the easily-dupable US media outlets with horror stories.
Stone’s film is just one sign of the sad end of the Bush era. The once-all-powerful presidential advisors – with the power to record, interrogate, and apprehend – are now exposed in ways unimaginable four years ago. Even the headlines of Washington’s largest (free) gay newspaper, “Blade,” is questioning this week: “Is Condie Gay?” in reference to none other than the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice – assumed to be a spinster like our mayor Kassab.
The Bush years also left indelible cracks in the world’s largest economy. We found out that the US would barely have grown in the last five years were it not for consumer spending. Surprise: that was financed by flimsy credit spiraling into nothing. The country is bankrupt.
The world’s richest (?) and most militarily powerful nation has been caught with its pants down at the end of Bush’s reign. Even the most coherent solution for the current crisis – directly injecting capital into banks – came from overseas, from the United Kingdom, and was replicated in the US. It’s all unbelievable.
But, as extraordinary is it all seems, Bush’s arrogance and ignorance may have rendered an immense service.
If the US grows close to nothing in the next two or three years, which is very possible, the Chinese economy will have expanded from one-third the size of the American to one-half. Various other emerging economies will also gain larger slices of the global participatory pie. At least in economic terms, it will be a whole new world.
And that just might be Bush’s greatest legacy.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Bush's Final Treasury Pillage: The Bailout

   But first off. Happy Halloween!


Published on Friday, October 31, 2008 by The Nation

The Bailout: Bush's Final Pillage

by Naomi Klein

In the final days of the election, many Republicans seem to have given up the fight for power. But that doesn't mean they are relaxing. If you want to see real Republican elbow grease, check out the energy going into chucking great chunks of the $700 billion bailout out the door. At a recent Senate Banking Committee hearing, Republican Senator Bob Corker was fixated on this task, and with a clear deadline in mind: inauguration. "How much of it do you think may be actually spent by January 20 or so?" Corker asked Neel Kashkari, the 35-year-old former banker in charge of the bailout.
When European colonialists realized that they had no choice but to hand over power to the indigenous citizens, they would often turn their attention to stripping the local treasury of its gold and grabbing valuable livestock. If they were really nasty, like the Portuguese in Mozambique in the mid-1970s, they poured concrete down the elevator shafts.

The Bush gang prefers bureaucratic instruments: "distressed asset" auctions and the "equity purchase program." But make no mistake: the goal is the same as it was for the defeated Portuguese--a final frantic looting of the public wealth before they hand over the keys to the safe.

How else to make sense of the bizarre decisions that have governed the allocation of the bailout money? When the Bush administration announced it would be injecting $250 billion into America's banks in exchange for equity, the plan was widely referred to as "partial nationalization"--a radical measure required to get the banks lending again. In fact, there has been no nationalization, partial or otherwise. Taxpayers have gained no meaningful control, which is why the banks can spend their windfall as they wish (on bonuses, mergers, savings...) and the government is reduced to pleading that they use a portion of it for loans.

What, then, is the real purpose of the bailout? I fear it is something much more ambitious than a one-off gift to big business--that this bailout has been designed to keep pillaging the Treasury for years to come. Remember, the main concern among big market players, particularly banks, is not the lack of credit but their battered share prices. Investors have lost confidence in the banks' honesty, and with good reason. This is where Treasury's equity pays off big time.

By purchasing stakes in these institutions, Treasury is sending a signal to the market that they are a safe bet. Why safe? Because the government won't be able to afford to let them fail. If these companies get themselves into trouble, investors can assume that the government will keep finding more cash, since allowing them to go down would mean losing its initial equity investments (just look at AIG). That tethering of the public interest to private companies is the real purpose of the bailout plan: Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is handing all the companies that are admitted to the program--a number potentially in the thousands--an implicit Treasury Department guarantee. To skittish investors looking for safe places to park their money, these equity deals will be even more comforting than a Triple-A rating from Moody's.

Insurance like that is priceless. But for the banks, the best part is that the government is paying them--in some cases billions of dollars--to accept its seal of approval. For taxpayers, on the other hand, this entire plan is extremely risky, and may well cost significantly more than Paulson's original idea of buying up $700 billion in toxic debts. Now taxpayers aren't just on the hook for the debts but, arguably, for the fate of every corporation that sells them equity.

Interestingly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both enjoyed this kind of unspoken guarantee. For decades the market understood that, since these private players were enmeshed with the government, Uncle Sam would always save the day. It was the worst of all worlds. Not only were profits privatized while risks were socialized but the implicit government backing created powerful incentives for reckless investments.

Now, with the new equity purchase program, Paulson has taken the discredited Fannie and Freddie model and applied it to a huge swath of the private banking industry. And once again, there is no reason to shy away from risky bets--especially since Treasury has not required the banks to give up high-risk financial instruments in exchange for taxpayer dollars.

To further boost confidence, the federal government has also unveiled unlimited public guarantees for many bank deposit accounts. Oh, and as if this wasn't enough, Treasury has been encouraging the banks to merge with one another, ensuring that the only institutions left standing will be "too big to fail." In three different ways, the market is being told loud and clear that Washington will not allow the country's financial institutions to bear the consequences of their behavior. This may well be Bush's most creative innovation: no-risk capitalism.

There is a glimmer of hope. In answer to Senator Corker's question, Treasury is indeed having trouble dispersing the bailout funds. It has requested about $350 billion of the $700 billion, but most of this hasn't yet made it out the door. Meanwhile, every day it becomes clearer that the bailout was sold on false pretenses. It was never about getting loans flowing. It was always about turning the state into a giant insurance agency for Wall Street--a safety net for the people who need it least, subsidized by the people who need it most.

This grotesque duplicity is an opportunity. Whoever wins the election on November 4 will have enormous moral authority. It can be used to call for a freeze on the dispersal of bailout funds--not after the inauguration, but right away. All deals should be renegotiated immediately, this time with the public getting the guarantees.

It is risky, of course, to interrupt the bailout. The market won't like it. Nothing could be riskier, however, than allowing the Bush gang their parting gift to big business--the gift that will keep on taking.

Copyright © 2008 The Nation

Colorado Court Overturns GOP Voter Suppression Effort

   Score another one for the good guys!


Tens of thousands of Coloradans who had been removed from the state’s voter rolls will be allowed to vote in next week’s election and given extra protections so their ballots are counted, under an agreement reached late Wednesday in federal court here.
The voters’ names had been removed by Mike Coffman, the Colorado secretary of state, who said he did so because the voters had moved out of state or were listed more than once on the rolls. But Mr. Coffman was sued by a coalition of voting rights and other groups who said such purges were generally prohibited by federal law within 90 days of an election.

Under the agreement, voters removed from the rolls will be permitted to cast provisional ballots, and those ballots will be counted unless election officials can prove the voters were not eligible. To strike such ballots, county election officials must conduct an extensive records review on each one, a decision that must then be reviewed by Mr. Coffman’s office.

"This is unprecedented," said Elizabeth Westfall, a lawyer for the Advancement Project, a civil rights group that helped file the lawsuit. "We are really thrilled that there will be this degree of unprecedented scrutiny and protection for these purged voters when they cast their provisional ballots."

  You can bet your ass that Colorado will be going Democrat on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are The Dems Being Told Not To Crush The Republican Party?

Are Democrats afraid of crushing the Republican Party?

by shpilk @ DKos
Thu Oct 30, 2008

What is behind the fixation of the Obama campaign and Pennsylvania? Virtually every unbiased analysis shows that PA has been locked up since shortly after the nomination. I have to say I have been disappointed that there has been so little boldness shown in the Obama campaign strategy.

538 calls it as Safe Dem. There's no red at all on the right side. None. Zero. Zilch.

Why is it that a campaign on the verge of breaking out in a number of Red States been so reticent to pursue a path to break open the election, and choose a conservative and basically defensive course?

Perhaps there are elements within the Democratic Party that fear the gutting of the Republican Party, and fear the influence of a wider, more powerful single Party as a dominant influence remaining. The implication of a major shift in this country away from the right is scaring centrists in the Democratic Party, and the corporate interests they represent: maybe they do not want to see challenges to their dominance on the political scene.

Has there been pressure on the Obama campaign to 'cool it' and not go in for the total kill? Anyone who cared to look could see the massive weaknesses of not only McCain/Palin, but of the whole Republican Party nationally. Dozens of House races and quite a few Senate races could have been made within reach. The money was there, the enthusiasm was there.

Every sign is [and yes, we'll find out in a few days] we will fall short of 60 in the Senate and 290 in the House. Obama will win PA. That much I know, and he would have won it without spending so much time and money there.

What of IN, GA, NC, WV, MT, NE, MO .. and OH, NV and FL which remain as clearly in danger - of all the time spent in PA .. I have to ask - WHY? If Obama had taken the proverbial bull by the horns, he would have forced McCain to respond in IN, GA, NC, WV, MT, NE, MO\, and taken the pressure right off of OH, FL and NV.

Ed Rendell's opinion excluded, PA has never been in play, at least not in the space of time Nate's been recording the data.

So: why did the Obama campaign choose to be reactive to the McCain campaign, rather than boldly go where no campaign went before?

There have been a number of diaires recently about a third Party "rising from the ashes of the GOP". I submit this is a false analysis.

The place to look for a functional third Party is on the left, not on the right or in the center. The knock out blow of winning not only the Presidency but taking a massive lead in the House and Senate by winning races in States in the South and West could have been a reality, if there was a boldness in the national campaign.

I submit that there are forces inside the Democratic Party that don't want to kill the elephant, and the actions of the Obama campaign has been influenced by these forces. I don't think the Obama campaign is complicit in any 'tin foil' hat kind of way, but powerful I swear, it looks like centrist elements within the Democratic Party are desperate to keep the Republican Party alive.

Fascism Comes To America


Any questions?

THE ECONOMIST Endorses Barack Obama For President

  This is actually a pretty weighty endorsement especially since the McCain campaign and Republicans in general keep on harping about Obama's economic plans for America.

  The Economist

For all the shortcomings of the campaign, both John McCain and Barack Obama offer hope of national redemption. Now America has to choose between them. The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence. But we acknowledge it is a gamble. Given Mr Obama’s inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead.

  So why did they not choose John McCain?

That, however, was Senator McCain; the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as “agents of intolerance” now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday. It has not all disappeared: his support for free trade has never wavered. Yet rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right.   More Here

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lousy Goods?


Questionable Goods?

by HorseStealer TCS
Wed Oct 29, 2008

John McCain lashed out today at Barack over his half-hour TV special, and calling his new plans for energy, health-care and tax system as questionable as any item bought off of an infomercial. Now its not that hard to understand why Barack's million dollar TV spot would get McCain so riled up, he after all has to pinch his pennies when it comes to spending ad dollars.

John McCain also again attacked Barack for refusing to remain fettered to public financing just like him. Of course, what McCain didn't say was that the RNC has, and is continuing to, add hundreds of millions of dollars to its campaign coffers in an effort to both boost John McCain's campaign, as well as, smear Barack. The RNC has for years been the well-oiled political machine that both Bush and now McCain have used to further enhance their own resources. Barack Obama understood that if he stuck to public financing he would be starting the campaign way behind in terms of capital and so he did the smart thing and backed out even though he knew that McCain and his campaign staff would hit him with both barrels.

But as most of us understand, in refusing to except "public financing" Barack was still going to recieve massive amounts of small donations through the internet that would put him way ahead of McCain. What is this if not financing from the public. In accepting our donations, Barack his given us a voice in this campaign that we might not have had if he had chosen to stick to public finance. Those of you who have given to Barack have paid for the stage, literally and figuratively, that our nominee now stands on. I salute everyone of you who has contributed even just a little bit to Barack. If you didn't realize it already John McCain is trying to throw everything plus the kitchen sink at our guy because he is bitter. He is bitter at the fact that the majority of the people in this country either can't stand him, or do not think he has what it takes to be the President.

He knows that we will not be swayed by his false promises and falser image, and so he is going after the independents and the center Republicans and telling them that Obama is nothing but cheap theatrics and gimmicks paid for through broken promises. No John, we paid for it and we're proud for it and in attacking it you are attacking all the citizens who felt that it was their duty as patriots to save this country from your warmongering and decrepitude.

By the way John, I bought a George Forman grill off an infomercial 5 years ago, and it still works just like new.

More Voting Woes For The GOP: The Homeless Can Vote In Ohio

  It looks as if the Republicans have struck out once again in the state of Ohio as a federal judge has rules that the homeless voters can list park benches and other locations as their addresses.


A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors.

John McCain's Lies About Obama's Tax Cuts

Let's stop these flat out lies

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Barack Obama Pummels McCain On Healthcare

  Senator McCain doesn't like to talk about this plan all that much. But this morning, we were offered a stunning bit of straight talk – an October surprise – from his top economic advisor, who actually said that the health insurance people currently get from their employer is – and I quote – "way better" than the health care they would get if John McCain becomes President.   Barack Obama  in Harrisonburg, Virginia on 10/28/2008    Speech Excerpts

  This was said after McCain's senior economic policy advisor ( Douglas Holtz-Eakin ) admitted that John's healthcare plan does little to help people in need.

Younger, healthier workers likely wouldn't abandon their company-sponsored plans, said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain's senior economic policy adviser.

"Why would they leave?" said Holtz-Eakin. "What they are getting from their employer is way better than what they could get with the credit."        CNN

   So once again, by accident I'm sure, the McCain campaign admits that they have nothing when it comes to America's healthcare options unless you are one of the healthcare insurance providers.

   Barack in Virginia

McCain Losing Voters

  The latest poll done by Pew has the Obama gap widening.

  Barack Obama leads John McCain by a 52% to 36% margin in Pew’s latest nationwide survey of 1,325 registered voters.

When the sample is narrowed to those most likely to vote, Obama leads by 53% to 38%.


  One more note from Gallup.

By a 71% to 23% margin, Americans expect that Barack Obama will be elected president in next Tuesday's election, including a 49% to 46% ratio of John McCain's own supporters who say Obama, rather than their own candidate, will win.

Monday, October 27, 2008

GOP attempting To Get Us To Forget That They Ran Government

An elephant tries to get us to forget?

by radiomarti @ DailyKos
Mon Oct 27, 2008

No wonder the last gasp battle cry from the GOP is do not let the Dems control the White House, the Senate, and the House.  They remember how bad it was when they ran all three......

Recent History:

The 107th (2001-2003)  elected as a GOP majority in both House and Senate with the Senate changing in June 2001 when Jeffords changed from (r) to (i).GOP President.

The 108th (2003-2005) elected and remained a GOP majority in both House and Senate.  GOP President.

The 109th (2005-2007) elected and remained a GOP majority in both House and Senate.  GOP President.

And we went from a surplus to a spiraling debt during this time?

Perhaps it would be better to say that it would be wise not to let the GOP touch anything.

That appears to be the sentiment of the majority of likely voters with one week to go....did the GOP think we would forget?  This Obama/Pelosi/Reid chant is hurting them worse than Ayers and Palin.

Denial is not a river in is the creed of the GOP.

Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Found Guilty

  There is justice in the world at times, and this is one of those times! Another Republican crook bites the dust. In an extra dose of justice, Steven's either has to give up his fight for his Senate seat ( drop out of the race ) or run as a convicted felon.

The Hill

Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Republican senator in history and patriarch of Alaska politics, was convicted Monday of all seven felony charges for making false statements.

Shortly before 4 p.m., the jury convicted the 84-year-old senator for making false statements by failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts from Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp., and other friends.

Stevens has yet to indicate if he will appeal the charges.

   Sentencing has been put off until February 23, 2009. Dear old Ted is looking at up to 5 years prison time on each count.

   It looks as if the Democrats will be getting one step closer to that magic 60 in the Senate.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Barack Obama's NEW National TV Ad

   This is a great ad and it should run nation-wide for some time.

Wingnut Supporter On What The Republicans Need To Do

   David Frum writes at the Washington Post that the Republicans should stop sending money to the McCain campaign and invest that cash instead to the down-ticket races in order to keep enough members in the House and Senate to avoid, as he calls it " the dangers of one-party, left-wing government." He says that the government needs balance. I use to believe that one myself but after 8 years of the Bush Republicans have control over most branches of government and seeing what that has gotten us into, we need nothing but Democrats in all branches of government to clean 8 years of shit up. Where was David Frum when the GOP had all branches of government and where, and still are, fucking things up?

"The government now owns a big stake in the nation's banking system. Trillions of dollars are now under direct government control. It's not wise to put that money under one-party control. It's just too tempting. You need a second set of eyes on that cash. You need oversight and accountability. Otherwise, you're going to wake up two years from now and find out that a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House have been funneling a ton of that money to their friends and allies. It'll be a big scandal -- but it will be too late. The money will be gone. Divided government is the best precaution you can have." 

  Replace " Democrat" with " Republican" in the paragraph above, and then I guess that Mr. Frum would have to write about how great our country is doing under those Republicans.

   He ends the article with..

It's the only argument we have left. And, as the old Washington saying goes, it has the additional merit of being true.

  This is the only true thing that he has written. Unfortunately for him and the GOP, this reminds all of us just how vile and corrupt the Republicans have been for the last eight years and that they have been the masters of slime and crime.

   So let us remind the readers of all of the graft and payoffs and lining of their pockets that those Republican Senators and House members have been part-taking in, shall we, Mr Frum?