Monday, September 29, 2008

Oliphant On the Loose

Apparently Pat Oliphant's been taking some heat over this recent cartoon.

I say he calls 'em like he sees 'em, and he sees 'em pretty sharply.

Friday, September 26, 2008

One If By Land

So McCain's ride to Washington didn't go so well.

He showed up just in time to help make things even messier, all while doing essentially nothing. And the notion that he 'suspended' his campaign has proven not only false but increasingly ridiculous. (oh and Sarah Palin didn't have such a good day either)

There's plenty to keep you busy out there so here are just a couple of snippets.

Steve Bennen:

A few phrases come to mind to describe this madness, but "country first" isn't one of them...

There was one participant at the White House who took on the role of "the old hand at consensus building, and as the real face of bipartisan politics," but his name was Barack Obama.

For his part, McCain "rarely came close to the Capitol suites and committee rooms where the talks were taking place." He showed up for a meeting at the White House -- which, according to the Bush gang, was McCain's idea -- but while Obama pressed Henry Paulson on policy details, McCain sat silently. At one point, McCain briefly touted the House GOP "plan," which Bush immediately rejected. After the meeting, McCain did some interviews, and was back in one of his homes by 6 p.m.

His day of destructive grandstanding and substance-free work was complete. For McCain, who obviously couldn't care less about the economy or the nation, it was "mission accomplished" -- nothing got done, it was at least partially his fault, and there's now a chance he can pick up the pieces of a process he helped break and pat himself on the back.

EJ Dionne:

John McCain's sudden intervention in Washington's deliberations over the Wall Street bailout could not have been more out of sync with what was actually happening...

But McCain's boisterous intervention -- and particularly his grandstanding on the debate -- was less a presidential act than the tactical ploy of a man worried that his chances of becoming president might be slipping away.

And Paul Krugman on the fallout:

So what we now have is non-functional government in the face of a major crisis, because Congress includes a quorum of crazies and nobody trusts the White House an inch.

As a friend said last night, we’ve become a banana republic with nukes.

Fun times, I can't wait for the Debate (even better link).

Slate thinks about what might come next.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sarah Silverman and her grandma

I think this is funny. Possibly it would be funnier if my grandma was Jewish, but I don't think so.

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

Campbell Brown Pulls a Daily Show

Check it out, a MSM (CNN) anchor is actually calling out the Administration and showing the tape to prove it. Delicious...

(via HP although I couldn't get the CNN video to embed I wonder if the script is bad?)

Read This Now - The Bailout is How Big?

Recommended by Freakonomics is David Leonhardt's piece in the NY Times from two days ago. I've only skimmed it but it does seem to provide a good grasp on the fundamentals of the matter. (No John, I'm not talking about the American Worker)

Staggering New Depths

So John McCain is taking his ball and going home. This is so ridiculous that I don't even want to talk about it, desperate is the word that comes most readily to mind.

After taking a big hit in the latest polls, and probably just being plain unprepared for a debate McCain is just running away, this is like a bad episode of SNL, serious candidates for the Presidency don't run and hide when things get tough, you don't get that option when you are the Commander in Chief.

The instant polls from Survey USA have resulted in a brief upswing in my confidence in the American Public. Pretty much no one wants the debate called off or the campaigns suspended, and a fair number of respondents think we need more focus on the economy, which as McCain has said he really doesn't know a lot about.

The first debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is scheduled to take place in two days. Should the debate be held as scheduled? Should the debate be held, but the format changed to focus on the economy? Or, should the debate be postponed?

Hold as scheduled: 50%
Focus on Economy: 36%
Postpone: 10%

Is the right response to the turmoil on Wall Street to suspend the campaigns for president? To continue the campaigns as though there is no crisis? Or, to re-focus the campaigns with a unique emphasis on the turmoil on Wall Street?

Continue: 31%
Focus on Crisis: 48%
Suspend: 14%
Perhaps as a warm up to standing up the voters by skipping Friday's debate, McCain blew off a scheduled appearance on Letterman last night. Dave was not pleased...

(via TP)

Maybe he snubbed Dave so that he could finally read the Paulson Plan...

(via TPM)

A few other comments on McCain's Roberto Duran impression worth checking out include Salon's Walter Shapiro and Joan Walsh, as well as Ezra Klein. The best reaction so far comes from Harold Meyerson writing in the WaPo:
As his strategists saw it, they had to confine the discussion to a comparison of the character of the two candidates. Alas for McCain, reality intruded over the past week, distracting the public from McCain's stellar attributes as a decisive leader with news of an impending economic collapse. So the task for his managers has been to diminish this new story to just one chapter in the ongoing saga of John McCain, the man who rides to the rescue.

Can McCain pull this off -- persuading the public to forget how he and his fellow Reagan Republicans changed the nation's economic rules in ways that allowed Wall Street to run amok, and refocusing its attention on his decisiveness at this moment of crisis? I doubt it.
Nobody wants McCain to come barging into Capitol Hill, and Obama has promised to fulfill his commitment to speak to the American Public on Friday night, John's gonna be left dribbling by his lonesome.

Bailout Blitz

Unless you live in a cave (in which case congratulations) pretty much all you've heard about this week is the financial services bailout package (aka Hanky Panky) and the last thing you need is for me (some other shmoe who doesn't know what he's talking about) to way in yet again.

A couple of highlights from reaction to Bush's speech:

Paul Krugman has a sneaking suspicion.

One possible explanation. It wasn’t until yesterday that they realized that it would actually be necessary to explain themselves.

But there’s another possible explanation, which I find terrifyingly plausible: the plan came first, and all this stuff about price discovery is an after-the-fact rationalization, invented when people started asking questions.

Dean Baker says to hell with rewarding incompetence.

There can be no presumption of good faith from this administration. Unless the conditions are written in stone, for example specific rules that limit executive compensation using the same type of language that CEOs use when they sign contracts with their companies, there is no reason for the public to believe that they will get a fair deal in this bailout. The public should also demand that some genuine outsiders, representatives of labor, consumer groups and other non-Wall Street segments of society, have a direct oversight role in this deal.

If these demands are too extreme for the Bush administration, then they are not telling the truth about the financial crisis. If the risks are really as great as President Bush claims, then he should unhesitatingly agree to guarantees that will prevent the incompetents from profiting further from their incompetence. We shall see.

Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Read This Now - Garrison Keillor Isn't Just On NPR

No Mr. Keillor likes to write down his thoughts from time to time as well and right now he'd like to know where the outrage is.

Confident men took leave of common sense and bet on the idea of perpetual profit in the real estate market and crashed. But it wasn't their money. It was your money they were messing with. And that's why you need government regulators. Gimlet-eyed men with steel-rim glasses and crepe-soled shoes who check the numbers and have the power to say, "This is a scam and a hustle and either you cease and desist or you spend a few years in a minimum-security federal facility playing backgammon."

The Republican Party used to specialize in gimlet-eyed, steel-rim, crepe-soled common sense and then it was taken over by crooked preachers who demand we trust them because they're packing a Bible and God sent them on a mission to enact lower taxes, less government. Except when things crash, and then government has to pick up the pieces.

Some say the tab might come to a trillion dollars. Nobody knows. And Mr. McCain has not one moment of doubt or regret. He switches from First Deregulation Church to Our Lady of Strict Vigilance like you might go from decaf to latte. Where is the straight talk? Does the man have no conscience?

It wasn't their money they were playing with. It was yours. Where were the cops?

It gets better...

Whoa, Who's Sexist Now

CNN's Campbell Brown is fed up with the McCain Campaign's sexist treatment of Sarah Palin.

By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chains you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one.

(via Political Animal)

In other Alaska news MoJo as an update on 'Troopergate', the natives are getting restless.

So That's How The Bailout Works...

It's 100% safe, just like working with Nigerian bankers.

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 so that we may transfer your commission for this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

This must be making the rounds via email as well, I pulled it from e.politics.

Read This Now - Free Market Hypocrisy

Check out Thomas Schaller's column in yesterday's Baltimore Sun. Here's a taste...

Notice how those same chest-thumping capitalists of talk radio and at the corporate-funded think tanks often fall silent in the face of fixed markets, no-bid contracts, bailouts and subsidies for the very corporations that demand less government oversight when things are going well, then turn to Washington when things go horribly wrong.

The hypocrisies abound.

If unionized teachers were given 15 percent annual raises, regardless of performance, that would be socialist. But when easily repaired military equipment in Iraq is discarded so no-bid defense contractors can charge the automatic 15 percent overhead for replacements (watch Iraq for Sale, a documentary exposing Defense Department contracting), that's the cost of doing business during wartime.

(see also Schaller's recent post in Salon's War Room)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Read This Now - Why Paulson Is Wrong

This essay by Luigi Zingales has been all over the place for the past few days. If you haven't seen it yet or just caught excerpts, take a couple of minutes to read it. At not quite two pages it's a fast read, it's also very clearly written and easy to understand even if you aren't economically minded.

Morning edition

So I wake up every morning and my roommate is making turkey bacon and listening to NPR, and I'm starting to feel more informed again.... this morning there was an interesting interview with President Ahmadinejad. I thought it was interesting because you don't hear american journalist pushing people at all these days, and well, I guess I'm fascinated by Iran. I like to listen to people with radically different view points and try to see what they mean, and why it looks that way to them. Ahmadinejad makes some interesting arguments. Not necessarily ones I agree with, but it could make you think, if you felt like thinking.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Dodd Option

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman of the Banking Committee, has just released a legislation draft for the bailout. The text is here if you'd like to spend the rest of your afternoon reading it, lets face it its going to go over most of our heads (or at least make them hurt a little bit) but suffice it to say the Dodd plan would require the government to take an equity stake in exchange for asset (bad morgatage papers) purchases.

Krugman has a quick note promising more and challenging the Treasury Dept. to "explain why this isn't a much, much better way to do the rescue."

Ezra Klein calls it an encouraging development and looks into possible CEO pay limits.

Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal have early takes.

Bailout: Throwing Good (Your) Money After Bad?


Well none of the professionals seems to think that the Bush Administration's Bailout Plan is a good one. By professionals I don't mean the people Bush has appointed (although Krugman has a good point that we could have had Brownie in charge right now, yikes), no I mean actual economists, ones who know what they're talking about.

Steve Benen and Hilzoy at Washington Monthly agree, as does Josh Marshall at TPM, all the credible voices say this is a bad idea, or at least a not well thought out one. (Hilzoy provides a list with links if you'd like) And everyone seems to be labeling this a 'blank check' at least $700 Billion with little to no oversight, not sure who started it but The Authorization To Use Financial Force sounds about right.

I turn to Paul Krugman personally and he started out feeling uneasy, had his doubts, then called No Deal, and laid it all out in this morning's column. First and foremost the good doctor says "Let’s not be railroaded into accepting an enormously expensive plan that doesn’t seem to address the real problem." Read today's column for the four step outline of the crisis but here's the meat:

[T]he financial system needs more capital. And if the government is going to provide capital to financial firms, it should get what people who provide capital are entitled to — a share in ownership, so that all the gains if the rescue plan works don’t go to the people who made the mess in the first place.

That’s what happened in the savings and loan crisis: the feds took over ownership of the bad banks, not just their bad assets. It’s also what happened with Fannie and Freddie. (And by the way, that rescue has done what it was supposed to. Mortgage interest rates have come down sharply since the federal takeover.)

But Mr. Paulson insists that he wants a “clean” plan. “Clean,” in this context, means a taxpayer-financed bailout with no strings attached — no quid pro quo on the part of those being bailed out. Why is that a good thing? Add to this the fact that Mr. Paulson is also demanding dictatorial authority, plus immunity from review “by any court of law or any administrative agency,” and this adds up to an unacceptable proposal.

That's definitely not cool. Don't forget that this is all being run by Bush cronies who for months now (and that's like 12-15 of them not 2-3) have been saying that this wasn't such a big deal, that losses were contained, that the economy was still strong. They had plenty of misleading platitudes to lay on us while main street (that'd be you and me, 98% of Americans) were taking a bath and getting nervous, but as soon as wall street (Bush, Cheney, and all their millionaire friends, i.e. the other 2%) starts to feel the burn well, now the sky is falling and we'd better do what they say and not ask any questions because if we don't let them do their thing disaster looms. Only their thing is to take our (taxpayer) money and use it to save their cash. It makes me sick.

It apparently also sickens at least one, albeit anonymous, lawmaker down on the Hill (too bad he or she is anonymous I'd love it if someone would actually speak up) via Matt Stoller here's a taste of what they had to say (bad language follows):

Paulsen and congressional Republicans, or the few that will actually vote for this (most will be unwilling to take responsibility for the consequences of their policies), have said that there can't be any "add ons," or addition provisions. Fuck that. I don't really want to trigger a world wide depression (that's not hyperbole, that's a distinct possibility), but I'm not voting for a blank check for $700 billion for those mother fuckers.

One Senator who is making her opinion know is Hillary Clinton (also via MS where there's more):

When the American people, facing a foreclosure crisis and struggling economy, turned to this administration for help, the answer was no. Now, the administration is turning to the American people for help, to rescue the credit markets and take on hundreds of billions in debt and financial obligations as a consequence of that same foreclosure crisis. The truth is, Main Street came to Washington and got little. Now Washington is coming to Main Street and asking for a lot. The American people deserve to know that this isn't a blank check. While the need to address the current crisis is clear, I will only support steps that will prevent a widening crisis, tackle the worst kinds of abuse tolerated for too long by the Bush administration, and address the root problems at work.

That's not bad.

Here's hoping we don't get fleeced...


From Politico, "Many Economists Skeptical of Bailout"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Foto Friday - It's Art

So this is a photo of a painting, not just a photo it's still Foto Friday, this is my site and I make the rules.

I've had pieces by Willem de Kooning catch my a couple of times recently, once on the way into the men's at the Buffalo Airport and then again in this week's New Yorker listings.

This piece is entitled Gotham News and is the one from the Airport...

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Soulja Boy is Hilarious

It has been quite a while since I listened to rap or hip hop regularly, especially anything that could be labeled commercial. It is true though, that the second CD I bought was Doggystyle (Automatic for the People was first) but like I said, a while ago.

These days when I flip through the radio the stuff I hear is garbage, and I'm going to throw up some Soulja Boy vids because I enjoy them and I think his sense of humor and willingness to engage online is pretty freaking cool. I do not think that he makes good music.

First a video game review (via Kottke)

And how about that childhood classic on how a bill becomes a law? Uh huh, you pass that...

(via EK)

Spain is in Europe

Memo to John McCain: not everyone with a Spanish surname is from Latin America. There's this other country, a long standing NATO member and ally of the US, it's in Europe, it's called Spain.

Last night McCain gave a radio interview (conducted in English) to a Spanish language radio station in Miami which is affiliated with a major news radio station in Spain. Towards the end of the interview, after having been asked about several Latin American countries and how he would handle relations with them if elected (Venezuela, Bolivia, Cuba) the interviewer asks him about the President of Spain and McCain replies with a load of nonsense about meeting with friendly countries from Latin American and standing up to others who don't want to work with the US.

It quickly becomes clear that McCain doesn't know who the President of Spain is, and doesn't know that Spain is in Europe. Either that or his mental ability and cognition is so deteriorated that he just can't understand what he's being asked. The interviewer prompts him more than once that she is 'talking about Europe'. Listen for yourself, and then head over to TPM for more coverage.

Only time will tell if the MSM pick up on this latest embarrassment.

Read This Now - The Lying Game

The sub-headline pretty much says it all:

Like George W. Bush, McCain and Palin have to lie. Because if they told the truth about their policies, they'd lose the election.

By Alan Wolfe on Salon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gosh I Love Blue Screens

So I watched the first 10 minutes or so of McCain's acceptance speech, that was about all I could stomach really, and I got to see the IVAW protesters do their thing which was great, but the first thing out of my mouth was 'they're freaking green-screening him! Reaaly have they freaking learned nothing?!' (and no I didn't actually say freaking)

I haven't gotten around to going looking for mashups yet but they're out there. This one is brilliant...

(via EK)

Read This Now - Denial and the Markets

Interesting analysis piece in the NY Times this morning on the similarities in the housing bubble bursting and the fading housing market and Lehman's failure. Joe Nocera basically says the moral of the story is don't be greedy or stubborn, in times like these when the bottom starts coming up fast take what you can get. Because 22 cents on the dollar is a whole lot better than liquidation.

Read This Now - The Tide Keeps Turning?

It's sure starting to seem that way. Dick Cohen, long a McCain booster, just called McCain a tragedy and a farce.

(via TPM)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sarah Palin's Been Swift Boated

Well Sarah Palin is definitely got everyone's attention. First SNL and now this...

Read This Now - Live Blogging the Market

Floyd Norris, NYT & IHT chief financial corespondent, is live blogging the day at the Market. He's dubbed it Lehman Monday and says that so far things could certainly have been worse.

Behold the Internet, Congregator of Information and Data

The latest and greates example of the Internet's ability to gather together and preserve interesting items and data in a truly useful and accessible way is surely The Living Room Candidate project from the Museum of the Moving Image.

The site has all of the Presidential television ads going back to 1952 when short ads for Ike first ran during I Love Lucy programs. The Living Room Candidate also has the newest ads from the current campaign and is frequently updated to stay current.

The site is easy to navigate (ads sorted by year, type and issue) and packed with information, trust me you'll be able to get lost in there.

This message sound familiar?

I have not yet explored The Museum of the Moving Image's site but it might well be worth a look as well.

Remember to Smile

It's more than a little scary out there today, so it's important to remember to smile at least a little bit. And if this clip doesn't at least make you chuckle then you have some serious issues...

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain on The View, No Really

Updated Below, Update II

You'll have to see it to believe it, and I wish it were a longer clip, but take a gander at John McCain lying to the ladies on The View and getting called on (at least a lot of it) by Barbra Walters and company. If only so called news reporters will follow suit.

So there is more footage from The View this morning (still I want to see more). Here's McCain claiming that no one can name an issue on which he's changed or flip-flopped, to use the parlance of our times.

And conveniently both Think Progress and Steve Benen (while at Carpet-Bagger) have previously compiled just such a list. Benen does a better job of demonstrating changes of position while TP has a lot of just straight up lies as well.

Highlights include: Taxes, Torture, Diplomatic Relations, Social Security, Immigration, Energy, and Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform.

Benen's list is currently at 76 and TP (by quick count) is at 42. Ouch!

Update II:
You can currently watch McCain getting grilled on The View on it's website. The video is in six parts which means watching some brief ads. The whole thing is fairly cringe inducing, and they really don't let him get away with much, Joy Behar even points out that McCain's recent ads are lies.

Connecting with Students

David Ramesy wrote a quite brilliant piece on his first year teaching at a public charter school in New Orleans for the Oxford American. It's mostly about learning to be a teacher and working within our broken school system but the underlying theme that provides the story with its undeniable flow and rhythm is how Mr. Ramesy connects with his students through the music of Lil' Wayne...

(via SFJ)

Foto Friday - Let's make some juice

Energy Secretary Bodman Opens Solar Power System On Energy Dept. Build WASHINGTON - SEPTEMBER 09: The U.S. Department of Energy unveiled 891 photovoltaic modules on the roof of the the department's Forrestal building roof September 9, 2008 in Washington, DC. According to the department, the 891 photovoltaic modules will generate approximately 200 megawatt hours of electricity annually, providing up to eight-percent of the Forrestal complex's energy during peak hours. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

This shot ran in Wednesday's NYT but didn't appear on the website, curious no? You'd think great photography would be up on the web as well. Instead I found it after searching through the Getty Images site (hence the water mark) since google failed to find it.

Read This Now - Gibson / Palin Interview

Salon's Joan Walsh is always worth reading, she's intelligent, insightful and always calls it like she sees it. Check out her take on the first part of ABC's Gibson / Palin interview.

(Hope I'm not having too much fun with the new Read This Now...)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Chris Matthews and Jimmy Carville Can't Handle The Truth

Perhaps never has this heading been more apt. Just watch the latest from TPM TV...

Chris, Jimmy, guys c'mon you know as well as I do and the American people know that there is a reason that politicians are required to put the voice over on their ads. He says 'I'm John McCain and I approved this message.' because he did. When you are running for President (or any elected office) in this country you are responsible for the conduct of your campaign and you own what is said and done in your name. John McCain is a liar and a scumbag and his advertising just goes to prove it.

I'm not even going to get into what the reverse of this situation might look like...

Big Numbers

In case you were wondering Paul Krugman is teaching ECON 553 this fall (yes that's the five hundred level, yowza) and yes the slides make my head hurt.

McCain is a Liar

See for yourself.

Read This Now - Palin's Trooper-Gate Rundown

Yes Sarah Palin is generating an inordinate amount of press coverage lately, especially considering she has yet to give an interview or hold a press conference (McCain has been shy recently too, more later) but this is a substantive story that you should know about.

TPM has compiled everything you need to know about Palin's ongoing trooper-gate investigation and scandal.

Are You Ready For Some Foosball?!

Over here on the lighter side of life things would be going a lot better if the 'Skins had had a decent showing to open the season.

Not that it'll brighten your spirits, but Tom Boswell has a well written piece on the new west coast offense and the fact that QB Jason Campbell is being asked to learn yet another new system. One of the interesting tidbits that Boswell works in is the nature and difficulty of matching the right type of QB for the offense that's being run. Campbell was probably the right guy for Coach Gibbs' scheme but doesn't look to be the QB that will fit into Zorn's new overhaul.

Also if you want to see which games are on TV throughout the country check out this site with cool google maps mashups going on (via Kottke). Last time I was there it seemed to be behind and not quite running right, still a neat idea though.

Read This Now - Media Calling Out McCain Campaign's Lies

HuffPo has a brief piece on the media finally starting to declare enough with John McCain's campaign of lies. They have a list of links to the stories which I think isn't complete, it'll be really neat if they keep updating it but I'm not holding my breath.

Giving A Good Speech

I've always liked this speech, it still gives me goose bumps when I watch it. Yes, it's from a movie (The American President) and yes you're damn right it was written by Aaron Sorkin. But the important bits are really important and very true and yesterday Obama finally came close to owning them.

Watch the clip and just replace Bob Rumson's name with John McCain's or Bush or Cheney or any other recent Republican name. The bottom line is it's the truth and we could use a little more of that.

John's problem isn't that he doesn't get it, it's that he can't sell it. We have serious problems to solve and we need serious people to solve them, and what ever your particular problem is I promise you John McCain is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things, and two things only: making you afraid of it, and telling you who's to blame for it. That ladies and gentleman is how you win elections.
Sounds about right doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Read This Now - The Revamp

Those of you who come by the actual front page of this blog have seen the Read This Now section in the upper right corner and have probably noticed that it has petered out recently.

I like the idea of being able to throw up links to stories and other bits and pieces that I think should be passed along, really that I think everyone should see, without having to write an actual post about them. However, going into the layout settings in order to update makes the sideboard section for Read This Now cumbersome and I think that the folks who actually pay attention to this blog do so via rss readers where a sideboard update isn't visible anyway.

So from now on there'll be actual posts with the Read This Now heading when I want to pass something along. They'll be one sentence and a link at least for the most part. So off we go...

You should read Andrew Sullivan on McCain's integrity, and you should remember that Sullivan has in the past been a McCain booster.

Obama Calls Bullshit

And it's about time.

This seems crazy but via Dylan Matthews (sitting in for Ezra Klein) via Political Animal. And the video is from TPM but I haven't even been over to see their post yet...

Love that it was on Fox News, they probably follow it up with some more misleading and false propaganda, but at least the man was talking to the audience.

Keep swinging.

John McCain is a Sleazeball

No wonder McCain couldn't define honor when asked, just look at the campaign he's running now. It's repulsive and shameful and I'd like to give the American public enough credit to see that without help, but I'd also like to go ahead and offer a little help. This is just too much, and sitting at home talking about how disgusted I am doesn't spread the necessary word, maybe this will help.

To begin with I'll take a page from Joe Klein's playbook (believe that?) and refuse to post or provide a link to McCain's most recent ad, that's how despicable it is. As some commenters have been pointing out, at least the Willie Horton story was technically true.

It turns out that some in the press are actually paying attention this time around, I'll point you to TPM for a bit more on that subject and suggest McClatchy (thanks to JK) and Political Animal for the details on the sex-ed ad.

And now I'll show you some video from Brave New Films. These guys do good and courageous work, dare I say honorable even.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Press Can't Handle the Truth (and neither can Sarah Palin)

The press (main stream media) has a fairly well documented problem with telling the truth these days, and frankly it's had this issue for quite a while now.

Instead of reporting the facts, you know truth, the MSM prefers to offer both sides of the argument so instead of saying John McCain is lying to the American people, the press tells you that some Democrats feel that McCain is being less than straightforward. Or some other such bs.

So far the McCain - Palin team has felt free to lie their asses off, although now there is at least a glimmer of light in the tunnel, yes the press is actually doing a little reporting and telling people the truth.

From TPM:

We've now had a week of blaring headlines and one-liners about Sarah Palin as the mavericky, pork-busting reformer from Alaska. But we seem to be witnessing the first stirrings of a backlash and a dawning realization that the 'Sarah Palin' we've heard so much about over the last few days is a fraud of truly comical dimensions.
Steve Benen at Political Animal has had a bit to say about this recently and he's said it quite well at that...
Now, it's obvious she's lying. She knows she's lying. She knows that we know she's lying. But she just doesn't give a damn. At this point, it's bordering on pathological...

So, why repeat a lie that's already been exposed? Who knows? The McCain campaign clearly doesn't respect voters very much. McCain, Palin, & Co. also probably don't respect reporters, and assume that if they repeat the same lie over and over again, eventually the media will stop pointing it out. The campaign also doesn't have much respect for Palin's record, or the team would point to her actual accomplishments, instead of obvious lies.
Political Animal also pointed out the following video today and the obvious problems that it entails. Paul Begala makes an impassioned argument for the truth and the facts and the CNN anchor (John Roberts) decides that someone (the Republicans, represented here by Alex Castellanos) should provide some spin for the truth. CNN won't tell you the truth because the truth, and reality, favor the Democrats and that would imperil the balance that the press seeks to provide in order to avoid being attacked by the rightwingers.

Good for Begala, someone finally called out the press and told the truth on TV. Shame on CNN, they couldn't handle it.

Two Truths & A Lie - Not Dead Yet

That's correct folks, rumors of this feature's demise have been greatly exaggerated. So we have that in common with Steve Jobs, which is kind of cool.

In case you've forgotten how to play two of the statements below are true and one is false, follow the links to discover their veracity.

Just guess first though, it's more fun that way.

Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats want the residents of DC to carry automatic weapons. (more)

The press (main stream media) is still having trouble reporting the truth.

Governor Sarah Palin stopped the 'bridge to nowhere'.

So it was sort of a gimme, I couldn't resist.

Monday, September 8, 2008

John McCain Thinks You're Stupid

Lately Senator McCain has been running around claiming that he is the actual agent of change and that he'll best be able to shake up Washington, never mind that he's spent the past 26 years maintaining the status quo.

(via Ezra Klein)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Give me an H! give me a Y! give me a P!...

What's that spell?! HYPOCRISY!!

And who's going to actually run the video footage side be side and point it out to the American people? That's right, Jon Stewart and the Daily Show. Maybe this time the actual media will come along and do some actual reporting.

Palin Parodies

Hey everyone else is obsessed too and I'm just trying to lighten up your day a little bit. The bottom line is it's funny, it's pop culture, and it's politics so its on the front page.

First from e.politics -

We’re gonna watch because this guy can do what the Daily Show does, and so can a few million of the rest of us. Distributed satire equals people power! Bullshit is a powerful enemy well dug in, but by allowing the widespread creation and easy distribution of unfiltered content, the internet creates what may be a weapon of (political) mass destruction. Or, maybe I’m just being optimistic for once.

Colin also points the way to the Telegraph's (UK) top six parodies, I enjoyed MC Palin.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

If you follow any of these links and poke around you'll see that Colin's right, everyone is jumping on this train. If we're lucky Al Gore will turn out to be right again and the internet will help change the way we gather and receive the news and it'll go from a one way message force fed to us in 30 second bites to a real conversation. At the very least it should be clear that the internet lets us shoot back with our own blurbs.

Here is one of my favorites from about 2 minutes of looking on you tube.

What have you found so far?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Palin's Pork

Via TPM the Washington Independent has some interesting art on Palin's earmarks as Mayor.

Turns out that at least three earmarks secured by Gov. Palin's lobbyist while she was the Mayor of Wasilla were on McCain's annual pork hit list.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Three times in recent years, McCain's catalogs of "objectionable" spending have included earmarks for this small Alaska town, requested by its mayor at the time -- Sarah Palin.

Now, McCain, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has chosen Palin as his running mate, touting her as a reformer just like him...

But records show that Palin -- first as mayor of Wasilla and recently as governor of Alaska -- was far from shy about pursuing tens of millions in earmarks for her town, her region and her state...

In 2001, McCain's list of spending that had been approved without the normal budget scrutiny included a $500,000 earmark for a public transportation project in Wasilla. The Arizona senator targeted $1 million in a 2002 spending bill for an emergency communications center in town -- one that local law enforcement has said is redundant and creates confusion.

McCain also criticized $450,000 set aside for an agricultural processing facility in Wasilla that was requested during Palin's tenure as mayor and cleared Congress soon after she left office in 2002. The funding was provided to help direct locally grown produce to schools, prisons and other government institutions, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group.
Read the whole thing yourself, it's a good piece.

Also of note, Think Progress has a Sarah Palin Digest up where they are compiling her statements on a variety of important issues.

Palin and the Press

As you probably are already aware, the press (main stream media included) has been fairly critical of Senator McCain's VP pick, Governor Palin. It even seems that the MSM may have finally woken up and decided to stop giving McCain a free ride.

Exhibt A - the now ubiquitous video of Cambell Brown refusing to let Tucker Bounds spew BS.

And now the McCain camp has been moaning about the coverage and 'attacking' of Palin on personal issues, only as Josh Marshall at TPM and Steve Benen at Political Animal recently pointed out it's the McCain campaign that's continualy pushing the personal part of Palin's story and deliberatly keeping her pregnant daughter front and center. C'mon now, if you want her left alone send her home to Alaska to be out of the spotlight with other relatives and friends. If, however, you'd like to keep the bright lights shining on her (and conviently pointed away from the growing revalations about Palin's other abuse of power, lobbying and earmark, and secessionist issues) then by all means fly down her baby's daddy.

Josh Marshall:

Since there is widespread agreement that the children of candidates should not become topics of campaign debate, it behooves us to note that the McCain campaign has almost singlehandedly made Sarah Palin's daughter a central figure in the Republican convention...Let's be clear about what's happening here. Overwhelmingly, reporters are pressing eminently reasonable questions -- her role in troopergate, her lack of experience, her connections to the AIP, her history of earmarking and lobbyists, etc. Meanwhile, the McCain campaign is going absolutely non-stop about Palin's daughter. It is unmistakable.
Steve Benen:

To add to Josh's point, there are two other angles to consider here. First, the more the political world obsesses over family drama and soap-opera-like theater, the less voters will hear about the legitimate, substantive critiques on Palin, and the criticism over McCain's comically inept judgment. For the McCain, that's obviously a net plus.

Second, if McCain aides and surrogates can keep talking about Palin's family by complaining about the coverage of Palin's family, the public will eventually collectively shrug its shoulders, and assume that all Palin-related criticism is trivial and should be tuned out.

If that is the Republican game plan (and at this point that's about the best they can even hope for) then they might want to get everyone on board with it. When you have most of the campaign advisors complaining bitterly about the coverage (running with the game plan) then you really shouldn't have the national co-chair of the campaign going on the air and saying that the coverage has been 'completely fair'

Here is Meg Whitman, McCain's national campaign co-chair on, of all places, Fox News:

I'm sure it'll get even more interesting before this is over...