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October 5, 2008

Ad: John McCain – Erratic In Time Of Crisis

“Our financial system in turmoil and John McCain? Erratic in a crisis. Out of touch on the economy.”

The ad, slated to start running Monday on national cable, seeks to capitalize on John McCain’s response to the nation’s financial crisis while rebutting Republican attacks on Obama’s character.

As Congress worked to pass the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign and skip the first presidential debate while he worked on a solution. He inevitably attended the debate even as the deal in Congress faltered.

Democrats say McCain tried to politicize the crisis with a campaign gimmick.

“No wonder his campaign has announced a plan to turn a page on the financial crisis, distract with dishonest, dishonorable assaults against Barack Obama,” the ad continues. “Struggling families can’t turn the page on this economy and we can’t afford another president who’s this out of touch.”

Brad Woodhouse on Fox & Friends:

 

McCain’s economic plan – color by numbers:

October 4, 2008

Pitbull Palin Mauls McCain. Will She Crush McCain Also? Betcha

  SARAH PALIN’S post-Couric/Fey comeback at last week’s vice presidential debate was a turning point in the campaign. But if she “won,” as her indulgent partisans and press claque would have it, the loser was not Joe Biden. It was her running mate. With a month to go, the 2008 election is now an Obama-Palin race — about “the future,” as Palin kept saying Thursday night — and the only person who doesn’t seem to know it is Mr. Past, poor old John McCain.

To understand the meaning of Palin’s “victory,” it must be seen in the context of two ominous developments that directly preceded it. Just hours before the debate began, the McCain campaign pulled out of Michigan. That state is ground zero for the collapsed Main Street economy and for so-called Reagan Democrats, those white working-class voters who keep being told by the right that Barack Obama is a Muslim who hung with bomb-throwing radicals during his childhood in the late 1960s.

McCain surrendered Michigan despite having outspent his opponent on television advertising and despite Obama’s twin local handicaps, an unpopular Democratic governor and a felonious, now former, black Democratic Detroit mayor. If McCain can’t make it there, can he make it anywhere in the Rust Belt?

Not without an economic message. McCain’s most persistent attempt, his self-righteous crusade against earmarks, collapsed with his poll numbers. Next to a $700 billion bailout package, his incessant promise to eliminate all Washington pork — by comparison, a puny grand total of $16.5 billion in the 2008 federal budget — doesn’t bring home the bacon. Nor can McCain reconcile his I-will-veto-government-waste mantra with his support, however tardy, of the bailout bill. That bill’s $150 billion in fresh pork includes a boondoggle inserted by the Congressman Don Young, an Alaskan Republican no less.

The second bit of predebate news, percolating under the radar, involved the still-unanswered questions about McCain’s health. Back in May, you will recall, the McCain campaign allowed a select group of 20 reporters to spend a mere three hours examining (but not photocopying) 1,173 pages of the candidate’s health records on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Conspicuously uninvited was Lawrence Altman, a doctor who covers medicine for The New York Times. Altman instead canvassed melanoma experts to evaluate the sketchy data that did emerge. They found the information too “unclear” to determine McCain’s cancer prognosis.

There was, however, at least one doctor-journalist among those 20 reporters in May, the CNN correspondent Sanjay Gupta. At the time, Gupta told Katie Couric on CBS that the medical records were “pretty comprehensive” and wrote on his CNN blog that he was “pretty convinced there was no ‘smoking gun’ about the senator’s health.” (Physical health, that is; Gupta wrote there was hardly any information on McCain’s mental health.)

That was then. Now McCain is looking increasingly shaky, whether he’s repeating his “Miss Congeniality” joke twice in the same debate or speaking from notecards even when reciting a line for (literally) the 17th time (“The fundamentals of our economy are strong”) or repeatedly confusing proper nouns that begin with S (Sunni, Shia, Sudan, Somalia, Spain). McCain’s “dismaying temperament,” as George Will labeled it, only thickens the concerns. His kamikaze mission into Washington during the bailout crisis seemed crazed. His seething, hostile debate countenance — a replay of Al Gore’s sarcastic sighing in 2000 — didn’t make the deferential Obama look weak (as many Democrats feared) but elevated him into looking like the sole presidential grown-up.

Though CNN and MSNBC wouldn’t run a political ad with doctors questioning McCain’s medical status, Gupta revisited the issue in an interview published last Tuesday by The Huffington Post. While maintaining a pretty upbeat take on the candidate’s health, the doctor-journalist told the reporter Sam Stein that he couldn’t vouch “by any means” for the completeness of the records the campaign showed him four months ago. “The pages weren’t numbered,” Gupta said, “so I had no way of knowing what was missing.” At least in Watergate we knew that the gap on Rose Mary Woods’s tape ran 18 and a half minutes.

It’s against this backdrop that Palin’s public pronouncements, culminating with her debate performance, have been so striking. The standard take has it that she’s either speaking utter ignorant gibberish (as to Couric) or reciting highly polished, campaign-written sound bites that she’s memorized (as at the convention and the debate). But there’s a steady unnerving undertone to Palin’s utterances, a consistent message of hubristic self-confidence and hyper-ambition. She wants to be president, she thinks she can be president, she thinks she will be president. And perhaps soon. She often sounds like someone who sees herself as half-a-heartbeat away from the presidency. Or who is seen that way by her own camp, the hard-right G.O.P. base that never liked McCain anyway and views him as, at best, a White House place holder.

This was first apparent when Palin extolled a “small town” vice president as a hero in her convention speech — and cited not one of the many Republican vice presidents who fit that bill but, bizarrely, Harry Truman, a Democrat who succeeded a president who died in office. A few weeks later came Charlie Gibson’s question about whether she thought she was “experienced enough” and “ready” when McCain invited her to join his ticket. Palin replied that she didn’t “hesitate” and didn’t “even blink” — a response that seemed jarring for its lack of any human modesty, even false modesty.

In the last of her Couric interview installments on Thursday, Palin was asked which vice president had most impressed her, and after paying tribute to Geraldine Ferraro, she chose “George Bush Sr.” Her criterion: she most admires vice presidents “who have gone on to the presidency.” Hours later, at the debate, she offered a discordant contrast to Biden when asked by Gwen Ifill how they would each govern “if the worst happened” and the president died in office. After Biden spoke of somber continuity, Palin was weirdly flip and chipper, eager to say that as a “maverick” she’d go her own way.

But the debate’s most telling passage arrived when Biden welled up in recounting his days as a single father after his first wife and one of his children were killed in a car crash. Palin’s perky response — she immediately started selling McCain as a “consummate maverick” again — was as emotionally disconnected as Michael Dukakis’s notoriously cerebral answer to the hypothetical 1988 debate question about his wife being “raped and murdered.” If, as some feel, Obama is cool, Palin is ice cold. She didn’t even acknowledge Biden’s devastating personal history.

(more…)

Economy – Trickle Down Theory Is A Myth: Money Doesn’t Trickle Down But Pain Crawls Up

 What is the trickle-down economy theory? It’s the set of economic policies based on the concept that you provide economic incentives to the wealthy by cutting their taxes (by letting them keep their money) while at the same time deregulating industry, you’ll let loose a tsunami of economic activities that will enrich even the least advantaged among us.

Wow, this sounds great in theory but as we all know now, it doesn’t work.

Trickle-down is largely a rationale for upward redistribution that’s been kept alive by those who benefit from it by paying less tax. Reagan put this stuff on the map, GW Bush brought it back with a vengeance and McCain intends to take it even further. McCain’s policy calls for an extension of the Bush tax cuts plus he adds pork fat of about $75 billion more in corporate tax cuts on top of that!

In the 1990s when Clinton came into office he would have nothing to do with allowing the rich to pay less taxes; he instead cut taxes on lower-income households and raised taxes on the wealthiest. Obama takes a similar approach.

Because of lowering taxes on the middle-class and raising the taxes on the wealthy in hind sight we see evidence of the strong real growth in median incomes and sharp declines in poverty that occurred during the 1990s compared with the opposite movement in the 2000s with Bush’s policies.

The income for the middle-class grew by 10% or by $5,200 in the 1990s (1989-2000); these same households saw a decrease of $2,000 in 2000s under Bush when he lowered taxes for the wealthy.  If Bush had kept Bill Clinton’s policy of lowering the taxes for the middle-class, income would have continued to increase in the 2000s and middle class median income would have gone up $3,600 instead of falling $2,000.

So why do the republicans continue to push tax cuts for the rich?  It seems that it is as simple as ‘because they and their friends are rich’ and it benefits them and their friends including heirs and heiresses.  That’s straight-talk.

(more…)

October 2, 2008

Was THAT A Vice Presidential ‘Debate’?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Palin came out swinging.  I have to give her credit for fighting for her party – she held her own.  But Palin didn’t debate, she came with talking points and we were going to hear them whether or not we asked her about them.  Forget the rules; she was going to get out her talking points come hell or high water!  Palin asked herself her own questions and answered her own questions – especially about energy, energy, energy, amazing!

 I believe that Palin had a personal victory since she did not implode and she did better that she has been for the past 3 weeks.  However, Biden won the debate because he spoke about polices, specifics and answered questions voters wanted to hear.

Palin’s entire performance was rhetorical and abstract and metaphoric – she had no specifics.  She never said what the policies of a McCain presidency would be nor did she say how McCain’s presidency would differ from Bush’s – not on the economy, on Iraq, on Afghanistan or on Foreign Policy – her responses were all abstract, not literal and figurative. Based on substance she didn’t help the McCain campaign and it was ‘embarrassing’ that she didn’t know McCain’s record therefore she contradicted McCain on things like his same sex marriage policy.

Palin was folksy, energetic, cartoony, gimmicky and seemed to be ‘playing the role of a character’ as if she was in a play or movie.  She didn’t listen to questions; she just answered her own questions based on her talking points.

 What was of particular interest was when Palin said she would expand the role of the Vice Presidency by changing the constitution so that the vice president would have more legislative power – very curious indeed. Hmmm.

But is it still a debate if Palin didn’t answer the questions or follow the rules of debating?

P.S. I think Gwen Ifill did a great job. 

  

 

 

 

Obama/Biden 08!

 

Thurs., Oct 2 – McPalin Pulling Out Of Michigan

 Republican presidential nominee John McCain is pulling his resources out of Michigan in the midst of polls showing Obama building on his lead there.

McCain’s campaign manager Rick Davis called former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to tell him of the decision just before Romney got on a conference call with reporters today. Romney, who grew up in Oakland County, was holding the call with McCain strategist Doug Holtz-Eakin to raise claims that Obama’s policies are no good for Michigan’s struggling economy.

Eric Fehrnstrom, a spokesman for Romney, confirmed the call took place but wouldn’t discuss the details. “They need to do whatever they think puts them in a position to win in November,” Fehrnstrom said.

A state Republican Party source had already told the Free Press that McCain was pulling out of the race in the state and moving workers to Wisconsin, Ohio and Florida — the latter two being states won by President George W. Bush in 2004 that the Republican needs to hold onto if he’s going to win the White House.

Recent polls have shown Obama increasing his lead in Michigan into double digits. A Detroit Free Press-Local 4 Michigan poll showed Obama with a 13-point lead last week, and today a poll by Public Policy Polling showed Obama leading McCain 51-41 in the state. Meanwhile, McCain’s earlier margins in Florida and Ohio were slipping.

Florida, in particular, is seen as key to a Republican victory, and a CNN/Time poll showed Obama leading there with a slim 51-47 lead this week.

According to the source, the Republican National Committee — which is the source of money for many of the 100 or so people working on behalf of the McCain campaign in Michigan — called state GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis this afternoon and told him the campaign would be moving workers out of the state and ceasing to buy local airtime in the state for ads.

No reason for the move was given. The McCain campaign’s Michigan spokeswoman, Sarah Lenti, wouldn’t immediately comment.

October 1, 2008

Vote America! One Voice Can Change The World, One Voice Becomes Many

Democrats measure progress by how many people can find a job that pays the mortgage; whether you can put a little extra money away at the end of each month so you can someday watch your child receive her college diploma. We measure progress in the 23 million new jobs that were created when Bill Clinton was President – when the average American family saw its income go up $7,500 instead of down $2,000 like it has under George Bush.

We measure the strength of our economy not by the number of billionaires we have or the profits of the Fortune 500, but by whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a new business, or whether the waitress who lives on tips can take a day off to look after a sick kid without losing her job – an economy that honors the dignity of work.

The fundamentals we use to measure economic strength are whether we are living up to that fundamental promise that has made this country great – a promise that is the only reason I am standing here tonight.

Because in the faces of those young veterans who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, I see my grandfather, who signed up after Pearl Harbor, marched in Patton’s Army, and was rewarded by a grateful nation with the chance to go to college on the GI Bill.

In the face of that young student who sleeps just three hours before working the night shift, I think about my mom, who raised my sister and me on her own while she worked and earned her degree; who once turned to food stamps but was still able to send us to the best schools in the country with the help of student loans and scholarships.

When I listen to another worker tell me that his factory has shut down, I remember all those men and women on the South Side of Chicago who I stood by and fought for two decades ago after the local steel plant closed.

And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman. She’s the one who taught me about hard work. She’s the one who put off buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a better life. She poured everything she had into me. And although she can no longer travel, I know that she’s watching tonight, and that tonight is her night as well.

I don’t know what kind of lives John McCain thinks that celebrities lead, but this has been mine. These are my heroes. Theirs are the stories that shaped me. And it is on their behalf that I intend to win this election and keep our promise alive as President of the United States.

What is that promise?

It’s a promise that says each of us has the freedom to make of our own lives what we will, but that we also have the obligation to treat each other with dignity and respect.

It’s a promise that says the market should reward drive and innovation and generate growth, but that businesses should live up to their responsibilities to create American jobs, look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road.

Ours is a promise that says government cannot solve all our problems, but what it should do is that which we cannot do for ourselves – protect us from harm and provide every child a decent education; keep our water clean and our toys safe; invest in new schools and new roads and new science and technology.

Our government should work for us, not against us. It should help us, not hurt us. It should ensure opportunity not just for those with the most money and influence, but for every American who’s willing to work.

That’s the promise of America – the idea that we are responsible for ourselves, but that we also rise or fall as one nation; the fundamental belief that I am my brother’s keeper; I am my sister’s keeper.

That’s the promise we need to keep. That’s the change we need right now. So let me spell out exactly what that change would mean if I am President.

Change means a tax code that doesn’t reward the lobbyists who wrote it, but the American workers and small businesses who deserve it.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes – cut taxes – for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

(more…)

September 8, 2008

Are Americans Stupid, Gullible or Prejudice?

 “They must think you are stupid.” Stupid to believe that McCain/Palin are “change agents.” Change is becoming this campaigns’ ping pong ball and we are missing the point. Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Be it. Don’t talk about it, don’t pontificate about it. Be It. Action word. Demonstrative. Maybe Nike just drafted off that great statesman and made us all “Just do it.”

Whatever, the call to action is now. Be it.

Jung said “Only that which changes, remains true.” Truth — unvarnished, well-vetted and precise.

My favorite quote is from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. In it, a street savvy young man hardened by the realities of the world, tells the princess…” Life is pain and anyone who tells you different is selling something.”

Life is pain, hard, unfair and yet also achingly beautiful and transformative when we are walking toward truth.

When the Republicans had their convention and there were signs held high with the monikers….”G.I. John and Superwoman” I knew we were in trouble. They were selling a fantasy!

 See, we are not stupid, we are humans, we can think and listen and learn. But if what we are taught is corrupt lies and if we are fed the “family truth” then we are not stupid, we are brainwashed.

G.I. John and Superwoman take them away from being mortal humans and put them in to the comic book hero status, Teflon coated, impenetrable and as we are seeing today, in the case of Mrs. Palin, not even held accountable in an interview.

We are not stupid, but we are gullible, to fear, lies, misinformation and calculated deceit and that is what we are now up against and where we need to demonstrate the real change.

Meaning of prejudice:

(1): preconceived judgment or opinion (2): an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge b: an instance of such judgment or opinion c: an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, a group, a race or their supposed characteristics

Read article by Jamie Lee Curtis at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-lee-curtis/do-you-think-im-stupid_b_124635.html

 

  EIGHT YEARS of republican rule IS ENOUGH!!!

 

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