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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.

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August 25, 2008

Introducing MICHELLE OBAMA — Phenomenal Woman!!!

  Michelle Obama (nee Robinson) was born on January 17, 1964 – she’s 44 years old.  She was raised by her parents.  Her Father suffered from Multiple Sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS). MS can cause numerous physical and mental symptoms, and often progresses to physical and cognitive disability. Despite suffering from MS Mr. Robinson worked and supported his family and rarely took a day off. Her Mother Marian Robinson stayed home and nurtured her family.

 Michelle was raised in a one-bedroom apartment on Chicago’s South Shore, a predominantly black neighborhood. The South Side has mostly single-family homes and has endured a reputation as being poor and crime-infested.  The neighborhood ranges from impoverished to working class mostly blue collar residents.

Michelle shared a “bedroom” with her brother Craig, but it wasn’t much of a bedroom. It was actually the living room with a divider down the middle since the family could not afford a larger apartment.

  Michelle’s parents demanded academic excellence and Michelle and her brother excelled in school.  After high school Michelle received a scholarship to Princeton where she majored in sociology.

Princeton was Michelle’s first step into a diverse America since before then her life was centered around Chicago’s South Shore.

 Michelle arrived at Princeton before her roommate.  When her roommate, a white southerner, arrived on campus her roommate’s mother was in shock and angry that her daughter would have a black roommate and immediately requested that her daughter get a different roommate.

I was not at Princeton with Michelle Obama but I can imagine some of her experiences at blue blood Princeton.  She must have been shunned too many times to remember, most likely wasn’t asked to join a sorority and was most likely excluded from most social activities.  But she persevered and graduated with cum laude honors in 1985.

From there she attended Harvard where she earned her law degree in 1988, one year ahead of her husband-to-be, Barack, whom she hadn’t met as yet even though they attended the same law school.

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August 22, 2008

Olympics: GOLD for Jamaica Men 400m Relay Team. Yet Another World Record!

 In yet another mind-boggling display of speed, Usain Bolt set another world record and won another Olympic gold medal, and this time got to share the glory with his Jamaican teammates.

 Both Bolt and Asafa Powell blew away the field over the last two legs of the 400-meter relay leading Jamaica around the track in 37.10 seconds to break the 16-year-old world record by 0.3 seconds.

Bolt is now 3-for-3 in these Olympic sprints — as in three gold medals and three world records.

The bonus is that he got to bring Powell along for the ride. Powell held the world record in the 100-meter dash for about three years before Bolt broke it in May, but he is also well known for his history of poor performances in the biggest meets.

 In this one, Powell got to do the honors, running the anchor leg, taking a clean handoff from Bolt and crossing the line almost a full second ahead of Trinidad and Tobago‘s Richard Thompson to secure his first Olympic medal.

The Jamaican quartet, which also included Nesta Carter and Michael Frater, eclipsed the old 400 relay mark of 37.40 set by the United States at the Barcelona Olympics in the 1992 and tied by the U.S. at the world championships a year later.

Bolt added that to the records he set in winning the 100 meters (9.69) and 200 meters (19.30) in Beijing.

The Jamaicans were nearly a full second faster than relay silver medalists Trinidad and Tobago, which finished in 38.06. Japan took the bronze in 38.15.

The Jamaica women’s relay team failed to hand off the baton in the third leg of the relay and did not complete the race. We are VERY PROUD of the women team!!!

Jamaica is 4 out of 5 in their sprint events.

  Team Jamaica now has a total of 10 medals: 6 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze.

   

Congratulations Team Jamaica!!!

August 13, 2008

Russia to America: “Pick Sides”. Georgia to McCain: “Action Not A Bunch Of Words “.

 Relations between Russia and the U.S. have become exceptionally tense. Russia has thrown out a challenge to the United States, daring President George W Bush to “choose” between Washington’s relationship with Georgia and its future ties with Moscow.
 
In what appeared to be calculated defiance of the United States and the European Union, which mediated a ceasefire deal struck less than 24 hours earlier, early Wednesday, Moscow sent its forces to occupy the Georgian town of Gori, just 50 miles from the capital Tbilisi.

President George W Bush said the move had “damaged relations” between America and Russia and demanded that Moscow “keep its word” over the ceasefire. 

“To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis,” Bush said.

But Russia retorted that America, which has a staunch ally of Tbilisi’s pro-western government, would have “to choose” between building a relationship with Georgia or Russia.

“We understand that this current Georgian leadership is a special project of the United States, but one day the United States will have to choose,” said the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili earlier Wednesday called for John McCain and other American leaders to do more for Georgia in their response to the conflict in his country.

“Yesterday, I heard Sen. McCain say, ‘We are all Georgians now,’ ” Saakashvili said on CNN’s American Morning. “Well, very nice, you know, very cheering for us to hear that, but OK, it’s time to pass from this – from words to deeds.”

 

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August 11, 2008

Russia/George War: Is Russia Trying To Rebuild The Soviet Union?

 Map of Russia as it exists today.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said Russian forces had effectively cut his country in half. Russia captured the central city of Gori and its armored vehicles rolled deep into western Georgia on Monday, seizing a military base and several towns and opening a second front of fighting. The State Department said it has evacuated more than 170 U.S. citizens. Poland and other former Soviet satellites have expressed deep anxiety that the escalation of fighting signals Russia’s willingness to use force to dominate the newly democratic region.

  Map of the Soviet Union when it controlled the entire Eurasia region.

From 1945 until dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 – a period known as the Cold War – the Soviet Union and the United States of America were the two world superpowers that dominated the global agenda of economic policy, foreign affairs, military operations, cultural exchange, scientific advancements including the pioneering of space exploration, and sports – including the Olympic Games and various world championships.

Initially established as a union of four Soviet Socialist Republics, the USSR grew to contain 15 constituent or “union republics” by 1956: Armenian SSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Byelorussian SSR, Estonian SSR, Georgian SSR, Kazakh SSR, Kirghiz SSR, Latvian SSR, Lithuanian SSR, Moldavian SSR, Russian SFSR, Tajik SSR, Turkmen SSR, Ukrainian SSR, and Uzbek SSR.

It seems that Russia is ready to reclaim what they believe to be theirs.  This could escalate into something very scary especially since Russia is now claiming that America is helping Georgia.

Russia is not Iraq – they will fight America if they think it’s necessary.  Scary!

Also see: https://letustalk.wordpress.com/2008/08/10/russiageorgia-war-how-america-has-lost-its-world-influence/

 

August 10, 2008

Obama: Tax BREAKS For Middle Income Americans

Senator Obama plans to give 95% of all families a tax cut of $1,000.00 and not raise taxes by a single dime for those making under $250,000. The reason so many families are hurting today is because we’ve had eight years of failed Bush policies that Senator McCain wants to continue for another four years. 

The ad below is smart and effective and I hope we see more of these types of ads! PLEASE pass this on!

Be informed – check the facts for yourself:

http://www.factcheck.barackobama.com/

 

Russia/Georgia War: How America Has Lost Its World Influence

 Imperialistic Russia has been looking for a way to get into a war for many months.  One of the problems the world now faces is that America cannot stand-up and tell Russia to back-down.  Why?  Because America started the war in Iraq without agreement by the rest of world powers; since America did what it wanted to do, Russia feels it can do what it wants to do.  We went into Iraq with excessive force so now Russia will not listen to anything America has to say about them using overwhelming force in this war.  This is another legacy of George Bush – he has taken the ‘peace-keeper’ role from America.

 Russia and Georgia, a U.S. ally whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, heads toward a wider war as Russian tanks rumbled into the contested province of South Ossetia and Russian aircraft bombed a Georgian town, escalating a conflict that already has left hundreds dead.

Georgia’s Foreign Ministry said the country was “in a state of war” and accused Russia of beginning a “massive military aggression.” The Georgian parliament approved a state of martial law, mobilizing reservists and ordering government authorities to work round-the-clock.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that Moscow sent troops into South Ossetia to force Georgia into a cease-fire and prevent Georgia from retaking control of its breakaway region after it launched a major offensive there overnight Friday.

 Ukraine said on Sunday it reserved the right to temporarily bar Russian warships dispatched to the Georgian coast from returning to their Ukrainian base of Sevastopol.

“Ukraine … reserves the right to bar warships and vessels which could take part in the action (conflict with Georgia) from returning to Ukrainian territory until the conflict is solved,” a Ukrainian Foreign Ministry statement.

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