Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

No politics today. Enjoy the day trick or treating with your kids, going to costume parties, or whatever else you might do to celebrate this holiday. And if you are dressing up as one of the candidates, have fun.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

McCain Confused Again About Spreading The Wealth

McCain had a hard time explaining why a progressive taxation system (which we do have here in the US) is not about spreading the wealth. He said it's a "far cry from taking from one group of Americans and giving to another," as he suggests Obama is proposing. Except that's exactly what a progressive taxation system does. The more money you earn, the more you pay progressively in taxes. So that's the taking part. Then McCain says that part of what taxes do is "to help those who can't help themselves." That's the giving to another part. So please explain again Senator McCain what is so big, bad, and evil about what Obama is proposing to do and how it so radically differs from what we already do. I'm not saying that the progressive taxation system is good or bad, just that McCain is attacking Obama for something we already do, and which McCain himself has acknowledged in the past is the right thing to do.

Students Forced To Go To McCain Rally

McCain spoke at a rally today with about 6,000 in attendance. Not bad. Except that about 4,000 were bussed in from local schools, including the entire school district of Defiance, Ohio. But don't take my word for it, that's what an official from the school district said.

Hey, What's Ron Doing On The Ballot?

Even though Ron Paul had officially asked that his name be removed from the ballot, he will still appear on it as the official candidate for the Constitution Party in Montana. So what you say? Paul was able to get a quarter of the votes in the primary even after everybody knew McCain was going to be the Republican nominee. And recent polls there show the race to be a statistical tie. Depending on what percentage of the vote he draws, Paul could act as a spoiler and throw the state to Obama. In the last half century, Montana has only gone Democratic twice, with the last time being 1992 when there was also a significant third party candidate on the ballot.

Where Do I Vote?

I don't really care who you vote for, just make sure you go vote. If you don't know where you are supposed to vote, you can go to this website sponsored by Yahoo and find your polling place.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rashid Khalidi

In the latest wave of attacks from the right, McCain and surrogates are suggesting that Obama has nefarious ties to Rashid Khalidi. Apparently, Obama may have have spoken at a dinner in Chicago and said some kind words about him. Khalidi, in case you don't know who he is, is a supporter of Palestinian rights and a professor at Georgetown University. Here's an article from the Washington Post about him. I'll let you read it and decide for yourself how radical he is.

Here's the kicker. If Khalidi is really such a horrible guy, the McCain's got some explaining to do for his own ties to him. You see, McCain was the chairman of a group called the International Republican Institute. In their infinite wisdom, they gave Khalidi's organization a grant for nearly half a million dollars. Here's the group's tax form to prove it. It was grant 5180 and CRPS stands for Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies. McCain's association with Khalidi through the IRI goes back all the way to 1993, though the grant above was given in 1998.

So let me get this straight. The McCain campaign wants a video released which shows Obama and Khalidi at a dinner together, and that's bad. McCain is the chairman of a group that gives Khalidi hundreds of thousands of dollars, and no problem. Nice logic at work there.

The Children Are The Future

Weekly Reader polls the students every four years to see who they would like to see as president. And the students have predicted the winner in every single election save one. (1992, Perot screwed it up for everyone) This year they went for Obama with 55% and McCain with 43%. I guess we'll see next week if they were right this time.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Mistake

Alaskan Newspaper Endorses.......

"On the most important issue of the day, Sen. Obama is a clear choice."

Alaska's largest newspaper, the Anchorage Daily News, and essentially the hometown newspaper of Palin, has endorsed Obama. This what the newspaper had to say about Palin:

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

America's Favorite Game

"No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," so said John McCain. Of course, how a president has the power to decide when a baseball game starts I have no clue. But once again, McCain is just trying to score cheap political points. Joe Coppola, the Fox executive who negotiated the deal, has said that Obama's purchase of TV time is not pushing the start of the game back. Instead, all it's doing is replacing the pre-game show. "We didn’t push back the game at all," he said.

If McCain really wants to be mad at someone, he should be mad at Fox. "We’re just missing the pregame, which isn’t a big deal for us. It was a business decision." That's right, Fox puts its profits above America's favorite past time.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Is Palin A Socialist?

As you know, Palin and McCain are hitting on Obama being a socialist and wanting to spread the wealth. But I thought you would be interested in hearing, in Palin's own words, about how Alaskans manage to get a check from the state every year:

"And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

That's Palin describing oil up in Alaska. So let me get this straight. Everybody in Alaska owns the oil resources collectively,? And everybody gets the same check no matter what they may or may not have done to earn it? And that's not socialism?

The entire article can be read here.

Meet The Press

McCain was on Meet The Press yesterday. I could do an analysis of the interview that could last for days, but instead I'll let you read it for yourself. The transcript can be found here.

Can McCain Even Win His Own State?

A new article in the Arizona Daily Star highlights a disturbing trend: namely that McCain's numbers are so band in the country he may not even win Arizona. Polls taken recently in the state show McCain with only a 2 point advantage, a spread within the margin of error. Another 10% said they still haven't made up their minds. Now I don't think Arizona will go for Obama, but the fact that McCain doesn't have a double digit lead in his own state, a Republican state no less, should prove trouble for the McCain campaign.

Is Palin Really An Outsider?

One of Palin's selling points is that she is an outsider, that she has nothing to do with the Washington elite, as she refers to them. Of course, I'm not exactly sure how that's about to be a great sell when her running mate is exactly what she argues against. However, a New Yorker article questions whether she's even an outsider as she claims. It seems that when certain influential conservatives were on a cruise through Alaska, she made it a point to invite them to the governor's mansion, and take some on a helicopter tour. When she became a governor, she hired an East coast PR firm to promote herself and her projects. In a world where image is everything, Plain has created one for herself that seems to be at odds with who she really is.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Spreading The Wealth

Dictator Pinochet, My Name Is John McCain

It appears that back in the 80s, McCain had no problem meeting with dictators without preconditions. You see Augusto Pinochet had led a military coup against a democratically elected president. During the coup and afterwards, thousands were killed or "disappeared." The coup happened in 1973, and in 1985 Pinochet was still in power. McCain met with him on December 30, 1985, according to this declassified memo. According to the article:

"At the time of the meeting, in the late afternoon of December 30, the U.S. Justice Department was seeking the extradition of two close Pinochet associates for an act of terrorism in Washington DC, the 1976 assassination of former ambassador to the U.S. and former Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier. The car bombing on Sheridan Circle in the U.S. capital was widely described at the time as the most egregious act of international terrorism perpetrated on U.S. soil by a foreign power."

Check out the wikipedia article on Orlando Letelier. In it, you'll notice that the head of the Chilean Secret Police claims the orders came directly from Pinochet. So if true, this would be what we might call a twofer: McCain has no problems sitting down with dictators and he seems to pal around with terrorists.

Who Makes The Bucks?

According to the New York Times, the highest paid person in the McCain campaign for the first two weeks of October was .....

"Not Randy Scheunemann, Mr. McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser; not Nicolle Wallace, his senior communications staffer. It was Amy Strozzi, Gov. Sarah Palin’s traveling makeup artist, according to a new filing with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday night."

Let me be a political consultant for second. McCain comes asks me why he's behind in the polls. I ponder and I make funny faces, and then exclaim "Because, you idiot, you're spending more money on Mary Kay products for your sidekick then you are for any other person on your staff." Damn, I just gave away a whole bunch of consulting for free.

James Carville

Politically, I'm not the biggest fan of James Carville. But I'll have to admit that he says some funny stuff sometimes. Here's the latest:

“The reason the Republicans found Joe the Plumber was to find someone hanging around a toilet other than [Sen.] Larry Craig.”

First Buckley, Now Goldwater

Those of you on the young end may not even who know who Barry Goldwater was. But to those of us who study American political history, he was, along with William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement. But now his granddaughter and other relatives have come out saying they cannot support McCain because McCain does not hold to the values so dearly held by their father. Here's a bit of what she had to say:

"Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear. "

Full article can be read here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

They Call Him Flipper, Flipper

Think Progress has come up with a list off 44 things that McCain has changed his mind on.

Is This Socialism?

Who wrote, in 2001 when the Bush tax cuts were being passed into law, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of the middle class Americans who most need tax relief?"

What kind of socialist said those kinds of things, and believes that wealthy people should pay more than less wealthy people? The Bush tax cuts weren't even calling for people to be taxed at the same rates, just lowering the amount rich people paid but still paying more than less wealthy people. So there would still be progressive taxation, that is, the rich pay proportionally more than the poor. Could it be the same guy who said:

"I think your question -- questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat, across-the-board percentage. I think it's to some degree because we feel, obviously, that wealthy people can afford more.

But I believe that when you really look at the tax code today, the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don't pay nearly as much as you think they do when you just look at the percentages. And I think middle-income Americans, working Americans, when the account and payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage pay -- all of the taxes that working Americans pay, I think they -- you would think that they also deserve significant relief, in my view..."

This was a response to a student's question. When the same student asked if this was all not a step towards socialism, the same person responded:

"So, look, here's what I really believe, that when you are -- reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

And frankly, I think the first people who deserve a tax cut are working Americans with children that need to educate their children, and they're the ones that I would support tax cuts for first."

There's nothing wrong with the wealthy paying somewhat more, and working people should get tax cuts first? Doesn't that sound a bit like the wealth redistribution that McCain accused Obama of and calling it socialist? Oh wait, McCain said all of this. Check out the video.

Who Is Better For The Military?

"Temperamentally, Senators Obama and McCain are very different on defense. But when you read the details of their defense positions, they are remarkably similar," said Loren Thompson , a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute , a conservative public policy organization. "They both want to bolster intelligence, focus on counter-terrorism, reduce big-ticket weapons systems and crack down on defense contracts."

So while McCain likes to portray himself as some great supporter of the military, in truth, he offers little that is different from what Obama has to offer. The full article can be read here.

Electoral College Maps

As we get closer to the election, I thought it would be important to point out that different websites offer different ways of trying to figure out how the electoral college might turn out. Some use certain polls, some average the polls, or use different algorithms to determine which state might go which way. So here's some of the more popular ones:

270 To Win

Real Clear Politics

New York Times


Princeton Election Consortium


Fox News

Like Palin's Clothes?

They should be nice, as the Republican National Committee has spent over $150,000 on her clothes and other such things thing since she was nominated. Wow, plain old hockey moms sure have expensive tastes. One shopping trip alone to Neiman Marcus clocked in at over $75,000. I should be honest and say that I don't think I've ever shopped at Neiman Marcus, but they must have some expensive clothes. Even if an outfit cost $3,000 (which seems outrageous to me), you could still get 25 of them for that price. You could wear a new outfit for pretty much the whole month and never wear the same one twice from just that one shopping trip alone. She also racked up $4700 in hair and makeup bills. Makes the $400 Edwards spent (which caused quite a stir) look like peanuts. A questions has been raised about the legality of all this, so we'll see what comes of it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voter Fraud

I have no doubt that voter registration fraud exists. Hey, they just busted a Republican for it not far from my house. But since we are hearing so much about ACORN, you might be interested in this video.

Who's Trying To Be Divisive?

Oh not Republicans. But then Rep. Robin Hayes went and said "liberals hate real Americans that work and accomplish and achieve and believe in God." Yep, it's the whole "I'm more patriotic than you" garbage that Republicans have been pushing the whole week. I guess they get to decide who REAL AMERICANS are. What's funnier is at first he denied even making the statements. He called the story it appeared in "irresponsible journalism." Oops, just one little problem. There was a recording made of the event. Here's Hayes' statement:

“I genuinely did not recall making the statement and, after reading it, there is no doubt that it came out completely the wrong way. I actually was trying to work to keep the crowd as respectful as possible, so this is definitely not what I intended.”

Palin Billing The State Again

We already know about Palin billing the state of Alaska to stay in her own house. But now it appears that she also billed the state so that her kids could travel with her. here's just one part of the article:

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

I don't know if she broke any laws are not, but she's definitely not coming across as a money saving reformer.

What I think is more telling though, is that after reporters asked to see the records, she started to amend the reports so it looked like her daughters were doing official state business. In one of them she stated that her daughters were "to draw two separate raffle tickets." Man, give me that job. I'll stay in first class hotels if all I have to do is draw a raffle ticket.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Obama's Grandmother

Again, politics aside, I wish Barack Obama and his extended family only the best during these trying times as Obama visits his gravely ill grandmother. As someone who spent quite a bit of time with my grandparents because of my parental situation, I know how close you can become and how much they can influence your life. Even though I grew up as a punk in southern California, I was immeasurably influenced by southern traditional values, as my grandparents came from Oklahoma, Utah, and Texas. So please hold Madelyn Payne Dunham in your prayers and thoughts.
Peace and all good.

McCain and Voter Registration Fraud, Part Deux

I'm supposing McCain really is giving up on his reformer image. It appears that his campaign has given $175,000 to Lincoln Strategy with the objective of "registering voters." Nathan Sproul, who now heads Lincoln Strategy, used to run another company with his name on it, but it become well-know in Arizona for its dirty politics. And although there were many witnesses to Sproul's company's mishandling of voter registration forms, Bush's Department of Justice didn't seem all that interested in investigating them. Some states, such as Oregon, did launch investigations. Here's a new article on Sproul being hired by the McCain campaign.

"Eric Russell, who worked for a Sproul & Associates group called Voter Outreach of America, said he had personally witnessed his boss take out eight to ten Democratic registration forms from a pile and shred them in Nevada."

And that's who McCain has working for him while he complains about ACORN. Let me state again, any fraud is wrong and should be condemned, but it seems strange me to that McCain just wants to know what "ties" Obama may have to ACORN, however tenuous, but he somehow doesn't say a word about the guy who is directly receiving a check from himself.

Voter Registration Fraud

By now, most of have you heard about ACORN and their alleged involvement in voter registration fraud. McCain and company have done a good job of bringing it up and trying to tie it Obama. However, McCain should be honest and condemn it whenever and wherever it happens, and by whomever. As you can see in this article and this article, McCain's party is involved in alleged voter registration fraud. What makes it even more complicated though, is that while ACORN does their voter registration independently of political parties, the person involved in this alleged voter registration fraud was paid directly by the California Republican Party. Now, I don't condone voter registration fraud, and I think people should use their time more productively. But McCain needs to get off his high horse, and realize that not his side involved in voter registration fraud, but also voter suppression, such as caging, which I find much more despicable.

Wait, That Simpson Cartoon Wasn't Just A Joke?

For those who viewed the Simpson video, and thought it was just silly fun, think again. It appears that in West Virginia when people touch the Obama box on the screen, the vote is going to McCain. At first I thought it might be an isolated case, but when I went to go get a link for the blog, I found an updated article that said it had happened to even more people. You can view the article here.

"When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor's office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude. When I went to Karen Facemyer [the incumbent Republican state senator], I pushed the Democrat, but it jumped again.
"The rest of them were OK, but the machine sent my votes for those top three offices from the Democrat to the Republican," Thomas said.

More Conservative Papers Support Obama

McCain is having a hard time convincing even traditionally conservative newspapers that his is the better candidate. The Houston Chronicle and Austin American-Statesman, two newspapers that endorsed Bush in 2004, have now written editorials endorsing Obama. In a shocker to me, even the Salt Lake Tribune has endorsed Obama. For full disclosure, a part of my family is from Utah. Utah, and its Mormon population, is know for holding some pretty conservative views. Heck, it wasn't even that long ago when the LDS church said that Blacks couldn't enter the LDS priesthood or participate in certain temple activities. For a list of newspapers that have made endorsements, please go here.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Real Virginia?

So the people who live in the northern area of Virginia are not real Virginians? What's interesting is that the interviewer immediately picks up on this, and even offers her the chance to think about what she said. But I guess she figured once the foot was in the mouth, you might as well just keep stuffing.

Former Member of Bush Cabinet Endorses Obama

It's not really big news when someone, no matter how big they might be, endorses someone from their own party. That someone such as Clinton is endorsing Obama, or Bush is supporting McCain, that's not really surprising. That's why Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama today is a big deal. Powell is a Republican, and of course was Secretary of State in George W. Bush's cabinet. He is highly respected by both sides, and perhaps his speech at the UN aside, not many people question his integrity and honesty. I have no doubt this was a difficult decision for Powell, as even just last year he gave the maximum donation allowed to McCain to run in the primaries.
However I am particularly troubled by McCain's statement:

"It doesn’t come as a surprise," McCain said. "I'm very pleased to have the endorsement of four former secretaries of state, well over 200 retired generals and admirals. I've admired and continue to respect Secretary Powell."

It doesn't come as a surprise? Powell's a Republican, gave you money to run for president, was in the cabinet of the current Republican president, and it's doesn't surprise you that he endorsed your Democratic opponent? It would surprise me, and I'd be a bit angry. Or perhaps McCain realizes how badly he has ran his campaign, and figures "hey, can't blame the guy for wanting to get away from this train wreck."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Second Response To Sbvor

Sbvor said:
“Let’s skip your typical trivialities and get to the ONLY meat of the matter in your typically silly post (economists who allegedly support Obama AND his TAX PLAN):”

Trivialities? The next president may be constitutionally ineligible for the office, and you call that trivial? By the way, the things you are calling trivial are all things you brought up. Now, just because you can’t defend you arguments doesn’t make them trivial. It just means you’re not intellectually honest enough to acknowledge you don’t have an adequate response.

By the way, you asked me to show you one economist who supported Obama’s economic plan. Now you are changing it to Obama’s tax plan. There’s a significant difference in someone’s tax plan and someone’s economic plan, because the former comprises a part of the latter. You really should be consistent in what you ask for, otherwise it looks like you are trying to finagle your way out by changing what we are discussing.

Sbvor said:
“You listed, without substantiation (as usual), the following economists whom you allege support Obama:”

Quite simply, you didn’t ask for substantiation. You asked for one name and one credential. I simply went above and beyond that and gave you several. But if substantiation is all you need, here you go:

Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel laureate link
Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel laureate link
Dan McFadden, 2000 Nobel laureate link
Robert Solow, 1987 Nobel laureate link

Here’s a list of some of those on Obama’s economic advisory team:
Jason Furman (director of economic policy) source bio
Austan Goolsbee (senior economic policy advisor), University of Chicago tax policy expert source Wikipedia website
Karen Kornbluh (policy director) source bio Wikipedia
David Cutler, Harvard health policy expert source Wikipedia website
Jeff Liebman, Harvard welfare expert source Wikipedia website
Michael Froman, Citigroup executive source bio
Daniel Tarullo, Georgetown law professor source bio
David Romer, Berkeley macroeconomist source website
Christina Romer, Berkeley economic historian source website
Richard Thaler, University of Chicago behavioral finance expert source Wikipedia
Robert Rubin, former Treasury Secretary source Wikipedia bio
Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary source Wikipedia bio
Alan Blinder, former Vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve source Wikipedia bio website
Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute labor economist source bio
James Galbraith, University of Texas macroeconomist source Wikipedia website
Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve 1979-1987 source Wikipedia
Laura Tyson, Berkeley international economist, Bill Clinton economic adviser source Wikipedia
Robert Reich, Berkeley public policy professor, former Secretary of Labor source Wikipedia weblog
Peter Henry, Stanford international economist source website
Gene Sperling, former White House economic adviser source Wikipedia

Since there are people who are actually advising Obama, and not just mere endorsers or supporters of him for president, then we can probably safely assume they support Obama’s economic plan, since they themselves helped create it. However, there is a link next to each of them so you can see what they have said and decide for yourself if it meets your criteria of whether they support Obama’s economic plan or not. If you can show me that every single one of these economists does not support Obama’s economic plan, then I’ll let you have your victory. Or you’re going to have to give me better definition of what you mean by “support.”

Also, have a look at the Economist study. They polled economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research. While admittedly they don’t list names, you can see that far more than one economist responded that Obama’s economic plan was better than McCain’s.

Sbvor said:“But, the question was which economists support Obama’s TAX PLAN!My research reveals that only ONE (Solow) is on record PARTIALLY supporting Obama’s tax policy. Okay, we’ve got ONE HALF of ONE economist vs. one HUNDRED economists on record as being 100% opposed to Obama’s tax plan. CLEARLY, I WIN!”

As I already noted, that wasn’t the question. And I would encourage people to look at the link provided. While it does state that these economists think Obama’s plan would be bad for the economy, curiously, there is not a single word in the whole thing about whether think they McCain’s economic plan would be good for the economy. Not a single word. Since it’s not an either/or situation, one could easily think Obama’s plan and McCain’s plan was bad for the economy. So one could easily have a Republican who absolutely thinks McCain’s plan is horrible for the economy, but because they are supporting McCain anyways because of party affiliation, sign this document stating Obama’s plan is bad for the economy. I would have much preferred to see a document stating why they thought McCain’s plan was good for the economy. I particularly like the line, “the prospect of such tax increases (referring to Obama’s) in 2010 is already a drag on the economy.” That’s right, they are saying that one of the reasons for the bad economy right now is a tax increase that may or may not go into effect in 2010. How they measure that we have no way of knowing, but they said it.

Just curious what you think you have won? But like I said, if you can show me that every single one of the economists listed, this time with citations, do not support Obama’s economic plan, then I’ll concede victory to you. But until then, you’re a bit premature.

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

You may have heard by now, but it's worth repeating, the Chicago Tribune has officially endorsed Obama. Why is this newsworthy? Because the Chicago Tribune is by no stretch of the imagination a liberal newspaper, and in its nearly 150 years of existence, has never endorsed a Democrat for president before. I especially like the reasoning they gave for supporting Obama over McCain based on their economic policies.

On McCain:
It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.

On Obama:
We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect. His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a "University of Chicago Democrat"--a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets.

Hmnn, someone I was recently having a discussion with argued that Obama would be disastrous for the country economically. It seems that not even conservative newspapers believe that argument.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Response To Sbvor


Sbvor has been kind enough to leave comments on my blog, expressing his disagreements with some of the things on it. I was going to respond to him in the comments section, but I thought it would be better to do so here in the main section. First, so I can address some of the assertions he makes and this way the debate gets a larger audience. But also, so I can respond to some of the logical fallacies that are in his post, and hopefully illustrate how those on the right will often resort to all kinds of strange things when they cannot make a point. One should never feel intimidated by someone on the other side of the political spectrum, and you don’t have to just stand by when they make ridiculous assertions or try to wow you with citations that, once you look at them, don’t even support their point.

Sbvor said:
“Crooked Talk on McCain,”

This is the first thing you should notice. Those on the right like to use petty nicknames and attack the character of the other person. They think it’s clever. I have a friend at work who won’t say Obama in an email, but instead comes up with every derogatory nickname he can think of when referring to him. I asked him why, and said I always called McCain by his name, as that was the respectful thing to do. He had no answer. You see that a lot, people resort to name calling when they can’t hold up their side of the argument anymore. But since the implication is that I have said something untrue about Mcain, please show me where I have and I will take it off the site.

Sbvor said:“1) IF you are not voting for Obama, my guess is you will be voting to the Left of Obama. Cynthia McKinney perhaps? I’m voting McCain/Palin. Who will you vote for?”

Why would you guess that? And why does it matter? Either what I am saying is true or it isn’t. Either I am making logical arguments or I am not. If who I am voting for changes your mind on whether to believe anything I write, then there’s the problem right there. Here’s a list of who I don’t plan to vote for: McCain, Obama, Nader, McKinney, Barr or Keyes. I think that’s everyone who is on the ballot in my state. Of course, as I have stated elsewhere, because of our archaic election laws and because I live in a safe state, I have the luxury of knowing I can do with my vote as I want. But let’s say that you’re right, what does it matter? My guess is because then you can feel you can just write off anything I say because of who I may be voting for. In other words, you won’t respond to the point I make but instead just attack me because who I am associating with. Sound familiar? I am taking you seriously even if you are voting for McCain, you should give me the same courtesy.

Sbvor said:
“2) As best I recall, the one comment you offered on my blog presented a slew of utterly unsubstantiated smears against McCain. I don’t tolerate that and I say so plainly in my profile information. If you want your comments published on my blog, at least ATTEMPT to substantiate them.”

If I recall correctly, I posted something on the Community Reinvestment Act and how some are saying it is to blame for the sub-prime crises as the CRA “forced” banks to give loans to people who couldn’t afford it. I pointed out that the majority of sub-prime loans were made outside of CRA regulation and it doesn’t makes sense to blame the CRA for something that the CRA did not have regulatory power over. Furthermore, I included a link to a Business Week(I purposely chose a magazine that was conservative) article that argued the same thing. No smears, and nothing even in particular about McCain. And I’ll let others decide by looking at my blog if it’s even reasonable to believe that I would post something that was nothing but unsubstantiated smears. But I would note that the standards you hold for your own blog you don’t respect when posting on someone else’s blog. On my blog, you’ve called people morons, ignorant, accused them of drinking the kool-aid, etc. I’m glad you hold yourself to the same high standard you want others held to.

Sbvor said:
“3) Offering a photocopy of a purported birth certificate absent a seal is NOT sufficient! The FACT is that Obama has been challenged in a court of law and has NOT produced the ORIGINAL birth certificate. WHY would Obama NOT want to settle this issue (assuming he COULD)?”

You are absolutely right that Philp Berg has filed a lawsuit against Obama and that is indeed a fact. While that sounds impressive, just remember that pretty much anybody can file a lawsuit about pretty much anything. My wife could go in Monday morning and file a paternity lawsuit against McCain. Monday night I could go around the Internet rightfully and factually claiming that McCain has a pending paternity lawsuit against him. Is it credible? Well, let’s hope not for my sake, but simply having a lawsuit brought against you doesn’t mean the case has any merit. I should note that similar lawsuits to Berg’s were also filed against McCain and Barry Goldwater. So I can just as easily point out that McCain’s citizenship has also been challenged by a lawsuit.
I watched the video you provided and was less than overwhelmed. Mr. Berg doesn’t even get simple facts right. Obama never sat on the Annenberg Foundation Board. He sat on the board of a project that was funded by a grant from the Annenberg Foundation. Pretty big difference, and if Mr. Berg can’t get those simple things right, well, he loses some credibility. And please note, I have no vested interest in Obama proving his case because I have no intention of voting for him.

Obama has provided a copy of the birth certificate. It’s easily found on the Internet. Of course, those who are inclined to, will challenge it as well. As for Obama’s grandmother saying he was born in Kenya, I could find no credible source for that statement. If you have one, besides Berg’s lawsuit, please let me know. I find the whole thing desperate, but Berg and his supporters don’t really care if they win the case or not. They’re getting a bunch of media attention and planting in people’s minds the idea that Obama is not one of “us”. And that’s really the point of the lawsuit.

And to prove that point, just go the Department of Health website for the state of Hawaii. There, anyone, at least to my understanding of the webpage, can request a letter of verification that a birth certificate was issued for Obama. The price? A lousy 5 bucks. So for 5 bucks, anyone who doubts that Obama was born in Hawaii can ask the state to verify that he has a birth certificate. Why hasn’t anyone who questions whether he was born in Hawaii done it yet? It wasn’t that hard to find, took me about five minutes on google to figure out I could do it.

Sbvor said:“4) Economists did not get us into this mess, the overwhelming body of evidence PROVES that DEMOCRATS DID!”

Because you put PROVES in capitals, it doesn’t prove anything. And I encourage people to check out the first comment that responds to your post that your link takes us to. There is a link there which leads to a speech by the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in which she states that it would be wrong to conflate the role of the CRA with the sub-prime crisis. I have stated above as well why it’s a bit silly to blame the CRA when most of the sub-prime loans were given out fell outside of the regulations of the CRA. And as Robert Gordon, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, even said “It’s telling that, amid all the recent recriminations, even lenders have not fingered CRA. That’s because CRA didn’t bring about the reckless lending at the heart of the crisis.” I know it would be helpful to blame all this on the big bad Democrats, and I think they may as well be guilty as the Republicans, but conservatives are going to have to point to something more substantial than this.

Sbvor said:“5) The Economist is NOT a “right wing” magazine. As I recall, the article you cited in a previous post was published on the Economist web site, but was written by the extremely biased Associated Press.If there is even ONE economist who supports Obama’s economic plan, show me the NAME and the CREDENTIALS! ONLY McCain has done that!”

The Economist is indeed a right wing magazine. That’s not a pejorative, any more than me calling The Nation a left wing magazine is a pejorative. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just how they view the world. (They themselves claim they are for free markets and free trade, hardly left wing or socialist) You don’t recall very well, and if you are going to throw out accusations of bias you should at least do the minimal amount of research and find out for sure, because you could have went to the website and saw for yourself that it wasn’t an AP article. Here’s the link. You can’t call everything biased, or attribute it to a group you don’t like (like the AP), just because you don’t like what they are reporting. Besides, Sarah Palin even said she reads the Economist, so me and her have something in common.

Here’s another thing that gets me. One should never make absolute statements or ridiculous assertions. You manage to do both in one statement. By challenging me to name just one economist that supports Obama, you are making the absolute statement that no economist supports Obama. Absolute statements are hardly ever true, and they cause the person making them to look ill informed. So it’s ridiculous to challenge to me to name just one economist when you yourself could have spent 30 seconds on the Internet and proven your own assertion false.
Here’s four who have said they back or endorse Obama:

Joseph Stiglitz, 2001 Nobel laureate
Edmund Phelps, 2006 Nobel laureate
Dan McFadden, 2000 Nobel laureate
Robert Solow, 1987 Nobel laureate

I only picked the four who were Nobel laureates, because hey, that might impress you.

And while not economists, these people are involved in the business of finance:

William Donaldson, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair 2003-05
Arthur Levitt, SEC chair 1993-2001
David Ruder, SEC chair 1987-1989

And the richest person in the world, a man who made his billions by understanding how business works, Warren Buffet, endorsed Obama.

Now I am not saying you should vote for Obama or McCain because of the economists who support them. I just think you ought to quit making ridiculous claims that easily proven false.

Sbvor said:
“6) Your moronic response on the Socialist charge only serves to prove that you have NOT examined the evidence .Rather, you display the usual indoctrination which, in ignorant/arrogant knee jerk fashion, blindly assumes there are no Socialists among the Democrats. Even the extremely “Liberal” Time Magazine knows better!Try again. This time, EXAMINE THE EVIDENCE! Pay special attention to this series and this series.”

Your first piece of “evidence” is the McCain video linking Obama to Ayers. I’m not sure if you’ve watched the video or not yourself, but it makes no claims that Obama is a socialist. Heck, the word is never even used in the video. If your argument is that because Obama worked with Ayers on a particular group, he’s a socialist, then that’s kind of weak. Because then you’re also calling the president of the University of Illinois, a vice-president of Ameritech, a former president of the Continental Illinois Bank, and the CEO of the Chicago Tribune all socialists as well because they worked with Ayers on the project. And check this out, I have friends who are Libertarians, Republicans, Democrats, and Socialists. What does that make me? Well, first, it makes me a person who is mature enough to have friends who I don’t necessarily agree with politically, but it also means that just because you sat on a board with someone, it doesn’t mean you have the same politics as everyone else on the board.

The Time article that you reference is about Henry Wallace in the 1940s. How an article about Wallace proves that there are socialists in the Democratic Party today is beyond me. What is interesting to note that Wallace was originally a Republican, and in 1960 supported Nixon over Kennedy. So I guess the same article proves that there are socialists in the Republican Party, which historically is true because some people did leave the Socialist Party for the Republican party believing they could make it a socialist party, but that was quite awhile ago. More recently, Reagan had people like Jeanne Kirkpatrick in his administration who belonged to the Young People’s Socialist League and Elliot Abrams, who was a member of the Social Democrats, USA, one of the American chapters of the Socialist International. So I just did a much better job of showing that there are socialists in the Republican Party than you did of showing that there are socialists in the Democratic Party. So are there socialists in the Democratic party? Undoubtedly, but the Republicans’s hands are not clean either.

As for Obama, how do you know my reaction was knee jerk, arrogant, or ignorant? You have no idea how much time I spent thinking about my response, or looking on the Internet to see if the assertion was true. You’ve yet to show any evidence that he is a socialist. I’ve yet to see Obama ever call himself a Socialist. He doesn’t talk about nationalizing the commanding heights of the economy. He doesn’t talk about worker ownership of industry. He doesn’t talk about the social ownership of the means of production. He doesn’t talk about dialectical materialism and the coming class war. In other words, he doesn’t say or do anything that would lead one to believe he a socialist. And my socialist friends sure as heck would tell you he is not a socialist. But because you don’t like him, he’s a socialist. That’s what I meant by saying you are using it as a boogey man argument. We hear it every four years. Kerry was a socialist. Gore was a socialist. Clinton was a socialist. How is that every Democratic presidential candidate just happens to be a socialist? Hate Obama all you want, and you have the right to do that, but at least be intellectually honest. He’s not a socialist, and he won’t make America socialist. Sorry to break the news to you. He is a capitalist who has liberal leanings. That doesn’t make him good or bad, but that’s what he is. By the way, there is a real live socialist in the US senate. His name is Bernie Sanders.

Sbvor said:
“7) I supported Bush on many issues, voted for him twice and would do so again (as the lesser of available evils). I also freely acknowledge that Bush 43 proved to be the single most Socialist President since LBJ (who somehow managed to out Socialist the infamous FDR). This housing bailout is a travesty.However, in the long run, the housing bailout will (hopefully) be peanuts compared to signing into law the single largest expansion of Entitlements since LBJ (Medicare Drug Entitlements). The “Big Three” Entitlements are killing us! Expanding Entitlements was the single BIGGEST mistake of the Bush Presidency (and history will prove it so).That said, Bush was FAR LESS of a Socialist than either Gore or Kerry would have been. These days, I settle for the lesser of evils. Until the American voters better educate yourselves, that will remain our only option.”

If you have your reasons for supporting Bush or McCain, that’s great. As for Bush, or any president in history for that matter, being socialist, well, unfortunately history doesn’t exactly agree with you. Again, it’s a word you’ve been taught to throw out because it’s “bad.” Don’t like something? Call it socialist. And I looked at your charts, and unfortunately they don’t actually prove your point. They are interesting, but don’t actually back up what you are saying.

Sbvor said:
"8) On Iraq, the American people were certainly lied to. But, Bush was NOT the liar!"

So we can’t trust the AP, but the American Thinker is totally unbiased? I hope you see your own bias, and are willing to own up to it. Your link just shows that Congress voted for an authorization of force, not that Bush and his administration may or may not have lied or manipulated intelligence. The two are not mutually exclusive. And while the post you refer to tries to parse out things like saying the resolution only states that Iraq “had” WMDs, when Bush and his administration were talking to the American people, they said that Iraq “has” WMDs. Here’s at least one montage of clips that shows Bush and his administration talking in the present tense, and not the past tense. Another thing that your link says is that the resolution does not link 9/11 to the Iraq terrorists. Again, no argument from me, except that doesn’t mean that the Bush administration didn’t lie. It just means whoever wrote the bill didn’t lie. However, I would point out that the bill does try to implicitly link 9/11 and Iraq by continuing referencing it when there is no need to. Everyone may view the bill for themselves here.

Sbvor said:“9) Stop drinking the Kool-Aid! EDUCATE YOURSELF!”

Again, cheap shots with no substance. Just trying to attack me with nothing to back it up. As for educating myself, as you can see I looked at all of your citations, and responded to them, and provided my own documentation whenever I disagreed with you. You’ll notice, that unlike you, I didn’t only give you links that confirmed my bias (mostly because you gave me links to your own website), but provided you with links from a wide variety of sources, including several conservative ones. In other words, I didn’t try to stack the sources in my favor like you did. You’ll also noticed that I responded directly to your assertions, and that my documentation was used to provide back-up to what I was saying. Unlike you, who, for instance, gave me a link to a video linking Ayers to Obama and tried to show that as proof that Obama was socialist when it did no such thing.

You’ll notice that I didn’t call you names (didn’t say you were ignorant, naïve, arrogant, etc) but simply pointed out where I felt you were wrong. I should point that that I have many friends who are going to vote for McCain, and I don’t believe them to be ignorant, naïve, arrogant, or even evil. We just have a difference of opinion.

It really is sad the campaign that McCain has ran. It’s quite possible that if he had picked a campaign manager other than Steve Schmidt, chosen a VP candidate other than Plain, and stayed true to himself and not allowed himself to get involved in such dirty politics, he might have won. I’m not saying I would have voted for him, but he probably would have done much better than he currently is doing. I wish your candidate well, and we’ll see what he decides to do in these final two and a half weeks.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I'm Just So Proud To Be A Californian Tonight

So this was the ad that appeared on the official website of the Sacramento County Republican Party. Here's the article in the Sacramento Bee. And the McCain campaign says they want to focus on the issues. I guess the local Republican organizations didn't get the memo. It would be one thing if this was just some local guy at the swap meet selling t-shirts trying to make a buck, but there things are being done by official Republican organizations. I guess advocating torturing a presidential candidate is as American as apple pie.

Obama Bucks

This is in the latest newsletter put out by the Chaffey Community Republican Women Federated, a group that operates right here in my own county. The group's president said "she doesn't think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president. " She went on to explain:
"I didn't see it the way that it's being taken. I never connected," she said. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else." So she chose watermelon, fried chicken, ribs, and Kool-Aid just out of thin air? See, that's what I can't stand. If you're going to be racist, be racist, and when you're called on it, proudly say you don't give a damn because that's exactly how you feel about those people. I can respect that kind of honesty. But cowards who backtrack when they're called on it shouldn't be running the country, let alone the local Republican women's club. You can find the article here, in my hometown paper.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where Did Obama Launch His Political Career?

During the debate, there was the following exchange:
"You launched your political campaign in Mr. Ayers' living room," McCain responded.
"That is absolutely not true," Obama retorted.

I've been following the whole Ayers thing, and especially where Obama launched his campaign, because it seems so silly to me to make an assertion you can't possibly know is true. McCain and his campaign constantly throw this "fact" out, but have never once tried to back it up. Do they have Obama's diary where it says "On this date, I launched my campaign at Ayers' house?" Do they have his calendar where it shows that day was the first day ever that Obama talked about a political career? Look, Obama has said he had a meet and greet coffee meeting at Ayers' house. If McCain would stick with that, I would have no problem with it. That is factual. But to exaggerate the story to score cheap political points, that's not straight talk.

By the way, I have tried to figure out when and how Obama launched his political career. This article from the Chicago Sun-Times seems to be the best I can do. They provide a sketchy timeline, but nonetheless, it doesn't appear that Obama's political career was launched in Ayers' front room.

McCain=The Penguin?

This is kind of petty, but kind of funny. This is of course from the old Batman show. But seriously, how much does McCain remind you of the Penguin?

McCain Supporters on Obama

This is a bit lazy on my part, but this short video does a better job visually explaining some of the hatred of McCain supporters than I can in words. I especially like when Palin says it's not negativity but truthfulness. Unfortunately, the McCain is reaping what it has sowed, and it's a bit sad that McCain is not doing the honorable thing and owning up to it.

Get Well Mrs. Reagan

I know that it might be difficult to believe due to the tenor of this election cycle, but at the end of the day, we are all Americans. Reports are coming in that former First Lady Nancy Reagan is in the hospital, most likely with a broken pelvis. Politics aside, I wish her and her family the best during these trying times, and may she recover quickly and completely.
Peace and all good.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What Makes America Special?

What? What kind of event is this? Is it a rally co-sponsored by ACORN? And whose the keynote speaker? Is it really McCain?

Yep, McCain was a keynote speaker at a rally sponsored by a group that he is now trying to paint as evil. And did you hear some of the groups mentioned? Those are community organizing groups, the ones that McCain says in the video makes America special. His campaign now mocks those groups and tries to paint them as terrorists and lawbreakers. By the way, the video is only from 2006. Guess a lot has changed in two years, like now he has to pander to the extreme right of his party.

What? They're On My Side?

I guess Palin is just used to people protesting her. She couldn't believe that people would actually want to hear her talk. The guy at the end, by the way, tells her to speak louder, that they just can't hear her. It doesn't seem to register though.

Going To Disney World Beats a McCain Rally

No big surprise there, right? I'm guessing most of the readers of my blog probably believe that. However, the person who chose to go to Disney World over attending a rally in his own states was the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist. This was a guy who campaigned heavily for McCain in the primaries. What did Crist, who many believe may have been on the short list for VP, have to say about helping out McCain:

''When I have time to help, I'll try to do that."

Sheesh, with friends like that............................................

McCain and Hussein

One would have never thought it, but it appears that the man who was chosen to be McCain's transition chief should McCain be elected on November 4 appears to have ties to Saddam Hussein. William Timmons and two other lobbyists appear to have tried to influence the international sanctions against Iraq to be dropped, and could have made $45 million if all had went as planned. The other two lobbyists were found guilty on Federal charges of being unregistered agents of Iraq. You can read the rest of the story here.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Is This Guy Threatening God?

For full disclosure, I consider myself a Christian. Probably not the best one in the world, and probably not the most orthodox one, but a Christian nonetheless. This video is offensive on so many levels. First, he's basically threatening God. Second, he's a bigot. Third, to believe that every non-Christian in the world is praying for Obama to win is asinine. Fourth, to believe that God somehow wants McCain to win, or that we know it's in God 's best interest that he win, is even more asinine. It's crap like this that prevented me from being a Christian for so many years, and if I didn't believe he represents a perversion of Christianity as much as Al Qaeda represents a perversion of Islam, I'd probably give it all up. I'll be completely honest and tell you I don't have a clue who God wants to be elected. But to use God's name in the way that this preacher has used it is a violation of the third commandment. I'm not saying I expect him to understand it, it's just something good to know.

They Really Are Mavericks

According to this article from Washington Monthly, the McCain/Palin ticket will be the first major party presidential campaign in all of US history to have both candidates been found guilty of violating ethic standards before the election. I guess if you know what corruption is first hand, you're better able to deal it with as president. At least that's the spin I would put on it if I were McCain and Palin.

Three Wise Men

You may remember the Saddleback Civil Forum, where Obama and McCain each had the opportunity to chat it up with Rick Warren. In case you're interested in reading, here's the transcript from that night. One of the questions asked that night of each candidate was to name the three wisest people in their lives. McCain answered that they were Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, Rep. John Lewis and Meg Whitman.

I thought you might be interested in what one of McCain's admittedly wisest people in his life had to say this past week.

"As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better."

As you may know, I don't often agree with McCain. But I think he is right, John Lewis is a very wise man.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Palin Does Like Pork, If It's For Her Kitchen

This year the Juneau Christian Center got $25,000 for a new youth center from the Alaska state government. Not a lot of money I agree, but it's interesting to note that anti-pork Palin approved the money. It should be further noted that Palin wrote an official endorsement letter, on state letterhead, to the legislature asking them to approve the money as well.

However, a year before, Governor Palin vetoed the exact same request. Her reason for the veto? She claimed it was "not a state responsibility" to fund such a request. So what changed in only one year? What made her go from saying it was not a state responsibility to something that she personally needed to endorse on official letterhead? It seems she started attending the church and started citing the pastor as a spiritual mentor. Or perhaps she had a massive change in how she views the government's role in society. One of the two.

As for the kitchen, Palin approved over $600,000 of state money to be used to build a kitchen in a small town hockey arena. Where is the hockey arena located? You guessed it, Wasilla.

McCain's Military Record

As I have stated elsewhere, I have a strange relationship with the military. I was raised to respect the military. My grandfather was a Merchant Marine during WW2. My step-father was an infantryman in Vietnam. I myself was a combat medic in the army. I absolutely respect the men and women who serve, though I fully admit that I have great reservations about the way our military is being used. However I am not running for office based on my military record, McCain is. And it's surprising how little we know of it. Yes,we know he was a POW, but do we know he graduated in the bottom 1 percent of his class. Do we know how many planes he crashed? Rolling stone has a new article on him entitled Make-Believe Maverick. I encourage you to read it and get to know McCain a little better from his military days and later as a politician.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is McCain A Changed Man?

Usually when we ask that question, it means a good thing. It means someone has gone from being addicted to one vice or the other, and has changed their life around. Unfortunately, that's not true for McCain. While McCain once had the respect and admiration of a broad spectrum of Americans, that sadly is quickly disappearing. I know, who am I to make such a statement? I obviously don't like McCain and so I will do whatever I can to make sure he is not elected. But don't take it from me. Listen to what just three prominent conservatives have said:

"He is not the McCain I endorsed.He keeps saying, 'Who is Barack Obama?' I would ask the question, 'Who is John McCain?' because his campaign has become rather disappointing to me."

That's the former Republican Governor of Michigan, William Milliken.

"That's not my kind of Republicanism."

That's former Republican Senator, Lincoln Chafee.

And if I were to ask most students of political history who is most responsible for the modern conservative movement, the name you might hear the most often is William F. Buckley Jr. His son, Christopher Buckley inherited the same politics from his father. Christopher Buckly has known McCain for nearly three decades and even wrote a speech for him. So this is what Buckley said:

"John McCain has changed. He said, famously, apropos the Republican debacle post-1994, “We came to Washington to change it, and Washington changed us.” This campaign has changed John McCain. It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget “by the end of my first term.” Who, really, believes that? Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis. His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"

By the way, Buckley just endorsed Obama.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Radical Education Foundation

By now, most of you have probably seen the McCain ad trying to link Obama with Ayers. In, it, the ad claims that they ran a radical education foundation together. First, they didn't run a foundation, they ran a project called the Chicago Annenberg Project which had as its mission to improve schools in the Chicago area. And to say they ran it together seems a bit misleading as it implies that those two alone had all the power. In fact, Obama was one of 8 on the Board of Directors. Ayers was one of 23 that was a member of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative. That means they didn't even sit on the same board together as Ayers never sat on the Board of Directors for the project.

Since in the ad, we keep hearing about a foundation, which foundation are they talking about? Well, the foundation that supported the project was the Annenberg foundation. You can find out more about them by going to their website. It's a pretty cool website as they list what grants they have given out, so you can decide for yourself if they are a radical education foundation.

But here's the funny part. McCain released a press release of US Ambassadors who support McCain. Interesting. If we take a peek at them we see the name of one Lenore Annenberg. Hmmn, that names sounds familiar. Could she be the same Annenberg of the Annenberg Foundation. Take a look at her bio for yourself. She is the widow of Walter H. Annenberg, who started the foundation. And currently, according to the website, "She is president and chairman of the Annenberg Foundation, a charter member of the Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, and a founding member of the governing boards of the Annenberg Schools for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Southern California."

So let's get this straight. A group that Obama is associated with gets money from the Annenberg Foundation to improve Chicago schools, and that's bad. The President and Chairman of the exact same foundation, the one that McCain's ad called a radical education foundation, endorses McCain, and McCain includes her name in a press release, and it's a good thing. Let me make this a little clearer. If McCain is going to make the arguement that Obama was involved in a group with a domestic terrorist, then he should also be honest and say one of his supporters gives money to a group that includes a known domestic terrorist. So how abou it McCain, are you going to renounce Annenberg's support for you? You should probably also give her back the $2300 she gave for this election as well.

Palin Abused Power

I know this will be over all the place, and there's nothing really secret about it, but according to the news, "Sarah Palin unlawfully abused her power as governor by trying to have her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper." I am sure there will a lot of analysis and partisan bickering about what it all means. I just think it point's yet again to to McCain's judgement. He picked as his running mate someone who is willing to use political power to settle personal vendettas.

I also like how Palins attorney said "In order to violate the ethics law, there has to be some personal gain, usually financial. Mr. Branchflower has failed to identify any financial gain." Now I ain't no layer but I looked up the ALASKA EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS ACT on the Internet, and this is what it says:

The legislature reaffirms that each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.

It further states:
A public officer may not attempt to benefit a personal or financial interest through coercion of a subordinate or require another public officer to perform services for the private benefit of the public officer at any time.

Notice that it says "personal OR financial interest.' One can easily violate the law and not receive any financial gain from it. Palin should think about firing her attorney because if that's his argument, then he's a lawyer who can't even read the law.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

McCain and Death Squads

"Republican Sen. John McCain served on the advisory board to the U.S. chapter of an international group linked to ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America in the 1980s."

Juicy stuff, huh? Almost sounds so sensationalistic that I must be making it up right? Nope, it comes from an article from that reliably conservative magazine, Forbes. You see, McCain was on the advisory board for the U.S. Council for World Freedom. Sounds innocent enough, I agree. But as the article states, "The council created by retired Army Maj. Gen. John Singlaub was the U.S. chapter of the World Anti-Communist League, an international organization linked to former Nazi collaborators and ultra-right-wing death squads in Central America." Not so innocent after all.

But like those late night infomercials, wait, there's more. The Council ended up being a front group for arms being shipped to Nicaragua. Congress had cut off military assistance to the Contras, but Reagan didn't think he should have to play by the rules. So in came the Council so it didn't look like the government was involved. And where was the money coming from to buy these arms. Come on everybody, it's the Iran-Contra Scandal. We were selling weapons to our arch enemy Iran, the very same one that McCain thinks he now wants to bomb.

So McCain has associations with people involved with the three largest scandals in American politics for the last half century; The Iran-Contra Affair, The Keating Five and S&L Scandal, and Watergate. But let me throw in one little more tidbit of history. The journalist who broke the stories about the death squad killings associated with this group was a guy by the name of Jack Anderson. Sound familiar? It should to readers of my blog. It's the same Jack Anderson that G. Gordon Liddy admitted to in his autobiography of plotting to kill.