Archive for September, 2008


I Am SICK Of Palin’s Arrogant Trash-Talking…Back All that Sh$& Up With Facts and Evidence and Examples and Stop Running Your Mouth

Obama adviser David Axelrod says they expect a tough fight:

“I fully expect her to be ready for this debate, and I think there will be a great deal of interest in this. I think it will be a well-watched debate, so it’s going to be important… She’s very skilled and she’ll be well-prepared. I know she’s preparing this weekend. As you saw at the convention, she can be very good, so I think it would be foolish to assume that this going isn’t going to be a really challenging debate. We’re preparing for that, on that assumption.”

Biden’s spokesman tried to raise expectations even more, calling Palin “a leviathan of forensics.”

McCain strategist Nancy Pfotenhauer helped, saying that while Palin would win on “wits,” moderator Gwen Ifill shouldn’t ask her “trapdoor questions” or too much about foreign policy.

Palin herself, meanwhile, isn’t acting worried, the Washington Post reports:

“I’m looking forward to meeting him. I’ve never met him,” she said at a rally here. “I’ve been hearing about his Senate speeches since I was in, like, the second grade.”
She noted that Biden seems pretty confident about winning the debate.

“Then again,” she said, “this is the same Sen. Biden who said the other day that the University of Delaware would trounce the Ohio State Buckeyes.”

SEPT 28: CNN reports that Sarah Palin will go to McCain’s home near Sedona, Arizona for “debate camp” until Thursday night. An aide said McCain thought it would be an “invigorating and enjoyable place to prepare for Thursday.” Palin spent the past four days preparing in a Philadelphia hotel.

The AP explains that Biden and Palin will be questioned by Gwen Ifill, senior correspondent on PBS’ “The NewsHour” and moderator of “Washington Week.” Each candidate will have 90 seconds to respond to a question, followed by a two-minute discussion.


How Does THIS Sound?

“I think she has pretty thoroughly — and probably irretrievably — proven that she is not up to the job of being president of the United States,” David Frum, a former speechwriter for President Bush who is now a conservative columnist, said in an interview.


The Pressing Question No One is Asking…

Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address, famously declared that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”

Twenty-seven years later, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and seven-plus years into the reign of Bush and Cheney, Reagan’s anti-government battle cry should be on trial. But, stunningly, it is not.

This needs to change. The presidential candidates’ view of the role of government should be one of the central questions of the last 36 days of the campaign. And it should definitely be a question they are asked at their next debate:

“Sen. McCain, given the part deregulation played in the current economic crisis and your support of a massive government bailout of the financial industry, are you now ready to break with Ronald Reagan’s assessment?”

And, to be even handed: “Sen. Obama, in 1996, Bill Clinton cheerfully announced that ‘the era of big government is over.’ As the Dow plummets and Wall Street and Main Street turn to Washington for big government bailouts, are you now ready to break with President Clinton’s assessment?”

The shift in my own thinking on the role of government was what led to my disillusionment with the Republican Party, and the transformation in my political views. I’ve always been progressive on social issues: pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights — even when I was a Republican. The big difference is that I once believed the private sector would address America’s social problems. But the hope that people would roll up their sleeves and solve this country’s social ills without the help of government was never fully realized. There were never enough volunteers or donations — and the problems were just too massive and intractable to tackle without the raw power of appropriations that only government can provide.

Our economy is not the only thing that is crumbling. So is the philosophical foundation of the modern Republican Party — also known as the Leave Us Alone Coalition, led by its spiritual guru, Grover Norquist. His dream of making government so small “we can drown it in a bathtub” has been embraced by the GOP mainstream.

Indeed, during his 2003 inauguration, Jeb Bush stood in front of Florida’s capitol building and said: “there would be no greater tribute to our maturity as a society than if we can make these buildings around us empty of workers; silent monuments to the time when government played a larger role than it deserved or could adequately fill.”

I sadly suspect that Jeb and Grover and their Republican compatriots have not yet updated their views of government — they have not yet made the connection between demonizing government and looking to it to save the day.

The financial meltdown has put the Grand Old Party’s schizophrenia on full display. But why are so many in the media, the Democratic Party, and the Obama campaign averting their eyes from the spectacle of a party that wants to drown government until they need it to bail out Wall Street or AIG — that wants to vanquish government workers, unless they are listening in on our phone conversations or working hard rolling back government regulations?

It’s like the story, probably apocryphal, of the agitated — and obviously confused — senior citizen imploring a GOP politician not to “let the government get its hands on Medicare.”

With the madness of this contradictory mindset exposed, voters will have a chance to decide if they agree with Norquist and Jeb and W and Cheney and the Republican Messiah himself, Ronald Reagan and, yes, with John McCain. And even Cindy McCain who, in her otherwise bland convention speech, called for “the Federal government” to “get itself under control and out of our way.”

A staggering 83 percent of Americans believe that we are heading in the wrong direction. And, I’m sorry, Sen. McCain, I don’t think it’s because of too many earmarks or because $3 million was spent in 2003 to study bear DNA in Montana.

Size matters in some things, but when it comes to government, it’s not the size of the government, it’s the way it is utilized.

“Big government” didn’t get us into Iraq. It didn’t spy on Americans or open black op rendition facilities all over the world. “Big government” didn’t create Guantanamo or okay the use of torture. “Big government” didn’t leave the residents of New Orleans to suffer in the wake of Katrina. “Big government” didn’t cause the financial industry to run off the rails. Indeed, the free market is what created all the new, risky ways for banks to game the system and, eventually, implode — then come calling on “big government” to ride to the rescue.

So let’s hear what McCain and Obama think the fundamental role of government should be. I can think of no better way to underline the massive gulf between the two candidates — and the two parties they represent — at the very moment when McCain is so desperately trying to blur the differences (see his recent shopping spree at the second-hand populism store: “Big discounts on ‘fat cats’ and ‘Wall Street greed’!”)

Stanford professor Lawrence Lessig says that if Americans recognize that the financial crisis — and the need for a government bailout — is due to “policies McCain still promotes… this could well be the event that effected a generational shift in governmental attitudes. Think Hoover vs. (the eventual) FDR.”

But if we want to make sure that Americans make that connection, we need to put the question of the role of government front and center in the campaign. Economic policy and foreign policy and domestic policy are all important areas of debate. But before we continue looking at the (falling) trees, let’s take a step back and consider the forest.

-Arianna Huffington


Palin Can’t Name Any Supreme Court Cases Other Than Roe v. Wade

Let’s get together and help Sarah Palin out, shall we? We all went to high school, learned a little bit of American History…let’s put our heads together and think of some landmark cases off the top of our heads that might have had some impact in how we work things in the good ole’ US of A. I’m an attorney by trade, so I guess it’s unfair, but I’m not running for VP, so I guess Palin and I are even. I’ll go off the top of my head, you fill in the blanks that I forget with posted comments.

  • Marbury v. Madison – kinda decided for us what the power of the judicial branch of government was. The first landmark case of many led by the Marshall court.
  • McCulloch v. Maryland – oh the whole state reserved powers v. federal enumerated powers thing
  • Dred Scott v. I forget – slaves ain’t citizens and Congress can’t tell the states to free the slaves. Abe Lincoln isn’t happy with the decision
  • Plessy v. Ferguson – Separate but equal.
  • Brown v. Board of Education – Separate but equal overturned. Just equal….kinda.
  • Gideon v. Wainwright – if you cannot afford counsel, one will be appointed for you without cost
  • Miranda v. I forget – it’s only appropriate that Miranda followed Gideon – when cops arrest people, they gotta read them their rights; if cops perform an improper arrest, any information that they find out during the time the arrest is improper cannot be used in court against the accused
  • Roe v. Wade – ok she knew that one…I wonder if she could really articulate the findings of the Court though.
  • US v. Nixon – no Executive Privilege unless it’s a matter of national security
  • Regents v. I forget – Affirmative Action defined
  • Texas v. Johnson – flag burning case

I’m at a loss for any landmark cases over the past 20 years. But invite Gov. Palin to visit the blog and learn some U.S. history. It’s kinda important if she ever is in the position to, ya know, appoint PERMANENT members to the Supreme Court.

For cryin’ out loud people, can you just please stop the madness and send this woman and her “boss” packin’ on November 4? Thanks in advance.


Maureen Dowd Barred From McCain’s Campaign Plane

Howard Kurtz writes today that, in advance of this week’s vice-presidential debate, “some journalists say privately they are censoring their comments about Palin to avoid looking like they’re piling on” the beleaguered McCain soul/running-mate, whose interviews last week with Katie Couric more-or-less oscillated between “crash” and “burn.” But what gives with the journalistic self-censorship? Kurtz is probably referencing the conversation from this past week’s Reliable Sources, in which ABC News’ Jake Tapper suggested that the press is having a hard time cutting through the signal-to-noise ratio of the blogosphere:

KURTZ: Well, is this all just media whining, or does she have some responsibility? It’s not that we want to talk to her because we want to hang out with her. We want to ask questions that presumably the public want to ask of her.
TAPPER: Jessica was talking about the two lines of attack that you’re getting from Republican partisans and Democratic partisans — the press has been too mean to her, the press is not being tough enough on her. It’s possible that those are both correct.

But the difference is the press defined largely, as the McCain camp did early on, which is liberal blogs, tabloid media, “US” magazine. They were mean to her. They were inappropriate to her. But that’s not to say that the mainstream media was.

But I think that the McCain campaign has successfully taken all of the inappropriateness of that initial coverage of Palin and turned it around so that the media is now boxed in and can’t really push back to say, well, I don’t understand what she’s saying here, or I don’t understand, is this person actually prepared for this job?

Frankly, I don’t know what the point of having a press is if they cannot cut through the fog of conversation to offer a sincere assessment of Sarah Palin’s acumen. As Kurtz notes, it’s not a problem that conservative columnists have been having of late: “…pundits on the right are jumping ship. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough says Palin ‘just seems out of her league.’ National Review Editor Rich Lowry called her performance ‘dreadful.’ Dallas Morning News columnist Rod Dreher described the interview as a ‘train wreck.’ Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker urged Palin to quit the race, saying: ‘If BS were currency, Palin could bail out Wall Street herself.'” That said, we are talking about the same media that went hog-wild in dissecting the phrase, “lipstick on a pig.” That was a pile-on of undampened enthusiasm.

Actually, the larger bombshell about “censorship” comes earlier, and off-handedly, in Kurtz’s column, where he notes that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has apparently been “barred…from [McCain’s] plane” by the campaign.


Jack Cafferty

Jack Cafferty unloaded on Sarah Palin’s “disastrous” interview with Katie Couric Friday afternoon on CNN, telling Wolf Blitzer, “There’s a reason the McCain campaign keeps Governor Palin away from the press.”

After showing a clip of Palin stumbling over Couric’s question about the bailout and offering an answer connecting the bailout to healthcare, Cafferty asked, “Did you get that?”

He warned the viewers: “If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old’s heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn’t scare the hell out of you, it should.”

Later, Cafferty continued, calling the clip “one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen from someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country.”

Cafferty’s concerns were echoed by “a growing number of Republicans,” according to Politico’s Alexander Burns and David Paul Kuhn: A growing number of Republicans are expressing concern about Sarah Palin’s uneven — and sometimes downright awkward — performances in her limited media appearances.
Conservative columnists Kathleen Parker, a former Palin supporter, says the vice presidential nominee should step aside. Kathryn Jean Lopez, writing on the conservative National Review, says “that’s not a crazy suggestion” and that “something’s gotta change.”
Tony Fabrizio, a GOP strategist, says Palin’s recent CBS appearance isn’t disqualifying but is certainly alarming. “You can’t continue to have interviews like that and not take on water.”
“I have not been blown away by the interviews from her, but at the same time I haven’t come away from them thinking she doesn’t know s–t,” said Chris Lacivita, a GOP strategist. “But she ain’t Dick Cheney, nor Joe Biden and definitely not Hillary Clinton.”


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September 2008
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