Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reassessing Ronald Reagan's "Government Is The Problem" Declaration

Ronald Reagan, in his first inaugural address, famously declared that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Twenty-eight years later, in the midst of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Reagan's conservative anti-government philosophy of governance and his call for deregulation on all fronts must be critically reassessed. (Video - Speaker Nancy Pelosi 9/29 on the conservative anti-government approach to governance. This is the speech that so offended Republican House members that they felt compelled to voted against Pres. Bush's financial bailout.)
McCain has often quoted Reagan saying, "government is not the solution, it is the problem" and "I'm fundamentally a deregulator." Does McCain Still Agree with Reagan that Government is the Problem? The 2008 candidates' view of the role of government should be one of the central questions during the last few weeks of the campaign. This and other questions on their philosophy of governance should be put to the presidential and vice presidential candidates during their next debate:

"Senator McCain, given the part deregulation has played in the current economic crisis and your support of a massive government bailout of the financial industry, are you now ready to reassess your support of legislation that deregulated the banking system and financial industry?"

"Senator Obama, given the part deregulation played in the current economic crisis would you support eliminating the Enron-Loophole legislation and support restoring the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act, the 1968 Truth In Lending Act and other financial system regulatory legislation that John McCain has actively sought to eliminate during his time in Congress?"

Similarly, other candidates who will appear on Collin County ballots should be question whether they firmly accept or now question Pres. Reagan's anti-government and anti-regulation philosophy of governance. Conservatives like Republican incumbent for the U.S. 3rd Texas Congressional District, Sam Johnson, age 78, Republican incumbent for the U.S. 4th Texas Congressional District, Ralph Hall, age 85, and Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn have all joined Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, in an avid push to fully deregulate the American financial system and return it to a 1920s-era environment. Johnson, Hall and Cornyn should be asked if they are ready to reassess their votes to deregulate the banking system and financial industry or do they continue to favor yet more deregulation.

Rick Noriega, the Democratic Candidate running for the U.S. Senate seat to replace incumbent John Cornyn, Tom Daley, the Democratic Candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives 3rd Congressional District seat to replace incumbent Sam Johnson, and Glenn Melançon the Democratic Candidate running for the U.S. House of Representatives 4th Congressional District seat to replace incumbent Ralph Moody Hall each state in their campaign literature that they believe Republican deregulation has gone too far and some regulatory oversight should be restored.

Related postings:
McCain Advocates Deregulating Health Care
Republicans Spending Borrowed Money Worse Than Drunken Sailors
Obama's Economic Blueprint for Change
Joe Biden On The Economy
Republican Deregulation To Cost Taxpayers $1.5 Trillion
A New "New Deal" For America
A Republican Legacy To America

Monday, September 29, 2008

Rick Noriega Wins ActBlue's Blue America Contest

Rick Noriega, the Democratic nominee to replace Bush enabler John Cornyn for the U.S. Senate seat for Texas, this weekend won the Blue America Senate contest with 947 donors who contributed $20,500.

On Sunday I attended the "Vote Democratic to Fix Our Future" dinner hosted by the Texas Democratic Women of Collin County where Col. Noriega was one of the speakers. In his remarks about the financial mess George Bush, John McCain the Republican Party have given American taxpayers Noriega said, “I am outraged that taxpayers are having to foot the $700 billion bill to clean up the mess made by greedy Wall Street investors and mortgage lenders. This is what happens when John Cornyn takes nearly $1.5 million from the perpetrators of the crisis, spends six years championing an anything goes culture on Wall Street, and abdicates his duty to protect Texans from Wall Street greed. Cornyn’s special interest record is something Texans have come to expect but can no longer afford."

John Cornyn has new campaign ad out where he says, "No one is happy with the way things are being done in Washington" and America needs real change. Senator Cornyn is right, we do need real change - Texans need to change the political leaders who have taken America down the wrong road for the last eight years.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Cafferty: If Palin "Doesn't Scare The Hell Out Of You, It Should"

"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," CNN's Jack Cafferty said.

National Review's Kathleen Parker writes that the hockey mom / Governor Palin actually might not be ready to be a heartbeat from the presidency.
Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.
In her column on the conservative magazine's Web site Friday, Parker notes Palin's life story sets her apart from traditional feminists, but she realizes that those superficialities alone aren't enough to prepare her for the White House. Unfortunately, as Palin's recent appearances reveal, she doesn't have much else to offer.

Indeed, no presidential nominee of either party in the last century has seemed so willing to endanger the country's security as McCain in his reckless choice of such an unqualified running mate. McCain is 72 years old; has had four melanomas, a particularly voracious form of cancer; and he refuses to release his complete medical records.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bush Risks Wrath of Main Street To Save Banks

The Independent UK
Friday, 26 September 2008
A fictional scenario of financial collapse could not improve on the perfect storm that is battering the US economy. The crisis has been a decade or more in the making, but the hurricane has struck with its full fury at the worst imaginable moment.

The least trusted and most unpopular president in the country's modern history is serving his final months, his credibility and moral authority close to zero as he tackles a disaster partly, at least, of his own making. In the partisan heat of the campaign to replace him, politics cannot but intrude on the most sober judgment.

Proof of that came last night when, after a bailout deal seemed close, Republican Congressmen rebelled – against a measure urged by a Republican president. Suspicions were rife that their resistance was largely aimed at giving cover to John McCain, who had rushed back to Washington only for an outline agreement to be reached without him.
Read the rest of the story

Votes Are Lost As Homes Are Lost In Foreclosure

As homes are lost in U.S., fears that votes will be, too
International Herald Tribune
By Ian Urbina
September 25, 2008
More than a million people have lost their homes through foreclosure in the last two years, and many of them are still registered to vote at the address of the home they lost. Now election officials and voting rights groups are struggling to prevent thousands of them from losing their vote when they go to the polls in November.

Many of these voters will be disqualified at the polls because, in the tumult of their foreclosure, they neglected to tell their election board of their new address. Some could be forced to vote with a provisional ballot or challenged by partisan poll watchers, a particular concern among Democrats who fear that low-income voters will be singled out. That could add confusion and stretch out lines that are already expected to be long because of unprecedented turnout.

Federal election officials say they are concerned that voters are not being properly informed of how to update their addresses.

"Our biggest concern is that many of these voters will stay home or that poll workers will give misinformation," said Rosemary Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the federal Election Assistance Commission, which oversees voting.

Todd Haupt, a home builder, lost his home in Josephville, Missouri, to foreclosure last year, and said he had since become much more interested in politics. But asked whether he had remembered to update his voter registration information when he moved into his parents' home in St. Charles, Missouri, Haupt, 33, paused silently. "Is that required?" he said. "I had no idea."
Read the full story

Bush Administration’s Fuzzy Bailout Proposal

Peter Orszag, the Congressional Budget Office director, tells Congress that the proposed $700 billion bailout may worsen the current financial crisis. Orszag says, “. . . intervention on a massive scale is not without risks to taxpayers and to the economy. Almost by definition, the intervention cannot solve insolvency problems without shifting costs to the taxpayers. Ironically, the intervention could even trigger additional failures of large institutions, because some institutions may be carrying troubled [junk] assets on their books at inflated values. Establishing clearer prices [through the proposed bailout process] might reveal those institutions to be insolvent.”

Forbes writes that the Bush administration’s bailout proposal was thrown together in a rush without thinking it through:
The more Congress examines the Bush administration's bailout plan, the hazier its outcome gets. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing Tuesday, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle complained of being rushed to pass legislation.

"The secretary and the administration need to know that what they have sent to us is not acceptable," says Committee Chairman Chris Dodd, D-Conn. The committee's top Republican, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby, says he's concerned about its cost and whether it will even work.

In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.

“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.

Barack's Press Conference

In this time of economic crisis, Barack approached John McCain to suggest a joint statement of principles to guide a recovery plan. McCain then announced he would suspend his campaign and requested a postponement of Friday’s debate. In his press conference, Barack made it clear that a debate is needed now more than ever. Watch the video

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Washington Helped Drag Europe into the Credit Crisis

Spiegel Online

Response to Washington's multi-billion dollar Wall Street bailout has involved a lot of skeptical grumbling in Germany and the UK. German Chancellor Angela Merkel says the Bush administration has mishandled Wall Street, and that its refusal to adopt stricter rules led to the current crisis.

The United States government is campaigning around the world for support for its multi-billion dollar Wall Street rescue package. The reaction has been skeptical at best -- and in Europe the plan has been met with bare-knuckled criticism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has accused the US government of serious failures which she believes contributed to the current credit crisis. In particular she blamed Washington for resisting stricter regulation.

On Monday she also said the crisis could hurt the German economy. "The whole thing is going to set the pace for the economy in the coming months and perhaps years," Merkel said at a meeting of her party, the conservative Christian Democrats.

Read the full story

Americans Abroad Rushing to Fill Out Ballots

Spiegel Online
By Ira Porter in Berlin

In countries outside the US, teams of volunteers and organizers are working long hours to make sure Americans living abroad can vote if they want to. The traditionally low number of overseas voters may skyrocket this year. There are no reliable statistics for the number of expatriated Americans hoping to participate in this November's election. An estimated 5 to 7 million Americans live abroad, including military personnel.

Observers have noticed a change in sentiment. Jody Couser, a spokeswoman for the registration group Democrats Abroad, said, "We don't have exact statistics, but I can tell you we're signing up thousands of people every week."

Read the full story

Democrats Widen Lead In Battle For Congress

In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Tuesday Sept. 23, 56 percent of those questioned are backing the Democratic candidate for Congress, while 42 percent support the Republicans. The "generic ballot" question asked voters to choose between an unnamed Democratic candidate versus an unnamed Republican in the House race in their district. The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was taken Friday through sunday, with 1,020 adult Americans questioned by telephone.

Related post: Democratic Candidates Showing Strength In Southern States

Early Voting Already Underway In Some States

Voters in eleven states began early voting on Monday in an election cycle that's expected to set records this year. During the next few weeks, at least 34 states and the District of Columbia will allow early in-person voting for the November 4th general election. Early voting in Texas begins on October 20 at 7:00 AM runs through 7:00 PM October 31.

After a 2008 primary season marked by record-shattering voter turnout, election officials across the country are bracing for what might be a General Election season like no other. During the 2008 Democratic Primary more people voted in the Democratic Primary Ballot in Collin County than voted for John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election. More than 20,000 people attended the Democratic Party's 2008 Precinct Conventions on March 4th all across Collin County and approximately 4,000 people attended the Democratic Party's 2008 County Convention in Collin County. These are all historic record turnouts for the Democratic Party in Collin County.

Many state and local election officials across the U.S. expect turnout for the 2008 election to exceed that of 2004, when national voter turnout hit 61 percent — which was the highest level since 1968, according to the Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Collin County voter turnout actually reached 67 percent of registered voters in the November 2004 presidential election. Arizona Secretary of State Jan Brewer says, “November could see the highest turnout of my lifetime, turnout could be up to as much as 80 percent.” Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner also says, "As many as 80 percent of Ohio's registered voters could turn out on Election Day."

Experts such as Paul Gronke of the Early Voting Information Center predict nearly a third of the national electorate will vote early this year, up from 15% in 2000 and 20% in 2004. In closely contested Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, over 40 percent of the voters are expected to cast ballots during the early voting period. Early voting has been historically popular in Collin County with 25% of registered voters voting early in the 2000 presidential election and almost 42% of registered voters voting early in the 2004 presidential election.

According to data posted on the Texas Secretary of State and Collin County Elections Office websites approximately 20,000 new voters registered to vote in Collin County between March 2008 and September 2, 2008 boosting the total number of registered voters to 403,465. Voter registration drives are scheduled to continue across the county until the October 6th registration cutoff date, so the number of voters registered in the county will most likely grow from the 403,465 number. The record 2008 primary turnout combined with the high rate of new voter registrations suggests that general election voter turnout in Collin County will meet and likely exceed voter turnout in the 2004 election.

Applying voter turnout percentages from the November 2004 election to the 2008 voter registration data yields an estimation of the possible 2008 voter turnout numbers.

Lets say that 405,500 people will ultimately register to vote for this election and that 42 percent of the registered voters will vote early and 69 percent of registered voters will ultimately turn out to vote in this election. This yields a total turnout of 279,450 voters with 170,100 people voting early between October 20 and October 31. That suggests that only 109,350 will wait to vote on Election Day November 4th.

Given the very high interest in this election, the numbers might be higher all around, so lets look at another possible turnout scenario. Lets say that 410,000 people will ultimately register to vote for this election and that 47 percent of the registered voters will vote early and 80 percent of registered voters will ultimately turn out to vote in this election. This yields a total turnout of 328,000 voters with 192,700 people voting early between October 20 and October 31. That suggests that 135,300 will wait to vote on Election Day November 4th.

Using either set of possible voter turnout numbers election workers will be very busy every day of Early Voting and on Election Day too. Please help out the election workers and be sure to take your Voter Registration Card with you when you go to vote this years.

Date Total
Early Votes
% 0f All
Reg Voters
% of Total
Reg Voters
Nov-00 300,426 73.1% 128,179 24.4% 42,884 177,673 75,244 25% 59%
Nov-04 369,412 71.2% 174,435 28.1% 68,935 246,617 150,001 42% 67%
Nov-06 381,821 n/a n/a n/a n/a 138,686 61,613 16% 36%
Mar-08 380,570 41% 51,556 59% 72,518 124,614 59,033 16% 33%
Sep-08 403,465 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Nov-08 405,000* - - - - 279,450* 170,100* 42%* 69%*
Nov-08 410,000* - - - - 328,000* 192,700* 47%* 80%*
* - Projected Estimation prepared by blog author - non-official

Obama Has Clear Lead Over McCain in National Poll

Economic Fears Give Obama Clear Lead Over McCain in Poll
By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 24, 2008; A01
Among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll. Overall, most supporters of each presidential candidate said they are enthusiastic about their choice, but 62 percent of Obama supporters said they are "very enthusiastic," compared with 34 percent of McCain's supporters.

More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support.

Fully 50 percent called the economy and jobs the single most important issue that will determine their vote, up from 37 percent two weeks ago. Just over half of the poll respondents -- 52 percent -- believe the economy has moved into a serious long-term decline. Eight in 10 are concerned about the overall direction of the economy, nearly three-quarters worry about the shocks to the stock market, and six in 10 are apprehensive about their own family finances.

Much of the movement has come among college-educated whites. Whites without college degrees favor McCain by 17 points, while those with college degrees support Obama by 9 points. No Democrat has carried white, college-educated voters in presidential elections dating back to 1980, but they were a key part of Obama's coalition in the primaries.
Read the rest of the story

Note: The education level of Collin County's 2006 workforce was almost double (47 percent) Texas and U.S. averages, with almost half of those age 25 and older possessing bachelors or advanced degrees. (The Washington Post-ABC News national poll found that whites with college degrees favor Obama by 9 points.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain Campaign Demands Reporters Stop Calling Them Liars.

McCain camp criticism rife with errors
By BEN SMITH | 9/22/08 3:58 PM EDT

Sen. John McCain’s top campaign aides convened a conference call today to complain of being called “liars.” But the call was so rife with simple, often inexplicable misstatements of fact that it may have had the opposite effect: to deepen the perception, dangerous to McCain, that he and his aides have little regard for factual accuracy.

Read the full story

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Little Inspiration

There are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.

Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America; there's the United States of America.

There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

We coach little league in the blue states and, yes, we've got some gay friends in the red states.

There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq, and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.

In the end, that's what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism, or do we participate in a politics of hope?"

Undecideds Don't Like McCain's Palin Pick

One Thought Pushes Fence-Sitters To The Left: Palin
St. Petersburg Times
Saturday, September 20, 2008
By Adam C. Smith
ST. PETERSBURG — Five weeks ago, the St. Petersburg Times convened a group of Tampa Bay voters who were undecided about the presidential election. Their strong distrust of Barack Obama suggested it was a group ripe for John McCain to win over.

Not anymore. The group has swung dramatically, if unenthusiastically, toward Democrat Obama. Most of them this week cited the same reason: Sarah Palin.

"The one thing that frightens me more than anything else are the ideologues. We've seen too many," said 80-year-old Air Force veteran Donn Spegal, a lifelong Republican from St. Petersburg, who sees McCain's new running mate as the kind of "wedge issue" social conservative that has made him disenchanted with his party.

"I'm truly offended by Palin,'' said Republican Philinia Lehr, 37, of Largo, a full-time mother with a nursing degree who voted for George Bush in 2004. Like Palin, she has five children and she doesn't buy that the Alaska governor can adequately balance her family and the vice presidency.

"You're somebody's mom and what are you going to do, say, 'Excuse me, country, hold on?' … She's preaching that she's this mom of the year and taking that poor little baby all over everywhere. And, you know, what she's doing to her 17-year-old daughter is just appalling.'' Lehr said she's bothered by the way Palin's pregnant daughter has been brought into the national spotlight.

Of the 11 undecided voters participating in the discussion one recent evening at the Times — four Republicans, five Democrats, and two registered to no party — only two Republican men applauded the selection of Palin.
Read the full article

FYI, Gallup Daily Tracking Poll for 20Sep08: Obama 50%, McCain 44% - Obama has held a margin over McCain in each of the prior four daily reports.

SNL's McCain Skit

High-Tech IT To Find And Contact Potential Voters

Ground War: Obama And The Long March
By Thomas B. Edsall
The adoption of new, high-tech information technologies to locate and contact potential voters began in earnest in 2001 under the guidance of TargetPoint Consulting president Alex Gage, the Republican operative who earned a substantial share of the credit for the highly successful 2004 Bush-GOP microtargeting-GOTV drive.

Gage, whose firm continues to work for the Republican National Committee, said his impression is that the Democrats have made giant steps in the technology of voter contacts, and are well positioned to capitalize on the support Obama has generated.

Ken Strasma, president and founder of Strategic Telemetry, is performing microtargeting GOTV for the Obama campaign. He argues that, in some cases, the predictive accuracy of his firm's modeling of voter profiles is in the 99+ percent range.

In the aftermath of the 2004 Republican victory, both the Democratic National Committee and Catalist, a company created by Democratic operatives Harold Ickes and Laura Quinn, began parallel voter list development programs. Strasma has used data from both the DNC and Catalist.

Each category of voter as broken down by Strasma requires different methods of contact. Within the broad category of those committed to vote for Obama are both those who can be trusted to go to cast ballots November 4 with little or no encouragement, and those who are not reliable -- who will have to be pushed, prodded, and possibly driven to the polls. The undecided, in turn, fall into a host of categories, ranging from those with specific issue agendas to be addressed (taxes, Social Security, health care) to those wondering if they can bring themselves to vote for an African American.
Read the full article

More Americans, 66%, Think Obama, Not McCain, Shares Their Values

A Closer Look at the NY Times/CBS News Poll - by Brad Jacobson of MediaBloodhound - The Truth on Independents, Moderates, White Women, Palin's Unfavorable Rating and More That the Corporate Media Hasn't Seen Fit to Cover...

Thursday's New York Times/CBS News poll paints the bleakest picture yet for the McCain/Palin ticket. The percentage of Americans who disapprove of the way Mr. Bush is conducting his job, 68 percent, was as high as it has been for any sitting president in the history of New York Times polling. And 81 percent said the country was heading in the wrong direction. Plus, more Americans, 66%, Think Obama, Not McCain, Shares Their Values.

The poll found that 46 percent of voters thought Mr. McCain would continue Mr. Bush’s policies, while 22 percent said he would be more conservative than Mr. Bush.

57 percent of all voters said they viewed him as a typical Republican, compared with 40 percent who said he was a different kind of Republican.

Although nearly half of voters also described Mr. Obama as a typical Democrat, the party’s brand is not diminished as is the Republicans’; the Democratic Party had a favorability rating of 50 percent in August, compared with 37 percent for the Republicans, a fairly consistent trend in the Times/CBS News Poll since 2006, and part of the general political landscape that many analysts believe favors the Democrats.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Yes, Republicans Can Like Obama Too

Yes, Republicans Can
Mother Jones
September/October 2008 Issue

At the grassroots, the "Republicans for Obama" movement has been growing for a while.

According to Steve Robin, a land-use attorney in Leesburg, VA, who describes himself as an independent, his conservative friends have been surprisingly open to Obama's candidacy, in large part due to the senator's "distinctive personality" and "the strength of his charisma." "Dyed-in-the-wool Republicans are saying Obama is not that awfully bad," he says.

In late June, Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, told reporters that he expects to put significant effort (read: money) into the fight for states like Virginia, noting that if Obama wins Iowa in addition to the states won by John Kerry in 2004 he could reach the White House by bagging just a couple more medium-size swing states. And, Plouffe added, in purple states like Virginia the campaign will be relying on Republican and independent Obama enthusiasts to proselytize to friends and relatives as part of a "persuasion army."

Read the Full Article

Obama's Economic Blueprint for Change

Joe Biden On The Economy

Notice the CBS News interviewer push Republican/McCain negative talking points against Senator Obama in the way she phrases her questions in the following interview. Biden pushes back hard!

Notice NBC Today host Meredith Vieira push Republican/McCain negative talking points against Senator Obama in the way she also phrases her questions in the following interview. Biden pushes back hard on Vieira's questions too!

Biden: McCain pedling 'Republican garbage'

Clinton Unveils Obama GOTV Effort

"Today I am asking all of you to stand up with me, to hit the road and spread the word that we must elect Barack Obama president and send a Democratic, filibuster-proof majority to Congress," Clinton told supporters in a conference call Friday.

"This is a call to action, a must-do. We all have a role. And there is not a moment to lose." Clinton said the outreach "continues the historic journey that you have made with me."
Photo of Clinton at a rally for Obama event in Ohio on Sept 16th.
Read more at HuffingtonPost.com

Many Democratic groups and organizations in Collin County are actively working Voter Registration and Get Out The Vote activities today. All of these campaign groups and political organizations need volunteers. Please answer Hillary's call to form a large army of Democratic volunteers to help Get Out The Vote! Call one of these groups today to volunteer:
Note: The boundaries of the 3rd Texas Congressional District and the 4th Texas Congressional District meet in Collin County. Your U.S. House of Representatives TX Congressional District Number can be found on your 2008 Orange Voter's Registration Card within the box titled "Congress."

Please vote early this year - you'll be glad you did. The first day of early voting is Monday October 20th.

McCain Describing His Own Behavior In Atack On Obama

A former Fannie Mae executive has written to The New York Times in an effort to escalate Democrats' pushback to a McCain campaign ad accusing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) of guilt by association with former officials of the mortgage giant. The McCain ad, called "Advice," says: "Fannie Mae collapsed. Taxpayers? Stuck with the bill. Barack Obama. Bad advice. Bad instincts. Not ready to lead."
The former executive's letter, not yet published, was provided to Politico.com:

To The Editor:

Yesterday, Senator John McCain released a television commercial attacking Barack Obama for allegedly receiving advice on the economy from former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines. From the stump, he has recently tried tying Senator Obama to Fannie Mae, as if there is some guilt in the association with Fannie Mae's former executives.

It is an interesting card for Senator McCain to play, given that his campaign manager, Rick Davis, was paid by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac several hundred thousand dollars early in this decade to head up an organization to lobby in their behalf called The Homeownership Alliance. ...

I worked in government relations for Fannie Mae for more than 20 years, leading the group for most of those years. When I see photographs of Sen. McCain's staff, it looks to me like the team of lobbyists who used to report to me. Senator McCain's attack on Senator Obama is a cheap shot, and hypocritical.


William Maloni
Fannie Mae Senior Vice President for Government and Industry Relations (1983-2004)

McCain Advocates Deregulating Health Care Like He Deregulated Wall Street

John McCain published an article titled, Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American, in the Sept./Oct. issue of Contingencies, the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries. In his article, McCain attempts to make his case for deregulating the health insurance industry by extolling the benefits of the last decade of deregulation in the banking sector. McCain advocates a fully unregulated market-based health care system just like the now collapsing deregulated market-based financial market system that he, Phil Gramm and other Conservative Republicans created. McCain writes:
Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.
In the last two days McCain has flip-flopped and is now talking like a market regulator while attempting to blame Obama for the financial system collapse brought on by McCain's own two decade long push to deregulate financial markets.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Contrast: Barack Obama vs. John McCain

Republicans Spending Borrowed Money Worse Than Drunken Sailors

The United States became a net debtor under Reagan and these debts have grown rapidly under Bush 41 and Bush 43. Only under Clinton was the debt rolled back.

New government estimates released mid-September 2008 forecast that the federal government will be in a deeper a $546 billion deficit hole in 2009. (October 7, 2008 update - With the cost of the Wall Street Bailout added to the deficit, the new 2009 deficit projection approaches $950 billion)

In January 2001, the month President Bush took control of America from President Clinton, the Congressional Budget Office released budget estimates for each of the next ten years (2002-2011).

As Clinton left office the CBO predicted that the 2009 budget would show a $710 billion surplus. So the $546 billion deficit now predicted for 2009 is actually $1.3 trillion worse than CBO predicted nearly eight years ago. $1 trillion worth of the deficit deteriation is directly due to actions by the White House and Congress since 2001 -- specifically, the tax cuts and spending increases they enacted. The new $500 billion-plus deficit numbers represent about 3.5 percent of the economy, which is the deficit measure seen as most relevant by economists.

The two main reasons why the 2009 budget will be so much worse than CBO had predicted in 2001 are Republican tax cuts and increases in military and other security-related spending.

Tax cuts alone account for 42 percent of the budgetary deterioration for 2009 that stems from policymakers' actions since 2001. Increases in military and other security programs account for another 39 percent. Combined, these two factors account for 82 percent of the budget decline that is due to policy actions.

The tax cuts -- the largest of which by far was the giant 2001 Bush tax cut -- will cost $295 billion in 2009 alone. While nearly all taxpayers will receive some tax cut, the distribution of the tax cut benefits is highly skewed. In 2009, a typical household in the $40,000-to-$50,000 income range will receive a "Bush" tax cut of about $950; households with incomes over $1 million will receive tax cuts averaging $135,000.

The Bush administration has mis-managed the federal budget situation to an alarming degree. Although they inherited a budget surplus, they have continually spent more then they have taken in. As a result, the US is issuing debt like its going out of style. Total debt outstanding has increased from $5.8 trillion in 2001 to the current total of $9.5 trillion.

As a result of this problem, the currency markets have sent the (Trade Weighted Exchange Indexed) dollar lower for six years straight. If you were wondering why commodities in general and oil specifically have bee rallying for some time, you can thank the cheap dollar as a primary cause. The dollar has gone from peak to trough from nearly $130 to its current level of $72.75 -- or a drop of 44%. As the dollar has dropped in price, the dollar cost of commodities like crude oil and gasoline have have spiked in price for American consumers . One of the primary reason traders are bidding up commodities like oil and gasoline is as an inflation hedge.

The Republican controlled congress -- increased discretionary spending from 649 billion in 2001 to 1.041 trillion in 2007.

In short, the Republicans went on a spending spree while at the same time cutting taxes. That is a recipe for disaster.

But there is another, deeper problem at work here. The figure that is being reported is a dishonest figure because it counts the social security surplus. Remember in 2000 when Al Gore was talking about a "social security lock box"? What he was saying is we should take all of the surplus money paid into social security and not spend it now. However, that is exactly what we are doing and have been doing for a very long time. As a result, the "unified" budget deficit -- the figure reported in the press -- is, well a lie. The correct way to look at the budget deficit is to see how much debt we are issuing. And that figure is far worse than what is being reported.

Here are the yearly amounts of total debt outstanding.

09/30/2007 $9,007,653,372,262.48
09/30/2006 $8,506,973,899,215.23
09/30/2005 $7,932,709,661,723.50
09/30/2004 $7,379,052,696,330.32
09/30/2003 $6,783,231,062,743.62
09/30/2002 $6,228,235,965,597.16
09/30/2001 $5,807,463,412,200.06
09/30/2000 $5,674,178,209,886.86

The current total is $9,668,844,788,980.66. (October 7, 2008 update - With the cost of the Wall Street Bailout added to the deficit, the new total deficit projection exceeds $13 trillion - with all the zeros that's $13,500,000,000,000)

The point of all this is clear: the US' budget is structurally running a deficit to the tune of $500 billion dollars a year for the last five years. This is far worse than is being reported in the press.

Sen. John McCain promises that, as president, he would "cut taxes," mostly for corporations and wealthy individuals. But McCain's economic plan could create deficits as deep as 5.7% of GDP by the end of a two term presidency -- the highest federal budget deficit in 25 years -- and would accumulate the biggest debt since the second World War, according to a new analysis by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. McCain's current fiscal plan would recklessly exacerbate the fiscal irresponsibility of the Bush Administration further by gutting revenues far below the average level of the past 25 years.

For the past 25 years, deficits have never been more severe than 5% of GDP, with surpluses as high as 2.4% of GDP in the year 2000. Under McCain, yearly deficits would increase sharply, beginning with $505 billion in FY2009 (3.4% of GDP) and skyrocket to $1.2 trillion (5.7% of GDP) by FY2017. In 2018 these deficits would reach 6% of GDP, tied with the largest deficits since WWII. McCain's "tax cut" plan would further weaken the the (Trade Weighted Exchange Indexed) dollar value causing the cost that Americans pay for gasoline to further to climb to $5, $6, $7 or more per gallon at the pump.

Obama's economic plan would at least reduce the budget deficit growth and possibly even begin to again reduce the budget deficit. This in turn could begin to strengthen the (Trade Weighted Exchange Indexed) dollar value which would in turn begin to reduce the $4 per gallon price of gasoline back to something under $3 per gallon.

Which is more important to you - McCain's lower taxes for corporations and the wealthy creating a weaker dollar, which leads to higher gasoline prices at the pump? OR, Obama's lower taxes for everyone who earns under $250,000 per year and higher taxes on the wealthy, which will create a stronger dollar and lower gasoline prices at the pump for everyone? It's up to you, the voter, to decide!

Republican Deregulation To Cost Taxpayers $1.5 Trillion in Wall Street Bailouts

CNBC says the bailouts have cost taxpayers over $900 billion, so far:
The U.S. Federal Reserve stepped in to rescue insurance giant American International Group from bankruptcy with an $85 billion loan on Tuesday, the latest in a series of bailouts and loans for the financial and housing sectors. The action brings the total tab for government rescues and special loan facilities this year to more than $900 billion.
  • $200 billion for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac...
  • $300 billion for the Federal Housing Administration to refinance failing mortgage[s]...
  • $4 billion in grants to local communities to help them buy and repair homes...
  • $85 billion loan for AIG...
  • At least $87 billion in repayments to JPMorgan Chase for providing financing to underpin trades with units of bankrupt investment bank Lehman Brothers...
  • $29 billion in financing for JPMorgan Chase's government-brokered buyout of Bear Stearns...
  • At least $200 billion of currently outstanding loans to banks issued through the Fed's Term Auction Facility...

The Newest Wall Street Bailout Plan announced yesterday to cost taxpayers an Additional Half Trillion Dollars:

Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson briefed Congressional leaders on plans to address the "illiquid assets" on U.S. financial institutions' balance sheets, possibly including the creation of a government facility to take on financial firms' bad debts.

The proposal to create a massive facility to buy mortgage-backed securities could cost as much as a half-trillion-dollars and would involve the purchase of both private-label and government-guaranteed mortgages, according to an administration official.

The plan would have two parts. The largest part would be the purchase of private-label (those underwritten by Wall Street) mortgages by some as-yet unnamed vehicle. Financing would occur through the sale of treasuries, the official said. That part of the plan would require congressional approval. The idea is to hold the securities to maturity. The average mortgage has a life of about 7 years.

A second part of the plan would involve the purchase by Treasury of additional government-backed (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) under a plan it announced several weeks ago to rescue the two government-sponsored entities. Back then, it said it would purchase $5 billion initially. The idea is to ramp up those purchases more quickly. It does not require approval by Congress. ...

CNBC first reported the creation of a Treasury plan, similar to the Resolution Trust Corp., that would take mortgage backed securities off the market. ...

A federal government plan could also involve FDIC-type protection for money market funds, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

It is the Republican Party's Hoover-like philosophy of no government regulation and the 1999 Financial Services Modernization banking system deregulation legislation written by McCain adviser Phil Gramm and pushed by McCain himself that helped pave the way for the 2008 financial system collapse. That deregulatory legislation allowed the very financial companies that have collapsed during 2008, to become mega-giant companies laden with self-destructing loans and investments.

Not only did McCain, and the Republican Party as a whole, push these destructive anti-regulation policies, Bush administration officials failed to step in to aggressively address the financial crisis’s first warning signs in 2007. Stephanie Pomboy, the founder of the economic consulting firm MacroMavens that has been forecasting the housing and credit crises, told Barron’s,

"We can’t resist pointing out had [President Bush's third U.S. Treasury Secretary, Henry "Hank"] Paulson and his bailout crew used their powers for ‘good’ from the get-go, they could have saved a lot of time, energy and, most importantly, money. Had they simply established a fund to buy up the surplus housing inventory, presently valued at just over $1 trillion, they could have stitched up this wound for less than they’ve spent layering Band-Aid after Band-Aid on top of it."

Alas, Paulson and the entire Bush Administration is stuck in the Republican "no government regulation" philosophical rut just like McCain, all of McCain's advisers and conservative legislators like Republican incumbent for the U.S. 3rd Texas Congressional District, Sam Johnson, age 78, Republican incumbent for the U.S. 4th Texas Congressional District, Ralph Hall, age 85, and Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn.

Even as Paulson told congressional leaders Thursday night, "that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally,” McCain said at a campaign stop, that the Federal Reserve needs to stop bailing out failed financial institutions and get back to "its core business of responsibly managing our money supply and inflation."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain’s Conservative "Hooverism"

Last Monday Sept 15th, one Wall Street bank, Lehman Brothers, filed for bankruptcy protection and another, Merrill Lynch, sought salvation by selling itself to Bank of America for $50 billion. Earlier this year, the government helped enable the sale of faltering investment bank Bear Stearns to J.P. Morgan Chase, and more recently took over mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Today, Wednesday Sept 17th, the Federal Reserve (rather the American taxpayer) bailed out the mega-giant American International Group Inc. insurance company with a two-year, $85 billion loan. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has a list of problem banks that numbers over 90. Since the California IndyMac Bank, which was declared insolvent in July, was not on the FDIC list a week before it collapsed, the number of "problem" banks might be greater than the FDIC currently understands.

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) continues to insist that the “fundamentals of our economy are strong.” As Eric Rauchway notes in the American Prospect, McCain’s response to this economic crisis is reminiscent of President Herbert Hoover’s “the fundamentals are strong” response to the Great Depression. On October 25, 1929, a day after what is now known as Black Thursday, President Hoover declared, "The fundamental business of the country, that is the production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis."

Financial system failures such as we are experiencing more and more frequently as 2008 progresses were supposed to have been prevented, or at least mitigated, by regulatory systems that the nation began to put in place after the banking system collapsed at the start of the Great Depression.

By 1932 after a decade of Republican laissez-faire government and unregulated "anything goes" excesses in the banking and securities and commodities trading systems, many banks at the time were badly wounded by their personal and financial ties to Wall Street. President Roosevelt and a wave of Democratic Senators and Congressmen won election in 1932 on the promise of a "New Deal" to clean up the economic mess left by the laissez-faire Republicans. The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act, and later the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act, mandated the separation of banks, insurance companies and securities firms.

Those and many other federal laws stabilized the banking, insurance and securities markets.

The Conservative "No Government Regulation Philosophy," that was the root cause of the 1929 Black Thursday crash, did not die out on Black Thursday 1929. Conservatives like President George W. Bush's grandfather Prescott Bush never forgave President Franklin Roosevelt for pushing the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and other financial reform acts through Congress during the 1930's New Deal Era. Conservatives like Republican incumbent for the U.S. 3rd Texas Congressional District, Sam Johnson, age 78, Republican incumbent for the U.S. 4th Texas Congressional District, Ralph Hall, age 85, Republican incumbent Senator John Cornyn and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain, age 72, have never stopped their push to return the American financial system to the unregulated "anything goes" era of the 1920's.

Through this election year we have heard Senator McCain repeat time and time again,"I’m always for less regulation. But I am aware of the view [of Democrats] that there is a need for government oversight. … But I am a fundamentally a deregulator. I’d like to see a lot of the government regulations eliminated." And so, most of the government regulation that fostered a secure and robust American financial system from 1933 to the 1980's has been dismantled by conservatives, including some conservative "blue dog" Democrats.

Ronald Reagan finally led the conservative "no government regulation" movement to power in 1980 proclaiming faith in free markets and mistrust of government. That conservative philosophy of "no government regulation" has dominated America for the past 28 years. Over these last 28 years conservatives have systematically dismantled the "New Deal" and returned the American financial system to its unregulated "anything goes" status of the 1920's.

Even after taxpayers had to rescue deregulated savings and loans, or S&Ls, with a $200 billion bailout in the late 1980s, the push to loosen regulation paused only briefly.

In 1999, President Clinton signed the Financial Services Modernization Act passed by a Conservative controlled Congress, which tore down Glass-Steagall's reforms by removing the walls separating banks, securities firms and insurers. McCain joined with other Republicans to push through landmark legislation sponsored by then U.S. Senator from Texas, Phil Gramm, who is now an economic adviser to McCain's campaign. The Financial Services Modernization Act (also identified as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) aimed to make the country’s financial institutions competitive by removing the Depression-era walls between banking, investment and insurance companies.

It is the Financial Services Modernization legislation written by McCain adviser Phil Gramm and pushed by McCain himself that helped pave the way for the very financial companies and banks that have failed during 2008 to become behemoths laden with bad loans and investments.

Then, in 2000, the Republican controlled Senate Banking Committee, controlled by Congress and Phil Gramm who is McCain's current financial advisor, pushed through a deregulatory exemption on electronic commodities trading without a Senate hearing or debate.

After President Bush took office his administration and the Republican controlled Congress turned their back on any responsibility to oversee the financial system.

With interest rates pushed to the floor after the events of September 11, 2001, the market grew for loans to borrowers with weak credit and private-sector mortgage bonds boomed. About 38 percent of those bonds were backed by sub-prime loans. These sub-prime loans loans, made possible by Republican deregulation, are at the root of today's financial crisis.

A generation ago, banks, credit unions and S&Ls issued home mortgages that they retained on their books as an asset. The lenders had a stake in receiving full repayment of the loans from credit-worthy borrowers.

But after deregulation, mortgages began to be sold to firms that cobbled the loans together to create mortgage-backed securities, or mortgage bonds. Loans to the least credit-worthy borrowers carried the highest risk but gave the highest returns, so banks and other institutional investors bought loads of them. Except no one was policing or even gave a second thought to the creditworthiness of the borrowers. Exactly the conditions behind the the 1929 Black Thursday crash.

Republican deregulation has cause other turmoil for American investors and consumers.

The so-called "Enron Loophole" deregulation legislation allowed Enron to speculatively exploit and manipulate electricity commodity trading in California energy markets in the summer of 2001, spawning artificial electricity shortages, steep climbs in electricity prices and rolling brownouts across California.

The "Enron Loophole" legislation was created and attached to U.S. Senate legislation in December 2000 by McCain campaign co-chair Senator Phil Gramm at the behest of Enron executives. In fact, internal Enron documents, which were released in 2002, revealed that the Houston-based company wrote the legislation for Gramm.

In 2006, the “Enron Loophole” allowed Amaranth Advisers hedge fund to shift its trades from the regulated New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) to the unregulated Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in Atlanta.

That let Amaranth corner the natural gas market, betting that futures prices would rise. The hedge fund lost about $6 billion and imploded as natural gas prices fell to a two-year low in September 2006.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission charged that Amaranth manipulated prices paid in the physical natural gas markets. FERC has proposed $291 million in penalties and the forfeiture of “unjust profits.”

In 2008, the “Enron Loophole” has allowed a speculative free-for-all that helped drive oil prices over $135 per barrel last summer. As much as 99 percent of the market for U.S. premium crude oil is dominated by big financial firms, hedge, pension and index funds seeking short-term profits from oil's rise. Some analysts believe that as much as $70 of that $135 a barrel price was speculative froth.
In May 2008 the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which normally keeps investigations confidential, said in a statement that it was "taking the extraordinary step of publicly disclosing an investigation into market manipulation because of the unprecedented [commodity] market conditions."

In addition to commodity trading manipulation, regulators are concerned that companies may be reporting inventory levels that benefit their own trading positions but that may not be accurate, people familiar with the regulators' thinking say. Commodity-market regulators are investigating whether energy-market players are injecting false data into the marketplace to influence perceptions about crude-oil supply and demand.

Republicans, including Texas Senator John Cornyn, have threatened to filibuster U.S. Senate business to block the efforts of Democratic Senators to close the "Enron Loophole." Obama Vows To Close "Enron Loophole."

Senate Democrats Discuss Eight Years Of Failed Bush-McCain Economic Policies

Drill Baby Drill

Conservatives like Republican incumbent for the U.S. 3rd Texas Congressional District, Sam Johnson, age 78, Republican incumbent for the U.S. 4th Texas Congressional District, Ralph Hall, age 85, and Republican incumbent Texas Senator John Cornyn join Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain in his support of big tax breaks for big oil and big coal companies and no investment in alternative energy development. The GOP answer to America's energy problem is "drill baby drill." The only problem is - the GOP's buddies, the big oil companies, already control thousands of oil leases across America and offshore, but they won't drill and they won't let anyone else drill either.

Something Lighter - Les Misbarack

With music from "Les Miserables," the video shows a Obama campaign office filled with supporters hoping for a better future.

John McCain's Health Records Must Be Released

A New "New Deal" For America

David Moberg, a senior editor at In These Times wrote this week in Back for the Future:

The discussions on the fringes of the [Democratic] convention often returned to another era: the 1930s. Progressives pointed to a panoply of problems facing the country: deepening economic downturn, environmental and economic crises based on our dependence on oil, record economic inequality, a broken healthcare system, and inadequate public investment in education and infrastructure.

Redressing these failings will require a "transformational presidency," like that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, as journalist Robert Kuttner argues in his new book, Obama’s Challenge. They will require the "next New Deal," according to U.S. Action, a coalition of statewide citizen organizations.

But it’s not just the Democratic left that sees the present through the prism of a New Deal past. According to pollster Anna Greenberg, more voters see the present as a moment comparable to the ’30s than as a time comparable to the ’70s or ’90s. ...

But conventional wisdom, often even among Democrats, denies the possibility of grand government action that makes most people’s lives better. That wisdom, according to Kuttner, says: There’s no money. Government doesn’t work, except to cut taxes. It must bow before private markets.

Obama's Economic Agenda

Barack Obama's campaign is releasing a new television ad in which the Senator, speaking directly to the camera, lays out his economic agenda. Obama says in the new ad, "The truth is that while you've been living up to your responsibilities, Washington has not. That's why we need change. Real change. This is no ordinary time and it shouldn't be an ordinary election. But much of this campaign has been consumed by petty attacks and distractions that have nothing to do with you or how we get America back on track."

Obama's Economic Agenda

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lies And Phony Outrage And Swift-Boat Politics

The McCain campaign attacked Barack Obama with an internet ad which accuses him of insulting Sarah Palin by using the phrase "put lipstick on a pig" in reference to the McCain campaign. (The ad falsely used an out of context clip, misleadingly captioned "Katie Couric on: This Election" that CBS News demanded be withdrawn.)

Obama responded by calling this a "made-up controversy" and describing the ad as "lies and phony outrage and Swift-boat politics."

The McCain Campaign seeks to find a daily faux outrage to distract the news media to keep them from writing stories about: Highest Unemployment Rate In Five Years... Housing Crisis... Stretched Military... Resurging Taliban... Energy Drought... Never-Ending War... Growing Nuclear Enemies... Global Warming... Lack Of Healthcare... Underperforming Schools...

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Republican Legacy To America

Highest Unemployment Rate In Five Years... Housing Crisis... Stretched Military... Resurging Taliban... Energy Drought... Never-Ending War... Growing Nuclear Enemies... Global Warming... Lack Of Healthcare... Underperforming Schools...

"F--- You," McCain Publicly Tells Texas Sen. Cornyn

In separate interviews with Politico during the last week of August, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said they have seen McCain “explode.”

“He has a huge anger problem,” Boxer said. “And he never hid that. ... I have seen it happen on the Senate floor many, many times. … He has exploded at me a couple times.”

Boxer said McCain has always apologized after the dust-ups. Nonetheless, she insinuated that McCain’s temperament makes him unfit for the White House.

“It’s all well and good to apologize,” Boxer added, “but if you are in charge of that black box, I worry about that.”

Durbin noted McCain’s temper is “well documented,” saying that he had been on the receiving end of it for what he considered “minor things.”

McClatchy Newspapers - McCain's History of Hot Temper Raises Concerns
By David Lightman and Matt Stearns
September 7, 2008

WASHINGTON — John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased.

Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship.

McCain called Cornyn's claim "chicken-s---," according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations.

"F--- you," McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses.

It was another instance of the Republican presidential candidate losing his temper, another instance where, as POW-MIA activist Carol Hrdlicka put it, "It's his way or no way."

There's a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years:

Read the rest of the story

Slate.com - One Angry Man
Should we worry about John McCain's temper?
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, April 28, 2008

We are still obliged to ask ourselves whether the senior senator from Arizona is a brick short of a load or, as heartless people in England sometimes say, a sandwich or two short of a picnic. Because "anger," make no mistake about it, is the innuendo for instability or inadequacy. What if McCain doesn't really have both oars in the water or is either too tightly wrapped or not tightly wrapped enough?

Read the full story

Saturday, September 6, 2008

McCain Is No Maverick

John McCain together with all of his spokespersons, which too often includes the established news media, are "marketing" McCain as a "Maverick Centrist Republican." In truth, when the vote really counts, McCain has always voted with other far-right conservatives in the U.S. Senate to enact the far-right conservative philosophy into federal law and to confirm far-right conservative judges for the U.S. Federal and U.S. Supreme Courts. This is particularly true on the issue of women's rights.

The Truth About Sarah Palin

Friday, September 5, 2008

The McMansion in McCain's Nomination Acceptance Speech

While I was watching McCain's nomination acceptance speech Thursday night I was puzzled why he had the picture of a McMansion projected behind him after the flap of him not remembering how many McMansions he owns.

The tight camera shots only showed McCain's head against the grass in the picture, which made it look like he was reprising his famed green screen performance. And when they panned out, it looked like McCain was showing off one of his mansions.

Josh Marshall at TPM may have solved the mystery in this posting - "I'm surprised this hadn't occurred to me. But several readers have suggested that perhaps one of the tech geeks charged with setting up the audio/visual bells and whistles for the evening was tasked with getting pictures of Walter Reed Army Medical Center but goofed and got this [picture of the Walter Reed Middle School in North Hollywood, California] instead.

At first I thought, No, that's ridiculous. This is a major political party with big time professionals putting this together. Nothing is left to chance. I mean, is this the RNC or a scene out Spinal Tap or Waiting for Guffman? I still have a bit of a hard time believing they're quite that incompetent. But when you figure in what appears to be the utter lack of any logic for this [North Hollywood middle] school being behind McCain and the fact that it has 'Walter Reed' in its name, I'm really not sure you can discount this possibility."

Statement from Walter Reed Middle School principal, Donna Tobin, "It has been brought to the school's attention that a picture of the front of our school, Walter Reed Middle School, was used as a backdrop at the Republican National Convention. Permission to use the front of our school for the Republican National Convention was not given by our school nor is the use of our school's picture an endorsement of any political party or view."