Study: Bankruptcies soar for senior citizens Rate falling for those under 55 while many elderly retire with debt [...] The older the age group, the worse it got — people 65 and up became more than twice as likely to file during that period, and the filing rate for those 75 and older more than quadrupled.
Personal incomes plunged in July while consumer spending slowed significantly as the impact of billions of dollars in government rebate checks began to wane.
The Commerce Department reported Friday that personal incomes fell by 0.7 percent in July, the biggest drop in nearly three years and a far larger decline than the 0.1 percent decrease that analysts had expected.
When shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dropped sharply yesterday, it marked a sour end to an otherwise unusually upbeat week for the ailing giants of mortgage finance. [...] But yesterday Fannie's shares fell 14 percent to close at $6.84 and Freddie's fell 15 percent to $4.51, a reminder that the companies face significant tests in reviving their financial health and restoring investor confidence.
The sell-off came with news that the Bank of China reduced its exposure to Fannie and Freddie's debt by 29 percent over the past two months.
Yep, sounds like an upswing to me![/snark]
On the positive side, rich people got even richer!
"The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money," McCain told reporters. "The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."
That had prompted a mild rebuke from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a backer of McCain's, who told reporters that they should not necessarily accept the senator's analysis that a Minneapolis bridge collapse stemmed from wasteful federal spending.
Pawlenty, one of McCain's co-chairmen and someone who is sometimes referred to as a possible GOP vice presidential nominee, said citizens should not jump to conclusions about the bridge collapse until the National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation of the incident.
Another political analyst says the scrutiny of Gov. Pawlenty is just beginning. Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says the ongoing bridge investigation will raise many questions about the Pawlenty administration and state transportation policy.
"What happened to transportation bills? What was the governor's role in allocating resources for transportation? What's happened to the inspection process? How much of an emphasis was placed on doing repair work of rebuilding work of this infrastructure?" Ornstein said.
Ornstein says the 35W collapse has highlighted a nationwide problem with aging roads and bridges, and will influence the debate on government spending.
Pawlenty has gained a lot of national attention, and been mentioned as a possible vice presidential running mate, by championing tax cuts and less government. But Ornstein says that approach to governing could now cause problems for Pawlenty.
"Gov. Pawlenty has vetoed some transportation bills, talked about restraining government. And if it turns out that that restraint, so that we could keep from having more taxes, came at the expense of infrastructure repair, he's going to have some explaining to do," Ornstein said.
Ornstein also says the gas tax flip-flip could hurt Pawlenty. He says the level of damage will depend on whether Pawlenty's political opponents make the governor look like a hypocrite, or paint him as someone trying to reverse a bad policy decision. Ornstein also says Pawlenty has now lost the signature message of his governorship.
It’s a year today since the Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people, but don’t expect Gov. Tim Pawlenty to showcase the reconstruction.
Indeed, with the Republican National Convention in St. Paul just a month away and Pawlenty reported to be high on John McCain’s running mate list, Republicans want to drive attention away from the infrastructure disaster that spotlighted the nation’s crumbling bridges and from the criticism the governor faced for what some critics said was a slow response.
. . . “The anniversary of the bridge collapse is this Friday, and the convention isn’t for a month after that. The two things aren’t really related,” said Pawlenty spokesman Brian McClung.
Republicans say they would rather not dampen the convention by revisiting an old tragedy.
But critics suspect the GOP wants to prevent embarrassing a potential vice presidential nominee and avoid drawing attention to Congress’ slow response to the infrastructure crisis.
OK, it's only one disaster. It was only 13 people dead from absent government leadership. It's not Katrina/Iraq/9-11/Al-Qaeda. Heck, no one ever suggested that the victims were lucky:
And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this is working very well for them."
The case can be made that Tim "Grover Norquist" Pawlenty has been a fiscal idiot. But wait, that's what a Republican is.
... but somehow the Denver thugs cops don't seem to realize that they can't abusedo business as usual.
First up, a knockdown, drag out fight ... between an unarmed woman from the non-violent group Code Pink that think they have the right to peaceably assemble and a right to free speech and a Denver cop:
In the letter, obtained by RAW STORY, the ACLU revealed that the police refused those arrested access to attorneys. Police did not let detainees use phones unless they posted their own bonds, and even failed to provide shoes, in one case marching a protester into court in bare feet and leg shackles, according the ACLU.
What's more, police are said to have tricked protesters into pleading guilty, by giving them the impression they had to plead guilty in order to post bond. This meant that no one was allowed to make a phone call unless they plead guilty, thus making it impossible for arrestees to even call a lawyer until admitting guilt.
Most ominously, the ACLU letter claims that protesters were told they would be "facing 'years' in jail for a conviction of a single particular charge."
"In fact, all the charges were municipal court violations that do not carry such penalties," the ACLU added in a footnote.
And finally, there is this Cops Gone Wild video of them saying a public sidewalk is private property and literally shoving a producer from ABC out into traffic and then cursing him for obstructing traffic ... but it wasn't for 2 hours until they arrested him.
The capper is the headline from ABC that blames the Democrats for the cops actions:
... because it's not funded by billionaires and it's not been trumpeted by the MSM, but one would think that actual facts from a person who served with John McCain from the Naval Academy thru the 'Hanoi Hilton' should have a voice in this. From Military.com:
As some of you might know, John McCain is a long-time acquaintance of mine that goes way back to our time together at the U.S. Naval Academy and as Prisoners of War in Vietnam. He is a man I respect and admire in some ways. But there are a number of reasons why I will not vote for him for President of the United States.
The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden pick is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative — a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.
Here he is tonight, spitting reflecting on Hillary Clinton’s speech to the Democratic convention:
Clinton had to somehow convince people that she honestly thought Obama was ready for the presidency. But something stood in her way: Her words.
– Dec. 3, 2007: “So you decide which makes more sense: Entrust our country to someone who is ready on Day One … or to put America in the hands of someone with little national or international experience, who started running for president the day he arrived in the U.S. Senate.”
– March 2008. “I know Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.“
I know, I know — you’re shocked that a now-famed McCainiac like Fournier found a way to work some out-of-context “praise” for John McCain in reporting on a speech that focused on all the things Clinton and Barack Obama are for, but McCain is against (as Hillary herself repeatedly pointed out during the primaries, even as she competed against Obama).
Read the rest. This guy is taking the already compromised AP toward the rarified heights of Pravda.
Because what Clinton and Obama actually believe isn’t important to Fournier, any more than he gave a flying fig about Clinton’s actual speech last night. His intention is to distract readers from what she said, to disrupt what Clinton and Obama are seeking to achieve by imposing his previously-formed opinions on the event.
In a “news” story. For the once-famously objective Associated Press.
But if Fournier has to take them down to along the way, he will. After all, he’s got a candidate to get elected.
Bastard. Fournier, that is, not Swopa. But you already knew that. Sorry.
In fact, as Media Matters for America has repeatedlydocumented, other Democrats who opposed abortion rights spoke at that convention and at every convention since, so Casey's opposition to abortion rights could not have been the sole reason he was not given a speaking role. Additionally, The New Republic's Michael Crowley reported in 1996: "According to those who actually doled out the 1992 convention speaking slots, Casey was denied a turn for one simple reason: his refusal to endorse the Clinton-Gore ticket."
I mean, c'mon, dude! Do some research, don't just pull crap out of your butt. This myth keeps repeating itself, and having "respected" guys like Matthews repeating it doesn't help.
“I understand he’s anxious to try and see if he can’t get the topic away from the economy. But I’m going to remind him of his statements time and again about his lack of understanding of the economy,” Romney said. Reporters asked the presidential hopeful several questions on a range of topics, but he brought back most to his rival, John McCain going after him on his lack of experience and understanding of economic policy.
“I simply don’t think, I simply don’t think that the people of Florida are gonna say the nominee of our party ought to be a person who on more than one occasion has expressed lack of understanding of our economy at a time when the economy is the number one issue that people are talking about here in the state of Florida.”
"I know that there are some people who think, as Sen. McCain did, he said, you know, some jobs are leaving Michigan and they're not coming back. I disagree. I'm going to fight for every single job, Michigan, South Carolina, every state in this country, we're going to fight for jobs and make sure our future is bright," said Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts whose family has deep ties to Michigan.
Mitt Romney is out with a new ad in New Hampshire attacking John McCain. As eerie, dissonant music sets the tone of the spot, an announcer asks whether McCain is "the right Republican" for the future. McCain, the announcer says, "opposes repeal of the death tax and voted against the Bush tax cuts -- twice ... pushed to let every illegal immigrant to stay here permanently, even voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security."
And Romney? He "cut taxes and spending as governor. He opposes amnesty for illegals," the ad says. It concludes, "Mitt Romney, John McCain -- there is a difference."
Republican Mitt Romney wound up his Florida primary campaign on Monday with his most bitter criticism yet of rival John McCain, saying three signature bills the Arizona senator pushed in Congress aimed the country on ''a liberal Democrat course.''
The former Massachusetts governor said the 2002 McCain-Feingold campaign finance law ''hit the First Amendment'' with its controls over advertising spending.
He labeled last year's failed McCain-Kennedy immigration bill ''the amnesty bill'' for a provision that would have allowed illegal immigrants to remain in the country indefinitely. And he said a 2003 McCain-Lieberman energy cap-and-trade bill would have increased energy costs for the average Florida family of four by $1,000.
''If you ask people, 'look at the three things Senator McCain has done as a senator,' if you want that kind of a liberal Democrat course as president, then you can vote for him,'' Romney told campaign workers who would be manning his phone banks before Tuesday's primary vote. ''But those three pieces of legislation, those aren't conservative, those aren't Republican, those are not the kind of leadership that we need as we go forward.''
That's pretty rich content, we can pull some great one-liners out of them, and pin them all on Romney:
John McCain doesn't understand the economy
John McCain says jobs won't come back to Michigan
John McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts
John McCain voted to give illegals Social Security
John McCain's "cap and trade" legislation would cost American families money
Of course if you were poor and brought up by a single mom and she said 'this is America, you can grow up to be President' and you believed her? Well, that's just an uppity negro. Or as McCain, Karl Rove & Co. say, an 'elitist.'
It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right, I hope you had the time of your life
There was an apocryphal story making the rounds of the recording studio community here in L.A. in the mid '90s: An assistant engineer was asked to mix a debut album by a new band. The album went platinum, and the careers of both the band and the engineer took off.
I worked with Jerry several times while I was Chief Technical Engineer of Larrabee-East, now called The Pass Studios. Among the projects Jerry did there was mixing the great Bad Religion album titled "The Process of Belief", released in early '02. Due to scheduling conflicts, Bad Religion leader and producer Brett Gurewitz mixed the bulk of the album, but one of Jerry's mixes made the final cut.
Jerry's humility and sense of humor helped him laugh at his success. He enjoyed it, certainly, yet never took it seriously. And he did have a robust sense of humor.
While tracking an album at Larrabee, a call came in from the drummer of a popular band, wanting to talk with Jerry about producing their next album. When told about the call from the front desk, he groaned, said he just didn't want to work with that band. So he asked one of the members of the band he was working with to take the call.
That fellow got on the phone, pretended to be Jerry for several minutes, until the drummer realized the gag, and, embarrassed, hung up. Rude, perhaps, yet really quite funny. I was in the room, heard the whole thing. Bottom line is Jerry didn't have the heart to tell the band he just didn't like them. You had to be there.
Jerry and I talked guitars and amps a lot. He admitted readily that he was a crappy guitarist, yet he wanted the best instruments and amps for the bands he worked with. Often the younger bands didn't have great equipment, so Jerry could really help with their sound.
I hadn't kept in touch with Jerry recently, but I thought of him often. Really nice guy, passionate about music, and really kind to the artists he worked with.
Jerry suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage July 10th. He died August 21st at 5:25 AM. He was 39 years old.
You think life is OK, that you have nothing to worry about?
You think you can wait until tomorrow to tell someone you love them?
Work crews were covering the makeshift holding pens that could house protesters who run afoul of the law at next week's Democratic National Convention with chain-link fence Wednesday.
City officials had originally topped the fences around the holding areas with razor wire to keep those arrested from climbing out, but reconsidered because of community concerns, said Denver County Undersheriff Bill Lovinger.
The temporary arrestee-processing center, which is housed in a warehouse near Steele Street and East 38th Avenue, will be open for a week starting Sunday.
The building was once used to store the city's voting machines.
Police are distributing a pamphlet reminding protesters of where they have a right to demonstrate but also warning them they can be arrested if they refuse a lawful order to disperse, even if they aren't breaking any laws.
DENVER, Aug. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- Randall Terry States: "A group of pro-life activists will get arrested – perhaps more than once – in order to draw focus to Obama's hard core support of child-killing. We will definitely be arrested on Tuesday, August 26 at a location to be announced - and perhaps sooner.
"We intend to be "Party Crashers" to disrupt a number of DNC events, including, but not limited to: the Interfaith Gathering; Opening Reception; African American Caucus; Hispanic Caucus; Women's Caucus; Faith Forum; the Opening of the DNC; and more.
"We are taking our cues from the 'Letter from the Birmingham Jail' by Martin Luther King Jr. We are deliberately creating social tension in order to highlight the grave evil of legalized child-killing. Those who condemn our tactics might forgo celebrating Marin Luther King day."
The obvious hypocrisy is that the movement Right hates ML King. Except when they can try to co-opt his 'civil disobediance' to further their point. And they hate Catholics, except when they can quote a Pope as being anti-abortion.
And they have no interest in helping any of their "saved babies" grow to a happy and prosperous adulthood.
And they have no interest in helping any of their "saved babies" not get killed in John McCain's 100 Years War.
In other words, the rights of the fetus are more important than the rights of the person the fetus may become.
But it gets worse. In a pamphlet called "Real Solutions For The Negro Problem" we find this:
Nothing really matters. Not war, famine, pestilence. Not the health of human beings, or the loss of real live families. Just the loss of small clumps of tissue that may or may not become persons.
Short-sighted, long-winded. Selectively evil. And just plain stupid.
In re: the title, here's Leadbelly singing "Midnight Special":
[...] The problem was identified after complaints from Ohio elections officials following the March primary there, but the logic error that is the root of the problem has been part of the software for 10 years, said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold.
Billmon at the Daily Kos on the fiasco of Georgia and Russia, egged on by the incompetence and thoughtlessness of US politicians:
And so, with an absolute minimum of democratic process, the United States of America committed its full prestige and power (if not, just yet, a legally binding guarantee) to the defense of the two former Soviet republics, even though the Russians have repeatedly stated that they regard NATO membership by either country as a direct threat to their own vital security interests. As others have already noted, this is as if China had unilaterally announced a military alliance with Mexico and Cuba. Actually it’s worse: Imagine the US reaction if China announced a military alliance with Mexico, after which the president of Mexico started dropping public hints about taking New Mexico back – by whatever means necessary. (And if that comparison seems unnecessarily paranoid, consider the history of Russia in the 20th century. Even paranoids have real enemies.)
A careful search of Nexus and Google reveals that the number of stories appearing in the pages of major US newspapers and magazines, or on the wires of major American news services, taking note of this fateful decision, equals exactly one: a brief item out of UPI’s Moscow bureau, warning of the Russian reaction. The Georgian and Ukranian press, on the other hand, gave the new law saturation coverage – encouraged by their respective governments, both of which issued official statements describing their future NATO admissions as, in effect, done deals.
If you have time, read the post. He offers a wealth of background and facts, and works through the tangle of connections and intrigue to present a very clear picture of the recent events.
Some interesting stuff in the news about McStraightTalkExpress and the Saddleback Church love fest. But that's not important right now.
Why was a mega-church, that has its own street and practically its own ZIP code, charging people to attend the Obama-McCain event? It wasn't a fund raiser, and it was a chance to watch historical Democracy in action, yet this rich church charged people.
"Church officials said they decided to charge admission for people who wanted a chance to see the Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls because of the expenses to stage the event and provide television feeds to a host of networks."
This is utter crap. I have done audio tech work at Saddleback Church as I mention a few posts ago, and I've seen their operation.
They have audio & video facilities that would embarrass the L.A. NBC, CNN & CBS affiliates, including high-tech and expensive fiber audio & video links between various parts of the campus, ProTools rigs for recording every utterance that comes out of Warren's mouth, state-of-the-art wireless microphones, a recording studio, complete audio & video post-production, all with the finest equipment available.
This place could handle any Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical with simultaneous satellite up-linking, network distribution, SAP language feed, and a full orchestra without breaking a sweat. They could do that in the main church, while holding a rock concert in one of the other venues, while rehearsing an 80 voice choir in still another building.
This place is more high-tech than the L.A. Music Center and Kennedy Center combined. The only thing that might complicate their "feeds to a host of networks" might be buying a few more $10 BNC cables, available at RadioShack. In other words, it's a complete lie.
In this case, I don't know who are the biggest bastards, the church, or the OC Register.
John McCain and Barack Obama are meeting at Saddleback Church in deepest Orange Co. Saturday to discuss faith. Or something.
I noticed as I wrote that that I put McCain first . . . interesting, that. Now check out this graphic:
McCain is on the left. So?
All western languages of which I'm aware read left to right.
When I was taught to look both ways in Kindergarten, it was "look left, then right."
Menus in restaurants are organized as description on the left, price on the right.
While I'm possibly being paranoid, I'm also pretty sure this is no accident.
Full disclosure: In my alter ego as a Professional Audio Expert, I have done work for Saddleback Church. And I have seen 'backstage' of their operation. They have top-of-the-line audio and video equipment, dedicated professionals running same, and I have no doubt they also have pro graphics designers working on web design.
And graphics like that one.
In all fairness, when you go to this site: saddlebackcivilforum.com, the photo order is Warren/Obama/McCain. So I dunno . . .
What I do know is this: When we lived in the OC, I had 2 big mega-churches as clients. One was extremely right-wing, very repressive, male-dominated, based on Four Square Gospel tradition.
The other, an off-shoot of above, was more relaxed, more . . . well, tolerant of difference. The son of the Head Pastor and I got to be good friends. He ran their recording studio and record label (hence my involvement).
This church did anti-poverty work, reaching into the poorest communities and helping. They ran food and clothing drives, giving to folks in need with no questions asked. They would go to seedy motels in OC, offering material help, and yes, Gospel help if folks were open to it. But they seemed to me to be acting on their spiritual values, and not just building fancy glass cathedrals.
I clearly remember, during the run up to the '92 election, talking with my friend. Clinton was the candidate who more closely comported with his beliefs; help the poor, the downtrodden, worship at church regularly on Sunday, etc. But my friend was going to vote for G.H.W. Bush.
When I asked why, he simply said: "He doesn't kill babies."
With the 1st Gulf War having just taken place, I responded that Clinton doesn't kill innocent civilians. But that didn't matter. It was single issue time.
It's 16 years later, and regardless of how some say the evangelical movement has changed, when Barack Obama speaks tomorrow at Saddleback Church, that may be the deciding factor. They'll believe that McCain:
[...] The White House said it was against requiring U.S. oil products to stay at home.
"Forbidding exports of U.S. petroleum reduces the incentive for domestic suppliers to produce, and could potentially lead to higher prices if U.S. production or refining declined," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.
The 1.6 million barrels a day in record petroleum exports represented 9 percent of total U.S. refining capacity of 17.6 million barrels a day.
However, with refiners operating at 85 percent of capacity during the January-April period, the shipments represented a much a larger share of total U.S. oil products produced.
The exports were also equal to half the 3.2 million barrels of gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products the United States imported each day over the 4-month period.
Ummm, maybe I'm missing something here but it seems we can reduce our dependency by half on foreign oil by just not exporting ours!?
Aren't conservatives supposed to be the party of law & order? Then why do John McMaverickypants and the Republican Party keep breaking the law:
Jackson Browne sued Sen. John McCain on Thursday for unauthorized use of one of his songs in a television commercial.
Browne, one of rock music's most famous activists for liberal causes, is "incensed" that the presumptive Republican nominee for president has been using Browne's signature 1977 song "Running on Empty," said Lawrence Y. Iser, the singer-songwriter's attorney.
Browne filed a copy- right infringement lawsuit against McCain and the Republican National Committee in U.S. District Court in L.A., seeking damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of the forlorn arena anthem or any other Browne composition.
McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said the ad was not a McCain campaign product but was put together by the Ohio Republican Party. Browne's attorney said that he is "informed and believes" that McCain approved the ad.
Whatever. Is the campaign full of young entitled jerks who grew up during the file-sharing years, who like so many today believe that all art is free? Sorry, kids, someone creates it, you pay rights to use it, until copyright runs out.
John McCain Will Protect The Creative Industries From Piracy. The entertainment industry is both a vital sector of the domestic economy and among the largest U.S. exporters. While the Internet has provided tremendous opportunity for the creators of copyrighted works, including music and movies, to distribute their works around the world at low cost, it has also given rise to a global epidemic of piracy. John McCain supports efforts to crack down on piracy, both on the Internet and off.
As Richard Koman at ZDNet points out, McCain’s stated desire to protect “the creators of copyrighted works” is at odds with the fact that multiple artists have accused his campaign of copyright infringement.
Browne's not the only one to point out McCain's casual view of property rights:
– Earlier this week, the McCain campaign re-cut a web ad after comedian Mike Myers’ publicist complained about the use of footage of Myers and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey’s Wayne’s World characters.
"If there's one public official who has consistently put his country ahead of his party, working across party lines to get things done in Washington, it is John McCain," Lieberman said in an interview with ABC News. "It's not Barack Obama, with all respect." [...] "Sen. Obama has no record that I can see of taking on positions that are held by a lot of people within his own party," Lieberman said. "John McCain does that all the time.
But most importantly, why would a Democratic Senator and candidate for president 'reach out' to the very rethuglicans who got us into these economic, immoral and deadly morasses that have been the trademark of Bushco when the whole point of this election is to decide between John McCain advocating 4 more years of demonstrably failed policies and Barack Obama advocating the return to American ideals?
Then like the blind man that God gave back his sight, Praise the lord I saw the light.
Joe Klein, who should be henceforth known as Swamp Thing, has always been one of those "fair and balanced" news people we keep hearing about. You know, truth, justice, and the American way. Of course, he has spun this for so long that he actually believed it.
Yesterday he wrote this on his Time blog (called Swampland, get it? Sorry.):
I heard about Jerome Corsi's book a few weeks ago from my mother, who said that her great fear--that Barack Obama has covert Islamic associations--had been confirmed by a new book. I told her not to worry, that many reputable people had looked into the matter and Obama was more likely to be spotted in Whole Foods than praying in a mosque. (Since my mother has never been to Whole Foods, so she didn't quite get my wry allusion.) "I hope so," she said, dubiously.
So we know the market for trash is there, and not so far from home. And we know, that Mary Matalin, who appears regularly on mainstream media programs like Meet the Press called the Corsi book in the New York Times today:
“a piece of scholarship, and a good one at that.”
But hey, Mary stands to make big bucks off this scholarship, which I'm sure was submitted for peer review and otherwise held to the highest editorial standards--and I'm sure her reputation and mediagenicity won't be damaged by this poisonous crap, and we're all friends here, aren't we? And, yknow, they say politics ain't beanbag...and it's all in the game to tell innocent, well-intentioned people that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim or that John Kerry wasn't really a hero in Vietnam. Or, as George W. Bush, once told a rightly outraged John McCain--whose wife and daughter Bush's minions had smeared--"It's just politics."
Back in the day, John McCain was the sort of politician who would stand first in line to call out this sort of swill. (As, I'm sure Barack Obama or John Kerry would do, if some hate-crazed, money-grubbing left-winger published a book claiming that McCain had been successfully brainwashed in Vietnam--as Kerry did indeed do when a group of spurious Bush-backing Vietnam vets tried to claim exactly that about McCain during the 2000 Republican primary in South Carolina.)
When 'back in the day' was that, Joe? When McCain rolled over and played dead when the So. Carolina attack took place?
The man, the myth, the legend: McCain, the Maverick. But it's based on nothing, yet Klein still buys into it, else he wouldn't have stated it this way. Simply means to me that he may have come to an epiphany, but it hasn't given him the ability to look backwards and see what went wrong.
What do I mean by that? This, from the same piece:
I know that people like me are supposed to try to be fair...and balanced. (The Fox mockery of our sappy professional standards seems more brutally appropriate with each passing year.) In the past, I would achieve a semblance--or an illusion--of balance by criticizing Democrats for not responding effectively when right-wing sludge merchants poisoned our national elections with their filth and lies. And it is true, as John Kerry knows, that a more effective response--and a bolder campaign--might have neutralized the Swiftboat assault four years ago. It is also true that Corsi's book this time is far less effective than his Swiftboat venture, since it doesn't come equipped with veterans willing to defile their service by telling lies to camera.
Really? I don't remember you telling us in '04 that the Swiftboaters were "telling lies to camera".
No, I remember you as, as you point out, "fair...and balanced". Here's the thing, Joe. Name me one time, Joe, that you called out the "right-wing sludge merchants" for their "filth and lies". Yeah, that's what I thought. Believing in your own mythology much, Joe?
Well, Joe, thanks for coming around finally. I just wish it could have happened when it would have made a difference, like in 2000 when Al Gore "invented the internet". When GWBush was going to have a "humble foreign policy".
Or in 2004 when the Swiftboaters and Malkin said that Kerry had shot himself for a purple heart.
Because now it won't make any difference. You've gotten in and out of the clown car one too many times. Just because you've seen the light and gotten a new Prius doesn't matter. Because the courage of your convictions comes about because you now have cover. The American public is less moved by the lies and filth from the Right, and the Obama movement is gathering strength.
Had you been a maverick back in 2000 or 2004, when it might have helped, well, you might be taken more seriously now.
You mean you can get rid of an elected official without a revolution?...
British and American diplomats are attempting to find an exit for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, a staunch western ally, before he is dragged through a humiliating impeachment process.
Rumours that Musharraf is set to quit have been circulating in Pakistan for several days. He has suffered a collapse in support as three of Pakistan's four provincial parliaments have passed resolutions, with overwhelming backing, declaring him unfit for office. The fourth province is expected to follow soon.
The provincial votes were symbolic, but the formal process will begin early next week with an impeachment motion in the national parliament. It is clear that the ruling coalition now has the two-thirds majority needed to impeach him.
Government insiders said that if Musharraf wants to quit, he must do so before the impeachment proceedings begin, leaving him with only a few days.
His spokesman has rebutted any suggestion that he will step down.
Look at that. Pakistan is showing the world how to get rid of corrupt incompetent leaders democratically. You know.. Democracy?: (my bold)
de·moc·ra·cy /dɪˈmɒkrəsi/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[di-mok-ruh-see] –noun, plural -cies. 1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. 2. a state having such a form of government: The United States and Canada are democracies. 3. a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. 4. political or social equality; democratic spirit. 5. the common people of a community as distinguished from any privileged class; the common people with respect to their political power.
We really should try it sometime. Then the elected officials might think twice before brazenly breaking laws and ignoring the Constitution. There might be cause and effect. Justice served. Prevention of future crimes. Removal of truly incompetent people.
Here they go, lying again, beating everybody at their favourite game
On Larry King tonight, Media Matters' Paul Waldman wipes the floor with the delusional Jerome Corsi, in the above video.
That's Jerome Corsi, who was the architect of the "Swiftboat" attacks on John Kerry's military record, who has written a crude and offensive "expose" of Barack Obama:
In the preface of his recently released book, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, author Jerome Corsi writes: "My intent in writing this book, as was the case in coauthoring Unfit for Command, is to fully document all arguments and contentions I make, extensively footnoting all references, so readers can determine for themselves the truth and validity of the factual claims." Indeed, Corsi's comparison of the two books seems quite apt: Just as Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry contains false and baseless attacks on Sen. John Kerry's military service, a Media Matters for America review finds that Obama Nation similarly contains numerous falsehoods about Sen. Barack Obama.
The book includes crap like this:
Corsi baselessly suggests that Obama's father, Barack Obama Sr., may have divorced his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, "following the prescripts of Islamic sharia law." Corsi's sole source for this statement is a blogger who made the claim in a March 20 post, which featured the false headline, "BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA WAS MUSLIM FOR 31 YEARS" and misstated Obama's mother's name as "Shirley Ann." The blogger Corsi cited, "Majalah Bulanan Kumunitas Indonesia Di Edmonton," provided no substantiation for the claim that "the senior Obama divorced Dunham according to Sharia law."
Other takedowns include the blockbuster false claim that Obama doesn't mention the birth of his half-sister in his book:
Corsi falsely claims that Obama does not mention the birth of his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, during the chapter in Dreams in which he discusses his time living in Indonesia. Corsi writes:
In the midst of the personal drama being played against the background of this Indonesian turmoil, on August 15, 1970, Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, was born to his mother and stepfather. Obama devotes the entire second chapter of his autobiography to his time in Indonesia, but remarkably, he makes no reference to Maya's birth [Page 48].
In fact, on Page 47 of Dreams, in the chapter discussing his time in Indonesia, Obama writes that "my mother and Lolo would remain cordial through the birth of my sister, Maya."
That's some investigatoritive journamalism.
The frustrating thing is that anyone in the media considers this guy to be an actual journalist. His writing is abysmal, and no one seems to call him on the serious factual errors he passes off as legitimate criticism. It's the old balance game, present both sides as legitimate, let people decide:
Some say moon is made of green cheese, others disagree.
Just because one has an opinion doesn't mean the opinion has any reality basis. I'm just glad we have Media Matters to set the record straight..
Lots of speculation in the traditional media about VP choices. Leiberman (ironically misnamed) is clearly on John McMaverickypants' short list.
Evan Bayh has been mentioned for Obama's pick, and that concept has come under heavy criticism in Democratic insider circles. Here's what Booman Tribune has to say:
I'm hearing word that Evan Bayh has at least a 50-50 chance of getting the vice-presidential nod and that the final decision will be made soon. Unfortunately, I don't have any other names to tell you so that you know what the alternatives are. The New York Times did a great job yesterday morning in explaining why the selection of Bayh would be problematic. It would be hard to fuck up Barack Obama's brand any worse than picking John McCain's honorary co-chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. We really shouldn't have to say anything more than that.
Mr. Bayh, 52, is a telegenic moderate Democrat, a father of twins entering their teens, an experienced politician who in 2006 briefly flirted with a presidential run before endorsing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The son of a senator, Mr. Bayh was a popular two-term governor who could make Indiana, typically rock-solid Republican in presidential contests, a competitive state and appeal to blue-collar Democrats who have been slow to embrace Mr. Obama.
Mr. Bayh’s support of authorizing force in Iraq stands in sharp contrast to Mr. Obama’s oft-stated view that he showed the good judgment to oppose the conflict from the start. After his vote, Mr. Bayh in early 2003 joined Mr. McCain as an honorary co-chairman of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which made regime change in Iraq its central cause.
“He was not only wrong, he was aggressively wrong,” said Tom Andrews, national director of the Win Without War coalition, referring to Mr. Bayh. “In my view, he would contradict if not undermine the Obama message of change, turning a new page on foreign policy and national security.”
Indeed. Bayh has shown some stones, however:
Despite his strong support for authorizing force in Iraq, Mr. Bayh showed his disillusionment with the conduct of the conflict in December 2004 by calling for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. He voted against the confirmation of Condoleezza Rice as secretary of state in 2005, citing her role as an architect of the Iraq war.
But there is one other stumbling block. While he has been largely supportive of Pro-Choice legislation, he failed on the execrable Partial-Birth Abortion vote:
This legislation, if enacted, would ban the abortion procedure in which the physician partially delivers the fetus before completing the abortion. [A NO vote supports abortion rights]. Status: Bill Passed Y)63; N)34; NV)
While this may seem reasonable at first, it's not. PBA is a straw man, a phony dog-whistle issue designed strictly to rouse the Right-wing anti-choice base. Here's more:
The term was first coined by the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in 1995 to describe a recently introduced medical procedure to remove fetuses from the womb.
. . . In an interview with The New Republic magazine in 1996, the NRLC's Douglas Johnson explained that the term was thought up in hopes that "as the public learns what a 'partial-birth abortion' is, they might also learn something about other abortion methods, and that this would foster a growing opposition to abortion."
In 1995, Rep. Charles Canady (R-FL) included the term as part of a bill he proposed that would make it a federal crime to perform a "partial-birth" abortion. (That year, the Ohio state legislature also passed the first state ban, but it was struck down by a federal district court; the Supreme Court later refused to hear an appeal.)
. . . And contrary to the claims of some abortion opponents, most such abortions do not take place in the third trimester of pregnancy, or after fetal "viability." Indeed, when some members of Congress tried to amend the bill to ban only those procedures that take place after viability, abortion opponents complained that would leave most of the procedures legal.
In other words, it's incredibly rare, clearly not used as a contraceptive, and an awful thing to experience. It has become the battle flag for the anti-choice crowd, since its gory aspect can easily offend even staunch supporters of a woman's right to choose.
That Bayh failed to see this bill for what it was speaks to either a sad misunderstanding of its purpose, or a lousy dedication to Choice.
Bill Clinton had it right about at least one thing. Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.
Aside from that, this little tidbit regarding the Hamdan verdict stood out to me:
Defense lawyers saidthat ever since Hamdan was designated in July 2003 to face one of the very first trials, he had been separated from other detainees, in virtual solitary confinement with long periods of no sunshine.
Prosecutors and prison camps officials say there is no such thing as solitary confinement at Guantánamo.
Dick Cheney, the hawkish US vice-president, told President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States."
John McCain, the Republican presidential contender, issued a robust attack on the Kremlin.
"Russian president Medvedev and prime minister Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government's actions will have for Russia's relationship with the US and Europe," he said.
"In the face of Russian aggression, the very existence of independent Georgia - and the survival of its democratically-elected government - are at stake ... Russia is using violence against Georgia to intimidate other neighbours, such as Ukraine, for choosing to associate with the west and adhering to western political and economic values."
I am deeply concerned by reports that Russian troops have moved beyond the zone of conflict, attacked the Georgian town of Gori, and are threatening the Georgia's -- Georgia's capital of Tbilisi. There's evidence that Russian forces may soon begin bombing the civilian airport in the capital city.
. . . Russia's government must respect Georgia's territorial integrity and sovereignty. The Russian government must reverse the course it appears to be on, and accept this peace agreement as a first step toward resolving this conflict.
Russia's actions this week have raised serious questions about its intentions in Georgia and the region. These actions have substantially damaged Russia's standing in the world. And these actions jeopardize Russians' relations -- Russia's relations with the United States and Europe. It is time for Russia to be true to its word and to act to end this crisis.
How proper, how just, how measured the words. Makes me yearn for a simpler time:
The dictator of Iraq and his weapons of mass destruction are a threat to the security of free nations. He is a danger to his neighbors. He's a sponsor of terrorism. He's an obstacle to progress in the Middle East. For decades he has been the cruel, cruel oppressor of the Iraq people.
. . . Action to remove the threat from Iraq would also allow the Iraqi people to build a better future for their society. And Iraq's liberation would be the beginning, not the end, of our commitment to its people. We will supply humanitarian relief, bring economic sanctions to a swift close, and work for the long-term recovery of Iraq's economy. We'll make sure that Iraq's natural resources are used for the benefit of their owners, the Iraqi people.
Yep. Funny thing about attacking sovereign nations. Why, John McCain wouldn't do it:
MCCAIN: Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself.
But I want to assure you I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States and I will bring him to justice no matter what it takes.
So we'll get Bin Laden, as long as he's staying at an Embassy Suites in D.C. But none of this invading a "sovereign nation" crap.
George Bush's infamous glimpse into Putin's soul failed to recognise what nostalgic cold warriors have always insisted was pinned to his sleeve: a heart that beats for lost imperial glory, and a ruthless ambition to match.
The last linked article continues:
The real wake-up call placed by the Russo-Georgian conflict is not a clarion to a new cold war, but a head check for pro-democracy ideologues – whose idealism has ratified a style of sloppy thinking and rote sloganeering that actually threatens the durability of representative government around the world.
Might as well have been looking in a mirror, George.
Doesn't anyone in the White House communications department realize how stupid this makes their boss look?
Oh yeah, I'm the type of guy that likes to roam around
From a wingnut on an email list I'm on:
I'm really surprised to see that there have been no members of this list leaping to the defense of John Edwards this last week.
There has been plenty of criticism of Edwards on the lefty lists I'm on. While under any other circumstances an affair is between the couple themselves, in this case it goes beyond that, because of political aspirations:
1. Both John & Elizabeth Edwards moved forward with his campaign knowing that this time-bomb could drop at any time.
2. The campaign gave donated money to Rielle Hunter's video company while the affair was ongoing.
On policy points, both Edwards' get plenty of support. But for a foolish notion to run for office while this could be used by the idiot traditional media and the wingnut Right as negative ads and ammunition, no support.
And while we're on the topic of the traditional lazy-ass media, has there been any mention of McCain's shoddy treatment of his first wife, including an affair with current wife Cindy?
"Is this another skeleton in the Democratic closet that Barack Obama must struggle to overcome?"David Gregory on the revelation of John Edwards' extramarital affair.
OK, so now we know the new ground rules. The private life of John Edwards, who currently neither seeks nor holds public office, is a legitimate story for mainstream media because he was a hypocrite and because he lied.
He mentions several Republican hypocrites, and that doesn't even include the prize: McCain, who as the Repub standard-bearer, should be held to at least the same standard as a guy who isn't running for anything anymore:
McCain, who is about to become the GOP nominee, has made several statements about how he divorced Carol and married Hensley that conflict with the public record.
In his 2002 memoir, "Worth the Fighting For," McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.
"I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow," McCain wrote. "I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980."
An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had "cohabited" until Jan. 7 of that year -- or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.
Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.
Until McCain filed for divorce, the Reagans and their inner circle assumed he was happily married, and they were stunned to learn otherwise, according to several close aides.
"Everybody was upset with him," recalled Nancy Reynolds, a top aide to the former president who introduced him to McCain.
A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
When news organizations reported that Mr. McCain had written letters to government regulators on behalf of the lobbyist’s client, the former campaign associates said, some aides feared for a time that attention would fall on her involvement.
But now she's gone, and I don't worry, I'm sittin' on top of the world
Some of you may remember that one of the first co-bloggers we added here was Wintermute. Charming, intelligent, with a great ear for roots, blues, and Americana music.
He left some time ago, and we miss him, but the cause for which he left was a good one: Helping out Steve Cohen (D-TN09) retain his seat. Cohen is a great Democrat; here he is wiping the floor with a pathetic Alberto Gonzales:
Cohen's primary opponent, Nikki Tinker, is a horrible person, supported by Rahm Emmanuel and DLC leader Harold Ford.
Tennessee holds its primary tomorrow and all eyes are on Memphis, where progressive freshman Steve Cohen, who is white and Jewish, is being challenged by a vicious anti-Semitic, racist pawn of ex-Congressman Harold Ford. It's been a very ugly race-- and the ugliness is all on one side, Nikki Tinker's. Steve Cohen was first elected in 2006 with the help of Blue America and we have enthusiastically endorsed him again.
Tinker, who is African-American, insists that her decision to run for the 9th District seat held by Cohen, who's white, is not about race. "I've said all along I'm trying to represent all of Memphis," Tinker told the editorial board of The Commercial Appeal.
The position doesn't square with Tinker's latest attack ad, which features footage of a Ku Klux Klan rally as Tinker supporter Walter Bailey challenges Cohen's July 2005 vote on the Center City Commission not to recommend the removal of a statue of Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest from the Medical Center park.
The vote has little relevance to the consistently strong civil rights record Cohen has built during 24 years of service in the Tennessee Senate and two years as the representative of the majority-black 9th Congressional District.
The winner of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference Award of Excellence for Public Service has sponsored bills and lent his support to initiatives with symbolic as well as substantive value to African-American citizens.
Just days after airing a racially charged ad connecting Cohen with the Ku Klux Klan, the Tinker campaign is up with a new ad not-too-subtly questioning his religious convictions.
“Who is the real Steve Cohen, anyway?” a narrator says as a child is heard praying in the background . “While he’s in our churches clapping his hands and tapping his feet, he’s the only senator who thought our kids shouldn’t be allowed to pray in school. Congressman, sometimes apologies just aren’t enough.”
The apology line appears to be a veiled reference to Cohen’s just-passed legislation in Congress that apologizes to African-Americans for the “fundamental injustice” of slavery and racial segregation.
"He’s never voted against prayer in school. It’s an out-and-out lie. This is desperation upon desperation," said Cohen campaign manager Jerry Austin. Cohen planned to hold a press conference Wednesday morning to respond to the new ad.
Cohen already has been the target of an anti-Semitic mailer was distributed earlier this year in the district. The flier said that "Cohen and the Jews HATE Jesus" and called upon "Black Christians" to support one "Black Christian" and oppose "this opponent of Christ and Christianity."
EMILY’s List president Ellen Malcolm issued a statement Wednesday evening condemning Tinker’s most recent ad. The group, which endorses Democratic women who favor abortion rights, has been Tinker's most prominent backer.
“We were shocked to see the recent ads run by the Nikki Tinker for Congress campaign. We believe the ads are offensive and divisive,” said Malcolm. "EMILY's List does not condone or support these types of attacks.”
Poll numbers I have (7/4/2008) show Cohen 63%; Tinker 11%: Towns 5%; undecided 20%.
And because Wintermute suggested it, here's Howlin' Wolf doing "Smokestack Lightning":
Update: Via email, from Steve Cohen, regarding this post: "thanks. big winner"
Cohen won 79 percent of the vote, greatly expanding his base of support from the 2006 Democratic Primary he had won with 31 percent of the vote on a very crowded ballot. Nikki Tinker polled only 19 percent (she got 25 percent in 2006).
"It says Memphis has come a long, long way and that people who were counting on racial voting to prevail are thinking of a Memphis that doesn't exist anymore," Cohen said. "The people of Memphis are more sophisticated voters that deal with issues and someone's record and not simply race."
Wow. 79% of the vote. That's truly a landslide. Congrats, Steve.