Saturday, March 8, 2008

Anatomy of A Kitchen Sink

I have lost faith.

For the longest time, as far as I can remember in my "political" life, I have defended the Clintons. When the vast right wing conspiracy went after Bill (and Hillary), using the repugnant Ken Starr, spending millions and millions of taxpayer dollars, looking for any kind of mud to stick, I supported my president to the end. Even when Bill had painted himself into a corner and lied under oath (and who wouldn't) about an affair - a stupid, cheap little affair - I stood by him because I could not believe or understand at the time, that although he violated the "rule of law", these repulsive troglodytes led by Newt Gingrich and the now deceased Henry Hyde would dare to impeach based on lying about something that insignificant. Finding out later that Gingrich himself was having an affair at the same time that he was crucifying the president for the same offense (or lying about it) only poured salt on the wounds, but it was a classic case of IOKIYAR.

I took solace in the fact that I was a Democrat, and we didn't stoop to such disgusting levels. That one day*, the pendulum would swingin the other direction, and that again we would find our way. And now the unthinkable has happened. In a desperate attempt for a long shot bid at the presidency, Hillary Clinton has used the same tactics that were used against her for all these years. Hillary broke out the Karl Rove playbook called "The Kitchen Sink."

We all knew it was coming. Hell, Hillary's campaign told us that was exactly what they were going to do in a last act of desperation. They even called it the "kitchen sink." So I thought I'd take a look to see what came out of the kitchen sink and list them in no particular order.

1 - Clinton compared Obama's foreign policy experience to George W. Bush: “We’ve seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience nor the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our national security. We can’t let that happen again.”
Considering that Bush never even visited another country before becoming president, I think that comparison is a little suspect.

2 - Clinton's "tested and ready" mantra was repeated over and over while portraying Obama as naive when it came to meeting foreign leaders if he believed “that mediation and meetings without preconditions will solve some of the world’s most intractable problems." Obama has never said that carefully preparing for meetings wasn't in his plans.

However, this is what he did say: "...I do think it is important precisely because the Bush administration has done so much damage to American foreign relations that the president take a more active role in diplomacy than might have been true 20 or 30 years ago.

Because the problem is, if we think that meeting with the president is a privilege that has to be earned, I think that reinforces the sense that we stand above the rest of the world at this point in time. And I think that it's important for us in undoing the damage that has been done over the last seven years, for the president to be willing to take that extra step."

Makes sense to me. Do we really think we're better than anyone else? If that's the case, then we're in more trouble than I thought.

Put on your hip waders, this is we're it turns ugly.

3 - Matt Drudge posts a photo of Obama in traditional Somali garb attributing it to the Clinton campaign. Whether or not Drudge is to be trusted as to the source, instead of denouncing it was a fear mongering tactic, the Clinton camp shrugs its shoulders.

4 - The Clinton camp accuses Barack Obama of plagiarism when using phrases borrowed from his own Committee chairman and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, that Patrick told Obama to use. In an interesting twist, Hillary Clinton's now famous "whatever happens, we're going to be fine" quote can be attributed to John Edwards during the December 13th debate, and the "hits I've taken every day..." line can be found almost verbatim in a Bill Clinton speech during his run for the presidency.

5 - Continuing with their fear tactics, the Clinton campaign puts out their "3am" or red phone ad. Vote for Hillary and your children will sleep safe at night. Ironically, the stock footage of the sleeping child was taken 8 years ago and that actress is an Obama supporter.

6 - NAFTA-Gate: Clinton accuses Obama of calling the Canadian Embassy to reassure the ambassador that all the NAFTA talk in their recent debates is just rhetoric. In fact Obama senior economic adviser Austan Goolsbee had been invited by someone at the consulate to visit and discuss trade. "The Canadian Embassy confirmed that he said everything I said on the campaign trail," Obama asserted. Then the kicker: it turns out that it was actualy someone on the Clinton staff had put out feelers to the Canadians and asking them to take the rhetoric with "a grain of salt."

Ah, the ol' political projection and transference.

7 - Clinton's 60 Minutes interview and her non-denial that Obama is a Muslim. "As far as I know" doesn't cut it when you are denying something. At first I took it lightly, but reporters close to the Clinton campaign categorize it as "not an accident."

8 - Clinton national co-chairman Bill Shaheen suggests that Obama was a drug dealer in his youth. From the Telegraph UK:

Obama has been open about youthful drug use (big deal) but no one has suggested he was a dealer. A Hillary spokesperson immediately disowned Shaheen by saying that “these comments were not authorised or condoned by the campaign in any way”. Too late. It came after a second Clinton campaign volunteer was forced to resigned for forwarding an Obama Muslim smear email and means another day of negative press coverage for Hillary.

9 - The"Obama is a Muslim" smear e-mail that has been circulating for over a year has been at least partly attributed to Clinton's former Iowa chairman, Ryan Callanan. Even if it did not originate with him, one little click of the "delete" button instead of the "forward" button and campaign disclosure of the receipt of the e-mail was all it could have taken to distance the Clinton campaign from any doubt.

10 through 13 - Hillary Clinton has questioned and compared not once, not twice but at least four times as of this writing, Obama's experience to lead as commander in chief to her experience and ...John McCain's experience! Does she really want to do the bidding of the Republican smear machine?

Hillary Clinton has crossed into the delusional threshold if she thinks that her eight years as first lady equals experience to be commander in chief. Her constant propping up of McCain to advance her dying campaign undoubtedly proves that she will burn the village down in order to save it... or save herself. If she loses the campaign, she's given McCain ammo against Obama. If for some reason she wins, McCain can attack her with the same twisted logic. He has much more experience than she does.

14 - Howard Wolfson compared Obama to Ken Starr when Obama suggested that Clinton disclose her tax records as he has done. Ken Starr? Really, Hillary? Is that where you want to take this thing? Double-edged swords can be mighty tricky. Do we want to delve into the nastiness that was Ken Starr and all that idiocy? Just release the tax records. What are you hiding? The fact that Bill Clinton's library was partially funded by the Saudis to the tune of $10 million? The fact that money was donated from the United Arab Emirates as well?

All these points combined with the ongoing positioning on superdelegates, claiming victory in Florida and Michigan when there was no contest and constantly moving the goalposts when primary defeat seemd imminent has soured me on Hillary for good. She has shown herself to truly be the establishment candidate despite her claims to the contrary.

I'm sure there's much more to come in the remaining six long weeks until the Pennsylvania primary on Aprill 22nd. Ultimately, if all pans out and there are no shenanigans, my theory is that Obama will win the nomination (do the delegate math) and Hillary's Rovian tactics will have damaged her so much in the process, she will lose the trust of the American people, her base and come 2012, her Senate seat will be up from grabs, hopefully by a better Democrat.

So no more defense of the Clintons for me. As my friend Armadillo Joe said to me the other day, their mistake is thinking that they are the Democratic party instead of realizing that they are just a small part of it.

I thought that day happened on November 7th, 2006. We'd had enough of W. and his administration's incompetence. Finally, they would get their comeupance. Alas it was not to be, as the Democrats that overtook the majority in Congress (a razor thin majority in the Senate) wound up being the wrong Democrats - they would capitulate and give the lame duck president everything he'd want and more for fear of being conceived as soft on defense, and in the process became soft, period.

George "The US Does Not Torture" Bush Will Veto Ban on Waterboarding

We can't get rid of this guy fast enough.

WASHINGTONThe White House says President Bush will veto legislation on Saturday that would have barred the CIA from using waterboarding- a technique that simulates drowning- and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

..."President Bush's veto will be one of the most shameful acts of his presidency," Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said in a statement Friday. "Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as a flagrant insult to the rule of law and a serious stain on the good name of America in the eyes of the world."

Is Congress going to have the balls to do the right thing and override the Farce-in-Chief? Keep watching.

T Minus 318/317 Days

"I suspect that had my dad not been president, he'd be asking the same questions: How'd your meeting go with so-and-so?... How did you feel when you stood up in front of the people for the State of the Union Address-- state of the budget address, whatever you call it."

-Washington Post, March 9, 2001

Friday, March 7, 2008

Obama E-Mail Smear From Clinton Camp?!

Holy shit! If this is true, it's time for the gloves to come off.

Randi Rhodes today claimed that the Obama Muslim smear e-mail originated with Clinton's Iowa county chair volunteering for the campaign.

From TPM: Ben Smith notes that one of the people on the chain of this email is a Clinton staffer named Ryan Callanan, who received the email on November 21. It's unclear what level Callanan occupies or what exactly this means.

Leonard Rosenman Dies at 83

NY Times: Leonard Rosenman, an Oscar-winning film composer who helped introduce avant-garde music to Hollywood movie scores, died on Tuesday in the Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles. He was 83 and a former Hollywood resident.

The cause was a heart attack, his family said.

Mr. Rosenman, who could also write lushly traditional film scores, composed the original music for dozens of well-known pictures. Among them were “East of Eden” (1955), “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), “The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond” (1960), “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970) and the 1978 version of “The Lord of the Rings.”

Planet of the Apes is one of my favorite soundracks. If you haven't listened to the music without the vision of guys running around in ape suits, do yourself a favor and get a copy.

T Minus 319 Days

"We want to develop defenses that are capable of defending ourselves; defenses that are capable of defending others."

-The White House, March 2001

Thursday, March 6, 2008

O Canada! - Was NAFTA-Gate A Clinton Scandal?

The Obama campaign was accused last week of speaking to the Canadian Embassy the U.S. to advise them that Canada should not take seriously Obama's attacks on the North American Free Trade Agreement. At first, Obama and the Canadian government said the story was untrue.

"I can categorically say that no one has contacted our embassy or our ambassador," said Canadian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andre Lemay. "None of our officials at the embassy discussed anything with the runners up in the presidential campaign. We realize that one of the Canadian networks mentioned yesterday that such a call had been made. The report is untrue."

Then came word that a meeting did take place in Chicago with Obama senior economic adviser Austan Goolsbee and Canadian Consul General Georges Rioux. Obama said that Goolsbee had been invited by someone at the consulate to visit and discuss trade."The Canadian Embassy confirmed that he said everything I said on the campaign trail," Obama asserted.

Rumors of Obama being two-faced about NAFTA made headlines and the Clinton campaign took advantage saying that the Obama campaign gave the Canadians "the old wink-wink" and that his hard stance on renegotiating NAFTA was just political rhetoric.

Then the Canadian confirmed that Obama's position was exactly as he stated.

The statement said "there was no intention to convey, in any way, that Senator Obama and his campaign team were taking a different position in public from views expressed in private, including about NAFTA."

Goolsbee said the visit lasted about 40 minutes, and perhaps two to three minutes were spent discussing NAFTA. He said the Canadians asked about Obama's position, and he replied about his interest in improving labor and environmental standards, and they raised some concerns that Obama sounds like a protectionist.

Goolsbee said he responded that Obama is not a protectionist, but that the Illinois senator tries to strike a balance between the economic struggles of working Americans and recognizing that free trade is good for the economy.

"That's a pretty ham-handed description of what I answered," Goolsbee said of the memo's description of "political positioning." "A: In no possible way was that a reference to NAFTA. And B: In no possible way was I inferring that he was going to introduce any policies that you should ignore and he had no intention of enacting. Those are both completely crazy."

Unfortunately, the damage was done and Obama took a hit in Ohio. But now the shoe may be on the other foot.

This from MSNBC:
Per the Toronto Globe and Mail, in a story that was the lead on the paper’s front page today, that call to the Canadian embassy was actually from the Clinton campaign, not Obama’s:

“Mr. [Ian] Brodie, [PM Harper’s chief of staff], during the media lockup for the Feb. 26 budget, stopped to chat with several journalists, and was surrounded by a group from CTV. The conversation turned to the pledges to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement made by the two Democratic contenders, Mr. Obama and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

“Mr. Brodie, apparently seeking to play down the potential impact on Canada, told the reporters the threat was not serious, and that someone from Ms. Clinton's campaign had even contacted Canadian diplomats to tell them not to worry because the NAFTA threats were mostly political posturing. The Canadian Press cited an unnamed source last night as saying that several people overheard the remark.

“The news agency quoted that source as saying that Mr. Brodie said that someone from Ms. Clinton's campaign called and was ‘telling the embassy to take it with a grain of salt.’

The story was followed by CTV's Washington bureau chief, Tom Clark, who reported that the Obama campaign, not the Clinton's, had reassured Canadian diplomats.

“Mr. Clark cited unnamed Canadian sources in his initial report. There was no explanation last night for why Mr. Brodie was said to have referred to the Clinton campaign but the news report was about the Obama campaign.”

*** UPDATE *** The Clinton campaign responds: "Unlike the Obama campaign, we can and do flatly deny this report and urge the Canadian government to reveal the name of anyone they think they heard from. The Obama campaign has given a variety of misleading answers to the press and the public about its top economic adviser’s contacts with the Canadian government and should come clean about why they did so," writes campaign spokesman Phil Singer.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks. Seems like a little projection and transference, no? Trying to switch this around on Obama after the Canadian government confirmed the Obama campaign's account is suspect. I wonder if the Clinton camp got some shards of porcelain in their eyes when the kitchen sink they threw shattered. This thing isn't over by a long shot.

The Obama E-Mail Smear Campaign

I received this e-mail from a friend who knew it to be false but thought I'd like to take a look at it. He asked the person who sent it to him not to send stuff like this again. Good for him.

This e-mail has been around for at least a year. I remember getting it long ago, maybe before I started this blog and never really wrote about it, until now.

Here is the unedited e-mail I received, misspellings, capitalizations and all.


We checked this out on ''. It is factual. Check for yourself.
Who is Barack Obama?Probable U. S. presidential candidate, Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Hussein Obama, Sr., a black MUSLIM from Nyangoma-Kogel, Kenya and Ann Dunham, a white ATHEIST from Wichita ,Kansas .

Obama's parents met at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents divorced. His father returned to Kenya. Hismother then married Lolo Soetoro, a RADICAL Muslim from Indonesia . When Obama was 6 years old, the family relocated to Indonesia. Obama attended a MUSLIM school in Jakarta. He also spent two years in a Catholic school.

Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim. He is quick to point out that, 'He was once a Muslim, but that he also attended Catholic school.'And that he now is a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, "a black is proud based church " that through it's minister is associated with Louis Farakam's Nation Of Islam.

Obama's political handlers are attempting to make it appear that Obama's introduction to Islam came via his father, and that this influence was temporary at best. In reality, the senior Obama returned to Kenya soon after the divorce, and never again had any direct influence over his son's education.

Lolo Soetoro, the second husband of Obama's mother, Ann Dunham,introduced his stepson to Islam. Obama was enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta.

Wahabism is the RADICAL teaching that is followed by the Muslim terrorists who are now waging Jihad against the western world. Since it is politically expedient to be a CHRISTIAN when seeking major public office in the United States, Barack Hussein Obama has joined the Trinity United Church of Christ in an attempt to downplay his Muslim background. ALSO, keep in mind that when he was sworn into office he DID NOT use the Holy Bible, but instead the Koran (their equivalency to our Bible, but very different beliefs).

Let us all remain alert concerning Obama's expected presidential candidacy.The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the U.S. from the inside out, what better way to start than at the highest level - through the President of the United States, one of their own!!!!

Please forward to everyone you know. Would you want this man leading our country?...... NOT ME!!!

It's very interesting to me that whoever started this e-mail even linked at the top. So the first thing I did was click on the link and type "obama muslim" in the Snopes search window. Here's what I found: (click on the screen capture for full size)

How very sad that the idiots trying to perpetuate these smears won't even take the time to click on a link provided to them to disprove the lies in the very e-mail that tries to maintain the smears. But that's what these evil bastards count on: ignorance, laziness, fearmongering, racism and stupidity.

From the Snopes article: (click on the screen capture for full size)

So please, forward THIS post to everyone you know who is too lazy to look it up for themselves the next time you get trash in your inbox.

Another interesting ploy by the Republican National Committee.

New York Times: At least 25 domain names related to Hillary Rodham Clinton have links to the Republican National Committee: the names were either registered by the R.N.C. last year or showed up on servers the committee uses.

...The day after Barack Obama won the Iowa caucuses, the R.N.C. snapped up at least 20 domains related to his candidacy. Some of them may signal the party’s future strategy: and The party has also begun preemptively registering domains that could be used to attack John McCain, like,, and ( was taken.)

There are plenty more domain names listed in the article.

Did Clinton Really Win Texas?

By now we've all seen Tuesday's results, but who was voting?

A Rude Reader from Texas has some very interesting insight:

I can tell you that Clinton did not *win* the popular vote in Texas. We are the state of the 19-percenters, Huckabee-lovers and Hagee. Republicans knew that McCain would win Ohio and since in Texas we have open primaries, the RNC, Texas Repubs and Rush had been telling all their zombies to vote Clinton because they think they can beat her. My own mother, who hasn't voted for a Democrat for 40 years, told me that she voted for Hillary because 'you know, I support McCain, so I voted for her like everyone else up here.' My mother wasn't our only contact to verify our suspicions. All those rural counties with few votes...Republicans to the core and they HATE Hillary with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Although I live in an Obama county near the George HW Bush Presidential Library, we must have had a huge number of crossovers ourselves because Huckabee nearly beat McCain here.

... Watch the caucus results. Those are going to be far more accurate because only the true-blue Democrats return for the meetings after the polls close. The delegate representation is determined by how many supporters for each candidate show up for the caucus. The popular vote has nothing to do with how these delegates are chosen. At the caucus we vote on delegates to the county and state conventions as well as resolutions for the party platform, so the Republicans stay away lest they be outed or contaminated with our Democratic ideals."
For a while now, Rush Limbaugh and other wingnuts have been terrified of an Obama nomination and have pulled out all the stops. They're urging their listeners to vote for Hillary in the open primaries because the GOP has a better shot running against her than Obama in November.

Taking a look at the Texas Caucus poll numbers, as "CW" suggests, shows that Obama leads Clinton 56%-44% with 40% of precincts reporting with final reports due by Saturday. Meanwhile, Obama supporters are going all out, helping his campaign raise a record $55 million in February. That doesn't sound like buyer's remorse to me.

So did Hillary Clinton really "win" Texas? If she did, it was by the thinnest of margins. Thinner than the actual 101,000 vote difference suggests. Were there at least 101,000 Republicans voting in the Democratic Texas primary? I have no doubt.

Speaking Of Endorsements...

... why has the media taken a pass at the endorsement of John McCain by evangelical Pastor John Hagee? Why has the media barely spoken about McCain's refusal to reject or denounce Hagee's endorsement? Are their mouths full of barbequed ribs?

Let's look at Hagee's background. According to Wikipedia Hagee is the founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a non-denominational evangelical church with more than 19,000 active members. Hagee is the President and CEO of John Hagee Ministries which telecasts his national radio and television ministry carried in America on 160 TV stations, fifty radio stations and eight networks including The Inspiration Network (INSP) and Trinity Broadcasting Network. The ministries can be seen and heard weekly in 99 million homes.

Really! 99 million homes. Well no wonder the Maverick wants his endorsement. But wait, there's more.

Hagee has made various statements that some find a little, oh, shall we say, fucking nuts, such as calling the Catholic Church "the great whore", a "false cult system" and "the apostate church."

Or how about when Hagee stated that Hurricane Katrina was an act of God, punishing New Orleans for "a level of sin that was offensive to God". He specifically referred to a "homosexual parade" that was held on the date the hurricane struck and that this was proof "of the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans." cricket... do you hear that? That's the "liberal" media lining up to skewer McCain just as Tim Russert tried to do to Barack Obama during the last debate in Ohio, questioning Obama on an endorsement from Louis Farrakhan, despite Obama's repeated denunciations of Farrakhan's statements.

Here's McCain defending his endorsement:

"Well I think it's important to note that pastor John Hagee who has supported and endorsed my candidacy supports what I stand for and believe in. When he endorses me, it does not mean that I embrace everything that he stands for and believes. And I am very proud of the Pastor John Hagee's spiritual leadership to thousands of people and I am proud of his commitment to the independence and the freedom of the state of Israel. That does not mean that I support or endorse or agree with some of the things that Pastor John Hagee might have said or positions that he may have taken on other issues. I don't have to agree with everyone who endorses my candidacy. They are supporting my candidacy. I am not endorsing some of their positions." [McCain Media Availability, 2/29/08]
So we have Tim Russert on national television trying to play a "gotcha" game with Barack Obama and trying to link him with Farrakhan over an endorsement he didn't seek, asking him to reject Farrakhan's support that was never offered and driving most of the media to cover this story for days, while back in the real world the media whores remain silent over McCain actively seeking an endorsement a couple of days later from a bigoted, misogynistic "man of God" who fans the anti-Catholic, anti-Muslim and anti-gay flames ; a man who can't wait for McCain to become president so he can continue our path to Armageddon. Because that is what Hagee ultimately wants.

Here's Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks flipping out over Hagee endorsement.

What a sick, fucking joke.

T Minus 320 Days

"After the bombing, most Iraqis saw what the perpetuators of this attack were trying to do."

- Washington, DC, March 2006

Mr. Bojangles Endorses 2000 Year Old Man

President Bush did his best Mr. Bojangles imitation today while waiting for John McCain at the White House today to officially endorse his nomination.

If you haven't seen this embarrassment, watch:

Now, I don't know about you, but I've never seen a President, by himself, no staff around, kept waiting because someone is late. And it's amazing how bipolar this asshole is. Just shows you what a little ritalin can do.

When McCain finally showed up, he was shown up in the Rose Garden. Curious George took questions, made jokes and all Mr. Double Talk Express did was wonder why his waiter hadn't brought his soup yet, not realizing that his tardiness caused him to miss the Blue Plate Special. Bush then proceeded to pidgeonhole McCain into continuing the war in Iraq (not that McCain would actually do anything different).

If you can stomach it, watch this press conference. Bush hogs up the time, only picks on reporters that he knows will give him softball questions, actually says, "No, I'm not callin' on you. No, not you either," while scanning for a reporter named "Wolf" (about 8:15 into the video) for a final question and then insults the press gaggle as he ends the conference. What a douchebag.

Go ahead, Maverick. Accept the endorsement of a President with the lowest approval ratings in the history of the White House. Accept the endorsement of a man who campaigned against you in the nastiest way possible, smearing your family by suggesting you had an illigitimate black child... and what did you do? You sold out and marched in lockstep with the rest of the GOP off the cliff that is Iraq, off the cliff that is Hurricane Katrina. You jumped into the chasm of permament tax cuts for millionaires and no oversight on the money spent for war. Keep it up, Maverick.

By the looks of this conference, I hope he's with you every step of the way like an albatross around your neck.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

T Minus 321 Days

"In this job you've got a lot on your plate on a regular basis; you don't have much time to sit around and wander, lonely, in the Oval Office, kind of asking different portraits, 'How do you think my standing will be?'"

-Washington, DC, March, 2005

Hillary Wins Three Out of Four

Clinton takes Rhode Island and Ohio handily. Ohio, ... sigh. Texas was called for her at about 12:40am but it's a squeaker 51%-48% as of this post. Obama looks like he'll win the caucus vote there an he won in Vermont by a wide margin.

Delegates? Negligible. Obama still leads by 150 or so.

I didn't think this was going to happen, but I now believe that this thing is going all the way to Denver. Jeebus help the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Will Ohio Ever Get Their Shit Together... terms of voting? First they run out of ballots and have to keep polls open later, now MSNBC is reporting that Cuyahoga county (Cleveland) won't have their count in until 4:30am. In fact, NONE of Ohio's cities have reported yet. What the fuck?!

Clinton Campaign Trying To Control Texas Caucus

Well, it looks like someone is pulling something "right out of Karl Rove's playbook."

As reported in the Dallas Morning News:

Hillary Clinton and her campaign is pushing for precinct captains for Texas' 8,000 Democratic polling places. They need to train folks to lead the caucus sessions that will determine more than 60 delegates after the primary voting is over.In training materials being handed out by the Clinton campaign, it is clear that they want to control those caucus sessions.

The materials say in part, "DO NOT allow the supporter of another candidate to serve in leadership roles."It goes on to say, "If our supporters are outnumbered, ask the Temporary Chair if one of our supporters can serves as the Secretary, in the interest of fairness."

The control of the sign-in sheets and the announcement of the delegates allotted to each candidate are the critical functions of the Chair and Secretary. This is why it is so important that Hillary supporters hold these positions."
As Glenn Smith writes at
Now there can be only one purpose in trying to control the tally of votes under circumstances in which a campaign knows it's outnumbered, that it will lose an honest counting of the votes: to alter the true vote. To cheat. To steal. To suppress the votes of Texas caucus attendees and subvert the caucus process.

The phrase, "if our supporters are outnumbered," means, in simpler language, "If we lose the vote, take control of the vote tally and change the numbers."
So shame on you, Hillary Clinton! It is time you ran a campaign that is consistent with your messages in public. That is what Democrats around the country expect from you, not voter suppression.

DailyKos has more.

Clinton Endorses McCain On Experience

I took the "As far as I know" quote lightly, trying not to be cynical. But I just wanted to thank Hillary Clinton so much for doing the job of the McCain campaign team for them.

Thanks for endorsing John McCain, Hillary. Really, really smart move.

Thank you for bringing your wide wealth of experience, your "eight years on the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in the White House WATCHING [your] husband deal with serious challenges to our nation." It's so reassuring.

As Far As I Know

There's been a lot of criticism over Clinton's 60 Minutes interview and her answer on the "Obama-is-a-Muslim" rumor. She gave a perfectly good answer... except for the ending.

STEVE KROFT: You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim?

HILLARY CLINTON: Of course not. I mean that's, you know, that, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says, and, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that.

KROFT: You said you take Sen. Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim...

CLINTON: Right, right..

KROFT: …you don't believe that he's a Muslim.

CLINTON: No! No! Why would I? There's nothing to base that on. As far as I know.

When I first heard what she had said (I didn't watch the interview) I thought, "Oh, great! Is she looking for a job on the McCain campaign after Obama wins the nomination?" But after watching the interview, the comment reads much worse than the interview.

But it's a painstaking process to find a video other than on the CBS website to see the full Clinton comment. As Jake Tapper notes:

To be fair, Clinton went on to say that having "been the target of so many ridiculous rumors... I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time."

But Tapper also makes a valid point. What if the shoe was on the other foot?

Let's try just one of any number of ridiculous anti-Clinton smears.

HYPOTHETICAL STEVE KROFT: You don't believe that Senator Clinton killed Vince Foster?

HYPOTHETICAL BARACK OBAMA: Of course not. I mean that's, you know, that, there is no basis for that. You know, I take her on the basis of what she says, and, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that.

HYPOTHETICAL KROFT: You said you take Sen. Clinton at her word that she didn't kill Vince Foster...


HYPOTHETICAL KROFT: …you don't believe that she killed Vince Foster.

HYPOTHETICAL OBAMA: No! No! Why would I? There's nothing to base that on. As far as I know.
Food for thought, isn't it? Yes, Clinton probably should have kept the "As far as I know" comment to herself. But these politicians are so scutinized by what they they say, it was probably an automatic thing for her, not wanting to get caught in a game of "gotcha" in so many other instances of reporters pressing a question.

Yes I'm making an excuse for her, I'm not a Hillary fan and I am an Obama supporter. The comment is much ado about nothing, although hypersensitive people won't take it as such. The one thing she should have said, as Obama touched on in his portion of the interview should have gone something like this:

"This is a prejudice attack that we shouldn't stand for as a nation. Barack Obama is not a Muslim. But would it make a difference if he was? Would you be asking me the same question if he were Jewish? Or Greek Orthodox? Or Hindu? This rumor is not only an insult to Barack, but an insult to all Muslims everywhere who are being stereotyped and perpetrated as terrorists just because their religion is the same as that of opportunistic extremists. Would we be targeting all Roman Catholics because of Timothy McVeigh?"

But she didn't say that.

As far as those intrepid "journalists" out there, why don't you ask John McCain if he'll reject and denounce religious extremist John Hagee's endorsement and if not, does that mean that McCain believes the Catholic Church is a "great whore" or if he believes "that New Orleans had a level of sin that was offensive to God and they were recipients of the judgment of God for that" instead of having a barbeque with a man you're supposed to be reporting about objectively?

T Minus 322 Days

"I can press when there needs to be pressed; I can hold hands when there needs to be -- hold hands."

- On how he can contribute to the Middle East peace process, Washington, D.C., Jan. 4, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

The McCain-Reagan Comparison

The American Spectator: John McCain, although he has failed to toe the line of conservative orthodoxy, has many of the characteristics that the American people admired in Ronald Reagan, including the key elements that made him a successful president. In fact, given his electability, McCain offers a rare chance for conservatives to recapture the essence of the Reagan revolution.

MyDD: ...can McCain coalesce the Reagan coalition?

Boston Globe: ...McCain is trying, in many ways, to run as Reagan redux. McCain's most frequent theme is that he is trying to ''build bridges'' much the way the former president and California governor did.
If you surf long enough, you'll find all kinds of whackos spouting the argument and comparing John McCain to Ronald Reagan in a desperate attempt to try and convince the right wing that the general election in 2008 is not lost. Look! We have a new Ronnie!

But then you would have to think of this:

Lowell "Bud" Paxson yesterday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Mr. Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Mr. Paxson's behalf.

..McCain attorney Robert Bennett played down the contradiction between the campaign's written answer and Mr. Paxson's recollection.

"We understood that he [Mr. McCain] did not speak directly with him [Mr. Paxson]. Now, it appears he did speak to him. What is the difference?" Mr. Bennett said.

The difference would be denying McCain met Paxson (a lie) or admitting they met (the truth).

How about the incident regarding conservative Bill Cunningham firing up the crowd at a McCain rally by using Obama's middle name repeatedly?

McCain denied ever meeting Cunningham before, saying "I will certainly make sure nothing like that happens again." But Cunningham told CNN he met McCain twice before, including with former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine at Kenwood Country Club. "John McCain is developing -- maybe because of his advance in years -- a bad memory,'' Cunningham said.

This was followed with a "oh, maybe we did meet" response. Well, the only comparison I see beside the obvious one that both doddering old fools have been and would be awful presidents is that perhaps McCain is starting to suffer the onset of Alzheimer's Disease. What else could explain his horrible memory? It would be nice if he could remember the names of foreign dignitaries should the unthinkable happens and he were to win the Oval Office.

Super Tuesday Jr?...

That's what I heard the "pundits" calling tomorrow's primaries. And with a couple of big states up for grabs, the Clinton camp continues to suggest that nothing but an Obama sweep will deter them from swinging away til the bitter end.

Meanwhile, Obama had some swinging of his own to do.

"What precise foreign-policy experience is she claiming that makes her qualified to answer that telephone call at 3 a.m. in the morning?" Obama asked of the former first lady at a town-hall meeting. It was a reference to dueling television ads over who would exercise superior judgment in responding to a national emergency in the middle of the night.

...Obama criticized Clinton expressly for failing to read the classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons capabilities, a report available at the time of her October 2002 vote authorizing the Iraq war.
"She didn't give diplomacy a chance. And to this day, she won't even admit that her vote was a mistake — or even that it was a vote for war," Obama said.

"When it came time to make the most important foreign policy decision of our generation the decision to invade Iraq Senator Clinton got it wrong," Obama said.

T Minus 323 Days

"He's kind of a - probably feeling his oats pretty good about that time."

- At the Faith-Based and Community Initiative Conference, describing when Rabbi Borovitz met his wife, Harriet, March 3, 2004

Democratic Backbone? Not In This Congress

This is depressing. House leaders stalled the FISA bill giving retroactive immunity to telecoms passed by the Senate under the guise of civil liberties and the rule of law, giving a glimpse of hope for the few remaining Democratic eternal optimists that finally the party would make good on promises made after the 2006 election.

But like a sadistic master dangling a treat in front a his loyal but stupid dog, it looks like they'll pull the treat of the defense of the Constitution once again, giving the White House everything they wanted in the first place, and as Glenn Greenwald notes, putting themselves in the worst possible position by picking a fight on a highly volitile issue that has gotten a lot of media attention, only to capitulate and give the Republicans more fodder.
...No rational person who has watched Congressional Democrats since they took over Congress could possibly have expected them to do anything but what they always do: namely, whatever they're told to do by the White House.

...what is somewhat baffling in all of this is just how politically stupid and self-destructive their behavior is. If the plan all along was to give Bush everything he wanted, as it obviously was, why not just do it at the beginning? Instead, they picked a very dramatic fight that received substantial media attention. They exposed their freshmen and other swing-district members to attack ads. They caused their base and their allies to spend substantial energy and resources defending them from these attacks.

And now, after picking this fight and letting it rage for weeks, they are going to do what they always do -- just meekly give in to the President, yet again generating a tidal wave of headlines trumpeting how they bowed, surrendered, caved in, and lost to the President. They're going to cast the appearance that they engaged this battle and once again got crushed, that they ran away in fear because of the fear-mongering ads that were run and the attacks from the President. They further demoralize their own base and increase the contempt in which their base justifiably holds them (if that's possible). It's almost as though they purposely picked the path that imposed on themselves all of the political costs with no benefits.

...Even with their ultimate, total compliance with the President's orders, they're still going to be attacked as having Made Us Less Safe -- by waiting weeks to capitulate, rather than doing so immediately ...It was a loss for them on every level.

And so here we find the American people (at least the Democratic ones) laying on the ground, dejected, demoralized and feeling like fools for allowing Lucy to pull the football away as we tried to kick it yet again.

What do we do now? Better Democrats. The gang of losers in the Congress are so used to giving in time and time again that they don't know how to win. How many times does the GOP minority leadership have to fuck them in the ass until they get the picture that the have to fight fire with fire? There is no negotiating with these cretinous bastards. You don't bring a knife to a gun fight. What was that line that Malone (Sean Connery) says in The Untouchables? "They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue."

This is the only way the Republicans know, and if you give an inch they'll take a mile. But the weak, flawed Democrats in Congress have just gotten so used to atomic wedgie after atomic wedgie, so used to being stuffed in a locker after having their milk money stolen time and again, that they know no other way to act even when they are in the majority.

The worst part is that if they really and truly cared about the rule of law, about defending the Constitution as they say they do, the separate votes they plan to cast on the FISA and immunity to cover their own asses would never take place. But please pay attention to those Democrats that will vote "yea" on immunity and put them on your sHit List of the Democrats we must replace in Congress. That list is getting longer and longer all the time.