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The Colbert Report: Sarah Palin is a Cheap Little Guttersnipe

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

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Jon Stewart on the Sarah Palin Interview

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Chris Matthews grills Nancy Pfotenhauer over McCain economic plan

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Colbert Report "How Dare You Ask McCain/Palin Questions?"

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Earth to McCain: It’s a Crisis

By Robert Scheer
Truthdig


Gag me with a spoon, as Valley girls used to say. Did you see that McCain-Palin ad promising “tougher rules on Wall Street to protect your life savings, no special interest giveaways”? Just how dumb do they think we are?

Seriously, 20 minutes of Google searches should be sufficient to convince all but the dimwits among us that John McCain has been a master of the special-interest giveaways to Wall Street that enabled this meltdown. He voted for abolishing all of the significant rules put in place at the time of the Great Depression designed to prevent a repeat. The two main bills accomplishing that, bills which McCain enthusiastically supported, were the Commodity Futures Modernization Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Gramm is former Sen. Phil Gramm, who was chair of the Senate Banking Committee when he acted as chief sponsor of both pieces of legislation. The same Gramm that McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign.

Gramm proved an embarrassment when he cavalierly insisted there was no real crisis but only the panic of “whiners,” but even on Monday as his “Crisis” ad ran, McCain, in person, was still denying that there was one. “The fundamentals of our economy are strong,” he told NBC’s Matt Lauer, as two more of the nation’s most venerable financial institutions crashed and the stock market shed more than 500 points. When a perplexed Lauer asked McCain to square his optimism with his own ad’s use of the crisis word, McCain came to his senses and, discovering his inner Karl Marx, insisted he hadn’t been speaking of the bankers but rather was saying “that the workers of America are the fundamentals of the economy.”...(Click here for remainder).

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Palin Falls Short of VP Standards

By John Dean
Truthdig

Editor’s Note: John W. Dean was counsel to President Richard M. Nixon for 1,000 days and is the author of nine books, including “Conservatives Without Conscience,” “Worse Than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush” and “Pure Goldwater,” which Dean co-wrote with Barry M. Goldwater Jr.

In truth, the vice president of the United States is important for only one reason: He or she will become president of the United States upon the death, incapacity or resignation of the president. Nine times in our history, vice presidents have succeeded to the presidency: John Tyler (1841), Millard Fillmore (1850), Andrew Johnson (1865), Chester A. Arthur (1881), Theodore Roosevelt (1901), Calvin Coolidge (1923), Harry Truman (1945), Lyndon Johnson (1963) and Gerald Ford (1974). Of course, the vice president also has a significant secondary role: It is he or she, acting with a majority of the Cabinet, who can declare the president incapable of carrying out the duties of the office, and then take charge—until the action is either ratified or rejected by a majority of the Congress. So far in our history, however, this has never occurred.

Given the fact that the 2008 GOP standard-bearer, John McCain, is 72 years of age, his selection of an inexperienced vice presidential running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, has again focused attention on the process and procedures for selecting vice presidents—or, to put it more bluntly, the utter lack of process or procedures in selecting the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. McCain, not unlike others before him, selected a less than fully vetted running mate for political reasons. That is surely a problem for voters to think over in the upcoming election—but it raises a systemic concern, too, for the long run.

Consider this parallel: Does anyone believe that if McCain were president and had selected Palin under the 25th Amendment to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency Congress would have confirmed her? Not likely. In fact, it is even less likely that McCain would have even attempted to do so, for he would have embarrassed himself....(Click here for remainder).

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McCain’s Political Games Can’t Compete With an Economic Meltdown

By E.J. Dionne
Truthdig


In democracies, all political factions run against an elite. Since the New Deal, Democrats have cast themselves against the financial and business elite. Since the 1960s, Republicans have thrashed the cultural and intellectual elite.

Over the weekend, the moneyed class became much more vulnerable. The foolishness of our financial geniuses now threatens to bring economic sorrow to Main Street. Franklin Roosevelt’s 1936 attack on “the privileged princes of these new economic dynasties” never sounded so up to date.

Americans don’t mind wealthy and even rapacious capitalists as long as they deliver the goods to everyone else. But when the big boys drag everyone else down, Americans rise up in righteous anger. The New Deal political alignment endured for decades because the financial elites were so profoundly discredited by the Great Depression. The New Deal coalition dissolved only when prosperity began to seem durable and only after the GOP discovered the joys of baiting Hollywood, the media and the academy.

There is always something slightly phony about anti-elitist politics. Plenty of investment bankers are Democrats, and Republican politicians who claim to speak for devoutly religious cultural conservatives are usually far removed from the world (and the values) of those whose votes they court and whose resentments they stoke.

But the captains of John McCain’s campaign figured they might wring one more election victory out of the culture war. They ridiculed Barack Obama as the celebrity candidate loved by Europeans—Europe is always in the elitist camp—and harped on his unfortunate comments, ripped out of context, about “bitter” voters who “cling to guns or religion.”...(Click here for remainder).

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Palin Keeps Lying, and Lying, and …

By Eugene Robinson
Truthdig


What kind of person tells a self-aggrandizing lie, gets called on it, admits publicly that the truth is not at all what she originally claimed—and then goes out and starts telling the original lie again without changing a word?

Sarah Palin is beginning to seem like quite an unusual woman, and I’m not talking about her love of guns and “snow machines,” her faith, her family or any of the presumably non-elite attributes that we in the “elite media” are accused of savaging. Wrongly accused, I should add; reporters are doing nothing more sinister than trying to find out who she is, how she thinks and what she has done in office.

One deeply troubling thing we’re learning about Palin is that, as far as she’s concerned, unambiguous fact doesn’t appear to rise even to the level of inconvenience.

I’m sorry, but to explain my point I have to make another visit—my last, I hope—to the never-built, $398-million “Bridge to Nowhere” that was to join the town of Ketchikan, Alaska, with its airport on the other side of the Tongass Narrows.

You’ll recall that in her Republican convention speech, Palin burnished her budget-hawk credentials by claiming she had said “thanks but no thanks” to a congressional earmark that would have paid most of the cost. A quick check of the public record showed that Palin supported the bridge when she was running for governor, continued to support it once she took office and dropped her backing only after the project—by then widely ridiculed as an example of pork-barrel spending—was effectively dead on Capitol Hill.

In her interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson, Palin ’fessed up. It was “not inappropriate” for a mayor or a governor to work with members of Congress to obtain federal money for infrastructure projects, she argued. “What I supported,” she said, “was a link between a community and its airport.”...(Click here for remainder).

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Bill Maher On the Maddow Show: Palin is not ready

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A Liberal Shock Doctrine

By Rick Perlstein
Campaign for America's Future

Progressive political change in American history is rarely incremental. With important exceptions, most of the reforms that have advanced our nation's status as a modern, liberalizing social democracy were pushed through during narrow windows of progressive opportunity—which subsequently slammed shut with the work not yet complete. The post-Civil War reconstruction of the apartheid South, the Progressive Era remaking of the institutions of democratic deliberation, the New Deal, the Great Society: They were all blunt shocks. Then, before reformers knew what had happened, the seemingly sturdy reform mandate faded and Washington returned to its habits of stasis and reaction.

The Oval Office's most effective inhabitants have always understood this. Franklin D. Roosevelt hurled down executive orders and legislative proposals like thunderbolts during his First Hundred Days, hardly slowing down for another four years before his window slammed shut; Lyndon Johnson, aided by John F. Kennedy's martyrdom and the landslide of 1964, legislated at such a breakneck pace his aides were in awe. Both presidents understood that there are too many choke points—our minority-enabling constitutional system, our national tendency toward individualism, and our concentration of vested interests—to make change possible any other way.

That is a fact. A fact too many Democrats have trained themselves to ignore. And it sometimes feels like Barack Obama, whose first instinct when faced with ideological resistance seems to be to extend the right hand of fellowship, understands it least of all. Does he grasp that unless all the monuments of lasting, structural change in the American state—banking regulation, public-power generation, Social Security, the minimum wage, the right to join a union, federal funding of education, Medicare, desegregation, Southern voting rights—had happened fast, they wouldn't have happened at all?...(Click here for remainder).

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Debunked: Ten Conservative Myths About National Security

By Sara Robinson
Campaign for America's Future

True confession: I was terrified on 9/11—for all the right reasons.

I wasn't afraid of the terrorists. There are plenty of countries where people have lived for decades under the constant threat of unholy acts of terror—and yet people still get on buses and subways and airplanes, and life goes on. I'd like to think that Americans are at least as courageous as Israelis or Indonesians. Our "land of the free and home of the brave" mythos insists we should be. So I was damned if I was going to respond to the crisis by giving into irrational fears and thereby, as we used to say, "let the terrorists win."

No, what I was really afraid of was that too many of my fellow Americans would forget the lessons of their own history—that they'd lose track of who we are and where we've been and what we're made of. I knew there was a real possibility that this time, we'd fail to live up to our reputation for cool, calm clarity in the face of crisis, and instead be goaded into taking counsel of our fears. I feared the bad choices that would inevitably follow if we stampeded down that road. And I dreaded that it would be the soul death of the country I loved.

I hate having been right about this, though I can hardly blame average citizens for succumbing to the sirens of chaos. Americans trying to make correct sense of the new reality found their efforts stymied everywhere they turned. With the White House distorting intelligence to sell a war, corporate opportunists fanning the coals of panic to heat up vast new business opportunities, media editors milking the drama to keep their ratings high, and terrified hordes quick to shout "treason" whenever anyone dared to question the path we were taking, it was hard for even thoughtful Americans to locate the truth of the matter. And as long as confusion reigned, the terrorists really did keep winning.

Seven years later, as the miasma dissipates, more and more of us are able to calm down, take a step back, draw a big, cleansing breath and start to sort things out more rationally. Unfortunately, though, a few of the myths promulgated in those first few years have hardened firmly into a new conventional wisdom—some so stubbornly that you often won't even find progressives questioning them any more. The time has come to call out a few of these persistent myths that are still being taken as fact and start firing back on them....(Click here for remainder).

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Sarah Palin Champions Barbaric Aerial Hunting of Wolves

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Palin and the Teleprompter

By Jake Tapper
ABC News

At a fundraiser in Canton, Ohio, this evening, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin had an interesting description of her speech to the Republican convention.

“There Ohio was right out in front, right in front of me," Palin said. "The teleprompter got messed up, I couldn’t follow it, and I just decided I’d just talk to the people in front of me. It was Ohio.” 

This struck many of us -- who, as she spoke, followed along with her prepared remarks, and noted how closely she stuck to the script -- as an unusual claim. (Especially those of my colleagues on the convention floor at the time, reading along on the prompter with her, noticing her excellent and disciplined delivery, how she punched words that were underlined and paused where it said "pause," noting that "nuclear" was spelled out for her phonetically.)

Please note: few people who work on TV will ever bad-mouth a teleprompter. And Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., works with a prompter not infrequently.

But it's different to use one, and to use one but imply that you weren't.

Was Palin doing that tonight?

McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds says no, and disputes any notion that Palin was implying that she ad-libbed the speech by saying she "couldn't follow it" on the teleprompter, so she "just decided I’d just talk to the people in front of me."...(Click here for remainder).

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Michigan Dems and the Obama Campaign Sue for Foreclosure-Related Vote-Caging

By emptywheel
Firedoglake.com

The Michigan Democratic Party and the Obama campaign just finished a conference call announcing that they will sue the Republican Party for its plans to conduct vote-caging operations this fall, based partly on using lists of people in foreclosure to challenge peoples' right to vote (here is Time's recording of the call). They are seeking an injunction to prevent the GOP from engaging in these activities this year.

The move arose out of a Michigan Messenger story last week which quoted a county party chair, on the record, as saying he planned to use foreclosure lists as a basis for vote-caging.
The chairman of the Republican Party in Macomb County, Michigan, a key swing county in a key swing state, is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes to block people from voting in the upcoming election as part of the state GOP’s effort to challenge some voters on Election Day.

“We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses,” party chairman James Carabelli told Michigan Messenger in a telephone interview earlier this week. He said the local party wanted to make sure that proper electoral procedures were followed.

State election rules allow parties to assign “election challengers” to polls to monitor the election. In addition to observing the poll workers, these volunteers can challenge the eligibility of any voter provided they “have a good reason to believe” that the person is not eligible to vote. One allowable reason is that the person is not a “true resident of the city or township.”

The Michigan Republicans’ planned use of foreclosure lists is apparently an attempt to challenge ineligible voters as not being “true residents.”
When asked whether they had more evidence that the GOP planned to engage in this kind of voter-caging this year, MDP Chair Mark Brewer and Obama Campaign General Counsel Bob Bauer referred to the changing story among different members of the MI GOP--that stop short of real denials, of similar statements coming from an OH county chair, and of a former MI Republican Counsel, Eric Doster, admitting the party did plan on doing vote caging, though perhaps using returned mail....(Click here for remainder).

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McCain and Palin are laughing at the press -- and it's the press' fault

By Eric Boehlert
MediaMatters.org

Chris Matthews was steamed.

As John McCain's manufactured "lipstick on a pig" story was taking flight last week, Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, kicked off the hour by teeing up the story. In a note to viewers that telegraphed his disdain for the lipstick controversy, he announced that during the show, he'd share his own thoughts "about how, with a troubled economy, crumbling bridges, rail and roads, a failing educational system, a war that is now going on for five years, and an uncertain American economic future, we're sitting here talking about lipstick."

Later, he complained the story was "an insult to the intelligence of our democracy."

Did you hear the media are mad? According to Howard Kurtz at The Washington Post, the press is angry at McCain for his patently untrue lipstick attack ("It's false. It's ridiculous"), and they're seething over how Sarah Palin keeps telling her demonstrably false Bridge to Nowhere tale even after members of the media pointed out her stump-speech applause line was a lie. (A "whopper.")

During the past week, virtually every major news outlet has produced welcomed, hard-edged fact-checking pieces about how the Republican ticket goes far beyond bending the truth and just plain snaps it out on the campaign trail.

In the past, that kind of truth-telling would have embarrassed campaigns and likely caused a dramatic change in the rhetoric. But what do McCain and Palin do in response? They pretty much ignore the press and its critiques....(Click here for remainder).

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"Fundamentally Strong?" Ad

What the hell is wrong with John McSame and the Repub-lie-can party? Do they really believe that the economy is "strong"? Are these people f-ing insane? Never mind, that's a rhetorical question.  Good job by the Democratic Party in getting this ad out quickly.

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Barack Obama: Confronting an Economic Crisis

Barack gave a speech detailing his plans for repairing America's struggling economy in Golden, CO on September 16th, 2008.

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