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McCain Financial Crisis Flip Flops - ABC News

Thursday, September 18, 2008

CHARLIE GIBSON: And with apologies for our technical difficulties, we're going to turn back to the difficult economy, and the way the presidential candidates are dealing with it, particularly John McCain. Here's David Wright.

DAVID WRIGHT: John McCain was against the government bailout of AIG, before he was reluctantly for it. Here he was yesterday on "Today."

JOHN MCCAIN: We cannot bail AIG or anybody else. We have to work through it.

WRIGHT: Asked about the same topic today on "Good Morning America" -

MCCAIN: I don't think anybody I know wanted to do that. But there are literally millions of people whose retirement, whose investments, whose insurance were at risk here. And they were going to have their lives destroyed.

WRIGHT: Senator McCain appears to have changed his tune on regulation in a fundamental way. Today on the stump, he's a champion of reigning in Wall Street with tough regulations.

MCCAIN: We're going to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption and greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street.

WRIGHT: But for more than 25 years in the Senate, McCain has fashioned himself as a champion of smaller government, less regulation.

MCCAIN: I am less government, less regulation, lower taxes, et cetera.


Palin's Petropolitics

By Michael T. Klare
The Nation

In the clinical terminology of political science, Alaska is a classic "petrostate." That is, its political system is geared toward the maximization of oil "rents"--royalties and other income derived from energy firms--to the neglect of all other economic activities. Such polities have an inherent tendency toward corruption because of the close ties that naturally develop between government officials and energy executives and because oil revenues replace taxation as a source of revenue (Alaska has no state income tax), insulating officials from the scrutiny of taxpayers. Ever since the discovery of oil in the North Slope, Alaska's GOP leadership has largely behaved in this fashion. And while Governor Sarah Palin has made some commendable efforts to dilute her party's ties to Big Oil, she is no less a practitioner of petrostate politics than her predecessors.

To put things in perspective: in 2007 Alaska produced approximately 719,000 barrels of oil per day. That puts it in the same ballpark as Egypt (710,000), Oman (718,000) and Malaysia (755,000). Of these, Oman is particularly interesting as a parallel. According to the Energy Department, "Oman's economy is heavily reliant on oil revenues, which account for about 75 percent of the country's export earnings"--an assessment that would describe Alaska nicely if it were an independent nation. Equally revealing, oil rents provide 42 percent of Alaska's annual revenue, more than any other source. If lavish federal contributions were discounted (Alaska has one of the nation's highest per capita rates of federal subsidies), oil's share of state revenue would jump to 53 percent--about the same as in Venezuela.

Since taking office as governor in 2006, Palin has devoted herself to a single overarching objective: increasing Alaska's income from oil and gas. To this end, she has pushed through two signal pieces of legislation: the creation of Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) tax on oil and natural gas production, and the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA). The ACES tax replaced the Petroleum Profits Tax, which had been instituted by her now-disgraced Republican predecessor, Frank Murkowski, and was widely viewed as being excessively favorable to the oil companies. Under ACES the companies are taxed at a higher rate, and a progressive surcharge of 0.4 percent is added for every dollar the net profit per barrel exceeds $30. But--and this is a big but--the companies receive an increased tax credit for some new investments in exploration and infrastructure improvements....(Click here for remainder).


McCain and the POW Cover-up

By Sydney H. Schanberg
The Nation

John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero people would logically imagine to be a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain's role in it, even as McCain has made his military service and POW history the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War have also turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn't talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a Special Forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington and even sworn testimony by two defense secretaries that "men were left behind." This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number--probably hundreds--of the US prisoners held in Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain....(Click here for remainder).


Dems spending to win

By Aaron Blake
The Hill

Early spending on congressional races shows Senate Democrats reaching for 60 seats and House Democrats making good on their promise to stay on offense.

With less than seven weeks until Election Day, the vast majority of independent expenditures from House and Senate Democrats have gone to offense, according to an analysis by The Hill.

In the House, of the 15 districts where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has spent the most money, the party is playing defense in just four.

In the Senate, both parties have engaged in six key GOP-held states, while the lone major GOP target, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), has eluded any national money.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) also went up with its first ad in top-targeted Alaska on Tuesday, and it might not have to spend anything to win GOP-held seats in New Mexico and Virginia. Combining those three with the six battlegrounds would give Democrats a nine-seat gain and an effective 60-seat filibuster-proof majority.

In all, Democrats have spent nearly $17 million combined, while Republicans have spent only about $5 million, according to a review of Federal Election Commission (FEC) reports....(Click here for remainder).


The Final Distraction: McCain/Palin Worse Than Bush

By John Cusack
Huffington Post

We all know McCain has sold his soul to win. Big mistake: the Democrats are taking the GOP bait, especially on Palin. She is the ultimate distraction. If we're not careful she'll be the final distraction. The perfect new celebrity -- Sarah Barracuda -- to capture the message in the 24-hour spin orgy, all the while attacking Obama as an elite celebrity. Any narrative that focuses on her -- any -- is a win for Republicans, carrying an undercurrent of race wars, gender wars, class wars. All ending with a debate on God and a return visit to Rev. Wright.

Palin is a gateway drug to a back-alley brawl Obama can't win. A Joseph Conrad-produced reality show/sitcom with Palin replacing Roseanne Barr fighting for the little guy with sass and sex. Wonderful.

Watch McCain repeat "maverick" 300 times a day, like a mantra, 'til Election Day. Republicans and hockey moms against corruption and Lear jets. Orwell for second graders: distraction and chaos, phony scandals and bullshit patriotics from the crew that would install an inexperienced neophyte -- not even put through the crucible of the national stage -- a heartbeat away from the greatest nuclear arsenal the world has ever known, and not blink. Darkest reptilian politics that speak to the ultimate calcified cynicism of Republicans.

Democrats need to ignore her -- unless she speaks about policy -- maybe she can explain and solve the collapsing world markets -- and keep the focus relentlessly on the disastrous results of Bush/McCain/Republican rule. They need to remind voters of the disasters of the last seven-plus years. Specifically. And as people have been saying, we need to be mad as well as inspired....(Click here for remainder).


Chris Matthews smacks down Rep. Cantor


Obama laughs at notion of McCain as agent of change


Palin pulls McCain straight down the crapper

A week ago we posted a petition urging the Corporate Media to call Sarah Palin a Serial Liar, and we had a huge impact. Now everyone knows Palin is lying every time she brags about opposing the Bridge to Nowhere, and the Corporate Media is willing to call her a Liar.

dreaminonempty's graph shows the impact of our efforts. Palin's initial +17 favorable rating (due exclusively to empty Corporate Media hype) pulled McCain's up slightly, but as Palin's favorables sank like a stone (now -1), she pulled McCain down right with her.

And Palin's favorables will continue their downward plunge with each news cycle. Yesterday Carly Fiorina said Palin was unqualified to run a major corporation. (Fiorina was quickly "disappeared" from TV.) Up in Alaska, McCain's goons are trying to shut down the Troopergate investigation, but Alaskans are fighting back.


Hackers Expose Palin’s Legally Questionable Correspondence

By Lindsay Beyerstein
The Campaign Silo @ Firedoglake

The staff of wikileaks reports that the internet group "Anonymous" hacked Sarah Palin's email account and submitted their quarry to wikileaks last night.

The McCain/Palin camp are officially outraged about the break-in, which is a tacit confirmation that this isn't a hoax. Click here to see the screen shots of Palin's inbox for the account "".

The contents of the inbox confirm that Palin was using her private account for government business. We already knew that Palin's advisers urged her to use private accounts, a la RNC email accounts, in order to circumvent FOIA requests and skirt subpoenas.

Palin used the account to correspond with many members of her administration including her senior aides Ivy Frye and Frank Bailey, communications officer Beth Leschper, appointee Judy Patrick, Anchorage office director Kris Perry, press secretary Roseanne Hughes, Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, and deputy communications director Sharon Leighow, among others....(Click here for remainder).



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