Saturday, June 14, 2008

John McCain Can't Even Manage His Own Debt

With our country in its worst debt-shape ever, it would be appropriate to elect a leader who can at the very least keep track of his own finances. That short list does not include Arizona Senator John McCain, who was found to be in nearly a quarter-million dollars in credit card debt. It isn't like he can't afford to pay it, with $57,000 in disability every year on top of his Senatorial salary and his wife's multi-multi-million dollar beer fortune. So why is the Senator in debt like that?

From The Houston Chronicle:

"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his wife reported more than $100,000 of credit card liabilities, according to financial disclosure documents released Friday.

The presidential candidate and his wife Cindy reported piling up debt on a charge card between $10,000 and $15,000. His wife’s solo charge card has between $100,000 and $250,000 in debt to American Express.

Another charge card with American Express, this one for a "dependent child," is carrying debt in the range of $15,000 and $50,000."

With all of that money made off of getting people drunk, can't they afford to pay their credit card bills? Most Americans could only dream about the money the McCain's have, instead they have to skimp and save to pay the minimum balance, let alone the principle. If they can't pay their own bills, how do we expect them to look out for our country's checkbook?

Probably just like George Bush did for the last eight years.

Friday, June 13, 2008

How John McCain Thinks He Can Win In 2008

Lobbyist Campaign manager Rick Davis knows the political climate is bad for Republicans this year. However he thinks there is hope for his candidate Straight Talkin', Lobbyist-Fightin' John McCain. Davis cites numbers that show people view McCain more positively than Obama by 6%, wow omigosh! What Davis doesn't say is that as long Americans find out about the real McCain, he doesn't stand a chance.

The World Can't Wait For Obama

How much does the world hate George Bush? We might never know the true level of ill will towards our 43rd President but the hope for a new tomorrow is evidence that the citizens of the Earth are clamoring for a new leader of the (less) free world. They are smart enough to know that John McCain would simply be another George Bush and are hoping and praying that enough American voters know it too.

From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — People around the globe widely expect the next American president to improve the country's policies toward the rest of the world, especially if Barack Obama is elected, yet they retain a persistently poor image of the U.S., according to a poll released Thursday.

The survey of two dozen countries, conducted this spring by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, also found a growing despondency over the international economy, with majorities in 18 nations calling domestic economic conditions poor. In more bad news for the U.S., people shared a widespread sense the American economy was hurting their countries, including large majorities in U.S. allies Britain, Germany, Australia, Turkey, France and Japan.

Even six in 10 Americans agreed the U.S. economy was having a negative impact abroad.

Views of the U.S. improved or stayed the same as last year in 18 nations, the first positive signs the poll has found for the U.S. image worldwide this decade. Even so, many improvements were modest and the U.S. remains less popular in most countries than it was before it invaded Iraq in 2003, with majorities in only eight expressing favorable opinions.

Substantial numbers in most countries said they are closely following the U.S. presidential election, including 83 percent in Japan _ about the same proportion who said so in the U.S. Of those following the campaign, optimism that the new president will reshape American foreign policy for the better is substantial, with the largest segment of people in 14 countries _ including the U.S. _ saying so.

American foreign policy in the last eight years has been abysmal at best. George Bush has destroyed all empathy, sympathy and general good feelings for the United States and burned it up like he has for every single endeavor in his life. The world, with myself included can only have dreamt that he had stayed on as General Owner for the Texas Rangers. A dimwitted Sammy Sosa trade is way better than the hell he has unleashed across the globe in such a short amount of time.

Here's to our next President, Barack Obama!

Rest In Peace Tim Russert

Tim Russert passed on today due to a heart attack, he was 58 years too young. He leaves behind a wife and a son as well as a tremendous career in journalism.

From his NBC bio:

Tim Russert is the Managing Editor and Moderator of "Meet the Press" and political analyst for "NBC Nightly News" and the "TODAY" program. He anchors "The Tim Russert Show," a weekly interview program on MSNBC. Russert also serves as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News.

His two books-Big Russ and Me in 2004 and Wisdom of Our Fathers in 2006-were both New York Times #1 bestsellers.

He has received forty-eight honorary doctorate degrees from American colleges and universities and has lectured at the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan Presidential Libraries.

Russert took over the helm of "Meet the Press" in December 1991. Since then, MTP has become the most watched Sunday morning interview program in America and the most quoted news program in the world. Now in its 60th year, "Meet the Press" is the longest-running program in the history of television. Russert has interviewed every major figure on the American political scene.

Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of the Today program from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987 Russert led NBC News weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China.

Washingtonian Magazine dubbed Tim Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, D. C. describing "Meet the Press" as "the most interesting and important hour on television."

In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

TV Guide selected his use of the white dry eraser board (Florida, Florida, Florida) on Election Night 2000 as one of the "100 Most Memorable TV Moments" in history. The Washington Post credits him with coining the phrase "red state" and "blue state" to explain the nation’s political divide.

In 2005, he was awarded an Emmy for his role in the coverage of the funeral of President Reagan. He is the recipient of the Golden Plate Award of the Academy of Achievement. His Election 2000 Meet the Press interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore won the Radio and Television Correspondents’ highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award and the Annenberg Center’s Walter Cronkite Award. Russert’s March 2000 interview of Senator John McCain shared the 2001 Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism. He is also the recipient of the John Peter Zenger Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication, the Catholic Academy for Communication’s Gabriel Award, and inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

He is a trustee of the Freedom Forum’s Newseum and a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club and America’s Promise –Alliance for Youth.

In 1995, the National Father’s Day Committee named him "Father of the Year", Parents magazine honored him as "Dream Dad" in 1998 and in 2001 the National Fatherhood Initiative also recognized him as Father of the Year.

Irish America magazine has named him one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the country and he was selected as a Fellow of the Commission of European Communities.

Russert was born in Buffalo, New York on May 7, 1950. He is a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and with honors from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

Before joining NBC News, Russert observed firsthand the inner workings of the executive and legislative branches of government as counselor in the New York Governor’s office in Albany in 1983 and 1984 and a special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977 to 1982.

He is admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

Russert is married to Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine. They live in Washington, D.C. They have a son, Luke.

My heartfelt condolences to his wife and son, a recent college graduate of Boston College.

Olbermann Scolds McCain On Importance

Another brilliant special comment from Keith Olbermann:

Nothing is better when attacking John McCain than using his own words against him.

Ron Paul Was Still In The Race?

There really hasn't been much about Ron Paul in the news lately, so perhaps it was time to wrap things up for the Texan Congressman. Paul had quite a movement on his hands, that is until people started voting and all of that money raised by a small but rabid base created such a huge sensation around him. He certainly made himself sound different from the rest of the Republican pack and it is no surprise that he will not be supporting John McCain. Yet in the end, the party begrudgingly chose McCain because....well, everyone else was just too terrible to stomach. Despite McCain getting all the conservative attention, there was a small light on Ron Paul last night as he formally ended his run.

From Reuters:

Paul, an anti-war libertarian, was the only contender to remain in the Republican race after Arizona Sen. John McCain clinched the party's presidential nomination in March.

As he ended his White House bid, Paul launched another campaign in a letter to supporters posted on his new Web site.

"With the primary season now over, the presidential campaign is at an end. But the larger campaign for freedom is just getting started," the nine-term Texas Congressman wrote, announcing the "Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty."

"We will be a permanent presence on the American political landscape. That I promise you," he said.

If Ron Paul wants to continue to siphon off a small but still sizable amount of right-leaning Independents and Republicans, then more power to him. His movement is evidence of the disintegration of the Republican Party as it splits and fractures after realizing that even with full power, their combined policy goals could not be successful.

Now I am not saying that they will break into Whigs, Know-Nothings and Abolitionists. Today's Abolitionists would be Democrats anyways and Kansas and Nebraska have worked out their differences in the last 160 years. All joking aside, the Republican Party is in disarray and Ron Paul's movement is certainly evidence of the disunity of the GOP.

MTA Claims Nassau Owes Them $100 Mil

The MTA to say the least is becoming more and more of a shoddy operation. Just yesterday me and a few hundred other people had to contend with "electrical problems" on the 4 train (5 and 6 as well between Brooklyn Bridge and 23rd Street. A normal 5-10 minute ride became thirty. That of course is a relatively small problem when you look at the size of the MTA. Losing more than one hundred million dollars to Nassau County is a whole other matter.

From The NY Daily News:

The Nassau funding flap came up briefly at an Assembly hearing Wednesday. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky (D-Westchester) told MTA CEO Elliot Sander: "Go to court! When people don't pay the MTA, what do you do?"

MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said the MTA would consider court action but would prefer to have negotiations with Nassau.

When the MTA began running buses for Nassau in 1973, the county was supposed to fill gaps between MTA-collected revenues and expenses, Soffin said. Nassau stopped covering those shortfalls in 2000. Not wanting to cut service, the MTA has paid for Long Island Bus deficits totaling $88 million since 2000, Soffin said.

In the late 1990s, the MTA bailed out Nassau by loaning it more than $48 million. Nassau was supposed to pay the MTA $97.5 million for commuter-railroad construction projects but still owes $20 million, the MTA said.

How ridiculous is this? Nassau stopped paying its obligations beginning eight years ago and the MTA still wants to negotiate? Get your ass to court and sue them for that money. If they make an agreement and refuse to honor it, then take them to court. It isn't like Nassau is a poor county.

When the MTA is considering another round of fare hikes immediately after raising the fare a couple of months ago, perhaps they should consider getting their finances in order before coming at their commuters. Just when I think that the MTA can't be any more of a joke (especially after visiting London) they continue to amaze me.

How McCain Really Feels About Bush

You can even hear the passion in his voice as he says those awful, awful words:

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Can Obama Help Unseat Ed Towns?

Out yonder in Brooklyn there is a man by the name of Kevin Powell (yes, The Real World's Kevin Powell) that is running for Congress in the 10th District. Currently Ed Towns holds the seat and has done so for 25 years. Now his time doesn't make him worthy of a challenge, it is his actions and positions that do so. Getting rebuked by the party leadership, beholden to special interests and voting against working families definitely warrants the challenge.

Of course running against an incumbent in your own party is a tall order, especially in New York. However, there is a certain man at the top of the ticket that might just give Powell a boost he needs that Charles Barron did not two years ago. Barron almost took Towns out, but Powell could actually do it. Powell has the support of the Obama community and when you look at the voter stats, Obama won this district.

From The Daily Politics:

Towns, like the rest of the New York delegation, endorsed Hillary Clinton.

Last week, he and the two other New York House members whose districts Obama won - Greg Meeks and Yvette Clarke - were the first members of the state's congressional delegation to dump Clinton, announcing their endorsements of Obama even before it was clear Clinton would definitely quit the race.

On Tuesday, Obama bundler Arthur Leopold, who is helping Powell raise money, forwarded the following fund-raising appeal:

"Dear Friends,

I would like for you to join me in congratulating Representative Towns on his decision to finally support Senator Barack Obama in his run for the presidency. He waited until one day before Hillary Clinton withdrew. It's about time. This is a decision that the residents of his district already made many months ago.

As you know, the 10th Congressional District in Brooklyn overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama in February’s Democratic primary. Towns’ response? He continued to call for Hillary Clinton to be the next President of the United States; completely disregarding the call for change from his constituents. Maybe that’s why 53% of the district voted AGAINST Representative Towns in the 2006 primary.

I have always supported Barack Obama and his platform and we need to move onto a new generation of leadership in Brooklyn in tune with the people. We need a Representative who shares Barack Obama's and the District's ideas and ideals and Barack’s call for real change. As I run, I pledge, like Senator Obama, not to take any money from federal lobbyists, PACs, or special interests.

Together we can make this campaign a success.

An unprecedented 65% of Rep Towns’ campaign funds come from PACs or lobbyists – those same lobbyists who have diminished the political voice of the average citizen. You can stand up to the PACs and lobbyists corrupting Washington by showing your support and contributing $10, $25 or $100.


Thank you for your continued help and support.



And, as Azi reports, Powell is opening up a campaign office that he will be sharing with Brooklyn for Barack, a grassroots group that helped the senator carry the 10th CD on Super Duper Tuesday.

The conventional wisdom says Towns wins his primary for the 14th time in a row and on to victory in this very blue district. Towns expects to go back to his usual business in D.C. next year without much of a fight. But this year is a change election and it is quite possible that Brooklyn can replace Towns with a better, more progressive representative.

Isn't The Army Supposed To Stay Out Of Politics?

From what I was taught in my government classes, the army is supposed to exist to protect the freedom to engage in politics, not participate in them directly. Sure everyone has their own views, whether they are in the army or not. Yet when the public affairs office links to articles that say President Obama is in essence surrendering to our enemies, that is way over the line.

From The Washington Post:

The Army's public affairs office publishes a daily roundup of Army-related news called "Stand To" -- named for the set of procedures combat units do just prior to dawn, when they go to full alert for a possible enemy attack. The daily wrapup contains links to mainstream media articles, Army press releases, foreign media stories and blogs. It's similar to the Defense Department's Early Bird -- but much briefer, and obviously more focused on the Army.

Tuesday's edition contained an entry under "WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS" that struck me as unusual -- both for its headline and its patent political bias:

Obama: World peace thru surrender (KDIHH)[...]

Seriously? Have any of these people actually read the Obama defense policy papers or speeches -- or are they simply going on what they hear on Fox News and the Limbaugh network?

And more to the point, why is the Army's official in-house public affairs shop linking to this kind of stuff? Just a few weeks ago, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told all hands to stay out of politics: "As the nation prepares to elect a new president, we would all do well to remember the promises we made: to obey civilian authority, to support and defend the Constitution and to do our duty at all times.... Keeping our politics private is a good first step." He added: "The only things we should be wearing on our sleeves are our military insignia."

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is absolutely right. Politics stays private when holding a gun (or a nuclear arsenal) to protect the country. Otherwise we'd just be another military dictatorship. Now we wouldn't want to fulfill President Bush's desires, would we?

McCain Destroys Morale Of The Troops

So says Brandon Friedman, Iraq war vet and VoteVets spokesman. McCain's comments angered plenty of veterans when he said it doesn't really matter when the troops come home.

McCain: Against The Estate Tax After Being For It

The mavericky Maverick is at it again, making a reasoned adjustment switching flip-flopping his position on the estate tax. While he was just another Senator he bucked his party, sounding like he had common sense and speaking out against the small fraction of people that wanted to do away with a tax on estates that are worth millions and billions of dollars. Now that he is running and trying to hold on to the conservative base, his views are-a-changin'.

From Crooks and Liars:

McCain used to see through this nonsense.

“In his 1906 State of the Union Address, President Theodore Roosevelt proposed the creation of a federal inheritance tax . Roosevelt explained: ‘The man of great wealth owes a peculiar obligation to the State because he derives special advantages from the mere existence of government.’ Additionally, in a 1907 speech he said: ‘Most great civilized countries have an income tax and an inheritance tax. In my judgment both should be part of our system of federal taxation.’ He noted, however, that such taxation should ‘be aimed merely at the inheritance or transmission in their entirety of those fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits.’

“I agree with President Roosevelt, and I remain opposed to full repeal of the estate tax.”

That is, until he became the Republican presidential nominee. Now, McCain finds the estate tax offensive.

“Another of my disagreements with Senator Obama concerns the estate tax, which he proposes to increase to a top rate of 55 percent. The estate tax is one of the most unfair tax laws on the books, and the first step to reform is to keep it predictable and keep it low. After a lifetime building up a business, and paying taxes on every dollar that business earns, that asset should not be subjected to a confiscatory tax.”

Why, it’s almost as if McCain were some kind of flip-flopper or something. Heaven forbid.

Maybe Teddy Roosevelt was just another red communist who wanted to penalize all those "hard working" Americans who have millions of dollars socked away. Why would Obama want to be in favor of stripping elite families of a portion of the wealth they didn't earn. Earning a living is a terrible thing when you can just be born or marry into it.

Supreme Court Takes A Step Towards Restoring The Constitution

It truly is an amazing time in our country where it took a 5-4 decision to rule the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 unconstitutional. This Act from the last Republican Congress was a smack in the face to the tenets of our democracy, that everyone get a fair trial within the United States. Of course Republicans argued then as did the four dissenters on the Court today (Chief Justice Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia) that Guantanamo Bay isn't technically the United States. Thankfully the other five justices had warm hearts and clearly-thinking heads when they came down with the decision.

From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

The justices handed the Bush administration its third setback at the high court since 2004 over its treatment of prisoners who are being held indefinitely and without charges at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. The vote was 5-4, with the court's liberal justices in the majority.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said, "The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times."

The extraordinary time is that George Bush is in power, not so much the fact that the United States has enemies that aren't nation-states. We were fighting pirates in the late 1700s off the Barbary Coast and have repelled other threats since then. September 11th does not give Bush the right to strip our Constitution and allow unequal rights to detainees merely because they are not taken to one of the fifty states. We have had Guantanamo in our possession for over 100 years without interruption and in the minds of the five justices (and most Americans) that counts as being under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Why I Am Voting Republican

There are just so many reasons to vote GOP this year:

I especially loved the kid that wants to go fight and die in Iran (along with thousands of others), so much patriotism yet so young. He'd do President McCain proud!

Obama Is Ready For The Right Wing Smear Machine

Don't expect the Obama campaign to be anything like John Kerry's general election bid from four years ago. Gone are the days where it takes weeks or months for the Democratic nominee to respond to myriad attacks from the right. Gone are the times where we do not stand up for the principles we believe in. Gone are the ways that Republicans can win through fear and manipulation. This year, our candidate is going a different route, he is fighting back and fighting hard. That is partly due to the creation of an anti-smear squad, because smearing is the only way Republicans can win.

From TPM:

Barack Obama's campaign is taking the various rumors about him very seriously, and have rolled out a new Web site specifically to combat them,

The final straw was the story that there was a tape of Michelle Obama making incendiary statements at Trinity United Church of Christ -- a story that appears to have been based on a political novel. Other phony rumors being addressed so far are that he is supposedly a Muslim, was educated in a madrassa, that his books contain racially offensive statements, and that he won't say the Pledge of Allegiance.

By November people will know who Barack Obama is not from false attacks, but from what they see and hear from Barack Obama and his prior accomplishments. As for John McCain, his record will show through whatever he tries to spin, either about himself or attacking Barack Obama.

Group Of GOP Reps Won't Endorse McCain

Barack Obama was non-endorsed by Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) because he was swayed by Republican talking points the other day. Well the GOP didn't want to come up short, so now at least fourteen from the Republican caucus came out to non-endorse John McCain. Keep in mind that most of these Congressmen will still vote for McCain, they just can't endorse him for whatever reason.

From The Hill:

At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.

Many of the recalcitrant GOP members declined to detail their reasons for withholding support, but Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) expressed major concerns about McCain’s energy policies and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) cited the Iraq war.

A handful of other Republicans on Capitol Hill made the distinction between “endorsing” and “supporting,” adding that while they have not endorsed, they do support McCain.

In recent weeks, much of the discussion and debate about party unity has been on the Democrats’ side, amid their protracted presidential primary. Yet achieving harmony is a concern on both sides of the aisle this year.

For whatever infinitesimal amount of disunity on the Democratic side there is (Joe Lieberman doesn't count, he isn't a Democrat), the intra-party war going on over on the right side of the aisle is far greater.

The problem is that what made the Republicans so great at the beginning of the movement is tearing them apart now. Once the conglomeration of religious leaders, social conservatives and business community finally achieved power and tried to enact their policy, it proved what we knew all along. Frankly, it was doomed to fail. Now the Republican Party is being torn asunder and this is just one small consequence of that.

If you think a couple dozen non-endorsements are bad, just wait until November when America votes the GOP out of the White House for the next four years or more.

John McCain: Clueless? Liar? Clueless Liar?

It can be hard to tell whether McCain knows when he lies misspeaks or if doesn't have the slightest idea of what is going on in the world beyond him. Can you decide which it is?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

O'Reilly Shows His Racist Side Again

Bill O'Reilly really is a heartless, clueless and ignorant piece of shit. Yesterday he was discussing child pornography in relation to a minor news event in New Jersey that involves a group of students sharing topless photos of their classmates. Bill and his friends at Fox News love to play up anything sexual as often as they can. Of course Bill being Bill, has to take it to another level and subtly involve race.

From MediaMatters:

During the June 10 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, purporting to document "more evidence of values problem among American young people," host Bill O'Reilly reported that seven ninth-graders at Pascack Valley High School in New Jersey have been suspended for distributing topless photographs of their classmates. O'Reilly asked Bergen Record reporter Leslie Brody, "Do you think 13- and 14-year-olds or 15-year-olds are smart enough to understand they put themselves at risk when they do this kind of behavior? The girls that you talked to, do they have any idea or are they just stone cold dumb?" Brody told O'Reilly that "some of these girls were 11, so they could be, perhaps, understood as being a little more innocent or thoughtless." She added: "Some kids, perhaps, are looking for attention. Some see Lindsay Lohan doing this kind of thing and want to do it themselves. Some are impulsive." O'Reilly then stated: "But it's an amazing amount of kids involved with this -- 20 -- in an affluent school district. This isn't, you know, the inner city; you would think that these kids would have some kind of a values system." O'Reilly continued: "It's not that it's so horrendous. You know, it's not murder or rape. But it's so stupid."

What's stupid is allowing a prick like O'Reilly on the air day in, day out. Racist outbursts like that of Don Imus get a lot of press and sometimes result in a slap on the wrist for such people. However it is those like O'Reilly, that ever-so-softly weave their ignorant opinions into the web of society that do the most damage.

Sen. Coburn Puts A Hold On Money For AIDS Prevention

Compassionate conservative Tom Coburn (R-OK) decided along with several other Republicans to place a hold on a bill that will greatly expand AIDS prevention techniques across the country. The bill has widespread support and is one of those no-brainer things that are passed without debate. Yet Coburn, who amazingly is a doctor, decided to stall the program.

From ThinkProgress:

Coburn may be an obstetrician, but he seems to be out of the mainstream with other medical professionals on this issue, who say that focusing on treatment as a form of prevention is short-sighted and ineffective:

“Most experts agree that treatment is only one small part of the prevention agenda,” said Denis Nash, director of monitoring, evaluation and research at the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs at Columbia University. […]

The prevention effect of treatment is not likely to be anywhere near the magnitude of prevention through prevention,” including safe-sex education and condom distribution, said Mead Over, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development.

Coburn has a habit of blocking bills funding medical research, and his record on health care is abysmal. Coburn has repeatedly blocked legislation funding breast cancer research, doing so as recently as April, as well as funding to screen returning veterans for signs of suicide risk. In 2005, he proclaimed that silicone breast implants “make you healthier.” When running for Senate in 2004, he suggested the death penalty for abortion doctors.

In a letter to Senate leaders last month, 14 GOP senators urged the passage of the PEPFAR funding bill. ONE has a petition here urging senators to support the legislation.

Please sign that petition above and make sure the Senate understands that Coburn and his group of friends have no business blocking that funding. In my opinion, he is opposing it because like many problem-people in the health care world, treatment is much more lucrative than prevention. You can't sell expensive drugs and bill lengthy hospital stays if people steer clear of the disease altogether. It's all good if almost everyone lives in the end, right Senator?

McCain Doesn't See Lives Of Troops As Important

Once again McCain made himself look like an ass on television (probably since he is one) by talking about his supposed strong suit, the war in Iraq. If McCain wants to talk about the war and say that bringing the troops home isn't that important, then more power to him. Keep on talking Johnny boy, the American people are starting to understand what kind of scoundrel you are.

Senator, our troops stationed in South Korea, Japan and Germany aren't being shot at every single day. The reason we have those casualties is because the troops are in Iraq. We need to bring them home and John McCain is clearly against that.

Quinn Panders To NYC Renters

Speaker Christine Quinn is as we all know running for Mayor and if hollow words were a pre-requisite then she's all ready to move uptown to Gracie Mansion. Quinn had a few words for the Rent Guidelines Board this week and she certainly sounded tough. She's in favor of a state bill that would stop increases for a year, deny landlords with city code violations from rent hikes and connect renters' financials with rent hikes. It sounds good at first, but it doesn't come close to the heart of the problem.

From The NY Sun:

The director of government affairs for the Rent Stabilization Association, Frank Ricci, said the increases announced last month are modest and do not compare to the rising costs of utilities and increases in property taxes incurred by landlords.

"It is the property taxes that have been imposed by the City Council and the mayor that are driving the rents up," Mr. Ricci said. "If she wanted to help renters, she would make sure that there would be a reduction in the tax rate."

Between 2005 and 2007, rents on unregulated apartments in Manhattan increased 16%, a Citi Habitats report found.

The Rent Guidelines Board is composed of nine members appointed by the mayor, with two members representing tenants, two representing landlords, and five representing the general public.

The former "Idiot of the Week" isn't a stranger to screwing over renters for other things. That includes rolling over for Mayor Mike and his strong advocacy for pushing long-time New Yorkers with gentrifying zoning laws for the past few years. If Quinn really wanted to help renters, she'd go at this by looking at the big picture and not focusing on gimmicks.

BBC Helps Uncover Billions In Iraq War Profiteering

It is common knowledge to those trying to follow the details surrounding the Iraq war that profiteering has been going on since the moment we crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in 2003. Millions, then billions of dollars disappeared from U.S. taxpayer funds meant for the war and seemingly vanished into thin air. That air though isn't thin, it is choked up with the foul stench of greed, callousness and blood money. Thanks to George Bush's Administration, it all came to fruition.

From The BBC:

For the first time, the extent to which some private contractors have profited from the conflict and rebuilding has been researched by the BBC's Panorama using US and Iraqi government sources.

A US gagging order is preventing discussion of the allegations.

The order applies to 70 court cases against some of the top US companies.

While George Bush remains in the White House, it is unlikely the gagging orders will be lifted.

To date, no major US contractor faces trial for fraud or mismanagement in Iraq.

Not a single thing has been done, save for Democratic pleas for accountability and expressed outrage at hearings led by the intrepid Henry Waxman. However, since George Bush stonewalls accountability, justice and the Democratic attempts to find the truth about the missing $23 billion (or more). The BBC however found a little chunk of it:

The search for the missing billions also led the programme to a house in Acton in West London where Hazem Shalaan lived until he was appointed to the new Iraqi government as minister of defence in 2004.

He and his associates siphoned an estimated $1.2 billion out of the ministry.

They bought old military equipment from Poland but claimed for top class weapons.

Meanwhile they diverted money into their own accounts.

How much longer must we suffer these atrocities? Oh yeah, I remember now. It can't come soon enough.

Welcome To Work Mayor Bloomberg

There is nothing like a warm welcome when you walk into work. Too bad for Mayor Bloomberg, KRS-ONE did not let that happen for him yesterday:

Ex- NY GOP Chairman Tied To Sweeney Investigation

William Powers office on 90 State St in Albany was the center of attention yesterday for FBI agents investigating ex-Congressman John Sweeney's connection with the former NY GOP Chairman and now-lobbyist. Powers and Sweeney have been buddies for a long time and now that Sweeney has been found to be a(n alleged) crook, it seems that the spoils of Republican leadership prior to 2006 was beneficial to Powers. At least a judge thought it was worthy enough to look at and see if information in Powers' office could help their case against Sweeney.

From The Times-Union:

ALBANY -- A federal criminal investigation is focusing on the relationship of lobbyist William D. Powers and former U.S. Rep. John E. Sweeney in connection with a series of federal grants that were steered to Powers' clients, according to several people familiar with the probe.

The probe is being overseen by the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section in Washington, D.C.

Several people familiar with the case said it is centered on a period when Powers' clients received the earmarks while Sweeney's then-wife, Gayle, was working for Powers' Albany-based lobbying firm.

Armed with a search warrant, federal attorneys and FBI agents from Albany and Washington appeared at Powers & Co.'s 90 State St. office building on Friday. They confiscated files and interviewed employees who were encouraged to remain in the office during the search. It's not clear whether Powers was present.

Powers may or may not be involved with all of this, but there are interesting coincidences all around. Sweeney's wife at the time worked at Powers' firm until Sweeney lost his re-election bid. Now why would she suddenly lose her job (or resign, whatever) in such fashion? And does their subsequent divorce have anything to do with that? We'll have to see what the investigators find from Powers and if it comes out when Sweeney has his day in court.

Bush Tries To Salvage His Reputation

Of course it is much to late (about 6-7 years or so) for George Bush to redeem himself to the American people and the world, but that won't prevent him trying to do so. Perhaps he finally read that he is going to be labeled America's worst President ever and wants to do something about it. One of his problems is that he is known as a warmonger, because frankly, he is. Since we went into Afghanistan and Iraq, his cold, callous statements and actions have shown zero sympathy for our soldiers and the millions of people they are sent to fight.

From The London Times:

In an exclusive interview, he expressed regret at the bitter divisions over the war and said that he was troubled about how his country had been misunderstood. “I think that in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric.”

Phrases such as “bring them on” or “dead or alive”, he said, “indicated to people that I was, you know, not a man of peace”. He said that he found it very painful “to put youngsters in harm’s way”. He added: “I try to meet with as many of the families as I can. And I have an obligation to comfort and console as best as I possibly can. I also have an obligation to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain.”

The unilateralism that marked his first White House term has been replaced by an enthusiasm for tough multilateralism. He said that his focus for his final six months in office was to secure agreement on issues such as establishing a Palestinian state and to “leave behind a series of structures that makes it easier for the next president”.

Even in his rare moment of regret, he is still lost in a his own world of delusions. Any "multilateralism" Bush tries to imbue will be met with at-best skepticism from world leaders because he is an unilateralist at heart. No one believes he will do anything for a Palestinian state. The only thing he is doing in the Middle East is bring chaos to Iraq, instability between Israel and Iran, claiming false victory of a Lebanese democracy that clearly isn't and keeping the threat of going into Iran and Syria while appeasing Saudi Arabia. George Bush is a warmonger, and despite this pathetic attempt at humbleness he'll be remembered for the tyrant he is.

Oh and by the way, he has never been to a fallen soldiers funeral, ever.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

McCain Gets A Zero From NARAL

McCain may tout himself as a maverick, but when it comes to women's rights, he gets a big fat zero on his pro-choice record...or should I say anti-choice:

What Really Happened Between Obama And Lieberman

Last week, the day after Barack Obama clinched the number of delegates needed for the nomination, he showed Joe Lieberman who was boss. Leading the "Independent Democrat" by the hand, Senator Obama scolded Joseph on the Senate floor, but for what? Reporters watched with glee but couldn't write much on their pads, only speculating that it had something to do with their appearances at the AIPAC meeting earlier that day. Now we know exactly what went on.

From Newsweek:

In a brief but animated Senate floor confrontation last week, according to a campaign aide who asked for anonymity when talking about private discussions, Obama told Lieberman he was surprised by Lieberman's personal attacks and his half-hearted denials of the false rumors that Obama is a Muslim. (The aide says Lieberman was "strangely muted" during the exchange; a Lieberman spokesman says the chat was "private and friendly.") McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker says Lieberman "played a key role in reaching out to the Jewish community in the primary … and you can expect that will continue."

Joe Lieberman is certainly reaching all right, when it comes to telling the truth. His antics have shown he is certainly no Democrat and his talk of bi-partisanship is a sham. He should be cast aside by the Senate leadership and be stripped of committee assignment power. All Lieberman has done this primary season is smear, lie and deceive the American public on John McCain's behalf and continues to do so now.

Republicans Vote To Let Oil Companies Keep Ridiculous Profits At Our Expense

In an election year one might suppose that the Republican Party would try to have (or make it seen that they) have a heart and want to help the broad majority of Americans instead of the wealthy few at the top of the oil industry and those that trade the commodity on Wall Street. Apparently this year the GOP is going 100% heartless by voting against a windfall profits tax for oil giants like ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, etc that do not substantively work for energy independence. Their argument is that we'll import more oil if we roll back their tax cuts that Bush and the old Republican Congress gave them. Unfortunately since our majority is so slim in the Senate, they have effectively killed the bill by threatening to filibuster it.

From The Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans blocked a proposal Tuesday to tax the windfall profits of the largest oil companies, despite pleas by Democratic leaders to use the measure to address America's anger over $4 a gallon gasoline.

The Democratic energy package would have imposed a tax on any "unreasonable" profits of the five largest U.S. oil companies and given the federal government more power to address oil market speculation that the bill's supporters argue has added to the crude oil price surge.

"Americans are furious about what's going on," declared Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and want Congress to do something about oil company profits and "an orgy of speculation" on oil markets.

But Republicans argued the Democratic proposal focusing on new oil industry taxes is not the answer to the country's energy problems.

"The American people are clamoring for relief at the pump," said Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., but if taxes are increased on the oil companies "they will get exactly what they don't want. The bill will raise taxes, increase imports."

The Democrats failed, 51-43, to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a GOP filibuster and bring the energy package up for consideration.

Of course there was no filibuster, the Democrats led by Harry Reid just caved at the mere threat of it. If he were a true leader, he would have let the Republicans get up there and stall for their buddies in the oil industry. Enough about Harry Reid though, we can deal with him later (for other reasons as well). As I said, this is an election year and the Democratic Party is running Barack Obama as their candidate for President against John "McSame as Bush" McCain.

McCain has claimed he is in favor of working to save the environment but his actions (as usual) are far from words on the campaign. McCain could have shown up today to pretend prove his leadership abilities and stand up for what he claims, to be a departure on the environment and the economy as well. However, as he has done many times in the last few years, he couldn't be bothered to show up for the vote. Republicans already saw themselves winning on the issue and the Democratic leadership in the Senate pathetically resigned to losing. Barack Obama has pledged to enact a windfall profits tax when he becomes President. That is a difference between him and McCain that no one can deny, so remember that when you go and fill up your tank for $3 $3.50 $4 something a gallon.

TPM Takes A Look At The Possible 2008 Battleground

Will Ohio and Florida still be as crucial to the candidates as they were last time? Is Pennsylvania really in play? Can Obama make inroads into the Mountain West and the South? Joshua Micah Marshall of TPM looks at the early numbers between the nominees.

What Can McClellan's Testimony Do To Bush?

Yesterday Scott McClellan agreed to testify in front of Congress about the "alleged" abuses of the Bush Administration and the lies that he "unwittingly" advanced to the public that were told to him by scumbags such as Karl Rove and Dick Cheney. Of course he has waited years to tell his story, first and foremost to sell a book that will undoubtedly make him a lot of money. He probably thought of (or his attorneys thought of) the consequences of writing this stuff on paper, that some Democratic members of Congress would be interested in getting Scotty's words under oath. Bush and Co. turned their back on him after the book came out, but I have to wonder if McClellan's testimony will mean anything to us.

From The Huffington Post:

McClellan's book "What Happened" detailed the "propaganda campaign" that led up to the Iraq war. His hearing is expected to focus heavily on the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, an episode that McClellan has said was driven by political motivations from within the Oval Office. But the committee could press the former press secretary on other matters within its jurisdiction, including the possible authorization of torture by administration officials (though it remains to be seen how much knowledge McClellan has of that topic).

Earlier on Monday, Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers sent an letter to McClellan requesting his testimony.

"I have extended an invitation...after discussions between Committee staff and his attorneys," wrote Conyers. "In his book, Mr. McClellan suggests that senior White House officials may have obstructed justice and engaged in a cover-up regarding the Valerie Plame leak. This alleged activity could well extend beyond the scope of the offenses for which Scooter Libby has been convicted and deserves further attention."

It certainly deserves further attention and it should end with those who broke the law to be put in jail. Yet I doubt any of that will happen. Bush could try to pull his "executive privilege" card but he hasn't. The testimony is supposedly set for the 20th of June, a date that isn't that far off. If Bush isn't worried, then that worries me that anything Scott says will not be able to carry out justice for anyone in the Bush Administration. Karl Rove has taken that privilege and that makes me think he is the one with the hard evidence, not Scotty. He was merely a pawn in the White House's game to con and deceive the American public.

Free E-Z Passes Aren't Free For The Rest Of Us

The MTA has given out approximately 24,000 free E-Z passes, most of which have gone to city agencies. Unfortunately for straphangers and those that drive our bridges and tunnels and pay the fare, we are left with the cost. The MTA is yet again looking at another fare increase in two years, but perhaps there is a better way of getting the money, at least some of it.

From The NY Daily News:

The MTA is planning fare and toll hikes in 2010, but they could be put on the table for next year because of budget gaps. Given the MTA's shortfall, fare hikes could come around next year - and Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign said the city should pony up some dough.

"The City of New York should reimburse the agency's cost, as it now does in part for discounted fares for city students and senior citizens," Russianoff said.[...]

For decades, the MTA has granted free passage to government agencies that "provide services directly to us ... to save public money by avoiding the need for these agencies to budget public funds for tolls," the MTA's bridge and tunnel division said.

This really is a question of fiscal management, because the MTA is not saving the public money by giving the city those passes free of charge. The money is merely coming from the public in other ways. The MTA is funded by the state's tax base and by those that ride the trains everyday. The thing of the matter is, if the city is using the E-Z Passes, they should pay for them.

John McCain Hearts AirBus Lobbyists

Mr. American war hero may have flown an American-made plane in Vietnam (or more than just one) but as a Senator, he preferred to go with European-made AirBus jets. I wonder why that is? Maybe this 30 second spot can help me with that question.

Check out more info at Fire The Lobbyists.

Even Golf Can Be Corrupted By George Bush

Golf, like it or not, is one of America's pastime sports. Of course it came from Scotland, but so did baseball in a way. It has been played by many great Americans and tarnished by scandal as baseball has by the Black Sox controversy almost 90 years ago. It has also been played by a lot of blue blood bastards and George Bush and his dad H.W. are two to be counted among them. Thanks to the Bush family and their friends in the Department of Justice, another scandal has been added to the game.

From ABC News:

The Justice Department, in a decision by Flores, gave the money to the World Golf Foundation's First Tee program, even though Justice Department staffers had rated the program 47th on a list of 104 applicants. The allegations were first reported earlier this year by the trade journal Youth Today.

"I don't know why people insist on denigrating it, it's a sound program," Flores told ABC News.

Current and former Justice Department employees allege that Flores ignored the staff rankings in favor of programs that had political, social or religious connections to the Bush White House.

The honorary chairman of the First Tee program is former President George Bush. On a videotape presentation, the former President Bush praised the program for "serving others and building character and building values."

Golf may be a great game, but mixing politics into how youth programs get Federal dollars is called cronyism. Of course, that has been the mantra of the Bush Administration since they started wasting taxpayer dollars in January of 2001. In fact, nothing about George Bush has been about merit since the day he came out with the silver gold platinum spoon in his mouth as a babe.

30th Council District Still Considered Undecided

It has been a week since election day in the 30th council district in Queens but there still is no declared winner. Despite a non-partisan affair, the Republican favored Anthony Como originally bested Democratic machine candidate Elizabeth Crowley. Both candidates had roughly 30 percent of the vote but there are still ballots to be had and on top of that, suspicions of voter fraud may be investigated by the Department of Justice.

From Queens Crap:

Just when you thought things couldn't get more corrupt in Queens County comes word from a source inside the Board of Elections that the US Department of Justice received a complaint regarding allegations of voter fraud during the CD30 special election. Questions have reportedly arisen as to the following:

- Postcards were not mailed to voters in the district of the election as per protocol. A vote was taken by BOE to not to inform the public via mail, allegedly in order to decrease turnout of the majority party. (Dems outnumber Reps in the district 2 to 1 - see chart)
- A total of 4,383 district voters pulled the lever for a Republican, when you add Ognibene and Como's numbers together

- Vote counts are overinflated and do not reflect actual turnout witnessed and documented by poll workers.
- Crowley won Glendale, Ognibene won Middle Village but Como won Maspeth, where he is even less known than he is in the rest of the district.
- PS113 in Glendale strangely reported triple the turnout of the other 28 polling sites.
- Allegations of individual voters casting ballots at multiple polling sites or casting multiple ballots at the same site at different times throughout the day. (This occurred as campaign volunteers mysteriously vanished from their posts during the afternoon hours.)
- The shipping of state workers down from Albany to work the election.
- Paid state employees campaigning for a candidate during working hours.
- Unusually large numbers of absentee ballots being received by BOE.

Hmm, the Council District is wrapped by State Senate District 15 and held by Republican Serphin Maltese. Perhaps that whole Albany to NYC thing had something to do with hi....nah, a State Senator wouldn't have anything to do with that, knowing how clean Albany is and especially the Senate with Joe Bruno running it. And our state's reputation for ethics and accountability is top notch.

We'll have to wait and see what the Department of Justice comes up with, you know, that Department of Justice. Of course, since this has nothing to do with George Bush, they might actually be allowed to do their jobs.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lunch With Barack

John McCain is charging $28,500 for rich Republican Manhattanites to show up for lunch tomorrow. Barack Obama had these five men and women over lunch in April...and all it cost them was to send an email asking to come:

Protest John McCain In NYC Tomorrow!

John McCain is coming to town tomorrow to do the only thing Republicans are good at here, raising money. While individuals can only give him $2,300 for the general election, those in attendance at the 21 Club are chocking up $28,500 for lunch with the Republican nominee. Now the first thing I have to ask is what kind of people are willing to give a failure like McCain all that money (not to him directly of course)? Well the host of the event is none other than Mr. Henry Kravis, one of the nation's most despicable buyout barons America has ever seen. Democratic groups in New York aren't taking this lying down and are protesting the event to show just how much we mean business.

From Yahoo News:


Contact: Evan Thies of Service Employees International Union, +1-917 715 9265

Controversial buyout baron Henry Kravis to host event

NEW YORK, June 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advocates for a fairer, better economy, workers, and political improv troupe Billionaires for Bush will gather in front of the posh 21 Club in Manhattan on Tuesday to protest John McCains support for tax loopholes for some of the wealthiest buyout executives in the country. The $28,500 a ticket luncheon is being organized by some of the most controversial names in business, including buyout baron Henry Kravis.

John McCain has said he does not support closing tax loopholes for hedge fund managers and buyout industry executives such as Kravis, who have pocketed billions of dollars by paying a lesser percentage of their income to taxes than many regular working Americans. Besides helping to organize Tuesdays event, Kravis has been a major fund-raiser for John McCain throughout his campaign for president.

McCains tax plan also includes two huge tax cut giveaways for American corporationslowering rates from 35% to 25% and adding other new deductions. KKR companies stand to make millions of dollars off the new cuts. According to the Center for American Progress, The centerpiece of Sen. John McCains (R-AZ) tax plan is two huge tax cuts for American corporations, including utility and energy companies. A CAP analysis finds that McCains tax policywhich lowers corporate tax rates from 35 to 25 % and makes equipment and technology investments immediately deductiblewould give a single KKR portfolio company, Energy Future Holdings (formerly TXU), a $49 million tax cut.

The countrys fastest-growing union - the Service Employees International Union - recently launched a multi-tier global campaign directed at world leaders and legislators, pressing for fairer taxation of the multi-trillion-dollar private equity industry, with an eye toward shaping the debate during the U.S. presidential race.


Dozens of protesters fighting for a fair economy; performances by the Billionaires for Bush.


June 10 - 6:30 PM

The 21 Club -- 21 West 52nd St.

New York City, NY

SOURCE Service Employees International Union

If I didn't have a prior commitment tomorrow night, I'd be there, even if it is a 100 degrees outside. I hope plenty of people show up so that McCain can hear the citizens of New York protest him, his candidacy and Henry Kravis as well.

Watchout Right-Wingers, McCain's Website Is Filthy

You gotta love the rabid right wingers for trying to play a game they ultimately will not win. The "influential" right-wing blog tried to claim that Obama holds extreme views by taking screen shots of some comments on his website. Well the problem is for them that for every one of our bad apples, there are throngs on the right that just love to hate.

From AmericaBlog:

UPDATE: Jed finds more on other McCain sites, including a reference to Obama as a n*gger.

Some folks on the right thought they'd pull an "I gotcha" on Obama by trying to find kooky things visitors have written on Obama's blog. So, I thought I'd take a look at John McCain's campaign Web site and do a search for words like "fag," "bitch," and "Jew," for starters. What I found wasn't pretty. It's interesting to note that each comment has a "flag as offensive" button next to it, so that readers can inform the moderator that the comments are offensive. Either McCain's readers don't find any of this offensive, or McCain's staff was informed and didn't care.

Obama is the anti-Christ (there's a long debate on this page of McCain's site as to whether Obama really is the anti-Christ): Obama is the devil and the anti-Christ: Hillary as "bitch." This one is particularly odd as it seems to be something posted by McCain's own staff - they quoted an article calling Hillary a "bitch": Obama is a "Muslim fag": "I wipe my ass with the Muslim book of hate, the Quran":

And there is plenty more on AmericaBlog as well as the JedReport. As many are saying, idiotic comments made by supporters do not necessarily mean that the candidate feels the same way. Of course, despite all of the hate McCain supporters have for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, nothing is more offensive than McCain's policies that will continue the horrendous reign of George Bush.

Bush Didn't Know $4 Gas Was Coming

I know, I know, a real shocker, right?

Pentagon Tells Interrogators To Shred Evidence

While President Bush and his minions have constantly told us that the United States does not torture, many of us know better. The international community certainly knows better. The Bush Administration should know better, but chooses to torture those they capture anyway. Now we have news that the Pentagon told its interrogators to destroy evidence of what exactly they did with their prisoners.

From The Huffington Post:

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The Pentagon urged interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to destroy handwritten notes in case they were called to testify about potentially harsh treatment of detainees, a military defense lawyer said Sunday.

The lawyer for Toronto-born Omar Khadr, Lt. Cmdr. William Kuebler, said the instructions were included in an operations manual shown to him by prosecutors and suggest the U.S. deliberately thwarted evidence that could help terror suspects defend themselves at trial.

Kuebler said the apparent destruction of evidence prevents him from challenging the reliability of any alleged confessions. He said he will use the document to seek a dismissal of charges against Khadr.

Now I am all for prosecuting those that do harm against our soldiers and our country, but torturing them or those that are alleged to have done harm is highly unnecessary. It has already been proven over and over again that it doesn't work. Not only is it ineffective, but the practice goes against human decency and was outlawed by the Geneva Conventions (something Bush has no regard for). If there was evidence covered up, it shows that the Pentagon is fully aware of their actions and the consequences if definitive proof surfaced about their policy on torture.

The Problem Wasn't The Money, It Was Mark Penn

Mark Penn decided to grace the Op-Ed page of the New York Times yesterday to offer his own 'inciteful' analysis of what went wrong with Hillary Clinton's campaign. He was the senior adviser for the crucial portion of the campaign, so he should know best looking backwards, right?

From Mark Penn in the NYT:

Perhaps the most frustrating part of losing a close race is thinking about what else you could have done to win. You replay the campaign over and over again in your head. As an adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, I sure do.

But the endless armchair chatter often obscures what actually needed to be done.[...]

Are there a lot of other things the campaign could have done differently? Of course. We should have taken on Mr. Obama more directly and much earlier, and we needed a different kind of operation to win caucuses and to retain the support of superdelegates. From more aggressively courting young people earlier to mobilizing the full power of women, there are things that could have been done differently.

While everyone loves to talk about the message, campaigns are equally about money and organization. Having raised more than $100 million in 2007, the Clinton campaign found itself without adequate money at the beginning of 2008, and without organizations in a lot of states as a result. Given her successes in high-turnout primary elections and defeats in low-turnout caucuses, that simple fact may just have had a lot more to do with who won than anyone imagines.

In between those two sets of paragraphs Penn "breaks down the myths" that critics have charged Senator Clinton with. He says that Clinton had more than just a message of experience. Thats right, but it was her main message and everything else she said was all over the place and therefore her message remained inconsistent. Though for the most part, once she fell behind in the pledged delegate count in February, her message was one that attacked Obama and remained mainly negative of him and the press that supposedly cushioned him and offered him pillows. The reality of how the press treated both candidates was actually far different.

Penn also mentions that she was both a warrior and warm by campaigning with her mother and daughter. If Penn thinks anyone is going to buy that line, he clearly doesn't understand the nature of the American electorate. That, and the fact that he did not map out a full primary campaign past February was the real problem. It wasn't about not having enough money as Penn claims, it was that there was no real grassroots movement behind Clinton. Sure, 18 million people voted for her but Obama was running a strategy that involved all 50 states, not just the most populous. His message reached out to all 50 states and his organization was unmatched. If Penn had taken all of this into consideration, then maybe things would have turned out differently.

Sen. Graham Makes The Case For Bush's 3rd Term

John McCain tried to distance himself from being labeled as "Bush's third term" in his speech last week, but apparently his buddy Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina didn't get the message that real policy goals of the Republican nominee are supposed to be kept hush-hush until after November:

Indicted Saudi Crook Given $80 Mil Contract By Pentagon

Since George Bush doesn't care about the rule of law when it comes to his actions as President, why would it matter for anyone else? For Saudi financier and indicted crook Gaith Pharaon, it helps to have friends at high places in the Bush Administration. Gaith was implicated in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International collapse and is wanted by the Department of Justice. They never got him because he fled the country but apparently for Bush, he can still help himself to our taxpayer dollars to the tune of $80,000,000.

From Newshoggers:

The Bush administration looks out for it's friends even when they support the terrorists. (Hat Tip to John Cole)

Indicted Saudi Gets $80 Million US Contract

The US military has awarded an $80 million contract to a prominent Saudi financier who has been indicted by the US Justice Department. The contract to supply jet fuel to American bases in Afghanistan was awarded to the Attock Refinery Ltd, a Pakistani-based refinery owned by Gaith Pharaon. Pharaon is wanted in connection with his alleged role at the failed Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), and the CenTrust savings and loan scandal, which cost US tax payers $1.7 billion.

The Saudi businessman was also named in a 2002 French parliamentary report as having links to informal money transfer networks called hawala, known to be used by traders and terrorists, including Al Qaeda.

Interestingly, Pharaon was also an investor in President George W. Bush's first business venture, Arbusto Energy.

See, a little help from way back in George's Texas days goes a long way! Who cares if he helps funnel money to Al Qaeda or caused the U.S. economy to blow $1.7 billion in the BCCI scandal? As long as you are one of Bush's friends, nothing else matters.