Saturday, October 25, 2008

Palin Says Bush Is Their #1 Problem, She Doesn't Know The Half Of It

Sarah Palin is right that George Bush is their number one problem but it isn't as simple as that. Almost all of their other problems are inextricably connected to the President as well. Simply put, voters want change from the mess Republicans are offering us now, but McCain and Palin are offering more of the same. To her though, it is merely a campaign message problem.


“We’re up against a lot,” said Palin, the governor of Alaska. “We’re up against a very unpopular president, Bush’s administration right now, and those who want to link us to that administration.”

Palin rejected the comparison as “off base,” contending that McCain, a senator from Arizona, “is known as the maverick, who has had to fight his own party when need be.”

“He has the scars to prove that,” she said.

The only scars we can see are that on McCain's sold out soul. Whatever "maverick" he was got washed over by his willingness to do whatever it takes to appease the right so that he could run for President in 2008.

Palin doesn't recognize that those that wish to link them to George Bush aren't just Barack Obama and Joe Biden. A majority of the country sees the Republican ticket as extension to Dubya because their policies reflect the disaster that has played out over the last eight years. While McCain recognized that and tried to pass himself off as the "real" candidate of change, people flatly rejected that tactic because it was merely a tactic and not a message and platform like it is for Obama. Now all the GOP has left are smears and baseless attacks and the contest continues to slip from their grasp.

In other news, President Bush and his wife Laura voted early in Texas yesterday, I'm sure McCain loved to hear that.

Barack Obama Is Crossing The Lines

While the McCain campaign engages in race-baiting, a flood of nasty robo-calls and other petty personal attacks on Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee has stuck to his message of hope and change. That isn't just empty rhetoric, it is making a difference in this election from one end of the country to other, even here in the small town of Jackson, Missouri:

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain Campaign Pushed Todd's Incendiary Story

The fact that Ashley Todd beat herself up and carved a "B" on her face, only to lie to police and say that a black man sexually assaulted her partially due to her being a McCain volunteer is absolutely disgusting. Clearly this twenty-year old girl needs some serious help. There is a small chance she does not understand that something like this is an incitement for racially-motivated hate crimes. Not long ago in our country, African-Americans were lynched for stories like this, such as the tragic story of Emmett Till.

While Ashley was merely a volunteer, what makes this infinitely worse is that McCain's Pennsylvania Communications Director Peter Feldman actually spread the story around to the press. Feldman's behavior is atrocious especially because this was an on-going investigation until Todd confessed to the truth and that there was no corroboration of that facts. Anyone that dares to call themselves a Communications Director knows better than to whip up a racially-tinged story without having the facts. At least the local media came back to double-check the story (although not until after the put it on their website).

From TPM:

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

The KDKA reporter had called McCain's campaign office for details after seeing the story -- sans details -- teased on Drudge.

The McCain spokesperson's claims -- which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world -- is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.

So McCain's staffer Mr. Feldman acted without regard for the truth and was more reckless than uber hack Matt Drudge. He'll have to make Worst Person in the World for this one. That of course should be the least of his problems, because he really should be charged with a crime for such a racially-motivated maneuver.

Yassky Already Has Competition

Twenty-nine Council members voted against the democratic process yesterday in the Council and many New Yorkers swore they would not forget. Many made incoherent and previously-debunked arguments for their vote (Bloomberg and his billions can help steer NYC through bad times) and most of those backed it up with some form of "if they don't like it they can vote us out next year." Well, while the term limits debacle sorts itself out in the courts until then, we will certainly make good on their challenges.

One of the worst offenders was David Yassky, who told reporters on Wednesday that their amendment to make this into a referendum was not merely a fig leaf. While Gale Brewer voted no on the bill after the amendment failed, Gerson and Yassky both gave the Mayor what he wanted despite the majority of the Council stiffing their amendment. So indeed, Yassky used it as cover. As the Times notes he is at the eye of this storm and already he has a challenger that wants him to pay.

From PolitickerNY:

At least one candidate, Ken Baer, says he would challenge Yassky in the Democratic primary.

Evan Thies, Yassky's former chief of staff, told me in an email this morning that he still plans to run for City Council, since Yassky is still planning to run for comptroller.

As to what he would do if Yassky runs again, Thies wrote, "Under that scenario, I would support David for re-election." He went on to say, "Though we disagree mightily on several issues -- especially his term limits vote -- his institutional knowledge of the Council and City politics, the acumen he's displayed in the job, and his record of accomplishment in the District will make him the best candidate in my view."

I asked Thies if he would run against Yassky in the hypothetical, and unlikely event that Thompson runs for mayor, but Yassky decides to run for Council again, instead of comptroller.

"I would not," Thies wrote. "But that would be a 180 from his state position."

Well it wouldn't be the first time that Yassky pulls a 180. Baer on the other hand has been adamantly against the Mayor's power grab and has an axe to grind with Yassky when it comes to development issues such as Atlantic Yards. So far it is a crowded field but if Yassky runs for re-election it'll scare away Thies at the very least. So much for that whole "more choice" crap that the Mayor and his minions like to tout. I hope Baer gives him hell and that we get one good challenger for each of the other twenty-eight that sided with Bloomberg over the will of the people.

Trunzo Threatens Long Island Voters With Gibberish

H/T to the Albany Project for this doozy. Caesar Trunzo tries to make the case why voters should give him another term but instead he proves why he's way past his expiration date:

McCain Adviser Endorses And Votes For Obama!

When it rains it pours and today is a very stormy day for John McCain. His twenty-year old volunteer in Pittsburgh brought him some serious flack, but when a ranking adviser for the campaign jumps ship and endorses your opponent, that is a hard slap in the face. Charles Fried did just that with a week and a half before the election.

From The Huffington Post:

The Wall Street Journal today rounds up the horde of prominent Republicans jumping ship to Barack Obama. Now one of McCain's actual advisers has switched sides:

Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.

This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

Fried is no small fish, McCain has talked up his endorsement throughout the year and now his support isn't just gone, so is his ballot, thanks to early-voting. Fried was Reagan's Solicitor General and an icon in conservative circles for sometime. Obviously Sarah Palin's presence has been too much for him (as you can see the slightly disgusted look on his face), as it has for the rest of us, save for the religious wingnuts and comedians around the globe.

McCain Volunteer Confesses To Carving A "B" On Her Face

I've heard a lot of sick shit in my life. Frankly people do strange things that befuddle the rest of humanity. What McCain volunteer Ashley Todd did two days ago ranks right up there at the top. With so many stories of McCain/Palin supporters' racist statements in the news, she tried to make it seem as if Obama supporters could do the same thing. So she beat herself up and carved a backwards letter "B" in her face. Sick and twisted? Oh hell yes, and so much more.

From KDKA Pittsburgh:

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― Police tell KDKA that a campaign volunteer has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

Ashley Todd, 20, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

Authorities, however, declined to release the results of that test.

Investigators did say that they received photos from the ATM machine and "the photographs were verified as not being the victim making the transaction."

This afternoon, a Pittsburgh police commander told KDKA Investigator Marty Griffin that Todd confessed to making up the story.
The girl is going to face charges, probably for lying to the police and whatnot, but this girl needs serious help. To mutilate yourself for John McCain shows clear indications of some hardcore mental problems. The fact that she claimed a black man sexually assaulted her isn't too surprising with all the race-baiting that is going on from the volunteer level to the top of the campaign. And because of this, even Fox News is signing off on the obituary of this godawful McCain/Palin campaign. Good riddance, eleven days and this will finally be over.

P.S.: Exactly what Meteor Blades says.

Karl Rove Sounds A Lot Like Obama

Say what Joshing? Karl Rove sounds like Obama, never! Well, at his job on Fox News he described Pennsylvania voters who cling to their guns and their faith, just as Obama mentioned a while back. Yet I doubt McCain and the rest of the GOP will attack him for saying such things as they did to Obama.

What Happened To Councilwoman Mealy?

What the Council did yesterday to democracy in our city was atrocious. Thwarting the will of the voters will be a mark of shame for the institution. It was self-serving politicking at its worst. Speaker Quinn was in the tank for the Mayor from the get go as were many in the majority but not everyone. James Vacca switched his vote late in the game but the outspoken Councilwoman Mealy went from being adamantly against the Mayor to standing in line behind him. So what happened?

From The NY Times:

Less than two weeks ago, City Councilwoman Darlene Mealy stood on the steps of City Hall, along with Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr. and a group of ministers who opposed Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s plan to extend term limits.[...]

However, when her name was called to vote on Mr. Bloomberg’s bill in the City Council chamber on Thursday, Ms. Mealy votes yes, and with a decidedly more somber tone to her voice.
If she wasn't excited about the bill when she opposed it and dejectedly voted in favor of it, what could have happened in the mean time? Did she get something out of it and what could the Mayor and Quinn have given her?

“She has said that she was under intense, intense pressure,” Mr. Barron said. “I think it merits some kind of investigation, to be quite honest.”

In an interview, Ms. Mealy was asked whether she had been threatened in any from either City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn or Mr. Bloomberg.

“I don’t want to discuss it,” she said.

Oh but we want to discuss Ms. Mealy. Your constituents as well as the entire city deserves an explanation. Here's what the Times thinks it could be:

Since then, she has not had a particularly high profile. However, earlier this year, Ms. Mealy acknowledged that she had sought to have the Council allocate about $25,000 for a nonprofit group operated by her sister. However, the Council never made the funds available.


Is that really enough to make someone switch their vote? Is that the price of democracy for one Councilmember? For a woman who voiced her opposition early and in public, that seems like a small price to buy a vote. If that's what it is, then that is extremely sad and Mealy deserves the boot next year. Yet my gut says there has to be more. Quinn denies any arm-twisting, but her word is worth less than squat at this moment. Mealy needs to come forward and tell the truth behind her change of heart or else face the full fury of her district.

Robo McCain Slimes Obama Over Health Care Plan

John McCain has significantly increased his robo-call attacks on Barack Obama. Perhaps it is cheaper to reach people than spending millions on advertising, but what is in those calls is becoming more and more disturbing. The latest one tries to say that Obama will slow the development of life-saving drugs even though nothing of the sort is mentioned.

From TPM:


...because Barack Obama and the Democrats have jeopardized our Medicare and Social Security with their proposed massive government takeover of health care, and will be reducing access to doctors and slowing development of life-saving drugs. Don't let the inexperience and poor judgement of Barack Obama and his Democrat allies put our livelihood at risk. This call was paid for by the Republican National Committee and McCain-Palin 2008 at 866 558-5591.

It's pretty craftily worded. Note how the call insinuates that Obama and Dems will slow development of life saving drugs in addition to passing their plan, as if that's actually an Obama policy goal. That's a twist on the stock GOP line, which is that the plan itself would have that effect.

The Huffington Post first got word of this call from readers, and we just obtained the call from a reader in Wisconsin.
As the days before the election grow shorter, the attacks are and will become nastier. The reality is that while the conservative base would like to see medical advances from embryonic stem cells eliminated, Democrats want to continue those amazing discoveries and fully fund science programs so that we can remain competitive in scientific and technological breakthroughs in the future. As for Medicare and Social Security, McCain would reduce Medicare benefits and his goal of privatizing Social Security would have put the system in severe distress due to the perilous situation in the markets.

In Less Than A Minute, Palin Labels Elitists And Decries Labels

All the while, John McCain just sits there with his hands folded and watches his shot at becoming President get further and further away:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Norm Coleman Says We'll See Changes If Dems Elected

Norm Coleman uttered a brilliant statement to about fifty of his supporters in the Minnesotan town of Bemidji. This could possibly be the smartest thing he's said during the entire campaign. It's a message that many Americans clearly understand. Okay, okay, I'll give it to you in bold, but the entire thing for context.

From The Grand Folks Herald:

“If I lose this seat, and one party has control across the board, then you’ll see changes,” he said. He referred to the Fairness Doctrine, which at one time demanded equal time for opposing views on radio or television.

“The Fairness Doctrine is a policy that (2004 Democratic presidential candidate John) Kerry said we should re-institute, (House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi said should be re-instituted — they would be in charge,” Coleman said.

“It says that the federal government will monitor what is being said, and then they will decide whether there has to be a counterpoint,” he said. “I can tell you there’s going to be a lot of voices on the radio that you’ll never hear. That’s not good for America.”

Oh Norm, change is exactly what this election is all about. Americans are crying out for change because the last eight years have been hellish for all but the upper class in this country. Now as for the Fairness Doctrine, that was something the FCC got rid of under Reagan. It has allowed corporations to dominate the radio and airwaves with conservatives that seriously outnumber liberal views. The Supreme Court upheld it in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969) but that was then and the conservative movement went ahead and disassembled it anyways. Having an equal amount of time for both sides on the public airwaves should be a given, but to hyper-partisans like Norm Coleman, it is another thing to attack Democrats for.

A Sad Day For democracy In New York City

Just moments ago the political theater played itself out in City Hall and the Council voted 29 - 22 to pass an extension of the city's term limit from two to three terms. The people enacted the law through referendum and the majority of the Council selfishly overturned that democratic will. The Mayor assured Council members that the public would forget about this day by next year's election, but the view of the people from his throne is clouded by all of that money he has.

As the live-blogging by the New York Times and Its Our Decision showed, the people in the balcony were passionately against what happened here today. Cheers, boos and hisses were common depending on who spoke for the Mayor and who rallied for the opposition. The Daily Politics and the NY Politicker also covered the events. As the public learns more of how the Mayor ramrodded the bill through the Council with the aid of Speaker Christine Quinn, the less popular the subversion of the process becomes. Those that passed this had plenty of backroom deals made so that they could maximize their own self-interests to go against the people that elected them.

Of course the fight isn't over yet. Both State Assemblymembers and State Senators want to address this mattter as does members of New York's Congressional and Senatorial delegation with regards to the Justice Department. The Mayor's move was politically calculated to ignore the public and have fifty-one politicians go over the hundreds of thousands that voted for term limits. If they think that this is legitimate, they have another thing coming. The Bush Administration's DoJ might get Bloomberg's back, but an Obama Administration certainly won't. Democracy is an essential, nay, the essential ingredient of our society and it must be upheld, despite the terrible shame that the Council brought upon us today.

Heads will roll my friends, heads will roll.

Obama: We're All Pro-American!

Sarah Palin uses speech that divides us, but here is the candidate that wishes to unite us and affirm that we are all pro-America!

Alan Greenspan Admits He Isn't God

For far too long, Alan Greenspan was considered a financial deity for leaders on both sides of the aisle. He was there for Bush Sr., Bill Clinton and until Bernake stumbled in, for the current failure-in-chief. As the head of the Federal Reserve Board, Greenspan helped direct and advocate for deregulation in the market. Unfortunately for the great majority of us, politicians happily followed his advice and were paid handsome rewards by the financial sector. Now that we are seeing the consequences of those policies reverberate through the economy everyone is looking for answers, even the man who had the wrong ones for all these years.

From The NY Times:

Although he defended the use of derivatives in general, Mr. Greenspan, who left office in 2006, told members of the House Committee of Government Oversight and Reform that he was “partially” wrong in not having tried to regulate the market for credit-default swaps.

But in a tense exchange with Representative Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat who is chairman of the committee, Mr. Greenspan conceded a more serious flaw in his own philosophy that unfettered free markets sit at the root of a superior economy.

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said.

Referring to his free-market ideology, Mr. Greenspan added: “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”

Reading these words, I have to shake my head in disbelief. How can someone that is considered so smart not know that the greed of the rich will ultimately bring us all down in flames? Putting a value on debt that is worthless is absolutely ridiculous when the chance of it crumbling is greater than a house of cards exposed to the wind.

I honestly do not think Mr. Greenspan is such a fool, he should most certainly be aware of what his tenure has helped to "accomplish" in our country over the last twenty years. Greenspan must certainly have made quite a deal of wealth in his time with his policies that have made so many of us poor. Deregulation stripped away the protections in the market that were instituted to prevent the crisis of the Great Depression. They were put there for a good purpose Mr. Greenspan and the only reason to get rid of them is to re-enact the boom of the 1920s while recklessly disregarding the consequences in the 1930s.

Now it does not please me to see Greenspan's heavenly aura stripped away in such a manner that Waxman provided today. He certainly deserved it but the truth is that he should have never been given the throne that was given to him by either party.

If Only The Mayoral Election Could Be Cleaned Up

The way the Mayor and 18 19 Council members (with Vacca flipping) thus far are trying to extend term limits has become a distasteful campaign to many New Yorkers. The maneuvering is very unlike the Mayor that came in eight years ago and a far cry from the man that called a legislative fix to change term limits "disgraceful."

One of the arguments from his side is that the extension gives voters more of a choice but in reality the power of incumbency deters many from seeking office and will shoo away a majority of those thinking about those once-expected 35 empty seats in the Council next year. With the Mayor claiming to spend $80 million on his re-election race, how is anyone supposed to have a chance to compete? Well as Connecticut shows, you can take the money out of the equation.

From The NY Times:

At a time when roughly half the states are seriously considering public financing of campaigns, Connecticut’s initial experience has exceeded the expectations of even its most enthusiastic supporters. Of the 343 candidates running in General Assembly elections, 258 — about 75 percent — are seeking public financing.

“I think that for many reasons, Connecticut has made history this election season,” said Beth A. Rotman, Connecticut’s director of public financing. “We’ve had an unprecedented participation rate for the first elections with voluntary public campaign finance, and we’ve virtually eliminated special-interest money from the elections.”

Connecticut’s experiment with campaign finance reform happened only when it hit bottom. After the resignation of Gov. John G. Rowland in 2004 and a spate of other public corruption cases, with the state’s image moving from “the Land of Steady Habits” to “Corrupticut,” public financing suddenly became something other than a pet topic for good-government types.
Here in New York we are about to hit a bottom of our own if the Council passes this awful legislation. Unfortunately the passage of clean elections looks more bleak than the Mayor losing his bid for a third term this afternoon. If the people on his side really wanted to reform the system and give New Yorkers a choice for deciding who they should elect, clean elections would be a tremendous step forward in letting our government represent the people again, instead of the billionaires it caters to presently.

How To Deal With Racist Comments

Jay Smooth breaks down the difference between labeling someone a racist and calling out what they said as racist. With tensions rising as the election approaches, this is an important reminder to keep your cool with any McCain supporters or those that are undecided about Obama based on the ridiculous information being thrown out there.

How The Republicans Will Try To Stop You From Voting

There have been and will be plenty of conspiracy theories on both fringes of the political landscape concerning the election and the candidates running. However, there are identifiable facts that show the right is actively trying to suppress voter turnout to magnify the power of the limited conservative base. There are plenty of ways that the GOP has gone at this in the past and this year is no exception. Robert Kennedy Jr. and Greg Palast wrote an article in Rolling Stone to lay out the despicable truth.

From Rolling Stone:

Suppressing the vote has long been a cornerstone of the GOP's electoral strategy. Shortly before the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Paul Weyrich — a principal architect of today's Republican Party — scolded evangelicals who believed in democracy. "Many of our Christians have what I call the 'goo goo' syndrome — good government," said Weyrich, who co-founded Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell. "They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

Today, Weyrich's vision has become a national reality. Since 2003, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, at least 2.7 million new voters have had their applications to register rejected. In addition, at least 1.6 million votes were never counted in the 2004 election — and the commission's own data suggests that the real number could be twice as high. To purge registration rolls and discard ballots, partisan election officials used a wide range of pretexts, from "unreadability" to changes in a voter's signature. And this year, thanks to new provisions of the Help America Vote Act, the number of discounted votes could surge even higher.

Passed in 2002, HAVA was hailed by leaders in both parties as a reform designed to avoid a repeat of the 2000 debacle in Florida that threw the presidential election to the U.S. Supreme Court. The measure set standards for voting systems, created an independent commission to oversee elections, and ordered states to provide provisional ballots to voters whose eligibility is challenged at the polls.

But from the start, HAVA was corrupted by the involvement of Republican superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, who worked to cram the bill with favors for his clients. (Both Abramoff and a primary author of HAVA, former Rep. Bob Ney, were imprisoned for their role in the conspiracy.) In practice, many of the "reforms" created by HAVA have actually made it harder for citizens to cast a ballot and have their vote counted. In case after case, Republican election officials at the local and state level have used the rules to give GOP candidates an edge on Election Day by creating new barriers to registration, purging legitimate names from voter rolls, challenging voters at the polls and discarding valid ballots.

The article goes into far more depth about how the process is undertaken. Already we can see the fallacious claims of voter fraud by ACORN and the pathetic attempts to connect it to Barack Obama. While the story of GOP operative Mark Jacoby has tempered the political attacks, it by no means suggests that the right's tactics of voter suppression has stopped behind the scenes. In Montana the GOP tried purging voters in heavy Democratic areas. In Ohio they tried stopping the early voting system. In Michigan the GOP tried to invalidate the registrations of people who had their homes foreclosed on. There are many more stories like this across the country, especially in states with large minority populations.

As Weyrich stated, it is best to knock off as many voters to enable a GOP victory. That is why we must fight each and every attack of theirs on our collective democracy. At the same time we must turn out as many voters as possible so that the majority of America can decide who our next President and not just the plurality of those who escaped the purging of voter rolls.

Troubles Ahead For The M.T.A.

Riding on the 4 train this morning, I saw an advertisement placed by the M.T.A. that stated the fare was $1 in 1986 and in today's dollars that's $1.89, further that the cost of an unlimited ride is $1.17. Nevermind how misleading and beneficial they make economic numbers look. If they have to put an ad there to try and manipulate people into having sympathy for the fare increases next year and in 2011, be afraid of what comes next. With bad economic times piled on to an already perilous situation, it'll be more than just the promises of a better ride on the subway that we'll end up losing.

From The NY Times:

Questions in recent months about the authority’s economic future have repeatedly drawn the same response: Wait for the Ravitch commission.

But the stock market’s troubles and the global banking crisis have accelerated the authority’s financial slide to the point that officials are now working to carve deeper cuts in their budget plans for 2009.

And it appears likely that there will be insufficient time for the State Legislature to act on the Ravitch commission’s proposals, meaning the authority will be forced to adopt an austerity budget with both service cuts and fare increases by late December, an official said.

Further, because of sharply falling revenues, an even larger increase in fares and tolls might have to be considered than in the authority’s earlier budget plan, which called for an 8 percent rise in revenues from those sources, the official added.
If you can bear to read more, go to the full article from the Times. When Elliot Sander says they're going to bring painful stuff, then you know it is going to be bad. I am certainly no economist, but next year's dollars will not inflate by eight percent and a fare increase that reflects it will be a far cry from the sympathy-inducing words I saw on the 4 train. Not only that, the ad must have run out of space before it could have mentioned that we get a lot less for our $1 $2 fare with more delays and overcrowded trains. Now it looks as if we can add reduced service to that as well.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Chris Matthews Schools Pfotenhauer On VP Role

Nancy tries to spin Palin's answers as best she can but in the end Matthews embarrasses her. How sad is that the Republicans do not understand the role of the Vice-President as the Constitution lays it out.

I smell a serious amount of smoke from this campaign.

ACORN Strikes Back

In the run-up to the election, the Republican machine is going to do whatever it takes to increase their turnout numbers and definitely to decrease that of the Democrats. One of the ways they do that is to attack those that work to register lots of voters. ACORN is one such organization and this year they have been in the GOP's crosshairs. John McCain said in last week's debate that they were "...on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy."Of course that is complete bullshit and ACORN isn't taking these attacks lying down.

From The Albany Project:

This week, ACORN is dedicated to setting the record straight and more importantly, raise awareness about voter suppression which is a REAL issue that has occurred in two elections (2000 and 2004) that were won by Republican George W. Bush.

Earlier this week during a press call, ACORN brought up a few different eye-opening incidents that are worth mentioning. In New Mexico, the Republicans there challenged the validity of several voters there. Upon further review, these voters were valid. The claims of "voter fraud" were false.

Another issue that ACORN is focusing on is voter suppression involving voters who have had their homes foreclosed. In multiple states, there are efforts underway trying to suppress these voters. One such is Michigan, where the Republicans were trying to purge voters from the rolls using foreclosure lists. Luckily, that attempt was foiled. But we still need to watch for these attempts nationwide.

There has also been a growing hatred for ACORN thanks to the GOP rhetoric and the loud-mouthed antics of John McCain and Sarah Palin. In Wisconsin, a person canvassing for Barack Obama was reportedly attacked by someone who referred to ACORN while physically abusing this individual. There have been break-ins at ACORN headquarters in Boston and Washington state. There have been threats and racism directed at ACORN employees and volunteers, as well as one instance of someone receiving a death threat from an individual who just happened to have "McCain-Palin" on their Facebook page.

The statements made about ACORN by McCain and his surrogates are much more than just words. The emotion behind it fills many of their supporters with hate and fuels their bigotry from mere shouts to actual violence. ACORN is about empowering low-income and minority voters, not lying down in the face of nasty attacks. Bringing light onto what has happened to their offices is essential to showing the ugly side of our country and shaming those that engage in it, helping to break this vicious cycle of hate. If those that purvey these messages are punished for their acts (such as losing handily at the polls) then it is less likely we see it used in the future.

Two New Twists To The Term Limit Saga

Now that we are a day away from the crucial vote in the City Council, three of the remaining twelve undecideds have offered up an amendment to the bill. Who knows if this will be successfully added, but Yassky, Brewer and Gerson want to make the vote about letting the people decide via referenda. They made the announcement earlier this afternoon.

From NY Politicker:

Three undecided City Council members—David Yassky, Gale Brewer and Alan Gerson—told reporters just now they’ll introduce an amendment to the term-limits legislation that would establish a charter review commission that could put term-limits to a voter referendum at the earliest opportunity.

The Council votes on the legislation tomorrow; the three lawmakers, who were previously undecided about how they will vote, declined to say whether they’ll support the bill in its current form.

All three said they believe it's better policy to allow city lawakers to serve three terms, instead of only two, but expressed reservations about overturning two public referendums with legislation in the City Council.

When asked if this amendment was simply a “fig leaf” to give them political cover with voters, all three shook their heads, and Yassky, said, “Absolutely not.” He went on, “I think that the right outcome is to change term limits from eight [years in total] to 12. I say that without hesitation. That’s in the best interest of this city.” But, Yassky added, “This is not a good way to do it.”

Yes, the issue here isn't whether term limits should be abolished, but who should do the abolishing. Term limits were enacted by the people twice and if there is really enough support to get rid of them, let the people decide that just as they had before. The Council should not be allowed to do this all by themselves at the behest of the Mayor.

Now even if this fails and the Councils goes ahead and approves this sham, there is a new hurdle being thrown up by Bill de Blasio, Letitia James and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum. Since the Conflict of Interest Board denied them a favorable ruling in what is clearly a conflict of interest, they are going to the courts to block the bill. There are many interesting developments to this issue and plenty to come.

If you disagree with the Mayor and want an opportunity to express that to him, come to City Hall at 5:30 this afternoon and stand up for letting the people decide!

What McCain Is Proud Of

John McCain is rapidly losing the trust of the American people. Instead of trying to win them back on issues, he ditches any honorable principles he has left and resorts to tasteless smears of Barack Obama. Here he shows how far he's really fallen:

Victory For The Workers Of Saigon Grill!

This week a long and hard-fought battle finally came to a glorious conclusion for the deliverymen of Saigon Grill. For years the owners of the New York City chain restaurant had grossly underpaid and overworked their employees who brave the streets to bring customers their orders. Despite the threat of losing their jobs, the workers brought their complaints up to the legal system and now they can finally be compensated to the tune of $4.6 million dollars.

From The NY Times:

A federal judge has awarded $4.6 million in back pay and damages to 36 delivery workers at two Saigon Grill restaurants in Manhattan, finding blatant and systematic violations of minimum-wage and overtime laws.

In a decision dated Monday and released on Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Michael H. Dolinger of United States District Court in Manhattan found violations of federal and state wage laws in awarding up to $328,000 to some of the deliverymen. On issue after issue, Judge Dolinger ruled against Saigon Grill and its owners, Simon and Michelle Nget, saying they paid $520 a month to many deliverymen who worked more than 260 hours each month. This meant their pay came to less than $2 an hour, far less than the federal and state minimum wage.[...]

Judge Dolinger found that the company had often illegally deducted pay — from $20 to $200 — when deliverymen committed infractions like letting the restaurant door slam on their way out or failing to log in a delivery. The case covered wage violations from 1999 to 2007.

The judge concluded that Saigon Grill should pay not just back wages but also damages because the owners, he said, had so blithely ignored the law.
With so much injustice going on in these times, it is nice to see some good news like what happened in this case. The deliverymen deserve every last penny the judge awarded for the way the Nget's treated their employees. Not only did Saigon Grill get what they deserve as well, but as the article points out that many other restaurants have taken heed of this and improved conditions for many more deliverymen.

NY Shows Energy Conservation Can Be Easy

Not long ago oil was plentiful and cheap. Many Americans either had no clue or no care about conserving energy, whether it be for their cars or to keep their houses at a comfortable temperature. While oil prices may be down now, once the economy improves and consumption rises so will the price. Not only that, the environment is suffering at an increased rate due to our energy usage, so something must be done. Here in New York, efforts by the Office of General Services are making some headway.

From The Times Herald-Record:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A New York official says energy consumption in government buildings is down 8.4 percent from last year.

Office of General Services Commissioner John Egan says turning off lights and turning down temperatures cut energy consumption in the more than 50 buildings and more than 19.5 million square feet of office space that OGS manages.

OGS is also using a Web-enabled advanced metering system to monitor electricity, water and natural gas use in buildings around the state. Egan says the system allows OGS to analyze where and how kilowatt hours are consumed so officials can come up with more efficient conservation methods.

Now this is great news for the fifty or so buildings that OGS operates. Unfortunately there are millions of buildings across the state and many more in the nation that do not have access to this technology. Green construction is starting to help but too many old buildings are not even close to being energy efficient. When the Governor calls the legislature to special session in a month's time, expanding OGS' services to property owners should be brought up. With the talk about tax hikes and spending cuts, one way to dramatically reduce the cost of energy in the state would be to spend some cash on this.

Olbermann Shows Why McCain Has Dropped Voter Fraud Claims

Keith asks the question and finds the answer:

Republicans best watch what they say about voter fraud when it is their side committing the crimes they accuse others of.

Socialism For Palin Kids And Scrubbed Books To Hide It

Sarah Palin is going around to campaign rallies with this week's attack on Obama about socialism and that we don't need that in America. Well, since she has ties to the secessionist AIP, perhaps the socialism she does wants up in Alaska doesn't count in the lower forty-eight. I guess that's just being a hockey mom, you know, like all the other hockey moms that get to charge $150,000 on the RNC credit card to go shopping for new clothes.

From Newsweek (AP):

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

That money spent by Alaskans without their knowledge was used highly inappropriately for the only purpose of showing her girls a good time. She is free to do that, but pay for it on your salary just like anyone else would have to. As the AP notes, organizers from many of these events the girls attended didn't even know they were coming and there was no reason to have the state pay for their trips.

Now that is bad enough, but when Sarah Palin realized she'd be the VP nominee she knew this might come up. So what would any ethically challenged and corrupt Republican do? Well that would be to amend all the expense reports to validate her kids coming with her with such official duties as "raffle ticket drawer." Tax lawyers were awfully perplexed with the situation and now we have it all here on the AP to show just what a mavericky reformer Governor Palin is.

Now the McCain camp will have yet another story to lie about or deflect with less than two weeks to go in the race. It has been said over and over again but jeez McCain, didn't you think to vet this woman for at least two minutes? A little extra time back in August would have gone a long way in October. Of course, this is just one bad mark among many in his campaign that lost its bearings way back.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Term Limit Vote Scheduled For This Thursday!

As of this afternoon it has been made official. The Council has decided to vote on the Mayor's legislation to allow him to run for re-election by extending term limits. In two days time, we should know how the Council feels about doing an end run around the will of the voters who enacted term limits in 93' and 96.' As the opposition grows to the Mayor's plan backed by the Speaker and as of now sixteen of her fellows, their arguments are being debunked and the response is to speed this thing up so the public can quickly forget. Now that we have a set date to vote, things are moving a bit more rapidly.

From The Daily Politics:

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., a member of the Government Operations Committee which must cast the first votes on Mayor Bloomberg's bill, told me last week he was leaning toward "no." But he announced today that he has changed his mind.[...]

Republican Council Minority Leader James Oddo, who is close to Council Speaker Christine Quinn and used to share a party affiliation with the mayor, announced he will vote "no" on the mayor's bill.

Of course Vallone Jr. was on the Bloomberg's list of slush recipients and his Dad is lobbying for the Mayor. The rest of the undecideds should quit playing around and say which side they are on. Rumor has it that Yassky is trying to make a deal with one of Bloomberg's men behind the scenes. On that note, the other twelve in his group are starting to stink to high hell of trying to do something similar the longer they sit on the fence. With thirteen of them left, five members need to stand up to defeat this thing once and for all. If James Oddo can defy King Bloomberg (especially since he took his money too), so can they.

With Two Weeks To Go

According to John King's report yesterday on Iowa, New Mexico and Colorado, Josh Marshall sees that the race is effectively over with Obama garnering 273 electoral votes or more. McCain's camp says they're going after Pennsylvania but in reality, that state is a deep, dark blue.

Palin Still Has No Idea What The VP Does

Not even three months ago, Governor Sarah Palin went on CNBC and proclaimed she had no idea what the Vice-President of the United States does. More than that, she thought it was more important to be govern Alaska, but that is neither here nor there. Yet as of October 20th, she still does not know the duties of the Vice-President. Apparently an NBC-affiliate reporter in Colorado "Couricized" her with a basic question and she fell in the trap yet again.

From ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) sat for an interview with KUSA, an NBC affiliate in Colorado. In response to a question sent to the network by a third grader at a local elementary school about what the Vice President does, Palin erroneously argued that the Vice President is “in charge of the United States Senate“:

Q: Brandon Garcia wants to know, “What does the Vice President do?”

PALIN: That’s something that Piper would ask me! … [T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom.

Indeed, while Palin suggests that questions about what the Vice President does is something only her daughter Piper would ask, Palin herself asked this very question on national television in July. Apparently, she still hasn’t learned the correct answer.

Article I of the Constitution establishes an exceptionally limited role for the Vice President — giving the office holder a vote only when the Senate is “equally divided”:

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

Damn, so it was actually a third-grader that stumped her. Even if McCain brought in Dick Cheney to give her a run-down on some of his activities, she should recognize that he himself doesn't know that the the VP is in the Executive branch. Perhaps she should pick up a copy of the Constitution, before Bush shreds the rest of it.

Bad Times On Wall St. Are Magnified In The Alleys Behind Main St.

Congress and the White House moved quickly to try and help wealthy bankers once they had crashed their toxic system full of bundled debt resting on a tenuous housing bubble. While that situation is still working itself out, the consequences of deregulation and obscene amounts of corporate welfare have left millions outside of the Financial District without jobs and for far too many, without a place to call home. The latest figures on homelessness are truly frightening.

From USA Today:

More families with children are becoming homeless as they face mounting economic pressures, including mortgage foreclosures, according to a USA TODAY survey of a dozen of the largest cities in the nation.

Local authorities say the number of families seeking help has risen in Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Minneapolis, New York, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and Washington.

"Everywhere I go, I hear there is an increase" in the need for housing aid, especially for families, says Philip Mangano, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates federal programs. He says the main causes are job losses and foreclosures.

Other factors have been higher food and fuel prices hitting families with "no cushion," says Nan Roman of the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

There is no cushion because Republican leadership has deflated our nation's programs to aid the poor and to care for those in need. In the richest country in the world, we have hundreds of thousands of Americans who sleep on our streets. With the gap between the haves and have nots widening by the day, the situation is only going to get worse. John McCain, Sarah Palin and their surrogates may mock Barack Obama for wanting to "spread the wealth around" by taxing the rich more but you know what, the way we are going isn't helping anyone and it is about time we make a change.

Are You A Real American?

Jon Stewart asks the important questions of all of us, just so Sarah Palin can be clear about who to manipulate and trick into voting for her and John McCain:

Term Limit Update, The People Are Starting To Get It

The latest polling of the city shows that as more and more of us read about what exactly the Mayor is trying to do, the more they disapprove of it. While Mayor Bloomberg has decent numbers, a change of the term limits law by referenda is supported by more than nine to one. Furthermore, it seems that many people still support term limits because they have done some good for us and allowed for more people to run for office. Bloomberg and his minions say that it this legislative decree would give us more choice. Yet with his money and the power of incumbency as it is, there really isn't much choice for our polity. Thankfully one more Council member saw that and cast his lot with the people yesterday.

From The NY Daily News:

Councilman/Senator-in-waiting Hiram Monserrate publicly declared his opposition to Mayor Bloomberg's term limits extension bill this afternoon, bringing the "no" tally to 20.

Not a huge surprise here. There isn't all that much Monserrate, a short-timer on the Council, might want (except maybe something Willetts Point-related, which apparently is more than the mayor is willing to give) since he's got a near-lock on the Queens Senate seat that once belonged to John Sabini.

UPDATE: A Queens observer points out that Monserrate, while he has a historiy as an outspoken independent, was under intense pressure from the Bloomberg administration, which enlisted the assistance of the borough's Democratic chairman, Rep. Joe Crowley.

Congratulations to Hiram for making the right choice. Now we just need six more votes, so find out where your Council member stands and tell them it's our decision to make, not a chance to use a flawed charter to circumvent the people's will.

CA Shows Putting Earth First Leads To Green Jobs

One of the fearmongering tactics that oil companies have used in the past about relying on alternative energy "too quickly" is that many people would be out of work. Well when you shut down a refinery there are job losses, but so many opportunities can come from it when you add in clean energy sources, conservation and recycling. California has proven that over the last thirty years since they instituted energy-efficient guidelines, much to the dismay of the fossil fuel industry.

From The NY Times:

OAKLAND, Calif. — California’s energy-efficiency policies created nearly 1.5 million jobs from 1977 to 2007, while eliminating fewer than 25,000, according to a study to be released Monday.

The study, conducted by David Roland-Holst, an economist at the Center for Energy, Resources and Economic Sustainability at the University of California, Berkeley, found that while the state’s policies lowered employee compensation in the electric power industry by an estimated $1.6 billion over that period, it improved compensation in the state over all by $44.6 billion.

Built into that figure were increases of $1.2 billion in the light industrial sector, $11.2 billion in wholesale and retail trade, $7.3 billion in the financial and insurance sectors and $17.8 billion in the service sector.

“Consumers were able to reduce energy spending,” the study said, adding that “these savings were diverted to other demand.”

Imagine that! If we didn't shove piles of money into Big Oil's hands we'd have more to spend on the larger economy. Well it doesn't take an economist to figure that out, but showing us just how much of an impact environmental regulation can have is truly impressive. Van Jones isn't kidding when he talks about the Green-Collared Economy. Not only can we help save our planet, but we can slowly reshape our petro-based world into an eco-friendly globe.

The Mayor Calls Himself A Disgrace

From his own mouth:

Funny how your words can haunt you, isn't it?

Monday, October 20, 2008

You're A Socialist Too Sarah

John McCain and Sarah Palin are throwing the kitchen sink and then some with the hope of knocking Barack Obama and Joe Biden from their lead over them. Bill Ayers and ACORN hasn't seemed to work, so now they're going with "Nah, nah, nah, nah, you're a socialist!" The problem with that is, with their standards, Sarah Palin is a socialist too.

From Crooks and Liars:

McCain's last ditch effort is too say that Obama is a socialist. Wallace called him out on it.

WALLACE: But, Senator, you voted for the $700 billion bailout that's being used partially to nationalize American banks. Isn't that socialism?

As we know Conservatism has ran up the largest debt this country has ever known, started two wars and destroyed Wall Street under the compassionate one, but be afraid of Obama.I saw Sarah Palin saying the same thing.

On Sunday, she went a step further.

“Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth,” she said. “Joe Biden calls higher taxes patriotic. But Joe the plumber and Ed the dairy man, I believe that they think that it sounds more like socialism. Friends, now is no time to experiment with socialism.”

Didn't she redistribute the wealth in Alaska? You know, take the oil profits, impose a tax and kick it back to Alaskans?

Nevermind those pesky facts, it wouldn't be a good ol' fashioned GOP attack if it didn't reek of hypocrisy. You know, kinda like the whining Rick Davis has done about the $150 million that Obama raised last month. Expect plenty more of this crap over the next two weeks, that is for sure.

With McCain's Chances Dwindling, Wingers Go Full Out Racist

Race has always had a role in this Presidential contest, but with fifteen days remaining, things are getting real ugly. Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama yesterday was the tipping point for many such as George Will and cartoonist Gordon Campbell. Rush Limbaugh on the other hand was already far past that line of decency so you can only imagine how he saw the eloquent endorsement by the retired General.

From ThinkProgress:

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh said that the only reason Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was because they’re both African-American. “Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race. OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed.” On his show today, Limbaugh went a step further and shouted his accusation against Powell:

Let me say it louder, and let me say it even more plainly. IT WAS TOTALLY ABOUT RACE! The Powell nomination — or endorsement — totally about race.

So of course, only white people can endorse whites, brown for brown and black for black. If something doesn't go Rush's way, it can only be explained in the simplest terms and generally with derogatory language attached. Limbaugh is pissed that one of the last respected conservatives has ditched his party, but honestly, who the f*&k cares? People should seriously be ashamed of themselves for listening to his crap day in and day out. Though I must say, in one aspect, this is all about race. Limbaugh's tirade is all about race because he wants to see a white winger like McCain to replace the current white winger in the White House.

CNN Fact Checks The ACORN Smears

While the report doesn't cover everything about the slimy attack, it sheds enough light so that people can see McCain's boogeymonster is really nothing more than a cheap scare tactic.

As a commenter from YouTube posts:

This could have been a great piece of journalism if they had reported that Acorn reviews the registrations and flags the problematic ones before sending them to election officials, that Acorn fires workers and turns them into police that submit fraudulent registrations, and that ACORN is required BY LAW to turn in ALL registration forms. Doesn't sound "sloppy" to me.

Money Bags Bloomberg Goes To Bat For Padavan

Two separate fundraisers are going on tonight to help the incumbent Frank Padavan and his challenger Councilman James Gennaro. Senate District 11 is one of the top targets to help Albany go completely blue next month and Gennaro's numbers have proven it. He currently bests Padavan by a ratio of 3:1 in a district that also has three times as many Dems as there are Republicans. With two weeks to go, both sides are still raising cash but in two very different ways.

From PolitickerNY (the new home of the NY Observer's political section):

Michael Bloomberg, who may or may not want to run for mayor on the Republican line, is helping Republican State Senator Frank Padavan catch up to his Democratic opponent in fund-raising.

Bloomberg is hosting a $1,000-per-person fund-raiser at his East Side townhouse for Padavan tonight at 5:30 p.m. Co-chairs are asked to pledge $10,000 to Padavan’s campaign, according to an email sent to supporters by one of former governor George Pataki’s fund-raisers, Jason Weingartener. The email was forwarded to me by a reader.[...]

Gennaro is also having a fund-raiser tonight at a bar on 44th Street at 7 p.m. It's hosted by environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (who has raised money for Gennaro before) and tickets are $25.

Hmm, one to ten grand versus twenty-five dollars a head, quite a difference from one another. Padavan, despite the powers of incumbency is clearly hurting on the fundraising race aspect of the campaign. Gennaro has been cruising this year and is working hard to make sure the entire district knows that their State Senator can actually stand up for priniciples and not just someone that brings home a ton of pork.

Despite his Independent status, Bloomberg has raised a lot of cash for Republicans recently and in this case, it is clearly to his advantage to keep Padavan for another term (on top of his previous 36 years) which would allow Skelos to remain in control of the Senate. Not only does that keep the State House divided and crush the possibility of reform, it denies the chance for a Democratic State Senate to stop Bloomberg from running for a third term. Promises of a Dem Majority bill to override a possible City Council decision to extend term limits must haunt the Mayor and his ambitious quest for more power.

Another Right Wing Hack And Washed Up Journalist Join Fox News

As far as talent goes, Fox does very well if you count the ability to sell your soul and bash Democrats for personal gain. O'Reilly, Hannity, Doocy and the rest already do a fantastic job at spreading the propaganda for Murdoch, Ailes and the entire VRWC. In the past week, Fox News has announced two more additions that fit in nicely with their particular brand of news. One is Bush Administration lackey that went to jail to protect her sources from being implicated as traitors to our country and the other is just an extremist goofball put on the wrong network.

From ThinkProgress:

Today, the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz reveals that Fox News has hired former New York Times reporter Judith Miller, who will be an on-air analyst and write stories for Fox’s website:

“She has a very impressive résumé,” says Senior Vice President John Moody. “We’ve all had stories that didn’t come out exactly as we had hoped. It’s certainly something she’s going to be associated with for all time, and there’s not much anyone can do about that, but we want to make use of the tremendous expertise she brings on a lot of other issues. … She has explained herself and she has nothing to apologize for.

Miller, however, had more problems than her stories not turning out “exactly” as she had “hoped.” Miller has been a willing participant in the Bush administration’s quest to peddle lies to the American public. She was a key player in pushing false intelligence that led the public into the Iraq war, and was central to the Valerie Plame leak scandal.

On Sept. 7, 2002, she and fellow New York Times reporter Michael Gordon reported that Iraq had “stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb.” As proof, she cited unnamed “American intelligence experts” and unnamed “Bush administration officials.” Subsequently, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, and Donald Rumsfeld all pointed to Miller’s story as justification for war. On April 22, 2003, she told PBS’s Newshour that WMD had already been found in Iraq: “Well, I think they found something more than a ’smoking gun.’

Glenn Beck's problem was that he was pouring Kool-Aid for a network who's primary viewers who prefer reality over right wing talking points delivered with what passes for humor. He should do much better at Fox where many that tune already have extra large straws for that sweet, sugary concoction.

Judith Miller's "analysis" will go nicely with the other hacks at Fox. She had no problem parroting what the GOP whispered in her ear while at the Times so listening to Roger Ailes and regurgitating that should go swimmingly. When it comes to hiring credible journalists, the "fair and balanced" Fox News shows their willingness to counter other news outlets that are more in tune with the reality-based world.

Why Obama In Under Three Minutes

Are you seriously still undecided??? Well, watch this, get yourself informed, help out and then go vote!



That my friends, is a serious amount of money. It could buy you one of the most expensive apartments in New York or help fuel one of the most important political campaigns in recent memory. Last month 632,000 new donors joined the previous 2.5 million donors of Barack Obama and gave generously to Barack Obama as a whole but individually the average donation is still under $100. That is what you call people power and what it buys is much more than television time.

From TPM:

The key here is that September was when the contours of the current context first became truly visible: The GOP convention took place at the start of the month, and hockey mom/pitbull with lipstick Sarah Palin was first introduced to America as John McCain's choice for backup commander in chief.

What's more, as the month unfolded, it became clearer and clearer that McCain had made a strategic decision to wage a campaign dominated by slimy attacks, vile adver-sleazements, and cosmic levels of mendacity. And Obama's donor base responded in kind, as did more than half a million newcomers.

Late Update: Plouffe's video announcing the decision to supporters is here.
The ads are running fast and furious, but the ground game is equally important. Following in the path of the wise Chairman Howard Dean, the fifty-state strategy is showing more and more of its true potential. States that old Democratic elites thought were impossible are now in play. Montana, Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado and North Dakota are just a few Bush states that John McCain must fight in to keep his struggling campaign alive. As he concedes states such as Michigan and Maine, Obama is taking his game across the country and helping down-ticket candidates for House and Senate seats as he goes. Who knows if McCain will release his own September numbers before Nov 4th, but the question here and for that first Tuesday in November isn't about who won, it is by how much will Obama win by.

Two More Councilmembers Team Up For Bloomberg

Yesterday's news saw the somewhat depressing fact that two more members of the Council decided to say yes to the Mayor and no to our democratic process. Helen Sears and Kendall Stewart brought the "yes" side to sixteen votes and ten away from passing the bill. Meanwhile, those who are against the legislation only need seven more votes, so technically the push against Bloomberg is working thus far. For the sixteen left undecided, let's see what they might have gleaned from Sears and Stewart's reasoning.

From The NY Daily News:

Stewart's statement (released Saturday):

"When my constituents elected me into office, it was to represent them and make the best possible decisions for our community. Currently, we are faced with an issue that will have an immense impact not only on my district, but on the entire city. I take my responsibility to hear from the public and make tough decisions seriously."

"This issue has received extensive debate, and I have concluded that the right decision is to support the extension of term limits. This is not an easy decision, but it is ultimately what is in the best interest of our great city."

"I have worked hard on behalf of my district for the past six years, helping them solve problems big and small. Now, as we face extraordinary and difficult times, is the time to keep those in office who are experienced and knowledgeable in city government. I have worked to get results for my constituents, and I remain dedicated to serving the public each and every day."

Sears' statement (released today):

"I have listened carefully to the arguments presented by those both in favor of the bill to extend term limits and those opposed. It is my sincere belief that it is in the best interest of the city of New York to extend term limits from 2 terms to 3. This decision was not made easily, but it is the right one.”
Stewart either buys the Mayor's "Only I can save New York" thinking or is using it as a lame excuse to cover for other reasons, such as wanting to run for his third term in 2009. Sears doesn't even try in her statement, perhaps since the Post outed her as being a top recipient of the Mayor's slush fund. With a vote coming as early as this week but more likely next, there will definitely be a lot of lobbying at City Hall for those crucial undecideds. Bloomberg has plenty of them working on his side, so if you support the right of the people to rescind or keep term limits, then pick up the phone and call your Council member (especially if they are undecided) and make sure they vote the right way.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Out For Obama And Against Hateful Bachmann

Not only did Colin Powell come out officially for Barack Obama, this post-interview shows him condemning the antics of the McCain campaign and that of right wing nut and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Key Council Members Paid Off By Bloomberg

The City Council's vote is still a week or two away on term limits, but the influencing of certain member's votes started way before they sat for the two day public forum at the end of last week. Of all the NYC papers, the Post is running a damning article today on how the Mayor has sought to buy off key votes in City Hall so that he can run for a third term. So who are our representatives that Mayor Mike thinks he can purchase for the right price?

From The NY Post:

Five members of the committee secured $3.1 million from the $5.3 million stash in Bloomberg's 2008 budget. Only three other council members received funds from the mayor in the last year. Two are Republicans, and the third, Councilman James Vacca, received a considerably smaller amount, $20,000, than the other beneficiaries.

Government Operations Committee chairman Simcha Felder (Brooklyn) received $1.9 million from the mayor's fund, far more than any of his council colleagues. He has received funds from Bloomberg's fund every year since 2003, in which time the allocations have doubled. It is widely believed Felder supports a term-limits change.

Fellow committee members Domenic Recchia, Helen Sears, Erik Dilan and Peter Vallone Jr. each received between $50,000 and $625,000 from the mayor's fund..

"I think it's obvious that Bloomberg was trying to curry favor here. What else are discretionary funds for?" said one councilman against extending term limits. "Term limits is the most important issue out there, period . . . I think this is one way he laid the groundwork."

Will three million dollars do the trick for Bloomberg? So far the money he directed towards the several members has paid off. The separate enticements for Christine Quinn have already done wonders for a possible third term. Since he has already declared a willingness to spend $80 million on a re-election campaign, there is no reason to doubt that he has a problem giving discretionary spending on the understanding that said members will help him to run for Hizzoner for the third time next year.

The Mayor has already crossed the line of having no interest in the people's will when they enacted term limits in 1993 and 1996. Now it is time to see if the Council is willing to shame itself as well. Members will be judged individually in the end, but the majority vote has the power to either tarnish City Hall or show its strength against a Mayor with a sick lust for power.