Tuesday, September 30, 2008

this one is amazing

CBS: Palin can't name one single newspaper or magazine that she has EVER read in her life

I just, I'm speechless watching this. Katie Couric asks her a simple question: What magazines or newspapers did you read regularly before being picked for VP? Palin can't name one. She then gets all defensive about how Alaska isn't a foreign country or something. Okay. But Couric kept asking her, okay, can you just name one that you've read. Palin couldn't name any. I mean, seriously, she couldn't name her local town paper, the big paper from Anchorage (the Anchorage Daily News), she never goes online and reads AP or Reuters? Never read Newsweek or TIME? I mean, seriously, why is she incapable of giving patently obvious answers to patently easy questions?

She's not very quick on her feet, is she? Really - not a single paper or magazine? Did she think this was some "gotcha" question too?
And her non-sequitor about Alaska not being a foreign country and people wondering how they get their news - that was just goofy.
I don't think that Palin is qualified to be prom queen, much less VP!

Please people - can we please, please, please not have an embarrassment in the White House for the next 4 years?! I hate having to explain to my friends around the world that not everyone is this freakin' stupid in this country.

McCain ad flat-out lying about Obama? What a surprise!

McCain Ad Distorts Obama, Day After Decrying Gotcha Journalism
(Huffington Post)
BTW, this ad is incredibly amateurish and poorly done with horribly distracting and garish backgrounds. I understand that they are rushing out these 30 second spots, but have some quality control folks!
There are definitely some weird subliminals, too.

say wha?

McCain just said that Venezuela was in the Middle East
Yes, I'm sure he simply "misspoke", but he's been doing that a lot lately...

yes, it is crazy - so why did she do it?

Palin On Rape Kit Accusations: ‘The Entire Notion Of Making A Victim Of A Crime Pay For Anything Is Crazy’

Peggy Brown, executive director of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said of Palin: “She’s really done a lot of work on oil and gas, but when it comes to violence against women and children…we haven’t been on her radar as a priority.” (HT: E&P)

(Think Progress)
I notice that her response does not deny that she did this very thing, though.

who cares about democracy, rules and laws?

more McCain hypocrisy

McCain: ‘You Don’t Announce That You’re Going To Attack Another Country’
(Think Progress)
TP goes on to quote a number of times that McCain has announced just this.

have they already forgotten that the repugs stalled the deal?

Glenn Beck, Jonah Goldberg fantasize about violently cutting open Harry Reid’s stomach.

Today on Glenn Beck’s radio show, right-wing columnist Jonah Goldberg and Beck railed against the bailout proposal and blamed congressional Democrats for creating the entire financial crisis. They gleefully joked about jailing Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), putting him in stockades, and ripping apart Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):

BECK: I can’t look at Barney Frank any more. I can’t take it.

GOLDBERG: I almost think he should be in jail! I almost think the guy should be in jail!

BECK: Oh I do too! I absolutely do. I think — honestly, I think we should have at least, bare minimum, we should have stockades in front of the Capitol building. Some of these people are out and out criminals on what they have done. […]

GOLDBERG: It is an incredibly poisonous situation. You know in the middle ages, Harry Reid would have his stomach cut open and a half-starved weasel thrown in, for the kinds of things he’s doing. It’s outrageous!

(Think Progress)
so classy!

McCain hypocrisy overload

John McCain: Do As I Say, Not As I Do

John McCain's hypocrisy has reached a level that when he says anything about any subject, your automatic reaction should be to go back and see what he was saying the day before. And when it comes to blaming others for his failure of leadership on the bailout bill, McCain has raised the ability to talk out of both sides of his mouth to an art form.

Yesterday he managed, in the time it took to get the words out, to blame Barack Obama and the Democratic Party while saying it wasn't time to point fingers:

Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to affix the blame. It’s time to fix the problem.

And today, McCain said:

I am disappointed at the lack of resolve and bipartisan good will among members of both parties to fix this problem...I call on everyone in Washington to come together in a bipartisan way to address this crisis.

...and sixteen minutes later, McCain's campaign released an ad that blamed Obama and the Democrats for the financial meltdown. Sixteen minutes. Apparently McCain was calling on everyone except himself.

(Daily Kos)

bizarre and not very bright

Sarah Palin jokes about Biden’s age
(Crooks and Liars)
So now age and experience do not matter any more?!
I can't keep track of the repugs' changing rhetoric...

the party of bigotry and hate

Hate Crimes Against Dayton, Ohio Mosque
(Crooks and Liars)
Oddly, we just received the DVD mentioned in the article yesterday, but haven't seen it.

laws mean nothing to repugs and conservatives

Fareed Zakaria speaks seriously about the Palin problem

Zakaria on Palin: she doesn't even understand the question
Click the link for the vid

at least some republicans are acting like grown ups

GOP backs off claim that Pelosi’s ‘partisan’ speech made them vote against the bailout.

Yesterday, after the proposed bipartisan bailout package failed to pass, the House Republican leadership declared in a press conference that a “partisan” speech by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was to blame for GOP opposition to the bill. But after being ridiculed by Democrats, media observers, and even some conservatives, Republicans are now walking back that claim:

– Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN): “We are not babies who suck their thumbs.”

– Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO): “I think you don’t want to give too much blame to that speech.”

– Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ): “It was embarrassing for leadership on both parties to lose the bill, so they went out and made a stupid claim.”

– Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “That speech was not the reason I voted against the bill.” [MSNBC, 9/30/08]

(Think Progress)

hiding more Palin embarassment


Media: Bush Is The ‘Picture Of A Beaten Dog’
(Think Progress)
He is almost completely irrelevant at this point - and i hope that he stays that way and doesn't do something totally insane in his last months.

apparently, if Palin is talking to a voter you shouldn't take her seriously

Palin: Pakistan remark was a response to a voter

WASHINGTON - Gov. Sarah Palin said Monday that her comment about attacking terrorist targets in Pakistan, which appeared to contradict the position of GOP presidential nominee John McCain, was a response to a "gotcha" question from a voter.

"This was a voter, a constituent, hollering out a question from across an area asking, 'What are you gonna do about Pakistan? You better have an answer to Pakistan.' I said we're gonna do what we have to do to protect the United States of America," Palin told the "CBS Evening News" in an interview about her exchange with a voter Saturday at a Philadelphia restaurant.

The Republican vice presidential candidate's answer was similar to Democratic nominee Barack Obama's statement that he would support sending U.S. troops into Pakistan to attack high-value targets like Osama bin Laden and other top al-Qaida leaders who are thought to be hiding in tribal areas along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin told the voter during the exchange, which was captured on video.

Except McCain chided Obama during Friday's presidential debate for saying publicly that he supports striking terrorist targets inside Pakistan if the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to do so.

McCain, who sat with Palin, said in Monday's interview that he understands "the day and age of 'gotcha' journalism. ... In a conversation with someone who you didn't hear the question very well, you don't know the context of the conversation. Grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country."

Palin added that "as Sen. McCain is suggesting here, also, never would our administration get out there and show our cards to terrorists, in this case, to enemies and let them know what the game plan was."

Asked what she learned from the experience, Palin said: "That this is all about "gotcha" journalism. A lot of it is. But that's OK, too."

Palin, the governor of Alaska, energized McCain's campaign when he chose her as a running mate in late August. But polls show her popularity waning as she has struggled to answer questions about foreign policy in the few interviews she has given journalists.

Asked about the criticism, including from some conservatives, about her readiness for high office, Palin said: "Not only am I ready but willing and able to serve as vice president with Sen. McCain if Americans so bless us and privilege us with the opportunity of serving them," she said, "Ready with my executive experience as a city mayor and manager, as a governor, as a commissioner, a regulator of oil and gas."

Their excuses are so insultingly lame and pathetic that I can't imagine that anyone actually swallows them any more.
This was hardly a "gotcha" question - someone asked her about Pakistan and she answered - it wasn't some weird trick question. She just can't keep track of her talking points, especially when they don't actually make sense, like this one.

Monday, September 29, 2008

gays worse off in Iraq

Iraqi gay leader gunned down.

LGBT publication EDGE writes that in Iraq, “for gays and lesbians at least, times have never been worse.” Peter Tatchell of Outrage! reported on the most recent atrocity on Sept. 25, when an LGBT leader was gunned down:

This morning, I received news from Iraq that the coordinator of Iraqi LGBT in Baghdad, Bashar, aged 27, a university student, has been assassinated in a barber shop.

Militias burst in and sprayed his body with bullets at point blank range.

He was the organiser of the safe houses for gays and lesbians in Baghdad. His efforts saved the lives of dozens of people.

Homosexuality was generally tolerated under Saddam,” Hali, founder of Iraqi LGBT, said in 2007. “There certainly was no danger of gay people being assassinated in the street by police. … Life in Iraq now is hell for all LGBT people; no one can be openly gay and alive.”

(Think Progress)

McCain tries to blame Obama for the obstructionist repugs

Analysis: House vote against bailout wounds McCain

WASHINGTON - The house always wins, gamblers are warned, and the U.S. House made John McCain pay Monday for his politically risky, high-profile involvement in a financial rescue plan that came crashing down, mainly at the hands of his fellow Republicans.

The bill's defeat can hardly be blamed on the GOP presidential nominee, and it's possible that a revised measure might succeed. But by his own actions last week, McCain tied himself far more tightly to the failed bill than did his Democratic opponent, Barack Obama.

McCain argues that action is better than inaction in times of crises. His efforts, however, were aimed squarely at House Republicans, the group mainly responsible for the bill's demise, which triggered a record drop of nearly 800 points in the stock market, the most ever for a single day.

McCain goes on to blame "Obama and his allies in Congress" for the fact that the repugs voted against the bill.
I guess to some crazed partisian repug somewhere, that makes some kind of sense, but I'll be damned if I can see it...

From Americablog, pointing out McCain's irony:

McCain has another "McCain Moment"
McCain moments ago:

"Senator Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process. Now is not the time to fix the blame, it's time to fix the problem."

Catch that - it would be inappropriate to start casting blame now, says McCain, in the next sentence after he blames Obama.


Obama speaking the truth about McCain's bad economic decisions

Obama: McCain's deregulation too risky for economy

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Democrat Barack Obama said Republican John McCain's long advocacy of deregulation contributed to the current financial crisis and letting his GOP rival continue those policies as president would be a gamble "we can't afford."

After the House defeated a bill Monday to bail out the financial industry but also impose new federal controls on it, the Democratic presidential candidate said that McCain has "fought against commonsense regulations for decades, he's called for less regulation 20 times just this year, and he said in a recent interview that he thought deregulation has actually helped grow our economy."

"Senator, what economy are you talking about?" Obama asked.

Speaking to a packed gymnasium at Mountain Range High School, Obama associated McCain's economic views with a news report about the six-term Arizona senator's closeness to the gambling industry, without ever mentioning the news story itself.

"I read the other day that Sen. McCain likes to gamble. He likes to roll those dice. And that's OK. I enjoy a little friendly game of poker myself every now and then," Obama said. "But one thing I know is this — we can't afford to gamble on four more years of the same disastrous economic policies we've had for the last eight."

The New York Times reported in its Sunday editions that McCain, a lifelong gambler, has had a close and complicated relationship with the industry and its lobbyists during his nearly three decades in Congress. The story raised questions about whether gambling interests seeking an edge benefited by courting McCain or hiring individuals close to him.

Personally, I kinda like Obama's subtle jab at McCain's gaming lobbyists problems, though subtle rarely works with Americans. But still, he makes good points about McCain's bad judgements.

i find it funny that he has to keep doing this

McCain defends running mate Palin

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AFP) - Republican White House hopeful John McCain on Monday defended his running mate Sarah Palin amid growing criticism of the vice presidential nominee, telling supporters "she's going to be my partner in Washington."

McCain devoted the beginning of his speech to praise Palin , in the first rally since he announced the suspension of his campaign last week in response to the country's financial crisis.

"She's a bit of a maverick herself," McCain told the rally in Columbus, Ohio.

"She's going to be my partner in Washington. She's a leader and knows what it means to put country first," he said.

Palin has faced rising criticism in the press, including among conservative commentators, for avoiding the media over the last four weeks. The attacks have also expressed doubts about the Alaska governor's potential ability to serve as vice president.

Her Democratic counterpart, vice-presidential candidate Joe Biden, has given over a hundred interviews with national and local media since being nominated in late August.

Palin has given three interviews, including her most recent interview with CBS News last week that has prompted calls, even among some former supporters, for her to step down as the nominee.

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker wrote this week that "Palin is clearly out of her league" and called for her to leave the race.


He has to know that he picked one of the worst possible running mates of all time. But, i guess that he can't admit that at this point...

wanna place a bet on this one?

cry-baby repugs imagining persecution

Rep. Frank On GOP: ‘Because Somebody Hurt Their Feelings, They Decide To Punish The Country’

As soon as the bailout proposal failed in the House, Republican lawmakers began blaming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for its defeat. In a press conference, the GOP leadership faulted Pelosi for giving a “partisan” speech prior to the vote. In the subsequent Democratic press conference, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) responded to their absurd charge:

Here’s the story. There’s a terrible crisis affecting the American economy. We have come together on a bill to alleviate the crisis. And because somebody hurt their feelings, they decide to punish the country. I mean, I would not have imputed that degree of pettiness and hypersensitivity.

We also have — as the leader will tell you, who’s been working with them — don’t believe they had the votes, and I believe they’re covering up the embarrassment of not having the votes. But think about this. Somebody hurt my feelings, so I will punish the country. That’s hardly plausible. And there are 12 Republican members who were ready to stand up for the economic interest of America, but not if anybody insulted them.

I’ll make an offer. Give me those 12 people’s names and I will go talk uncharacteristically nicely to them and tell them what wonderful people they are and maybe they’ll now think about the country.

Pelosi’s speech mentions the word “Republican” once — in the context of praising them for bipartisanship: “Over the past several days, we have worked with our Republican colleagues to fashion an alternative to the original plan of the Bush Administration.” After looking at Pelosi’s speech, CNN’s Ed Henry said he couldn’t “find the partisan thing that they say sort of inflamed Republican members.” (View her full speech here.)

A GOP staffer wrote into National Review’s Rich Lowry and acknowledged that Frank was right: “Rich – I’m afraid Rep. Frank has a point on this one. Some feelings on the GOP side were hurt, so they voted against the economic well-being of the country?”

(Think Progress)

just wow...

How to Lose Two Voting Blocs with One Statement

Via USA Today, we hear from Didi Lima, GOP communications (!) director in Clark County, Nevada:

"We don't want (Hispanics) to become the new African-American community," Lima told The Associated Press. "And that's what the Democratic Party is going to do to them, create more programs and give them handouts, food stamps and checks for this and checks for that. We don't want that."

"I'm very much afraid that the Democratic Party is going to do the same thing that they did with the African-American culture and make them all dependent on the government and we don't want that," she said.

Lima "was removed from her post" after the remarks, according to the article, and lost her second position as well.

In August, Lima was named co-chair of McCain's Nevada Hispanic Leadership Team, which aimed to reach out to a crucial voting bloc in a state where polls show McCain in a dead heat with Barack Obama.

(Daily Kos)

media thinks it's not fair to ask Palin VP questions

Foreign Policy Questions For Palin? Not Fair
(Daily Kos)
Click the link for the video.
Apparently, it is not fair that Biden is qualified and Palin is not.

our "liberal media" being fair to McCain by making stuff up

Meet The Press: Brokaw’s “Fairness” Facts Pulled Out Of Thin Air To Make McCain Look Better
(Crooks and Liars)
Brokaw cites a survey but fictionalizes the figures to give McCain the edge even though Obama has the edge in reality.

funny video - as long as it doesn't actually happen

via Crooks and Liars - Palin as a Disney movie

McCain's gambling problem

good to see the media reporting on this

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, or Sarah Palin as Tina Fey?

CNN discovered that some of the funniest gobbledygook out of Tina Fey's mouth during her portrayal of Sarah Palin last night on SNL was an actual Sarah Palin quote. Wow. And John McCain thinks this person is qualified to be your president.

I caught this, but good to see that at least CNN is telling people that Fey was quoting Palin's absurdities.

even repugs are turning on McCain/Palin

Some on the right are joining a chorus of criticism over Sarah Palin

John McCain's running mate and his sharp reactions to the nation's economic crisis have led several prominent conservative columnists to slam the senator as reckless and strident.

(LA Times)

I think that most people are glad that Obama is not delusional

because stating facts about Palin wouldn't be fair!

Kurtz: Journalists privately admit they’re ‘censoring’ their coverage of Palin.
Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign has undertaken an aggressive effort to accuse journalists of being overly hard on Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). Campaign aides have attacked the media for being sexist, lacking “deference,” and trying to “smear” Palin. In today’s Washington Post, Howard Kurtz writes that in response, “some journalists say privately they are censoring their comments about Palin to avoid looking like they’re piling on.”

(Think Progress)

f'king loonies

South Carolina mayor ‘just curious’ if Obama is the antichrist.
(Think Progress)
Yeah, of course, this wasn't sent out for political reasons, he was just curious!

Palin's race problems

Alaska Natives question Palin’s support

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin routinely notes her husband's Yup'ik Eskimo roots. But those connections haven't erased doubts about her in a community long slighted by the white settlers who flocked to Alaska and dominate its government.

Since she took office in 2006, many Alaska Natives say they've felt ignored when she made appointments to her administration, sided with sporting interests over Native hunting rights and pursued a lawsuit that Natives say seeks to undermine their ancient traditions.

Alaska's population today is mostly white but nearly a fifth of its people are Native Americans _ primarily Alaska Natives. Blacks and Asians combined make up less than 10 percent of the state's population.

As a result, race relations in Alaska are different from those in other states. Palin inherited a complex, sometimes strained relationship with Alaska Natives. There is a wide economic disparity between its predominantly white urban areas and the scores of isolated Native villages, and competition between sport hunting rights and tribal sovereignty.

Early in her administration, Palin created a furor by trying to appoint a white woman to a seat, held for more than 25 years by a Native, on the panel that oversees wildlife management. Ultimately, Palin named an Athabascan Indian to the game board, but not before relations were bruised.

When Palin this summer fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, a Native, she replaced him with a non-Native. His successor resigned after 10 days on the job, when a previously undisclosed reprimand that stemmed from a sexual harassment claim against him came to light.

The Monegan firing is the subject of two state investigations. Palin is accused of firing Monegan because he refused to fire her sister's former husband, a state trooper.

Two weeks after she was tapped as John McCain's running mate, Palin named a Native to Monegan's old position.

(Las Vegas Sun)


about time!

Prosecutor named to probe ouster of US attorneys

WASHINGTON - Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed a prosecutor Monday to pursue possible criminal charges against Republicans who were involved in the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys.

His move follows the leading recommendation of a Justice Department investigation that harshly criticized Bush administration officials, members of Congress and their aides for the ousters, many of which were seen as politically motivated.

Mukasey named Nora Dannehy, a career prosecutor, to direct the probe.


facts no longer mean anything to McCain

McCain says Obama policies will deepen recession
He doesn't exactly explain how Obama's policies could possibly do this, as they would help the average American greatly, but who cares about facts if you're a repug that is failing dramatically?

Obama debate bump

Obama Keeps Advantage Over McCain in Post-Debate Poll

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- The presidential debate changed the preferences of few voters, reinforcing previous perceptions about the candidates' strengths and continuing to give Democrat Barack Obama an advantage over Republican John McCain.

Voters who watched the Sept. 26 debate preferred Obama, 49 percent to 44 percent, according to a Bloomberg News/Los Angeles Times poll of 448 respondents over the weekend. Obama scored much higher among these voters on the economy, as he did in a national poll last week, and McCain reaffirmed the perception that he is better on national security.

One potentially important finding among these debate watchers is that while McCain retained his advantage on experience, voters said Obama seemed more presidential by a 46 percent to 33 percent margin. Among those uncertain about their vote -- those who are either undecided or declaring they may change preference -- Obama was more than 2-to-1 ahead of McCain on this question.

``The thing that helped Obama slightly is that he seemed more presidential,'' said Susan Pinkus, who conducts the poll. ``He passed the presidential test.'' By a small margin, more people said they thought Obama ``won'' the debate.

Both the debate and the poll were conducted in the middle of high-level negotiations over a controversial plan to have the federal government rescue financial firms. Illinois Senator Obama, 47, continued to do better than his opponent on the question of who would best handle this crisis next year, by 48 percent to 36 percent.

Obama was definitely the leader in the debate, though McCain did not do badly - just a little erratic. Obama was definitely on top of his game though.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

they're not doing such a great job of keeping her under wraps

Bill Maher on candidates' skin color

Real Time with Bill Maher: New Rules - Look Beyond The Candidates’ Skin Color

On Real Time with Bill Maher’s New Rules segment, host Bill Maher exhorts viewers not to assume the worst about John McCain just because of the color of his skin.

Now, take a look at these pictures. Here are the CEOs of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, AIG and the Lehman Brothers. I know the first thing that jumps out about these faces is that they all happen to be white, and they all happen to be responsible for stealing. But what you have to understand is that these whites are a product of a society that made them that way. It was the neighborhoods and the schools they went to: Harvard, Yale, the Wharton School of Business. They never learned the value of doing real, actual work and the first step to fixing that is better role models, so kids growing up white today don’t think the only way out of Westchester is corporate crime. Or a government handout or sailing. So I get it, the temptation is to look at McCain and vote against him because you don’t see an individual, you just see another typical welfare whitey.

And it’s true, he’s spent his entire life shuffling from one low-paying government job to another. Well, except those years he spent in prison. Typical! And between you and me, he’s not very articulate. Oh, he may have some street smarts, but he’s not what you call an educated man. He freely admits he’s ignorant about the economy. And apparently the only thing his white running mate knows how to do is crank out one baby after another. And now of course, her teenage daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. Because she learns it at home! But that doesn’t mean we should assume all white people are like that, just because so many of them are.

(Crooks and Liars)

another article stating the obvious about Palin

Newsweek's Fareed Zakaria destroys Sarah Palin, and McCain for picking her

It's rather amazing the degree to which everyone the bottom has fallen out on Sarah Palin ever since her horrendous Katie Couric interview. People weren't too sure she had what it took before. Now they're convinced she's a buffoon. Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, just eviscerates her in the latest Newsweek. It's an incredibly well-written, well-documented, and devastating piece of journalism. And it doesn't just indict Palin, it blasts McCain for risking the future of our country.
Palin Is Ready? Please.

Will someone please put Sarah Palin out of her agony? Is it too much to ask that she come to realize that she wants, in that wonderful phrase in American politics, "to spend more time with her family"?...

This is nonsense—a vapid emptying out of every catchphrase about economics that came into her head. Some commentators, like CNN's Campbell Brown, have argued that it's sexist to keep Sarah Palin under wraps, as if she were a delicate flower who might wilt under the bright lights of the modern media. But the more Palin talks, the more we see that it may not be sexism but common sense that's causing the McCain campaign to treat her like a time bomb.

Can we now admit the obvious? Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president. She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start....

Obviously these are very serious challenges and constraints. In these times, for John McCain to have chosen this person to be his running mate is fundamentally irresponsible. McCain says that he always puts country first. In this important case, it is simply not true.


Fey does Palin again

SNL does Palin again

Click the link for the video. It really isn't that different from the actual interview. I guess it's hard to parody someone who is that wacky to begin with.

bailout agreement and Obama's response

Bailout agreement reached in Congress. Obama calls it "culmination of a sorry period in our history."

U.S. lawmakers on Sunday were set to sign off on a deal to create a $700 billion government fund to buy bad debt from ailing banks in a bid to stem a credit crisis threatening the global economy.

After marathon talks into the wee hours of Sunday morning, congressional leaders from both parties emerged with an agreement that altered key parts of a Wall Street bailout program initially proposed by the Bush administration.
Here is Obama's full statement on the deal:
“The breakthrough between Congress and the Administration is the culmination of a sorry period in our history, in which reckless speculation and greed on Wall Street and lax oversight from Washington led to a meltdown of our financial markets. But regardless of how we got here, a failure to deal with the current crisis would have devastating consequences for our economy, costing millions of Americans their jobs and retirement security.

“To understand how this tentative deal was reached, it's important to remember how this all began. The Bush Administration initially asked for a blank check to respond to this problem, which I strongly opposed. It would have been unconscionable to expect the American people to hand this Administration or any Administration a $700 billion check with no conditions and no oversight when a lack of oversight in Washington and on Wall Street is exactly what got us into this mess. If the American people are being asked to pay for the solution to this crisis, their tax dollars must be protected.
“That is why over the past ten days, in conversations with the President, Secretary of Treasury and leaders of Congress, I laid out the four core principles I believed had to guide any solution: oversight by an independent board; protections for taxpayers to ensure that they are treated like investors and that they receive any profits - and recoup any losses - from this plan; measures to help homeowners stay in their homes; and rules to make sure CEOs are not being rewarded at taxpayers' expense. While I look forward to reviewing the language of the legislation, it appears that the tentative deal embraces these principles.

“When taxpayers are asked to take such an extraordinary step because of the irresponsibility of a relative few, it is not a cause for celebration. But this step is necessary. Now Washington has to show the same sense of urgency in dealing with the crisis facing Main Street and the middle class by passing an emergency economic stimulus plan that would create jobs by rebuilding our crumbing roads; shore up flagging state budgets to prevent drastic cuts in education and health care; and extend expiring unemployment insurance benefits for those who've lost their jobs in this downturn and cannot find new ones.

“One final point. If elected President, I will order a thorough review of this plan to make sure that it fully lives up to the principles I've laid out. And I will also move quickly to upgrade our financial regulations for the 21st century, establishing new rules of the road and tougher oversight to ensure that the American taxpayers are never again forced to put their money and their futures at risk because of bad decisions in Washington and on Wall Street.”


more on McCain's lobbyists

Lobbyists in McCain’s inner circle cashed in on Senate Abramoff investigation.

McCain often brags that he led the Senate investigation into fallen lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who overbilled his Indian tribal clients millions of dollars. However, the New York Times reports that lobbyists in McCain’s inner circle “played a behind-the-scenes role in bringing Mr. Abramoff’s misdeeds to Mr. McCain’s attention — and then cashed in on the resulting investigation“:

For McCain-connected lobbyists who were rivals of Mr. Abramoff, the scandal presented a chance to crush a competitor. For senior McCain advisers, the inquiry allowed them to collect fees from the very Indians that Mr. Abramoff had ripped off. And the investigation enabled Mr. McCain to confront political enemies who helped defeat him in his 2000 presidential run while polishing his maverick image.

After firing Abramoff, the Coushatta tribe hired lobbyist Hance Scarborough, who had been friends with McCain since the ’80s. Scarborough charged the tribe nearly $1.3 million for 11 months of work, although his firm produced few tangible results. In 2005, Scarborough also put McCain’s then-chief strategist John Weaver on the tribe’s payroll. The Coushattas said it was like the Abramoff scandal “happening all over again.” Currently on the McCain campaign, there are 40 fundraisers and top advisers who have lobbied or worked for gambling interests.

(Think Progress)

funny how it lost its urgency after the debate

McCain never showed up at Capitol Hill for bailout negotiations today.

After declaring he’d return to Washington to help with the bailout negotiations immediately after last night’s debate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) never went to Capitol Hill today. In fact, McCain stayed largely holed up in his Arlington apartment, leaving only to go to his campaign headquarters just around the block, the New York Times reports:

Asked why Mr. McCain did not go to Capitol Hill after coming back to Washington to help with negotiations, [McCain adviser] Mr. Salter replied that “he can effectively do what he needs to do by phone.’’

(Think Progress)
And in his continued irony:
Graham on bailout negotiations: ‘You can’t phone something like this in.’
(also Think Progress)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

i guess that the crisis isn't so important now that the debate is over

McCain Now Says He’ll Negotiate The Bailout Via Cell Phone

CBS News:

Even though his campaign is no longer suspended, John McCain is staying in Washington this weekend to keep working on the bailout legislation. He will not be visiting Capital Hill, however, preferring to work out of his campaign office.

“He can effectively do what he needs to do by phone,” said senior adviser Mark Salter. “He’s calling members on both sides, talking to people in the administration, helping out as he can.”

WTF? The financial crisis was SO important that he had to “suspend” his campaign to come to Washington, but now he can contribute to the negotiations over the cell phone, but he’s going to stay in Washington instead of going out to campaign? Does any of this make sense?

I’m curious, will any of his suggestions for this bailout include a federal spending freeze he advocated last night? Has he considered the ramifications? Will the unworkability of the Republican plan make McCain blink?

(Crooks and Liars)

veterans like Obama

Veterans For Obama
(Crooks and Liars)

good for Google

Google comes out against Proposition 8.

Proposition 8, a California constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage, has attracted an unlikely assortment of foes, including Vice President Cheney’s daughter Mary, Brad Pitt, and Steven Spielberg. Yesterday, Google also took the unusual step of jumping in, noting that because it has a “great diversity of people and opinions” at the company, it rarely takes “a position on issues outside of our field, especially not social issues”:

However, while there are many objections to this proposition — further government encroachment on personal lives, ambiguously written text — it is the chilling and discriminatory effect of the proposition on many of our employees that brings Google to publicly oppose Proposition 8. While we respect the strongly-held beliefs that people have on both sides of this argument, we see this fundamentally as an issue of equality. We hope that California voters will vote no on Proposition 8 — we should not eliminate anyone’s fundamental rights, whatever their sexuality, to marry the person they love.

(Think Progress)

more debate coverage

From Think Progress - lots of good points, including video confirmation of Obama's statements.

working in anti-Clinton rhetoric and bigotry on financial crisis

best of luck Ted Kennedy

Ted Kennedy hospitalized.

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who has been “undergoing treatment for a malignant brain tumor, after he was hospitalized for a seizure in May” has been taken to a Cape Cod Hospital. Kennedy was “alert and responsive” during the trip to the hospital.

“Doctors believe the incident was triggered by a change in medication,” Kennedy’s office said. “Senator Kennedy will return home tonight and looks forward to watching the debate.”

The AP is now reporting that Kennedy is back home.

(Think Progress)

McCain insulting people

debate video with bonus features

From Americablog - Obama blasting McCain's mistakes with video of McCain saying the things that Obama pointed out.
Can't really run from his own words and actions.

another good Obama ad

Obama's "A Stronger Economy" Ad

Click the link for the video

people don't like cranky McCain

Americans met angry John McCain last night

Angry John McCain showed up at the debate last night. It didn't sit well with undecided voters:
McCain was seen as the more negative of the two—by 7 points before the debate and by 26 points after. The audience did not like it when he went after Obama for being "naïve" or used his oft-repeated "what Senator Obama doesn't understand" line. When the two clashed directly in the second half of the debate, with Obama repeatedly protesting McCain's characterization of his statements or positions, the voter dials went down. Voters appear to have judged McCain too negative in those encounters and Obama more favorably.

RIP Paul Newman

Cafferty blasts Palin

Cafferty: The thought of Palin as president should scare the hell out of you

Click the link for the blistering video.

debate polls

debate coverage

Presidential Debate Open Thread


I did think that McCain overall handled himself better than I expected, though he was a bit pissy, he did work in a number of untruths and half-truths and generally refused to look Obama in the eye. He was nowhere near as unbelievably terrible as bush was in the 2004 debates though and some people even liked those trainwrecks.

Obama, on the other hand, stuck with facts and issues and almost always looked at McCain as he spoke and was calm, confident and yes, presidential.

McCain's big mistake

Ex- McCain Adviser: McCain "Blinked," Campaign "Governed By Tactics, Not Ideology"

From Huff Post:
After days of saying that John McCain would not attend Friday's presidential debate unless an agreement on a bailout package for the markets was "locked-down," the McCain campaign has gone back on its word.

On Friday, it announced that the Senator would head down to Mississippi even though, as they readily admit, much work remained needed on the bailout agreement.

The whole episode left even conservatives admitting that the McCain campaign looked erratic and a bit foolish with no apparent direction or guiding principle.

"It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology," said Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain earlier in this cycle. "In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The 'steady hand in a storm' argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain."

Shirley added, "My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff."


Friday, September 26, 2008

even cons are starting to realize what a disaster palin is

Kathleen Parker: After Interviews, Palin Should Bow Out

Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, admitting that until recently she was a vocal supporter of Sarah Palin, now says the vice presidential nominee should bow out:

Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick -- what a difference a financial crisis makes -- and a more complicated picture has emerged.

As we've seen and heard more from John McCain's running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn't know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Parker says her turnaround came from watching Palin in interview. Like other critics, she wasn't impressed:

Palin's recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I've been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I've also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there's not much content there.

Read the whole thing.

(Huffington Post)


Sometimes they're a little slow due to their ideology, but eventually it has to be apparent to everyone that palin is far from qualified.

thankfully, some reporting on palin's anti-women stances

WTH is McCain thinking?

oh yeah, BTW, McCain never stopped campaigning

bush has accomplished bin Laden's goals for him

In 2004 videotape, Bin Laden explained his strategy against U.S. — ‘bleed until bankruptcy.’

Over on the Wonk Room, Matt Duss recalls this line from Osama bin Laden’s surprise late-October 2004 videotaped address:

And even more dangerous and bitter for America is that the Mujahedin recently forced Bush to resort to emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq which is evidence of the success of the bleed-until-bankruptcy plan with Allah’s permission… And it all shows that the real loser is… you. It’s the American people and their economy.

The CIA judged that Bin Laden’s videotaped message was an effort by al Qaeda to deliver four more years for President Bush, thus helping them recruit a new generation of terrorists.

(Think Progress)


As I've said a million times, bush is bin Laden's best ally - he has done everything bin Laden could have asked for and even more...

was McCain more hinderance than help?

more of Palin's foreign policy "expertise"

Palin Declares ‘Victory’ In Iraq

In her interview with CBS’s Katie Couric that aired yesterday, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) outlined some of her foreign policy positions. After laying out why Afghanistan is so different from Iraq, she then called for a surge of troops into Afghanistan, exactly as the Bush administration did in Iraq. She noted that it had led to “victory” in Iraq and would therefore do the same in Afghanistan:

COURIC: Why is it much more challenging there? Can you explain that?

PALIN: The logistics that we’re already suggesting here, not having enough troops in the area right now. The–things like the terrain, even, in Afghanistan and that border between Pakistan and Afghanistan where, you know, we believe that bin Laden is hiding out right now and is still such a leader of this terrorist movement. There are many more challenges there. So again, I believe that a surge in Afghanistan also will lead us to victory there, as it has proven to have done in Iraq.

(Think Progress)

another palin corruption story

Palin giving back tainted money from gov. campaign

JUNEAU, Alaska - Gov. Sarah Palin, touted by Republican presidential nominee John McCain as a reformer when he picked her to be his running mate, says she will donate to charity more than $1,000 in campaign contributions from two Alaska politicians implicated in a federal corruption probe.

Palin said Thursday she also is giving back $1,000 from the wife of one of the men. The move came a few hours after The Associated Press reported that Palin had accepted the money during her successful 2006 run for governor. Palin was elected easily after she promised to rid Alaska's capital of dirty politics.

Palin took aim at gift-giving to state officials as part of her ethics agenda but has kept more than $25,000 in gifts in the 20 months she has been governor, The Washington Post reported in a story in its Friday editions. A review of state records shows that gifts came from industry executives, municipalities and a cultural center whose board includes officials from some of the largest mining interests in Alaska, according to the newspaper.

The Post reported that the 41 gifts Palin accepted included artwork, free travel, a gold-nugget pin valued at $1,200, a $2,200 ivory puffin mask, a woven grass fan worth $300 and a $150 ivory necklace. A spokeswoman for McCain's campaign said the gifts had no undue influence on Palin, according to the newspaper.


So, she received $25,000 but gave back $1,000? That's mighty generous of her!

hardly comparable to palin's stunt

Biden meets with Georgian president without press

MILWAUKEE - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden met with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili on Friday but didn't let reporters in as the pair posed for photographers at the beginning of the session.

The decision to allow only photographers, and no reporters, into the meeting briefly at its start recalled a similar move by Biden's Republican counterpart, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, earlier this week. Some of the news media that cover Palin's vice presidential campaign protested and got the restriction dropped.

Phil Walzak, a spokesman for Democrat Barack Obama's campaign, said the Biden-Saakashvili meeting was a private session between the senator and a head of state. He said they would likely issue a statement after the meeting but they won't take questions from reporters.


Biden was obviously planning a quiet meeting, not the photo op that Palin's people staged.

debate flip-flop - McCain will be there

The debate is on; McCain agrees to participate

WASHINGTON - Republican John McCain agreed to attend the first presidential debate Friday night even though Congress doesn't have a bailout deal, reversing an earlier decision to delay the forum until Washington had addressed the financial crisis.
I guess he realized that this silly stunt failed miserably and that he would look like a coward if he didn't show up. Though, I doubt that he ever really didn't mean to appear.

Even Huckabee thinks it was a mistake:
Huckabee calls McCain’s debate ploy a ‘huge mistake.’
(Think Progress)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

not the first time for McCain

from yesterday - trying to keep palin out of the debate

Now McCain Wants To Postpone Palin’s VP Debate
(Crooks and Liars)
Truly pathetic...

explaining McCain's role in the last financial crisis and bailout

The Keating Five Scandal in 97 Seconds

I’ll admit that although I’m a poltical news junkie, I never really understood the Keating Five scandal as well as I should have. Jed’s newest video fixed all that, summing up in less than two minutes the scandal and John McCain’s central role in it. The Obama campaign needs to start hitting McCain on this.

(Crooks and Liars)

i hope that they vote accordingly

sick, bigoted, so-called christians

Obama effigy hung from Christian university tree

And they wonder why they are labeled as extremists and hate mongers.
Officials of a small Christian university say a life-size cardboard reproduction of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was hung from a tree on the campus, an act with racial undertones that outraged students and school leaders alike.

George Fox University President Robin Baker said a custodian discovered the effigy early Tuesday and removed it. University spokesman Rob Felton said Wednesday that the commercially produced reproduction had been suspended from the branch of a tree with fishing line around the neck.


so much for suspending the campaign

Palin is campaigning at Ground Zero today

So much for suspending the campaign. And John McCain couldn't just lie about putting America first and suspending his campaign, when he did no such thing, but now Sarah Palin is campaigning and doing a press event at Ground Zero. Yes, using Ground Zero as a press event, and doing it on the day that supposedly the McCain campaign has suspended their campaign. I'd say it takes real chutzpah...


and the media made a big deal about Obama's ex-preacher?!

wow...this was the best they could do for VP?

Blithering idiot
This video truly is amazing - the repugs really must hate America if they are seriously trying to put this airhead in a position of incredible authority.

running scared

McCain campaign won't commit to debate on Friday

WASHINGTON - John McCain's campaign is welcoming news of an agreement in principle between congressional Republicans and Democrats on a bailout of the financial industry.

But the Republican isn't yet ready to say he will attend the presidential candidates' first scheduled debate on Friday.

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers says: "There's no deal until there's a deal."

He says McCain is optimistic an agreement between Congress and the Bush administration will be completed but that the afternoon developments had not changed his plans not to debate.


It's obvious that Congress doesn't want or need McCain and yet he is still trying to use this as an excuse to ditch the debate.

I thought he was a war hero, not a coward.

How can he stand up to Osama if he can't even debate Obama?!

surprisingly quick

Lawmakers: Financial bailout agreement reached

WASHINGTON - Warned of a possible financial panic, key Republicans and Democrats reported agreement in principle Thursday on a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and said they would present it to the Bush administration in hopes of a vote within days.
Let's see if they really negotiated a reasonable agreement and not just more corporate welfare.

speak for yourself!

more on pathetic palin

Palin unable to name any examples of McCain ‘pushing for more regulation’ in the past 26 years.

In her interview with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) tonight, CBS’s Katie Couric noted that the governor has said, “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” “Can you give us any more examples of his leading the charge for more oversight?” Couric asked. Palin, however, refused to answer the question directly, instead going on about how McCain is seen as a “maverick.” When pressed further by Couric, Palin was unable to name any examples of McCain pushing for more regulation:

PALIN: I can give you examples of things that John McCain has done, that has shown his foresight, his pragmatism, and his leadership abilities. And that is what America needs today.

COURIC: I’m just going to ask you one more time - not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation.

PALIN: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

(Think Progres)

and she should be - more on McCain and women

one of the last things we wanna hear from these guys

more on the bush/McCain economy

congress responds to McCain's stunt

Lawmakers Would Prefer McCain Butt Out Of Their Bailout Negotiations
(Think Progress)
As they say, he hasn't been involved up until now, he doesn't really know anything about it and he wouldn't have anything constructive to add.
They are not impressed...

McCain's record compared to Barack's

0: Number of banking bills McCain has introduced this Congress.

Yesterday in an interview with CBS News, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) insisted that “John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business.” However, she was unable to name a single example of McCain pushing for more regulation in the past 26 years. Today, the Hill reports that McCain “has not introduced any banking or housing bills in the 110th Congress, while Democratic rival Barack Obama has proposed five”:

McCain is the lead sponsor of 38 pieces of legislation during the 110th Congress, none of which have been referred to the Banking panel, according to a review of Thomas, a congressional website. Obama has introduced 130 measures during this Congress. Four of Obama’s standalone bills fall within the Banking Committee’s jurisdiction.

(Think Progress)


Palin: ‘What The Bailout Does Is Help Those Who Are Concerned About Health Care Reform’

This morning on the CBS Early Show, Katie Couric previewed the second half of her interview with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). During the interview, Couric asked Palin why she believes the Wall Street bailout is needed.

Palin responded incoherently by claiming that the bailout would “help those who are concerned about health care reform.” Palin then appeared to look down at her notes and says, “Oh, it’s got to be all about job creation”

(Think Progress)


Boy, I can't wait for the VP debate if this is her level of preparedness!

more on Palin's wacko religion

Palin once blessed to be free from 'witchcraft'

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A grainy YouTube video surfaced Wednesday showing Sarah Palin being blessed in her hometown church three years ago by a Kenyan pastor who prayed for protection from "witchcraft" as she prepared to seek higher office.

The video shows Palin standing before Bishop Thomas Muthee in the pulpit of the Wasilla Assembly of God church, holding her hands open as he asked Jesus Christ to keep her safe from "every form of witchcraft."

"Come on, talk to God about this woman. We declare, save her from Satan," Muthee said as two attendants placed their hands on Palin's shoulders. "Make her way my God. Bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus. ... Use her to turn this nation the other way around."

Palin formally announced her bid for governor a few months later, in October 2005.


Pentecostals are conservative in their reading of the Bible. Unlike most other Christians — including most evangelicals — Pentecostals believe in "baptism in the Holy Spirit." That can manifest itself through speaking in tongues, modern-day prophesy and faith healing, which includes the laying on of hands.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

could certainly see this happening

perfect response

Obama: ‘It is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.’

Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) just gave a press conference responding to Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) suggestion that they both suspend their campaigns, postpone Friday’s debate in Mississippi, and return to Washington to deal with the financial crisis. Obama said that he would like to the debate to go forward as planned because “it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once”:

With respect to the debates, it’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess. And I think that it is going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once. I think there’s no reason why we can’t be constructive in helping to solve this problem and also tell the American people what we believe and where we stand and where we want to take the country.
UpdateIn a poll taken "immediately after John McCain's announcement" today, SurveyUSA found that only 14% of Americans want the debates suspended.

(Think Progress)

McCain - MIA

Welcome Back, John McCain!

The prodigal son returns. John McCain has announced that America is finally confronting a crisis that he doesn't feel he can be absent for.

Some fun facts about John McCain: Of all Senators, John McCain has been the most absent. There have been 643 votes taken in the current Senate session: McCain has missed 412 of them.

McCain has not voted in the Senate since April 8th. Since March, he has missed 109 of the last 110 votes.

He missed votes on the GI Bill, energy policy, and in 2007 he missed "all 15 critical environmental votes in the Senate" -- giving him a 2007 rating of 0% from the League of Conservation Voters. Zero percent? I don't think that's fair. I think they should have given him an "incomplete", and told him that he had to stay for summer session if he wants to graduate from the Senate.

So welcome back, John McCain. If I were the Senate Democrats, I would now completely rejigger the Senate schedule in order to put things up that America would really, really like to see John McCain cast a vote on. It seems the least we could do.

(Daily Kos)

and they made a big deal about a $400 haircut?!

I know drag queens who don't pay that much for their make-up

$5,000 worth of make-up on one man? I'm pretty sure that's the kind of thing that can get you kicked out the military. But in all fairness, I'm sure it takes a lot of rouge to hide the Republican cheek bones.

funny, but true

CNN's Campbell Brown accuses McCain of sexist treatment of Sarah Palin

Wow. Campbell Brown, my hero? My world is turned upside down. :-) Seriously, a rather amazing commentary by Campbell Brown on CNN today. Huffington Post has the details. Again, wow. Here's the transcript, go to Huff Post for the video, it's worth it:

"Tonight I call on the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower that will wilt at any moment," said Brown. "This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong. She is tough. She is competent. And you claim she is ready to be one heart beat away from the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. Allow her to face down those pesky reporters... Let her have a real news conference with real questions. By treating Sarah Palin different from the other candidates in this race, you are not showing her the respect she deserves. Free Sarah Palin. Free her from the chauvinistic chain you are binding her with. Sexism in this campaign must come to an end. Sarah Palin has just as much a right to be a real candidate in this race as the men do. So let her act like one."

Of course, if this happened it would be a complete disaster for the McCain campaign, but not because she is a woman, but because she is completely and totally unqualified.

no surprise here

Bush administration has ‘no plans’ to declassify ‘grim’ Afghanistan NIE before the election.

ABC News reports that the Bush administration has “no plans to declassify” the forthcoming National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan before the election:

U.S. intelligence analysts are putting the final touches on a secret National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Afghanistan that reportedly describes the situation as “grim”, but there are “no plans to declassify” any of it before the election, according to one US official familiar with the process. […]

According to people who have been briefed, the NIE will paint a “grim” picture of the situation in Afghanistan, seven years after the US invaded in an effort to dismantle the al Qaeda network and its Taliban protectors.

The plan to cover up the “grim” reality of the war in Afghanistan is not surprising given the Bush administration’s history of “selectively declassifying” such reports for political gain.

(Think Progress)

yes, last month!

once again, almost as if they have something to hide

yeah, that's a knee-slapper!

good comment on the McCain/Palin media blackout

NBC’s Mitchell likens McCain-Palin media restrictions to experiences in North Korea, Syria, and Sudan.

Yesterday, media covering Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) visit to the United Nations revolted when the McCain-Palin campaign tried to back out of its promise to allow journalists to cover the governor’s meetings with various world leaders.

Last night on MSNBC, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell compared the whole affair to her experiences trying to cover the regimes in North Korea, Syria, and Sudan:

MADDOW: You have covered these sort of high level meetings with foreign dignitaries, getting at least one editorial staff member in the room to represent the entire network is standard practice, right?

MITCHELL: It is standard practice. It’s standard for the White House, for the State Department. And often we are in foreign countries where it is not standard practice, like in Pyongyang or in Damascus.

    (Think Progress)