Monday, November 3, 2008

Elections: Fascist regimes have them too

The Top 5 Sarah Palin Moments of the 2008 Campaign


With the end of the 2008 Presidential election, a thorough retrospection of the most astonishing Sarah Palin moments is a necessity. Providing blogs with the kind of fodder we could only have dreamed of, it's time to recap some of the highlights of Sarah Palin's efforts in the 2008 campaign:


Now, call me crazy, but did Sarah Palin just try to make a wise crack about how old Joe Biden is? While this didn't garner much attention from the media, it was quite the ironic jab, as Sarah Palin's would-be Presidential-Overlord, John McCain, can often times be mistaken for an undead ghoul. For the record, at the tender age of 72, John McCain would be the oldest first-term President in the history of the United States.


Under the section of "dumbest answer to a question anyone should have seen coming" is Sarah Palin's response to a simple and completely foreseeable question on why the federal bailout should be supported by those not directly benefiting from it (aka the lower and middle class). In the end, Sarah Palin would deliver one of the most moronic replies, basically meandering from one incomprehensible assortment of words to the next:

COURIC: Why isn't it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families who are struggling with health care, housing, gas and groceries? Allow them to spend more, and put more money into the economy, instead of helping these big financial institutions that played a role in creating this mess?

PALIN: That's why I say I, like every American I'm speaking with, we're ill about this position that we have been put in. Where it is the taxpayers looking to bail out. But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up our economy. Um, helping, oh, it's got to be about job creation, too. Shoring up our economy, and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions, and tax relief for Americans, and trade — we have got to see trade as opportunity, not as, uh, competitive, um, scary thing, but one in five jobs created in the trade sector today. We've got to look at that as more opportunity. All of those things under the umbrella of job creation.

This answer was so hilariously idiotic that Tina Fey recited it verbatim on Saturday Night Live.


$150,000 Won't Buy You An Elephant Scarf

$150,000 Won't Buy You An Elephant Scarf

We've all heard ad nauseum about Sarah Palin's mavericky middle-class hockey-mom Christian-oriented moose-hunting six-pack Joe just-like-every-Middle-American background. But it turns out that the Republican party spent 3 times the median American income just to dress her for the 2 months of campaigning. That's right, $150,000 on clothes during one of the worst economic crises in modern history. And what could be worse than appearing as completely out of touch with your own image? How about showing up to events, decked out in your $150k clothing, only to get the animal of the Democrats on your scarf? Sounds about right, but knowing Ms. Palin, she probably thought the donkeys were miniature elephants.


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

PALIN: That's something that Piper would ask me! … They'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.

Sadly enough, Palin had appeared on CNBC in June amid speculation of being selected to be John McCain's running mate, but deferred the appeal of the position, as she had to ask out loud, "What does a Vice President do?". So between June and October, all Sarah Palin learned about the Vice President is that it 'gets in there' with the Senate. Sounds like someone's been copying Dick Cheney's homework.


COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our– our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia–

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We– we do– it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is– from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to– to our state.

The answer that makes Dan Quayle seem like John Kennedy. Where to begin? First off, her statements are racked with lies. There never were any trade missions from Alaska to Russia and Russia doesn't 'come over the airspace' of Alaska. But most egregiously, how the fuck does living in a state that is in proximity to other countries give you foreign policy experience? One would typically define foreign policy experience as having been a part of diplomatic or trade related activities with other nations. Conversely, one would not define foreign policy experience as having lived near Canada and having to occasionally drive through the 51st state to attend a gun show or rodeo.

A woman's right to shoes

White House seeks to relax federal rules

U.S. President George W. Bush   (UPI Photo/Alex Wong/Pool)WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The Bush administration is making a last-minute push to enact U.S. federal regulations that would ease rules designed to protect the public, observers said.

Trying to ensure the regulations -- as many as 90 are being developed -- are enacted before President George Bush leaves office, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten in May imposed a deadline of Saturday for finishing major new regulations, "except in extraordinary circumstances," the Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Friday.

Included among the proposed changes are rules that would clear roadblocks to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking water standards and lift a major restriction on mountaintop coal mining, the Post said.

"They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office," said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a non-profit group.

The Bush administration has tried to avoid rushing through regulations at the end of the term, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

"And yes, we'd prefer our regulations stand for a very long time -- they're well reasoned and are being considered with the best interests of the nation in mind," he added.

Nobody fucks with John McCain

Water Not Weapons

Water Not Weapons
Save Water

Save Water

Social Security for the Young


By Scott Burns Social Security for the young

Nearly five years ago MIT Press published "The Coming Generational Storm," a book I co-authored with economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff. We shared a deep foreboding about the implicit debt of our government and the burden it put on the young. We thought tough times were coming.

And they have.

But there is a silver lining--- if we are daring enough. Listen to this recent interview with professor Kotlikoff.

Kotlikoff: Our fears have been confirmed. The country has entered a great depression. Fortunately, the depression is mental, not economic.  So far the nation has lost its mind, not its wealth.

What do you mean, the nation hasn't lost its wealth? House prices have fallen by one-fifth. The stock market is down two-fifths since last October!

Kotlikoff: Look around. You'll see the same equipment, factories, and office buildings we had a year ago. You'll also see the same people with the same skills available to work with these tools.

But the stock market drop has wiped out the savings of millions of Americans.

Kotlikoff: Yes, and that's horrible. But the economy's real wealth hasn't changed.

If total wealth hasn't changed and tens of millions are poorer, who's richer?

Kotlikoff: Current and prospective buyers of houses and stocks can now buy up these assets at deep discounts.

But this isn't fair-- the sellers are old and the buyers are young.

Kotlikoff: Nothing is fair in love or money.

Taxes? Sure, I'll pay my fair share!

Nowhere man: a farewell to Dubya, all-time loser in presidential history

Simon Schama"Forgotten but not gone" was the way in which the supremo of Boston politics, Billy Bulger, liked to dismiss the human irritants he had crushed beneath his trim boot. The same could now be said for the hapless 43rd President of the United States as the daylight draws mercifully in on his reign of misfortune and calamity. How is he bearing up, one wonders, as the candidate from his own party treats him as the carrier of some sort of infectious political disease? How telling was it that the most impassioned moment in John McCain's performance in the final debate was when he declared: "I am not George Bush."

Where, O where are you, Dubya, as the action passes you by like a jet skirting dirty weather? Are you roaming the lonely corridors of the White House in search of a friendly shoulder around which to clap your affable arm? Are you sweating it out on the treadmill, hurt and confused as to why the man everyone wanted to have a beer (or Coke) with, who swept to re-election four years ago, has been downgraded to all-time loser in presidential history, stuck there in the bush leagues along with the likes of James Buchanan and Warren Harding? Or are you whacking brush in Crawford, where the locals now make a point of telling visitors that George W never really was from hereabouts anyroad.

Whatever else his legacy, the man who called himself "the decider" has left some gripping history. The last eight years have been so rich in epic imperial hubris that it would take a reborn Gibbon to do justice to the fall. It should be said right away that amid the landscape of smoking craters there are one or two sprigs of decency that have been planted: record amounts of financial help given to Aids-blighted countries of Africa; immigration reform that would have offered an amnesty to illegals and given them a secure path to citizenship, had not those efforts hit the reef of intransigence in Bush's own party. And no one can argue with the fact that since 9/11 the United States has not been attacked on its home territory by jihadi terrorists; though whether or not that security is more illusory than real is, to put it mildly, open to debate.

Bet against that there is the matter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties, more than 4,000 American troops dead, many times that gravely injured, not to mention the puncture wounds and mutilations inflicted on internationally agreed standards of humane conduct for prisoners - and on the protection of domestic liberties enshrined in the American constitution. If the Statue of Liberty were alive, she would be weeping tears of blood.

Voters Across Nation Hit by Dirty Tricks

In the hours before Election Day, as inevitable as winter, comes an onslaught of dirty tricks — confusing e-mails, disturbing phone calls and insinuating fliers left on doorsteps during the night.
The intent, almost always, is to keep folks from voting or to confuse them, usually through intimidation or misinformation. But in this presidential race, in which a black man leads most polls, some of the deceit has a decidedly racist bent.
Complaints have surfaced in predominantly African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia where fliers have circulated, warning voters they could be arrested at the polls if they had unpaid parking tickets or if they had criminal convictions.
Over the weekend in Virginia, bogus fliers with an authentic-looking commonwealth seal said fears of high voter turnout had prompted election officials to hold two elections — one on Tuesday for Republicans and another on Wednesday for Democrats.
In New Mexico, two Hispanic women filed a lawsuit last week claiming they were harassed by a private investigator working for a Republican lawyer who came to their homes and threatened to call immigration authorities, even though they are U.S. citizens.
"He was questioning her status, saying that he needed to see her papers and documents to show that she was a U.S. citizen and was a legitimate voter," said Guadalupe Bojorquez, speaking on behalf of her mother, Dora Escobedo, a 67-year-old Albuquerque resident who speaks only Spanish. "He totally, totally scared the heck out of her."

Mavericky socialism

Sarah Palin - Dumb and Dumber

Having devoted over 30 years

Having devoted over 30 years of my life to the practice of psychology, I was shocked to discover the actual extent of Sarah Palin's diminished intellect, although hardly surprised she is developmentally challenged. Her 83 full scale Wechsler I.Q. reported in her Wasilla High School records was labeled Dull Normal at that time and ,in fact, 83 was just slightly above the range labeled Borderline Retarded ( 70-80 I.Q. ). Her SAT scores were also similarly deficient,thus serving to confirm her sub-normal I.Q
In fact, Sarah's resume reveals similar deficiencies in most every area of her life; 2.2 high school grade average, dropping out of college 5 times before finally receiving a degree after six years from the fifth college she attended,marrying an Alaska secessionist, supporting Kenyan witch doctors; corrupt,vindictive abuses of power during her mayorship and current governorship , erratic beliefs regarding the earth being but 6000 years old and Jesus co-existing with dinosaurs,etc.etc,etc.
The fact John McCain was so instantly captivated by her undoubtedly speaks to his having graduated 894th of 899 in his class and later having " lost " 5 aircraft he was piloting during his naval aviation career. " Birds of a feather flock together ", " it takes one to know one ", etc, etc, etc.


UT poll shows McCain, Cornyn with comfortable margins

Poll finds 23% of Texans think Obama is Muslim


WASHINGTON — A University of Texas poll to be released today shows Republican presidential candidate John McCain and GOP Sen. John Cornyn leading by comfortable margins in Texas, as expected. But the statewide survey of 550 registered voters has one very surprising finding: 23 percent of Texans are convinced that Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is a Muslim.

Obama is a Christian who was embroiled in a controversy earlier this year about his two-decade membership in Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ. Yet just 45 percent of those polled identified the Illinois senator as a Protestant.

The Obama-is-a-Muslim confusion is caused by fallacious Internet rumors and radio talk-show gossip. McCain went so far at one of his town hall meetings to grab a microphone from a woman who claimed that Obama was an Arab.

Why didn't he just change his name?

Paulson's Swindle Revealed

The swindle of American taxpayers is proceeding more or less in broad daylight, as the unwitting voters are preoccupied with the national election. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to invest $125 billion in the nine largest banks, including $10 billion for Goldman Sachs, his old firm. But, if you look more closely at Paulson's transaction, the taxpayers were taken for a ride--a very expensive ride. They paid $125 billion for bank stock that a private investor could purchase for $62.5 billion. That means half of the public's money was a straight-out gift to Wall Street, for which taxpayers got nothing in return.

Leo W. Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, raised these explosive questions in a stinging letter sent to Paulson this week. The union did what any private investor would do. Its finance experts vetted the terms of the bailout investment and calculated the real value of what Treasury bought with the public's money. In the case of Goldman Sachs, the analysis could conveniently rely on a comparable sale twenty days earlier. Billionaire Warren Buffett invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs and bought the same types of securities--preferred stock and warrants to purchase common stock in the future. Only Buffett's preferred shares pay a 10 percent dividend, while the public gets only 5 percent. Dollar for dollar, Buffett "received at least seven and perhaps up to 14 times more warrants than Treasury did and his warrants have more favorable terms," Gerard pointed out.

"I am sure that someone at Treasury saw the terms of Buffett's investment," the union president wrote. "In fact, my suspicion is that you studied it pretty closely and knew exactly what you were doing. The 50-50 deal--50 percent invested and 50 percent as a gift--is quite consistent with the Republican version of spread-the-wealth-around philosophy."

The Final Days


by Susan Estrich

It is time for this election to be over. It is time because it has been going on for what feels like a lifetime, because the final days have been full of noise and fury and very little light, and because we need to start solving problems rather than just debating them.

It is time because we all know how it should turn out and because thinking about what could happen if it doesn't is too upsetting.

Are Democrats in danger of being too confident? The short answer is no.

It's no because we've lost too many times when we were supposed to win. It's no because it's easier to convince people to go to a wedding than a funeral, to show up at a party instead of a wake. The California Democrats I've talked to, even the tired and cynical ones, are heading off to Colorado and Nevada and New Mexico, leaving nothing to chance, eager to be part of celebrations across the country.

And the truth is that no matter what the polls say — and they couldn't be much better — we're all still holding our breath. We're holding our breath because as many times as we tell each other that with the economy the way it is, with the wrong track numbers the way they are, with consumer confidence as low as it is, race shouldn't matter, it really shouldn't matter enough in enough places to make every single poll wrong.

It shouldn't. It really shouldn't. Because, let's face it, God forbid if it does.

This is the unspoken what-if, the whispered fear.

It's not just that Barack Obama should win because he's ahead and the economy stinks and he's run a disciplined and well-financed campaign while John McCain struggled for a message and chose a running mate whose inability to answer easy questions has left women embarrassed and fuming. It's what it will say if he doesn't. And what will happen if he doesn't.

There is only one reason the polls could be this wrong. There is only one reason a contest that is not even close, that is somewhere between clobbered and landslide, could wind up with the other guy on top. Every pollster in America is not incompetent. Every pollster in America is not failing in precisely the same way when it comes to pulling a sample, screening for voters and assigning weights to the various groups.

The only way all these polls could be that far off is if people are lying in numbers never before seen in American politics.

Why would they do that?


Caribou Barbie

Pull Up Your Obamas: Political Fashion Statements — Socks, Tees, Shoes and Even Underwear for Change

Beyond Shepard Fairey's Hope tees

By Gendy Alimurung

No matter what happens on November 4, Barack Obama will leave his mark — on history, yes, but also on a million T-shirts. The Obama political-merchandise machine has grown to epic proportions. And why not? Obama is the smartest, best-dressed, best-spoken, most energetic and beloved entity to come along in politics in a long time. People would not only die for him, they would wear flip-flops with tiny plastic Obama bobble heads for him.

If you missed out on Shepard Fairey's Obama HOPE and PROGRESS tees — sorry, that ship sailed a while ago — try eBay. The campaign itself has an official Runway for Change project with a squadron of top-flight designers that includes Isaac Mizrahi, Tracy Reese and Vera Wang. But while admirable, these fashion pros mostly flub the simple T-shirt design like a bad Project Runway episode. In this fight, it's the masses who are doing the exciting work in the realm of Obama style. The ones who sew the custom Obama "change" purses on eBay.

At the Democratic National Convention, 36-year-old Chicago artist Ray Noland's irreverent, retro basketball-inspired "Go Tell Mama" Obama tees sold like hotcakes. "The red, white and blue basketball references the ABA [American Basketball Association], which was known as the 'outlaw' league during the late '60s and early '70s," Noland writes in an e-mail. "What better way to humanize Obama and position him as the new 'outlaw' in American politics?" Noland has been waging a one-man street campaign for Obama since 2006, when he started designing Obama posters and anonymously plastering them around town. His inspiration came after he was in a bicycle accident, had his jaw wired shut for six weeks and obsessively read Obama's Dreams From My Father.

Noland's shirts and posters are warm, joyful and moving, infused with a hip-hop sensibility: Obama shooting hoops; Obama as a boxer; Obama as a gunslinger, but instead of drawing a gun, he outstretches his hand to his opponent ... for a handshake. The objects are so iconic, the Smithsonian has asked for samples to include in its collection.

"If Obama does not win," Noland says, "I will be an expatriot."

In a completely other direction, Inktees makes an "I Got A Crush On Obama" T-shirt perfect for sexy single gals with their own political obsessions. It's the one that Amber Lee Ettinger wore — scandalously — with short shorts and white stilettos in her Obama Girl video. For dudes at the grill, Inktees also makes an "I Heart Obama" apron.

Care for socks? Clothing buyer Erica Easley, as pretty as the campaign trail is long, has created the world's first presidential knee socks. "There are no Nixon or JFK socks. Though Urban Outfitters is probably working on something right now as we speak," she says on the night of the first presidential debate, when Obama wipes the floor with McCain's butt. She's been selling 100 pairs of her Obama knee socks every week since June. "I wear the socks every day. I get stopped at the gas station, at Trader Joe's. They look cute with whatever you're wearing — shorts, miniskirts, a vintage dress. They're very collectible if you're into fashion that surrounds unique, oddball moments in time. That's what political clothing is. It would be fun to make an inaugural sock if he wins." Easley has shipped the socks to New York and Utah, and is ever hopeful for orders from red-state Alabama (none yet). Los Angeles is hip to the socks — lots of orders here. Easley is even in talks with people in Obama's campaign to maybe get his daughters to wear the socks.

Michael Moore on the Election, the Bailout, Healthcare, and 10 Proposals for the Next President

Election 2008

Amy Goodman: I [recently] had a chance to sit down with Academy Award-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore yesterday. He was in his home state of Michigan, one of the hardest hit areas of the nation, Michigan's [unemployment] now at 8.7 percent.

Michael Moore has recently published a new book called Mike's Election Guide '08 and a new online film called Slacker Uprising: A Look at the Youth Vote. Michael Moore is best known for his films Sicko, Fahrenheit 911, Bowling for Columbine and Roger and Me. He has recently been campaigning for a group of Democratic candidates in Michigan and is a backer of Barack Obama. I spoke to him from Traverse City, Michigan. ... Michigan is a very hard-hit state right now. In fact, John McCain pulled out of Michigan. Do you see a connection?

Moore: I'd like to believe it's because I'm here that he left, but I don't even know why he was here to begin with. People here have been bludgeoned during the last eight years. And, you know, the sad part about that is, is that next year or the year after, when they look back on this year, this is actually going to look like a really good year, because once General Motors merges with Chrysler, thousands and thousands of jobs, more jobs, are going to be eliminated, on top of the already thousands of more jobs that will be eliminated in the next few years because General Motors and Chrysler build twentieth century vehicles that either nobody wants or we shouldn't be building, considering the climate crisis that's in front of us.

Goodman: How did it happen that they didn't change, that you have now in Michigan the highest unemployment rate in the country?

Moore: It happened because the workers don't control the means of production. Oops, I guess I can't be president now that I said that. No, but seriously, I think that if the autoworkers, years and years ago, could have had a say in the cars that were being built, the Big Three would have built cars that people wanted to drive, instead of the kind of crappy-mobiles that they continue to build, the gas-guzzlers they continue to build. And people wanted something different, and nobody listened, because the auto companies were arrogant, and they had -- they have always had the attitude that what's good for -- you know the old saying -- General Motors is good for the country. Well, the country changed; General Motors didn't change. And so, now the people have suffered as a result of it. If we had a democratic economy, where the people, we the people, had a say in the decisions that are made, in terms of how our corporations are run, the things that they produce for our society, what we need collectively as a society, we probably wouldn't find ourselves in some of the positions that we're in right now.