Read The Full Article:
Every single thing Obama does eventually aids McCain. That's certainly the view that the MSM seems to be giddily reporting. Take this for example. Barack Obama has promised a new kind of politics which puts power into the hands of ordinary people. To this end he has financed his entire campaign from Internet donations rather than from special interest groups.
It seems to me rather fitting therefore that he should make his acceptance speech in front of as many of those people as possible, rather than simply in front of the party faithful. And that's what he's proposing:
But now we are being warned that this is dangerous as it will in some way aid McCain. Chuck Todd, in the clip that I have linked to, warns that Obama might be ceding "the serious ground" to McCain.
Obama will accept the Democratic nomination at Denver's Invesco field -- which can hold over 75,000.
"The Democratic Party is nominating a true change candidate this August, and it is only fitting that we make some big changes in how we put on the Convention," DNC Chairman Howard Dean says. "By bringing the last night of the Convention out to the people, we will be able to showcase Barack Obama's positive, people-centered vision for our country in a big way."
"Barack Obama's campaign for change has inspired millions of Americans and brought people into the political process who might never have been involved," said Convention Co-Chair Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. "This change in the Convention program will allow thousands of first-time participants a chance to take part. I can't think of a better Convention finale for our nominee who has made reaching out to voters a hallmark of his campaign."
This is all you need to know about John McCain's stance on disability rights:
A wheel-chair bound woman asked McCain about the Community Choice Act, a piece of legislation for disabled Americans that would give individuals greater freedom on where to live. “What that would do is it would end the institutional bias,” the questioner said, then asked him if he would consider supporting it.
“I will not,” McCain responded, “because I don’t think it’s the right kind of legislation.” A trio of people in wheelchairs left the room shortly after his response.
It's not "the right kind of legislation" because it would actually be useful. The Wall Street Journal response, naturally enough, is not to criticize McCain's position, or even to suggest that it might merit criticism, but to applaud his "straight talk."
video details and more
I know that this is hitting a target that has been hit before, but I really do think that this point needs to be made and remade. As long as the Republicans have the sheer gall to refer to Obama as a flip-flopper, then the amount of ways in which McCain has adjusted his position to appeal the the right wing of his party needs to be emphasised.
And the voice of John Kerry, the man the Republicans labeled the ultimate flip-flopper, is to be welcomed. But the majority of the media will continue to give McCain this extraordinary free pass.
Tags: John Kerry, John McCain, flip-flopper
Read The Full Article:
"Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard" (Jesse Helms threatening the President's life, 1994).
"To rob the Negro of his reputation of thinking through a problem in his own fashion is about the same as trying to pretend that he doesn't have a natural instinct for rhythm and for singing and dancing" (Jesse Helms, 1956).
"The New York Times and Washington Post are both infested with homosexuals themselves. Just about every person down there is a homosexual or lesbian" (Jesse Helms, 1995).
"Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced" (Jesse Helms, 1981).
"I shall never forget the stream of school kids marching uptown to place flowers on the Courthouse Square monument on Confederate Memorial Day" (Jesse Helms, 1956).
"There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy" (Jesse Helms, 1988).
"I'm going to make her [Carol Moseley-Braun] cry. I'm going to sing Dixie until she cries" (Jesse Helms, 1993).
"All Latins are volatile people. Hence, I was not surprised at the volatile reaction" (Jesse Helms, 1986).
"Homosexuals are weak, morally sick wretches" (Jesse Helms, 1995).
"I'm so old-fashioned I believe in horse whipping" (Jesse Helms, 1991).
"Your tax dollars are being used to pay for grade-school classes that teach our children that cannibalism, wife-swapping, and murder of infants and the elderly are acceptable behavior" (Jesse Helms, 1996).
Read The Full Article:
Seventeen weeks -- 119 days -- til Election day. The Repubs are already on the air trashing Obama -- and that won't stop for the next seventeen weeks. According to the Politics Blog at SFGate.com, the ad, which is running in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin has "got enough whoppers in it to make the Midwesterners cough up their leftover Fourth of July potato salad." That's all voters will get from McCain and the GOP: whoppers. But, Americans do love their whoppers. So, you have to wonder if the American people will fall for the GOP negativity and lies -- again.
Start threading the news....
This morning's NYT gets to the heart of the FISA bill.
The Senate should reject a bill this week that would needlessly expand the government?s ability to spy on Americans and ensure that the country never learns the full extent of President Bush?s unlawful wiretapping.
The bill dangerously weakens the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. Adopted after the abuses of the Watergate and Vietnam eras, the law requires the government to get a warrant to intercept communications between anyone in this country and anyone outside it ? and show that it is investigating a foreign power, or the agent of a foreign power, that plans to harm America. ...
The real reason this bill exists is because Mr. Bush decided after 9/11 that he was above the law. When The Times disclosed his warrantless eavesdropping, Mr. Bush demanded that Congress legalize it after the fact. The White House scared Congress into doing that last year, with a one-year bill that shredded FISA?s protections. Democratic lawmakers promised to fix it this year.
Read The Full Article:
I've often said that I didn't understand Gordon Brown's wish to push through the 42 day terrorist detention plan as I don't know what he gains by being more Blairite than even Blair was. Brown was supposed to be the antithesis of all that went before and, instead, has found himself pushing even more of this civil liberty bashing nonsense down our throats.
Well, it appears that even former Blairites have had enough and that his bill's passage through the Lords is not going to be an easy one.
He only managed to get this legislation through the Commons by coming to some backroom deal with the Unionists, which might all come to naught if the Lords behave as I expect them to and kick the thing into touch.
Lord Goldsmith, the former attorney general, made it clear yesterday that he was prepared to defy the Government and vote down the measure. Lord Falconer, the former Lord Chancellor, is also expected to attack the plans in the Lords when peers open debate on the Counter-Terrorism Bill this afternoon.
Lord Goldsmith insisted the measure was "wrong in practice and wrong in principle".
The two men, who occupied pivotal positions in Mr Blair's government after the terror attacks on London and in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, are among nearly 50 peers due to speak during today's debate amid growing anger at the plans, which only scraped through the Commons last month by the nine votes of the Democratic Unionist Party. The intervention of two such senior Labour figures will pile pressure on Gordon Brown, who already faces months of pitched parliamentary battles over the Bill.
Mr Brown faces a drubbing in the Lords when peers vote on the Bill later this year, with critics predicting that plans to extend the current 28-day limit on holding terror suspects without charge could be defeated by more than 200 votes.
Here's how Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, the former Joint Intelligence Committee chairman and the Conservative spokesman for homeland security, has described the Tory party in the Lord's attitude to the measure:
By tradition, peers will not vote on the Bill after today's second reading debate. But peers say the 42-day plans will be overwhelmingly defeated when the Bill reaches its detailed stages after the Parliamentary break.
Yesterday both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats said that they stood firm against the measure. Lord Thomas of Gresford, who will speak for the Liberal Democrats, said: "On the eve of the vote our position remains as hard as it always has been. We cannot be bribed by knighthoods, peerages or larger rooms. On the Labour benches there is significant opposition. On the cross benches there will also be some very powerful speeches made against it by people with genuine experience of terrorist cases."
"But it (the Tory party) will continue to oppose the Government's obnoxious proposal to extend maximum pre-charge detention from 28 to 42 days when it comes to the Lords on 8 July and where it risks heavy defeat. The Government has utterly failed to demonstrate the need for this further extension of police power and, as the former home secretary Charles Clarke has pointed out, the Government's ostensible safeguards against possible abuse are almost certainly unworkable and therefore worthless."I am honestly left utterly puzzled as to what Brown hopes to gain by pushing for legislation which is so right wing that it brings about this kind of revulsion from the Tory party. Did he hope for this kind of backlash so that he could label the Tories soft on terrorism? If he did then he has badly miscalculated as Lord Goldsmith was Blair's poster child for the Iraq war, and Lord Falconer was Blair's former flatmate; and if Goldsmith and Falconer both say it's unnecessary, then there are only a very few (and they are to the right of Genghis Khan) who would disagree.
Courtesy of DailyKos
Last night I was driving to meet a friend and Johnny Wendell was subbing for Mike Malloy on NovaM radio. I didn't hear his whole show, just a part about how McCain seems to have a gambling addiction problem-- and possibly a criminal problem to go along with it. We'll get to that in a moment. Ironically, the friend I was going to meet is the only person I ever knew who had a gambling problem. I wished I could ask him about it but I think he's in denial and I didn't feel comfortable bringing it up. His life is a wreck and his ex-wife told me he had gambled away the family's savings, and even lost their home briefly. The gambling addiction almost completely destroyed his life, his wife's lives and any semblance of normalcy for their young children. Yeah... I didn't bring up McCain.
Instead I drove home and googled up Time Magazine's story about how Obama plays a little low-stakes polka to relax and socialize while McCain loses control and becomes a scary monster/super creep. For McCain it's like being a hot dog flyer again, only not pulling stunts that kill 134 U.S. navy men and destroying tens of millions of dollars worth of planes and nearly sinking an aircraft carrier. That's good ole John McCain.
For McCain, jaunts to the craps table helped burnish his image as a political hot dog who relished the thrill of a good fight, even if the risk of failure was high.
McCain's passion for gambling and taking other risks has never been a secret. He was a Navy flyer, trained in the art of controlled crash landings on aircraft carriers. He spent his youth sneaking booze behind the backs of his schoolmasters and reveling in his stack of demerits. He came of age on shore leave in the casinos of Monte Carlo, in a Navy culture that had long embraced dice in the officers' clubs.
The moral code of McCain's youth always distinguished between sins of honor and sins of pleasure. "Don't lie, cheat or steal-- anything else is fair game," McCain told his son Jack when the boy left for the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. In his memoir, McCain recalls that by his mid-20s, he "had begun to aspire to a reputation for more commendable achievements than long nights of drinking and gambling."
Over time he gave up the drinking bouts, but he never quite kicked the periodic yen for dice. In the past decade, he has played on Mississippi riverboats, on Indian land, in Caribbean craps pits and along the length of the Las Vegas Strip. Back in 2005 he joined a group of journalists at a magazine-industry conference in Puerto Rico, offering betting strategy on request. "Enjoying craps opens up a window on a central thread constant in John's life," says John Weaver, McCain's former chief strategist, who followed him to many a casino. "Taking a chance, playing against the odds." Aides say McCain tends to play for a few thousand dollars at a time and avoids taking markers, or loans, from the casinos, which he has helped regulate in Congress. "He never, ever plays on the house," says Mark Salter, a McCain adviser. The goal, say several people familiar with his habit, is never financial. He loves the thrill of winning and the camaraderie at the table.
Count on these 5 and it'll be like living under Stalin
Last night I had dinner with an English friend, an attorney and businessman. He asked me how likely I thought it was that if the economy kept spiraling downward America would turn to a military strongman or a veiled proto-fascist dictatorship. Here? It couldn't happen here... could it? Today the U.S. Senate is debating a FISA bill that certainly sets the stage for exactly that. With it Congress allowing a runaway, powermad executive to usurp powers specifically prohibited it by the Founding Fathers and the U.S. Constitution, powers to invade American citizens' privacy without a court warrant. We have come to expect this from George Bush and his cronies and the rubber stamp Republicans in Congress who have enabled him to do our nation such grievous harm. But Bush and the Republicans couldn't do it alone. They needed some Democrats.
Enter bribe-happy Democratic powermongers Steny Hoyer and Rahm Emanuel, flush with gigantic "contributions" from the big telecoms looking for retroactive immunity for illegally spying on Americans. Hoyer and Emanuel were able to bribe and pressure enough Democrats who are unfit for office to cross the aisle with them and vote with the Republicans. Tomorrow the telecoms' best friend (i.e.- the one, other than presidential candidates, they give the most bribes to ), Jay Rockefeller (D-$51,500 this year alone) will try persuading Democrats in the Senate to do the same thing and vote with Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, Joe Lieberman and John McCain to neuter another piece of the Constitution. It is nearly a foregone conclusion that Rockefeller will succeed. He's had a lot of grease spread for him by the Telecoms. Here are a list of some of the senators who seem ready to sell us out for the bribes-- and let's face it, ladies and gentlemen, these huge "contributions are bribes-- they have been given by the Telecoms this year alone:
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)- $51,500
Ted Stevens (R-AK)- $37,900
Susan Collins (R-ME)- $32,850
Mark Pryor (D-AR)- $31,350
Max Baucus (D-MT)- $28,000
Gordon Smith (R-OR)- $26,750
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)- $26,700
Roger Wicker (R-MS)- $26,600
John Sununu (R-NH)- $24,600
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- $20,250
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)- $15,750
Sam Brownback (R-KS)- $14,200
Pat Roberts (R-KS)- $13,250
We contacted some of the candidates running for Congress against incumbents who voted to rubber stamp this frightening development. John Barrow in Georgia has been one of Bush's closets conspirators among right-wing Democrats. He has bragged how he has supported Bush "every step of the way" in Iraq. And he has been supporting Bush's dismantling of the constitutional protections that Americans cherish. A week from today Barrow-- who accepted $19,500 in bribes from Telecoms this year-- will face a primary challenge from state Senator Regina Thomas. She says she is stunned and outraged that Bush would pull this stunt. She remembers when the FBI illegally wiretapped Rev. Martin Luther King and she is dismayed that her own congressman is cheerleading this. "The concept of retroactive immunity is an affront to the American people. There shouldn't be two classes of Justice in this country, one for wealthy campaign donors and one for the rest of us."
Yesterday we published a statement from Dennis Shulman, whose opponent, right wing crazy Scott Garrett (R-NJ) has accepted $9,000 from the Telecoms this year and was happy to vote in favor of warrantless wiretaps and retroactive immunity. You should hit that link and read Dennis' statement. It's very powerful. So is one we got last night from Andrea Miller, a brilliant educator in Virginia who is running against a garden variety Republican pod who never says no to anything Bush wants, Randy Forbes. Of course it doesn't hurt that Forbes takes bribes right and left from all the corporations with special interests and dealings before Congress. The Telecoms have given him $8,550 this year. Andrea doesn't address his corruption, just the crisis in identity our nation is facing:
"As a teacher, I look at a lot of things from a historical perspective. Can anyone say 'Constitution,' does anyone remember Civics class from elementary school? The House recently passed a FISA bill that is an embarrassment to the concept of freedom and America. In a free society, the government does not spy on its citizens. The United States Constitution was written to create a free society and protect the individual rights of its citizens for all time. We just celebrated Independence Day, American independence from a tyrant's rule. It seems that we have simply exchanged a tyrant from one century for a new set of tyrants in the 21st century. The Constitution was written so that the new American democracy would never grant any individual the power of king. And now the House has decreed that the President is above the law and the President at any time can break any rule and declare that the law does not count. All parties involved in the FISA issue clearly understood that their actions were not allowed under the Constitution-- they simply decided that the Constitution no longer applied to them because they simply chose to ignore it.
If we are not a nation of laws, what kind of nation are we? If we break our laws in the name of national security, what kind of security can we have as a nation?"