From TPM Election Central ...The McCain campaign is now broadening their attack on Obama's past association with William Ayers to include Michelle Obama -- even though McCain has repeatedly said spouses should be off limits during the campaign.The[...]
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Today, the McCain campaign released a list of “100 distinguished and experienced economists” signing onto a statement declaring that “Barack Obama’s economic proposals are wrong for the American economy.” However, as TNR points out, only 90 names appear on the list, not 100. What’s more, a full 11 of those economists are McCain economic advisers. The list of “100″ even includes Douglas Holtz-Eakin, McCain’s chief economic adviser and one of his most visible spokesmen.
Iraq news today was dominated by the assassination of Sadrist MP Salah al-'Akeeli, who was killed by an explosion in Sadr City on Thursday.
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Well, there you have it. Buried late on a Friday night, but the news just broke that Sarah Palin did violate state ethics law:
Alaska panel finds Palin abused power in firingAccording to the AP, the report "does not recommend sanctions or a criminal investigation."
...The panel found that Palin let the family grudge influence her decision-making even if it was not the sole reason Monegan was dismissed. "I feel vindicated," Monegan said. "It sounds like they've validated my belief and opinions. And that tells me I'm not totally out in left field."
Branchflower said Palin violated a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act....
"KILL HIM"! "TRAITOR","TERRORIST"!, "TREASON", "....HUSSEIN OBAMA", "BOOOOO".
If you have been attending events for a certain political candidate over the past few days, the cries and shouts quoted above are what you were most likely to hear. The mood from the "patriotic" right has been a combination of both grim and angry ( Mr. Morton's wife has even accused her husband's opponent of putting her son in harms way). They cannot believe that this "exotic" unpatriotic, terrorist sympathizer could actually become their president. But the clock is running out, and from all appearances their guy is down by a couple of touchdowns. Not good.
Now, I have to confess, I am not all that patriotic (I know field, you are a "world citizen." Why don't you take your ganga smoking ass back to Jamaica, mon?). If I see two human beings drowning and I can only save one, I sure as hell won't ask to see his or her passport before I jump in. So you know where I stand on that issue. And because of my position on issues of patriotism, I tend to be less sympathetic to these rants about his O ness not being patriotic than the next guy. Honestly, the entire debate is kind of silly. And I tend to view people who waive flags or bibles too much with a cynical mistrustful eye. These are the same assholes who used to gather for social events centered around strange fruits hanging from trees back in the day. And I honestly don't think that they have changed much. The O man just brought out their inner hate.
So why is Mr. Morton doing this? Surely he must know that he is going to turn off independents with this latest campaign of anger and hate (Although, to his credit, Mr. Morton took some steps towards a higher road today). Someone should tell him that he is going to get the red neck anyone but the black man vote no matter what; and that reaching out to these people is pointless. He is just tarnishing his legacy and his reputation by allowing that crazy ass, empty headed, moose hunting fraud, to run wild at her modern day Klan rallies. Another side effect of all this anti Obama madness, is that he has fired up the O man's base, and first time voters have registered in record numbers to come out for his O ness. This is not good for Mr. Morton, and he had better hope for an early November snow storm here on the East Coast to keep these Negroes from coming out (You know we don't like the cold too much).
Today I was heading home and I saw a pretty large anti war crowd around city hall. In the crowd were quite a few enthusiastic young Obama supporters, who were passing out flyers and encouraging folks to come out for his O ness tomorrow.
"You going to the Obama rally tomorrow sir?"
"No, but I will be there in spirit."
"Are you going to vote in November?"
"Yes; are you?"
"Oh, you better believe it, this is the most important election of our lifetimes."
"How old are you," I asked him.
"Twenty four, sir."
"Don't worry, you are young. There will be quite a few more important elections in your future."
"Well, if we elect John McCain, I might not have a future sir."
The wisdom of youth.
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An Iraqi correspondent who covered economics for an online news agency has died in a targeted assassination in Kirkuk on Friday.
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This week we have made a lot of progress in getting at the underlying logic of the conservative state. We have discussed the massive differences between the way conservatives talk and the way they rule, the damage they have wreaked in those branches of the state they dislike, and the means by which they have handed off public responsibilities to private companies.
We have also expressed a lot of frustration with the powerlessness of journalists or bloggers to get these things into the debate all on our own. The points we have been raising need to be made, not just by cranky scribblers like me, and not even by expert observers like Dean and Danielle, but by social movements and ultimately by political leaders. The public desperately needs to know why it is that the government built to protect them has been transformed into a mechanism for their exploitation--why government repeatedly failed during the Bush years at projects both great and small--why industry has been able to capture government so easily.
Back before the crash, I used to talk about the need for president Obama to appoint, on day one of his administration, a commission to investigate the entire history of privatization and outsourcing. After all, the movement to hand over government to private industry got its start, after all, in the Reagan-era Grace Commission, which promoted privatization as a way to save money and reduce the deficit. Now we need a verdict: Did outsourcing really save us money? Did it help us to get things done more efficiently? Or did we simply come up with a new method for sluicing the public's billions into the pockets of the best-connected contractors?
Unless every poll in America is wrong, an Obama administration is today an almost certain prospect, but the crisis has deepened so dramatically in the last few weeks that conservative governance stands before us discredited now in nearly every particular. We need investigations into so many things now: All the different layers of the subprime lending fiasco, the deregulation of financial markets, the wholesale capitulation of federal agencies to the industries they're supposed to be overseeing.
I know, I know: we're supposed to be all bipartisan and noble and forgiving in our triumph. We're supposed to let bygones be bygones. But that's not the way the other side plays the game, and that's not the way to build a lasting movement. Unless we close the debate with the conservatives now, they will simply be back in four years, screeching once again about the poor disrespected real Americans of the heartland--and using the power of the state to reward their class allies even more richly.
One of the themes I emphasize in The Wrecking Crew is the conservative quest for permanence. Not in the Karl Rove "permanent majority" sense, but in the larger effort to make conservative changes irreversible; to take liberal options off the table for good. There have been dozens of efforts from the right along these lines, some successful, some not, but one massive change that undergirds all the others: The remaking of our egalitarian nation into a new-model plutocracy.
We all know the statistics: How some tiny percentage of the population makes as much as everyone else combined, how that one guy made $3 billion last year, or how Bill Gates's fortune, transformed into gold, would outweigh all the ships of all the navies of the NATO nations. (Okay, I made that last one up.)
This is the ultimate product of conservative governance, it is something that government has done very effectively, and it is also, unless we challenge it, the gravitational force that will continue to pull our country to the right for years to come.
Undoing that plutocracy, and putting out country back on the path to social democracy, is the paramount task of the next few decades. The catastrophic collapse of the financial system has not only made such an effort possible, it has made it a necessity.
I'm going to make no secret about who I think should be nominated this week for tomorrow night's Hell to Pay fundraiser: Dan Seals, IL-10.
Aside from being a worthy candidate on his own merits--and being a repeat nominee for Hell to Pay help--this week it got personal. Very, very personal. As in an attack by his scummy rival not only on Seals, but on Daily Kos itself. It all began October 5 when the Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll showed our Orange to Blue candidate Seals trailing Republican incumbent Republican Mark Kirk by a mere six points.
And thus an absurd freak-out by the Kirk campaign began, with Kirk's pollster going nuts, claiming that the "ultra left-wing Web site Daily Kos" had undersampled Jewish voters (of course, a well-known Republican voting bloc) intentionally:
It is no surprise that DailyKos, which has come under attack by Democrats like Harold Ford Jr. and Lanny Davis for anti-Israel and anti-Semitic content, chose to conduct its poll on the Jewish High Holy Day of Rosh HaShanah.
Some kind of near-instant karma must have been at work, because just a day later, a Roll Call/Survey USA poll was released showing Seals --gasp!--ahead of Kirk by eight points. Markos caught the hilarity of the bind the Kirk campaign now found itself in:
But what's really hilarious is that the Kirk campaign spent the entire day accusing us of being anti-semitic and fighting hard to discredit a poll in which they led. Now, just a day later, they face a poll, from a non-partisan news operation, that shows them getting their ass kicked.
Aside from the challenge to our Daily Kos honor at stake, there are also the reasons to back Seals this week that were laid out in previous nomination threads: his office was broken into, and the notorious right-wing money machine known as Freedom Watch did a massive cable ad buy against him.
Now the notion behind Hell to Pay has been, from the beginning, to inflict fiscal pain on Orange to Blue candidates' rivals who get out of hand and smear Democrats, our O2B candidate, liberals in general or progressives. Surely smearing Daily Kos falls into that category. Other nominations this week are welcome in the comments as usual, and a poll will go up this evening with those suggestions. But for now, I urge the selection of Dan Seals this week to send an immediate message to the Kirk campaign. Nothing precludes people giving to other candidates as well on Orange to Blue during these fundraising drives; indeed, the spillover effect seems to be wonderful for all candidates, with all boats being raised a little higher after Saturday nights.
Note: Hell to Pay is for Orange to Blue candidates, so guys, please make your nominations from that list. Also, previous recipients -- Andrew Rice, Al Franken, Darcy Burner and Charlie Brown -- for now will be ineligible until our other candidates are taken care of as well (although feel free to donate to any and all worthies over on the list).
Nominate away. Remember the criteria: the opponent of an Orange to Blue candidate has smeared, lied or underhandedly attacked in an inappropriate way liberals, Democrats or their challenger. Please provide links and a summary argument about why he or she should be considered this week. These will be used in the voting thread later today.
You can also donate now to help us reach our new $1.25 million goal for all our candidates.
From the Tampa Tribune ...The U.S. Secret Service is looking into reports that a crowd member yelled,"Kill him!" while Gov. Sarah Palin was talking about Sen. Barack Obama during her Clearwater rally Monday.The incident reportedly occurred after Palin[...]
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(Not trying to get Biblical or anything with a post title like that, but I thought it fit?)
The McCain campaign has tapped William E. Timmons Sr., a longtime Washington lobbyist, to be part of its transition team, along with John Lehman Jr., former secretary of the Navy.Christy at firedoglake has more on Timmons here, telling us that?
The Obama campaign has turned to John Podesta, a former White House chief of staff for Bill Clinton and now president of the Center for American Progress.
...Timmons is old-school power, and he brings all those connections to the McCain table -- for his own and clients' benefits, though, or for McCain's? Or both?On the other hand, this tells us that John Podesta, in addition to running the Center for American Progress?
Timmons has been greasing the skids for a whole host of special interests for decades, and thus brings a certain "insider smarm" that the Maverocity PR purveyors will have to try to downplay. But can they?
Just take a peek at a partial list of clients for whom Timmons and Company has lobbied just since 2001 according to Implu:
Unocal (now owned by Chevron) American Petroleum Institute American Health Care Association Lincare AT&T Freddie Mac (of course) Centex Corporation Cox Enterprises, Inc. National Assoc. of Manufacturers Asbestos Working Group Northrup Grumman American Financial Services Assoc. The NRA (The National Rifle Association) The American Council of Life Insurers Farallon Capital Management, LLC Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. The Vanguard Group, Inc. Primerica Financial Services Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.
..served as Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, where he was responsible for directing, managing, and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, Congressional relations, and staff activities of the White House. He coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the President's Cabinet and as a Principal on the National Security Council.So, making the way for a possible Palin-McBush administration is a well-heeled, longtime Repug insider thoroughly versed in the ways of crony capitalism going back at least 30 years. Making the way for Obama-Biden, however, is perhaps the one individual most thoroughly grounded in the law, government and public policy available for such a challenge within the D.C. beltway, having done so for the last president under whose administration this country saw actual growth and prosperity.
Podesta has held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including: Counselor to Democratic Leader Senator Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996); Chief Counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee (1987-1988); Chief Minority Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform; and Counsel on the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee (1979-1981). In addition, in 1988, Podesta founded with his brother Tony, Podesta Associates, Inc., a Washington, D.C. government relations and public affairs firm.