CNN.com announced last week that among McCain's top political priorities for the Republican convention was his "need to make it clear that his first term will not be Bush's third term." . . . [I]f McCain did pull off the great escape, it was only thanks to the press and the way eager journalists pitched in to erase Bush from the political picture.
Boehlert tactfully ignores the main reason Bush went off the radar - Sarah Palin. While it is true that the Media went after Palin, with the loud cheers of the Left blogs in the background, the cost of this obsession is obvious now - George W. Bush became the forgotten man. To the detriment of Obama and Democrats. More . .
Consider the much cited post from the excellent James Fallows on Palin and the Bush Doctrine. While most are using it to attack Palin, I think the most important part of Fallows' post is this:
The other was Gibson's own minor mis-statement. American foreign policy has long recognized the concept of preemptive action: if you know somebody is just about to attack you, there's no debate about the legitimacy of acting first. (This is like "shooting in self-defense.") The more controversial part of The Bush Doctrine was the idea of preventive war: acting before a threat had fully emerged, on the theory that waiting until it was fully evident would mean acting too late.
. . . Sarah Palin did not know this issue, or any part of it. The view she actually expressed -- an endorsement of "preemptive" action -- was fine on its own merits. But it is not the stated doctrine of the Bush Administration, it is not the policy her running mate has endorsed, and it is not the concept under which her own son is going off to Iraq.
(Emphasis supplied.) This is a perfect opportunity to reintroduce the fact that John McCain is running for George W. Bush's Third Term. But no one in the Media or the Left blogs, other than Matt Yglesias and myself, have focused on the fact that Palin in fact contradicted the Bush/McCain Doctrine.
This constitutes, in my estimation, political obtuseness.
By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only
Bookmark/Search this post with: buzzflash | delicious | digg | technorati Technorati Tags: Reader Contribution Dirk Voetberg John McCain Sarah Palin
Read The Full Article:
Appearing on “The View” today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) falsely claimed that Sarah Palin never requested earmarks as the governor of Alaska. “Not as governor she didn’t,” McCain told Barbara Walters after she noted Palin “took some earmarks”:
WALTERS: What is she going to reform specifically, senator?
MCCAIN: Well, first of all, earmark spending, which she vetoed a half a billion dollars worth in the state of Alaska.
WALTERS: She also took some earmarks there.
BEHAR: A lot.
MCCAIN: No, not as governor she didn’t, she vetoed…
WALTERS: As Mayor.
MCCAIN: Well, look, the fact is that she was a reform governor.
McCain’s claim that Palin never accepted earmarks as the governor of Alaska is divorced from reality. In fact, she actively sought them:
– Though Palin did reduce Alaska’s earmark requests, “in her two years in office, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation.”
– In March 2008, Palin wrote an op-ed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, saying that her “role at the federal level is simply to submit the most well-conceived earmark requests we can” and that her reduction of requests was a response “to the changing circumstances in Congress.”
– In February 2008, Palin’s office sent Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) “a 70-page memo outlining almost $200 million worth of new funding requests for the state.”
– In her most recent earmark requests, “Palin requested millions of federal dollars for everything from improving recreational halibut fishing to studying the mating habits of crabs and the DNA of harbor seals.”
As ThinkProgress has noted, Palin has requested earmarks of the very type that McCain routinely mocks while on the campaign trail. As Walters pointed out, Palin was also a big fan of congressional pork as the Mayor of Wasilla, even hiring a lobbyist to help secure them.
.“I’m George Macaca Allen, and I approve This Message.”You know it’s coming… The “John McCain: Apocalypse Now Redux” T-Shirt can be purchased at The Zencomix Online Market.political, cartoons,political cartoons, parody, satire, Republicans, GOP, Iraq, War, Theocracy, Bush, Cheney, comics, comic strips, McCain,webcomicZencomix
Read The Full Article:
I don't have much to say about it, but Ian Parker is one of the best profile writers working today, and his piece on the enduring dissatisfaction of Alec Baldwin is damn near perfect. Print it out, read it over lunch.[...]
Read The Full Article:
Hoping to keep moderate members of their party from defecting to Republicans, leaders of the House Democrats have surrendered all but the last slices of cake when it comes to off-shore drilling for oil and gas. Republicans are so gleeful they’re practically dancing in the aisle.
Which seems odd since the GOP will probably shoot down the legislation that includes the relaxed moratorium anyway.
Many Republicans still seek more Democratic cave-ins on the bill. They oppose the inclusion of "use or lose it" provisions that seek to put pressure on oil and gas companies to drill on the 68 million acres of federal land they already have released but not developed. They also have their own version of tax credits and subsidies. In the unlikely event the Democratic bill made it through the House, chances are it wouldn’t become law because of the Senate, which is looking at three major energy proposals of its own.
It’s possible, perhaps probable, that no energy proposal will get enough votes to make it into law before the House adjourns on Sept. 26.
Blocking passage of the weakened moratorium might seem like good news to eco-advocates and others who see enhanced off-shore drilling as a perilous sham. It isn’t. Because something even worse is just three weeks away: a complete end to the moratorium. That doesn’t require a vote.
In the new House Dem proposal, according to CQ Politics and CongressDaily (subscription only), any state could opt for drilling on federal land 50 miles or more off shore. On land 100 miles or more from shore, drilling would be allowed almost everywhere. A 2006 agreement that prevents drilling closer than 125 miles off the coast of Florida would remain on the books until 2022.
Since 1982, drilling has been barred in all but a few million acres of federal waters up to 200 miles off-shore, which is the maximum internationally recognized limit of territorial sovereignty. According to Rep. Gene Greene, the Texas Democrat who is one of co-writers of the proposal, about 100 million new acres would be opened up to drilling.
While this goes much farther than before, it’s still not be enough for many Republicans who seek to rid themselves of the moratorium altogether. The law has always been renewed annually as a rider on the appropriations bill. It expires every year on September 30, and Mister Bush has said he will veto any bill which includes a continuing moratorium this year. If it does expire, and Congress doesn’t override the veto, oil and gas drilling could theoretically be allowed as close as three miles off-shore, where state jurisdiction ends. It’s extremely unlikely that enough votes can be found for an override.
Earlier this year, when the Dems first began wavering on off-shore drilling in the face of $4.25-a-gallon gasoline and widespread public support for expanded drilling, the idea of some Representatives was to let four southeastern states have the option of allowing drilling 50 miles or more offshore in the previously prohibited area. That, indeed, was what was presented to the Democratic Caucus on Tuesday. But, according to Darren Goode, reporting at CongressDaily, the Blue Dog Democrats pressed them.
"If you're going to have an energy policy, it has to be a national energy policy; it can't be a selective energy policy," Rep. Charlie Melancon, D-La., said.
Otherwise, "does that put in jeopardy my Blue Dog colleagues? I believe, yes," he said.
These Democrats have warned many of their colleagues would likely side with Republicans on a motion to recommit or in opposition to an upcoming continuing resolution if Democratic leaders did not present what they deem is an acceptable energy package.
Some Republicans still don't like the new Democratic plan because it won’t send any royalties to state treasuries from federal oil leases off their coasts. This means, these critics say, that states won’t "opt in" for the 50-mile deal and little oil will be produced as a result.
But, as in previous years, getting the House and Senate to agree on any energy plan may prove all-but-impossible in the short time available. If the vaunted "new politics" were in force, an energy proposal might be developed based on what is good for national security, for the economy and for the atmosphere. But the question likely will again boil down to whether the amount of pork provided can overcome Senators’ and Representatives’ resistance to various items in the legislation they don’t like.
The bipartisan plan of the "Gang of 20" - previously the Gang of 10 (now made up of 10 moderate to conservative Democrats and 10 Republicans) led by Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad and Agriculture ranking member Saxby Chambliss - is moving forward with the comprehensive proposal it initiated in July. Called the New Energy Reform Act of 2008, or New Era, the legislation seems to be gathering steam. Its draft includes a more modest off-shore drilling plan than the House Dems are now proposing.
Senator Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources is also working on a comprehensive bill that will include the go-ahead for a limited expansion of off-shore drilling. Both these proposals are replete with legislation and tax credits for everything from consumers and manufacturers of energy-efficient automobiles to subsidies for "clean coal" technologies.
And then comes the latest wrinkle, the Energy Independence and Investment Act of 2008 unveiled Thursday by the Senate Finance Committee. Both Chairman Max Baucus and ranking member Charles Grassley are behind the legislation. It would provide some $40 billion over 10 years to develop renewable energy sources funded primarily by new taxes and closing old loopholes on the largest oil and gas companies.
The proposal has a broad array of environmental and industry groups behind it. It would include extending solar tax credits for eight years, and wind energy and biodiesel credits for three years. Also in the bill is a consumer tax credit of up to $7500 for plug-in electric vehicles, credits for "smart" electric meters and "smart grid" electric systems, for "clean coal" projects and for "sequestration" of carbon dioxide.
Some $26 billion of the cost would be raised by disallowing a manufacturing deduction to the largest integrated oil and gas companies and by imposing a 13 percent tax on the removal price of Gulf of Mexico oil and natural gas.
While $40 billion over 10 years may sound like a lot, it’s barely more than a fourth of Senator Barack Obama’s 10-year $150 billion energy proposal. And even his proposal would only appropriate as much money over a decade as is spent every year on the war in Iraq.
Last Year: 176-90 (.662)Last Week: 7-9 (.438)This Year: 7-9 (.438)Throughout The Years — Click HERE…YOUCH! Opening weekend was just as painful for MOI (and yep — part French and proud OF it) as it was for Tennessee’s Vince Young, the Patriots’ Tom Brady, Jeff...
This is only a comment summary. Visit http://guntotingliberal.com to view the lastest content complete with some of the most outrageous original photoshops in the political blogosphere!
Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) campaign is touting Sarah Palin’s four years as mayor of the small town of Wasilla and her two years as governor as proof that she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Adviser Charlie Black has accused Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) campaign of “insult[ing] small-town Americans” by criticizing Palin. However, in an October 2007 primary debate, McCain himself denigrated mayors and governors, saying they would need too much “on-the-job training”:
I have had a strong and a long relationship on national security, I’ve been involved in every national crisis that this nation has faced since Beirut, I understand the issues, I understand and appreciate the enormity of the challenge we face from radical Islamic extremism.
I am prepared. I am prepared. I need no on-the-job training. I wasn’t a mayor for a short period of time. I wasn’t a governor for a short period of time.
As you can tell simply by scanning the headlines of any major newspaper in the United States these days, something is gravely amiss in the current political debate in this country.
You see - along with the presidential palaver and front-page pieces about pigs and lipstick - stories about a metastasizing financial crisis facing the country. The U.S. government just bought a huge pig in a big poke this week - it's not a joke, and it should not be on the U.S. taxpayer.
Whatever the outcome of the country's mortgage and broader credit crisis, this much is now clear: American taxpayers and voters need to know what is at stake for them in the government seizure of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, what risks they face, and what the policy choices are.
Fannie Mae was established by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1938 to ease access to homeownership financing. It was privatized in 1968 to keep its balance sheet off the books of a federal budget sunk into deficit by the Vietnam War. In 1970, Freddie Mac was created as a supposed competitor enterprise. However, both were supported by an implicit guarantee from the U.S. government to pay their debts at taxpayer expense in the event they ever became insolvent.
In fact, however, American real estate prices escalated steadily for decades, Freddie and Fannie prospered, homeownership rates grew, and no one ever seriously thought this guarantee would ever be tested.
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced last Sunday that the government had seized control of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. To keep these firms and the real estate market afloat, the government said it would make available a $200 billion infusion of taxpayer money.
Freddie and Fannie stock is traded on capital markets around the world. Vast qualities - hundreds of billions of dollars worth of these firms' debt - is held by global central banks, principally in Japan and China. The markets have battered their stock this year - after trading near $70 a share a year ago, Fannie and Freddie equities have now been reduced to penny stocks in the last few weeks. The spreads between Freddie and 10-year Treasury bonds is up 100 basis points during the same period. Japan and China are curtailing their purchase of Freddie and Fannie paper, and stock investors do not want to catch what Wall Street calls the "falling knife."
The crisis is not confined to Freddie and Fannie. One of the venerable Wall Street investment houses, the 158-year old Lehman Brothers, overexposed in the slumping real estate market, is daily and desperately seeking to stave off liquidation. Other major financial institutions are starved for capital.
With the subprime, alt-A, and consequence foreclosure crises continuing to gather steam - well over a million American homes have already gone into foreclosure in 2008 - private mortgage financing has dried up to the point where Freddie and Fannie now own or guarantee close to 75 percent of the nation's outstanding $12 trillion mortgage market. The entire U.S. economy is $15 trillion annually. If the firms collapse, so too will the market, with unimaginable economic and, in an election year, political consequences.
Last summer, when the first signs of a bursting real estate bubble appeared, and through the winter when talk of recession was first heard, and even into the spring, when Congress reacted by passing the economic stimulus package, Secretary Paulson acted - or, rather, did not act - on the assumption that no short-term action was necessary to forestall the foreclosure crisis or address the country's outdated system of financial regulation that allowed the bubble to balloon unchecked.
That assumption may no longer be valid.
The 'conservatorship' - think of receivership in the bankruptcy context - into which Paulson has put Freddie and Fannie for a time is not a tenable long-term solution to the question of what is to be done with these government-sponsored enterprises.
The historical mission of Freddie and Fannie - to increase homeownership among the American middle class - remains an important public policy objective. The fact that it has been accomplished (homeownership rates in the U.S. have hovered at 65-70 percent for years) is one of the distinguishing hallmarks of American economic life.
Some might feel a need to discuss pigs or lipstick or other distractions from the real issues facing Americans. At a time when folks feel steadily increasing pain at the pump and in the pocketbook, this is a serious disservice to the American people.
What pocketbook price is to be paid for pursuing this mission by propping up Fannie and Freddie? How much more debt should the nation take on? How much burden can - or should - taxpayers ultimately be asked to bear to do so? How else this objective might otherwise be accomplished? This is a set of enormously important economic policy questions that needs to be addressed during the course of the presidential debate - otherwise, decisions may be made on behalf of the American people but without their informed consent.
For better or worse, lots of you are addicted to polls in these final weeks before the election. Not just the bumpy daily presidential tracking numbers, but all the house and senate and state presidential numbers around the country. The TPM Daily[...]
Read The Full Article: