McCain’s Campaign is Hardly “something greater”

Obama isn’t one of us

John McCain’s latest attempt to link Barack Obama to extremism – Rashid Khalidi

WITH THE presidential campaign clock ticking down, Sen. John McCain has suddenly discovered a new boogeyman to link to Sen. Barack Obama: a sometimes controversial but widely respected Middle East scholar named Rashid Khalidi. In the past couple of days, Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have likened Mr. Khalidi, the director of a Middle East institute at Columbia University, to neo-Nazis; called him “a PLO spokesman”; and suggested that the Los Angeles Times is hiding something sinister by refusing to release a videotape of a 2003 dinner in honor of Mr. Khalidi at which Mr. Obama spoke. Mr. McCain even threw former Weatherman Bill Ayers into the mix, suggesting that the tape might reveal that Mr. Ayers — a terrorist-turned-professor who also has been an Obama acquaintance — was at the dinner.

For the record, Mr. Khalidi is an American born in New York who graduated from Yale a couple of years after George W. Bush. For much of his long academic career, he taught at the University of Chicago, where he and his wife became friends with Barack and Michelle Obama. In the early 1990s, he worked as an adviser to the Palestinian delegation at peace talks in Madrid and Washington sponsored by the first Bush administration. We don’t agree with a lot of what Mr. Khalidi has had to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over the years, and Mr. Obama has made clear that he doesn’t, either. But to compare the professor to neo-Nazis — or even to Mr. Ayers — is a vile smear.

Perhaps unsurprising for a member of academia, Mr. Khalidi holds complex views. In an article published this year in the Nation magazine, he scathingly denounced Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and U.S. Middle East policy but also condemned Palestinians for failing to embrace a nonviolent strategy. He said that the two-state solution favored by the Bush administration (and Mr. Obama) was “deeply flawed” but conceded there were also “flaws in the alternatives.” Listening to Mr. Khalidi can be challenging — as Mr. Obama put it in the dinner toast recorded on the 2003 tape and reported by the Times in a detailed account of the event last April, he “offers constant reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.”

It’s fair to question why Mr. Obama felt as comfortable as he apparently did during his Chicago days in the company of men whose views diverge sharply from what the presidential candidate espouses. Our sense is that Mr. Obama is a man of considerable intellectual curiosity who can hear out a smart, if militant, advocate for the Palestinians without compromising his own position.

All partisans have a tendency to underplay their candidates flaws, but since it is a well known fact that McBush financed Rashid Khalidi’s Middle-East studies, McCain supporters and McCain himself are disparately hoping for the purest of partisan blindness. For Obama, Khalidi was a fellow academic with a point of view. Since when has listening to various opinions been evidence of unqualified endorsement of those opinions. I read Conservative opinion pieces that covers the spectrum of the Right’s takes on polices and issues, that doesn’t make me a Conservative. McCain has claimed that Khalidi represented the PLO. That is an absolute falsehood and McCain knows it, Khalidi was in a delegation sent by the Bush Sr administration to peace talks in Madrid. No wonder McCain is struggling in his home state, Arizonans ae getting a good long look at the real McCain – a shameless modern McCarthyite.

Local GOP Chairman distributes racist e-mail

The head of the Hillsborough GOP, David Storck, distributed an email from a Republican Party volunteer saying the voters are a threat.

That’s because, as the volunteer says in the email, he sees “car loads of black Obama supporters coming from the inner city to cast their votes for Obama.”

It goes on to say, “This is their chance to get a black president and they seem to care little the he is at minimum a socialist and probably Marxist in his core beliefs.” The Republican volunteer says that is because, “After all he is black- no experience or accomplishments but he is black.”

So the head of the Tampa NAACP chapter, a black Republican finds himself embarrassed and asking for Storck to resign. This another McCain campaign legacy, by casting Senator Obama as the radical other, they’ve set back any gains other, less reckless Republicans made in reaching out to the African American community.

WaPo-ABC Tracking: Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Half of likely voters in the poll said McCain would mainly lead the country in the same direction as Bush, a figure that has held at about that level for nearly the entire campaign; 47 percent said he would lead in a new direction. It’s an association that cuts straight to the vote: Barack Obama’s support reaches 90 percent among those who believe McCain would continue in Bush’s direction, and more than three-quarters of such voters see McCain as a risky choice.

McCain-Palin toast 2008

McBush is making zero progress in convincing moderate voters that he is not another Bush term. The Economist speels out part of the reason, The Moral of the Maverick Story

That, however, was Senator McCain; the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as “agents of intolerance” now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday. It has not all disappeared: his support for free trade has never wavered. Yet rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right.

One thing that The Economist does that is wearing thin is the idea that the canidate the public is seeing is not the good old McCain. This allows those moderate Conservatives that were hoping Mccain would rescue Conservatism from the neocons a some after the election rationalizing. If only the old maverick had run. If Mccain was a man of true convictions, he would not have given them up so completely for the presidency. What the public is seeing now is McCain letting his, for lack of a better word, demons out. he’s obviously not trying to win on the issues, he’s hoping like hell he can win by destroying Obama’s reputation. If he campaigns like a hothead, he’ll govern like one. Peggy Noonan who has a fainting spell anytime someone mentions her hero Ronald Reagan almost accidently points out how shallow and fake McCain is in all his maverick glory, The case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes

His self-confessed role model for many years was Robert Jordan in Ernest Hemingway’s novel of the Spanish Civil War, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Mr. McCain, in his last memoir: “He was and remains to my mind a hero for the twentieth century . . . an idealistic freedom fighter” who had “a beautiful fatalism” and who sacrificed “for something else, something greater.” Actually Jordan fought on the side of the communists and died pointlessly, but never mind.

Everyone likes Jordan, there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that McCain adopted him as a hero like a mindless fan-boy. McCain’s notions about Hemingway’s larger then life heroes served one purpose, to cast himself as a hero in that bigger then life mold. His political life has hardly been about “something greater” from dumping the starter wife to the Keating Five Scandal to his current campaign, his heroism has been more a figment of the way he imagined himself then what he has actually delivered.

”Imagine not taking advice from the geniuses at the McCain campaign”

I can’t believe I’m quoting Roger Simon, who generally has as much insight into politics as Palin has into foreign policy, Politico’s Roger Simon asks this question:

If Palin becomes the McCain campaign’s scapegoat, what does that say about McCain since he picked her? “John McCain’s campaign is looking for a scapegoat. It is looking for someone to blame if McCain loses on Tuesday. And it has decided on Sarah Palin. In recent days, a McCain ‘adviser’ told Dana Bash of CNN: ‘She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone.’”

”Imagine not taking advice from the geniuses at the McCain campaign. What could Palin be thinking? Also, a “top McCain adviser” told Mike Allen of Politico that Palin is ‘a whack job.’ Maybe she is. But who chose to put this ‘whack job’ on the ticket? Wasn’t it John McCain? And wasn’t it his first presidential-level decision?”

Since the RNC convention Mccain has spent his time doing two things. Throwing every outrageous accusation dreamed up by the wing-nuts at Senator Obama – cheapening his brand as a straight talker in the process – and defending his choice of Palin after he had made experience one of the centerpieces of his campaign. The Conservative base loves their smears, but unfortunately for McCain, smears are not solutions to problems. Here in the final stretch McCain is hammering the tax issue. Most Americans simply don’t have much sympathy for people making a quarter million dollars a year paying the same taxes they paid in the 90s. Ultimately Simon might be wrong. Just as Conservatives have reached into the Way Back Machine and visions of the Red Menace to scare voters away from Democrats, they’ll resort to that old reliable its the librul press that did in McCain and Palin. One can sight so called negative news stories about McCain’s negative campaign, but day in and day out for years the Right has owned the media. They’re on TV and radio shoving the Right’s agenda down America’s throat, not to mention newspaper and magazine columns. America got the message and rejected it. Republicans, a word that might have stood for something once veered way too far Right. That librul press makes a nice scapegoat, you know the same press that hounded the Clintons for eight years, but as usual the Right finds looking at themselves and being accountable just too painful.

Sometimes the Right just loves the librul press. Like when they run headlines like this Poll gives McCain lead in Fla. early voting. Which is all some Rightie blogs need to know, except the headline is a little deceptive, a poll has McCain ahead in early voting,

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.

But wait,

Only a tiny fraction of the Florida respondents reported voting early, leaving McCain’s lead subject to a wide margin of error. A Quinnipiac University poll, released Wednesday, showed early voters favoring Obama 58-34, another small sample with a potentially wide margin of error.

Wanna Know How You Can Tell That Your Candidate Is Doing Super Good in the Polls?

He starts robocalling in his own home state!

John McCain and the Republican National Committee are now running robocalls attacking Obama as weak on terrorism — in McCain’s home state of Arizona, according to multiple readers from the state.

Voters in his home state have reservations about four whole years of a McBush presidency. Republicans have traditionally been better at getting those early mail in votes, but McCain can’t close the deal with those voters that know him the best, so no cause to panic by these early voter polls.

McCain needs some help.  Jack Cafferty asks, Why isn’t President Bush campaigning for McCain? Because America caught up with that maverick baloney, McCain has been as big a Bush tag along as any other Senate Republican. Bush’s record is McCain’s record.

Conservative legacy

OBAMA’S BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENTS

Hawaii has two major newspapers, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Star Bulletin.

BOTH newspapers include birth announcements, and BOTH newspapers record the August 4th, 1961 birth of Barack Obama.

“Rednecks for Obama – workin’ for the man who’ll do more for the workin’ man.” Great photos.

Obamacons, Jackson M. Andrews, Former Counsel to the U.S. Senate, & 1986 Republican Senatorial Nominee for Kentucky

“Barack Obama is a thoughtful visionary leader who as President will end the decline of American law, liberty, and fiscal responsibility that are the hallmarks of the extremist policies of the current Administration, now adopted by John McCain.”

ABC has the video of John McCain promoting ‘socialism” in 2000,

STUDENT: Why is it that someone like my father who goes to school for 13 years gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he’s a doctor. Why is that – why does he have to pay higher taxes than everybody else? Just because he makes more money. How is that fair?

MCCAIN: I think you’re questioning, questioning the fundamentals of a progressive tax system where people who make more money pay more in taxes than a flat across the board percentage. I think it’s to some degree because we feel obviously that wealthy people can afford more. We have over the years beginning with John F. Kennedy reduced some of those marginal tax rates to make them less onerous. I believe that when you really look at the tax code the very wealthy because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes really don’t pay as much as you think they do, when you just kook at the percentages. And I think middle income Americans, working Americans, who when you count in payroll taxes, sales taxes, mortgage — all of the, all of the taxes that working Americans pay — I think you would also think that they also deserve very significant relief.

In 2000 McCain was to some degree running on the tax platform that Senators Obama and Biden are now. McCain 2008 is running on Bush’s tax platform, which has obviously turned out great.

Joked Stewart, “that of course was the late Socialist leader John McCain. I believe he passed away during the Republican primaries, he will be missed.”

McCain and Palin Preach the Gospel of Socialism

McCain and Palin’s The Grand Old Socialist Party

Like, Socialism

During the 2000 campaign, on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” a young woman asked him why her father, a doctor, should be “penalized” by being “in a huge tax bracket.” McCain replied that “wealthy people can afford more” and that “the very wealthy, because they can afford tax lawyers and all kinds of loopholes, really don’t pay nearly as much as you think they do.” The exchange continued:

YOUNG WOMAN: Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism and stuff?. . .
MCCAIN: Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.

[   ]…For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. ….A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist. ?

When Senator Obama said “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” he was clearly talking about America’s traditional progressive taxation. That shrill noise that has been pouring forth from McCain-Palin and their surrogates is the deeply dishonest and dishonorable assertion that somehow Obama’s view of who should share the largest share of the tax burden is a Marxist dream come true. Our tax system in a small way is supposed to compensate the people that work the hardest from the inequalities that are part and parcel of our market based economy. If Obama is a socialist, he is less so then McCain or Palin, judging by their past statements. Let’s suppose that McCain has not flip-flopped from his tax position in 2000 then is it now his honest intent to have a regressive tax structure where the middle and lower middle income earners bear the largest share of the tax burden. We have already had a shift like that with Bush’s tax policies; Bush with the complicity of a Republican Congress is leaving the economy in a shambles. It was trickle down economics. Difficult for the blinder wearing McCain supporters to believe looking around, but the trickle didn’t make it down for many Americans who’s productivity has gone up, but their wages have stagnated. Does that really sound like the way America’s economy should work- reward those that work the least and neglect those that provide the labor that makes McCain’s wealth possible. In their TV ads and their campaign stops McCain-Palin aren’t hinting at the specter of the “red menace” they are out right accusing Senators Obama and Biden of being socialists. As recently as three days ago McCain explicitly expressed an approval of progressive taxation or Obama’s view of taxation,

Few serious policy makers — including McCain — consider progressive taxation socialist. In fact, on the Oct. 26, 2008 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press, McCain stood by a comment he made in 2000 that “there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more” in taxes when you “reach a certain level of comfort.”

“You put into different, different categories of wealthier people paying, paying higher taxes into different brackets,” McCain told host Tom Brokaw, as if to say progressive taxes are a no-brainer.

Indeed, progressive taxation has been a cornerstone of American tax policy since the federal government first collected an income tax in 1863. It was based on the Tax Act of 1862, which President Abraham Lincoln signed, and which imposed a “duty of three per centum” on all income over $600, and five percent on income over $10,000.

A month ago McCain and the Right took up the voter fraud-ACORN-Obama meme, which seems to have quieted down, at least from the McCain camp since someone dug up McCain’s speech praising ACORN – McCain To ACORN: You Are ‘What Makes America Special’. A little embarrassing for McBush and the usual posse of right-wing pundits, but they’re off on the next guilt by association

As Politico’s Ben Smith reported on Tuesday, the McCain campaign is demanding that the Los Angeles Times release video in its possession of a party attended by Barack Obama and Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi.

“A major news organization is intentionally suppressing information that could provide a clearer link between Barack Obama and Rashid Khalidi,” said McCain spokesman Michael Goldfarb, citing Obama’s friendship with Khalidi, who is now a professor at Columbia University.

[   ]…A 1998 tax filing for the McCain-led group shows a $448,873 grant to Khalidi’s Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank. (See grant number 5180, “West Bank: CPRS” on page 14 of this PDF.)

The relationship extends back as far as 1993, when John McCain joined IRI as chairman in January. Foreign Affairs noted in September of that year that IRI had helped fund several extensive studies in Palestine run by Khalidi’s group, including over 30 public opinion polls and a study of “sociopolitical attitudes.”

As Seth Walls says there is nothing inherently wrong in McCain financing these studies by Khalidi’s group, but if Obama is guilty by association, then McCain needs to explain his financing of someone the Right claims is a radical.

If McCain supporters like Redstate are going to use the wealth redistributed creation called the internet the least they could do is not embarrass themselves. Their current headline The Seven Reasons McCain-Palin Are a Lock to Win. “Lock”? That’s the kool-aid talking, Today’s Polls, 10/28

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Although the national trackers look slightly stronger for John McCain than they did a couple days ago, Barack Obama once again had an exceptionally good day in the state-level numbers.

RealClearPolitics average of 10 national polls has Obama at 50.1 and Johnny at 44.1

River Valley Autumn wallpaper

McCain and the Right Reject Obama’s Traditional Ideals

Your brain on conservatism part 2

McCain supporters or Obama haters have taken two words out of a long interview, “redistributive change” and turned it into the Giant Blob from Outer Space that Ate America. Assrocket at the Conservative Powerline among other rightie sites haven’t bothered to read the interview that Obama did with Chicago’s WBEZ that was mostly centered on the Civil Rights movement or is being willfully ignorant – thus also deceiving his readerds, Barack Obama, Redistributor, October 27, 2008 Posted by John at 6:03 PM,

McCain does it pretty well, although I don’t think he fully captures the chilling, matter-of-fact radicalism of the Obama interview. It will be interesting to see how much impact this theme–which started with Joe the Plumber, of course–will have.

Not too many years ago, a Presidential candidate who explicitly advocated taking your money and giving it to someone else, on the theory that you have too much and it would be nice if he had more, would have been a dead duck.

If we were discussing issues with marginally normal, marginally rational people we could just point out the facts. Assrocket and McCain are not the least concerned with the facts – having some regard for reality would require some level of integrity – a quality that is so rare on today’s Right, philosophers and scientists may have to invent a device that can detect such tiny traces. Obama Controversy # 137

CALLER: “The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn’t terribly radical – my question is – with economic changes – my question is, is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place?”

HOST: “You mean the court?”

CALLER: “The court, or would it be legislation at this point?”

OBAMA: “You know, maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor. But I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.

You know, you just look at very rare examples where, in during the desegregation era the court was willing to, for example, order, you know, changes that cost money to a local school district – and, the court was very uncomfortable with it, it was very hard to manage, it was hard to figure out, you start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, you know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.”

OBAMA: “You know, the court’s just not very good at it, and politically, it’s just its very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So I mean I think that, although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, you know, I think any three of us sitting here could, could come up with a rationale for bringing economic change through the courts.”

First, Obama was talking more as a professor of Constitutional law then as a politician. Anyone that has done some reading on the history of the Civil rights movement, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the National Voting Rights Act and so forth would know that the courts were at the very least a cumbersome way of pushing civil rights, just as Obama states. Economics only entered into the equation as what could be termed a civil rights glass ceiling. The courts said you had the right to vote – unfettered access to a polling stations remains an issue, and had the right to an education, but a hundred years of economic stagnation imposed on African Americans limited their potential to become part of mainstream society. The Right has said, mostly as reactionary slogan rather then genuine principle, that the rights liberals found through the courts were an infringement on the legislative branch. They have also just as adamantly screamed that every America should be part of/fit into the mainstream. Obama comes at the answer from another direction, but his philosophical point of view, that it is better to get a consensus of Americans behind legislative solutions, should be comforting to a genuine Republican. Yet, an idea on which liberals and Republicans should so obviously be able to have a civil dialogue is “radical” and “socialist”. Obama’s specially addressed reparations through the courts and didn’t think that was a good idea. Right-wing pundits go berserk at the mere mention of reparations are now pretending that part of the conversation didn’t take place. Obama sounds like James Madison, while the Right sounds like they’re willfully ignorant of American history:

“The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virtue to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust.” Federalist No. 57

Its Founding Father’s Liberalism 101, to pursue the common good – education and economic opportunities for everyone. The Right thinks that to pursue such virtues is oppressive – they’re like bank robbers who think the police are infringing on their right to steal. McCain, Assrocket and Drudge aren’t just lying they’re trying to turn language upside down and inside out. Public discourse becomes right-wing code and they and only they know the meaning on any given day. Today’s Right clearly constitutes what Madison called a faction,

“By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Federalist No. 10

Imagine if Obama had made a speech in which he said equal education was for the best “aggregate interests of the community” – the Right would still be screaming socialist. The choices here aren’t good. The Right is either lying, doesn’t know what they’re talking about, or are maliciously twisting every little phrase that Obama ever uttered to demonize him. OK, there is a forth option, a combination of all three.

Its ironic that so many Conservatives have taken to the net to rile against the so-called redistirbution of taxes since the net was developed using redistributed taxes. A person of character, who believed such nonsense would refuse to use a technology produced by “socialism”.

Great moments in right-wing punditry

I rarely say this, but a must read by Jon Swift, Great Moments in Election-Year Blogging

No matter what happens in this year’s election, the conservative blogosphere deserves to win a collective Pulitzer Prize for its election-year coverage. While the mainstream media has given Americans a very distorted picture of Barack Obama, portraying him as a thoughtful, intelligent, unflappable, decent family man who has the temperament and judgment to be President, the conservative blogosphere has been the only place where you can get the real story. Hampered by quaint, old-fashioned rules of journalism that require citing evidence and reputable sources, the mainstream media has failed to report a number of important stories about Obama and the conservative blogosphere has had to step up and do the media’s job for them. As a public service I have collected some of the most important of these stories in one place. Pulitzer Prize judges, take note!

Some of the stories below are shocking and even hard to believe, but they weren’t published on crazy, fringe websites. They appeared on some of the most distinguished and well-respected sites on the Internet.

If you appreciate well crafted satire click over for the complete post.

McCain adviser Palin is ‘a whack job.

The infighting within the McCain campaign has become increasingly public, with growing frustrating directed at Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). Last week, CNN reported that one McCain source called Palin “a diva” who “takes no advice from anyone.” Politico’s Mike Allen reports another McCain adviser’s criticism of Palin:

***In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”

I guess the honeymoon is over.

McCain’s Economic Plan, a Lesson in Waffling

McCain’s economic plan

John McCain turns attacks against new target – President Bush

John McCain Thursday looked to beat Barack Obama by stealing the Democrat’s top argument – that George W. Bush has been a lousy President.

“We just let things get completely out of hand,” McCain said in issuing blanket condemnations of Bush’s policies – foreign and domestic – and the Republican Congress in which he served.

On the stump and in interviews, McCain took Bush-bashing to a new level by charging that an Obama presidency would be a replay of the last eight years of Republican rule.

At a Florida rally, McCain seized on a new jobless report to claim that “Obama’s only answer is to double-down on the Bush administration’s legacy of out-of-control spending.”

So what is McCain saying, that Bush pals around with terrorists, is a secret Muslim and a socialist who wasn’t eligible to be president because he was born in Kenya, then smuggled into the country with a fake birth certificate. Bush’s “out of control spending”, that would be the same budget priorities that McCain voted for the vast majority of the time. Mccain even sighted the Congressional Quarterly Report that showed he was one of Bush’s most ardent supporters,

McCain said in a May 22, 2003 interview on Fox’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.” “There was a recent study that showed that I voted with the president over 90 percent of the time, higher than a lot of my even Republican colleagues.”

Johnny Mac is running the Spaghetti Campaign, he just keeps throwing stuff at the public hoping something sticks. McCain, the guy that doesn’t know how many houses he owns, or cars or how much gas costs and has never held a private sector job except for a short stint working for his father-in-law isn’t above giving himself a huge tax break – which one assumes is for all the back breaking work he does. The Center for American Progress took at look at McCain’s tax plan and it looks suspiciously like Bush’s,

MCCAIN WOULD DOUBLE DOWN: McCain claims that “in this country, we believe in spreading opportunity.” But his Bush-like economic policies would only further America’s income inequality. In fact, by extending Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy and proposing $175 billion in tax breaks to America’s largest corporations, McCain’s regressive economic agenda would redistribute wealth to the richest Americans during a period of stagnating wages and growing economic anxiety. The bottom 60 percent of taxpayers would see only 12 percent of the benefit from McCain’s plan to extend Bush’s tax cuts, while over 100 million middle class households would receive nothing from McCain’s proposal.

McCain has promised to balance the budget by slashing federal spending on veterans benefits, defense, social security, health-care, science research and NASA among other things. No doubt there is some waste to be found after nearly eight years of Bush and Republican cronyism, pork and misguided priorities, but not trillions of dollars worth. Maybe that is why McCain has also insisted that he will not cut defense, veterans care, health-care, and science funding. It was a centerpiece of the Bush/Rove governing style to treat the public as though they had a memory of events that lasted about two weeks. McCain’s propaganda hangs on the hope it will last about 24 hours, about the same amount of time it takes him to find a new audience and and take a new position.

If Obama was a Marxist, which is laughable – its as though the Right has gone up in the attic and pulled down their partisan attacks from the sixties – Libertarians and true fiscal Conservative would be running as far a away from Obama as they could, The Economist on Libertarians and Conservatives for Obama

The biggest brigade in the Obamacon army consists of libertarians, furious with Mr Bush’s big-government conservatism, worried about his commitment to an open-ended “war on terror”, and disgusted by his cavalier way with civil rights. There are two competing “libertarians for Obama” web sites. CaféPress is even offering a “libertarian for Obama” lawn sign for $19.95. Larry Hunter, who helped to devise Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1994, thinks that Mr Obama can free America from the grip of the “zombies” who now run the Republican Party.

But the army has many other brigades, too: repentant neocons such as Francis Fukuyama, legal scholars such as Douglas Kmiec, and conservative talk-show hosts such as Michael Smerconish. And it is picking up unexpected new recruits as the campaign approaches its denouement. Many disillusioned Republicans hoped that Mr McCain would provide a compass for a party that has lost its way, but now feel that the compass has gone haywire. Kenneth Adelman, who once described the invasion of Iraq as a “cakewalk”, decided this week to vote for Mr Obama mainly because he regards Sarah Palin as “not close to being acceptable in high office”.

The rise of the Obamacons is more than a reaction against Mr Bush’s remodelling of the Republican Party and Mr McCain’s desperation: there were plenty of disillusioned Republicans in 2004 who did not warm to John Kerry. It is also a positive verdict on Mr Obama. For many conservatives, Mr Obama embodies qualities that their party has abandoned: pragmatism, competence and respect for the head rather than the heart. Mr Obama’s calm and collected response to the turmoil on Wall Street contrasted sharply with Mr McCain’s grandstanding.

Much of Mr Obama’s rhetoric is strikingly conservative, even Reaganesque. He preaches the virtues of personal responsibility and family values, and practices them too. He talks in uplifting terms about the promise of American life. His story also appeals to conservatives: it holds the possibility of freeing America from its racial demons, proving that the country is a race-blind meritocracy and, in the process, bankrupting a race-grievance industry that has produced the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

As of today add another Obamacon, Former GOP senator, vet backs Obama

Former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), who was the first Vietnam veteran to serve in the United States Senate, is the latest Republican to back Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, Politico learned Sunday.

Pressler, who said that in addition to casting an absentee ballot for Obama he’d donated $500 to the Illinois senator’s campaign, cited the Democrat’s response to the financial crisis as the primary reason for his decision.

I just got the feeling that Obama will be able to handle this financial crisis better, and I like his financial team of [former Treasury Secretary Robert] Rubin and [former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul] Volcker better,” he said. By contrast, John McCain’s “handling of the financial crisis made me feel nervous.”

The former senator added that he hoped the next president would help place restraints on executive pay, and said: “I don’t think [McCain] will take action in that area, or he’s as likely to.”

Will the Right step up and start smearing yet another vet who has decided to put country ahead of rabid partisan nationalism.

McCain is not going to even come close to winning in California. Never let a six year old play with matches or a Republican play with statistics.

Remember McCain advisor Nancy Pfotenhauer, “I certainly agree that Northern Virginia has gone more Democratic…But the rest of the state–real Virginia if you will–I think will be very responsive to Senator McCain’s message.”

On Wednesday, Milbank, to his “surprise,” found an estimated 12,000 people lined up to participate in a rally at the Richmond Coliseum for Senator Obama, “the leader of anti-America America.”

I’ve visited Richmond many times and its much more moderate then Pfotenhauer wishes it were.

McCain-Palin’s Conservative Wisdom

Palin:’I Don’t Know’ If Abortion Clinic Bombers Are Terrorists. That moral relaitivity brought to you courtesy the Conservative mind. Every terrorist since forever thinks their terrorism is justified – see McCain’s buddy G. Gordon Liddy. Palin’s Trajectory to National Prominence Powered by her Anti-Environmentalis

*  Palin explained that environmentalists had invoked the Clean Water Act to oppose a plan by a mining company, Coeur Alaska, to dump waste from the extraction of gold into a pristine lake in the Tongass National Forest. Palin rejected the environmentalists’ claims.

* She opposed a requirement that schools give parents 48 hours notice before a school was to be sprayed with pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

* Palin allowed oil companies to move forward with a toxic-dumping plan in Alaska’s Cook Inlet, making it the only coastal fishery in the nation where toxic dumping is permitted — putting America’s food supply at risk. Running for governor, she was opposed to the proposed Pebble Mine, but once elected she helped the mining industry defeat a citizen initiative that would have controlled toxic run-off from the mine. And Palin refused to help local communities get the U.S. military to clean up the toxic waste mess it left behind at Alaska bases.

Palin probably thinks she’s caring person and a patriot. She would not be the first Republican to have self perceptions that are completely at odds with the stands they take on issues. As students of history know Stalin and his successors in the old Soviet Union didn’t care too much about the environment and toxic waste.

Western observers have echoed these sweeping denouncements of the Soviet government’s environmental management (3). For example, US News and World Report reported that “decades of recklessness and stupidity have left dozens of environmental horror stories” (10 Feb. 1992, pp. 46–47). In Ecocide in the USSR, Feshbach and Friendly write that “When historians finally conduct an autopsy of the Soviet Union and Soviet Communism, they may reach the verdict of death by ecocide…. No other great industrial civilization so systematically and so long poisoned its land, air, water, and people” (4).

Curious how Pail and others keep tossing around the word socialism in their infantile smears, yet time and again we find that Republicans have far more in common with extreme authriitatrians on the Left and Right then American liberals. Year after year the drive for deregulation has done for America’s health and safety what financial deregualtion has done for Main Street America.

Conservative Wisdom

Either McCain Is Lying Or He Doesn’t Know What Socialism Is

Start with the very idea of taxation. All taxation is redistribution of wealth. The government takes our money, then uses it as it sees fit for the betterment of our lives. The decision was made long ago that the free market could not adequately provide everything we need: defense, police, firefighters, bridges, roads, etc., So the government takes money from individuals and spreads it around society. McCain is proposing a tax break for rich people and a tax refund as part of his health insurance plan. Palin pushed for a windfall tax on oil companies that she then redistributed to the people of Alaska. So, while they attack Obama for proposing a tax cut for the middle class, they are both for redistribution of wealth.

Anyone notice that tiny little bailout that President Bush spearheaded a few weeks ago? The one where the government committed $700 billion to buy up chunks of American companies? The one that both McCain and Obama supported? Yeah, some socialism in that one.

It would be great if we could get away from those old and relatively useless ideas and terms about Left and Right. The rescue wasn’t really socialism in the sense of permanent entrenhed ownership of business/production. This, like some of the actions taken during the Great Depression are stop gap measures to get us through a rough time. Republicans from Wall Street to mom amd pop Republicans down the block support these measures as distasteful as many of us might find them. Its a huge lie for Palina and Mccain to go around pretending that many of the policies they have supported and are promoting do not have some element of what they are, out of one side of their two faces, calling socialism. Some bloggers have already brought up the McCarthyism meme. Much like every other smear that Republicans are throwing at Obama and Democrats in general is composed of equal parts hypocrisy and lies.

I feel sorry for the girl involved. She seems to have some personal issues that I hope she is able to work out, but McCain’s involvement and promotion of the story is another matter, McCain Communications Director Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of “Carved B” Story Before Facts Were Known

John McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established — and even told reporters outright that the “B” carved into the victim’s cheek stood for “Barack,” according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, “You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the “B” stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

There might be some folks that hate Sarah Palin, I don’t. Its just that day after day we learn another reason that maybe she should go back to running a snowmoblie business, Republicans vs. Science by tristero

The subject is government funding of scientific research:

(Palin speech)Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not.

If you know anything at all about science in the 21st century, then you know that the study of fruit flies (aka Drosophilia melanogaster) has led to some of the most important discoveries in biology, genetics, and related topics. Why is that?

Embryogenesis in Drosophila has been extensively studied, as its small size, short generation time, and large brood size makes it ideal for genetic studies.

The fruit fly’s utility in genetic research, in and of itself, is enough to justify its study. Basic science, like the arts, is a worthy end that deserves federal support.

We’re still using good old easy to extract E. coli DNA for basic science research. This is the human brain on Conservatism. Don’t think, just blather. Palin, or rather the McCain campaign staff thought this speech would go over well with “real” America. Cut the runaway spending on fundamental science research, that’s the McBush ticket to the erasing the national debt. Hard to believe there is part of America that is anti-research into Parkinson’s disease and pro suffering.

Those wacky Republicans Hugh Hewitt and Stanley Kurtz are looking for a third Stooge, then they’ll take their Convoluted Conservative Conspiracy band on a road tour, The Truth About Barack Obama and the New Party

Right-wing hatchet man and conspiracy theorist, Stanley Kurtz is pushing a new crackpot smear against Barack falsely claiming he was a member of something called the New Party.

But the truth is Barack has been a member of only one political party, the Democratic Party. In all six primary campaigns of his career, Barack has has run as a Democrat. The New Party did support Barack once in 1996, but he was the only candidate on the ballot in his race and never solicited the endorsement.

Let’s use the right-wing standards of guilt for McCain. McCain must be affiliated with Al-Qaida since they just gave him their endorsement.

Today’s Final Match – Republicans versus Republicans

Remember the words of that wise insightful politician, with tons of executive experience as claimed in the last two Mccain commercials I saw, Sarah Palin,

PALIN: You have to have some diplomatic strategy going into a meeting with someone like Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong-il, one of these dictators that would seek to destroy America or her allies. It is so naive and so dangerous for a presidential candidate to just proclaim that they would be willing to sit down with a– a leader like Ahmadinejad and just talk about the problems, the issues that are facing them. So that — that’s — that’s some ill-preparedness right there.

Bush plans to establish U.S. diplomatic post in Iran

The Bush administration will announce in mid-November, after the presidential election, that it intends to establish the first U.S. diplomatic presence in Iran since the 1979-81 hostage crisis, according to senior Bush administration officials.

The proposal for an “interests section,” which falls short of a full U.S. Embassy, has been conveyed in private diplomatic messages to Tehran, and a search is under way to choose the American diplomat who’d head the post, the officials said.

So far George W. Bush has, by his actions supported Obama’s position on Iran, as has General Petraeus. Or put another way, Bush and Petraeus do not support Palin-McCain’s positions on Iran or Afghanistan.

Sarah embarrassed yet again

Part of Palin’s problem is she thinks she can BS her way through issues as deep and wide as American foreign policy. The McCain team has had a month to coach her. Wouldn’t some basic boilerplate policy positions on Iran be at the top of the To Learn List. I wonder if she knows what NATO is? Turkey, Iran may sign energy investment deal in November

Turkey is opposed to an Iranian plan to build a new pipeline to transport natural gas to Europe and urged for the planned Nabucco project pipeline to be used instead, Reuters reported.

In a separate report, ntvmsnbc.com said Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler will visit Iran next month and sign the deal after both parties agreed on the investment model and plan of three natural gas fields in the country’s South Pars region.

Maybe this is a good development or maybe not. The fact is that Turkey is an American ally and member of NATO. Turkey must feel that they are not compromising their security by coming to this economic/energy arrangement with “dangerous” people.

So far we have two media sources that have bothered to even mention McCain’s ties to domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy, David Letterman and now Keith Olbermann.

Former Mass. Gov. William Weld to endorse Obama. Weld, who many consider a moderate Republican brings up E. J. Dionne’s piece in today’s WaPo about the divide that Republicans like Weld and Colin Powell find themselves in. The so-called intellectual old school William F. Buckley Republicans versus the hard Right culture war Republicans like Palin, Civil War on the Right

Then there are those conservatives who see Palin as a “fatal cancer to the Republican Party” (David Brooks), as someone who “doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin” (Kathleen Parker), as “a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics” (Peggy Noonan).

These conservatives deserve credit for acknowledging how ill-suited Palin is for high office. But what we see here is a deep split between parts of the conservative elite and much of the rank and file.

For years, many of the elite conservatives were happy to harvest the votes of devout Christians and gun owners by waging a phony class war against “liberal elitists” and “leftist intellectuals.” Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.

If the hard Right is suddenly astonished that people like Bush and Cheney or John and Cindy McCain for that matter really have no interest in NASCAR or sitting down and having a beer with them, its their own fault. Whether it was the blinders or the thick rose colored glasses they did, and many still do want to see these elite prep school Ivy League college grads as one of them, as the “real” America. Can they really imagine Dick Cheney at a tractor pull or John McCain hip deep in snow trying to bag a moose. Bush has given plenty of lip service to cultural conservatives and did give then Roberts and Alito, but his priorities and loyalties have always been to his true brethren the Wall Street Republicans, that like him went to the schools dad went to. McCain’s dad was an Admiral, not a Master Chief with an arm full of hashes. He went to the Naval Academy, not Bob’s Community College. Republicans got in the act of deciding how to remake their party and reconcile their opposing identities is going to take up a lot of ink in the next few years, especially if McCain loses – as of today things are not looking good, Today’s Polls, 10/23: McCain on Life Support

Winter Scene wallpaper