Saturday, November 01, 2008

McCain NM Robocalls Claim Obama Will Sack Medicare & Social Security, Raise My Taxes and More

Grump I just got a robocall from the McCain-Palin campaign claiming that Obama's "spread the wealth" policies will jeopardize Social Security and Medicare. It claimed Obama would take money out of those programs and give it to people who don't pay taxes. Funny, it's always been McCain et al. who've been dying to cut Medicare, and we all know about the GOP's frenzy to privatize Social Security. Desperate, desperate, desperate. Liars, liars, liars. Imagine wasting robocall funds to contact someone like me -- a lifelong Democrat -- with something so transparently dishonest as this myth. 

Update 1: Within minutes I got another robocall from the McCain-Palin campaign, this time claiming that Obama will raise my taxes. Funny, I don't make more than $250,000 a year so I wonder why they're contacting me. Oh wait, they're just spreading more manure like the manure they've been spreading for almost their entire campaign. That McCain -- what an honorable guy.

Update 2: Believe it or not, I just received my third McCain-Palin campaign robocall within 5 minutes. This one was a woman's voice warning ominously that Obama is supported by "radical abortion organizations" like Planned Parenthood and that he has no values. Just the fact that I got these three nasty robocalls within minutes of one another tells me all I need to know about the "values" of McCain and Palin. Country First my ass.

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November 1, 2008 at 04:40 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Heather Wilson Pushing Limbaugh Talking Points

Wilson2You knew it would come to this. We have soon to be ex-NM-01 Congresswoman Heather Wilson hawking Rush Limbaugh talking points about Obama on a phone call with the "local press" (such that it is). Surprise, the Albuquerque Journal gave the Limbaugh-Wilson talking points front-page coverage today.

The big story? Gov. Bill Richardson, while on the road in Virginia, did a phone interview with Steffan Tubbs and April Zesbaugh on Denver's KOA "Colorado Morning News" in which he muffed a statistic late in the interview. The host led off the interview this way:

"... People in our listening audience certainly equate Barack Obama to a socialist, basically. Your reaction to that?"

Richardson called the socialist charge unfounded and repeated the Obama campaign's promise that, for "anybody under $250,000, there is no tax increase."

Clearly, Richardson originally stated that no family earning under $250,000 would pay increased taxes under Obama's economic plan. (The Obama plan also states families earning under $200,000 would get a tax cut.) That's factual. Later in the interview, Richardson obviously misspoke and used a cut-off figure of $120,000. Whoo. You'd think the sky was falling. Or the Russkis were coming. Karl Marx is in the house!

RushcigarRadio comedian Rush Limbaugh, who has been in quite a tizzy anyway these days with the right-wing's ship sinking like a stone, jumped on the error likety-split. He took the tacky tack, like the clown he is, that Richardson's mistake proves that Obama (that socialist!) plans to raise taxes on all Americans in a stealthy plot to enrich the poor. Or something. And of course Limbaugh and his followers are using a clip that contains only the flub, omitting what Richardson said earlier in the interview. You know how they are. Click to listen to the entire interview.

Heather Hearts Rush
Okay, we expect a noted liar and GOP tool like Limbaugh to push a silly story like this to try and hold onto his bottom-feeding listeners and keep the GOP "base" incensed enough to vote. But Heather Wilson likes to portray herself as a dignified, brainy analyst of all things political, so her descent into Limbaugh territory represents a real tumble into wingnut territory. Obviously, she craves a post within a McCain-Palin administration so badly that she's willing to become another voice in the say anything to win crowd. I guess she's not as "moderate" as she always claimed at election time.

Here's some of what Heather said:

During a conference call with New Mexico reporters, Wilson charged that the Obama camp is "preparing America" for a tax boost.

"I think Gov. Richardson spoke the truth this morning," said Wilson, who was campaigning in New Hampshire for McCain. "(Richardson) is aspiring to be a Cabinet member under an Obama administration. Someone at that level can't afford to make a stupid mistake like that. He's telling the truth. ... Wilson said she was "amazed" by Richardson's on-air comment. "The reality is, they want our money," she charged. "Not just rich people's money. Not just Joe the Plumber's money."

No, Heather. Richardson made a mistake and cleared it up quickly, which you well know. You're the one who's lying, just like you lied when you stole your husband's case file at the NM Department of Children, Youth and Families when you became its Secretary, and wouldn't admit what you did until you were cornered. And spare me the "Joe the Plumber" BS too. We all know by now that Joe isn't named Joe and that he's an unlicensed ham who owes back taxes and is using his 15 minutes of fame to try and get a leg up as a country music singer -- and threaten to run for office.

Obama Campaign Reveals Truth
The Obama campaign responded:

“Gov. Richardson admitted that he simply misspoke, and yet Sen. McCain continues this dishonest, desperate political attack to distract voters from the fact that his low-road campaign is being rejected by voters across the country,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said, responding to comments Sen. McCain also made today referring to Richardson’s remark. “The truth is that Sen. Obama wants to give tax breaks to 95 percent of workers and their families, while Sen. McCain’s plan provides no tax relief for more than 100 million Americans.”

End of story. Unless you're one of the "journalists" dedicated to flogging false stories generated by Rush Limbaugh and his clones. And this time, Heather Wilson is one of the clones. Understand, she's hard up for a job. She must think she's got nothing left to lose. I wonder what she'll do when Obama-Biden are inaugurated.

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November 1, 2008 at 03:12 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain, Media, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The State of the Election (and Me)

You may have noticed that I've been concentrating on posting info on candidate- and election-related events. You may also have noticed that I'm still not keeping up with the explosion of events that are happening all over New Mexico as we count down the six days left before the November 4th election. Democrats are swarming to early voting events, polling places, canvasses and phone banks. Our candidates are all making the final push for money and volunteers. Get out the vote is the imperative. GOTV is IT.

Protest

Meanwhile, the Republicans are concentrating almost entirely on slinging mud, trying to create doubts about our candidates and attempting to suppress voting in any way they can, no holds barred. Truth, ethics, fairness, facts? Not much of that on the R side of political spectrum as a tsunami of change builds and threatens to swamp Republicans up and down the ticket in almost every state -- even the red ones like Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, Virginia and more.

The Morally Bankrupt GOP
Maverick1The GOP and its candidates are running scared, rudderless and desperate -- and their last-ditch efforts are taking on the gothic tones of a horror movie, the anti-logic fog of a dadaist work of art (without the irony). Without any appealing policies and few positive, attractive candidates, the Repubs have given up on winning on the issues and plunged into the realm of outrageous smears, illegal tactics, baseless innuendo and outright lies.

The Rove-Limbaugh-wingnut buzzwords are parroted everywhere among their ranks, calling our candidates socialists, Communists, fascists, redistributors in chief, elites, eco-terrorists, extremists, pals of domestic terrorists, scary, outsiders and worse.

Barracuda1The "voter fraud" hounds are on the loose again, digging up fake "evidence," intimidating voters at their homes, using Drudge and Fox to flog their false claims and insulting community activists like ACORN.

They've been busy in battleground states trying to "purge" legitimate voters from the rolls in the tens of thousands and hold up the registrations of tens of thousands of new voters. They've been orchestrating vile robocalls, airing crazy ads, distributing phony election information and sending out viciously dishonest direct mail pieces.

The Good News? IT'S NOT WORKING
This time, it's not working. At last, it's not working. And candidates, activists, organizations, the Party and voters are fighting back. Lawsuits are being filed against the perpetrators, like "voter fraud" pusher Pat Rogers, his hired-hand private investigator and the New Mexico GOP. We're challenging the massive purge projects, and winning in the upper courts. Our candidates are refusing to take the bait, and are staying cool, loose and rational -- continually turning the focus back to the issues, where we're winning on almost every single one with Americans.

Party

The Dems are on the right track. Electing more Repubs would keep us on the wrong track. These are the memes that are predominating among the voting public. Turning the page. Making a new start. Daring to try something new and different. Basing votes on the issues, not the scare tactics. Hoping. Uniting. Working hard to make it real. Winning.

Enough Is Enough
I know I'm not alone when I say I've had enough of the hate mongering, the veiled racism, the vapid insults, the accusations that we're not REAL Americans or patriotic, the nasty lies and the desperate, unethical measures being employed by the GOP and its minions. I find I can't even bring myself to write about it anymore, except generically. To probe and report every instance of the GOP's wrongdoing takes too much energy and brings too little return.

We all know what they're doing, and what they've been doing in every election in the past decade or more. They're just doing it with more vehemence and with even fewer ethical considerations this time around -- if that's possible. Because they know their neo-con, anti-regulation, screw the middle class concoction has been deconstructed, defrocked, thoroughly discredited and rejected. They know they're gonna lose, big time. And they just can't quite believe it. But as Honest Abe once said, you can't fool all of the people all of the time. Voters have wised up, mindful of the awful consequences of the Bush years that are crashing down on America, and the world.

10-18-08 Ellen Alamogordo rally

Onward to the Finish Line
So, anyway, I guess I'm gonna stick mostly with helping to publicize the events we can attend, the actions we can take, the info we need to help our GOTV be the best it's ever been. If you want the latest details on the latest outrages, the latest attack ads, the latest "voter fraud" garbage etc., it's easy to find elsewhere in this era of the internet. Thank goodness. As for me, I'll mostly keep plugging along with the tedious calendar items, the event announcements, the press releases and the recaps of gatherings for now.

Martinbaracksm

I've been blogging and we've all been meeting and working and pushing for grassroots activism and progressive Democratic gains since 2004 now -- and we're coming into the home stretch of what could really be our time, our mandate, our widespread victories. The only thing left to say is: vote early, volunteer, donate, don't let up, go to rallies, bring your friends, show up. They could still steal it. They could still pull something that works. We could still lose, so keep the pressure on.

Six days, six days, six days. We have to do whatever we can to elect Barack Obama, Tom Udall, Martin Heinrich, Ben Ray Lujan, Harry Teague, Jason Marks, Rick Lass, Victor Raigoza, Tim Eichenberg, Jeff Steinborn, Mimi Stewart, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Bill O'Neill, Steve Fischmann and more. (Who am I forgetting?) It's now or never.

PS: Talk about timing. I just received a nasty robocall from the RNC "on behalf of John McCain," warning me how Obama is "dangerously inexperienced" and droning on about his intent to sit down with terrorists and side with all the wrong people. Ha. If they're robocalling the likes of me -- a Democrat since day one -- they must REALLY be panicking.

PSS: I just learned that people in ARIZONA are getting the same robocall. My, my. McCain's home state.

October 29, 2008 at 03:54 PM in 2008 General Election Voting, 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, 2008 NM State Legislature Races, 2008 PRC Election, Democratic Party, John McCain, NM-01 Congressional Race 2008, NM-02 Congressional Race 2008, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008, Progressivism, Republican Party | Permalink | Comments (3)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Guest Blog: Fear and Lies? Hope and Organization? Your Choice!

We're pleased to have another guest blog by Land of Enchantment, who diaries regularly on Daily Kos where this piece first appeared:

We've all heard the whispered smears.

(Psst! Obama's an Arab. He's a secret Muslim. He's a terrorist.)

The stuff of anonymous emails and nutcases in some whipped-up crowd frenzy. Yup, we've all heard about them. But here in New Mexico, it's also getting handed out by Republicans, together with John McCain campaign flyers, right in front of the Republican Party office. Holy Cow!

Gopofficeke8

I knew they didn't have much principle. But there's at least some stuff one would think they'd leave to the anonymous emails, and not attach themselves to it. Wrong again!! But let me, too, give a little context as to what else was going on in the small mountain town of Taos this past weekend.

THE RALLY
Anyhow, I was driving through town this afternoon, on my way to a rally in Kit Carson Park. Rep. Tom Udall appeared, along with Democratic candidate for NM-03, Ben Ray Lujan. It was a fun time, and there was music and plenty of laughter, and hugs. Too bad my favorite picture of Rep. Tom Udall - soon to be Senator-elect Udall - cut the top of his head off. Oh well!!

Audall01ph3

And here's a group shot of staffers for Ben Ray Luján for Congress and Tom Udall for Senate. Saw a lot of them at the Taos Pueblo GOTV rally last Thursday night (watch for a diary called "Blue Lake Republicans" soon), and will see them again at a rally in the mountain village of Peñasco tomorrow. But they had to rush out this afternoon to get to Albuquerque for Obama's rally there this evening. Then back to the north again tomorrow. Luckily, we've been mostly snow-free so far this season, except for way up around timberline, so the roads haven't been hazardous:

Astafferstl1

BIG CANVASS DAY
I stopped off at the Combined Campaign Office on my way, and there were as many people out canvassing today as there were at the rally. Which is cool. There's a young lady, high school student, who took a workshop with our very own dK Mindoca, and who's doing a bang up job. She's recruited 35 high school kids to volunteer for the Obama campaign. They're so fresh and enthusiastic, it really lifts the spirit. Here's a few of them about to head out canvassing today:

Afrontporch06ug4

LOCAL REPUBLICANS TODAY
Our local Republicans are pretty much outnumbered. And they have a bit of an enthusiasm gap. The Democratic combined campaign office is open from 9am to 10pm, 7 days a week. The GOPs? Not so much:

Agophqawd8

And imagining how nice it will be to crush their spirit, I was thinking how I'd be driving past their GOP HQ on my way from the office to the rally in the park this afternoon. I decided that if they were out waving signs, I'd pull over and give 'em a copy of that GOP Death List thingy - mess with their heads a little. Why not? And so I did. While I was handing it over to a woman with a gigantic cloud of hair accented with sparkles (no kidding!), a younger, blonder creature tossed some literature in my front seat. I took off without looking at it.

When I did? Holy cow! There was one of these - not remarkable. Typical slick campaign tree-waster. Slightly interesting it's in green. Nothing more than that:

Mccainflyer500bl1

THE SMEAR
But then, there was a flyer with THIS cover. Holy cow!! Local party chair wasn't much interested. Local weekly newspaper political reporter not interested either, but then she's accused me of forging "evidence" in the past, so not much to be expected there. But check out what people waving McCain signs, right in front of the Republican Party office in Taos, were handing out at about 3pm this afternoon:

Mccainflyer02front500ps9

Say what? And the contents were exactly all the crap that's been traveling around via anonymous email. Except this time, the Republicans were owning it! Handing it out to passing cars directly in front of their office. I don't need to include the content, but I've scanned it, and so you can click through to learn how Obama wasn't really born in America, and he was a practicing Muslim till he was 31, and other such nonsense. Wow!

If it were in a movie, it would almost be funny. But since there's real harm been done, and more to be prevented, it must be taken more seriously than that. So I scanned and it's being submitted up the chain of command in the campaign. And canvassers and phone bankers will be warned that this kind of nonsense is afoot.

WE'RE GONNA WIN
From the rally in the park today.

Flagfoldingtaosmg4

There wasn't a huge crowd, mebbe a coupla hundred all told - and it was spread out, with many picking spots in the shade around the edge of the park. And music playing pretty much the whole time, too. There was a pretty strong union presence there, too. At least for our small rural town:

Aunionkidsnr1

And there were lots of family groups. too:

Afamilycombinedjs5

And I had a little chat with the guy who wrote and performed our wonderful local GOTV song: He was in the canvassing crowd at the office. (The embed's in the tip jar...)

Meanwhile, the young lady with the curly hair is the one that's organized the 35 high school kids, many of them too young to vote yet, to volunteer for Obama campaign. The girl's got a future! (That's her proud mom on the right...)

Acanvass01st2

And in the end? These kids are gonna win - the ones full of life and creativity and inclusiveness rather than lies and meanness and fear. And we can all remember what Obama often says: We don't need to go there. We just need to make sure to vote. And to get others out to vote, too.

This is a guest blog by Land of Enchantment. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me button on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

October 27, 2008 at 12:36 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, 2008 NM Senate Race, Guest Blogger, John McCain, Local Politics, NM-03 Congressional Race 2008 | Permalink | Comments (8)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Helpful Maps, Info for Tonight's Johnson Field Obama Event; McCain Crowd Small at Spanish Village This Morning

Parking for the rally will be available to the public in lots M (near UNM Golf Course and the Law School), Q (near UNM Children's Campus) and T (southwest corner of Lomas and University), as well as at University Stadium. No shuttles will be available. Here's a UNM Parking Map.

We all know it -- it's gonna be a madhouse at Johnson Field in Albuquerque tonight for Barack Obama's rally. Mary Ellen stopped by the site today and said there were already about a hundred people lined up at 2:00 PM for an event where the gates don't open until 7:00 PM. My gut feeling is that more people will show up than can possibly fit on the huge field. I've heard people are coming from outside Albuquerque for the event, some from hundreds of miles away, with many bringing their kids for what they view as an historic event -- and perhaps the last chance to see the future President of the United States in person.

We don't know if Obama will win the election yet, but many people have a strong feeling he's on the road to victory, including me. We can't get complacent or overly optimistic, but it sure feels like the tide is finally turning our way, doesn't it?

So NM-01's Martin Heinrich will be speaking tonight, to the largest crowd he'll ever face as a Congressional candidate. Gov. Bill Richardson is also set to speak. Comedian George Lopez will entertain the crowd. I wouldn't be surprised to see Mayor Marty Chavez on the podium, as well as other candidates and office holders. If we don't have a mariachi band, I'll be shocked. Expect to hear some Stevie Wonder tunes on the PA. Expect to be wowed by everything, but especially by Obama's electrifying speech.

Today's McCain Crowd "Embarassingly Small" And the visit to the Spanish Village at Expo NM in Albuquerque this morning by Obama's rival in the presidential race? According to What's the Word with Peter St. Cyr, there was an embarrassingly small turnout, but McCain's campaign people didn't admit just how small. Only about 800 people showed up, according to Peter's Twitters, while McCain's people were claiming they gave away 3,500 tickets and that 1,500 were on hand.

Check Back Later
Mary Ellen and I will be in the press area tonight, and I know Matt of NM FBIHOP and Peter St. Cyr will be there too. Look for posts, photos, audio and video either late tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on how long it takes to get outta there. If we're lucky, we might even get some wi-fi access to shoot you some info from on the scene, although last time out in Espanola, only the traveling press had it.

October 25, 2008 at 02:41 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Events, John McCain, Obama NM Campaign | Permalink | Comments (2)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

(Updates) 10/25: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain Plan to Visit New Mexico


Vote Early, and visit an Obama field office to volunteer

Update 2: Finalized details are now available for the Barack Obama visit here and the Hillary Clinton visit here.

Update 1: It's now been confirmed by the Campaign for Change that Barack Obama will be hosting a rally in Albuquerque on Saturday, October 25, but no time or venue has been confirmed. More details as they're released. It's also been revealed that the Hillary event in Sunland Park is tentatively scheduled for 2:30 PM at Elena Memorial Plaza at 101 Meadow Vista.
**************
This coming Saturday will be another big day in New Mexico for presidential politics -- maybe one of the biggest in recent history as far as visiting politicos.

It's now confirmed that Hillary Clinton will be stumping for Obama at a rally in Sunland Park near Las Cruces on Saturday, October 25. No word yet on the time of the event or how to get tickets.

It's now only a rumor, but the word is that Barack Obama may be appearing at a huge evening rally at around 9:30 PM somewhere in Albuquerque on Saturday, October 25. Keep an eye out for more info.

It's confirmed that John McCain will be holding a rally at Mesilla Plaza near Las Cruces on Saturday afternoon. Doors will open at 2 PM for a 4 PM rally. McCain will also speak in Albuquerque that morning. No location has been confirmed for the Albuquerque rally, but doors will open at 8 AM for a 10 AM speech.

October 22, 2008 at 11:00 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Events, John McCain, Obama NM Campaign | Permalink | Comments (2)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

McCain Giving Up on NM, CO, IA?

According to Political Wire:

CNN reports that top officials of Sen. John McCain's campaign are "making tough decisions" as they now see Colorado, New Mexico and Iowa no longer winnable.

Instead, the campaign's "risky strategy" is counting on Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and a comeback in Pennsylvania.

The McCain campaign responds: "We see the race tightening both internally and in public polling. We are within striking distance in the key battleground states we need to win."

Sure would be great news if it's true. Not only would it make our job easier in making sure Obama wins New Mexico, it might well help local Dems running for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, as well as further down ticket. If McCain pulls out of New Mexico, GOP turnout might fade. The trick is to keep Dem turnout high regardless. You know what to do.

October 21, 2008 at 01:16 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Strike Three: You're Out, Johnny


Obama's new ad riffing off McCain's statement last night that he isn't Bush

This was strike three for McCain. Three debates with Obama, three losses -- according to instant polling, focus groups, most observers. Last night McCain looked and acted angry, grumpy, nasty, snide, rude, arrogant, bullying, rigid, repressed, unreasonable, panicked and, at times, incoherent. His attacks on Obama were often personal, almost snarling, especially in the last half hour. They were also all over the lot, like disconnected lobs of whatever came into his mind at the moment, regardless of whether they made sense in a given context. McCain offered few, if any, cogent arguments. His impatient consciousness seemed to jump from memorized attack line to memorized attack line with no connecting narrative. Nothing stuck.

Obama kept his cool, parried masterfully and responded with measured arguments that calmly undercut McCain's frenetic and desperate lunges. He never let McCain get under his skin. Obama was reassuring, dignified and presidential. McCain was erratic, staccato and small. The split screen contrasts were stark, and devastating to McCain -- whose repeated bouts of mugging, sighing, smirking and eye-rolling were irritating and off-putting. McCain's "Joe the Plumber" schtick fell flat. In one focus group, every single member gave it the thumbs down. With no real policy points to push given the distain with which almost everything Bushian is viewed these days, McCain was left with cliches, old talking points and the nothingness of Bill Ayers.

The instant polls conducted right after the last prez debate found Obama the clear winner.

  • CNN poll of debate viewers: Obama 58%, McCain 31%
  • CBS poll of uncommitted voters: Obama 53%, McCain 22%
  • Both focus groups of uncommitted voters on CNN and Fox News found Obama the winner.

What we have to remember going forward:

"For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky or think this is all set, I just have two words for you: New Hampshire. I've been in these positions before when we were favored, and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked. He added, “That’s another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me, so we want to make sure that we are closing strong, running through the tape.” --Sen. Barack Obama, quoted by the New York Times

And McCain hasn't yet given up on New Mexico. His campaign just announced that Sarah Palin will be coming to Roswell on Sunday, October 19 for a rally.

October 16, 2008 at 09:17 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

McCain: No Honor, No Ethics, No Conscience, No Courage


Hannity & Van Susteren interview McCain-Palin

Okay, we can admire the way McCain endured his time as a POW. Many people do brave and honorable things in their youthful years, only to fall victim to their darker natures later in life. McCain is obviously one of those people. The campaign he and Palin are now running is not only dishonest and designed to appeal to the very worst inclinations of the GOP base, it's entirely disingenuous.

McCain knows very well that there's nothing at all sinister about Obama serving on two philanthropic boards -- funded by the foundation of Reagan friend and loyal conservative Walter Annenberg -- with Bill Ayers. Why isn't he calling the Annenberg family "terrorists"? Why isn't he worried about the many Republicans who also served on those boards with Ayers? Does he believe that the current Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago is also a "terrorist"? After all, he has occasionally worked with Ayers. How about all the prominent, long-time and highly respected supporters of Obama? Don't they get how dangerous he has been, out there teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago, serving in the Illinois State Senate and making his mark on the U.S. Senate?

Midwest Voices has a piece by George Harris that uses satire to point out the absurdity of the claims being slimed around by Grouchy and the Wicked Witch of the North. It's funny as hell. Unfortunately, the kind of hatred and mob mentality that's being deliberately stirred by the GOP isn't funny in the least. Especially at a time when our financial system is collapsing and people are fearful, suffering and flabbergasted at what's happening and what's about to befall them -- courtesy of the GOP Deregulators Inc.

This is politics at its very worst and I think it's high time that John McCain ceases to be introduced and praised as a hero to admire. He's nothing more than an unprincipled, desperate scumbag now, fermenting in his frustrated ambition and lashing out with angry, demented accusations against his rival. The undynamic duo were interviewed by both Hannity and Van Susteren about the horrors of Obama on Fox (see video above). I think they're some of the most despicable displays of pompous, phony outrage and outright lies I ever seen by national political figures, and I've witnessed many of them in my years of following politics from Nixon on.

Whatever he was before, McCain is no longer a hero. He's a man so possessed by venality, ego and arrogance that he's prepared to do or say anything -- anything -- to try and slither his way into the White House. If people don't see this man for what he is now, their senses must be bewitched. He and Palin have become nothing more than hatemongers. Even worse, they're purposeful hatemongers, peddling obvious distortions and lies to manipulate the worst in human nature. Both of them should be publicly shamed, not admired, or even tolerated. They've both crossed the line and are, to use Palin's word, unrepentent.

I'd love to see McCain muster up the nerve to make these accusations and insinuations to Obama's face. I fear, however, that he lacks even a shred of the courage he once displayed. He's spent.

October 9, 2008 at 06:12 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Prez Debate: "That One" Won


Obama on taxes at Nashville debate

You know who I mean. The guy cranky John McCain referred to dismissively as "that one" in last night's presidential "town hall meeting" in Nashville -- Barack Obama, the winner last night, and our next president. Already, an "I'm voting for That One" tshirt is available at Cafe Press. And we have a new take on Obama's logo:

Thatonesk9_2

As with the first debate, the focus groups and snap polls, along with many pundits, declared Obama the winner. Democracy Corps, which organized a focus group of undecided voters in Nevada to watch last night's debate, reported in part:

"Unlike the first debate, when Democracy Corps research showed half the voters remaining undecided and the two candidates splitting the other half, the vote following the second debate showed a decisive shift toward Senator Obama. This debate was a clear victory for Obama who made major gains not just in the vote but also on personal favorability and key attributes like 'has what it takes to be President,' which ultimately drove undecided voters into his column."

Bomb, Bomb, Bomb
One of my favorite exchanges, as reported by the AP:

...Obama seemed to get the better of him in a discussion of whether the United States should violate Pakistan's sovereignty if that's what it takes to kill al-Qaida terrorists such as Osama bin Laden. McCain quoted Theodore Roosevelt, who said, "Talk softly, but carry a big stick."

But Obama "likes to talk loudly," McCain said. "In fact, he said he wants to announce that he's going to attack Pakistan. Remarkable."

Obama shot back: "Nobody called for the invasion of Pakistan. ... If Pakistan is unable or unwilling to hunt down bin Laden and take him out, then we should."

He continued: "Now, Sen. McCain suggests that somehow, you know, I'm green behind the ears and, you know, I'm just spouting off, and he's somber and responsible."

McCain smiled and said, "Thank you very much." But the smile faded when Obama said: "This is the guy who sang, 'Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,' who called for the annihilation of North Korea," Obama said. "That I don't think is an example of 'speaking softly.' This is the person who, after we had -- we hadn't even finished Afghanistan, where he said, 'Next up, Baghdad.'


Obama calls out McCain on bomb, bomb, bomb Iran

Echoes of Kennedy-Nixon, Clinton-Dole
I agree with the analysis Terrence McNally at Huffington Post:

We all know about the difference between the responses of those who listened to the first Kennedy-Nixon debate on the radio versus those who watched it on (a small, black & white) television. I did both last night and the same was true.

I recall Frank Luntz earlier this year saying that he would caution McCain to minimize being seen in the same camera shot with Obama. The contrast of age and "vigor" would be too stark. Watching the two of them out on the open floor last night in the faux "town hall" format brought his warning to life. The difference was visual and visceral. The tall, lanky, young Obama smooth and confident versus the shorter, tighter, older McCain.

... On MSNBC's Hardball, someone (perhaps Jonathan Alter) said this debate reminded him of a moment in '92, Dole v Clinton, when you knew it was over -- unless something huge were to happen.

Here's what CQ Politics had to say about the night's "bests" and "mosts."

Check out this post at NM FBIHOP about the well-attended debate watch party at One Up in downtown Albuquerque, my friend.

Did you notice how Barack and Michelle stayed in the hall for about 20 minutes talking to audience members? Did you notice how Johnny and Cindy fled the hall as fast as they could get out of there? Telling.

Bottom line by most accounts: McCain needed to inject a "game changer" into the proceedings last night in order to stop or slow Obama's momentum. He didn't succeed. Now I guess he and Palin will return to the campaign trail and their wise-ass negative attacks to once again try to convince voters that Obama is a nasty, dangerous, un-American guy. An increasingly dishonorable and dishonest campaign staggers on. Clearly, most undecided voters aren't buying what McCain and Palin are selling. No wonder. The more undecideds and others who haven't been paying much attention until now see Obama, the more they like him and see him as a strong, smart, calm and trustworthy presidential contender.

P.S. Turns out that "overhead projector" John McCain claimed Barack Obama tried to get a $3 million earmark for was actually money to rebuild Chicago's Adler Planetarium (photo below), America's oldest planetarium. I should know. I often visited there as a child. Tons of Chicago area schools organize field trips to the Adler, and they always have wonderful exhibits and shows for adults, too. It's a stunning place on a narrow piece of land (once an artificial island) that extends out into Lake Michigan. I WANT more of my tax dollars going to things like that, don't you? (h/t TPM)

Adlerpl

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October 8, 2008 at 11:01 AM in 2008 General Presidential Election, John McCain | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 06, 2008

(Updated) Obama Campaign Counters McCain's Dishonest Tirade in Albuquerque Today; Audience Member Calls Obama a "Terrorist"

Update: Read this TPM item and watch their video clip. McCain asks, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" At least one member of the Albuquerque crowd yells out "terrorist." You can also hear it on Peter St. Cyr's audio of the speech, at about the 13 minute mark. In fact, if you listen to the audio, the crowd often sounds more like a mob than an audience, at least to my ears.

We also have Palin in Florida today. TPM says: "And later we have Sarah Palin with the same mob racket, getting members of the crowd to yell out "kill him", though it's not clear whether the call for murder was for Bill Ayers or Barack Obama. It didn't seem to matter. These are dangerous and sick people, McCain and Palin. Whatever it takes. Stop at nothing."

Where will we end up with McCain and Palin egging on the nuts in America, consciously or not, to ugly namecalling and violent threats? After all, according to the McCain campaign, they've just begun their move to the darkest of the dark sides of campaigning. It makes my hair stand up on end to think about it.
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Click for video of Cindy McCain's intro and John McCain's remarks before a couple hundred people at the UNM Sub in Albuquerque this afternoon (although the quality is poor). McCain's angry tirade against Obama, attempting to blame him for the financial crisis we're in today, begins at about 14 minutes. The quote cited below begins about a minute later. The entire appearance runs about 26 minutes. Short and nasty.

The newest version of John McCain is shamelessly hawking lies that he knows are lies. What else does he have left? Everybody knows that McCain has dedicated his career to deregulation of the kind that has put American and global finances into a deadly spin. His "economic plan" consists of more tax cuts for the rich and big corporations, coupled with threatened cuts to vital programs like Medicare and Medicaid at a time when seniors and our poorest citizens can expect to be hit even harder by economic instability and injustices. It's clear that McCain will depend almost entirely on vicious and dishonest attacks on Obama's character and ethics from here on out. The Obama campaign, however, is ready to call McCain out in no uncertain terms when he resorts to distortions, exaggerations and plain old lies.

Obama Campaign Statement
The Obama campaign issued the following response to Senator McCain’s fact-challenged attack in Albuquerque today:

“On a day when the markets are plunging and the credit crisis is putting millions of jobs at risk, the one truly angry candidate in this race kept up his strategy of ‘turning the page’ on the economy by unleashing another frustrated tirade against Barack Obama. And if John McCain is wondering why he’s lost his credibility, he should look no further than the out-of-context quote he took from a 2007 speech in which Barack Obama warned of the subprime crisis we’re now facing. Since then, John McCain has called for less regulation no fewer than 20 times, proving that he hasn’t learned any lessons from the last banking scandal he was involved in and would give us more of the same failed economic policies as President,” said Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor.

What McCain Said Today
Here are some of the dishonest accusations John McCain made in his remarks today in Albuquerque:

“Senator Obama was silent on the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and his Democratic allies in Congress opposed every effort to rein them in. As recently as September of last year he said that subprime loans had been, quote, “a good idea.” Well, Senator Obama, that “good idea” has now plunged this country into the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. To hear him talk now, you’d think he’d always opposed the dangerous practices at these institutions. But there is absolutely nothing in his record to suggest he did.

"He was surely familiar with the people who were creating this problem. The executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have advised him, and he has taken their money for his campaign. He has received more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than any other senator in history, with the exception of the chairman of the committee overseeing them. Did he ever talk to the executives at Fannie and Freddie about these reckless loans? Did he ever discuss with them the stronger oversight I proposed? If Senator Obama is such a champion of financial regulation, why didn’t he support these regulations that could have prevented this crisis in the first place? He won’t tell you, but you deserve an answer.”

What Obama Really Said
Compare McCain's desperate detortion of Obama's statement with the real Obama quote in its full context:

“And we cannot help but see some reflections of these practices when we look at the subprime mortgage fiasco today. Subprime lending started off as a good idea – helping Americans buy homes who couldn't previously afford to. Financial institutions created new financial instruments that could securitize these loans, slice them into finer and finer risk categories and spread them out among investors around the country and around the world. In theory, this should have allowed mortgage lending to be less risky and more diversified.

"But as certain lenders and brokers began to see how much money could be made, they began to lower their standards. Some appraisers began inflating their estimates to get the deals done. Some borrowers started claiming income they didn't have just to qualify for the loans, and some were engaging in irresponsible speculation. But many borrowers were tricked into glossing over the fine print. And ratings agencies began rating bundles of different kinds of these loans as low-risk even though they were very high-risk. Most everyone knew that some of these deals were just too good to be true, but all that money flowing in made it tempting to look the other way and ignore the unscrupulous practice of some bad actors.” [NASDAQ Speech, 9/17/07]

McCain and the Fannie & Freddie Lobbyists
According to Senate lobbying records, a total of 26 McCain advisors and fundraisers have been registered lobbyists for Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Seven of them are still registered, and another four terminated their registration in late September as the subprime scandal worsened.

SIXTEEN FANNIE MAE LOBBYISTS (TWO CURRENTLY LOBBYING)
Wayne L Berman, National Finance Co-Chair*
Aquiles Suarez, Economic Advisor
John Green, Capitol Hill Liaison
Dan Crippen, Health Care Policy Adviser
AB Culvahouse, VP Selection
Kirk Blalock, Young Professionals for McCain National Chair (Terminated 9/22/08)
Kate Hull, Young Professionals for McCain Fundraiser (Terminated 9/22/08)
Aleix Jarvis, Bundler (Terminated 9/22/08)
Kirsten Chadwick, Bundler (Terminated 9/22/08)
Richard Hohlt, Bundler*
Tom Loeffler, Bundler, Former General Chairman, National Finance Chair
Nicholas Calio, Bundler
Alberto Cardenes, Bundler
Michael Kennedy, Bundler
Peter Madigan, Bundler
Alison McSlarrow, Bundler

*currently lobbying (as of 7/31/08, no termination filed as of 10/6/08)

10 FREDDIE MAC LOBBYISTS (FIVE CURRENTLY LOBBYING)
Charlie Black, Senior advisor, Bundler
Bill Timmons Sr., Senior advisor for transition*
Carlos Bonilla, Former Economic Advisor*
Mark Buse, Senate Chief of Staff
David Crane, Senior Policy Adviser
Al D'Amato, Bundler*
Melissa Edwards, Young Professionals for McCain Fundraiser*
Susan Molinari, Women for McCain Steering Committee*
Juleanna Glover Weiss, Bundler
Don Sundquist, Tennessee Co-Chair

*currently lobbying (as of 7/31/08, no termination filed as of 10/6/08)

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October 6, 2008 at 05:34 PM in 2008 General Presidential Election, Economy, Populism, Events, John McCain | Permalink | Comments (5)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

(Updated) McCain to Speak at UNM Rally Monday, Plus Dems Counter-Rally

Update: From the DPNM - Join the Democratic Party of New Mexico, Young Democrats of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico College Democrats to show the McCain Campaign that New Mexicans are rejecting McCain's Health Care Tax! Press Conference followed by a Voter Registration Rally with live music and free Obama posters! Mesa Vista Plaza at UNM on Monday, October 6, at 11:00 AM.
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John McCain's campaign has announced the candidate will appear at a rally at the University of New Mexico tomorrow, Monday, October 6, 2008. The event will take place at the Student Union Building at 1:00 PM. Doors open at 11:30 AM. McCain is scheduled to arrive in Albuquerque around Noon, according to What's the Word, and then he'll fly out immediately afterwards to Nashville, where Tuesday's second Presidential Debate will be held. There's no info yet on either the McCain or NM GOP websites, so it's unknown whether tickets will be necessary.

October 5, 2008 at 12:51 PM in Events, John McCain | Permalink | Comments (0)