McCain Pick Pot Head Palin Running From Impeachment

Anyone that thinks this is going to win over former Hillary Clinton supporters already firmly in the Democratic party fold don't understand the fact that Hillary supporters were and are strongly Pro-Choice for the most part.

Her lifetime membership in the NRA may help solidify one of McCain's many weaknesses in his own party base, as well as her advocating religion in schools under the banner of "creationism" may help solidify some of the Christian fundies, but I fail to see how any of it will get her anywhere with moderates or women, in general. Some of the Christian fundamentalists may even despise her just for the fact that she is woman seeking power.

As for her supposed record of cleaning up Alaskan politics and conservative cred?

Well? Palin did smoke pot and, yes, she did inhale:
Palin said she has smoked marijuana -- remember, it was legal under state law, she said, even if illegal under U.S. law -- but says she didn't like it and doesn't smoke it now.
Breaks laws but says it is OK... Sounds bush-like. IOKIYAR, to say the least.

Palin gave up on the Alaskan bridge to nowhere when it became a hot button showcase issue for Senator Steven's wasting tax dollars.

The $398 million bridge would have connected Ketchikan, on one island in southeastern Alaska, to its airport on another nearby island.

Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday the project was $329 million short of full funding.

"We will continue to look for options for Ketchikan to allow better access to the island," the Republican governor said. "The concentration is not going to be on a $400 million bridge."

And any doubt about her place on the ticket to distract from corrupt Republicans can be removed here:

Yep... She has an image as some kind of political reformer but she is just another booster of the Corrupt Bastards Club. Obviously the feelings are mutual:

I bet Governor Palin wishes she could take this commercial back.

Ted Stevens Endorses Sarah Palin

Oh yeah...

And she is running from possible impeachment in her state too:

Palin, who has previously said her administration didn't exert pressure to get rid of trooper Mike Wooten, also disclosed that members of her staff had made about two dozen contacts with public safety officials about the trooper.

"I do now have to tell Alaskans that such pressure could have been perceived to exist although I have only now become aware of it," Palin said.

But Palin said her decision to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan last month had nothing to do with his refusal to dump trooper Mike Wooten.

The governor said evidence of what she called a "smoking gun" conversation, and other calls made by her aides, only recently surfaced as the attorney general started an inquiry at her request into the circumstances surrounding her firing of Monegan. Palin wanted the review because a special investigator hired by the Legislature is about to investigate the firing and a legislator has been quoted in a newspaper story talking about impeachment.

Got caught and threw others under the bus. Can you get any more bush than that? Yes she can... Here she tried to head off an investigation by having a farce inquiry of her own.
Gov. Sarah Palin is trying to find out what the Legislature's special investigator might discover as he probes her controversial firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.
Obviously Sarah Palin wants the inquiry for ethics reasons... Not to head off any damaging information that might come up in a real independent investigation.
Questions have been raised since Monegan's firing about whether Palin, her family, or members of her administration pressured Monegan to fire Wooten, a Mat-Su-based trooper involved in a rough divorce from the governor's sister.

Sarah Palin has Corrupt Bastards Club written all over her.

Just so you know who and what the Corrupt Bastards Club is all about:

Alaska political corruption probe refers to a widespread investigation from 2004 to the present by the Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Internal Revenue Service into political corruption of lawmakers in the Alaska State Legislature, focusing in particular on lawmakers' official actions in relation to the oil industry, fisheries, and private corrections industry. As of May 2007, the investigation has resulted in indictments against four current and former Alaska state legislators on corruption charges; and guilty pleas by two executives of the oilfield services company VECO Corporation to charges of bribery and conspiracy to impede the Internal Revenue Service. Indications are that further indictments may be forthcoming as the investigation progresses.

Former Representative Tom Anderson was indicted in December 2006 on allegations of extortion and bribery involving his support of a private corrections company. Anderson was convicted of all seven felony counts on July 9, 2007. Former House Speaker Pete Kott (R-Eagle River), former Representative Bruce Weyhrauch (R-Juneau), and current Representative Vic Kohring (R-Wasilla) were arrested and arraigned on May 4, 2007 on charges of accepting bribery and extortion related to their support of an oil tax law favored by the oilfield services company VECO Corporation.[1] On May 7, 2007, VECO Corporation founder and CEO Bill Allen and Vice President for Community & Government Affairs Rick Smith pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Anchorage to charges of bribery and conspiracy to impede the Internal Revenue Service.[2]

If you want to have a little fun...
Last November voters identified corruption as the number one issue affecting their vote, in short: vote the bastards out! We here at the C.B.C. couldn’t agree more but there are plenty more of these bastards out there in politics, the media and big business so let’s hear more about them. Play Who’s Your Corrupt Bastard? our award winning national contest ripped straight from the headlines of Alaska politics where you can win fabulous prizes and call out your favorite corrupt public figure. Peruse The Bastard Files for a look at current nominees. We are also the official headquarters for the now infamous Corrupt Bastard Club Gear - perfect for that corrupt bastard in your life.

[update]This post has been updated here:

"Palin's Troopergate Troubles

Start To Spin Out of Control"

The GOP Convention: Snoozefest or Disaster?

As the Democratic party convention wrapped up with an outstanding speech by Barrack Obama, today, the GOP is attempting to weather the building political storm by distracting the media with what will be their pick for Vice Presidential candidate.
On the trail today: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who is celebrating his 72nd birthday, will reportedly announce his vice presidential pick in Dayton, OH. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and his vice presidential candidate Joseph Biden (D-DE) will launch their presidential campaign in Beaver, PA.
You have to remember that McCain was deemed second fiddle to Bush by the GOP voters in 2000. Now they are waiting to see whom the heir apparent to bush failures will pick as his third rate choice. I looked in my "tomorrow file" and found a picture encapsulating all of the fun and excitement to be expected at the GOP convention:

This, of course, if they even decide to ever have a convention.

It appears that the GOP is having second thoughts about holding their snoozefest, blaming the weather, but the reality is that the few moderates remaining in the party don't want to even be seen with these incompetents.
Republicans are trying to back out
of their convention.-- Update: Katrina

Keith just reported on the Washington Post that the Republicans are considering postponing their convention. Their excuse? The Hurricane. Are you serious? This is the same party that 3 years ago basically IGNORED Katrina. I guess you could say they learned their lesson, but honestly. . . this is pathetic. Keith said it best "well, that's some reaction to the Obama speech."

Republican officials said yesterday that they are considering delaying the start of the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul because of Tropical Storm Gustav, which is on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly New Orleans, as a full-force hurricane early next week.

The threat is serious enough that White House officials are also debating whether President Bush should cancel his scheduled convention appearance on Monday, the first day of the convention, according to administration officials and others familiar with the discussion.

They must REALLY be worried about this hurricane, Bush is even willing to not speak at the convention if it DOES take place.

Oh, and here's the best part:

Senior Republicans said images of political celebration in the Twin Cities while thousands of Americans flee a hurricane could be dubious. "Senator McCain has always been sensitive to national crisis," said McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds, noting that the senator postponed announcing his presidential candidacy in 2000 because of the war in the Balkans. "We are monitoring the situation very closely."

Hmm, so your example is WAR. Maybe because McCain couldn't use KATRINA. What was he doing when Katrina hit?

The "funny" thing about all of this was that Republicans were praying for rain to mess up Obama's speech. Again, in the words of Jon Stewart "Why does God Love Barack Obama?"

Quite fitting. The McCain campaign, whether from the turgid top of their ticket or down to their sickly surrogates, has been a disaster all on its own. A sure sign that McCain is the epitome of 4 more years of Bush.

GOP: Houston, We have a Problem...

During "Morning Joe" today Scarborough recounts the reaction of Murphy to Obama's speech last night by sending an eMail to his fellow Republicans during the speech that was simple and to the point:

"Houston, we have a problem..."

That may go down in history as a serious understatement... Watch Barrack Obama's speech and see for yourself:

[update] Now, Peggy Noonan is on "Morning Joe" embarrassing herself with the pure pedestrian BS she is trying to insert into the mundane and outdated pundit class' dialog.


KBR Involved In Human Trafficking?

The Washington Post reports on Dick Cheney's Halliburton subsidiary KBR:

KBR, Partner in Iraq Contract
Sued in Human Trafficking Case

By Dana Hedgpeth

A Washington law firm filed a lawsuit yesterday against KBR, one of the largest U.S. contractors in Iraq, alleging that the company and its Jordanian subcontractor engaged in the human trafficking of Nepali workers.

Agnieszka Fryszman, a partner at Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, said 13 Nepali men, between the ages of 18 and 27, were recruited in Nepal to work as kitchen staff in hotels and restaurants in Amman, Jordan. But once the men arrived in Jordan, their passports were seized and they were told they were being sent to a military facility in Iraq, Fryszman said.

It's not like that hasn't been an ongoing problem...

From the Chicago Tribune in 2006:
Iraq war contractors ordered to end abuses
By Cam Simpson

The top U.S. commander in Iraq has ordered sweeping changes for privatized military support operations after confirming violations of human-trafficking laws and other abuses by contractors involving possibly thousands of foreign workers on American bases, according to records obtained by the Tribune.

Gen. George Casey ordered that contractors be required by May 1 to return passports that have been illegally confiscated from laborers on U.S. bases after determining that such practices violated U.S. laws against trafficking for forced or coerced labor. Human brokers and subcontractors from South Asia to the Middle East have worked together to import thousands of laborers into Iraq from impoverished countries.

Two memos obtained by the Tribune indicate that Casey's office concluded that the practice of confiscating passports from such workers was both widespread on American bases and in violation of the U.S. trafficking laws.


Although other firms also have contracts supporting the military in Iraq, the U.S. has outsourced vital support operations to Halliburton subsidiary KBR at an unprecedented scale, at a cost to the U.S. of more than $12 billion as of late last year.

KBR, in turn, has outsourced much of that work to more than 200 subcontractors, many of them based in Middle Eastern nations condemned by the U.S. for failing to stem human trafficking into their own borders or for perpetrating other human rights abuses against foreign workers.

KBR's subcontractors employ an army of workers to dish out food, wash clothes, clean latrines and carry out virtually every other menial task. About 35,000 of the 48,000 people working under the privatization contract last year were "Third Country Nationals," who are non-Americans imported from outside Iraq, KBR has said.

"Pipeline to Peril," which was based on reporting in the U.S., Jordan, Iraq, Nepal and Saudi Arabia, described how some subcontractors and a chain of human brokers allegedly engaged in the same kinds of abuses routinely condemned by the State Department as human trafficking.
And from the NewsStandard in 2004:
Forced labor added to charges of U.S. crimes in Iraq
by NewStandard Staff

May 5, 2004 – Four Muslim Indian citizens say they and about 20 others were abducted by US military personnel in Kuwait and forced to engage in menial labor for troops at an unspecified base in Iraq. They said they were paid $200 a month while forcibly held, enduring countless assaults on the base by Iraqi insurgents in addition to forced labor. After months of captivity, sixteen of the men managed to escape and make their way home to India. One of the men said he was beaten by American personnel when he demanded to be allowed to leave the base. The men said soldiers told them the military had paid a Kuwaiti firm $1000 a head for the laborers and, thus, they would not be allowed to leave. The US embassy in India said it is investigating the allegations.
Since the invasion, human trafficking became a problem for people forcibly brought into Iraq and for the citizens of Iraq, as well. From Time Magazine in 2006:

Stolen Away

Safah is part of a seldom-discussed aspect of the epidemic of kidnappings in Iraq: sex trafficking. No one knows how many young women have been kidnapped and sold since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The Organization for Women's Freedom in Iraq, based in Baghdad, estimates from anecdotal evidence that more than 2,000 Iraqi women have gone missing in that period. A Western official in Baghdad who monitors the status of women in Iraq thinks that figure may be inflated but admits that sex trafficking, virtually nonexistent under Saddam, has become a serious issue. The collapse of law and order and the absence of a stable government have allowed criminal gangs, alongside terrorists, to run amuck. Meanwhile, some aid workers say, bureaucrats in the ministries have either paralyzed with red tape or frozen the assets of charities that might have provided refuge for these girls. As a result, sex trafficking has been allowed to fester unchecked.

"It is a problem, definitely," says the official, who has heard specific reports from Iraqi aid workers about girls being kidnapped and sold to brothels. "Unfortunately, the security situation doesn't allow us to follow up on this." The U.S. State Department's June 2005 trafficking report says the extent of the problem in Iraq is "difficult to appropriately gauge" but cites an unknown number of Iraqi women and girls being sent to Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Persian Gulf countries for sexual exploitation. Statistics are further made murky by tribal tradition. Families are usually so shamed by the disappearance of a daughter that they do not report kidnappings. And the resulting stigma of compromised chastity is such that even if the girl should resurface, she may never be taken back by her relations.

A visit to the Khadamiyah Women's Prison in the northern part of Baghdad immediately produces several tales of abduction and abandonment. A stunning 18-year-old nicknamed Amna, her black hair pulled back in a ponytail, says she was taken from an orphanage by an armed gang just after the U.S. invasion and sent to brothels in Samarra, al-Qaim on the border with Syria, and Mosul in the north before she was taken back to Baghdad, drugged with pills, dressed in a suicide belt and sent to bomb a cleric's office in Khadamiyah, where she turned herself in to the police. A judge gave her a seven-year jail sentence "for her sake" to protect her from the gang, according to the prison director.

What did bringing freedumb to Iraq mean to people like Dick Cheney?

Originally, after Halliburton started racking up lucrative no-bid contracts, Dick Cheney tried to claim he had nothing to do with Halliburton. From CBS in 2003:
Cheney's Halliburton Ties Remain

Cheney said Sunday on NBC that since becoming vice president, "I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interest. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had, now, for over three years."

Democrats pointed out that Cheney receives deferred compensation from Halliburton under an arrangement he made in 1998, and also retains stock options. He has pledged to give after-tax proceeds of the stock options to charity.


Cathie Martin, Cheney's spokeswoman, said the question is whether Cheney has any possible conflict of interest with Halliburton, "and the answer to that is, no."

Cheney was chief executive officer of Halliburton from 1995 through August 2000. The company's KBR subsidiary is the main government contractor working to restore Iraq's oil industry in an open-ended contract that was awarded without competitive bidding.

According to Cheney's 2001 financial disclosure report, the vice president's Halliburton benefits include three batches of stock options comprising 433,333 shares.

From Raw Story in 2005:
Cheney's Halliburton stock options
rose 3,281% last year, senator finds

An analysis released by a Democratic senator found that Vice President Dick Cheney's Halliburton stock options have risen 3,281 percent in the last year, RAW STORY can reveal.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) asserts that Cheney's options -- worth $241,498 a year ago -- are now valued at more than $8 million. The former CEO of the oil and gas services juggernaut, Cheney has pledged to give proceeds to charity.


“Halliburton has already raked in more than $20 billion from the Bush-Cheney Administration for work in Iraq, and they were awarded some of the first Katrina contracts," Lautenberg said in a statement. "It is unseemly for the Vice President to continue to benefit from this company at the same time his Administration funnels billions of dollars to it. The Vice President should sever his financial ties to Halliburton once and for all.”

Cheney continues to hold 433,333 Halliburton stock options. The company has been criticized by auditors for its handling of a no-bid contact in Iraq. Auditors found the firm marked up meal prices for troops and inflated gas prices in a deal with a Kuwaiti supplier. The company built the American prison at Guantanamo Bay.


McCain Thinks American Workers Aren't Good Enough

As we get close to labor day you need to know that while Obama says "Yes you can!" McCain says "No you can't!" to American workers, telling them that they can't do the job.

In McCain's fragile mind the real problem isn't about paying a man or woman fair wages for an honest day's work... McCain thinks the problem is that Americans just aren't good enough - hard working enough - to do these jobs.

I guess McCain thinks that you need to work harder at finding a pill-popping sugar momma beer heiress 2nd wife, like Cindy McCain, to pay your bills for you if you want to be able to succeed like he did?

[update] I know that the work is hard as hell. And it is only made worse by operations that hire undocumented immigrants and put the workers through hellish conditions that are nothing more than modern day slave labor. Those are the issues that McCain would rather ignore.

Rather than forcing the companies to hire by honest free market rules McCain and the GOP will let these companies continue to exploit fellow human beings and claim that Americans can't or won't do the work.

Oil Companies Refuse to Drill Here and Drill Now

From Bur at Weston Policy:

As you may have seen on television, John McCain has said repeatedly that his energy policy is an “all of the above” program that includes “drill here, drill now” for off-shore oil. McCain has not acknowledged that there is a huge area of the Gulf of Mexico already available and authorized for off-shore oil exploration, and oil companies have shown little interest despite high oil prices.

The Arizona Daily Sun reported today that on Tuesday, August 19, 2008, the Department of the Interior auction received 423 bids (totaling $487 million) from 47 companies to drill for oil and gas on selected (mostly deep water) tracts within 1.8 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico, representing about 10% of the area in the western Gulf of Mexico authorized for oil exploration. However, the bids were for only 319 tracts out of 3412 tracts that the federal government made available for lease. More than 90% of the available area received no bids at all.
And another GOP talking point falls flat on the floor. I can sum up the real John McCain Campaign in its entirety on economics, energy and environmental policy in 4 words for you:

"Fuck you!
Fuck now!"

I'm Republican John neocon McCain and my Oil lobbyist
campaign managers approve of this message

Never mind his canon fodder in endless war vision of your child's future when it comes to foreign policy.


And the reviews of Mike Moore's new book are in...

As Mike Moore's new book "Mike's Election Guide" goes on sale today, he does a little marketing of his own:

The early reviews are in. The New York Daily News declares that "Mike's Election Guide" "takes no prisoners." The Associated Press calls it "a manual of mockery for the 2008 presidential election." And the St. Petersburg Times says that "Mike's Election Guide" is a "mix of outrageous humor, passionate partisanship and common sense." The McClatchy Newspaper chain calls it a "no-holds-barred examination of our politics. Pages explode with so much humor, you'll find yourself laughing out loud at Moore's sharp wit on serious topics such as health care, childcare, taxes and terrorism." And this piece from AlterNet lays out my reasoning for telling the whole truth about what John McCain did in the Vietnam War -- and asks why everyone else seems afraid to bring this up.

I've written this book to give you some good arguments to make as you discuss the election with family and friends. And I've laid out the 12 Senate seats and 30 House seats we can win -- and how to do that.

I need to warn you -- I don't let the Democratic Party bigwigs off the hook. I challenge them to have a spine, to not repeat the past mistakes they've made in the past two elections, and I ask them why they're so afraid of Republicans ("Is it true that Democrats still drink from a sippy cup and sleep with the light on?").

I hope you get a chance to read my book and that it gives you a good (and needed) laugh -- and also a bit of inspiration as we head toward that fateful day on November 4th.

Click here to order. Click here to visit "Mike's Election Guide" on the web.

Thanks for all your support of my work. I wish all of us well as we have but ten weeks to go before Redemption Day!!

Michael Moore

The right wing hates Mike Moore for the simple reason that he takes cold hard facts and puts them together in a manner sure to entertain and enlighten the readers. Something GOP wingnut supporters haven't managed to do in decades.

I like this review at alternet:
Michael Moore Dares to Ask: What's So Heroic About Being Shot Down While Bombing Innocent Civilians?
by Liliana Segura, AlterNet

Like Iraq, Vietnam was not a noble cause. It's time we stopped letting politicians and the press perpetuate the McCain War Hero myth.
You see, while I respect the fact that McCain served... Well? So did millions of other Americans. He did not really do anything so special. You want to see what a real war hero looks like?
Audie Leon Murphy, son of poor Texas sharecroppers, rose to national fame as the most decorated U.S. combat soldier of World War II. Among his 33 awards and decorations was the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery that can be given to any individual in the United States of America, for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty." He also received every decoration for valor that his country had to offer, some of them more than once, including 5 decorations by France and Belgium. Credited with either killing over 240 of the enemy while wounding and capturing many others, he became a legend within the 3rd Infantry Division. Beginning his service as an Army Private, Audie quickly rose to the enlisted rank of Staff Sergeant, was given a "battle field" commission as 2nd Lieutenant, was wounded three times, fought in 9 major campaigns across the European Theater, and survived the war.

During Murphy's 3 years active service as a combat soldier in World War II, Audie became one of the best fighting combat soldiers of this or any other century. What Audie accomplished during this period is most significant and probably will never be repeated by another soldier, given today's high-tech type of warfare. The U.S. Army has always declared that there will never be another Audie Murphy.
You want to talk about a war hero? Audie Murphy is a modern day gold standard. A very select few would compare to him from any of the military branches.

John McCain is just another run of the mill veteran. I could list hundreds of real American war heroes, both living and dead, and John McCain would not ever even come close to the status of "War Hero" - John McCain doesn't even merit consideration among the living Vietnam veterans - he is just a lot of hype about a mediocre military career mixed in with lies about his real service record.

From Mediacrashers and h/t to Blue Gal at Crooks and Liars:

This ad is proof positive that the internet can, and will, change the entire dynamic of the campaign battles while giving the failed traditional media a rightfully earned kick in the crotch for failing to do their jobs.
The John McCain campaign and the neocon smear machine are up and running saying all kinds of nasty things. In order to be "fair and balanced" I put together a negative add against McCain to help with the conversation.

This presentation combines information on his military past from The US Veteran Dispatch and other sources which are hardly Left wing organizations. I also combined it with common knowledge from his own admissions and the public record of his life and career.

Nice job Mediacrashers... The internet can and will bust the the media myth that is John McCain! I've covered some of these issues before while looking at the hypocrisy of John neocon McCain's "Celebrity" ad:
Let us look at how McCain got in to politics, ok?

Oh yeah... McCain capitalized on his own notorious celebrity from when he came home a POW. That and his 2nd wife's money.

But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

When Carol was discharged from hospital after six months of life-saving surgery, the prognosis was bleak. In order to save her legs, surgeons

had been forced to cut away huge sections of shattered bone, taking with it her tall, willowy figure. She was confined to a wheelchair and was forced to use a catheter.

Through sheer hard work, Carol learned to walk again. But when John McCain came home from Vietnam, she had gained a lot of weight and bore little resemblance to her old self.

Today, she stands at just 5ft4in and still walks awkwardly, with a pronounced limp. Her body is held together by screws and metal plates and, at 70, her face is worn by wrinkles that speak of decades of silent suffering.

For nearly 30 years, Carol has maintained a dignified silence about the accident, McCain and their divorce. But last week at the bungalow where she now lives at Virginia Beach, a faded seaside resort 200 miles south of Washington, she told The Mail on Sunday how McCain divorced her in 1980 and married Cindy, 18 years his junior and the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune, just one month later.

Speaking of John McCain's fleeting celebrity, if McCain was certified as physically capable of flying when he was released from the Hanoi Hilton (after rehabbing), is he receiving nearly $60,000.00 per year in veteran's disability benefits because of a mental disorder such as PTSD?
"His staff responded with the classic "he was tortured for his country." Yeah, we get it. The torture card. It's to McCain what 9/11 was to Giuliani's candidacy - the never-ending name-drop. Though what McCain's staff actually said was downright, um, we're being nice to Clinton now, so I won't say Clintonian. Here's the quote:
McCain campaign strategist Mark Salter said Monday night that McCain was technically disabled. "Tortured for his country -- that is how he acquired his disability," Salter said.
Technically? What does that mean? Usually, it means that under the strict reading of the law, you're covered, but in fact it's kind of a nudge-nudge-wink-wink situation - that's what "technically" means. It's called parsing, which is something you do to "technically" claim something is true, when on its face it really isn't. So is McCain "technically" disabled, and taking $58,000 a year tax free from the government, or is he actually disabled? I would imagine there are other solders who are actually disabled who could use the money. And if he is actually disabled, just how disabled is he?

I think our troops should only get the best, and we've beaten up the administration a lot for leaving our injured troops and vets in the lurch. But I also remember from those articles how hard it is for our current injured troops to get the health care they need (the military is actually refusing to diagnose PTSD in order to save money on benefits!). I'm just not sure that the McCains, who own "eight or nine houses," should be getting $58k a year tax-free from the government for a "technical" disability when others who don't have families worth a gazillion dollars could use that support a lot more."
Tortured for his country? Is that a nice way of saying he is batshit loopy? This is a legitimate issue, raised in this LA Times story:

McCain spent 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in Hanoi. After he was released in 1973, he returned home on crutches and began a painful physical rehabilitation. He later regained flight status and commanded a Navy squadron before retiring from the service in 1981.

McCain would be the oldest man to enter the White House if he is elected president, and questions have been raised about his health.


The fact that he is legally designated with a disability pension may raise further questions.

It is a legitimate question to ask about the commander in chief: Is he fit to serve,” said Robert Schriebman, a senior Pentagon tax advisor and tax attorney who recently retired as a judge advocate for a unit of the California National Guard.

If McCain can hike across the Grand Canyon, then why should he be getting disability payments from the government that are tax-exempt, Schriebman asked.

Medical records proving McCain's physical and mental health fitness (as well as McCain and his Sugar Momma stepping stone wife's trust fund financial records) are issues that remain to be resolved in a manner appropriate to the vetting process of a presidential candidate. And John McCain's long since passed POW celebrity status does not exempt him from addressing these very real issues. Among other issues that scare the crap out of spineless conservatives with their pitiful GOP talking points.
I also covered more of this when he was trying to distract from the unfolding Lobbyist scandal using what turned out to be a McCain campaign planted story in the media about cheating on his second wife, Cindy McCain:

The truth that the GOP is trying to avoid discussing... Has nothing to do with the fact that McCain cheated repeatedly on his first wife, finally leaving her when he found a suitable stepping stone spouse for his political career. I could deal with The Real McCain's family values disgraces but I'll leave that to the ostriches in the conservative echo chamber to choke on:
According to Joel Skousen's World Affairs Brief, February 1, 2008, "[John McCain] used nepotism to get ahead: When he was rejected by the National War College, he used his father's contacts with the Secretary of the Navy to make them reconsider." Skousen also notes that "McCain cheated on his first wife after she had a severe accident. He then divorced her and married his multi-millionaire mistress, whose daddy bought McCain a spot in the Congress."

It has also never been explained why the son and grandson of Navy admirals would not rise to the rank of Admiral himself. (He exited the Navy as a Captain.) Was it his numerous adulterous affairs or his violent temper? Or both?

John McCain's biographer Robert Timberg chronicles McCain's numerous sexual affairs with subordinates both when he was an Executive Officer and later Squadron Commander. Obviously, such fraternization is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
They can torture themselves over McCain's hypocrisy on that issue while burying their heads in the sand from the real issue raised in the recent NY Times article. Glen Greenwald gets straight to the heart of the very real McCain issue, the issue that the GOP is avoiding like a neoconservative plague:

In issuing a very specific, point-by-point denial of the NYT story, McCain specifically denied that he ever talked to Paxson's CEO, Lowell Paxson (or any other Paxson representative) about this matter:

No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay discussed with Senator McCain the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding. . . . No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC regarding this proceeding.
Au contraire, my fuzzy, feathery pet neocons:
But Newsweek's Mike Isikoff today obtained (or was given) the transcripts of deposition testimony which McCain himself gave under oath several years ago in litigation over the constitutionality of McCain-Feingold. In that testimony, McCain repeatedly and unequivocally stated the opposite of what he said in this week's NYT denial: namely, that he had unquestionably spoken with Paxson himself over the pending FCC matter:
"I was contacted by Mr. Paxson on this issue," McCain said in the Sept. 25, 2002, deposition obtained by NEWSWEEK. "He wanted their approval very bad for purposes of his business. I believe that Mr. Paxson had a legitimate complaint."

While McCain said "I don't recall" if he ever directly spoke to the firm's lobbyist about the issue -- an apparent reference to Iseman, though she is not named -- "I'm sure I spoke to [Paxson]."

It's hard to imagine how there could be a clearer contradiction in McCain's statements than (a) "I'm sure I spoke to [Paxson]" and (b) "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay discussed with Senator McCain the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proceeding."
I'll let the GOP cry over whether or not he cheated on his second wife, the lobbying mistress he left his first wife for after repeatedly cheating on her, and whether or not he married her for her money and used her to further his career ambitions... Most of the left could care less about McCain's spousal issues. It is a minor issue, and trivial to a certain degree. It is all just a shield for the right to try deflect from and avoid the lobbying allegations. Never mind the hypocrisy concerning other lobbying aspects of his dubious campaign:
Set aside the issue of the nature of his relationship with Iseman, and you have the undeniable conflict of McCain, the chest-beating reformer, being so undeniably close to lobbyists. That, many have pointed out, is the real story. The man who's absurdly proclaimed that "I’m the only one the special interests don’t give any money to" is surrounded by lobbyists.

And The Washington Post, a day after it ran its own Iseman story on page one, goes with that story on today's front page under the concise headline, "The Anti-Lobbyist, Advised by Lobbyists."

I'm not playing into John McCain's supporters hands and deflecting from the real issues of lying about unethical lobbyist connections because...

I'm Not Your Stepping Stone!

Certainly not when all John McCain has to offer is less jobs, and MORE WAR!

[update] Via MSNBC, McCain says he won't discuss his Lobbyist weaknesses any further:
"I don't have any more comment about this issue. I had a press conference yesterday morning, and I answered every question," McCain said.

"I'm moving on. I'm talking about the issues and the challenges of America and the big issues that Americans are concerned about. I addressed the issue and addressed every question that was addressed to me.

"I do not intend to discuss it further," he told reporters.
After omitting the fact that he lied at that press conference yesterday, McCain then goes on to exactly what he said he wouldn't do: Discuss it further:
"I square it one way," McCain said. "The right to represent interests or groups of Americans is a constitutional right. There are people that represent firemen, civil servants, retirees, and those people are legitimate representatives of a variety of interests in America.
WOOOHOOO! The old "Constitutionally protected" argument from a candidate that regularly ignores and tramples on The Constitution when it comes to your rights and mine. When McCain says he isn't going to talk about it anymore... He is really just praying that we will stop asking and digging on it. Good luck on that one!

[update deux] Crooks and Liars chronicles some of the lies from McCain:

So much for the Straight talk express. He’s been trying to spin the influence that Ms. Iseman had on him overall and specifically regarding the Paxson deal. McCain’s camp had this to say:

Statements from McCain’s office said Iseman met only with staff and indicated that a staff member was involved in drafting and sending the letter. Thursday’s statement went to lengths to say why McCain could not have met with Paxson.

There’s a slight problem with that. Bud Paxson basically called McCain a liar.

Broadcaster Lowell “Bud” Paxson yesterday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Paxson’s behalf.

Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson’s quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.

And what about Vicki Iseman, you know, the lobbyist that McCain called a “friend?”

Paxson also recalled that his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, likely attended the meeting in McCain’s office and that Iseman helped arrange the meeting. “Was Vicki there? Probably,” Paxson said in an interview with The Washington Post yesterday. “The woman was a professional. She was good. She could get us meetings.”

Oh yes! There's still more more lies and inconsistencies from McCain...

[update trois] Denis Horgan sums up the inconsistancies of McCain on the lobbyists well:
Snow is sunshine. The moon is Mars. What’s the difference? How is the truth relevant?

Oh, yes. We need four more years of this.


Obama Demolishes the Last Outlier Poll And New Ad

Don't know much about the science behind poll numbers but these numbers look pretty good for the Obama Campaign considering they are a pre-VP selection poll which would put them around the time the McCain's multiple housing hypocrisy started to break:

Obama holds a 47%-43% edge over McCain among registered voters and a 48%-45% edge among likely voters. Both leads are within the margin of error of +/—4 percentage points.

In the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll a month ago, Obama led McCain by 3 percentage points, but McCain held a 4-point lead among likely voters.

Most of the telephone survey of 1,023 adults was taken before Obama announced Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate Saturday.

This really does kill the media meme from the last outlier poll giving McCain a supposed lead. Also, I really think McCain's housing failure hasn't really set in completely yet. It broke big on Thursday, and stories like that really need to be out there for a while in order for everyone to get a clue on McCain's uncaring ignorance.

Oh yeah... As for tying bush to McCain: "66% say they're concerned he'll pursue President Bush's course. That includes 64% of independents and 35% of Republicans." An anchor issue sure to drag McCain down given bush having cemented his place in history as the worst president ever and McCain has shown no signs of changing things.

Barrack Obama has a huge double digit lead on handling the economy - the number one issue for voters, as per usual - as McCain has lost even more ground there. And 40% of those polled think McCain is just too old to be president.

And wouldn't you know that 80% say the country is in bad shape and 70% say it is getting worse. I guess they have been paying attention to what the GOP policies have done to their bank accounts over the years? Never mind that they can't be too happy at the prospect of paying for endless wars, in lives and treasure, if McCain wins.

I do know that CNN is using old polls to ignore their own most recent poll numbers:

PS: If Anyone is concerned about the CNN Poll that they're pimping today, read Nate @ 538.com

There is a little bit of sleight-of-hand here. The analysis begins by comparing Obama's performance in this new poll to CNN's next-most-recent one, which had been conducted in late July. However, CNN then switches to discussing a different poll, one which was conducted in late June, and pulls several pieces of information about the preferences of Hillary Clinton supporters from that June version of its survey.

The other possibility, of course, is that CNN did identify Clinton supporters in its July poll, but chose not to cite those results because they didn't fit with its storyline. The number of Clinton-supporting Democrats will be fairly small in any given survey (probably about one-sixth of the total sample), and results from that subgroup will therefore shift around a lot, with or without reason.

Keep in mind, in a poll of the larger voting universe, Hillary supporters are 50% at best of the Democratic population - 35%, and further, of the active Democratic Population, probably closer to 16% (110M Voters in 2004; 18M for Hillary). They're looking at a sample of literally 15-18% of the poll, and from that, extrapolating in ways that do not hold up statistically. The MOE on a sample this small is 10%... CNN is garbage

And I do know that there is new Obama campaign ad:


The Failing Media Ain't My Cup of Zell, er, Joe

Over at the Danbury NewsTimes they have a story on Joe being the typical warmongering neocon stooge that he is in his support for McCain the endless war candidate... But they don't have the balls to actually write the truth about that. Anyways. I get down to the comments and find a comment from the insane GOP side of the aisle trying to pose a Democratic party type:
"It is too bad that few if any of the members of my party ever mention the firefighters and others who died on 9/11. All that Pelosi, Reed, Murphy, Biden and the others seemed to be concerned about are the civil liberties of the terrorists."
Sure FDR... Funny - because it is the republican side of the aisle that tries to turn any remembrance of 9/11 into a military parade. Why, in New Milford, do they even bother to have Veterans show up in uniform to talk at the 9/11 remembrance ceremonies every year that I have seen it? The right has tried to do this to all of the September 11th memorial ceremonies everywhere across the country and it is pure frickin' propaganda.

It is the GOP trying to inject the military and politics into a ceremony where they have no reason to be. If you don't recognize this then I truly pity your ignorance on what has happened in America, and particularly to the the far right GOP. The party of endless failed wars.

McCain has so little respect for soldiers that he lies about his own service.

And meanwhile you had the left fighting to get real medical issues recognized and treated for everyone that survived working on the scene of ground zero. Ya know... Fighting for the firemen, the police and their families to be treated in a manner respectful of their heroism on that day. Sadly we have to fight tooth and nail against the same warmongering GOP roadblocks every single day to get them to treat Veterans coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq with the health care that they deserve for their service.

Over the years neocon warmongering, lies and utter and complete failure to be fiscally and morally competent , responsible or even, simply, humane has resulted in boatloads of traditional and sane conservatives like Susan Eisenhower walking away from the GOP and their insane policies. They know for certain that they can no longer beat the idiot neocons in their own party.

I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama.

I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate "seed corn."

And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks.

The disgruntled republican voter? Shock! Awe! They are real. They are better off becoming indies, like Eisenhower did, and supporting more sane candidates that they can pick and chose from any party but the GOP.

And still, to this day, the far right wing in control of the GOP continues to be stupid and the media refuses to call them on it.

We told you that Joe Lieberman was a neocon and a supporter of bush's failed policies to his core. We told you that long before it became politically popular to tell the truth about Joe. McCain is no different in his support of endless wars and fiscal insanity.

This from the NewsTimes article:
In 2006, Greenwich Democrat Ned Lamont -- backed by a youthful group of Internet-savvy anti-war Democrats -- took on Lieberman for his support of Bush's Iraq war. Lieberman lost the Democratic primary but got a reprieve through a loophole in Connecticut election law that allowed him to form his own party and petition his way onto the November ballot.
Those of you who talk about the internet savvy of Ned Lamont supporters would do well to realize that we are also politically savvy, as well as being well informed in our policy opinions. We are always well ahead of the media in recognizing the failures of policies and politicians.

And, more often than the media or the right wing echo chamber ever is, we are proven correct.

Relegating us to a notion of only being "internet savvy" and simply "anti-war" (a bold faced lie) is a pitiful attempt to diminish that which we do so much better than 99% of you failures in the media these days.

Tell your readers the truth: Sure... some of us are anti-war. A reasonable position if you are really pro-life. BUT we are, for the most part, anti-ILLEGAL INVASION AND OCCUPATION. We are anti-ILLEGAL SPYING ON AMERICANS. We are anti-NEOCON-REPUBLICAN... Yep. Even the conservative and libertarian republicans that walk among us now.

But that doesn't fit your media agenda, does it? That would be the truth. And that would not belittle our position. I know it pains you to actually have to admit we exist, but do you have to be so oblivious as to why dead tree media is dying and Blogging is on the rise? It is your fucking job on the line you hack journalists.

While I was at the NewsTimes I decided to go take a look at Eugene's Driscoll's movie Blog because I was drawn to a post title on the front page:
Yep... The media pushing the "Black man coming after your white women!" meme straight out Rove and Luntz's playbook. Absolutely nothing in there that has anything to do with the title.

Just a Blaring title to catch people's roving eyes.

Being somewhat more responsible, timely and ethical in my writings, here, I take the time to point out the obvious in his first part of the story over there as well as question his misleading choice of title.

Anyone with half a brain didn't have to wait for the text message to find out Biden was the VP choice since the Secret Service were dispatched to protect Biden the night before.

And if you really wanted to get the internet's attention, Eugene, you would simply start posting the truth about gigolo McCain's (the guy with the sugar mama Cindy...) warmongering campaign to continue corrupt bush administration failures instead of misleading titles to insinuate scandals on the left side when there aren't any and raising the bigot factor up a notch.

While the rest of America is busy trying to figure out how many homes McCain can't remember he owns OR if he paid his taxes on all of them... Feel free to continue to be well behind the curve. It only continues to make real Bloggers look more competent and you, well, not so much.

Here is Eugene's underwhelming response to my comment:
Uh, this is blog about movies . . . but thanks for the wacky rant!
Wow! He sure told me... He writes something that is linked prominently on the front page of a news paper site that is a blatant fabrication and my rant is wacky.

Nice try Eugene but:
"Fox 61’s Rick Hancock says he received the Obama text at 3:28 a.m. He posted the news on his blog at 3:33 a.m., according to CTWeblogs.

Just before his head hit the pillow (I assume) Rick raised an interesting point:

“Media coverage of all of these people getting the text would have been a great PR move. Essentially, Obama made a 3:30 a.m. booty call to his supporters.”"
This post is a pitiful attempt to plant misleading BS in the media in the hopes of tainting Obama with innuendo in the public mind. And even if this was done unintentionally, then you have still failed the public.

He even took the time to add the "booty call" comment for extra effect in the "black man coming for the white women" BS. Pure Willie Horton there. Not the fake stuff the media distracts with, but real McCain campaign Willie Horton material.

What he really told me, yet again, was why the media is failing. He may not know it, but we do. This is right up there with Fox or CNN tactics:
"Is Obama the Antichrist?"
If someone in the media has to even ask this or uses it as the blaring title of their piece... Fire them. They are pumping pure propaganda as every part of any investigated story on this would show the real truth:
"Insane McCain Tries to Paint Obama as the Antichrist!"
That is a factual and supportable storyline. McCain and his surrogates played that ad to the lunatic fringe. The CNN fox like title was the one that ran. Fuckin' pitiful. They deserve to be scorned.

A disgrace to journalism.

The other day I wrote a quick note on the NY Times idiocy. Really, it was a question that readers everywhere deserve an honest answer to:

When will the NY Times arrive?

Because Bloggers weren't around at previous conventions, weren't there in the trenches for countless elections, primaries and issues. No, Bloggers haven't been doing what we have been doing and coalescing into one of the largest activist and information sharing networks, shaping the narrative of the news cycles in an effort to counterbalance failures in the older and compromised traditional media long before any of the more recent credentialed things started to happen...
The Year of the Political Blogger Has Arrived - NYTimes.com

Nope. According to the NY Times Bloggers have only arrived now. My question for the NY Times:

When do they plan on catching up to us?

Because we are still far ahead of the NY Times and other proven corporate and government media propaganda outlets in speaking truth to power, integrity and honesty in our coverage of the news. At least, the left side of the Blogosphere is.
Journalists are so far out of the mainstream that we really want to know. A couple of comments that underscore the perception of readers out there. First a comment from BeachBum (another Vet that Blogs about his life in South Carolina) on it:
I don't think they can catch up. Some of their mistakes lately seems to suggest they do worse than some of dedicated bloggers.
I think he is right... They seem to willfully remain mired in their dead tree ways while most people have long since moved on to better reading. They have moved on to Blogs. Another comment from someone that has fully embraced the reality of the new and obviously better media:
I have a degree in Communications and I am amazed at how slow the MSM has been in catching onto the incredible power of the internet. I wonder sometimes if they are in denial.
Part of the dead tree media problem is that they are so invested in the business model they created for ad revenue they have a hard time trying to keep up with those of us that have absolutely no budget beyond Google type ads and relatively no overhead beyond buying a digital camera or video cam and, if even, some bandwidth and domain name if we want to bother.

They are in denial.

They have a failed business model and refuse to give it up. Eventually smart advertisers will give up the dead tree media model as well. Most of them just haven't quite figured out they should. And the advertisers sure as hell don't want to support the Blogosphere (not the left side of it) because we have integrity and hold them accountable.

And the media tries to mock us as they fall further and further behind. Perhaps they are just acting out because they are ashamed of their own failings... More likely, they are hoping they won't lose that next fed up reader to the Blogs that are writing about the truth.

Then they make matters worse for themselves when they cut local content down to nil and wonder "why do more and more people turn to the internet?" And then you have the media take preposterous positions (like the Hartford Courant did) and ask Bloggers to provide them with free content after laying off many of their local staff.
Aside from Letters to the Editor, the Courant pays for every other word of editorial copy it prints. Shouldn't the paper at least pay a nominal fee to bloggers whose words they excerpt? The blogger who wants to remain pure can give permission to print without a fee, but the very idea that the Courant hasn't made the offer is exploitative.

They've been in the business for a long time, and they must surely understand that while the web is extraordinarily freewheeling when it comes to sharing and borrowing information, if you are a major media outlet, who makes money for your newspaper/website, then "borrowing" without pay is impolite, if not immoral.
Is the Courant frigin' nuts?

They will be the first to push the "FREE MARKET RULES AND ALL HAIL DEREGULATION!" talking points for the GOP corporate interests, like all of the ones that led to the housing crash, but they want Bloggers to dig them out of the hole they made for free?

I don't begrudge the few Bloggers that took them up on it and wanting to get at least some sane views in their news papers. In fact, I believe the few that are in there from the reality based community are ones that were there before the layoffs happened. If they don't continue those pages will be left to only the right wing nuts that we have already had to suffer from for years.

If we had a thriving and healthy local media they would still be making money. They are the cause of their own downfall through failed business decisions and failed editorial decisions.

Any media manager that would hire the likes of Judy propaganda Miller, Billy I’m not right about anything, but I still get my regular TV gig to screw over the national discourse Kristol, Karl Rove, or pay the AP services for Ron Fournier's GOP talking points, or present a dunderhead like Fred Lucas as a non-partisan contributor without any real opposing views is begging for failure.

I would like nothing more than to see the media succeed.

But they need to provide real hard news and investigative reporting that is fact checked and reality based, and they have do this both locally and nationally in order to succeed. At this point in time, more then ever before, they need to stand up for the little guys.

They don't and the citizens that used to rely on them for the truth suffer. And even more of them head to our Blogs. But Bloggers suffer too. Because now we have to not only fact check the media and political failures but we have to create content for ourselves in their absence.

What did you think? That I was doing this for my own pleasure? Fuck that!

I used to enjoy reading the news paper to keep up on everything. They used to provide a valuable service to their customers. Now they are just a marketing tool for corporations and partisan politics. Very few exceptions to that rule.

Frankly, I would like nothing more than to have more time to Blog about and do things that actually interest me - like hockey, gardening or sex... Anything but politics - So I am begging the intellectually lazy and incompetent media to do their job, to fire the liars, to cut the stenography and to start fact check again, to start doing your job the way you are supposed to so I don't have to anymore.