Those whose arguments are empty of fact are usually full of shit. --David Porter
Get it out there. Call, write, talk, inform.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama's "Socialist" Plan Same as Clinton's

Republican presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan were huge supporters of what McCain has called "income redistribution."

Roosevelt was one of the greatest advocates of progressive taxation in the years immediately preceding the enactment of the current income tax.

Reagan was responsible for enacting the Earned Income Tax Credit, an extremely successful redistribution program which returns money to the working poor.

Obama is going to REDUCE the taxes of 95 percent of Americans by taxing only the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans at the same rate they paid under President Clinton, when we saw the greatest economic expansion in U.S. history.

Right now the Bush tax breaks are a virtual lottery for the wealthiest 5 percent of Americans. They have enjoyed huge rebates and tax loopholes for years, Obama simply, and justly, wants to instead give the those tax breaks to people who earn less than $250,000. So again, if you make LESS THAN $250,000 Obama will give you a tax break.
If you make more than $250,000 you will pay the same tax rate that was in effect under Clinton.

So tell me why Obama's tax plan is bad. Tell me how this is even remotely socialist.

FYI, Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to call for universal health care and national health insurance.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Will McCain "Fuck You"?

It seems that irrational anger runs in the family, the McCain family that is.

Early this week John McCain's brother Joe, while in Alexandria, VA, called 911 because he was irritated with traffic. When the operator asked him if he was really calling the emergency line to complain about highway conditions, Joe McCain responded, "Fuck you" and hung up.

According to WJLA Newschannel 8 in Alexandria, the operator dialed the caller back. Shockingly enough, Joe McCain's voicemail answered.

Audio transcript of the call plays out as such:

Operator: "911, state your emergency."

Caller: "It's not an emergency but, do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95 traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic's coming the other way?"

Operator: "Sir, are you calling 911 to complain about traffic?"

Caller: "Fuck you."


When the emergency operator called back, she was greeted with, "Hi this is Joe McCain. I can't take this message now because I'm involved in a very (inaudible) important political project... I hope on Nov. 4th we have elected John."

It's good to see that Joe McCain is following his brothers "strategery" to win over voters.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Block the Vote

Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?

These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line.

On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.

Maez was not alone in being denied his right to vote. On Super Tuesday, one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists. The numbers were even higher in precincts like Las Vegas, where nearly 20 percent of the county's voters were absent from the rolls. With their status in limbo, the voters were forced to cast "provisional" ballots, which can be reviewed and discarded by election officials without explanation. On Super Tuesday, more than half of all provisional ballots cast were thrown out statewide.

This November, what happened to Maez will happen to hundreds of thousands of voters across the country. In state after state, Republican operatives — the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics — are wielding new federal legislation to systematically disenfranchise Democrats. If this year's race is as close as the past two elections, the GOP's nationwide campaign could be large enough to determine the presidency in November. "I don't think the Democrats get it," says John Boyd, a voting-rights attorney in Albuquerque who has taken on the Republican Party for impeding access to the ballot. "All these new rules and games are turning voting into an obstacle course that could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states."

To read the rest of this excellent, important, and informative article by ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST go to
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/23638322/block_the_vote/print

Get it out there. Call. Write. Talk. Inform.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Palin---"What Does the VP Do?" Wear Expensive Clothes!

For the love of God, this is the SECOND time that Palin has not been able to answer the question "What does the VP do?" On CNBC she (in)famously asked “What is it exactly that the VP does every day?” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4gkPXSDtGQ You would think that after he first screw up somebody in McCain camp would have told her!!
video

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

October 22, 2008
Palin takes heat for saying VP 'in charge' of the Senate
Posted: 01:18 PM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
(CNN) – Sarah Palin is taking heat Wednesday for appearing to overstate the role of vice president, saying in a recent interview that she would be "in charge of the Senate" should John McCain win the White House.
The comments came in an interview with Colorado TV station KUSA in response to a third-grader's question, "What does the Vice President do?”

"[T]hey’re in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom," she said.

The comments have drawn criticism from Democrats and liberal blogs which note the actual role of the vice president when it comes to the Senate is simply to cast a tie-breaking vote in the event of a stalemate. According to Article I of the U.S. Constitution, the vice president is the "President" of the Senate, but has no executive position when it comes to presiding over the chamber.

Donald Ritchie, a historian in the Senate Historical Office told CNN that Palin's comment was an "overstatement" of what her role would be.

"The vice president is the ceremonial officer of the Senate and has certain ceremonial functions including swearing in new senators and can vote to break a tie," he said. "It’s a relatively limited role. It's evolved into a neutral presiding officer of the Senate.

Ritchie also noted recent vice presidents have played a behind-the-scenes lobbying role on Capitol Hill for an administration's policies, but called it "somewhat limited."

"It's not comparable to the Speaker of the House who is certainly in charge of the House," he said. "The slogan that political scientists use is that the House is ruled by the chair and the Senate is ruled by the floor…the senators are in charge of the Senate."

Maria Comella, a spokeswoman for Palin, said the Alaska governor was simply answering the question in a way a third-grader could understand.

"Governor Palin was responding to a third grader's inquiry," she said. "She was explaining in terms a third-grader could understand that the vice-president is also president of the U.S. Senate."

In an interview with CBS earlier this month, Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden also said he hoped to play an influential role in the legislative branch if Barack Obama wins the White House.

"I hope one of my roles as vice president will be as the person actually implementing Barack Obama's policy. You gotta get the Congress to go along with it," he said. "And it's presumptuous to say, but I know it pretty well. And I think I am fairly respected on both sides of the aisle."

Palin is doing a lot to improve our image abroad. She got dressed up in $150,000 in designer clothes from Niemen Marcus and Saks 5th Ave. And she will donate the clothes to charity after the election. Bag ladies in $3,000 Oscar de La Renta leather jackets and homeless people in $5,000 skirts.

Monday, October 20, 2008

GOP voter fraud scandal 'really serious'

David Edwards and Muriel Kane
Published: Monday October 20, 2008

The Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday that dozens of voters have complained they were duped by a firm working for the GOP into switching their party registration to Republican while being told they were signing a petition for tougher penalties on child molesters.

The switches could impede Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts and could prevent those affected from voting in next year's Democratic primaries. Some of the voters were even switched to absentee status, meaning they could lose their vote entirely if they show up at the polls on Election Day without bringing an absentee ballot.

The story began last summer, when California Democrats noticed sudden, unexplained turnarounds in Republican registration in certain counties and obtained a list of the new registrations from the San Bernardino County registrar's office. They found that more than 75% of the phone numbers given were invalid, and of those voters who could be reached, over 80% said their registrations had been switched to Republican without their knowledge.

A single group turned out to be behind the "slamming" -- Young Political Majors, which was previously found to be using similar tactics in Florida in 2004. In that election, YPM was employed by another firm called JSM Inc., which was working for conservative powerhouse Arno Political Associates. Similar stories involving all three have surfaced in Arizona, Massachusetts, and Ohio.

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer asked legal analyst Susan Filan on Monday about the case. "This is really serious," Filan responded. "This is a very specific, deliberate intent to mislead." She contrasted it with the far more trivial accusations of voter fraud against the anti-poverty group ACORN, which has handed in occasional fake registrations under names such as "Mickey Mouse."

Late on Saturday, the owner of Young Political Majors, Mark Jacoby, was arrested on charges of having fraudulently registered himself to vote at a California address where he lived as a child so that he would meet California's legal requirement that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in that state.

Jacoby's attorney called the charges "baseless" and part of a "long pattern of harassment," saying that his client travels a lot and has continued to use his parents' home as his legal address.

The California GOP issued a statement claiming that "California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has decided to once again show her partisan colors and charge an individual for questions surrounding his own, personal voter registration. ... The charges we've seen today suggests that this is politically motivated. ... It is evident that Debra Bowen is using her office to play politics with the public's perception."

Filan's comment on this claim was, "To say this is politically motivated is just nonsense. To not prosecute something like this would be an extreme dereliction of a public official's duty." However, she did not address the question of whether there was any impropriety in arresting Jacoby for his personal actions rather than because of the accusations of fraud against his firm.

Bradblog has been following the Jacoby case and is posting regular updates.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The More Things C.H.A.N.G.E.

I am sooooo disappointed that the Obama campaign has decided to bring race into this election. How dare Obama play the race card!

Wednesday October 8, 2008
A Monroe, Louisiana man is facing a felony terrorizing charge after a racially charged, profane exchange with his Registrar of Voters and police officers who would later arrest him.

75-year-old Wade Williams, arrested Wednesday morning, was angry that he hadn't yet received his voter registration card. According to the Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Office, Williams threatened a state official over the phone that he would "empty his shotgun," stating an urgent need to vote to "keep the nigger out of office." On the way to be booked at the Ouachita Correctional Center, Williams reportedly "continued his 'tirade' about niggers and also stated that he had a shotgun, but had hidden it at his residence."

The affidavit also states that Williams was informed over the phone that he would be able to vote simply by showing a form of identification at the polling place.


Friday October 3, 2008
A Florida middle school teacher faced disciplinary action after using the word "nigger" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The 7th grade teacher, Greg Howard, asked his students what "change" stood for in relation to the Obama campaign and proceeded to write out the acronym "come help a nigger get elected."

The school suspended Howard without pay for 10 days and removed him from his position at the school.


September 13, 2008
An exhibitor at the 2008 Value Voters Summit - sponsored by the Family Research Council and counting among its speakers former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been selling seemingly racist anti-Obama waffles.

"I asked the 'chef'... if he was at all concerned that this might be viewed as a white man putting a black man into a frying pan," Raw Story reporter Larisa Alexandrovna wrote Saturday. "He laughed and said, 'I hope so.'"

The first image shows a gaping caricature of Obama under the words "Obama Waffles," with the tagline "Waffling the World Over." The second shows Obama in a turban with the words, "Point box toward Mecca for tastier waffles."

Yes, how dare Obama bring up race in this election. Shameless.

When Faux Journalism Attacks!



This morning on America's Newsroom on Fox, Megyn Kelly and Bill Hemmer had their panties in a wad because the new Newsweek cover had used a close up picture of Sarah Palin for its cover. The Fox duo accused Newsweek of being biased and trying tomake Palin look bad. I wonder where Newsweek got the idea?

On the July 2, 2008 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Doocy and Kilmeade showed Photoshopped pictures of New York Times reporter Jacques Steinberg and editor Steven Reddicliffe without telling viewers that the photos had been altered.

In their piece Doocy and Kilmeade put pictures on screen that made Reddicliffe look like he had dark circles under his eyes, had yellow teeth, and balding hair.
For Steinberg's photo they squished his head into an oval, enlarged his nose, ears and chin, and yellowed his teeth.

To not disclose that these pictures had been digitally altered and to portray the pictures as real is completely dishonest, journalistically unethical, and just plain petty.

This is just another example of how Fox does not employ real journalists.

Recall that Fox News has a habit of being duped into running news stories that turn out to be fake:
1) Phony story about a 13 year-old boy in Texas who used his father's credit card to go on a $30,000 spending spree, culminating with a game of Halo at a motel with a couple hookers. (The kid convinced the hookers he was a midget traveling with the circus.) The story was nothing short of genius, and it got picked up far and wide -- it made into a segment on Fox News (in which Jeanine Pirro made a passionate argument for the prostitutes' arrest).

2)“Fox & Friends” aired at least eight segments on a purported “news” story that was actually a parody article written by a publication similar to The Onion.
The backstory: In the town of Lewiston, Maine, a group of Somalian Muslim middle school students were the subject of a cruel prank when their peers placed a ham steak next to them in order to personally offend the students. School officials filed a report because the students considered the act to be a hate/bias crime.
Fox & Friends reported the details as actual news. Poking fun at the students, hosts asked whether ham was “a hate crime…or lunch?” and showed screen shots of ham sandwiches, starving Somalians, belching, animal noises, and mock “reenactments” of the incident. Ironically, the hosts assured viewers several times, “We’re not making this up!”

3) Carl Cameron, a Fox reporter who covered the Kerry campaign, wrote an item that looked like a news story with made-up Kerry quotes. The item was posted on the Fox News site.
The phony item read in part:

'"Didn't my nails and cuticles look great? What a good debate!'
Kerry said Friday.
"Aides say he will step up attacks on the president in the next few days, and pivot somewhat to the domestic agenda, with a focus on women and abortion rights.
'"It's about the Supreme Court. Women should like me! I do manicures,'
Kerry said."
Kerry was quoted as saying of himself and President Bush: "I'm metrosexual — he's a cowboy."

So there you have it, Fox is not a real News organization.

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Palin Lets "Kill Him" Go Unpunished

Bill Kristol, in today's New York Times, advises Palin to bring up the Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Palin, of course, believes that's a darn good idea:

“To tell you the truth, Bill, I don’t know why that association isn’t discussed more, because those were appalling things that that pastor had said about our great country, and to have sat in the pews for 20 years and listened to that — with, I don’t know, a sense of condoning it, I guess, because he didn’t get up and leave — to me, that does say something about character. But, you know, I guess that would be a John McCain call on whether he wants to bring that up.”


So why then didn't Palin get up and leave at her rally in Clearwater, Florida someone shouted "Kill him" when Palin mentioned Obama's name. And why did Palin and McCain both stay at a rally they had on Tuesday when someone yelled "Terrorist" when McCain mentioned Obama's name.

Not only did McCain and Palin not leave the rallies, they didn't even tell the hate-shouters to stop inciting illegal acts and hate-speech.

I guess we know where McCain and Palin stand on hate-speech and death threats.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The National Debt, GOP Lies, and Our Children

Sure, the GOP promises lower taxes for you and me but what the GOP hides is the fact that in exchange for lowering our taxes the GOP is going to saddle us (and even our children) with a massive debt that will take generations to pay off.

In 1982, under that shining star on a hill, Ronald Reagan amassed for the first time ever a national debt that exceeded $1 Trillion. The amount of the debt was unfathomable to almost everyone--$1 Trillion was now owed by American Taxpayers.
In the Keynesian economics theory, which the GOP strongly believes in, there is tolerance for fairly high levels of public debt to pay for public investment in lean times, which can be paid back with tax revenues that rise in the boom times. Well, right now there are two huge problems with that theory.

First, we are not getting anything tangible for our “public investment” right now. We are not getting improved roads, improved schools, improved healthcare, etc. Basically we are getting nothing for a LOT of something—our tax dollars.

Second, when are the “boom times” going to happen? As I write this the DOW has just fallen below 10,000 for the first time in 4 years. About one year ago the DOW was at 14,000. That is a 4,000 point drop in one year. Where and when are the boom times? Certainly the boom times are not here, not now, when we have lost Trillions and Trillions, and Trillions of dollars in the stock market, our home values, and in government spending on two wars.

So here we are now under Bush, another two-term Republican president. And he too, like Reagan has managed to hit another first; Bush has for the first time ever, a grown a national debt that exceeds $10 Trillion. But it’s even worse because Bush started out with national debt of ZERO. Bush has managed to saddle us and our children with the largest national debt in the history of the world.

Historically and factually, Democratic presidents have managed the economy of the United States much, much more responsibly and for the betterment of real tax-paying Americans. Since 1946, Democratic presidents increased the national debt an average of only 3.2% per year. The Republican presidents stay at an average increase of 9.2% per year. Republican Presidents out borrowed and out spent Democratic presidents by a three to one ratio.

Putting that in very real terms; for every dollar a Democratic president has raised the national debt in the past 63 years, Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.84 [1]. So let’s put that old GOP lie of “tax-and-spend Democrats” to rest right here, right now. The GOP outspends the Dems 3 to 1. But the GOP doesn’t tax us. No the GOP just leaves us with the largest debt in the world and pretends that the bill never has to be paid.

Here is a link to see what the current debt is, show it to your kids because they will be paying on it soon.
http://brillig.com/debt_clock/


[1] This number is derived from an average of the six Republican and five Democratic Presidents’ average debt increase for their terms.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What is McCain Hding in His Campaign Finances and Contributions?


Unlike the Republicans, the facts do not lie.

Where is the much vaunted transparency of the McCain campaign? McCain has fully disclosed only 86.8% of his campaign contributions, whereas Obama has filed with the Fed Elect Comm full disclosure for 92.4% of his contributions? 86.8% vs. 92.4%. The facts don not lie. Who has been more forthcoming and transparent with their campaign? Obama has been over 5% more honest about his campaign money. What is McCain hiding? Campaign finance tranparency once was a priority for McCain, but I guess that was before he wanted to be president. McCain's flip flop on camapign finance disclosure and ethics reveals to us the real McCain, and he is no maverick.

McCain
Full Disclosure $149,978,607 (86.8%)
Incomplete $5,347,819 (3.1%)
No Disclosure $17,504,399 (10.1%)

Individual contributions $184,758,250 80%
PAC contributions $1,346,385 1%
Candidate self-financing $0 0%
Federal Funds $0 0%
Other $43,935,187 19%


Obama
Full Disclosure $241,496,372 (92.4%)
Incomplete $5,645,434 (2.2%)
No Disclosure $14,294,243 (5.5%)

Individual contributions $426,902,991 94%
PAC contributions $450 0%
Candidate self-financing $0 0%
Federal Funds $0 0%
Other $27,152,882 6%

NOTE: Figures are for the 2008 election cycle. Summary and Fundraising by Quarter numbers are based on Federal Election Commission data released electronically on September 20, 2008. All other figures are based on data released electronically on Monday, September 29, 2008.

UPDATE OCTOBER 21:
McCain camp solicits Russian envoy for donation

No later than the newest attack on Sen. Obama for accepting contributions from possible foreign nationals, the McCain campaign, it appears, has hit up the Russian mission to the United Nations for a cash injection.

According to Russian news outlet RIA-Novosoti:
Russia's permanent mission to the UN has received a letter from U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain asking for financial support of his election campaign, the mission said in a statement on Monday.

"We have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia's permanent mission to the UN nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries," the statement said.

According to Ruslan Bakhtin, press secretary of the Russian mission, the letter dated September 29 and signed by McCain, was addressed to Vitaly Churkin, Russia's envoy to the UN, and arrived on October 16.

The ambassador's title was not included in the letter, and was not clear why the letter had taken over two weeks to arrive.

Enclosed was a request for a donation of up to $5,000 to McCain's election campaign to be returned with a check or permission to withdraw the money from the donor's credit card until October 24.

Individual donations to candidates' election campaigns are capped by law at $2,300, and it is illegal to accept donations from foreign nationals.

"Bakhtin confirmed the story to Politico, and wouldn't comment on the added oddity of the error coming from the anti-Russian McCain," reports Ben Smith. "'We just find it amusing,' he said."

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The (unfortunate) Passing of The Torch


When asked by Katie Couric to tell us some of the magazines or newspapers that you read to shape your world view, Sarah Palin “Um all of them, any of them, that ,fth, have been in front of me all these years.”

That’s the type of non-answer that you would expect from either a polished politician trying to evade the question or from a person who doesn’t actually read the news. I am betting she doesn’t read the news. Palin was asked in 2006, way before she was the GOP VP nominee, (so it could not have been “Gotcha Journalism”) what she thought about the Surge in Iraq. Palin’s answer: I’ve heard bout it on the news but I don’t have much of an opinion about it. This was when Palin was the much vaunted Commander–In-Chief of the Alaska National Guard, her supposed Commander–In-Chief and Foreign Affairs experience!

I know exactly which newspapers and magazines I read, and do you know why? Because some news sources are more credible and are better than others. It matters not only that you do read at least some news, but it also matters that know the credibility of each one you do read. Does Palin read the National Enquirer or does she read the WSJ, or the NYT? Even she doesn’t know.

Palin just doesn’t know enough about the great big complicated world outside of Alaska to be VP, and possibly president. I know that a ton of people like her because she’s “one of them” but I must ask with all seriousness, do those same people think that they themselves are good enough to be VP, and possibly president?

You don't Impulse Buy the VP. Palin just isn't ready for the big leagues. Period.