You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 18, 2008.

There is definitely a theme running through the McCain camp – here’s Pfotenhauer talking about “Real Virginia” – Palin the other day was talking about those parts of the country which are “pro-American” and on Hardball in a true and utter space cadet moment – Rep. Michelle Bachmann – was trying to convince host Chris Matthews that reporters need to go after and investigate ‘liberal’ ‘leftist’ Members of Congress as they are anti-American or have anti-American-leaning ~ can you hear the Twilight Zone theme song music playing in the background here……

Maybe he was born in a manger!

Maybe he was born in a manger!

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Barack Obama drew a crowd of 100,000 at a rally near the Gateway Arch in St. Louis on Saturday, the AP reports. McCain spent the day campaigning in North Carolina.

The focus on the stump Saturday for both Obama and McCain continued to be taxes, and the candidates traded sharp criticisms of each other’s plans.

More from the AP:

    McCain, trailing in the polls, fired the first volley, likening his rival to the socialist leaders of Europe and saying he wanted to “convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington.”McCain added, “Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it’s just another government giveaway.”

    Obama responded a few hours later in appearance before an enormous crowd, saying his Republican rival “wants to cut taxes for the same people who have already been making out like bandits, in some cases literally.”

    “John McCain is so out of touch with the struggles you are facing that he must be the first politician in history to call a tax cut for working people ‘welfare,'” Obama said.

Source: HP

McCain calls the Obama tax cut for the middle class and lower income earners – a government handout – as his wife Cindy McCain made an incredible $4.2 million last year – and over paid her taxes by $900,000 without realizing it. This for most of us is like going into your pockets and realizing – you left some money in there – which is always a surprise – but finding anything like $900,000 – for most would be extraordinary.

As the economy tanks and 760,000 job losses this year alone (this figure only counts those actively seeking work and not the long term unemployed who have given up looking) – McCain adopts a risky strategy – by calling the Obama tax cuts – a government handout, welfare and even socialism.

McCain risks isolating even Joe the Plumber – his new ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and ‘Plane on eBay’ – as Obama’s plan – offers a better deal for all the Joe Plumbers out there. Joe the Plumber realizes as much – he has told reporters he would not benefit from McCain’s plan because he makes less (far less) than $250,000 a year. His point is he is not sure Obama will lower taxes as promised (but with a Democratic House and Senate – this might be very likely) and he admires the fact that John McCain fought in the war and was a POW. Nothing to do with taxes.

While people face uncertainty or hardship – if they have already lost their jobs – or can’t afford health insurance – and have become unwell or are afraid of falling ill – as 1 million have lost their homes and up to 12 million are living in homes which are not worth as much as they paid for them – McCain has a choice between at least 7 homes – one a ranch and his wife earned a terrific $4.2 million in 2007, McCain still feels that to offer tax relief to the middle class – is wrong.

Conservatives have described Obama as being Robin Hood – but is a 3% tax increase – stealing from the rich – it’s no wonder people of the time liked Robin Hood and why he is still remembered today – he gave people relief when they needed it most.

To make a comparison – Cindy McCain spent $300,000 on a single outfit to attend the first day of the GOP Convention. A person making $30,000/yr would need to work for 10 long years to buy that dress and earrings. If you were making $50,000 it would take you 6 years – for what Cindy McCain spent for use on a single day. Most people wouldn’t buy a dress with $300,000 – they would buy a house or put it towards a dream home – or pay off their mortgage and invest the rest. Put it in a college fund so their kids can go to university or save it for their retirement.

McCain talks about spreading opportunity ‘around’ – but look at the opportunity he and his wife have – Cindy McCain had the opportunity to pay $300,000 for a single outfit – which because Hurricane Ike was only able to wear for a few minutes. With all this privilege and wealth why then would McCain – not wish to help the very poor with an opportunity to buy a needed new coat – or help a young person to have the opportunity to go to college (considered special needs area of low priority) – or help a family to gat adequate health care – not by giving them a credit with one hand and taking or increasing taxes on health benefits – with the other – while deregulating or placing no controls on insurance companies – as he did with the banking industry.

Why is McCain only focused on what the rich have and want to use his Presidency to unsure the rich have even more – and for the poor – fine words – and smoke and mirrors – and more war – for Big Oil.

Conservatives have described Obama as being Robin Hood – but is a 3% tax increase – stealing from the rich – it’s no wonder people of the time liked Robin Hood and why he is still remembered today – he gave people relief when they needed it most.

An impressive crowd of 100,000 showed up to an Obama Rally in St. Louis, MO today.

Obama saying that he would give tax cuts to working people and that McCain – is one of the only politicians in history who would say that a tax cut for the working middle class amounts to welfare and a government give-away. [Especially after the $700bn Wall Street bailout.]

Obama argued that all workers are subject to payroll tax – and that by giving those at the lower end – who don’t pay income tax – a tax cut is in no way welfare – as these are working people.   

Where John McCain wants to give tax cuts and really what most consider corporate welfare – to companies like – Exxon Mobile – and to CEO’s on Wall Street over – relieving some of the pressure those in the middle class are feeling.

Both John McCain as well as Barack Obama (through successful book sales) are in the upper 5% income bracket. Obama wishes to use the 3% tax cut that the Bush administration introduced – for the wealthiest 5% – to give it to the middle class and poor – in a form of a tax cut for 95% of working people and small business owners. Something which Republican commentators have called ‘Robin Hood’ type policy and even ‘Marxist’. McCain agrees and wishes to keep the Bush tax cut for the wealthiest Americans – in place – the idea being that this money can trickle down to those on lower wages.

During the Clinton eight years – the tax cut for the wealth did not exist – yet the US economy grew more than at any time in history. The idea of giving a tax cut to the richest – in order that it trickles down to those less well off – falls apart – when the Bush (both Bush) economics are compared to the strongest and more prosperous Clintonian one. McCain is largely promising to continue Bush economics – with only a couple of alterations.

In 2000 Clinton requested that taxes not be reduced – in order to pay down the debt within eight years.

Plumbers were raised, along with teachers and police officers – to say that if you don’t make $250,000 then you will receive a tax cut. And taxes will only increase on the amount of earnings above this – by 3%. Obama has said in the past that he will work with small businesses to lower the amount they pay toward employee health-care.

Obama reminded voters not to be complacent – that they should keep making their case for change – that they should keep working hard – as a Democrat win is not guaranteed.

Go to Obama Optimization
Freedom is the greatest God’s gift to mankind.

Statement:

    We are an eight-member group; stepping towards finding justice and liberty and look for alterations.

    We all believe if America changes and persuades universal thoughts, the world will also change and turn to a better place to live. Exactly like all the other unique services such as television, internet and hygiene that Americans have presented to improve general conditions.

    And today this is Obama who speaks about these reformations.

    We found our passions for freedom of thinking in Obama and attempt and pray for him to reach his targets.

    Hope to see a day in which all human beings can feel sweet sensation of liberty all over the world.

Purpose:

    Effective guidance of thoughts matching with Obama’s thoughts toward decisive victory of alterations system in America election in the remained golden opportunity.

If you want to be the best, so change!


Voters in at least 10 swing states are receiving hundreds of thousands of automated telephone calls — uniformly negative and sometimes misleading — that the Republican Party and the McCain campaign are financing this week as they struggle to keep more states from drifting into the Democratic column.

Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, has denounced such phone calls in the past: In the 2000 primaries, Mr. McCain was a target of misleading calls that included innuendo about his family, and he blamed them in part for his loss to George W. Bush. This January, too, in South Carolina, Mr. McCain described the calls against him as “scurrilous stuff,” and his campaign set up a “truth squad” to debunk them.

On Friday, a Democratic official in Minnesota said he had received one of these so-called robocalls and had tracked it to a company owned by a prominent Republican consultant, Jeff Larson. According to published news reports, Mr. Larson and his previous firm helped develop the phone calls in 2000 that took aim at Mr. McCain.

In the 2000 primaries, Mr. McCain was a target of misleading calls that included innuendo about his family, and he blamed them in part for his loss to George W. Bush.

A spokesman for the McCain campaign could not say Friday night whether it had contracted with Mr. Larson’s current company, FLS Connect. Phone messages left for Mr. Larson were not answered Friday, nor were messages left at a subcontractor, King TeleServices, which is making the actual calls to voters in Minnesota.

The Minnesota Democrat, Christopher Shoff, a commissioner in Freeborn County, said the automated call described Mr. Obama as putting “Hollywood above America” because he attended a fund-raiser in Beverly Hills hours after the federal government seized control of the insurance giant American International Group. The call was first reported by The Huffington Post.

“It is a disgusting form of negative campaigning,” Mr. Shoff said in an interview, “calling people randomly off a computerized list, during dinner time, and reciting a message that is misleading, as I knew it to be. Republicans should be talking about serious issues.”

Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said the “Hollywood” robocall was based in fact. “I would argue that much of these calls are based on hardened facts that American voters should consider,” Mr. Bounds said.

Another McCain spokesman, Brian Rogers, said the automated calls placed this year were different from those used against Mr. McCain in 2000 because they were “100 percent true.” Mr. Rogers added that it was “crazy” to compare these calls to the calls in 2000, which sought to hurt Mr. McCain by describing his “interracial child” — a reference to the McCains’ adopted daughter from Bangladesh.

On Friday, Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, urged Mr. McCain to stop placing automated calls in her state, The Associated Press reported.

“It is a disgusting form of negative campaigning,” Mr. Shoff said in an interview, “calling people randomly off a computerized list, during dinner time, and reciting a message that is misleading, as I knew it to be. Republicans should be talking about serious issues.”

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said Mr. McCain’s use of automated calls in this campaign showed “just how much Senator McCain has changed since then — adopting not only President Bush’s policies but his tactics.” In response to the calls, the Obama campaign on Friday added a link on its Web site to FightTheSmears.com, asking supporters to report robocalls.

Mr. LaBolt said the Obama campaign was currently making robocalls, but he added: “The focus of all of our communications is on the direction Senator Obama will take the country and on policy differences between the candidates on issues like health care.” Republican National Committee officials said they were not aware of any Obama robocalls.

Such calls are a relatively cheap way to reach large numbers of voters in a short time. A review shows that the current calls on Mr. McCain’s behalf are uniformly negative and at times misleading.

The phone campaign hammers familiar themes that have been playing out for months in the campaign, focusing on Mr. Obama’s past associations and trying to portray him as a friend of radicals and liberal Hollywood celebrities.

Mr. McCain’s use of automated calls in this campaign showed “just how much Senator McCain has changed since then — adopting not only President Bush’s policies but his tactics.”

In one widely reported call, Mr. McCain raises Mr. Obama’s links to William Ayers, a founder of the 1960s-era radical Weather Underground. “You need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers,” a recorded voice says.

Mr. Obama, 47, and Mr. Ayers, now a 63-year-old education professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, served together on two of that city’s philanthropic boards as well as on the board of an education project, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The two men have been described as friendly, but are not known to be close.

In an Oct. 10 letter to The New York Times, William C. Ibershof, the lead federal prosecutor of the Weathermen in the 1970s, expressed outrage that Mr. Obama was being tarred with the association, adding that he was pleased to learn that Mr. Ayers had “become a responsible citizen.”

The “Hollywood” robocall, meanwhile, asserts that “on the very day our elected leaders gathered in Washington to deal with the financial crisis, Barack Obama spent just 20 minutes with economic advisers, but hours at a celebrity Hollywood fund-raiser.”

The information is based on a newspaper report from Sept. 16, when the government took control of the American International Group in an $85 billion bailout. Mr. Obama attended a cocktail reception that night in Beverly Hills that featured celebrities like Barbra Streisand and Leonardo DiCaprio, after a 20-minute briefing by economic advisers.

But Mr. LaBolt said Mr. Obama’s schedule that day also showed that he was briefed by staff members twice more and spoke with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.

Mr. McCain was not in Washington, either, on the day Mr. Obama was in Beverly Hills; he was campaigning in Ohio. The Obama campaign noted that Mr. McCain had also raised money from Hollywood.

Voters in North Carolina have received calls accusing Mr. Obama of opposing legislation aimed at protecting aborted fetuses that show signs of life, a position the call states is “at odds even with John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.”

“Please vote,” the call continues, “vote for candidates that share our values.”

The 2003 measure in Illinois that Mr. Obama opposed was virtually identical to federal legislation that Mr. Bush signed into law in 2002 after it was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. But Mr. Obama and other opponents of the Illinois bill have said that the state already had a law protecting aborted fetuses born alive. The Illinois State Medical Society, which also opposed the legislation, said the bill would increase civil liability for doctors and interfere with their patient relationships.

Source: NYT

Putting aside this man’s obvious difficulties in life – and the fact that McCain couldn’t have screwed up more – by not doing at least a little checking into this man’s circumstances before introducing him to the world – without his permission. Anyway he did the same thing with Palin – the word ‘vetting’ doesn’t appear to be in McCain’s ‘vocabulary’. Perhaps to McCain ‘vetting’ means to ‘smear’ someone – but never mind.

Ironically Joe (who does plumbing work) could turn out to be more of a help to Obama – than to McCain –
In order to explain Joe’s tax situation – you would have to point out that because he doesn’t earn more than $250,000 – therefore he wont be eligible for a McCain tax cut – but he would be eligible for an Obama tax cut – as his income falls within the income bracket of 95% of the American people.

So long as Joe continues to pall around with McCain – it would be pointed out – that although Joe dreams of the day when he could be in that top 5% of earners – at present he is just not rich enough to get a McCain tax cut ..awe..

What must also be noted is that if Joe does manage to buy this business – because at the moment it is a pipe dream – unless he gets a book deal out of all this.. if Joe entered into a partnership – then the $250,000 – $285,000 predicted earnings Joe speaks of – will be split down the middle – and even though Joe would own his own business – he would still not be eligible for a McCain tax cut or an Obama 3% tax increase – as he still wont he earning more than $250,000.

So..it..goes Joe!

Here’s a video from the JedReport to illustrate just this fact.

Biden: We Are All Patriotic

On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.

Many Americans say they’re uneasy about Obama. He’s pretty new to them.

We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.

The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Source: Chicago Tribune

As Republicans sit on mounted horse – pointing down at Obama’s past – Robert Kennedy showed that it can work both ways – Sarah Palin’s past – and indeed recent past – can also be examined.


Pro-American – now Palin gets to decide where and who is pro-American – amazing for someone who has close connections to an Alaskan Secessionist group – the AIP, who recently addressed their convention. It’s more than gall – it’s crossing the line.

It seems she has gotten used to labeling Obama as not being pro-American that she felt comfortable enough to divide the country – into pro-and not so pro-American sections. This is not the words of a uniter.

It’s not clear if rankings exist, but North Carolina would apparently rate high in the estimation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. John McCain’s running mate declared her appreciation for the Tar Heel State’s “Pro-America” bent Thursday night during a fundraiser in Greensboro.

    “We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America,” Ms. Palin said, according to a pool report. “Being here with all of you hard-working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans.”

Ms. Palin’s remarks drew applause for the 500-or-so at the fundraiser, which raised $800,000 for the Republican Party. But some outside North Carolina were left wondering, including a certain Democratic presidential campaign based in Chicago, Ill.

“Just asking,” said Senator Barack Obama’s spokesman Bill Burton in an e-mail to reporters. “What part of the country isn’t pro-America?”

Ms. Palin’s spokesman, Tracey Schmitt, clarified thus: “Governor Palin was reinforcing her message that the best of America can be seen all over the country and isn’t limited to any particular geographic region.”

Update:

    Later on, Governor Palin came back to talk to reporters on the plane and was asked what she meant by pro-America: “Every area, every area across this great country where we’re stopping and where also the other ticket is stopping and getting to speak at these rallies and speak with the good Americans, it’s all pro-America. I was just reinforcing the fact that there, where I was, there’s good patriotic people there in these rallies, so excited about positive change and reform of government that’s coming that they are so appreciative of hearing our message, hearing our plan. Not, not any one area of America is more pro-America patriotically than others.”

Source: NYT

What I don’t expect is for some troglodyte at a campaign rally to decide that the proper way to express his frustration with Democrats, Barack Obama or the “left-wing liberal media” is to commit assault on a colleague.

Here’s the back-story:

As you probably know, the crowds at McCain-Palin events have gotten, um, saucy as of late.

Covering Sen. John McCain’s appearance in Wilmington Monday, you could definitely sense some of that vibe.

Cut to today, Palin in town. In general, I walked in sensing the crowd had a more positive vibe than the McCain rally.

That changed when I heard a ruckus behind me. A couple folks there for the rally called campaign staff over, complaining about people several rows back chanting “Obama” when the rest of the crowd cheered at Palin’s applause lines. Obnoxious? Yes. But I dig me some First Amendment.

“Dude,” he says when I called to check on him. “Some guy just kicked me in the back of the leg.”

The campaign staff dutifully fetched a couple of police officers who dutifully threw the handful of individuals out. I watched just to make sure ruckus didn’t develop into something more. That apparently gave other McCain-Palin supporters license to yell at me.

“Hey! Hey you! The story’s up there,” yelled one point at the stage. “You don’t need to worry about that. The story is up there.”

The presence of a barricade, the more pressing need of gathering a story and, well, that whole First Amendment thing just led me to ignore them. They can pop off if they like.

Joe was near a second group of protestors who got tossed. And he got some push back for investigating as well. After the rally wound down, he went to find some Obama folks and see if he could talk to who got put out.

That’s when at least one guy from the crowd decided he needed to interject his opinion into the conversation. As Joe tells it:

    I sidled up to one of the Obama supporters and asked why they were there, what they were trying to accomplish.As he was telling me a large, bearded man in full McCain-Palin campaign regalia got in his face to yell at him.”Hey, hey, ” I said. “I’m trying to interview him. Just a minute, okay? ”

    The man began to say something about how of course I was interviewing the Obama people when suddenly, from behind us, the sound of a pro-Obama rap song came blaring out of the windows of a dorm building. We all turned our heads to see Obama signs in the windows.

    This was met with curses, screams and chants of “U.S.A” by McCain-Palin folks who crowded under the windows trying to drown it out and yell at the person playing the stereo.

    It was a moment of levity in an otherwise very tense situation and so I let out a gentle chuckle and shook my head.

    “Oh, you think that ‘s funny?! ” the large bearded man said. His face was turning red. “Yeah, that ‘s real funny…” he said.

    And then he kicked the back of leg, buckling my right knee and sending me sprawling onto the ground.

There was no cop or security officer around to report this lugnut to, and Joe resisted the temptation to smack the guy back, which I commend.

Do I hold the McCain campaign responsible? Not entirely. No one on their staff said, “Hey, after the event, go smack around a reporter.”

Certainly I have heard complaints from Democrats about “the media” ~ but I have never had the sense that a Democrat was going to get physical in that kind of way.

Although, I will say that complaints about “the media,” “mainstream media,” “Eastern media elite,” etc… have become a pervasive in Republican talking points, increasingly so as we get closer to the election. I’ve heard the complaints from folks like U.S. Sen. Richard Burr and certainly both Palin and McCain have used those phrases in their speeches. Then, there are the opening lines of Hank Williams Jr.’s campaign theme song for McCain-Palin: “The leftwing liberal media have always been a real close-knit family, but most of the American people, don’t believe them anyway you see.”

Certainly I have heard complaints from Democrats about “the media” and have been accused of being too conservative. But I have never had the sense that a Democrat was going to get physical in that kind of way. Even though McCain and Palin have taken a kinder gentler tone in their speeches, there was still a real undercurrent of anger at the rallies I covered – this week.

After today I’m wondering – and this is just wondering at this point – whether Republicans aren’t in some respect giving their supporters license for this sort of crap. If the story you peddle is that your guys are the good guys and all those who stand against them are the bad guys, and the “liberal media” is in that second column, might there be a message there – even if it is one that is misconstrued and carried to a stupid extreme in some cases?

Source: New Record