You are currently browsing the daily archive for October 23, 2008.
Revived an old ad !!
This ad came out before the financial collapse ~ likely no one knew just how much of a bee sting the Bush/McCain policies would be!
Not only does Karl almost get arrested – by a concerned citizen – he gets slapped down by a fellow convention panelist when he tries to preach about acceptable behavior in a campaign.
I betcha he could tell he wasn’t on Fox News!!
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden said Thursday that Republican rival John McCain is “getting a little loose” at a time when the nation needs a steady hand.
Campaigning in NASCAR country, Biden employed car racing terminology for bumping to describe the contentious final days of the campaign. He told supporters in Charlotte that he’s worried about how the Republicans have been acting as the two campaigns have been “trading a little paint” recently.
“What worries me most is the McCain campaign seems to have gotten a little loose,” Biden said. “John’s getting a little loose. He doesn’t have much of a steady hand these days. Now’s the time we most need a steady hand.”
The Delaware senator told the crowd the nation needs to unite to address the challenges ahead. He called Republican robocalls “scurrilous” and said ads portraying Obama as an extremist hurt the American people.
“It is corrosive to American society,” Biden said. “It’s awfully hard to build anything with that kind of corrosion.”
Although warning of the dangers of political divisions, Biden took aim at McCain. Deriding McCain’s effort to dissociate himself from President Bush, Biden accused the Arizona senator of “quacking like George W. Bush.”
And after botching McCain’s name, Biden joked he no longer knew his longtime Senate colleague.
“John McClain. John McClain. Excuse me, John McCain. John McCain — I don’t recognize him anymore,” Biden said to laughter from several hundred supporters in attendance.
Here’s a man who cares about you !!
Seems a little bewildered that things haven’t gotten a little dirtier by now. Never mind the guy he used every dirty tactic to get in power – is leaving with the state of the Nation in shambles – and now it seems he wants to do the same again with McCain or is that McSame.
By KARL ROVE
Obama’s plans are giving voters pause.
No campaign moves in a straight line. Every race experiences turns toward one side or the other, driven by events, the determined efforts of one candidate, or even a bored media hoping for a new story line.
This campaign’s most recent turn started Sept. 15 with the credit markets shutting down and the economy at the brink of disaster. Before then, John McCain was 2.1 points ahead in the RealClearPolitics average, his first lead since late March. Two weeks later, RealClearPolitics had Barack Obama ahead by 4.6 points, rising to an 8.2-point lead on Oct. 14.
Is there one more turn in the contest and, if so, will it be toward Mr. McCain?
The race has tightened slightly in recent days to an average Obama lead of 6.8 points yesterday. And there are a few things bending toward Mr. McCain. The emergence of “Joe the Plumber” and the likelihood of an agreement with Iraq on a continued U.S. troop presence are two of them. Both are opportunities for Mr. McCain to contrast himself against Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama’s troublesome friendships with Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko and (especially) Rev. Jeremiah Wright are important. But only 12 days remain. These relationships should have been highlighted by the McCain campaign in the spring and summer.
But Mr. McCain complicated things by unilaterally declaring Rev. Wright off limits. Now, Mr. Obama will benefit from the noise the media will generate if Mr. McCain attempts to make Obama’s Four Amigos this election’s closing act.
On the other hand, Mr. McCain might gain by arguing that in this time of consequence for America’s economy and security he has been right and Mr. Obama demonstrably wrong on the biggest issues facing the country.
Mr. McCain’s economic argument is simple: Raising taxes on small businesses in the face of recession will deepen and prolong the downturn. Taxing Joe the Plumber and other entrepreneurs to pay for what the National Taxpayers Union says are Mr. Obama’s $293 billion-a-year new spending plans is an expense the nation cannot afford. Mr. Obama’s tax-and-spend prescription will cause the economic fever to spike, not recede.
On national security, America is close to a bilateral agreement with Iraq that will continue sending U.S. troops home based on success — the result of the surge that Mr. McCain strongly advocated and Mr. Obama fiercely opposed. Should we elect someone so wrong about a strategy vital for success in what Osama bin Laden calls the central front in the war on terror?
Beyond that, Mr. McCain should also use vivid imagery to highlight concerns about the freshman Illinois senator. There are plenty of warning signs about Mr. Obama we ignore at our peril. Mr. McCain needs to explain what they are.
America’s economy got into trouble when people didn’t heed warning signs. Three years ago, Mr. McCain called for stricter oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, warning their risky practices threatened our economy and could cost taxpayers billions. He tried to prevent or at least reduce the breadth of the crisis we’re in now. Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats ignored these signs and opposed reform.
There’s more. Wanting to raise taxes — anyone’s taxes — in a slowdown is a warning sign of a misguided economic philosophy. Mr. Obama’s proposal to redistribute wealth is a warning of indifference or hostility to enterprise. Mr. Obama’s health-care plan is a warning that government will have more, not less, to say about your health care if he has his way. Mr. Obama’s dismissal of offshore drilling and opposition to nuclear power are warning signs for an economy whose growth depends on affordable energy. Mr. Obama’s commitment to withdraw our troops from Iraq without regard to conditions on the ground is a warning sign that Mr. Obama is dangerously wrong-headed and ideological on national security.
There’s more: The absence of a single significant instance in which Mr. Obama cooperated in a bipartisan manner in the Senate is a warning sign. So is his failure to dirty his hands by working hard on any major legislative challenge since entering Congress. And so is his refusal to break with his party or its interest groups on any issue of substance.
Mr. McCain has only one hope: to drive home doubts about Mr. Obama based on his record, and share as much as he can about his own values and vision to reassure voters.
Even if he does, Mr. McCain’s task won’t be easy: Mr. Obama is using his considerable talents as a community organizer. Evidence from early voting in Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico and Nevada shows that Democrats are flocking to cast ballots. We don’t know yet whether they’re cannibalizing their Election Day turnout by getting reliable voters to cast ballots early, or creating an electoral tsunami by targeting people who wouldn’t otherwise bother to turn out. If it’s the former, Mr. McCain still has a (long) shot. If it’s the latter, he and other Republican candidates are about to be dealt a punishing electoral blow.
Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
Oct. 23 (Bloomberg) — The presidential campaign yesterday came down to a contest of “Joe the Plumber” versus “Joe the Hedge-Fund Manager.”
Republican John McCain continued to invoke the Ohio man, known now as Joe the Plumber, to charge that Democrat Barack Obama would raise taxes on American workers. Obama countered that his plan would cut taxes for the Toledo-area plumber while McCain’s proposals favor the wealthiest Americans.
“Thanks to him, we’ve finally learned what Senator Obama’s economic goal is. As he told Joe, Barack Obama wants to, quote, `spread the wealth around,”’ McCain said in New Hampshire, referring to Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, who questioned Obama about his tax plan while the candidate was touring his neighborhood.
At a rally in Richmond, Virginia, Obama responded by saying, McCain “isn’t fighting for Joe the Plumber; he’s fighting for Joe the Hedge-Fund Manager.”
As stocks slump worldwide and a credit crunch burdens businesses and consumers, both candidates are focusing on the economy with the race in its final 12 days. Early voting already has begun in more than two dozen states, including the battlegrounds of Virginia, Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina.
Obama has an average national lead of 7 percentage points, according to data compiled by Realclearpolitics.com. That includes several polls that illustrate the volatility of the electorate. An Associated Press-GfK survey taken Oct. 16-20 showed Obama with 44 percent support to McCain’s 43 percent, well within the margin of error, while a Pew Research Center poll conducted Oct. 16-19 showed Obama with a 14-point lead. A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll put Obama’s margin at 10 points.
Obama, who spent yesterday in Virginia, is taking a break from the campaign after an event this morning in Indiana to visit his ailing grandmother in Hawaii. McCain is heading to Florida, where polls show the two candidates in a close race.
McCain has been hammering Obama on taxes using the example of Joe the plumber, who told the Democratic nominee that he wanted to buy the two-person business where he works and was concerned that Obama’s plan would raise his taxes.
McCain, an Arizona senator, advocates extending the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush, which are set to expire at the end of 2010. Obama, a senator from Illinois, says he would reduce taxes for families making less than $250,000 a year. Rates for households with taxable incomes of more than $250,000 would return to levels in the 1990s, going to 36 percent and 39.6 percent from the current 33 percent.
McCain accused Obama of seeking “redistribution of wealth.” His running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, has said the Democrat’s plan “sounds more like socialism.”
Obama noted that McCain opposed Bush’s tax cut plan when he was seeking the Republican nomination in 2000 and voted against them in the Senate.
“Was John McCain a socialist back in 2000?” Obama asked at a news conference.
Keeping with his theme, McCain’s campaign released a new television advertisement featuring Obama’s driveway encounter with Wurzelbacher, in which Obama tells him, “I think when you spread the wealth around it’s good for everybody.” The ad then shows a series of men and women saying “I am Joe the Plumber.” At the end, an announcer intones, “Barack Obama. Higher Taxes. More Spending. Not Ready.” The campaign says it will run in “key states” that it didn’t identify.
Obama also sought to confront McCain on national security, tying it to economic concerns.
“Our economy supports our military power; it increases our diplomatic leverage, and it is a foundation of America’s leadership in the world,” Obama said in Richmond.
On both security and the economy, Obama sought to tie McCain to Bush, whose approval ratings are at all-time lows.
McCain “would continue the policies that have put our economy into crisis and endangered our national security,” Obama, 47, said.
McCain repeated a line he used in their final debate: “I am not George Bush. If Senator Obama wants to run against George Bush, he should have run for president four years ago.”
Both candidates also addressed a controversy over remarks last weekend by Obama’s running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, who said that if the Democrat is elected an international crisis will “test the mettle of this guy.”
McCain cited the statement for the third straight day to make his case that he is better prepared to take office.
`Cannot Invite Testing’
“The next president won’t have time to get used to the office,” McCain, 72, said. “He cannot invite testing from the world.”
Obama said Biden was trying to say that the transition to a new leader always brings the risk that U.S. adversaries will try to gain an advantage. He rejected the idea that his election is more likely to provoke an incident.
“We have to be mindful that as we pass the baton in this democracy that others don’t take advantage of it,” he said.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, in an interview Oct. 21, said there is a risk that terrorists may view the transition as an opportunity to strike, no matter whether it is Obama or McCain who wins on Nov. 4.
As Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., prepares for an Indiana rally this morning, one of the state’s favorite sons hits the radio airwaves.
(Cue guitar strumming)
JOHN MELLENCAMP: “Hi. This is John Mellencamp; And I’ve seen a lot of small towns, but now I’m seein’ small towns across America dying.
“Folks losing their jobs and their homes. Eight years of George Bush” — pronounced BOOSH — “have really hurt. And – John McCain is just more of the same. Over the last eight years, thousands of Hoosier workers have seen their jobs sent out of this country.
“John McCain will keep givin’ tax breaks to companies shippin’ American jobs overseas.
“Barack Obama gets it, he sees the value in American made products and a strong American labor force; He’ll end tax breaks for companies shipping our jobs overseas and give a hard working family a break.
“This is John Mellencamp, and I’m proud to support Barack Obama, because whether you live in a small town or a big city, it’s time for a change.”
Listen to it HERE.
For decades, the success of NASCAR’s brand of high-octane, fender-banging stock-car racing has been intertwined with the fortunes of the U.S. automotive industry. NASCAR victories represented a nod to Detroit’s ingenuity. And showroom sales, in turn, were credited to the exploits on race day. As the marketing adage went: “What wins on Sunday, sells on Monday!”
But with the Big Three U.S. automakers struggling to survive, they have begun to dramatically scale back their financial involvement in NASCAR, threatening the economic model that has driven the sport’s popularity. Other corporate sponsors that helped transform stock-car racing from a workingman’s pastime into the country’s dominant form of auto racing also are scaling back their investment as a result of the sagging economy. Some companies may not renew their commitments — many of which run more than $10 million — when current contracts expire.
WASHINGTON — The number of homeowners ensnared in the foreclosure crisis grew by more than 70 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2007, according to data released Thursday.
By the end of the year, RealtyTrac expects more than a million bank-owned properties to have piled up on the market, representing around a third of all properties for sale in the U.S.
That’s bad news for anyone who lives nearby and wants to sell their home. While foreclosure sales are booming in many areas, those properties are commanding deep discounts and pulling down neighboring property values. “It has a pretty significant impact in terms of pricing,” said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac’s vice president for marketing.
RealtyTrac monitors default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions. More than 250,000 properties were repossessed by lenders nationwide in the third quarter, 81,000 of which were taken back last month.
Six states _ California, Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan and Nevada _ accounted for more than 60 percent of all foreclosure activity in the quarter, with California alone making up more than a quarter of all U.S. foreclosure filings.
Detroit and Atlanta were the only cities outside California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona to make RealtyTrac’s list of the 20 hardest-hit metropolitan areas.
The combination of sinking home values, tighter mortgage lending criteria and an economy that many economists think has already slipped into recession has left hundreds of thousands of homeowners with few options. Many can’t find buyers or owe more than their home is worth and can’t refinance into an affordable loan, with the global credit crisis making loans far less available.
Five days after Rep. Michele Bachmann went on a McCarthy-esque rant suggesting Barack Obama was unpatriotic and urging the major newspapers of the country to investigate anti-American sentiment in Congress, the national Republican political parties are running for cover.
Two sources aware of ad buys in Minnesota say that the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its media purchases from Bachmann’s race. If true, it is a remarkable fall for a congresswoman who, until recently, seemed relatively safe in her predominantly conservative district. The race had become closer in recent days — the NRCC had transferred funds from Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03) to Bachmann a little over a week ago.
In the days following her appearance on Hardball, however, Bachmann has watched as her challenger, El Tinklenberg raised more than a million dollars off her incendiary remarks. That surge in fundraising put Bachmann’s re-election in a far less certain position. Bachmann tried to stem the bleeding by telling the press she was sorry for her remarks. But with the national party now apparently pulling the plug, the situation has gone from bad to worse.
Unbelievable ~ incredible ~ that McCain is so hard up for cash that has to go and ask for money from a country – he has practically declared the enemy –
McCain has gotten himself caught in his own net ~ through his deregulation tinkering ~ in an area he doesn’t understand – the economy ~ he has left his Wall Street buddies who would have helped him out hard up for cash ~ in addition he has pissed half of them off with his angry rant at the start of the financial crisis. So that many would not support him on princple.
On Russia ~ between himself and Palin – have gone out of their way to demonize that country ~ so much so that when a Russian diplomat receives a confidential letter – signed by John McCain requesting funds for his haranguing campaign – it’s not in Russia’s interest to keep the matter confidential.
So much for Georgia !!
Question is how many other foreign diplomats and embassies has the McCain camp solicited funds from?
And what is more ~ is although Russia is developing a market economy – it is still very much a Socialist run state.
This is beyond desperate!!
Huge war chest enables Democrat to eye Ariz., Ga., S.C., and N.D.
CHICAGO – What do states like Georgia, South Carolina, North Dakota and even Arizona have in common?
They’re all reach states that the Obama campaign now believes could be in play.
Thanks in part to an astonishing $150 million take in September, the Democrat has his eyes on some unlikely prizes, including McCain’s own home turf.
“Our strategy all along has been to expand the playing field,” said David Plouffe, Obama’s meticulous and cautious campaign manager. “People thought we were crazy, but it is paying off.”
Granted, he was listing these off the top of his head, and didn’t reveal the campaign’s actual state-by-state committments, but still — it’s news nonetheless.
“We’re in a pretty good position right now,” concedes Plouffe. “We’re competing in and for states no one thought would be in play.”
It appears to be part of a larger campaign strategy to win big with the Electoral College — and not settle for a narrow November victory.
Spread the wealth?
What else will come of this major moolah? Well, we know one thing, it’s not going to the other Democrats eager to maximize the party’s majorities in Congress.
On a visit to Obama headquarters here in Chicago, I asked Plouffe about the “spread the wealth” idea.
The Obama campaign has “all we can handle,” he said.
Rather than funnel cash directly to Senate and House candidates — which Plouffe said would be legal — the campaign argues that its ground-level organizing work in the states on behalf of all Democrats is worth millions, and more than makes up for any cash donations the campaign might make.
Plouffe cited North Carolina as an example.
“We have done extensive registration and turn out work, and that is paying off for everyone,” he said. In the Tar Heel state, he said, the grassroots work has helped Democrat Kay Hagan pull ahead of Sen. Liddy Dole.
“That wouldn’t be happened without our effort there,” Plouffe said.
Less than giddy at Obama HQ
Given the state of the race, might think that the atmosphere would be giddy in Obama headquarters on Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago.
When I walked in for my first visit in months the atmosphere was the same as it was then: quiet, purposeful, and no-nonsense.
On what looked like a vast open trading floor, the twenty- and thirty-somethings went about their business, none of them in coats and ties, many of them looking like graduate students, would-be lawyers, and MBAs crashing a collaborative research project.
Lessons from New Hampshire
On an easel outside the entrance, the first person to work that morning — a retired school administrator named Mary Shepard Hughes — had written an inspiration and an a warning: “TWO SHORT WEEKS. TWO LITTLE WORDS: NEW HAMPSHIRE.”
In a campaign that has, from the start, functioned with incredible smoothness overall, the unexpected primary loss of New Hampshire to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton still rankles — and serves as a cautionary tale.
But the campaign took away lessons from that setback. “Hillary was attacking us pretty hard and we didn’t respond enough, or quickly enough,” Plouffe told me. “We learned that you’ve got to deal with everything.”
Keeping all the cash on hand is one way to make sure they can respond to anything McCain might throw out in the last two weeks.
The Obama campaign has returned fire — hard — on everything from Bill Ayers to taxes.
“They remember how John Kerry was ‘swift-boated’ and they want the cash on hand to prevent that this time,” said a top Obama fundraiser here. “They’re not going to make the Kerry mistake.”
It was all the liberal media ~ you know!
They made me do it !!
Never mind that Bachmann summed it up in a suggestion all on her own that press do an expose to examine whether or not US Congress men and women were anti-American or pro-American.
What was clear that she was not satisfied with painting Barack Obama – as un-American she wanted to extend that and go after the whole of the US Congress – focusing on those with ‘liberal’ views.
Bachmann in her own defence says ‘a trap was laid’ – but what is more accurate is that Hardball’s Chris Matthews just provided her with a way that she wanted to go in – with her McCarthy witch hunt intent.
One for Palin ~ she should keep the clothes ~ if she has to pay taxes on them fine ~ if she can’t afford it ~ one of those donors should folk it up for her!
The Republican National Committee’s $150,000 investment in Sarah Palin’s wardrobe has prompted some teeth gnashing among the party’s big donors about its political sensibility and a feisty debate among campaign finance specialists about its legality.
“As a Republican Eagle and a maxed-out contributor to McCain’s general campaign, I’d like my money back – he can still have my vote,” complained one irate donor on Tuesday.
“I’m not one who says a candidate shouldn’t wear fine clothes,” he added. “I’d just like to think they were successful enough in the private sector to have afforded their wardrobe with their own money, not the party’s or the campaign’s, which is really our money as contributors.”
Another big donor was sympathetic to the effort, but critical of the execution.
The Alaska governor was tapped by Arizona Sen. John McCain to become his vice presidential running mate just days before the Republican National Convention in Minnesota, the donor noted.
Given the short notice and the Palins’ relatively modest means, “she could probably not go into her closet at home in Alaska to come up with a wardrobe appropriate for her status as a vice presidential candidate,” he said.
“Having said that, $150K is big money,” he added. “It kind of makes it worth running. Even if you lose, you’ve got a whole new closet.”
Other donors, in other e-mails and interviews, said the costs were worth the investment.
Palin has proven to be a major draw at campaign rallies, and her strong performances and appearance provides a polished and professional image on television, one donor noted.
In addition, he suggested, the bad press only means the GOP base will unite even further behind the McCain-Palin ticket.
As Republican donors absorbed the news, the consensus among several prominent Washington-based attorneys was that the purchases were legal, albeit in a fuzzy area of the law.
Campaign finance laws prohibit candidates from spending donor cash to their authorized personal campaign committee on costs “that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign,” including clothing, vacations and gym memberships.
But the law does not prohibit such expenditures by party committees, and Congress has killed legislation to expand the personal use ban to those and other types of political committees.
The fuzzy part in the Palin case is that the RNC used money from an account designated for “coordinated,” or shared, expenditures with the McCain-Palin candidate account.
The Federal Election Commission, which interprets federal campaign finance laws, has never been asked to address this issue. And legal experts say the key question is: From which side of the joint account was the money drawn?
Noting that the expenses were reported by the RNC and not the McCain-Obama campaign, Ken Gross, a law partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom who advises corporations on campaign finance laws, concluded: “The bottom line is that this is party committee money. These are not campaign funds.”
Wiley Rein lawyer Jan Baran, an adviser to several Republican candidates and committees, agreed with Gross, but added that the Palins may still be forced to comply with tax laws.
“The receipt of goods and services by the taxpayer usually constitutes reportable ‘income’,” Baran said. Consequently, Palin may have to declare the value of the fashion gifts as income and pay taxes on it.
“She might be able to offset some of the taxes by donating the items to charity after the campaign, Baran said, “although she will only be able to deduct the fair market value at that time.”
The campaign said Monday that Palin intends to donate the clothes to charity after the election.