Friday, October 31, 2008

Political News: German Article About Bush

Hello Bloggers - I just read another SCARY article for Halloween on Spiegel Online, which is basically the German version of Time magazine. It's called America Looks Beyond the Bush Warriors. It's mostly bad news. It's a sad description of how far George Bush has fallen, and how far he dragged us down with him. Read it! It's good to see what people outside the US are thinking. It's good to get perspective. Check out Performance Bonds.

Happy Halloween - Michael

Happy Halloween Bloggers!

"Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore - While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "Tis some visitor," I muttered, tapping at my chamber door: Only this and nothing more." ...

from The Raven
by Edgar Allen Poe

Halloween Rant: Bush Administration Plans More Regulatory Damage

Good Morning Bloggers - The Washington Post is reporting something VERY scary this Halloween. According to the paper, the White House is "working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January."

So, they haven't done enough damage. They need to inflict lots more before they leave office. "The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms," the Post says. That's just great.

Incredibly, the paper is reporting that the new rules would "ease controls on emissions of pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining." How much more of this nightmare do we have to accept from these Republican crazies? I'm freaking sick of this crap.

The really BAD PART in the article is that once the new rules take effect, "they typically can be undone only through a laborious new regulatory proceeding, including lengthy periods of public comment, drafting and mandated reanalysis." So, it will be VERY hard for us to fix the damage too.

""They want these rules to continue to have an impact long after they leave office," said Matthew Madia, a regulatory expert at OMB Watch, a nonprofit group critical of what it calls the Bush administration's penchant for deregulating in areas where industry wants more freedom. He called the coming deluge "a last-minute assault on the public . . . happening on multiple fronts.""

I don't know what to say. I'm losing my mind with these people. I guess the nightmare will continue until January 20th of next year when Obama is inaugurated. As I always say, this is another example of WHY YOU SHOULD NOT VOTE FOR JOHN MCCAIN!

Halloween's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Political Rant: The Great Economist Endorses Barack Obama

Hello Bloggers - Another one of my favorite magazines - The Economist - has decided to endorse our candidate Barack Obama.

The widely-respected weekly current affairs magazine is "wholeheartedly" supporting Barack describing him as "a gamble America should take."

"In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait."

"He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency."

"The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr. Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America's self-confidence."

I know many of you Republicans hate intellectual opinions, especially you Sarah Palin supporters who like to 'go with your gut.' What can I say? How about USE THE BRAIN THAT GOD GAVE YOU AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING FOR A CHANGE!!!! You're voting THE WRONG WAY!!!!!

Thursday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Personal Rant: Corporations are Responsible to Both Shareholders and Society

Good Morning Bloggers - It seems that George Bush and Dick Cheney are leaving their best buddies in Texas a very nice going-away present. The world's largest publicly traded oil company has reported income today that shattered its own record for the biggest profit earning $14.83 billion in the third quarter.

Exxon said its net income jumped nearly 58 percent to $2.86 a share in the July-September period. That compares with $9.41 billion, or $1.70 a share, a year ago. The previous record for U.S. corporate profit was set in the last quarter, when Exxon Mobil earned $11.68 billion. Revenue rose 35 percent to $137.7 billion.

WOW! So, despite these HUGE numbers John McCain still wants to give corporations like Exxon Mobil HUGE tax cuts. The misleading reason he gives is that he wants to encourage them to drill more. Strange, they never seem to listen.

So far most of the profits from the last two years have been pumped into buying back the company's stock, for more control of course. So, why are you Republicans buying the BS again? I don't get it. There have even been reports that Exxon Mobil might relocate to Dubai. Incredible! Where's the loyalty?

Let's stop the lies and end this BS forever. These corporations have no national allegiances. Stop treated them like charity cases. Let's elect Barack Obama and get back to a world where corporations that do business in the US pay their fair share of corporate taxes.

We should also make sure that excessive profits are put to good use, such as investments in research and development to create better products for the environment. It's in our national interest.

I'll bet some of you will accuse me of being a socialist. Get over it! Socialism exists in every government to varying degrees. That "socialism" crap from the McCain campaign is nothing but fodder for their retarded sheep!

Republicans who think government interference in business is wrong should remember that our government spends billions on R&D - the same R&D that benefits corporations like Exxon and its stockholders. The truth is both help each other. That non-interference crap is just Republican spin. They want to "have their cake and eat it too" as they say. It's more greedy BS!

As a society and a government that invests in these corporations, it's only reasonable to encourage corporations to invest in products that are better for our future while benefiting business. Speaking as a businessman and stockholder, I think it's fair.

Thursday's Personal Rant #1 - Michael

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Political Rant: McCain is Scaring Many of Us this Halloween

Good Morning Bloggers - I was watching different news channels yesterday and was struck by a McCain rally in Pennsylvania. He was spewing the usual "socialism" crap, but what really got me was how feisty he seemed. He seemed very angry. He reminded me of an spitting pit bull, barking "stand up, stand up, stand up and fight."

You have to give the little creep credit. He doesn't admit when he's down and he fights hard. It would be impressive if it wasn't so scary. I would hate to be locked in an elevator with that man.

I know you Republicans would like to see McCain in the White House, but have you really considered what you might be doing to us all? You might be making another HORRIBLE MISTAKE! The man reminds the rest of us of George Bush, but angrier. Do we really want another president like George Bush, but angrier?

I admit McCain's new oratory is appealing to the crazy Republican base, but it's scaring the rest of us. The man is another "warrior-politician." He sees everything as a battle. There are winners and losers, and the rest doesn't matter. He doesn't respect people. Just look at the way he treats his fellow senators, or the way he treated Obama during the debates. The man is scary!

The obvious problems with his team, his problems with Palin, and all the other red flags point to a man who should NOT BE PRESIDENT. Politico.com yesterday quoted a "senior" McCain adviser calling Palin a "whack job." Do we really want a whack job one melanoma-scare away from the White House? Do we really want "diva" as president?

I don't know about you Republicans, but the rest of us have had enough of the warrior, the extremist, the win-lose type? We want a president who is thoughtful, patient, respectful, strategic, and competent. Amazingly, those are only a few of the many positive character traits of Barack Obama.

McCain has a horrible team, which he manages poorly to say the least. Obama has one of the best teams, which he manages brilliantly. So, let McCain scream at the clouds if he must, but let's not elect him president in six days. One word of caution, I think a McCain mask might be a little too scary this Halloween. I would stick to the blood and guts look.

Wednesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Political Rant: Republicans Will Steal The Election So GET OUT THE VOTE!

Hello Bloggers - Brad's Blog is reporting this morning on some great success capturing election fraud on camera. A public interest group has caught electronic voting machines swapping votes from Obama to McCain - and Nader in some cases.

VideoTheVote.org caught vote-flipping incidents on ES&S iVotronic machines in West Virginia - the same incidents were reported anecdotally in the national press last week.

The same group has reports of votes flipping from Democratic to Republican (and other) candidates across the states of West Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Missouri. You can read the whole article and watch the votes flipping on video before your own eyes by visiting Videothe Vote.org's site or Brad's Blog.

If you read the article it says that even after officials re-calibrated the machines, the iVotronic still failed to record votes correctly. They continued to switch votes, many switching votes from Obama to Ralph Nader. Incredible!

I don't know about you guys, but this is precisely the reason why our get out the vote effort has to be significant. If we can't get Democrats to show up in extremely high numbers, especially in the infamous swing states, then we could lose this election.

I hope the Republicans reading this are ashamed of whoever is doing it in their name. Democracy will not stand if election fraud is allowed to stand. We must stop those who try to steal elections. They threaten our freedom and the survival of our nation.

Tuesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Campaign Alert: People Shooting People Over Yard Signs? Wow!

Good Morning Bloggers - I've been expecting episodes of violence before election day, especially after the negative campaigning by the McCain campaign, and unfortunately it's happening - shots were actually fired last night.

It's easy to dismiss the two right-wing nuts arrested in Tennessee as crazy neo-nazis, but it's possible they might have gotten away with some of their planned carnage. They might have killed a few innocent African-Americans in their quest to kill Obama. They seem like the tip of a very scary iceberg if you ask me. I'm just glad they caught them.

We also have that nutter in Ohio/Pennsylvania who scratched her own face with a nail file claiming to be the victim of "a large black man." She's scary too. What else was she capable of when you think about it? She worked for the campaign for two months in OH and PA, so I wonder what else she did before she finally pulled that stunt.

Finally, a teenager was wounded in the arm last night in Leavittsburg, Ohio by a man who said he wanted to stop two boys from taking his John McCain yard sign. Fifty-year-old Kenneth Rowles told officers he only planned to fire warning shots, but unfortunately he wounded a 17-year old boy.

There are too many other events to list here, so let's just admit things could get uglier. I hope I'm wrong, but I was a boy scout so I do believe in being prepared. I suggest we all try to keep calm, vote early, and stay safe!

Tuesday's Political Alert #1 - Michael

Monday, October 27, 2008

Political Video: 2008 Best Obama Video

video

Hello Bloggers - In my opinion, the "Wassup" Obama video is the BEST. I loved Ron Howard's too, but I must admit this one was the most fun to watch - while actually highlighting real issues. Feel free to recommend your own favorite before the election is over. I also found a very fun interactive Palin game - click here. Be sure to click on all the objects in the room. Enjoy!

Monday's Funny Video #1 - Michael

Political Rant: Bush's Blackmail is America's Shame

Hello Bloggers - George Bush and company are up to their old dirty tricks again, and this time they're threatening the democratically elected government in Baghdad.

Amazingly, they are threatening to shut down vital services throughout Iraq on January 1st if the Iraqi government doesn't agree to a new status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq. Basically, they want Iraq to agree to a lengthier military-enforced occupation, or we SCREW THEM!

Using their usual heavy-handed, moronic approach to diplomacy, the Bush/Cheney dream team are now threatening our "allies," the ones we've already spent hundreds of billions to coddle and protect, with blackmail. Of course our "allies" are threatening back. They're talking about getting Iran's help. I must admit, just when I think the Bush/Cheney nightmare couldn't be any more clumsy and stupid, they surprise me.

What are we going to do with you Republican neocon maniacs? You people are DANGEROUS! If you don't get your way, you threaten violence, or at the very minimum extreme pain and suffering. Of course many Iraqi politicians view the move as political blackmail, because it is BLACKMAIL!! Read the whole miserable account on McClatchy Sunday.

McClatchy reports that U.S. forces would cease any and all "activities that support Iraq’s economy... Army General Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, listed “tens” of areas of potential cutoffs in a three-page letter."

McClatchy says that "the status of forces agreement, which calls for a final withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, was supposed to resolve a number of contentious issues between the two countries, but its completion 10 days ago has instead provoked a political crisis within Iraq's Shiite-dominated government and between Iraq and the United States."

So, it wasn't good enough just to leave office as war criminals, torturers, and suffering the many other horrendous indictments we all know about - too numerous to list here, you guys had to add blackmail to the list. I must admit, when you Republicans screw up, you go all the way.

You Republicans must be so proud of yourselves. You are partly responsible for one of the ugliest periods in American history. Unlike Bill Clinton, who you impeached for purjury simply because he refused to ruin his family over a private sexual indiscretion, you continue to support two of the most dangerous and disgusting politicians ever to hold office in this great country. Something tells me that you're going to learn to regret it.

Like many Americans I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed of everything they've done in our name. I think they're two of the biggest turds ever to hold power - anytime and anywhere.

Since this is the Internet, and theoretically people can view this rant from anywhere in the world, I would like to apologize to the people of Iraq and the world on behalf of my retarded countrymen - the ones in power and the ones who still support them. Together they represent a perfect storm of stupidity - the kind that only comes every few hundred years or so I hope. I think monkeys could have done a better job - as elected officials and as voters.

Hopefully this period of darkness and stupidity will end soon. Hopefully George Bush, Dick Cheney and their supporters will fade away, or learn from their mistakes. Personally I hope they go away never to be heard from again. Please bloggers, no more stupidity, vote for Obama and end our national shame.

Monday's Political Rant #3 - Michael

Political Rant: CBS Points to What Caused Credit Crisis, Now I Want to Know WHO?

Hello Bloggers - Did any of you watch the 60 Minutes report last night that explained one of the main reasons we're in this financial mess today. The CBS report explained what Warren Buffet once called "financial weapons of mass destruction," referring to credit derivatives or the now-dreaded credit default swaps. Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes did a FANTASTIC story explaining the multi-trillion dollar market.

We should all be aware of how our elected representatives acted LIKE IDIOTS! We all need to be aware of how President CLINTON and the Republican Congress of 2000 (supported by our weak and pathetic Democrats) pushed legislation SUPPORTED BY WALL STREET AND GREENSPAN to allow gambling on Wall Street. Wow, I'm even happier we chose Obama and not Hillary. I really don't want Bill anywhere near the White House now.

The derivatives market is thought to have been one of the most important reasons why some of the biggest financial institutions in the world crashed this year. As the report explains, the new derivatives are nothing more than legalized gambling, which allow you to wager on financial outcomes without ever having to actually buy the stocks and bonds and mortgages. See the whole report here.

I've been aware of the many pieces of deregulation legislation pushed by leading Republicans that lead to market erosion, but I was stunned to learn of this specific piece of legislation that allowed the same gambling many believe caused the first Great Depression. It was supposedly pushed by Alan Greenspan himself during the last few hours of the Clinton presidency, which is why many believe it was carried overwhelmingly by both parties. They trusted him, the MORONS!

I will be doing my own research into the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 to find out more about WHO WE SHOULD BLAME! I need to know more about who pushed it, and who dropped the ball in investigating it. As citizens we are paying for these mistakes, so it is up to us to find out which of our elected officials SCREWED UP! This goes beyond parties. This is about corruption. I want to know who did this and why. This is only the beginning, so stay tuned.

Monday's Political Rant #2 - Michael

Political Rant: Local News Reveals Extreme Bias and Message Manipulation

Hello Bloggers - My favorite conservative Drudge posted a piece from the Orlando Sentinel this morning showing a very funny, and sad, interview between WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West and Senator Joe Biden on Thursday. It's a sad portait showing the pathetic state of local journalism these days. I have to mention it boggers, because the interview shows what a JOKE some American news organizations have become these days.

She must have graduated from the Sean Hannity School of Republican Talking Points. It's incredible to watch. You almost get the feeling that she called Hannity just before the interview to get a list of questions. She actually quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

Supposedly Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife. I must admit, I don't blame them. The Obama campaign should not allow FOX "News" tactics to be used on anybody associated with the campaign. These kinds of interviews only serve to drill certain message points, commonly known these days as talking points, into the minds of the voters. They do nothing to help voters get to know the candidate more.

You can watch the video here.

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes." Okay Bob, then why not ask more relevant questions as opposed to questions using extreme labels and suggestive, built-in commentaries. Barbara's interview was completely unprofessional and lacked any journalistic integrity. Perhaps Barbara should go back to a real school and brush up on proper technique.

Monday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Political News: Anchorage Daily News and Financial Times Endorse Obama

Good Morning Bloggers - Alaska's largest-circulation paper, the Anchorage Daily News, is endorsing Senator Barack Obama while saying that state governor Palin is "too risky" to be one step away from the presidency. One of my favorite newspapers, The Financial Times, is also endorsing Barack. YES!!!!

The Daily News editorial says her nomination "captivated" Alaskans, but that must not "overwhelm all other judgment."

They called McCain the "wrong choice" and said that Obama has a "cool, steady hand." They added that "[John McCain] embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years", it says. By contrast, the Daily News suggests, Mr Obama "brings far more promise to the office."

The Financial Times editorial said that Obama "ran his [campaign] superbly; Mr McCain’s has often looked a shambles. After eight years of George W. Bush, the steady competence of the Obama operation commands respect." Despite criticizing my candidate throughout the article, they seemed to think of him as the lesser of two evils. Oh well, I'll still take it.

The overwhelming majority of major newspapers in this country are supporting Barack Obama. I think you Republicans out there should take notice and read a few of the editorials. You never know, you might learn something. I know you don't want to admit it, but you could be wrong blindly supporting your candidate without thinking through all the facts. Perhaps it's time to put logic over loyalty. I'm just saying.

Monday's Political News #1 - Michael

Saturday, October 25, 2008

News Special: Confusion Over Torture All Started 41 Years Ago Tomorrow

Hello Saturday Bloggers - I know we're used to being lied to by our politicians, but I think the confusion over John McCain's Vietnam captivity and alleged torture needs to be addressed on the anniversary of his capture just before the election.

The possibility that he lied about being tortured to win votes makes me very uneasy. I compiled the following from a very interesting, but long, article in today's London Times.

I know many of you Republicans are going to accuse me of not trusting an American hero over a Vietnamese jailer, but that's not true. I'm not saying McCain lied. I just think it's important to point out the discrepancies in the stories. Read the article in the Times and make up your own mind. I don't know who is telling the truth.

The Times interviewed his jailer Tran Trong Duyet. They were friends after the war. Duyet claims that McCain received good medical care and was never tortured in any way.

Amazingly, McCain crash-landed forty-one years ago tomorrow. He was supposedly treated for his injuries and spent the next five and a half years as a prisoner. The story accounts differ most when each side describes McCain’s incarceration, first at the prison known as the Hanoi Hilton and later at The Plantation.

Tran Tron Duyet's Version from the London Times
"[Duyet], the former prison director, met McCain a year after he had been shot down. He recalls a defiant rule-breaker, the patriotic son of an admiral and a fervent believer in the war. What he does not recall, however, is a victim of torture or violence."

“I never tortured or mistreated the PoWs and nor did my staff,” says Mr Duyet in contradiction of Mr McCain’s account and those of other prisoners. “The Americans were dropping bombs on military and civilian targets – so it’s not as if they had important information we needed to extract.” Mr Duyet says that he sympathises with Mr McCain and other PoWs for claiming that they were tortured. “It’s up to the Americans to decide whether or not he counts as a hero. He was very brave, very manly, he dared to argue with me and he was very intelligent. But all the talk of being tortured is for the sake of votes.”

McCain's Version from Faith of My Fathers, by John McCain
“I was hauled into an empty room and kept there for four days. At intervals, the guards returned to administer beatings. One held me while the others pounded away. They cracked several of my ribs and broke a couple of teeth. Weakened by beatings and dysentery, with my right leg again almost useless, I found it impossible to stand."

“On the third night I lay in my blood and waste, so tired and hurt that I could not move. Three guards lifted me to my feet and gave me the worst beating yet. They left me on the floor moaning from the pain in my arm. Despairing of any relief from pain and further torture, I tried to take my life.”


I don't know what to think. I guess I should believe McCain since he's a fellow American. It's weird though. What do you guys think? McCain does look permanently injured from possible torture, but supposedly his injuries from the crash were severe too.

You should also be aware of another creepy McCain fact related to Vietnam. Did you know that McCain has been receiving 100% disability payments from the Defense Department since the early seventies, despite his abilities and personal mobility?

Many in the veteran's community still think it's a travesty of justice. That level of disability is usually reserved for highly crippled vets. There are many examples of wheelchair bound soldiers who receive less than 50% disability. The man has too many red flags if you ask me.

I guess I'll just have to believe that John McCain did his best, and whether he was tortured or not, he says he was. I'll just have to give him the benefit of the doubt. That doesn't mean, however, that I am free of doubt. I still don't like the red flags. There are too many mysteries. The man creeps me out.

Saturday's Political News Special #1 - Michael

PS - Bloggers, I'm also a contributor to Papamoka Straight Talk, so visit the blog if you want to read some interesting responses to this posting. Click here.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Editorial Cartoon: UK Guardian

Hello Bloggers - I thought you guys might enjoy this great editorial cartoon that I found on the UK Guardian Newspaper's website. I love the "Clothes Horse Express" on the side of the plane. I certainly hope we can see the back of that woman in twelve days.

Freaky Friday News: The Brothers Grimm

Good Morning Bloggers - I might write about something more serious later today, but for now I want to keep it lighthearted. Hey, it's Friday, so let's be a little more relaxed.

I would like to draw attention to a story on the Huffington Post this morning - from Channel 7, ABC News, Washington, DC - reporting on how John McCain's brother Joe called the local 911 operator in Alexandria, VA three days ago to complain about being stuck in traffic.

Transcript:
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? (pause)
Caller: "(Expletive) you." (caller hangs up)

The operator called the number back to find out who it was and the voice mail on the other end belonged to Joe McCain, brother of John McCain. It said. "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 November 4th we have elected John."

The operator left a message stating that abusing the service was a crime. Incredibly, Joe McCain called 911 again to complain about the message the operator had left him. Wow, Joe sounds charming.

Caller: Somebody gave me this riot act about the violation of police.
Operator: Did you just call 911 in reference to this?
Caller: Yeah.
Operator: 911 is to be used for emergencies only not just because you're sitting in traffic.

I think this is priceless. Can you imagine what the Republicans would do if ANY member of Barack Obama's family did the same thing. It would be ALL OVER THE NEWS. Hannity the repetitive monkey would never shut up about it. Instead, the only place I've spotted this in on the ABC-7 website and the Huffington Post.

So, let's wait to see if any of the "corporate media" picks it up. It's been three days, so I won't hold my breath. Btw, it's pretty clear to me that the McCain brothers have serious anger management issues. When this is all over I think they both should get some help. Until then, they respectfully remain the "Brothers Grimm."

Freaky Friday's News #1 - Michael

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Political Video: Ron Howard, Andy Griffith and Henry Winkler Promote Obama

Hello Bloggers - I think Ron Howard is an amazing American for creating a unique video to promote Barack Obama. He took time from his busy schedule to recreate "Opie" and "Andy" along with Andy Griffith. He then recreated "Richie" and the "Fonz" along with Henry Winkler. He did it all to promote Barack Obama. I think he deserves a lot of credit for doing it. Good on you Ron! Great job! If you want to watch the video, just click here. Enjoy!

Political Rant: The McCain Campaign's Chemical Breakdown

Good Morning Bloggers - Anybody who watched Hardball yesterday would have noticed the remarks made by MSNBC's Political Director Chuck Todd after he sat in on the Nightly News interview with McCain and Palin. He kept telling Chris how he felt their was "NO" chemistry between them.

Todd kept saying it over and over. It was obvious to him. He also said that he sensed a great deal of "tension" in the room. I wonder if they had a big fight before the interview. McCain did make faces during the interview - then again, when does he not make stupid faces. I wonder if McCain is beginning to blame her for his own problems and screw-ups. The really funny part is that they're both pretty awful.

I don't know about you guys, but most Republicans I know are famous for passing the buck. The ones I know rarely take any personal responsibility. I'll bet that's happening with McCain. He's probably blaming her for everything. I'll even go so far as to bet the man's a misogynist - just look how he treats his wife at times. He's probably regretting the Palin decision and it's starting to show. Oh well, all the better for us.

It's also reported on Raw Story this morning that the New York Times Magazine is set to publish an explosive story on Sunday detailing "the inner workings and combative personalities" of the McCain campaign.

Raw Story reports that the piece, written by Robert Draper and titled The Making (and Remaking and Remaking) of the Candidate, will highlight "a growing weariness within a campaign that seems more interested in tactical victories and the next compelling narratives than an overarching strategy." It sounds interesting, but it's been pretty damn obvious to me for a while.


Excerpts: "By October, the succession of backfiring narratives would compel some to reappraise not only McCain's chances but also the decisions made by [Chief Strategist Steve] Schmidt, who only a short time ago was hailed as the savior who brought discipline and unrepentant toughness to a listing campaign."

Having interviewed several of the Senator's chief aides, Draper details the process by which McCain ultimately chose his running mate (New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was surprisingly high on the list). And the decision may have been even more impulsive than initially thought. Gov. Sarah Palin, who had never been on the VP shortlist, was advanced at the last minute by Schmidt and Rick Davis, and was picked after a chat with McCain at his ranch in Arizona.

From there, Draper tracks the campaign through Palin's widely praised convention speech, the roaring early campaign events, and then the first glimmer of doubts. There are additional, juicy nuggets that he uncovers earlier and along the way. These include the birth of the Obama-as-celebrity attack line -- the campaign felt it was on the wrong track, its pollster described their situation as "third and nine," and Schmidt "blurted out the epiphany concerning Obama. 'Face it, gentlemen,' he said. 'He's being treated like a celebrity.'"


Reports like that confirm a great many of my suspicions. The ironic thing is that everybody I know in Washington (I used to work for a Senator on Capitol Hill) tells me that John McCain has the ultimate celebrity ego. Supposedly, in addition to an early film about his time in Vietnam, he expects a full-feature film spanning his Senate years one day. If it's true, than Obama's rise to fame - at his expense - must be leaving him feeling pretty sore.

I've mentioned before on this blog how I'm a big believer that "the fish rots from the head down." It's not a pretty saying, but it sums up my belief that the top dog creates the "personality" of any organization - based on who he draws into it.

It's pretty obvious that McCain attracts awful people that don't function well together. Think about it, there have been rumors since the primaries about the infighting. That's a pretty damn good reason to vote against him right there. Just think about his potential White House. Scary!

John McCain is a negative person who surrounds himself with negative people. Unfortunately, the fruits of his labor are beginning to rot, and the stench is getting out. It's interesting to watch. I'll bet they're all pretty sick of each other at this point. I suggest we all just sit back and watch the fireworks. If it continues in the same way, there should be a pretty good finale.

Thursday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Political Rant: Stand Up to the Hate Merchants and End Their Reign of Terror

Good Morning Bloggers - This morning I would like to praise how Joy Behar courageously called out Bill O'Reilly on The View Wednesday - she pretty much called him a hate-filled devil. GO JOY! It takes a lot of guts to stand up to that giant a-hole, but she did it.

Joy, if you read this, I love you for doing it. Bill O'Reilly is nothing but a lying, racist, bully. He is a hate merchant. They make money preaching hate and sewing division wherever possible. We need to point out what they really are, whenever possible, and scream it to everyone willing to listen.

Fox is paying that human excrement $10 million a year to spew hatred. I can't believe we have to put up with creeps like him. Let's see, who are the other hate merchants who need to be thinned from the herd, as they say on the Stephanie Miller Show? Let's go with that evil triumvirate: the bully O'Reilly, the repetitious monkey Hannity, and the idiot Glenn Beck.

Between them they spew enough hate-filled-bile to fill a swimming pool daily. They are the worst of the worst in my opinion, but feel free to suggest others. Oh yes, let's not forget Anne - the hit man - Coulter. She's one of the worst.

Anyway, kudos to the woman who tried to make a citizen's arrest of Karl Rove in San Francisco yesterday, to Joy Behar for confronting O'Reilly with his evil deeds, and to all of us who stand up to the despicable people that make up the extreme, hate-filled right.

I know some of you will think I'm too harsh, but I don't agree. I come from the Keith Olbermann school of "call it like it is," and they need to be called out.

Btw, let's not forget their loyal fans. They are the pathetic masses that support the evil-doers. We probably should call them out too. I often tell a good friend of mine who loves those shows how he's a "good little soldier" for the hate mongers. He just laughs it off. Don't worry, I'll keep doing it until it sinks in.

People like O'Reilly are hurting this nation and our society. They teach hate and intolerance to adults and children, and they should be shut down. We shouldn't marginalize them. We should make it so that they can't harm any of us, anymore.

So, do a good deed, and call them what they are if you ever see them in person. Call them the soulless, wretched scum that they are. Wow, I feel better now. :)

Wednesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Political Rant: Crazy Republicans Continue Blowing Smoke, Taking the Low Road

Hello Bloggers - It's Tuesday afternoon and the lead interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews included Congresswoman Heather Wilson (R-NM) and once again a McCain surrogate is calling out Senator Obama for his brief association with Bill Ayers back in the early 90s. Won't they ever move on? Perhaps we should have picked Hillary just to give the irritating bastards more material to use.

Let's go through it again people.

1) He was acquitted of legal indictments 20 years BEFORE he met Barack Obama after turning himself in, and nobody got hurt; 2) he was a respected professor and community volunteer at the time; 3) he was a leading charitable figure appreciated by elected officials from both parties at the time; and, 4) he was asked to participate on a school reform board along with Barack Obama run by Reagan Republicans - Walter Annenberg, friend of Ronald Reagan and John McCain at the time.

Despite all this, they STILL KEEP TALKING! What is their freakin' problem? It's not working people! It's annoying! Just watch, the media is getting tired of it too. I wish they would all just SHUT THE HELL UP! I got that from Keith Olbermann. Thanks Keith!

Later in the show Chris Matthews played a quote by Sarah Palin claiming that she was excited about her potential new job because she gets to support the President and that the "VP runs the Senate." What? Is she STUPID? Didn't she ever read the job description? The US Constitution?

I'll tell you something, you Republicans are looking pretty bad right now. Governor Palin, your VP nominee, is looking especially bad. The VP does NOT run the Senate. The VP serves only to take over the job as President and to break ties in the Senate. I don't care what the war criminal Dick Cheney told you. Would you people READ SOMETHING for a change! Her CNN interview today was even worse. I recommend checking it out for a good laugh.

A new Pew Research Poll shows Obama increasing his lead 53% - 38%, and a new NBC/WSJ poll shows Barack's first double-digit lead of 10 points - 52% - 42%. Let's hope it keeps going up! If we do win, I'll say to you Republicans who keep pulling the McCain crap wagon, we will remember who you are. What goes around, comes around.

Tuesday's Political Rant #2 - Michael

Sports News: New Orleans Saints vs. San Diego Chargers this Sunday in London!

Hello Bloggers - Before the election, for those who want a break from politics, I must remind people that a very exciting sports event is coming up this Sunday. My favorite team, the New Orleans Saints, will be playing my other favorite team, the San Diego Chargers, in one of my favorite cities, LONDON!

For me, this October 26th is an alignment of the planets. It's a party! Get a bucket of Popeye's Fried Chicken and forget the election for a few hours. The Saints and the Chargers will play at Wembley Stadium - sacred turf for those of us who also enjoy UK Football. It should be a fun game. The Saints and Chargers both boast exceptional offensive talent, except there is a rumor that Reggie Bush might not be able to make the trip. That is scary bad for the Saints.

The game will pit New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees against his old team. That's also why it's a shame Reggie Bush might not make it, because he would have gone up against his hometown team. Anyway, I hope you guys check it out. It's due to air at 10am here in LA on CBS, but you might want to check your own listings. It should be a lot of fun.

Tuesday's Sports News #1 - Michael

Political Rant: Socialism? Really? Wow!

Good Morning Bloggers - Let's see, we've survived practically every label in the book over the past few months, including "terrorist" and "baby killer," but unlike those "socialist" makes me laugh. To me, it just makes them look crazy.

As usual the McCain campaign has stretched its message to the point where even high school drop outs are beginning to question their legitimacy. Last night I enjoyed hearing just such a voter express their confusion, since they pretty much knew the difference between socialism and the American system being described by Obama.

The McCain folks have gone from bizarre to freaky. We've entered a very strange place in politics where desperate people concoct desperate positions, and then have to engage with respectable people, and defend them. It's like watching Bob Costas forced to defend the rules of the World Wrestling Foundation - it might be colorful, but it's crazy.

The really funny, ironic twist in the whole "socialism" argument involves Sarah Palin. She fought to increase her state's Windfall Profit's Tax last year to get an extra $2,400 for every person living in the state of Alaska. If that's not pure socialism, I don't know what is. For heaven's sake, the woman is a socialist based on that record.

The McCain campaign should be ashamed of itself. The Republican Party should be ashamed of itself. Why can't they fight with dignity before their fall, instead of trying to win by lying to the American people. Don't they realize that when people actually figure out that what they're saying is pure crap they might lose respect for the party itself, again. It's hard to imagine, but the the Republican brand might suffer even more after this election.

I challenge ANYBODY reading this blog to defend the McCain campaign's claim that a flexible, progressive tax system, something we've had in America since the early 20th century, represents socialism - or at least not a vague form of socialism we haven't practiced before. I basically challenge you to defend any of the McCain claims regarding socialism. I will respond ASAP.

The race might tighten due to other circumstances, but I think even the high school drop-outs are on to them this time. I'll bet McCain's fun time with the label maker is coming to an end soon. Before long we won't have to blog about any more fake labels thrown against the media wall by McCain's spinning fools. The whole ordeal is getting silly and sad. They are slowing spinning themselves into the crap heap of American political foolishness.

Tuesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Monday, October 20, 2008

Political News: McCain Blames ACORN While Funding Political Troublemaker

Hello Bloggers - If you haven't seen it already, you simply must read McCain Employing GOP Operative Accused of Voter Registration Fraud now on the Huffington Post.

Incredibly, McCain's campaign directed $175,000 to the firm of a Republican operative accused of massive voter registration fraud in several states, while at the same time screaming of "fraud" and a "threat to democracy" because of ACORN.

Public documents reveal how a joint committee of the McCain-Palin campaign, the RNC, and the the California Republican Party, made the payment to the group Lincoln Strategy in June for purposes of "registering voters."

Read the whole article here.

The ACORN story was always BS, but the corporate media still covers it. I guess we'll have to see if they cover this one too. I somehow doubt it. McCain has some cahones to go after ACORN while funding a group under investigation in multiple states. I guess it's typical Republican, Rovian hubris. The sad part is they're proud of it. I need a shower.

Monday's Political News #1 - Michael

Political Rant: Republicans Need to Think This Time, Before They Act

Hello Bloggers - I need to ask a simple question of my Republican friends. Don't you need to know more about John McCain's health before you vote for him? His running mate is Sarah - the mystery woman - Palin for God's sake!

The New York Times is reporting, like so many journals and doctors before it, that "serious gaps remain in the public's knowledge about the health of the presidential and vice-presidential nominees." He singles out McCain most of all. You know, the only cancer survivor running for office. Historically, it was common for candidates and their doctors to be very forthcoming, so why aren't you demanding to know more about the health of your 72-year old candidate?

Times Reporter Lawrence Altman, a medical doctor himself, says that not only would McCain be the oldest man sworn in as president, he would be the first cancer survivor to win the office. "The scars on his puffy left cheek are cosmetic reminders of the extensive surgery he underwent in 2000 to remove a malignant melanoma." People like McCain often have recurring episodes. There is every possibility we may wind-up with a President Palin. My God that scares the hell out of me.

Last May, McCain and his doctors allowed a handful of reporters only 3 hours to review nearly 1,200 pages of medical information. The experience left more questions, even confusion, about his cancer. The worst part was how they were disorganized, preventing reporters from learning any conclusions. No offense bloggers, but that is just BS! If you're a responsible voter, than you should be more curious about your candidate's health. He should be disqualified unless you learn more.

Thousands of doctors are doing just that by calling for more complete and accurate information about McCain's cancer, a very severe form of melanoma. Statistically, McCain has an extreme likelihood of death from a recurrence of the cancer. That fact alone should have us all quaking in our boots if you consider a Palin ascendency. The idea scares the hell out of me, and it should for Republicans too.

Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden released recent medical records to the Times showing that they were healthy, though Altman notes that Biden's documents "did not indicate whether he had had a test in recent years to detect any new aneurysm," and Obama's most recent check-up was in January 2007.

"Nothing is known publicly about Ms. Palin's medical history," Altman reports. As usual, the woman is a mystery wrapped in a crap package. The only thing we know about Palin medically is that her water broke while she was at a conference in Dallas and that she flew to Anchorage to give birth. Wow, that's a good reason to be scared right there. The woman is CRAZY!

Personally, I don't trust you Republicans. You voted for George Bush TWICE! You should all be disqualified after that crap fest. Unfortunately, the majority of us who voted for Gore and Kerry lost anyway, because your peeps in power succeeded in stealing both elections. I guess your votes counted more than ours. Even though you should be ashamed and disgraced, the good news is that you now have a chance to make things right. You can vote for Obama this time.

This time you can vote for intelligence over stupidity, brains over brawn, and competence over incompetence. So, stop listening to the the dumb little demon on your shoulder and go and vote for Barack Obama. Don't make another stupid mistake and risk a President Sarah Palin. Please God NO!!!!

We should not all be forced to suffer because you people have a serial-studity problem. Do the right thing. THINK BEFORE YOU ACT THIS TIME!

Monday's Political Rant #2 - Michael

Political Rant: Vote Early to Make it Harder for Them to Steal the Election

Good Morning Bloggers - It's getting down to the wire and I'm getting more and more nervous about Republican efforts to steal votes. The signs are not good. John McCain calling ACORN a "threat to democracy," a report in West Virginia about voters actually seeing machines switch their early votes from Obama to McCain right before their eyes, and the Obama campaign's allegations of "potential voter fraud" are making me very nervous.

"I think it is fair to say that some of these challenges do look like suppression efforts," said George Washington University Professor Jonathan Turley on MSNBC this weekend. He continued saying, "there is really grounds to be concerned here."

The Obama campaign took the less-than-impressive step of contacting our infamous do-nothing Attorney General Mukasey. You know him, he's the guy who won't enforce Congressional subpoenas and who pretty much said that George Bush is above the law during his confirmation hearings. Oh yea, our thanks to Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for allowing another corrupt AG into office.

They wrote him a letter expressing their concern about the election. "The allegations of voter fraud made by the McCain campaign about ACORN and Sen. Obama's alleged connections to it sound similar to another scandal during President Bush's administration," wrote Robert Bauer on behalf of the Obama campaign. "This is an astonishing repeat of the kind of toxic intrusion of politics into the lawful administration of justice that we saw during the U.S. attorney scandal," Bauer said. "We're seeing a repeat of that."

One of my favorites's, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, suggested the McCain campaign's allegations are an attempt to reduce the turnout of newly registered voters, most of whom are Democrats. "To keep turnout low, prevent votes from being counted and scare voters into thinking there are massive voting shenanigans and that their vote won't count anyway," Maddow said.

I think it's worse. I think they've had a plan to switch votes both electronically and otherwise for a long time. "The scenario for winning for us is a narrow-victory scenario," said Steve Schmidt, McCain’s chief strategist.

Unless we can persuade voters to turn-out early and en masse they might be able to switch enough votes to get those narrow victories in the electoral college swing states they need. Chuck Todd of MSNBC is reporting they are only focusing on the electoral college now. That's very good news for us, since they're being forced to narrow their focus, making it easier to catch them.

Remember, they got away with it before and there's no reason to believe they might not be able to pull it off again. I admit, I'm very worried, so please VOTE EARLY to make it harder for them to steal our election.

Monday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Political Rant: McCarthyist Republican Campaign Tactics Point to the Darkside

Good Morning Bloggers - I don't know if you guys noticed yesterday, but the Republican talking points moved from simply crazy to "serial killer-kind-of-crazy" in my opinion.

I caught Bay Buchanan on CNN and Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) on MSNBC's Hardball yesterday and both were spewing the worst paranoid politics I've heard in a long time - if ever. They seemed to take their cues from Senator Joe McCarthy, but instead of calling out communists they were calling out the millions of "anti-Americans" and "socialists" supporting Barack Obama.

Wow! I guess I'm an "anti-American socialist" now because I support Barack. Incredible! I don't think that describes me at all. I think they're just NUTS! The interviewers looked just as shocked, and intelligently each seemed to be offering them plenty of rope, if you know what I mean.

It was an incredible news day. Chris Matthews tried to get Bachmann to name who the "anti-Americans" were, but she only responded with vague comments about how they exist everywhere, including Congress. She was actually calling on the FBI and the press to expose them. My mouth was wide open by that stage of the interview. I was stunned! The only good news is that Bachmann's opponent in the Minnesota race received over $30K in contributions within hours of the Hardball broadcast.

So, they've gone from Bill Ayers and Rev. Wright to cast suspicions on everybody who doesn't support their candidates or their issues. She kept saying "are they pro-America or anti-America?" It was surreal to say the least.

I realize they've questioned our patriotism in the past, but never in such a desperate, campaign-coordinated, tactical manner. They are actually now taking a campaign-supported position that anybody who doesn't vote their way is anti-American, or a socialist. It's a bold move. It's an outrageous move. It's a crazy, ####ed-up move.

My God, what is happening to the Republicans? How low will they go? Do they really want to win at all costs? Do they really believe the ends justify the means? I think the answer is a resounding yes, but feel free to give your opinion. That's what a blog is all about.

In my opinion they have no dignity left. They've dredged the depths of the swamp and released their noxious gases. I do wonder if they have worse, and how low will they go before it's all over?

It's kind of interesting to watch, in the same way you watch a horrible crash or an unfolding disaster. It's a morbid curiosity. Oh well, no matter what, they are now befouled by their own wretched stench. They are no longer even remotely respectable.

I wonder who the Sith Lord is these days? John McCain? Karl Rove? George Bush? Dick Cheney? Whoever it is, there's no doubt in my mind now, they've all joined the darkside. There's not much good left in them. We can only hope that Obama wins and they finally choke on their own, putrid bile.

Okay, I feel better. Republicans, it's your turn.

Saturday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Friday, October 17, 2008

Editorial Cartoon: London Times Hits It Out of the Park

Good Morning Bloggers - I thought you might enjoy this editorial cartoon from the London Times. I thought it was perfect!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Breaking News: Factcheck.org Debate Report

Hello Bloggers - As promised, here is the unedited Factcheck.org debate report. Enjoy!

Spin and hype were apparent, once again, at the third and final debate between McCain and Obama:
  • McCain claimed the liberal group ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” In fact, a Republican prosecutor said of the first and biggest ACORN fraud case: “[T]his scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.” He said $8-an-hour workers turned in made-up voter registration forms rather than doing what ACORN paid them to do.

  • McCain said “Joe the plumber” faced “much higher taxes” under Obama’s tax plan and would pay a fine under Obama’s health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement to provide coverage for workers.

  • Obama repeated a dubious claim that his health care plan will cut the average family’s premiums by $2,500 a year. Experts have found that figure to be overly optimistic.

  • McCain claimed that Obama’s real “object” is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was “a proponent of a single-payer health care program.” But Obama has since qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his current proposal is nothing like that.

  • Obama incorrectly claimed all of McCain’s ads had been “negative.” That was true for one recent week, but not over the entire campaign. And at times Obama has run a higher percentage of attack ads than McCain.

  • McCain described Colombia as the "largest agricultural importer of our products." Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and Colombia is far down the list.

  • Obama strained to portray himself as willing to break ranks with fellow Democrats. His prime example was his vote for a bill that was supported by 18 Democrats and opposed by 26. Congressional Quarterly rates him as voting with his party 97 percent of the time since becoming a U.S. senator.

Debate Review: Obama was Clear, Strong While McCain Was Twitchy, Angry

Good Morning Bloggers - It's a beautiful morning here in Southern California. It's kind of perverse, but sunrises are always more beautiful when they're bathed in wildfire smoke. Anyway, here's my impression of the last presidential debate of the season. As I've grown to expect, my candidate Barack Obama did another great job. McCain seemed twitchy, angry, and inarticulate.

McCain seemed hyperbolic and crazy to me. ACORN, one of America's oldest and community organizations that hasn't done anything wrong except maybe hired some bad people who they fired, is a "threat" to democracy. Is he nuts! He seemed to ramble, stare, groan, breath weirdly, and get very defensive about everybody and anybody who ever attended his rallies, when it was clear that Obama was talking about a few bad apples. Even his bravado was strange. Was it just me, or did he seem to be want to punch somebody at that moment? It was freaky to say the least.

I will be posting the Factcheck.org details about how each candidate "stretched the truth" soon after I get it, but my gut tells me that McCain lied about some pretty important things. One of the worst was when McCain claimed to "repudiate" anybody who was "out of line" in his campaign. What a load of crap. The McCain campaign has tolerated and encouraged outrageous comments about Obama from spokespeople and supporters for months. That comment was outrageous and without a hint of truth.

Early polls released last night showed that Obama did well again. If things continue to go this way, America will have something to celebrate in a few weeks. Obama is a good man, but even more important, he's an intelligent, capable man. We are very lucky to have him at this time in our history. If we succeed - yes, WE, his small donors and supporters - in getting him elected president then we will all have a reason to hold a big party.

His campaign is considering an election night party in Chicago's Grant Park. I think we should all consider holding a party or attending one. Email me if you have any ideas. For those negative Republicans who think we might be counting our proverbial eggs, I say there's nothing wrong with being optimistic, especially since I can't even imagine the alternative. Thanks for another great debate Barack! You're doing a great job!

Thursday's Debate Review #1 - Michael

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Political Rant: We Need to Demand Justice Over Proof George Bush Approved Torture

Good Morning Bloggers - I would like to discuss torture. You know, the thing we've always been against, even to the point of promoting and signing international treaties to prevent it. The kind of thing that George Washington refused to do because he said that it would harm the "morality of the nation." You know, TORTURE!

To this day it still shocks me how some of my more rough-and-tumble Republican friends think I'm crazy to worry about it. They say it's no big deal. They don't have any problem with the idea that George Bush is breaking domestic and international laws. They say he's doing it to protect the country.

Really? I say he's probably getting his rocks off. I'm horrified by the idea that we've been torturing our prisoners for years now. We've broken our laws, and even more important, we've trashed our "word" and honor as a nation by ignoring our international agreements. We need to feel worse about it. We should be more ashamed of our leaders. They should have been on trial by now, or at least impeached. Thank you so much Nancy Pelosi - what a tool. We need to get more angry.

So, little by little over time, the proof has been leaking out, and a big piece of it just hit the fan this morning. The Washington Post is reporting today that the Bush administration "issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects." Intelligence officials supposedly required the documents for "CYA" purposes, just in case the details of the program became public. Well, it's now public, and I'm angry! You should be too.

"The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed, were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents. Although Justice Department lawyers, beginning in 2002, had signed off on the agency's interrogation methods, senior CIA officials were troubled that White House policymakers had never endorsed the program in writing.

The memos were the first -- and, for years, the only -- tangible expressions of the administration's consent for the CIA's use of harsh measures to extract information from captured al-Qaeda leaders, the sources said. As early as the spring of 2002, several White House officials, including then-national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and Vice President Cheney, were given individual briefings by Tenet and his deputies, the officials said. Rice, in a statement to congressional investigators last month, confirmed the briefings and acknowledged that the CIA director had pressed the White House for "policy approval."" To read the whole story, click here.


So, there we have it. The White House authorized torture. Of course, McCain, who originally opposed torture, now says that waterboarding isn't necessarily torture. I see, so what is it? Enhanced interrogation is just another way of describing torture. Prisoners should never be subjected to painful and inhumane treatment. We must always find other ways to get information. The "24" style mentality of treating the enemy as though they're not human is repulsive to me.

There are so many arguments against torture I don't have time to describe them here, but overall we're better off without it. I'm angry, and I hope you are too. We need to vote for Obama in 20 days to make sure this never happens again. Once he's elected, we can start cleaning up the mess made by Bush and his cruel henchmen. Not in my name! Never again!

Wednesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Political News: Anchorage Daily News Skewers Palin for Vindicating Self

Hello Bloggers - Yesterday's Anchorage Daily News featured an editorial skewering Palin for claiming that the "Troopergate" report just released somehow "vindicates" her as she claims.

Excerpt from: Palin vindicated?

"Sarah Palin's reaction to the Legislature's Troopergate report is an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation. She claims the report "vindicates" her. She said that the investigation found "no unlawful or unethical activity on my part." Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian."


Read the whole editorial here.

Personally, I consider her outrageous "spin" to be more Rovian crap spewed by the McCain campaign. We've put up with it over the Bush years and have grown used to it, kind of like the Moose crap you scrape from your boot walking around the outskirts of Anchorage. I look forward to the day when we don't have to deal with the crap anymore. I look forward to the day when we've all scraped our boots off for the last time, and the smelly, stinking, flee-bitten Rovian herd has moved way beyond our horizon.

Tuesday's Political News #1 and Rant #2 - Michael

Call to Action: American Soldier Needs Our Help to Rescue "Rachet" in Iraq

Hello Bloggers - I don't know if you guys noticed but there's a really cool "widget" on our blog here called "Today's Newspapers" sponsored by the NewspaperIndex.com. It features pictures of the front pages of newspapers from around the world, which are compiled by the journalism museum in Washington, DC - the Newseum is one of my favorite places on earth.

I mention this widget because I want to start a new feature where I click on a random paper every now and then to talk about a great local story effecting everyday people. The story will be even more interesting if we can all get involved and to help.

Today I clicked on the Deluth News Tribune from Deluth, Minnesota, and it featured a cover story on an American soldier who is pleading to bring a pup named "Rachet" home from Iraq. Incredibly, more than 10,000 people - and me - have signed an online petition urging the Army to let an Iraqi puppy go home with the Minnesota soldier, who fears that Ratchet could be killed if left behind.

Army Sgt. Gwen Beberg of Minneapolis rescued Rachet as a puppy from a burning trash pile in Iraq, but Defense Department rules prohibit soldiers in the U.S. Central Command from adopting pets. Now, let's take action! Help her by joining thousands of others and SIGN THE PETITION urging the Army to let her bring Rachet home. Click here to sign.

“I just want my puppy home,” Sgt. Gwen Beberg of Minneapolis wrote to her mother in an e-mail Sunday from Iraq, soon after she was separated from the dog following a transfer. “I miss my dog horribly.” Beberg, 28, is scheduled to return to the U.S. next month. You can read the rest of the story here, but you'll have to register with the Deluth paper. Now help our soldier Gwen get her puppy back - take action now!

Tuesday's Call to Action #1 & Newspaper Highlight #1 - Michael

Political Rant: Cable Network Lies Keep Presidential Race in Artificial Dead Heat

Good Morning Bloggers - I would like to slam the corporate media for the manipulative "infotainment" they call news during this election, and how they're reporting a "tight race" at this time when all indications are that the race has already tightened and is favoring Obama by double digits.

From what I can observe, CNN and MSNBC are lying about the election at this moment. Yes, they're lying scum. Each continues to call Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida "swing states" despite the fact that the majority of polls in each of those states is now showing Barack Obama ahead of McCain beyond the margin of error - many by double digits. I won't bother to report on FOX. I don't even consider that to be "infotainment." I just consider it pure propaganda, or crap, whichever you prefer.

I know the networks have a job to keep their ratings up, but they also have a duty to the American people and the airwaves we allow them to use to tell us the truth. It used to be required by law, but since those regulations were gutted by Clinton and the Congress in the 90's I believe it's more of a pledge now. No matter, it's still a pledge.

They should not be allowed to lie, and they are lying to us, their customers. We don't allow package goods companies to lie on their labels (at least the regulated ones), so why should we allow media companies to lie in their news. Sure, Republicans can defend them by saying that if even one poll suggests otherwise then it proves they're not lying, but that's not the standard they use for their statistical analysis. I read through their standards and it is clear that those states should be moved into "leaning-Obama" based on their own criteria.

We all know the only reason they're not doing it is because they need to lie about a close race to keep their ratings up. Those "swing states" remain their only bread and butter. They need to keep those residents frothing at the mouth, creating controversy, and angry. That's the way to keep the rating's up and the money train flowing I guess. It also helps them to keep pumping the candidates for more campaign ad revenues. I think it's despicable, unfair to the campaign donors, unfair to the voters who seek the truth, and shouldn't be allowed to continue after this election.

The networks should have a public obligation to report honest facts during elections. If people knew that the race was going a certain way they might turn their attention to other problems. Keeping us continually in the grip of a fast and furious horse race is dishonest and distracting. It's also completely unfair to the candidate who is actually ahead. They should be able to see the fruits of their labor, and focus on sealing the deal. I hope we make some changes after this is all over.

Tuesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Monday, October 13, 2008

Political Praise: Rachel Maddow is Awesome!

Hello Bloggers - I hope that some of you caught David Frum, former Bush speechwriter who is now with that glorified Republican retirement home known as the American Enterprise Institute, on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show this evening. It was fantastic!

Frum was trying to say that both campaigns are showing the "ugliness of tone" that has "prevailed over the past years," and that her show was a good example. Of course, he forgot to mention that the 'tone" was mostly caused by his fellow Republicans - a very ugly crowd indeed.

Rachel offered a wonderful response suggesting that there is a difference in tone, and that comparing her show to the McCain campaign's tolerance for verbal assaults was "a sort of false equivalence." God, I love you Rachel. I agree completely. You are so damn intelligent, and funny. I guess that's another way to describe that old Rovian tactic of "muddying the waters."

Frum's attacks on Rachel's show continued describing it in almost juvenile ways. He said that her show was part of the problem with its use of "heavy sacrasm," "sneering," and its "disregard for the more substantive issues." Rachel, of course, defended her show's use of humor perfectly. We progressives love our humor, she said, or something like it.

She went issue-by-issue peeling apart his calls for more substantive debate, pointing out that people enjoy getting their issues presented in different ways (she put it better). Overall, it was a wonderful exchange that Rachel handled like the progressive hero she is, and she deserves our praise. Thank you Dr. Maddow! I love your humor!

Like so many of those "Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz" types, Frum annoyed the hell out of me. I lost count of the number of times he dropped the word "intelligent" into the debate; he used it like a clumsy, rocket-propelled grenade launcher. He was so obvious in his attempt at intellectual snobbery and his overuse of "Yale-speak" to be obscene.

I've often wound up debating that type at dinner parties. You know them, the ones who try to make things more complicated than they need to be. They love to try and make you feel less capable, less articulate. It's just a tactic, albeit, a very annoying tactic. They're also the ones who leave early if you start throwing it right back at them. They frighten easily.

Republicans like Frum have lost a lot of their potency over the past eight years. Decades of corruption, eight years of Bush and "Rumsfeldian double-talk" have left us bruised and burned and them cowering in their corners - at least the smart ones, the dumb ones are still talking. We don't trust them anymore. It will take a whole new generation before they recover.

If the past eight years have taught us anything it's that they're mostly full of hot air. They're also less competent by and large. We need to remember that the more obnoxious a person seems, and the more they throw around the word intelligent, the less we should consider them so. They flew too close to the sun, and now we have only to see them fall.

Monday's Political Rant #2 - Michael

Political Rant: I Don't Care What the McCain Campaign Says, It's Still Hateful

Hello Bloggers - If you read my earlier posts you would understand why I would like to agree completely with Rep. John Lewis (D) of Georgia, veteran of the civil rights movement, who said over the weekend that the negative tone of the McCain presidential campaign reminds him of the "hateful atmosphere that segregationist Gov. George Wallace fostered in Alabama in the 1960s."

One example is the photo accompanying this post. It was quietly released by the McCain campaign accompanying some daily news, and Reuters used it online. Say it so John? I don't care what you say, that photo is designed to anger Appalachian swing voters

Self-righteous McCain called Lewis' remarks "shocking and beyond the pale" on Saturday. Really Senator, how? Unfortunately the Obama campaign responded by saying the he doesn't believe McCain or his policy criticism is at all comparable to Wallace and his segregationist policies. Barack, that's not what John Lewis was trying to say. He said that he was creating a similar "hateful atmosphere."

I agree with Lewis that McCain and Palin are "sowing the seeds of hatred and division," and there is "no need for this hostility in our political discourse." He rightly said that "George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights."

Late Saturday, Lewis released another statement saying it was not his "intention or desire" to directly compare McCain or Palin to Wallace. I agree, he never said that. It was the stupid campaigns saying it. Lewis was being more general.

"My statement was a reminder to all Americans that toxic language can lead to destructive behavior," he said. "I am glad that Sen. McCain has taken some steps to correct divisive speech at his rallies. I believe we need to return to civil discourse in this election about the pressing economic issues that are affecting our nation."

McCain's response was absurd. "I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I've always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track." You liar, he didn't attack your character or your supporters, just the atmosphere you were allowing to develop around you.

Reuters reported in August that McCain, while appearing at a forum on faith, was asked to name three "wise people" he would listen to. He cited Lewis as well as Gen. David Petreaus, head of U.S. troops in Iraq, and former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, a top adviser to his campaign. In my opinion, he needs to listen to Lewis' wisdom now and stop driving the hate machine.

Monday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Call to Action: For Our Own Humanity, We Must Remember Shaun Dykes

Hello Bloggers - I know it involves a crowd overseas, but I still think it's important for us to remember just how cruel people can get, especially when they gather and act like a mob. This is a stark and painful follow-up to my comments on last week's hateful campaign crowds, and just how horribly wrong things can go when they get out of hand. Like I said, people can die.

In the UK last week 17 year old Shaun Dykes threw himself off the roof of a shopping center in Derby, England, after a crowd gathered below and goaded him into jumping while chanting anti-gay obscenities. Shaun stood on the building roof for three hours contemplating killing himself. Eyewitness Alasdair Kay told the BBC's Today, "We could hear people shouting 'jump fag' followed by a stream of expletives. They weren't all just young people, some were middle-aged. To be honest with you I was sickened."

BBC reports that Derbyshire's Chief Constable Mick Creedon confirmed that members of the public encouraged the teenager to kill himself. Some filmed the event and posted it on the Internet. Pictures of him standing on top of the railings before his death even appeared in the newspaper the Daily Mail.

Up to 300 people gathered below where Shaun was perched on a railing. Some sources say that some observers, incredibly, allowed their children to watch. "Whilst we are very used to dealing with incidents like this, this was unusual with members of the public videoing, taking photographs and even shouting for Shaun to jump," Creedon said.

His teacher Rob Howard said that he was an openly gay student and that many of the kids “goaded him to jump" for that reason. The Bishop of Derby, the Rev. Dr. Alastair Redfern, added: “I’m horrified. I hope these people feel deeply ashamed. Here was a very troubled person crying out for help.”

After three hours and plenty of loud shouts of "jump fag" from the crowd, Shaun jumped the 60 feet to his death. It is reported that Shaun left a suicide note and was upset after the break-up of a relationship. His friends say that he was a great guy who "always had a smile on his face."

The whole story disgusts me, especially reading about how the crowd wasn't questioned or charged. The authorities just let the hate-mongering accomplices go free. The police said it was because the crowd was too large. I say it was because they didn't care enough. Crowds, like bullies, often get away with harm, or murder. Society should not tolerate hate, from individuals or crowds.

I am horrified, but not surprised. I've almost been a victim of crowd related violence myself after I tried to help somebody being threatened and abused. People didn't come to my defense against the bullies; they joined in the bullying. We were lucky to get out of there with only a few scratches and light punches.

I think that's what happens when people gather and allow hate to consume them. Who knows, it might be from a dark place completely unrelated. Perhaps they're expressing their anger at the world, or their disappointment in their own lives? Who knows, but the bottom line is they can't seem to stop themselves from taking it out on innocent people. They seem to lose touch with those very important parts of our social humanity: empathy, sympathy and compassion. It's like they become animals or something.

Shaun died partly because of his own pain, but also because of society's willingness to tolerate the hate that ultimately taunted him to his death. Our leaders need to always remind us that we are responsible for controlling our own anger, and for taking care of each other.

We should never channel - individually or as a crowd - any hate or anger in a destructive way. As I said on my earlier crowd-related post, people can get seriously hurt or die when crowds are allowed to erupt into verbal and physical violence. That crowd below Shaun should have been dispersed. The police failed to do their job.

We are each our brother's keeper. We are all responsible for our society's actions. We must demand civility and security for ourselves and those vulnerable among us. I would like to convey my personal condolences and prayers for Shaun, his family and friends. I hope they can find peace.

I urge you take action and sign an online tribute to Shaun here. I also urge you to join good government organizations that fight against hate and violence. Feel free to email me if you want my personal suggestions.

Monday's Call to Action #1 - Michael

Political News: Newspapers Endorse Obama Over McCain, 17 to 2

Good Morning Bloggers - It's amazing, but the journal Editor & Publisher reported yesterday that 17 newspapers across the country decided to endorse Obama over McCain this weekend, and amazingly the only major media I find it mentioned is on the Huffington Post. What happened Drudge, cat got your tongue?

McCain got only two endorsements. The 17 endorsements included papers in six swing states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina, and Missouri. E&P is charting every endorsement and the circulation size of each paper. (See more here.)

Monday's Political News #1 - Michael