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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Best of Sunday Op-Eds

The guilty pleasure I miss most when I’m out slogging on the campaign trail is the chance to sprawl on the chaise and watch a vacuously spunky and generically sassy chick flick.

So imagine my delight, my absolute astonishment, when the hokey chick flick came out on the trail, a Cinderella story so preposterous it’s hard to believe it’s not premiering on Lifetime. Instead of going home and watching “Miss Congeniality” with Sandra Bullock, I get to stay here and watch “Miss Congeniality” with Sarah Palin.

Sheer heaven.

It’s easy to see where this movie is going. It begins, of course, with a cute, cool unknown from Alaska who has never even been on “Meet the Press” triumphing over a cute, cool unknowable from Hawaii who has been on “Meet the Press” a lot.

read more.

For the past several years, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, has been embroiled in a bitter family feud that has drawn in the state police, the attorney general, the governor's office and the state legislature.

A bipartisan state legislative panel has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether Palin improperly brought the family fight into the governor's office. The investigation is focusing on whether she and her aides pressured and ultimately fired the public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, for not removing Palin's ex-brother-in-law from the state police force.

The trouble between Wooten and the governor's sister broke into the open after an alleged incident in February 2005. Palin told an internal affairs investigator that she overheard on a speakerphone Wooten arguing with her sister and threatening to kill their father. Fearful for her family members' lives, Palin said she drove to her sister's house and watched the argument through a window.

read more.


Alaskans were stunned and delighted that John McCain chose Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Delighted because one of our own has burst into the national spotlight. You go, girl!

Stunned because a woman from such ordinary circumstances -- a self-professed hockey mom from a small Alaska town -- is running for vice-president.

Alaskans are delighted because the eyes of the world will be on Alaska as Sarah Palin campaigns for the vice-presidency.

And it's stunning that someone with so little national and international experience might be heartbeat away from the presidency.

For all those advantages, Palin joins the ticket with one huge weakness: She's a total beginner on national and international issues.

read more.

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Gustav Blows Out GOP Convention

What a reminder of everything they didn't do last time. President Bush and Cheney are staying away from the convention so they can be prepared to ignore respond to Gustav when it hits the Gulf Coast. From CNN:

In addition, "substantial" changes to the Republican National Convention program will be announced Sunday because of the storm, two Republican officials said.

Sen. John McCain said Sunday it wouldn't be appropriate to hold a political celebration during the storm [or a birthday party!!!]. He said there would be significant changes, but did not elaborate.

"We must redirect our efforts from the really celebratory event of the nomination of president and vice president of our party to acting as all Americans," said McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

McCain said it's likely the event would change into a "call to the nation for action."

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Why This Nomination is a Joke

I'd like to take you on a trip to the future. Where we're going we don't need political pundits. Fast forward to Oct. 2, 2008, St. Louis, the state of Missouri. Gwen Ifill has shuffled her note cards and prepares to ask the two people most likely to be President should something happen to Obama or McCain. We are in the Vice Presidential Debate Zone.

Ifill: This question is to both the candidates. Per a flip of the coin, Senator Biden will go first, to be followed by Governor Palin, and a rebuttal time of 30 seconds to each.

This first question deals with foreign policy. [Crowd laughs] Iraq's Prime Minister and the Bush Administration have said they would like to have American troops out of Iraqi cities by next June and from the country by the end of 2011. Do you think this is realistic, or do you see the need to commit more combat troops to Iraq?

Biden: "I've said for quite a while now, as has my running mate, that we need to force the Iraqis to stand up on their own. The time is long past for the United States to withdraw from Iraq. In fact, I even pushed the Iraqis to create a federalism style government so we could get out of there faster. When I met with Iraq's President last year he seemed open to the idea. So, yes. I think it is realistic that troops be pulled from there and I hope to see it happen sooner rather than later."

Ifill: Governor Palin?

Palin: Well, my son is serving in Iraq so of course I would like to see our troops home soon. "I heard on the news about the new deployments, and while I support our president, Condoleezza Rice and the administration, I want to know that we have an exit plan in place; I want assurances that we are doing all we can to keep our troops safe. Every life lost is such a tragedy. I am very, very proud of the troops we have in Alaska, those fighting overseas for our freedoms, and the families here who are making so many sacrifices."

Ifill: Senator Biden, a response?

Biden: [Long Pause] You heard on the news? [Laughs] That's all.

Ifill: Governor Palin?

Palin: No, I don't have a lot of foreign policy experience, but I love my son and I will do everything I can to keep him safe.

And that's just on Iraq. Can you imagine the questions about Georgia? China? Bin Laden? Give me a break. This pick is a joke.

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Olbermann: You Just Got McPunked!



Howard Fineman on the choice: "Sarah Palin makes Barack Obama look like John Adams."

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Carter: McCain 'milking' POW time

Former president Jimmy Carter said Republican presidential candidate John McCain has been "milking every possible drop of advantage" from his time served as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

read more | digg story

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Sen. Hutchinson: "I don't know too much about Palin"



Talk about making lemonade out of lemons!

Republican Senator, and should be Vice-Presidential nominee,Kay Bailey Hutchinson:
"The fact that I don't know her, the fact that others, maybe in Washington, haven't, uh, known her, and she doesn't know the ways of Washington might be the very best thing of all."

h/t JedReport

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Three Homes for Palin

In case you're counting homes, Palin has three. According to Jonathan Martin:

Per The Center for Public Integrity:

On house ownership, the Palins can’t match the McCains’ eight homes, but her real estate portfolio is respectable, thank you very much. Palin owns three houses, according to her 2007 financial disclosure form. The forms don’t list the value of the properties, but indicate that one is residential and the other two are used for recreation.

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Daily Show: Obama's Biography Video

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MSNBC: The Real Democratic Debate

Things are apparently pretty rocky over at MSNBC. I could explain it all to you, hissy fits, on air personality clashes, etc. Let's just let Jon Stewart sum it up for us.

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Hillary Supporter and Congressional Member: Palin is no Hillary

Democratic Representative Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida, in talking to MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, just slammed Sarah Palin. Wasserman-Schultz was a big supporter of Hillary's during the primary and has now endorsed Barack Obama. When asked if Palin would be a big draw for those disaffected Hillary supporters she had this to say:

I know Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton.

Update:
The Miami Herald reports more of her comments:
"Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton....Women in this country don't want a candidate on the ballot just because of the parts that she has....It's not just electing a woman for the sake of getting a women over there." Instead, she said, women want equal pay for equal work, protection of reproductive rights, access to affordable health care for their children etc.
Update:

Democrats are already hitting hard her "experience." From Jonathan Martin:
Democrats, however, are pouncing on the pick and expressing a mix of shock and incredulity.

Wasilla, they note, has a population of just 5,400 people. She has no foreign policy experience and said just last month that she didn't even know what the vice-president does.
Update: Here's the video of Palin saying "What exactly does a VP do?" She then says she wants to make sure the VP position is fruitful for Alaska. (Go about 2:50 in). I think Biden is going to wipe the floor with her in a debate as she is very tough, but not yet ready for prime time.

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Video: Olbermann Rips Into AP



From Editor & Publisher:

In an unusually heated attack on a veteran political reporter by a cable news host, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann laced into the Associated Press's Charles Babington an hour after Barack Obama had concluded his speech in Denver on Thursday night.

Nearly all of the top commentators and reporters on the three cable news networks had hailed Obama's speech as something new and powerful, and filled with specifics, and predicted it would have a positive effect on his chances vs. John McCain. This hallelujah chorus included conservatives such as Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan and the longtime Republican David Gergen, as well as Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams. Buchanan called it the best and most important political convention speech he had ever heard, going back 48 years.

So the liberal Olbermann was outraged that the AP's Babington had written, in his analysis of the speech, just off the wire, that Obama had tried nothing new and that his speech was lacking in specifics. He read the first few paragraphs on the air, lamented that it would be printed in hundred of newspapers on Friday, and concluded, "It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization.

"Charles Babington, find new work."

read more.

Word that the infamous Babington is a former Bush campaign adviser.

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McCain's Beauty Queen VP

John McCain sure likes his beauty queens. First, he married Cindy, a beauty queen in her own right. Now, he's nominated Sarah Palin, a former beauty queen, to be his Vice President. I'm sensing a theme here. (No word if he plans to nominate Palin next year to compete in the topless beauty pageant at Sturgis). What other former beauty queens can he nominate to be part of his cabinet? Here's some suggestions:

Secretary of Interior: Vanessa Williams. She's shown a great eye for design on "Ugly Betty."

Secretary of Defense: Diane Sawyer. She's covered international stories.

Attorney General: Sharon Stone. She knows how to use an ice pick. That's got to make her a good lawyer.

Of course, he could've picked someone in the Republican party who actually had experience like, oh, say, Kay Bailey Hutchinson, Christine Todd Whitman, Condoleeza Rice.... I guess, no beauty queen title, no nomination.

Indecision 2008 offers the following take on the choice:

And she is considerably more attractive than Joe Lieberman. No offense to Lieberman, but Palin is only 44-years-old (that's even younger than Barack Obama) and as MILFy as they come.

On the other hand, she's not particularly experienced (I wonder how McCain will sally forth without that meme), having been in office for less than two years. It'll be interesting to see how she'll look going up against the very experienced Joe Biden in veep debates.

You know, it's too bad presidential and vice-presidential candidates don't get to debate. I think most people would rather watch Palin go up aginst Obama.

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MSNBC: Romney and Pawlenty out as VP, McCain Pulls August Surprise - Sarah Palin

Update: It's official. CNN says McCain has picked Palin.

Can anyone say Sarah Palin? I don't know who it's going to be. I didn't think McCain had the guts to nominate a woman to be his Vice President. Lieberman, Ridge or some other wild ass pick might be what McCain has in mind. However, MSNBC seems to be fairly confident it is not Romney or Pawlenty. That gust of wind that just hit you was the collective sigh of relief from Republicans who were hoping their party wasn't totally hijacked by crazy people.

According to MSNBC:

As the political community turned desperate for clues, speculation moved toward Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the so-called "hockey mom" credited with reforms of her out-of-the-way state.

A Gulfstream IV from Anchorage, Alaska, flew into Middletown Regional Airport in Butler County near Cincinnati about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, said Rich Bevis, the airport's manager. He said several people came off the plane, including a woman and two teens, but there was no confirmation of who was aboard.

"They were pretty much hustled off. They came right down the ramp, jumped in some vans here and off they went," Bevis said.

"It was all hush, hush."

Back in May I discussed the dark horse candidate. You can read my post about Palin HERE.

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Daily Show in Denver: Obama's Nomination

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Video: Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech

The highlight video:


Barack Obama's acceptance speech. (In case you're wondering, that's U2's City of Blinding Lights" that he walked out to)

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Headline that Distracted Me from Obama

Remember when Scully would crack jokes about Mulder looking at porn? When Mulder would watch porn to get to sleep? Art imitating life...

The headline reads:

Actor Duchovny in rehab for sex addiction.

From CNN:

In a statement released Thursday by his lawyer, Stanton Stein, the actor said he did so voluntarily, adding, "I ask for respect and privacy for my wife and children as we deal with this situation as a family."

The actor's publicist, Flo Grace, confirmed the rehab report, which first appeared on People.com.

She and Stein both declined to elaborate further.

Duchovny plays a sex-obsessed character on the Showtime series "Californication," which earned Emmy nominations for casting and cinematography. The show's second season begins September 28.


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The VP Runner Up

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Gore

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Bill Richardson: We Can't Afford McCain's Flip-Flops



Bill Richardson: "John McCain may pay hundreds of dollars for his shoes, but we're the ones who will pay for his flip-flops."

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"I Have a Dream"

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John McCain's Message to Barack Obama



Is this sarcastic or serious? It's hard to tell when dealing with someone like McCain.

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Cindy McCain's Half Sister Voting for Obama

US with the Political scoop:

"I'm not voting for McCain," Kathleen Hensley Portalski tells Us. "I have a different political standpoint.

"I'm voting for Obama," the Phoenix resident says. "I think his proposals to improve the country are more positive and I'm not a big war believer."

Portalski, 65, and the potential first lady, 54, have the same father: Jim Hensley, the founder of the beer distributor Hensley and Co. that Cindy McCain now chairs.

In an interview with NPR News' All Things Considered last week, Portalski said she felt "like a non-person" after Cindy McCain described herself as an "only child."

"She's kinda cool, standoffish," Portalski tells Us of her half sister.

Portalski also doesn't expect Cindy McCain to make an effort to reconcile their relationship.

"She never has, and I doubt that she ever will," she tells Us.

Portalski's son Nathan, a 45-year-old aerospace machinist, is also backing Obama.

"I wouldn't vote for John McCain if he was a Democrat," he tells Us. "I would not vote at all before I'd vote for him.

"I question whether Cindy is someone I'd want to see in the White House as first lady," he adds.

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Historic, Exciting, Unprecedented, Invigorating, uh, McCain Ad?

You'd think with all those superlatives we'd be talking about Barack Obama. John McCain's campaign has announced an ad of epic proportions they say will air during Obama's acceptance speech tonight. McCain plans to look directly into the camera and talk to.... Obama! Seems everybody wants a minute with this guy!

According to Politico:

Communications director Jill Hazelbaker teased it on Morning Joe this morning:

MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Apparently the McCain campaign has an ad rolling out tonight. What's it about?

JILL HAZELBAKER: Well, Mika, this is a historic ad. I think this is the first of its kind. Senator McCain is going to speak direct to camera to Barack Obama. I’m not going to give away many more details than that. But suffice to say it’s going to be a very exciting ad, and I think it’s going to get a lot of attention

BRZEZINSKI: Jill, you’ve got to give us more on this ad. He's speaking directly to camera, John McCain is to Barack Obama. If you say there's news here, what's the news?

HAZELBAKER: Well, I'm going to keep a lid on it. But I think it's newsworthy to note that Senator McCain is going to have an ad that's going to air in battleground states around the time that Senator Obama is speaking tonight. And he’s going to be talking directly to his opponent. So, I'm going to leave it there, but it's going be very exciting and a lot of people are going to focus on it.
What do you think McCain will say? Here's my best guess:

1. "Hey, buddy! I was a prisoner of war! I'm the only one who should be speaking to crowds larger than 10 people."

2. "Stop beating me!"

3. "Yeah, well, you said you liked Hillary and that's just as bad as me liking President Bush!"

4. "Want to buy a condo? Seriously, I've got like 8 of them."

5. "I'm rubber, you're glue..."


You can see what he ended up saying HERE.

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Putin Trots Out Cold War Attacks: U.S. Started Georgia Conflict

Russian President Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is going to the Cold War propaganda well. According to CNN:

In an exclusive interview with CNN's Matthew Chance in the Black Sea city of Sochi Thursday, Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.

Putin told CNN his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate -- Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush -- although he presented no evidence to back it up.

"U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict," Putin said. "They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader."
Now I'm just jaded enough to believe that somehow, someway, there was U.S. involvement here. I find it difficult to believe President Bush was smart enough to do something like this to "benefit" John McCain. You never know...

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Daily Show: Guess Whose Coming to Denver!

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God and GOP Remind Voters of Katrina

I've speculated before on the uncanny coincidence of natural disasters that seem to follow McCain and his campaign. You had the hurricane and mass oil spill disrupt his planned oil rig visit in Louisiana. Then you had an earthquake hit California within hours of his appearance at an oil rig there. It looks like the "coincidences" have just gone to a whole new level.

Gustav, the hurricane now threatening the Gulf Coast, and in particular New Orleans, is set to make landfall on, wait for it, the opening day of the GOP Convention. Yes, that's right. The night President Bush is expected to address the Republican convention is the same night the potential Category Three Hurricane could once again pummel New Orleans and is just three days after the anniversary of Katrina's landfall. I'd say "somebody" doesn't want us to forget how the President (and McCain) handled this kind of hurricane last time.

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McZeus Jealous of Obama's Ecclesia

You may have heard by now that Republicans are really hitting hard the idea that Obama is fairly pompous and self-congratulating. As example number one, they point to his acceptance speech at Invesco Field and the accompanying Greek temple backdrop that will be behind him during his speech. They haven't gone so far as to say he thinks he's a god, but the implication is very clear.

I'm inclined to agree that this idea is more likely than not to backfire with a majority of those white, blue collar, Midwestern, red state people. It's a nuanced decision by Obama that requires explaining. Any time your stage has to "be explained" you're in trouble.

Here's the photo of his stage for tonight:

Obama offered a decent explanation last night as to why he's having a crowd of 75,000 witness his acceptance of the nomination.
"At the start of this campaign, we had a very simple idea, which is: Change in America doesn't start from the top down, it starts from the bottom up," he says. "We want to open up this convention to make sure that everyone who wants to come can join in the party, can join in the effort to take America back."
I think he's trying to emphasize this democracy for all by using the Greek facade because it represents not only Greece and the birthplace of democracy, but the ecclesias in Athens where "thousands of citizens would meet and vote."

I think my point has just been made by the above paragraph. If I have to start trotting out terms like ecclesia then I think you've lost a vast majority of the people you're trying to impress. Good luck.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Remember When This Guy was their Candidate?



Update

John Kerry gets off quite a few zingers in this speech. If he'd been this forceful in 2004 he probably would be wrapping up his second term.

"To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say, let's compare Senator McCain to candidate McCain.

Candidate McCain now supports the war time tax cuts that Senator McCain once called irresponsible.

Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain's own climate change bill.

Candidate McCain says he would vote against he immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote.

Are you kidding me folks? Talk about being for it before you're against it.

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself."

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Joe's Speech - Obama Surprise



Update:

Make sure you watch the last five minutes as that is when Barack Obama made an appearance to set the stage for tomorrow night's victory acceptance speech.

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Whose Idea Was This?

For a guy whose battling charges of elitism, I'm not sure it's exactly a great idea to choose the Parthenon as the backdrop for your acceptance speech.


From ABC News:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

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Bill Clinton Delivers Epic Speech at Convention

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Hillary Nominates Obama

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Romney: McCain Deserves Homes, Obama Doesn't

The Boston Globe reports that Mitt Romney says John McCain "earned" his eight houses because of all the "hard work" he and his family had done. He said Obama, on the other hand, "got a special deal from a convicted felon." This, of course, badly misstates how Obama actually acquired his home which you can read in great detail HERE.

When asked to list examples of hard work McCain had done to earn his homes, Romney provided the following list:

1. Married Cindy. Said Romney, "Come on. Anyone who puts up with that &*^% deserves at least three homes!"
2. Walked from the Guest House to the Front of the house in Sedona. Said Romney, "That's a tough, long walk for an old geezer. That's hard work!"
3. Once flew in Cindy's private plane when she was the pilot. Said Romney, "Talk about your heart attacks!"
4. Endorsed everything President Bush did for the last eight years. Said Romney, "Case closed."

h/t: Blue Tidal Wave

ps - abc news reports:
Romney has 5 houses and adjacent property worth an estimated $30 million. The price is an estimate as it doesn't include a Canadian home (co-owned by his siblings) and it includes the current estimated value of a property he bought in 1997. Just this May, Romney bought a home in La Jolla valued at $12 million..."
It's the big house on the right, in case you were wondering....

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Preservationists Lost in Fog of War

For some unknown reason, there is actually a debate happening right now over what to do with the aged and cracking Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. As you can tell from the above picture, the tomb is looking more shabby than dignified. In fact, the uniforms of the Marines Soldiers that guard the tomb are sharper than what they're protecting.

This has led, incredibly, to a great debate over whether or not they should repair the cracks, again, or just build a marble replica and replace it. Preservationists are adamant in protecting the tomb itself, not wanting to replace the original old soldier and see a shiny new marble slab protecting the contents inside.

Arlington National Cemetery officials want to replace the marble altogether to provide those buried within a dignified, noble marker. From CNN:
The report said cemetery officials believe the "cracks cannot be repaired indefinitely without the monument acquiring a patched, worn and shabby appearance, which is the antithesis of its purpose and contrary to [Arlington National Cemetery's] mission of maintaining a dignified, fitting memorial to our country's fallen soldiers."

I think this is one time when we can let the history worship step aside for something that will truly honor those buried inside. It is, after all, the point of the tomb. It isn't there for historians to appreciate it. It is there to honor those killed while serving their country.

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Springsteen Skips Obama Speech

From Ben Smith:

An Obama aide e-mails that, contrary to a report Monday in the local pressy, Bruce Springsteen is "definitely not performing" tomorrow.

Sigh.

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Halloween Comes Early for McCain

McCain is out with another "scare you" ad, this time highlighting comments Obama made about Iran in which he said they were a "tiny" country (compared to the Soviet Union) and didn't pose a serious threat to America. The point he was making, which you won't see in this video, and which he said, was that their military budget is 1/100th of ours. If they ever tried anything we'd wipe them off the face of the earth. So no, he doesn't think they're a serious threat. Here's the McCain ad followed by the Obama comments the ad is attacking.





Update:

Jake Tapper calls McCain's ad blatantly dishonest and shares the full remarks of Obama, who was putting the threat of Iran into the context of the threat of the Soviet Union during the Cold War:
On May 18, in Pendelton, Ore., Obama said that "strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries. That's what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That's what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That's what Nixon did with Mao. I mean, think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela -- these countries are tiny, compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet, we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, 'We're going to wipe you off the planet.'

"And ultimately, that direct engagement led to a series of measures that helped prevent nuclear war, and over time, allowed the kind of opening that brought down the Berlin Wall," Obama continued. "Now, that has to be the kind of approach that we take. You know, Iran, they spend one-one hundredth of what we spend on the military. If Iran ever tried to pose a serious threat to us, they wouldn't stand a chance. And we should use that position of strength that we have, to be bold enough to go ahead and listen. That doesn't mean we agree with them on everything. We might not compromise on any issues, but at least we should find out other areas of potential common interest, and we can reduce some of the tensions that has caused us so many problems around the world."

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Joe Biden's Son on His Family's Tragedy and Recovery

A powerful story on Good Morning America this morning about Biden's sons and how they recovered from the death of their mother and their 13-month-old sister. You can click HERE to see it.

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Sen. Barbara Boxer on McCain's Temper: "Huge Anger"



h/t: Jed Report

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Bill vs. Joe and the Clintons "secret" plans to run in 2012

Tonight is supposed to be Joe Biden's night. However, a former President with a chip the size of John McCain's fortune on his shoulder is going to speak first.

Bill Clinton is scheduled to address the convention tonight before Joe Biden takes the stage. Hillary gave a great performance last night, but now Bill must deliver. He must act like he really wants Obama to win, so he doesn't get blamed if he doesn't. In case you were wondering, yes, they're planning on Hillary running for President again. Even as soon as 2012 if Obama just "happens" to lose. From First Read:
[Hillary] got tremendous accolades from Team Obama, but some Clinton staffer had to spill beans about the speech's motivation to the New York Times. “Mrs. Clinton is almost certain to run for president in 2012 if Mr. Obama fails this time, several Clinton advisers said Tuesday, and any such plan could possibly founder if the Clintons’ negative feelings show through this year.” It's actually a good example of how no good deed goes unpunished by her staff, and it’s another reminder of how undisciplined her campaign would be right now had she won the Dem nomination. It's no wonder there's so little trust between the candidates when staff -- particularly hers, in this case -- undermines her unity efforts.

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The Man Who May Have Topped Hillary

Hillary's speech is clearly the talk of the town, and the best of the night, but Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer gave her a run for her money with this speech. The part to watch is the last three minutes where he coins the phrase "Petro Dictators" and at the end when he urges everyone to stand up for Barack Obama and Joe Biden and he even gets Bill Clinton to stand-up. He ends with, "That's it, baby! Let's go win this election!"

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Obama's Reaction to Hillary's peech

From Ben Smith at Politico:

Pooler Margaret Talev has the scene:

Obama grabbed a remote control to switch from MSNBC which had the camera on former President Clinton sitting in the Denver audience to CSPAN which was carrying Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer's speech live. Some weird record message came on the TV screen and someone else finished switching the channel. Obama and the house guests laughed their way through much of the speech and smiled broadly when President Clinton followed Schweitzer's command to stand up and was laughing. That was great, that was good," Obama said of the Hillary Clinton video before she came out.

Obama was sitting at the edge of the crowded brown sectional sofa closest to the TV in thre family's small living room, leaning slightly forward, and as the video played he was watching intently with his hands folded together. "It's a nice moment," he said as Clinton came onstage. He also said Chelsea Clinton had "turned into such a wonderful young woman."

Clinton began speaking and when she said she was "a proud suporter of Barack Obama" he smiled and softly shouted "yay" then straightened his face again. He clapped when she said "no way, no how, no McCain."

Obama also smiled and laughed widely when she talked about her sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits. He noded solemnly as she explained why she is supporting Obama and sat silent when she asked her supporters whether the were just in it "for me" or for various needy groups in America. He nodded and clapped when she talked of him signing expanded health care and when she praised Michelle Obama. He nodded and said "Yeah" as she criticized McCain and as her speech neared the end he leaned increasingly closer to the TV set.

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Daily Show in Denver: Tim Kaine on the VP Process

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Daily Show & Colbert in Denver: Michelle Obama's Patriotism





Stewart's Best line: She's got [to prove her patriotism]. She's a Democrat. She must prove she loves America. As opposed to Republicans who everyone knows love America. They just hate half the people living in it.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hillary: "No Way, No How, No McCain. Barack Obama is My Candidate."

First, the highlight video:



Then, part of the speech:

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Sebelius: There's No Place Like Home. And a Home. And a Home.

From Ben Smith:

Prime time is here, and so is the mockery of McCain's house gaffe:

“I’m sure you remember a girl from Kansas who said there’s no place like home,” says Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. “Well, in John McCain’s version, there’s no place like home. And a home. And home. And home."

Expect more as the evening progresses.

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E Tu Carville?

In case you needed further proof that James Carville has absolutely no intention of helping Barack Obama win this November, here's this piece of information from the Washington Times:
Spencer Ackerman just phoned in from Denver to say he saw James Carville by the CNN grill wearing a brand new pair of Pumas.
PUMAs, as explained by Carville and Begala, are pissed off Democratic women voters who wanted Hillary to win and can't get behind Obama. Said Begala:
"They're still not behind Obama. Some of them are stirring up a lot of trouble. I don't like it."
Looks like Carville has become the first male member of the PUMAs.

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Bill Clinton Continues Expertise at Splitting Sentences

Nobody can forget Clinton's memorable "non-lie" of "I did not sleep with that woman." It was the President saying he didn't sleep with a woman. Everyone in the room thought he meant Lewinsky. He probably meant Hillary.

Either way, from "It depends on what the definition of "is" is" to the above sentence, Bill Clinton is an expert at saying exactly what he wants to say and then pretending he didn't mean what everybody thought he meant.

Today, in remarks to a Democratic event in Denver, Bill Clinton said the following:

"Suppose you're a voter, and you've got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don't think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?"
That was then followed by a dramatic pause, in which he let everyone think, "Oh, that reminds me of Obama and McCain" after which he said:
"This has nothing to do with what's going on now."
Right. Just because you're pissed about the topic you were given at the Democratic convention, and just because you think your wife should've been given the VP slot, and just because you're mad that Obama's campaign painted you as a racist, doesn't mean you're harboring grudges and saying things to hurt him.

Right. We believe you, Bill.

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Free Ass Press: Bill Clinton to Deliver Convention Speech Off the Record

A little humor after the lost humorless post. From Free Ass Press:

The speech will be widely televised, however Clinton will be introduced as "a former high-ranking official in the Clinton Administration who plays saxophone and loves to sleep around with women whose last names rhyme with Lapinski." He will speak through a voice modulator and stand behind a sheet using shadow puppets to deliver his speech, titled, "Why Hillary Will Make a Great President in 2012." The 20-minute speech will outline, in detail, the former first couple's strategy for methodically and passive-aggressively undermining Sen. Obama through surrogates until the general election in November. Once McCain is elected, they will then transition into full-on, Clinton-style revenge mode, working to emasculate the should-have-been president Jesse Jackson-style while they plot their return to the White House and Obama's exit from Washington.

"I'll be voting for my wife, Hillary, whose last name may or may not be Clinton" said the unnamed source who asked that we simply refer to him as "The Man from Dreams."

"Remember, this is off the record," he added.

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Man, the Democrats are a Hard Bunch to Like

I keep thinking of the phrase, "eating one's young" when it comes to the Democrats. You have a slam dunk candidate, with a family who is too cute to know what to do with, and all the Democrats can do is bitch, moan, wring their hands, and declare that the sky is falling. Okay, so the only ones doing this are high-profile Hillaryites.

Democrats, like James Carville, Paul Begala, and pretty much any other Clinton era-associated, self-appointed demagod are declaring, after one night, that the convention is a bust, that the Democrats must attack, and that they have no message.

I guess because Begala and Carville aren't on Obama's payroll they feel no loyalty, no sense of duty, no obligation to praise the candidate or the candidate's party. Can you imagine what would've happened had they made the kind of comments they're making today after a Clinton era convention?

Begala:

Michelle Obama was spectacular Monday night. Poised, charming, beautiful, and most of all, authentic.

Ted Kennedy was heroic. Rising out of a wheelchair to stride out on stage, he showed us all the meaning of courage.

But unless you're married to the nominee or fighting off brain cancer, each speaker has one job at the Democratic convention: make the case for change. That case begins with a resounding, ringing indictment of the failed Bush-McCain policies.

In other words: attack.

Carville:

“If this party has a message it's done a hell of a job hiding it tonight, I promise you that," he said.

"You haven't heard about Iraq or John McCain or George W. Bush — I haven't heard any of this. We are a country that is in a borderline recession, we are an 80 percent wrong-track country. Health care, energy — I haven't heard anything about gas prices," Carville also says. "Maybe we are going to look better Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. But right now, we're playing hide the message."

I think what Hillary's boys are trying to say is, "We don't care about emotion. We don't care about connecting the voters to the canddiate. We don't care about giving the voters a different side of the candidate than just the arugula eating stories from McCain. We just want to eat up the Republicans." This misses the incredible importance of Michelle Obama's appeal to women voters. The bottom line in an election is this: get out the vote. If women, especially ones that supported Hillary, see Michelle as a strong woman, one who moves them to tears with tales of her life, they will vote for Obama. Simple.

All the attacks on John McCain won't do anything to rally women to Obama like Michelle's speech did last night. So go ahead, Carville, declare this candidacy a bust and hope that Obama loses. Hope that Hillary gets elected in four years. Hope you'll get a chance to do what you really want which is to return to power.

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McCain Lobbyist Wraps Gifts with Money

Well, we know Ed and Edwina Rogers live in at least one REALLY big house (18,000 square feet)(Yes, those are their real names). According to a new NBC show, "Powerhouse" the lobbyists, and big McCain supporters, live in what's called "The Republican Shangri-la." If that's not enough to make you barf, just watch the video.



Mario Correa: It has an elevator. It has eight refrigerators. It has so many rooms that she doesn't remember how many rooms she has in it. And it has a gift-wrapping room where she likes to gift wrap gifts in money.

From Politico:
Among other details Rogers reveals in the tour of her 18,000-square-foot home (named Surry Hill) in McLean, Va.: keepsakes displayed in glass cases in a special museum room; a photograph of her son, Haley, with former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., one of his 10 godfathers; and two stools that were gifts from the king of Cameroon.

"When we met with our builder and architect, we said, 'Well, we are from Alabama and we are rednecks, so we are insecure and it needs to come through in our house, so it needs to be big,' " Rogers tells host Mario Correa (a former lobbyist). The pilot also showcases the Dupont Circle home of Scott Segal, partner at the firm Bracewell & Giuliani.

Edwina contributed $4600 to John McCain this year. No word if she cut each dollar individually before giving it to him.

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Hillary's Got Some Explaning to Do

With friends like these....

Hillary's infamous 3am ad finds a new home in John McCain's campaign. It's part of a larger effort to trot out Hillary's statements from the primary to attack Barack Obama. This new ad is complete with the tag line: "Hillary is right." This is believed to be the first time those words have been uttered by a Republican.



This ad is similar to the one Hillary used against Obama where she threw in every scary thing under the sun. Only McCain didn't use 9/11 like Hillary did.

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New Obama Ad: "Don't Know Much"

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Prickly McCain Plays POW Patriot Card, MSNBC Goes Gameday at Dems Convention

In an interview with Jay Leno last night Leno said he'd give John McCain a million dollars right then if he could name how many homes he owned. Instead, what he said was this:



Per NBC/NJ’s Adam Aigner-Treworgy, McCain said this on Leno last night in response to the flap over how many homes he and Cindy own. “You know, could I just mention to you, Jay, and a moment of seriousness. I spent five and a half years in a prison cell, without-I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a kitchen table, I didn’t have a table, I didn’t have a chair. And I spent those five and a half years, because-not because I wanted to get a house when I got out. And you know, I’m very proud of Cindy’s father, he was a guy that barely got out of high school, fought in World War II in the Army Air Corps, came home and made a business and made the American dream.”
I wish I could find video of Rachel Maddow's reaction to this comment last night was fantastic. She was sitting there on a Gameday-inspired set at the Democratic Convention with Pat Buchanan and Eugene Robinson. The crowd, like any good sports crowd, went wild behind her.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Hillary Continues Campaign in Denver

Hillary is producing videos throughout the convention that are posted through her Presidential campaign website. I don't know if this means she's still running and planning some sort of coup later in the week or if she just can't resist the urge to promote herself and remind people that she ran for President.

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Video: Michelle Obama Speaks at the Democratic Convention

First, behind the scenes:



Then, the biography:



And, part of the speech:



And Olbermann's praise, "Case closed", and the Obama girls:

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Video: Ted Kennedy Addresses Democratic Convention

Caroline started the tribute with these words about her uncle.


Then the "highlight" video


And the speech

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More GOP Antics to Distract from Dems Convention

This headline caught my eye on MSNBC:

President Bush eyes creating largest protected area ever, environmentalists praise ocean idea.

First, John McCain ships Cindy off to a war zone. Now, President Bush has decided to make the Pacific Ocean a protected area. Tomorrow, Dick Cheney announces he's opening a ranch for disabled and homeless black children from the inner city at his home in Wyoming.

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John Panics, Ships Cindy McCain to Asia

Cindy's going to Georgia. No, not Atlanta to check on the beer breweries. She's going to Georgia. In Asia. To visit the victims of "soviet aggression." No word if she's taking medications to give to the poor afflicted countrymen or if she just packed pills for, uh, personal reasons.

McCain made the announcement today to deflect attention from Michelle Obama. I think it could very well do that, but if they let her talk, I don't think it will be positive attention. I also think it highlights where the focus of the two candidates is. Of course, Michelle is in the US for the Convention, but I'm sure her speech will deal almost entirely with domestic issues (of course, focused on who her husband is). McCain is clearly focused on international issues and believes that if he can make the country feel that those are more important than the troubles at home he can win.

It's not clear at press time if Cindy McCain actually understood that she was going to the country of Georgia instead of the state.

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The Democratic Convention

As I'm writing this, Teddy Kennedy is speaking, Caroline and Maria Shriver are crying and it's an amazing moment. This, is obviously a moment to watch. I pity Michelle Obama having to follow this. At least there are a couple of people in between them.

Michelle Obama will speak Monday night at 10:35pm ET.

Hillary Clinton speaks Tuesday night. The real person to watch is Kathleen Sebelius. She also speaks Tuesday night.

Fireworks Wednesday night as both Bill Clinton and VP nominee bouncin' Joe Bidden take the stage. What nickname will "Barack America" come away with that night?

Thursday night Barack Obama speaks at Invesco Field, with Bruce Springsteen performing afterwards.

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Springsteen to Perform After Obama Acceptance Speech

Word is that Bruce Springsteen, fresh off a great performance in Kansas City (as seen above), and with nothing better to do before his next concert date will follow Obama with a solo acoustic performance after Obama speaks Thursday night. According to the Washington Post:
local radio and other news outlets are reporting the Boss buzz as fact. One of the Sleuth's colleagues heard a traffic reporter on a Denver country radio station warning drivers about the traffic woes when Springsteen shows up later this week.

Springsteen's song "The Rising" is an Obama campaign theme song and Obama has received the "endorsement" of Springsteen. In fact, last night before Springsteen sang Livin in the Future, he talked about how it was a song written about the last eight years in America, and what has happened to our constitution. He didn't come out and say anything about Obama, but the implication was pretty damn clear that he was the one you should be voting for. Springsteen has already endorsed Obama.

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The Boss

I got to enjoy a trip to Kansas City to see Bruce Springsteen in concert last night. It was fantastic. I'll be posting more a little closer to noon on these topics:


1. Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Why Biden is the wrong choice

2. The Democratic Convention: What to watch and who to ignore

3. What Springstein had to say about President Bush last night in concert, and how it was received in Kansas City, and his possible appearance at the Democratic Convention

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Video: Obama Biden in Springfield

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The First of Many Questionable Joe Biden Remarks You'll Hear About

You've probably already heard this comment that Biden made about Obama:

For anyone who missed it, Biden explained Obama's appeal as a presidential candidate by calling him "the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy."



You'll also be hearing about this one:



Update:

Daily Kos diarist nyceve puts together a "best of" video collection of Joe Bidden that's worth looking at. Here's my favorite:



Here's a couple more I found that are not on the list that I found to be great:



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First Zinger on Biden as Obama's VP from GOP

Jonathan Martin reports:

Said GOP ad man and noted quipster of the Obama-Biden ticket: "They've picked the only guy in Washington who thinks he's a bigger celebrity than Barack Obama.

"It's the Britney-Paris ticket."
Does this mean another celebrity ad is in the works?

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Jed Report: McCain as GoldenMansion

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Joe Biden? Really?

This is quite possibly the most uninspired, pedestrian pick of a nominee since President Bush nominated John Roberts to be Chief Justice. With Obama facing a large part of the party angry and upset that Hillary didn't win he chooses a boring, old, white guy from Delaware. Obama missed a huge opportunity to mend fences with disenfranchised women voters and pick Kathleen Sebelius. Even those of us who hated Hillary would've liked, for once, to have someone acknowledge that a woman is capable of leading this nation.

I know why he did it. Why he picked Biden. Foreign policy, blah blah. In a cute reference to foreign policy experience, Barack Obama sent out his text message at 3am notifying everyone that Joe Biden was the nominee. I'm sure, over the next few days, we'll learn all about Biden's great foreign policy experience. Just like Dick Cheney, he's meant to bulk up the lightweight who doesn't know anything when it comes to international affairs.

Of course, Obama knows quite a bit and that's why this pick is even more perplexing. He has effectively signaled to everyone out there that he does not believe himself capable of handling international crisis with just his own intellect. Sure, it's good to have staff around you that are well versed in the ways of the world. That's what the Secretary of State is for, that is what the head of the NSA is for, that is what the Secretary of Defense is for. But as voters, we are supposed to trust that you, the Commander in Chief to Be, believe that you have what it takes to handle any international crisis this country will face. I can guarantee you that John McCain will not pick someone to buttress his foreign policy cred.

Oh, well. Maybe Sebelius can get the coveted Gale Norton Secretary of the Interior position. Isn't that where all successful female governors go to watch their careers die?

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Friday, August 22, 2008

This Just In: Bumper Stickers Determine Obama VP

KMBC, a station that prides itself on being, well, uh, a Hearst station? broke the news that a Kansas City area printing company is printing Obama-Bayh bumper stickers. When the printing company refused to comment, I guess this sealed the deal for KMBC and they reported it as a sign that Obama has chosen Bayh.

By that token, Sebelius, Kaine, Feingold, Nunn, Clinton, Richardson and Sandra Day O'Connor have already been chosen to be his VP. I couldn't reach the makers of those bumper stickers for a comment so I can neither confirm or deny that Sandra Day O'Connor is indeed his VP.

It will be nice to see KMBC's reaction when the governor right in their backyard, Sebelius, gets named VP and they were out busy chasing bumper stickers.

By the way, MSNBC, via Matt Drudge, now reports that Bayh's people say he's been told he's out. We'll all know the answer in the morning when Obama sends out his text message.

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Begala Reveals Secret Democratic Party Wing: PUMAs

The folks in Hillaryland are none too pleased with reports that the one time front-runner turned wallflower was never officially vetted for the position of Barack Obama's Vice Presidential nominee. We can safely assume that she was not one of the people he called today to tell them they didn't get the job.

James Carville and Paul Begala tell CNN that this is going to piss off even further the already pissed off Hillaryites (not to mention Pissed Off In Chief, Bill). Says Begala:

"There's two camps in Hillary land — there's the peacemakers and the PUMAs — Party Unity My Aunt Fannie," Begala said. "They're still not behind Obama. Some of them are stirring up a lot of trouble. I don't like it. I'm a peace maker. This story empowers the PUMA crowd because they see this, and I do too, as sort of disrespecting Senator Clinton and breaking Senator Obama's word.

"It's the one glitch in a beautiful process," Begala also said.

Yes, the beautiful process where I'm reminded time and time again why it is that I was a Republican and not a Democrat. I support Obama and will vote for him but I'm watching sadly as his party crumbles at his feet over petty differences instead of seizing the one real chance they have to defeat the Republicans for the Presidency.

Could the Republicans have hurled a bigger softball to the Democrats than what is the McCain candidacy? We're talking about a man whose militantly pro-life, wants more tax breaks for the "rich" and the democrats can't get behind the greatest political personality since Bill Clinton? (I wanted to say Ronald Reagan there, but I have to begrudgingly admit that Clinton is probably the last great personality).

It will be pathetic if the party can't come together and elect someone whose promising to change everything President Bush has done to this country in the past eight years. Then again, it would be just like the Democrats to do that. They are after all the party that gave us Mondale, Dukakis, and Carter.

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Despite Campaign Housing Crisis, U.S. Agrees to Iraq Withdrawal Timetable

First Read asks:

Why haven’t we heard much from the campaigns yet about the news that the US “has agreed to remove combat troops from Iraq cities by next June and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011 if conditions in Iraq remain relatively stable?” This is a timetable for withdrawal, no…?
The New York Times reported:
The withdrawal timetables, which Bush administration officials called “aspirational goals” rather than fixed dates, are contained in the draft of an agreement that still must be approved by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki and other Iraqi leaders before it goes before Iraq’s fractious Parliament. It has the support of the Bush administration, American and Iraqi officials said.
I think it's fair to say that the more important thing to do right now is nail down just how many homes it is that John McCain has owned or forgotten that he's owned. An end to the war? Yadda yadda yadda... Let's stick to the real topics at hand. Whose going to make the other guy look richer and more out of touch? That's what really matters to the voters of America.

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New Obama Ad: McCain Out of Touch

Obama is trying to rival John McCain's celebrity ads by seeing how many ads he can come up with making fun of McCain not knowing how many homes he owns.



You can see the first ad Obama ran in response HERE.

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McCain Housing Gaffe Video Roundup

Update: My favorite so far, from the Double Talk Express:


The Nightly News highlights the gaffe:


Rachel Maddow takes on the gaffe:


The DNC plays Jay Leno and takes to the streets to address the housing gaffe:

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NASA Warns of Wallop to Head on Wallops Island

It's good to know NASA is giving people a heads up these days.

From CNN:

NASA says it destroyed an unmanned suborbital rocket shortly after a failed launch early this morning from an island off the Virginia coast.

There were no injuries or property damage, according to a NASA statement, but the agency warned that debris from the explosion could be hazardous.

NASA believes most of the wreckage fell into the Atlantic Ocean off Wallops Island.

By the way, yes, I'm waiting around for the VP announcement with nothing better to write about.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Reid to Lieberman: "I Can't Stand McCain"

From CNN:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and John McCain have never exactly enjoyed a close relationship, but the Democratic leader was exceedingly blunt Wednesday in his assessment of his colleague from Arizona.

"I can't stand John McCain," Reid flatly told his hometown paper, the Las Vegas Review Journal in comments published Thursday. The Nevada Democrat also said he had recently expressed that sentiment to Democrat-turned Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, an ardent supporter of McCain who has agreed to speak at the Republican convention early next month.

"He (Lieberman) said 'I know you feel that way,'" Reid also told the paper.

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Olbermann: McMonopoly Plays POW Card



Olbermann:

There is a house in Sedona and in Phoenix another one. And five condos have been the ruin of many a poor young boy, I forgot to count Arlington. Elections rarely turn now on deep meaning, nor on intercontinental ballistic missile treaties nor even on war on peace. They turn on symbolism. And John McCain just fell into a big giant steaming pile of symbolism. When America's housing crisis hit home for him in utterably unpredictable fashion. McCain staff did follow-up claiming four homes, but media reports initially put the number at seven a fact not overlooked in a new national ad already out today from Obama.

McCain's spokesman describing McCain by contrast as "not an arugula-eating, pointy-headed professor-type ... [but] a guy who lived in one house for five and a half years - in prison." He did not explain what any of that even if any of that is true has to do whether or not you know how many houses you own. This is the third time McCain's campaign has used POW as a reflexive nonsequitor. A trend now risking self-parody. A noun a verb and POW. In McCain's defense he does not have a million dollar mansion, his modest Sedona ranch was not on the cover of Architectural Digest or anything... What? July 2005? Spotlighting the redesign the McCain's paid for like the rear patio swimming pool just off the guest house, and the master bedroom patio with a spa and outdoor fireplace. The same 15-acre ranch where the non-arugula eating Senator held a barbecue in March feasting on the much more macho couscous. Countdown unable to confirm tonight that the McCain's have converted four of their houses into a hotel on boardwalk after buying the electric company, water works, and the B & O railroad.

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Obama Contest: Find Someone Who Doesn't Know How Many Homes They Own

Barack Obama lays waste to John McCain and his inability to name how many homes he owns.




Politico is reporting that Obama is really going to town on this latest McCain gaffe. (When asked, McCain couldn't tell a Politico reporter how many homes he owns). According to Jonathan Martin:

Governors, members of Congress and state legislators will hold conference calls and press conferences in front of homes to draw attention to the issue. Party leaders such as Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen and Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, on the stump in Ohio and Iowa respectively, wil move to incorporate the matter into their remarks on the campaign trail today in an effort to draw local media attention to the story.

Further, some state parties will hold contests in which Democrats seek out real voters who don't know how many houses they own.
I guess I won't be winning that contest. Maybe Donald Trump. Then again, he probably knows exactly how many homes he owns. He seems anal like that.

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