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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Woman in Cow Suit Chases Kids

This is my favorite story of the day.

A Middletown woman is accused of being disorderly in public -- while wearing a cow suit.A police report filed about the incident said Michelle Allen allegedly chased children in her neighborhood while wearing the suit on Monday evening.

Allen also urinated on a neighbor's front porch, the report said, and was warned by officers to go home and stay there.

Allen was charged with disorderly conduct after an officer found her causing traffic problems on North Verity Parkway.

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Couric to Palin: You know McCain's old, too

Watch CBS Videos Online

Couric asks Palin about her joke that she's been hearing Biden's speeches since she was "like in second grade" and the irony given the age of her running mate, John McCain. Palin's response? Uh, Biden's like, more experienced than I am, that's all I'm saying. Count how many times she says Biden's got the experience. Here's what she said:

Oh no, it's nothing negative at all. He's got a lot of experience and just stating the fact there, that we've been hearing his speeches for all these years. So he's got a tremendous amount of experience and, you know, I'm the new energy, the new face, the new ideas and he's got the experience based on many many years in the Senate and voters are gonna have a choice there of what it is that they want in these next four years.

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McCain: I Might Suspend Campaign Again

Seriously? McCain threatens to suspend his campaign again at the prompting of harebrained FOX News anchors. I give him credit for not laughing at Steve "Doofy" Doocy after he's asked the question. The blonde, Gretchen Carlson, comes up with a better question, calling him on his bullshit. Pretty hard hitting questioning with some crazy cross-eyed action to go along with it.

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Quote of the Day

Andrew Sullivan on Palin being unprepared to be Vice President of the United States:

I'm unsure, at this point, if she could pass a citizenship test.

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Letterman's War on McCain Continues

This time with an assist from Julia Louis-Dreyfus. From the Huffington Post:

In his monologue, Letterman used a joke about the bailout to hit McCain for canceling last week, saying, "Senator John McCain is in favor of the bailout. He loves bailouts — he bailed out on me."
Later, in an interview with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Letterman continued going after McCain, mentioning that not only did McCain not get on a plane to Washington when he told Letterman he was, but he also stayed the night in New York to speak to the UN. "The information I was dealing with apparently was not true," Letterman said. "Well I don't care for that at all," Louis-Dreyfus said. "I think that that was very rude, very bad manners, and so in an effort to show my support for you and to set the universe straight, I also scheduled an interview for exactly this time right now — and I'm not showing up for it." Louis-Dreyfus explained that the interview she was skipping was one with Katie Couric on the "CBS Evening News" — the same show McCain ditched Letterman to appear on — which allowed Letterman to show the internal CBS news feed with Couric alone at her desk, a move that surely won't make him any more friends at the network.

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Op-Ed Reactions to the Defeat of the Bailout Bill

In 1933, Franklin Roosevelt inherited an economic crisis. He understood that his first job was to restore confidence, to give people a sense that somebody was in charge, that something was going to be done.

This generation of political leaders is confronting a similar situation, and, so far, they have failed utterly and catastrophically to project any sense of authority, to give the world any reason to believe that this country is being governed. Instead, by rejecting the rescue package on Monday, they have made the psychological climate much worse.

read more.
I’m not holding my breath, but I would like to see the self-proclaimed conservative, small government, anti-regulation, free-market zealots step up and take responsibility for wrecking the American economy and bringing about the worst financial crisis since the Depression.
Even now, with the house on fire, the most extreme among them won’t pick up the fire hoses and try to put it out.
The 228-205 defeat reflects badly on all concerned, starting with the Democrats who run the House. The majority party is responsible for assembling a majority vote, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi failed in that fundamental task.
Her highly partisan speech on the floor -- blaming "right-wing ideology of anything goes, no supervision, no discipline, no regulation" for the financial distress -- is no excuse for Republicans to vote no. But it is indicative of the way she has governed for the past two years -- like Tom DeLay without the charm.
So [the GOP is] saying that Republicans chose to oppose something they think is in the national interest merely because of a partisan slight. Thank heaven these guys weren't at Valley Forge.

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Olbermann to McCain: "Mission Accomplished"

Olbermann's best line: Senator McCain and his advisors, who last Wednesday had warned that this nation would be in the midst of another Great Depression by today (Monday) unless Congress passed the bailout legislation, this morning claiming credit for building a winning coalition of votes in the House to pass that bailout bill and thus save the American economy. Only one problem. The bailout bill failed in the House when 67% of Republicans voted against it. The stock market promptly lost 7% of its value. Senator McCain, in our fifth story of the Countdown, having led his party and his country to congressional chaos and an economy in crisis. Mission accomplished. This morning in Columbus, Ohio, the Senator counting his McChickens before they McHatched.

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The New Palin-Couric Gaffe: Roe v. Wade

Everyone's buzzing about another Palin gaffe thanks to a "leak" from CBS about another embarrassing moment during her interview with Katie Couric. No word if it will live up to the hype, but Politico discovers what it entails.
Of concern to McCain's campaign, however, is a remaining and still-undisclosed clip from Palin's interview with Couric last week that has the political world buzzing.The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.There was no verbal fumbling with this particular question as there was with some others, the aide said, but rather silence.
Tina Fey's line as Palin, "I want to phone a friend," comes to mind.

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Daily Show: An Enlightening Conversation about Iran

You can support this blog and get Hooman Majd's book through this link to

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Daily Show: John McCain Puts Country First, Economy Tanks

Best line from Stewart: What part of "if John McCain goes to the debate, the economy is fixed" doesn't the economy understand?

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Monday, September 29, 2008

John "Now is Not the Time to Blame" McCain Points Finger at Obama

Video: Jed Report

From Politico:

"Now is not the time to fix the blame. It's time to fix the problem," McCain says, not long after his campaign blamed Obama and Pelosi for killing the bill.

Then he blames Obama and the Democrats: "Sen. Obama and his allies in Congress infused unnecessary partisanship into the process."

"I would hope that all our leaders — all of them — can put aside short-term political goals and focus on what’s best for the American people," he says.

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Candidates' State Delegations and How They Voted

John McCain, for all his bluster of leadership and delivering the votes, not a single person in the Arizona congressional delegation voted for the bailout plan. From Politico:


Democrats — Giffords, N; Grijalva, N; Mitchell, N; Pastor, N.
Republicans — Flake, N; Franks, N; Renzi, N; Shadegg, N.

UPDATE: In Illinois -- though Obama had staked less on his personal ability to win over doubters -- the bill split the delegation 9-9, with one abstention. Democrats favored it narrowly, though former Obama antagonist Bobby Rush and his supporter Jesse Jackson Jr., like may in the Congressional Black Caucus, voted no.

UPDATE: Ryan Grim notes that Rush "went to the desk after the vote was over and changed from yes to no. So he was with Obama and the leadership if they needed him.

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Obama Says "Stay Calm", McCain Blames Obama

Two very different initial reactions to the failure of the bailout plan in the Congress. Obama had this to say:

There are going to be some bumps and trials and tribulations and ups and down before we get this rescue package done. It is important for the American public and for the markets to say calm because things are never smooth in congress and to understand that it will get done. That we are going to make sure an emergency package is put together because it is required for us to stabilize the markets and to make sure that when a small business-person wakes up tomorrow morning, he will be able to make payroll.
McCain's campaign had this to say:
From the minute John McCain suspended his campaign and arrived in Washington to address this crisis, he was attacked by the Democratic leadership: Senators Obama and Reid, Speaker Pelosi and others. Their partisan attacks were an effort to gain political advantage during a national economic crisis. By doing so, they put at risk the homes, livelihoods and savings of millions of American families.Barack Obama failed to lead, phoned it in, attacked John McCain, and refused to even say if he supported the final bill.
Of course, it was McCain's campaign on Sunday touting that he had gotten the House Republicans in line and was going to be responsible for delivering the votes. Doesn't this mean he gets the blame?

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Palin's Real Foreign Policy Experience: Asking Prince Charles to Dinner

Politico digs up a fun fact about Palin. Back in 2006, while running for Governor, she decided to ask Prince Charles to dinner. From a 2006 Palin campaign press release:

After reading that Prince Charles was being panned in Scotland for snubbing Scottish salmon in favor of Alaskan salmon, Palin invited the Prince of Wales to dinner in Alaska as a way of thanking him for his excellent taste in fish. “The Prince clearly has a taste for the real-deal,” said Palin. “He can catch the salmon if he wants to, but we’ll take care of the rest. He may have a cadre of chefs on stand by, but nobody prepares salmon like Alaskans.”

Palin was not specific in the invite as to where she might host Prince Charles – largely because that decision is up to Alaska voters. “If we do it at the Governor’s mansion, that means the people of Alaska have honored me to host our guests in Juneau,” said Palin. “If not, we make a pretty mean grilled salmon in Wasilla too.”

If we're lucky, Palin will fulfill that dinner invite in Juneau, not the White House. I wonder what Camilla thinks.

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House Rejects Bailout Plan - Dow Drops More Than 600 Points

The House defeated today the President's $700 billion bailout plan. From CNN:

The measure needs 218 votes for passage. Democrats voted 141 to 94 in favor of the plan, while Republicans voted 65 to 133 against. That left the measure with 206 votes for and 227 against.
The next steps were not immediately clear but supporters were scrambling to put it up for another vote.
Wonder where John McCain is...


My opinion of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as a leader of, oh, say, the House, continues to worsen. I don't fault her for not getting the votes when the far left and the far right weren't going to vote for it. However, you don't set the stage for a blame game by delivering a partisan speech before the vote. When Republicans, like Boehner, have done everything in their power (even crying) to bring the GOP into line you don't get out there and attack them. You rally the troops. We're all Americans. This isn't a red problem or a blue problem it's a United States of America problem, etc. She has not shown any ability to bring that kind of leadership to a Congress that is despised by the American people.
Update 2:

Rep. Barney Franks makes a great point in the Democratic news conference saying he couldn't believe someone (republicans) would tank their country just because Pelosi hurt their feelings. He said he would find the 12 people who were going to vote for the bailout but then changed their mind because of Pelosi's speech and talk "excessively nice" to them but he doubted it would change their vote.
Update 3:
At the end of the day, most Americans couldn't stomach $700 billion going to Wall Street. The Republicans knew that and voted against it. They just don't want the blame.
Update 4:
See how your congressman voted HERE.

Update 5:

You can see the Pelosi speech at, of all places,

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Gallup: Obama Stays at 50%

The latest Gallup Daily Tracking Poll has Obama maintaining an 8 point lead after the debates, 50% to 42%. I'm curious to see what Thursday's VP debate does to the numbers.

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McCain Suspends Senate Voting

Because suspending his presidential campaign worked so well, John McCain has now decided to suspend voting in the Senate. Now that the bailout deal is ready for a vote (despite McCain's best efforts) he's not sure he can arrange his schedule to be there:
A spokesman for John McCain said the Republican nominee plans to be in Washington and hopes he'll be able to vote, depending on the schedule.

We've gone, in a span of 96 hours from "the sky is falling" to "i'll see if i can fit it in." Of course, there are more pressing things to handle, other crises on the horizon. Take, for instance, the Palin debate looming on Thursday. Now that is a crisis for which you should halt your campaign. And take her off the ticket. And maybe just go home and wallow in self pity.

As an aside, Barack Obama is planning to fly back and vote.

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We Haven't Seen the Worst from Palin-Couric Interview

According to Howard Kurtz, CBS news sources say there's footage yet to come of Palin's interview with Couric that hasn't been seen, and that will prove embarrassing. Even more embarrassing than what we've already seen? Jeepers. CBS has figured out that Palin's gaffes are ratings gold so of course they're going to tout unseen, embarrassing footage. However, I don't doubt they're not exagerating.

According to Politico:
A source familiar with CBS News’ plans clarified that this is part of the "Vice Presidential Questions" series with Biden and Palin. The recorded segments are scheduled to air Wednesday and Thursday before the vice presidential debate. (The series is based on the Presidential Questions series, in which Couric asks the candidates the same set of questions on wide range of topics from policy to character to leadership.)
This is turning into a Daily Show segment. You know how they send their "correspondents" out to conduct "news" stories and the audience knows it's a joke, but the person being interviewed doesn't get it? It's "curb your enthusiasm" uncomfortable, and funny. I feel like that's what I'm watching every time I see a Palin interview (all two of them). I don't know how I'm going to get through a 90 minute debate without turning the channel at every uncomfortable moment. They're only so much public self-flagulation I can take.

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Video: Obama and McCain's First Presidential Debate

In case you missed it, or want the whole thing, here is video of Friday night's Presidential debate in its entirety, courtesy of MSNBC.

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Behind the Scenes of the Palin Debate Prep

From Politico:

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis and senior adviser Steve Schmidt are planning to coach the candidate ahead of the debate, according to senior advisers.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

In Honor of Paul Newman

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McCain Retracts Palin Comments on Pakistan

John McCain has to take back an answer Sarah Palin gave to an improptu question during a campaign appearance Saturday night. From CNN:

Sen. John McCain retracted Sarah Palin's stance on Pakistan Sunday morning, after the Alaska governor appeared to back Sen. Barack Obama's support for unilateral strikes inside Pakistan against terrorists

"She would not…she understands and has stated repeatedly that we're not going to do anything except in America's national security interest," McCain told ABC's George Stephanopoulos of Palin. "In all due respect, people going around and… sticking a microphone while conversations are being held, and then all of a sudden that's—that's a person's position… This is a free country, but I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitve policy statement made by Governor Palin."

Saturday night, while on a stop for cheesesteaks in South Philadelphia, Palin was questioned by a Temple graduate student about whether the U.S. should cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

"If that's what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should," Palin said.

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New Yorker Takes on Palin

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SNL: Obama and McCain Debate

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SNL: Fey Returns as Palin

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Best of Sunday Op-Eds

WHAT we learned last week is that the man who always puts his “country first” will take the country down with him if that’s what it takes to get to the White House.

For all the focus on Friday night’s deadlocked debate, it still can’t obscure what preceded it: When John McCain gratuitously parachuted into Washington on Thursday, he didn’t care if his grandstanding might precipitate an even deeper economic collapse. All he cared about was whether he might save his campaign. George Bush put more deliberation into invading Iraq than McCain did into his own reckless invasion of the delicate Congressional negotiations on the bailout plan.

Then came Black Wednesday — not for the stock market, which was holding steady in anticipation of Washington action, but for McCain. As the widely accepted narrative has it, his come-to-Jesus moment arrived that morning, when he awoke to discover that Barack Obama had surged ahead by nine percentage points in the Washington Post/ABC News poll. The McCain campaign hastily suited up its own pollster to belittle that finding — only to be drowned out by a fusillade of new polls from Fox News, Marist and CNN/Time, each with numbers closer to Post/ABC than not. Obama was rising most everywhere except the moose strongholds of Alaska and Montana.

That was not the only bad news raining down on McCain. His camp knew what Katie Couric had in the can from her interview with Sarah Palin. The first excerpt was to be broadcast by CBS that night, and it had to be upstaged fast.

read more.

Given the past week, the debate should have been a cinch for Obama. But, just as in the primaries, he willfully refuses to accept what debates are about. It’s not a lecture hall; it’s a joust. It’s not how cerebral you are. It’s how visceral you are. You need memorable, sharp, forceful and witty lines.

Even when McCain sneered, “I don’t need any on-the-job training, I’m ready to go at it right now,” Obama didn’t directly respond, but veered off into a story about his father being from Kenya and how he got his name. (Thanks, Barack, we got that from your book. It’s great for a memoir, but not a debate.)

McCain kept painting Obama as na├»ve, and dangerous, insisting that he “doesn’t quite understand or doesn’t get it.”

Obama should have responded “Senator, I understand perfectly, I’m just saying you’re wrong.”

read more.

History has shown again and again that a vice president must be ready to assume command of the ship of state on a moment’s notice. But Ms. Palin has given no indication yet that she is capable of handling the monumental responsibilities of the presidency if she were called upon to do so.

In fact, the opposite is the case. We know that there are some parts of Alaska from which, if the day is clear and your eyesight is good, you can actually see Russia. But the infantile repetition of this bit of trivia as some kind of foreign policy bona fide for a vice presidential candidate should give us pause.

read more.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Barack Obama up with new debate ad

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Obama to McCain: You Were Wrong on Iraq

Here's a video from the Jed Report taking the same debate moment from above and splicing in the actual news footage of McCain making the comments.

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Debate Highlight: Obama Brings up McCain's "Bomb Bomb Iran" Joke

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Live Blogging the Debate

8:01 candidates are ready to take the stage and my stomach just fluttered with nervousness like before the kickoff in my soccer games. i think that means i have too much invested in this. or i'm crazy. probably both.

8:03 obama appears nervous. he has to go first. let's hope he relaxes or mccain is more uptight.

8:05 obama goes partisan quickly attacking mccain and tying him to bush

8:05 mccain goes for the sympathy vote by bringing up ted kennedy even though kennedy's family says its no big deal and that he'll be back home from the hospital tonight.

8:06 mccain's tie is making my eyes hurt

8:08 lehrer's trying to get both candidates to commit to the bailout plan, so far obama's not biting, but instead touting himself. mccain may commit, but doubtful.

8:09 mccain bringing up his eisenhower knowledge. guess he did pay attention during some of his naval academy classes. so far mccain is coming across better. he's not taking any of obama's baits. he's completely ignored them.

8:11 lehrer's trying to get the candidates to talk to each other. mccain won't make eye contact, obama won't get engaged. what is this? marriage counseling? awkward...

8:14 first mccain "earmark" comment

8:16 mccain giving cold shoulder to obama. won't even look at him. no eye contact yet.

8:18 mccain controlling the dialog of this debate pretty effectively. obama not really punching back.

8:18 obama finally interrupts to try and push back against mccain. mccain won't look at him even though obama is talking to him. really feels like a bad marriage.

8:20 lost track of the earmark comments. why doesn't obama point out what some of this money goes towards. it's not like they're sending people on free vacations. this money builds roads, hospitals, etc. jesus, man, it's an easy point to make!

8:26 i don't think i could get along with mccain in a marriage. that smirk would drive me crazy. obama is finally hitting back and doing well. mccain got him fired up, finally.

8:28 mccain keeps throwing out his lies hoping they stick. obama just laughed at him.

8:33 has anyone seen mccain look at obama yet?

9:03 League of Democracies. mccain wants to start a justice league style group, and he hates the russians and doesn't want another holocaust. what century is he living in? he's throwing out woodrow wilson ideas, reacting cold war style, and still fighting world war ii.

9:28 is it over yet? this is just painful.

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CNN's Jack Cafferty Unloads on Palin

After showing CNN viewers one of the worst parts of the Palin-Couric interview, Cafferty had this to say:

"If John McCain wins this woman will be one 72-year-old's heartbeat away from being President of the United States. And if that doesn't scare the hell out of you, it should."

When Blitzer tried to defend her, Cafferty said the clip was "one of the most pathetic pieces of tape I have ever seen from someone aspiring to one of the highest offices in this country."

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Gas Shortage Threatens 'Bama - Georgia Game

I'm not sure what's going on in the southeast part of our country (and whose ever really sure anyway why those people do what they do) but there is a gas shortage. The same kind of gas shortage caused by a massive hurricane, only this one was weeks ago. From CNN:
Gas shortages are afflicting drivers across the Southeast. Some of the problems were caused by Hurricane Ike affecting oil production and refining along the Gulf Coast, but empty gas pumps also are being blamed on the consumers themselves. A petroleum executive suggested that the football game between the University of Georgia and University of Alabama should be canceled this weekend because fans could drain all the gas in the Athens area, WSB-TV in Atlanta reported. "That gas needs to be used for people to go to work, and for people to take care of their families," Tex Pitfield, president and CEO of Saraguay Petroleum in Atlanta, told WGAU radio in Athens.
Needless to say, Uga, and the Governor of Georgia, "Sunny", say no way in hell they're canceling the game. Maybe they can buy some more gas supply with all the booster money they'll get this weekend.

There are many more examples of people running out of gas, shortages, and cities having to cut back on their operations in the Southeast. Why is one part of the country falling apart (where gas is concerned) and the rest safe and sound? Where's John McCain! Call off the debate, suspend the campaign, and get your ass down there to handle a real crisis!

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Ole Miss Hates John McCain?

According to Rich Lowry at the National Review:

One side effect of McCain's debate gambit is, I'm told, that everyone at Ole Miss now hates him. It will make for a very hostile audience tonight among those students and faculty attending. He might have to apologize for creating the uncertainty or make some explanation up front, which is never ideal.

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McCain Campaign: Palin is "Clueless"

If you watch the Couric interview with Palin you'll know why the McCain folks are hyperventilating. (Not that the rest of us didn't already know this). Amid calls from a prominent conservative columnist for Palin to withdraw herself from the race, comes this juicy tidbit from left-wing radio host Ed Schultz:

Capitol Hill sources are telling me that senior McCain people are more than concerned about Palin. The campaign has held a mock debate and a mock press conference; both are being described as "disastrous." One senior McCain aide was quoted as saying, "What are we going to do?" The McCain people want to move this first debate to some later, undetermined date, possibly never. People on the inside are saying the Alaska Governor is "clueless."

Okay, at this point I just feel sorry for her (but in a way that kind of makes me laugh at John McCain. A lot).

h/t: Indecision 2008

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Now that there's chaos, McCain agrees to debate

Let me get this straight. On Wednesday, when things are moving along smoothly in Washington, when a deal is still humming, John McCain announces that for the good of the country he is suspending his campaign, wants to postpone the debate, and is heading back to Washington to make sure a deal is reached on the bailout.

Now that the talks are in total chaos, that House Republicans say there is no deal, and it looks like everyone has had to go back to the drawing board, McCain says things are moving along well enough for him to attend Friday's debate. Am I missing something? Is he pretending today is opposite day? From CNN:

But by midday, McCain's campaign said the Republican presidential nominee believed enough progress had been made for him to travel to Mississippi to participate in the debate, set for 9 p.m. ET at the University of Mississippi campus.

"He is optimistic that there has been significant progress toward a bipartisan agreement now that there is a framework for all parties to be represented in negotiations, including Rep. [Roy] Blunt as a designated negotiator for House Republicans," the campaign said in a statement.

"The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the senator will travel to the debate this afternoon."

I don't think I can take four years of this type of leadership. I don't care if Barack Obama goes in there and socializes everything, I'd rather listen to him than John McCain any day.

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Run on the Bank, High-Tech Style

Washington Mutual is seized by the government and sold to JP Morgan after customers withdraw billions of dollars because of concerns the bank isn't strong. From the Wall Street Journal:
Starting Sept. 15, the day that Lehman filed for bankruptcy protection, WaMu's customers began heading for the exits. Over the next 10 days, they yanked a total of $16.7 billion in deposits, according to the Office of Thrift Supervision. That was about 9% of the thrift's deposits as of June 30. WaMu declined to comment.

Melody Williams, 50 years old, said in the past 30 days she has moved about $25,000 out of Washington Mutual, spreading it to other financial institutions she thought were stronger, including Wells Fargo & Co. Ms. Williams, the controller for an architecture firm, said she thought that Washington Mutual had gotten "too big for their britches" with too many deals over the years.
read more.

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Palin: I wasn't some rich kid backpacking through Europe

More of the Couric interview. I don't understand why Palin's getting worse instead of better when she does these things. Or do I...

You can watch a shorter, funnier part from the Couric interview HERE.

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The Dark Bailout

This is awesome. I'm not sure if McCain or Obama is the joker. I think he's probably Jon Stewart. A must watch.

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Or Was it Obama....

More behind the scenes details, this time putting the blame on the Democrats and Obama for what became a contentious, raucous debate. From Politico:
It was McCain who had urged Bush to call the White House meeting but Democrats made sure Obama had a prominent part. And much as they complained later of being blindsided, the whole event turned out to be something of an ambush on their part—aimed at McCain and House Republicans.

“Speaking professionally,” said one Republican aide, “They did a very good job.”

When Bush yielded early to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nev.) to speak, they yielded to Obama to speak for the assembled Democrats. And it was Obama who raised the subject of the conservative alternative and pressed Paulson on what he thought of the idea.

House Republicans felt trapped—squeezed by Treasury, House Democrats and a bipartisan coalition in the Senate. And while McCain spoke surprisingly little after asking for the meeting, he conceded that it appeared there were not the votes for the core Paulson plan without major changes.
read more.

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Behind the Scenes of the Bailout Blowup

You won't even believe what happened. Paulson literally kneeling in front of Pelosi, begging for her help, John McCain not taking any side, sitting there silently as the man he met with before the White House meeting blew up the negotiations. You've got the read the whole thing. From the New York Times:

It dissolved into a verbal brawl in the Cabinet Room of the White House, urgent warnings from the president and pleas from a Treasury secretary who knelt before the House speaker and appealed for her support.

“If money isn’t loosened up, this sucker could go down,” President Bush declared Thursday as he watched the $700 billion bailout package fall apart before his eyes, according to one person in the room.

“We’re in a serious economic crisis,” Mr. Bush told reporters as the meeting began shortly before 4 p.m. in the Cabinet Room, adding, “My hope is we can reach an agreement very shortly.”

But once the doors closed, the smooth-talking House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, surprised many in the room by declaring that his caucus could not support the plan to allow the government to buy distressed mortgage assets from ailing financial companies.

Mr. Boehner pressed an alternative that involved a smaller role for the government, and Mr. McCain, whose support of the deal is critical if fellow Republicans are to sign on, declined to take a stand.

The talks broke up in angry recriminations, according to accounts provided by a participant and others who were briefed on the session, and were followed by dueling news conferences and interviews rife with partisan finger-pointing.

Thursday, in the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

read more.

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Letterman Takes on McCain - Night 2

No letup from David Letterman last night after John McCain stood him up to do an interview with Katie Couric and lied to Letterman saying he couldn't do the show because he was flying back immediately to Washington.

You can see the first night's video HERE.

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How John McCain Blew up the Bailout

This video is a comprehensive look at the timeline and what happened on Capitol Hill from Jed Lewison. McCain and the Republicans have every right to push their own agenda, and in fact owe it to their constituents to push their issues. But don't ride in like a knight on a white horse and actually turn out to be the black knight. This wasn't about putting country first. Pretty shameless.

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Daily Show: How big are McCain's...

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Olbermann Dissects How McCain Blew up a Bi-Partisan Agreement

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Olbermann Weighs in on his Late Show Appearance in place of McCain

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John McCain Destroys Bi-Partisanship

Let's see. Here's the timeline. 1pm ET Senator Chris Dodd and others are sure there's going to be a deal. They're sure that everyone is on the same page. Then, later that afternoon, John McCain goes to meet with House Republicans prior to the big White House meeting. Then, everyone sits down at the White House for what looks like a rubber stamp meeting. No problem. We're all on the same page.

Suddenly, the Democrats are storming out and Secretary Paulson is having to beg them to come back into the room. House Republicans are saying they won't agree to any deal at all and that they want an approach completely different from the one approved by the President and Senate Democrats.

What changed? Hmmm.... The antagonists are the House Republicans. The House Republicans are the ones that met with John McCain. Suddenly, everything's in disaray, there's no deal, and John McCain has a mess to clean up. Can he really put everything back together after destroying it and make it look like he's the one that built the coalition and is the savior of America? Would he really go to these lengths in order to delay Friday night's debate and thus get rid of the Vice Presidential debate?

Yes. He would.

Sources: ABC News, CNN, MSNBC

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Palin on Putin: "Where's His Head?"

I honestly didn't think it could get any worse with Palin. I mean really, this interview with Couric makes her performance with Gibson look like an Oscar winner. Just check out the part about why Alaska's border with Russia increases her foreign policy credentials. To be fair, Couric did stump her with a question that EVERYONE's been asking!

Watch CBS Videos Online

One more point, an obvious point, is it really the job of the Governor of Alaska to order the shoot down of a Russian fighter jet/bomber because it's flying over her state? Doesn't that order fall into the province of, oh, say, commanders at NORAD or someone like, oh, say, the President? What's she going to do? Eyeball a Mig from the ground and send an alert to the military? God help us if that's our best defense against Russia.

Update 2: My mother points out that Sarah Palin says Putin "rears" his head, not "where's" his head. Either way, it didn't make a damn bit of sense.

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McCain Takes Campaign Aide to Non-Political Meeting During Campaign "Suspension"

They've released the list of who will be attending today's McCain photo-op White House meeting. Interestingly, the man who has "suspended" his campaign is bringing along a campaign aide to the event, while the man who is still campaigning is bringing along his legislative counsel. Who is it again that I'm supposed to think is putting country first and not their campaign?

Oh, right. John McCain. Yeah. About that. Since McCain announced the suspension of his campaign, his ads are still running in key states, surrogates are still out there talking to the press, and Palin held her first press conference (is this his way of saying she's not part of his campaign?). I've been thinking, maybe what McCain really meant to say was that he was "expanding" his campaign, but in a Freudian slip "suspending" came out instead.

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Obama Plans Friday Night Appearance without McCain

McCain may not want to play under the Friday Night Lights, but Obama is willing to take the free prime time air time. According to the Huffington Post:

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, an official close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

In McCain's absence, the Senator is willing to make the scheduled debate a townhall meeting, a one-on-one interview with NewsHour's Jim Lehrer, or the combination of the two, the official said.

A lot, of course, depends upon what the debate commission decides to do. At this point in time, there is no indication that they are going to postpone the affair, as the McCain campaign has asked.

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Colbert Report: Stephen Suspends Show in Solidarity with McCain

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Palin Takes her First Press Conference

McCain's folks dumped her in the kiddie pool and let her take a few questions on her own today. My favorite part is her description of what happened to New York on 9/11, highlighted in bold below. From CNN:

PALIN: Every American student needs to come through this area so that, especially this younger generation of Americans is, to be in a position of never forgetting what happened here and never repeating, never allowing a repeat of what happened here. I wish every American would come through here. I wish every world leader would come through here, and understand what it is that took place here and more importantly how America came together and united to commit to never allowing this to happen again. And just to hear and from and see these good New Yorkers who are rebuilding not just this are but helping to rebuild America has been very, very inspiring and encouraging. These are the good Americans who are committed to peace and security and its been an absolute honor getting to meet these folks today.

CNN: On the topic of never letting this happen again, do you agree with the way the Bush administration has handled the war on terrorism, is there anything you would do differently?

A: I agree with the Bush administration that we take the fight to them. We never again let them come onto our soil and try to destroy not only our democracy, but communities like the community of New York. Never again. So yes, I do agree with taking the fight to the terrorists and stopping them over there.

POLITICO: Do you think our presence in Iraq and afghan and our continued presence there is inflaming islamic extremists?

A: I think our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan will lead to further security of our nation, again, because the mission is to take the fight over there. do not let them come over here and attempt again what they accomplished here, and that was some destruction. terrible destruction on that day. but since September 11, Americans uniting and rebuilding and committing to never letting that happen again.

POLITICO: Do you support the reelection bids of embattled Alaska Republicans, Rep. Don Young and Sen. Ted Stevens?

A: Ted Stevens trial started a couple days ago. We’ll see where that goes.

POLITICO: Are you gong to vote for them?

[no answer.]

JERSEY JOURNAL: What do you think of bailout package before congress?

A: I don't support that until the provisions that Sen. McCain has offered are implemented in Paulson's proposals.

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Op-Ed Reactions to McCain's "suspended" campaign

Slipping in the polls? Concerned that Americans may be paying more attention to the declining economy -- and even supporting economic regulation again -- than to your own stellar leadership abilities?

What's a Republican presidential nominee to do?

If you're named John McCain, the answer became apparent yesterday afternoon -- make the solution to the economic crisis all about you. Suspend your campaign. Pull out of tomorrow's debate -- a trivial exercise merely allowing Americans to judge the two candidates side by side. Change the terms of the nation's economic discussion from the course we should take, and the defects of the laissez-faire model that got us here, to the indispensability of John McCain, leader of leaders.

read more.

Has the McCain-Palin campaign really been put on hold?

Questions have emerged over the extent to which Senator John McCain is actually shutting down his campaign — as he indicated he would on Wednesday — to deal with the negotiations over the government’s economic bailout package.

A local Philadelphia NBC News affiliate was reporting Thursday morning that Mr. McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was to hold a rally at the airport in Philadelphia upon her arrival there this afternoon.

read more.

Does anybody out there have John McCain's email address?

Michael found this page on WikiHow, and we think could come in really handy for McCain right now: "How to Excuse Yourself from Unfinished Homework"...

"I couldn't use the internet to research because my internet stopped working."

That could maybe work, except that nobody expected him to know how to turn on a computer to begin with. Keep going.

read more.

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I Think McCain Lost Letterman's Vote

I speculated before the show last night that Letterman's choice of Keith Olbermann to fill in for John McCain sent a none too subtle message that he was not pleased with John McCain cancelling his appearance on the Late Show. Last night's show confirmed that Letterman did not care for the decision, or the decision to suspend the campaign, or the decision to delay the debate. In fact, he had some harsh words saying at one point, "Are we suspending [the campaign] because there's an economic crisis or because the poll numbers are sliding?"

It got even better when a producer discovered that while the Letterman show was taping McCain was actually at CBS's studios taping an interview with Katie Couric. The look on Olbermann's face is priceless. This is must see video. You'll want to go about 6:15 in for the above quote and the Couric bit.

Video: Jed Report

Letterman also used his Top Ten to mock McCain. You can see that video HERE.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daily Show: McCain Calls a Timeout

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Palin Stumbles in Couric Interview

From Politico:

COURIC: If this doesn't pass, do you think there's a risk of another Great Depression?

PALIN: Unfortunately, that is the road that America may find itself on. Not necessarily this as it's been proposed has to pass or we're going to find ourselves in another Great Depression. There has got to be action — bipartisan effort — Congress not pointing fingers at one another but finding the solution to this, taking action, and being serious about the reforms on Wall Street that are needed.


COURIC: But he's been in Congress for 26 years. He's been chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee. And he has almost always sided with less regulation, not more.

PALIN: He's also known as the maverick, though. Taking shots from his own party, and certainly taking shots from the other party. Trying to get people to understand what he's been talking about — the need to reform government.

COURIC: I'm just going to ask you one more time, not to belabor the point. Specific examples in his 26 years of pushing for more regulation?

PALIN: I'll try to find you some, and I'll bring them to you.

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The White Girl from Alaska's Black Preacher Problem

Witchcraft... laying on of hands... if this was video of Barack Obama instead of Sarah Palin, his candidacy would be over. But since it's a white girl.... Let the excuses begin!

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The real reason McCain wants to cancel the debate

John McCain's true motives in wanting to postpone Friday's debate comes through with this proposed alternative:
McCain supporter Sen. Lindsey Graham tells CNN the McCain campaign is proposing to the Presidential Debate Commission and the Obama camp that if there's no bailout deal by Friday, the first presidential debate should take the place of the VP debate, currently scheduled for next Thursday, October 2 in St. Louis.

In this scenario, the vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin would be rescheduled for a date yet to be determined, and take place in Oxford, Mississippi, currently slated to be the site of the first presidential faceoff this Friday.

Graham says the McCain camp is well aware of the position of the Obama campaign and the debate commission that the debate should go on as planned — but both he and another senior McCain adviser insist the Republican nominee will not go to the debate Friday if there's no deal on the bailout.

And if they can't get that Vice Presidential Debate rescheduled... oh well...

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Obama Says Debate, McCain Pulls Ads

What a setup. McCain is just waiting, hoping, for the chance to say, "Once again, my opponent has put what is best for him, and not what is best for the country, ahead of all else. That's not country first, that's not leadership!"

McCain, in what the Jed Report is calling a "drama queen" moment, has stopped campaigning and wants to cancel Friday night's debate so we can all focus on how "serious" this economic crisis is. The Presidential Debate Commission has already said, "WHAT????" and now Obama is saying this:
An aide to Barack Obama says they'd still like to debate John McCain Friday night in Mississippi as planned.

"We're inclined to do the debate," said the aide, adding that Obama would comment on the matter soon.
I think this is what I would say if I were on the Obama campaign: "In a time of crisis, it is important for Americans to be able to hear from and have access to our leaders. A transparent government allows debate, and places freedom of speech above all else. Thus, we are unwilling to suspend an important part of our democracy at such a crucial time." Then again, what do I know.

Meanwhile, McCain has pulled all his ads so that he can appear to not want the Presidency so that he'll actually get the Presidency. From Politico:
"As John McCain said, now is the time to put partisanship aside and come together to do the work that the American people expect," said Tucker Bounds.

McCain aides are now in the process of contacting TV station across the country to get their ads taken down, according to Bounds.

Asked how long they would go dark, Bounds only said: "We're taking our guidance from Sen. McCain on that."
I'm sure he'd love Obama to stop airing his ads, too. Nothing like finding a way to use patriotism against your opponent to get them to stop campaigning.


Obama echoes my thoughts just now saying the debate should go on. From Ben Smith:

Obama, speaking to the cameras in Florida, rebuffs McCain's proposal:

“It’s my belief that this is exactly the time the American people need to hear from the person who in approximately 40 days will be responsible with dealing with this mess," he says.

"What I think is important is that we don’t suddenly infuse Capitol Hill with presidential politics," he said.

Politico is also reporting that Harry Reid has told McCain to stay away. Now is not the time for Mr. McCain to go to Washington.

Update 2:

Here's Obama statement from today about why he believes the debate should go forward.

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Letterman Sticks it to McCain

This is just pure speculation on my part, but after John McCain canceled his appearance on the Late Show "mere hours" before his appearance because of the economic "crisis", Letterman filled his slot with.... Keith Olbermann! A more vocal, prominent critic of John McCain may not exist.

So now, instead of getting his message out about the economy to people who may not typically pay attention to politics, John McCain will instead insure that Barack Obama's message gets out there.

Update: I think my assessment was correct given what transpired on the Letterman show today. From the Drudge Report:
David Letterman tells audience that McCain called him today to tell him he had to rush back to DC to deal with the economy.

Then in the middle of the taping Dave got word that McCain was, in fact just down the street being interviewed by Katie Couric. Dave even cut over to the live video of the interview, and said, "Hey Senator, can I give you a ride home?"

Earlier in the show, Dave kept saying, "You don't suspend your campaign. This doesn't smell right. This isn't the way a tested hero behaves." And he joked: "I think someone's putting something in his metamucil."

"He can't run the campaign because the economy is cratering? Fine, put in your second string quarterback, Sara Palin. Where is she?"

"What are you going to do if you're elected and things get tough? Suspend being president? We've got a guy like that now!"

Update 2: You can see video of the Letterman show HERE.

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If there was any doubt McCain is a sexist...

Campbell Brown's tirade was a long time coming and much deserved. You have to look no further than this scene today when pool reporters were allowed to enter the room with McCain and Palin. From Jonathan Martin:
McCain then looked around the room and gestured as if to welcome questions.
The AP reporter shouted a question at Gov. Palin (“Governor, what have you
learned from your meetings?”) but McCain aide Brooke Buchanan intervened and
shepherded everybody out of the room. Palin looked surprised, leaned over to
McCain and asked him a question, to which your pooler thinks he shook his head
as if to say “No.”
That's right, honey. Don't think that you can answer any questions. Daddy says you're not ready. George Bush wishes he had that kind of cowardliness deference from Cheney.

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McCain Wants to Delay Debate, Stop Campaigning

For the first time in his political history, John McCain wants to take time out from campaigning and instead focus on the American economy. He even wants to suspend Friday's debate, you know, to put country first. Talk about using a crisis to political advantage. What a schmuck. From MSNBC:
According to the source, McCain wants to create a "political free zone" until a deal is reached on legislation for a $700 billion bailout of the financial industry.
McCain also said he wants President Bush to convene a leadership meeting in Washington. Both he and Obama would attend the session. The dates of the debates, which include three presidential and one vice presidential debate, were announced on November 19.
So now he gets how serious this is. Now he gets that he shouldn't be bringing up partisan politics at a time like this. Now he gets that no one in America thinks he knows what the hell he's doing when it comes to the economy. If the debate goes on, he'll stand there all night and say how wrong he thinks it is. What a stunt.
Of course McCain wants the campaigning to stop. Barack Obama is kicking his ass! Nothing like getting a campaign to stop its message for three full days, if not longer. How can he beat you if he's not allowed to campaign? It worked for Hillary in Florida and Michigan. Maybe McCain thinks he's on to something.

FOX News is reporting that Presidential Debate Commission is giving a big "F-You" to John McCain and says the debate will go on as scheduled.

Update 2:

Statement from University of Mississippi where the debate is supposed to be held:
The University of Mississippi is going forward with the preparation for the debate. We are ready to host the debate, and we expect the debate to occur as planned.

At present, the University has received no notification of any change in the timing or venue of the debate.

We have been notified by the Commission on Presidential Debates that we are proceeding as scheduled.

We will keep you posted as information becomes available.

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Palin's Approval Rating Dropping in Alaska

Someone who had an 82% approval rating really had nowhere to go but down. The Anchorage Daily News reports that Palin's approval rating is down to 68%. Her approval rating isn't doing so well these days among Democrats and Independents now that she's a full fledged Republican.

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CNN's Campbell Brown: Free Sarah Palin

Campbell Brown calls McCain out on his sexism towards Sarah Palin. Thank God someone finally said it.

Video: Jed Report

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Colbert: Make a Decision in a Total State of Panic

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Bill Clinton on the Daily Show

I lost track how many times Clinton said, "If you'll remember" and then launched into how he did things during his Presidency. It's a pretty funny interview, intentionally or not. He still can't give a ringing endorsement of Obama, but does endorse him.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain to Staff: Morons. I've got morons on my team.

So saying Rick Davis had severed all ties with Fannie Mae a long time ago was really John McCain's way of saying, "Oh, he took money from the company up until last month." From the New York Times:

One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.
read more.

At this point is McCain really lying all the time or does he just not have a clue what's going on in his campaign?

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Gone in 30 Seconds: Palin's Meeting with Karzai

Now this is information you can use on which to base your vote:

As the pool entered, the Afghan president appeared to be telling Palin about his young son, who was born in January 2007.

Palin, her legs crossed and at one point patting her heart, was leaning in eagerly and smiling. Karzai, wearing his traditional clothes but without his trademark karakul hat, was also grinning while discussing the child. His remarks were unintelligible as the noise from the clicking cameras drowned them out.

This was the only exchange that was heard:

“What is his name?,” Palin asked.

“Mirwais,” Karzai responded. “Mirwais, which means, ‘The Light of the House.’”

“Oh nice,” Palin responded.

“He is the only one we have,” remarked Karzai.

At this point, the pool was hustled out the room and down to the hotel lobby. Pool was in the room for a grand total of 29 seconds.
The McCain campaign, realizing the total idiocy of the situation, quickly corrected its mistake. According to CNN:
Later, McCain-Palin press representatives chalked up the restrictions to a “mix-up, a miscommunication among staff.” The full pool — a print and wires reporter, along with a television producer — was then allowed in to observe Palin’s meeting with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe for 15-20 seconds.
Much better. Who needs 29 seconds? 15 is sufficient.

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Chris Rock to Bill Clinton: Hillary Lost!

I've already posted about how Bill Clinton is consciously sabotaging the Barack Obama campaign. He continued his derogation of Obama last night on the David Letterman show. Luckily for Obama, Chris Rock was there to clean up the mess.

From Gawker:
After repeatedly invoking his vanquished wife Hillary, Clinton said the typical American voter will recall John McCain's heroic torture in a Vietnamese prison camp before deciding to "go the other way" and vote for... whoever that other candidate for president might be. In an inspired feat of booking, Letterman had comedian Chris Rock lined up to follow Clinton and, uh, remind him who won the primary.
You can see video of the appearance HERE.

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Quote of the Day: Andrew Sullivan Pissed at Press

He has every right to be. They are as ineffective branch of government as the Congress. They have totally failed to force the McCain campaign to provide any sort of access to Sarah Palin. From today's Daily Dish:
Fight back, you hacks! Demand access. Demand accountability! It's our duty. If we cannot ask questions of a total newbie six weeks before an election in which she could become president of the country, then the First Amendment is pointless. Grow some!
read more.

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