Democracy Has Prevailed.

August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin Knows US History

According to this website, Eagle Forum Alaska sent out a questionaire in mid-2006 to all the candidates for the Governor of Alaska. Sarah Palin, obviously, was one of them.

This was the eleventh question on the questionaire:
Are you offended by the phrase “Under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Why or why not?
And this is Sarah Palin's response:
Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me and I’ll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance.
Too bad the pledge was written in 1892 (and hence about a century too late for the founding fathers) and the phrase "under God" was added only 54 years ago in 1954.

I realize this is not much of a big deal - but imagine if Senator Obama had made the same mistake. Fox "News" and the rest of the right wing noise machine would be talking about it 24/7.

Jack Kelly Sunday

In this week's column, Jack Kelly gloats:
I wrote a column back in June in which I said Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin would be the ideal running mate for Sen. John McCain. But I never thought he'd pick her.
Here's the column from June and my analysis of it. Just as he pretty much lifted a whole chunk or two out of Fred Barnes' Weekly Standard article on Palin, he rewrites the June article into this week's column. Jack restates:

Ms. Palin is popular in part because of her personal qualities. She earned the "Sarah Barracuda" nickname as the point guard on her Wasilla high school basketball team, which she led to the state championship in 1982. Two years later, when she won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant (and went on to be the first runner up in the Miss Alaska contest) she was also named Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice.

But it's mostly because she's been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.

Hmm. That last part's a little off. Why? Do you remember (the now indicted for corruption) Senator Ted Stevens' "Bridge to Nowhere"? Seems Sarah Barracuda was for it before she was against it. According to the New Republic she was asked about the bridges in October 22, 2006:

5. Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?

Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now--while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.

[I]t sure looks like she was fine with the bridge in principle, never had a problem with the earmarks, bristled at all the mockery, and only gave up on the project when it was clear that federal support wasn't forthcoming.
Hardly the "ferocious fighter of corruption" Jack Kelly describes her as. Jack's next paragraph:
Ms. Palin touches other conservative bases, some of which Mr. McCain has been accused of missing. A regular churchgoer, she's staunchly pro-life. Her eldest son is a soldier. She's a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes and runs marathons.
But there's some of the stuff that I think even conservatives would be surprised to hear. From USAToday:
She stood up to the powerful oil industry, and with bipartisan support in the statehouse she won a tax increase on oil companies' profits.
Governor Palin's increased a tax on oil companies? I guess so. No wonder Jack didn't mention it.

From the Anchorage Daily News:

Gov. Sarah Palin is asking the Legislature to give every Alaskan $1,200 as energy cost relief.

"It's a one-time, special return of the vast wealth that Alaska has right now. We're returning it to the resource owners, the people of Alaska," the governor said Friday. "I am confident the people of Alaska can spend the surplus dollars better than state government is going to spend them."

And further down:
Conservative critics have attacked it as socialism, comparing Palin to Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez.
Ouch - that's gotta sting.

By the way Senator Obama's proposed something similar:
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) on Friday announced an “Emergency Economic Plan” that would give families a stimulus check of $1,000 each, funded in part by what his presidential campaign calls “windfall profits from Big Oil.”
And of course Senator McCain responded:
Unlike Sen. Obama, I do not believe that raising taxes is the answer to our economic problems. There is no surer way to force jobs overseas than to raise taxes on businesses.
I wonder if he asked Palin about her oil company tax increase during their one meeting before she was announced as his running mate.

Despite the positive reviews by Radio talk show host Mark Levin (who by the way said that Bush's commutation prevented Scooter Libby from becoming a "political prisoner" - since when are obstruction of justice and perjury political issues? Just asking), the reviews have NOT been favorable to the former Miss Wasilla. From the Times Online:
Shannen Coffin, a former White House counsel to Dick Cheney, the vice-president, said choosing Palin seemed “desperate” and that it would be difficult to attack Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, on the grounds of inexperience.
Even though Jack tries:
But it will be difficult for Democrats to attack Ms. Palin on this without calling attention to Barack Obama's lack of experience. Ms. Palin is the undercard, not the top of the ticket. And her 18 months as governor (not to mention her two terms as mayor) is 18 months more executive experience than Sens. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have combined.
It's also more than John McCain has.

Indeed the word out of Alaska has been harsh (h/t to The Huffingtonpost on this). From the Fairbanks News Miner:
She has never publicly demonstrated the kind of interest, much less expertise, in federal issues and foreign affairs that should mark a candidate for the second-highest office in the land. Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin? Or will everyone just be forced to drop the subject? That’s not a comforting possibility.

Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation’s when he created the possibility that she might fill it.

It’s clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance. She’s a woman. She has fought corruption. She has fought the oil companies. She’s married to a union member. These are portrayals for campaign speeches; they are not policy positions.

Then there's the Anchorage Daily News:

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.


McCain picked Palin despite a recent blemish on her ethically pure resume. While she was governor, members of her family and staff tried to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the Alaska State Troopers. Her public safety commissioner would not do so; she forced him out, supposedly for other reasons. While she runs for vice-president, the Legislature has an investigator on the case.

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

And then some of the Republicans up there have chimed in. State Senate President Lyda Green is quoted as saying:

She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?

Granted, Palin and Green have according to the Anchorage Daily News "fueded repeatedly" over the past two years, but still.

Stunning pick. Total beginner on national and international issues. Not ready for the job. Picked for reasons of image, not substance. Not prepared to be vice president or president.

When the newspapers and politicians in the candidate's home state are saying this, the criticisms can not be easily dismissed.

Congratulations, Jack.

And we haven't even started on Troopergate!

August 29, 2008


That's the number that watched Senator Obama's speech on TV according to some folks who'd know:
Nielsen Media Research said more people watched Obama speak than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing, the final "American Idol" or the Academy Awards this year. Obama talked before a live audience of 80,000 people in Denver.
In fact:
Obama's audience might be higher, since Nielsen didn't have an estimate for how many people watched Obama on PBS or C-SPAN Thursday night.
I cant't wait to see how many people tune in to watch Senator McCain's speech.

Some Facts About Governor Sarah Palin

By now we've all heard that Senator McCain has picked Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

Palin is currently the Governor of Alaska. It's a big state (the biggest, by far) with a teeny tiny population (almost the teeniest, tiniest). According to the US Census the population of Alaska is estimated to be 683,478 (as of July 1, 2007).

Currently, that's her constituency.

She's about just 20 months experience as a Chief Executive. Before that she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska (population about 5,500).

To put this in context, Allegheny County (were I live) has a population that's nearly double that of Alaska: 1,281,666 according to the 2000 census. The city of Pittsburgh (also where I live) has a population that's roughly half of Alaska: 312,819.

And that's who John McCain wants to put one 72 year old man's heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Tell me again that Barack Obama doesn't have the experience to be Commander-in-Chief?

Happy Birthday John McCain!

Today is Senator John McCain's birthday. He was born today in seventy-two years ago (in 1936) on a Naval Air Base in the American-controlled Panama Canal Zone.

Happy Birthday, John McCain!

You know what else happened on August 29?

  • Lenny Henry, the great British comedian was born on this day in 1958
  • In 1833, the UK abolished slavery in its empire
  • The Beatles perform their last (paying) concert in San Francisco in 1966

Oh, yea - I forgot one. This is the day that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. While John McCain and his best bud George Bush were photo opping with that cake above, the Bush administration through sheer incompentance, was letting a great American city drown. More than 1,800 died. Billions of dollars in damage.

Happy Birthday John McCain!


That's how many people saw Senator Barack Obama's speech at Invesco Field last night. In case you missed it:

And the text.

Meanwhile back with Senator McCain:

While Obamaniacs competed for tickets and withstood long lines to see their hero at Denver's Invesco Field, John McCain's rumored announcement of his running mate here tomorrow is not exactly drawing the same interest.

McCain arrived here tonight to news reports that free tickets are still available to his rally tomorrow at a basketball arena at Wright State University. The Nutter Center has a capacity of about 12,000.

That alone says something.

August 28, 2008

KDKA Live-stream Webcast Tonight!

Once again KDKA's Jon Delano will host a live-stream convention webcast.

Guest bloggers tonight include John McIntire of MacYapper, Sue Kerr of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and yours truly of 2 Political Junkies.

Go to and look for the link at the top middle of the page. The webcast will take place between 7:00 and 8:00 PM.

You can chat live to ask questions or submit your question for the queue right now by emailing .

Football and Politics: A Truly Pittsburgh Presidential Convention Event

You are invited to join the fun on Thursday evening as shown below.

Football and Politics, A Truly Pittsburgh Convention Watch Event
(Convention Watch Party)

Only in Pittsburgh, can football and politics make for one magical evening. On August 28, 2008 The Pittsburgh Steelers will take on The Carolina Panthers, immediately following the game be a witness to history as Illinois Senator, Barack Obama accepts the Democratic Party's Nomination for President of The United States.

Enjoy a great ballgame and then hear what is sure to be one of the most important speeches in generations. All live on a large screen in the company of your friends, neighbors, fellow supporters, Pittsburgh notables, and a surprise celebrity host. Doors open at 6pm, and there is no cost to attend this event.

Time: Thursday, August 28 at 6:00 PM
Duration: 5 hours (The football game will start at 7 PM and Barack will speak at around 10 PM.)
Host: Calvin Skinner
Contact Phone: 412-867-6853
Location: New Greater Pittsburgh Coliseum, 7310 Frankstown Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15208

If you plan to attend, please sign up at the web site shown below so that the organizers will know how many people to expect. Off course, you can still attend the event even if you do not sign up.

Hope to see you on Thursday!

Saleem Khan
Point Breeze


Farewell Party for Lynn Cullen

Friends, advertisers and listeners will gather at the WPTT studio tomorrow, 8/29/08, Friday at 11:45 AM to give Lynn Cullen a fitting farewell.

Everyone is invited to attend, but please email Sue ( and let her know if you plan to show up so they can plan for numbers --- she'll pass the info along to the organizers.

The studio is at 900 Parrish Street in Greentree. It is not really a secret, but try not to bring it up if you have an email exchange with Lynn.

(Grrrr! Wish I could go!)

More On McCain Ad Smears

I found this via Talking Points Memo.

This is sad. It's sad because at one point there must have been at least a shred of decency, of political civility in John McCain. How else could so many people call him "a maverick"?

Now my friends, because his campaign so empty of real ideas and his party's brand has been so damaged by the sheer incompetence of the Bush Administration, he's been reduced to approving this:

Here's the script:

Iran. Radical Islamic government.

Known sponsors of terrorism.

Developing nuclear capabilities to "generate power" but threatening to eliminate Israel.

Obama says Iran is a "tiny" country, "doesn't pose a serious threat".

Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't "serious threats"?

Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president.

JOHN MCCAIN: I'm John McCain and I approved this message.

Now let's take a look at what Barack Obama actually said. The "tiny" quotation was from May 18 of this year and when you see what he actually said and then compare it to what John McCain says he said, the dishonestly is shriekingly obvious. Here's the quotation from CNN:

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,” he said. “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.' [emphasis added]

Anyone with a brain can see these are distortions. Iran IS "tiny" (compared to the former Soviet Union) and the threat posed ISN'T as serious as the Soviet Union's threat to the United States. I mean, really. How many nuclear missles does Iran possess and how many of them are targetted the US? None. How many did the Soviet have - thousands.

John Kerry is right: The candidate who once promised a "contest of ideas," now has nothing left but personal attacks.

And the attacks are not even true! Especially when Obama's on the record saying:
The Iranian regime supports violent extremists and challenges us across the region. It pursues a nuclear capability that could spark a dangerous arms race and raise the prospect of a transfer of nuclear know-how to terrorists. Its president denies the Holocaust and threatens to wipe Israel off the map. The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat.
Sad. McCain's been reduced to throwing mud. Very sad.

August 27, 2008

Webcast Posted


For the record Maria did NOT call me an Oaf.

That would be John McIntire.

Uh, wait. I mean that it was John McIntire who called me an oaf.

Oh and Jon my name's spelled DeAngelo NOT Deangelo. I hope we can get it right next time.


That's Not A Maverick - That's A Sidekick

Say it with me: Four more months.

Put A Fork In It Honey, It's Done.

When wingnut World Net Daily posts this about Barack Obama's birth certificate, we can pretty much assume the lie has now been convincingly debunked. Here's what they wrote:

However, (sic) says it obtained Obama's actual birth certificate and that the document was indeed real. The site discredited some of the claims of Internet bloggers, such as that the certificate as viewed in a scanned copy released by Obama's campaign lacked a raised seal. also established that many of the alleged flaws in the document noted by bloggers were caused by the scanning of the document.

A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren't originally there. [emphasis added.]

I wonder if we'll see Jerome Corsi (who infact writes for WND) issue any sort of correction, explanation or apology. Pintek, too.

Yea, I doubt it.

Pintek's Smears Continue

Local embarrassement Mike Pintek has hit the big time, again. He's been written up on, again. For an Obama smear he's made as a guest host on Quinn and Rose, again.

This time he's spreading the "infanticide" smear. Here's what he said (according to MediaMatters):
Back in the 2001, 2003 session of the Illinois state legislature, when he was a state senator, Obama opposed bills that would have required medical attention be given to babies who somehow survived the killing fields of the abortion table and would have given the aborted baby legal rights.
We'll be hearing a lot of this smear in the coming weeks, to be sure. MediaMatters is on it:
As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Obama opposed certain bills amending the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 while he was in the Illinois state Senate because he and other opponents of the bills said they would pose a threat to abortion rights and said they were unnecessary because Illinois law already prohibited the conduct supposedly addressed by the bills. [links in original]
The campaign has issued a rather extensive rebuttal to this smear (I somehow doubt Mike Pintek will be reading it anytime soon - if ever).

So let's see. The law in Illinois already prohibited the conduct addressed in the bills AND the bills threatened Roe v Wade. As Obama said on the Illinois Senate floor in 2001 (from
Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute. [emphasis in original]
And a year later:
I think it’s important to understand that this issue ultimately is about abortion and not live births.
And anyway, does Mike Pintek really think that Barack Obama wants to kill children? If so he should just say it up front without the protective veil of this "he opposed bills requiring medical attention to aborted fetuses so therefore he supports infanticide" line.

No way, no how, no McCain!

I nearly teared up right before Hillary Clinton started to speak when they were showing a group holding Hillary signs for what could have been, but her rousing home run speech left me -- and the crowd -- feeling good.

Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Part 1

Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Part 2

Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention Part 3

Text of her speech here.

August 26, 2008

Willful Amnesia

Yes, Hillary Clinton's behavior as the runner-up in the Democratic primary is atypical to say the least.

She's actually been far more loyal to the party and much more supportive of the winner than any number of men who came in second with far less votes. And yet the media continues to "whack her around like a piñata one more time, regardless of the facts."

From Media Matters:

Searching the recent news archives, it's hard to find many articles or television segments that reported on Clinton's symbolic nomination and also mentioned that runner-up Jerry Brown had been nominated in '92 or that Jesse Jackson had been nominated in '88 or that Gary Hart had been nominated in '84. (You get the idea.)

When The New York Times reported on Clinton's pending nomination, it made no reference to historical precedents. Neither did The Boston Globe, nor The Wall Street Journal, nor The Washington Post. And on and on and on.

On CNN, Jack Cafferty commented, "The Democratic National Convention is now shaping up to be quite a party for Hillary Clinton. Her name will be placed in nomination. She'll give a prime-time address." He made no mention that that's what previous runners-up had done at conventions.


("Overall, between 1972 and 1992, 10 Democratic candidates who lost the nomination in the primaries went on to have their names formally placed in nomination at the convention."), it also pointed out that Clinton represents the only runner-up to speak at the convention who formally endorsed the party's nominee months before the convention; i.e., all the others grudgingly held out on endorsing their rivals.

But not Clinton. Yet she's the one slimed by media venom.

Meanwhile, let's be clear: Clinton isn't the only injured party here. After the press constructed the phony premise about Clinton's convention speech, critics then used it, unfairly, to tag Obama as a softie who can't even stand up to a woman. (Gasp.)
There they go again!

Read the entire article here.

(h/t to Shakesville)

Live Blogging the Convention at

From Jon Delano:

Tomorrow night (Tuesday), we will do a live-stream webcast on with several political bloggers in Pittsburgh, beginning at 7 pm. My hope is to analyze the first night of the convention (Monday) and discuss what ought to happen on the second night (Tuesday) when Hillary Clinton addresses the convention. I hope you will join us both to hear what we have to say and, more importantly, to ask your questions or make comments that I will read to our guests from the blogosphere.
Guest bloggers tonight include The Pittsburgh Comet's Bram Reichbaum, Gab Bonesso, and 2pj's own David DeAngelo.

Guest bloggers on Thursday night to include myself and others.

Don't forget to go to tonight @ 7:00!

You can also submit your question for the queue right now by emailing

Democratic Women

Michelle Obama gave a warm, engaging, pitch-perfect speech last night. It built layer by layer to a beautiful close which asked the American people to listen to their hopes instead of their fears and to commit to "building the world as it should be."

Of course as a Democratic woman -- especially as the wife of a Democrat seeking the presidency -- she started out at a deficit.

First, she had to prove that she wasn't a crazy, ball-busting bitch.

We all know that the wives of Republican candidates are God-fearin' women who love their husbands and love their country and have all perfected the Nancy Reagan staring-on-adorably-at-hubby pose along side their spouses (especially if hubby has been caught sharing a bed or bathroom stall with someone other than the little Mrs.).

Whereas, we all know (via Republicans and the MSM) that Democratic wives are CRAZY ASS BITCHES who would soon as castrate you as look at you.

Teresa Heinz Kerry was a CRAZY BITCH who'd say any crazy ol' thing and was a Sugar Mama to her weak husband. Michelle Obama is a CRAZY BITCH and oh-my-god-scary-angry-black-woman who hates her country. And then, there's the ultimate CRAZY BITCH, Hillary Clinton, who killed her lover Vince Foster when she wasn't busy being a crazy lesbian and who just wouldn't go away and die like she was supposed to during the primary (thanks to those on the left who helped promote that wingnut meme).

The corollary to the Democratic Wife CRAZY BITCH Rule is the Democratic Male Presidential Candidate as a WEAK FOREIGN WEIRDO Rule.

Al Gore was so "feminized" according to that leftist rag writer Maureen Dowd, that "he's practically lactating." John Kerry was weak and French for godsakes! Barack is a "anorexic starlet" Paris Hilton celebrity who is even more foreign than Kerry!

They are all too weak and femme to be trusted with this nation's security.

After all, if they were REAL MEN, they wouldn't have such CRAZY BITCH wives. REAL MEN -- like Republican politicians -- know how to treat a woman (you divorce her when she becomes sick/old, call her a cunt and offer her up to a crowd of bikers for their inspection).

Anyhoo, eighty-eight years ago today the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States was officially ratified and women achieved the right to vote. On the eve of this anniversary, Michelle Obama made reference to that:

"It is because of their will and determination that this week, we celebrate two anniversaries: the 88th anniversary of women winning the right to vote, and the 45th anniversary of that hot summer day when Dr. King lifted our sights and our hearts with his dream for our nation.

I stand here today at the crosscurrents of that history — knowing that my piece of the American dream is a blessing hard won by those who came before me. All of them driven by the same conviction that drove my dad to get up an hour early each day to painstakingly dress himself for work. The same conviction that drives the men and women I've met all across this country..."
Moreover, she graciously remarked on the significance of Hillary Clinton's candidacy:

"People like Hillary Clinton, who put those 18 million cracks in the glass ceiling, so that our daughters — and sons — can dream a little bigger and aim a little higher."
Here's her speech in case you missed it:

Michelle Obama at The Democratic National Convention
by petulant

Text here.

(And, here's the Obama kids with their Dad if you missed that moment.)

Faux News Explains "Freedom of Speech"

A Fox News "reporter" tried to mix it up with protesters at the DNC Convention yesterday. When the protesters weren't particularly interested in speaking to him -- and why anyone would want to speak to someone who grabs their arm, shoves a mic in their face and yells at them is beyond me -- the "reporter" claims that this means that they don't believe in freedom of speech.


The following video of the exchange is NOT WORK SAFE because after the "reporter" gets all pissy that no one wants to talk to him (and therefore are "anti freedom of speech"), they start freedom speeching by chanting "Fuck Fox News" and suddenly Fox no longer wants to hear the free flow of speech.

Too funny!


August 25, 2008

Obama Responds - twice

The Obama camp responded twice to the American Issues Project smear. First with an ad:

And second legally. From the Politico:
Sen. Barack Obama has launched an all-out effort to block a Republican billionaire’s efforts to tie him to domestic and foreign terrorists in a wave of negative television ads.
They sent a letter to the Department of Justice. In it, they call the ad "a knowing and willful attempt to evade the strictures of federal election law." As such it's "flouting" the law.

New Obama Ad

August 24, 2008

KDKA Comes to the Rescue!

From the Huffington Post:
A conservative nonprofit group with a past link to Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign wants to spend $2.8 million on an ad questioning Democrat Barack Obama's relationship to a founder of the 1960s radical group Weather Underground.

American Issues Project, the sponsor of the ad, is a nonprofit 501(c)4 organization. One of its board members, Ed Failor Jr., was a paid consultant for McCain's campaign in Iowa last year. The campaign paid his firm $50,000 until July 2007. American Issues Project spokesman Christian Pinkston said Failor has no connection to the McCain campaign now.

The ad signals the emergence of the type of tough advertising by independent organizations that operate outside the financial limits of campaign finance law. It is reminiscent of the Swift Boat ads aired against John Kerry four years ago questioning his military service and are widely blamed by Democrats for contributing to his defeat.

Organizers sought to air the ad on Fox News Channel, but a Fox spokesman said the network declined to run it. He would not say why.

Never fear! I had on the Steeler-Viking game last night (it was KDKA) and I saw the ad in all it's nasty guilt by association.

Good to know that KDKA will show a smear ad that even Fox "News" refuses. Good going!

More on the American Issues Project later.

Jack Kelly Sunday

In this week's column, Jack Kelly swiftboats.

It's amazing to watch. One wonders what planet Jack inhabits. Certainly not the planet I inhabit. But perhaps that says more about me than about him.

Jack's opening:

Democrats begin their national convention with a queasy feeling in the pits of their stomachs. Barack Obama has plunged in the polls, falling into a statistical tie with John McCain. The election that was supposed to be in the bag isn't.

Democrats blame the plunge on negative ads. They plan to respond in kind. The first few days of their convention will feature nonstop assaults on the presumptive GOP nominee.

I guess it depends on what the definition of "plunge" is. There's no doubt that the race in the national polls is tightening. This is what the picture looks like according to

By my eye, it looks like Obama has "plunged" about 4 points over about a month and a half while McCain has "jumped" 2 (or maybe 3) over the same period. "Plunge" is a matter of opinion, I guess.

On the other hand, using the same polling data, has a state-by-state chart which then awards those states electoral votes according to that data. The result? If the poll numbers are accurate and if people were to actually vote today the same way that the poll numbers suggest Obama would walk away with at least 260 electoral votes. Only 270 are needed for a win (fewer if you're a republican and can convince your dad's friends on the Supreme Court to stop the vote count - but I digress).

Jack continues the analysis. This is where it gets fun for me:

The Democrats' strategy is driven by what they think happened to John Kerry in 2004. His plans to run as a war hero came a cropper when 15 of the 23 officers who served with him in Vietnam declared him "Unfit for Command." Democrats believe Sen. Kerry's sluggish response to their charges is what cost him the presidency. Sen. Obama has declared he will not be "swift-boated."

Actually (and this is surprising) I'd have to agree with part of this. Kerry's tepid response probably DID do some damage to his campaign. When the charges hit, he was off windsurfing. My guess is that Kerry figured that the GOP would never stoop so low as to smear a war hero's war record. Something to understand about the current crop of wingnut republicans: if ever you think, "Oh I'm certain they wouldn't go that low." Rest assured, you're almost certainly wrong. They probably will and they probably already have. Oh and Obama DID say he won't be swift-boated.

A paragraph or so later Kelly delivers the goods:

The Swifties' charges hit home because they were credible and came from a credible source.

Credible? Both the charges AND the source? Really? Now Jack's credibility is on the line. Does Jack really want to defend Kerry's swiftboating? Especially when McCain is on record condemning their first ad as "dishonest and deplorable" and "very, very wrong." He also told the AP:

As it is, none of these individuals served on the boat (Kerry) commanded. Many of his crew have testified to his courage under fire. I think John Kerry served honorably in Vietnam.

Does Jack Kelly really think the charges are credible when the REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE DOESN'T? But perhaps McCain was wrong (wouldn't be the first time for a man who has no idea how many houses he owns). Isn't there anyplace on the web questioning the credibility of the swiftboaters' charges?

Why yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

New York Times:

The strategy the veterans devised would ultimately paint John Kerry the war hero as John Kerry the "baby killer" and the fabricator of the events that resulted in his war medals. But on close examination, the accounts of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth' prove to be riddled with inconsistencies. In many cases, material offered as proof by these veterans is undercut by official Navy records and the men's own statements.

A group funded by the biggest Republican campaign donor in Texas began running an attack ad Aug. 5 in which former Swift Boat veterans claim Kerry lied to get one of his two decorations for bravery and two of his three purple hearts.

But the veterans who accuse Kerry are contradicted by Kerry's former crewmen, and by Navy records.

Maybe there's something wrong with the Navy. Oh if only some high ranking Naval officer were asked to look them over to see if there's anything funny about the procedures used to award Kerry the medals.

Wait a tic - there was one. In response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, an Admiral DID take a look at the records. His response? Take a look:

In accordance with our established review procedures, we carefully examined the process by which Senator Kerry was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts in 1968 and 1969. We found that existing documentation regarding his medals indicates the awards approval process was properly followed. In particular, the senior officers who authorized the medals were properly delegated authority to do so. In addition, we found that they correctly followed the procedures in place at the time for approving these awards.

And then a paragraph later:

Our review also considered the fact that Senator Kerry's post-active duty activities were public and that military and civilian officials were aware of his actions at the time. For these reasons, I have determined that Senator Kerry's awards were properly approved and will take no further action in this matter. [emphasis added]

The penultimate part is important. You'd think that, considering Senator Kerry's "post-active duty activities" were known to all the folks who could have reviewed the process more or less as it took place, someone someplace would have said something back in, oh, 1970 or something. The fact that they didn't tells us there's no there there.

The conclusion is inescapable. The medals were properly awarded. Senator John Kerry was a war hero. The Swiftboaters' charges are not credible.

And neither is Jack Kelly.

A few after thoughts. Jack spins things here:

Whining isn't toughness, either. After Sen. McCain bested their man at Pastor Rick Warren's presidential forum last weekend, Sen. Obama staffers told reporters the old white guy must have cheated. Mr. Obama complained, falsely, to the Veterans of Foreign Wars on Tuesday that Mr. McCain has been questioning his patriotism.

We've written about Rick Warren's presidential forum here. Jack's completely out of it denying McCain questioning Obama's patriotism. Oh really? When McCain mancrush Joe Lieberman questioned Obama's patriotism the McCain campaign endorsed it. From the New York Times:

One of the McCain campaign’s new themes, that Senator John McCain has always put his country first, has been seen by some analysts as a subtle suggestion that his opponent, Senator Barack Obama, has not.

But as he introduced Mr. McCain at a campaign event here on Tuesday, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut made the attack a lot more explicit, calling the election a choice “between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.’’

Then there's the whole, "he rather win a election than win the war." stuff. What's not just questioning his patriotism, that's accusing him of treason.

Sad to see the once (though I still doubt that) "straight talker" being so reduced to such obvious puddle of muddy lies.

August 23, 2008 States The Obvious

The Birth Certificate is REAL.

In one of the silliest stories of this silly season, more than a few wingnuts have been ranting about Senator Barack Obama's "faked" birth certificate. So far local wingnuts Mike Pintek (here and here) and John Steigerwald and of course, Quinn and Rose (note the "hat tip" in that posting and if have you have the stomach for it, listen here) have further spread this story in one form or another.

In fairness, though, Steigerwald has NOT stated that he believes it himself. He was just saying that others have raised the issue. How "Bagdhad Bob" of him.

Pintek, though, made it onto the Good for him! Nice to see him moving up in the world. Now everyone everywhere can know how much of a wingnut he is. Here's a flash: he also thinks that that whole "global warming" thing is a hoax. How surprising.

Anyway, has the evidence to clearly show that Barack Obama was, in fact, born in the US. In Hawaii. In August of 1961. After Hawaii acheived statehood. That makes Obama a natural born citizen and therefore he meets that constitutionally mandated requirement for the Presidency.

Just like everyone said.

In another hit to his now defunct (as if he ever had any) credibility, smear-meister Jerome Corsi is on the record saying the certificate is "false" to Steve Doocy of Fox "News". Factcheck has a transcript:

Corsi: Well, what would be really helpful is if Senator Obama would release primary documents like his birth certificate. The campaign has a false, fake birth certificate posted on their website. How is anybody supposed to really piece together his life?

Doocy: What do you mean they have a "false birth certificate" on their Web site?
Corsi: The original birth certificate of Obama has never been released, and the campaign refuses to release it.

Doocy: Well, couldn't it just be a State of Hawaii-produced duplicate?

Corsi: No, it's a -- there's been good analysis of it on the Internet, and it's been shown to have watermarks from Photoshop. It's a fake document that's on the Web site right now, and the original birth certificate the campaign refuses to produce.

All of that, of course is bunk. Here's why. actually got some first hand knowledge:
Recently FactCheck representatives got a chance to spend some time with the birth certificate, and we can attest to the fact that it is real and three-dimensional and resides at the Obama headquarters in Chicago.
They have a list of charges brought against the certificate:
  • The birth certificate doesn't have a raised seal.
  • It isn't signed.
  • No creases from folding are evident in the scanned version.
  • In the zoomed-in view, there's a strange halo around the letters.
  • The certificate number is blacked out.
  • The date bleeding through from the back seems to say "2007," but the document wasn't released until 2008.
  • The document is a "certification of birth," not a "certificate of birth."
Then they go point-by-point to show how each criticism is, well, complete crap. They even have art. Here's the seal. See? It's raised and everything:

Here's the signature on the date of release:

Heck someone even found the contemporaneous newspaper announcement of the birth:

Of course the wingnuts are still not convinced (and we'd trust these people to drive?). One, and presumably more - as such political deleria is contagious, writes that the newspaper announcement could still be a faked, so proves nothing.

So let's see. IF the birth certificate is a fake, then the vast conspiracy to push this fakery onto an unenlightened public must be huge - and supremely efficient (only to be thwarted utterly by one guy with photoshop, of course). As politicfact has already noted, for this certificate to be faked the conspiracy has to reach deep into:

  • The Hawaii Department of Health
  • The Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics
  • The Illinois Secretary of State’s office
  • The Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois

Tin Hat, anyone?

I wonder if Mike Pintek will be issuing a correction.

Obama - Biden '08

Lots on Biden here

UPDATE: P-G has AP story here.

August 21, 2008

Seven - At Least!

Wait, wait!

There's a response from the McCain folks. It's NOT seven! How DARE you say that when Obama is an elitist!

Truth is (well "truth" from the McCain camp) is that it's only four.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Stephanie Tubbs Jones
1948 - 2008

I was really saddened to hear yesterday about Rep. Tubbs Jones aneurysm and death.

Tubbs Jones accomplished many firsts in her career: the first black woman to serve as a common pleas judge in Ohio, the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress, the first black woman to serve on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. She also chaired the House Ethics Committee.

But what comes topmost to my mind with Stephanie Tubbs Jones was her passion.

She was a passionate opponent of the war in Iraq and she was also one of Hillary Clinton's strongest supporters. She consistently earned a 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign Congressional Scorecard and she fought hard to oppose Bush's disastrous economic policies.

And, as John Nichols at the The Nation puts it, she was a Champion of Electoral Justice:
Stephanie Tubbs Jones frequently displayed the sort of political courage that put her at odds not just with her president and his party but, at times, even with her own party.

That courage was most evident when, after the disputed 2004 presidential vote in her home state, Tubbs Jones led the House floor fight against certification of President Bush's re-election.

When critics attempted to portray the Congressional challenge to the certification of the results as an attempt to reverse the result of the 2004 election in Ohio, and by extension nationally, Tubbs Jones, explained that, "This objection does not have at its root the hope or even the hint of overturning or challenging the victory of the president." The point, said Tubbs Jones, was to expose the fundamental flaws in the current system and to highlight the need for reform.

California Senator Barbara Boxer, who joined 31 House members in objecting to the counting of Ohio's 20 electoral votes for Bush, said she was inspired by the cry for "electoral justice" raised by Tubbs Jones.

For her part, Tubbs Jones asked at the time: "How can we possibly tell millions of Americans who registered to vote, who came to the polls in record numbers... to simply get over it and move on?"
THANK YOU, Rep. Tubbs Jones for that.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones Objecting to the Certification of 2004


The "Smear Gap"

Hey, did you know there's a "smear gap" going on?

Of course you did. So did I. But you wouldn't know it from the coverage. Here's Johnny Alter (how I love him) of Newsweek:

This is hardly the nastiest campaign in recent memory. But it's not shaping up as the "civil" contest that both candidates promised either. Instead, we're seeing the emergence of a "smear gap". John McCain making stuff up about Barack Obama, and Obama trying to figure out how hard he should hit back.

As usual, news organizations are deeply afraid to say that one side is more negative than the other. Doing so sounds "unfair." It's much easier, and less controversial, to say that "both candidates" are being negative. That would be "balanced", but also untrue.

So after point out a negative Obama ad that "goes too far" Alter writes:
But overall, and to his credit, Obama has not engaged in anywhere near the number of falsehoods as McCain.
And then gives details.

First, a McCain ad charged that Obama was responsible for higher gas prices, which was not just false but absurd. Next, an ad said Obama had cancelled his trip to visit wounded soldiers in Germany because he couldn't bring the press along. I was in Germany at the time, and as every reporter knew, the visit to the military hospital was never going to be open, not even to a press pool. It appeared on no press schedules. Obama had cancelled the visit when it was clear that the Pentagon viewed it as political. The charge was simply untrue.

The now famous Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ad, accusing Obama of being a celebrity, wasn't false, just dopey. But it detracted attention from a string of false McCain spots on taxes. One ad said that Obama would raise taxes on electricity. Nope, not in Obama's plan. Another said 23 million small-business owners would pay higher taxes under Obama. found that the "vast majority" of small-business owners would pay the same in taxes as they do now, and "many" would pay less. An ad saying Obama had voted for a bill raising taxes, for families making more than $42,000 a year, was found to be "false." And McCain's consistent claim that Obama would "raise taxes on the middle class"--a major theme of his campaign--is "simply false," according to this neutral policy center.

How many times did Alter write that something in a McCain ad was false or untrue?

Finally Alter ends with:
But when he resorts to these kinds of falsehoods, and casts such aspersions on his opponent's patriotism, John McCain is no longer putting his country first. If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent. For a man with his claims to honor and integrity, that's not too much to ask.
On the other hand, for a man who's willing to lie about his POW experience in order to pander to Pittsburgh voters, I guess it is.

McCain - Reed Link

Remember this? It was reported that scandal tainted Ralph Reed was hosting a fundraiser for Mr Straight-Talk express himself, John McCain. Reed was tied to the Abramoff scandal (it probably cost him an election, in fact).

Of course, when the fundraiser took place, Reed bailed:

On Monday evening, there was no sign of Reed at the Marriott Marquis here and no mention of him by McCain during his remarks. A campaign spokesperson confirmed that Reed would not be in attendance but declined to say whether the campaign had asked him to keep his distance.

Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said:

Faced with the embarrassing prospect of holding a fundraiser with one of Jack Abramoff's closest associates, the McCain campaign scrambled today to scratch Ralph Reed from tonight's program, but voters deserve to know the answers to the real questions raised by Reed's involvement

If the McCain campaign won't return the money Reed has raised for them, then voters should rightly ask why it matters that Reed didn't show up at tonight's event. The real question isn't why Reed isn't showing up, but why a so-called reformer would invite him at all.

The fundraiser netted McCain $1.75 million - that's why.

That having been said, here's a New Obama ad about Senator McCain's ties to Ralph Reed:

John McCain - a so-called reformer.

August 20, 2008

John McCain and The Draft

I can't be misreading this one, can I?

John McCain does say that he "doesn't disagree" when a questioner suggests that the draft be reinstated, doesn't he?

Via Think Progress, here's the transcript.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Senator McCain I truly hope you get the opportunity to chase Bin Laden right to the gates of hell and push him in as you stated on your forum. I do have a question though. Disable veterans, especially in this state have horrible conditions, their medical is substandard. They drive four hours one way to Albuquerque for a simple doctors appointment which is often canceled. Our VA hospital is dirty it is understaffed, it is running on maximum overload. The prescription medicines are ten years behind standard medical care we have seven hundred claims stacked up at the VA office in Albuquerque some of them are ten and seven years old waiting to be processed in the mean time these people are homeless. My son is an officer in the Air Force, and I am a vet and I was raised in a military family. I think it is a sad state of affairs when we have illegal aliens having a Medicaid card that can access specialist top physicians, the best of medical and our vets can’t even get to a doctor. These are the people that we tied yellow ribbons for and Bush patted on the back. If we don’t reenact the draft I don’t think we will have anyone to chase Bin Laden to the gates of hell.

MCCAIN: Ma’am let me say that I don’t disagree with anything you said and thank you and I am grateful for your support of all of our veterans. [emphasis added]

Let's go to the videotape:

Rush Hearts Lil Ricky

Frum Rush Limbaugh's website:

How about somebody like Rick Santorum as veep? How about some conservative who could be counted on across the board to help lead the country in the right direction and rebuild the Republican Party? Lieberman can't do that.

Perhaps someone should remind our friend the Oxycotin addict how badly Lil Ricky lost. In a state that Senator Kerry won by only 3%, Lil Ricky lost by a whopping 18%.


You have to go back to George McGovern's loss in 1980 to see worse numbers. And McGovern had that whole Reagan "revolution" to deal with.

Wow Rush is sure smart!

Oh my!

Looks like when I posted this back in July, I may have been on to something.

The AP gets one right

A major Associated Press dispatch on possible veep picks which was published overnight Monday contained this paragraph mentioning Joe Lieberman:

Catch the unintended truth typo?

How about now?

According to Editor & Publisher it was "still up at such sites as the Houston Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cleveland's Plain Dealer and many more" as of Tuesday morning.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy!


August 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC

The New York Times has the story:
Just in time for the closing rush of the presidential election, MSNBC is shaking up its prime-time programming lineup, removing the long-time host –- and one-time general manager of the network — Dan Abrams from his 9 p.m. program and replacing him with Rachel Maddow, who has emerged as a favored political commentator for the all-news cable channel.
Maddow comments:
“This is great; getting a regular cable show is something I’ve wanted,” Ms. Maddow said. She acknowledged that the intensity of the presidential race meant that will remain the focus through the election and probably for the first 100 days of a new administration.
What? You say you have no idea who she is?


Keith Olbermann on Senator McCain

In case you missed it.

The transcript.

Lynn Cullen Update

The P-G has some more information:
Cullen's show is going off the air because the 5,000-watt station is switching in September to a financial advice format, said Alan Serena, vice president and marketing manager for the station's owner, Renda Broadcasting.
And a few points worth making. The first about the station:
Serena said he wasn't ready yet to announce the specific lineup of the new format but said it will involve changing the station's call letters to WMMY-AM and will include a mixture of local and syndicated financial advice and call-in programs.
And the second about Lynn's show itself:

She said she had been told that she had the only program on WPTT that was bringing in significant ad revenue, much of it from such bedrock sponsors as Little's Shoes and Castle Windows. "The station is on for 24 hours, but my three hours were the only revenue-producing hours," she said.

Serena acknowledged her drawing power and said that when the station dropped talk-show host Doug Hoerth in December, it was partly because it hoped to cut costs enough to allow Cullen's program to survive.

That I didn't know. They booted Uncle Dougie (partly) for Lynn's show to survive?

I do want to echo what Maria wrote:
We thank her for the opportunities that she gave us.
Thanks, Lynn.

No left on the dial

I know that David already blogged on the elimination of Lynn Cullen's radio show, but I felt compelled to blog on this too because:

1) I'm a fan! I've been listening to her on and off (job permitting) since I moved back to Pittsburgh ten years ago and I've been live streaming her show for the past couple of months at my new job. I get to work at 8:00, and let me tell you, I really looked forward to 9:00 rolling around.

I agree wholeheartedly with John McIntire when he wrote "I always enjoyed Lynn most when she got pissed. Her outraged spontaneous ranting is inspired."

The recent program she did after reading Vincent Bugliosi's new book The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder was one such show. God, I loved it when she was firing on all cylinders! (Too bad the often quirky stream wasn't working the day she interviewed him.)

Lynn Cullen
2) Lynn and her producer Matt were real friends of this blog. David was invited to substitute host for Lynn numerous times and I even hosted once last fall (absolutely terrifying being responsible for filling up three hours).

We thank her for the opportunities that she gave us.

3) Damn it! We're losing "The Lone Liberal" local voice in the midst of a presidential election! No McIntire, no Cullen -- this sucks! And, didn't McIntire lose his TV show right before election season four years ago? Forgive a girl for feeling like there's a conspiracy (yeah, yeah, I know that radio stations change formats all the time).

4) I also must note that we're losing a unique female voice in an industry dominated by men.


"They say you better listen to the voice of reason.
But they don't give you any choice
'cause they think that it's treason . . .
And the radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools
tryin' to anaesthetize the way that you feel."


August 18, 2008

More On McCain Lies

Hat Tip to Crooks and Liars.

Seems that Mr Straight Talk Express offered up a little white lie this past weekend regarding the so called "cone of silence."

For those who don't know the story, Andrea Mitchell had this to say on Meet The Press regarding the previous night's appearances of Senators Obama and McCain:
The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that--what they're putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.

There are a number of issues playing out here and can be summed up with these (what some philosophers might call) statements of fact. They are either true or false:

  • Mitchell said the Obama folks were speculating that McCain might not have been in the cone of silence
  • McCain was in the cone of silence
  • Whether being out of the cone gave him any sort of advantage

The first one is relatively insignificant as it hinges on whether the Obama folks were speculating or not. If they were, that statement is simply true. It's the second one that's at issue here.

At the appearance, McCain seemed to imply that he WAS in the cone of silence:

Warren: Now my first question was the cone of silence comfortable that you were in just now?

McCain: I was trying to hear through the wall.

McCain's joke actually covered up his lie - he wasn't in the "cone of silence." He was actually in his motorcade on the way to the appearance and then in the green room waiting to go on. The New York Times backs up Andrea Mitchell here:

Senator John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” on Saturday night while his rival, Senator Barack Obama, was being interviewed at the Saddleback Church in California.

Members of the McCain campaign staff, who flew here Sunday from California, said Mr. McCain was in his motorcade on the way to the church as Mr. Obama was being interviewed by the Rev. Rick Warren, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose Driven Life.”

Whether that gave him any sort of advantage is a completely separate issue and it doesn't erase the fact that McCain LIED to a national audience. To a pastor.

A truthful answer would have been, "Actually I was in the motorcade on the way here and then in the green room..." Anything else is a lie of omission.

Indeed this part's been confirmed by the McCain camp. In his protest letter to NBC, McCain Campaign Manager Rick Davis wrote:

The fact is that during Senator Obama's segment at Saddleback last night, Senator McCain was in a motorcade to the event and then held in a green room with no broadcast feed.

Note that he did NOT say that McCain was completely cut off from the segment. Was he or wasn't he? Did he receive any communication that would have aided him that evening?

Until we have proof otherwise we have to at least speculate that he had. I mean, the whole purpose of the "cone of silence" was to make sure everyone had proof that there'd be no contact and no advantage. Without the cone no one can be sure. And that's the point.

In any event, McCain LIED to a pastor. On television. And this is trustworthy?

Lynn Cullen

An astute reader sent me this link a few minutes ago.

From the P-G:

As of Aug. 30, longtime radio talk show host Lynn Cullen will no longer be on the radio.

WPTT-AM (1360) is switching to a new format and will be eliminating Ms. Cullen's show, which airs from 9 a.m. to noon.

Ms. Cullen confirmed today that her last day would be Aug. 29.

While she will be taking a previously scheduled vacation this week, Ms. Cullen said she plans to be on the air for her final four days, Aug.26-29.

"You don't just create an audience in this business, you create a kind of community," said Ms. Cullen, known as one of Pittsburgh's few liberal broadcast personalities, "and I need to be able to talk to this community about this and to try to assuage what I suspect will be frustration and anger at losing a voice that they felt spoke for them."

I wonder what the "new format" is going to be.

UPDATE: Johnny Mac's got some more info:

Now comes word that a classic, classy liberal talk show host, and a good friend of MacYapper's, will soon be off the air, apparently for good.

WPTT will soon flip its format to all Business Talk. Hosts will be local in the afternoon and syndicated the rest of the time. This project is being put together by local successful businessman Ron Morris who hosts the WPTT weekend show American Entrepreneur.

He will have local afternoon business hosts including the likes of former County Executive Jim Roddey, former GOP mayoral candidate Mark DeSantis, and Morris himself.

There's more, but you'll have to go to the maycapper blog to get it.

Jack Kelly Sunday

It's been a few weeks. I've been busy these past few Sundays so sue me.

In this week's column, Jack Kelly points his focus at Georgia - the country, not the state - and the outcome is unsurprising. He praises John McCain, attacks Barack Obama and blames 9/11 on the Clinton administration (in a round about way).

After taking a swipe at the silence on the left of the "now that we have a genuine war of aggression" in Georgia (gee, isn't the Iraq war a "genuine war of aggression" too? - perhaps that's why the left is silent, it's focussed on our genuine war of aggression, not some other guy's. But I digress), Jack quotes a recent Washington Post editorial:
You might think, at a moment such as this, that the moral calculus would be pretty well understood, Russian troops are occupying large swaths of Georgia, a tiny neighboring country, and sacking its military bases. Russian jets have roamed the Georgian skies, bombing civilian and military targets alike. Russian ships are said to be controlling Georgia's port of Poti, while militia under Russia's control reportedly massacre Georgian civilians. Yet in Washington, the foreign policy sophisticates cluck and murmur that, after all, the Georgians should have known better than to chart an independent course.

He follows that paragraph is this slap at the left:

It is scandalous to liberals that terrorists at Gitmo don't have easy access to lawyers, but most don't care how many Georgians the Russians kill.

So you'd think the "foreign policy sophisticates" mentioned were left-leaning "foreign policy sophisticates, right?

I'd like you to take a look at the text immediately following the text quoted by my friend Jack:

"...Georgians should have known better than to chart an independent course -- and what was the Bush administration thinking when it encouraged them in their dangerous delusions?
By the way, please note how Jack Kelly frames the issue of Guantanamo Bay: Liberals are scandalized that terrorists don't have easy access to lawyers. Not detainees but terrorists. He's already determined that all those held at Gitmo are terrorists. But is that true? Is everyone held at Guantanamo Bay a terrorist?

Uh, no. According to Amnesty International:

Approximately 775 detainees have been held in Guantánamo since January 2002. As of late November 2006, some 345 had been released or transferred to around 26 different countries. The vast majority were never charged and are now at liberty.
So "a vast majority" were released without charge. Is Jack Kelly going to continue his rhetorical flourish and conclude that the Bush Administration released some of the terrorists?

No, I don't think so. Because not everyone there is a terrorist. But to admit that is to admit the US broke international law.

In fact, according to this report from Professor Denbaux of Seton Hall university, as of two years ago, a full 55% of those detained at Guantano Bay were "not determined to have committed any hostile acts against the United States or its coalition allies."

That's the scandal, Jack. The USA, that shining city on a hill, has been detaining hundreds and denying them full access to legal representation even though they've already determined not to have committed any hostile acts against us or our friends. That's the scandal and it's shameful.

But let's move on.

Jack mentions (though not quotes) progressive writer Robert Scheer:
Columnist Robert Scheer speculated Wednesday that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili deliberately provoked the invasion to give John McCain a boost in our presidential election.
Here's the column. To read Jack, you'd think that all Scheer did was to propose the speculation with no supporting evidence. He doesn't. It's interesting to point out exactly what Jack leaves out of this reference that isn't a quotation. Scheer certainly asked the question whether Saakashvili provoked the invasion and then answers:
Before you dismiss that possibility, consider the role of one Randy Scheunemann, for four years a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government who ended his official lobbying connection only in March, months after he became Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser.
A paragraph later:
There are telltale signs that he played a similar role in the recent Georgia flare-up. How else to explain the folly of his close friend and former employer, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in ordering an invasion of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, an invasion that clearly was expected to produce a Russian counterreaction? It is inconceivable that Saakashvili would have triggered this dangerous escalation without some assurance from influential Americans he trusted, like Scheunemann, that the United States would have his back. Scheunemann long guided McCain in these matters, even before he was officially running foreign policy for McCain’s presidential campaign.
Interesting what Jack leaves out, isn't it?

But here's something he inserts. He follows his reference to Scheer with this:

Mr. Scheer is a moonbat. But his charge was echoed by Susan Rice, a foreign policy adviser to Sen. Barack Obama (and the woman who advised President Clinton not to intervene to stop the genocide in Rwanda).

"Barack Obama, the administration indeed and all of our NATO allies took a measured and reasoned approach because we were dealing with the facts as we knew them," Ms. Rice said on MSNBC's "Hardball" program Tuesday. "John McCain shot from the hip, very aggressive, very belligerent statement. He may or may not have complicated the situation."

Ms. Rice was trying to explain away Sen. Obama's initially tepid response to the Russian invasion, in which he expressed a moral equivalence between the aggressor and his victim. Mr. Obama's stance has since evolved into what might be termed "McCain lite."

Here's the transcript. Can someone show me in that interview where exactly she "echoes" Scheer's speculation? In fact, while Jack wrote that she was "trying to explain away" Obama's response, actually she was answering guest host David Schuster who asked to comment about this reponse from McCain:

My friends, today, the killing goes on, and the aggression goes on.

Yet, I know, from speaking this morning to the president of Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili, who I have known for many years, that he knows that the thoughts and the prayers and support of the American people are with that brave little nation.

I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him, today, we are all Georgians.

I'll ask again. Can someone please read through the transcript and tell me WHERE Susan Rice has "echoed" Robert Scheer?

If not, then Jack Kelly's just making stuff up.

I think I'll end it there.

August 17, 2008

We're 2 Political Junkies and we approve this ad!


Just in case you were wondering...

Last night at the presidential candidate forum at Saddleback Church, Republican presidential nominee John McCain made it clear where he standa on choice -- firmly against it:

But it isn't just abortion that he's against. Here's his record on preventing unwanted pregnancies:
McCain's Record on Voting on Preventing Unintended Pregnancy

  • Voted to terminate the Title X family planning-program, which provides millions of women with health-care services ranging from birth control to breast cancer screenings.46

  • Voted against funding teen-pregnancy-prevention programs and ensuring that "abstinence-only" programs are medically accurate.47

  • Voted for the domestic gag rule, which would have prohibited federally funded family-planning clinics from providing women with access to full information about their reproductive-health options.48

  • Voted to uphold the global gag rule, a policy that bans overseas health clinics from receiving U.S. family-planning aid if they use their own funds to provide legal abortion services, give referrals, or even take a public pro-choice position.49

  • Voted to de-fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), an organization that provides family-planning services -- not abortion -- for the world's poorest women.50

  • Voted to earmark one-third of all HIV/AIDS prevention funds for ineffective, unproven, and dangerous "abstinence-unless-married" programs.51

  • Voted to take $75 million from the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to establish a new "abstinence-only" program that censors information about birth control.52

  • Voted to impose a federal parental-consent law on teens seeking birth control.53

  • Declined to help reduce the need for abortion and improve maternal health by opposing effort to require insurance coverage for prescription birth control, improve access to emergency contraception, and provide more women with prenatal health care.54

  • Voted against legislation that would have prevented unintended pregnancy by investing in insurance coverage for prescription birth control, promoting family planning services, implementing teen-pregnancy-prevention programs, and developing programs to increase awareness about emergency contraception.55
  • What a maverick!

    Say it with me: Rethuglicans aren't "pro life" they are
    pro forced birth.

    46 Weicker motion to table Helms amendment to FY'89 Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill, H.R.4783, 7/25/88; motion to invoke cloture on Family Planning Amendments Act, S.110, 9/26/90.
    47 Lautenberg/Menendez amendment to Child Custody Protection Act, S.403, 7/25/06.
    48 Durenberger amendment to Family Planning Amendments Act, S.323, 7/16/91; FY'92 Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill, H.R.2707, 11/7/91; vote to override veto of Family Planning Amendments Act, S.323, 10/1/92.
    49 Dole motion to table Wirth amendment to FY'91 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.5114, 10/19/90; Leahy motion to strike House language in FY'96 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.1868, 11/1/95; Hatfield motion to table House language in FY'96 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.1868, 11/15/95; FY'99 Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act, H.R.1757, 4/28/98; Lugar motion to table Boxer amendment to FY'04-05 Foreign Relations authorization bill, S.925, 7/9/03; Boxer amendment to FY06-07 Foreign Relations authorization bill, S.600, 4/5/05.
    50 Mikulski motion to table Kasten amendment to FY'90 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.2939, 9/20/89; Leahy motion to disagree with House amendment to FY'90 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.2939, 11/15/89; Helms amendment to FY'96 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.1868, 9/21/95; FY'99 Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act, H.R.1757, 4/28/98; Lugar motion to table Boxer amendment to FY'04-05
    Foreign Relations authorization bill, S.925, 7/9/03; Boxer amendment to FY'06-07 Foreign Relations authorization bill, S.600, 4/5/05.
    51 Feinstein amendment to United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act, H.R.1298, 5/15/03; Feinstein amendment to FY'04 Foreign Operations appropriations bill, H.R.2800, 10/30/03.
    52 Domenici motion to waive Budget Act with respect to Exon point of order in FY'97 budget reconciliation, S.1956, 7/23/96.
    53 Waxman motion to suspend rules and pass Family Planning Programs authorization bill, H.R.2369, 6/18/85; Chiles motion to table Helms amendment to FY'89 Labor, HHS, and Education appropriations bill, H.R.4783, 7/25/88.
    54 Murray motion to waive Budget Act to allow vote on Murray/Reid prevention-package-amendment to "Partial Birth" Abortion Ban Act, S.3, 3/11/03.
    55 Clinton/Reid amendment to FY'06 Budget Resolution, S.Con.Res.18, 3/17/05.