Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain: Republican Mav-Wreck

"What Senator McCain was able to do was to help bring all of the parties to the table, including the House Republicans, whose votes were needed to pass this."
-- Steve Schmidt, John McCain's chief strategist, yesterday.

Today: The Dow Jones industrials plunged 777 points today -- their largest point drop ever -- after the House rejected the financial bailout bill.

McCainomics: The Nut of the Problem

From the NYT's Paul Krugman:

The real revelation of the last few weeks, however, has been just how erratic Mr. McCain’s views on economics are. At any given moment, he seems to have very strong opinions — but a few days later, he goes off in a completely different direction.

Thus on Sept. 15 he declared — for at least the 18th time this year — that “the fundamentals of our economy are strong.” This was the day after Lehman failed and Merrill Lynch was taken over, and the financial crisis entered a new, even more dangerous stage.

But three days later he declared that America’s financial markets have become a “casino,” and said that he’d fire the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission — which, by the way, isn’t in the president’s power.

And then he found a new set of villains — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored lenders. (Despite some real scandals at Fannie and Freddie, they played little role in causing the crisis: most of the really bad lending came from private

loan originators.) And he moralistically accused other politicians, including Mr. Obama, of being under Fannie’s and Freddie’s financial influence; it turns out that a firm owned by his own campaign manager was being paid by Freddie until just last month.

Then Mr. Paulson released his plan, and Mr. McCain weighed vehemently into the debate. But he admitted, several days after the Paulson plan was released, that he hadn’t actually read the plan, which was only three pages long.
Just three pages.

Can America afford another incurious Republican president who won't address a single, short document concerning a grave threat facing our nation?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Economic Martial Law

"Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

S.L.A.M: Slave-Labor "Austin Mayor"

Due to growing IRL demands of employment and the grave responsiblity of saving the planet by getting Barack Obama elected president, I have slacked off on my blogging duties of late. But the time crunch of work and campaigning only increase between now and the election.

I still think that regular updating of this blog is important, however, so I have found what I believe to be a simple and elegant solution -- I will be outsourcing my blogging to a cut-rate, subcontractor in Mysore, India.

Slave-Labor "Austin Mayor" (SLAM) will be contractually obligated to provide the same high-level of quality content that you've come to expect from the So-Called "Austin Mayor" blog while limiting my personal responsibility and liability in these closing days of the campaign.

It's a win-win -- SLAM: First-Rate Blogging at Third-World Prices.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Palin: Ready On Day One Nine?

The news that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will finally give her first television interview since John McCain tapped her as his running mate over a week ago has prompted many to ask, "What questions would you ask Sarah Palin?"

I would ask Gov. Palin, "Exactly how will you work across party lines and with our global allies to address the growing MILF problem?"


I would then ask her if she knows that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front [MILF] is the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines and that members of the MILF help train Indonesians connected to Jema'ah Islamiah (JI), the group accused of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombing.

And that over 1,000 US troops are currently in the southern Philippines for military exercises.

Hey, just what did you think I was asking about?

UPDATE - I would also ask her if she knows that over
46,565 members belong to the I Have More Foreign Policy Experience than Sarah Palin group on Facebook.

A Math Question

When a Cubs fan becomes a TSA employee, do you calculate his jerk-ass factor by averaging the Cubs fan base score (8/10) and the TSA base score (9/10) for an 85% jerk-ass cumulative, do you use the highest score for 90% jerk-ass.

Or, as I suspect, does jerk-ass actually increase

All I know is that if this Rafael Rosario was also a blogger, he'd be off the charts.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sarah Palin: Not Ready for Prime Time Sunday Morning

From your Chicago Tribune's Mark Silva:
So, maybe putting Sarah Palin out there in public where she has to answer questions from a reporter, as opposed to running circles around a fast-reeling TelePrompTer, isn't in McCain's "best interests?''

Palin, conspicuous by her mere absence: This booking strategy may speak volumes about the McCain campaign's confidence in the governor from Alaska.
If Sarah Palin can't face George Stephanopoulos, how will she face down Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Four More Years Would Be a Drag

From Chris Matthews:
Did you ever see the movie Mrs. Doubtfire? Where the guy, Robin Williams, fails as a husband, and he comes back dressed as a housekeeper, and he gets a job so he can have responsibility for the kids again, having failed them as a dad and a father and as husband.

Is this what John McCain’s doing, and what the Republican’s party doing out there in St. Paul—coming back as Mrs. Doubtfire? ‘We’ve failed in our role for eight years We’ve got a new costume on, accept us and give us custody of the country again, ’cause we look a little different.’

It’s a Mrs. Doubtfire strategy!
Now that our American family is eight years older, let's Hope they will see through this clownish facade.

h/t to Hitsville for the video link and Mr. Wymann's transcription

"The Peasants Are Revolting"

Your Chicago Sun-Times asks the musical question, "Why is GOP sneering at Obama's work as community organizer?":

Republicans insist that people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. Communities should take care of their own and not depend on big government to do the job. And the folks who do make it should give back.

We agree wholeheartedly.

But on what is the job of community organizer premised, if not those very principles?

Community organizers come into poor neighborhoods and try to get people knocked down by life back up on their feet.

They tell them where to find jobs, where to send their kids for day care, where to get drug counseling.

They show residents how they can organize to protest poor housing conditions, low pay and other inner-city woes.

When the job is done right, a community organizer helps the most powerless among us gain some small sense of power over their lives.

And that, gentle reader, is why the GOP fears and loathes community organizing.

They see power as a zero sum game and know that when common folks gain power over themselves, their communities and their lives, a dangerous little crack forms in the ruling class's power monopoly.

That is what this election is all about.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Family Values

"Let me be as clear as possible. I think people's families are off-limits, and people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics." -- Barack Obama reacting to news that GOP running mate Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter is pregnant.

"Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno." -- John McCain, at a 1998 Republican Senate fund-raiser.

Sarah Palin: Video Blogger

Sarah Palin Vlogs! at Medium Large

"One Nation... Indivisible"

"If it was good enough for the founding fathers, its good enough for me"
-- Sarah Palin on the use of "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance

As your Sun-Times' Zay Smith reminds us, the Pledge was not written until 1892 and the words "under God" were only added in the 1950s.

But Palin's apparent gaff may not have been a mistake.

Consider the following:
  • Alaska became the 49th state of the U.S. on January 3, 1959, and
  • In addition to being a former beauty queen, Sarah Palin was also a member of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, and
  • Sarah Palin recorded a message welcoming the secessionists to their 2008 party convention, and
  • Joe Vogler, founder of the secessionist Alaska Independence Party, stated in the "Introduction" section of the party's official website, "I'm an Alaskan, not an American. I've got no use for America or her damned institutions," and
  • If we apply Occam's Razor and assume that Sarah Palin understood the words leaving her own mouth, then
  • The "Founding Fathers" of the 1950's to which Sarah Palin was referring were the founders of sovereign and independent nation of Alaska.
Either that or she's some kind of nit-wit.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Palin: America can't pull out of Iraq, but Alaska can pull out of America?

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same: that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. -- Vice Presidential Oath of Office

"The Constitution, in all its provisions, looks to an indestructible Union, co
mposed of indestructible States. *** There was no place for reconsideration, or revocation, except through revolution, or through consent of the States." -- State of Texas v. White, et al., 74 U.S. 700 (1869).

From Jack Tapper of ABC News:
Officials of the Alaskan Independence Party say that [John McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah] Palin was once so independent, she was once a member of their party, which, since the 1970s, has been pushing for a legal vote for Alaskans to decide whether or not residents of the 49th state can secede from the United States.

And while McCain's motto -- as seen in a new TV ad -- is "Country First," the AIP's motto is the exact opposite -- "Alaska First -- Alaska Always."

Lynette Clark, the chairman of the AIP, tells ABC News that Palin and her husband Todd were members in 1994, even attending the 1994 statewide convention in Wasilla. Clark was AIP secretary at the time.

"We are a state's rights party," says Clark, a self-employed goldminer. The AIP has "a plank that challenges the legality of the Alaskan statehood vote as illegal and in violation of United Nations charter and international law." ***

Clark says that Palin left the party and became a Republican in 1996, when she first ran for mayor of Wasilla. ***

Earlier this year, Palin sent a video message to the AIP for its annual convention, where AIP vice chair George Clark told the small crowd that Palin "was an AIP member before she got the job as a mayor of a small town –- that was a non-partisan job. But you get along to go along -– she eventually joined the Republican Party, where she had all kinds of problems with their ethics, and well, I won’t go into that."

Remember when we took for granted the GOP vice presidential candidates' unconditional support of our Union of the States.

Sarah Palin's "commitment" to Ted Stevens's Bridge to Nowhere

From the Washington Post:
Democrats accused Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Sunday of misrepresenting her role in scuttling a controversial bridge project to a remote island in southeast Alaska.

On Friday, the day she was introduced as Sen. John McCain's running mate, Palin touted her opposition to a bridge originally championed by Alaska's most prominent officials as an example of her fiscal conservatism and reformist credentials.

"I told Congress, 'Thanks but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere,' " Palin told a crowd in Dayton, Ohio.

But prominent Alaska Democrats said Palin supported the bridge while campaigning for governor ***

"She was the only candidate who was saying, 'We're going to build that bridge,' " said former governor Tony Knowles (D), who lost to Palin in the 2006 general election. "She's taking a position now which certainly wasn't what it was when she was campaigning."***

While campaigning in Ketchikan in September 2006, Palin indicated support for the bridge project, assuming there was no better alternative. "This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper," she told the local chamber of commerce, according to an account in the Ketchikan Daily News. ***

Palin's [ultimate] decision resulted in no savings for the federal government. The bridge money is being spent on other highway projects in Alaska.

Sarah Palin Was Original Director of Mentor Ted Stevens's 527 Group

From the Washington Post:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin began building clout in her state's political circles in part by serving as a director of an independent political group organized by the now embattled Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Palin's name is listed on 2003 incorporation papers of the "Ted Stevens Excellence in Public Service, Inc.," a 527 group that could raise unlimited funds from corporate donors. *** She served as one of three directors until June 2005, when her name was replaced on state filings. ***

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., has accused Stevens of concealing on financial disclosure statements lucrative gifts from the now-defunct oil company Veco and its top executives. At one point, Veco employees and contractors jacked up the senator's mountainside house on stilts and added a new first floor, with two bedrooms and a bathroom, the indictment says.

Stevens became the first sitting U.S. senator to face criminal charges in 15 years.
Stevens and Palin also filmed a campaign commercial together to highlight Stevens's endorsement of Palin during the 2006 race.

No word whether Palin thinks the internet is a truck or a series of tubes.

Juno, Alaska?

CNN: Teen daughter of GOP VP pick is pregnant:
Bristol Palin, the 17-year-old daughter of Sarah Palin, is pregnant and will keep the baby and marry the father, a senior aide to Sen. John McCain confirmed to CNN Tuesday. ***

The 17-year-old, a senior in high school, is about five months along, in her second trimester, according to the aide.
And now is a fine time to review a few highlights of John McCain's family planning voting record:
  • He voted against requiring health care plans to cover birth control (3/22/03).
  • He voted against comprehensive, medically accurate education (7/25/06).
  • He voted against international family planning funding (3/14/96).
  • He voted against funding to prevent teen and unintended pregnancies (3/17/05).
  • He voted against public education for emergency contraception (3/17/05).
  • And he voted against restoring Medicaid funding that could be used for family planning for low-income women (3/17/05).
We no longer have to wonder about the possible social outcomes of a McCain/Palin administration -- we can now see solid results of that unfortunate experiment.


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