Jul 312008
 

The desperation of the McCain campaign shone clearly today.

McCain Campaign Says Obama Is Playing the ‘Race Card’

Barack Obama and John McCain
Barack Obama and John McCain

RACINE, Wis. – Senator John McCain’s campaign accused Barack Obama of playing “the race card’’ on Thursday, citing his remarks that Republicans would try to scare voters by pointing out he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.’’

“Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck,’’ Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s campaign manager, said in a statement. “It’s divisive, negative, shameful and wrong.’’

Mr. Davis was alluding to comments that Mr. Obama made Wednesday in Missouri when he reacted to the increasingly negative tone, and negative ads that have been coming his way from the McCain campaign in recent days.

“So nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face, so what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me,’’ Mr. Obama said Wednesday in Springfield, Mo., in remarks that he echoed throughout the day. “You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other Presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky. That’s essentially the argument they’re making.’’

Rick Davis
Rick Davis

Mr. Obama has made similar statements about the lines of attack against him before, and was even more direct last month when he said: “We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?’’

The McCain campaign’s decision to make the charge now that Mr. Obama was playing the “race card” comes as it has adopted a far more aggressive, negative posture towards Mr. Obama in recent days, trying to tar him as arrogant, out of touch and unprepared for the presidency with a series of statements by Mr. McCain and a series of negative ads – some of which have been condemned as misleading.

Mr. McCain said Thursday that he agreed with Mr. Davis’s statement. “I agree with it, and I’m disappointed that Senator Obama would say the things he’s saying,” Mr. McCain said on his campaign bus here, according to The Associated Press.

Robert Gibbs, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, said: “This is a race about big challenges — a slumping economy, a broken foreign policy, and an energy crisis for everyone but the oil companies. Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they’re using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he’ll continue to talk about.”

By making the accusation that Mr. Obama was playing the “race card,’’ Mr. McCain’s campaign, of course, was itself explicitly injecting race into its campaign against the first black man ever to become a major party’s presidential nominee.

Watch this video in which NBC’s Andrea Mitchell clearly illustrates that Rick Davis is an idiot. Let me rephrase that… Rick Davis clearly illustrates that Rick Davis is an idiot.

If Johnny McCain had an ounce of integrity or intelligence Rick Davis would be looking for new employment tomorrow. This will surely go down as one of the poorest performances in the history of American presidential politics.

Added:

P.S. Where were Mr. Davis’ objections last month?

Greed taking over

 Posted by at 10:05  Politics, Republicans
Jul 312008
 

Here we have a huge oil company that makes the biggest profits of any corporation ever in the history of corporations, and its executives and shareholders are not satisfied. They want more. This is a company that lives off public lands (upon which Johnny McCain and the Republicans want to DRILL MORE! DRILL MORE!), is hugely subsidized by our tax dollars, got nothing more than a slap on the wrist for polluting the shorelines of our largest state and is gouging the American public to no end… and they want more. It’s the Republican way…

Exxon Mobil has biggest profit ever at $11.68B

HOUSTON (AP) – Exxon Mobil reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion Thursday, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results fell well short of Wall Street expectations and shares fell in premarket trading.

The world’s largest publicly traded oil company said net income for the April-June period came to $2.22 a share, up from $10.26 billion, or $1.83 a share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 40 percent to $138.1 billion from $98.4 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

Excluding an after-tax charge of $290 million related to an Exxon Valdez court settlement, earnings amounted to $11.97 billion, or $2.27 per share.

Analysts on average expected Exxon Mobil to earn $2.52 a share on revenue of $144 billion, according to a survey by Thomson Financial. The estimates typically exclude one-time items.

The record-setting results were largely expected, given that crude prices in the second quarter were nearly double what they were a year ago. Natural gas prices were significantly higher too.

But investors expected even bigger profits Thursday, especially after Europe’s Royal Dutch Shell reported a 33 percent jump in second-quarter earnings of $11.6 billion, which fell just shy of Exxon’s own record earnings from 2007.[..]

Exxon Mobil owns the record for at least the top six most-profitable quarters for a U.S. company, as well as the largest annual profit.

CNN did the math. Exxon Mobil’s profit was $1,485.55 a second. I sure am glad we’re giving them all those tax breaks, aren’t you?

bagley073008.jpg

Jul 302008
 

I am trying to not make a habit of showing you Johnny McCain’s television ads, but they are so ridiculous that I just cannot stop myself. I realize they should be paying me to post these things, but as long as they keep putting out ads that are so beneficial for the Obama campaign, I’ll gladly show them to you for free. (For the record, nobody has ever paid me anything to post something on this blog. Not one thin dime. Ever.)

Anyway… the theme of Johnny’s newest ad seems to be that Barack Obama cannot be President of the United States because, dang it, people like him…

As to the ad’s other allegations… that Sen. Obama opposes offshore drilling (big deal… so do I… so do, I believe, most people) and that he wants to raise taxes on electricity, we’ll let the Associated Press tackle those…

On substance, the ad leaves out key information.

Obama has opposed lifting a moratorium that blocks energy development in 80 percent of the country’s coastal waters. He proposes that oil companies be required to use existing drilling leases or pay a fee. McCain supported the moratorium in the past, but last month called for lifting it. Both Obama and McCain oppose oil drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The McCain campaign says the ad’s claim that Obama would raise taxes on electricity is based on an interview Obama gave the San Antonio Express-News in February. He was asked whether he would help finance education by taxing some new energy sources, such as wind.

“Well, that’s clean energy, and we want to drive down the cost of that, not raise it.” Obama replied. “We need to give them subsidies so they can start developing that. What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas.”

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said the reference to taxing “dirty energy” reflects Obama’s support for a cap-and-trade system to combat global warming, though Obama has never directly suggested such a plan would be a tax.

In fact, both McCain and Obama support the same kind of cap-and-trade curbs carbon-fuel emissions. Industries would be given emission targets; those who come in under their limit could sell their surplus polluting capacity to companies unable to meet their target. Critics claim that’s tantamount to a tax on coal-powered industries.

Obama also wants to end oil and gas industry tax breaks and proposes a windfall profits tax on the large oil companies.

Keep the ads coming, McCain people! I don’t know how much Johnny is paying you for these little treasures, but it surely is not enough.

Update: Perhaps they aren’t so stupid after all… “McCain’s Savvy Ad Strategy.” They’re just hoping that the American citizenry is stupid. Hey, it worked for George W. Bush.

Update #2: The Obama response ad:

Update #3: Via David Kiley of BusinessWeek

What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was…wait for it…using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that’s political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents—a lie.

Jul 302008
 

Everyone and their uncle has blogged about the front page article in The Washington Post this morning entitled “McCain Charge Against Obama Lacks Evidence.” If you haven’t read it yet, you should. It puts the lie to the whole story now being pushed by the McCain campaign about Senator Obama refusing to visit the wounded troops in Germany just because he couldn’t take a camera crew with him.

Note the smirk at the end of that piece. Johnny appears mighty pleased with himself as he accuses his political opponent of treason.

Now there is another editorial out this morning over which I am sure the McCainiacs are fuming. It comes from our friends at The New York Times. I love to quote from The New York Times because I know our friends on the right love it so. Here is their editorial this morning:

Low-Road Express

Karl Rove and John McCain
Karl Rove and John McCain

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House. Less than a month later, the results are on full display. The candidate who started out talking about high-minded, civil debate has wholeheartedly adopted Mr. Rove’s low-minded and uncivil playbook.

In recent weeks, Mr. McCain has been waving the flag of fear (Senator Barack Obama wants to “lose” in Iraq), and issuing attacks that are sophomoric (suggesting that Mr. Obama is a socialist) and false (the presumptive Democratic nominee turned his back on wounded soldiers).

Mr. McCain used to pride himself on being above this ugly brand of politics, which killed his own 2000 presidential bid. But he clearly tossed his inhibitions aside earlier this month when he put day-to-day management of his campaign in the hands of one acolyte of Mr. Rove and gave top positions to two others. The résumés of the new team’s members included stints in Mr. Bush’s White House and in his 2004 re-election campaign, one of the most negative and divisive in memory.

Almost immediately, the McCain campaign was using Mr. Rove’s well-honed tactics, starting with an attempt to widen this nation’s damaging ideological divide by painting Mr. Obama as a far-left kook. On July 18, Mr. McCain even suggested that Mr. Obama is a socialist to the left of the Senate’s only avowed socialist: Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Mr. Obama’s politics are hardly far-left, and anyone who has spent time in a socialist country knows how ridiculous that label is for any member of Congress. It would be bad enough if Mr. McCain honestly believed what he said, but we find that hard to imagine.

Mr. Obama has distorted Mr. McCain’s record at times, but Mr. McCain’s false charges have been more frequent: that Mr. Obama opposes “innovation” on energy policy; that he voted 94 times for “higher taxes”; and that Mr. Obama is personally responsible for rising gasoline prices.

And Mr. McCain has not stopped there. Taking a page straight from Mr. Bush and Mr. Rove, Mr. McCain has been trying to distract voters from his support for an unending war in Iraq by portraying Mr. Obama as unpatriotic and weak. This line of attack reached a crescendo last week when Mr. McCain fumed and fussed and went to places with European-sounding names while Mr. Obama traveled abroad.

Mr. McCain repeatedly said Mr. Obama “would rather lose a war to win a political campaign” and that he “does not understand” what is at stake in Iraq. He also accused Mr. Obama of canceling a visit to wounded American troops in a German military hospital because news cameras were not allowed. That’s a false account of what occurred — and Mr. McCain ignored Mr. Obama’s unheralded visit to a combat hospital in Baghdad.

Like Mr. Bush, Mr. McCain confuses opposition to an unnecessary war with a lack of spine and an unwillingness to use force when the nation is truly in danger.

Click on the headline to continue reading.

The righties will of course be dismissive of the editorial because, well, it comes from The New York Times. They do so at their own peril. (Cue the music…)

Culture of Corruption

 Posted by at 14:05  Politics, Republicans
Jul 292008
 

I’d say something about the Republican Culture of Corruption, but at this point it really would be kind of superfluous…

Alaska Senator Is Indicted on Corruption Charges

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)

WASHINGTON — Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, the longest-serving Republican senator in United States history and a figure of great influence in Washington as well as in his home state, has been indicted on federal corruption charges.

Mr. Stevens, 84, was indicted on seven counts of falsely reporting income. The charges are related to renovations on his home and to gifts he has received. They arise from an investigation that has been under way for more than a year, in connection with the senator’s relationship with a businessman who oversaw the home-remodeling project.

The indictment will surely reverberate through the November elections. Mr. Stevens, who has been in the Senate for 40 years, is up for re-election this year. Mark Begich, a popular Democratic mayor of Anchorage, hopes to supplant him.

The Justice Department scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon to announce the indictment.

Republicans on Capitol Hill were already jittery over a lobbying and influence-peddling scandal related to the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is now in prison. Mr. Stevens’s troubles are not linked to that affair. Instead, they stem from his ties to an oil executive whose company won millions of dollars in federal contracts with the help of Mr. Stevens, whose home in Alaska was almost doubled in size in the renovation project.

After all is said and done, it truly is sad to see a career end this way.

(I wonder how long it will be before Johnny McCain blames this on Barack Obama?)

Related posts: “Bridge to nowhere.” “King of Pork.”

Jul 282008
 

This story from The New York Daily News is actually kind of funny, but it’s not nearly as funny as the picture they chose to run with it. Note that the picture choice was theirs, not mine…

Injured vets pull Dick Cheney invitation over security demands

Vice President Cheney was told to get lost by Disabled American Veterans, which had invited him to its convention next month.
Vice President Cheney was told to get lost by Disabled American Veterans, which had invited him to its convention next month.

WASHINGTON – Vice President Cheney’s invitation to address wounded combat veterans next month has been yanked because the group felt his security demands were Draconian and unreasonable.

The veep had planned to speak to the Disabled American Veterans at 8:30 a.m. at its August convention in Las Vegas.

His staff insisted the sick vets be sequestered for two hours before Cheney’s arrival and couldn’t leave until he’d finished talking, officials confirmed.

“Word got back to us … that this would be a prerequisite,” said the veterans executive director, David Gorman, who noted the meeting hall doesn’t have any rest rooms. “We told them it just wasn’t acceptable.”[..]

Many of the vets are elderly and left pieces of themselves on foreign battlefields since World War II, and others were crippled by recent service in Iraq and Afghanistan. For health reasons, many can’t be stuck in a room for hours.

“It was a huge imposition on our delegates,” added David Autry, another Disabled American Veterans official.

Autry said vets would’ve had to get up “at Oh-dark-30 and try to get breakfast and showered and get their prosthetics on.”

Once inside, they “could not leave the meeting room, and the bathrooms are outside,” he said.

Way to support our veterans, Dick. Are the Disabled American Veterans really that much of a security risk? Doesn’t seem to me that they would be, but then Mr. Cheney is not really a very well-liked man so who knows? Someone may have come at him with a prosthetic leg or something.

Update: Does the picture in the above article remind you of anyone?

Johnny McCain
Johnny McCain

Party first

 Posted by at 15:09  Election 2008, Politics, Republicans
Jul 282008
 

With the Republican party in the United States, it has always been party first and country second. That is if country is lucky enough to even come in second. Usually religion or Fox News and whatever else suits their needs at the moment will rank before country. This is why I shake my head incredulously each time I visit the McCain campaign website (which is rarely) and see this header at the top of the page:

header_0708.jpg

With Johnny McCain, the order is Johnny McCain first, then maybe his party, then somewhere way down the line will come country.

This article, published in today’s Washington Post, illustrates perfectly how today’s Republicans operate…

Justice Officials Repeatedly Broke Law on Hiring, Report Says

Former Justice Department counselor Monica M. Goodling and former chief of staff D. Kyle Sampson routinely broke the law by conducting political litmus tests on candidates for jobs as immigration judges and line prosecutors, according to an inspector general’s report released today.

Goodling passed over hundreds of qualified applicants and squashed the promotions of others after deeming candidates insufficiently loyal to the Republican party, said investigators, who interviewed 85 people and received information from 300 other job seekers at Justice. Sampson developed a system to screen immigration judge candidates based on improper political considerations and routinely took recommendations from the White House Office of Political Affairs and Presidential Personnel, the report said.

Goodling regularly asked candidates for career jobs: “What is it about George W. Bush that makes you want to serve him?” the report said. One former Justice Department official told investigators she had complained that Goodling was asking interviewees for their views on abortion, according to the report.

In on case, Goodling refused to extend the temporary assignment of a prosecutor because of her “perception of the (lawyer’s) sexual orientation,” according to the report.

Taking political or personal factors into account in employment decisions for career positions violates civil service laws and can run afoul of ethics rules. Investigators said today that both Goodling and Sampson had engaged in “misconduct.”

Our Republicans are a laugh a minute, aren’t they? Can January get here quickly enough?

Novak has brain tumor

 Posted by at 13:38  Politics, Republicans
Jul 282008
 

Robert Novak Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

Robert Novak
Robert Novak

Robert Novak, one of Washington’s best-known columnists for nearly half a century, announced today that he has a brain tumor.

Novak, 77, said the diagnosis was made yesterday and that he was admitted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where he will soon begin treatment. “I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period,” he said in a statement.

“He is talking,” Novak’s assistant, Amanda Carey, said today. “Everyone’s optimistic right now. He’s in good spirits.”

Novak became ill yesterday when he and his wife went to visit their daughter near Cape Cod.

Last week, while driving his black Corvette, Novak hit a homeless pedestrian at a downtown Washington intersection. He said he did not realize he had struck anyone until a passing bicyclist stopped him. The pedestrian sustained minor injuries and Novak received a $50 ticket.

The conservative commentator launched a syndicated column in 1963 with his longtime partner, Rowland Evans, and continued it after Evans retired from the column in 1993. Evans died in 2001. The column is carried by The Washington Post.

Novak was a CNN commentator and co-host of the program “Crossfire” for 25 years, but left the network three years ago after uttering a curse word and walking off the set. He is now an analyst for Fox News.

Our thoughts are with Mr. Novak and his family. We wish them well.

Jul 282008
 

Church Gunman Brought 76 Shells and Expected to Use Them

The gunman who yesterday shot up a Tennessee church that embraced gays and other liberal causes left behind a long letter fuming that he couldn’t find a job and expressing a profound “hatred for the liberal movement,” police said today.

Jim D. Adkisson, 58, ranted that “liberals and gays” taking jobs had prevented him from finding work. He wrote that he expected to keep shooting parishioners until the police showed up and killed him, Knoxville, Tenn., Police Chief Sterling Owen told a news conference.

Owen said police recovered 76 shotgun shells after Adkisson allegedly opened fired in the sanctuary of the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church. Three shells had been fired before church members tackled Adkisson, but two people were killed and five more wounded by the blasts before he was wrestled to the floor.

The angry gunman invaded the Knoxville church on Sunday and began blasting away as more than 200 parishioners were packed inside to watch a children’s performance of the musical “Annie.”[..]

Adkisson, an out-of-work mechanical engineer, left a four-page letter in his car in the church parking lot in which he railed against liberals and the fact that he had been unable to get a job since 2006. Owen said Adkisson was also angry that his food stamps were about to be reduced or eliminated.

“It appears what brought him to this horrible event was his lack of being able to obtain a job, frustration over that and his hatred for the liberal movement,” Owen said.

The chief later added, “He did express that frustration that the liberal movement was getting more jobs and he was being kept out of the loop because of his age” and because he wasn’t liberal.

“It appears he did choose that church intentionally,” Owen said, possibly after it had received some publicity for its advocacy of liberal causes. “We’re certainly investigating it as a hate crime.”

What more is there to say?

The police leading Jim D. Adkisson, 58, to a squad car on Sunday. Mr. Adkisson was charged with first-degree murder in the shootings at a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tenn.
The police leading Jim D. Adkisson, 58, to a squad car on Sunday. Mr. Adkisson was charged with first-degree murder in the shootings at a Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville, Tenn.

See also: “Bill O’Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity on accused shooter’s reading list.”