Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last night I saw JFK.

One of the few advantages of being a 61 year old lifetime political junkey is what I experienced last night: I saw the next generation's JFK.

OK, I was for Hillary. And I never saw this in Obama when he and she were debating their own differences -- which were a lot like the differences between Advil and Nupren. And I am still fearful that our racist society may simply be too racist.

But, last night I saw the intelligence, the grace, the toughness that I first saw on a black and white TV on the same date forty-eight years earlier. Last night, I understood why Ted Kennedy did what he did -- not because of some dislike for the Clintons, but because he saw then what I did not see until last night: The man who should be President. Perhaps our chance to redeem this Republic for our children. To give them back a country to be proud of.

The pundits may be spinning the debate as "close". I did not see it that way. When he pointed at McCain and gave the litany of McCain's wrong decisions on Iraq, no one could think he was not able to confront Putin or anyone else for this country.

And, for a while, he made me a 13 year old boy again -- ready to forgive, ready to believe, ready to hope -- ready for a New Frontier for this Century!

Last night I saw JFK.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Brief summery of W's speech:

"My fellow citizens:

"Okey, you caught us trying to make off with $700 billion in the next 4 months. Dick thought it was worth a try. But seriously we probably do need to do something to fix the mess.

"Of course, it is not the fault of the greedy CEOs and their minions in my administration. It's all the fault of you guys for wanting a nice home to live in or a decent car to drive or money to send your kids to school. How could you expect the lenders to insist you be able to afford the loan. What are they, your mother?

"After all, you should have known that under my administration gas prices were going to double and real wages were going to shrink. And yet, twice, enough of you voted for me to put the election within stealing distance. So I stole it. Can't blame a guy for that.

"So, maybe it is doubly your fault. Get it? "'Dubbya' yer fault? Sorta like a pun?"

"Oh, and be sure to vote for John McCain -- 'cause if he gets to the White House maybe you can live in one of his houses when yours get forclosed on.

"And God bless America -- or is that God help us? Whatever. I'm a short-timer."

Brief summery of W's speech:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Daily KO's Knock One Out

This is a great insider story on Palin. Too bad she isn't taking questions from the media. The third star isn't recognized outside the state - EXCEPT FOR RETIREMENT PAY!!

A Sneak Peek at Palin as C-in-C.
by Kagro X
Tue Sep 09, 2008 at 11:30:54 AM PDT
Honoring military service by trading promotions for political favors, eh?

The Republican way.

VoteVets' Brandon Friedman has the story:

Sunday 31 August 2008: Major General Craig Campbell, Adjutant General of the Alaska National Guard, tells the AP that:

he and Palin play no role in national defense activities, even when they involve the Alaska National Guard. The entire operation is under federal control, and the governor is not briefed on situations.

The quote is used against Palin throughout the media for several days.
Then Brandon points out that three days later, General Campbell says it again, in the Boston Globe:

[T]he Alaskan governor is not in the site's chain of command and has no authority over its operations, according to Maj. Gen. Craig E. Campbell, the adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard who commands the roughly 3,800 state militia members.

But then...

Friday 5 September 2008: Only two days later, Campbell's story has completely fip-flopped. Now he's suddenly praising Palin, appearing on Fox News to gush about what a superb commander-in-chief she is:

"I'll tell you, in the last few days, I've been watching the press, and I've not been very pleased with what I've been seeing about the chastising of the National Guard by having it diminished by the insinuation that a commander-in-chief of the National Guard doesn't really control the military. The National Guard has 500,000 people in it around this great country, serving in states and overseas. National Guards are state military forces run by governors, and Sarah Palin does it great."

Result? Cha-ching!

Monday 8 September: After the weekend--and after his complimentary remarks--Major General Campbell is promoted within the Alaska National Guard to the rank of Lieutenant General. The promotion is not recognized outside the state of Alaska, but he is promoted with his third star, nonetheless.
Sign on the dotted line and get a promotion, General. Hell, you had no choice. You know she'd fire you if you didn't.

(Note: Brandon's up with this news as a top recommended diary right here at Daily Kos now, too.)


the Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance

As we approach the election -- here in the Democratic heart of a swing-state -- look for the Repubs in KC and St.Louis to hold press conferences about "voter fraud", with all the implied threats meant to discourage minority voter turnout. That was the centerpiece of the US Atty firing scandals, remember.

As many of as as possible should join up for the Obama campaign's lawyer program to be available to help on election day, and we should be vocal against any attempt to suppress turnout. Every legitimate voter who is afraid he might be arrested if he tries to vote -- and who then does not vote, even though entitled -- is a victory for McSame.

No Questions, No Answers, No Substance - Day 2

Day 2 of still no accountability, no questions, no answers, no substance. Steve Kraske even wrote about it in the KC Star today.
Palin relied on a teleprompter Monday, and she faced renewed criticism over the weekend that she wasn’t ready for the job because she won’t subject herself to interviews with reporters. Several requests from The Star were rejected in connection with her visit Monday. Palin’s first national interview will be Thursday with ABC’s Charles Gibson in Alaska.

Let's see how the first one goes. Will Charlie Gibson take the gloves off and challenge her or was he selected to give her a lay up (or, kinda like shooting bears from a helicopter)? Why is it so important, ask Pat Buchanan.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Jon Stewart - put them side by side

No Questions, No Answers, No Substance - Day 1

Why won't the McSame campaign let Sarah Palin talk to reporters? We all know why - she doesn't know ANYTHING about running our country. She landed in KC on Sunday at 4:00, didn't have a rally until 10 on Monday, but was too busy to talk to reporters. Obama, McCain and Biden - all on the Sunday morning talk shows. No Sarah Palin. They are hiding her.

So, everyday we are going to keep track of the number of days until she sits down without a script and answers tough questions (like what does HUD stand for, what are the 3 branches of government, name the capital of Kentucky).

The watch is on!!

A non-partisan challenge to all Americans

A friend of mine sent out her first "forward it on" email. A call to inform ourselves? What's next vote with intelligence, not fear?

As I'm sure you're aware, the political climate in the United States is very charged right now. Americans today feel a resurgence of the political fire of old - passion and emotion often trumps logic and reasoned arguments.

As we enter into this presidential election season, I issue a challenge: VOTE, but do it right.

Do your homework - watch the debates, read what the candidates stand for, what they're saying, learn about who they are. (Use unbiased sources – we all know certain media outlets prefer certain candidates.) The biggest problem besides NOT voting is UNINFORMED voting.

"I vote Democrat because my parents have been Democrats since JFK, and they knew what was best for this country."

"I vote Republican because my dad and my grandpa voted Republican, and we have a strong Republican family tradition."

Notice a problem?

The world has CHANGED, politics have CHANGED, and the two parties have CHANGED in a big way, and they both say so. The Republican Party is not the same as it was during the Reagan era. The Democratic Party is not the same as it was even during the Clinton era. This is not the world in which our parents and grandparents grew up.

So know the candidates. Know the issues. Pray about it, if you believe. And please, PLEASE, DECIDE FOR YOURSELF who would lead this country best in this very different 21st Century world. Listen to your whole self - mind, heart, and gut. Make an informed decision. This is not a popularity contest; it's about real issues.

And then for your sake, your children's sake, and your grandchildren's sake: VOTE. This is too important.

We CAN change the world – let’s change it for the better.

Non-partisan election resources:,,

Non-partisan fact checking resource (we all get “the e-mails”):

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Quote of the Day

Sarah Palin mocked Barack Obama for leaving the comforts of a big firm and becoming a community organizer. "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ‘community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities."

Quote of the Day - "Or, you know, maybe someone needs to remind Sarah Palin that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor."

Bad Theology

Sarah Palin says it is God's plan to go to war in Iraq. Let me summarize the entire Bible - love your neighbor ("red, yellow, black and white"). It is NOT God's plan to go to war. The Christian tradition says to also love your enemy - Matthew 5:43:

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[i] and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

By GENE JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."

Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."

A video of the speech was posted at the Wasilla Assembly of God's Web site before finding its way on to other sites on the Internet.

Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.

"I can do my job there in developing our natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded," she added. "But really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God."

Palin attended the evangelical church from the time she was a teenager until 2002, the church said in a statement posted on its Web site. She has continued to attend special conferences and meetings there. Religious conservatives have welcomed her selection as John McCain's running mate.

Rob Boston, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, lamented Palin's comments.

"I miss the days when pastors delivered sermons and politicians delivered political speeches," he said. "The United States is increasingly diverse religiously. The job of a president is to unify all those different people and bring them together around policy goals, not to act as a kind of national pastor and bring people to God."

The section of the church's Web site where videos of past sermons were posted was shut down Wednesday, and a message was posted saying that the site "was never intended to handle the traffic it has received in the last few days."

Messy Facts

Damn the truth, man the swiftboats!

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

Why Federal Judges Matter

The Republicans get it, the president appoints federal judges for a lifetime. 10 trillion in debt, who cares. Endless war, no biggie. No substantive law, all is forgiven.

Federal judges and the Supreme Court - Thanks, W!!

Karl Rove is Right

Rove is no idiot - he's responsible for the horrible public opinion about Bush and Republicans - but he's no idiot.

Rove is right - picking Palin is a brillant political move. Rove got Bush elected by dividing our nation with religion and guns. Palin is a member of the Assembly of God. The Assembly of God is a far right denomination headquartered in Springfield, Missouri (swing state) and has produced folks like John Ashcroft. The far religious right is a key to achieving Rove's dream of a permanent Republican majority. Palin is also a life-time NRA member and those fine folks need to be engaged to not have good government, but to have the Rove/Bush/McSame dream of a permanent Republican majority.

Let's be real honest - no NRA member lost a gun in the Clinton administration. A little more honesty - Bush and the Republicans controlled all three branches of the government and didn't pass a single bit of legislation on abortion. This isn't about Hillary voters, its only about firing up the base.

What the Republicans Say When The Mike is Off

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Not Even An American

Missouri Needs Nixon

Guess where this came from? No, not Nixon. No, not the Missouri Democratic Party. This was a solicitation for a donation from Operation Breakthrough. Operation Breakthrough provides a warm and safe place for kids to go during the day. They often feed them 2 out of the 3 meals a day. They don't talk politics, they talk about feeding hungry children. They talk about how much cheaper it is to take care of them now vs. taking care of them in jail. How we treat the poorest of our society is how our country should be judged.

"Are WE better off now than we were 4 years ago?"

Palin No Longer Unknown

Obama says the kids are off limits - as it should be.

Gov. Sarah Palin, however, is fair game. If the Republicans are going to ask Missouri swing voters to elect the oldest president ever, we should at least know who we are electing as VP.

Gov. Palin used to be a member of the Independence Party in Alaska, whose platform is:

It seeks "the complete repatriation of the public lands, held by the federal government, to the state and people of Alaska" and aims to be "self-sufficient" by using profits from Alaskan oil and gas resources. It claims that the vote held in 1958 which led to Alaska becoming the 49th state of the US was corrupt and did not offer a proper choice.

These guys even advocate to leave the union. Well, I think McSame's maverick image has shifted over to desperate. If we are seriously taking into consideration experience, I think swing voters will pick Obama/Biden.