Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Reaganesque


"The Bombing will begin in 5 minutes. Let me just finish ordering my Cinna-Stix!"





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Avoid The Snoid

Banned Book Week

My book isn't on the Banned Book List.I suppose the only reason it isn't on the list is because the book banners haven't read it, but if they did, I'm sure they would, what with all the weed, the "Fuck", and Central Scrotumizing that's in it, not to mention the politics.

I guess the closest I've come to the Banned Book List is being mentioned in the acknowlegments at the beginning of Leave Myself Behind, by my friend Bart Yates

Bart won an Alex Award for the book, his debut novel, from the American Library Association. Not too shabby! But , Oh Noes!, he writes about teenagers and Teh Gay, so some folks want to Ban This Book! This is the type of book the Sarah Palins of the world want to ban.It is smart, funny, sad, and honest. I highly recommend it. It's a page turner!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Too Clueless to be Vice-President

I attempted to give Sarah Palin's inteeligence the benefit of the doubt. No more.


The Palin aide, after first noting how "infuriating" it was for CBS to purportedly leak word about the gaffe, revealed that it came in response to a question about Supreme Court decisions.

After noting Roe vs. Wade, Palin was apparently unable to discuss any major court cases.


This woman could be a heart beat away from appointing Supreme Court justices.

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Live Afghan Whigs From 1991

Captain's Dead has mp3s the the Afghan Whigs at the Satyricon in Portland. The performance took place June 29, 1991. The sound quality is excellent and there is a rare live version of Conjure Me.

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Doug Tudor Press Release

Congressional candidate Doug Tudor sent out a press release attacking incumbant Adam Putnam.


“During my 20 years in the Navy, I learned what a conflict of interest is. Mr. Putnam’s receipt of monies from entities which his subcommittee is supposed to oversee is a blatant conflict of interest. Mr. Putnam apparently doesn’t understand the concept, or he is operating in direct violation of it,” Tudor said. He continued, “I call on Mr. Putnam today to take one of three actions: return the money, donate it to charity, or recuse himself from the upcoming bail-out vote. To do any less shows his utter contempt for the integrity we citizens expect of our lawmakers.”


Open Secrets has a complete break down of the industries contribing to Putnam's campaign.

Tudor has run a good netroots campaign and will be a stronger candidate next time he runs. Dictrict 12 is solidly red and Putnam is one of the most powerful Republicans in the House. A good showing by Tudor could lead to future Democratic establishment backing.

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Gotcha Pakistan Policy

Sarah Palin was questioned, by voter Michael Rovito, if U.S. troops should cross into Pakistan's border.


When asked by Rovito whether the U.S. should conduct cross-border raids into Pakistan fom Afghanistan, Palin responded, "If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should."


The answer is pretty cut and dried. John McCain and Sarah Palin sat down together in a joint interview with Katie Couric. Both candidates denied that Palin said what she said. Hilarity ensues.



Is this an SNL skit or actual interview? McCain is sitting with Palin to do a damage control interview. McCain uses the attack-the-journalist tactic George H.W. Bush used on Dan Rather.


John McCain: Of course not. But, look, I understand this day and age of "gotcha" journalism. Is that a pizza place? In a conversation with someone who you didn't hear … the question very well, you don't know the context of the conversation, grab a phrase. Gov. Palin and I agree that you don't announce that you're going to attack another country …

Couric: Are you sorry you said it?

McCain: … and the fact …

Couric: Governor?

McCain: Wait a minute. Before you say, "is she sorry she said it," this was a "gotcha" sound bite that, look …

Couric: It wasn't a "gotcha." She was talking to a voter.

McCain: No, she was in a conversation with a group of people and talking back and forth. And … I'll let Gov. Palin speak for herself.

Palin: Well, it … in fact, you're absolutely right on. In the context, this was a voter, a constituent, hollering out a question from across an area asking, "What are you gonna do about Pakistan? You better have an answer to Pakistan." I said we're gonna do what we have to do to protect the United States of America.


What McCain calls "gotcha journalism" is actually holding politicians accountable for their words. The Pakistan issue is serious and voters have a right to know if McCain and Palin agree. The quote above clearly shows Palin saying that it may be necessary to send troops over the Pakistan border. McCain and Palin are clearly lying about what was said. McCain's "gotcha journalism" comment will win applauds from partisan Republicans that care nothing about holding politicians accountable. Except when it serves their party's purpose.

McCain's policy on Pakistan makes no sense. Pakistan is moving away from the United States and has never shown the desire to go into the mountain regions (which the Pakistan government has no authority) and hunt Taliban and al-Qaeda forces. The Pakistani government would rather ignore extremists than angers citizens xenophobic of Western presence. The Pakistan government will take U.S. money. But will not lift a finger to fight terrorism.

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Chris Rock on Larry King



Chris Rock provides hysterical commentary on Bill Clinton and Sarah Palin.

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The Transitive Property of Sarah Palin





For months, Jon Swift's Blog would have the little "NEW!" next to it on my blogroll, but when you clicked on it, it was still the same post from when Novak ran down the Obama supporter with his car. But he has returned for real this time!

The "John McCain: Apocalypse Now Redux" T-Shirt can be purchased at The Zencomix Online Market.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

John Kerry On Fox News Sunday



John Kerry sums up the disaster that was John McCain's past week.


Barack Obama was in constant touch with Secretary Paulson almost every single day, sometimes several times a day for the last two weeks. Barack Obama was the first person to speak and lay out at that meeting at the White House for about seven or eight minutes the entire parameters of what we had resolved. John McCain, when offered the opportunity to speak, passed, didn’t speak until the very end, and when he spoke, did not offer a solution and did not say what he would support. The fact is that on a Monday of about a week ago, John McCain said the fundamentals of our economy are strong. Within a few days, John McCain was suspending his campaign because of the greatest crisis since World War II. He suspended his campaign and it took him 22 hours to get from New York to Washington, a one-hour flight, had time to go do Katie Couric in an interview, had time to give a speech to the Clinton millennium, and when he got here, he wound up — I mean, he said he was going to interrupt his campaign to come down and save the negotiations. Most people believe what he did was interrupt the negotiations to come down and save his campaign.

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That Dog Won't Hunt

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain Campaign Rally From Hell



John McCain held a campaign rally at the GM plant in Michigan. The assembly line workers chanted "Obama," as McCain left the building.

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John McCain was going to fly over the cuckoo's nest, but he crashed his plane along the way





Gordon Gecko Running McCain's Blue Ribbon Wall Street Commission.


The "John McCain: Apocalypse Now Redux" T-Shirt can be purchased at The Zencomix Online Market.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The Maverick of Makeup

John McCain hired American Idol makeup artist Tifanie White According to the Federal Election Commission, White has been paid $5,583.43 to make McCain look old. Mission accomplished

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Fantasy-Based Blogging From the Left

Kenneth Quinnell is starting to write like a lefty version of Power Line's John Hinderaker. Quinnell titled a post "Bilirakis in Trouble."


A recent poll by Momentum Analysis has Gus Bilirakis in trouble in his re-election bid in FL-9. Gus only hits 45% in the poll. Newcomer Democratic challenger Bill Mitchell currently sits at 22%, but as the campaign moves forward and his name recognition increases, he’s likely to take a large chunk of the 34% undecided vote. Undecided voters tend to break for the challenger, particularly in a Democratic year such as 2008. Additionally, the undecided voters lean Democratic, 46%-37%.

Polling in the District on generic terms gives a 47%-38% Republican advantage with 15% undecided at this point, meaning Mitchell has a legitimate shot at making a move here if he has a strong campaign. Bilirakis is unpopular and polls lower than a generic Republican, meaning once people learn his name, they are less likely to vote for him. On top of that, he has little record to run on and is an inept campaigner. This race could well be in play.


Quinnell provided no link to the Momentum Analysis article. I have no idea if Quinnell was smoking crack or the data is real. Not that the data is convincing.

45 percent is actually a good number for a Congressional candidate. Another factor is this is the most red district in Florida. District 9 was created in 1982. Gus's father Michael won the seat. District 9 has never been held by a Democrat or someone that didn't have the last name Bilirakis. Phyllis Busansky had DCCC backing and name-recognition. Busansky lost over ten percent of the popular vote.

Bill Mitchell has never held public office and is an unknown. Mitchell ran in 2006 and lost in the Democratic primary. Quinnell cites the "47%-38% Republican advantage." That is a horrible disadvantage to an unknown running against an incumbant.

Bilirakis has raised $1,116,377. Mitchell raised a feeble $81,079 and spent $85,279. Michell has received no PAC money. That means the DCCC came to the conclusion the seat is not in play.

Quinnell claims Bilirakis is in trouble. Even though the Bilirakis family name has carried the district. Bilirakis has NRCC backing and is the superior fundraiser. Mitchell doesn't have the money for mailing or a campaign staff. Somehow Mitchell is going to triumph. This is bullshit and Quinnell knows it.

There is a difference between cheerleading and propaganda. I am not going to start writing delusional posts. That hurts the credibility of this blog and does nothing for the progressive movement. Writing fantasy-based posts about Bilirakis losing his seat doesn't make it so.

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McCain & Palin CBS Disaster

John McCain foolishly blew off David Letterman. McCain suspended his campaign. The problem was he was still campaigning. The Maverick did an interview with CBS News' Katie Couric. Pissing off a late nite talk show host with a huge audience is staggeringly stupid. Only an idiot would do another interview with the same network, at the time of the cancelled interview and not expect Letterman to find out.



Letterman brought Keith Olbermann on to fill McCain's place. The undecided voters tuned in to watch McCain got a noted lefty pundit. The biggest asset to Barack Obama's campaign is McCain's blunders.



McCain personally called Letterman and told him he was racing to the airport. Letterman showed a live feed of McCain being interviewed by Katie Couric.



Obama made a bipartisan effort with John McCain to make a joint statement. McCain responded by rushing out and announcing suspending the campaign. McCain did the Katie Couric interview after the announcement. Campaign offices are still open. The bailout deal was already announced when McCain returned to Washington.


Sen. John McCain returned to Washington on Thursday after declaring that he has suspended his campaign, but he appeared largely detached from the flurry of negotiations on a $700 billion economic rescue package that appeared to be headed to a successful conclusion.

McCain's "Straight Talk Air" landed at National Airport just after noon, and McCain's motorcade sped toward the Senate. But by then, senior Democrats and Republicans were already announcing that a deal in principle had been reached.



Watch CBS Videos Online

McCain had to spin Governor Sarah Palin comparing the mortgage bailout to the depression.

Couric: “But isn't much of this, Senator McCain about consumer confidence?”

McCain: “Sure.”

Couric: “And using rhetoric like the Great Depression, is that the kind of language Americans need to hear right now?”

McCain: “Well, listen, I've heard language from respected people who are staring at the abyss. I've, I've heard all kinds of, of things from people. I don't think we need to scare people. …”


This campaign has officially gone off the rails. McCain used to handle the media with ease. McCain listened to anti-media former Bush campaign advisors. Millions of voters get their news from television. McCain and Palin are projecting a lack of confidence. The GOP candidates are too guarded and revert back to talking points.





Palin was asked about a bailout for the mortgage lending industry. The Governor rambles on about job creation and free trade. The bailout is to stop major lending institutions from failing. The bailout does nothing for health care. As Palin hysterically implied.

Update: Here is the transcript.


PALIN: That’s why I say, I like ever American I’m speaking with were ill about this position that we have been put in where it is the tax payers looking to bailout.

But ultimately, what the bailout does is help those who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help shore up the economy– Helping the — Oh, it’s got to be about job creation too. Shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americas. A

And trade we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a competitive scary thing. But 1 in 5 jobs being created in the trade sector today. We’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. ALl those things under the umbrella of job creation.

This bailout is a part of that.


The woman has either been saturated with talking points, is clueless on economic policy or both.

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Change We Need Voter Registration Event

Forest Whitaker is coming to the University of South Florida. Academy award-winning actor is stumping for Barack Obama and getting students registered to vote. The event is hosted by University of South Florida For Barack Obama.

Change We Need Voter Registration Event

Time and Place
Date: Saturday, September 27, 2008
Time: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: USF Public Health Auditorium
Street: 13201 Bruce B. Downs Blvd
City/Town: Tampa, FL

Contact Info
Phone: 8138575704
Email: cfreundlich@floridaforchange.com

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Yes We Can Meow

Cats For Obama.

My favorite picture is the kittens that are part bobcat and domesticated. They have the bobcat fur. However, they full length tails.

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Mc Nast-y

.




May you live in interesting times.

Punishment becomes ineffective after a certain point.



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Full Of Shit

.
My Friends, I am suspending all bowel movements until the financial bailout bill has been passed.






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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The New Jenny Lewis Album

Jenny Lewis has released her second album Acid Tongue. The record is light years better than the last Rilo Kiley album. It's time for Lewis to go solo. Jack Killed Mom was a standout song written on her last solo tour. Elvis Costello makes a killer guest appearance on Carpetbaggers.

Jenny Lewis & Elvis Costello - Carpetbaggers

Jenny Lewis - Jack Killed Mom

Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue

Jenny Lewis - The Next Messiah

Wade Tatangelo gives Acid Tongue a positive review.

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Palin's Interview With Katie Couric

Sarah Palin tells Katie Couric what a Maverick John McCain has been. Unfortunately, Palin can't cite a single instance when McCain stood up to Wall Street.


COURIC: You've said, quote, "John McCain will reform the way Wall Street does business." Other than supporting stricter regulations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago, can you give us any more example of his leading the charge for more oversight?

PALIN: I think that the example that you just cited, with his warnings two years ago about Fannie and Freddie — that, that's paramount. That's more than a heck of a lot of other senators and representatives did for us.

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

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

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

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


What makes matters worse is McCain chief economic advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin dropped out of the Stanford SIEPR Associates Obama vs. McCain Debate to brief Palin. This would be hysterical, if Palin didn't have a chance of being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

I don't think Palin is dumb. It's obvious she is a skillful politician. That doesn't mean she has a grasp of the economy.

Update: here is the video. Palin is unsure if Rick Davis was involved in his lobbying firm's dealings with Freddie Mac.


Davis' firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

They said they did not recall Davis doing much substantive work for the company in return. They said Davis' firm, Davis Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Davis' close ties to McCain. Davis took a leave from Davis Manafort for the duration of the campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income.


Another gem: Palin on the bailout.


Palin: the interesting thing, in the last couple of days, that I have seen is that Americans are waiting to see what John McCain does on this proposal. They're not waiting to see what Barack Obama is gonna do. Is he gonna do this and see which ways the political winds are blowing. They're waiting to see that John McCain will be able to see these amendments implemented in Paulson's proposal.

Couric: Why do say that? Why are they waiting for John McCain and not Barack Obama?

Palin: He's got the track record of leadership qualities and the pragmatism that is needed at a crisis time like this.

Couric: But polls have shown that Senator Obama has actually gotten a boost as result of this latest crisis. With more people feeling that he can handle the situation better than John McCain.

Palin: I'm not looking at poll numbers. What I think Americans, at the end of the day, are going to be to go back and look at track records.


Palin's message is pay no attention to McCain's shitty economic numbers. My God. The Daily Show could air this entire video uncut.



Update: I have more on Palin's interview and McCain's decision not to appear on David Letterman's show.

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The Palin Silence

John McCain will not allow Sarah Palin to answer questions in a roomful of media people.


McCain then looked around the room and gestured as if to welcome questions. The AP reporter shouted a question at Gov. Palin (“Governor, what have you learned from your meetings?”) but McCain aide Brooke Buchanan intervened and shepherded everybody out of the room.

Palin looked surprised, leaned over to McCain and asked him a question, to which your pooler thinks he shook his head as if to say “No.”


Greg Sargent theorized that the McCain campaign doesn't want to risk Palin speaking. I don't buy that. John McCain intentionally questions Obama's patriotism, compares him to Paris Hilton and mudslings. McCain is often clueless about policy. The Senator did know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. You don't have to be a Sarah Palin fan (I'm not) to realize it's hard to sound worse than McCain.

Palin is the better public speaker. I don't believe the McCain people are fearful Palin will make false allegations against Obama or Biden. Sounding unknowledgable won't hurt Palin with the base or many swing voters. Palin is the only thing the McCain campaign has going for it.

The problem is McCain has personal deep-seeded insecurities. McCain wants Palin to be photogenic and by his side. If that doesn't reek of sexism then nothing will. The problem is McCain doesn't want to be overshadowed by his VP pick.

Proof of sexism: look at how the campaign and GOP is marketing Palin. These buttons were handed out at the Republican National Convention. McCain doesn't want a VP. He wants a Stepford Wife.

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More Debate Madness

According to Hunter, CNN reports the McCain campaign is moving the debate to Oct. 2nd in St. Louis. That is the scheduled time and venue of the Biden-Palin debate. In case you're wondering, the Vice-Ppresidential debate would be moved back. No word on when the VP debate will be held.

These debates are planned months in advanced. McCain is now making up a new debate schedule. I don't want to hear that he can't vote on a bailout package and attend the first debate. I don't think McCain wants to debate.

The Obama campaign is being firm about being at the first debate.


“My sense is there will be a stage, there will be a moderator, there will be an audience and there will be at least one presidential candidate,” said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs, when asked whether Obama, if necessary, will participate in the debate alone.


McCain is in panic mode and the Obama people know it. McCain should just debate.

Update:



Dana Bash, CNN: I spoke with Senator Lindsey Graham, he is in the McCain campaign, he is negotiation — is trying to negotiate with the Obama campaign and the presidential debate commission. What they are saying, and what he is saying is that they are proposing to instead of having next Thursday the vice presidential debate in St. Louis, to make that the presidential debate and then to delay the VP debate to another time. That is what they are proposing, they understand very well that both the Obama campaign and the debate commission have no intention of delaying Friday’s debate, but both he and a senior advisor that if there is no bailout deal by Friday, McCain has no plan to go to debate.

Conservative bloggers are going to have a hard time explaining the McCain campaign accidently releasing the suspend campaign/delay debate talking points to the media. (Hit the image to see it in full size.) Anyone still doubt the McCain campaign is disorganized.

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Kevin Beckner Campaigning

Hillsborough County commission candidate Kevin Beckner will be making several campaign appearances in the upcoming days. The candidate forum is the must-see. The house parties are fundraisers. Email Mark@KevinBeckner.com if you wish to attend the house parties.

22nd Annual Mayors Alliance for Persons with Disabilities Awards Ceremony - Thursday, September 25, 2008, 11:00 AM

Candidate Forum - Greater Temple Terrace Chamber of Commerce - Thursday, September 25, 2008, 4:30 PM, Location: First Baptist Church of Temple Terrace Family Life Center - 10002 N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace (table set up begins at 4:30p, meet the public at 5:00p, forum will begin at 6:15p) League of Women Voters to provide moderator.

House Party - Saturday, September 27, 2008, 4:00 PM

House Party - Sunday, September 28, 2008, 4:00 PM


The Tampa Tribune notes that Beckner could make history as the commission's first openly gay member.

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SurveyUSA Numbers On Postponing First Debate

Kos shows the SurveyUSA numbers. The short answer is John McCain postpones the debate at his own risk


The first debate between John McCain and Barack Obama is scheduled to take place in two days. Should the debate be held as scheduled? Should the debate be held, but the format changed to focus on the economy? Or, should the debate be postponed?

Hold as scheduled 50
Hold with focus on economy 36
Postpone 10


Is the right response to the turmoil on Wall Street to suspend the campaigns for president? To continue the campaigns as though there is no crisis? Or, to re-focus the campaigns with a unique emphasis on the turmoil on Wall Street?

Suspend 14
Continue 31
Refocus the campaign 48


If Friday's presidential debate does not take place, would that be good for America? Bad for America? Or would it make no difference?

Good for America 14
Bad for America 46
No difference 35

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No Spin Zone

Karl Rove has a rare moment of public candor. The forum was Canada's Fraser Institute.


Last night, he did party spin but said something significant.
A Toronto businessman asked him if he thought Sarah Palin would make a good President.

"I don't know," said Rove.


The punchline writes itself.

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Polling Numbers Improving For Obama

The Florida Mason-Dixon poll shows Barack Obama with a 47 to 45 percent lead over John McCain. The poll has a margin of error. However, other polls have been following the same trend. The news cycle has shifted towards economic policy. A a Gallup poll record 53 percent. McCain struggles when he talks about domestic or foreign policy. Which explains his campaign's mudslinging.

Mason -Dixon managing director Brad Coker emphasized McCain's need to win Florida.


"This is bad news for McCain," Coker said. "I haven't seen a map yet that shows the Republicans winning without Florida and this means McCain is going to have to spend a lot more time and a lot more money in Florida."


The ABC News/Washington Post national poll shows Obama with a 53 percent to 39 percent on who voters trust to handle the economy. Democrats usually do better with economic polling. The Wall Street bailout news isn't helping McCain. The key number is 14 percent said to country is moving in the right direction. That plays into Obama's change message.

McCain has gone into panic mode. This morning the Maverick announced he was suspending his campaign and wanted the first presidential debate postponed.


“Tomorrow morning, I will suspend my campaign and return to Washington after speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative. I have spoken to Senator Obama and informed him of my decision and have asked him to join me,” he said in New York.

“I am calling on the President to convene a leadership meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself. It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem,” he said.


Unsurprisingly, Instapundit and Ann Althouse think McCain's decision is fantastic. Glenn Reynolds quotes a blogger saying, "Volunteer to let his VP nominee sit in for him against Obama on Friday." Palin would generate more ratings than the top of the ticket. (Which is not something the GOP wants to brag about.) Only idiotic conservative bloggers would think it's a good idea to field a candidate whom has not prepped for the debate. Can the McCain campaign please hire Reynolds and Althouse.

Side note: Reynolds always snarks someone's quote. I would ask if he has an original idea. I then remember original ideas are not his forte.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sarah Palin Infomercial



Sean Hannity's interview with Sarah Palin was as bad as expected. The weird part was Palin's response to Tiny Fey's inpersonation.

HANNITY: One last question that I didn't ask you: Did you watch Tina Fey on "Saturday Night Live"?

PALIN: I watched with the volume all the way down and I thought it was hilarious, she was spot on.

HANNITY: Do you think you could play her one day?

PALIN: Oh absolutely. It was hilarious. Again, I didn't hear a word she said, but the visual was spot on.

Word of advise the Governor Palin: your problem tends to be not listening to what people say.

Emmy winner Tiny Fey summed up her feelings on Palin.


"I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5, so if anyone could help me be done playing her on Nov. 5, that would be good for me," Fey said.


You and me both, Tina.

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Tom Feeney Is Sorry

Tom Feeney dined at Jack Abramoff's restaurant went a a Scottish golf trip paid by the convicted lobbyist. Feeney is in a tight race with Suzanne Kosmos. Feeney released this video apologizing for his Abramoff relation.



Kosmos attacked Feeney oon the video. She asked many questions that Feeney should to address. But I'm not holding my breath.


Why is Feeney apologizing after claiming he did nothing wrong in the first place?

When was the last time Tom Feeney spoke with the FBI?

Is he still cooperating with the FBI's investigation?

Can Feeney assure voters that their Congressman will not be indicted?

If indicted, will Feeney resign from Congress?

Have Tom Feeney's office records been subpoenaed?

Why did it take Tom Feeney five years to admit a mistake?

Why did Tom Feeney vote to block a congressional ethics investigation into members of Congress and their ties to Jack Abramoff?

Why did Tom Feeney claim he did nothing on behalf of imprisoned lobbyist Jack Abramoff when official records tell another story?

Why did Tom Feeney only pay back around $5,000 for the trip when court documents have shown the actual cost was closer to $20,000?

Why did it take Tom Feeney two years to return the $5,000?

How can a career politician, former lobbyist and Florida House Speaker like Tom Feeney claim to have made a rookie mistake?

Why hasn't Tom Feeney apologized for other unethical behavior through out his career?

If Tom Feeney values honesty and integrity so highly, why did he oppose landmark ethics reform legislation passed by Congress in 2007?

Why, for four consecutive years, has the non-partisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) listed Feeney as one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress?


I would ask why Feeney hired Bridgette A. Gregory to be his Florida House aide. Gregory held no college degree and her previous experience was being a Hooters waitress.

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Quote of the Year

Nothing this year can top this quote. The Republican platform is ripe with comedy material.


We do not support government bailouts of private institutions. Government interference in the markets exacerbates problems in the marketplace and causes the free market to take longer to correct itself. We believe in the free market as the best tool to sustained prosperity and opportunity for all.


Will someone in the White House press corp please ask Dana Perino why the Bush administration broke the pledge? The non-answer will be priceless.

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Quote of the Day

"I hope they are not that selfish and unpatriotic. This is going to be a hard sell to a lot of elected officials even with this."

Barney Frank, on CEOs of bailout companies whom refuse to take a pay cut.

Frank made it clear that CEOs of recipiant companies must take a pay cut. Senator John McCain also wants to limit CEO pay.

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Florida Amendment 4

The Buzz reported a coalition of 70 Florida groups support Amendment 4.


Amendment 4 requires the Legislature to provide by general law for an ad valorem tax exemption for real property dedicated in perpetuity for conservation purposes. Further, the proposal requires land used for conservation purposes to be classified and assessed solely on the basis of character or use for the purposes of ad valorem taxation. If passed by the electors, the proposal shall be implemented by January 1, 2010.


I chatted online with Doug Matthews. He is the marketing director of Vote Yes On Amendment 4. He informed me that the coalition is made up of environmentalists and conservatives against property taxes.

"Right now, land that's under a conservation easement (permanent or temporary) is taxed according to it's highest possible use," explained Matthews. "So there's no financial incentive to set it aside."

The amendment would give a property tax break to land counties set aside for conservation purposes. Developers and wifelife supporters, such as Jim Fowler, support the amendment for different reasons. Environmentalists view Amendment 4 has a deterent to unchecked growth management. Developers can get a tax break for setting aside 75 percent of lands for conservation. The other 25 percent sees increased property values from being near green space.

Amendment 4 seems like a no-brainer. Florida's undecider, Charlie Crist, still has not stated his position. It takes true political courage not to state an opinion on an amendment with no major opposition. Crist might frame himself as a green governor and tax-cutter, if he supported the amendment. We know how Crist has been shying away from that image.

Vote yes on amendment 4.

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Thought of the Day

Peer Review is shocked that people would accuse the anti-gay marriage Amendment 2 of being used to GOTV.


The argument doesn't make sense as the supporters of the Florida Marriage Amendment originally targeted the 2006 election.


I agree that the social conservatives want the amendment on the ballot. I disagree, but don't question they feel strongly against gay marriage.

The Republican Party of Florida dumped money supporting the amendment to help the Governor and Congressional races. Mr. G and I had this argument. The GOP establishment hates social conservatives, but courts them to win elections. Social conservatives have to put up with it because they don't have the numbers to make their own party.

The Bush administration used gay marriage as an election issue and didn't touch it after the second term. Republicans had the numbers to attempt to outlaw abortion. The GOP didn't touch it because the polling numbers are against them. The Democratic establishment has the polling numbers. They lack the political courage to make it legal. Both sides talk about the importance of selecting Supreme Court justices. Neither have shown the political courage to legislate their beliefs on a federal level.

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No Blank Check Paulson Petition

Litbrit sent me this petition urging citizens to tell Congress not to give Henry Paulson his requested power in the bailout, without oversight.


Congress is on the brink of making a one-sided deal to give George W. Bush a blank check to bail out his pals - offering nearly (or perhaps more than) a trillion taxpayer dollars to Wall Street to cover its bad debts. That works out to somewhere between $2000 and $5000 from every American family. So what do the taxpayers get in return?

Nothing. No new regulation or oversight to help avoid this kind of crisis in the future. No public interest givebacks to help people whose homes are in the hands of the banks. Perhaps most shockingly of all, the taxpayers get absolutely no share in the profits if and when these finance giants bounce back, even though we are now assuming a great deal of the risk.


The taypayers are going to lose money on the bailout. With or without oversight. The other option is letting the mortgage industry collapse. Recouping tax dollars from selling high-risk illiquid assets is unlikely. Times like these makes me wish I was running an entertainment gossip blog.

Sign the petition

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Let's Roll!

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Veruca Salt - Venus Man Trap

Veruca Salt - Venus Man Trap
Found at skreemr.com


I am becoming a Veruca Salt fan. This is a live version of Venus Man Trap from the Live Water Festival 08-13-97.

related: Veruca Salt - Benjamin

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John McCain Vs John McCain on Regulation

"I'm always for less regulation."

John McCain, March 3, 2008

"Casual oversight by regulatory agencies in Washington" is responsible for the crisis, John McCain, Sept. 17, 2008

"Do I believe in excess government regulation? Yes. But this patchwork quilt of regulating bodies was designed for the 1930s when they were invented."

John McCain, this year on CBS’s Early Show.

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The Bailout

The Wall Street Journal op-ed must be read to be believed.


Last week, we did our best to destroy the financial system but somehow came through it. This week, Congress will have only 72 hours to ruin the Treasury’s $700 billion mortgage plan before it recesses.

If our luck holds, Hank Paulson will get the extraordinary authority he seeks. If we are really lucky, Paulson may actually fix the mess we have made. So why not give him whatever he needs?


1. Because the bill would make Paulson a federal CEO of lending instituions. Questions remain on what the Sec. of Treasury would do with those piowers.

2. The bailout will create a bigger federal deficit. The Federal Reserve will have have to borrow money to buy the mortgages. The Fed and taypayers eat the loss if the mortgage values depreciate.

3. Greater regulation is needed to make sure future bailouts aren't needed. Taxpayers can't afford to continulously bailout lending institutions. The market rewards selling mortgages to people that can't financially afford a home. Banks sell that debt off as assets. A flow of credit that eventually has to be paid.

4. The Paulson plans is a band-aid. Nothing will be changed by a bailout. Except temporary security; until the sky falls again.

Paulson's plan appear to be dead. Senator Chris Dodd has offered an alternative plan. Economist Paul Krugman likes the plan. The issue is regulation over the mortgage industry.


Lawmakers from both parties, while acknowledging the urgency of the moment, nevertheless object to giving what they characterize as a "blank check" to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to buy troubled assets from financial institutions. They want provisions that would explicitly protect taxpayers.

"We don't have a lot of time. We want to act but we want to act responsibly," said Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., at a press briefing Monday afternoon.


Republican operative Patrick Ruffinni urged GOP candidates to use the bailout as a political issue and vote against it. Ruffinni has taken the post down from his blog. Kos, Digby, and Ed Kilgore pointed out how Ruffinni gleefully wanted to turn a disaster into an opportunistic wedge issue.


Republican incumbents in close races have the easiest vote of their lives coming up this week: No on the Bush-Pelosi Wall Street bailout.

God Himself couldn't have given rank-and-file Republicans a better opportunity to create political space between themselves and the Administration. That's why I want to see 40 Republican No votes in the Senate, and 150+ in the House. If a bailout is to pass, let it be with Democratic votes. Let this be the political establishment (Bush Republicans in the White House + Democrats in Congress) saddling the taxpayers with hundreds of billions in debt (more than the Iraq War, conjured up in a single weekend, and enabled by Pelosi, btw), while principled Republicans say "No" and go to the country with a stinging indictment of the majority in Congress.

This creates pressure on the "change" message. If this issue is made controversial, and Obama is not the first to make it an issue, how exactly is a Washington deal backed by Bush's Treasury Secretary "change?"

But for this to be actionable, it has to be controversial. So this can't be a few lonely voices like Coburn and DeMint. It needs to be the bulk of the Republican conference. In an ideal world, McCain opposes this because of all the Democratic add-ons and shows up to vote Nay while Obama punts.


Ruffini is one of the smartest young GOP operatives. There is good reason to believe Republicans will vote against any bailout package. It's easier to watch Rome burn and blame the Democrats for not putting out the fire.

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Orlando Sentinel Against Amendment 2

The Orlando Sentinel editorial board comes out against Amendment 2.


Good idea or bad idea? Bad idea. This amendment does more than just target homosexual unions. It puts all manner of domestic partnerships at a possible disadvantage. For example, after a similar measure passed in Michigan in 2004, the state's Supreme Court ruled that public institutions could no longer offer health and other benefits to domestic partners of the same sex. Many institutions found a way around the ruling, but why put people in Florida at risk? Besides, state law already restricts marriage to a man and a woman, and Florida doesn't recognize gay unions performed in other states. This measure seems more like a cynical attempt to bring out the conservative base in a presidential election year.

Our recommendation: Vote No.


The Orlando Sentinel has been a historically conservative newspaper. The op-ed questions why there needs to be a Florida Constitutional amendment outlawing something already illegal. The editorial board can bring themselves to admit the Republican Party of Florida raised money for the ballot. The GOP is more interested in GOTV than properly governing.

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More Evidence of Sarah Palin's Foreign Policy Experience

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Comments From Left Field , on charges being dropped against Democracy Now journalists.


The "John McCain: Apocalypse Now Redux" T-Shirt can be purchased at The Zencomix Online Market.

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Zencomix

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Barack Obama in Dunedin

Barack Obama will hold a campaign rally in Dunedin, Florida.

Where: Knology Park

When: Wednesday,
Sept. 24th
10:30 a.m.

Obama will be in Tampa preparing for his first debate with John McCain.

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Veruca Salt - Benjamin



I have been listening to this video all night. Nina Gordon's vocals are beautiful. I never gave much thought to Veruca Salt. This performance made me re-evaluate the band.

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Say No 2 Video Contest

SayNo2 is launching a video contest.

Florida SayNo2 campaign against dangerous and deceptive Amendment 2 has just announced a contest to create your own commercial against Amendment 2! They will be picking the top user-generated commercials to blast out on all of their social networking sites like MySpace, Youtube, Facebook, and more! We will also be posting some of the videos here on Bileirco-Florida!

We all know that if passed, Amendment 2 would take away existing benefits from all unmarried Floridians. The amendment would hurt all Floridians by taking away important domestic partnership benefits (like hospital visitation, pensions, and insurance). This massive government intrusion also puts the government where it doesn’t belong - regulating the personal relationships of Floridians.

That’s why the campaign needs your help! They want you to create a short commercial saying why you will Say No 2 Amendment 2 in November. Visit their website at www.SayNo2.com to get information and see all the reasons why everyone should VOTE NO on Amendment 2! Contest details after the jump!
Apple iTunes

Here’s what you need to know:

• The videos should be under 4 minutes in length

• It can be anything- a song about the consequences, your personal story about how this amendment would affect you, anything!

• Upload the videos to YouTube and send them the link at their MySpace account (http://www.myspace.com/flredandblue).

• Tell your friends and spread the word!

• The winners will get to see their videos on their sites, as well as receive a “SayNo2″ Prize pack with t-shirts, buttons, and other campaign goodies!

So get creative and get involved! We need everyone to help out in the fight against this dangerous and deceptive amendment!

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Sarah Palin On Stem Cell Research



The McCain campaign made a horrible mistake running stating that Sarah Palin supports stem cell research. The whole point of putting Sarah Palin, on the ticket, was to appease Christian conservatives. Now the McCain campaign pulls this.

Palin's spokeswoman Maria Comella told CNN that Palin does and does not support stem cell research. At the same time.


Palin's spokesperson Maria Comella confirmed those remarks constitute Palin's position, but said that "a McCain-Palin administration will be pro-stem cell research."

Even though Palin opposes it?

"Yep," Comella said.


On the Issues listed Palin as being against stem cell research. The Washington Post quotes Palin's 2006 postition. The GOP platform is to ban "all embryonic stem-cell research, public or private."


In a gubernatorial debate in 2006, Palin said, "With a pro-life position, and it's interesting that so many questions revolve around this centeredness I have for respecting life, and the potential of every human life, but no, stem-cell research would ultimately end in the destruction of life. I couldn't support it."


The McCain campaign has been screwing up their talking points. A radio ad for stem cell research will not have much single issue impact. Thr ad feeds into the image that McCain and Palin lies about their positions.

McCain has never found his voice during this campaign. McCain has the desire to be President. He never figured out why he wanted to be president. Earmarks (which no one likes) is the domestic message that McCain is the most passionate about. That tells me McCain hasn't spent time thinking about the economy, housing market or education. The This Week panel members Sam Donaldson and George Will commented how McCain went into panic mode.

George Will on McCain: "Populism is always pandering. And pandering is always the reverse of leadership."

It's desperation.

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Obama In Jacksonville

A Barack Obama campaign rally in Jacksonville was packed. 10 thousand people packed Metropolitan Park. Another 6 thousand couldn't get in. The Obama grassroots support makes me wonder how Obama will fair in Duval County.


The overflow crowd at Jacksonville's Metropolitan Park -- capacity 13,000 -- ate it up. The energy was notable because though Democrats outnumber Republicans in Duval County, it is a reliable area for the GOP. George Bush got nearly 1 ½ times more votes than John Kerry in 2004. McCain could barely muster 3,000 when he spoke nearby on Monday.


Obama used the rally to talk about his tax cuts. A graph by the Tax Policy Center show that Obama would cut taxes for the middle and lower classes.McCain's two biggest tax cuts are for the top earners.

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McCain: Where Are My Houses and Spain

Jesus' General helps John McCain use "typing intertubes pamphlet machine."

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NARAL Petition

NARAL has an online petition urging Congress to support women's reproductive rights.


Call on your lawmaker to continue standing firm for these important initiatives:

Fix the birth-control price crisis. Congress must bring down the price of birth control to $5 or $10 instead of $50 or more for students and low-income women.

Improve women’s health by increasing funds for the federal family-planning program.

Cut taxpayer spending on fraudulent “abstinence-only” programs.

Take action! Fill out the form to the left and customize the message we’ve provided for you below.


Sign the petition.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday Saturday Frank: My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama + Willie the Pimp/Montana Medley; Lund, 1988



Hooray! Finally. This is the only version of My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama with Maestro Zappa playing the solos (as opposed to Dweezil, Vai, Satriani, or Johnson) that I've ever found on YouTube. If readers know of any others, links are always appreciated--please leave them, and any requests, in comments.

Obviously I'm a day late with my Friday Frank--again!--but since this is a triple-header, you're going to forgive me, right?

I'm off to raise up my little (and not-so-little) spools of dental floss, then.

Bon Weekend, everyone.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Friday Hitler The Cat Blogging

McCain Clarifies His Position on Spain




Johnny Knew Monic

The Word On The Street Tour....lend a hand if you can!

White Privilege rears its ugly head.


The "John McCain: Apocalypse Now Redux" T-Shirt can be purchased at The Zencomix Online Market.

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Zencomix

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Dresden Dolls - Bad Habit

The Dresden Dolls - Bad Habit
Found at skreemr.com

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Quote of the Day

Barack Obama mocks the Straight Talker's conflicting comments.


“On Monday, he said the economy was fundamentally sound, and he was fundamentally wrong.

On Tuesday, he said the government should stand by and allow one of the nation’s largest insurers to collapse, putting the well-being of millions of Americans at risk. But by Wednesday, he changed his mind.

He said he would take on the ol’ boy network, but he seemed to forget that he took seven of the biggest lobbyists in Washington from that network and put them in charge of your campaign.

John McCain can’t decide whether he’s Barry Goldwater or Dennis Kucinich.”

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Nancy Pelosi On Trickle Down Economics

Nancy Pelosi lashed out at President Bush's and Senator John McCain's economics policies.


This is what this is. This is the failure of an ideological “anything goes” economic policy. They call it the free market. Democrats support the free market and we want to encourage the markets. But it’s not a free market when you can run wild, anything goes, privatize the gain, nationalize the risk and when you fail, the middle class bails you out. It’s just not fair. It’s just not right.

So when John McCain says, when he told the Wall Street Journal, “I am the greatest deregulator you’ll ever interview,” what a sad boast. What a sad boast. Especially in light of the consequences of that deregulation.


McCain's chief economic advisor Douglas Holtz-Eakin told Fortune taxes will have to be raised. Both McCain's and Obama's tax plans would not bring in enough Federal revenue. Journalist Matt Miller asked Holtz-Eakin why Republicans insisted on cutting taxes.


So why does tax-cutting mania persist among Republicans, I asked Holtz-Eakin, the McCain adviser--given...that, as Holtz-Eakin himself explain to me, taxes soon have to go up substantially in any event?

"It's the brand," he said, "and you don't dilute the brand."


Tax cuts are a sales pitch that tells Americans there really is a free lunch. We can have two wars, increase domestic spending and you won't feel it in your pocketbook. The economic policy is tax cuts for the top two brackets. The Tax Policy Center did a study of Obama's and McCain's tax proposals. The graph shows how both candidates would tax different income brackets.

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