Tag: John McCain

The Principle of Campaign Finance Reform

Big Ten Democrat, whom I greatly like and respect, says Barack Obama should opt out of public financing, and that he should do it now, while it is still early. Strategically, Big Tent is absolutely right. As he says, should Obama opt out now, while his opponent is Hillary Clinton, the corporate media won’t question it. Should he win the nomination, and only opt out once his opponent is John McCain, the corporate media will eviscerate him. The free pass they give him against Hillary Clinton, whom they have always despised, and cherish the thought of defeating, if not destroying, will not transfer to a runoff against St. Maverick; and it won’t matter that the Saint is utterly and completely full of shit. But I strongly disagree with the fundamental premise of Big Tent’s argument:

Unlike most good government types, I believe that until there is full public financing of political campaigns, the Democratic Party should NEVER give away an advantage when it has one.

If John McCain accepts public financing for his general election campaign, and the Democratic nominee does not, the Democratic Party will lose the moral high ground, and much credibility, on campaign finance reform. That McCain is a liar and a hypocrite won’t matter. What will matter is that the Democratic nominee will be opting out, while the Republican nominee won’t be. Many are saying we should not cede the financial lead, now that the internet and a cratering Republican Party have handed it to us, but accepting that argument would only prove that campaign finance reform was always about the politics of being financially behind, rather than about the principle of creating a politics of people. Big Tent’s ideal of full public financing will never come to be because campaign finance reform will be, effectively, dead.

As I’ve previously pointed out, John Edwards had less than half as much campaign money as did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama; and the rest of the candidates had much much less. Similarly, it’s no coincidence that Obama’s emergence as the clear Democratic frontrunner came as he vastly outspent Clinton, after Super Tuesday; and as they court the increasingly important Superdelegates, he has given more than three times as much money as has Clinton to those Superdelegates who are elected officials. Forget debates, speeches, policy statements, and stands on the issues, the Democratic nomination is being determined by nothing other than money.

Kristof on McCain: Whaaaa?

Cross-posted on kos

Nicholas Kristof may be the most maddening of all the New York Times columnists.  His last two columns illustrate this perfectly. Last Thursday, he wrote a great column on the torture and incarceration of Sami al-Hajj  It was a rare traditional media expose and attack on this underreported story.  I wrote a comment to the piece suggesting that he do a follow-up column noting that Congress had just passed an anti-torture bill, but candidate McCain had voted no.

Today, his column is an inexplicable Valentine to McCain that excuses all of his pandering on numerous issues, and mentions merely in passing that he just voted for torture!

Mission Accomplished – The Door to Iraq’s Oil Will Soon Be Open

George W. Bush, his neo-con backers, his supporters in Congress, from both sides of the isle, the establishment media, the MIC and on Wall Street have accomplished their mission in Iraq. If there was ever any doubt about what that mission was then perhaps this article from Asia Times will make it clear. The article is rather long  and so I’ll try to provide some of the highlights here. The blockquotes are from that article.

And, as former Fed Chief Alan Greenspan wrote in his memoir – The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World. “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.”

It appears that John McCain might well get his wish – 100 years of US occupation of Iraq.

Iraqi Oil Minister Shahristani is described in this article as being “not too religious, not too political, not too secular and not too pro-American. He is a Shiite who was imprisoned by Saddam Husein and held in solitary confinement by Saddam Hussein for 10 years. He is now the Oil Minister of Iraq.

Shahristani finds himself in an enviable position as a creator of wealth for the Western world. He holds the key to the door that opens out to the magical world of Iraqi oil.

Olbermann Interviews Satan! How He Sees the Coming General Election!

(Olberman in normal, Satan in italics)

And the Number two story on tonight’s Countdown, an in-studio interview with the Lord of Flies himslf, Satan, on the presidential race. Good evening sir and welcome to the show.

It’s good to be here, Keith

Warm welcome planned for McCain on Iraq Moratorium day

Antiwar activists are planning a warm welcome for John “100-Year-War” McCain when he brings his campaign to Wisconsin on Iraq Moratorium day Friday.

McCain, fresh from a complete flip-flop on torture, comes to the Mississippi River city of LaCrosse for a town hall meeting at the Radisson Hotel.  McCain voted Wednesday against a ban on waterboarding,which passed the Senate 51-45.

Wisconsin’s primary is next Tuesday.

Coulee Progressives are organizing the “welcome” in LaCrosse:

Get Your Protest Shoes On!!

This is Peace Country, where the City of La Crosse along with 32 other cities in WI voted in 2005/06 to bring the troops home back. It’s time we tell those who would bring us deeper into war, that violence is not the answer.

Please come to express your voice for peace this FRIDAY from 3-4 outside the La Crosse Radisson Ballroom. Let’s tell John McCain that war is not the answer.

It’s time to speak out for the unemployed, the underemployed, the sick, those w/o health insurance. It’s time to end the deaths of children and families in Iraq, It’s time to speak for solutions that leave nations better off economically and with healthcare. It’s time to say more than, “NO TO WAR”.






University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Progressives announced they plan their own peace protest becasue of McCain’s support for the war in Iraq. Members will meet on campus at 2 p.m. and march to the Radisson Center.

Later in the day, LaCrosse will become the latest Wisconsin community to hold an Iraq Moratorium event, joining 13 others across the state who have planned actions on Friday, Iraq Moratorium #6.  Wisconsin has been a hotbed of Moratorium activity, with 14 events planned on Friday — more than any other state except California, with six times the population.

Nearly 100 events are listed on the Iraq Moratorium website .  The Moratorium asks people to take some action — individually or collectively — on the Third Friday of every month to show their opposition to the war and occupation of Iraq.

Do something on Friday to end the war

Friday is Iraq Moratorium #6, a loosely-knit national grassroots effort to end the war and occupation of Iraq.

Nearly 90 events already are listed on the national website, from sea to shining sea.  They range from street corner vigils to die-ins, with a dash of street theater thrown in. There have been 600-plus events since the Moratorium began in September.

California remains the epicenter of Iraq Moratorium activity, with at least 25 events listed on the site.  (There are many more events that take place across the nation every Moratorium day, but no way to quantify them unless the organizers voluntarily list them on the website.)

If California is the hotbed, Wisconsin is the coldbed of activity, with 13 events listed and at least a few more planned.  Twenty-five states have events on the list. You can easily check at IraqMoratorium.org for one near you.

As a DJ, CNN Sucks: A Disco Disaster


I posted this at  DK but thought I’d expand on it here.

[new] Disco Disaster (14+ / 0-)

The cut from Obama to McFear reminded me of when I was a club DJ years ago.  Sometimes the floor would be alive, people movin’, groovin’ on the good foot and then I’d screw up (not often but..) and cue the wrong record.  BAM, you could feel the funk leave the room.

CNN  sucks as a DJ.

“Play something good!”

Tellin’ you all the Zomby troof Here I’m is…


by Zwoof on Tue Feb 12, 2008 at 10:37:50 PM EST

more on the B-side

Soviet America

Your U.S. Senate believes it is okay for you to be spied upon by your government, and for Bush to be able to define what that means, according to his whim. Your U.S. Senate believes that it was okay for the telecoms to break the law by allowing you to be spied upon when it was still illegal. Before today’s votes, Glenn Greenwald wrote this:

The Senate today — led by Jay Rockefeller, enabled by Harry Reid, and with the active support of at least 12 (and probably more) Democrats, in conjunction with an as-always lockstep GOP caucus — will vote to legalize warrantless spying on the telephone calls and emails of Americans, and will also provide full retroactive amnesty to lawbreaking telecoms, thus forever putting an end to any efforts to investigate and obtain a judicial ruling regarding the Bush administration’s years-long illegal spying programs aimed at Americans. The long, hard efforts by AT&T, Verizon and their all-star, bipartisan cast of lobbyists to grease the wheels of the Senate — led by former Bush 41 Attorney General William Barr and former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick — are about to pay huge dividends, as such noble efforts invariably do with our political establishment.

Dan Froomkin put it in these stark terms:

Here’s a White House ” Fact Sheet” on telecom immunity: “Companies should not be held responsible for verifying the government’s determination that requested assistance was necessary and lawful — and such an impossible requirement would hurt our ability to keep the Nation safe.”

But isn’t that the very definition of a police state: that companies should do whatever the government asks, even if they know it’s illegal?

You can read the roll call on retroactive telecom immunity here. These are the Senators who supported Chris Dodd, to prevent retroactive telecom immunity:

Akaka (D-HI), Baucus (D-MT), Biden (D-DE), Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Byrd (D-WV), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Dodd (D-CT), Dorgan (D-ND), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Klobuchar (D-MN), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Leahy (D-VT), Levin (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Murray (D-WA), Obama (D-IL), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY), Tester (D-MT), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

These are the Democrats who voted against it:

Bayh (D-IN), Carper (D-DE), Conrad (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Inouye (D-HI), Johnson (D-SD), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Lincoln (D-AR), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO), Stabenow (D-MI), Webb (D-VA)

Not a single Republican or Lieberman voted against telecom immunity!


McCain Instrumental in Removing Dineh-Navajo Tribe

How does history repeat itself? Let’s count some of the ways.



The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Andrew Jackson on May 28, 1830, authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

In 1974 the U.S. Government legally endorsed genocide when Congress passed Public Law 93-531, which enabled Peabody Coal Company to strip mine Black Mesa by ripping the traditional Navajo and Hopi peoples from the land.


Clinton Obama and McCain ALL Show Up in Seattle in One 24 Hour Period


Clinton at the Pier, Seattle 8:30 PM Feb. 7, 2008 – 5000 people
Obama at Key Arena, Seattle 11:00 AM Feb. 8, 2008 – 17,000+ inside (capacity), 3,000 -10000 (outside)
McCain at Westin Hotel, 5 PM Feb. 8, 2008 – unknown

Trying to make their last impressions before our caucus 1:00 PM Feb. 9, 2008

My son went to Obama – said it was all lit up electronically like at a Sonics game with the camera panning around at people dancing to music, doing the wave, etc. & they showed it on four-sided big screen that hangs from the ceiling. He said there were an amazing number of young people but all ages too, lots of minorities, and so many who took off work for it. He had friends who took the day off and couldn’t even get in.

Obama said he is looking forward to a debate with the presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain. “I think it will be fun.”

The emails are starting to come in:

I recall going to the Cow Palace in San Francisco to see JFK during the campaign and they shut the doors after 20,000 jammed the old barn. That’s when I knew something special was happening.


Suzy and I drove over to Key Arena to hear Obama!! Went past the Pacific Science Center and saw A LINE OF FOLKS ALL THE WAY FROM THE KEY ARENA past the PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER and down to the STREET! Finally got parked, walked 5 blocks upto the THE KEY. The MOB was 15,000 capacity inside [no we didn’t get inside!] and another 10,000 folks outside. Lots of announcements about keeping FIRE EXITS clear!!! Amazing !!

PS -Hillary got 5,000 at Pier 30 last night! GO OBAMA!!!

Bush: $170,000,000,000 more for the war; Cuts to housing, education, health care, environment…

Since that surge is working so well, I guess we’re just going to have to keep surging. Forever. According to The Hill:

This year’s battle over Iraq war funding officially kicked off Wednesday as Defense Secretary Robert Gates reluctantly offered a price tag for the first time: $170 billion for fiscal 2009.

Speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Gates only gave the number after Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) pressed him, but rejected his own estimate right off the bat, calling it a number that “will inevitably be wrong, and perhaps significantly so.”

“I will be giving you precision without accuracy,” warned Gates.

Levin insisted that he give his best estimate for next year’s war-funding needs.

“Well, a straight-line projection, Mr. Chairman, of our current expenditures would probably put the full-year cost, in a strictly arithmetic approach, at about $170 billion,” Gates responded.

Of course, Gates made clear that the number could be wrong; and I’m guessing he didn’t mean wrong as in an overestimate. But the Administration is very conscious of the drain on our federal budget. Not the drain from the war, mind you, the other drain. On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Bush wants to do something about it. Like slash and burn. You know- the low priority stuff.

President Bush plans to unveil a $2.5 trillion budget today eliminating dozens of politically sensitive domestic programs, including funding for education, environmental protection and business development, while proposing significant increases for the military and international spending, according to White House documents.

Overall, discretionary spending other than defense and homeland security would fall by nearly 1 percent, the first time in many years that funding for the major part of the budget controlled by Congress would actually go down in real terms, according to officials with access to the budget. The cuts are scattered across a wide swath of the government, affecting a cross-section of constituents, from migrant workers to train passengers to local police departments, according to officials who read portions of the documents to The Washington Post.

And one very important person is already on board.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “I hope we in Congress will have the courage to support it.”

In the 2008 Election, An Historic Overlooked First

Crossposted at Daily Kos

Every student of American History knows that only two serving United States Senators (Warren G. Harding in 1920 and John F. Kennedy in 1960) have ever been elected directly to the Office of President of the United States.  Add James Garfield in 1880 as the only serving member from the United States House of Representatives and that’s all the serving legislators ever who have gone directly from the national legislature to the White House since 1789.

Barring a major and unexpected surprise, another first will occur in presidential politics in November 2008: for the very first time in our political history, nominees of both major political parties will be serving United States Senators.  Mitt Romney’s withdrawal from the Republican race today also ensures a first in American politics since the 1960 Election: it’s a near certainty that a serving United States Senator will be elected President.

In the intervening forty eight years since JFK’s election, dozens of serving Members of Congress had tried, with most of them failing miserably.  In fact, only four even became their party’s nominee — Goldwater ’64, McGovern ’72, Dole ’96, and Kerry ’04 — only to lose in the general election.

Is this historic first an utter coincidence?

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