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Archive for September 7th, 2008

Sarah Palin: George Bush In Lipstick??

By- Suzie-Q @ 9:30 PM MST

Sarah Palin: George Bush In Lipstick?

Huffington Post- Nico Pitney

September 7, 2008 06:17 PM
More Aligned With Bush Than McCain Himself’

A core Democratic talking point against Sarah Palin is beginning to take shape: she is, critics say, the female counterpart of the current President of the United States, not only in terms of policy and social conservatism, but even personality.

“She’s not a pitbull in lipstick,” said one female Democratic operative, referencing a line from Palin’s convention speech. “She’s George Bush in lipstick.”

From her hard-right stances on abortion and contraception and the deep affection she engenders from conservative evangelical leaders, to her involvement in a possible “abuse of power” scandal in Alaska and even her charming demeanor, some see in Palin the second coming of the 43rd president.

The Palin-as-Bush theme comes just in time: with less than two months before election day, Democrats have a limited window to define McCain’s vice presidential pick in the eyes of voters. Her relatively sparse record, particularly on key national issues, made finding a line of attack more difficult. And the McCain campaign’s efforts to paint the media coverage of Palin as sexist, and to link the Obama campaign to that coverage, only complicated matters further.

Obama himself made the Palin-Bush comparison during his Sunday appearance on ABC’s This Week, calling her “somebody who may be even more aligned with George Bush – or Dick Cheney, or the politics we’ve seen over the last eight years – than John McCain himself is.”

Later, Robert Gibbs, senior aide to the Democratic nominee, fleshed out the case in an interview on CNN. “Sarah Palin doesn’t think climate change is man made. Both John McCain and Sarah Palin want to outlaw abortion, even in the case of rape and incest. I’ll let you decide who you think is extreme, but you’ve got a candidate in Sarah Palin who says she’s against the bridge for nowhere, but she campaigned on it. She says she’s against lobbyists getting pork for her state when she hired a lobbyist to get pork for her state. And now she stands in the way of an ethics investigation to look into her actions that was approved by the Republican legislature. I’m telling you…she’s going to fit in just great at Washington because that’s what happening right now.”

Moreover, on a relatively high-profile environmental issue, Palin actually went to court to take on the Bush administration from the right, objecting to the president’s decision to list polar bears on the endangered species list. (The UK Independent, in its understated form, noted that Palin “has an environmental policy so toxic it would make the incumbent, George Bush, blush.”)

The McCain campaign’s reply to this message was summed up by Nancy Pfotenhauer, who responded to Gibbs on CNN: “That is a total crock, Robert, and you know it.” McCain staffers say the ethics investigation in Alaska will find Palin did nothing improper, and that she has worked against earmarks as governor.

Unfortunately for McCain, however, it is not only Democrats who see ties between Palin and the current President.

On Saturday, former Bush speechwriter David Frum wrote on his National Review blog, “George W. Bush had very slight executive experience before becoming president. His views were not well known. He won the nomination exactly in the same way that Palin has won the hearts of so many conservatives: by sending cultural cues to convince them that he was one of them, understood them, sympathized with them. So that made everything else irrelevant in 2000 – as it seems again to be doing in 2008.”

But in the end, Frum wrote, Bush lacked “important aspects of leadership which is how we got into the mess from which he needed to rescue the country and himself.”

Related: Bob Cesca – George W. Palin

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McCain’s Hot Temper And He Pushed Woman In A Wheelchair

By- Suzie-Q @ 2:30 PM MST

McCain’s history of hot temper raises concerns

McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON — John McCain made a quick stop at the Capitol one day last spring to sit in on Senate negotiations on the big immigration bill, and John Cornyn was not pleased.

Cornyn, a mild-mannered Texas Republican, saw a loophole in the bill that he thought would allow felons to pursue a path to citizenship.

McCain called Cornyn’s claim “chicken-s—,” according to people familiar with the meeting, and charged that the Texan was looking for an excuse to scuttle the bill. Cornyn grimly told McCain he had a lot of nerve to suddenly show up and inject himself into the sensitive negotiations.

“F— you,” McCain told Cornyn, in front of about 40 witnesses.

It was another instance of the Republican presidential candidate losing his temper, another instance where, as POW-MIA activist Carol Hrdlicka put it, “It’s his way or no way.”

There’s a lengthy list of similar outbursts through the years: McCain pushing a woman in a wheelchair, trying to get an Arizona Republican aide fired from three different jobs, berating a young GOP activist on the night of his own 1986 Senate election and many more.

McCain observers say the incidents have been blown out of proportion.

“I’ve never seen anything in the way of an outburst of temper that struck me as anything out of the ordinary,” said McCain biographer Robert Timberg.

“Those reports are overstated,” said Rives Richey, who attended Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., with McCain in the early 1950s.

Historians point out that it’s not unusual for a president to have a fierce temper, but most knew how to keep it under control.

“Harry Truman wrote scathing letters, but he almost never sent them,” said author Robert Dallek.

“George Washington spent a lifetime trying to control his temper,” added historian Richard Norton Smith.

But Washington didn’t have YouTube replaying videos of his tantrums, nor did he have to make decisions about nuclear weapons.

(more…)

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By- Suzie-Q @ 2:00 PM MST

Bush announces federal takeover of Fannie, Freddie

Raw Story via Associated Press
Published: Sunday September 7, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration, acting to avert the potential for major financial turmoil, says the federal government was taking control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Officials announced that the executives of both institutions had been replaced. Herb Allison, a former vice chairman of Merrill Lynch, was selected to head Fannie Mae and David Moffett, a former vice chairman of US Bancorp, was picked to head Freddie Mac.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the actions were being taken because “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil in our financial markets here at home and around the globe.”

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Sunday Talk Shows And Palin Media Absence

By- Suzie-Q @ 1:00 PM MST

Palin’s Absence Becomes Focus Of Sunday Talk

Huffington Post- Sam Stein

September 7, 2008 01:35 PM

UPDATE: “Republican vice presidential running mate Sarah Palin is offering her first televised interview to ABC News in the coming week in Alaska,” AP reports.

“A McCain-Palin adviser says an interview was offered to ABC’s Charlie Gibson several days ago and that they expect it to happen in the latter part of the week in Alaska. Palin is the governor of Alaska and is expected to return home at midweek after more joint appearances with McCain.”

ORIGINAL POST: It’s been nine days since Gov. Sarah Palin was tapped to be John McCain’s vice president, and the Alaska Republican has given nary an interview since then. Her absence was acutely felt this Sunday, as both presidential candidates and Sen. Joseph Biden took to the morning shows to plead their cases for election day.

Palin came up primarily in the context of her refusal to appear.

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Biden told Tom Brokaw, “Eventually, she’s going to have to sit in front of you like I’m doing and have done. Eventually, she’s going to have to answer questions and not be sequestered. Eventually, she’s going to have to answer on the record.” Later, Brokaw told viewers he had reached out to the Delaware Democrat’s Republican counterpart to no avail.

McCain, appearing on CBS’s Face The Nation, was asked about Palin’s absence as well. He hinted that his number two would be taking questions soon, but dismissed the inquiry with a humorous dig at the number of times he himself has gone on the show,

“We just finished the convention but within the next few days and I am strongly recommending that she come on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer and that will be the first of her 65 appearances,” said the Senator.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama, appearing on ABC’s This Week, made a sly joke about Palin’s eagerness to throw a political punch but shyness about taking press questions.

(more…)

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Palin Tanking With ‘Targeted Voters’

By- Suzie-Q @ 10:45 AM MST

Palin tanking with targeted voters

Sun Sep 07, 2008 at 08:36:14 AM PDT

Wasn’t Palin chosen to usher Hillary voters into the fold?

Isn’t she supposed to be a dynamite choice for women, mothers, and those cherished “family values”?

Here’s a great article about how Palin is viewed by the very demographic she is supposed to appeal to: disaffected Hillary voters and small town women.

It might surprise you.

UPDATE: Wow! My first rec list!

I’d like to thank the academy…

and all the folks who are finding my diary helpful and inspirational.

Remember: we can’t trust those talking heads on television. The “open mike” moment was the first real truth to come out in a long time.

To the Flipmobile:

This September 7th article from the LA Times was written by a reporter visiting Uniontown, Pennsylvania, a former coal-mining town in the foothills of the Appalachians. Exactly the kind of town that is supposedly “trouble for Obama.”

But this is also the kind of area that is particularly hard hit by the economic policies beloved of the Republicans.

So what are these ladies saying?

Trish Heckman, 49, restaurant cook and disappointed Hillary supporter:

“I wanted Hillary to win so bad, but I saw Sarah, and it just didn’t work for me,” said Heckman, taking a break in the empty courtyard of J. Paul’s restaurant in a downtown struggling to revive. “I have no retirement. Obama understands it’s the economy. He knows how we live.”

Gosh! An African American man from an big urban city knows how she lives.

What does a 46 year old waitress at the local diner say?

She had already declared Palin “the perfect candidate” after watching her Wednesday speech. Artice had already decided that her vote would go to the first candidate who mentioned gasoline prices.

“And — I’ll be danged — it was Obama,” Artice said, between servings of liver and onions during the lunch rush.

I love that “I’ll be danged.” It’s exactly how my own female relatives talk.

Sandy Ryan, 59. How did she view Palin belittling Obama’s history as a community organizer on Chicago’s South Side?

[She…] clicked the remote.

“That’s enough of that. I switched over to ‘House Hunters,’ ” she said with some disgust over dessert with a group of women from the senior housing complex she manages.

I think it was a mistake to make fun of community organizers. It sure played well with a bunch of party faithful who already are reluctant to give up any of “their money” to the poor and needy. But those who actually live in small towns know how much the people in these places depend on community effort and community support.

It’s heartbreaking to see how many pancake breakfasts and spaghetti suppers are held in my area to help a sick child or a family breadwinner facing a serious illness. A tip jar on the counter of my local store is not even going to touch the needs of that six year old who needs a kidney transplant, or the local volunteer coach with Lou Gehrig’s disease, to just name the two most recent residents with their pictures on those coffee cans.

Patty Tobal, 63 year old retired nurse and lifelong feminist says:

“We don’t need any more fighting in Washington,” Tobal said while having her hair done at a little shop on Route 40, where the customers go longer between appointments in these hard times. “Women are not for women just because they are women. We are intelligent enough to make a conscious decision.”

Exactly my take on the Palin pick. I was insulted by this brazen appeal to what the Daily Show’s Samantha Bee calls “Vagina-Americans.”

Jennifer Glisan, 23, an EMT, says:

“I think Palin is a fake. She will run the economy into the ground,” Glisan said after catching glimpses of the vice presidential nominee’s speech between emergency calls.

“I have to kill myself every day at work to earn enough to pay for gas to get there. I think Obama is sincere. I think we need a change.”

This is powerful stuff, right from the people Palin was supposed to appeal to.

But I’m not surprised. This was a classic head fake from the Karl Rove playbook. Palin wasn’t chosen to scoop up women and the small town crowd: unless those very people are also right wing evangelicals.

Palin is there to shore up their previously indifferent Base. Those folks who care more about preventing abortion than they do about caring for all the babies their policies are designed to create.

Those “Christians” who skip over the part where Jesus himself says we should take care of the neediest among us.

Those people who love George Bush.

The Base was indifferent to McCain. The non-Base weren’t buying his “centrist, not-Bush” compaigning. So to keep this election from being a total blowout, they had to, once again, pull in the Base as the only GOTV effort they still had.

So, in conclusion:

–Step away from the despair. Karl Rove turns out to be a one-dirty-trick pony. This is all they have. In a year where Bush is breaking records in disapproval ratings, that’s not an endorsement of Rove’s talent assessment. It’s an indictment of their governing policy, which has had time to settle into even the most clueless voter’s mind.

–Palin is a flawed choice. Sure, they would have preferred a wingnut woman politician without the stew of scandals that haven’t even come to a full boil yet. They would have preferred an abstinence advocate without a pregnant teenage daughter. They would done better to have gotten a woman who was an actual feminist to pick up disaffected Hillary voters, who were so passionate in large part because of their strong feminist values.

But I guess they run with the whacky woman wingnut they have, not the one they wish they had. Demographically, Palin looked perfect, as mother, governor, and darling of the religious right. But despite all their carrying on, it’s not working.

Palin is going to lock up their Crazy Base World vote. Because McCain, despite all his pandering, could not.

But that’s not enough to win.

And they know it.

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posted @ 13:07 BST

By Glen Owen | Daily Mail | Last updated at 10:57 PM on 06th September 2008

Was it murder? The Hutton Inquiry found David Kelly had committed suicide but doubt has been cast on his ability to kill himself

Was it murder? The Hutton Inquiry found David Kelly had committed suicide but doubt has been cast on his ability to kill himself

Was it murder? The Hutton Inquiry found David Kelly had committed suicide but doubt has been cast on his ability to kill himself

David Kelly’s mysterious death should be investigated by a coroner to establish whether the weapons inspector was murdered, the Government has been told.

The demand was made in a letter to Attorney General Baroness Scotland following revelations in The Mail on Sunday that question the Hutton Inquiry’s finding of suicide.

After 59-year-old Dr Kelly’s body was discovered in woods near his Oxfordshire home in July 2003, a coroner’s inquiry into his death was controversially halted by the Government.

Lord Hutton took over the investigation and concluded the scientist slashed his left wrist and took an overdose of painkillers after being named as the source of a BBC report on the Iraq war.

But after the weapons inspector’s close friend Mai Pederson cast doubt in this newspaper last week on his ability to kill himself – she says his right hand was so weak following an accident that he would have been unable to cut himself fatally – Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker has written to the Attorney General demanding a coroner’s inquest.

Mr Baker, who has written a book on Mr Kelly, believes he was murdered by supporters of the war, with exiled Iraqi dissidents heading his list of suspects.

(more…)

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Doubt, Distrust, Delay

anthony @ 10:08 BST

Gen. George W. Casey Jr. believed that President Bush made the mistake of viewing the war in conventional terms. "George, we're not playing for a tie," Bush had said to Casey, who considered the suggestion an affront. (By Gerald Martineau -- The Washington Post)

Gen. George W. Casey Jr. believed that President Bush made the mistake of viewing the war in conventional terms.

The inside story of how President Bush’s team dealt with its failing Iraq strategy

By Bob Woodward | Washington Post Staff Writer | Sunday, September 7, 2008

During the summer of 2006, from her office adjacent to the White House, deputy national security adviser Meghan O’Sullivan sent President Bush a daily top secret report cataloging the escalating bloodshed and chaos in Iraq. “Violence has acquired a momentum of its own and is now self-sustaining,” she wrote July 20, quoting from an intelligence assessment.

Her dire evaluation contradicted the upbeat assurances that President Bush was hearing from Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the U.S. commander in Iraq. Casey and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld were pushing to draw down American forces and speed the transfer of responsibility to the Iraqis. Despite months of skyrocketing violence, Casey insisted that within a year, Iraq would be mostly stable, with the bulk of American combat troops headed home.

Publicly, the president claimed the United States was winning the war, and he expressed unwavering faith in Casey, saying, “It’s his judgment that I rely upon.” Privately, he was losing confidence in the drawdown strategy. He questioned O’Sullivan that summer with increasing urgency: “What are you hearing from people in Baghdad? What are people’s daily lives like?”

“It’s hell, Mr. President,” she answered, determined not to mislead or lie to him.

(more…)

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