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Al Franken: Where Rush Limbaugh’s Facts Come From

 

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October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Wrong From the Beginning

Sen. Obama’s latest campaign video, “Keating Economics: John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis,” features William Black, the former deputy director of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, who attended a meeting, in April 1987, of McCain, four other senators and Black’s boss at the time, Edwin Gray.

The “Keating Five” scandal became the symbol of the collapse of the nation’s savings and loan industry and the ensuing $124 billion government bailout.

Black and Gray testified before the Senate Ethics Committee in 1990 that McCain, along with Sens. Dennis DeConcin (D-Ariz.), Alan Cranston (D-Calif.), John Glenn (D-Ohio) and Don Riegle (D-Mich.), pressured Gray to relax an investment regulation opposed by Charles Keating. The committee ruled that McCain exercised “poor judgment” for his role in the affair.

Black, now an associate professor of economics and law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, told me that McCain has long opposed regulation of the financial markets.

“McCain has gotten this stuff wrong from the beginning,” Black said. “One his first acts as a member of the House was trying to stop the re-regulation of the thrift industry” by opposing efforts by regulators to increase capital reserves and reduce the amount of money thrifts could invest, as well as other revisions sought by regulators.

With the economy heading into recession, Obama is bringing up McCain’s unsavory ties to Keating in an attempt to focus the blame for the current financial crisis on the man who was in the eye of the last financial storm to plague the nation the nation–the S&L crisis.

It’s a strategy that could work.

http://washingtonindependent.com/10601/10601

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palin Supporter To Black Sound Man: “Sit Down, Boy”

Sarah Palin’s frequent attacks on the media are now stoking so much outrage among her supporters that they’ve now taken to abusing reporters:

Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

Palin’s ugly attacks, her non-stop lying, and her glaring buffoonery and incompetence are all the media’s fault! It is pretty outrageous, this liberal media conspiracy to report accurately on what Palin says and does as she asks us to put her a heartbeat away from being steward of our troubled economy and controlling the most powerful military in human history.

Read the Whole Story here. 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

CNN Truth Squad on Keating Economics

The verdict is in. CNN Truth Squad gives the stamp of approval on 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Palin Overstates Energy Experience

Palin’s Policies as Governor Reveal No Energy Expertise

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Vice President Dick Cheney is the chief caretaker of national security in the Bush administration. If Gov. Sarah Palin follows in his footsteps, she’ll be angling for energy.

In an early exchange with Sen. Joseph Biden during the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday, Palin called energy her “area of expertise.” She talked about her deep energy experience throughout the evening.

As governor, Palin said, she faced off with big oil, ultimately raising industry taxes in Alaska. She stated that a $40 billion natural gas pipeline was well underway, thanks to her leadership — referring to a plan to subsidize a Canadian company with a half-billion dollars to explore such a project. These decisions, Palin argued, would allow her to lead the United States to “energy independence” — important not only for the economy, but for national security.

A close examination of Palin’s energy background, however, reveals that the GOP vice presidential candidate has only a relatively short history of studying and working on this issue. Palin served as chairwoman of a state energy board, a position reserved for a private citizen, for 11 months. A year before running for governor, Palin joined a group of other Republicans in TV ads advocating an all-Alaska gas pipeline route, though she eventually didn’t support this in office. As governor, Palin made a series of distinctly populist energy decisions that yielded short-term political gains, rather than policies designed for the long-term benefit of Alaska.

Read the whole story here

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

Anti-Abortion Catholics for Obama?

Coming on the heels of Doug Kmiec’s new book “Can a Catholic Support Him? Asking the Big Questions about Barack Obama,” Duquesne University School of Law dean Nick Cafardi has written an essay titled, “I’m Catholic, Staunchly Anti-Abortion, and Support Obama.”

“I believe that abortion is an unspeakable evil, yet I support Sen. Barack Obama, who is pro-choice,” he writes. “I do not support him because he is pro-choice, but in spite of it. Is that a proper moral choice for a committed Catholic? As one of the inaugural members of the U.S. bishops’ National Review Board on clergy sexual abuse, and as a canon lawyer, I answer with a resounding yes.”

Cafardi writes that anti-abortion activists “have lost the abortion battle — permanently. A vote for Sen. John McCain does not guarantee the end of abortion in America. Not even close.”

So why Obama? McCain and Obama agree on embryonic stem-cell research, he says, so that’s a wash.

“But what about an unjust war? In 2003, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) said flatly that ‘reasons sufficient for unleashing a war against Iraq did not exist.’ McCain voted for it; Obama opposed it.

“What about torture? There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes,” according to Antonio Taguba, the retired major general who investigated abuses in Iraq. Obama opposes the use of torture in all cases; McCain, himself a victim of torture, voted to allow the CIA to use so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” — a euphemism for torture.”

 

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/10/anti-abortion-c.html

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | Leave a comment

McCain Aide’s Husband Headed Trade Group Lobbying on Bailout

It looks there’s another John McCain adviser with a personal background that doesn’t exactly jibe with the candidate’s recent effort to portray himself as a populist crusader for ordinary folks.

Last week in Green Bay, McCaindeclared: “At the center of the problem were the lobbyists, politicians, and bureaucrats who succeeded in persuading Congress and the administration to ignore the festering problems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

Of course, as Barack Obama has pointed out, McCain’s campaign is a virtual who’s who of former lobbyists for Fannie and Freddie.

But another McCain adviser has close personal ties to one of the industries that, like Fannie and Freddie, spent too long assuring the public that the housing market was in good health, and thereby forestalling efforts that might have protected homeowners and staved off a crisis.

Nancy Pfotenhauer, a senior economic adviser to McCain, has been all over the airwaves in recent days touting McCain’s decision to “suspend” his campaign over the bailout. But her husband, Kurt Pfotenhauer, worked until late last year as the top lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, a trade group that in recent years downplayed fears of a housing bubble, only to be proved spectacularly wrong.

Read more of the story here

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

I went to the McCain rally today

 

For happier reading, here is my Diary from when I saw Obama in June. Here

So yesterday, I found out that there was going to be a McCain/Palin rally about 20 minutes from my house. Seeing another opportunity to see politics in action, I decided to take the day off and go see the rally, and take a bunch of photos.  7.5 Hours, 1901 pictures, and an estimated 20,000 people later, I am back home reflecting on my day.

To  be brutally honest,  I was not going to vote for McCain anyway. I knew I was not going to be swayed by anyone, or anything today. However, I simply wanted to listen and learn why people support John McCain. Similar to when I saw John Edwards and Mitt Romney in New Hampshire last year, I kept my mouth closed and my ears open. In June, I saw Barack Obama, and there I asked more questions, and was more open. But today, I was going to be careful. I wanted my pictures, and I wanted to get a feel of the movement behind the McCain/Palin ticket.

Read whole story here.

 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Greenspan Says McCain Tax Plan Needs Corresponding Budget Cuts

By Scott Lanman

Sept. 12 (Bloomberg) — Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspansaid the country can’t afford $3.3 trillion of tax cuts proposed by Republican presidential nominee John McCain without corresponding spending reductions.

Greenspan, a lifelong Republican and longtime friend of McCain, said today on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt” that “I’m not in favor of financing tax cuts with borrowed money.”

McCain has said he would balance the cost of most of his tax cuts with budget reductions, while providing few details beyond eliminating earmarks and other pork-barrel spending, which have totaled about $171 billion since 2001. Democratic nominee Barack Obama is proposing fewer tax cuts and more ambitious spending programs.

Greenspan said he has “mixed feelings” about a second government economic-stimulus bill after the U.S. provided a $168 billion package in February. While such an action may increase the budget deficit at a time when spending on retirees’ medical benefits is about to cause “big” financial problems, it may also boost economic growth, he said.

Greenspan has said there’s at least a 50 percent chance the U.S. economy will slide into a recession.

“There is no infinite piggy bank here,” Greenspan said today. It’s “far more important” to use federal resources, if necessary, to shore up the financial system and end the credit crisis, as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson did in taking over mortgage-finance companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, averting a possible run on the system, Greenspan said.

Read the whole story here.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment

McCain on FCS: Flip-flop or fib?

Has Sen. John McCain renounced his longtime antagonism toward the Army’s Future Combat Systems?

On Sept. 8, the Republican presidential candidate told a rally crowd in Lee’s Summit, Mo., about an Obama video message to a liberal advocacy group.

“He promised them he would, quote, ‘slow our development of Future Combat Systems,’” McCain said, according to wire reports. “This is not a time to slow our development of Future Combat Systems.”

Flashback to July, however, when his campaign furnished McCain’s economic plan to The Washington Post, declaring that “there are lots of procurements — Airborne Laser, [C-17] Globemaster, Future Combat System [sic] — that should be ended and the entire Pentagon budget should be scrubbed.”

In fact, McCain has long criticized the over-budget, behind-schedule FCS program. In 2005, he blasted the Army for allowing the program to balloon to $161 billion, and forced the service to rewrite the main FCS contract.

So where does McCain really stand? Some bloggers and analysts have suggested that he used the term “future combat systems” generically. Obama’s campaign maintains their candidate was speaking specifically about FCS, in which case McCain may be twisting his rival’s words.

Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute called it deceitful.

Read the whole story here

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , | Leave a comment

McCain-Palin Crowd-Size Estimates Not Backed by Officials

 

 

By Lorraine Woellert and Jeff Bliss

Sept. 13 (Bloomberg) — Senator John McCain has drawn some of the biggest crowds of his presidential campaign since adding Alaska Governor Sarah Palinto his ticket on Aug. 29. Now officials say they can’t substantiate the figures McCain’s aides are claiming.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin’s attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

“The 23,000 figure was substantiated on the ground,” McCain spokesmanTucker Bounds said. “The campaign is willing to stand by the fact that it was our biggest crowd to date.”

“Since day one, this campaign has been consistent that we’re not going to win or lose based on crowd size but the substance of John McCain’s record,” Bounds said.

Read the whole story here. 

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Conservative Political Forum Sells Racist “Obama Waffles”

 

WASHINGTON — Activists at a conservative political forum snapped up boxes of waffle mix depicting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama as a racial stereotype on its front and wearing Arab-like headdress on its top flap.

Values Voter Summit organizers cut off sales of Obama Waffles boxes on Saturday, saying they had not realized the boxes displayed “offensive material.” The summit and the exhibit hall where the boxes were sold had been open since Thursday afternoon.

The box was meant as political satire, said Mark Whitlock and Bob DeMoss, two writers from Franklin, Tenn., who created the mix. They sold it for $10 a box from a rented booth at the summit sponsored by the lobbying arm of the Family Research Council.

David Nammo, executive director of the lobbying group FRC Action, said summit organizers were told the boxes were a parody of Obama’s policy positions but had not examined them closely.

Republican Party stalwarts Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney were among speakers at the forum, which officials said drew 2,100 activists from 44 states.

While Obama Waffles takes aim at Obama’s politics by poking fun at his public remarks and positions on issues, it also plays off the old image of the pancake-mix icon Aunt Jemima, which has been widely criticized as a demeaning stereotype. Obama is portrayed with popping eyes and big, thick lips as he stares at a plate of waffles and smiles broadly.

Placing Obama in Arab-like headdress recalls the false rumor that he is a follower of Islam, though he is actually a Christian.

Follow link to see full article and video

October 30, 2008 Posted by | **MAIN**, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fact Check: Did Obama vote 94 times for higher taxes?

“He said he won’t raise taxes for most people, but he’s voted 94 times in his short Senate career for tax increases and against tax cuts.”
-Sen. John McCain, at a campaign stop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Friday Sept. 19, 2008

 

The facts:
The effort to convince voters that Sen. Barack Obama would support higher taxes is a central part of Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign. McCain and the Republican National Committee have repeatedly cited 94 alleged votes by Obama to bolster their argument.

Factcheck.org, a non-partisan project of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center, pieced through records to determine just what these 94 votes were. Key findings:

-23 were against proposed tax cuts
-7 were “for measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few, either corporations or affluent individuals”
-11 were to increase taxes on people making more than $1 million a year, to help fund programs such as Head Start, school nutrition, or veterans’ health care
-53 were votes on budget resolutions or amendments that “could not have resulted by themselves in raising taxes,” though many “were clear statements of approval for increased taxes”
- The total includes multiple votes on the same measures

Annenberg says a close look at the record reveals that Obama has “voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers.”

Verdict:MISLEADING! McCain’s summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes.

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

All the Candidates’ Cars

 

When you have seven homes, that’s a lot of garages to fill. After the fuss over the number of residences owned by the two presidential nominees, NEWSWEEK looked into the candidates’ cars. And based on public vehicle-registration records, here’s the score. John and Cindy McCain: 13. Barack and Michelle Obama: one.

The Obama's family car

One vehicle in the McCain fleet has caused a small flap. United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger, an Obama backer, accused McCain this month of “flip-flopping” on who bought daughter Meghan’s foreign-made Toyota Prius. McCain said last year that he bought it, but then told a Detroit TV station on Sept. 7 that Meghan “bought it, I believe, herself.” (The McCain campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment.)

Obama’s lone vehicle also is a green machine, a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid. He bought it last year to replace the family’s Chrysler 300C, a Hemi-powered sedan. Obama ditched the 300C, once 50 Cent’s preferred ride, after taking heat for driving a guzzler while haranguing Detroit about building more fuel-efficient cars.

 

McCain’s personal ride, a 2004 Cadillac CTS, is no gas sipper, but it should make Detroit happy because it’s made by General Motors. “I’ve bought American literally all my life and I’m proud,” McCain said in the interview with Detroit’s WXYZ-TV. But the rest of his fleet is not all-American. There’s a 2005 Volkswagen convertible in the garage along with a 2001 Honda sedan. Otherwise, there’s a 2007 half-ton Ford pickup truck, which might come in handy on the Sedona ranch; a vintage 1960 Willys Jeep; a 2008 Jeep Wrangler; a 2000 Lincoln; and a 2001 GMC SUV. The McCains also own three 2000 NEV Gem electric vehicles, which are bubble-shaped cars popular in retirement communities.

Only the Cadillac is registered in the candidate’s name. Cindy McCain’s name is on 11 vehicles, though not the one she actually drives. That car, a Lexus, is registered to her family’s beer-distributor business and is outfitted with personalized plates that read MS BUD.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/160091

October 30, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , | Leave a comment