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Posted on October 10th, 2008 by DJK - Comments -

About 30 minutes into the second presidential debate, I realized that the McCain/Palin campaign had made a fatal error in their desperate decision to try to portray Barack Obama as a dangerous, stupid, reckless, naïve, elitist, treasonous, socialist Muslim black supremacist terrorist in the final weeks of the election.

By claiming that Obama should not be president because he is a dangerous terrorist, McCain/Palin have set the bar so low that Obama just needs to show up without wearing an explosive vest to deflate what is now their primary attack against him. By not being the scary caricature McCain/Palin say he is, Obama easily surpasses the artificially low threshold they have set for him while simultaneously revealing McCain/Palin as desperate, fearmongering liars. “McCain/Palin: Desperate Fearmongering Liars” — probably not what their campaign would want on their bumperstickers.

Also, you’d think McCain would have realized that his open contempt for Obama during the first debate, where he refused to even make eye contact with Obama for the entire 90 minutes, went over like a shit balloon and provided further proof that McCain does not have the temperament to be president. So you’d think McCain would be on better behavior this time and show voters that he can be respectful, gracious and classy. You’d think that — but you’d be wrong. Apparently McCain is incapable of being respectful, gracious or classy — he wouldn’t even shake Obama’s hand at the end of the night. How can you claim to be someone who reaches across the aisle when you won’t even reach out your hand?

And you heard it correctly, McCain really did call Obama “That one”. Guess computer-illiterate McCain missed that email revealing that the real Obama is a person, not an object. Maybe he thought calling Obama “boy” would just be too humanizing. Nothing says “respect” and “class” like referring to your half black opponent as a piece of property. And speaking of property, McCain said to a young black man in the audience who asked a question about the bailout “I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] before this crisis.” Did McCain assume this because he thinks black people don’t own homes or because he thinks they’re stupid? (BTW, my brother noted that apparently no Asians live in the ‘town’ where the townhall debate was held).

There are so many other reasons why McCain lost — his bizarre insistence that offshore drilling and building nuclear plants will fix the economy, that obscure earmarks are ruining America, his horrible jokes, his easily debunked attacks — but I think everyone knows what happened. McCain lost and he lost big.

Posted on October 7th, 2008 by DJK - Comments -

Many on the left have been wondering for months when the media or the Obama campaign would bring up the Savings & Loan scandal, John McCain’s “membership” in the Keating 5, and the clear connections to the economic crisis the world is currently enduring. A few news programs have broached the topic, though usually in biographical pieces about McCain instead of relating it to the sub-prime debacle, with which there are clear, eerie parallels.

So the Obama campaign has done what the corporate media has failed to do: explain the S&L crisis, McCain’s involvement in it, and how little McCain learned from it as he continues (until a few weeks ago) to call for even more of the deregulation that caused both the S&L and subprime disasters. You can view KEATING ECONOMICS: John McCain and the Making of a Financial Crisis below, or go to KeatingEconomics.com to find out more about it (and even download your own hi-res copy).

Like many voters, I had heard of the Keating 5, but I was a bit young when the S&L scandal happened and had never understood McCain’s role in it (other than him being one of the five). I eventually did my own research and was shocked by the parallels, and even more shocked that the corporate media was not mentioning it every time McCain talked about the economy and/or his abrupt reversal on deregulation and his decades of championing deregulation at all costs. If the corporate media has any shame, they should be ashamed that it took the Obama campaign to bring this story to the fore. It is the media’s duty in a functioning democracy to inform citizens about a candidate’s record and experiences that are relevant to issues being faced by voters today.

And, once again, I am amazed at the Obama campaign’s long-range planning, discipline, and restraint. Obama has mentioned the S&L crisis in speeches but has never discussed McCain’s involvement in it. I’m sure this video was done months ago, but Obama and his campaign weren’t going to bring it up unless they felt they needed to, even though many felt that it was perfectly fair game. But as the McCain campaign unveiled its very creative plan to win the election by exhuming and beating the long-dead horses of Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers, the Obama campaign was all ready to roll out a story that is actually relevant to what Americans are currently experiencing. And, to many people, it will actually be news.

I think most voters would rather hear about McCain’s involvement in what is now the second-biggest financial debacle in American history than hearing Rev. Wright say “God damn America!” for the 700 billionth time.

Posted on September 21st, 2008 by DJK - Comments -

Not many people (including myself) know a lot about John McCain and how he is a member of the Keating 5, a group of senators largely responsible for the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980s. But here’s a hint — it’s almost exactly like what is happening in our economy right now, only on a smaller scale. An industry making outrageously risky deals, a lack of oversight, and politicians (including McCain) fighting for less regulation over the offending industry, claiming the magical “free market” would take care of any improprieties. And the ending was the same, too — a massive taxpayer bailout.

Progressive Accountability has produced a new documentary, Third Term, which explores McCain’s involvement in the Keating 5 and how McCain’s economic policies are identical to or worse than Bush’s. Third Term won’t come out until September 25 (can’t they bump that up a little sooner?), but the preview makes a nifty summary of McCain’s involvement in one of the nation’s biggest economic/ethics scandals. That is, until this week.

Posted on August 29th, 2008 by DJK - Comments -

Previously, I’d seen John McCain’s VP pick as a no-win situation. He couldn’t pick Joe Lieberman because he’s Jewish and pro-choice (angering evangelicals), couldn’t pick Mitt Romney because he’s Mormon (angering evangelicals), and couldn’t pick Mike Huckabee since he’s a religious fundamentalist (angering independents). Seemed like Tim Pawlenty would be a safe, boring choice that wouldn’t excite anyone, especially since no one knows who he is.

But McCain’s choice of Alaska’s Sarah Palin shows that, by attempting to think outside the box, McCain has found a previously undiscovered way to lose a no-win situation. Seriously, choosing Palin is utterly ridiculous. Here are just a few reasons that I thought of without really trying:

1. Completely undercuts one of McCain’s main arguments against Barack Obama — that Obama lacks the experience to be president. If Obama isn’t experienced enough, what the hell is Palin? Should be hilarious to watch McCain and the republicans try to answer that one.

2. Introduces an issue that has not gotten nearly as much attention as it should — McCain’s age and health. It’s clear that McCain’s brain is already deteriorating, and with his advanced age, Palin is less than a heartbeat away from being president — it’s more like a half beat. Does anyone, including republicans, feel secure with the prospect of president Palin?

3. Alaska is already a republican state. No votes to pick up there.

4. McCain’s pick shows that he has essentially bought his own propaganda, believing that there are scads of Hillary Clinton supporters who won’t back Obama and need a reason to vote for McCain. While McCain and the corporate media spent all week talking about this phantom demographic, I think there are only a tiny number of such women who were given a disproportionately loud voice by the McCain campaign and the media trying to stir up trouble. If there are such women, my guess is that they were mostly disgusted republicans who were willing to cross party lines to see a woman become president. If there were any more, Hillary’s strong statements at the DNC will have left no doubt what supporting Hillary really means — voting with the democrats.

5. This is sure to infuriate the very powerful sexist wing of the republican party. I can’t imagine Rush Limbaugh supporting a woman president of any party.

6. Palin is in the middle of an investigation over whether she used her influence to get her former brother-in-law, State Trooper Mike Wooten, fired. When Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan refused to fire Wooten, Monegan was suddenly fired. Palin and her administration forcefully claimed they had nothing to do with it, but they had to reverse that stance when a tape surfaced of a call with one of her staff saying that Palin wanted Wooten fired. Firing dedicated public servants (a state trooper, no less), for political/personal reasons? DOJ attorney scandal, anyone?

7. Soon to be a YouTube sensation, Palin said in a CNBC interview that she doesn’t want to entertain the notion of being vice president until “someone answers for me what is it exactly the VP does everyday?” Why can’t she find out for herself? Don’t they have books and the internet in Alaska? If someone said I might be chosen as VP, I would find out myself what the VP does, not wait for someone to explain it to me. Maybe, like McCain and Bush, Palin is still learning how to use “a Google”.

8. Palin was the chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which “oversees oil and gas drilling, development and production, reservoir depletion and metering operations on all lands subject to the state's police powers”. Just the change America needs — another VP looking to enrich the oil industry. Totally undercuts McCain’s claim that he bucks the repubs by being more green and is not in the pocket of Big Oil. 

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