McCain chooses the 'if you can't beat em join 'em' technique.
Out of the blue, McCain adopted the change mantra. Is he aware of which campaign he on? What happened to Country First? Or more appropriately, Team America: Fuck Yeah!
The gloating circus that was the Republican convention seemed to have worked. On the average, as of today, Sept. 7, 2008 McCain/Stalin is up 1 point. That's pretty impressive since Obama was up about 7 or 8 points before the "pit bull" gave her speech. What's more impressive is that people are buying it. Over the course of the GOP convention I kept shaking my head at the TV and eventually turned it off. Their whole strategy is based on people not thinking, and creating chants based on emotions. Doubly odd is the fact that McCain gave one of the weakest acceptance speeches in history. This is the time that the nominee is to lay out their platform for what they are going to do for the country and get down to it. What did we get from McCain? Ummm, he is a war hero? and...change Washington? I don't know if he is aware, but his party was the one had all the keys and power for the last 7+ years. Does this fact fall into the same portion of his brain that gets stumped by questions like "how many houses do you have?" *As a side note, he was recently asked if he thinks condoms help prevent spreading of the AIDS virus and his reply was: "Let me get back to you, You've stumped me." -Wow.
McCain's speech felt misplaced and out of step. Like one of those Uncle's you have to listen to out of respect go on and on about his war stories. No disrespect, but what is your plan for say, the Presidency? It seems he has replaced strategy with mystery, and again I'm amazed people don't see through it. But this is the country that put Bush in the White House twice.
Mystery #1) All summer long he has railed (and continues to rail) on Obama for his lack of experience. So who does he pick for his VP? The most inexperienced public official possible.
#2) "Change is coming to Washington." Is he pitching for Barack Obama? How is he going to defend that with the most conservative running mate and a voting record that aligns with 90% of the Bush administration?
#3) Grabbing Palin as VP to appeal to disenfranchised Hilary voters when she opposes almost everything Hilary does.
#4) Stating he is going to change Washington when he runs one of the most conventional conventions to date. It was chalk full of bad mouthing, smoke and mirrors to distract the audience from the glaring fact that right now America is in an AWFUL spot, thanks largely to their party.
#5) "We're going to restore honor and respect to the white house once more." Um... Does this sound familiar? It should because it is EXACTLY THE SAME as what W. stumped on in 2000. See what a bang up job he did of that? Notice that wasn't in his 2004 campaign.
#6) Saying his opponent is going to raise taxes while he is going to lower them. Maybe he's referring to an opponent other than Barack because Obama/Biden have made it abundantly clear that they will LOWER taxes (more than McCain) for people earning up $250,000. You can go to Fact Check for more.
#7) Repeated lies and slander. If you look on my blog for the fact check of Palin's/Rove's speech you'll find it chalk full of lies. It's enough to make you not want to vote...Or vote for Barack. It's one thing to stretch the truth, but this was blatant lies, here are couple more:
> He promised to increase use of "wind, tide [and] solar" energy, though his actual energy plan contains no new money for renewable energy. He has said elsewhere that renewable sources won’t produce as much as people think. He also has repeatedly VOTED AGAINST these very initiatives in congress.
> He called for "reducing government spending and getting rid of failed programs," but as in the past failed to cite a single program that he would eliminate or reduce.
Again, go to FactCheck.org to learn for yourself, plus many many more!
So I guess his strategy is to say anything he wants or feels like, and see what sticks. It's clear he doesn't have much of a leg to stand on when it comes to actual issues and policies, so the magic show continues. Hey, it worked for W.!
If you like what you see forward it to more people. I know the Republicans get a bounce after their circus has their show but I'm really hoping people will actually start to look behind the wizards curtain a bit more. I know we are a smart country, I also know we are in a mess and can't tell what the future will bring. Here's hoping for the best.
I think this is both hilarious and awesome. Check this out:
(CNN) – Barack Obama's campaign for president has raised $10 million since Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin spoke Wednesday night, the campaign announced, calling it a "one-day record."
Palin, the governor of Alaska, launched harsh attacks on Obama, accusing him of being two-faced and a political lightweight with no significant legislative accomplishments.
"Coverage of the Palin attacks on the news this evening just pushed us over $10 million," Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in an e-mail to reporters Wednesday night.
The Republican Party announced earlier in the day it had raised $1 million in the wake of Palin's speech. *** >>>That's 10 to 1 people. 10 to 1. I never thought this was possible. I know Reps must be quaking in their boots to think that this "no experience" Dem out earns them at such an alarming rate. And what is the deal with all the empty seats at Excel? What happened to all the die-hard republicans? Oh yeah, they're at the Ron Paul gathering across the river...about 10,000 of them. Why haven't we been hearing about that?
Sarah Palin gave a really good speech. Why go beyond that, asks Simon.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — On behalf of the media, I would like to say we are sorry.
On behalf of the elite media, I would like to say we are very sorry. We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked.
We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency?
We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice?
Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.
It is not our job to ask questions. Or it shouldn’t be. To hear from the pols at the Republican National Convention this week, our job is to endorse and support the decisions of the pols.
Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head Wednesday night (and several in the audience wish she had hit some reporters on the head instead) when she said: “I’m not a member of the permanent political establishment. And I’ve learned quickly, these past few days, that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone.”
But where did we go wrong with Sarah Palin? Let me count the ways:
First, we should have stuck to the warm, human interest stuff like how she likes mooseburgers and hit an important free throw at her high school basketball tournament even though she had a stress fracture.
Second, we should have stuck to the press release stuff like how she opposed the Bridge to Nowhere (after she supported it).
Third, we should never have strayed into the other stuff. Like when The Washington Post recently wrote: “Palin is under investigation by a bipartisan state legislative body. … Palin had promised to cooperate with the legislative inquiry, but this week she hired a lawyer to fight to move the case to the jurisdiction of the state personnel board, which Palin appoints.”
Why go there? What trees does that plant?
Fourth, we should stop making with all the questions already. She gave a really good speech. And why go beyond that? As we all know, speeches cannot be written by others and rehearsed for days. They are true windows to the soul.
Unless they are delivered by Barack Obama, that is. In which case, as Palin said Wednesday, speeches are just a “cloud of rhetoric.”
Fifth, we should stop reporting on the families of the candidates. Unless the candidates want us to.
Sarah Palin wanted the media to report on her teenage son, Track, who enlisted in the Army on Sept. 11, 2007, and soon will deploy to Iraq.
Sarah Palin did not want the media to report on her teenage daughter, Bristol, who is pregnant and unmarried.
Sarah Palin thinks that one is good for her campaign and one is not, and that the media should report only on what is good for her campaign. That is our job, and that is our duty. If that is not actually in the Constitution, it should be. (And someday may be.)
The official theme of the convention’s third day was “prosperity,” but the unofficial theme was “the media are really, really awful.”
Even Mike Huckabee, who campaigned for president this year by saying “I am a conservative, but I am not mad at anybody,” discovered Wednesday night that he is mad at somebody.
“I’d like to thank the elite media for doing something,” Huckabee said, “that, quite frankly, I didn’t think could be done: unify the Republican party and all of America in support of John McCain and Sarah Palin.”
And could that be the real point of the attacks on the media? To unify the Republican Party?
No, that is simply the cynical, media view.
Though as Lily Tomlin says, “No matter how cynical I get, it’s just never enough to keep up.”
"What does a community organizer do?" asked Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee who possesses so much experience that she has been completely sheltered from the press since the moment she was presented as Sen. John McCain's running mate. A community organizer is someone who if committed has a much more direct and tangible impact on people's (fellow American citizens) lives.
The irony of Palin's ignorance is that during the same speech in which she proclaimed to be a fighter for the "regular American" and introduced her husband as a proud member of the Steelworkers union, she attempted to diminish and belittle the efforts of someone whose first path in public service was to assist many of people she now claims to be fighting for. It was also interesting to hear Rudy Giuliani mock Obama as someone who doesn't know how to run anything and is short on national security judgment. This is an individual who "ran" a campaign which spent 50 million dollars and received 1 delegate. He pushed the appointment of Bernard Kerik as Secretary of Homeland Security -- a man whose recent trial on corruption charges highlighted concerns over whether or not he was even qualified to be N.Y. city police commissioner when then Mayor Giuliani awarded him the promotion from being his personal driver.
The Republican rap on Obama is "he's one of those elitist's". For Palin to diminish his work as a community organizer is to suggest that the citizens who live in the Chicago community in which he worked were not worthy of an advocate. Many of these same citizens who lived in that community were Steelworkers who had watched their jobs move abroad and were left with the uncertainty of how they would adjust in order to make a living, care for their family, and plan for a secure retirement. What was Palin's point when she introduced her husband as a proud member of the Steelworkers Union? She can't have it both ways.
Love this comment: "McCain may not be Bush, but Palin sure seems to be. No accountability, no answering questions, no acceptance that the media even has a role in honest society. In fact, no acceptance that truth or honesty have any merit whatsoever."
When Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, he trumpeted her husband’s union membership: “The person I’m about to introduce to you was a union member and is married to a union member, and understands the problems, the hopes and the values of working people,” he said. That day, and again last night, Palin also emphasized that her husband is “a proud member of the United Steelworkers Union.”
Conservatives are hoping the reference will play well in Michigan and Ohio. But the United Steelworkers union (USW) isn’t so pleased. USW President Leo Gerard noted that just because Todd Palin is a union member doesn’t mean that Palin is automatically qualified to represent labor interests:
It is important to realize that while the governor’s husband is a member of a union, this does not automatically qualify her for an on-the-job training program to become a heartbeat away from the presidency. And while her husband is one of 850,000 dues-paying members of the steelworkers union, it does nothing to absolve Sen. McCain of his long history of anti-union sentiment and anti-worker actions.
In fact, McCain’s hostility to unions and union priorities runs deep:
– McCain voted to block the Employee Free Choice Act, making it easier for workers to unionize. [6/26/07]
– McCain condemned unions as “serious excesses” and said government workers are “crippled” by union contracts. [10/9/07; 5/21/07]
– McCain voted to filibuster a minimum wage hike last year. [1/24/07]
– McCain voted against a bill protecting discrimination against workers who go on strike, effectively allowing companies to hire permanent replacements for striking workers. [S. 55, 7/13/94]
– McCain voted against an amendment providing more effective remedies to victims of gender discrimination in the payment of wages. [7/17/07]
Last night, Gerard demanded that Palin “stop using USW as a prop.” Noting McCain’s opposition to the top priorities on USW’s agenda, Gerard asked Palin:
Are you with McCain – and against workers – on these issues? If so, you need to stop using your husband’s membership in the USW as a prop, because then his union card cannot possibly cover up your or John McCain’s worker-savaging positions.
It should, because it was written by a Bush writer.
The Obama camp issued a statement in response to the speech:
"The speech that Governor Palin gave was well delivered, but it was written by George Bush's speechwriter and sounds exactly like the same divisive, partisan attacks we've heard from George Bush for the last eight years. If Governor Palin and John McCain want to define 'change' as voting with George Bush 90% of the time, that's their choice, but we don't think the American people are ready to take a 10% chance on change."
The best part of the several lies she spilled, were 2 stand outs:
PALIN: “I suspended the state fuel tax, and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress.”
Well, so far she has requested $589 Million in Federal Pork projects, and $197 Million for next year. So many earmarks in fact that she was criticized on it by non other than JOHN MCCAIN!
PALIN: “In fact, I told Congress — I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere.”
REALITY: PALIN WAS FOR THE BRIDGE TO NOWHERE BEFORE SHE WAS AGAINST IT.
October 2006” Palin Supported Bridge To Nowhere. In 2006, Palin was asked, “Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?” She responded, “Yes. I would like to see Alaska’s infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now—while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.” [Anchorage, 10/22/06, republished 08/29/08]
2006: Palin: Don’t Allow “Spinmeisters” To Turn Bridge To Nowhere Project “Into Something That’s So Negative.” “Part of my agenda is making sure that Southeast is heard. That your projects are important. That we go to bat for Southeast when we’re up against federal influences that aren’t in the best interest of Southeast.’ She cited the widespread negative attention focused on the Gravina Island crossing project. ‘We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative,’ Palin said.” [Ketchikan Daily News, 10/2/06]
This one is nice too:
PALIN: “Starting in January, in a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to lay more pipelines … build more new-clear plants … create jobs with clean coal … and move forward on solar, wind, geothermal, and other alternative sources.”
REALITY: PALIN CUT FUNDING FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
2007: Palin Vetoed $20 Million Toward A Fire Island Wind Farm Project. “[Sen. Hollis] French and [Anchorage Mayor Mark] Begich both lamented the [Palin] veto of $20 million toward a Fire Island wind farm project and connecting transmission lines. That money was part of Railbelt Energy Fund cash that Palin said she doesn’t want to spend until a study on energy needs is finished.” [Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), 7/30/07]
2008: Palin Cut $20 Million For Chugach Electric Association Wind Farm. As part of a large package of budget cuts, in June 2007, Gov. Sarah Palin, R-AK, cut $20 million in funding for a Chugach Electric Association wind farm. The funding was expected to come from a fund called the Railbelt Energy Fund. Palin said she cut the $20 million because she wanted more information before dipping into the Railbelt Energy Fund. [Anchorage Daily News, 6/30/08]
I have to add this one (because it is SUCH bull) and I'm off:
PALIN: “ But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate.”
REALITY: OBAMA PASSED THE MOST SWEEPING REFORMS SINCE WATERGATE IN BOTH THE ILLINOIS AND US SENATES, AMONG OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Obama Helped Pass The 2007 Ethics Reform Law, Which Curbed The Influence Of Lobbyists And Was Described As The “Most Sweeping Since Watergate.”
Obama Passed Illinois State Gift Ban Act “Heralded As the Most Sweeping Good-Government Legislation in Decades.”
Obama And Lugar Passed Law Boosting U.S. Efforts To Keep WMDs And Other Dangerous Weapons Out Of The Hands Of Terrorists.
Obama and Coburn Passed A Bill Creating A “Google-like” Database For The Public To Search Details About Federal Funding Awards.
Obama Passed Law Ensuring That Wounded Veterans Recovering In Military Hospitals Do Not Have To Pay For Their Meals Or Phone Calls To Family Members.
Obama Proposals Providing Improvements In Health Care For Recovering Soldiers Were Passed Into Law, Including Requirements For Post-Deployment Mental Health Screenings And National Study On The Needs Of Iraq War Veterans.
Obama Worked With Republicans To Pass Legislation, Which Became Law, Improving And Increasing Services For Homeless Veterans.
Obama Passed Bipartisan Legislation That Expanded Health Care Coverage To 154,000 Residents, Including 70,000 Children.
Hard Times Hitting Students and Schools in Double Blow Tyler Bissmeyer for The New York Times
Marjorie Allgood in Louisville, Ky., where a record number of students qualify for free meals. By SAM DILLON Published: August 31, 2008
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With mortgage foreclosures throwing hundreds of families out of their homes here each month, dismayed school officials say they are feeling the upheaval: record numbers of students turning up for classes this fall are homeless or poor enough to qualify for free meals.
“We’re seeing a lot more children in poverty,” said Lauren Roberts, spokeswoman for the Jefferson County school system, a 98,000-student district that includes Louisville and its suburbs.
At the same time, the district is struggling with its own financial problems. Responding to a cut of $43 million by the state in education spending and to higher energy and other costs, school officials in Jefferson County have raised lunch prices, eliminated 17 buses by reorganizing routes, ordered drivers to turn off vehicles rather than letting them idle and increased property taxes.
The Jefferson County system is typical this school year.
As 50 million children return to classes across the nation, crippling increases in the price of fuel and food, coupled with the economic downturn, have left schools from California to Florida to Maine cutting costs. Some are trimming bus service, others are restricting travel, and a few are shortening the school week. And as many districts are forced to cut back, the number of poor and homeless students is rising.
“The big national picture is that food and fuel costs are going up and school revenues are not,” said Anne L. Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association. “We’re in a recession, and it’s having a dramatic impact on schools.”
Louisville’s pain is minor compared with the woes of some cities. Detroit has laid off at least 700 teachers, Los Angeles 500 administrators and Miami-Dade County hundreds of school psychologists, maintenance workers and custodians.
Schools in many states have cut bus stops to save diesel. Districts in California and Ohio have gone further and eliminated bus service either completely or for high schools, leaving thousands of students to find their own way to school.
In Maine, officials worried about the cost of heating their classrooms this winter have restricted travel for field trips to save money. Districts in Louisiana, Minnesota and elsewhere have taken a more radical measure and adopted four-day school weeks. Hundreds of districts, responding to higher food prices, are charging more for cafeteria meals.
In interviews, educators in many states said they were seeing more needy families than at any time in memory. Two charities in suburban Detroit announced in August that they would hand out student backpacks, attracting hundreds of families.
“They went through all 300 backpacks in three hours, boom, and that was that,” said Kathleen M. Kropf, an official in the Macomb Intermediate School District. “We’re seeing a lot of desperate people.”
There were no giveaways for Jacci Murray, 28, a single mother in West Palm Beach, Fla., who said she lost her job six months ago. Ms. Murray bought pencils and crayons for her son, Cameron, who is in the second grade, from a discount bin at Office Depot. Saying she felt “cheap and broke,” she pored fretfully over her school supplies list, afraid to waste gas by making more than one shopping trip.
“It’s been tough this year,” Ms. Murray said. “I’m depressed about school.”
And so are many educators.
West Virginia officials issued a memorandum recently to local districts titled “Tips to Deal With the Skyrocketing Cost of Fuel.” Last week, David Pauley, the transportation supervisor for the Kanawha County school system, based in Charleston, met with drivers of the district’s 196 buses to outline those policies. Mr. Pauley told them to stay 5 miles per hour below the limit, to check the tire pressure every day and to avoid jackrabbit starts.
The Caldwell Parish School District, in northern Louisiana, took a more sweeping approach to saving fuel by eliminating Monday classes. The district joined about 100 systems nationwide, most of them rural, that in recent years have adopted a four-day schedule.
The district’s superintendent, John Sartin, said the move should save $145,000 in a $15 million budget. The decision, made in June, came after crude oil prices had risen for 29 consecutive days, Mr. Sartin said.
“People here worry that they won’t have enough money to last through the month,” he said.
Similar concerns in the Southern Aroostook Community School District in Maine have delayed adoption of the budget.
“We’ve tried to pass it twice, and we’re trying a third,” said Terry Comeau, the superintendent, who has restricted field trips and taken a bus off the road.
“People are saying, ‘I don’t want my taxes to go higher; I need the money to pay my bills,’ ” said Mr. Comeau, adding that one worry is that heating costs will soar this winter.
The problems in many districts can be traced to battered state budgets. According to a July report by the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states had budget gaps totaling $40 billion, and many had cut school financing.
California still has a $15.2 billion budget gap, although many districts there have made cuts, including Los Angeles Unified, which sliced $400 million from its $6 billion budget in June partly by laying off 500 administrators and secretaries, though no teachers.
Many districts are serving increasing numbers of needy students. In Mobile, Ala., the number of homeless students tripled to about 2,500 at the end of the last school year from 850 in the 2006-7 term.
“And our numbers are going to be a whole lot higher this year,” said Larissa Dickinson, a school social worker there. “We’ve had phone call after phone call from families evicted over the summer.”
Officials in districts in a half-dozen states reported similar surges.
In Louisville, 7,600 homeless students were enrolled when the term ended in June, up from 7,300 the year before. But Anne Malone, who coordinates efforts to help homeless students, said the figure would be “way up over that this year.” Ms. Malone cited foreclosure statistics from the Metropolitan Housing Coalition in Louisville that about 10 families were evicted every day here.
The number of students whose family’s income qualifies them for subsidized meals is up, too.
Under the National School Lunch Program, children in a family of four whose parents earn no more than $39,220 a year qualify for a subsidized 30-cent breakfast and 40-cent lunch. If the parents earn no more than $27,560, the children qualify for free meals.
Last year, about 58,000 Jefferson County students were eligible for free or reduced-price meals. This year, the number is likely to reach 62,000, said Mary R. Owens, who coordinates the program here. In interviews, officials in California, the District of Columbia, Florida and Wisconsin also projected increases in the number of students who would qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
Nationally, 14.9 million students qualified for free lunches last year, according to data from the Agriculture Department; the Bush administration’s budget estimates that an additional 283,000 students will be eligible this year.
A department spokeswoman, Jean Daniel, said that subsidized meals were an entitlement and that no students would be turned away if participation exceeded estimates.
The office here where parents fill out forms to qualify for subsidized meals has seen a stream of anxious parents this year, often in tears, pleading for the free meals for their children because they do not have 70 cents a day to pay for the reduced-price meals, Ms. Owens said.
“We’ve had a lot of daddies coming in to say their check doesn’t cover like it used to,” she said.