This 29 August 2008 video from the USA is called KTVA, Local CBS Affiliate, Reports On Palin Trooper-Gate Scandal.
From British daily The Guardian:
Inquiry finds Sarah Palin abused powers in Troopergate affair
In blow to John McCain’s White House campaign, report concludes running mate breached ethics rules in family feud
* Ian Cobain in Anchorage
* Saturday October 11 2008 10.07 BST
John McCain‘s election campaign last night suffered the body blow that Republicans had been bracing themselves for when his vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, was found to have abused her powers in pursuit of a personal feud against her former brother-in-law.
At the conclusion of the ten-week investigation into the so-called Troopergate affair, Palin was found to have breached the ethics rules that govern her conduct as governor of Alaska.
Update 12 October 2008: here.
Senior members of the Republican party are in open mutiny against John McCain’s presidential campaign, after a disastrous period which has seen Barack Obama solidify his lead in the opinion polls: here.
Posted by: “razldazl” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat Oct 11, 2008 5:38 am (PDT)
*”I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate …”*
Bipartisan Concern About the Dangers of McPalin’s Hate-Mongering
By Emptywheel, Firedoglake
Posted on October 10, 2008, Printed on October 11, 2008
Former McCain Campaign Chair John Weaver
John Weaver, McCain’s former top strategist, said top Republicans have a responsibility to temper this behavior.
“People need to understand, for moral reasons and the protection of our civil society, the differences with Sen. Obama are ideological, based on clear differences on policy and a lack of experience compared to Sen. McCain,” Weaver said. “And from a purely practical political vantage point, please find me a swing voter, an undecided independent, or a torn female voter that finds an angry mob mentality attractive.”
“Sen. Obama is a classic liberal with an outdated economic agenda. We should take that agenda on in a robust manner. As a party we should not and must not stand by as the small amount of haters in our society question whether he is as American as the rest of us. Shame on them and shame on us if we allow this to take hold.”
Republican advisor David Gergen
COOPER: There’s also the question of ruling after this, and bringing the country together. It’s going to be all the more harder to do that whoever wins with all this anger out there.
GERGEN: This—I think one of the most striking things we’ve seen now in the last few day. We’ve seen it in a Palin rally. We saw it at the McCain rally today. And we saw it to a considerable degree during the rescue package legislation. There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we’re not far from that.
GERGEN: I think it’s so—well, I really worry when we get people — when you get the kind of rhetoric that you’re getting at these rallies now. I think it’s really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down. And that’s why I’ve argued not only because of the question of the ugliness of it.
Republican Frank Schaeffer
John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as “not one of us,” I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.
Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.
John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out “Terrorist” or “Kill him,” history will hold you responsible for all that follows.
John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.
Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.
We will hold you responsible.
Retiring GOP Congressman Ray LaHood
LaHood supports the McCain ticket, but doesn’t like what he sees at some of the McCain-Palin rallies: When Barack Obama’s name has been mentioned by Sarah Palin, there are shouts of “terrorist,” and LaHood says Palin should put a stop to it.
“Look it. This doesn’t befit the office that she’s running for. And frankly, people don’t like it.”
Congressman LaHood says it could backfire on the Republican ticket.
He says the names that Obama is being called, “Certainly don’t reflect the character of the man.”
When the McCain campaign cast the spell of diabolical jingoism, they have no idea of the forces they are toying with. We remember Martin Luther King’s murder as a sad and tragic event. Less remembered is the fact that ground-work for King’s murder was seeded, not simply by rank white supremacy, but by people who slandered King as a communist.
This was not some notion bandied about by conspiracy theorist, but an accusation proffered by men who were the pillars
of the modern Republican Party:
/As late as 1964, Falwell was attacking the 1964 Civil Rights Act as “civil wrongs” legislation. He questioned “the sincerity and intentions of some civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and others, who are known to have left-wing associations.” Falwell charged, “It is very obvious that the Communists, as they do in all parts of the world, are taking advantage of a tense situation in our land, and are exploiting every incident to bring about violence and bloodshed.”/
Falwell was not alone
These men didn’t kill Martin Luther King, but they contributed to an atmosphere of nationalism, white supremacy and cheap unreflective patriotism that ultimately got a lot of people killed. Confronted with Aparthied South Africa, men like Helms and Falwell used the same “communist” defense. While Mandella wasted away in prison, they dismissed the whole thing as a communist plot.
Let me be clear–This is the ghost that McCain Campaign is summoning. This is the Ring Of Power that they want to wield. The Muslim charge, the “Hussein” thing is nothing more than today’s red-baiting, and it is what it was then–a cover for racists.
Those who press this Ayers line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for a man who may well be the next president of the United States, incidentally the first African-American president? Anger is a very bad political adviser. It can isolate us and push us to the extremes at exactly the moment when we ought to be rebuilding, rethinking, regrouping and recruiting.
Joe Klein :
But seriously, folks, I’m beginning to worry about the level of craziness on the Republican side, the over-the-top, stampede-the-crowd statements by everyone from McCain on down, the vehemence of the crowds that McCain and Palin are drawing with people shouting “Kill him” and “He’s a terrorist” and “Off with his head.”
Watch the tape of the guy screaming, “He’s a terrorist!” McCain seems to shudder at that, he rolls his eyes… and I thought for a moment he’d admonish the man. But he didn’t. And now he’s selling the Ayres non-story full-time. Yes, yes, it’s all he has. True enough: he no longer has his honor. But we are on the edge of some real serious craziness here and it would be nice if McCain did the right thing and told his more bloodthirsty supporters to go home and take a cold shower.
We are entering a turbulent period in our country. Validating a bogus accusation that your political rival is a terrorist in our current environment is the most irresponsible thing I’ve seen a campaign do in many a year. They know they are very likely going to lose this election. And McCain certainly knows that the main reason he is losing is because of the dramatic failures of fellow failed Republican George W. Bush. But even knowing that his candidacy was always very likely doomed is not stopping him from releasing this poison into the bloodstream of the body politic, a poison which will be with us for a long time to come. I guess that’s what McCain means when he says that Americans should fight for a cause greater than themselves. That cause, evidently, is him.
McCain and Palin have decided to stoke this rage, to foment it, to encourage paranoid notions that somehow Obama is a “secret” terrorist or Islamist or foreigner. These are base emotions in both sense of the word.
But they are also very very dangerous. This is a moment of maximal physical danger for the young Democratic nominee. And McCain is playing with fire. If he really wants to put country first, he will attack Obama on his policies – not on these inflammatory, personal, creepy grounds. This is getting close to the atmosphere stoked by the Israeli far right before the assassination of Rabin.
For God’s sake, McCain, stop it. For once in this campaign, put your country first.
Sen. John McCain, Gov. Sarah Palin and the leadership of the Republican party have a fundamental moral responsibility to denounce the violent rhetoric that has pervaded recent McCain and Palin political rallies. When rally attendees shout out such attacks as “terrorist” or “kill him” about Sen. Barack Obama, when they are cheered on by crowds incited by McCain-Palin rhetoric — it is chilling that McCain and Palin do nothing to object.
The crisis isn’t the only scary thing going on. Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage. It’s not just a mob phenomenon — it’s visible in the right-wing media, and to some extent in the speeches of McCain and Palin.
What happens when Obama is elected? It will be even worse than it was in the Clinton years. For sure there will be crazy accusations, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some violence.
To my knowledge neither McCain nor Palin has uttered a single syllable of protest as their crowds indulged their fear and loathing of Obama. It’s hard to overstate how reckless and lacking in leadership this is — and how dangerous this is, too.
But neither McCain nor Palin has taken a single step to do anything like that. Surely that’s the big story here.
© 2008 Firedoglake All rights reserved.
View this story online at:
Posted by: “Sharon” email@example.com shakabasenji
Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:58 am (PDT)
October 11, 2008
Dear Old Golden Dog Days
By GAIL COLLINS
I miss the good old days. Remember when the presidential campaign was all about oil drilling? That sure was fun.
I miss August. August was neat. The Dow was over 10,000 and nobody had ever heard of Sarah Palin.
Remember how we used to joke about John McCain looking like an old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn? It’s only in retrospect that we can see that the keep-off-the-grass period was the McCain campaign’s golden era. Now, he’s beginning to act like one of those movie characters who steals the wrong ring and turns into a troll.
During that last debate, while he was wandering around the stage, you almost expected to hear him start muttering: “We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious.”
Remember when McCain’s campaign ads were all about his being a prisoner of war? I really miss them.
Now they’re all about the Evil That Is Obama. The newest one, “Ambition,” has a woman, speaking in one of those sinister semiwhispers, saying: “When convenient, he worked with terrorist Bill Ayers. When discovered, he lied.” Then suddenly, with no warning whatsoever, she starts ranting about Congressional liberals and risky subprime loans. Then John McCain pops up to say he approved it. All in 30 seconds! And, of course, McCain would think it’s great. For the first time, the Republicans appear to have captured his thought process on tape.
The Republican campaign strategy now involves sending their candidates to areas where everybody is a die-hard McCain supporter already. Then they yell about Obama until the crowd is so frenzied people start making threats. The rest of the country is supposed to watch and conclude that this would be an enjoyable way to spend the next four years.
Maybe the Republicans should have picked somebody else. I miss Mitt Romney. Sure, he was sort of smarmy. But when Mitt was around, the banks had money and Iceland was solvent. And, of course, when we got bored, we could always talk about how he drove to Canada with his Irish setter strapped to the car roof.
I miss the old George W. Bush. When he came out of the White House and made an announcement, you would usually think that whatever he wanted to do was a terrible idea. But at least you thought he could actually make the terrible idea happen.
I miss the old American public that was too busy shopping to worry about the state of the world. Now everybody is getting scared and weird. They’ve been racing off in great numbers to see “Beverly Hills Chihuahua.” And nagging Target to take the Little Mommy Cuddle ‘n Coo dolls off the shelves because people think that when it gurgles you can hear the baby say “Islam is the light.”
I miss the old Cindy McCain. The one who used to go to rallies and sit huddled in the corner looking as if she thought the audience had a communicable disease. Now, she’s right up there on stage, standing behind her husband and making disgusted faces when he rails on about the opposition. And she’s started railing herself. (The family that rants together …) Obama is waging “the dirtiest campaign in American history.” His votes on Iraq were votes “not to fund my son when he was serving.”
Remember when the McCains wouldn’t talk about the fact that their son was in Iraq? Oh well.
Maybe Cindy is trying to hold her own against Sarah, who is with John almost as much as she is. I miss the old guy-guy McCain who had so many male pals around he looked like a walking fraternity reunion. Now, he’s starting to resemble an ambulatory patient accompanied by female attendants on an outing.
Palin has been pressing the line that people don’t really know “the real Barack Obama,” and who could make the argument better than a woman who we’ve already known for almost six weeks? Really, she’s like one of the family.
We’ve gotten so close we’ve already learned that she didn’t actually sell the plane on eBay, didn’t actually visit the troops in Iraq and didn’t really have a talk with the British ambassador. As soon as we get the Trooper thing and Alaska Independence Party thing and the tax thing figured out, she’ll be an open book.
And she’s got a point about Obama. True, he’s been campaigning for 19 months and has been interviewed by everybody from “Meet the Press” to “Men’s Health.” Which would be O.K. if we were talking about somebody from a small town rather than, as a McCain campaign co-chairman noted delicately, a “guy of the street.”
Back in August, women politicians were afraid of going negative because it might have made them look too strident. Amazing, the things you wind up being nostalgic for.
Posted by: “Zoltan Abraham” firstname.lastname@example.org zsazle
Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:25 am (PDT)
Video Roundup – Saturday, October 11
Obama hits hard with this new ad pushing back on the Ayers attacks:
This is exactly the kind of thing Kerry should have been doing.
Racism rears its ugly head at a Palin white robes only event — I mean campaign rally. A man brings a stuffed monkey, dressed up with an Obama sign:
The video linked above is from CBS. It turns out there is more at YouTube:
The McCain campaign makes absolutely no sense to me. I cannot figure out their strategy. Obama is leading in all of the states won by John Kerry, which gives him a very good shot at 252 electoral votes (out of the 270 he needs to win the presidency). Obama is also ahead in Iowa and New Mexico, which, in addition to the Kerry states, would give him 264 electoral votes.
At the same time, Obama has a change at winning all of the following Bush states: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Nevada, Indiana, Colorado, and Missouri, which together are worth 111 electoral votes. Obama would need 6 out of the 111, which effectively means winning at least one of the eight states in question (except for Nevada, which would only take him to 269). What is more, some polls are showing that Georgia and West Virginia might also be getting within striking distance for Obama.
Again, Obama needs only 6 electoral votes out of the 111 now in play in states Bush won in 2008. On the other hand, McCain needs all 111 of those votes if he is to win. Given his situation, we could expect him to be making an epic stand in all of the Bush states in play now, fighting hard to win them every one of them. But instead, he and Palin have been campaigning in Kerry states and Iowa. McCain’s chances of winning a Kerry state or winning Iowa are extremely low. His chances of losing some of the 111 electoral votes in play from Bush states are very high.
What is he playing at? Does he know something we don’t? Is he too proud to admit he is so far behind? Is his campaign simply the worst we have seen in some years?
I don’t know. But he and Palin are going down. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer couple.
Palin was in Philadelphia today, one of the most Democratic cities in the country, to drop the puck at a Flyers hockey game. She got booed. Really bad:
The worst part was her plan to use her daughter as a human shield:
A carpet was laid down and Palin, dressed in a beige trench, walked on to the ice joined by her daughters Willow and Piper. The GOP Vice-Presidential nominee said at an earlier fundraiser that she would stop some of the booing from the rowdy Philadelphia fans by putting her seven year old daughter, Piper in a Flyers jersey. She said, “How dare they boo Piper!”
*** (Quoted in the article linked above.)
Rep. John Lewis Compares McCain To George Wallace
(Note a video.)
Yesterday I said that I was not buying McCain’s tone of respect for Obama. McCain is now proving himself to be an even bigger coward than before – he won’t say his lies to Obama’s face, and now he won’t say them in public either. He will let his ads and surrogates do the dirty work.
So here is some dirt, flung at Iowans still cleaning up the mud from the floods:
Speaking of respect, at a McCain rally, a pastor called on God to defend his good name by defeating Obama:
(Not a video, but an audio recording is linked from the article.)
I can’t decide if the said pastor’s prayer is better or worse than the woman who claimed, at a McCain/Palin gathering, that God is punishing the United States with Obama:
(Not a video.)
Note to God: Please keep punishing us!!!
If McCain’s campaign seems to be lacking focus, it’s perhaps because he is lacking it too. Follow the link to see what the late night comedians have to say about his wandering around on stage during the debate:
But be careful teasing him. McCain definitely has an anger problem, which the following video highlights:
The title of the article below sums up the whole Palin Troopergate investigation, metaphorically:
“Palin could legally drive, but used her car to commit a crime”
(Not a video.)
And now for some alternative reality. No, not Second Life, but the Emperor Worship Channel (a.k.a. Fox “News”). Fox is about as real as Dungeons and Dragons, but unfortunately, more people give it credence. In the clip below, a Fox robot spews their customary hatred toward Obama. A spokesman for Obama tries to set the record state, but his satellite feed is mysteriously interrupted. What an amazing coincidence!
All hail the Imperial News Hour!
Sarah Silverman is supporting the Great Schlep, an organized effort to get Jewish voters to turn out for Obama in Florida.
Note: If you know Sarah Silverman, she does get a bit colorful at times.
As before, a shout-out to the Jewish voters of Florida. In 2000, the Republicans tricked you into voting for Pat Buchanan. He’s been laughing ever since. So let this year be payback time!
McCain – Palin
Unstable – Unable
Unfit to lead!
Posted by: “bigraccoon” email@example.com redwoodsaurus
Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:31 am (PDT)
ACORN Response to Senator McCain’s Smear Ad
ACORN President Maude Hurd released the following statement today in response to the McCain campaign’s new ad claiming that, among other things, ACORN is responsible for the mortgage crisis:
For almost a decade, ACORN, a community organization of 400,000 families in neighborhoods across the country, has been fighting against the predatory lending practices that have robbed our members of their homes, destabilized neighborhoods, and roiled the global economy.
In his newest ad, John McCain’s campaign bizarrely claims, “ACORN forced banks to issue risky home loans, the same types of loans that caused the financial crisis we’re in today.” Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, ACORN has worked successfully to help working class families get good home loans on fair terms from legitimate banks and has fought vigorously against predatory lenders who have ripped off families in our communities. These predatory loans caused the crisis.
For more than a decade, ACORN members have held protests, released reports, and advocated for regulations to protect homeowners from predatory lenders. ACORN organizers and volunteers have been working day and night to help victims of the GOP economic meltdown to save their homes from foreclosure. In fact, ACORN has brought class action lawsuits against several predatory lenders, and has lobbied the Federal Reserve and Congress in support of regulations against predatory lending. ACORN has even been successful in convincing many lenders to treat homeowners more fairly and help families be able to make their mortgage payments and save their homes.
Unfortunately, the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans like John McCain have blocked the sensible regulations that ACORN and others proposed that would have averted the mortgage meltdown. If John McCain thinks that community organizers caused the foreclosure crisis, he knows even less about the economy than previously thought.
John McCain and the Republicans are desperately trying to shift the blame for the economic crisis they caused with a philosophy of deregulation and indifference to homeowners. All the grainy footage and creepy music in the world can’t cancel out some simple, basic facts, and the facts about the economy are not on John McCain’s side.
Bogus “Voter Fraud Charges” Aim to Camouflage Voter Suppression
ACORN has just completed the largest, most successful nonpartisan voter registration drive in US history. We helped 1.3 million low-income, minority and young voters across the country register to vote.
Unfortunately, just as in 2006, that success in bringing people into the democratic process, have been greeted with unfounded accusations to disparage our work and help maintain the status quo of an unbalanced electorate.
After a similar spate of charges against ACORN in 2006, we learned that then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had fired Republican US Attorneys because they refused to prosecute ACORN and other voter assistance groups on trumped up fraud charges. This was the heart of the US Attorney-gate scandal that led Karl Rove, Gonzales and other top Department of Justice officials to resign. Because the press didn’t catch on until long after the election, it was part of a successful strategy to create an unfounded specter of voter fraud and to suppress voting.
1. In order to help 1.3 million people register to vote, we hired more than 13,000 registration assistance workers. As with any business or agency that operates at this scale, there are always some people who want to get paid without really doing the job, or who aim to defraud their employer. Any large department store will have some workers who shoplift.
2. Any large voter registration operation will have a small percentage of workers who turn in bogus registration forms, Their goal clearly is not to cast a fraudulent vote. It is simply to defraud their employer, ACORN, by getting a paycheck without earning it. ACORN is the victim of this fraud not the perpetrator.
3. In nearly every case that has been reported, it was ACORN that discovered the bad forms, and called them to the attention of election authorities, putting the forms in a package that identified them in writing as suspicious, encouraging election officials to investigate, and offering to help with prosecutions. We are required by law to turn in all forms, but instead of just turning them in and figuring that it is the responsibility of the board of elections to figure out which are valid, we spend millions of dollars verifying that forms are valid, and then separate out those that are suspicious.
4. This has nothing to do with “voter fraud” nothing at all to do with anyone trying to cast an extra vote. There has never been a single reported instance in which bogus registration forms have led to anyone voting improperly. To do that, they would have to show up at the polls, prove their identity as all first-time registrants must, and risk jail. The people who turned in these forms did so not because they wanted an extra vote, but because they didn’t care enough to make sure eligible people got to vote at all.
5. When a department store calls the police to report a shoplifting employee, no one says the department store is guilty of consumer fraud. But for some reason, when ACORN turns voter registration workers over to the authorities for filling out bogus forms, it gets accused of “voter fraud.” This is a classic case of blaming the victim; indeed, these charges are outrageous, libelous, and often politically motivated.
6. Similar attacks were launched against ACORN and other voter registration organizations in 2004 and 2006. The bogus charges were at the heart of the U.S. Attorney-gate scandal that led to the resignations of Karl Rove, Attorney General Ablerto Gonzales and other top Justice Department Officials. It turned out that it was the charges that were fraudulent, and that they were part of a systematic partisan agenda of voter suppression. Republican US Attorneys David Iglesias (NM), Todd Graves (MO), and John McKay (WA) all were fired primarily because they refused to prosecute similar bogus charges of “voter fraud.” Another US Attorney, Bradley Schlozman, who did politicize prosecutions against former ACORN canvassers, was forced to acknowledge under cross examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee that ACORN was the victim of fraud by its employees and ACORN had caught the employees and had identified them to law enforcement.
7. The goals of the people orchestrating these attacks are to distract ACORN from helping people vote and to justify massive voter suppression. That’s the real voter fraud; the noise about a small fraction of the forms ACORN has turned in is meant to get the press and public take their eyes off the real threat, while those hurling the charges are stealing people’s right to vote in broad daylight. They have already tried to prevent Ohio from registering voters at its early voting sites. In Michigan, they planned to use foreclosure notices to challenge thousands of voters. And if this year is like past years, they are preparing to use this so-called voter fraud to justify massive challenges to voters in minority precincts on Election Day.
Fact: ACORN has implemented the most sophisticated quality-control system in the voter engagement field but in almost every state we are required to turn in ALL completed applications, even the ones we know to be problematic.
Fact: ACORN flags in writing incomplete, problem, or suspicious cards when we turn them in,. Unfortunately, some of these same officials then come back weeks or months later and accuse us of deliberately turning in phony cards. In many cases, we can actually prove that these are the same cards we called to their attention.
Fact: Our canvassers are paid by the hour, not by the card . ACORN has a zero-tolerance policy for deliberately falsifying registrations, and in the cases where our internal quality controls have identified this happening we have fired the workers involved and turned them in to election officials and law-enforcement.
Fact: No criminal charges related to voter registration have ever been brought against ACORN or partner organizations. Convictions against individual former ACORN workers have been accomplished with our full cooperation, using the evidence obtained through our quality control and verification processes — evidence which in most cases WE called to the attention of authorities
Fact: Most election officials have recognized ACORN’s good work and praised our quality control systems. Even in the cities where election officials have complained about ACORN, the applications in question represent less than 1% of the thousands and thousands of registrations ACORN has collected.
Fact: Our accusers not only fail to provide any evidence, they fail to suggest a motive: there is virtually no chance anyone would be able to vote fraudulently, so there is no reason to deliberately submit phony registrations. ACORN is committed to ensuring that the greatest possible numbers of people are registered
ACORN will not be intimidated, we will not be provoked, and in this important moment in history we will not allow anyone to distract us from these vital efforts to empower our constituencies and our communities to speak for themselves.
Posted by: “razldazl” firstname.lastname@example.org
Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:04 am (PDT)
*McCain and Palin Are Playing With Fire*
By Khaled Hosseini
Sunday, October 12, 2008; B05
I prefer to discuss politics through my novels, but I am truly dismayed these days. Twice last week alone, speakers at McCain-Palin rallies have referred to Sen. Barack Obama , with unveiled scorn, as Barack Hussein Obama.
Never mind that this evokes — and brazenly tries to resurrect — the unsavory, cruel days of our past that we thought we had left behind. Never mind that such jeers are deeply offensive to millions of peaceful, law-abiding Muslim Americans who must bear the unveiled charge, made by some supporters of Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin , that Obama’s middle name makes him someone to distrust — and, judging by some of the crowd reactions at these rallies, someone to persecute or even kill. As a secular Muslim, I too was offended. Obama’s middle name differs from my last name by only two vowels. Does the McCain-Palin campaign view me as a pariah too? Do McCain and Palin think there’s something wrong with my name?
But never mind any of that.
The real affront is the lack of firm response from either McCain or Palin. Neither has had the moral courage, when taking the stage, to grasp the microphone, turn to the presenter and, right then and there, denounce the use of Obama’s middle name as an insult. Instead, they have simply delivered their stump speeches, lacing into Obama as if nothing out-of-bounds had just happened. The McCain-Palin ticket has given toxic speeches accusing Obama of being a friend of terrorists, then released short, meek repudiations of some of the rough stuff, including McCain’s call Friday to “be respectful.” Back in February, the Arizona senator apologized for the “disparaging remarks” from a talk-radio host who sneered repeatedly about “Barack Hussein Obama” before a McCain rally. “We will have a respectful debate,” McCain insisted afterward. But pretending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.
What I find most unconscionable is the refusal of the McCain-Palin tandem to publicly condemn the cries of “traitor,” “liar,” “terrorist” and (worst of all) “kill him!” that could be heard at recent rallies. McCain is perfectly capable of telling hecklers off. But not once did he or his running mate bother to admonish the people yelling these obscene — and potentially dangerous — words. They may not have been able to hear the slurs at the rallies, but surely they have had ample time since to get on camera and warn that this sort of ugliness has no place in an election season. But they have not. Simply calling Obama “a decent person” is not enough.
Is inaction tantamount to consent? The McCain campaign certainly thinks so when it comes to Obama and incendiary remarks from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright . By their own inaction, then, are McCain and Palin condoning these slurs? Or worse, are they willfully inciting the angry and venomous response that we have been witnessing at their rallies? If not, then what reaction are they hoping to evoke by their relentless public suggestions that Obama is basically an anti-American liar who won’t put “country first” and has an affection for terrorists? Do they not understand the kind of fire they are playing with?
I — and, I suspect, millions of Americans like me, Republicans and Democrats alike — couldn’t care less about Obama’s middle name or the ridiculous six-degrees-of-separation game that is the William Ayers non-issue. The Taliban are clawing their way back in Afghanistan, the country that I hope many of my fellow Americans have come to understand better through my novels. People are losing their homes and their jobs and are watching the future slip away from them. But instead of addressing these problems, the McCain-Palin ticket is doing its best to distract Americans by provoking fear, anxiety and hatred. Country first? Hardly.
Video Roundup 10-10: I can see the end of your career from my house!
Posted by: “Zoltan Abraham” email@example.com zsazle
Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:06 am (PDT)
Video Roundup – Friday, October 10
Charlie Gibson interviews John McCain, and brings up Obama’s question as to why McCain was not willing to say his accusations to Obama’s face. McCain looks visibly flustered as he answers:
I like it when he says, “It didn’t come up in the flow of the conversation.” He also says that he has never been accused of lacking courage. That’s not true! I called him a coward yesterday… Doesn’t he read my emails? You know, John, you just lost my vote!
Actually, to be truthful, I was never going to vote for John McCain. My chances of voting for McCain have been about as good as my chances of leaving my family to run off with a wealthy heiress… (But then again, my wife isn’t disabled, so according to the standards of Republican Family Values, I shouldn’t leave her yet).
CNN forgets, for a moment, that is it owned by the GOP, and David Gergen warns that the McCain/Palin rallies could lead to violence:
John McCain tries to calm the crowds down a bit:
He says: “I admire Senator Obama and his accomplishment, and I will be respectful.” He also says: “”Obama is a decent person, and a person that you do not have to be scared as President of the United States”
Great. I’m glad McCain said all that. Some people are calling him an honorable person again. But I wonder. Aside from the mangled grammar, can we really accept his statements at face value?
Even as McCain made those ever-so-honorable statements, the McCain campaign was promoting a new, nasty, lying ad about Barack Obama. I link to the ad below, just so you can see the contrast between what McCain said on stage, and what his campaign was doing at the same time:
What are we to make of McCain calling for respect in a couple of campaign speeches, while his campaign is promoting a new lie-filled smear ad? I think the answer is clear. John McCain is a hypocrite.
What is more, McCain’s cowardice is even more evident. Now that he is getting so much flack for his hateful campaign, he is not only too afraid to say his lies to Obama’s face, he now seems too afraid to repeat these lies personally in public. Instead, he has his ads and surrogates do the dirty work for him.
Don’t believe McCain’s sudden change of heart. When he said he would suspend his campaign, he didn’t really. He kept thousands of ads on the air, his surrogates kept hammering Obama, and he himself did campaign speeches and interviews. Now when he says that he is going to be respectful, he is still using the worst kind of smear attacks in modern American history.
With regard to Ayers, the story is, in reality, very simple. Ayers committed some crimes when Obama was eight. Ayers was later rehabilitated and he became a professor. Obama and Ayers served on the same educational board, funded by Walter Annenberg (hardly a radical activist).
Let’s look at a couple of articles from the Daily Kos:
Prosecutor of Weathermen calls B.S. on Ayers “linkage”
Obama responds (on Ayers) on Smerconish’s show
(The article contains a link to an audio file.)
As I said yesterday, the immensely negative campaigning on McCain’s part is not intended merely to try to defeat Obama, the chances of which are increasingly slipping away from McCain. The smears are the beginning of a concerted effort to destroy the person of Barack Obama. Just like they worked zealously to sabotage the presidency of Bill Clinton, the GOP is gearing up to try to derail the presidency of Barack Obama. Some online Republican activists are even threatening civil war, if Obama gets elected.
(Remember, Amy Goodman was arrested for walking to her car at the Republican National Convention. So when will these guys calling for civil war get a visit from the FBI???)
As I said yesterday, our response must be to work even harder toward the defeat of the Republicans. We must not only win this election, but we must defeat the conservative movement once and for all.
I am not the only person who has a problem with John McCain. There is a man out there who feels like a jilted date. And he hasn’t gotten over it yet…
Note: Comedian Betty White’s performance … has led to some controversy. She calls Sarah Palin the b-word. Is that the same as when, at a campaign rally during the primaries, a McCain supporter called Hillary the b-word, and McCain did not contradict her?
Or is such name calling different in the context of a comedy routine?
I report – you decide!
One of the ads highlights McCain’s wealth. McCain is selling one of his houses. …
How many houses will McCain have after he sells this one? I don’t know. Neither does he. He can’t remember…
Rachel Maddow, one of the few journalists to be able to be on TV in the United States today, reports on the Troopergate investigation:
Maddow reports on the McCain camp’s response:
The Palin Troopergate Report – a Lawyer’s View
(Not a video.)
For the record, the investigation was ordered by a the majority Republican state legislature of Alaska. The board that voted unanimously to release the findings is composed of 10 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Far from being run by Obama supporters, this investigation was made to happen by Republicans.
Why would Alaska Republicans be willing to go after Sarah Palin? I can think of three reasons:
1) Some state-level Alaska Republicans might actually want to uphold the law (unlike national-level Republicans). It could happen…
2) The Republican establishment in Alaska really doesn’t like Palin. They helped her rise to power, and then she back-stabbed them, appointing her friends to key positions.
3) The investigation was ordered long before Palin was picked as McCain’s VP choice. As soon as Palin was selected, McCain sent a team of Beltway heavy-hitters to try to squash the investigation. Alaskans do have a strong streak of independence (no wonder that a secessionist party could do so well up there), and even the Republicans of Alaska resented the interference from the national campaign. So, instead of rolling over and playing dead, they pushed ahead to release the findings.
Let’s conclude today with a tribute to Sarah, the Queen of the Alaskan frontier:
Hey, Sarah, are you blinking yet?
I’m not blinking as I see the end of your career from my house…
McCain – Palin
Unstable – Unable
Unfit to lead!
Posted by: “K.C. Pep” firstname.lastname@example.org caseypep
Sun Oct 12, 2008 12:36 pm (PDT)
Sarah Palin refuses Nat’l Coming Out Day proclamation
Palin refuses Nat’l Coming Out Day proclamation
ALASKANS TOGETHER FOR EQUALITY
October 9, 2008
Media Contact: Tim Stallard, Vice President, Alaskans Together for Equality, (907) 347-2214, tim@outinalaska. com
PALIN DECLINES TO ACKNOWLEDGE ‘NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY’
GAY ALASKANS DISMAYED BY GOVERNOR’S REBUFF
(Juneau, AK) — Gov. Palin has declined to issue a formal proclamation recognizing “National Coming Out Day,” in Alaska. Heartened by the Gov. Palin’s positive comments about gays and lesbians in the Vice Presidential Debate, Alaskans Together submitted a formal request to acknowledge the day, which is observed on Oct. 11 internationally by members of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) communities and supporters.
“But I also want to clarify, if there’s any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know…,” said Gov. Palin during the debate.
“Governor Palin called for ‘tolerance’, and we hoped she’d show that type of leadership as Governor with this proclamation,” said Alaskans Together President Marsha Buck. “Coming out is a difficult and deserves recognition. ”
So far in October 2008 Governor Palin has issued proclamations for: “Careers in Construction Week,” “10th Annual Christian Heritage Week,” “Biomedical Technician Week,” “Alaska Taiwan Friendship Week,” “World Farm Animals Day,” “Breastfeeding Awareness Month,” and “Grand Opening of Rilke Schule Day.”
“We were asking for the Governor to acknowledge and recognize the dignity of openly-gay Alaskans. We weren’t asking for a policy position, beyond simple acknowledgement. ” Buck said.
“Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide.” – John Adams – letter April 15, 1814
Democrats have to fall in love; Republicans only have to fall in line.–unknown
Posted by: “Carl Davidson” email@example.com carld717
Sun Oct 12, 2008 8:58 pm (PDT)
‘Time To Give the Black Guy a Chance’
Tide Is Turning
For Obama In
Beaver County, PA
By Carl Davidson
‘Progressives for Obama’
About twenty of us are gathering early Saturday morning at the IBEW Hall, ‘Labor Central,’ in Vanport, Beaver County, Western PA. Today it’s a team of electrical workers, steelworkers, SEIU service workers and a few activists with the 4th CD PDA, Progressive Democrats of America.
We’re walking streets, lanes and backwoods roads to hit every union household in the area. The goal today? Voter ID. Make sure every list is correct, find every registered union family voter, find out where they stand, and then, Voter ED, give them our pitch and materials on why Obama-Biden is their best shot to defend their interests in 2008-‘Green Jobs,’ ending the war, defending health care.
The press calls our turf a critical battleground for the hearts, mind and votes of ‘the white worker,’ which it is, with McCain-Palin sliding down, but still at 51 percent today. But you wouldn’t know Obama had a problem by looking at our team today. They’re a hard-muscled crew, ball caps and blue jeans, but ‘Vote Obama 2008’ emblazoned on T-shirts, hats and buttons galore. The rightwing’s bigotry is reaching a fever pitch, but these workers are making it very clear where they stand.
I enter the hall with a reporter from a major Portuguese paper, Expresso, that I’m helping out. The European press is also following this election more intently than any in a long time, and he’s neither the first nor the last from Europe to visit us. I introduce him to Bob Schmetzer, one of the IBEW officials, who tells him what the unions are doing. Then he meets our PA State Rep, Vince Biancucci, who’s doing the walks with us today. He and Vince trade stories about workers in Italy.
Leaving him to his business, I gather up flyers I’ll need for the day. Most are aimed straight at the economic crisis and pocketbook issues. Schmetzer pulled together a good one of McCain’s lousy record on veterans, well documented. There’s a stack of a new one, full color, with nice pictures, with text: Obama wears a flag pin, puts his hand on his heart saying the Pledge, is a Christian who goes to church, was sworn in on the Bible, not the Koran, that was another Black guy from Minnesota, and so on.
There’s a grey-bearded electrical worker who looks like a six foot six version of Kenny Rodgers reading it, too. “Whaddya think,” He asks? A nice-looking job, I say, but it’s pitiful that we have to put things like this out. “My thought exactly,” he replies, “but we still got to answer and defeat this crap.”
The union staff gets us organized into smaller teams and on our way. We’re working north of the Ohio today. I’m headed for Beaver Falls, an old merchant center and industrial town on the Beaver River, known mainly these days as the home of Joe Namath, the football star. At the end of the Reagan era the Babcock and Wilcox tubular mill closed and dismissed over 5,000 workers in Beaver Falls. It’s hard times, like everywhere else around here. Six of us, in teams of two, work a low-to-middle income working-class neighborhood on the north side of town, with Black and white workers on the same streets, not always that common in some places.
My first door is a Black construction worker, who tells me, “We’re solid for Obama, and everyone in the house is registered, but go see the guy a couple doors down.” He does want a yard sign, though, so we put one up for him. This is clearly the Obama base, or at least one major sector.
The guy a few houses down is a 57-year-old white worker, very friendly. “I’m going with Obama and the Democrats, no two ways about it.” He tells us he’s just registered, never voted before in his life, but the stakes are too high this time, and the conservatives have to be put out.
We keep working the street, but run into Randy and Tina Shannon of PDA at the corner. I get another sheet of names, and we swap stories.
“People are starting to use the ‘O’ word,” says Tina. “Before, they’d just say, ‘I’m voting Democrat.’ Now they’re saying, ‘I’m for Obama and the Democrats, and give you an earful.’ I think that’s a shift.”
“I was just up on ‘The Heights,’ says Randy, meaning the neighborhood on the surrounding hill. “I had one elderly lady for McCain, but I warned her, ‘You’re on Medicare, aren’t you? If McCain has his way, you’ll see it cut back.’ Didn’t help with her, but I ran into another lady who must have been almost ninety. ‘McCain? No way, you know where he can go.’ Let’s just say her comments weren’t appropriate for print, but she’s determined to vote for Obama. I had just one guy telling me he was only going to vote for the local Democrats.”
That’s called the ‘top of the ticket’ problem, and it’s a point of contention between the unions’ approach, which is to work for everyone, and a few local incumbents shying away from taking a clear leadership stand to win over Clinton and McCain-leaning older Democrats.
“Most important all day,” Randy added, “was one steelworker I met, who said: ‘It’s time to give the Black guy a chance,’ and you could tell from the way he said it that he’d thought on it for some time, and probably not alone. They’re seeing their pension funds shrink, their jobs lost or cut back, and they want to turn them all out.”
We turn in our sheets by lunchtime and share more stories. The PDA folks are lining up people to buy tickets for a PDA ‘Dinner and a Movie’ night out, Nov. 1, in Monaca, PA, featuring the documentary film ‘UnCounted’, which will expand people’s horizons on electoral problems, and help build for the next round of battles around single-payer health care and stopping the war.
Everyone agrees the tide is turning, but a lot can still happen, for better or worse. No one wants to coast. My township, Raccoon, went 30 percent for Obama in the primary, with the bulk going for Hillary. Most voters there are Democrats, and they’ll break three ways-for Obama, for McCain and for ‘staying home.’
Getting enough to get past 50 percent was always possible, but with the Wall Street crash, it’s now clearly in sight.
The Palin right’s attacks on Obama as a ‘terrorist’ are backfiring among many as a devious diversion. Some we talk to cling to the ‘Secret Muslim’ stories, no matter how clearly the lies are exposed. The reason soon becomes crystal clear: they don’t let go of it not because they believe it, but because it’s the new way to say they won’t vote for a Black candidate. That’s simply a reactionary political stand, and has nothing to do with the facts.
But the grip of the right is weakening. Obama-Biden signs are going up everywhere in the white areas. When the right takes them down, more go back up. One guy down the road took a four by eight sheet of plywood, and painted it dark blue, with the Obama 08 Symbol in the middle, and leaned it against his house, as if to say, ‘Let see you try to take this one down!’
After lunch we head over the Court House in Beaver. Every Saturday for more than five years now, our PDA and Beaver County Peace Links groups are out there with ‘Honk for Peace’ and ‘Healthcare Not Warfare’ signs, together with a big ‘Bring the Troops Home Now’ banner. We can walk and chew gum at the same time, working to end the war and defeat McCain. Today the cars are honking like we’re in Times Square. It’s another good sign that change is coming.
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