And yet another political roundup...

Under the fold:

Ex-Cheney aide: Bush won't hit Iran:

US President George W. Bush will not attack Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program before his term ends in January, David Wurmser, a key national security adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney up until last year, has told The Jerusalem Post.

Election 2008 | Papers Examine Comparisons of McCain, Obama Health Care Proposals, Positions on Science :

Three reports examine the health care plans of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the Wall Street Journal reports (Meckler, Wall Street Journal, 9/16). Health Affairs on Tuesday published two reports, an analysis of the McCain proposal -- compiled by Thomas Buchmueller of the University of Michigan and colleagues -- and an analysis of the Obama plan -- compiled by health care economists Joseph Antos, Gail Wilensky and Hanns Kuttner. According to AP/San Francisco Chronicle, the studies "reflect fundamental disagreements over how to improve access to health coverage" and "sound warnings about what could go wrong with each candidate's plan" (Freking, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 9/16).

The Daily Show: The Candidates Hold a Generic-Off on the Financial Crisis:

The solutions to the Wall Street troubles are complicated and may turn away voters, so the candidates have no choice but to provide generic answers.



Time for the 21st Century Financial Institution:

As usual, it's an opportunity for somebody in a meltdown like this. But it's not the old players, because the rules have changed. I wonder if I can get a Twitter account for my new (proposed) bank. The more transparency the better.



Matthews Pushes Cantor On Bush's Handling Of The Economy: 'He's Pulling One Of These Katrinas Again':

In a contentious segment on "Hardball" tonight, host Chris Matthews accused Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) and his conservative allies of "taking off your uniforms," pretending they're not Republicans, and running against President Bush. "I'm not going to let anyone get away with that kind of foolery," Matthews said. He asked Cantor at least five times whether he supported the job Bush is doing -- and all five times Cantor refused to answer.

Titanic events in the market:

A thought I had today: as I understand it, when the Titanic hit that iceberg, at first the crew didn't think it was so bad. The ship's hull was divided into watertight compartments, and not enough of them had been ripped open to sink the ship. But the flooding from the initial hole tipped the ship, and the compartments were open at the top, so that compartments that hadn't been ripped open by the impact of the iceberg started filling up, tipping the ship even more, flooding more compartments ...

Obama has 2-point lead on McCain: Reuters poll:

Democrat Barack Obama has a 2-point lead in the U.S. presidential race on Republican John McCain, whose choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate helped shore up support for both candidates, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

Gov. Palin's Personal Email Hacked - An Analysis:

Over the past couple of days, reports have started top filter out about a group of people successfully hacking Gov. Sarah Palin's email. The report raises lots of interesting questions and requires a little background.

Major media outlets didn't have a lot of information about Gov. Palin when it was announced that she would be Sen. John McCain's running mate. As people dug in, one story that received some attention was the $100,000 investigation into alleged abuse of power by Gov. Palin in actions to get her sister's ex-husband fired from the State Police. This investigation has led to the subpoenaing of Gov. Palin's emails.

As a general rule, emails of elected officials are considered part of the public record and are subject to Freedom of Information requests. However, many people have separate email accounts that they use for personal business, or perhaps sometimes, to keep sensitive work related messages off of the work servers.

Sarah Palin's Private E-Mails :

Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's private Yahoo Mail e-mails -- which include official government business -- have been hacked and posted online.

Infamous internet group "Anonymous" claims it gained access into Palin's account, gov.palin @, early this morning. It sent images of her inbox to WikiLeaks, which published them. The WikiLeaks site is currently unavailable, though it's not clear if it's been taken down or is just overwhelmed with traffic. We were able to grab a few of the emails below (click to enlarge):

There's No Arguing With Conservatives ... No, Seriously, Scientific Studies Prove It:

A new study out of Yale University confirms what argumentative liberals have long-known: Offering reality-based rebuttals to conservative lies only makes conservatives cling to those lies even harder. In essence, schooling conservatives makes them more stupid. From the Washington Post article on the study, which came out yesterday:

Caligula For President:

Our friends at Boing Boing point out that Cintra Wilson has a new book forthcoming -- Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny. Caligula has returned to lead us into the new century.

Barack Obama, Lost Without A Teleprompter:

In advance of the debates, the Republican/conservative mantra has been that Barack Obama is unable to speak without a teleprompter. To hear them describe it, without prepared text he will simply seize up and keel over. This innate fear of speaking on the fly will surely be a detriment to Sen. Obama in the upcoming debate versus a silver tongued straight talker like John McCain. Here is RNC chairman of the minute Frank Donatelli on just how much a babe in the woods Sen. Obama will be in the debate.

Can He Stop 'Troopergate'?:

A McCain lawyer scrambles to block a Palin ethics inquiry.

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild endorses McCain, calls Obama 'elitist':

You've got to be sh*tting me. Good riddance. There is so much wrong with a woman who is a member of the DNC's Democrats Abroad chapter who jet sets between homes in London and New York and tries to play the elitist card.

No one is above the truth, even Palin:

You really can't experience the full effect of Monday's news conference featuring Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton unless you hear it for yourself. Stapleton passionately attacked former Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan. Her rhetoric was plain, desperate, and obvious. Her tone, pure shrill.

ABC: McCain lied when he said that he warned econ crisis was coming :

Yeah, Doug Holtz would be the guy who claimed that McCain miraculously invented the BlackBerry. That's who McCain relies on for economic advice. The tooth fairy's best friend in the land of make-believe.

McCain divided over $85 billion bailout for AIG :

Republican presidential candidate John McCain isn't saying whether he supports or rejects the government's $85 billion bailout plan for the giant insurer AIG.

Sarah Palin's Yahoo account hijacked, e-mails posted online:

On the heels of media reports that Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was using a private Yahoo e-mail account ( to conduct Alaska state business, hackers have broken into the account and posted evidence of the hijack on Wikileaks.

Clinton Cancels Rally Appearance After Learning Palin Invited:

Hillary Clinton has pulled out of an appearance at a New York rally next week to protest Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad because she doesn't want to be seen alongside Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in a "partisan" event, her aides say.

McCain's Dangerous Do-Nothing Economics:

The Great Depression was caused not by a stock crash but by a banking system left to self-destruct by a conservative president who, like John McCain today, insisted that the economy's "fundamentals" were strong.

Lawsuit to Ask That Cheney's Papers Be Made Public:

Months before the Bush administration ends, historians and open-government advocates are concerned that Vice President Cheney, who has long bristled at requirements to disclose his records, will destroy or withhold key documents that illustrate his role in forming U.S. policy for the past 7 1/2 years.

Amid 2008 Campaign Cacophony on the Web, Print Reverts to Hobbesian State:

"And it's not just us," said Mr. Keller. "The Washington Post did an impressive review of Cindy McCain's drug addiction the other day, and I didn't hear an echo. I could go on, and so could you. This kind of rigorous, intricate reporting is a major contribution to the public debate, and it certainly gets read. (Our Sunday Palin piece is still number one on the most e-mailed list.) But this kind of work doesn't dominate the discussion the way it might have in elections past."

'Barbies for War!' :

Carly Fiorina, the woman John McCain sent out to defend Sarah Palin and rip anyone who calls her a tabula rasa on foreign policy and the economy, admitted Tuesday that Palin was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard. That's pretty damning coming from Fiorina, who also was not capable of running Hewlett-Packard.

I'm Not Voting For Obama:

Oh, I'm checking the box by Obamas name in November. Just like I did back in Febuary in the primary. But I'm really voting for myself. More accurately, for my kids.

More Bank Failures are Coming:

To beat the market it pays to understand the fundamental factors that are holding investors attention. Last week-end The US government took control of the two Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to keep them from failing. These two firms own or control more than 60% of all mortgages. Then everyone focused on the credit problems Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and AIG. It seems that every couple of weeks another financial institution takes center stage. On Thursday after the market closed Washington Mutual reported that their Capital was significantly above "well-capitalized" levels. Many investors expected resolution of Lehman Brothers to take place by Sunday September 14, 2008. Sunday Lehman's management announced that that they would declare bankruptcy midnight. The question is how many more banks will become the center of investors' attention?

A Man. A Plan. A Blackberry. McCain!:

Yes, we've all found it hilarious that John McCain invented the BlackBerry. Especially since unlike Al Gore and the internet, McCain can't even claim his brilliant leadership greased the skids for its invention, what with the BlackBerry being a Canadian invention and all. But the best part is even if you wanted to credit the person who helped open up America's airwaves to broadband technology, that person wouldn't be John McCain:

But I Thought McCain Was Super-Feminist Now!:


McCain and Palin are laughing at the press:

And it's the press' fault. Why? "Because the political press has consciously folded its work into the larger entertainment culture."


The Republican party is holding a rally for minorities.
The Republican party is holding a rally for minorities... in Virginia.
The Republican party is holding a rally for minorities in Virginia... hosted by George "Macaca" Allen.


They're predicting 1,000 attendees and while past performance is no indicator of future growth, this does not bode well for this "outreach":

Krugman: Phil Gramm would be 'just the guy' to lead us into a Great Depression:

Last night on MSNBC's Countdown, New York Times columnist and Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman pinpointed Phil Gramm as one of the architects of the current financial crisis, and the "odds-on favorite to be the Treasury Secretary" in a McCain administration. Asked by Olbermann what Gramm's nomination would mean for the economy, Krugman suggested it could lead to another Great Depression:

McCain commits economic gaffe, uses wrong acronym for Investor Protection Corporation:

During a speech in Tampa today, John McCain demonstrated again that the economy is not something he understands as well as he should. He twice incorrectly referred to the "SPIC," when intending to refer to the SIPC (the Securities Investor Protection Corporation) -- a corporation that "return[s] customers' cash, stock and other securities" if a brokerage goes bankrupt.

Former FCC Chairman Blasts Claim That McCain Invented The Blackberry: He Is 'So Out Of Touch':

McCain, however, opposed E-Rate in the late '90s, concerned about the impact it might have on the telecom industry. Groups such as the American Library Association were so outraged that they encouraged their members to contact obstinate senators, including McCain. More here on McCain's paltry record as Senate Commerce Committee chairman.

Rove greeted by hundreds of protesters in college speech:

In his speech, Rove said he felt Bush was a "successful" president, but they had "done a lousy job of explaining" why he was.

McCain Flip-Flops On 'Excessive Regulation' In Less Than An Hour:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) appeared on all six broadcast and cable morning news shows today in an attempt to defend his misguided belief that the "fundamentals of our economy are strong." In discussing the causes of and solutions to the current economic crisis, McCain appeared to flip-flop -- in less than an hour -- on the role and effectiveness of government regulation.


Ms. Ali, I know a little about Mt. Airy; it is one of the most beautiful and diverse communities in A-merry-ca. But Ms. Ali, you ain't in Mt. Airy anymore, you are in A-merry-ca now, and there won't be any race war. The only wars that are being faught are being carried out by people like Drudge and the folks at FAKE NEWS. They are fighting against truth, and they are hoping that the rest of A-merry-cans will stay blind and never see it.

White House bars press from covering financial meeting:

With Wall Street in turmoil, the White House has canceled any press coverage of President Bush's meeting with his chief advisory group on the reeling financial markets.

Bush was scheduled to make a statement Tuesday to a pool of White House reporters after huddling with his financial working group. That won't happen now.

Spokesman Tony Fratto says the White House decided it would be best to limit public comment about markets.

The meeting went on as planned. The group is led by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and includes Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and the chairpersons of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Here Come The Swiftboaters:

Did you think the presidential campaign had gotten ugly? Well, you were wrong. Forget McCain's lie laced ads claiming Obama wants to teach kindergartners how to screw and accusing Obama of calling Sarah Palin a pig, the Swiftboaters are preparing their airwave assault and it will be beyond ugly.

We got a hint of the future during the Republican National Convention, when GOP hatchet man Roger Stone explained to TPM what he was going to do.

McCain doesn't know what his own committee does.:

With Wall Street's financial institutions in turmoil, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) argued in a series of interviews today that his experience on the Senate Commerce Committee meant he knew "how to fix this economy." "I understand the economy. I was chairman of the Commerce Committee that oversights every part of our economy," McCain told CNBC's Squawk Box.

John McCain: literally antiscience:

I have had my doubts on his support for science, but my fears have been at least in part confirmed. He was asked recently about his VP pick, Sarah Palin. She has secured vast amounts of money in earmarks for Alaska, and McCain has made quite the noise about being against earmarks. When confronted about this, what does he do? He changes the subject (which was about his abject hypocrisy), and attacks Obama. And there was some collateral damage.

Small Ohio towns play a hefty role:

Small towns like this bucolic river community may play an outsized role in determining whether John McCain or Barack Obama becomes president. They are the swing counties in what may be the most important swing state in this election.

Politely Speaking Out: The New New Liberal Fascism:

The teeming hordes of jackbooted Obama thugs were sent a clarion call from der schwarze Führer to hound and intimidate David Freddoso through polite expressions of displeasure via publicly available forums such as the telephone and e-mail.

The resistance is predictably displeased, realizing that this hearkens back to Hitler's ingenious letter-writing campaign against western Europe. After tying up the postal services of those free countries for virtual hours at a time, they all mysteriously dropped dead because fascism is evil.

And the exact same thing is happening here, today. Or last night, actually.

And you thought it was four more years of Bush:

Measured rhetoric of the day: "They may say they are opposing Sarah Palin. What they really want to defeat is the idea of God."

McCain Attacks Wall Street Greed--While 83 Wall Street Lobbyists Work for His Campaign:

In the past few days, as the economic crisis has deepened, Senator John McCain has been decrying the excesses of Wall Street. At a campaign rally in Tampa on Tuesday, he vowed that he and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, if elected, "are going to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption, and unbridled greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street." He noted that the "foundation of our economy...has been put at risk by the greed and mismanagement of Wall Street and Washington."

That was easy:

I used to hear that liberals lacked the infrastructure of the right, and that they needed to build a bunch of think tanks where they could promote Big Ideas and publish whitepapers and sit on panels and so on in order to catch up.

Apparently all they really needed was an internet.

"New distribution channels do not simply allow us to communicate "more"; they will allow us to move messaging, money and mobilization outside of the traditional establishment channels - from the entrenched bureaucracy of the Right, to a new, more vigorous and relevant "leave us alone" movement."

Shorter conservative take on Obama's response to the imminent financial collapse:

John McCain wants to gamble away your retirement security net on the stock market. That may have sounded smart during the tech bubble or the housing bubble, but it was a stupid idea then, and an even worse one now.

The Importance of Being Sarah:

I really did not think I would live to see the day when a major political party in the U.S. would find it necessary to add a woman to the ticket in order to win the presidency. It's a shame I can't be at all happy about the particular party and woman making history. However, if you will recall, I predicted something like this situation some time ago. I just got the particular woman wrong.

Live Healthcare Debate/Forum Thursday!:

The McCain and Obama Campaigns will be squaring off on healthcare this Thursday live on the web. The event is completely booked, but Scientists and Engineers for America will have it live HERE. This is going to be a very telling debate on where the campaigns stand on healthcare. Don't miss it. Here are the event details...

Palin Sexism Watch: Sexist Stereotypes Edition:

The real sexism against Palin, like the designs above, has been the flip-side of the sexism against Hillary Clinton. A sadly perfect illustration of the Catch-22 women face. You're either a scary, ugly, old, mannish harpy. Or a ditzy, perky, fuckable bimbo. You're either cracking nuts between your thighs or dressed up like Britney Spears. The sexist remarks about Clinton and Palin are like our hate mail ("you ugly man-hater!" followed by "gimme a blow job!") writ large. It doesn't matter that, in reality, neither Hillary Clinton nor Sarah Palin fits these stereotypes. Both are attractive women who have made their fair share of political enemies. But reality doesn't matter much in terms of how they're portrayed.




Obama's new ad is a very serious, very somber, and very long:

Obama's Untraditional Campaign Advert:

I love it. I love the tone of it, I love the content (aside from the "outworn ideas of the Left" bit, which still sets my teeth on edge), and I love that it's actual evidence of that change we've been promised. This isn't campaigning as usual. This is better. And, particularly compared to the outrageous, mendacious dogwank John McCain's been putting out the past couple of weeks, this is like a breath of fresh air in what has been a truly hideous election.

I don't know if it will work--but I respect the hell out of Obama for giving it a chance, for assuming the best in voters for a change, instead of the worst.

OMG Look! It's a Brand New Baby News Agency!:

CNN has just given birth to a news report that actually does some fact checking on McCain! Wheee!

How Does Drudge Do The Voodoo That He Does?:

Matt Drudge is either the world's most media-savvy idiot savant, entirely incapable of connecting the thing he wrote about thirty minutes ago to the news story that he's reading about right now, or Chris Cillizza is so deeply in denial about what Drudge is and what he does that he's looking up at the molten core of Denial Earth. Brendan Fraser says hi.

El Cid! (More on Mccain's Liberation of Spain):

We wanted to give you an update on the post below where we described Sen. McCain's latest gaffe in which he seemed to suggest that he might not be willing to meet with Spanish Prime Minster Zapatero because he is among those world leaders who want to harm America.



Analysis: McCain leads a dual life as powerbroker:

John McCain embraces and expels Washington like an accordion player belting out a song.

Squeeze in and he touts his vast knowledge of the capital city. Draw out and he casts himself a reformer bent on changing its ways.

Natural Born Liars:

Presidential candidates usually have to wait until they're elected to start obstructing investigations into their own wrong-doing. But ready on day one as he is, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting a jump on this front too. I'm not sure I've ever seen an instance of a president, let alone a presidential candidate, quite this nakedly doing everything in his power to shutdown an investigation. And look closely -- Palin herself has at this point entirely turned the obstruction over to the McCain campaign. They're even the ones who make the announcements.

Level the Playing Field:

One metaphor the Democrats don't use, that I think of over and over when I hear Obama speak about the need for regulation: the markets operate like team sports -- like say, a football game. Team sports don't operate well without referees, and that's exactly what's happened under the Republicans.

They can blame Clinton all they want -- the fact is, the Republicans under leadership of such brain trusts as Phil Gramm have methodically removed the referees from the games, and look what's happened. One of the primary reasons investors shy away from putting money into third world countries is an ABSENCE OF REGULATION.

Why doesn't Obama encapsulate his ideas in this way? Democrats believe in free markets, but free markets need rules and referees, just like a football game does, otherwise chaos and destruction.


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