Bob Barr Asks Ron Paul to be his Running Mate

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that:

Barr sent Paul a letter Tuesday asking him to be his vice presidential nominee. Barr already has a running mate, Wayne Root of Las Vegas. Root said in the letter he would step aside for Paul.

Paul has not responded to the request, Davis said. Ike Hall, who coordinated Paul’s campaign in Georgia, called Barr’s invitation “terribly interesting,” but added that Paul made clear he has no intention of running as anything other than a Republican this year.

Hall called Barr’s decision to skip the Paul press conference “unfortunate. What Ron Paul is trying to do is, he’s not endorsing any other person. What he’s endorsing is an idea.”

“Unfit for High Office”

Josh Marshall wrote a great opinion piece today addressing the lies of John McCain at his blog Talking Points Memo. It is a must read:

Unfit for Office - by Josh Marshall (TPM)

One of the interesting aspects of this campaign is watching the scales fall from the eyes of many of John McCain’s closest admirers among the veteran DC press corps. I’m not talking about the freaks on Fox News or any of the sycophants at the AP. I’m talking about, let’s say, the better sort of reporters and commentators in the 45 to 65 age bracket. To the extent that the press was McCain’s base (and in many though now sillier respects it still is) this was the base of the base. And talking to a number of them I can understand why that was, at least in the sense of the person he was then presenting himself as.

But over the last … maybe six weeks, in various conversations with these folks, the change is palpable. Whether it will make any difference in the tone of coverage in the dominant media I do not know. But it is sinking in.

All politicians stretch the truth, massage it into the best fit with their message. But, let’s face it, John McCain is running a campaign almost entirely based on straight up lies.

Read the rest…

While you are at it, Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Dish (The Atlantic) wrote something on the same topic:

McCain’s Integrity - by Andrew Sullivan (The Daily Dish)

For me, this surreal moment – like the entire surrealism of the past ten days – is not really about Sarah Palin or Barack Obama or pigs or fish or lipstick. It’s about John McCain. The one thing I always thought I knew about him is that he is a decent and honest person. When he knows, as every sane person must, that Obama did not in any conceivable sense mean that Sarah Palin is a pig, what did he do? Did he come out and say so and end this charade? Or did he acquiesce in and thereby enable the mindless Rovianism that is now the core feature of his campaign?

So far, he has let us all down. My guess is he will continue to do so. And that decision, for my part, ends whatever respect I once had for him. On core moral issues, where this man knew what the right thing was, and had to pick between good and evil, he chose evil. When he knew that George W. Bush’s war in Iraq was a fiasco and catastrophe, and before Donald Rumsfeld quit, McCain endorsed George W. Bush against his fellow Vietnam vet, John Kerry in 2004. By that decision, McCain lost any credibility that he can ever put country first. He put party first and his own career first ahead of what he knew was best for the country.

Do read the rest of this..

Why I Don’t Believe The Presidential Race Is Tied

OPINION

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While visiting another blog (hey, we do that sometimes; how do you think we find such great stories?), I came across a comment from another poster who made a logically false claim about political polling. He said that “If you get good representation among the respondents (regarding, age, gender, race, education, home etc) you can get accurate results with less than 2000 respondents regardless of how large the real population is.” Continue reading

In Bed (literally) with ‘Big Oil’

“Drill Baby Drill!..” (Chants from the RNC…)

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From McClatchy:
Oil companies gave sex, drinks, gifts to federal overseers

Interior Department officials, while handling billions of dollars in oil and gas royalty payments, engaged in illicit sex with industry employees and accepted meals, drinks, ski junkets and golf outings from major oil companies, internal investigators reported Wednesday.

Interior Department Inspector General Earl Devaney’s release of three reports, which stem from a $5 million investigation dating to 2005, implicated at least 19 current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service in unethical relationships with industry, frolics that included marijuana and cocaine use.

The reports raised new concerns about the management of programs that collect $8 billion in annual revenue from offshore and onshore mineral leases. Democrats seized on the report to bolster their efforts to counter growing pressure to open up more areas to oil drilling.

“The allegations of illicit and unethical behavior detailed in the inspector general’s report are directly related to the energy debate taking place in the Congress this week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said. “Little did we know how cozy the relationship between Big Oil and the administration’s regulators have been.

“Brandishing a copy of the inspector general’s report, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said Wednesday “It’s bad enough that the government employees who oversee offshore oil drilling are literally and figuratively in bed with Big Oil, the rest of the U.S. government doesn’t need to jump in bed with them.”

Read entire article…

From CBS News:
Sex, Lies And Big Oil?
:

[..] The allegations of bad behavior involve about a dozen government employees in Denver and Washington – workers who sell U.S. mineral rights to oil companies, which is one of the government’s biggest sources of revenue besides taxes.

They’re supposed to be looking out for the taxpayers’ interest.

But according to the inspector general, they rigged contracts, and engaged in illegal moonlighting, drugs, sex and gift-taking from oil company representatives.

Two reports revealed startling allegations including:

  • An employee who attended a so-called “treasure hunt” in the desert with all expenses paid by an oil producer.
  • A former supervisor who bought cocaine from a colleague, then boosted her performance award, had sex with subordinates and steered government contracts to an outside business where he also worked.

No one – from the oil companies to the workers allegedly involved – provided a response today other than to say they cooperated with the investigation, or appropriate action will be taken.[..]

Dissent not Welcome in Alaska

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Republican organizers are busy preparing for Palin’s victorious return to the tundra state, encouraging all who receive the state’s $4000 per person distribution of taxes on oil profits to turn out for her homecoming.

On the other hand, if you happen to live in Alaska and don’t support the governess, you are kindly asked to refrain from spoiling her parade.

While the event is open, organizers are asking that people attend in support of Palin and McCain.

“If you don’t, we’re encouraging you not to come,” Pierre said. “We’re Alaskans first here.”

Alaskans first, Americans – what – second?

And what’s up with this?

People won’t be able to take water bottles or signs into the rally.
[snip]
In preparation, supporters of all ages are invited to help make signs from 5-7 p.m. today at Alaska Aerofuel. All supplies will be provided, Pierre said.

Oh, I get it. “people” won’t be able to take signs into the rally, but “supporters” will. Now I see how Palin gets her high approval rating in Alaska: the opposition is silenced. Just remember: every dictator has an incredibly high approval rating during his or her reign.

“It’s like a really bad Disney movie”..

From Raw Story:

Screen star Matt Damon told the Associated Press that he considers the prospect of a President Palin to be a “really terrifying possibility.”

“I think there’s a really good chance that Sarah Palin could be president,” he said, “and I think that’s a really scary thing.”

Noting Palin’s relative youth in the political sphere as mayor of a small town in Alaska and the state’s governor for less than two years, “I think the pick was made for political purposes,” he added, “but, in terms of governance, it’s a disaster.”

“You do the actuary tables–there’s a one-out-of-three chance, if not more, that McCain doesn’t survive his first term, and it will be President Palin.”

“It’s like a really bad Disney movie,” he continued. “‘I’m just a hockey mom from Alaska,’ and she’s the President! And it’s like, she’s facing down Vladimir Putin using the…folks stuff she learned at the hockey rink.

You know, it’s absurd.””The fact that we’ve gotten this far, and we’re that close to this being a reality, is crazy…I need to know if she really thinks dinosaurs were here 4,000 years ago. That’s an important–I want to to know that, I really do, because she’s going to have the nuclear codes.”

Time for Senator Clinton to step up

Whether any of Hillary Clinton’s Democratic supporters (rather than the dishonest Republicans who crossed over simply to disrupt the primaries) actually vote for the McCain/Palin ticket this year is an open question. On the issues, it seems impossible; there is nothing that Senator Clinton has ever stood for, ever campaigned for, or ever championed on the Senate floor that is even remotely on the same page as Palin’s socio/political opinions.

However unlikely this is, the media has been making hay with it — because they love their horse races — making claims of women voters shifting from Democrat to Republican, because McCain picked a woman as a running mate. If there is even a faint chance that lingering bitterness from the primaries and from the Democratic National Convention would cause even one Clinton supporter to vote for McCain or to stay home and not vote at all, that is one too many chances in an election as critical as any we’ve faced in the last few decades. The country simply cannot survive four more years of Republicans in the White House. There might be some grim satisfaction letting McCain struggle with the disasters launched by Bush, further darkening the Republicans’ pathetic image as executives, but it’s not a satisfaction we can live with.

During the primary season, I took advantage of a request from the Clinton campaign to email them with a specific complaint about something the Senator had said about Senator Obama. The Clinton campaign has since taking advantage of my complaint with a long series of emails thanking me for my support and asking me for money. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but for me it establishes the fact that the Clinton campaign possesses an enormous list of email addresses, mostly from actual Clinton supporters. According to them, she had 12 million votes and a substantial number of those must be on that list.

Senator Clinton needs to use that mailing list, and use the weight of her considerable talent and authority to reach out to her supporters and shore up their support for the Democratic presidential candidate. She needs to make it clear to them, and they need to make it clear to the press and to anyone who will listen, that their votes are critical and that those votes need to be overwhelmingly for the Democratic ticket. If Senator Clinton has meant what she said about health care, about the rights of children, women, the disadvantaged, if all that means anything, it’s not enough to simply support Senators Obama and Biden, she needs to actively and effectively campaign for the Democratic ticket, from now right up to November 4.

And that email list is a great place to start.

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Lady McPalin

Lady McPalin
Original words and music “Lady Madonna”, by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Additional lyrics by Wayne A. Schneider, 2008

Lady McPalin, standing on your feet
Wonder how you manage to take the heat?
Who took the money? Something else was meant.
Did you spend the money that Congress sent?
Friday night a lie about an airplane
Continue reading

America Crumbles as We Give $1 Billion in Aid to Georgia

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The Bush administration announced a $1 billion aid package to Georgia.  This makes the former Soviet republic one of the highest per capita recipients of U.S. economic assistance.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is chipping in a handsome $750 million.

Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice said:

…the aid would be used to rebuild houses and infrastructure – but not for military purposes.

(snip)

Announcing the aid package, Ms Rice said the US was “responding to what we consider to be urgent needs”.

“With our full support and the support of the entire free world, a democratic Georgia will survive, will rebuild and will thrive.”

The Philadelphia inquirer adds:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who introduced the plan, drew a direct line between what she called Russia’s irresponsible behavior in sending troops into Georgia last month and the need for “the free world” to “help Georgia sustain itself during these difficult times.”

Vice President Dick Cheney said:

…the United States had a “deep and abiding interest” in the region’s stability.

Neither Rice nor Cheney will be visiting Russia on their current overseas excursions to discuss the crisis which enmeshed the United States with the state of Georgia or to discuss or prevent further disasters from occurring. From the BBC article:

Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev has also accused the US of helping Tbilisi build its war machine and called on America to review its relations with the Georgian authorities.

(snip)

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who stepped down as president earlier this year, praised the European Union’s “common sense”.

But he warned that Moscow would respond to the growing presence of Nato warships in the Black Sea, where Russia’s navy has a huge presence.

While the US provides one billion dollars in aid to a foreign country, the roads and bridges in America continue to crumble.  Worse still, funding for these projects is short and shorter.

Continue reading

Palin’s Uncivilized Method of Killing Wolves

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Alaska’s Governor Palin and her allies in the legislature made a blatantly undemocratic attempt earlier this year to remove this legally qualified anti-aerial-hunting initiative from this August’s ballot by trying to enact legislation crafted by special interests, Alaskans rallied to defeat that shameful effort.

But Alaskans who care deeply about passing this initiative face continued tough opposition from the special interests. Not only does the governor herself favor aerial killing of wolves and bears, but last year, Mrs Palin proposed offering a bounty of $150 per wolf.  As long as the hunter provided the wolf’s foreleg as proof of the kill; the measure did not pass. She even spent $400,000 on a state-funded campaign to block attempts to end the hunt.

Conservationists are right to be outraged by this state-sponsored program. But they shouldn’t blame the citizens of Alaska, who have twice shown that they detest their state’s actions. They can and should, however, blame the state’s political leadership, which infuriatingly continues to refuse to put the public interest above that of the special interests—even when it means recklessly and arrogantly disregarding the scientific evidence, ethics and voter decisions, all at once.

Here is a video of the barbaric treatment of wolves and bears that Palin spent $400,000 to protect…

UPDATE

And here’s the new McCain campaign ad including wolves of all things.  Apparently they are equating the Obama campaign to what they see as evil creatures.  Now it’s not enough to smear Obama they are smearing the wolves preparing for when the public finds out about Governor Palin’s bounty on them.

Palin’s eBay Story: What Actually Happened

by Sam Stein (The Huffington Post)

“That luxury jet that came with the office… I put it on eBay!”

It’s one of Sarah Palin’s favorite lines on the campaign trail, repeated with such frequency that it has already become a catchphrase of the general election. As Governor of Alaska, she rid the state of an unnecessary jet using a creative and cost-effective online measure.

What is left unmentioned is that Palin didn’t come up with the idea to sell the plane using eBay in the first place. Moreover, because of the unique purchasing terms of the aircraft — which required the state to make payments amounting to $20,000 per month even if the jet wasn’t in use — the decision not to hire a broker to help sell the property appears in hindsight to have been a costly mistake.

Before the Alaska Republican took office, it was something of a standard operating procedure for the state to try to sell such big-ticket items using the online auction site. Officials had been doing it since at least 2003, three years before Palin became governor.

“It was the practice of the state to dispose of items such as this via eBay prior to listing the jet,” Vern Jones, Alaska’s Chief Procurement Officer, acknowledged on Tuesday.

Despite being a normal state procedure and, in the end, a costly one, Palin has highlighted her decision to put Alaska’s luxury jet on eBay in every speech she has given since being chosen as McCain’s vice president. It is a significantly abridged version of what happened.

Continue reading

Army Suicide Rate Soars In Bush’s Quest for Oil

CNN

All of the widespread use of improvised explosive devises, multiple deployments, and the ambiguity of fighting combatants dressed as civilians is causing:

The rate of suicides among-active duty soldiers is on pace to surpass both last year’s numbers and the rate of suicide in the general U.S. population for the first time since the Vietnam war, according to U.S. Army officials.

As of August, 62 Army soldiers have committed suicide, and 31 cases of possible suicide remain under investigation, according to Army statistics. Last year, the Army recorded 115 suicides among its ranks, which was also higher than the previous year.

Army officials said that if the trend continues this year, it will pass the nation’s suicide rate of 19.5 people per 100,000, a 2005 figure considered the most recent by the government.

Another factor in the rise can be attributed to the increased pace of combat operations and financial and family troubles connected with deployments.

“Army leaders are fully aware that repeated deployments have led to increased distress and anxiety for both soldiers and their families,” Secretary of the Army Pete Geren said. “This stress on the force is validated by recent studies of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans reporting symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder or major depression.”

The statistics were released Tuesday at a news conference announcing the completion of a study by mental health experts who the Veterans Administration asked to review its suicide prevention work and track numbers.

On Tuesday, the VA also announced findings from a study showing that suicides hit an all-time high in 2006 among younger U.S. military veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The numbers show record levels for men, but the statistics are lower for women.

Continue reading

Tax Theory Rubble.

“I can’t in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us.” – Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on President Bush’s tax cuts, 2001

“Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination and I had opposed the Bush tax cuts”
-Ann Coulter on John McCain, January 2008

All cartoons are posted with the artists’ express permission to TPZoo.
Matt Davies
, NY Journal News

“Lipstick on a Pig” Senator McCain?

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He probably doesn’t remember, but Senator McCain used the phrase long before Senator Obama did.
Oddly he used it referencing Hillary Clinton’s health care plan and when he did nobody said it was sexist. McCain representative Nancy Pfotenhauer said that’s different because everybody heard Sarah Palin make her comment about lipstick and hockey moms during the Republican convention so obviously it was directed at her. What?

It is interesting to note that John McCain’s former press secretary, Torie Clark, wrote the book called “Lipstick on a Pig: Winning in the No-Spin Era.” So you’d think that he’d understand the meaning of the phrase. In addition Elizabeth Edwards had used the phrase when she told some health journalists that McCain’s health care plan was like “painting lipstick on a pig.” Apparently Senator McCain forgot about that too.

Maybe we really do need to see Senator McCain’s medical records.

CBS News

UPDATE
Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Dish has much to say about McCain’s integrity and why we must elect Senator Obama in November.

In case you missed them..

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These were some very good pieces that are must-reads! I threw in the one on Al Franken because I was just so happy for him..

“What’s the Difference Between Palin and Muslim Fundamentalists? Lipstick – A theocrat is a theocrat, whether Muslim or Christian” by Juan Cole (CommonDreams):

John McCain announced that he was running for president to confront the “transcendent challenge” of the 21st century, “radical Islamic extremism,” contrasting it with “stability, tolerance and democracy.” But the values of his handpicked running mate, Sarah Palin, more resemble those of Muslim fundamentalists than they do those of the Founding Fathers. On censorship, the teaching of creationism in schools, reproductive rights, attributing government policy to God’s will and climate change, Palin agrees with Hamas and Saudi Arabia rather than supporting tolerance and democratic precepts. What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick

Palin Get Olbermann Censored, Bask in Media Double Standard by Elliot D. Cohen (BuzzFlash):

On September 7, The New York Times printed a story titled, “MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts from Anchor Seat.” The “incendiary” hosts in question were Countdown’s Keith Olbermann and Hardball’s Chris Matthews, and the anchor seat referred to was that of the upcoming presidential debates as well as election night. According to the Times, the McCain/Palin campaign had filed letters of complaint to NBC about the coverage these pundits were giving the McCain campaign. Unfortunately, the climate of media hypocrisy and censorship that now feeds this campaign may be a predictor of its intolerance for healthy, reciprocal disagreement, and freedom of the press should it ascend on the White House in 2009…

“My Alaskan soul sister is an empty vessel” by Mary Mullin (TheIrishTimes):

[..] I won’t be voting for Sarah Palin, even though she makes John McCain look better than he looked without her. She is dead wrong on all the issues and is way, way, way too insular.

In addition to our almost nationalistic love for Alaska, Sarah Palin and I are both proud mothers of a child with Down syndrome.

My daughter Lily was born in Galway 10 years ago. It may be hard to believe, but the early childhood services in Ireland are better than they are in Alaska for people with Down syndrome.

When Sarah Palin gave birth to Trig, her son with Down syndrome, I hoped that she would beef up services for Alaska’s disabled population. She could have done so overnight – but “social conservatives”, especially tough super-moms like Sarah Palin, don’t do that sort of thing.

It’s the Democrats who care about single mothers and people with Down syndrome. It’s the Democrats who designed community programmes for early intervention; it’s the Democrats who instituted programmes for integration and it’s the Democrats who fought for and passed the law that gives people with disabilities the right to a free and appropriate education in America’s public schools.

And now, Sarah Palin and her darling baby, Trig, are being held in the bosom of right-wing Christian fundamentalists who are delighted with themselves. But they have done nothing for people with disabilities. Nothing. [..]

Continue reading

Ten Ways the McCain/Palin GOP is Now Stealing the Ohio Vote

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TruthOut

The McCain/Palin GOP is already in the process of stealing the Ohio vote, as was done in 2004. Among those at the center of the GOP strategy is Bush Family computer operative Michael Connell, who programmed the key vote counting mechanisms that were used to give George W. Bush his second term.

Much has now changed in Ohio, including the transition from a Republican governor (Robert Taft) and secretary of state (J. Kenneth Blackwell) to Democrats Ted Strickland and Jennifer Brunner. Brunner has made strong public commitments to conducting a fair registration process, an orderly election and a reliable vote count this fall. She is being pushed by the King-Lincoln-Bronzeville federal civil rights lawsuit, filed originally against Blackwell.

To help guarantee an election that truly reflects the will of the voters, Freepress.org will convene a conference on election protection procedures webcast from Columbus this September 26-28. It will reinforce the positive steps Brunner has taken, and will help train poll workers and judges to safeguard the vote in Ohio and around the nation.

But much of the electoral apparatus remains beyond public control. Serious questions remain about how reliable the final vote count will be, and how much of it the Republican party will cage, confuse and steal in its crusade to put John McCain and Sarah Palin into the White House.

Here are some of the key factors that still endanger the vote in Ohio and around the nation:

Continue reading

McCain: Dishonorable and Despicable

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In response to an ad that the Obama camp put out along with a speech Barack Obama gave today concerning education, John McCain shot back with a dishonorable, despicable and disingenuous ad in essence saying that that scary black man is going to sexually harm your children. The McCain ad is disgusting. Again, McCain decides that lies are better than truth. Since he has no issues on his side, he has to scare the electorate into voting not for McCain but against Obama.

Are you frightened yet?

Reproductive Health Reality Check notes:

The issue of age-appropriate sex ed was also discussed at the You Tube debate during the primaries where candidates Edwards and Obama both clearly discussed the fact that it is important to teach young kids about “wrong touching” in case adult relatives, teachers or clergy prey upon them.

Bill Burton from Obama camp responded quickly to this smear campaign by saying:

“It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls – a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn’t define what honor was. Now we know why.”

Just how disingenuous was this ad?  Everything Senator McCain approved for this ad is a lie.  Really? you say.  Yes, really.

Continue reading