2006, politics, republicans

Finish 2006, Republicans Go Down, Cut No Slack

Time for some reality. It is not just Bush. It is not just McCain. It is at least half the Republicans in Congress.

Now I might be willing to add in half the Democrats, but someone has to mind the store.

This page will be devoted to the proposition that we should work for such an Obama landslide that we will not have to worry about getting a majority during the eight or more years of Obama-generated reform.

I will first use 538’s stats to put together some propositions that I can understand. That is to say … elementary.

How can we create a Congress that will, in Barack’s words, be “smooth”? Or at least smoother?

Let me explain the title. By finishing 2006, I mean we complete the creation of a real majority in House and Senate.

By Republicans go down, we take our gloves off and say, If you still believe Ronald Reagan had it right economically, you go down. Even if you are penitent, if we have an opponent who will go the centrist Obama route of a MIXED governance, combining free market elements with cogent and efficacious regulation.

By cut no slack, I mean this is too big to allow for Mr. Nice Guy poses. We are out to win, and win big.

So, let me post this with the salient links newly chosen from my salient list of sources. And, anon, I shall be back to build this page all day.

+

FIRST STEP: Identify SENATE races that are not reasonably certain.

These are the ones where a DEMOCRAT is now favored:

Oregon Merkley over Smith — CONTRIBUTE TO MERKLEY
Alaska Begich over Stevens — CONTRIBUTE TO BEGICH
New Hampshire Shaheen over Sununu — CONTRIBUTE TO SHAHEEN

These are ones where a REPUBLICAN is now favored:

NC Dole over Hagan CONTRIBUTE TO HAGAN
MN Coleman over Franken CONTRIBUTE TO FRANKEN
KY McConnell over Lunsford CONTRIBUTE TO LUNSFORD

SECOND STEP:

NOW TO THE CONGRESS:

If yuu want to DRILL DOWN then go to Rothengerg’s Congressional Race Summary. I am taking from there only the closest races. Go there to get the job done.

PURE TOSS-UP (7 R, 3 D)

* AL 5 (Open; Cramer, D)
* FL 8 (Keller, R)
* FL 21 (L. Diaz-Balart, R) #
* FL 24 (Feeney, R)
* MN 3 (Open; Ramstad, R)
* NH 1 (Shea-Porter, D)
* NJ 7 (Open; Ferguson, R)
* NM1 (Open; Wilson, R)
* OH 15 (Open; Pryce, R)
* PA 10 (Carney, D)

TOSS-UP/TILT REPUBLICAN (8 R, 1 D)

* CT 4 (Shays, R) #
* LA 4 (Open; McCrery, R)
* LA 6 (Cazayoux, D)
* MI 7 (Walberg, R) #
* NM 2 (Open; Pearce, R)
* NY 26 (Open; Reynolds, R)
* NY 29 (Kuhl, R)
* NC 8 (Hayes, R)
* WA 8 (Reichert, R)

TOSS-UP/TILT DEMOCRATIC (6 R, 6 D)

* AZ 1 (Open; Renzi, R)
* CA 11 (McNerney, D)
* CO 4 (Musgrave, R)
* FL 16 (Mahoney, D)
* GA 8 (Marshall, D)
* IL 11 (Open; Weller, R)
* KS 2 (Boyda, D)
* NJ 3 (Open; Saxton, R)
* NV 3 (Porter, R) #
* OH 16 (Open; Regula, R) #
* PA 11 (Kanjorski, D)
* WI 8 (Kagen, D)

We want ALL these to go DEMOCRATIC. Deduce which of the other races you may want to push.


INTERMISSION — The New Yorker Continues to Do Some Payback for Its Deleterious Obama Cover

THIRD STEP:

YOUR CONGRESSIONAL TARGETS

Here are the gory details, my source for the following:

133 REPUBLICANS WHO VOTED NO ON THE BAILOUT:

Yes, you will find some of these names and their status for November in the races noted in the SECOND STEP.

Aderholt
Akin
Alexander
Bachmann
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Biggert
Bilbray
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Boustany
Brown-Waite, Ginny
Buchanan
Burgess
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Capito
Carter
Chabot
Coble
Conaway
Culberson
Davis (KY)
Davis, David
Deal (GA)
Dent
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doolittle
Drake
Duncan
English (PA)
Fallin
Feeney
Flake
Forbes
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gingrey
Gohmert
Goode
Goodlatte
Graves
Hall (TX)
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Heller
Hensarling
Hoekstra
Hulshof
Hunter
Issa
Johnson (IL)
Johnson, Sam
Jones (NC)
Jordan
Keller
King (IA)
Kingston
Knollenberg
Kuhl (NY)
Lamborn
Latham
LaTourette
Latta
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas
Mack
Manzullo
Marchant
McCarthy (CA)
McCaul (TX)
McCotter
McHenry
McMorris Rodgers
Mica
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy, Tim
Musgrave
Myrick
Neugebauer
Nunes
Paul
Pearce
Pence
Petri
Pitts
Platts
Poe
Price (GA)
Ramstad
Rehberg
Reichert
Renzi
Rodriguez
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Royce
Sali
Scalise
Schmidt
Sensenbrenner
Shadegg
Shimkus
Shuler
Shuster
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Stearns
Sullivan
Terry
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Turner
Walberg
Wamp
Westmoreland
Whitfield (KY)
Wittman (VA)
Woolsey
Young (FL)

Now all of the worthies above may be marvelous persons but all of them may be assumed to be Republican partisans of the very principles I have copuiosly noted below in my analysis of Republican Platforms singe 1960. They are partisans of less regulation, low taxes on the very wealthy and what they call free enterprise which is another word for trickle-down economics. They should GO DOWN in this year’s election.

Bear in mind the Republicans agreed to a certain number of votes which they could not deliver.

Democrats who voted against may be assumed to have done so for populist, rather than lax regulation, reasons.

STEP FIVE — REALIZE THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLICAN VOTES YESTERDAY

OK, rolling up my sleeves. Here is where you can find html and PDF renditions of recent Party Platforms. All I intend to do is publish enough here to demonstrate the Republican economic stance in recent decades. Dig away.

In 1960, the Republicans seemed reasonably sane: Use of the full powers of government to prevent the scourges of depression and inflation.

… continued active enforcement of the anti-trust laws, by protecting consumers and investors …

Shall we say that in. 1964, the mood began to change?
This Administration has violently thrust Federal power into the free market in such areas as steel prices, thus establishing precedents which in future years could critically wound free enterprise in the United States.

In 1968 they veered back toward sanity:
To qualify for jobs with permanence and promise, many disadvantaged citizens need special assistance and job training. We will enact the Republican-proposed Human Investment Act, offering tax credits to employers, to encourage such training and upgrading.

1972:
We will continue to pursue sound economic policies that will eliminate inflation, further cut unemployment, raise real incomes, and strengthen our international economic position.

1976: We believe that liberty can be measured by how much freedom you have to make your own decisions — even your own mistakes. Government must step in when your liberties impinge on your neighbor’s.

1980. Dawn of Reaganism:
The emergence of policies and programs which will revitalize the free enterprise system and reverse the trend toward regulation is essential. To sustain the implementation of such policy, it is necessary to raise the public awareness and understanding that our free enterprise system is the source of all income, government and private, and raise the individual’s awareness of his or her vested interest in its growth and vitality.

1984: Reaganism Triumphant:
The flood of regulation has stopped.

1988: Globalism Fantasies:
On every continent, governments are beginning to follow some degree of America’s formula to cut tax rates, loosen regulation, free the private sector, and trust the people.

1992: The neocon formula is announced:
Presidents Reagan and Bush turned our Nation away from the path of over-taxation, hyper-regulation, and mega-government. Instead, we moved in a new direction. We cut taxes, reduced red tape, put people above bureaucracy. And so we vanquished the idea of the almighty state as the supervisor of our daily lives. In choosing hope over fear, Americans raised a beacon, reminding the world that we are a shining city on a hill, the last best hope for man on earth.

1996: A muted Bush-league chorus:
This is what we want for America: real prosperity that reaches beyond the stock market to every family, small business and worker. An economy expanding as fast as American enterprise and creativity will carry it, free from unnecessary taxes, regulation and litigation.

2000 — Bush 2 Begins:
… a steadfast commitment to open markets, to minimal regulations, and to reducing taxes that snuff out innovation — principles at the heart of the new economy and our party…. The old liberal approach — using the threat of stifling regulations to redistribute wealth and opportunity — will work no better than it ever has, and perhaps much worse, in the new economy.

2004 — Best Laid Plans:
America’s economy is the strongest in the world, and it is getting stronger thanks to lower taxes, fewer burdensome regulations, and a focus on encouraging investment. Our goal is to make sure America remains the strongest economy in a dynamic world …

+

Oddly, Barack is for the same simplification and reduction in red tape that is celebrated in the Republican Platforms. I shall return to this in a while. We now have a few bits of history to show that the deregulatory urge probably began in our era with Goldwater. It received a substantial bipartisan boost during the Clinton years with the Clinton-endorsed repeal of Glass-Steagall, which explains my umbrage with Democrats.

My next adventure will be some micro-investigating of not only the Republicans who need to go down in Congressional races, but the identity of the Democratic survivors who favored the repeal of Glass-Steagall.

Intermission Two: Barack On A Way Out New Today



And this proposal for moving the Settlement on — taking some leadership:

Yesterday, within the course of a few hours, the failure to pass the economic rescue plan in Washington led to the single largest decline of the stock market in two decades.

While I, like others, am outraged that the reign of irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created the current crisis, I also know that continued inaction in the face of the gathering storm in our financial markets would be catastrophic for our economy and our families.

At this moment, when the jobs, retirement savings, and economic security of all Americans hang in the balance, it is imperative that all of us – Democrats and Republicans alike – come together to meet this crisis.

The bill rejected yesterday was a marked improvement over the original blank check proposed by the Bush Administration. It included restraints on CEO pay, protections for homeowners, strict oversight as to how the money is spent, and an assurance that taxpayers will recover their money once the economy recovers. Given the progress we have made, I believe we are unlikely to succeed if we start from scratch or reopen negotiations about the core elements of the agreement. But in order to pass this plan, we must do more.

One step we could take to potentially broaden support for the legislation and shore up our economy would be to expand federal deposit insurance for families and small businesses across America who have invested their money in our banks.

The majority of American families should rest assured that the deposits they have in our banks are safe. Thanks to measures put in place during the Great Depression, deposits of up to $100,000 are guaranteed by the federal government.

While that guarantee is more than adequate for most families, it is insufficient for many small businesses that maintain bank accounts to meet their payroll, buy their supplies, and invest in expanding and creating jobs. The current insurance limit of $100,000 was set 28 years ago and has not been adjusted for inflation.

That is why today, I am proposing that we also raise the FDIC limit to $250,000 as part of the economic rescue package – a step that would boost small businesses, make our banking system more secure, and help restore public confidence in our financial system.

I will be talking to leaders and members of Congress later today to offer this idea and urge them to act without delay to pass a rescue plan. SOURCE


Obama Landslide Ideas from A Correspondent, Liberal Don

Conservative columnist Jim Wooten states in several recent AJC columns that the Democrats are in a panic, that polls are moving rapidly against Obama after the Palin nomination since the momentum has swung and that Obama can’t win enough white rural votes to win key swing states such as Pa, W.Va.,and Ohio.

This slender view avoids the harsh realities that Obama will win in a landslide, and here’s why:

A. Bill and Hillary Clinton will start doing some serious campaigning in those states as well as other key cities. Gov.Palin has energized them and given the Clintons a real challenge to save Roe vs Wade and many liberal plans.

B. For every six who voted Republican in the recent primaries, nine voted Democrat and record, historic number of voters have registered as Democrats. Its not conceivable that the Democrats could lose the popular vote.

C. Polls that show the race as close don’t poll cellphone users; the AJC had a recent article on the number of younger people who only have a cell. That group of younger voters w/cellphones are Obama’s largest voting bloc.

D. 66% of Americans correctly view the Iraq war as unecessary and done w/o regard to cost; add this to the problems on Wall Street where 90% of the industry leaders vote Republican and one can see who is responsible for the economic environment of today.

E. Finally, 80% of Americans say this country is on the wrong course. Obama has always been the agent of change and his youth and RFK leadership skills fits this need, not the older Sen.McCain.

LandSlide Obama!

STEP SIX — GLASS-STEAGALL NOTES — WHY THE DEMOCRATS HAVE LESS REASON TO BLAME THAN THEY WOULD IF THEY HAD NOT SOLD THE NEW DEAL DOWN THE RIVER. AND AT LEAST SOME OF THE CULPRITS


Heroic Opponents of the Repeal of Glass-Steagall

THE DEBATE OVER THE REPEAL OF GLASS-STEAGALL

What follows are the words of those who spoke in opposition to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. The complete debate can be found in the online pages of the Congressional Record.

Edward Markey, Mass

No one should vote for this bill. It is a fatally flawed bill. We should be able to deal with this issue simultaneously with letting the big boys get all they need. We should take care of what ordinary people need for their families as well.

David Obey, Wis

Madam Speaker, this bill is consumer fraud masquerading as financial reform. There is nothing wrong with modernizing financial institutions. It is nice to see that my colleagues are going to try to
set up one-stop shopping services for financial services. But returning 1999 to 1929 is not reform in my book.

Maxine Waters, California

Madam Speaker, I have spent hours on this bill. I served on the conference committee. I am the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Domestic and International Monetary Policy of the Committee on Banking and Financial Services. I have spent hours on this bill, and I am absolutely surprised that the Members of this House can support a bill that would do what this bill is about to do to working people and poor people.

This is a one-man vendetta that took place on the conference committee. We should never have negotiated with them, but the negotiations took place in the back room, not in public.

Carrie Meek, Florida

Madam Speaker, I am sure that those of my colleagues who have come to the floor and applauded this bill have tunnel vision, and their vision is directed toward the large banking institutions. Because their blindness does not let them see to the right and left of them, they do not really see the people that are being affected by this bill most. I am opposed to this bill, that this bill brings in a strong element of discrimination, particularly in fair housing.

Marcy. Kaptur, Ohio

This bill is pro megabank and it is against consumers. And I would say to the people listening tonight, Are you tired of calling banks and getting lost in the automated phone system, never locating a breathing human being? This bill will make it worse.

Are you fed up with rising ATM fees and service fees that now average over $200 a year per account holder? This bill will make it worse.

Are you skeptical about banks that used to be dedicated to safety and soundness and savings but are now switching to pushing stocks and insurance and debt? This bill will make it worse.

Are you tired of the megafinancial conglomerates and mergers that have made your community a branch economy of financial centers located far away, whose officers you never know, who never come to your community? This bill will make it worse.

Maurice Hinchey, NY

We have 1 hour to debate the most comprehensive change in financial services legislation in the Nation in the last 65 years. This is one of the most important bills to come before this Congress in decades, and we are going to spend 1 hour this evening debating here on the floor of the House of Representatives.

And that 1 hour is divided thusly: two-thirds of that hour go to the people who are for the bill; only one-third of the hour goes to the people who are opposed to it. That is wholly consistent with the objectivity and fairness contained within the bill itself.

This is a farce, it is a mistake, it is a day that we will rue. We are constructing here an apparatus that will come back and bite us severely. SOURCE

And from the same source:

THE FINAL TALLY

The final vote was 339 for, 79 against, and 20 not voting. The “nays” include names well-known today: Dennis Kucinich, John Dingell, Nancy Pelosi, and John Lewis. Kucinich spoke only briefly to enter an article against the bill into the record. Dingell, Pelosi and Lewis did not speak.

Current Presidential candidates who voted “yea” are John Edwards and Joe Biden. As the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, Chris Dodd did not vote on the bill, but you can see him in the signing picture above. The article Kucinich entered into the record particularly singled out Dodd’s campaign contributors.

Two significant observations need to be made about the debate. First, it is noteworthy that women and people of color were among the strongest speakers in opposition. A major theme in the book The Strange Death of Liberal America is how women and people of color raised objections when Liberal America’s belief in the level playing field came under fire from both parties.

Second, as one commenter has noted, there were enough votes to override a veto. But we need to remember that party members usually support their President. Had Clinton opposed the bill and threatened to veto it, the outcome might have been different.

And no, I do not have the names of all who voted for the repeal, but you can deduce that it was MOST of the Democrats who are still around.

I would like to hear Joe Biden repudiate his vote and Barack vow to restore the main provisioms of Glass-Steagall.

Standard
bailout, barack obama

Bailout, McCain Show, Obama Rolls On — Building All Day

Huff | Obama Diary | TALKING POINTS UT| Comment Fodder | Palin UT

UT=Updated Today.

I will begin with my late night surmise of yesterday:

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW — I will probably keep an open page because my first thought is about what sort of drama McCain and Camp will do, now that defeat seems written in the latest polls. Bear in mind that McCain is gambling every step of the way. I am thinking he may vote against the bailout and make that the issue from now on. He would win the plaudits of the critics, but bear in mind that the critics are in many cases reluctant YESES.

It is somewhat possible, if he does vote for the settlement, that he will throw Palin under the bus. This would preempt the news cycle and her replacement by Lieberman would set off a new round of speculation, polling and punditry.

The only thing I am certain of is that vicious McCain attacks on Barack will be stepped up. Barack will be said to be a secret Muslim whose wife hates America and so forth and so on.

I hope the Obama forces are planning another warm and happy “we are normal” time before November 4.

Barack will have the high ground and be able to call anything the McCain campaign does drama, distraction or lies or all of the above.

Unless McCain is hiding, I believe we can expect more drama tomorrow.

Bailout, McCain Show, Obama Rolls On — Building All Day

Alright, let the day begin. Starting out with this via Andrew Sullivan, which explains why I feel more and more that McCain will vote NO, pitting widespread anger against the Obama change message, nativism against globalism, Pax Americana militarism against UN incremental progress.

“The decision to give the federal government the ability to nationalize almost every bad mortgage in America interrupts this basic truth of our free market economy. . . . Before you vote, ask yourself why you came here and vote with courage and integrity to those principals [sic]. If you came here because you believe in limited government and the freedom of the American marketplace, vote in accordance with those convictions,” – Mike Pence, Republican of Indiana. SOURCE

The Senate may not vote until Wednesday, which would give McCain two days to ramp up the drama.

I didn’t think of this, but the candidates might both skip the vote entirely.

While waiting:

Battle Hymn of Barack Obama

Yes, I watched his lonely protest standing up against the war
Then I heard his stirring challenge to bring change from shore to shore
I could see the people moving toward what he was fighting for
The change is marching on

I am voting for Obama
I am voting for Obama
I am voting for Obama
The change is marching on

Now the enemy is fearful and the stakes are rising high
Still he sounds the call for change and millions know the reason why
There’s a dream our nation’s built on and that dream can never die
The change is marching on

I am voting for Obama
I’am voting for Obama
I am voting for Obama
The change is marching on

When I cast my precious ballot I’ll be praying for the ones
Of the future generations, all whose time is not yet come
To remember this great moment when the people’s will was done
The change is marching on

I am voting for Obama
I am voting for Obama
I am voting for Obama
The change is marching on

12:33 PM

Watching Palin and McCain, I know that the serial lying is lost on normal people who do not follow the campaigns with an eagle eye. Is it having any effect on more than the folks in the Columbus audience? Sure. Anyone who believes them. I am turning it off on McCain’s — We need a President who will always tell American’s the truth.

1:37 PM Barack’s campaign says he’ll be back to vote for the bailout. Gingrich now says it is a crisis and he would reluctantly vote for the bailout. The vote is underway and the outcome is in doubt. If it does not pass I imagine the Dow will double its downward course which is now at 279 minus.

Dow just added another 100 to the minus total — whoops 200 — -467.

The vote may be frozen as there are now enough votes to defeat.

Now the market is down 653 and now going up a little. Now it’s 520. Now 498. Maybe this is a floor area.

Republicans are going to be blamed unless they turn it. The Stock Exchange is silently watching.

1:56 PM EASTERN

Market is minus 450. Congress is ten votes from passage with arm-twisting in progress and blame moving to Republicans if there is a defeat.

2:07 PM EASTERN

The bill has failed … for now.

2:21 PM EASTERN

Surreal, watching the run-up to a Colorado Barack rally with some hot music as a prelude. I imagine Barack somewhere in back getting the news. Ironically, this could be wht salts the entire election away for Barack. The music is celebratory. Around the world the markets are tumbling.

2:34 PM EASTERN

Republicans are blaming a Pelosi speech I missed for the failure to get the needed votes.

2:39 EASTERM

Barack speaking and calling for calm and to see that the package does get done. It’s gonna be rocky, like flying in to Denver.

3:04 PM EASTERN

Pelosi is giving it back and observing Democrats kept their bargain. The crisis has not gone away. Holds out some hope for another bite of the apple — meaning a bill. With a religious holiday tonight, this could go on past Wednesday.

I would not think today’s results do much if anything for McCain.

3:25 PM EASTERN

Dow is down 700. Democrats could have delivered but always said it had to be bipartisan.

McCain did not deign to make any statement.

4:42 PM EASTERN

It is statement and recrimination time. Here is the Huffington Post report with a VIDEO.

5:02 PM EASTERN

Well, I said McCain might reject the bailout and I wonder if, since clearly failing to help the passage of the plan, he may not quickly jump into the populist opposition. Expecially since Barack has made his strongest commitment yet to passage. If the crisis is only medium, opposition could look OK. David Sirota will be happy. But I have learned to wonder when both left and right agree on anything.

AND:

Obama Blog
GLOBAL
ABC News
Al Giordano
Alternet
AmericaBlog
Andrew Sullivan
BAGnewsNotes
CBS News
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Common Dreams
CQPolitics
Crooks and Liars
David Corn
Drudge Retort
FactCheck
fivethirtyeight.com
Gallup
Huffington Post
Hullabaloo
Human Rights Watch
Informed Comment
Jed Report
Liberal Values
Los Angeles Times
McClatchy
Media Matters
Mother Jones
MSNBC
Mudflats
MyDD
My Left Wing
New York Times
NPR
Obsidian Wings
Oliver Willis
Open Left
Politico
Pro Publica
Raw Story
Rothenberg Report
Talking Points Memo
Tapped
Time
Truthdig
US News & World Report
Washington Independent
Washington Post
YouTube
Yglesias

YESTERDAY’S LINKS

I load new links all the time. Yesterday’s page has different links — significant stories, breaking news, relevant opinion.

538 says opposition to bailout may be overstated GO


FOX suppressed story on conservative pullback from Palin GO


INVESTORS cool to deal GO


GIORDANO Troops’ war on Fournier’s “race card” journalism continues GO


SIROTA on why the bailout shouldn’t pass GO


CREDIT mess over credit mess PHOTOS & text GO


PAULSON warnings continue apave GO


THE BAILOUT nobody likes GO


BAILOUT DETAILS — Congress could stop it GO


INNER WORKINGS of how the bailout could get passed GO


BROKAW keeps on shilling for McCain and discrediting the memory of the one he succeeds GO


DIGBY — how we got here and a sharing of my McCain premise GO


CHUCKIE TAYLOR torture trial starts today GO


CANDIDATES answer science questions — HT Liberal Values GO

WHAT’s McCain up to? GO


RISKY VOTE for Congress folk GO


A LOOK AT Wall Steets mega-salaries GO


MOJO — a positive explication of Paulson plan GO


FIRST HAND take on Alaska doings — shotgun wedding, etc. GO


NYTIMES on candidates’ bailout postures GO


NPR — cendidates gingerly embrace bailout GO


OBSIDIAN bailout cogitations GO


KUCINICH doubts bailout passage GO


OF BRIAN SCHWEITZER’s 39 point advantage and other Montana things GO


DEBATE Obama strategy disconnect — a final word GO


TIME — a first look inside bailout bill GO


CHRIS HEDGES evokes real change GO


OBAMA playing offense GO


MOVING toward a verdict on the whole messy process GO

YESTERDAYMcCain’s Gambling Comes Home To Roost For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE

Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

obama
TWO MEDITATIONS AND A NOVELLA:
ABBA’S WAY ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. (MEDITATIONS)
BEYOND CREED ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. (APHORISMS)
PANFLICK (1988) BLACK HUMOR.

Standard
gambling

John McCain’s Gambling Comes Home To Roost

Huff | Obama Diary | TALKING POINTS UT| Comment Fodder | Palin UT

UT=Updated Today.

PREVIEW OF TOMORROW — I will probably keep an open page because my first thought is about what sort of drama McCain and Camp will do, now that defeat seems written in the latest polls. Bear in mind that McCain is gambling every step of the way. I am thinking he may vote against the bailout and make that the issue from now on. He would win the plaudits of the critics, but bear in mind that the critics are in many cases reluctant YESES.

It is somewhat possible, if he does vote for the settlement, that he will throw Palin under the bus. This would preempt the news cycle and her replacement by Lieberman would set off a new round of speculation, polling and punditry.

The only thing I am certain of is that vicious McCain attacks on Barack will be stepped up. Barack will be said to be a secret Muslim whose wife hates America and so forth and so on.

I hope the Obama forces are planning another warm and happy “we are normal” time before November 4.

Barack will have the high ground and be able to call anything the McCain campaign does drama, distraction or lies or all of the above.

Unless McCain is hiding, I believe we can expect more drama tomorrow.

John McCain’s Gambling Comes Home To Roost (Huff Post link to this post. Please go there to DIGG and/or comment.)

In July, I published Is John McCain’s Gambling A Problem?, which concluded:

The MSM have gone far enough to identify the McCain proclivity, but not the extent of his losses, the actual possibility of wrongdoing in connection with his gambling or an effective effort to determine whether as President he could avoid gratifying his habit. In short we have had a first round of accounts, a great deal of interest, and no real followup.

A month later I ran a similar piece in Huffington Post — with a similar conclusion.

I have found that mention of McCain’s gambling habit is a persuasive argument to people who are on the fence and wondering who to vote for. The association of gambling with the term neocon and observation of McCain’s growing synchronicity with Bush positions is generally enough to convince an inquirer. But these days the teflon mantel seems to be moving to McCain. And to my knowledge no one has raised these questions directly.

Yet.

Today, in one of the most extensive investigative pieces I have seen of late, the New York Times has not only delved into “actual possibility of wrongdoing in connection with his gambling”. It has revealed an essential aspect of John McCain.

The article, by Jo Becker and Don Van Natta, Jr., is titled, McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry

I will conclude this section by publishing four illustrative excerpts, but I want to preface that with mention of a fact about McCain that hit me like a ton of bricks while I slept on the subject last night.

McCain may be a gambler, McCain may be erratic, McCain may have done good things, but if any cumulative picture of McCain emerges from this investigative piece, and from other chapters of his career, it is that he has been a consummate, inside power-player.

McCain’s values are me-first and bellicose. McCain’s manner is erratic and gambling. But when you cut through bluster, pandering cliche and and outright, in-your-face lying, you find a person who is instinctively able, much of the time, to negotiate the dangers that exist in the labyrinths of power, to bob and weave without regard to past commitments, to fit the circumstance to the new convenience, in short, to operate at the refined quasi-criminal level of a Lyndon Johnson (Tonkin) and a Richard Nixon/Henry Kissinger (lies, lies, lies, as my friend Blll Horwitz once titled an album).

When McCain despises Barack Obama, it because he knows Obama has no clue, is massively naive, cannot bob and weave the way McCain does, juggling interests and doing favors in a subtle penumbra of doublespeak and innuendo and whispered arrangements.

Let me be plain. We have had decent Presidents with decent values and at least a commitment to honesty. They may play games but they meld necessity with some attention to values.

And we have had Presidents like Johnson and Nixon who have known the ins and outs of how to survive and conquer in the labyrinth. The problem is that these “labyrinth Presidents” have not given one tinkers’ dam about whether thousands of our young are killed, just to achieve some testosterone point or another.

Interesting that longevity in Congress may tend to exacerbate the hubris!

The decent ones have been more wary and recondite. And have saved many lives in the bargain.

These further probes into McCain’s gambling ties should serve as yet another caution:

We do not want a man at the helm whose real inner nature is to throw anyone who gets in his way under the bus, whose concept of power is to be able to get away with murder, whose very gaze — evasive but menacing — can connote a kiss of death.

This election is about sanity versus the prospect of ambient mayhem. If you merely think McCain is clueless, you are missing a key point. He is clueless only to the point of his instinctive capacity for survival, damn the torpedoes (literally).

When you are a President you can damn the torpedos all you want if you do not give a damn about anyone but yourself and have perfected the art of dissembling enough to fool a majority most of the time.

I say, be afraid. Be very afraid. And then work your butt off for Obama.

EXCERPT ONE:

McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry

Senator John McCain was on a roll. In a room reserved for high-stakes gamblers at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut, he tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table. When the marathon session ended around 2:30 a.m., the Arizona senator and his entourage emerged with thousands of dollars in winnings.

A lifelong gambler, Mr. McCain takes risks, both on and off the craps table. He was throwing dice that night not long after his failed 2000 presidential bid, in which he was skewered by the Republican Party’s evangelical base, opponents of gambling. Mr. McCain was betting at a casino he oversaw as a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, and he was doing so with the lobbyist who represents that casino, according to three associates of Mr. McCain.

The visit had been arranged by the lobbyist, Scott Reed, who works for the Mashantucket Pequot, a tribe that has contributed heavily to Mr. McCain’s campaigns and built Foxwoods into the world’s second-largest casino. Joining them was Rick Davis, Mr. McCain’s current campaign manager. Their night of good fortune epitomized not just Mr. McCain’s affection for gambling, but also the close relationship he has built with the gambling industry and its lobbyists during his 25-year career in Congress.

As a two-time chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, Mr. McCain has done more than any other member of Congress to shape the laws governing America’s casinos, helping to transform the once-sleepy Indian gambling business into a $26-billion-a-year behemoth with 423 casinos across the country. He has won praise as a champion of economic development and self-governance on reservations.

“One of the founding fathers of Indian gaming” is what Steven Light, a University of North Dakota professor and a leading Indian gambling expert, called Mr. McCain.

As factions of the ferociously competitive gambling industry have vied for an edge, they have found it advantageous to cultivate a relationship with Mr. McCain or hire someone who has one, according to an examination based on more than 70 interviews and thousands of pages of documents.

EXCERPT TWO: McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry

In 1994, Mr. McCain pushed an amendment that enabled dozens of additional tribes to win federal recognition and open casinos. And in 1998, Mr. McCain fought a Senate effort to rein in the boom.

He also voted twice in the last decade to give casinos tax breaks estimated to cost the government more than $326 million over a dozen years.

The first tax break benefited the industry in Las Vegas, one of a number of ways Mr. McCain has helped nontribal casinos. Mr. Lanni, the MGM Mirage chief executive, said that an unsuccessful bid by the senator to ban wagering on college sports in Nevada was the only time he could recall Mr. McCain opposing Las Vegas. “I can’t think of any other issue,” Mr. Lanni said.

The second tax break helped tribal casinos like Foxwoods and was pushed by Scott Reed, the Pequots’ lobbyist.

Mr. McCain had gotten to know Mr. Reed during Senator Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign, which Mr. Reed managed. Four years later, when Mr. McCain ran for president, Mr. Reed recommended he hire his close friend and protégé, Rick Davis, to manage that campaign.

EXCERPT THREE: McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry

At a September 2004 hearing of the Indian Affairs Committee, Mr. McCain described Jack Abramoff as one of the most brazen in a long line of crooks to cheat American Indians. “It began with the sale of Manhattan, and has continued ever since,” he said. “What sets this tale apart, what makes it truly extraordinary, is the extent and degree of the apparent exploitation and deceit.”

Over the next two years, Mr. McCain helped uncover a breathtaking lobbying scandal — Mr. Abramoff and a partner bilked six tribes of $66 million — that showcased the senator’s willingness to risk the wrath of his own party to expose wrongdoing. But interviews and documents show that Mr. McCain and a circle of allies — lobbyists, lawyers and senior strategists — also seized on the case for its opportunities.

For McCain-connected lobbyists who were rivals of Mr. Abramoff, the scandal presented a chance to crush a competitor. For senior McCain advisers, the inquiry allowed them to collect fees from the very Indians that Mr. Abramoff had ripped off. And the investigation enabled Mr. McCain to confront political enemies who helped defeat him in his 2000 presidential run while polishing his maverick image.

EXCERPT FOUR: McCain and Team Have Many Ties to Gambling Industry

In the spring of 2005, Mr. McCain announced he was planning a sweeping overhaul of Indian gambling laws, including limiting off-reservation casinos. His campaign said Las Vegas had nothing to do with it. In a 2005 interview with The Oregonian, Mr. McCain said that if Congress did not act, “soon every Indian tribe is going to have a casino in downtown, metropolitan areas.”

Prospects for the proposed California project did not look promising. Then the tribe, the Guidiville Band of Pomo Indians, hired a lobbyist based in Phoenix named Wes Gullett.

Mr. Gullett, who had never represented tribes before Congress, had known Mr. McCain since the early 1980s. Mr. Gullett met his wife while they were working in Mr. McCain’s Washington office. He subsequently managed Mr. McCain’s 1992 Senate campaign and served as a top aide to his 2000 presidential campaign. Their friendship went beyond politics. When Mr. McCain’s wife, Cindy, brought two infants in need of medical treatment back to Arizona from Bangladesh, the Gulletts adopted one baby and the McCains the other. The two men also liked to take weekend trips to Las Vegas.

Another of Mr. McCain’s close friends, former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen, was a major investor in the Guidivilles’ proposed casino. Mr. Cohen, who did not return calls, was best man at Mr. McCain’s 1980 wedding.

Scott Crowell, lawyer for the Guidivilles, said Mr. Gullett was hired to ensure that Mr. McCain’s overhaul of the Indian gambling laws did not harm the tribe.

Mr. Gullett said he never talked to Mr. McCain about the legislation. “If you are hired directly to lobby John McCain, you are not going to be effective,” he said. Mr. Gullett said he only helped prepare the testimony of the tribe’s administrator, Walter Gray, who was invited to plead his case before Mr. McCain’s committee in July 2005. Mr. Gullett said he advised Mr. Gray in a series of conference calls.

On disclosure forms filed with the Senate, however, Mr. Gullett stated that he was not hired until November, long after Mr. Gray’s testimony. Mr. Gullett said the late filing might have been “a mistake, but it was inadvertent.” Steve Hart, a former lawyer for the Guidivilles, backed up Mr. Gullett’s contention that he had guided Mr. Gray on his July testimony.

When asked whether Mr. Gullett had helped him, Mr. Gray responded, “I’ve never met the man and couldn’t tell you anything about him.”

On Nov. 18, 2005, when Mr. McCain introduced his promised legislation overhauling the Indian gambling law, he left largely intact a provision that the Guidivilles needed for their casino. Mr. McCain’s campaign declined to answer whether the senator spoke with Mr. Gullett or Mr. Cohen about the project. In the end, Mr. McCain’s bill died, largely because Indian gambling interests fought back. But the Department of Interior picked up where Mr. McCain left off, effectively doing through regulations what he had hoped to accomplish legislatively. Carl Artman, who served as the Interior Department’s assistant secretary of Indian Affairs until May, said Mr. McCain pushed him to rewrite the off-reservation rules. “It became one of my top priorities because Senator McCain made it clear it was one of his top priorities,” he said.

The new guidelines were issued on Jan. 4. As a result, the casino applications of 11 tribes were rejected. The Guidivilles were not among them.

PS:

To further plumb the McCain disdain mode, the mode of the powerful Senator who is used to being right regardless, read the whole Media Matters piece on the Kissinger Debate Flap to understand that the smiling Mr. McCain is a person for whom the word impunity would need to be invented, were there no such word before his advent.

Following the September 26 presidential debate, CNN chief national correspondent John King read a statement issued by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in response to Sen. Barack Obama’s citation of Kissinger’s support for direct negotiation with Iran without preconditions. The statement read: “Senator [John] McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level.” But King did not point out that, contrary to Kissinger’s suggestion, at no point during the debate did Obama suggest that Kissinger had previously endorsed presidential-level talks between the United States and Iran. During the debate Obama said, “Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who’s one of his advisers, who, along with five recent secretaries of state, just said that we should meet with Iran — guess what — without precondition. This is one of your own advisers,” and, “When we talk about preconditions — and Henry Kissinger did say we should have contacts without preconditions — the idea is that we do not expect to solve every problem before we initiate talks.” During the debate, McCain repeatedly purported to correct Obama by saying Kissinger would not support presidential-level talks with Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Each time, Obama made clear that was not his contention — that, instead, he was accurately saying Kissinger supported talks between the United States and Iran at levels below the president.

SOURCE

Post-Debate Obama Ad

AND:

Obama Blog
GLOBAL
ABC News
Al Giordano
Alternet
AmericaBlog
Andrew Sullivan
BAGnewsNotes
CBS News
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Common Dreams
CQPolitics
Crooks and Liars
David Corn
Drudge Retort
FactCheck
fivethirtyeight.com
Gallup
Huffington Post
Hullabaloo
Human Rights Watch
Informed Comment
Jed Report
Liberal Values
Los Angeles Times
McClatchy
Media Matters
Mother Jones
MSNBC
Mudflats
MyDD
My Left Wing
New York Times
NPR
Obsidian Wings
Oliver Willis
Open Left
Politico
Pro Publica
Raw Story
Rothenberg Report
Talking Points Memo
Tapped
Time
Truthdig
US News & World Report
Washington Independent
Washington Post
YouTube
Yglesias

YESTERDAY’S LINKS

I load new links all the time. Yesterday’s page has different links — significant stories, breaking news, relevant opinion.

BARACK on Face The Nation Sunday VIDEOS GO


BARACK is back to an 8 point Gallup daily lead GO


TENTATIVE accord may be passed Monday GO


MAD DOG PALIN a screed about American culture GO


ART for Obama — IMAGES & text GO


TROOPERGATE still hounds Palin GO


HINT of Russia-US cooperation on Iran at the UN GO


PAUL NEWMAN RIP GO


BAILOUT brickbats but it is what it is — waft a prayer GO


SUNDAY MORNING TV lineup — guess who? Hint FTN Obama GO


SEXUAL cleansing in Iraq GO


WALL STREET favors Obama — will McCain change subject (I am sure he will — see attacks and smears above) GO


538: Yesterday’s polls (pre-debate) GO


BRISTOL’s wedding and other oddities GO


26.000 Virginians brave rain for Obama rally VIDEO GO

538’s daily polls gives Obama his most robust prospect yet GO


TINA FEY returns as Palin on SNL VIDEOS & text GO


PALIN alienates some conservative pundits GO


ANGER at bailout hinges on fat salaries GO


HIT MediaMatters for raps on Cillizza, O’Donnell & ABCNews GO


AFRICAN AMERICAN fears of an Obama defeat GO


FIRST HAND REPORT of Palin “accountability” rally in Alaska PHOTOS & text GO


57 Million watched first debate — comparative figures GO


HOW CLOSE did we come to a financial abyss? GO


THE RICK DAVIS file expands GO


POLITICO on Ohio and other close states GO


PARAGUAY’s president turned down a photo op with Palin GO


TIME flags McCain’s smears and lies GO


YGLESIAS on Kissinger and preconditions GO

YESTERDAYMcCain Talks Experience — Er, Sarah? With a PS on Palin’s alleged affair
For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE

Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

obama
TWO MEDITATIONS AND A NOVELLA:
ABBA’S WAY ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. (MEDITATIONS)
BEYOND CREED ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. (APHORISMS)
PANFLICK (1988) BLACK HUMOR.

Standard
barack obama, debate

McCain Talks Experience — Er, Sarah?

Huff | Obama Diary | TALKING POINTS UT| Comment Fodder | Palin UT

UT=Updated Today.

McCain Talks Experience — Er, Sarah?

Well this page sort of took off. Here is the Huff Link for this post where you can comment if you wish.

Enough said, methinks.

However, if you have a few hours, you’ll find a plethora of post-debate insight below.

I’ll be back if anything salient occurs.

WHOOPS: PALIN AFFAIR ALLEGED SOURCE

OK, I need to explain why I am posting this. This story will either be a major game changer that leads to Palin’s resignation, a consummation McCain probably devoutly wishes. Or it will be a massive distraction that becomes the campaign. I see no alternative to one of these outcomes.

Why am I posting this item from the National Enquirer.

Following Jonestown, I wrote an in depth journalistic account of events in Guyana called Jesus and Jim Jones.

I date from that time in 1978 the TABLOIDIZATION of American journalism. This is because the National Enquirer had more salient and reliable reporting on the reality of Jonestown than the MSM of the time.

In the case of this Palin item, I approach it exactly as I approached it then. I have been aware of this possible story almost since Palin’s nomination. But until it broke for real, I made no mention of it. Now that the Enquirer is willing to stand by it, as they did with the John Edwards story, I am more than willing to let the chips fall where they may.

McCain did not vett Sarah Palin and now the chickens are coming home to roost big time. The shabby soap opera continues. But unfortunately this is an overload the nation does not need. McCain has destroyed Sarah Palin. I half believe she will be OUT before the Veep debate.

To those who think this is a new thing in American politics, I refer them to Grover Cleveland’s story — told in a tabloid of the time.

And I lay the major blame with McCain. With a substantial dollop to Palin if she did not reveal the affair. Lord knows, this is as common as milk. We are dealing with a convention whose political uses remain manifold but whose actual import is increasingly irrelevant.


Barack’s Post Debate Note

I just finished my first debate with John McCain.

Millions of Americans finally got a chance to see us take on the fundamental choice in this election — the change we need or more of the same.

I will provide tax cuts for the middle class, affordable health care, and a new energy economy that creates millions of jobs. John McCain wants to keep giving huge tax cuts to corporations, and he offered no solutions for the challenges Americans are facing in their daily lives.

I will end the war in Iraq responsibly, focus on defeating al Qaeda and the Taliban, and restore America’s standing in the world after eight years of disastrous policies. John McCain wants an unending commitment in Iraq and fails to recognize the resurgent threat in Afghanistan.

Let’s be clear: John McCain is offering nothing but more of the same failed Bush policies at home and abroad that he has supported more than 90% of the time in the Senate.

Americans need change now, and I need your help to get the word out about this movement.

In the coming days, it’s going to be up to you to organize locally and reach the voters that are going to decide this election.

Now’s the time to make your voice heard.

Will you make a donation to support this campaign for change?

Thank you for all that you’re doing,

Barack SOURCE

Send a Personal Email to Stephen C. Rose

Post Debate Ad


Lest John Forget

HT to JED.

AND:

Obama Blog
GLOBAL
ABC News
Al Giordano
Alternet
AmericaBlog
Andrew Sullivan
BAGnewsNotes
CBS News
Christian Science Monitor
CNN
Common Dreams
CQPolitics
Crooks and Liars
David Corn
Drudge Retort
FactCheck
fivethirtyeight.com
Gallup
Huffington Post
Hullabaloo
Human Rights Watch
Informed Comment
Jed Report
Liberal Values
Los Angeles Times
McClatchy
Media Matters
Mother Jones
MSNBC
Mudflats
MyDD
My Left Wing
New York Times
NPR
Obsidian Wings
Oliver Willis
Open Left
Politico
Pro Publica
Raw Story
Rothenberg Report
Talking Points Memo
Tapped
Time
Truthdig
US News & World Report
Washington Independent
Washington Post
YouTube
Yglesias

YESTERDAY’S LINKS

I load new links all the time. Yesterday’s page has different links — significant stories, breaking news, relevant opinion.

GIORDANO in VA with Tim Kaine GO


SIX takes on the debate from Alternet GO


BLOGGERS debate the debate GO


MULTIPLE Andrew Sullivan debate reactions GO


BAG take with PHOTOS and text is the one I agree with most so far: McCain would have won if he wasn’t so wierd GO


TEDDY home after hospital visit GO


BAILOUT status — limbo GO


PUNDIT debate roundup. Scores of VIDEOS GO


DAVID CORN — they both played it safe GO


FACTCHECKING the first debate GO


538 — why voters thought Obama won (and the obvious answer to why Obama people were urged to watch the debate on CNN?) GO


HUFF — could McCain’s scowls and smirks frame debate? GO


JED — stupidest McCain ad ever? VIDEOS GO

FRIDAY’s Gallup Daily had Obama back up — by three GO


MCCLATCHY — Palin’s bad press reviews. VIDEOS GO


ON CONNECTING — how Barack used the camera in debate GO


ONE ON ONE with Sarah Palin VIDEOS GO


LAWMAKERS lurch toward bailout GO


SWING VOTERS tilt toward Obama in debate GO


THERE IS NO financial crisis, according to a former IMF official GO


REPUBLICANS concerned about Palin GO


WHERE candidates stand on market reform GO


SIX POWERS confirm Iran sanctions GO


SPENDING FREEZE — pinning McCain down GO


GOOGLE opposes CA gay marriage ban GO


KARZAI’s popularity is slipping GO


BARNEY FRANK speaks GO

YESTERDAYDebate One Blow By Blow Building All Day For specific campaign-related and other topics, please use the SEARCH BLOG field to your upper left. LABELS

OBAMA ON THE ISSUES — GO TO THE SOURCE, NOT WHAT YOU HEAR OUT THERE

Civil Rights | Disabilities | Economy } Education } Energy & Environment | Ethics | Faith | Family | Fiscal | Foreign Policy | Healthcare | Homeland Security | Immigration | Iraq | Poverty | Rural | Service | Seniors & Social Security | Technology | Urban Policy | Veterans | Women | Additional Issues | The Blueprint for Change

obama
TWO MEDITATIONS AND A NOVELLA:
ABBA’S WAY ANTICIPATES THE OBAMA ERA. (MEDITATIONS)
BEYOND CREED ADVANCES THEOLOGY BEYOND BONHOEFFER. (APHORISMS)
PANFLICK (1988) BLACK HUMOR.

Standard
john mccain, politics

Debate One Blow By Blow Building All Day

Debate One Blow By Blow Building All Day

The time is 7:36 PM EASTERN. The earlier entries are posted below with times given.

This is shaping up to something huge. I can imagine Barack on a major attack if this really does hit the economy head on. He will HAVE to basically hit McCain with his record. How he can do this and still come off as one who can LEAD the country is the challenge I hope we’ll all say he has met.

My sanity is being massaged by watching KO leading into the debate — 30 minutes to go. Letterman is explaining John McCain to people who do not knw him. I bet Crystal City talks about this campaign in terms we would love to hear and transcribe.

Some stories that Obama Campaign sent out an invite to watch the debate on CNN. Who says it WAS from the campaign?

17 minutes. Barack could be said to have prepared for the Presidency from the moment he moved toward Harvard Law, toward Chicago, toward a political response to human issues. Always a special person and a special track. At every point when he has been aware of needing to rise to an occasion, he has risen to an occasion.

Michelle is with Barack. They walk in.

McCain has prepped since he saw the inside of the US Senate. Whether he got the chance too late, after too much under the dam, he may have the visceral mojo to pull through. But it is a big chance, it would seem.

I say it is Barack’s to lose.

The debate will turn when Barack smashes through the McCain rap. Barack will not address McCain directly without being prompted. Then again Mccain will not look at Barack.

Something has to give.

End of KO. DEBATE. Bare Stage. Sirens out my NYC windows.

First question. Barack first to talk abot where he stands on the recovery plan. He goes off into an effort to make it personal. He needs to answer. He lays out his specific points to be included in the plan. Direct Bush McCain hit. Middle class fair shake.

McCain does a Kennedy nod after Kennedy has been declared OK. But he does establish a more personal feel. We do not wnt Saddlebrook again. McCain is taking implicit savior responsibilty.

Barack is still lecturing. Neither has scored yet.

Now McCain attacks directly. His earmarks rap. Barack does not attack back. On the other hand he may be able to lick him on content.

McCain wants to goad Barack. Barack is not goading back. He needs to hit McCain MUCH harder.

Barack has started LOOKING at McCain. He is doing better, but I am giving this round to McCain. We are 21 minutes in.

The first part of the debate is said to be the most important.

Barack is picking up. Hw is attacking back. Supporters will be happy but he needs more to prevail.

Barack is winning the second — Iraq — round. More passion.

While I think Barack is ahead in round two, he could simply have called McCain a neocon who shilled for the Iraq war a month past 9/11.

Still. I call round two a tie.

Neocon unveiled by McCain in round three. Iran. Will Barack enngage?

I said this ws shaping up to something huge. It would have been much more huge if Barack had come in with a much stronger Iraq War condemnation and a much stronger neocon condemnation.

Will he close with a strong response to McCain’s Russia militancy?

Barack’s answer is strong.

I would say the debate is almost a tie and that it had no knockout blows either way.

Concluding statement by Barack is strong. McCain’s response is somewhat less so.

EARLIER

I do not think McCain went to DC with the intent of passing the compromise worked on by Barack. In his surrogate talking points, put out while his campaign continued through his “suspension”, he specifically says he does not think the compromise will pass. I believe he went down to DC to ensure that it would have more difficulty passing and then to become the hero of a compromise that he would engineer solo. Excellent for a potential Commander and Chief.

Now, skeptics are given a chance to play chicken, if they wish. Though a TIME piece offers what looks like a possible way out.

One solution being floated in the Senate, however, might work precisely because there would be no real winners. The Senate, where the bill has more support among Republicans than in the House, would take the lead and attach the bill to a resolution that continues to fund the federal government through the election. That is a measure members have a hard time voting against, and if the Senate then adjourns, the House would pretty much be forced to swallow the Senate’s single bill. House members would then be forced to vote for or against the budget along with the bailout, giving them a measure of political cover. In the end such an approach may be the only viable way out of a fine mess that has left markets reeling, the economy on the brink of collapse and Washington looking once again like the dysfunctional place that both Barack Obama and John McCain have pledged to change.

At any rate, I am devoting this page to the first debate. Following the debate story hour by hour and posting relevant items, videos and commentary here. Please scroll down for a salient collection of links to news and opinion that is generally the latest and often ahead of the curve.

Email received:


I was at the Biden address yesterday and it was extremely well received. There was an overflow crowd in this very Republican area. What struck me most (outside of Biden nailing the subject and putting it in terms that everyone could easily understand) was the make up of the audience – predominently white, older, and with a good number of vocal union members. I think we have an excellent chance to make Ohio blue.

8:34 AM EASTERN

I think an agreement will be hammered out. And pass. McCain only wins if there is no agreement passed, And then, only if there is no financial Armageddon.

Humor Break


9:55 AM EASTERN


Survey of Debate Issues from WAPO


10:07 AM EASTERN

An anti-Obama take on how McCain is playing this:

Mrs. Pelosi now claims she aims to ram through the bill. She is shouting that the GOP must relent and join in. Not a chance. “No deal,” is the way to guard the people’s cash. The Democrats are working with George Bush and Hank Paulson. The Republicans in the House (the Senate crowd is pointless and feckless) are working with the people. It is the world turned upside down — with the Grand Old Party marching arm-in-arm with Main Street, and the class warrior Democrats gamboling with the Wall Street Interest.

Obama fell into the deal ambush, and now he must take the campaign stage claiming that a grotesque, imperial, unprecedented and endlessly ramshackle Goldman, Sachs fantasy of a deal is good for the country. And John McCain can stand on the same campaign stage and mumble sincerely that thrift, cautious, reform, transparency, modesty, honesty are the new day for the McCain administration.

Now What?

Mrs. Pelosi and Harry Reid have by this time realized they have sandbagged themselves into fighting with the president they denounce. Fighting for the arrogant, tone-deaf, bully Hank Paulson (right) and the super rich they want to super tax. Fighting for the Wall Street that gives the Democrats twice as much as the Republicans.

Will they pull back? Or will they risk it, pass the bill, and hope that Obama can defeat McCain in the debate and on November 4 so they can ready their teams to withstand the assault of reformers coming in 2010? More soon, and all eyes on John Boehner, Minority Leader of the cavalry to the rescue.
SOURCE


11:23 AM EASTERN TIME

From FOX/AP: The head of Ole Miss proposes a Town Hall if McCain finks out (my language) SOURCE

And now MSMBC says MCCain is going to Mississippi. Gosh, John, thanks.

1:03 PM EASTERN

I am not certain the House Republicans are actually on board.

The Expectation Game:

Most voters expect Obama to have the upper hand in the debates, according to a new poll out this morning.

In the CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, 59 percent of likely voters said they expect Obama to do a better job in the debates, while 34 percent picked McCain. SOURCE

3:19 PM EASTERN

Lieberman on MSNBC defends McCain as predicted. How many wagons does McCain have? Whew.

5:04 PM EASTERN


A View From Across the Pond

A veteran Republican campaigner, who asked to remain nameless, said “it has been a rough week” for Mr McCain, while another said his campaign “can do tactics but can’t do strategy”.

Democrats have delighted in what they describe as Mr McCain’s erratic, hot-headed behaviour, which they said showed signs of desperation amid falling poll numbers.

“You see disorganisation and chaos like this in local campaigns, but I have never seen anything like this on a national level,” said Peter Fenn, a veteran Democrat campaign consultant.

“These guys seem to wake up every morning and say ‘what are going to do now?’ I have known John McCain since the Seventies and he makes decisions by the seat of his pants and he can be rash and brash.”

On Tuesday Mr McCain admitted that he had not read the three-page draft from the White House on saving the economy, which had been published four days earlier.

Claiming he was putting nation above politics, the next day he “suspended” his campaign and announced he was returning to Washington to help Congress agree the terms of the financial package. He also called for the postponement of the debate, a cherished ritual of American political life.

Mr McCain urged George W Bush to call the meeting at the White House with Congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and Mr Obama that was supposed to present a united front to the country but descended into a slanging match.

Harry Reid, the Democrat leader of the Senate, accused Mr McCain of harming negotiations by dragging the presidential campaign roadshow on to Capitol Hill.

Talks were proceeding well, Mr Reid said, until “guess who came to town, and then things fell apart, the vehicle came off the tracks”.

Mr McCain’s choice of the inexperienced Alaska governor Sarah Palin as his running mate also came under renewed scrutiny after she struggled to answer several questions convincingly in an interview with CBS.

Ed Rollins, the manager of Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in 1984, said afterwards: “I wouldn’t put her in many more interviews like this.” SOURCE


6:35 PM EASTERN

John McCain rushes to Mississippi for the debate, but may hurry back to D.C. | Main
Behind the scenes on John McCain’s wild Friday campaign ride

John McCain’s campaign is making it up on the fly today, even on the ground.

And in a few hours we’ll see in tonight’s presidential debate how it all plays out.

The result has been what appears to be barely-controlled chaos on the tag-along end at least. The candidate’s seemingly abrupt decision Friday to take part in the debate after 48 hours of public confusion added a nail-biting, cliffhanger element to a presidential contest already infused with high stakes drama.

It is a seat-of-the-pants, adrenalin-charged style that McCain, once an aircraft carrier pilot, apparently enjoys. Or doesn’t mind. But it is a far cry from the carefully scripted, well-planned schedules that most presidential campaigns, not to mention the White House, typically employ and the traveling press corps is accustomed to.

It makes an intriguing behind-the-scenes blog item, however.

Two days ago, McCain unexpectedly announced in New York that he would temporarily suspend his campaign, postpone the debate with Obama, and go to Washington to help the White House, Treasury secretary, head of the Federal Reserve, and the 532 members of Congress who aren’t running for president find a solution to the unfolding financial debacle.

The result, so far at least, has been more finger-pointing than comity.

Democrats insisted that McCain’s presence helped scuttle a deal that was close to agreement, although earlier in the week Democratic Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada suggested the Republican’s presence would help.

Republicans angrily blamed Democrats for putting partisan politics over the nation’s interest, a default attack line for both parties in Washington.

McCain aides claimed that a highly contentious meeting at the White House on Thursday turned into what one called “Kabuki theater,” in which shouting Democratic leaders sought to goad McCain into losing his temper. He did not, they pointed out, instead sitting silently during most of the high-level meeting that he had helped organize.

Whether McCain’s involvement helped or hurt the process, it’s clear he has utterly upended his campaign at a critical point in a contest already moving at warp speed. Aides complained that they did not know where he would spend the next hour, never mind the next day, and that Obama’s campaign cranked up its attacks during the last two days.

“It’s like a bad movie,” one aide said privately Friday. “No one knows what we’re doing. Everything is minute by minute now.”

McCain started early Friday with quick meetings on Capitol Hill with Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader, and John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House minority leader. He soon returned to his campaign headquarters in Arlington, Va., his motorcade racing down the rain-slicked streets and across the Potomac River shortly before 11.

By then, aides said, McCain had decided to attend the Mississippi debate.

Soon after, the campaign issued a statement announcing his decision, and another statement to McCain’s traveling corps of reporters advising them to be prepared to get to the airport within 45 minutes once the departure time was confirmed.

Instead, McCain pulled another surprise. Climbing into his black SUV, his motorcade suddenly took off for nearby Reagan National Airport.

The flight departed so quickly that dutiful Secret Service agents had to inspect one passenger’s bags in the aisle as the plane taxied. Except for the dozen or so reporters and camera crews who shadow him as a pool, the McCain campaign left the rest of the traveling press behind and a separate charter flight was arranged.

In case the rest of working America was worried about them.

— Bob Drogin SOURCE

Standard