Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blog Under Attack

In case you haven't noticed, there are a bunch of "mice" running around the top of this page. This is the result of an attack on this blog from unknown sources. I guess we have been hitting the GoPPiGs too hard, even though I have not hardly posted much of anything lately!

Google is aware of the problem and is working to repair it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vote with the Whole World and See How The Whole World Votes!

Friday, October 24, 2008

The alienation of voting America

Gene Lyons

With fewer than two weeks until the presidential election, there’s
plenty of time for surprises. Virtually anything could still happen. But
you’d never know it from the behavior of many Republican pundits and
thinkers. Among GOP savants, the bitterness, recrimination and
finger-pointing have already begun—a heartening sign, actually. After
eight years of lock-step conformity and near-total fealty to the Bush
administration’s every destructive whim, one wouldn’t have thought they
had it in them. Needless wars? Staggering corruption? Illegal wiretaps?
Kidnapping? Secret prisons? Torture? So-called conservatives have
rationalized them all. Sarah Palin, however, many cannot abide. Alaska’s
winking governor, who goes around complaining that CBS’ Katie Couric
asked her “gotcha” questions like “What magazines and newspapers do you
read?” has become a flash point.

Christopher Buckley, sacked from the National Review, a magazine founded
by his late father, William F. Buckley, after endorsing Barack Obama on
Tina Brown’s Web site, The Daily Beast, explains that he initially was
captivated by Palin’s backwoods charm.

“But it’s kind of like dating a supermodel,” he says. “There comes a
moment, unfortunately, where they start talking.”

Allegedly cerebral New York Times columnist David Brooks goes even
further, designating Palin “a fatal cancer to the Republican Party.”
This portentous phrase, with its allusion to John Dean’s famous
Watergate warning to President Richard Nixon, seems melodramatic.
Cancer? More like acne or psoriasis, one would have thought.
Embarrassing perhaps, but hardly life-threatening.

So the Republicans have nominated a smug ignoramus. After eight years of
George W. Bush, we’re supposed to be shocked?

“No news conferences?” writes Peggy Noonan in The Wall Street Journal.
“Interviews now only with friendly journalists? You can’t be president
or vice president and govern in that style, as a sequestered figure.
This has been Mr. Bush’s style the past few years, and see where it got

Other GOP-leaning pundits argue that the sheer opportunism of picking
Palin showed John McCain temperamentally unsuited for the presidency.

“Under the pressure of the financial crisis, one presidential candidate
is behaving like a flustered rookie playing in a league too high,” added
persnickety Washington Post columnist George Will. “It is not Barack

Will’s neo-conservative colleague Charles Krauthammer went further. For
all his personal and ideological misgivings about Obama, he wrote,
“Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said of Franklin Roosevelt that he
had a ‘second class intellect, but a first-class temperament.’...
[Obama’s] got both a first-class intellect and a first-class
temperament. That will likely be enough to make him president.”

Buckley’s way past unrepentant. Responding to the torrent of abuse
coming his way—he reports 12,000 outraged emails from GOP loyalists—he
writes that eight years of Bushism have given us “a doubled national
debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere,
poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by
politicians of breathtaking arrogance.”

Defending him in her own syndicated column, Buckley’s friend and
colleague Kathleen Parker takes it a step beyond: “Republicans are not
short on brainpower—or pride—but they have strayed off course. They do
not, in fact, deserve to win this time, and someone had to remind them

For her part, Noonan realizes that the conservative movement’s vaunted
message discipline has become a crippling weakness. In purging Buckley,
the “conservative intelligentsia are doing what they have done for five
years,” she writes. “They bitterly attacked those who came to stand
against the Bush administration. This was destructive. If they had stood
for conservative principle and the full expression of views, instead of
attempting to silence those who opposed mere party, their movement, and
the party, would be in a better and healthier position.”

Although McCain and Palin are taking much of the abuse, it’s really
Bushism (or Rove-ism, if you like) that has discredited principled
conservatism and threatens to tear the Republican Party apart. The
Times’ Brooks notices that to solidify the party’s hold on its electoral
“base,” the party of Abraham Lincoln has become the party of George
Wallace, envisioning the country “divided between the wholesome Joe
Sixpacks in the heartland and the over-sophisticated, overeducated,
over-secularized denizens of the coasts.” By embracing
anti-intellectualism and cultural tribalism, Brooks argues, the GOP has
alienated the most populous and best-educated parts of the country. The
Northeast and West Coast are gone, along with major cities and their
suburbs nationwide. Entire professions—lawyers, doctors, high-tech
executives, even bankers—lean strongly Democratic. Espousing
creationism, global-warming denial and Know-Nothingism generally has
left educated Americans nowhere else to go. Did you know there’s a
YouTube video of Palin accepting the blessing of an African evangelist
against witches? Meanwhile, notice one thing: Conservatives breaking
rank tend to be those with independent careers. Recipients of what
Democrats derisively call “wingnut welfare,” i.e., employees of
money-losing, tycoon-financed outlets existing mainly to propagandize
for billionaire tax cuts, remain loyal. So does talk radio. Should
Republicans get wiped out come November, things could get ugly.

—–––––•–––––—Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and
recipient of the National Magazine Award.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama's Lead Widens: 52%-38% Pew Polling

Growing Doubts About McCain's Judgment, Age and Campaign Conduct

From Washington Post: Igor gets his face done

McCain's American Idol Make-Up Artist Makes Big Bucks

American Idol make-up artist Tifanie White has found some high profile work while the show is on break. (Altaffer/AP)

Remember last month when Republican presidential nominee John McCain got made up by the American Idol make-up artist?

Well, it wasn't a one-shot deal. The make-up artist to the wannabe-stars is getting paid beaucoup bucks to make McCain, 72, more telegenic.

Tifanie White, who reportedly has done makeup for the shows "So You Think You Can Dance" and "American Idol," was paid a total of $8,672.55 in September by the McCain-Palin campaign, according to the campaign's latest monthly financial report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. She was paid $5,583.43 the previous month, records show.

We asked McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers whether McCain was happy with the American Idol make-up artist's work, and whether Ms. White also does makeup for McCain's naturally telegenic vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin. Rogers replied via email, "No comment."

We refrained from asking whether McCain might have a future on "American Idol" if things don't break his way two weeks from today on Election Day. But at least he has an in if he so chooses.

By Mary Ann Akers | October 21, 2008; 12:25 PM ET
News & Analysis
Iraqis protest against proposed security agreement with US

India: Police accused of summarily executing "terrorist suspects"

Housing crisis accelerates blight in Detroit neighborhoods

Britain: Labour scapegoats immigrants for the financial crash

US: Screen Actors leadership calls for federal mediator

East Timor: Political crisis deepens as divisions in police force re-emerge

Monday, October 20, 2008

If there is any one who hasn't seen Colin Powell explain his upcoming vote for Obama, here's the video

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Palin would have let the whales die off

Alaska Whales Protected Over Palin's Objections

By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 18, 2008; A09

The Bush administration yesterday named the beluga whale in Alaska's Cook Inlet an endangered species despite opposition to the move by Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee.

By affording the whale protection under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will now embark on an ambitious research effort to determine why the species is on the decline and whether any human activities in the area need to be curtailed in order to protect its habitat.

Subsistence hunting took a toll on the Cook Inlet beluga population, which numbered as many as 1,300 in the 1970s but now stands at 375. The federal government limited beluga whale hunting to just five animals between 1999 and 2006, but the population has continued to decline roughly by 1.5 percent annually instead of growing by 2 to 4 percent per year, as scientists had predicted.

"In fact, we haven't seen that level of recovery," said Brad Smith, a marine mammal biologist with NOAA's Fisheries Service. "We have some likely culprits that could be preventing recovery. They may or may not be things we can do anything about."

Killer-whale predation may be a factor, Smith said, along with underwater noise, contamination and a falloff in the number of salmon, which beluga whales eat, in the area. Beluga whales -- white, playful animals that average 14 feet long and 3,000 pounds -- are gregarious and live in a confined bodies of water, which makes them vulnerable to threats such as oil spills or disease outbreaks. The whales in Cook Inlet live in a roughly 10-square-mile area and are separated from Alaska's four other beluga whale populations, which are not classified as endangered.

Conservation groups had petitioned to list the Cook Inlet whales in March 1999, but NOAA initially decided that an end to hunting would halt the decline. In April 2006 the groups filed a new petition, and the agency proposed listing the population as endangered in 2007.

In August 2007, the Palin administration submitted 95 pages of data and comments in an effort to keep the whales off the list.

"The State of Alaska has had serious concerns about the low population of belugas in Cook Inlet for many years," Palin said in a statement yesterday. "However, we believe that this endangered listing is premature."

But Vicki Cornish -- vice president of the marine wildlife conservation program at the Ocean Conservancy, an advocacy group -- said that Palin's objections were not supported by the facts and that the listing "is long overdue."

Citing the expansion of Anchorage's port, ballast water discharges from ships and vessel traffic in the region, along with nearby oil, gas and mining activities, she added: "You are looking at a number of activities that are taking their toll on the entire Cook Inlet ecosystem."

Brendan Cummins, oceans program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, another advocacy group, said the listing clears up bickering and lets preservation efforts begin.

"This ends the debate about whether the beluga should be protected under the Endangered Species Act and starts the critically important process of actually working to recover the species and protect its habitat," he said.

News & Analysis
Plant closures, layoffs mount in US and Europe

US bank losses wipe out years of paper profits

The Washington Post endorses Obama

US infant mortality rate now worse than 28 other countries

Australian government props up banks as signs of a deep global recession emerge

US Republicans target ACORN: the great "voter fraud" fraud

Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain to Cut Medicare by 20% Next Year

McCain's Joe the Plumber has no plumbing license--Late on Taxes

GopPigs thrown out of Supreme Court in Ohio Vote Fraud case

Thursday, October 16, 2008

GOP losing ground

Gene Lyons

Let’s get real. If John McCain had a long-standing professional
relationship with somebody who’d bombed abortion clinics, Democrats
would never let him hear the end of it. And properly so. We’re engaged
in an American presidential election here, not a tea social. Got a mad
bomber in your past? Sorry, it’s an issue. It’s therefore neither
shocking nor surprising that Republicans are attempting to exploit
Barack Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, a founder and former
member of the Weather Underground, which claimed credit for bombing the
Pentagon to protest the Vietnam War. This was not only absolutely
predictable, this column predicted it months ago. Never mind that Obama
was 8 when that insane act took place in 1970 or that his relationship
with Ayers doesn’t appear to have been close. They did serve together on
charitable boards in Chicago, where the ostensibly rehabilitated but
unrepentant Ayers is a professor of education at the University of
Illinois. They appeared together in panel discussions. Obama wrote
favorably about Ayers’ 1993 book, “Fugitive Days: A Memoir,” in the
Chicago Tribune. In 1995, the up-and coming politician attended a
reception in Ayers’ Hyde Park home.

That’s about the size of it. There’s no evidence that Obama approves of
Ayers’ violent past. None. Why he chose to dissemble when ABC’s George
Stephanopoulos asked him about it, only Obama knows. He incorrectly
described the former radical as an English professor and said he was a
slight acquaintance who lived in his neighborhood.

Like his repudiation of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose impolitic sermons he
implausibly pretended never to have heard, Obama’s evasiveness was
disingenuous at best, so he asked for it. But it’s beginning to look as
if he was politically shrewd.

See, the preposterous Sarah Palin is running around accusing Obama of
“palling around with terrorists.” She tells audiences of true believers
that Obama “is not a man who sees America the way you and I see

According to Time, the chairman of the Republican Party in Virginia, one
Jeffrey M. Frederick, explicitly compared the Democratic presidential
nominee to Osama bin Laden: “Both have friends that bombed the
Pentagon,” he said. “That is scary.”

McCain artlessly tries to have it both ways. He chastised one elderly
nitwit who called Obama an “Arab,” no doubt synonymous with terrorist in
her mind. He called his opponent “a decent family man with whom I have
some disagreements.” But he also declined to criticize Frederick.

“Senator Obama,” McCain said, “ought be candid and truthful about his
relationship with Mr. Ayers in whose living room Senator Obama launched
his campaign and Senator Obama said he was just a guy in the

Hotheads at some of Palin’s rallies have yelled out “terrorist” and
“treason” at the mention of Obama’s name. “Kill him!” one crackpot
reportedly hollered as the onetime Miss Congeniality chattered blithely
on. Possibly she has a hearing problem, because an American politician
with the intellectual acumen God gave a squirrel would know better than
to leave the impression that she finds such remarks acceptable.

This has, in turn, alarmed commentators sympathetic to Democrats. New
York Times columnist Frank Rich accused Republicans of stoking
Nazi-style rage that could encourage assassins. “The McCain campaign,”
he wrote, “has crossed the line between tough negative campaigning and
inciting vigilantism, and each day the mob howls louder.” Bloggers on
the Chicken Little left express fear of what one called “rubes with
pitchforks out in Jesusland.”

On ABC News’ “This Week,” Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman—has any American
public intellectual ever deserved the honor more?—supplied much-needed
historical perspective.

“For a long time we have had a substantial fraction of the Republican
base that just does not regard the idea of Democrats governing as
legitimate,” he said. “Remember the Clinton years. It was craziness,
right? They were murderers, they were drug smugglers, and the imminent
prospect of what looks like a big Democratic victory would drive a lot
of these people crazy even if Sarah Palin wasn’t saying these
inflammatory things.”

Except that during the Clinton years much of the “mainstream” press
collaborated in peddling Looney Tunes story lines.

The ongoing catastrophe of the Bush administration, however, appears to
have helped rationally consequent minds to sober up. Polls show voters
taking the November election with unusual seriousness. Everybody knows
somebody who went nuts over Vietnam. People want substance this time.
ABC News reports that Americans find McCain/ Palin more focused on
personal attacks than discussing issues by 59 to 35 percent. (Among
independents, it’s 68 to 26 percent.) A FOX poll—FOX, mind you—found
Americans saying that the Obama-Ayers connection wouldn’t cause them to
vote against the Democrat by 61 to 32 percent. In other words, the ugly
tone of Mc-Cain/Palin rallies doesn’t demonstrate growing intolerance
and hatred. What it shows is that hardly anybody but far-right soreheads
is showing up at GOP rallies anymore.

—–––––•–––––—Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and
recipient of the National Magazine Award.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

News & Analysis
Wall Street demands free hand with funding from US Treasury

Washington's "shock" over AIG's post-bailout junket

Canadian elections: Workers need new party
Reject "Anybody but Conservative" trap

International financial crisis exposes vulnerability of Indian economy

Hard winter ahead
US heating and power costs to rise, utility cutoffs to follow

Germany: Left Party supports austerity measures in Hesse

Britain: Brown's National Economic Council consolidates government by the super-rich

Sunday, October 12, 2008

No Hugs for Dana Milbanks at McWar/lipstick-pig event

Friday, October 10, 2008

News & Analysis
Wall Street crashes amid mounting signs of global recession

McCain-Palin campaign's attacks on Obama: a whiff of fascism

World financial crisis leads to auto industry layoffs across Europe

Iceland faces national bankruptcy

Fiji: Military junta pushes pro-investor "Peoples Charter" reforms

Machinists union to resume talks with Boeing

More than 300 workers arrested in immigration raid on South Carolina plant

Monday, October 06, 2008

McCain's Criminal Associations: Charles Keating

Watch the video:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Blame GOP ideologues for current crisis
Gene Lyons

If the headline on a recent Associated Press dispatch failed to alarm
you, you can’t have been paying attention. “Bush confident sweeping
measure will stabilize economy,” it read. That was scant hours before
the House rejected Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s Wall Street rescue
plan, thrashed out over a long weekend of intense congressional
negotiations. As a rule, the more confidence that George W. Bush
expresses, the worse things are. How and why the administration allowed
what even cautious commentators describe as “the worst financial crisis
since the Great Depression” to worsen until stopgap emergency measures
couldn’t wait would appear something of a mystery. Even with a manifest
incompetent like Bush in the White House, if there’s anything
Republicans are expected to understand, it’s money. Well, think again.
In the short term, it’s actually not so mysterious. Until the impending
failures of Lehman Brothers and American Life Insurance Inc. threatened
a meltdown of the entire Wall Street credit market with potentially
catastrophic effects on the U.S. and world economy, it appears that
Paulson and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke were hoping to limp
past the November election, after which a newly elected Congress and
president-elect might deal with the problem in a less-fevered climate.

Instead, we get to watch our dysfunctional political system at its
absolute worst. As recently as Sept. 15, GOP presidential nominee John
McCain, who has manfully admitted that he knows very little about
economics, was assuring audiences that “the fundamentals of our economy
are strong.”

On Republican talk radio, see, it’s been an article of faith for months
that Democrats have been falsely talking down the economy for political
purposes, so when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi correctly, if somewhat
intemperately, under the circumstances, pointed out that Bush inherited
budget surpluses, turned them into massive deficits and continued to
preach deregulation even as heedless speculators turned the U. S.
banking system into the world’s largest roulette wheel, GOP congressmen
got petulant and killed the bailout plan.

The poor babies got their feelings hurt. Then they went running back to
their districts to spend the Jewish holiday campaigning as champions of
Main Street.

Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks got it right: In
their “single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party,” he wrote,
GOP congressmen “have once again confused talk radio with reality.”

Live by Rush Limbaugh, die by Rush Limbaugh. In the bombastic radio
host’s upside-down world, it’s not Paulson and the White House that are
responsible for the bailout bill, but Democratic “thieves” scheming to
use the crisis to raise taxes on the “little guy.” Is it necessary to
point out that Paulson’s bailout proposal contains no taxes at all?

Meanwhile, here’s Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s
contribution to the debate. It’s worthwhile quoting in full. Pressed by
CBS’ Katie Couric, who asked if it might not be a better idea to help
middle-class families than rescue the big financial institutions that
created this mess, Palin responded as follows.

“That’s why I say I, like every American I’m speaking with, we’re ill
about this position that we have been put in where it is the taxpayers
looking to bail out. But ultimately what the bailout does is help those
who are concerned about the health care reform that is needed to help
shore up our economy, helping the—oh, it’s got to be all about job
creation, too, shoring up our economy and putting it back on the right
track. So health care reform and reducing taxes and reining in spending
has got to accompany tax reductions and tax relief for Americans. And
trade, we have, we’ve got to see trade as opportunity, not as a
competitive, scary thing, but one in five jobs being created in the
trade sector today, we’ve got to look at that as more opportunity. All
those things under the umbrella of job creation. This bailout is a part
of that.”

In short, sheer gibberish. The woman has no clue. What with McCain
donning his Mighty Mouse costume, pretending to suspend his campaign for
all of 36 hours and rushing to Washington to save the day by championing
a three-page proposal that it’s been claimed by some he hadn’t actually
read, his hand-picked vice-presidential candidate turns out to be
somebody you wouldn’t hire to prepare your own tax return. Not that the
Democrats have covered themselves with glory. Pelosi ought to have known
better than to schedule a vote on the bailout plan without knowing if
she had the votes. It might have been smarter to let the Senate, where
passage is all but certain, vote first. Barack Obama has been something
less than scintillating, coolly keeping his distance while Sen. Chris
Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank do all the heavy lifting. One thing’s clear:
Republican ideologues have created yet another fiscal disaster; adult
supervision will again be required.

—–––––•–––––—Free-lance columnist Gene Lyons is a Little Rock author and
recipient of the National Magazine Award.