Obama, Go Vote! Joe Biden, Vice President!
October 28, 2008

If you haven’t had a chance to see this yet, these are Italian gondoliers for Obama:

And Part 2 (this time, with Americans!):

The election is only a week away. OBAMA. OBAMA. OBAMA.

–S

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Watch Politicians Crack Jokes!
October 17, 2008

With the election looming a mere 17 days away (OBAMA! OBAMA!), the candidates got together last night at the Al Smith dinner to crack jokes about each other and politics. They’re both very funny. Case in point: Obama:


There’s a Jesus joke in there. And a superman one. Oh my.

And, of course, McCain:

–S

SHENANIGANS! I’m Calling Shenanigans On McCain!
September 24, 2008

McCain is bailing on the first debate, scheduled for Friday. He’s doing it, he claims, to “focus on the financial crisis.” Because McCain can (and will!) fix said worst-crisis-since-the-Depression by himself.

Except, he’s not the President, or even part of The Fed, he’s just a Senator. With no authority to do anything economic, because he’s not on the Joint Economics Committee. So what he’s going to do is go back to Washington, and bluster on about the economy and his war hero status.

But, as Gawker points out:

We’re thinking this will very quickly come off as a “political stunt,” and also make McCain look like a moron next time he trots out the “I lie about Obama because he wouldn’t debate me 100 times from now until the election” line.

So here I go: SHENANIGANS, MCCAIN! You’re just fucking scared to debate.

Edited To Add: This is the comment from Josh Marshall over on Talking Points Memo:

What’s changed today in the financial crisis other than John McCain’s poll numbers tanking? Isn’t this the campaign equivalent of faking an injury when you’re down late in the 4th quarter? Note too that McCain was in the midst of debate prep when he made this decision.

Look at what appears to have happened. Obama reached out to McCain privately to agree to a shared set of bailout principles. McCain went off the handle again and tried to use the crisis as a way to call off the debates.

WORD.

Edited Again to Add: Here’s an update from Gawker. Obama is, awesomely, maybe ignoring this ridiculous publicity stunt:

Ok, so this is sleazy, right? Barack Obama and John McCain were on the phone today trying to put together a genuinely non-partisan joint statement on the economy and the necessity of some sort of “package” to fix this mess we’re in. Obama called McCain to suggest this at 8:30 this morning. NBC: “McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain’s statement was issued to the media a few minutes later.” That is seriously a dick move! Hey: “‘The debate is on,’ a senior Obama campaign official told ABC News.” So there’s that.

I feel like this awesomeness is just another reason to vote for the Obama-nator in Novemeber!!

–S

SARAH PALIN LIES. (And so does McCain).
September 4, 2008

God bless the Associated Press. Today, they released a run down of all the lies Sarah Palin told in her speech last night at the RNC in which she accepted the VP nomination.

You can click that link to read it, but I thought to bore reproduction here:

PALIN: “I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending … and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.”

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a “bridge to nowhere.”

PALIN: “There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate.”

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: “The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars.”

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama’s plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain’s plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: “She’s been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America’s energy supply … She’s responsible for 20 percent of the nation’s energy supply. I’m entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America,” he said in an interview with ABC News’ Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain’s phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she’s no more “responsible” for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: “She’s the commander of the Alaska National Guard. … She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities,” he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under “federal status,” which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska’s national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin “got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States.”

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor’s election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: “We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin.”

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a conservative Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

It’s important to remember that the Republicans are trying to win re-election after 8 years of misery and failure. They have no leg to stand on based on their track record since taking over Congress in ’96 — every promise they made they have broken, every improvement they mentioned in their heartless rhetoric they have failed to deliver. They are nothing but bluster, bluster that has lost its way, that has given in to a ridiculous, extremist, and illogical ideology. I like Republicans because they, as a party, used to provide an alternative way of thinking to my party of choice, the Democrats. In the past it was arguments about small government vs. big government, states’ power to govern vs. the reach of the federal. It was talk about economics and spending. Now it’s rhetoric, rhetoric as toxic and poisonous as anything coming from the extremists in the Middle East. It’s unjustifiable wars, and permanent majorities. Do you know what a permanent majority is? A dictatorship. Do you know who did a great job of establishing a permanent majority? HITLER.

So the Republicans have to lie. They can’t tell the truth about the disaster of their party (and my heart goes out to you, the millions of Republicans who are not vitriolic ideologues, who are as ashamed of their own party for its disgrace as those of us on the other side are appalled; you will get your party back, you will), they can’t tell you the truth about their Bush-continuing policies, so they have to LIE to you about what OUR side wants to do. They lie to you about who we are, what we want, what we will do, who we care about.

But don’t believe those lies. Above you see the lies Sarah Palin told last night. Below are two YouTube videos that dissect that appalling, egregious LIES that McCain has been filling his campaign commercials with.

Eight years of liars running the country have landed us in this sinkhole we’re in. The choice is ours now: Do we let them dig us deeper? Or do we vote for a change and start, finally, building a ladder towards the light?

–S

PSA From S: An Addendum
September 2, 2008

Just saw THIS on Gawker, and couldn’t hold my tongue. Not today. Today is a talkin’ (er, typin’?) day.

Gawker tells us:

“Having been the editor-in-chief of teen magazine YM for five years, and now as the mother of a 17-year-old girl myself, there are a few things I know.” What does that sentence tell you? That’s right, it’s time to hear another one of former Star editor Bonnie Fuller’s unique screeds comparing the Presidential race to various moments in celebrity history!

But what exactly say-eth Ms. Fuller?

Sarah Palin may be running for Vice President but is she any different from the woman who sold the story of her daughter Jamie Lynn’s pregnancy to a magazine for $1 million, or from the father that allowed 15-year-old Miley Cyrus to be photographed semi-nude for Vanity Fair supposedly to further her career?

Well, seeing as she’s running for Vice President, she should be.

That is the fundamental problem here, the fundamental problem with the entire campaign McCain is running. Barack Obama is not a celebrity, as much as McCain wishes it were so. Neither is Sarah Palin, Joe Biden, or McCain himself. They are politicians. We know their names because they run our country; they are supposed to speak for us.

If you think Sarah Palin is no different from a woman who was so unable to manage her two daughters’ lives that one of them ended up in the hospital psych ward and the other got pregnant by accident at 16, then you really, really, REALLY need to explain to me why on earth anyone would think she could run a country. Because we’re not talking about some TV and music careers here. We’re talking about controlling the richest, most powerful country on earth. And if her skills are up there with Lynne Spears’, and she gets the reins, we’re all FUCKED.

–S

A PSA from S
September 2, 2008

You can say what you want about Sarah Palin and her maybe-not-her-own son, and her pregnant-out-of-wedlock daughter. Those are scandals and any VP Nominee that comes with such scandals should probably not have been nominated for VP. But there’s other reasons to be wary of Sarah Palin. There’s even reasons to hate her.

And there are A LOT of reasons not to vote for her, or her idiot running mate, John McCain.

Reason #1 is that John McCain nominated her in the first place. The campaign’s unofficial line is that she wasn’t properly vetted. Well, obviously. How anyone vets a governor who hasn’t even finished his or her first term, has only 18 months of governing experience, and who never really set out to have a life of public service and thinks, Gee, that’s the VP for me! has more than questionable judgment. He has, it seems, some sort of weird impulse control problem. This impulse inside him said, “Vagina! Hillary had a vagina, and people loved Hillary! If I pick a vagina to run with me, people will love me!” And then he did it. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want someone with questionable judgment and an impulse control problem running my country. What’s going to happen when Iran wants to pretend it has balls? Bombing, that’s what. And if you missed it, those fuckers are workin’ real hard on a Bomb and it might just be me, but I think they might use it.

Reason #2 is that she is conservative in a way that is no longer functional in this country. Americans have a right to believe what they choose to believe, and they have a right to take those beliefs into consideration when they vote. What they do not have a right to do — and this is spelled out in the Constitution — is use their religious beliefs in their governance. There is a clear directive in the Consitution, known as the Establishment Clause (and which is paired with the Free Excercise Clause), that reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

That is to say, we are allowed to believe what we believe and worship as we will, but that no religion shall be used in government to govern the people — through law, through directive, through anything — because to respect an established religion and to use its tenants and laws in governing the nation, would infringe upon our right to believe and worship as we see fit. Sarah Palin’s dedication to governing through the laws of fundamentalist Christianity is unconsitutional on its face, and should not be tolerated. We have lived through 8 years of religiously motivated government, and where has it gotten us? Nowhere. We’ve gone backwards. Our founding fathers understood the importance of separating Church and State, the fundamental need for the two to remain separate for each institution to operate as it should. I don’t need the woman who is a hair’s breath away from the White House to be a crazy, anti-reproductive rights, Creationsit, govern-by-the-Bible psycho. Enough.

And, plus, as a Jew, I am really, really sick of living under “Jesus’s Law.” For REAL.

And the final of the Big 3 Reasons is Reason #3: She is not qualified, nor ready, to lead this country. Much has been made of Barack Obama’s experience and whether he can govern well based on it. If John McCain genuinely thinks that a man with 7 years serving as a State Senator for Illinois, and then 3 more years serving in the United States Senate, with 12 years of experience teaching constitutional law (as in, teaching about that PIECE OF PAPER THAT ARTICULATES OUR MOST INHERENT AND UNQUESTIONABLE RIGHTS), then HOW THE HELL does John McCain think a person who spent 4 years as MAYOR of a tiny podunk town, and then A YEAR AND A HALF as governor is fit to lead the country? McCain can’t possibly think he’ll actually survive this presidency — aside from being the oldest candidate we’ve ever had, he also has a long and storied history of very powerful, deadly cancer. That Sarah Palin, as his VP, would become President after his death in even the next 4 years, is not an unreasonable assumption to make. And I shiver in my boots imagining her being put in charge of this great land.

As Vice President, you must be ready to lead from the moment you step onto the steps of the White House and smile for the cameras. Sarah Palin is not ready. Sarah Palin has no idea what she is doing; she has no concept of foreign policy, is hopelessly out of touch with the majority of Americans in terms of domestic policies about health care, education, and gun control, and up until recently admitted that she had no idea what a Vice President even does. John McCain has shown the poorest of judgment in making her his VP nominee, and that has NOTHING to do with the bits and pieces she has in her pants. Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton, and Hillary would be disgusted with the comparison.

So do your country right. Don’t be fooled by what McCain is trying to tell you is a “maverick” move. What he classifies as “maverick,” any sane person would see as just “stupid.”

Obama/Biden 2008. And I’m serious about that.

–S

What’s Better Than Barack Obama? SPARKLY Obama!
September 2, 2008

From Jezebel:

Sometimes we wonder whether Karl Rove is behind this seemingly systematic campaign to get everyone in Fashionland behind Obama. “Designer Patricia Field has created an Obama t-shirt that reads “Elegance. Dignity. Obama. Statesman.” Naturally, this is written in glitter.

–S