Saturday, May 17, 2008

Feist - 1 2 3 4

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Where Do We Go From Here?

Just a few thoughts this morning, many of which I've been reading both publically and privately.

Campaign debt: Something that isn't acknowledged often is that winning campaigns often pay off the debts of losing campaigns when the losing campaign endorses and is absorbed into the winning campaign. It's often a pre-requistite for endorsement, as well as the promise of a high level administration position or ambassadorship for the losing candidate.

For obvious reasons, these horse trades aren't talked about loudly outside the upper levels of the Washington Mafia.

As the year has unfolded, I've been reading Dr. Hunter Thompson's Fear and Lothing: On the Campaign Trail '72. I've been reading each month comparatively. Right now, 36 years ago, McGovern was finally beginning to look like he was the campaign leader. George Wallace had just been shot a week earlier. And California was a week away; the winner of which would more or less have locked down front-runner status. But no one would have the delegates to win nomination before the convention in Miami.

It's not a fair comparison, Now to Then. The Democrats badly lost in November 1972. Barring a real disaster of biblical proportions, the Democrats have an exceptional chance to win both Congress and the White House in 2008. FaL '72 is instructive on how the Democratic system 'works' - for one thing, Humphrey's campaign made it well known that their endorsement, as early as May, was up for sale to the campaign willing to pay their debts. As McGovern was the only candidate who's monetary flow was expanding, it's obvious who Humphrey thought should buy him out.

Completely missing from the conversation is the word Super-Delegate. And it's fucking wonderful.

We're at a point where it's time to Make a Deal. The press knows it, we know it, and I think both campaigns know it. Not only do the campaigns need to make a deal, but the the supporters as well. Wherein this campaign turns into uncharted territory.

Making the Deal has necessarily been a top-down driven change. But both influential camps of the candidates are exceptionally vocal and believe they are bottom-up driven movements, no matter what the reality may actually be. And both supporter groups have a very anti-deal mentality right now. Both believe they are the solely wounded party. At most, I've read vague assurances that it will take massive amounts of ego-dashing sucking up, which literally gets us nowhere, because there's no promise of betterment or in meeting the other side.

I find myself privately comparing this season to a bitter argument between a married couple. One where it wasn't violent, but the egos of both were trampled by the other. Both sides hauled out emotional weaponry that was not only unfair, but exceptionally wounding. Stuff that surprised the other - we didn't think they either carried that shit deep down inside or wouldn't dare use it on their spouse. The stuff that sometimes leads to a divorce when both sides decide not to swallow their pride and both make amends.

With a lack of clear leadership moving towards reconciliation, the animosity is being exploited by others with profit motives both political and financial. The press is loving this because of the headlines it supposedly sells; the Republicans are loving this for other obvious reasons. Making any headway against animosity will be ruthlessly annhiliated by the other side as well as the chattering classes.

So what do you do?

I know what I'd do - I'd coerce both campaigns into making a joint appearance. Both Clinton and Obama have shown they're excellent stump speakers. Have both get up in front of the press and the nation and seriously speak at length about what they've done wrong to one another, what their supporters have done, taking ownership of it, why they're sorry, and how they're going to address it before the nation. No one is going to claim victory or defeat.

If you thought Obama's "I'm not throwing Jeremiah under the bus" speech on race was historical and possibly transformative, just think of what this could accomplish in terms of both racial and sexist disagreements.

Of course it's not going to happen. Clinton would fear her image would be paled by Obama, particularly in her speaking style. The misogyny and generalized tendency of of the press and nation to dislike second place finishers would likely parse her statement far more, and probably completely undermine her. Then they'll feminize or emasculate Obama for cooperating with a weaker foe. And the Obama campaign would have to overcome a fear of elevating an opponent to equal position when the campaign isn't entirely finished. And both sides would have to trust that the other will stop trying to stab them in the back at every turn, while others will gladly be willing to stab some more for Hate's heart or sell fresh knives.

Then there's that campaign debt too. Money never seems to make this any easier.

All isn't lost, but how long can a house divided stand?

Be audacious - in both word and action.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

And The Seventh Angel...

Poured out his bowl into the air, and a voice cried out from the heavens, saying "IT IS DONE."

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Saying the Name of the Beast

John Edwards endorses Obama.

Not less than several hours after I point out that Milo's targets of venom for today were strong Edwards supporters before they voted for Sen. Clinton.

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Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, And Now...

West Virginia.

I hate me some crackers.

Can't I opt out of being a honky? Just for today? Please? Because my slack-jawed, NASCAR-watching, Boone's Farm and Sunday Baptist-bouffant-loving brethren are seriously making me want to puke into a trashcan. Bullshit sense of entitlement. Ugh.

I. Hate. White people. Okay? I hate them sooooooo much.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Oh, You . . You . . . Guys!

Inquiring minds:
The Hill asked all 97 senators who are not running for president the same question: “If you were asked, would you accept an offer to be the VP nominee?”

Some senators laughed, but others took the question seriously.

Remind us to tar and feather the poor bastards that took it seriously later
Sen. Lamar "Flannel Shirt" Alexander (R-Tenn.)
“I know already who it will be: the man in charge of the search. There’s no need for me to respond. That’s how you get to be vice president.”
Ouch! Burn! And he's a Republican!
Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.)
“You got your answer — a laugh. The president’s going to make that choice. You can see how much I’ve thought about it.”
What's worse than a sheep? A cynical sheep that mutters the truth while following the herd . .
Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)
“We already have a vice president from Wyoming. So we’ll have to see if Sen. McCain asks me to chair his selection committee. That seems to work well. It certainly seemed to work well for the last guy from Wyoming.”
Someone needs to hide the alcohol and sleeping pills at the Capitol.
Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)
“No, I can already preside over the Senate, and I do not enjoy spending a lot of time at ‘undisclosed locations.’ ”
Byrd, you chucklefiend!
Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho)
“I would say ‘No, Hillary.’ ”
One would have to wonder what Hillary would be doing in the Men's Room, Larry.
Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)
“No. I don’t like going to funerals.”
And hide the sharp pointy things too.
Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)
“Once is enough. I already have the T-shirt and I’m proud of it. I yield to my colleagues.”
. . and dozens of angry, paranoid voices all screamed out at once . .
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
“Absolutely. Absolutely. I think I would be great. First of all, I know how to behave at weddings and funerals. And I know how to be commander in chief. I’d bring a lot of fun to the job. We would rock the Naval Observatory.”
And need I remind the honorable Senator that she was born in 1936? All she's rocking is the glider in her living room.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska)
“No. I’ve got too many things that I still want to do as a senator. And I don’t like the idea of a job where you sit around and wait for someone to die.”
Jeeez . . have you had your Metamucil today, Ted?

And last:
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)
“I have a unique perspective on this. I am the only senator to have announced I am not running for president because there should be someone here to serve as the Senate’s designated driver. I intend to stay in that position. The Senate needs a designated driver to stay behind and work on healthcare.”

I bet he doesn't put out on the first date, either.

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"McCain’s Murderers Row"

Cliff Schecter is doing a great job on exposing John McCain and his campaign staff.

A new website ( has been created by Campaign Money Watch, to convince Senator McCain to fire three lobbyists working on his campaign that have ties to ruthless dictators. You may recall that over the past two days, two McCain aides have resigned because of their willingness to do public relations work for the Burmese Junta.

It turns out that they have friends in low places, however. I contacted David Donnelly, Director of Campaign Money Watch, for a comment, and what he had to say explains what his group is trying to accomplish:

"John McCain ought to immediately fire three lobbyists — Charlie Black, Tom Loeffler, and Peter Madaigan -- whose lobbying for brutal dictators and foreign governments is every bit as bad as the two lobbyists who left his campaign over the weekend. Frankly, McCain’s campaign is turning out to be an effort of, by, and for these types of Washington influence peddlers. His credentials as a reformer are gone."

Pretty strong words. Yet, if you read what these men have been up to, perhaps not strong enough. It ain't pretty:

"Charlie Black, McCain’s senior counsel and spokesman, began his lobbying career by representing numerous dictators and repressive regimes

Black’s firm represented the governor of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. According to a 1985 report, the firm Black, Manafort & Stone earned $950,000 plus expenses for its work to provide “advice and assistance on matters relating to the media, public relations and public affairs interests.”1

Black’s firm lobbied on behalf of Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, earning $1 million a year for his efforts.2

Black’s firm lobbied on behalf of Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.3

Black’s firm represented Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida, earning at least $1 million for his efforts.4

Black’s firm has represented Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich state “best known for the outlandish brutality of its rulers.”5

Black represented Angolan rebel and “classical terrorist” Jonas Savimbi, a job that earned him $600,000.6 “We have to call him Africa’s classical terrorist,” Makau Mutua, a professor of law and Africa specialist told the New York Times. “In the history of the continent, I think he’s unique because of the degree of suffering he caused without showing any remorse.”7
In recent years his client list has also included the Iraqi National Congress8, Friends of Blackwater9, and the China National Off-Shore Oil Corp.10

Since 2005, BKSH has received more than $700,000 in fees from foreign entities.11

Thomas Loeffler, co-chairman of McCain’s campaign, has represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid the Loeffler Group “a whopping $7.9 million from December 1, 2005, though November 2006 -- the largest fee collected from a foreign government by any lobbying firm in 2006,” according to National Journal.12 The Washington Times reported that “Mr. Loeffler's firm has received more than $10 million since 2006 from the Saudi Embassy and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”13 Much of this work was centered on gaining admission for the Kingdom to the World Trade Organization.14
Since 2005, according to the Washington Times, “the Loeffler Group reported more than $11 million in fees from foreign lobbying clients.”15

Peter Madigan, a leading McCain fundraiser, lobbies on behalf of the king of Dubai

Madigan has earned upwards of $800,000 to improve the United Arab Emirates’ reputation in the face of a class action lawsuit over the enslavement of boy camel jockeys.16"

You may also remember our story on Charlie Black the other day, regarding his involvement in setting up an anti-Christian ceremony for the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, a man who is not only a felon but in league with Kim Jong-Il of North Korea.

Pleasant company to be sure. And it is only the tip of the iceberg. In The Real McCain, I have two chapters outlining McCain's sordid associations. People who make Jeremiah Wright look like a Red Cross worker.

We need all the ammunition we can get come the fall. It is a national imperative that the republi-cons are defeated.

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Since my Mom was recently sick, I thought I'd share a little story from one particular Mother's Day.

I was 11 years old. I was thinking of that special gift to get my Mom for Mother's Day. I decided it was going to be the pretty dish plate on display in the local supermarket. It had beautiful roses painted on it and a raised etching saying, "Happy Mother's Day".

I rode to the store on my bike to get it. As I was coming home, getting off my bicycle, I dropped it...

As I was picking up the pieces, Mom came out front, she started helping me clean up my mess. She had absolutely no regard to my sensitivity or feelings. She just used the broom and dust pan and tossed it in the trash. I sat there stunned, like, how could you... I was not feeling much love for my Mother at the moment. By this time I was all emotional and crying... she said it was OK and it was the thought that mattered. Mom remained stoic the whole time.

I went inside and there on the table was the exact same pretty dish plate. My older brother had bought it an hour earlier. I looked at her in disbelief, she busted out laughing and said this was the best Mother's Day she had ever had. The whole family sat around the table and ended up laughing about the whole affair.

Mom, please stay healthy.

To all the Mom's: Happy Mother's Day!

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