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Archive for August 15th, 2008

Obama Leaning Towards More Experienced Pick?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

Obama Leaning Towards More Experienced Pick?
Lynn Sweet: “I’m just passing on the latest I’m hearing — that Sen. Joe Biden is moving up on the list of potential running mates for presumptive Democratic nominee Sen. Barack Obama. While Obama’s heart may go towards Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine — his head takes him to a more experienced pick, a Sen. Evan Bayh or Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.”


McCain’s Cronies: Playing Unrepentant Footsie With Ralph Reed

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

McCain’s Cronies: Playing Unrepentant Footsie With Ralph Reed
John McCain is like a moth who just can’t stay away from the corruption flame, given the sheer number of lobbyists and other questionable cronies, big money bundlers buying corporate inroads by funding his Presidential run, and other issues that have cropped up…including serious questions about what all that money has bought from the sinking maverocity sham. 

But this is a new low for the McCain Corruption Express, even for a campaign that has sunk pretty far into the ditch as it is….

John McCain is like a moth who just can’t stay away from the corruption flame, given the sheer number of lobbyists and other questionable cronies, big money bundlers buying corporate inroads by funding his Presidential run, and other issues that have cropped up…including serious questions about what all that money has bought from the sinking maverocity sham.

But this is a new low for the McCain Corruption Express, even for a campaign that has sunk pretty far into the ditch as it is. To wit:

Reed, the former head of the Christian Coalition, was tied to the corruption scandal involving Jack Abramoff, the highly paid Washington lobbyist now serving a six-year prison term. Much of the Abramoff scandal was exposed by an investigation led by McCain when he chaired the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs….

Reed’s firm received more than $4 million to rally Christian voters against a casino that competed with Abramoff’s Indian clients.

Although McCain’s committee uncovered much of Abramoff’s shenanigans, McCain never called Reed to testify. Reed was not charged in the subsequent Justice Department investigation, although the scandal helped sink his 2006 bid for the Georgia GOP’s nomination as lieutenant governor….

My favorite part is where Reed claims that he’s just helping McCain out as a private citizen with no real agenda. Just out of the goodness of his l’il ole heart, I suppose. (And why do I have that Grinch-y two sizes too small heart feeling as I type that? Ugh.)  Just witness the magnanimity with nothing in it for him, nosiree:

He said he was not a host or a co-chair but rather a run-of-the-mill attendee who was doing his part to support the party’s nominee. The e-mail, Reed said, was an attempt to garner further support for McCain.

What a swell fella. I mean, he says so himself, so who wouldn’t believe him?!?  Nope, no self-interest here. 

Except I have this nagging feeling that the McCain campaign used Reed’s valuable mailing list contacts for their own fundraising purposes here, and they aren’t fooling anyone by pretending innocence and finance coordination virginity. And that Mr. “Praise the lord and pass the collection plate!” doesn’t exactly offer this fundraising commodity as a freebie, so what’s in it for Ralph?  This just screams down and dirty, doesn’t it?

McCain knows exactly how extensive Reed’s connections are, given that he chaired Indian Affairs when they investigated Jack Abramoff for using those same Reed connections to gin up faux outrage to help Abramoff shut down casino hopes for one tribe while he bilked a neighboring tribe dry. And how extensive and valuable all those contacts can be and have been for folks like Karl Rove, who is also, not coincidentally, advising the McCain campaign — and an old pal of Ralph Reed and Grover Norquist and Jack Abramoff from their College Republican days. Just how valuable can Reed be?

Reed’s value to corporate America has been enhanced by his close ties to the Bush administration and especially to Karl Rove, the president’s chief political guru. Not long after Century Strategies started, Rove reportedly helped Reed land an Enron contract worth at least $300,000 to help build support for energy deregulation. Century Strategies did voter-mobilization work for the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee in 2000; it has been retained again this year for similar projects. Reed has also been serving as Southeast regional coordinator for the Bush campaign, with responsibility for delivering Florida and four other Southern states. Bush campaign manager Ken Mehlman has called Reed “the guy who gets it done” in the South, especially in reaching out to evangelicals and other religious groups and advising the national campaign on strategy.

Reed’s political ties have allowed him to carve out a special niche among political influence merchants. “Ralph has cornered the market in corporate strategic communications and grassroots using his social conservative base combined with his personal communications skills and his influence in the Bush reelection campaign,” says lobbyist Scott Reed (no relation), who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign. “This is a unique role for a GOP operative that has huge value for corporate America.”

And Ralphie Boy Reed isn’t such a scrupulous fella that he wouldn’t use McCain for his own reputation rehab within the GOP, either, after his mortifying loss in Georgia last election cycle. That McCain is increasingly turning to the bottom feeders of the GOP? Well, that just reeks of more Turdblossom to come, doesn’t it?

The more things change, the more they expose McSame.

Much, much more to come on this. But you can start with this from Lindsey, and the WSJ, in The Hill, in the NYTimes, and Campaign Money Watch. Can you say “Follow the Money“?

(YouTube from Bill Moyers’ exceptional documentary report “Capitol Crimes.”)



Overnight

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:37 am by HL

Overnight
enjoy

Electoral fraud and bearing false witness
I recommend y’all listen to Sam Seder’s interview with Scott Horton about the evil that Karl Rove does.

Signed,
Not Atrios


In Stunning Move, Court Decides to Reconsider Case of Rendition Victim Maher Arar

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:36 am by HL

In Stunning Move, Court Decides to Reconsider Case of Rendition Victim Maher Arar
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals will revisit the case of the Canadian citizen who was kidnapped at JFK Airport and sent to Syria to be tortured.

How Taxpayer Money Is Wrapped Up in Georgian War
A pipeline that runs through Georgia is the second largest in the world, and American tax dollars helped fund big oil projects in the region.


Election Central Morning Roundup

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:35 am by HL

Election Central Morning Roundup
Obama Running Negative Ad In Indiana Barack Obama is running a targeted negative ad against John McCain in Indiana, reusing footage of McCain saying during the primaries that the economy was just fine. “How can John McCain fix the economy…


Georgia On Their Mind

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

Georgia On Their Mind
Bernard Avishai, William Hartung and Dr. C.A. Rotwang weigh in at TPMCafe….


Trove of WWII spy files declassified

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Trove of WWII spy files declassified
Formerly classified files on famous US ex-spies such as chef Julia Child, Arab-Israeli peace negotiator Ralph Bunche, and Hollywood actor Sterling Hayden were unveiled to the public Thursday by the National Archives…

Georgia war ‘blow to US energy’
The plans of the US and Western oil companies for expanded pipelines in the Caspian region may well be a casualty of Russia’s attack…


U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad Reject McCain?s Iraq Plans, Donate 6:1 To Obama

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

U.S. Troops Deployed Abroad Reject McCain?s Iraq Plans, Donate 6:1 To Obama
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has repeatedly claimed that he can speak for the interests of U.S. troops and best represent what they want. During a November 2007 debate, for example, McCain said: I want to — and I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their […]

ap080721026377.jpg Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has repeatedly claimed that he can speak for the interests of U.S. troops and best represent what they want. During a November 2007 debate, for example, McCain said:

I want to — and I want to tell you something, sir. I just finished having Thanksgiving with the troops, and their message to you is — the message of these brave men and women who are serving over there is: Let us win. Let us win.

Moreover, he has charged that Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), “who does not understand what’s happening in Iraq or fails to acknowledge the success in Iraq, would rather lose a war than lose a campaign.”

But a new analysis by Open Secrets finds that the U.S. military is increasingly rejecting McCain as its spokesman. Obama has received nearly six times as much money from soldiers deployed overseas. Even anti-war libertarian Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), who has suspended his campaign, has received more than four times as much as McCain:

Despite McCain’s status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall — whether stationed overseas or at home — are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin. Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama.

McCain leads Obama by $4,000 in Marine Corps donations, although in all the other branches — including in the Navy, in which McCain served — Obama is leading “by significant margins.” Army Specialist Jay Navas cited Iraq war policies as a key reason he gave to Obama: “We’ll complete our duty — I’m deploying next year — because it’s a commitment I made to the nation, not to a president. But we all know that Iraq was a big mistake.”

Not only is Obama’s withdrawal plan — redeployment within 16 months — seemingly more popular amongst U.S. troops, but is also favored by Iraqi government officials. Even many wealthy donors in the United States who contributed to Bush in 2004 have been reluctant to donate to McCain because of his Iraq policies.

Digg It!


In a Generation, Minorities to Be Majority

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on August 15th, 2008 4:28 am by HL

In a Generation, Minorities to Be Majority
Sam Roberts, New York Times

Media Has Had Election Wrong From Start
Steven Stark, Boston Phoenix