Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah Palin and Katie Couric - More From Their Interview

You've just got to see this video to get the idea that Governor Sarah Palin sometimes doesn't think about what she's saying. If we make it out of this election in one piece, Palin will become a permanent Saturday Night Live skit

AN OBAMA MINUTE - 10/6 @ Noon

Check it out.  This is the power of grassroots organizing at its best.  A group of people from across the country have come together to bring back the Obama Minute.  Here is it's fundamental message:

Come join us and kick off the the last month of this campaign with a bang!  

Imagine all of the things you can do in a minute - nearly boil an egg, lie about weapons of mass destruction, make out on a first date, ignore a national travesty (Katrina), break a leg, minute rice, change a bulb, read someone's mind, lose $700 Billion, RAISE $1 MILLION  and support Barack Obama in an Obama Minute.  Oh and get those clowns out of office!

The first Obama Minute, in April, raised over $250,000 from 5000 people.  This time 4300 address books and more are being leveraged. 

It is about One Moment and One Strong Voice.

YouTube streamlines its video uploader, bumps size limits

Over the weekend YouTube quietly began testing a new uploading tool for users to publish their videos. The tool now allows users to begin plugging in information fields about the video while the upload is happening, much like Viddler, Vimeo, and others have offered for years. The company is testing the new player with a small number of its users.

read more | digg story

Microsoft Should Look To Ask.com For Commercial Ideas

Who needs Jerry Seinfeld when you’ve got a pole-dancing babe? Ask.com, the search engine formerly associated with a butler named Jeeves, is running an advertisement that features a voluptuous young woman doing acrobatic moves on a stripper pole under the heading “What are the best aerobic workouts?”

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The 25 Most Influential People on the Web for 2008

Each year, we turn to readers and BusinessWeek staff for the Best of the Web list, asking them to contribute names for a list of the Intern­et's movers and shakers. Take a look at the slide show to see which people have the most impact on the Web these days.

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Zakaria: McCain's VP choice is 'fundamentally irresponsible'

World affairs expert and author Fareed Zakaria said he thinks it would be best for Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, if Gov. Sarah Palin bowed out as his vice presidential running mate. Zakaria says McCain did not put the country first in making his V.P. choice, and he says Palin is not qualified to lead the United States.

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The New Yorker's Sarah Palin Cover

The New Yorker cleverly points out that the distance to Russia from the governor’s mansion in Juneau, Alaska, is about 1,200 miles.

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Rove Emails Show White House Role in U.S. Attorney Firings

The IG report released today provides new details on the White House's involvement in the firings of U.S. attorneys, especially the administration's involvement in the firing of U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

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Bailout Bottom Line: The Safer The Seat, The Closer To Yes

So, *why* are we arguing about what impact John McCain had on this vote, exactly? By all indications, he had none.

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Fareed Zakaria slams Gov. Sarah Palin

Fareed Zakaria, host of Fareed Zakaria GPS, explains his criticism of Gov. Sarah Palin.

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Obama Campaign: McCain Camp is 'Angry'

Here's the response, from Obama campaign spokesperson Bill Burton, to John McCain's broadside today blaming Obama for the collapse of the bailout package in the House: "This is a moment of national crisis, and today's inaction in Congress as well...

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Monday, September 29, 2008

The Bailout Bill Fails; The Market Falls - Zennie's Blog Report

http://www.zennie62.com - This is The Blog Report for September 29, 2008, or "The Crash of 29" - the day the stock market saw it's largest one-day drop in American History.
On this day, the market reacted to the failure of the U.S. House or Representatives to pass The Bailout Bill, the Emergency Economic Stability Act of 2008.
I discuss the implications of this action and the political fallout behind it. Moreover, I take aim at the unintelligent view of people who claim that government's not in the market and should not be. In point of fact, there's no place where Government isn't in our lives. Thus, we must make sure it works.
I also take on Senator John McCain, who deserves blame for the failure of the bill's pasage as much as he believed his involvement would deliver House Republicans -- that did not happen. Senator Barack Obama was smart enough not to try and out-do Senator McCain, but to let the Congressional House do its job.

See it on CNN - click here.

NEW $630 Billion bailout -- Plus The 700 billion

we are looking at over 1.3 trillion dollars... when you factor in the 25 billion bailout they just handed the car makers in the Iraq war spending bill.. you now are greeted with almost 1.4 trillion dollars... this isn't stopping...

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Without a Bailout Plan, What Will the Cost Be?

Taxpayers are already on the hook for the failures of financial institutions, and it's possible that the bill will actually be larger without bailout legislation than with it. That's because the regulators who mind the financial industry will keep stepping in to prevent the chaotic failure of banks and other large financial institutions.

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Zennie Abraham's Trip to NYC For The CNN Roland Martin Show

This is a video of my just completed (as of this writing) trip to the CNN Roland Martin Show and the CNN iReporters, Kevin Negenberger, Maggie Dowline, and Katy Brown, I met.


The House appeared to reject a $700 billion Wall Street bailout bill, but the voting remained open, so there was still a chance the bailout could be approved.

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Bailout plan rejected

The fate of a controversial $700 billion financial bailout plan was in doubt Monday as a House vote turned against it.

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Bail Out? No thanks

House of Representatives rejects the $700bn bail out. Dow Jones crashes, queues start forming outside banks

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Mars Lander Sees Falling Snow, Soil Data Suggest Liquid Past

NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander has detected snow falling from Martian clouds. Spacecraft soil tests experiments also have provided evidence of past interaction between minerals and liquid water, processes that occur on Earth.

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Bailout Doesn't Pass

Stocks plunged after the House of Representatives failed to pass a bailout proposal aimed at shoring up America's financial services industry.

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House rejects $700-bln Wall St bailout bill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Monday rejected by a vote of 228-205 a Wall Street bailout bill that would have authorized the Treasury Department to spend up to $700 billion to purchase broken mortgage-backed bonds from banks...

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"We just wanted to choose a really large number."

$700b... sure that'll do.

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BREAKING: House defeats $700B bailout

WASHINGTON - The House on Monday defeated a $700 billion emergency rescue package, ignoring urgent pleas from President Bush and bipartisan congressional leaders to quickly bail out the staggering financial industry.

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Terrorist ATTACK in Dayton Ohio.

A suspected chemical irritant was sprayed into the mosque at 26 Josie St., bringing Dayton police, fire and hazardous material personnel to the building. The 300 or so inside were celebrating the last 10 days of Ramadan with dinner and a prayer session, but the prayer session was suspended to deal w/ those suffering from tearing, coughing and other symptoms.

It is shameful that what are almost certainly U.S. citizens would engage in this terrorism - in direct contravention of the U.S. Constitution, and the principles the country was founded upon - as a way to showcase their religious intolerance. When we sink to the level of our enemies, we have no claim to be morally superior, and accordingly lose all credibility for enforcing our dissent upon them.

Whatever happened to "do unto others" and the rule of law in this country? I can hardly conceive of a more un-American action than attacking the peaceful practice of one's preferred religion. This behavior is abhorrent to me as a citizen of the U.S.A.

The brave souls who drafted our Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be spitting fire. Such actions as these bigoted zealots perpetrated in Dayton must be universally condemned - the criminals must be brought to justice. It is utterly unacceptable that such actions take place on the soil of the United States of America.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


If you're not registered to vote, want to vote absentee, want to find your polling place, or know someone who's not, sign up here:


Then vote for Barack Obama for President.

Zennie Abraham At JFK After CNN "Roland Martin: What They Didn't Say At The Debate" Show Appearance

I'm sitting here at JFK waiting to get on to the flight back to San Francisco and the Bay Area.  I had a terrific time in New York and at CNN and I'm going to write more when I get settled.  Right now, I need massive amounts of sleep.

If you didn't catch the show, here's a video of it.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama To McCain: On Iraq, "You Were Wrong"

This was one of the most satisfying moments of the entire debate -- Barack Obama stepping up to the plate and telling John McCain that he was wrong on Iraq.I know, you know it, everybody in America knows it -- except for John McCain. He was wrong, and that's not the judgment we need.

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Sacha Baron Cohen's Bruno storms Milan fashion week runway

British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat) caused a stir in Italy on FridayDressed in a blonde wig and an apparently random collection of clothing. He leapt onto a catwalk and sashayed down the stage during a show by Spanish designer. It was the second time the British comedian has caused chaos at the world famous event.

read more | digg story

Digg Valued At $175 Million In Latest Funding

Digg’s latest funding round valued the company at “around $175 million” we’ve heard from a source with knowledge of the deal. The company raised nearly $29 million in the round, which was announced earlier this month. The valuation seems about right for the company, which attracted 15.7 million worldwide visitors in August, up from 10.1 million...

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CBS Poll: Obama Won The Debate

CBS News and Knowledge Networks conducted a nationally representative poll of approximately 500 uncommitted voters reacting to the debate in the minutes after it happened. Who Won the Debate? McCain 22%, Obama: 40%, Tie: 38%

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Friday, September 26, 2008

The First Obama - McCain Debate - My Impressions

  • I just watched the first Presidential Debate between Senator John
McCain and Senator Barack Obama and came away with these
impressions, but first, here was what I was looking for from the
1) The relationship between a healthy economy, which we do
not have right now, and national security. Why? Because now, we're
dependent on borrowing from other countries, like China, which in
some cases could place us in the position of "looking the other
way" if for example that nation wants to not only build a nuclear
weapons stockpile, but share them with countries we don't want to
have them. We're in a hugely vulnerable position right now that
should send off alarm bells to all Americans.
2) Repairing our defense industry so that more of our
products are made here in America. When I was in undergraduate
school I wrote a study on the economic impact of defense spending.
In the decades leading up to the 90s, one could count on money for,
say, a new fighter jet like the F-22 Raptor, to be circulated in
America via suppliers, with maybe 10 percent going to foreign
country suppliers.
Not anymore. Now, the number is 50 percent going overseas and in some
cases more than that. That's jobs. What will the presidential
candidates do to change that?
3) Domestic National Security. The importance of knowing the
activities of local American based terrorist groups. For example,
Americans think of foreign-based groups like Al Quiada as terrorist
groups, but the Southern Poverty Law Center has a website that
lists and tracks race-based hate groups like White Supremacist
Groups based in America. "Stormfront" is such a group and has ---
GULP -- one of the largest online forums active in America. What
will each candidate do to marginalize and break up these
organizatons, some of which have had members, like Timonthy McVey,
who bombed Federal Government buildings, killing innocent people.

What Do People Want To Hear From Obama and McCain?

Kathleen Parker, Conservative Writer, Calls Fo Sarah Palin To Step Down

This new article by Kathleen Parker is getting some traction around the web.  She -- a conservative writer and commentator -- openly calls for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to step down. She gives the call, and her reasons for it, in this blistering collection of paragraphs:

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

And, yes, she has common sense, something we value. And she’s had executive experience as a mayor and a governor, though of relatively small constituencies (about 6,000 and 680,000, respectively).

Finally, Palin’s narrative is fun, inspiring and all-American in that frontier way we seem to admire. When Palin first emerged as John McCain’s running mate, I confess I was delighted. She was the antithesis and nemesis of the hirsute, Birkenstock-wearing sisterhood — a refreshing feminist of a different order who personified the modern successful working mother.

Palin didn’t make a mess cracking the glass ceiling. She simply glided through it.

It was fun while it lasted.

Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.

No one hates saying that more than I do. Like so many women, I’ve been pulling for Palin, wishing her the best, hoping she will perform brilliantly. I’ve also noticed that I watch her interviews with the held breath of an anxious parent, my finger poised over the mute button in case it gets too painful. Unfortunately, it often does. My cringe reflex is exhausted.

Palin filibusters. She repeats words, filling space with deadwood. Cut the verbiage and there’s not much content there. Here’s but one example of many from her interview with Hannity: “Well, there is a danger in allowing some obsessive partisanship to get into the issue that we’re talking about today. And that’s something that John McCain, too, his track record, proving that he can work both sides of the aisle, he can surpass the partisanship that must be surpassed to deal with an issue like this.”

Zennie Abraham on CNN - Saturday Night (9-27) 8 PM EST; 5 PM PST

I will be on CNN's Roland Martin show live from New York this Saturday Night (9-27) at 8 PM EST; 5 PM PST talking about the Presidential Debate.  Tune in -- I think it will replay later as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

NFL DRAFT Remains in NYC for at least 2009-but no movement on NFL network coming to CableTV

NFL DRAFT Remains in NYC for at least 2009-but no movement on NFL network coming to CableTV

If you look at the NFL.com Website you can clearly see that The dates for the Draft are posted (April 25th and 26th 2009) and Listed as "Radio City Music Hall" in NYC
In the past i had said i felt it should be moved around some. But after talking with Fans the last two drafts i have done an about face. Maybe the NFL should sign a long term agreement with Radio City (oh, but that would mean they'd be going back on their word and Jumping back into bed with Radio City's owner "the Evil(yeah right) James Dolan of Cablevision). The clear fact is that the NFL Owners are the ones keeping the fans from having the NFL Network (and even the Sunday ticket) on Cable, and not James and Charles Dolan. Ask NFL Brodcast comm. chair Jerry Jones(the same one who owns the Cowboys) why they are trying to get Cablevision into court to force them to carry the channel on Basic cable? Because not all that many people are running out to get Directv or dish network (or even Fios) so fast...So i'm Glad the Draft will stay in NYC for at least one more year, and on Cable TV Via ESPN G_d Bless Chris Berman's Voice...

BREAKING: McCain Camp attempting to cancel VP debate!

Just reported on CNN that the McCain campaign is urging the cancellation of the Friday Presidential Debate, cancellation of the VP Debate next Thursday, and replacing next Thursday's VP debate with a new Presidential debate!In effect, hiding Palin, AGAIN!

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Sarah Silverman: Visit Grandparents, Get Them to Vote Obama

Sarah Silverman wants Jews to get their behinds down to Florida for the Great Schlep. I'm sure she wants all other religious denominations with grandparents in Florida to go down there as well.

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Bailout Outrage Sparks National Protest Movement

An e-mail that began as a rallying cry from a lone journalist to an influential circle of friends to protest the U.S. government bailout of Wall Street has ignited a national day of street protests. NYC demonstrators plan to dump their rubbish in front of the bronze bull sculpture near Wall Street in downtown Manhattan Thursday.

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West Virginia Man Jose Cruz Charged With "Farting On An Officer"

Man gets charged for assaulting a police officer with Flatulence

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Did we say $700b... actually it's more like $1.2 trillion

The banking system needs another $500 billion to survive beyond the $700 billion rescue plan being contemplated by Congress, said Pimco founder Bill Gross.

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Facebok - Top 15 things you should never do on Facebook

Love them or hate them, social networking sites are here to stay. Facebook and MySpace are among the most popular destinations on the web. And even though they can be extremely annoying,

read more | digg story

Fox host tells guest mentioning Keating to 'pipe down'

'Cut his mike,' producer suggestsThe Keating Five scandal, and John McCain's role in it, has received relatively little mention in presidential campaign coverage, and at least one Fox News host seems dedicated to keeping it that way.

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Obama Will Make Debate A Townhall If McCain Is A No Show

Barack Obama is committed to hosting a public, televised event Friday night in Mississippi even if John McCain does not show up, a source close to the Obama campaign tells the Huffington Post.

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Young voters, solidly behind Obama, registering in droves

A new national poll says young adults age 18 to 29 overwhelmingly prefer Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain in the race for the White House. Obama leads McCain 56 percent to 29 percent with 13 percent undecided and the remaining 2 percent supporting third-party candidates Ralph Nader and Bob Barr.

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'The Simpsons' hits a landmark — its 20th season

Homer Simpson is gunning for you, Matt Dillon. With Sunday's premiere, The Simpsons will tie Gunsmoke's record of 20 seasons on the air.

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Government Seizes WaMu and Sells Some Assets

The government on Thursday made the largest bank seizure in American history, taking over Washington Mutual and selling pieces of it to J.P. Morgan Chase.

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John McCain - GOP Colleagues Winced At 'Mighty Mouse' McCain

"Nobody mentioned him.The man's irrelevant to the whole process.No Republican mentioned his name.I'm the only one who raised his name.They winced when I did.He's been irrelevant to the process.I was afraid that his dropping in here like Mighty Mouse,"here I am to save the day", would slow things down.Republicans paid no attention to him whatsoever.

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AFC South Wk. 3 Wrap.

Titans 31 Texans 12
By Rafael Garcia AFC South Insider

At the start of the season what was clear was that the Colts would be in first place. Then it should have been Jacksonville second. Well the power structure has changed a bit. After the Titans put a whipping on Houston it was they who were in first. With a 3-0 record they have a two game lead over the Colts and Jags (both 0-2). The defense has given up only 29 points total do far. Jags back Albert Haynesworth and Courtland Finnegan may be the best at their position in the league. Haynesworth had a sack and was a monster all day. Finnegan got his fourth pick of the year and ran it back 99 yards for a touchdown. Micheal Griffin had two interceptions of his own and the Titans defense held Houston scoreless in the second half. Kerry was solid going 14-26 for 189 yards and touchdown pass to Bo Scaife. The running game produced 154 yards and that was enough for the win. In the stands the crowd pounded on the seats. They stomped their feet and screamed like it was 1999 again. This team still has way to go before they start talking division title but with the Vince Young situation its not a bad start. In the other divisional game the Colts took it on the chin in a 23-21 loss to the Jags. Josh Scobee nailed a 51 yard field goal with four seconds left for the win. That came after Peyton Manning drove the Colts 77 yards for the apparent game winning score. Though looking better he threw an interception that was returned 61 yards for a touchdown. Penalties at crucial times hurt too. As for the Jags, they had 236 yards rushing but found the end zone just once offensively. They needed three Scobee field goals to get this win. These two teams along with Texans better get their act together quick. Any more slip-ups could be costly if the Titans get better as expected.

Sarah Palin: Not Ready for Prime Time

Sarah Palin's painful interview with Katie Couric.

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John McCain Lies To David Letterman About Suspending Campaign, Pays The Price

McCain: No Debate; Obama: Let's Debate - The Blog Report


Section 1. Short Title.
This Act may be cited as ____________________.
Sec. 2. Purchases of Mortgage-Related Assets.
(a) Authority to Purchase.--The Secretary is authorized to purchase, and to make and fund commitments to purchase, on such terms and conditions as determined by the Secretary, mortgage-related assets from any financial institution having its headquarters in the United States.
(b) Necessary Actions.--The Secretary is authorized to take such actions as the Secretary deems necessary to carry out the authorities in this Act, including, without limitation:
(1) appointing such employees as may be required to carry out the authorities in this Act and defining their duties;
(2) entering into contracts, including contracts for services authorized by section 3109 of title 5, United States Code, without regard to any other provision of law regarding public contracts;
(3) designating financial institutions as financial agents of the Government, and they shall perform all such reasonable duties related to this Act as financial agents of the Government as may be required of them;
(4) establishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to supervision by the Secretary, to purchase mortgage-related assets and issue obligations; and
(5) issuing such regulations and other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to define terms or carry out the authorities of this Act.
Sec. 3. Considerations.
In exercising the authorities granted in this Act, the Secretary shall take into consideration means for--
(1) providing stability or preventing disruption to the financial markets or banking system; and
(2) protecting the taxpayer.
Sec. 4. Reports to Congress.
Within three months of the first exercise of the authority granted in section 2(a), and semiannually thereafter, the Secretary shall report to the Committees on the Budget, Financial Services, and Ways and Means of the House of Representatives and the Committees on the Budget, Finance, and Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate with respect to the authorities exercised under this Act and the considerations required by section 3.
Sec. 5. Rights; Management; Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.
(a) Exercise of Rights.--The Secretary may, at any time, exercise any rights received in connection with mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act.
(b) Management of Mortgage-Related Assets.--The Secretary shall have authority to manage mortgage-related assets purchased under this Act, including revenues and portfolio risks therefrom.
(c) Sale of Mortgage-Related Assets.--The Secretary may, at any time, upon terms and conditions and at prices determined by the Secretary, sell, or enter into securities loans, repurchase transactions or other financial transactions in regard to, any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act.
(d) Application of Sunset to Mortgage-Related Assets.--The authority of the Secretary to hold any mortgage-related asset purchased under this Act before the termination date in section 9, or to purchase or fund the purchase of a mortgage-related asset under a commitment entered into before the termination date in section 9, is not subject to the provisions of section 9.
Sec. 6. Maximum Amount of Authorized Purchases.
The Secretary's authority to purchase mortgage-related assets under this Act shall be limited to $700,000,000,000 outstanding at any one time
Sec. 7. Funding.
For the purpose of the authorities granted in this Act, and for the costs of administering those authorities, the Secretary may use the proceeds of the sale of any securities issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, and the purposes for which securities may be issued under chapter 31 of title 31, United States Code, are extended to include actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses. Any funds expended for actions authorized by this Act, including the payment of administrative expenses, shall be deemed appropriated at the time of such expenditure.
Sec. 8. Review.
Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.
Sec. 9. Termination of Authority.
The authorities under this Act, with the exception of authorities granted in sections 2(b)(5), 5 and 7, shall terminate two years from the date of enactment of this Act.
Sec. 10. Increase in Statutory Limit on the Public Debt.
Subsection (b) of section 3101 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by striking out the dollar limitation contained in such subsection and inserting in lieu thereof $11,315,000,000,000.
Sec. 11. Credit Reform.
The costs of purchases of mortgage-related assets made under section 2(a) of this Act shall be determined as provided under the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, as applicable.
Sec. 12. Definitions.
For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) Mortgage-Related Assets.--The term "mortgage-related assets" means residential or commercial mortgages and any securities, obligations, or other instruments that are based on or related to such mortgages, that in each case was originated or issued on or before September 17, 2008.
(2) Secretary.--The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of the Treasury.
(3) United States.--The term "United States" means the States, territories, and possessions of the United States and the District of Columbia. To top of page

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

SF Land Deal for Transbay Terminal Gets Record Price

San Francisco is enjoying an embarrassment of riches:

Wall Street is decimated, Main Street is angry and K Street is in an outright panic over the magnitude of thenation’s financial problems.  But San Francisco’s Mission Street is in a parallel universe setting an all time record land price for the right to build San Francisco’s newest signature tower—the 1,000 ft Transbay Transit Tower being built in conjunction with the new Transbay Transit Center (transbaycenter.org)

The price is said to be over $4,900 per square foot.  At that price, who needs more than 49 square miles of land?

See the below Hines release on the deal or visit the TJPA Web site http://transbaycenter.org/TransBay/content.aspx?id=1104 for additional information:.

When does a figther pilot run from an encounter?

Does John McCain reallyNavy Pilot John S. McCain think Americans buy that he can help develop a Wall Street solution when he's not only stood for deregulation for decades but also admitted recently he doesn't get the economy? A fighter pilot only turns tail when he's lost hope.

But even this stunt about "suspending his campaign" can be used to distract from the issues. So now when November comes around, if and when the savvy Senator comes up short he's built an excuse in advance, right? This isn't merely political maneuvering: Finally we're seeing some real strategic planning from the former Navy Pilot "Country Club First" McCain; shame it's resulted in a transparent tactic that's not helping others.

So let's talk about why his support of deregulation (and the deregulation itself) was such a fiasco, shall we? Let's not forget issues matter, let's not be drawn into wondering how old a guy has to be to be called "the original" maverick, and let's not fall for a ploy to reduce the amount of time the media devotes to issues by canceling a debate that everybody but Senator McCain seems to be looking forward to.

Are men allowed at "Women for Obama" meetings?

Absolutely, as the blog-post at this link documents. Pictures and video from a recent "Women for Obama" get-together near the Twin Cities (in Northfield, the home of late Senator Paul Wellstone) - the speaker of the Minnesota State House of Representatives, Margaret Anderson Kelliher, even called in.

More than just "Women for Obama."

I hope the name never keeps anybody from attending. Look at the pictures... there were children present. This was literally dozens of people, lots of energy, lots of ideas, lots of commitment, synergy, and even though it was mostly women, there were a few men, too.

Minnesotans for Obama

Conversation ranged from Wall Street deregulation and more general tax and economy topics to health care issues, community service, how to help Emily, the Obama Field organizer, cope with her long list of tasks in the office and on the phones and how to persuade the mainstream, commercial media to reform their tendencies by covering issues and facts during this election cycle rather than echoing talking points, which reinforces the effect of divisive old-school attack politics. (" 'Cause when they own the information, they can bend it how they want.")
The supply of beverages and treats seemed never-ending...

Obama Campaign: The Debate Is On! - Calls McCain's Bluff

BREAKING NEWS from ABC - Obama campaign calls the bluff of the McCain camp, says the debate is on.

Sarah Palin In Polling Free Fall - 49 Percent Say She's Not Qualified

And now we're bracing for the newest NBC News / Wall Street Journal poll to come out at 3:30 PM PST, which according to Andrew Sullivan , will show that while 40 percent think Gov. Sarah Palin is qualified to be vice president, 49 percent don't think so.

McCain Asks Obama to Postpone Debate - Code For "I'm Not Ready"

Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain are set to debate this Friday in the first of three conversations, but now according to a "Breaking News" email I just got from CNN, John McCain says he wants to postpone the debate to "work on the economy".

In my view, that's a code-word for "I'm not ready" and I've not decided how I'm going to vote on the Bailout Proposal.

According to The Political Wire , McCain's the main swing vote in the Bailout Proposal:

Congressional leaders tell George Stephanopoulos that if Sen. John McCain doesn't support the Bush administration's $700 billion bank bailout plan, the plan won't pass. 
Said one lawmaker: "If McCain doesn't come out for this, it's over."
"A Democratic leadership source says that White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten has been told that Democratic votes will not be there if McCain votes no -- that there is no deal if McCain doesn't go along."
Jake Tapper: "Senior Democrats on the Hill are worried that Sen. McCain will 'demagogue' the bill, continue to voice opposition to it, use it to run against both Wall Street and Congress, as well as to distance himself from the Bush White House. Democrats worry McCain will not only vote against the bill, he will provide cover for other Republicans to do so, leaving Democrats holding the bag for the Bush administration's deeply unpopular proposal."
Update: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells The Hill that McCain will support the bailout effort.
Update II: CNN reports McCain denied Reid's claim and that he hasn't decided if he'll support the bill. 

If I were Barack, I'd say no and let him twist in the wind.

Laura Bush Says Sarah Palin Does Not Have Foreign Policy Experience

Well, so much for the ridiculous spin about the Alaska Air National Guard being foreign policy experience for Gov. Sarah Palin because First Lady Laura Bush just laid that to rest with this statement : 

"Of course she doesn't have that. You know, that's not been her role," she continued, "But I think she is a very quick study, and fortunately John McCain does have that sort of experience."

That flies in the face of the McCain campaign's claim that Palin has any foreign policy experience at all, and takes away a major foundation of the manchurian candidate's facade.   

Washington Post Poll Shows Likely Voters Backing Obama By Wide Margin

As I've written in the recent past, when likely voters tend to be Republican. What does it say when the majority tilt toward the Democratic Candidate? Well that's what's happening in today's Washington Post poll. See below:

Turmoil in the financial industry and growing pessimism about the economy have altered the shape of the presidential race, giving Democratic nominee Barack Obama the first clear lead of the general-election campaign over Republican John McCain, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News national poll.

Just 9 percent of those surveyed rated the economy as good or excellent, the first time that number has been in single digits since the days just before the 1992 election. Just 14 percent said the country is heading in the right direction, equaling the record low on that question in polls dating back to 1973.

More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.

As a point of comparison, neither of the last two Democratic nominees -- John F. Kerry in 2004 or Al Gore in 2000 -- recorded support above 50 percent in a pre-election poll by the Post and ABC News.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

McCain Campaign Manager's Firm Paid By Freddie Mac Even As McCain Claims No Connection

Wow, how the connections line up. According to the New York Times and Newsweek, as Senator John McCain claimed that his campaign manager has has no business with or didn't benefit from Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae, we have this new news: Rick Davis' firm had a contract with Freddie Mac as recently as last month.

Here's the NYT account:

WASHINGTON — One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

They said they did not recall Mr. Davis’s doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis’s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafort for the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac’s behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said.

And this is Newsweeks account, which is blistering:

Since 2006, the federally sponsored mortgage giant Freddie Mac has paid at least $345,000 to the lobbying and consulting firm of John McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement.

Freddie Mac had previously paid an advocacy group run by Davis, called the Homeownership Alliance, $30,000 a month until the end of 2005, when that group was dissolved. That relationship was the subject of a New York Times story Monday, which drew angry denunciations from the McCain campaign. McCain and his aides have vehemently objected to suggestions that Davis has ties to Freddie Mac—an especially sensitive issue given that the Republican presidential candidate has blamed "the lobbyists, politicians and bureaucrats" for the mortgage crisis that recently prompted the Bush administration to take over both Freddie Mac and its companion, Fannie Mae, and put them under federal conservatorship.

But neither the Times story—nor the McCain campaign—revealed that Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month—long after the Homeownership Alliance had been terminated. The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told NEWSWEEK that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's senior vice president for external relations, because "he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no," said one of the sources. [McLoughlin did not return phone calls].

When asked about his own campaign manager's associations with the mortgage giants, McCain, in an interview with CNBC Sunday night, said that Davis "has had nothing to do" with the Homeownship Alliance since it disbanded and "I'll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it." (The Homeownership Alliance was set up and funded by both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to promote the goal of home ownership and counter efforts to impose tighter regulations on the two federally sponsored entities.)

Davis, in a conference call arranged by the McCain campaign on Monday, said "it's been over three years since there's been any activity in this area and since I had any contact with those folks." Davis also said he "had a severed leave of absence" from his lobbying and consulting firm, and "I've taken no compensation from my firm for 18 months." (A campaign spokesman said that Davis receives no partnership distribution under his arrangement).

It is not unusual for major corporations to enter into consulting retainers so that individuals could be available if needed. And the two sources stressed that Davis at no time made any threats or demands on Freddie Mac. But the sources indicated that Freddie Mac seldom called on Davis or the firm. On one occasion, Davis was asked to attend a meeting of the firm's political action committee during the 2006 campaign in order to give the Republican Party's perspective on the upcoming elections. In addition, Davis did meet with McLoughlin for breakfast on "one or two" occasions. Other than that, one source said, Davis "doesn't do anything" for Freddie Mac. The firm "doesn't even talk to him." In addition, Freddie Mac has had no contact with Davis Manafort other than receiving monthly invoices from the firm and paying them. But the money could be perceived as helping Freddie Mac ensure a good relationship with one of McCain's top aides in the event that he became president. The payments, along with other lobbying and consulting contracts, are expected to be terminated by the new federal overseers, the sources said.

The problem with deregulation: Where do we go from here?

In case you wonder if deregulation is the pivotal policy that led to the collapse on Professor Roy Grow, Carleton CollegeWall Street, here's a quick, easily-grasped explanation that should help you grasp why that lofty "ideal" has failed in our never-quite-ideal real world. Are you surprised that some have tried to use the crisis for their own political or financial gain?

In what other industry would you have confidence enough to let the people with the most to gain act without regulation? Would car companies be so concerned with passenger safety without regulation? Would you want doctors to practice unregulated- no assurance they’d act with YOUR best interest in mind? Lawyers? Accountants? Toy Manufacturers? Food processors? I’m not suggesting there’s nothing good about a free-market economy, nor am I suggesting every insurance company or investment firm is run by greedy executives, but there have been snake-oil salesmen preying upon the unwary since before the dawn of history as nearly as I can determine.

We left foxes guarding the chicken coop. It's time for a carefully considered change.

END Golden Parachutes -- Taxpayer dollars should not be used to reward the irresponsible, greedy Wall Street executives who lobbied for deregulation and engineered this disaster. Those who have earned millions must return their salaries as a starting point... imagine if that money might be used to PAY those loans down.

TAXPAYERS, Not Just Wall Street -- Any bailout plan must include a payback strategy for taxpayers who are footing the bill and aid to innocent homeowners who are facing foreclosure.

Bipartisan Oversight -- $700,000,000,000 is a staggering amount of money involved, and since it's coming from taxes the source MANDATES bipartisan expert oversight to ensure accountability.

Richard Cabrera Files Fraudulent Report: Chevron Claim

The "Richard Cabrera Report" is the basis for the much-used number "$16 billion" as the cost of Ecuador's lawsuit against Chevron. Now, Chevron representatives hammered this claim for the following reasons:

1. Cabrera manipulated and altered findings to justify false conclusions, including backdating photos;

2. He presented no evidence of pollution by Texaco Petroleum, erroneously assigning $1.4 billion in remediation costs to pits he did not visit and do not exist;

3. He presented no evidence to support cancer claims - neither identifying a single individual nor including a single medical report;

4. He did not take a single drinking water sample to establish contamination, yet he assigned $428 million in damages to be paid to improve Ecuador's potable water system;

5. Plaintiffs helped Cabrera compile the report, accompanying and assisting him on field trips, influencing the content of his report by providing him methodological tools such as questionable surveys and pre-written reports to use as report exhibits;

Item number 5 is key, because it's another example of how the government of Ecuador has been assisting the lawsuit against Chevron. Finding evidence to support this claim has been hard but this is one more item.

Ecuador Lawyer Pablo Fajardo Says Chevron Ecuador Case Could End In 2011

This is new and extraordinary news, considering that both sides expected a ruling this year. Well, someone's going to have to finance Steve Donziger for another three years!

By Mercedes Alvaro - Dow Jones Newswires, September 16, 2008: 5:47 PM

QUITO - (Dow Jones)- A five-year-old environmental-damage trial in Ecuador against U.S. oil company Chevron Corp. (CVX) could take at least two or three more years, lawyers said Tuesday.

The delay is expected after objections to an April report from a court- appointed expert were received by a court in Lago Agrio.

The report prepared by Richard Cabrera, a geologist and environmental consultant, recommended that Chevron pay at least $8.3 billion, and maybe as much as $16 billion, in compensation for environmental damage in Ecuador.

Chevron is facing the lawsuit in Ecuador for alleged contamination by its Texaco unit in the Amazon region of Lago Agrio. The company is accused of having used out-of-date technology that led to environmental damage.

The complaint was launched in 1993 in a lawsuit in New York courts, which ruled that the case should be tried in Ecuador. In May 2003, several indigenous groups filed a lawsuit against the company in Lago Agrio (Nueva Loja).

The judge is expected to give Cabrera a reasonable timeframe to answer the objections from both Chevron and the plaintiffs.

Pablo Fajardo, one of the plaintiffs lawyers, told Dow Jones Newswires that he expects a final decision in 2011.

Chevron on Monday submitted its objections to Cabrera's report, saying that it contains "fabricated and erroneous evidence," exaggerated claims for damages and "was developed in collusion with the plaintiffs and their attorneys."

The company urged the court to reject Cabrera's report and accused him of manipulating and altering findings to justify false conclusions, including backdating photos.

The aim, said the company, is to make Chevron liable for all the environmental impact caused solely by Ecuadorian state oil company Petroecuador during 18-plus years of operation of the concession.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs submitted their objections on Tuesday.

Fajardo said the plaintiffs are asking Cabrera to calculate the amount of damage to water supplies, and other damages.

Chevron has said several times that it has met all the requirements for environmental cleanup that were agreed upon with Petroecuador.

Chevron also has said that in 1998 Petroecuador released the U.S.-based company from any liabilities regarding cleanup efforts.

The plaintiffs said that this release isn't from individual claims and that the so-called "cleaned up" pits remain contaminated.

Ecuador Lawyer Pablo Fajardo Says Chevron Ecuador Case Could End In 2011

This is new and extraordinary news, considering that both sides expected a ruling this year. Well, someone's going to have to finance Steve Donziger for another three years!

By Mercedes Alvaro - Dow Jones Newswires, September 16, 2008: 5:47 PM

QUITO - (Dow Jones)- A five-year-old environmental-damage trial in Ecuador against U.S. oil company Chevron Corp. (CVX) could take at least two or three more years, lawyers said Tuesday.

The delay is expected after objections to an April report from a court- appointed expert were received by a court in Lago Agrio.

The report prepared by Richard Cabrera, a geologist and environmental consultant, recommended that Chevron pay at least $8.3 billion, and maybe as much as $16 billion, in compensation for environmental damage in Ecuador.

Chevron is facing the lawsuit in Ecuador for alleged contamination by its Texaco unit in the Amazon region of Lago Agrio. The company is accused of having used out-of-date technology that led to environmental damage.

The complaint was launched in 1993 in a lawsuit in New York courts, which ruled that the case should be tried in Ecuador. In May 2003, several indigenous groups filed a lawsuit against the company in Lago Agrio (Nueva Loja).

The judge is expected to give Cabrera a reasonable timeframe to answer the objections from both Chevron and the plaintiffs.

Pablo Fajardo, one of the plaintiffs lawyers, told Dow Jones Newswires that he expects a final decision in 2011.

Chevron on Monday submitted its objections to Cabrera's report, saying that it contains "fabricated and erroneous evidence," exaggerated claims for damages and "was developed in collusion with the plaintiffs and their attorneys."

The company urged the court to reject Cabrera's report and accused him of manipulating and altering findings to justify false conclusions, including backdating photos.

The aim, said the company, is to make Chevron liable for all the environmental impact caused solely by Ecuadorian state oil company Petroecuador during 18-plus years of operation of the concession.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs submitted their objections on Tuesday.

Fajardo said the plaintiffs are asking Cabrera to calculate the amount of damage to water supplies, and other damages.

Chevron has said several times that it has met all the requirements for environmental cleanup that were agreed upon with Petroecuador.

Chevron also has said that in 1998 Petroecuador released the U.S.-based company from any liabilities regarding cleanup efforts.

The plaintiffs said that this release isn't from individual claims and that the so-called "cleaned up" pits remain contaminated.

Omhari Sengstacke Charged WIth Bringing A Gun To Obama's Home

What's stunning about this election is the degree to wish there are people who seem invested in maintaing a kind of racial status quo where someone in America has to be on "top" if their White, and on the "bottom" if they're Black. It reminds me of what my Mom told me when I tried to bring the 2005 Super Bowl to Oakland:

Between Black's who are jealous and Whites who think someone White should be doing what you're doing, you've got a problem.

Some of those people want you killed. People like Omhari Sengstacke for example. This guy came to the security perimeter of Barack's home, was told to leave, then came back and had a gun in his car. Plus, he's a convicted felon.


Here's the rest of the story...

McCain Accused of Covering Up Vietnam POW Information

I just received an email which points to a website page article accusing -- in a ton of detail -- Senator John McCain of covering up information on Vietnam POW's still in that country. I personally remember the clamor for information on what happened to POWs who never made it out of Vietnam.

But here's the text of what I was sent:

Senator McCain and the Vietnam War Prisoner of War Cover Up

Sydney H. Schanberg

September 18, 2008 - John McCain, who has risen to political prominence on his image as a Vietnam POW war hero, has, inexplicably, worked very hard to hide from the public stunning information about American prisoners in Vietnam who, unlike him, didn't return home. Throughout his Senate career, McCain has quietly sponsored and pushed into federal law a set of prohibitions that keep the most revealing information about these men buried as classified documents. Thus the war hero who people would logically imagine as a determined crusader for the interests of POWs and their families became instead the strange champion of hiding the evidence and closing the books.

Almost as striking is the manner in which the mainstream press has shied from reporting the POW story and McCain's role in it, even as the Republican Party has made McCain's military service the focus of his presidential campaign. Reporters who had covered the Vietnam War turned their heads and walked in other directions. McCain doesn't talk about the missing men, and the press never asks him about them.

The sum of the secrets McCain has sought to hide is not small. There exists a telling mass of official documents, radio intercepts, witness depositions, satellite photos of rescue symbols that pilots were trained to use, electronic messages from the ground containing the individual code numbers given to airmen, a rescue mission by a special forces unit that was aborted twice by Washington—and even sworn testimony by two Defense secretaries that "men were left behind." This imposing body of evidence suggests that a large number—the documents indicate probably hundreds—of the US prisoners held by Vietnam were not returned when the peace treaty was signed in January 1973 and Hanoi released 591 men, among them Navy combat pilot John S. McCain.

Mass of Evidence

The Pentagon had been withholding significant information from POW families for years. What's more, the Pentagon's POW/MIA operation had been publicly shamed by internal whistleblowers and POW families for holding back documents as part of a policy of "debunking" POW intelligence even when the information was obviously credible.

The pressure from the families and Vietnam veterans finally forced the creation, in late 1991, of a Senate Select Committee on POW/MIA Affairs. The chairman was John Kerry. McCain, as a former POW, was its most pivotal member. In the end, the committee became part of the debunking machine.

One of the sharpest critics of the Pentagon's performance was an insider, Air Force Lieut. Gen. Eugene Tighe, who headed the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) during the 1970s. He openly challenged the Pentagon's position that no live prisoners existed, saying that the evidence proved otherwise. McCain was a bitter opponent of Tighe, who was eventually pushed into retirement.

Included in the evidence that McCain and his government allies suppressed or sought to discredit is a transcript of a senior North Vietnamese general's briefing of the Hanoi politburo, discovered in Soviet archives by an American scholar in 1993. The briefing took place only four months before the 1973 peace accords. The general, Tran Van Quang, told the politburo members that Hanoi was holding 1,205 American prisoners but would keep many of them at war's end as leverage to ensure getting war reparations from Washington.

Throughout the Paris negotiations, the North Vietnamese tied the prisoner issue tightly to the issue of reparations. They were adamant in refusing to deal with them separately. Finally, in a February 2, 1973, formal letter to Hanoi's premier, Pham Van Dong, Nixon pledged $3.25 billion in "postwar reconstruction" aid "without any political conditions." But he also attached to the letter a codicil that said the aid would be implemented by each party "in accordance with its own constitutional provisions." That meant Congress would have to approve the appropriation, and Nixon and Kissinger knew well that Congress was in no mood to do so. The North Vietnamese, whether or not they immediately understood the double-talk in the letter, remained skeptical about the reparations promise being honored - and it never was. Hanoi thus appears to have held back prisoners—just as it had done when the French were defeated at Dien Bien Phu in 1954 and withdrew their forces from Vietnam. In that case, France paid ransoms for prisoners and brought them home.

In a private briefing in 1992, high-level CIA officials told me that as the years passed and the ransom never came, it became more and more difficult for either government to admit that it knew from the start about the unacknowledged prisoners. Those prisoners had not only become useless as bargaining chips but also posed a risk to Hanoi's desire to be accepted into the international community. The CIA officials said their intelligence indicated strongly that the remaining men—those who had not died from illness or hard labor or torture—were eventually executed.

My own research, detailed below, has convinced me that it is not likely that more than a few—if any—are alive in captivity today. (That CIA briefing at the agency's Langley, Virginia, headquarters was conducted "off the record," but because the evidence from my own reporting since then has brought me to the same conclusion, I felt there was no longer any point in not writing about the meeting.)

For many reasons, including the absence of a political constituency for the missing men other than their families and some veterans' groups, very few Americans are aware of the POW story and of McCain's role in keeping it out of public view and denying the existence of abandoned POWs. That is because McCain has hardly been alone in his campaign to hide the scandal.

The Arizona Senator, now the Republican candidate for President, has actually been following the lead of every White House since Richard Nixon's and thus of every CIA director, Pentagon chief and national security advisor, not to mention Dick Cheney, who was George H. W. Bush's defense secretary. Their biggest accomplice has been an indolent press, particularly in Washington.

McCain's Role

Bitterly opposed by the Pentagon (and thus McCain), the bill went nowhere. Reintroduced the following year, it again disappeared. But a few months later, a new measure, known as "the McCain Bill," suddenly appeared. By creating a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the documents could emerge—only records that revealed no POW secrets—it turned the Truth Bill on its head. (See one example, at left, when the Pentagon cited McCain's bill in rejecting a FOIA request.) The McCain bill became law in 1991 and remains so today. So crushing to transparency are its provisions that it actually spells out for the Pentagon and other agencies several rationales, scenarios and justifications for not releasing any information at all—even about prisoners discovered alive in captivity. Later that year, the Senate Select Committee was created, where Kerry and McCain ultimately worked together to bury evidence...more here

McCain's Camp Whines and Complains about Media

McCain adviser Steve Schmidt in the midst of a whiny, irritating temper tantrum during a conference call with the Media.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

John McCain's Racist and Sexist Comments and Actions

Senator John McCain has been known for making racist and sexist comments. So many, one wonders why they've not been reported by the mainstrea media. Well, here's a video report on just some of what McCain has said, as well as his agreement with Bill O'Reilly that he's part of a "White Male Power Structure."

The foundation for my video was the work on Doug Thompson, who's the main author of the blog "Capital Hill Blue" I happened to find his work on the matter of McCain's racism while conducting this search "john mccain racism" on Goggle, and scrolling down. Doug's work is perhaps the most comprehensive collection of comments and actions that McCain has made and taken that have been identified as racist and sexist.

Doug says that he was a Capital Hill Chief of Staff in his blog, but I checked via search and did find a more detailed information set on his other website about himself, and which read:

Thompson took a sabbatical from newspapers in 1981 and moved to Washington to work on Capitol Hill. He served as press secretary for two Congressman and then Chief of Staff for another before joining the House Committee on Science & Technology. From 1987-1992, Thompson served as Vice President for Political Programs for The National Association of Realtors and then joined The Eddie Mahe Company as a senior associate for Communications. During that stint he became involved in campaign finance issue and was a founding member of the Project for Comprehensive Campaign Reform. He also lecturer at the American Campaign Academy and was a sought-after spokesman on campaign finance issues.

He also claims that he was a staffer to the House Committee on Science and Technology and during that time worked on the "transfer of DARPANet from the Department of Defense to the National Science Foundation" in the early 1990s -- "the beginnings of the Internet" as he wrote.

That's valueable information because some have called Doug's credibility into question, but what he seems to provide is a good first-person view of how elected officials like McCain behaved when they weren't in position to become President of The United States.

Since I don't believe in reinventing the wheel, I'll copy and paste what Doug wrote below but I will alter their apperance because Thompson didn't seem to appropriately catagorize each example.

Examples of racism:

Question: Why does Mexican beer have two "X's" on the label?

Answer: Because wetbacks always need a co-signer.

John McCain, a member of the House of Representatives in the mid-1980s, often held court at a table near the bar at Bullfeathers, a popular Capitol Hill watering hole, telling jokes and matching hangers-on drink by drink.

As a Capitol Hill chief of staff, I often drank at Bullfeathers and was invited to join the throng at McCain's table one evening. A few minutes listening to the racism, bigotry and homophobia of the Arizona Congressman told me all I needed to know.

McCain loved to tell jokes about lesbians, blacks, Hispanics and the Vietnamese community that occupied a large section of Arlington County, Virginia, just south of the District of Columbia.

I checked to see if Bullfeathers was still open, and lo and behold, it was. It's located at 410 1st St SE # 1, Washington, DC 20003, and the number is (202) 488-7160. The website reads:

Serving the House of Representatives and all their friends since 1980. Come enjoy the party atmosphere at our forty-foot bar. Happy hour every night from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. The food is great, with a wide variety to choose from - and we still serve the best burgers on the Hill. Come out and enjoy our outdoor cafe. If you're having a private party or fundraiser from 50 to 250 people, let us cater your event!

At the time of the events Doug points to, Senator McCain was Congressman McCain, thus a perfect candidate to patronize Bullfeathers. While his is the only comment on McCain at Bullfeathers I can find, I also didn't see anything refuting his charge, either.

Examples of Sexism:


Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?

Because Janet Reno is her father.

Another example:

Did you hear the one about the woman who is attacked on the street by a gorilla, beaten senseless, raped repeatedly and left to die? When she finally regains consciousness and tries to speak, her doctor leans over to hear her sigh contently and to feebly ask, ‘Where is that marvelous ape?’

Even his wife is not immune. Writes Cliff Schecter in his book, The Real John McCain:

Three reporters from Arizona, on the condition of anonymity, also let me in on another incident involving McCain's intemperateness. In his 1992 Senate bid, McCain was joined on the campaign trail by his wife, Cindy, as well as campaign aide Doug Cole and consultant Wes Gullett. At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

And as if that were not enough Katie Hong of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer went on a one-person crusade to point out McCain's anti-Asian -- more spefically Anti-North Vietnamese given his background as a Prisoner of War -- comments. This was posted on March 2, 2000, but it's still easy to find online because it's been linked to so much:

On his campaign bus recently, Sen. John McCain told reporters, "I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live." Although McCain said he was referring only to his prison guards, there are many reasons why his use of the word "gook" is offensive and alarming.

It is offensive because by using a racial epithet that has historically been used to demean all Asians to describe his captors, McCain failed to make a distinction between his torturers and an entire racial group.

It is alarming because a major candidate for president publicly used a racial epithet, refused to apologize for doing so and remains a legitimate contender.

Contrary to McCain's attempt to narrowly define "gook" to mean only his "sadistic" captors, this term has historically been used to describe all Asians. McCain said that "gook" was the most "polite" term he could find to describe his captors, but because it is simply a pejorative term for Asians, he insulted his captors simply by calling them "Asians" -- a clearly disturbing message. To the Asian American community, the term is akin to the racist word "nigger." A friend of mine, a white male Vietnam veteran, pointed out that veterans, especially Vietnam veterans, know how spiteful the term "gook" is. It has everything to do with labeling someone as "other," the enemy and yellow. McCain sent the message that all Asians are foreigners and remain forever the "other" and the enemy.

The perception of Asians as "foreigners" or "the other" isn't new. This sentiment is what led to passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Japanese American internment during World War II. The internment of Japanese Americans is now recognized as one of the worst civil rights violations in our country's history and a powerful lesson in what can happen when race alone is used as a test for loyalty or who is defined as an American.

We've made tremendous progress as a nation in overcoming racism. That is why it is so disturbing that a major candidate for the U.S. president can perpetuate the stereotype of Asians as permanent foreigners, hurtling us backward to a time and a place where such racial epithets were an acceptable part of mainstream discourse.

The question is, did McCain appologize? The question's important because he' had eight years to do so. The answer is yes he did and three days after he made the remark in 2000 as he was running for President. This is what I found:

Less than 24 hours after stories ran about Sen. John McCain’s statement to reporters that he would continue to refer to his Vietnamese wartime captors as “gooks,” his campaign announced Feb. 18 that he would no longer use that term. Three days later McCain issued an official apology.

Several stories that ran last Friday quoted McCain as saying “I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live… I was referring to my prison guards and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend.”

But after APIs blasted his unabashed use of the highly derogatory term that has historically been used against Asians and Asian Americans, the campaign made an apology after annoucing that McCain would no longer use the racial slur.

“I will continue to condemn those who unfairly mistreated us,” McCain said in a statement released Feb. 21. “But out of respect to a great number of people for whom I hold in very high regard, I will no longer use the term that has caused such discomfort… I apologize and renounce all language that is bigoted and offensive, which is contrary to all that I represent and believe.”

This year, Fred Soto revisited the matter of that slur in an excellent post that's a must read for anyone. Sote writes:

Much has been made of the reference that humbled the American war hero. Some apologists will fight until they are blue in the face to try and excuse John McCain’s words. Others will ask why this issue is worth revisiting, if for no other reason than to hurt the GOP front-runner? I’d respond simply that when a presidential candidate uses words that are racist in nature, Americans should jump to conclusions about his or her character. It is our duty to determine whether John McCain has the ability to lead and unite our nation. The information presented below shows that John McCain’s age and “experience” may play a big role in the presidential elections, after all.

If you’re still waiting for me to explain how and why this is relevant to American politics, I’ll do my best to explain my position. If John McCain had used the word “nigger,” do you believe for a second that John McCain would be standing above the GOP’s perch? The correct answer is “No,” it’s highly unlikely that he’d be the leading candidate for the GOP nomination. What John McCain did was make a reference that is equally derogatory, but the media seems to want to stay out of the fray on this one.

Americans forget that racism exists on a multitude of levels but the only time we recognize the problem is when it is done to minorities of the darker persuasions.

Unfortunately, Soto does not give us the idea that McCain actually evolved from this 2000 problem with Asians. He concludes with a sadness over the way the mainstream media has ignored the issue. I agree.

Irwin Tang explains why John McCain's racial slur is still relevant today:

There's also evidence that McCain commonly used the term before 2000. A 1973 article in U.S. News and World Report contains several examples of McCain's use of the word, here's one:

After I had been there about 10 days, a "gook"—which is what we called the North Vietnamese—came in one morning. This man spoke English very well. He asked me how I was, and said, "We have a Frenchman who is here in Hanoi visiting, and would like to take a message back to your family." Being a little naive at the time—you get smarter as you go along with these people—I figured this wasn't a bad deal at all, if this guy would come to see me and go back and tell my family that I was alive.

Supposedly, there's a video around where McCain uses the term, but I've not seen it. What's clear to me is that there's enough evidence of McCain's intolerance for those who's skin is darker is of such historic depth, it's disturbing.

What's more upsetting is that CNN and other media outlets don't focus on this problem with John McCain.

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