Wednesday, October 01, 2008

At Senate Bailout Bill Vote, McCain Rude To Obama

Remember last week's debate, when some observed that Senator John McCain acted as if he didn't like Senator Barack Obama, refusing to look at him during the contest and acting as if he was annoyed at the very presence of Obama? In fact, this CNN iReporter explained it well:

Well, here's even more evidence that McCain's "got issues" with Barack Obama. According to CQ Politics:

Let the record reflect that Barack Obama made the approach to John McCain tonight.

As the two shared the Senate floor tonight for the first time since they won their party nominations, Obama stood chatting with Democrats on his side of the aisle, and McCain stood on the Republican side of the aisle.

So Obama crossed over into enemy territory.

He walked over to where McCain was chatting with Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida and Independent Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut. And he stretched out his arm and offered his hand to McCain.

McCain shook it, but with a “go away” look that no one could miss. He tried his best not to even look at Obama.

Finally, with a tight smile, McCain managed a greeting: “Good to see you.”

Well, at least McCain's right about one thing: he didn't win "Miss Congeniality" for nothing!

Believe me, the Malkin outrage is NOT about Ifill.

Seriously. It may be to distract people from issues again, or it may really be the soft bigotry of low expectations being heaped on the rookie Governor before her national debate debut as some have suggested. Are Malkin and her ilk just readying their excuses, or really trying to torpedo McCain by undermining Palin's confidence? One thing I know, it's not what they want us to hear:
it's NOT about Gwen Ifill.

I realize that any number of proud social conservatives have expressed reservations over Palin’s readiness and/or suitability for the position of Vice President. But it behooves us to grant Governor Palin her time in the limelight, to approach the evening with as open a mind as is possible as we focus on the issues important to the voters - the economic bailout being considered by congress, deregulation, Iraq, taxes, and health care to name a few obvious issues more important than the fact that Gwen Ifill a moderator and managing editor of "Washington Week" and senior correspondent for "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on PBS also aspires to be author.

It’s not time to distract us by creating false controversy about the moderator. But since even McCain says it's not about Gwen Ifill: why are the most visible, infamous right wing pundits so exercised on the eve of the debate? Is it as simple as an attempt to lower expectations? Is that fair to Palin and her running mate? Is that even plausible?

Will Ms. Ifill present more rigor than Charlie Gibson or Katie Couric? Probably so. The late Tim Russert might have been rugged in this sort of context. Why are the right-leaning pundits so concerned about Gwen Ifill? Why are they making this about people, not issues? And even if she is up against a more experienced, worldly debater in Senator Joe Biden, she’s been prepping for weeks; it’s show time!

Was Malkin jealous of Ifill's opportunity? We know she opposes multiculturalism, she makes that plain on her blogsite. Was she hoping Palin would face somebody less experienced as a moderator, such as David Letterman -- or Jon Stewart?

Much ado about nothing.

We arguably learn more about a candidate from a slightly adversarial interviewer (or moderator) than we would from somebody lobbing easy questions. Governor Palin is something of an unknown on the national political scene in the U.S., and the campaign has not to this point made her very available for interviews or press conferences. This is her chance to shine - and I, for one, expect her to do a creditable job in the spotlight. This is not her first debate; anyone ready to be Vice President surely has to be ready, willing, and able to handle questions from a PBS moderator in a controlled situation.

Raiders Davis Fires Kiffin by Phone

Raiders’ Davis Fires Kiffin by Phone (I guess smoke signals would have taken too long) By Dr. Bill Chachkes for Football Reporters Online

So what makes this time different from the last? Davis said he had the goods on Kiffin and that his conduct was detrimental to the Raiders organization, to the coaching staff and players, and to Davis personally.
“I had to let him Go” Stated Mr. Davis. Sounds like wall street letting go of a few billion and saying Opps, we messed up. It seems like they have messed up plenty of times before. What is Davis’ Excuse this time? “I Hired the wrong guy”, and “he’s A flat out Liar” was his answer. So then what was his excuse for Mike Shanahan? Norv Turner? Jon Gruden? all now successful with other teams. Two of them, Turner and Shanahan even in the same division.

Who will save the Raiders now that the silver is mottled with rust? Not Interim head coach Tom Cable. Not this mystery off-season hiring of an exec who will bring the Raiders back. “We’ll get back, the Raiders will be back” said Davis, who surely would be better off in a nursing home right now then at the Raiders offices. Al, please hang it up. You are hurting the poor Raiders fans, and the people of Brooklyn NY where you are from.

Gov. Sarah Palin Shows Legs In Beauty Contest Video

Well, there's nothing wrong with pointing out that Governor Sarah Palin has great legs, or at least had them when she was competing in this beauty contest. This video -- in many copies -- has become the rage of the Internet:

But the appearance of this video deepens an already large PR problem for the McCain campaign: Governor Palin's image is being formed into something akin to a young, lucky, ambitious, sexy, dumb..female. That's the truth and I don't like it.

I'm not a Palin supporter but references to her as "That woman" and other examples make my blood boil. I chose to "bash" Governor Palin on her comments and actions, but not her gender. Ok. Why the legs video? Well, she's got them and wanted to show them and not just at one point.

Remember the photo with Henry Kissenger? She went to that showing hosiery-less legs , so you tell me? She could have done it Hillary Clinton-style and worse a pants-suit, right?



Yesh. Now you're getting it.

451-Page Senate Version of "Bailout Bill" Now Online Here

As you know, the U.S. Senate is going to vote on the Senate version of the Bailout Bill, which is now at 451 pages. What are the highlights? As I read past the definitions of the bill, which are many, I find..

1) This interesting text:

18 (4) In order to provide the Secretary with the
19 flexibility to manage troubled assets in a manner de20
signed to minimize cost to the taxpayers, estab21
lishing vehicles that are authorized, subject to super22
vision by the Secretary, to purchase, hold, and sell
23 troubled assets and issue obligations.

This means that there'a mandate to protect Taxpayers from exposure.

2) This provision seeks to curb profiteering:

18 purchases under the authority of this Act, the Secretary
19 shall take such steps as may be necessary to prevent un20
just enrichment of financial institutions participating in
21 a program established under this section, including by pre22
venting the sale of a troubled asset to the Secretary at
23 a higher price than what the seller paid to purchase the
24 asset.

For the total bill and to download it, click here.

The Ongoing Pakistan Issue

In light of Pakistani President Zardari's warning that US troops crossing the border into Pakistan without authorization would be subject to attack, a new BBC poll on world attitudes toward Al Qaeda is particularly interesting.

Zardari's cover for his position, while asking out of the other side of his mouth for US aid, is that the terrorist organizations in his country will 1) unify; and 2) attack inside Pakistan in protest if the US continues its policy of only informing Pakistan of its cross border actions instead of asking for permission from that sovereign nation. His point was more than borne out when terrorists blew through the Marriott in downtown Islamabad on September 21 of this year. It should be no surprise that Al Qaeda is suspected in the attack.

Which brings us full circle back to the BBC poll regarding world attitudes toward Al Qaeda. To a country, attitudes were negative toward the organization, except in Egypt and ... can you guess? ... Pakistan. We are in the process of spending obscene amounts of money and obscene numbers of American lives to "root out" Al Qaeda in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan only to encourage it, by our actions, to gain strength in Pakistan. We are playing a very dangerous game in Pakistan: enforcing our will against the wishes of the people and government with the effect of strengthening the one terrorist organization we fear most. This is one to watch, folks, and watch very closely.

Gallup Daily: Obama Up 4 Points; Daily Kos Tracking: Obama Up By 10 Points

The war of poll methods can be seen in the major difference between Gallup and Daily Kos. Gallup Daily has Senator Obama ahead of Senator McCain by 4 points, 48 to 44. By contrast, Daily Kos has Obama with a 10 point lead 51 to 41. The Daily Kos poll is done by Research 2000 and uses Likely Voters. Since they tend to be Republican, that spells danger for McCain. But it must be noted, Gallup should be more transparent about their methods.


Today is the next critical step in the road to the passage or failure of The Bailout Bill. This is the day the Senate takes up the matter of the legislation with Senators and presidential candidates Barack Obama, John McCain, and Democratic VP candidate Joe Biden expected to attend for the voting process.

According to the Huff Post, the new version of the bill has tax reductions in it to gain more Republican support than the last version.

The vote takes place tonight.

Average Voters Don't Get It

What's upseting to me is how many people just plain don't understand the problem we face. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said it best when he observed that "Commerce could stop", and Russian president Vladimir Putin claimed that “Everything that is happening in the economic and financial sphere has started in the United States. This is a real crisis that all of us are facing," the former president told a government meeting in Moscow.

“And what is really sad is that we see an inability to take appropriate decisions. This is no longer irresponsibility on the part of some individuals, but irresponsibility of the whole system, which as you know had pretensions to (global) leadership."

What's galling is that Americans don't seem to understand how their finances are tied to Wall Street and the World Economy.

Ralph Nader - Presidential Candidate On The Bailout Bill - Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader took time to talk with me specifically about what kind of form he would like to see the Baillout Bill take before he could support it.

Nader appeared today at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland, California as part of a California and Bay Area event swing which saw the consumer crusader take in 10 events in one day.

On CNN iReport