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"The people who cast the votes don't decide an election; the people who COUNT the votes do." -- Joseph Stalin

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Holiday with John McCain - A True Story

A Note from Kate

(Note from Kate: This shocking account was written by Ana Dubey, a friend of my cousin and her husband, who have known Ana for many years. Ana has a PhD in psychology and has a private practice in San Francisco. My cousin's husband went to business school with Ana's husband, who has since started and sold a number of successful companies. Ana's husband is currently a Managing Director of a private equity firm in the Bay Area. Ana and her husband are not political activists and don't have any personal ax to grind. In fact, in writing this account of her experience with John McCain, Ana is acting outside of her own economic self-interest as she and her husband are among the top 3-5% of our population who would benefit from the McCain tax/economic policies. Please pass this on to anyone you know who might vote for John McCain. Also please post it on blogs and send it to newspapers and radio stations.)


It was just before John McCain's last run at the presidential nomination in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island in Fiji with John McCain, Cindy, and their children,
including Bridget (their adopted Bangladeshi child). It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune to be in close quarters with John McCain for almost a week, since Turtle Island has a small number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all vacationers who are there at the same time to get to know each other intimately. He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a pile of William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out of them. I soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to be a volunteer audience for his "readings" which then became a regular part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the vacationers initially protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday, but people's buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day after day.

Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our mealtime entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-Chinese women had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just couldn't meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us should stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high and made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she needed to lose weight. McCain's appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that David the American economist had to move his Thai wife to the other side of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively flirting with and touching her.

Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego and his rude behavior towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have some redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from Bangladesh. I asked him about this one day, and his response was shocking: "Oh, that was Cindy's idea I didn't have anything to do with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can't imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a shopping cart in Arizona. No, it wasn't my idea at all."

I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day he engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of the active US bombing of Iraq at that time. I was shocked when he said, "If I was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson." Given McCain's personal experience with the horrors of war, I had expected a more balanced point of view. I commented on the tragic consequences of the nuclear attacks on Japan during WWII - but no, he was not to be dissuaded. He went on to say that if it was up to him he would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from this conversation as I could tell that his experience being tortured as a POW didn't seem to have mellowed out his perspective, but rather had made him more aggressive and vengeful towards the world.

My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he was leaving Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when McCain arrived and told Amy that she shouldn't be having pancakes because she needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive comment. I felt fiercely protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and told him to leave her alone. He became very angry and abusive towards me, and said, "Don't you know who I am?" I looked him in the face and said, "Yes, you are the biggest asshole I have ever met," and headed back to my cabin. I am happy to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch I was given a standing ovation by all the guests for having stood up to McCain's bullying.

Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this is the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000, when McCain first announced his bid for the Republican nomination, but it soon became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and so I did not act then. However, now that there is a very real possibility that
McCain could be elected as our next president, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen to share this story. I can't imagine a more scary outcome for America than that this abusive, aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed him in intimate surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him to be. If his attitudes toward women and his treatment of his own family are even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to think what will happen to America were he to be elected as our President.

Mary-Kay Gamel
Professor of Classics, Comparative Literature, and Theater Arts
Cowell College University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California 95064
831-459-2381 (office); 831-429-8803 (home)

NOTE FROM THE CANDID BLOGGER: Thank you, Ms. Gamel for your contribution to America.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Barack Obama Has No Beauty Pageant Experience - Can He Lead?

A Detailed Review of Barack Obama's Extensive Legislative Experience

Republicans are giddy with Sarah Palin to distract from the doddering confused, sell-out John McCain. The once "Independent" McCain has finally surrendered what little integrity he may have had in a last ditch effort to grab the Presidency as he shuffeled along on a campaign destined for failure. Now the base has renewed vigor! An under qualified, superstitious, hypocrite, soccer mom fills that need Republicans have to avoid personal intimidation by appointing reflections of themselves rather than intelligent, competent "elites" to the highest offices on Earth. In a purely political trick McCain picked the perfect Republican V.P. An unqualified, government hating, poseur.

*First black President of Harvard Law Review
*12 years as Constitutional Law professor
*8 years as State Senator for district of over 750,000 people
*4 years in Senate representing a state of 13 million
*Chairman of Senate's Health and Human Services committee
*Sponsored 136 bills,
*Served on Foreign Affairs, Environment & Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees

Obama has sponsored 136 bills since Jan 4, 2005, 2 have become law. This figure does not include bills to which Obama contributed very substantially as cosponsor, such as the Coburn-Obama Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 or the Lugar-NunnCooperative Proliferation Detection, Interdiction Assistance, and Conventional Threat Reduction Act of 2006.
Bills Sponsored by Obama

Amendments, that have all passed:

S.Amdt.159 to S.Con.Res.18 - To prevent and, if necessary, respond to an international outbreak of the avian flu.

S.Amdt.390 to H.R.1268 - To provide meal and telephone benefits for members of the Armed Forces who are recuperating from injuries incurred on active duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Operation Enduring Freedom.

S.Amdt.670 to H.R.3 - To provide for Flexible Fuel Vehicle (FFV) refueling capability at new and existing refueling station facilities to promote energy security and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

S.Amdt.808 to H.R.6 - To establish a program to develop Fischer-Tropsch transportation fuels from Illinois basin coal.

S.Amdt.851 to H.R.6 - To require the Secretary to establish a Joint Flexible Fuel/Hybrid Vehicle Commercialization Initiative, and for other purposes.

S.Amdt.1362 to S.1042 - To require a report on the Department of Defense Composite Health Care System II.

S.Amdt.1453 to S.1402 - To ensure the protection of military and civilian personnel in the Department of Defense from an influenza pandemic, including an avian influenza pandemic.

S.Amdt.2301 to H.R.3010 - To increase funds to the Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program and to the Office of Special Education Programs of the Department of Education for the purposes of expanding positive behavioral interventions and supports.

S.Amdt.2605 to S.2020 - Expressing the sense of the Senate that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should immediately address issues relating to no-bid contracting.

S.Amdt.2930 to S.2349 - To clarify that availability of legislation does not include nonbusiness days.
S.Amdt.3144 to S.Con.Res.83 - To provide a $40 million increase in FY 2007 for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and to improve job services for hard-to-place veterans

S. Amdt 41 to S. 1 To require lobbyists to disclose the candidates, leadership PACs, or political parties for whom they collect or arrange contributions, and the aggregate amount of the contributions collected or arranged.

Barack has Written a total of 890 Bills and Co-sponsored Another 1096 since he started serving in the U.S. Senate.

OBAMA Senate bills sponsored :
Senate Bills:

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Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain's Judgment in Question!


When John McCain selected Sarah Palin the country was stunned. Who was she? I have purposely avoided posting anything about her until I had the chance to give her a fair evaluation. After all, JUDGMENT is a very important component of being a President and this selection is a direct reflection of John McCain's decision-making abilities. It is well known that he wanted his close friend, Democratic turncoat Joe Lieberman, as his running mate but Republicans would not accept that choice.

Sarah Palin was his "protest" selection. Did he exercise good judgment?

Here is Sarah Palin responding to a Katie Couric question regarding her foreign policy experience.

For comparison, I am posting a response to a similar foreign policy question by another former beauty queen, Miss Teen South Carolina.

America, WAKE UP! John McCain has lost it entirely. To be polite, Sarah Palin is dumb as a doorknob. Obviously the rumors are true that her husband is the politician and Sarah is the pretty face that fronts for him. This selection of Ms. Palin as the one who will be a literal hearbeat from the Presidency should strike fear in the hearts of every American who cares about this country and it's national security. My 9 year old granddaughter could have answered that question more intelligently.

She is linking 9/11 to Iraq, making fun of Barack Obama for criticizing the torture of prisoners, defying lawful subpoenas for the investigation into her abuse of power as Governor of Alaska, etc. In my opinion, she is a tool of Karl Rove and the Bush cabal. What was John McCain thinking? Does he REALLY believe that the American public is that stupid? SARAH PALIN IS NOT QUALIFIED TO BE VICE PRESIDENT.

Just how close to the Presidency is this totally unqualified "candidate"?

It's time for CHANGE, but not like that! Get out and debate Mr. McCain. You made a commitment to the American people to debate. Keep your commitment.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Solution for American Homeowners


An aide to Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said negotiators had agreement on an oversight board and some form of help for homeowners facing foreclosure. The aide said the negotiators were "not there yet" on whether the government could take a stake in the companies it help.

"Some kind of help?" I have some suggestions. Let's take it from the top. Lenders over-inflated property values through their network of appraisers, brokers, agents, etc. Then they made loans, helocs, and credit lines available to everyone knowing full well that most borrowers were unable to take on such debt. Next, they cut off the credit lines and raised existing interest rates to outrageous and usurious rates such as 29.99%!

Through such cannibalistic lenders such as Litton Loans, Countrywide, Ameriquest, and US Bank, they then unleashed a concerted effort to force homeowners into default and eventual foreclosure and bankruptcy. Millions of hard working Americans watched helplessly as their "equity" disappeared right before their eyes. Now, those residential properties are "owned? by the very lenders we are expected to bail out. What a scam! Want confirmation? Check out the complaints against these companies on the Ripoff Report.

Here is my suggestion for the bailout: Give every homeowner in America the option of continuing with their existing loan, or of receiving an appraisal for the home's current value. Said appraisal MUST be based upon realistic home values such as provided on Zillow. Then, a new loan at 90% of that value, at a fixed rate of 1% should be provided without any costs. This is the price Lenders must pay in exchange for the people of America bailing them out. A small price to pay.

For renters who were displace through foreclosure through no fault of their own, they should be paid for lost security deposits.

If they don't like it, tough.  They stripped America of its equity and need to pay to return American homeowners to some kind of normalcy.  It wasn't the people of America who have destroyed this economy, it is the greedy corporate bosses and political insiders and lobbyists.  It is definitely TIME FOR CHANGE.

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McCain: "Fundamentals of our Economy are Strong"

He just doesn't get it.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

The 5 McCain Videos Everyone Needs to See

Description from robertgreenwald:

The Real McCain 2 reached an astonishing 4 million views last week, just as the McCain campaign was trotting out lie after lie at the Republican National Convention. Coincidence? We don't think so. To us, this unprecedented number suggests that the public is desperately seeking the truth about John McCain—a truth the corporate press still isn't providing—which is why we want you to join our John McCain Truth Squad and get informed about who McCain really is. Clearly, we've reached a critical moment to take action.

We're hearing reports of a lot of hand-wringing from people who are scared and don't know what to do. So we came up with a way to put that nervous energy to good use! Below are five videos that present the Real McCain: an elitist out of touch with hard-working Americans; a double talker who supports a costly war in Iraq but won't support our veterans. This is the McCain everyone should know.

1. The Real McCain 2: Watch as McCain's YouTube problem became his nightmare in the video that received over 4 million views.

2. Less Jobs. More Wars: What is this 'Iraq war' charge on my bill?

3. John McCain vs. John McCain: Tell McCain to get off the Double Talk Express.

4. McCain's Spiritual Guide: The video that caused McCain to renounce Rev. Rod Parsley's bigoted endorsement.

5. Why Won't McCain Sign the GI Bill? Presenting the most blatant hypocrisy of the McCain campaign.

Imagine how differently people would regard McCain if they saw all five of these videos and learned the truth. That's why we want you to forward this to everyone and anyone with a personal note at the top from you. Why send these videos individually when you can send them all at once? Also, get them on all the blogs and traditional news sites you can. Make sure you're doing everything you can to educate the public about the Real McCain.
Watch the video →

Please forward this on to other people who might like it.


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Friday, September 19, 2008

Is it Important that our President is Well-Educated?

Many Americans feel it is important for our President and Vice President to have a solid educational background to be prepared for the duties of those offices. Here are the educational backgrounds of each of the four candidates in 2008:


John McCain
United States Naval Academy - Class rank 894 out of 899 (meaning that, like George Bush, McCain was at the very bottom of his class)

Sarah Palin
Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester
North Idaho College - 2 semesters - General study
University of Idaho - 2 semesters - Journalism
Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester
University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism



Barack Obama:
Occidental College - Two years.
Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a specialization in International Relations.
Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude. President of Harvard Law Review.

Joe Biden:
University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science.
Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

You be the judge.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Obama Addresses America: Plan for Change

Senator Obama speaks directly to the nation on his view of the state of the economy and what he would do to fix it when he is elected president.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

John McCain -- Four More Years of George Bush!

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McCain Campaign Most Dishonest in History

The Straight Talk Express has turned to lies and distortion in a desperate attempt to avoid the issues of the economy, energy and Iraq, and to discredit Barack Obama. We have to spread the truth about McCain ourselves because it's clear the corporate media won't. NOW. FAST. FURIOUS. EVERYWHERE.

We are in the two-minute drill with no timeouts. No more sitting on the sidelines and allowing the McCain campaign to rack up points with countless distortions.

As we've seen with The Real McCain 2 (nearly 4.5 million views and counting!), once the truth gets out, it's hard to stop. In the last few days we have seen a disgusting descent into the worst of sleazy smear politics. We need to spread the facts and the truth. Send this to your friends and relations, especially if they are unsure or undecided—they're more willing to believe you than a talking head!

Spread the truth. Don't wait. It starts with you.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

John McCain - Dazed and Confused

Watch John McCain debate himself on the issues. It is clear that this man has trouble keeping his facts straight and is increasingly exhibiting signs of distraction. Is he able at this time in his life to lead this country? It appears doubtful.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Brilliant Post

Malron Hussein Jett, a good friend from Chicago, IL, and member of the cloth and awesome blues piano player, wrote on Sep 9, 2008 at 12:01 PM

From my impregnable fortress of solitude high atop Mount Know-it-all, I have been quietly observing this group off and on and I have found the current state of the Facebook community absolutely fascinating. I had made up my mind that I was never going to darken the door of this humble abode again, but while casually poking my head in and watching the fair citizens of this burgeoning society I felt compelled to leave my peaceful refuge from all that is trollable to offer up a few words for those who would prefer to switch rather than fight. So, in the interest of creating a temporary respite from the usual I would like to offer up a few observations:

1.) I need to remind everyone that the 50 state strategy was designed to force McCain to expend money and resources contesting every state. No candidate has won every state in an election even though Reagan actually came pretty close in 1984. If the Obama campaign has begun shifting some resources to North Carolina it means their primary objectives in Georgia have already been achieved and that frees up those resources to be used in other areas. Certainly the media is constantly spinning any adjustment in the campaign's tactics as a sign of weakness or worry, but that isn't necessarily the case.

2.) There's a lot of ridiculous hysteria and panic going on right now about this mysterious woman from Alaska causing Obama's poll numbers to plummet and therefore the Democrats are doomed to failure once again. To me that says a lot more about the lack of commitment of Obama supporters than it does about Palin herself. I see it as the same sort of Stockholm Syndrome that kept rearing its head during the primaries. I also attribute it to the foolish idea of basing your perceptions entirely on daily tracking polls that are historically unpredictable and completely unreliable indicators of what's really going on in the campaign. If you base your entire mindset on a poll, then I'd guess you must be an emotional wreck by now. There are dozens of different polls to choose from and no two polls ever say the same thing on the same day. Besides, after watching Obama start off the campaign over 30 points down to Clinton across the board and still managing to win the nomination we all should have learned by now that what a poll says today has absolutely no bearing on how a contest will end. What you are experiencing right now is a post convention bump. These things always happen after conventions, and they never last. Yes, McCain has eclipsed Obama in the polls, just as Obama shot ahead at the end of his convention last week. The problems with bounces: what goes up MUST come down. In another day or so the numbers will stabilize, people will get over the initial hysteria of adding Caribou Barbie to the ticket and started listening to what her and McOld Man Liver are actually saying.

3.) Now, if you really want to get caught up in poll numbers, remember that over 80% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction and 63% of Americans believe McCain will continue the policies of the guy who's so unpopular as president the GOP asked him NOT to attend his own party's convention. THESE are the poll numbers the Obama campaign focuses on, and in case you haven't noticed the McCain campaign must be worried about them too - if not, then why would he ditch his best argument (experience) to try to claim the "change" mantle for himself? Imagine, the guy who was lobbying for war with Iraq months before Bush was even elected, the politician who claimed Saddam was sending anthrax to Americans, the guy with the campaign dominated by federal lobbyists taking millions from big oil companies, the guy with the economic adviser who INVENTED the mortgage/banking/oil speculations crises, the guy who has been so joined at the hip with Bush he bragged about voting with him 90% of the time now claims he's the only guy who can change Washington. He brags about being a Maverick? Please. He's a broken down jalopy stuck in a junkyard of corruption.

4.) McCain picked Palin as evidence of how different - how "mavricky" (not a typo, that's how GOPers spell it) he is, but its a big bold funky lie. Sarah Palin is a hugely polarizing figure that might help McCain solidify the GOP base but the reason they won't let her speak to reporters is because women would be totally disgusted with her if they knew her actual views. She's ultra-conservative, she abuses her power, she lies just like any other Republican. Check her record. Everything she's said about her time as mayor and governor is a lie. Also, with each passing day more information filters out of Alaska about how corrupt and disingenuous she really is. Its only a matter of time before she's forced to face up to her own record, and trust me that will not go well for her or McCain. Don't waste time freaking out and fretting about Palin. She's just another Republican, except she's got better legs.

5.) Now, one more and this will be brief. People claim that Palin's speech rivaled Obama's acceptance speech as one of the best of the two conventions. Really? Have you actually LISTENED to the two speeches? I think not. I'll wager you listened more to what was SAID about the two speeches than the speeches themselves, so here's a test I want you to take. Go to youtube, pull up both speeches and listen to what is actually being said. There's no comparison.

There are still close to two months left in the general election. I would suggest that people should stop sitting around waiting for the next tracking poll and spend more time fact checking the McCain ticket so you can tell your friends the truth about how dangerous and dishonest the ticket really is. I also suggest that those who REALLY want to get involved heed the advice of Tiye Lee, Colin Hicks and others who are are actively involved in the Obama campaign and do something to actually help Obama win. Facebook is a great place to meet people and chew the fat about the election, but if you aren't using this as a tool to formulate strategy, exchange information and recruit people who would like to get involved and make a difference then you're just blowing smoke.

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Devastating ABC Investigative Report on Palin

This is an outstanding investigative report on the charges against Sarah Palin for "abuse of power".

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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Biden: We Will Prosecute Bush Crimes

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden was asked about Bush Administration 'crimes' in Deerfield Beach, FL.
By News Video
Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here is Biden's response:

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Bush/Palin: "War in Iraq is God's Will"

Sarah Palin and George Bush both believe we attacked Iraq under the direction of God. Bush: "God told me to invade Iraq". Palin: "Iraq is God's Plan".

Do we REALLY need four more years of this NONSENSE?

Sarah Palin:

George Bush:

Barack Obama on Iraq in 2002:


ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former church that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God."

In an address last June, the Republican vice presidential candidate also urged ministry students to pray for a plan to build a $30 billion natural gas pipeline in the state, calling it "God's will."

Palin asked the students to pray for the troops in Iraq, and noted that her eldest son, Track, was expected to be deployed there.

"Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God," she said. "That's what we have to make sure that we're praying for, that there is a plan and that plan is God's plan."

A video of the speech was posted at the Wasilla Assembly of God's Web site before finding its way on to other sites on the Internet.

Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.

"I can do my job there in developing our natural resources and doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded," she added. "But really all of that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's heart isn't right with God."

Palin attended the evangelical church from the time she was a teenager until 2002, the church said in a statement posted on its Web site. She has continued to attend special conferences and meetings there. Religious conservatives have welcomed her selection as John McCain's running mate.

Rob Boston, a spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, lamented Palin's comments.

"I miss the days when pastors delivered sermons and politicians delivered political speeches," he said. "The United States is increasingly diverse religiously. The job of a president is to unify all those different people and bring them together around policy goals, not to act as a kind of national pastor and bring people to God."

The section of the church's Web site where videos of past sermons were posted was shut down Wednesday, and a message was posted saying that the site "was never intended to handle the traffic it has received in the last few days."

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Palin and Truth on Opposite Sides of the Street

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Fellow Hero POW: "McCain Not Fit to be President"

Doctor Phillip Butler is a 1961 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former light-attack carrier pilot. He flew the A4C with VA-22 aboard the USS Midway. Butler went down at night, over Vinh, on April 20, 1965 from malfunctioning VT fused bombs. He spent 4 days and nights attempting to evade capture but was finally tracked down by two well-trained german shepherd dogs. He spent over 7 years as a POW and was repatriated on February 12, 1973.

"To see McCain resort to playing the POW card when answering legitimate questions, in my mind, cheapens that experience. And by cheapening his own experience in war, he degrades all of our experiences in war. He turns the horrific incidents we've all seen, touched, smelled, and felt into a lame excuse to earn political points. And it dishonors us all."

-- Brandon Friedman, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan

John McCain has been exploiting his prisoner of war experience every chance he gets. He has used this story to justify everything from not knowing how many homes he has to his healthcare plan to his marital infidelities to his taste in music. The McCain campaign is even using his POW story in paid ads. But now a veteran who was a prisoner with McCain in Vietnam is explaining loud and clear that being a POW does not qualify McCain to lead our country.

We are sure this video will draw an onslaught of right-wing attacks, but we bring it to you because it is our job to continue to convey the truth together and give these issues national attention. As Dr. Butler has said, McCain does not have the temperament to have his finger near the red button. Get this video to everyone you know-friends, family members, coworkers, and especially those who don't share your political views. The video is designed to reach them. Get it on your social networking sites like Digg. And get it to every blog, newspaper, and TV station that has ever overplayed McCain's POW story. It is time to fight back with truth!

The mainstream press has already begun to call out McCain for overusing his POW story. And it's cut across all political persuasions.

* "Whether he's deflecting criticism over his health-care plan or mocking a tribute to the Woodstock music festival, Senator John McCain has a trump card: the Hanoi Hilton. - Edwin Chen, Bloomberg
* "Noun, Verb, POW" - Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic Monthly
* "The McCain campaign's constant invocation of the candidate's POW past is weird bordering on irrational..." - Ana Marie Cox, TIME
* "I think they are going to it way too many times." - Howard Fineman, Newsweek

Remember how Joe Biden got the press to refer to Rudy Giuliani as "A noun, a verb, and 9/11"? Well, let's actually take Andrew Sullivan's lead here and get the media to boil McCain down to a similar phrase: "A noun, a verb, and POW." Considering how often the McCain campaign invokes his POW story, isn't that what they're already doing?

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