Sunday, August 31, 2008

McCain picks Sarah Palin to get the Vagina-American vote

The Daily Show's Samantha Bee really nailed it about why McCain chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. (Also, Fox News's Steve Doocy is a true moron. EPIC GEOGRAPHY FAIL.)

Stephen Colbert also highlighted the hypocrisy and cheap political ploy of it all.

Now, as for who Sarah Palin really is, BoBo2020 lists 45 different problems with Sarah Palin, ranging from scandals she's involved in, dangerous policies she espouses, recent gaffes she's made, to her radical right-wing beliefs. The biggest problem? She's a global warming denying, pro-ANWR drilling, pro-life even in the cases of rape and incest, Dominionist movement belonging, creationist loving, oil company shill.

As for why McCain picked her, this video may offer some clues. Turns out McCain's Brain was also miked during the rally introducing her.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

DNC recap, Colbert Report version

OK, so the previous post had Daily Show videos recapping the convention. Now, for Stephen Colbert's treatment of the convention.


Stephen shows what asswipes Fox News's Bill Kristol and Megyn Kelly are for their analyses of Michelle Obama's speech.


Hillary pledges her support for Obama. Included is video of Bill Clinton mouthing "I love you" to friend of Bruin Democrats, California State Controller John Chiang. No, folks, it's not real, it was spliced together. Plus, more evidence of Bill Kristol's douchebaggery.

Stephen profiles someone who loves what Bush did to the economy: a repo man.

Stephen interviews Mike Huckabee, who says he's proud of the fact that Obama is the Democratic Party nominee.


Stephen rips into the National Review's Kyle-Anne Shiver for claiming that Martin Luther King Jr. wouldn't vote for Obama if he were still alive today. This is actually a very insightful clip about how the right wing keeps wanting to play the culture war game of the 1960s, instead of discussing the actual issues of today.


Hilarious nalysis of Obama's speech with the Denver Broncos' Terrell Davis.

DNC recap, Daily Show version

OK, so you saw below the videos from the DNC. Well, here's the Daily Show recap of the convention, as only the Daily Show can do. This week, they went from Tuesday-Friday to recap the previous day's action. Here are the highlights. The next post has the Colbert Report recap.


Michelle Obama's patriotism: Best line from the clip (not to spoil things): "[Michelle Obama] must prove she loves America. As opposed to Republicans, who everyone knows love America... they just hate half the people living in it."

The gang rip into bitter Hillary "supporters". I put those in quotes because quite a few of them are the PUMA folks, who seem to actually be Republicans pretending to be lifelong Democrats in order to gain media attention and cause trouble. They got punk'd good. :-)


Coverage of Hillary's speech

Disunity at MSNBC?


With Bill Clinton, John Kerry, and Joe Biden speaking, the Daily Show called this one "white dudes speaking".

Daily Show's Obama bio video: some of you will be offended by this.


Obama's acceptance speech

Friday, August 29, 2008

DNC recap

Sometimes, it's best to see what happened without the media and pundits telling you what to think. Sometimes, it's best to simply view the key speeches unfiltered, and judge for yourself. So here are the full speeches of the key speakers from the four nights.


Ted Kennedy & Michelle Obama


First, here's the moment when Hillary officially asked that Obama be declared our official nominee by acclimation.

Mark Warner & Hillary Clinton


Bill Clinton & John Kerry

Beau Biden & Joe Biden


Al Gore & Barack Obama

But if you still needed any evidence that Obama hit a grand slam with that speech, just check out Pat Buchanan's reaction to his speech. This is Pat Buchanan we're talking about.

Too bad the AP decided to do a hit job on Obama's speech. Nice of them to write the story saying it wasn't that good... before Obama even finished his speech. Of course, they have a Ron Fournier problem. A guy who tried to get a JOB with the McCain campaign, and exchanged cozy e-mails with Karl Rove, should NOT be the AP's Washington bureau chief.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's 3A.M., and your cell phone is ringing

You pick it up, and it's Barack Obama, telling you he's selected Delaware Senator Joe Biden to be his running mate. Well, 3A.M. if you lived on the East Coast. ;-)

Here are the videos from Saturday in Springfield, Illinois, at the first event with the two together.

And here's Joe Biden with a personal message to everyone after being selected.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

OH-11: R.I.P. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, 58

The Cleveland community was dealt a sharp blow on Wednesday with the sudden death of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D), who represented Ohio's 11th Congressional district. She died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 58. She was the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress.

Though she was viewed as a Democratic firebrand, even objecting to certifying the 2004 presidential vote in Ohio, she was immensely respected by politicians on both sides of the aisle. A passionate Hillary supporter in the primary, she immediately switched to Obama once Hillary dropped out, and became a passionate advocate for Obama on the cable news shows.

(And yes, if you're wondering, she voted against going to war with Iraq.)

Here she is from The Colbert Report back in November 2005.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Devastating new web ad against McCain

And it's the creation of fellow Kossack cartwrightdale. Devastating. Hopefully the DNC will take notice of this ad.

"Do you support Bush more today than you did four years ago?" Excellent question that should be repeated every day from now on.

WA-08: Darcy Burner, netroots hero

If you were to ask me which one of our Congressional challengers I want to see win the most, even with our slew of incredible candidates all over the country, I would have to go with former Microsoft program manager Darcy Burner, running in Washington's 8th Congressional district. Dave Reichert (R), known mostly as the Sheriff who caught the Green River Killer, first won the seat in 2004 with only 51.5% of the vote against radio show host Dave Ross (D). With Reichert becoming a reliable Bush rubber stamp, Burner challenged Reichert in 2006, and lost by a slim 51.3%-48.7% margin. Last year, at Yearly Kos 2007 in Chicago, she coined the phrase "more and better Democrats" while angrily denouncing the FISA bill that had just passed Congress that granted Bush extra wiretapping powers. That phrase has now become a rallying cry among the netroots as we look to 2009 and fixing the major problems that Bush will have left behind for us.

And now, Darcy's back for a rematch. (I met Darcy just a short while after she made that video in the hotel lobby.)

Acknowledging that Reichert is in trouble, the GOP had Bush himself go to Washington last August to help out Reichert with a fundraiser. Well, the netroots countered with an innovative 24-hour fundraiser of our own called "Burn Bush for Burner". So what happened?

We shattered our goal of raising $100,000 for Burner, netting over $123,000 in just a little over a long weekend from almost 3,200 people across the country. We managed to raise almost as much, with just small dollar donations, as what Bush managed to scrounge up for Reichert from the GOP fat cats at $1,000 a head. And it seems that not only did the Washington State GOP and Reichert lie about how much was actually raised, it seems they also illegally put some of the money raised that was supposed to go to the state party into Reichert's campaign account. Tsk, tsk.

Then this past March, Burner brought in some major military brass, such as Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, Brig. Gen. John Johns, and Dr. Lawrence Korb (former Asst. Secretary of Defense under Reagan), to help unveil A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq. Pretty soon over 50 candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives had signed on to the plan. Paul Eaton explains the necessity for something like this in this video.

Then in Q1 of 2008 (i.e., January - March), she raised a whopping half a million dollars, more than double what Reichert was able to raise in the same time period, even with yet another fundraiser with Laura Bush in that time period (which only netted him about $90K). She followed that up with another quarter of raising over half a million dollars yet again.

Things were looking up for her... and then on the first day of July, her home was completely destroyed in a fire at 6:45AM, with her family barely escaping with their lives (their cat did not survive, but their dog did).

(Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

This was one of the enduring images from the fire. As Markos noted, "Darcy is a huge netroots sensation because she is truly one of us -- a former Microsoft exec who is a geek at heart, and someone who has been with us on the war and FISA since she first started running in 2005. Some politicians can put up a facade or say the right things for the right audience, but there's no faking it when you've just run out of your burning house, seeing all your worldly possessions go up in flames as you frantically try to ensure your family is safe." Those who know some HTML or XML know exactly what that shirt means.

Now, as a political challenger, without the power of incumbency, as those of you who attended the EMILY's List training session know all too well, challengers need to be constantly "dialing for dollars". But as she needed to be putting the pieces of her life back together, she was in no state to do any such thing. So enter the netroots yet again. Progressive blogs all over the place (yes, each word goes to a different blog) set a goal of raising $150,000 for Darcy in the month of July so that she could stay financially competitive. Even other candidates helped out.

Darcy ended up raising a stunning $350K in just the month of July, more than triple what Reichert raised in that month. And when you break down the numbers, it becomes pretty obvious who's the people-powered candidate, and who's funded by corporations and lobbyists.

Total for July:
Burner: $350,897.68
Reichert: $115,474.88

From Individuals:
Burner: $329,022.30 (94%)
Reichert: $49,159.88 (43%)

Small Individual Donations:
Burner: $186,832.07 (53%)
Reichert: $8,544.00 (7%)

Total for Cycle from Individuals:
Burner: $1,995,109.43 (85%)
Reichert: $1,084,379.23 (58%)

PACs for July:
Burner: $18,100.00 (5%)
Reichert: $62,250.00 (54%)

Total for Cycle from PACs:
Burner: $296,859.24 (13%)
Reichert: $570,645.46 (31%)

Total for Cycle:
Burner: $2,337,372.67
Reichert: $1,866,086.08

Refunded in Cycle:
Burner: $6,550.01
Reichert: $56,970.00

Cash on Hand:
Burner: $1,476,757.53
Reichert: $928,113.96

It doesn't really get better than that. The difference between a people-powered progressive campaign and that of an establishment Republican really couldn't be made more clear. Also note that Burner's ActBlue numbers are at $416,118, or just under the difference in cash on hand. One of the reasons Darcy gets so much support is because, even though she's not in Congress yet, she's already a leader.

And the polls have this raise being quite competitive. As I noted in the comments there, Reichert's still getting 37% support from those who are pro-choice, even though he's consistently voted against a woman's right to choose, getting an 82% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. The good thing she now most definitely will have the money to inform the voters of what Reichert's actual positions are when it comes to women's rights. Push those pro-choice numbers just a tiny bit more in her direction, and she wins this thing going away. Re-doing the numbers show that if she can just hold Reichert to 33% of the pro-choice vote, she already wins this thing. Hold him to 30% of the pro-choice vote, and she wins by a larger margin than what Reichert won by in his previous election wins.

Oh, and she still made it to Netroots Nation in Austin, Texas, a few weeks ago.

Go Darcy!

CO-02: An historic first

Tuesday marked the primaries in Colorado and Connecticut. Mark Udall (D) represents Colorado's 2nd Congressional district, but he's giving that up to run for the Senate. It's a pretty Democratic district, so the Democratic primary is in essence the real election. And there were a trio of well-qualified candidates. It says something when the "conservative" one of the bunch was endorsed by the Progressive Democrats of America. Ultimately, Jared Polis won his race with 42% of the vote, defeating former state senate president Joan Fitz-Gerald (38%) and environmentalist Will Shafroth (20%). Here he is at his primary victory party.

What would make this historic is that Polis is openly gay, and would be the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress. (Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin was the first openly gay person of either gender to be elected to Congress.) There have been others, of course, but they were not openly gay (though for some, it was an "open secret"). Of course, TIME magazine had to do a story about how Polis being gay wasn't an issue... thereby bringing it up yet again and making it an issue. :-\

And all Polis had to do was spend $5 million of his own money on the race. How'd he get so rich? Ever used an online greeting card from Yeah, that was his site. In 2004, Fortune estimated his net worth to be $160 million, good for 28th place in their list of wealthiest Americans under the age of 40.

Not to worry, he's about as progressive as they come, and will be even more progressive than Mark Udall, the man he's replacing in Congress. (See: FISA.)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

TN-09: Racist and anti-Semitic ads from... a Democrat??

Ugh, this is disgusting. Tomorrow, on August 7, Tennessee will hold its primaries, and in Tennessee's 9th Congressional district, where Memphis is located, it's gotten ugly. This is the seat that used to belong to Harold Ford, Jr. (D), until he gave it up for a Senate run where the GOP ran that ad with the white woman going, "Harold, call me!" (Harold is black.) Well, when he gave up that seat, it went to fellow Democrat Steve Cohen, who is a white Jew.

And it seems that's become an issue.

In Congress, he's been pretty awesome. He's MUCH more progressive than Ford ever was, scoring a 96.28% progressive rating on Progressive Punch. But it seems certain folks in Memphis do not want them to be represented by anyone other than an African-American. So enter Nikki Tinker ("D"), who's challenging him in the primary. Cohen had already beaten her in a 15-candidate field in the 2006 primary.

Well, Tinker's people (so she can claim deniability) started in fine force back in February, unleashing this beyond disgusting flyer onto Memphis.

And then you get stupid racists spewing shit like this.

"He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line," said Rev. Robert Poindexter of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church.

But now it's gotten even worse. This week began with Tinker herself releasing this ad associating Cohen with the KKK.

The local Memphis Commercial-Appeal denounced the ad. (In case you're wondering why he voted that way, RealClearPolitics provides the backstory. It's basically a jurisdiction issue.)

But that wasn't bad enough. Tinker then released this ad just today, and it has drawn so much negative reaction from all over the country, that her campaign has already removed it from YouTube. But we still have the transcript.

CHILD'S VOICE: "Now I lay me down to sleep..."
ANNCR: "Who is the real Steve Cohen anyway?"
CHILD'S VOICE: "I pray the Lord my soul to keep..."
ANNCR: "While he's in our churches, clapping his hands and tapping his feet..."
CHILD'S VOICE: "If I should die before I wake..."
ANNCR: "He is the only senator who thought our kids shouldn't be allowed to pray in school."
CHILD'S VOICE: I pray the Lord my soul to take.
ANNCR: "Congressman, sometimes apologies just aren't enough."
TINKER: "I'm Nikki Tinker, and I approve this message."

The announcer's voice specifically stressed "our" in that ad. That's about as blatant as an anti-Semitic dog whistle you're ever going to hear on TV. For this disgusting ad, Keith Olbermann tonight named Tinker today's Worst Person in the World.

EMILY's List, which had actually endorsed Tinker over Cohen, despite his perfect pro-choice record, back in May, condemned the ad too, as if that's really going to matter less than 24 hours before voting ends. Of course, they could have done what NOW and NARAL did, which was endorse Cohen over a truly despicable person in the first place.

Oh, but that's only half the story. It gets worse. Much worse.

Steve Cohen forcibly removed a cameraman from his house who had barged in uninvited to Cohen's hastily-called news conference at Cohen's house to address the religion-baiting ad... and the cameraman is allegedly pressing 'assault' charges. (Video from the local Memphis Fox affiliate is available here.) The cameraman is an Armenian-American activist and documentary filmmaker who has been stalking Cohen all week; he's not officially affiliated with the Tinker camp, but Armenian groups have given more than $30K to the Tinker campaign because of Cohen's opposition to the bill to call the World War I-era slaughter of Armenians genocide (and thus infuriate Turkey).

Small legalistic note: there's a big difference between some sorehead pressing charges, and the county DA actually following through on them (which I guess we'll find out about that tomorrow). The video shows Cohen escorting the guy out the door with hand firmly on his arm and giving him a shove out the door for good measure; since the cameraman was essentially trespassing, this isn't likely to amount to anything.

Now, it turns out that filmmaker Peter Mursurlian is actually a Republican operative who used to work for former California Congressman Carlos Moorhead (R) of Pasadena. Also, none of the other Tennessee Democrats are co-sponsoring the resolution either, but none of them have been targeted the way Cohen has been.

I wonder why.

Update: Steve Cohen ended up CRUSHING Tinker 79%-19%. Hopefully this is an end to her political career.

Also, it turns out that Tinker supports abstinence-only education, which is hardly a platform of someone who's supposedly "pro-choice". Way to go, EMILY's List.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Friday, August 01, 2008

MI-07, MI-09: Wiccans, Asian invaders, oh my!

So this is what people saw earlier when they did a Google blog search on Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R) in Michigan's 9th Congressional district, which comes directly from his own Congressional website's blog.

It's about Chinese-made products that may not be safe, and he's since changed the title to "Protecting our Families from Harmful Products". But gee, ya don't think there was some stoking of xenophobic fears there with that wording?

Former state senator Gary Peters (D) is challenging Knollenberg. He's a breath of fresh air when you see what he stands for, unlike Knollenberg. All this comes on the heels of Roll Call reporting that Knollenberg may have violated House ethics rules by failing to properly disclose just how much his D.C. townhouse is worth, lowballing it at only $50K. Not a good week for the Congressman. (This is also the district where Jack Kevorkian is running as an Independent. Yes, that Jack Kevorkian.)

Meanwhile, next door in Michigan's 7th Congressional district, Congressman Tim Walberg (R) was the ONLY Congressman in the House Committee on Education and Labor to vote no on reauthorizing Head Start. It passed 42-1 in committee, and then passed the full House 365-48. So what reason did Walberg give for doing this? He explained it was to prevent lawsuits from the Wiccans!

In other words, say a Baptist or a Catholic church wanted to continue to offer its Head Start program and a Muslim or "a Wiccan from a coven in Ann Arbor" wanted to apply for a job to teach there, now it couldn't discriminate based on religious grounds anymore, or vice versa.

He said he offered an amendment that would have made that change, but it didn't get any traction.

He said he doesn't oppose Head Start, but by keeping that provision in the bill, he said religious organizations might decide it's better to get rid of Head Start. It would also open all of them to lawsuits, because the Wiccan, or the Catholic or the Muslim who wasn't hired, could say it was because of their religious beliefs, he said.

Yes, because Wiccans applying for jobs to teach at a... Catholic school... is such a big issue. Fear the Wiccans! Or, at least, their pending lawsuits.

For some background, Walberg only got to Congress by knocking out moderate Republican Joe Schwarz in the primary two years ago in a nasty primary where Walberg was funded by the anti-tax group Club for Growth. Schwarz refused to endorse Walberg in the general, and even said that people like Walberg (a former pastor) believe the U.S. should be a theocracy.

Luckily, this year we have state senator Mark Schauer (D) running against Walberg. Schauer's actually been outraising Walberg this year, so he'll definitely have the financial resources to compete. And he's damn good on the issues too. Here he is standing up for the Constitution that Walberg helped to shred.

Wal-Mart warns of Democratic victory

Wal-Mart's getting worried.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart.

In recent weeks, thousands of Wal-Mart store managers and department heads have been summoned to mandatory meetings at which the retailer stresses the downside for workers if stores were to be unionized.

According to about a dozen Wal-Mart employees who attended such meetings in seven states, Wal-Mart executives claim that employees at unionized stores would have to pay hefty union dues while getting nothing in return, and may have to go on strike without compensation. Also, unionization could mean fewer jobs as labor costs rise.


The Wal-Mart human-resources managers who run the meetings don't specifically tell attendees how to vote in November's election, but make it clear that voting for Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama would be tantamount to inviting unions in, according to Wal-Mart employees who attended gatherings in Maryland, Missouri and other states.

"The meeting leader said, 'I am not telling you how to vote, but if the Democrats win, this bill will pass and you won't have a vote on whether you want a union,'" said a Wal-Mart customer-service supervisor from Missouri. "I am not a stupid person. They were telling me how to vote," she said.

JibJab actually covered this with their special brand of humor.