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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Latest McCain Economic Proposal Seen As Incoherent

In 2007, Sen. John McCain blamed out-of-control GOP spending for the Democrats' takeover of the House of Representatives. "We came to power in 1994 to change government, and government changed us," he said at the time. Now you can count McCain among the transformed -- but not in any consistent manner.

While proposing tax cuts twice as deep as those signed by President Bush, not only has McCain failed to explain how he'll pay for them, he's now also proposing new spending: a Republican heresy he surely would have blasted only a year ago, and which experts say would lead to an even bigger deficit.

The Christian Science Monitor concluded in April that McCainomics consists of "traditional GOP tax-cutting, with a dash of populism sprinkled on top." This week's sprinkle came in the form of a plan for increased job training for workers hit hard by the economic downturn -- precisely the same idea the RNC blasted Democrats for talking about three weeks ago:

"Obama and Clinton's economic plans are what you expect from two senators who think that big government is the solution for just about every problem. Obama and Clinton's plans for more taxes, spending and regulations will lead to fewer homeowners and jobs."

Compare that to an excerpt from McCain's economic speech in Chicago on Monday:

"We have to help displaced workers at every turn on a tough road, so that they are not just spectators on the opportunities of others. And I have made that commitment with reforms to expand and improve federal aid to American workers in need."

Chris Edwards, director of tax policy studies at the conservative Cato Institute, told The Huffington Post that McCain has thus far failed to give the public "straight talk" on the connection between his spending agenda and tax cutting plan. "Should McCain be consistent and match his tax cuts with spending cuts? Absolutely. We already have a $400 billion deficit, and we're against expanding that," Edwards said.

How to describe this contradiction, not only with his party, but with his own Senate record of voting against job training assistance for the past six years? "I'm sure its something his political advisers suggested he do," Edwards said. "I doubt it's an idea his economic advisers are particularly in favor of. But that's just something economic advisers have to put up with on a presidential campaign. ... For years, academic economic studies have suggested that [job training programs] are of dubious value, anyway."

Liberal economists who support the idea of job training assistance also wonder how McCain can achieve that objective, given McCain's tax cut priorities. Len Burman, a senior fellow and tax policy analyst with the the Urban Institute, called McCain's Monday speech "interesting," but cautioned: "His proposed tax cuts will either make it very difficult for the government to help vulnerable populations -- including many more than those displaced by trade -- or add to our ballooning budget deficits."

For his part, McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds disputed the notion that any new job training program would necessarily have to increase the deficit, and suggested that trimming "wasteful spending in Washingon" could pay for new programs. He also said McCain's new attention to the issue derives not from political expediency, but from the opportunity that running for president has afforded him to help workers in a way that accords with his "own ideas" about the economy.

Whether or not McCain's latest dash of populism is the result of political positioning, the validity his "own ideas" about the economy remains an open question. "I don't think -- and McCain has as much as admitted this -- he [has] a very strong basis in economic theory or understanding," Edwards said. Meanwhile, Burman noted that if McCain were to get his way and enlarge the deficit to expand job training assistance, "that would contribute to our trade deficit over time, meaning that more workers will be displaced by trade -- and fewer will benefit from the export-related jobs that the Senator trumpets."

Original here

Opposition Grows To Clinton's Delegate Cause Celebre

In a last ditch stand, Hillary Clinton is trying to turn the seating of the disputed Florida and Michigan delegations into a cause celebre, posing questions of equal justice and voting rights in anticipation of a May 31 meeting of the Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Her call for the seating of all delegates picked in the two primaries conducted in violation of party rules faces growing opposition from two groups of committee members -- those loyal to Barack Obama, and those loyal to Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean. These two factions appear likely to produce a majority on the Rules Committee, thus spiking Clinton's so-called "nuclear option."

Reliable sources in the Clinton campaign, and others close to Democratic Party leaders, contend that progress is being made toward a compromise that would either seat the full Florida and Michigan delegations, giving each member a half a vote, or cut the size of each delegation in half.

Clinton supporters make up the third and largest block on the Rules committee, but they do not constitute a majority. A Huffington Post analysis of the allegiances of the 28 members of the Rules committee found that 13 have endorsed Clinton, eight are in the Obama camp, and seven have not publicly committed, although a number of them are believed to be in Obama's corner.

Since the Rules Committee last year voted against seating the Michigan and Florida delegations -- each state violated party rules by holding its primary before February 5 -- the Clinton campaign faces the daunting task of holding onto all 13 Clinton supporters, while gaining two votes from the ranks of those loyal to Dean or Obama.

Campaigning in Boca Raton, Florida, on Wednesday, Clinton -- who stands to gain 56 more delegates than Obama if Michigan and Florida are seated as presently constituted, but only 16 to 20 more delegates if the compromise seating plans are agreed to -- made her case in dramatic terms.

"[H]ere in America, unlike in many other nations, we are bound together, not by a single shared religion or cultural heritage, but by a shared set of ideas and ideals, a shared civic faith, that we are entitled to speak and worship freely, that we deserve equal justice under the law, that we have certain core rights that no government can abridge and these rights are rooted in and sustained by the principle that our founders set forth in the Declaration of Independence."

For Clinton, it is crucial to turn the issue of seating the Florida and Michigan delegations into a matter of moral and civic principle if she is to gain traction among the members of the Rules Committee.

"I believe that the decision our party faces is not just about the fate of these votes and the outcome of these primaries. It is about whether we will uphold our most fundamental values as Democrats and Americans," she told Boca Raton voters. "We carry on this cause for a simple reason, because we believe the outcome of our elections should be determined by the will of the people - nothing more, nothing less."

One knowledgeable source directly involved in the negotiations said the most likely first step to be taken by the Rules Committee on May 31 would be "to vote to cut the delegations in half with full votes" for each of the remaining delegates. Florida is then expected to ask the committee to modify its ruling "to allow all the delegates to go with a half vote each."

Harold Ickes, Clinton's chief negotiator on this issue and a member of the Rules Committee, said he is exploring various compromises, but he declined to provide specifics.

Even if the Clinton forces were to succeed in winning approval to seat the full Florida and Michigan delegations, the decision would be subject to review by the convention Credentials Committee, on which Obama supporters will have more members than Clinton, and then again on the convention floor in Denver in late August.

Original here

8/25/07: Clinton DNC operatives strip FL of all 210 delegates [UPDATED 2X]

Hillary has known all along what the rules were and her campaign strategist, Harold Ickes, and her operatives on the DNC rules committee, were directly involved in the stripping of Michigan and Florida's delegates:

On Aug. 25, when the DNC's rules panel declared Florida's primary date out of order, it agreed by a near-unanimous majority to exceed the 50 percent penalty called for under party rules. Instead, the group stripped Florida of all 210 delegates to underscore its displeasure with Florida's defiance and to discourage other states from following suit. In doing so, the DNC essentially committed itself, for fairness' sake, to strip the similarly defiant Michigan of all 156 of its delegates three months later. Clinton held tremendous potential leverage over this decision, and not only because she was then widely judged the likely nominee. Of the committee's 30 members, a near-majority of 12 were Clinton supporters. All of them—most notably strategist Harold Ickes—voted for Florida's full disenfranchisement. (The only dissenting vote was cast by a Tallahassee, Fla., city commissioner who supported Obama.)

...

After ignoring Florida and Michigan for months, the Clinton campaign soon couldn't say enough nice things about them. "Tonight Michigan Democrats spoke loudly for a new beginning," then-campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle exulted over Clinton's victory there on Jan. 15. "Your voices matter. And as president, Hillary Clinton will not only keep listening, but will make sure your voice is always heard."

Slate

HELLO? FLORIDA? DID YOU SEE THIS PART: Of the committee's 30 members, a near-majority of 12 were Clinton supporters. All of them—most notably strategist Harold Ickes—voted for Florida's full disenfranchisement.

September 1, 2007 press release from the Clinton campaign:

9/1/2007

Clinton Campaign Statement on the Four State Pledge

The following is a statement by Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle.

"We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process.

And we believe the DNC’s rules and its calendar provide the necessary structure to respect and honor that role.

Thus, we will be signing the pledge to adhere to the DNC approved nominating calendar.

.

Now look at how Clinton deliberately tried to distort and mislead regarding the pledge she signed, in this January 2008 press release:

1/25/2008

Statement by Senator Hillary Clinton on the Seating of Delegates at the Democratic National Convention

"I hear all the time from people in Florida and Michigan that they want their voices heard in selecting the Democratic nominee.

"I believe our nominee will need the enthusiastic support of Democrats in these states to win the general election, and so I will ask my Democratic convention delegates to support seating the delegations from Florida and Michigan. I know not all of my delegates will do so and I fully respect that decision. But I hope to be President of all 50 states and U.S. territories, and that we have all 50 states represented and counted at the Democratic convention.

"I hope my fellow potential nominees will join me in this.

"I will of course be following the no-campaigning pledge that I signed, and expect others will as well."

IT WAS NOT A "NO CAMPAIGNING" PLEDGE. IT WAS A NO PARTICIPATING AND NO CAMPAIGNING PLEDGE.

I will say that again. IT WAS NOT A "NO CAMPAIGNING" PLEDGE. IT WAS A NO PARTICIPATING AND NO CAMPAIGNING PLEDGE.

The relevant part of the pledge:

THEREFORE, I (Hillary Clinton), Democratic Candidate for President, pledge
I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential
election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by
rules and regulations of the DNC.

From law.com:

participate
v. to invest and then receive a part or share, as in business profits, payments on a promissory note, title to land, or as one of the beneficiaries of the estate of a person who has died.

"...and then receive a part or share." Is Hillary now trying to "receive a part or share"?

HELLO? HILLARY? DID YOU SEE THIS?

"I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.

"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I [McAuliffe] said. "We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost."

He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.

"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.

"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it."

We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it.

[Source: McAuliffe, Terry. What A Party!, p. 325.]

Hillary said in October, 2007 before the Michigan primary:

"It's clear this election they are having is not going to count for anything":

We cannot allow Hillary to steal the nomination. Let's make sure Florida media starts focusing on the fact that it was Harold Ickes and other Clinton operatives at the DNC who stripped FL of its delegates.

Contact - Miami Herald

Contact - St. Petersburg Times

Contact - Orlando Sentinel

Contact - WINZ - South Florida's Progressive Talk

Contact - WPNN - CNN Radio Pensacola

Contact - WUSF

Contact - WOKV - Jacksonville

countdown@msnbc.com
kolbermann@msnbc.com

UPDATE: Florida State Sen. Geller mocks the DNC rules when coordinating with the congressional Republicans to move up the Florida primary date:

Geller: "...So the Democratic leader and the Democratic leader pro tem are jointly making this motion, which we will duly show them later, that we tried not to have the election on, um, before (Feb. 5).

President: "And so Sen. Geller are you urging a negative vote or would you like us to pass this vote?"

Geller: "Oh no sir. We really, really want this. Don't we senator? (sarcasm and audible laughter in chamber).

UPDATE 2: Keep in mind that, while Ickes may try to say that he was acting for the DNC at the time he voted to strip Florida of its delegates, he was in fact acting for Hillary, according to their plan:

The crocodile tears that are now being shed about Florida and Michigan are the latest and most disingenuous of the Clinton campaign. The fact is that the idea of drawing a line in the sand so that you would end up with a de facto national primary was from page one of the Clinton playbook.

Having twenty or thirty states vote on the same day, the theory went, would favor the candidate with the most money, the most experience and the most organizational support with connections with many local governors and mayors already on board.

More here.

Super Tuesday was tailor-made for Hillary, by her operatives and loyalists at the DNC. They stacked the deck for her.

Hillary's interview on Fox and Friends, 12/17/07. Way back in December, she had no question in her mind that Super Tuesday was the "end of the campaign":

MR. DOOCY: Would you be "the comeback senator"? Would you be "the comeback gal"? Have you thought about that yet?

SEN. CLINTON: I'm going to leave that to you. You all have a great way with a turn of phrase. But what I'm going to do is to just keep working hard every day, knocking on doors, making phone calls, talking to people.

I feel very good about where we were. This has always been a challenge. I'm going to start on January 3rd with the caucuses in Iowa and go all the way until February 5th, because at the end of the campaign what you need are enough delegates to actually get you the nomination. And I believe that I will get the nomination and that I will be the next president.

Original here

McCainiacs cast 362,000 votes for Clinton in past month

I've crunched the numbers, and over the past month, one out of every ten votes for Hillary Clinton has come from a John McCain supporter.

These McCainiacs for Clinton vote for Clinton in the Democratic primary, but in the general election they say they will choose John McCain -- even if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination.

In all, over the past six primaries, they have cast about 362,000 of Clinton's 3.6 million votes. They're having a major impact -- without them, Clinton would not have won Indiana earlier this month.

I don't know whether these voters are part of Rush Limbaugh's Operation Chaos or if they are acting on their own initiative, but it doesn't matter. They will not support Clinton in the fall, a fact that must be taken into account by undeclared superdelegates as they assess Clinton's flimsy popular vote argument.

:: ::

My numbers come from a question in the exit poll survey which asks all voters to say who they would vote for in both a McCain-Clinton contest and in a McCain-Obama contests. Based on the answers to those questions, the exit poll data shows Clinton received the following votes in each state (rounded to the nearest 500):

I calculated the votes using the following formula:

[Total number of votes in primary] * [% of voters who say they would support McCain over Clinton] * [% of McCain supporters who voted for Clinton]

In all, Clinton's total of 362,000 votes from McCain supporters easily dwarfed the 120,000 votes Barack Obama received.

What this means is that over the past month alone, John McCain's supporters have helped Hillary Clinton narrow Barack Obama's overall "popular vote" lead by nearly a quarter-million voters.

Original here


John Hagee's Church Sings For The Invasion and Devastation of Israel

Two days ago I discovered that, according to John Hagee's own written words in Hagee's "Prophecy Study Bible", members of John Hagee's Christians United For Israel routinely sing, at their "Night To Honor Israel" events, a joyful-sounding song which, in scriptural terms, refers to Israel's coming, expected invasion and devastation. Building on my last discovery, of a John Hagee sermon in which John Hagee claims God sent Hitler and the Nazis, to chase Europe's Jews towards Palestine, and that Jews have dead (or non-living, inert) souls (see YouTube video towards the end of this post), this new finding helps solidify my case that Pastor John Hagee, who also has given a sermon espousing a crypto anti-Semitic conspiracy theory - of "international financial power brokers based in Europe", is an anti-Semite of the first magnitude.

topic: John Hagee

John McCain and John Hagee have co-endorsed each other (multiple times). John Hagee says God sent Hitler. McCain pursued Hagee's endorsement for over a year and showed up, at Hagee's July 2007 "Christians United For Israel" event, to give a speech. In 2000, McCain said he'd 'never' solicit political support from people like Hagee. In early 2007, John Hagee and Jerry Falwell helped stage a fund raiser for McCain. Hagee and his CUFI members envision 'worse than Auschwitz' for Jews in Israel. US Senator John McCain has shared a stage with Hagee multiple times, endorsing Hagee simply by his presence but McCain has also praised (multiple times, on national television and at public events) Hagee and Hagee's leadership. Hagee expounds a crypto anti-Jewish conspiracy theory.

The lyrics in "Blow The Trumpet in Zion", sung at nearly ever Christians United For Israel event, come from the 2nd Book of Joe, below:

Joel 2 (New King James Version)

Joel 2

1 Blow the trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm in My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble;
For the day of the LORD is coming,
For it is at hand:

2 A day of darkness and gloominess,
A day of clouds and thick darkness,
Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.
A people come, great and strong,
The like of whom has never been;
Nor will there ever be any such after them,
Even for many successive generations.

3 A fire devours before them,
And behind them a flame burns;
The land is like the Garden of Eden before them,
And behind them a desolate wilderness;
Surely nothing shall escape them.

4 Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like swift steeds, so they run.

5 With a noise like chariots
Over mountaintops they leap,
Like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble,
Like a strong people set in battle array.

6 Before them the people writhe in pain;
All faces are drained of color.

7 They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like men of war;
Every one marches in formation,
And they do not break ranks.

8 They do not push one another;
Every one marches in his own column.
Though they lunge between the weapons,
They are not cut down.

9 They run to and fro in the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter at the windows like a thief.

10 The earth quakes before them,
The heavens tremble;
The sun and moon grow dark,
And the stars diminish their brightness.

11 The LORD gives voice before His army,
For His camp is very great;
For strong is the One who executes His word.
For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible;
Who can endure it?

In the YouTube video excerpt below, from the Christians United For Israel "Night To Honor Israel" event July 2007, members of John Hagee's San Antonio Cornerstone Church sing "Blow The Trumpet In Zion" :

IN his 1997 "Prophecy Study Bible" [Thomas Nelson, Inc. 1997] Pastor John Hagee explains his understanding of those verses (2nd Book of Joel, chapter 1, verses 2-11) :

"Joe uses the terrible locust plague that has recently occured to illustrate the coming day of judgment when God will directly intervene in human history to vindicate his righteousness. This will be a time of unparalleled retribution upon Israel (2:1-11) and the whole nation (3:1-17) but this time will culminate in great blessing and salvation for those who trust in the Lord...

It is a time of awesome judgment upon people and nations that have rebelled against God...

The land will be invaded by a swarming army; like locusts, they will be speedy and voracious. The desolation caused by this great army will be dreadful...

Joel ends with the kingdom blessings upon the remnant of faithful Judah." [John Hagee, John Hagee Prophecy Study Bible, pages 1026-1028, emphasis mine]

McCain-Backer John Hagee lies, to Jewish Bloggers, On His Motives For Supporting Israel:

On January 24, 2007 Christians United For Israel founder, Pastor John Hagee (CUFI), participated in a conference call with Jewish-American bloggers. The intent of the call was to familiarize the bloggers with CUFI and to assure them that CUFI's motives were benign. The following video showcases evidence demonstrating Hagee's motives were far from benign:




McCain-backer Hagee's 'Thrilling' Worldview: Rapture, Then "Holocaust"


(Bruce Wilson)

McCain Courted Hagee for at Least a Year (Frederick Clarkson)

What Secret "Other Matters" Did McCain Discuss With "Apocalypse Now" Hagee ? (Bruce Wilson)

McCain Reneges on Pledge To Never Seek anti-Catholic Support (Bruce Wilson)

Hagee Acknowledges McCain Sought His Endorsement (Bruce Wilson)

McCain Backer Hagee Showcases 'Islamic Terrorist' Implicated as Possible Fraud (Bruce Wilson)

McCain Backer Hagee Envisioned "Worse Than Auschwitz" For Israeli Jews (Bruce Wilson)

McCain Was After Hagee Like a Dog In Heat (Bruce Wilson)

AIPAC Event Helps Mainstream Allegations Of "Satanic Liberal Jewish Conspiracy" (Bruce Wilson - story details full extent of Hagee's ideological extremity)

Boldly Backwards To The 16th Century: McCain For President (Bruce Wilson)

Senior McCain Advisor: Religious Right is a "Serious Problem" (Frederick Clarkson)

On Bennett Show, McCain Waffles Over Hagee Hate Speech (Bruce Wilson)

Bomb, Bombs Away! - Did Fox's Britt Hume Just Imply McCain Has Early Alzheimer's ? (Bruce Wilson)



Navy Friend, Colleague of Admiral Says Senator McCain's Father Would Be Rolling Over In The Grave

DoD Funded Research Suggests McCain's "Faith Based" Approach Would Increase Terrorism

Symbolic Terrorism Revisited: Hagee's CUFI 'Wipes' Islam's 3rd Holiest Site From Logo"

"Pro Israel" Christian Leader Blames Jews For The Holocaust

"Be Jewish In Five Easy Days", The Twelve Tribes Of Hagee

AIPAC Event Helps Mainstream Allegations Of "Satanic Liberal Jewish Conspiracy"

Holocaust For Zion : CUFI's Christian Zionism Made Simple

GOP House Minority Whip Roy Blunt To Help Nuclear War Advocate

What Secret "Other Matters" Did McCain Discuss With "Apocalypse Now" Hagee ?

Dick Armey Denies Bush Administration Trying To Provoke "End Times"

AIPAC Cheers an Anti-Semitic Holocaust Revisionist (and Abe Foxman Approves) (Max Blumenthal)

The Goy Who Cried Wolf: The Israel lobby gives America's leading Christian right warmonger a warm welcome (Sara Posner)

Israel, the US, and the Christian Right: The Menage a Trois From Hell (Max Blumenthal)

Holy Warriors Set Sights on Iran (Bill Berkowitz)

Christian Zionism all juiced up (Esther Kaplan)

Armey: Bush Believes in Tribulation, but not Trying to Make it Happen (Richard Bartholomew)

Lobbying For Armageddon (Sara Posner)

"As Bush's War Strategy Shifts to Iran, Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse" (Sara Posner)

Pastor Strangelove (Sara Posner)

"Apocalyptic preacher John Hagee says McCain is 'on target'" (Sara Posner)

Original here

McCain strategist keeps Obama vow, leaving campaign

Mark McKinnon watches a Bush for President campaign rally from the wings in Milwaukee in this October 23, 2000 file photo. (Jeff Mitchell/Reuters)
Reuters Photo: Mark McKinnon watches a Bush for President campaign rally from the wings in Milwaukee in...

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (Reuters) - A senior adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain said on Tuesday that he was stepping down to keep a commitment he made not to campaign against Democrat Barack Obama.

Mark McKinnon, who was in charge of the McCain campaign's advertising message, said he was still backing the Arizona senator, but that he was simply moving from active campaign participant to cheerleader.

"I'll still be around occasionally in my lucky hat," said McKinnon, who often wears a distinctive hat.

McKinnon, who was a key aide in President George W. Bush's two election victories, has expressed admiration for Obama and pledged not to campaign against the Democratic front-runner if he became the party's presidential nominee.

A McCain campaign official said McKinnon had notified the campaign of his decision to leave but declined further comment. The McCain campaign had been expecting McKinnon's move for some months and was not surprised at his decision.

Obama, an Illinois senator, remains locked in a battle with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination and the right to face McCain in the November general election.

Projections showed him losing the Kentucky primary to Clinton on Tuesday, but he was favored to win the later Oregon contest. His showing on Tuesday was expected to give him a majority of the elected delegates to the party's nominating convention in August.

Neither of the Democratic candidates have enough elected delegates to win the nomination, leaving the race to be decided by so-called superdelegates -- party leaders and elected officials who can vote for the candidate of their choosing.

The Cox News Service reported that McKinnon told McCain last summer that he would not work for him in the general election if Barack Obama became the Democratic nominee, saying

"I just don't want to work against an Obama candidacy."

At the time, Obama and McCain each looked like long shots for nomination.

On Sunday, McKinnon told the news service that he will continue to support McCain.

"I will still show up from time to time (and) talk to the candidate still, but not about Obama."

(Writing by JoAnne Allen; editing by David Alexander)

Original here


Another McCain Connection To Anti-Obama Website

This past month, Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign paid tens of thousands of dollars to a vendor that was simultaneously working on behalf of a independent group attacking Sen. Barack Obama.

The $47,000 paid to the company Campaign Solutions for web services, on the surface, seems benign. But the expenditure brushes against the campaign's newly implemented policy which states: "No McCain campaign vendor may work with a 527 or independent group without a pre-approved legal 'firewall.'"

Campaign Solutions, records show, also provides web services to Citizens United, a conservative nonprofit group headed by David Bossie and founded by Floyd Brown, famed Republican dirty tricksters. The website for Citizens United features a bevy of sharp attacks on Obama -- sample: "BARACK OBAMA - THE CHOICE OF TERRORISTS" -- and solicits donations for an anti-Obama documentary film.

In addition, Brown runs the website ExposeObama.com, which was founded in March 2008 and describes itself as a "group of conservatives concerned that Barack Hussein Obama would be the worst possible President for America at this time, or any time." ExposeObama.com is paid for by a PAC, established by Brown, called the National Campaign Fund.

Asked about the expenditure, a McCain aide first noted that Citizens United is a 501c4 organization, not a 527 group. But the new McCain policy also restricts vendors that work with "independent groups," such as Citizens United, which are tax-exempt and can engage in political activity.

Later, another campaign aide said that an internal firewall had been in place at Campaign Solutions since last year, thereby restricting communication coordination. This was the case, the aide said, "long before this [new] policy was in place. So they are fully compliant with our policy." The campaign refused to offer documentation of the firewall.

Even if the expenditure is accepted under McCain's new internal campaign rules, it does, tangentially, create a problematic connection to Bossie and Brown, two figures renowned for aggressive attack politics. Bossie, who recently authored the book, "Hillary: The Politics of Personal Destruction," recently told Newsweek that he is "assembling material for TV spots about Obama's ties with [Bill] Ayers." Brown, likewise, told Time magazine that "he had established several other front groups to fund a long-range effort to erode Obama's support." He has already produced an ad attacking Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton for his 527 group Citizens for a Safe and Prosperous America.

McCain already has had to distance himself from one Republican operative who was spearheading an anti-Obama effort. Last Friday, the Senator's campaign appeared blindsided by revelations that an influential but unpaid adviser, Craig Shirley, had been hosting an anti-Obama website. Shirley resigned after Politico revealed his work for the 527 Stop Her Now -- an organization that was initially dedicated to taking on Sen. Hillary Clinton but had turned its sights on Obama.

Shirley, like Brown, worked on the infamous Willie Horton advertisements during the Dukakis campaign. And both individuals did PR work to attack Sen. John Kerry in 2004.

Original here

David Gergen and CNN pundits challenge Hillary Clinton to denounce the racist vote [UPDATED 2]

[ Editorial Note: Now we have the important part of the transcript. ]


This is one of those historic TV moments that people will be talking about for a long time. And let me tell you, I lost it as it was happening. Twitter or not, I was agog at the sight of David Gergen calling out Hillary and Bill Clinton on their racist strategy.

He even went as far as saying that there is a sense the culture is legitimizing the racist language and creating justifications that is allowing Clinton to base her electoral value on the racial composition of those of her voters who wouldnt not vote for Obama.

That's why it's particularly shocking to have seen David Gergen, a former communications advisor to Ronald Regan, say that racism is starting rear its head in ways we've never seen before; and to validate that for votes is counter to the ethos of the Democratic Party.

I mean, she's been talking about sexism in this race and she has complained about some in the last 24 hours.

You know race is really playing an increasing issue. And it also raises the question in my judgment of whether she shouldn't say, you know, if you want to vote against him because he's black, I don't want your vote. I don't want to win that way. This has no place in this primary.

She's raised the issue of sexism in this race and she's complained some about it the in the last 24 hours? Race is playing ... it's an increasing issue. That raises the question in my judgement, whether she shouldn't say, "You know, if you don't want to vote against him because he's black, then I don't want your vote."

And that's not even half of it. There is a powerful back and forth that is not included in this clip. Yet more importantly, CNN doesn't have neither a clip nor a transcript of this exchange (and the omitted one) on their site. There's the moments right before and after this exchange but no transcript for this important moment in US political history.

Goes to show how big media is at odds with it's own influence and power.

Watch this clip and see how David Gergen redeems the whole both republicans and the political analyst profession. To say this solidifies my admiration for him is to put it mildly : My admiration goes back to at least 20 years if not more of watching him do political commentary first on PBS and then on CNN.

WATCHI IT!

Hat Tip to Natalie (aka @natthedem) who twittered the video.

UPDATE!
Now with transcripts!

You can read the whole transcript here.

Here's the clip's exchange:

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we have been looking at some of the exit polls from Kentucky, in particular the issue of race. Voters who said that race was important in making their decision or is the factor in making their decision.

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: It is more disquieting news I think for Barack Obama as he looks for the general election.

COOPER: One in five I think.

GERGEN: It was about 21 percent that race was a factor. Nine out of ten of those voted for Hillary Clinton.

COOPER: And that is people that would admit it to a complete strangers taking these exit polls theoretically it would be even larger those who would not admit it.

GERGEN: And from her point of view, over a quarter of the people who voted for her today in Kentucky were people who said race was a factor in their decision. And it really means -- I mean, she's been talking about sexism in this race and she has complained about some in the last 24 hours.

You know race is really playing an increasing issue. And it also raises the question in my judgment of whether she shouldn't say, you know, if you want to vote against him because he's black, I don't want your vote. I don't want to win that way. This has no place in this primary.

COOPER: Do you see her saying that?

GERGEN: Well, she has been a champion -- she's been a champion of civil rights for a long, long time. She and her husband both have I think well-earned reputations in the civil rights front. She's never had redneck votes before in her life.

I see no reason why she couldn't take the high road here in the closing days of his campaign and try to take this on and take on the Reverend Wright issue to say, "Look, I campaigned with this fellow for 15 months. I know a lot of you people don't think he shares your values that somehow Barack thinks like Reverend Wright. Not true. I know him. I have been with him. And race should come out of this."

I think she could do a lot by taking a high road.

COOPER: Reverend Wright also showed up in these exit polls.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, in the state of Kentucky, 54 percent of the voters said Barack Obama shares the views of Reverend Wright. That's something we saw also in West Virginia.

And does Barack Obama share your values? 53 percent of the voters in Kentucky said, "No, he doesn't." This is some of the repair work that he's got to do in terms of the voters that Hillary Clinton is getting.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Hillary Clinton ought to keep in mind, I think, the long view here. She's got many more years in public life ahead of her. Taking the high road at this point, saying I don't want racists to vote for me, saying that this is about something bigger than just strategizing the last few races. I think that would stand her in very good stead.

BORGER: Very late for that. What in Montana and South Dakota?

TOOBIN: I mean, she might as well say it, because I think it would make a difference. This race has been so polarized along the issues of race and, frankly, I think most people blame her for that than they blame Obama. And to leave, if she's in fact leaving on the high road, would do a world of good.

GERGEN: She could do it on Reverend Wright. She could still take that on before she leaves this race.

BORGER: Yes and continue it through the fall.

And here is David Gergen's closing thoughts on the subject as an exchange with Donna Brazille:

Donna Brazile, what does that tell you about this race and about what Barack Obama has ahead of him?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Well, it says that the voters of Kentucky preferred Senator Clinton. The Clintons have had over 20 years, two decades to really reach out to those voters. They know the Clintons very well. They loved Bill Clinton as president and there's no question that I think that played a much larger role than race.

Look, there's a Los Angeles times poll out just a few weeks ago. Forty-one percent of white voters say they would back Senator Obama. Forty-five percent said they would back John McCain. We can make a mountain out of a mole hill and say that all of a sudden race is the number one factor. But I think there are other issues that play.

Senator Obama is new to the political scene, some voters don't know him. Early on, black voters did not know him and they were backing Senator Clinton. So as voters get to know him, they're more comfortable with him. They've begun to trust him and know where he stands on the issues. I think Senator Obama will do much better have those voters.

COOPER: Do you agree with that, David?

GERGEN: Well, she may be right. And I'm not sure.

My sense, Anderson, is that the race card is being played more heavily today than it was in the beginning of the campaign. And that there is somehow now an increasing sense of the culture almost legitimizing racial comments by opponents.

I mean, there were things like this back in New Hampshire, but there were some ugly incidents in places like Pennsylvania. And Barack Obama didn't even campaign in Kentucky and West Virginia in part because I think he faced some of these barriers.

I do think that racism is starting to rear its head in ways we haven't seen in the campaign. I think it's important to take it on. And I think it's important for the Democratic Party to take it on.

You know, race has been a big issue in our politics through our whole history. And we're seeing it play out in some parts of the country. This is not a racist country. I do think these are pockets of racism, but I think it's there and it's -- if it casts a shadow over this race, it's going to be really tragic in many ways.

Bravo David Gergen and the whole CNN team!

You've raised the political discourse in this country in just one night.

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Obama: McCain's Foreign Policy Stance "Incredibly Naive"

Obama is continuing to push back hard against John McCain's foreign policy attacks. In a interview with Wolf Blitzer this evening, Barack called the Arizona's senator approach to Cuba "extraordinarily naive."

Obama referenced a series of quotations from McCain in early 2000 where he spoke favorably about normalizing relations with Cuba, a stance that Obama holds and that McCain criticized during a speech in Florida today, saying: "the only person who has flip-flopped on this issue is John McCain."

Obama continued to return to the greater theme that McCain's foreign policy represents a continuation of George Bush's tenure, raising again the fight over Iran that broke out last week when the President obliquely referenced Obama in front of the Israeli Knesset.

It is a sign that both candidates feel the issue of foreign policy is working on their behalf, with each eager to paint the other as lacking judgment. Today, Obama even echoed McCain's language, calling the senator naive:

When it comes to Cuba, what he is now saying is essentially the policy we've pursued for 50 years and the Cuban people are not more free.


And the notion that we would keep doing the same thing over and over and over again when it doesn't work and that somehow is a sign of toughness is extraordinarily naive, I think does a disservice to the Cuban people.

Watch the video:

CNN

Read the transcript of Obama's interview with Wolf Blitzer:

OBAMA: I have to say, first of all, Wolf, his charges aren't serious. That's the problem. I have never said that I was prepared to immediately normalize relations with Cuba. The only person who has flip-flopped on this issue is John McCain who in 2000 said that he would be prepared to start normalizing relations even if a whole host of steps have not been taken. That is a reversal from the position he is taking now.


And what I have also said is that I will be willing to engage in direct talks with Cuba. Now, I know that John McCain likes to characterize this as me immediately having Raul Castro over for tea. What I've said is that we would set a series of meetings with low level diplomats, set up some preparation but that over time I would be willing to meet and talk very directly about what we expect from the Cuban regime. And so John McCain keeps on making these statements that simply aren't based on anything I've said.

BLITZER: He says that you would be ready, in his words, to sit down unconditionally for a presidential meeting with Raul Castro. Those were his words.

OBAMA: And what I've said is I would be willing to meet without preconditions but with a lot of preparation and this is the same argument that we've been having with respect to Iran. This is the same argument that we're going to be having throughout the next several months should I end up being the Democratic nominee.

John McCain essentially wants to continue George Bush's policies of not talking to leaders we don't like and not talking to countries we don't like. It has been a failed policy. Iran is stronger now than when George Bush took office. Partly because he engaged in a war in Iraq that John McCain facilitated that has strengthened Iran.

The fact that we haven't talked to them has not had them stand down on nuclear weapons. It hasn't led them to stop funding Hamas and Hezbollah. It hasn't stopped them from threatening Israel and so what I have said is we should open up direct talks.

By the way, George Bush's own secretary of defense, Robert Gates, has indicated the same thing. I believe the same thing - I believe that the same thing is true when it comes to Cuba and I believe, by the way, that the same thing is true with North Korea. That's one of the few areas where we've seen some progress, primarily because the Bush administration reversed its policy of not having direct talks with these rogue nations and we've actually started seeing some progress. Prior to that, North Korea developed a series of nuclear weapons.

BLITZER: There seems to be some confusion whether you would be willing, personally, as president, to sit down, without preconditions, with Ahmadinejad of Iran or other Iranian leaders. Is your openness to a meeting with Iranian leaders inclusive of Ahmadinejad?

OBAMA: I think this obsession with Ahmadinejad is an example of us losing track of what's important.

I would be willing to meet with Iranian leaders if we had done sufficient preparations for that meeting. Whether Ahmadinejad is the right person to meet with right now, we don't even know how much power he is going to have a year from now. He is not the most powerful person in Iran.

And my expectation, obviously, would be to meet with those people who can actually make decisions in terms of actually having them stand down on nuclear weapons or stopping funding Hamas or Hezbollah or meddling in the affairs of Iraq.

But the bottom line here, Wolf, is that John McCain wants to pursue policies that George Bush has pursued for the last eight years with no success. When it comes to Cuba, what he is now saying is essentially the policy we've pursued for 50 years and the Cuban people are not more free.

And the notion that we would keep doing the same thing over and over and over again when it doesn't work and that somehow is a sign of toughness is extraordinarily naive, I think does a disservice to the Cuban people. That's the kind of break from the Bush administration that I want to initiate when I am president of the United States.

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Obama Nearing 3 Million Donations, Raises $31 Million In April

ABC News reports:

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., hauled in $31.9 million in April (including $600,000 for the general election) to continue his battle for the Democratic nomination against Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, ABC news was first to report tonight. Obama out-raised Clinton -- who raised close to $22 million -- by almost $10 million.


Two hundred thousand new donors joined Obama's effort last month.

Obama has an mighty $37.3 million on hand with $9.2 million tucked away for the general election.

Here's the full breakdown via the Obama campaign:

By the numbers....


New donors in April: 200,000

94% of contributions were under $200

93% of contributions were $100 or less

77% of contributions were $50 or less

52% of contributions were $25 or less


Number of donors to the Obama campaign overall at the end of April: 1.475 million

Number of contributions given: 2,929,000 million

Average donation: $91

Amount raised in April: $31.3 million (plus an additional $600,000 for the general election)

Cash on Hand: $37.3 million (plus an additional $9.2 million for the general election)

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McCain Campaign: Comment Trolls Wanted

Wishing you could be a campaign surrogate, but don't have a national platform? Do you find blogging your own opinions tedious? Wish you could have someone tell you what to think during this political season? Well look no further than John McCain's new blog outreach!

That's right; the McCain camp wants to recruit online supporters and activists to serve as comment trolls. From their website:

Help spread the word about John McCain on news and blog sites. Your efforts to help get the message out about John McCain's policies and plan for the future is one of the most valuable things you can do for this campaign....

Select from the numerous web, blog and news sites listed here, go there, and make your opinions supporting John McCain known. Once you've commented on a post, video or news story, report the details of your comment by clicking the button below.

Now, don't worry if you've never heard of a blog, or never written a comment, or heck, even used a computer. Because not only does the campaign tell you on which blogs to comment -- Redstate for right-wingers, Daily Kos for progressives (sorry HuffPo fans, we didn't make the list) -- it will even tell you what to say! Just click on the Blog Interaction page for "Today's Talking Points."

Just look at today's gem, entitled "Time For Solutions:"

John McCain will put the national interest ahead of partisanship, he will work with anyone who sincerely wants to get this country moving again. If John McCain is elected President, the era of the permanent campaign will end. The era of problem solving will begin.

You might be thinking, "What's in it for me?" As a matter of fact, for every comment the McCain verifies, you will awarded McCain Action Center. Which is important, because in Fantasy Land 2013, those things will replace the dollar as American currency.

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Gallup: Key Clinton voters are shifting to Obama

Warning Following up on yesterday's news that Barack Obama had jumped to a 16-percentage-point lead over Hillary Rodham Clinton in its national "tracking poll" on the Democratic nomination battle, Gallup writes today that "support for Clinton among some of her traditionally stalwart support groups -- women, Easterners, whites, adults with no college education, and Hispanics -- has fallen below 50%."

According to Gallup, "the only major demographic group still supporting Clinton to the tune of 51% or more is women aged 50 and older."

Meanwhile, Obama is tied or ahead of Clinton in Gallup's polling of "non-Hispanic whites," all women, voters with high school degrees "or less" and Hispanics:

Gallup_charts

"At least for now," Gallup concludes, Obama "has expanded his position as the preferred candidate of men, young adults, and highly educated Democrats, and has erased Clinton's advantages with most of her prior core constituency groups, including women, the less well-educated, and whites."

Update at 3 p.m. ET: In today's Gallup tracking poll, Obama leads Clinton by 14 percentage points -- 54%-40%.

Original here

* Money shocker! Hillary Clinton's campaign debt soars

(*UPDATE: Due to a mathematical error, Hillary Clinton's loans to herself were added twice in the calculation of this item. Her total debts are about $21 million, not $31 million. A corrected item covering the first five paragraphs of this one has been published here.)

No wonder Sen. Hillary Clinton was so late filing her required campaign financial reports Tuesday night. Her political team didn't want the shocking news in it to overshadow her lopsided thumping of Sen. Barack Obama in Kentucky.I owe how much!? Hillary Clinton's Democratic presidential campaign discloses she is now nearly $31 million in debt

But here's the morning after, pay-up time. Clinton's campaign debt has now soared to nearly $31 million, according to numbers crunched early this morning by The Times' campaign finance guru, Dan Morain.

She added another $9.5 million in unpaid bills to vendors this last month alone, pushing her total debt to vendors and herself to the new astronomical figure, about a 50% debt increase in one month.

According to a campaign release put out Tuesday evening as election returns revealed her big win in Kentucky and loss in Oregon, Clinton raised "approximately $22 million" from other people in April. The release also touted that $10 million had poured in within 48 hours of another lopsided Clinton victory over Obama, that one in Pennsylvania, and said it was the second best fund-raising month of her entire campaign.

But the number collected is actually closer to $21 million and the release also neglected to mention that she spent $28.9 million, nearly $8 million more than she took in. She used personal loans to make up part of the difference. She also delayed payments to consultants. Including the $9.5 million in unpaid bills from April, she owes consultants and other vendors $19.5 million. Not to mention the total $11.4 million she has loaned herself.

For other campaign finance figures, including surprising financial success by the Republican Party aided by the president, continue reading below the video.

The likely Democratic nominee Obama continues to vastly out-raise Sen. John McCain, but the presumed Republican nominee is closing the money gap with the significant help of his party, according to new campaign finance reports filed Tuesday.

McCain disclosed he had $21.7 million in the bank at the end of April, compared with ...

... Obama’s $46.5 million. But the Republican National Committee is proving to be a real financial equalizer for the Arizona senator with the notorious distaste for fund-raising.

With significant time and help from President George W. Bush, the RNC ended April with $40.6 million in the bank -- 10 times more than the Democratic National Committee, which had a modest $4.4 million in the bank.

The Democratic Party's fund-raising also was a fraction of the Republicans' in April -- a mere $4.7 million, compared with $19.8 million for the RNC.

The DNC’s cash in the bank actually fell from its March total, which was $5.3 million. Democrats have tapped former Vice President Al Gore in an effort to draw donors to party fund-raisers.

Party money can be used to help the nominees in a variety of direct and indirect ways during the general election campaign. Parties can pay for voter registration, voter turnout efforts and advertising.

McCain’s primary fight has long been over, which allowed him to limit spending to $6.4 million last month. Democratic front-runner Obama raised $31.9 million last month and spent $36.4 million, according to his report filed late Tuesday.

McCain disclosed he received $17.8 million in contributions in April, pushing his total receipts to $100.4 million for the whole campaign, less than half of Obama's total of $266.6 million since January 2007.

The freshman Illinois Democrat scooped up $31.9 million last month, a 20% drop from the $40 million he raised in March. He collected $55 million back in February, which seems millions of dollars ago, doesn't it?

-- Andrew Malcolm

Photo: Associated Press

Original here

Why Won't Fox Reveal "Analyst" Karl Rove As A McCain Adviser?

It has now been more than three months since Karl Rove first appeared on television as a Fox News political analyst on Feb 5. In no fewer than 57 appearances, he has increasingly been welcomed into the Fox News fraternity, even joking that the "Hannity & Colmes" show should be renamed the "Colmes & Rove" show. After departing from a Bush administration in political tatters last August, he has reemerged to hold forth at length on the 2008 presidential race. And he may have plenty of seasoned political wisdom to offer Fox's audience. Rove, however, is playing a strategic role that he and the network refuse to reveal to viewers.

Fox News hosts routinely introduce Rove as a "former senior advisor to President Bush," "the architect," a "political wizard" and a "famed political consultant." But never has he been introduced as he should be -- as an informal advisor and maxed-out donor to John McCain's presidential campaign.

To political news junkies, a disclosure of Rove's relationship to the McCain campaign may seem unnecessary. But whether the public simply assumes that Rove supports McCain isn't the point. The "most influential pundit" in America, as Fox likes to trumpet, should have to play by the same rules as other high-profile political analysts. For example, Paul Begala and James Carville are regularly identified as supporters of Hillary Clinton when they appear on CNN. But Rove has been able to act as an independent observer while criticizing Clinton and Barack Obama, McCain's likely general election opponent.

There is nothing shocking about Rove's attacking Democrats, of course. And his operating with a duplicitous air of independence probably isn't going to make or break Fox's claim to "fair and balanced" coverage. But will the greater public catch on?

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Apathy, not ignorance elected George Bush

Not that it's much of a secret, French people think Americans are ignorant. I know this because I was born and raised in Paris. I have to admit that French people have held this opinion for a long time, but that the election and subsequent reelection of George W Bush did little to dispel this widely held belief and strongly reinforced the sentiment. Whenever I come back to France, my friends and family bombard my husband with questions about the collective IQ of America and make snide remarks that Rome is burning, there's no reason to travel to America, that America has become a second rate power and so on and so forth. I've lived in America for 4 years now and I can say that my experience has not matched with this stereotype, Miss Teen South Carolina excluded.

The problem is that America is not a monolith. As everyone knows, George W. Bush lost the popular vote in 2000. But in a sense, so did Al Gore. The reason I say this is because as a foreigner I find something foreign about the low voter turnout in America. When only 54% of Americans who are eligible to vote actually participate, you end up with a President that has only been selected by a little more than one quarter of the population.

By contrast, in France voter participation is seen not as a right, but as a duty. Voter turnout is 84%. But there is more to the high voter turnout than just patriotism. I have thought about this a lot, and I've come to a conclusion. The reason for the high participation level is become of the diversity of candidates. France does not have the two party system that you find in America. There are no fewer than 3 and often many more (like 10) candidates to choose from. People are able to find a candidate they like and actually identify with. The election happens in two votes, the first to select the top 2 candidates and the second to determine the President.

France is not immune to apathy either, though. In 2000, the far right fringe candidate Jean-Marie LePen came in second in the first round of voting because people were unhappy with the candidate they were presented with. The French people were shocked back into their senses by this outcome, and turned out in droves in the second round to prevent LePen from becoming President. This episode in French history reminded everyone how important each vote is and the responsibility that every citizen bares.

In America, it seems that the choice that voters face each election is often between the one you hate and the one you hate less. That's not much of an incentive to get people involved in politics. This time around is different though and not just because everyone knows how incompetent and corrupt the Republicans are. It's because we have a candidate that people are excited about voting for, instead of the only motivation being to vote against the other guy. Want proof? See the sea of 75,000 people who showed up in Portland or the 90+% of donations in April under $200 to the Obama campaign.

If the Primaries are any indication, we are going to see a fundamental shift in voter participation. The number of people coming out to support Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton has been truly astounding. When Obama wins in the fall, it is likely that he will have a strong plurality of the total electorate supporting him.

I'll be a US citizen by 2012. I hope that all of you turn out to vote for Obama this fall, so I don't become another apathetic American. For it is the apathy of the many that gives legitimacy to the ignorance of the few: this is a lesson that we've suffered for 8 years.

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The View co-host brings up Prescott Bush's Nazi ties

When host Whoopi Goldberg raised the issue of George W. Bush's comparing anyone who wants to talk to Iran or Syria with the appeasers of Nazi Germany on Monday's edition of ABC's The View, the panel erupted into furious debate.

Conservative Elizabeth Hasselbeck repeatedly attempted to question whether Bush's remarks were really aimed at Barack Obama. She insisted, "It's not always about him," and suggested Obama is being defensive because he knows his support for talks with Iran is a weak spot.

"I think the president was very clear in what he meant," Goldberg replied tartly.

"The Bush administration is out there talking to North Korea, talking to Syria," noted liberal Joy Behar. "Isn't that what diplomacy is about? This guy doesn't know the difference between the word 'diplomacy' and 'appeasement.' He's just stupid."

"One more point," continued Behar, pulling out a prepared statement. "It's very interesting and ironic that George Bush, Senior's -- er, George Bush, this one -- his grandfather -- this one -- the late -- I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but in this case it's fun -- he was a United States senator, Prescott Bush. Okay -- he was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany."

"This is his grandfather," Behar continued. "He has no business talking to Jewish people when he's got this right in his backyard."

"How come you can bring up this backyard but then it's not alright to dig into Obama's backyard and family history?" was all the flustered Hasselbeck could find to say.

RAW STORY's Larisa Alexandrovna also cited the Prescott Bush connection last week. In her blog, at-Largely, she wrote:

Dear Mr. Bush,

Your speech on the Knesset floor today was not only a disgrace; it was nothing short of treachery. Worse still, your exploitation of the Holocaust in a country carved out of the wounds of that very crime, in order to strike a low blow at American citizens whose politics differs from your own is unforgivable and unpardonable. ...

Well Mr. Bush, the only thing this comment lacked was a mirror and some historical facts. You want to discuss the crimes of Nazis against my family and millions of other families in Europe during World War II? Let me revive a favorite phrase of yours: Bring. It. On!

Your family's fortune is built on the bones of the very people butchered by the Nazis, my family and the families of those in the Knesset who applauded you today. ...

You family did not stop with supporting fascists and Nazis abroad, did they Mr. Bush? Surely you must know of your grandfather's role in the treasonous plot of 1933 to overthrow democracy in America? Let me remind you.

Grandpa Bush - that is to say, your grandfather - wanted fascism imported into the United States, or as you now call this type of transformation, "exporting democracy." Prescott went so far as to subsidize a coup attempt in order to achieve his dream of a fascist America.

This video is from ABC's The View, broadcast May 19, 2008.


Download video
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Shameless


The Clintons know no respect for rules or propriety or restraint in the pursuit of power. But Clinton's latest speech in Florida should cause even veteran Clinton-hating jaws to drop some more:

Now, I know that Senator Obama chose to remove his name from the ballot in Michigan, and that was his right. But his choice does not negate the votes of all those who turned out to cast their ballots, and we should not let our process rob them and all of you of your voices. To do so would undermine the very purpose of the nominating process. To ensure that as many Democrats as possible can cast their votes. To ensure that the party selects a nominee who truly represents the will of the voters and to ensure that the Democrats take back the White House to rebuild America.

Now, I’ve heard some say that counting Florida and Michigan would be changing the rules.

I say that not counting Florida and Michigan is changing a central governing rule of this country - that whenever we can understand the clear intent of the voters, their votes should be counted. I remember very well back in 2000, there were those who argued that people's votes should be discounted over technicalities. For the people of Florida who voted in this primary, the notion of discounting their votes sounds way too much of the same.

How do you respond to a sociopath like this? She agreed that Michigan and Florida should be punished for moving up their primaries. Obama took his name off the ballot in deference to their agreement and the rules of the party. That he should now be punished for playing by the rules and she should be rewarded for skirting them is unconscionable.

I think she has now made it very important that Obama not ask her to be the veep. The way she is losing is so ugly, so feckless, so riddled with narcissism and pathology that this kind of person should never be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

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Obama wins Oregon, clinches pledged-delegate lead

Democratic front-runner Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) inched closer to his party’s nomination Tuesday night, winning the Oregon primary and securing a majority of pledged delegates.

Despite another landslide loss to rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in Kentucky earlier in the evening, Obama further strengthened his hand with the Tuesday night win.

Obama aides have said repeatedly in recent days that the Illinois senator would not declare victory Tuesday night, focusing instead on the mathematical landmark in a speech from Iowa — the state that launched his run to verge of the nomination almost six months ago.

The Obama campaign has in recent days appeared wary of offending Clinton supporters by suggesting that the former first lady should withdraw from the race. Instead, Obama has trained his fire on presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

For her part, Clinton has vowed to continue the fight even as she has blunted her once-intense criticism of Obama. Her big win in Kentucky, however, continued to highlight the problems Obama has had with white, rural voters.

A week earlier, Clinton beat Obama by 41 points in West Virginia.

Regardless of the two big losses, superdelegates have been moving to Obama’s column at a far greater pace than they have moved to Clinton’s.

Obama secured the support of two high-profile superdelegates over the past week in Sen. Robert Byrd (W.Va.) and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards.

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Michael Savage plays Dead Kennedys song "in some respect for" Sen. Kennedy

Summary: On the day it was announced that Sen. Ted Kennedy had been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage opened his show by interspersing audio of Kennedy singing "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes" with clips of news reporters discussing Kennedy's diagnosis and audio from Kindergarten Cop in which Arnold Schwarzenegger's character says, "It's not a tumor." Later, Savage played the Dead Kennedys song "California Über Alles" after stating: "The poor guy's been suffering for years, you know? Unfairly he's been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated. And so, to cut this out in some respect for Ted Kennedy, here's a tune coming at you from the Dead Kennedys. Go ahead and play it, please."

Following the announcement that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage opened his May 20 show by interspersing audio of Kennedy singing "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes" with clips of news reporters discussing Kennedy's diagnosis and audio from the 1990 film Kindergarten Cop in which Arnold Schwarzenegger's character says, "It's not a tumor." Later, Savage played the Dead Kennedys song "California Über Alles" after stating: "The poor guy's been suffering for years, you know? Unfairly he's been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated. And so, to cut this out in some respect for Ted Kennedy, here's a tune coming at you from the Dead Kennedys. Go ahead and play it, please."

After reading from the lyrics of "California Über Alles," Savage said, "No gloating today, no laughter, all serious. You don't joke about a man's cancer. I do it, but I won't do it today; it's something I will not do." At one point in the program, he told a caller, "You know I'm playing the Dead Kennedys not to mock Ted Kennedy. It's just appropriate, that's all."

Later in the program, Savage aired a clip of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) offering a tribute to Kennedy on the Senate floor before describing Byrd as "a senile senator" and "a walking psycho." Savage went on to assert, "For years now, Byrd has been blubbering on the floor of the Senate. For years, I mean, to be honest, Kennedy didn't seem sane to me." He continued, "Forget about the drunk stories and all that -- anybody can drink. The guy sounded like he was off for years, I'm sorry."

Savage subsequently aired a clip of Kennedy singing "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes" before he asserted, "This is running America. No wonder [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's racing ahead with a nuclear weapon. He's afraid of these old men? He's afraid of these men who don't know what they're talking about? They don't know what they're talking about. No wonder Al Gore can receive a prize -- a Nobel Prize for something that doesn't exist. No wonder. Nobody knows what's going on." Savage added, "Either they're senile, or they're bought out, or they're corrupt, or they're crazy, or they're on medication. And we the people are sitting here saying, 'The king has no clothes,' and the king says, 'Off with your head.' Play 'California Über Alles' by the Dead Kennedys for me. I'm not going to get too worked up right now -- lunch is coming up for me anyway."

In February, discussing the death of Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), the only member of Congress to have survived the Holocaust, Savage stated, "You're not supposed to talk badly about the dead. I generally wouldn't do it. But in the case of Tom Lantos, I'll make an exception. I think he was one of the most -- he was a scoundrel. And I'll tell you why I detested Tom Lantos. The man survived the Holocaust of World War II and used it as a weapon the rest of his life."

Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Savage's show, says that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches more than 8.25 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it one of the most listened-to talk radio shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.

From the May 20 edition of Talk Radio Network's The Savage Nation:

[begin audio clip]

[Ted Kennedy singing "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes"]

VARIOUS REPORTERS: Our breaking news this afternoon: Ted Kennedy ... Tumor in the left lobe of his brain ... Malignant brain tumor ... This is a malignant brain tumor ... Let me, let me pick your brain -- on probably the area you know best ... He's showing great energy --

SCHWARZENEGGER: It's not a tumor.

KENNEDY: Mucho mas gracias a todos. Estoy muy contento estar aqui en Los Angeles con ustedes.

SCHWARZENEGGER: It's not a tumor, at all.

REPORTER: His mental faculties are obviously not impaired in any fashion.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Brain tumor.

VARIOUS REPORTERS: Often don't spread very quickly ... Seizure ... A malignant brain tumor.

SCHWARZENEGGER: It's not a tumor.

VARIOUS REPORTERS: Malignant brain tumor ... Breaking news today that Senator Ted Kennedy is suffering from a malignant brain tumor.

[Kennedy singing "Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes"]

[end audio clip]

SAVAGE: All right, guys, you know, this is not funny. You know, it's sad that Kennedy was showing signs for years. I knew it when he almost stumbled in the Senate gallery once and Dianne Feinstein [D-CA] had to finish a sentence for him. Remember that? I -- it was frightening. It was right out of The Manchurian Candidate -- he lost himself in the middle.

The poor guy's been suffering for years, you know? Unfairly he's been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated. And so, to cut this out in some respect for Ted Kennedy, here's a tune coming at you from the Dead Kennedys. Go ahead and play it, please.

[music clip of the Dead Kennedys' "California Über Alles"]

SAVAGE [speaking over music clip]: "Big bro on white horse is near. The hippies won't come back, you say, mellow out or you will pay. Now it is 1984. California, California."

It is The Savage Nation. No gloating today, no laughter, all serious. You don't joke about a man's cancer. I do it, but I won't do it today; it's something I will not do. That song, by the way, by the Dead Kennedys is called "California Über Alles," dates from 1979, and the words are amazing. Just start it again; I want to read you some of the words after we bring them up to speed.

["California Über Alles" plays]

SAVAGE: OK, now, let me explain. The lyrics are "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys from 1979 -- all right, turn off the music.

"I am Governor Jerry Brown," it says. "My aura smiles and never frowns. Soon I will be president, Carter power will soon go away. I will be führer one day. I will command all of you, your kids will meditate in school. Your kids will meditate in school." Then they go into the chorus, California Über Alles, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Über Alles, California.

Now listen to the lyrics: "Zen fascists will control you" -- ooh. "100 percent natural, you will jog for the master race and always wear the happy face. Close your eyes, can't happen here, big bro on white horse is near. The hippies won't come back, you say, mellow out or you will pay, mellow out or you will pay."

Chorus: "Now it is 1984, knock-knock at your front door. It's the suede denim secret police, they have come for your uncool niece. Come quietly to the camp, you'd look nice as a drawstring lamp. Don't you worry, it's only a shower, for your clothes here is a pretty flower. Die on organic poison gas, serpent's eggs already hatched. You will croak, you little clown, when you mess with President Brown, when you mess with President Brown." Play the refrain all over again. It's The Savage Nation and -- that's it, play it, already, play California --

["California Über Alles" plays]

SAVAGE: Boom, boom. Bah. Bing. Sad, very sad day. Very sad day. No more Jalisco songs, nothing. No more discordant hectoring from the Senate floor. Very sad. Want to hear the stories to go with this?

All right, then. I mean, I don't know. I'd rather listen to the Dead Kennedys all day than tell you the following story. McCain courts left-wing bloggers. That's right.

[...]

SAVAGE: Play "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys, dedicated to the one I love. "I am governor."

["California Über Alles" plays]

I'm sorry. I like it. I'm having fun today. I'm not celebrating. I feel good. I've always liked punk rock music. I consider The Savage Nation sort of the punkers of the -- the punk rock of talk radio.

When you think of -- turn it off already, I said -- read my mind. When I think turn it off, it should go off without my even saying it. You're supposed to be inside my brain already.

"California Über" -- you know, when you think about it -- here they are. The lyrics are very funny. They're saying, "I'm Governor Jerry Brown. Soon I'll be president; I'll be führer one day." Now, he was a left-winger, Jerry Brown [current attorney general of California], and here they're saying he'll be führer, and you're gonna have to jog for the master race. Zen fascists will control you. Mellow out or you'll pay. Listen to this: "It's the suede denim secret police, they've come for your uncool niece."

So he's, like, saying, the Zen left wing is going to become the fascists, and like I'm saying to you on The Savage Nation for the last 15 years, I carved out the independent arena here on talk radio. I warned you I'm not a Republican. I've told you I'm not a Democrat. I've told you I'm not a liberal. I told you I'm not a Republican. I told you I'm not a liberal. I told you I'm not a liberal. I told you I'm not a liberal. I told you I'm not a Republican. I told you I'm not a Republican.

So in essence, that leaves me here for you. I'll be The Savage Nation for the rest of my life, irrespective of what John McCain's bartender thinks.

Phone number 1-800-449-8255. MichaelSavage.com is the website. Let's go to the first caller of the day, Rick in Las Vegas, welcome to the program. What's on your mind?

CALLER: Michael, you're the man. I'm a corrections officer over here in Las Vegas, and I've been listening to you for about 15 years, and I always knew you were a closet punk rocker. Keep it up, man. DKs all the way.

SAVAGE: Oh, God. I was terrified when you said, "I knew you were a closet." I said, "Oh, God, I have to cut this one off."

CALLER: [laughs] No.

SAVAGE: [laughs] Oh, man. I was ready on that cough-drop press. I would've cut myself off. No, I was all ready. So you're a corrections officer, and you listen to punk music in your headphones?

CALLER: Oh, no, not at work. I'm just saying, I've been -- you know, I've been into punk rock since I was -- in 1980. And, you know, I'm from L.A. originally, but I've been listening to you for a long time. Like I said, this is the third time I've talked to you. You're my hero.

SAVAGE: You know I'm playing the Dead Kennedys not to mock Ted Kennedy. It's just appropriate, that's all.

CALLER: It was perfect, it was perfect. You're the man.

SAVAGE: All right. You understand it. You see, the straight people can't get it. People who are too straight don't understand anything. They don't understand sarcasm, they don't understand satire, they don't understand humor. They have no idea what's going on around them. But I do. So my job is to do what I do.

There are other stories out there. McCain courts left-wing bloggers.

[...]

SAVAGE: That's the country we live in. The same series of federal courts that are so out of touch with reality now says to us that money discriminates against the blind. Where will it end, ladies and gentlemen? It will end with us playing, before this break, "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys. That's where it will end.

["California Über Alles" plays]

SAVAGE: It will end, my friends, with the suede denim secret police, coming to your home for your uncool niece.

For your clothes, there'll be a pretty flower. Dying on organic poison gas, when you mess with the good liberals.

It doesn't get better than this. Nobody could do this in radio. Nobody could do this in radio. Nobody could do this in radio.

Seventy thousand feet. Nobody could do this in radio. Eighty-five thousand feet. Altitude, altitude, altitude. Watch your ceiling, watch your ceiling. Ninety thousand feet. Watch your altitude. Beep, beep, beep. Altitude: 98,000 feet. Watch your altitude, watch your altitude. Warning lights are going off. Watch your altitude. A hundred thousand feet. Beep, beep, beep. Airframe designed only for 99,000 feet. Watch your altitude, watch your altitude, watch your altitude.

I'll be back. Be here. You know where.

[...]

SAVAGE: Now, if you think that the America that you once loved is dying, I won't argue with you. And if you think that we have a bunch of senile old coots running Congress, what I'm about to play for you will confirm your worst fears. Here is the whack job, ex-Ku Klux Klan member Robert Byrd, Democrat, reacting to the Ted Kennedy brain tumor report today. Listen to clip 11. It's not made up. Listen.

BYRD [audio clip]: Ted. Ted. My dear friend, I love you and I miss you. And Erma, Erma, Erma, my darling wife, Erma, would want to say thank God for you, Ted. Thank God for you.

SAVAGE: I'm asking you, would a sane nation permit a senile senator to hold his seat? You gently send in orderlies in white coats, and they gently remove the old man, and they put him in a chair -- strap him in -- in the Senate retirement home, and wheel him over next to a curtain facing a nice outdoor window, and three times a day they feed it. And that's the end of it. This man has a vote? This man can decide whether or not Iran is a threat? This man can decide whether or not global warming is real? This man can decide anything? Listen to this. This is a sitting senator, you fools. Listen to clip 11.

BYRD [audio clip]: My dear friend, I love you and I miss you. And Erma --

SAVAGE: Oh, my God. Get him off. Get this old -- get him off my show. This is unbelievable to me. Now, you want -- you try to understand why the country's in the shape it's in. They've got literally a walking psycho there. And we've known it for years by the things he does. For years now, Byrd has been blubbering on the floor of the Senate. For years, I mean, to be honest, Kennedy didn't seem sane to me. Forget about the drunk stories and all that -- anybody can drink. The guy sounded like he was off for years, I'm sorry. When he would give that -- he gave a speech about a year ago, I forget the topic. He could not finish the speech, Kennedy couldn't. Feinstein had to come from the side and speak to him like from the wings, like the queen of diamonds. And he's, "Oh, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah." And then this Jalisco song -- play Jalisco for a minute. Play Jalisco.

KENNEDY [singing]: Jalisco, Jalisco, Jalisco.

SAVAGE: Or Jalisco, excuse me.

KENNEDY [singing]: Tu tienes tu novia. Me Guadalajara.

SAVAGE: Come on. OK, you get the picture? This is running America. No wonder Ahmadinejad's racing ahead with a nuclear weapon. He's afraid of these old men? He's afraid of these men who don't know what they're talking about? They don't know what they're talking about. No wonder Al Gore can receive a prize -- a Nobel Prize for something that doesn't exist. No wonder. Nobody knows what's going on. Either they're senile, or they're bought out, or they're corrupt, or they're crazy, or they're on medication. And we the people are sitting here saying, "The king has no clothes," and the king says, "Off with your head." Play "California Über Alles" by the Dead Kennedys for me. I'm not going to get too worked up right now -- lunch is coming up for me anyway.

["California Über Alles" plays]

—R.C., K.H., G.J., & L.Y.

Greg Johnson is an intern at Media Matters for America.
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