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Monday, November 3, 2008

Fox News' Major Garrett Defends Obama Against "Fox & Friends" In Leaked E-Mail

Fox News correspondent Major Garrett shot back in defense of Barack Obama against the network's morning show's effort to suggest that he has ignored Fox News throughout the campaign. In an internal email obtained by the Huffington Post, Garrett — who has been Fox News' correspondent following the Obama campaign — took issue with a planned "Fox & Friends" segment about whether Obama will try to control the media, using "KICKED REPORTERS OFF PLANE, IGNORE FNC, BIDEN FL AV INTVIEW" as "examples he's already done."

"May I point out Obama has done 5 interviews with me and one with Chris Wallace, one with Brit Hume and one with Bill O'Reilly," Garrett replied-all to a "Fox & Friends" producer's email. "That's 8 interviews. Would I like more? Yes. Would Chris Wallace? Yes. Would Brit and O'Reilly like more? Of course."

The e-mail, which went to a significant portion of Fox News staff, continued, comparing Obama's eight interviews with Fox News to the five Hillary Clinton gave the network.

"Just a note to add some real numbers and a grain of context," Garrett said. "Apologies if I left out any other big interview of Obama [or] Clinton on our network."

The planned guest, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell, did appear but the segment was retooled to discuss the media coverage of Obama's remarks on the coal industry.

Read the full e-mail below:

-----Original Message-----
From: Garrett, Major
Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2008 9:23 PM
To: [redacted]
Subject: Re: F & F Guests, November 3, 2008

In the context of the 6:15 am B Block "IGNORE FNC" segment, may I point out Obama has done 5 interviews with me and one with Chris Wallace, one with Brit Hume and one with Bill O'Reilly. That's 8 interviews. Would I like more? Yes. Would Chris Wallace? Yes. Would Brit and O'Reilly like more? Of course.


But it's still 8 interviews with FNC in this campaign. By comparison, my count is the Hillary Clinton did 5 FNC interviews with FNC during the campaign: 3 with me, one with Chris Wallace and one with O'Reilly. This does not count morning round-robins done during the primaries as those tend not to have any selectivity to them.

Just a note to add some real numbers and a grain of context. Apologies if I left out any other big interview of Obama of Clinton on our network.

MG
Major Garrett
Fox News

----- Original Message -----
From: [redacted]
To: [redacted]
Sent: Sun Nov 02 19:59:31 2008
Subject: F & F Guests, November 3, 2008

FOX & FRIENDS GUESTS FOR MONDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2008 - 1 DAY UNTIL THE
ELECTION!
*** 5AM START!!!! ***

5:00 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES // TALKING POINTS

----------------------
5:15 (B-BLOCK) - 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))
&
JUAN WILLIAMS, POLITICAL ANALYST & FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR & JAMES T.
HARRIS, CONSERVATIVE RADIO TALK SHOW HOST ((BOTH GUESTS ON SET))
TOPIC: OBAMA'S NEW ATTACK ON THOSE WHO DON'T WANT HIGHER TAXES,
"SELFISHNESS"
----------------------
5:22 (C-BLOCK) - 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))

& CARRYOVER W/ JUAN & JAMES - TOPIC 2 - THE ABILITY TO LOWER TAXES
WORKED FOR IRELAND, WHY WOULDN'T IT WORK FOR US? ((BOTH GUESTS ON SET))
(
----------------------
5:29 (D-BLOCK) - BUMP-IN - TBD

// News HEADLINES - INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS // SPORTS

PKG HOW WE GOT HERE: OBAMA ((PKG TRT: 3:22 OC: (music sting)))
----------------------
5:45 (E-BLOCK) - MINI NEWS ((ANCHOR))

&
PKG HOW WE GOT HERE: MCCAIN ((PKG 3:20: , OC: (music sting)))
----------------------
5:52 (F-BLOCK) - JOHN FUND - TOPIC - VOTING ISSUES - EARLY VOTING - IS
IT A GOOD THING? OR IS IT CREATING MORE PROBLEMS? ((NY STUDIO))
====================================================================
5:59 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES // TALKING POINTS

----------------------
6:15 (B-BLOCK) - 2 STORIES ((ANCHOR))

& BRENT BOZELL- WILL OBAMA TRY TO CONTROL THE MEDIA? EXAMPLES HE'S
ALREADY DONE- KICKED REPORTERS OFF PLANE, IGNORE FNC, BIDEN FL AV
INTVIEW, ((DC BUREAU))
----------------------
6:22 (C-BLOCK) - POP UP POLITICS ((ANCHOR))

& CARRYOVER (MUST CARRY OVER BRENT BOZELL) ((DC BUREAU))
>> BDAY IN TEASE

----------------------
6:29 (D-BLOCK) - BUMP-IN - TBD

// News HEADLINES - INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS // SPORTS

6D - RICK BURGESS & BUBBA BUSSEY: RADIO HOSTS "RICK & BUBBA SHOW" LIVE
FROM THEIR STUDIO-- WHAT ARE THEY HEARING? - INCL OBAMA'S "SELFISHNESS"
SOT ((BIRMINGHAM))

----------------------
6:45 (E-BLOCK) - MINI NEWS ((ANCHOR))
&
DAVID FREDOSSO - TOPIC: THE CHICAGO MACHINE - POLITICS OBAMA IS USED TO
VS POLITICS OF WASHINGTON
((DC BUREAU))
----------------------
6:52 (F-BLOCK) - PETER JOHNSON JR - TOPIC - THE CANDIDATES ON HEALTH
CARE ((ON SET))

====================================================================
6:59 (A-BLOCK) COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES - INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS

----------------------
7:15 (B-BLOCK) - MITT ROMNEY - TOPIC - NEWS OF THE DAY ((TOLEDO))
POOL SCHEDULE
6:30 NBC pretape
6:40 ABC pretape
6:54 CNN live
7:05 CBS live
7:15 Fox live
7:35 MSNBC live

----------------------
7:22 (C-BLOCK) - GERALDINE FERRARO, FORMER DEMOCRATIC VICE PRESIDENTIAL
NOMINEE & & RICH LOWRY EDITOR, NATIONAL REVIEW TOPIC -

----------------------
7:29 (D-BLOCK) BUMP IN - TBD

// News HEADLINES - INCLUDE WX & SPORTS // TALKING POINTS

7D - SEN. CLAIRE MCCASKILL, (D-MO) NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, OBAMA CAMPAIGN
TOPIC - NEWS OF THE DAY ((KANSAS CITY, MO))

----------------------
7:45 (E-BLOCK) - THIS DAY IN HISTORY ((ANCHOR))

& STEPHEN MOORE, WSJ -SENIOR ECONOMIC WRITER - TOPIC: HOW IRELAND'S TAX
CUTS HELPED THEIR ECONOMY ((DC BUREAU))
----------------------
7:52 (F-BLOCK) - PETER JOHNSON JR - VOTER FRAUD - THINGS THAT CAN GO
WRONG DURING VOTING, OR ON ELEX DAY (BASED ON TIME MAG ARTICLE) ((ON
SET))

====================================================================
7:59 (A-BLOCK) // COLD OPEN // QUICK TEASE

// News HEADLINES - INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS
8A - KARL ROVE, FORMER CHIEF POLITICAL STRATEGIST TO PRESIDENT BUSH -
TOPIC PRE-ELECTION POLLS - IS THE RACE TIGHTENING? ((IN STUDIO))
----------------------

8:15 (B-BLOCK) - JOHN BOLTON, FORMER US AMBASSADOR TO THE UN - THE EARLY
TESTS FROM ABROAD ((DALLAS BUREAU))
----------------------
8:22 (C-BLOCK) - MINI NEWS

& - JOE THE PLUMBER - TOPIC -PLUNDERING THE PLUMBER'S RECORDS (HER
COLUMN FROM 10/31) - WASH POST ARTICLE TODAY "The Wurzelbacher Effect" -
ANOTHER MEDIA ATTACK ON JOE. ((ON SET))

----------------------
8:29 (D-BLOCK) - BUMP IN - TBD

// News HEADLINES - INCLUDE WX // TALKING POINTS // SPORTS
>> PULL SOT FROM JOE'S 8C INTV?
MICHELLE MALKIN - MICHELLEMALKIN.COM - TOPIC -PLUNDERING THE PLUMBER'S
RECORDS (HER COLUMN FROM 10/31) - WASH POST ARTICLE SUNDAY "THE
WURZELBACHER EFFECT" - ANOTHER MEDIA ATTACK ON JOE. ((DENVER BUREAU))

& ----------------------

8:45 (E-BLOCK) - LAWRENCE EAGLEBURGER - FMR SECY OF STATE UNDER GEORGE
H.W. BUSH, ALSO SERVED UNDER NIXON, REAGAN & CARTER ADMINISTRATIONS AND
IS A MCCAIN SUPPORTER ((CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA)) - WHICH CANDIDATE HAS
BETTER FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE?

----------------------
8:52 (F-BLOCK) - DAN GAINOR, BUSINESS & MEDIA INSTITUTE. TOPIC: AMERICA
2012: FACTS ABOUT WHAT THE NEXT PRESIDENT'S FIRST TERM WILL DO TO
ENERGY, HEALTH CARE AND YOUR WALLET VS WHAT THE MEDIA HAS TOLD YOU
((DC BUREAU))

----------------------
8:58 (G-BLOCK) - GOODBYE

**POST TAPE**
MOTHER OF ANCHORMAN ANNE PRESSLY ((ON SET))
========================================================================
====
REMOTES:

JIM ANGLE, UNSURE ABOUT STARTING TIME

STEVE BROWN FROM OHIO, STARTING AT 7AM

PETER BARNES ON THE ELECTION

Original here

McCain campaign’s last minute distortion of Obama’s coal record an act of desperation

United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

“Sen. John McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have once again demonstrated that they are willing to say anything and do anything to win this election. Their latest twisting of the truth is about coal and some comments Sen. Obama made last January about the future use of coal in America.

“Here is what the McCain campaign left out of Sen. Obama’s actual words: ‘But this notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion. Because the fact of the matter is, is that right now we are getting a lot of our energy from coal. And China is building a coal-powered plant once a week. So what we have to do then is figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon. And how can we sequester that carbon and capture it.’

“Sen. Obama has been consistent with that message not just in the coalfields, but everywhere else he goes as well. Despite what the McCain campaign and some far right-wing blogs would have Americans believe, Sen. Obama has been and remains a tremendous supporter of coal and the future of coal.

“I noted that Sen. McCain even went so far yesterday as to say he has always been a supporter of coal. I wonder, then, how he can justify his statement at a Senate hearing in 2000 that, ‘In a perfect world we would like to transition away from coal entirely,’ and his leading role in sponsoring legislation in 2003 that would have wiped out 78 percent of all coal production in America?

“Fortunately, UMWA members, their families and their friends and neighbors in the coalfields know all too well what is going on here. They’re not going to fall for it, and we urge others throughout America who care about coal to review what the candidates’ records on coal actually are. We are confident that once they do, and once they see the many other benefits to working families of voting for Sen. Obama, they will make the right choice for themselves and their families

Original here

Obama's Columbus stop draws 60,000 to Statehouse lawn

Barack Obama, center, waves with his wife Michelle, left, daughters Malia, right, and Sasha, lower middle, Sunday in Columbus.
( ASSOCIATED PRESS )


COLUMBUS — A throng some 60,000 people strong filled the lawn in front of the Statehouse and flowed into the streets Sunday as Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama made his closing arguments to Ohio for a vote to end what he called the "nightmare" of the last eight years.

And despite the beat of the message of his closing theme, "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," and polls showing him in the lead, the Illinois senator was leaving nothing to chance. He pointed the way toward Veterans Memorial just across the Scioto River where Franklin County residents were voting as he spoke.

"We began this journey, not on a beautiful day like this — it was cold that day, 7 degrees — on the steps of the old capitol in Springfield, Ill.…," he said.

"We knew how steep our climb would be… I was convinced that when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists, the most vicious political attacks...

"That was the premise of this candidacy," he said. "Twenty-one months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated, regardless of what happens on Tuesday. That’s how we’ve come so close."

Mr. Obama hoped to close the deal with a trio of large rallies that are likely to be his last of the campaign in the state that decided the 2004 election. From Columbus, he headed to Cleveland for a Bruce Springsteen concert and rally in Cleveland with plans to then fly south for one final rally under the stadium lights of the University of Cincinnati in the city he has visited most often.
Mr. Obama, who was accompanied by his wife, Michelle, and Gov. Ted Strickland, appeared relaxed, laughing at some of his own lines on the front steps of the Statehouse.

He praised Republican nominee John McCain’s "funny" appearance on Saturday Night Live the night before just before leashing the Arizona senator to the economic and foreign affairs policies of the Bush administration.

"President Bush is sitting out the last few days before the election," he said. "But yesterday Dick Cheney came out of his undisclosed location.

"Don’t need to boo. You just need to vote," he said in response to the crowd’s reaction. "Dick Cheney came out, and he hit the campaign trail. He said, and I quote, that he is ‘delighted’ to support John McCain. You’ve never seen Dick Cheney delighted before, but he is. That’s kind of hard to picture. So, I would like to congratulate Senator McCain on this endorsement, because he really earned it…

""Here’s my question to you, Ohio," he said. "Do you think Dick Cheney is delighted to support John McCain because he thinks John McCain is going to bring change, because he thinks that somehow John McCain is really going to shake things up, get rid of the lobbyists, and Haliburton, and the old boys club in Washington? Ohio, we know better. We’re not going to be hoodwinked."

The McCain campaign took aim at Mr. Obama’s characterization as "simple economics" his own plan to lower taxes for those earning less than $250,000 while allowing the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than that to expire.

"Barack Obama’s plan is indeed simple," McCain-Palin spokesman Brian Rogers said. "He will raise taxes. He will grow government. With only two days until the election, Barack Obama offers nothing but the same old tired tax-and-spend policies that will only kill Ohio jobs and deepen our economic crisis."

Veterans’ Memorial was only scheduled to be open until 5 p.m. for early voting, despite attempts by Democrats to convince the bipartisan county board of elections to keep it open longer. But Governor Strickland had a plan, knowing that early voting would continue as long as people were still in line after that time.

He shouted to the crowd that he wanted enough to make the trip so that "at midnight tonight and at 2 a.m., tomorrow morning people will still be in line registering their voters for Barack Obama and Joe Biden… This thing could be wrapped up before the polls open on Nov. 4."

Mr. Obama may be gone after Sunday, but his campaign here goes on. Running mate Joe Biden will be back Monday for rallies in Zanesville and suburban Akron.

Republican vice president nominee Sarah Palin continued the push for Ohio’s critical 20 electoral votes with rallies Sunday and another visit planned for Lakewood near Cleveland on Monday.

Shelley Smith, 23, a Minnesota native newly registered in Ohio, took time off Thursday afternoon from her job at a health care company to stand in line for two and a half hours at Veteran’s Memorial for Mr. Obama. She was in line at 9 a.m., for Sunday’s Statehouse rally more than four hours later.

"I’m angry about the last eight years, and I actually trust him," she said. "I may get let down. He is a politician."

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com, or 614-221-0496.

Original here

Lies, Half Truths and Contradictions: Chronicle ''Hidden'' Audio on Obama

It's not true.

But the Drudge Report, the Republican National Committee and apparently even GOP VP candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fell for completely fabricated news from a shady website called Newsbusters today suggesting the San Francisco Chronicle has ''hidden'' audio with Sen. Barack Obama regarding his statements on coal.

''Barack Obama explained his plan to the San Francisco Chronicle this year,'' she told a rally in Ohio Sunday. ''He said that sure, if the industry wants to build coal-fired power plants, then they can go ahead and try, he says, but they can do it only in a way that will bankrupt the coal industry.''

She added, ''And you've got to listen to the tape.''

''Why is the audiotape just now surfacing?'' Palin asked the crowd, according to a report from CBS News. Someone in the crowd shouted, ''Liberal media!'

Let's be very clear: the Chronicle did not, and has never, hidden any interview, audio or video, of Obama from its readers.

The truth: the paper's January editorial board session with Obama included comments about coal. The entire interview has been in the public domain, available on line to the public -- and to the McCain campaign -- since early January.

''How can anyone suggest that we hid an interview that we did, immediately put up on the web -- and advertised to our readers,'' said editorial page editor John Diaz Sunday, regarding his hosting of Obama at the session. ''We promoted it like like hell...and I'm sure the Clinton campaign and the McCain campaign scrubbed it. You can still find the whole 48 minutes and 33 seconds on line.''

Obama's campaign responded to Palin's comments today, noting correctly that the wide-ranging interview also included the Illinois Senator's comments that the idea of eliminating coal plants was ''an illusion.''

Apparently neither campaign, until now, ever felt there was much worth mentioning regarding Obama's coal comments. But it's now two days before the election and McCain is in a do-or-die battle in Pennsylvania and Ohio.

A final note: the shoddy Newsbusters blog has been caught in the past simply fabricating news regarding the Chronicle's coverage. Our paper has demanded corrections for their fiction, but to no avail.

We contacted Bill Riggs, regional press secretary of the Republican National Committee tonight on his emailing of this erroneous report suggesting a ''hidden'' Chronicle audiotape to political reporters. His response: he didn't confirm it, or write the headline. He just sent it out.

He got taken. And so did the rest.

Posted By: Carla Marinucci (Email)

Original here

Last of the Culture Warriors

By Peter Beinart

Why has America turned on Sarah Palin? Obviously, her wobbly television interviews haven't helped. Nor have the drip, drip of scandals from Alaska, which have tarnished her reformist image. But Palin's problems run deeper, and they say something fundamental about the political age being born. Palin's brand is culture war, and in America today culture war no longer sells. The struggle that began in the 1960s -- which put questions of racial, sexual and religious identity at the forefront of American politics -- may be ending. Palin is the end of the line.
This won't be the first time a culture war has come to a close. In the 1920s, battles over evolution, immigration, prohibition and the resurgent Ku Klux Klan dominated election after election. And those issues played into that era's version of the red-blue divide, pitting newly arrived, saloon-frequenting, big-city Catholics against old-stock, teetotaling, small-town Protestants. In 1924, the Democratic convention split so bitterly over prohibition and the Klan that it took more than 100 ballots to nominate a candidate for president.

Then, in the 1930s, the culture war died. A big reason was the Depression, which put questions of economic survival front and center. In the 1920s boom economy, politicians were largely free to focus on identity politics. By Franklin Roosevelt's election in 1932, that was a luxury America's leaders could no longer afford.

The other thing that killed the '20s culture war was generational change. Over time, Catholics and other immigrants left their ghettos and began to assimilate. The cutoff of mass immigration in 1924 ushered in an era of cultural consolidation in which the differences among white Americans came to matter less and less. When Democrats nominated a Catholic, Al Smith, for president in 1928, he lost in a landslide. But by 1960, when they nominated John F. Kennedy, he grabbed a far larger share of the Protestant vote, and won.

Something similar is happening today. Our era's culture war also began in prosperity. It was in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the high point of America's postwar boom, that African Americans took to the streets in vast numbers to demand equal rights. And it was in the early 1960s, as a result of the vast increase in postwar college enrollment, that students began challenging the conformity of American life. In 1962, the Port Huron Statement spoke of a generation "bred in at least modest comfort." It was those middle-class baby boomers who sparked the movements for women's rights and gay rights and the rise in blue-state secularism, all of which helped touch off this era's culture war.

The relationship between prosperity and cultural conflict isn't exact, of course, but it is significant that during this era's culture war we've gone a quarter-century without a serious recession. Economic issues have mattered in presidential elections, of course, but not until today have we faced an economic crisis so grave that it made cultural questions seem downright trivial. In 2000, in the wake of an economic boom and a sex scandal that led to a president's impeachment, 22 percent of Americans told exit pollsters that "moral values" were their biggest concern, compared with only 19 percent who cited the economy.

Today, according to a recent Newsweek poll, the economy is up to 44 percent and "issues like abortion, guns and same-sex marriage" down to only 6 percent. It's no coincidence that Palin's popularity has plummeted as the financial crisis has taken center stage. From her championing of small-town America to her efforts to link Barack Obama to former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, Palin is treading a path well-worn by Republicans in recent decades. She's depicting the campaign as a struggle between the culturally familiar and the culturally threatening, the culturally traditional and the culturally exotic. But Obama has dismissed those attacks as irrelevant, and the public, focused nervously on the economic collapse, has largely tuned them out.

Palin's attacks are also failing because of generational change. The long-running, internecine baby boomer cultural feud just isn't that relevant to Americans who came of age after the civil rights, gay rights and feminist revolutions. Even many younger evangelicals are broadening their agendas beyond abortion, stem cells, school prayer and gay marriage. And just as younger Protestants found JFK less threatening than their parents had found Al Smith, younger whites -- even in bright-red states -- don't view the prospect of a black president with great alarm.

The economic challenges of the coming era are complicated, fascinating and terrifying, while the cultural battles of the 1960s feel increasingly stale. If John McCain loses tomorrow, the GOP will probably choose someone like Mitt Romney or Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to lead it back from the wilderness, someone who -- although socially conservative -- speaks fluently about the nation's economic plight and doesn't try to substitute identity for policy. Although she seems like a fresh face, Sarah Palin actually represents the end of an era. She may be the last culture warrior on a national ticket for a very long time.

Peter Beinart, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, writes a monthly column for The Post.

Original here

No Currency Left to Buy the Big Lies

As I contemplated the real possibility of an Obama victory and listened to right wing pundits revise history still unfolding, I thought of titles for this blog:

"Neocon Logic: This Statement is Untrue"
"The Modern Free Market System is False But a New Revelation Shall Come"
" They Would Feast on Themselves: All the Money's Gone, Nowhere to Go"
I decided on:
"No Currency Left to Buy the Big Lies"

In the pre-capitalist reality, James Madison said when he put power in the hands of the business elite, he would be entrusting "enlightened statesmen and benevolent philosophers who would devote themselves to the welfare of all."

Clearly, he believed this statement in the way I guess some modern Republicans do. The only problem was that he eventually realized this didn't work and in 1792, disillusioned and worried about the democratic experiment, condemned what he called "the daring depravity of the times." He went on to denounce the business elites who, given ultimate power, "become tools and tyrants of government...they overwhelm government with their powers and combinations and are bribed by its largesse." That's how he perceived the system he had helped design. In 2008, this is an apt description of the Republican relationship to government and power.

Finally, some blue light, tectonic plate shifts, a sea change, we hear... a wave of despair carrying us to a new place. The bastards are finally meeting their grisly ends and will be discarded and abandoned as men come to power who will actually try to govern. I know we're supposed to be civil but I'm not a real believer in this method when dealing with crimes.

What does the sea change mean? How can we help people understand what is happening and help them contextualize it?

First the past: Senator McCain, Governor Palin and assorted surrogates are delusional and breathtakingly corrupt. They disgrace themselves and their country as they lie, smear, slur and write it off as political manner.

Yet the creeping truth must frighten them late at night: there is no currency left to buy the big lies.

There is no more money left to loan or borrow the big lies or to sell them. No more money left to pay off the debt, the wreckage in the wake. The orgy of excess has drained every bottle, smashed the furniture and left the cupboards bare. All that's left is derivative debts -- bets between liars and lies. Trillions of dollars. Turned capitalism into a Ponzi scheme for trading worthless paper. No real value anywhere. No matter how much money Ben Bernanke prints.

We are asked to stand over the abyss and experience our own destruction as another political game show -- just another surreal horse race. We watch millionaires and paid Republican hacks appear on television yelling "Socialist!" at Obama as if the Bolsheviks are coming to rape our daughters. These are the same people who oversaw the greatest upward redistribution of wealth in the history of this country. The same people who, through general lawlessness and a privatization frenzy, succeeded in shredding the Constitution, turning war, illegal domestic spying, security, border patrol, interrogation, and even torture into profitable industries gorging on the state.

So define the big lie: free marketers want free markets. Not so, the facts say. They are the biggest welfare freaks on the planet.

These men and keepers of the faith would lecture us with a straight face on the evil socialists/ communists/terrorists /vampires/space aliens who would dare "redistribute wealth" by amending the tax code. Two wars and the only shared sacrifice they want is more tax cuts for the rich and for the U.S. citizenry to continue shopping. As Sidney Falco said, you gotta give it to them, their gall is gorgeous.

If we stay the course, we are told, we will finally, one day, reach that shining city on a hill, the free market-based fundamentalist utopia. Even though all evidence points the other way, we should listen, reason, step back and watch them as they devour what's left of the government. They will feast on themselves -- the feast of carrion the Book of Revelation tells us -- but I digress, sort of. It's over. This would be a great system if there were no human beings.

Mathematical realism. Eat what you kill. The bottom line. Greed is good. Graphs and flow charts and metrics for success. All social organization is based on profit as the unifying force and engine of the common good and even social justice; worship the market, even as you corrupt it.

Our perfect system will provide for all.

And yet Wall Street cripples America and the world because it won't adhere to the same rules it says we must obey for the good of freedom. Because reality won't be a slave to their machine.

And so this is how we can rationalize privatizing war. At last look, with 630 corporations like Blackwater and Halliburton getting 40% of the $2 billion spent each week in Iraq, no one can doubt the corporatist dominance of the war machine.

Mathematically, the market crash shouldn't have happened according to their system, but human feelings make panic and panic cannot be calculated. I would bet that someday someone will discover that math adheres to a quantum reality: the participants and the observers affect the outcome. I digress again. But not really.

Instead of an international consensus based on trust and global community, the Neocons say trust no one, need no one, ask no one. Rigged, "open" markets are created at the barrel of a gun after bombing a country. We must all bow to the market.

Collapse, chaos, lawlessness. And even the market voted with its feet.

The era of market idolatry is over.

This is the end of Milton Friedman, Reaganomics and supply-side theory. This ideology has never been about free markets but a fundamentalist vision that is a cover for naked aggression and a social contract based on fear and greed. The government's job is to create optimal conditions for corporate profit, to privatize everything in sight and to sell off its own body parts. To literally devour itself.

So we have laws that allow borrowing money against derivatives -- basically a bet between two people who create nothing without collateral. They leveraged the public financial health on something you wouldn't be allowed to do in Vegas. It illustrates the corruption that has become institutionalized through deregulation and a culture of predatory greed. Alan Greenspan testified that he was shocked: business didn't regulate itself. The common good was not achieved by greed. Naomi Klein read him the definition of crony capitalism and asked if it fit the description of the Bush administration's relationship to its favorite corporations.

I suppose he was shocked about that too. His testimony was incredible and felt like it was coated in lies or at least standing deeply in their shadows. But one doesn't doubt him as a true believer, absolved of messy feelings of collective responsibility. We made him a high priest even though we saw the suffering and the cruelty of the system.

The final irony of the free-market Darwinist model is instead of the strongest and best surviving, it's really the weakest and the worst. From a moral and spiritual point of view this is hardly in doubt. See George Bush. The gospel he purports to serve tells us this but perhaps he saw Christ as a conqueror. I've always doubted men who call themselves Christians who live by the law of the jungle. The gospels, the Koran and the Torah make no bones about it: wealth is not strength; power often represents not the brightest and the best but the weakest and worst. The beast in the Book of Revelation is not a horn-rimmed devil but Rome. Empire. Any empire. Every empire.

As Bush leaves office, the real truth is this: the new economies of the world disprove everything he ever said. Apparently that doesn't matter.

Neoconservatives will lie in the weeds and gather forces, the same players in a revolving door. They want back in and if history has proved anything, worshiping the markets is not enough. We must actually kill to feed them. A horrible cross-pollination of fundamentalism, dementia and market fever has turned America into a willing enabler of corporate cannibalism. Nothing else to call it when murder is seen as a legitimate extension of economic policy. Preemptive war is not only justified but openly referred to as a market opportunity. The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must. As we look out at the wreckage -- world economies collapsing, nationalized banks and a complete loss of trust -- we can see the hypocrisy as all are revealed as true socialists on the way down, crying in their scotch and Ambien as they run to the state for cover.

Many, like the Financial Times, endorse Obama. But let's remember when the F.T. and the Wall Street Journal talked glowingly and starry-eyed about the "Baghdad Boom" -- as horrifying a moniker as Shock and Awe. It was not the site of a gold rush, it was the sight of massacre and armed robbery. Now these men jump like rats off a death ship but don't be fooled. Francis Fukuyama and company will just lay low, regroup and rebrand. They speak openly about such things, beaten but unbowed, with no moral connection to the fiasco they have fostered. They speak as passing spectators watching the Weather Channel, (see Frum, Kristol, Brooks and all the rest), rather than intellectual architects, defenders, and foot soldiers in an illegal war and the thirty-five year assault on the New Deal.

As we help Obama try to implement another New Deal, I asked Naomi Klein about the parallels to The Shock Doctrine as it's polar opposite. She told me:

"I have been talking about the need for a progressive shock doctrine in speeches a lot. I call it disaster populism and the key difference is democracy. The right has been using shocks to suspend and sidestep democracy, declaring states of emergency and the progressive use of shock to enlarge and deepen the democratic space to bring more people into the political process. This is why it is important to remember that the New Deal did not come only from kindly elites handing it down from on high, but also because those elites were under massive popular pressure from below. We can all use shock and crisis to move the political direction of the country, but the progressive route is a democratic one, the right is an authoritarian one, even if it takes place within an electoral democracy."

The real challenge is to erase the delusion that greed equals freedom and prosperity, let alone the hideous lie that it somehow spreads justice. Amazingly, we are asked to listen to this gibberish in political life no matter how high the bile rises.

Many believe economies must serve humanity and not the other way around. Economies must make a moral connection to the republic. Brace yourselves free marketers: the quality of economic and human transactions will have to take priority over money. Faith and hope have to manifest in the social transactions we make.

A new social contract could be coming based on a real currency my friend Kevin McCabe calls the currency of grace. It is a currency of economic fairness and institutionalizing concepts of shared responsibility; a currency based on the gold standard that every human has value and should be awarded respect and opportunity, the dignity that comes from human beings protecting each other from the values and ideals of a Darwinist world. Its spirit is in Keynesian economics, a mixed economy with regulated markets and social spending. In the new era, we must remove fundamentalist right wing economists as the high priests and kings. Their ideology will stay dead only if we remain vigilant and call things what they are. It's a battle for the idea of America and it's just beginning if Senator Obama becomes president.

We should worship God if we want to, not the markets.

R.I.P Studs Terkel.

Original here

Ohio's GOP Senator: McCain "Will Put Coal Out Of Business"

Siren

Update (12:28AM, Nov. 3): On Sunday, John McCain launched the final attack of his campaign, a fraudulent assault on Barack Obama that serves as a fitting reminder of the fundamental dishonesty not only of his own campaign, but also of the dishonesty of his allies in the right-wing propaganda establishment: Matt Drudge and FOX News.

All you need to know to understand the video is that the Drudge, FOX, and the McCain campaign joined forces with Newsbusters to push a story that the San Francisco Chronicle had concealed an eleven month old recording that supposedly contained devastating audio of Barack Obama proposing to bankrupt the entire coal industry.

Not only was that story false (more detail below), but it turns out that Barack Obama and John McCain have the same position on clean coal technology (update: for more on why clean coal is kind of like a healthy cigarette, see Brad Johnson's excellent post on the topic), and Ohio's Republican senator said McCain's plan to fight global warming would "put coal out of business." Here's the video:


YouTube link

::: :::

Here's the facts that the McCain-Drudge-FOX axis of weasel does not want you to know: The Chronicle had not concealed the recording, which had been on the newspaper's website all along. And rather than reveal some sinister scheme, what it actually demonstrated was that Barack Obama supported clean coal technology -- a position he shares with none other than John McCain.

Despite the fact that both candidates support clean coal technology, the McCain campaign tried to make the case that Barack Obama wanted to take away jobs from coal country in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and both Drudge and FOX were happy to oblige.

But just three years ago on the floor of the United States Senate, John McCain's Republican colleague George Voinovich of Ohio took to the floor to argue against a proposal by McCain to curb greenhouse gas emissions. McCain's proposal, Voinovich said, would "put coal out of business" and cost thousands of jobs, an argument that McCain did not contest.

In fact, McCain agreed that his plan would require sacrifice, but he also argued (correctly) that in the long-run, America would be better off. In other words, he made the exact same arguments as Barack Obama -- and as you can see above, it was all on video.

The clips I used from FOX were actually attacking Barack Obama, but the fact that you could just as easily have swapped McCain in place of Obama reveals how their media enterprise is really a propaganda operation in which political figures are nothing more than character actors taking up space in their pre-ordained dramatic narrative.

They aren't dealing with reality, they are trying to construct a new reality. For years, they've been able to maintain political power by doing just that, but now that the reality of their disastrous governance has caught up to them, their ability to lie their way to victory has been severely damaged.

For better or for worse, it's a lesson they still haven't learned. They still think they can fake their way through it.

But that's not really the important thing. The important thing is that we are overcoming their grip on power. And for that, the world is a better place.

p.s.: By popular demand, the siren stays up.

::: :::

Original post: As you probably know, the last gasp of the desperate McCain campaign is to attack Barack Obama for supporting clean coal technology and legislation that would protect us from the threat of global warming.

Video of a June 21, 2005 Senate floor debate between Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) and John McCain on legislation proposed by McCain to fight global warming has just surfaced. I'll post video within the next couple of hours, but for now, here's some text. Voinovich told McCain that his legislation would "put coal of out of business." McCain agreed that his legislation would "require sacrifice" acknowledging that critics said it would cost "thousands of jobs." Nonetheless, McCain (correctly) stood by his legislation, and even said that he wanted a tougher set of rules.

Here's more from Voinovich's statement:

On one side of this debate, there are proposals to create a mandatory domestic program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the amendment that will be proposed by Senator McCain, to my understanding, and I strongly urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment.

It is my understanding that the amendment, according to Charles Rivers Associates, which analyzed its provisions, would cause the loss of 24,000 to 47,000 Ohio jobs, in 2010, and energy-intensive industries to shrink by 2.3 to 5.6 percent in 2020. We are talking about manufacturing industries, energy-intensive manufacturing and chemical and many others.

The McCain amendment will put coal out of business by forcing fuel switching to natural gas.

And John McCain's counter-argument:

Does it involve some sacrifice on the part of the American people? Yes. ... This amendment, I am sure, will be attacked--thousands of jobs will be lost, we will find some obscure scientist, some will talk about the dangers of encouraging the use of nuclear power. The fact is, we are going to win on this issue. The reason we are going to win is because every single month there is another manifestation of the terrible effects of what climate change is doing to our Earth.

The video coming soon.

p.s.: Yes, that siren is mocking Drudge, and yes, I will take it down soon. It's just cracking me up.

Original here

Report clears Palin in Troopergate probe

By RACHEL D'ORO
Associated Press Writer

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A report has cleared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of ethics violations in the firing of her public safety commissioner.

Released Monday, the report says there is no probable cause to believe Palin or any other state official violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with the firing. The report was prepared by Timothy Petumenos, an independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board.

A separate legislative investigation recently concluded that Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, abused her office by allowing her husband and staffers to pressure the public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce from Palin's sister.

Palin says the firing had nothing to do with the trooper.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP)—A report detailing whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power by firing her public safety commissioner will be released on the eve of the election.

Timothy Petumenos, an independent investigator hired by the Alaska Personnel Board, says he will release the report during a news conference 7:30 p.m. EST Monday.

A separate legislative panel earlier found that Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, abused her office by allowing her husband and other staffers to pressure the public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce from Palin's sister. She fired the commissioner, but denies it had anything to do with the trooper.


Original here

McCain's Arizona Senate Seat Could Go Democrat in 2010

By jwilkes

At 72 years of age, John McCain is at the age when politicians start to think about calling it quits. While it’s true that some will serve well into their 80s - and in some cases even their 90s - 72 isn’t a number for spring chickens. When he comes up for reelection again, he’ll be 74 years old. When that term expires, he’ll be 80.

As of today, McCain is the 24th oldest member of the Senate. By January- when John Warner (age 81) will retire, Ted Stevens (age 84) and Elizabeth Dole (age 72) will likely have been replaced by Democrats who are now leading their Senate races- McCain will drop to 21st on the list. And that’s assuming that no Senators retire or pass away mid-term. Who knows where he’d be by the end of another six-year term, assuming he were to pursue one and win it.

Consider that McCain will have just finished an incredibly taxing national campaign, one that even Democrat Barack Obama (who at just 47 is the third youngest member of the Senate) admits has worn on him. This was likely McCain’s final chance at higher elected office (though his being appointed to the Cabinet of a future Republican president wouldn’t necessarily be out of the question). Add that to 21 years he’s already been in public office, and you have to wonder, would McCain really want to stick around?

Whether he decides to stand for another term in office or not, McCain will likely face the battle of his political life (again). Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano will be term limited, and with her strong approval ratings and popularity statewide, she’d pose a significant threat to McCain. Napolitano was reelected to a second term by a 16 point margin, powering to a 63% - 35% win over her Republican challenger in 2006. That’s after she won by a hair (0.9%, to be exact) in her first contest in 2002. She’s received praise nationwide for strong governance, and made strides towards balancing what had been a staggering budget deficit. She was heavily considered for the vice presidential slot on Barack Obama’s executive.

For McCain’s part, his popularity at home may be a little shaky. Despite the fact that McCain has lived in The Grand Canyon state for most of his adult life and has served it for more than 25 years. And yet, his home field advantage appears to be evaporating before his very eyes. What was a double digit lead in the late summer and early fall has crumbled to within 5 points. If it gets much worse, he could join the list of presidential candidates who couldn’t manage to pick up the electoral votes from their home states. Only two presidents (Polk and Wilson), have lost their home states and still won the White House.

Plus, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee loves to make a point when it can, and knocking off party leadership and significant party figures is always in the backs of their mind. If the DSCC thinks it can take out John McCain, make no mistake: it will pour money into Napolitano’s coffers in every attempt to make that possibility a reality.

Napolitano’s growing popularity at home and nationwide, McCain’s dwindling esteem in Arizona, and the DSCC’s desire to continue to add to what will already be an impressive majority could create the perfect political storm that blows McCain’s ship off course and out of office for good. Considering all the factors, retirement might not look like such a bad option.



Read jwilkes’s Last Article: 58 in the Senate, Big Gains in the House, and a Little Place On Pennsylvania Ave.

Original here