Thursday, September 04, 2008

McCain and Palin: volatile and unpredictable meets smug and sarcastic ... by gimleteye

For two years, eyeonmiami has chronicled nearly every day the economic devastation unleashed by Republican economic policies that triggered, first, the housing and construction boom and, now, the crash-- littering Florida's landscape with foreclosures, mortgage fraud, and a degraded quality of life; leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. (see our index feature, "housing crash")

Critics of Republican policies were called "elitist" during the boom. Today, America is in the darkest economic period since the Great Depression, but on this point the Republican spin machine is silent. Silent, that is, until the right-wing trolls picked up on the avalanche of criticism being leveled at John McCain's choice as his running mate, Sarah Palin.

The trolls want a cultural battlefield for the presidency. Too bad: it's not going to work this time. This election is about the economy.

As we detailed in our report on what foreclosures look like in Miami-Dade County, Florida's most populous and politically influential, those crushed dreams are Democrat AND Republican. This economic crisis, unleashed by Republican policies, is not a blameless exercise.

To hear it from the podium of the Republican National Convention, all we need is a little more Republican love and our economic crisis will pass. Not a word how the nation's premier financial institutions are groveling for capital from China and the Far East, or from Middle East oil despots who clasp us in their tight embrace. Not a word how our dependency on oil is giving Russian leaders reasons to laugh and hoot about our shaking fist at the conflict in Georgia. Not a word about the trillions of dollars of debt that the Bush White House is foisting on taxpayers who didn't ask for it and don't want it. Not a word about bank failures on the horizon.

It is as though the slate is blank and memory of the past ten years a tabula rasa; no accountability, no mention, no responsibility by the party that controlled both Congress and the White House for most of the last decade.

When Sarah Palin railed against corporate cronyism in her acceptance speech last night, what I heard was faint applause of party aparatchniks who aided, abetted and affiliated themselves with the most powerful corporations and Republican lobbyists like Jack Abramoff, (K Street Project, who want to talk about that?).

"I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but not thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere," Palin claimed.

Really?

As long as the rest of the country was going to pay the bill, Sarah Palin supported the $200 plus million bridge to serve a few families in a corner of Alaska. When the real hero in killing it, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn, tried to shift the funding to restore New Orleans, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens had to compromise. Alaska still would get the money but the earmark went away.

Only when it became clear that Alaska would have to pay the rest of the bill, did Palin come out against it -- she had never intended that Alaskans should pay for this boondoggle. Alaska is North America's only true welfare state. No wonder she is a big fan of oil drilling: Alaskans, every one, regardless of how rich, receive an annual check -- her family's is $22,400 -- and pay no taxes, courtesy of a special deal by which Alaska alone gets a huge share of the revenue from federal oil and gas drilled within its boundaries.

"We're making enemies faster than we can kill them" reads one popular bumper sticker. It occurred to me in the context of the claim by the McCain - Palin Republicans that they will restore America's respect in the world. The AP reports today, "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told ministry students at her former churh that the United States sent troops to fight in the Iraq war on a "task that is from God".

So; to the "thumbs up" from talking heads chasing ratings: what I saw in the upturned faces of the Republican party faithful during Palin's speech was a fair amount of confusion mixed with wan enthusiasm (Newt Gingrich looked like he was holding back acid reflux: he knew how badly this was playing out).

The economics expert and conservative commentator Ben Stein last night called Sarah Palin, "the oddest choice for vice president there has ever been". But Palin is a distraction, and for that she is a favorite of the trolls who aim to shift attention from the economic crisis at our doorsteps.

Consumer confidence is at record lows, unemployment is up, and corporate profits are sinking. We are in a mess and John McCain doesn't have a clue how to get us out because his team is part of the Republican wrecking crew.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

To quote someone from last evening.

"She was put on this earth to do two things: kill caribou and kick butt. She's all out of caribou."

Attack Mrs. Palin at your own peril. The fact you keep harping on her demonstrates she is a threat to Obama. Otherwise she would be some irrelevant "hick" running for VP. (I am sure if Biden was such a threat to Republicans we would be hearing about the plagarized speech in 1988,his son and brother being sued for their hedge fund fraud or other "family issues" which do exist.

I do not have any inside information, but judging by the viscous reaction to Sarah Palin, the internal polls must be indicating problems for the former community organizer.

Time will tell and I may be wrong, but in the meantime I love watching you all become unhinged.

Anonymous said...

Interesting conversation about Sarah Palin. It would be ironic if the most significant election in the "Year of the Woman" (1992) turns out to be Ms. Palin being elected to the Wasilla City Council?

Anonymous said...

Even more interesting is the fact that Newt Gingrich mentioned her as one of his two top V.P. choices back in May. I find it hard to believe he was holding back acid reflux during her speech. Louisiana's Governor was his other pick. Stop listening to Matthews and Olberman they are over the top nut jobs preaching to a limited choir, limited being the operative word.

Anonymous said...

Here’s what Andrew Sullivae said regarding this unserious pick that’s dead-on:

Yes, we knew McCain had an ego. We never quite appreciated how vast it was. Yes, Obama is inexperienced in foreign policy. But at least he has thought seriously about it. Do you really believe that Sarah Palin understands the distinctions between Shia and Sunni, has an opinion about the future of Pakistan, has a view of how to exploit rifts within Tehran’s leadership, knows about the tricky task of securing loose nuclear weapons? Does anyone even know if she has ever expressed a view on these matters? Here’s a bleg: can anyone direct me to any statement she has ever made about foreign policy?

The biggest secret of the Bush administration is that they were never serious about national security. Serious leaders do not fabricate intelligence through torture methods borrowed from the Communist Chinese. Serious leaders do not invade foreign countries on dubious intelligence with no plan for an occupation. Serious leaders do not try to manipulate detainee policy for electroal purposes. Serious leaders do not engage in moronic talk of victory or surrender five years after removing a regime.

And now we know something about McCain’s promise: he takes all this even less seriously than Bush.

Anonymous said...

Ask Barry Soetero aka Barack Obama about Donald Young.

Anonymous said...

Gimleteye writes:

I notice no comment by the right wing trolls on the central point: the economy and the dismal qualifications of McCain and Palin, both. They would like to keep the Palin fire going-- as a matter of culture and gender-- but people aren't going to buy it. They're not going to buy it here, in Miami, when Gov. Palin comes to follow in the fundraising footsteps of Representative Don Young, and they are not going to buy it Cleveland or Scranton either. As Peggy Noonan said yesterday, "It's over."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
AAWWWWW You guys poor Barack. If I had a name like Barack Obama I would probably change it to Barry Soetoro also.

He should also follow in the great Michael Jackson's footsteps and get a nose job, have his ears pinned back, and bleach his skin, maybe even pull off a top 10 hit.

He would of course have to lose his unproud wife, she would definitely not be proud then.

Anonymous said...

Wow - that seemed like a litany straight from an RPOF mass email from Chairman Greer. Of course it doesn't address the point that gimleteye was making "Own your Failures".

Rather we get distraction look at this guy, he's unworthy, let's make the story about questioning him.

Sorry, not going to fly. The Republicans failed the American people with the Housing Crash, Iraq, Katrina.... the list goes on and on. How about today's headline: "Dow plunges nearly 350 points on retail and labor data"

When the RNC owns their failures and tells the American people just how they are going to truly fix them, they might actually swing the middle. Until then, these games of Sarah Palin and 'Drill here, Drill now" are nothing more than cheap parlor tricks.

Geniusofdespair said...

John McCain voted with George W. Bush 95% of the time, you can't escape that try as you might:
I repeat:
John McCain voted with George Bush 95% of the time.

Geniusofdespair said...

Rassmussen Report:

Woman President: Clinton vs. Palin 52% to 41%
Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Voters by a substantial majority think a woman is likely to be elected president of the United States in the next 10 years, and nearly half (48%) think Hillary Clinton is at least somewhat likely to be the one.

But not if men have their way. In a head-to-head match-up, they prefer Sarah Palin over Clinton 49% to 45% according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Women prefer the former first lady over Palin 57% to 35%.

Geniusofdespair said...

Match up without leaners:
09/04/2008 Rasmussen Daily Poll
McCain 43%
Obama 47%
Obama +4

With Leaners:
McCain 45%
Obama 50%
Obama + 5

Anonymous said...

omarosa....LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Anonymous said...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anonymous said...

Come on, Jim, facts mean nothing to Republicans. They'll just harp on Obama's middle name or what Clinton did 12 years ago.

Geniusofdespair said...

I am personally disturbed by the racist remarks. I am disappointed in my fellow Americans.

Not a moderate, big deal you are registered as a Democrat.

Some of my friends are Democrats registered as Republicans. You my friend are not a Democrat, HEY HEY USA.

Anonymous said...

NEO - I'M NOT EXACTLY SURE HOW YOU THINK THE FOLLOWING IS HOW THE PUBS FAILED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE:

HOUSING CRASH - I WOULD BLAME GREEDY DEVELOPERS (IE JORGE PEREZ) AND ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN MORTGAGE FRAUD AND BASICALLY EVERYONE WHO LAUGHED ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.
THOSE WHO WERE ROLLING IN THE DOUGH FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS, AND NOW, YEAH, NOT SO MUCH.
IT'S NOT MY PROBLEM THEY DIDN'T SAVE SOME FUNDS AND FORESEE THAT WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN.

IRAQ - I WOULD START BY BLAMING OSAMA BIN LADEN AND THE MASSES OF FOLLOWERS HE HAS WHO DESPISE AMERICA AND EVERYTHING WE STAND FOR: FREEDOM, EQUALITY, PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS, ETC.
THEY STARTED THIS, THEY DID THIS TO US. REMEMBER?
WE JUST FOUGHT BACK. DO I THINK THE "WAR" HAS GONE ON WAY TOO LONG, ABSOLUTELY. BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS. WE ARE THERE AND WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH IT AND TRY TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS THAT THE MAJORITY OF CONGRESS VOTED TO GET US INTO.

KATRINA - IM PRETTY SURE THERE IS A LITTLE LADY OUT THERE, MAYBE YOU HAVE HEARD OF HER "MOTHER NATURE". LAST TIME I CHECKED SHE SENT KATRINA THIS WAY (NOT BUSH), SHE IS ALSO SENDING ON OVER HANNA, IKE, AND JOSEPHINE JUST TO NAME A FEW! MAYBE THE DEMOCRATS CAN HELP US OUT WITH THOSE. WHY DONT YOU CALL OBAMA AND SEE WHAT HE CAN DO ABOUT IT, MAYBE YOU CAN 3 WAY WITH MOTHER NATURE.

Anonymous said...

Yeah a username, finally! How flattering too :) Thank You!

First, a quick lesson in Blog and email etiquette. CAPITALS used sparingly means you want to emphasize a point - used with discretion it's ok.

CAPTIALS USED IN A WHOLE SENTENCE MEANS - I'M YELLING BECAUSE THIS MAKES ME MAD OR IS VERY IMPORTANT!

Now, Capitals used through a whole rant (oops - blog entry) means you're yelling your entire statement. To tell you the truth nobody reads it - who wants to get yelled at, right?

Alrighty, now I'm nice - I explained, most people would just assume you're a f'n idiot BUT (note the emphasis) since I did skim your torturous, yelling rant my "anti-neo" friend I can officially validate that you are indeed a wanker (fyi - british for @ss - equivalent to f'n idiot).

That dismissed let's get to the point. McCain/Palin will lose if they don't claim the middle. That group watched New Orleans go through chaos and the lackluster response to help - let alone the "heck of a job Brownie" statement that will live in infamy. The middle has seen their home values plummet and are pinched by 2nd mortgages because they thought they were paper rich. The middle wants answers as how they lost all that wealth they thought they had. The middle wants answers as to why regulators didn't stop the abuses that led to the crash. Now Iraq, the rest of the world, including the middle, caught up to that years ago. Remember the Repubs sank to the ocean floor and lost Congress in 2006 thanks to their anchor George W. Bush.

So, if you want to blame, blame, blame somebody else, be it God, Osama or Jorge Perez then you go right ahead. That mentality turns off the folks in the middle and it will ensure a McCain/Palin loss in November. You want to promote your party to reinvigorate itself - then own up to the problems inflicted on middle America and promote answers - THEN WE MIGHT F'N LISTEN!

Anonymous said...

I am not big on polls, but here is the latest from CBS News

The presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain is now even at 42 percent, according to a new CBS News poll conducted Monday-Wednesday of this week.

Anonymous said...

Awwww. Is gimleteye removing posts now that contain no foul language, no racial remarks, but just simply call him out for asking where are the trolls are?

What a baby

moderate

Anonymous said...

Someone not bright enough to find the "caps lock" key is almost always a Republican...

Geniusofdespair said...

No. Moderate.

I am moderating posts because of exactly what you mentioned. And if you continue to act like an asshole you ALSO will be moderated off.

As I have said many times on this blog... one rule, don't aggravate the bloggers. I am perfectly willing to print both sides of an issue but I am not going to listen to Fox News rhetoric -- if you want to regurgitate sound bites do it somewhere else. I am leaving moderation on until you all start to behave like good Americans and act civil. Yeah, USA.

Geniusofdespair said...

Not true pants on fire. I am often too lazy to either press or unpress the key. So I just write in whatever it is left at when I start. I would say, there are angry caps users and lazy caps users. I am in the lazy category.

Warman said...

Unfortunately, I think Jim is indeed spitting in the wind and "Jenna's Bush" is right. Facts? Facts are irrelevant. If I see the word "maverick" used to describe a guy who votes with Bush 90% of the time or more, who kowtows and bootlicks to appease the religious right, who sets up his own "democracy" institute to reward his sycophants with plum sinecures, I'll puke. Yet I'll see it repeated mindlessly in the press, over and over again. Repetition is truth, after all ...

Unfortunately, we live in a world of 8 second sound bites and Orwellian double-speak. Facts fall by the wayside.

Obama has a far more coherent economic plan, one that benefits the majority of folks who work for living, and favors tilting the playing field back in the direction of working folk. The Brookings report and Obama's support for EFCA are just two good examples of this. To level that playing field, an awful lot more tipping has to be done; the past 8+ years have been horrible for wage earners.

If nothing else, one thing Obama has demonstrated is a willingness to surround himself with intelligent, highly-educated individuals with experience in economics. If one is judged by the company one keeps, on economics specifically and on policy generally, give me Obama any day. There's just no comparing a Rubin or a Reich to Phil Gramm or the former mayor of Wasilla.

I strongly prefer his admitted lack of ideology and his pragmatism to four more years repeating the disastrous ineptitude of the ruling junta. I suspect most would-be voters agree. I believe that the Roves of the world know this, and I believe that is why indeed we're going to hear about anything and everything but bread and butter economics from God's Own Party this election cycle.

out of sight said...

Gosh, the children just can't play nice in the sandbox!

RESPECT YOUR FELLOW MEMBERS, please?

Absolutely no flaming should be tolerated on the board. Flaming is considered to be speaking rudely about or making negative personally directed comments to other posters.

EOM is an international community, and the posters should respect others as they would like to be respected. Personally, I do not need to work all day and come in here read non-sense. Post your point, do it civilly and leave the nasty stuff out of it.

Be sure to read the posts carefully, because sometimes meanings get lost in the translation. What you type may not be what I read! Your humor just may not translate to what is on your mind.

Keep in mind that EOM has many different politics, cultures, religions and languages.

WE all can come here to post thoughts and opinions, because Gimmey and GoD allows us to share their space as guests in their world.

This is a privately held board and because they don't have to share, they get to make the rules.

So, if one doesn't like the rules, and one doesn't care to behave, the door is that way--------->

So there. BEHAVE.

Anonymous said...

so neo is this better - all lower case? anything to please a fellow blogger...

thanks for the lesson, but i didn't need it, i am extremely computer savvy and an experienced blogger.

and just an fyi - at my job and the specific program i work with, i need to use all caps, and similar to GoD i'm a lazy caps user, not a effin idiot or a wanker (as you so "nicely" called me).

re: katrina. i found someone else to BLAME (you like that emphasis) mayor ray nagin - a self proclaimed "life long democrat". oh yeah and his statement that will definitely live in infamy "the chocolate city"!

re: your comments on the housing crash. "they thought they were paper rich. The middle wants answers as how they lost all that wealth they thought they had."
THOUGHT being the key word. they should've thought more and realized they were getting in to deep. how can a property value go up 100k in a few months. come on ppl lets be realistic.

re: iraq. its beating a dead horse. after 9/11 i didn't know a single man who wasn't ready to go out and fight for our country and "get even" with all of our attackers. people forget, but i guess almost 7 years later, the memory does fade.

and neo since you have been sooo nice and are probably an intelligent person (most bloggers are), can you please tell me how the obama and the d's are going to help the middle? actually how are they are going to help everyone? i watched the dnc and read/watch the news daily but still have not heard any specifics. enlighten me.

out of sight said...

The Pubs had 8 years to make life better, so far, my family's quality of life has fallen apart.

We have less quality of life (excess funds to play with and icing-on-the-cake kind of things)than I did 25 years ago when we got married.

We have gone backwards in our finances. We didn't change our spending habits except to give up vacations, season football tickets, movies, dinners out, buying basics without thinking of the end of the month, new cars (ours have 199k and 152k miles) and eat mainly chicken. Even trips to McDonald's went on the "I can't afford it list".

What has changed in our lives in the past 8 years? The President.

Anonymous said...

What happened with my 9:30am post GoD? Seemed appropriate to me.

Geniusofdespair said...

sorry NEO...don't see any 9:30 am post. I looked in two places and it was in neither one. Many people lose their post if they don't choose an identity...but you know how to do it. Sorry, the majority suffer because of the few.

Anonymous said...

The lack of discussing the issues that show the diferences between the candidates is an insult to the process and the people. Spin has become the way to avoid a real debate.