SocraticGadfly: 10/5/08 - 10/12/08

October 11, 2008

Intrade — Obama solidifying lead

Although I cautioned yesterday that Democratic analysts might not want to count their chickens before they hatch, nonetheless, has good news for the Obama camp.

Unlike FiveThirtyEight, Electoral-Vote uses three levels of campaign breakout, strong/weak/barely vs. just strong/weak in terms of Republican or Democratic chances. (On Electoral-Vote, “strong” means a support difference of 10 percent or more; “weak” means 5-9 percent difference; and “barely” means less than 5 percent. The states marked barely are statistical ties.

Anyway, Obama is over the 270-electoral vote mark just counting “strong” and “weak” states, there, without the “barelies” needed.

As of Friday, throwing out “barelies” on both sides, Obama held a 282-158 advantage; his base is a lot firmer, it seems.

Fannie and Freddie told to double bad mortgage buys

Separate from the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the Housing Finance Agency wants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to start buying $40 billion a month of tanking mortgage securities. That was after the two agencies told bond traders last month they would start upping their buys to $20 bil a month.

This seems like a good news, bad news story.

On the bad side, when Fannie and Freddie were taken into conservatorship Sept. 7, they were limited in how much they could grow their portfolio. And now, they’re being told to balloon it. So, it seems like Paulson et al are throwing in everything but the kitchen sink.

On the good side, they’re throwing in everything but the kitchen sink.

Rezko singing – who’s in trouble?

prosecutors about Barack Obama, even though Rezko said the feds are pushing him for Obama dirt. Several months ago, Rezko wrote the judge in his case:
“Your Honor, the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened,: he wrote. “They are pressuring me to tell them the wrong things that I supposedly know about Gov. (Rod) Blagojevich and Sen. Barack Obama.”

It’s unclear from the story whether that was before or his conviction, but Rezko stands by that story vis-à-vis Obama, and Illinois Republicans tend to agree.

Gov. Blagojevich? Different story. Rezko is reportedly singing like a canary.

ABC in the pocket of Big Oil?

Why else is it refusing to run Al Gore’s latest global warming infomercial?

Fish at 20,000 feet under the sea?

Or even near 30,000 feet, and quite active fish at that. Oceanographers and marine biologists expected extreme water pressures in the deep sea to put constraints on the activity level.

Visit the story for more, including video

Reading between the G7 lines

It’s true, indeed, that Henry Paulson didn’t originally like the “Swedish model” for dealing with the U.S. financial institution crisis. But, it looked like emergency meetings yesterday, along with EU sentiment, forced him in that direction:
"There are two competing models. The American model, which no one wishes to draw inspiration from, and the British model. This is what everyone is talking about," the source close to the French presidency said, on condition of anonymity.

In the George W. Bush presidency, America first squandered its standing as the moral arsenal of democracy. We’ve now frittered away being the intellectual grounding of capitalism, too.

Meanwhile, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has Eurozone leaders, plus Britain, meeting in Paris tomorrow.

A bit early for Dems to celebrate

Democratic strategists who see a landslide ahead should chill out.

Carter was within the margin of error of Reagan until after the last debate, and I’m old enough to remember that.

Is McCain pulling back from brink? And will Palin?

Politico’s Ben Smith, Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall, and Time’s Ana Marie Cox all document how John McCain appears to be pulling back from the brink of race-baiting, incitement to campaign riot, or something similar Friday.

First, given that McCain said earlier this week that he wasn’t touching Ayers, will this hold up? Even though Josh said that McCain looked like he had the body language of someone forced to apologize, let’s wait to see how this plays out…

Let’s wait, say, until the Wednesday night final presidential debate. After all, earlier this week, Obama insinuated that McCain didn’t have the guts to say these things to his face.

I assume that will hold true Wednesday. But, beyond that, will McCain, however grudgingly and only as an aside, offer at least a tiny mea culpa?

Another caveat emptor is the McCain campaign going after Michelle Obama in a new attack.

And, what about Sarah Palin? From the Florida “Kill Him” campaign event earlier this week to this joint appearance with McCain Thursday, it’s clear that she’s the rabble-rouser engine.

Add to that the fact that she pushed to still campaign in Michigan after McCain wrote it off, and I’m not sure Schmuck Talk Express™ can reel in Mayor Whazzup™ even if he tries.

And, while Josh notes that several GOP muckety-mucks have said in public they don’t like where McCain has headed, and probably have said worse in private, I doubt Palin would listen to any of them either.

(More of some Republicans’ take on McCain’s crowd incitement here.)

GM-Chrysler merger?

WTF? Twenty-nine year ago, when Chrysler was about to go down the tubes, no way this would pass antitrust scrutiny. But now? Both companies are too small for that to matter.

But, GM isn’t the only bidder to take Chrysler off the hands of Cerberus Capital. Nissan is also interested.

Meanwhile, Standard & Poor’s analyst Robert Schulz said Friday all three of the formerly-Big Three could be forced into bankruptcy.

Given that GM is so strapped for money, and credit markets are so tight, I don’t get how it could buy Chrysler anyway. But, Nissan, or one of the other two members of the Japanese Big Three? They’re sitting on plenty of capital, but they’d still face some liquidity issues.

October 10, 2008

Bad idea for Flyers and Palin – get the puck out!

The Philadelphia Flyers have invited Sarah Palin to drop the opening puck at their home opener tomorrow.

This is the city where Iggles fans cheered as Dallas Cowboys’ star Michael Irvin lay motionless on the turf at the Vet with a cervical fracture.

If the hockey crows doesn’t totally take a shine to the hockey mom, it will be a YouTubed disaster for her. Second, mixing sports and politics is about like mixing church and politics.

How little we still know about DNA

Next time a capital-letter Evolutionary Psychologist wants to claim DNA is destiny, tell him or her to think again, that we’ve found anciently-evolved snippets of mammalian DNA whose functions are still undetermined.

About 500 regions of DNA have survived largely unchanged for 80-100 million years. We know they’re not so-called “junk” DNA (more and more of which is showing itself to be not so junky after all), but we don’t know what it codes for.

See the rest of the story for more on what this might mean.

Bach until you drop, rapper!

That was the stance of Champaign County (Ohio) Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott, when she offered a lower fine amount to Andrew Vactor, convicted of playing rap music too loud on his car stereo, in exchange for him listening to classical music for 20 hours.

We need more judges like this, with creative sentencing to fit the offense.

Arctic melts and gets stormier

First, the melting: A new book by the U.S. Geological Survey says most Alaskan glaciers are thinning, retreating, or both. That includes “significant retreat” in the last two decades of the 20th century.

Next, the storminess: Supposedly, it’s gotten much worse in the last 50 years. That, in turn, has increased sea ice drift, which affects shipping.

Both fall within the prediction parameters of global warming computer modeling.

An early Intrade for 2010

Thomas Edsall is right; Obama needs not only to be prepared for a presidential transition, but a transition to the realities, not the Kumbaya, of the post-election economy.

However, he falls short in pegging just Obama. This will be a serious issue for Congressional Democrats as, and their two campaign committees, as well.

Talk of 60 Senate votes for a non-binding cloture-proof majority aside, Dems need to get all the Senate seats they can this time around, period.

If the economy, as many predict, winds up going WORSE into the tank next year (7.5 percent unemployment is already being predicted), the midterm elections will KILL Congressional Dems of both houses. I expect Senate Dems to lose 2/3 as many seats in 2010 as they gain this time around, and to lose the House outright.

That's my Intrade for the 2010 elections.

And THE Nobelist is …

Finland’s former president Martti Ahtisaari is the winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize

And, if Nazism had established long-term domination of Europe, Catholics would have been marginally better than under Communism and nothing more.

THAT’s why Bush is president!

Per a social psychology study, narcissists tend to become leaders.

NOT necessarily good leaders. It’s just that they’re more likely than the general populace to become leaders. It’s the flip side of an overly healthy ego.

Oh, and another note per Bush (and per most public school “self-esteem programs”) – the study stresses that narcissism is NOT self-esteem.

And, that said, the research is based on two studies of students and one of business managers, and an author says it probably applies to Wall Street as well as politics. Perhaps Henry Paulson needs to be on the couch next to Georgie-Porgie. I know St. Alan of Greenspan should be there.

South of the Trinity? Out of Belo sight, out of Belo mind

The Dallas Morning News has reportedly shuttered the south Dallas printing plant it started building less than five years ago.

Between the scandal over inflated circulation numbers, the multiple rounds of axe-swinging in the editorial room’s various sections, and the Snooze looking like it is on the mythical “divorce diet” the last couple of years, the News has been leaking subscribers like oil from a 1973 Nova.

So, they have a what, 100,000 square foot south Dallas ghost building.

I guess the Snooze either thinks southsiders will keep “whoring after the Morning News” (my original quote) with an occasional South Dallas Blog post on the editorial page, and a five-column photo once a week for each of the southside suburbs, or else are lost for good and out of the target demographic profile.

Actually, the two aren’t mutually exclusive, and the Snooze is probably hoping to limp by down here with a mix of a bit of whoring and more narrowly targeted circulation.

Alan Greenspan — godfather of the collapse

The NYT takes a look at how St. Alan of Greenspan’s still relentless faith in derivates was a major contributor to the current crash.

Greenspan instead blames Wall Street for, in the article’s words, not acting “honorably”enough in the use of derivatives?

What, was someone’s pinky not lifted away from the teacup on a $2 trillion credit default swap?

Or, in his own words:
“In a market system based on trust, reputation has a significant economic value,” Mr. Greenspan told the audience. “I am therefore distressed at how far we have let concerns for reputation slip in recent years.”

And to think Democrats and Republicans alike kissed his ass for better than a decade. And, while GOP attack ads are somewhat off base, yes, to some degree that does include you, Chris Dodd, and you, Barney Frank, and of course the not-too-lamented Slick Willie, via Robert Rubin and Larry Summers.

And, that’s why many Democrats and Republicans alike insisted “we don’t have time” to tie regulation to the bailout.

None of this is to ignore Phil Gramm, of course, the worst of the lot.

But, many Democrats as well as Republicans are being disingenuous right now.

I guess that’s why a website like Open Left is a disappointment and I don’t go there more. Sure, Chris Bowers et al will take a fair number of individual Dems to the woodshed. But, they don’t look beyond the system as it now stands to talk about promoting third parties, etc.

Palin — guilty in Troopergate

That’s the official verdict of the newspaper of record, who doesn’t fall for Sarah Palin’s line that “Andrew Halcro made me do it.”

Here’s the nut graf:
An examination of the case, based on interviews with (former Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt) Monegan and several top aides, indicates that, to a far greater degree than was previously known, the governor, her husband and her administration pressed the commissioner and his staff to get Trooper Wooten off the force, though without directly ordering it. …

“To all of us, it was a campaign to get rid of him as a trooper and, at the very least, to smear the guy and give him a desk job somewhere,” said Kim Peterson, Mr. Monegan’s special assistant, who like several other aides spoke publicly about the matter for the first time.

The rest of the story goes on to look at all the different excuses Mayor Whazzup and First Dumbass have offered for pushing Monegan out.

October 09, 2008

Dow needs to drop below 8,500

My take on a prescient July column from Jon Markman, updated at bottom

Using research from Michael Belkin, MSN’s Jon Markman, in one of his best columns, says the Dow needs to go that low before the bear market ends.

In a nutshell — if the Dow finishes below the average of its last 200 weeks for four weeks in a row (which the Dow now has), it usually heads for its 200-month low.

And, that low is about 8,360.

Plus, if the Dow, in the past, has hit a bear market and stayed there more than a year, it drops an average of 42 percent. Again, that gets us around 8,300 or so.

Markman’s advice to investors?

Stop fighting the bear. Use mini-rallies to help yourself as you can, but don’t expect too much.

Update, Oct. 9: And, here were are, or near that point. So, what’s the panic? Wells Fargo and Citi have enough money to fight over the corpse of Wachovia. If Paulson does a mini-Sweden on U.S. banks, the IMF will be reassured. The G7 meeting Friday will probably get enough big members of the EU on the same page to take care of things there.

We still have to reach the bottom on Main Street, and the Dow probably won’t break 10,000 and stay above it for 18 months, but we all knew this bubble needed bursting.

Cornyn-Noriega debate I wrap-up

Here’s my wrap on the first John Cornyn-Rick Noriega Texas Senate debate, liveblogged here.

That said, first of all, Jim Lehrer, Tom Brokaw and especially Gwen Ifill could learn boatloads about how to run a debate from the moderator and panelists tonight.

Second, the Commission on Presidential Debates could learn have to have something closer to a real debate.

OK, how did the candidates do, and how does this play out politically?

Libertarian Yvonne Schick got enough exposure to not seem a total whacko, and yes, the bailout may have sent a lot of phone calls to her website. What would really help her?

A halfway endorsement, or hat tip, from Paul. Or, without a full-fledged embrace, some sort of favorable comment from Kinky Friedman.

That said, what if she pulls down 5 percent of the vote Nov. 4? And, should some Democratic-focused 527 look at funneling her money?

Second, Cornyn made no huge gaffes, but just took a detour around the truth on some bailout-related issues and healthcare. His version of “there you go again,” told in two or three different ways, didn’t sound convincing.

Noriega did a solid but not spectacular job of selling himself. He needs to set his pants on fire in the second debate or we can finish writing him off.

And, if it turns out that in Kentucky, a Democrat can pull down powerhouse Mitch McConnell, but Noriega can’t topple a one-term senator, it’s going to reflect badly on both him and the Texas Democratic Party.

Grades? Schick B/B-minus. Noriega B-minus. Cornyn B-minus/C.

Beyond the grades, Schick is the biggest winner by far for the visibility factor with only a moderate kookiness level attached.

Liveblogging Cornyn-Noriega debate I

So far, Noriega has had some decent talking points but not inspiration. Cornyn got called out on using tax cuts for rich as part of paying for bailout, and whiffed.

Libertarian Yvonne Schick? A lot of people say her time in the debate hurts Noriega by taking time away from him. But, it may help if she is halfway intelligent, in taking votes away from Cornyn. OTOH, she's thrown out an occasional doozy.

And, she's a Scientologist to boot? Whooooo.....

8:23 Noriega both good and bad on immigration, as far as political play.

The good? Talking about how the Cornyn plan would take private property from Americans.

The bad? Talking about expanding visas.

8:26 Cornyn lies about Medicare fraud, and doesn’t put it into context of fraud in private insurance, where fraud is higher.

As for the S-CHIP lack of sign-ups, that’s an issue that’s ultimately at Rick Perry’s feet. And Noriega is whiffing on chance after chance to ion the tail of Perry as well as Bush to Cornyn’s backside.

That said, Cornyn is right that Medicare is in shakier straits by far than Social Security. And, speaking of which...

8:32 Noriega nails Cornyn on wanting to privatize Social Security in light of the Dow's bleeding the last couple of weeks.

Good question on gun shows and sales loophole – well-phrased. Schick doesn’t describe how closing this loophole would somehow infringe that right.

Noriega schwaffles and panders to Texas chapter of NRA.

Cornyn stresses his Texas AG fence.

8:36 Patriot Act – Schick is right… repeal it. Noriega’s “review” it is weak.

8:40 Fairness Doctrine? Another good question.

Cornyn goes in the tank for Big Media. Schick is hard-core libertarian. Noriega twists answer to Cornyn opposing journalism shield law.

8:42 War on Drugs – David Jones asking another damn good question.

Noriega – I’m law and order from my border service. Cornyn – I was Texas AG, remember! Schick – End the WOD.

8:45 Earmarks – Cornyn – I’m seeing the light of transparency. Schick – cut government. Noriega – I oppose; why did bailout have to have sugar attached, rather than homeowner help.

8:47 Public campaign finance – Schick – take a guess. Noriega – “get money out of politics,” then talks about money in judiciary, which is a state not a federal issue. Cornyn – against.

David Jones then tanks with a “wow, Barack Obama” question for Noriega, as wild cards go to one candidate, no follow-up.

Schick asked on Bob Barr support. Supports most, but disagrees with him “dissing” Ron Paul, when it was actually the other way around.

Cornyn – what to do w/Mexican drug cartels? Do what we can, but Mexico is sovereign.

AIG gets another $38 bil

Paulson conflicts of interest still not scrutinized

So, $85 bil wasn’t enough for AIG? Paulson throws it another $38 bil.

Why aren’t either Democrats or Republicans asking about Paulson-AIG-Goldman Sachs conflicts of interest?

What’s cooking at the Paris Auto Show — hybrids

In terms of both real new models and designers’ and engineers’ dreams of planned concept cars, there’s plenty to see.

In terms of the real world, Kia has a new crossover, the Soul, that will be available as a hybrid. Mercedes is unveiling its first hybrid, with lithium batteries to boot. Toyota’s iQ is its response to the MINI. And, the Honda Insight 2.0 is on display.

In terms of concept cars, surely the MINI crossover will see the production light of day. And, even Europeans besides Mercedes are looking at hybrids.

More thoughts on Dean Reynolds

Dean Reynolds’ CBS News blog about how he thinks the Obama campaign could be more press-friendly is getting attention.

It’s prompted a few other thoughts.

First, I know that CBS is a commercial network, but, should you really have “sponsored by ExxonMobil” at the top of your blog page? The words “sponsored by” are half the problem.

Second, given that Reynolds only wrote this post after spending a few days on the McCain shift, it makes me wonder if any of the TV news media, or the major papers, have regular rotation policies, to keep their reporters from covering solely one candidate for too long a stretch.

Financial fear and loathing even in Texas

Jon Markman reports that even oil-and-gas Texans are worried about national financial issues.

First, he points out loopholes in the bailout bill, such as this:
Emilio says bank lobbyists snookered the government by sneaking in an exception under subsection 3a, "Conditions on purchase authority for warrants and debt instruments." The clause, titled “Exceptions — De Minimis,” states that any debt instruments worth less than $100 million won't trigger the payback provision.

The work-around on this baby is obvious.

Next, Markman claims European backs have been even less regulated, hence the huge market drops there.

Meanwhile, Bill Fleckenstein says Wall Street still hasn’t cried “uncle” yet. For that and other reasons, he predicts a huge surge in gold prices.

Well, the Dow cried “uncle” enough today to fall below 9,000.

GM, Ford on fiscal watch

Contributing to the Dow’s 7 percent cratering today (next in the Holmesian series – “The Bear of the Wall Streeters”), S&P’s Ratings Service put GM under review. Ford is also on negative credit watch.

BUT... for all the gloom and doom, it was just five years ago that the market was last below 9,000.

This is NOT a repeat of the Great Depression, except in the Chicken Little level of financiers.

But, at the same time, it shows that Congress’ $25 mil in guaranteed loans to the Big Three is probably sand being pounded down a rathole.

National debt clock maxes out

The famous national debt clock on Times Square recently ran out of digits.

So, the dollar sign was removed.

And, there may be a new debt clock in the works with room for quadrillions of dollars. (No word if Carl Sagan’s voice will be electronically reincarnated for a voiceover of “quadrillions and quadrillions.”)

Hey, it could be worse. At least we don’t have 231 million percent inflation.

We agree with Brits — Afghanistan in trouble

A classified U.S. intelligence report has serious doubt that Afghan President Hamid Karzai can keep even a reasonable semblance of central control over the whole country against the Taliban inside, augmented by increasing militia attacks from Pakistan.

A full National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan, on which this story is based, is expected to be completed just before the Nov. 4 election.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also agrees. He’s worried about continued opium poppy production, too.

Obama ‘versus’ the press — I disagree with Washington Monthly

Flies, honey and vinegar come to mind

On CBS News’ blogs page, Dean Reynolds says the Obama campaign could be more press-friendly, especially compared to that of McCain.

Over at Washington Monthly, Steve Benen essentially tells Reynolds to get off the wahhmbulance.

As I told Benen, I basically disagree with his take:
As someone who makes his living in the press as a day job (albeit at a non-daily outlet), I can say it is fairly, but not incredibly, dumb for Reynolds to throw in the personal/CBS corporate whine part of this.

That said, I'll assume Reynolds wrote this only after talking with Obama campaign staff once if not more than once. And, so, the rest of the blog isn't that dumb at all.

And, that said, if the complaint is not limited to Reynolds -- just that he's the only one to speak up -- it's equally stupid of the Obama campaign to not be more accommodating.

Given the way the current occupant of the WH has stiffed the press for nearly than eight years, it's not just stupid, it is a matter for a bit of concern.

Beyond that, does this reflect a larger degree of disorganization, or flying by the seat of one’s pants? Or, is it a tone-deafness to PR/marketing angles?

And, even if my assumptions about how much Reynolds talked to Obama’s staff are wrong, surely he’s not the only reporter to shuffle back and forth between campaigns and be in a position to draw comparisons.

Whale vulnerability to sonar reinforced

As the Supreme Court debates whether protect whales from long-range sonar or give the Navy carte blanche, the World Conservation Congress weighs in, weighs in, saying even the sound of a yacht motor can damage a whale’s inner ear.

As far as sonar, it’s the oil industry, not just navies, that are of concern. And, global warming will exacerbate how far sound travels in water.

Read the full story, for more.

Benedict XVI defends lies about Pius XII

I don’t care WHAT Benedict says now or John Paul II said in the past — Pius XII undertook NO special “silent action” to save as many Jews as possible.

And, if Nazism had established long-term domination of Europe, Catholics would have been marginally better than under Communism and nothing more.

Can Rick Noriega ‘get in the game’ tonight?

With John Cornyn’s first of two Texas Senate race debates with Rick Noriega up today, Noriega has the opportunity to get name recognition. And he needs it, because, in a sign of the state of his campaign, he allegedly doesn’t even have enough of it in what should be his base in South Texas.

I agree that I’ve not seen much yard sign activity for Noriega — or for Cornyn.

But, Enrique Rangel cautions us to remember even Victor Morales.

That said, I think Noriega needs to hit Cornyn harder on the home foreclosures, not just more abstract parts of the bailout. He needs to explain to independents his opposition to a border fence in a larger context. If he’s having name recognition in the Valley, he needs to address that. He also needs to ride Obama’s coattails to get down-ballot black votes from what will be a heavy black turnout.

That said, I’m not optimistic for him unless Obama or Biden show up in Texas to do more than cash campaign checks, or else the Slickster follows in Hillary’s footsteps.

Could Paulson actually take over banks?

As in, adopting a quasi-Swedish approach to the bailout? According to the NYT, that option is on the table.

At Time, Justin Fox has the same take.

The good part is that due to the election heat, and the lame-duck doldrums, plus (President Obama?) engaging in Cabinet picks, etc., Paulson can do this without the focused wrath of the House GOP or whomever, should he opt for that.

October 08, 2008

SCOTUS to screw over whales

Judging by today's early questioning by Supreme Court justices in the case pitting the life and health of whales against the Navy's use of long-range mid-frquency sonar, it could be hard slogging for whales to hold on to the protections they won at the district and appellate court levels:
"You're asking us (for a decision), who know little about whales and less about the Navy," Justice Stephen Breyer told Los Angeles-based attorney Richard Kendall, who is representing environmental groups.

The question is, as the story notes, how much leeway to grant the Navy as to when and how easily it can sidestep environmental decisions.

The Navy's sonar produces underwater sounds that Kendall said are 2,000 times louder than a jet engine. Some scientists this can cause hearing loss, cranial bleeding, behavioral modifications and mass strandings in whales.

As the story notes, a district court required additional safety measures from the Navy, including stopping sonar use when whales or dolphins were spotted within 2,200 yards and shutting down the sonar under certain other conditions.

But BushCo's Council on Environmental Quality (NOT the Navy, if you'll note) declared the existence of "emergency conditions."

The key is whether or not SCOTUS is ready to swallow that line from the executive again.

Schadenfreude alert – Lehman CEO punched in face by own staff

Former Lehman CEO Richard Fuld, when still active Lehman CEO a month ago, was punched in the face by his own staff at Lehman’s corporate HQ gym shortly after Lehman’s announced it was filing for bankruptcy.

Palin as Betty Boop

I couldn’t say it any better than CNN already has complete with cartoon of Ms. Betty running for president in 1932.

Commission on Presidential Debates needs to adapt to ’Net

So say a wide group of bloggers, both the Obama and McCain campaigns and more.

Take last night’s town hall debate. Why not have much more Internet question submission, and other ijavascript:void(0)nteractivity.

Bloggers? They want the commission to loosen its copyright on debate footage further.

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro and Congressman John Dingell wrote the FCC, saying the Communications Act requires that sponsors of such programming be identified.

DHS – Data mining not feasible and un-American

Since when has analysis like this stopped BushCo? Of course, this time, it’s coming from inside Homeland Security, in a massive 376-page report.

That said, too bad this didn’t come out before the FISA amendment vote.

That said, the Congressional examination will surely be structured in a way so as not to look at Congress’ role in this.

Secret Service wants a look at Palin crowd racist

Per Radar, the Secret Service is looking at the “kill him ” comment at a recent Palin campaign event in Florida. The Men in Black are trying to get WaPost reporter Dana Milbank to shed more light on the incident; Secret Service agents say they did not hear the comment themselves.

FCC to investigate DoD propaganda

The Federal Communications Commission wants to see if the massive ex-brass hat TV talking head program uncovered by the NYT last year violates Communications Act of 1934 and FCC rules.

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro and Congressman John Dingell wrote the FCC, saying the Communications Act requires that sponsors of such programming be identified.

Was Chuck Norris’ third fist worried about ‘Old Man McCain’?

Greg Mitchell uncovers a bit of a gem from back in January.

Norris, then a Mike Huckabee factor, stated his opinion that the White House accelerates normal aging by a factor of three, and directly referenced McCain.

Evolved desires for punishment do NOT conflict with evolved desires for cooperation. In fact, the punishment drive reinforces the cooperation drive.

IMF — biggest economic downturn since Depression

The IMF says the U.S. will lead the sharp downturn it sees ahead. And, it admits that hypercapitalism doesn’t work, saying lax regulatory controls led the global economy to “exceed its speed limit.”

That said, I think its claims for Chinese and Indian growth next year are overstated.

That said, the Congressional examination will surely be structured in a way so as not to look at Congress’ role in this.

Cornyn starting to sweat a bit?

Texas Sen. John Cornyn, with a 10-1 cash advantage over challenger Rick Noriega, has a lead of less than 10 percentage points in external polls. But, he and campaign manager Rob Jesmer are still worried. An internal memo by Jesmer says:
“We are operating in an extremely volatile and fluid political climate. … we will likely have to navigate some bumpy days as the election approaches.”

Jesmer expects Noriega to start running TV ads Thursday. And, don’t forget Thursday’s debate at 8 p.m. on KERA and other public TV stations. Unfortunately, no third-party candidates are included.

Sarah’s got some splainin to do

About her income taxes. And not listing some per diems as income.

Some splaining to Alaska Finance Director Kim Garnero. Garnero says that as governor, Palin’s primary residence should be considered as Juneau, so per diems to fly to Wasilla are iffy.

No mention about comping Todd and the kids on the per diems, but surely that’s going to get a look-see.

Tom Brokaw and John McLaughlin

I don't think Brokaw is whiny as much as he's auditioning to be the next John McLaughlin.

"Sen. Obama, on a scale of 1 to 10, how serious is your desire to invade Pakistan"?

The scary part is that he might actually get the position!

October 07, 2008

Presidential town-hall debate analysis

The more I reflect, the less satisfaction I have with Obama’s healthcare answer

First, Brokaw gets the same gentleman's C that I gave Gwen Ifill last week. I don't think he was totally in McCain's pocket.

Second, David Brooks was not in McCain's pocket, saying Obama won on points. Brooks was the first of many who noted McCain did not "take the gloves off."

Is McCain tired? Second-guessing himself a bit? Willing to let Em-Barracuda fight bare-knuckles?

McCain's one new proposal? Sounds nice, but Obama can counter in a commercial that McCain didn't propose that in the Senate bailout discussion., on its debate live-blogging, says CNN’s focus group of voters broke well for Obama.

All Obama needed was a tie in a debate format that probably did favor McCain somewhat.

That said, both Sean and Nate at FiveThirtyEight (a Democratic-leaning website, I should note) said they thought Obama won more convincingly than in the first debate.

Final thought here.

Both McCain and Obama were weak on healthcare. In my liveblogging, I noted that Obama has left himself exposed on the “mandate” issue without getting to full coverage, which Hillary Clinton exposed.

If there was one area that called for passion from him, this was it and he whiffed.

He also whiffed by not noting that McCain plans major whacks to Medicare to finance tax cuts elsewhere.

McCain didn’t rebut the robbing Peter to pay Paul charge, but he sped past it well enough he didn’t come off too badly.

So, Sean and Nate, gotta disagree. A tie to a slight win for Obama, with any sort of a win, beyond a tie, being gravy for him, sure. But, a big win. Not a chance.

That said, we’re at four weeks and counting.

Presidential town-hall debate blogging

My wrap -- from second half of debate, I'd say Obama B/B-minus and McCain B-minus/C-plus-plus.

Catching up, from TPM and WM, I wouldn't call Brokaw a whiner.

I'd call him auditioning to be the next John McLaughlin.

I think, from what I've seen so far, Obama's key here is to be "less cool" and to be personable. That includes reaching out to people, talking about things in a non-wonky fashion, and disagreeing with McCain, sharply where needed, without sounding sharp.

8:52 Obama does a great one, saying Chamber of Commerce sez McCain plan wrong.

8:56 Obama -- right is good, especially when tied in with size of American economy. That said, his "mandate" idea is tough, tough to explain in town hall format.

9:01 Obama good verbal judo on "I don't understand" foreign policy.

9:08 Great question by Katie... I'm not sure how close the Cambodia analogy is, let alone if she really believes that or if she's a McCain sympathizer trying to monkey-wrench Obama, but it's still a great question.

9:12-14 Not sure whether Obama should have tied Palin's support for his POV in with the statement on Pakistan -- which I still disagree with. That said, the "bomb, bomb Iran" riposte was good.

9:17-18 Both candidates lie like a lazy dog on Brokaw's Afghanistan follow-up. They ignore the question, they ignore how serious the situation is, they ignore how much effort it would take to even possibly reverse the current situation, they ignore how vulnerable that would leave our high-tech, oil-guzzling armed forces, they ignore British and Russian history, etc.
They're both wrong six ways from Sunday.

9:27 Iran and nukes -- both are schlepping for votes here. And neither has a better answer than in the first debate.

Summary? No gaffes by Obama, at least as far as the mainstream POV. Obama came off reasonably personable; also, the height advantage helps more here than when both candidates are behind podiums.

Jim Stiles tells us what he thinks America needs

Gadfly Utah journalist Jim Stiles, with at least somewhat a claim to Ed Abbey’s mantle, gives us his take on what he’d tell the American public, were he elected president.

He says we need to stop buying so damned much on credit. He would subsidize affordable housing up to 1,500 square feet. He’d limit income tax deductions to just the first two children in a family.

And, that’s just for starters.

Likely Interior pick gives lie to McCain as environmentalist

If New Mexico Congressman and about-to-be has-been Senate candidate Steve Pearce, with a lifetime 1 percent rating from League of Conservation Voters, is actually on John McCain’s short list to be Secretary of the Interior, he’s not even close to being “green.”

Steve Pearce is Richard Pombo flying lower on the radar screen.

That said, I’m no fan of the possibility of Obama naming Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to run Interior.

Not only would we have him promoting clean slightly less dirty coal to the degree the Interior spot would allow, wolves would certainly be in trouble and grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem probably would be, too.

The flip side of estate taxes on display in rural West

GOP efforts to eliminate them entirely aside, large ranch spreads in the rural West, with McMansion developers surrounding you on all sides, offer a new angle on the issue.

Basically, Western ranchers in places like Steamboat Springs, Colo., are having their land driven up to the price level that heirs often have to sell at least part of the farm or ranch. That’s especially with re-evaluation of the property at the death of the old owner.
Conservative easement deductions help somewhat, but not enough.

It’s a problem that the presidential candidates will need to address. But, part of the solution is at the state level, addressing reappraisal issues.

How do you explain the ‘cute’ VW Bug sales?

Based on the propensity in human nature to “see” facial features in all sorts of inanimate objects, a mental artifact known as pareidolia, consumer researchers say we prefer cars that appear “ dominant, masculine and angry.” The study notes that cars perceived as more “powerful” tended to be lower or wider, and have slit-like or angled headlights with a wider air intake, and that most consumers agreed on what cars fit the bill.

Anyway, designers are trying to create “friendlier” cars, but how do you convince people to want them?

Barn doors and horses — AIG bailout finally gets Congressional look-see

It’s too bad the House didn’t think of looking at Henry Paulson’s AIG bailout, for the various reasons of regulatory mistakes, Paulson’s possible conflicts of interest or other issues BEFORE the big bailout, but late is perhaps fractionally better than never.

That said, the Congressional examination will surely be structured in a way so as not to look at Congress’ role in this.

NYT mourns ‘citizen enforcers’ pushing for Street punishment

First of all, Benedict Carey’s dime-store venture into evolutionary psychology gets its thesis wrong by setting up a straw man.

Evolved desires for punishment do NOT conflict with evolved desires for cooperation. In fact, the punishment drive reinforces the cooperation drive.

McCain shilled for Central America death squads

I saw John Singlaub mentioned in this story, and that was enough right there to tell me U.S. Council for World Freedom (always be suspicious of a political group with “Freedom” in its name) was cockamamie. McCain didn’t just befriend the group, whose support for death squads included supporting ex-Nazis, he was on its board, though SInglaub tries to play down his level of involvement.

At the same time, he says he doesn’t recall McCain resigning from the group in 1984, or asking for his name to be removed from letterhead in 1986, as Schmuck Talk Express™ claims.

Ford will beat the hell out of Japan with THIS

Ford’s MyKey program, due out next year will let parents control teen driving — specficially, parents will be able to limit stereo volume, limit top speed to 80 mph, and to continually sound a seat belt alarm.

It’s not momemtum in sports unless …

Both teams psychologically agree a momentum shift has occurred.

Survey says — whites need to speak up on racial issues

Especially in the presence of blacks, who tend to perceive silence as prejudice.

Bank of America — glass half full or half empty?

Half full — it’s launched an innovative new program to help homeowners with iffy loans.

Half empty — it has to slash its dividend and sell stock to raise cash.

As for PR, I would say half empty. The program will put but a small dent in the mountain of badly-written loans gone bad.

October 06, 2008

Palin supporters turning racist — with an OC leader

What else can you say when Sarah Palin backers at a campaign rally tell a black TV sound man to “Sit down, boy” — AFTER hurling some unidentified by Dana Milbank but not hard to guess racial epithet.

Five bucks says that McCain won’t disavow it, and that Palin will disavow the idea of disavowing it.

Of course, Palin herself is OC, and I don’t mean Orange County.

When the Florida GOP chairman can’t fly on her plane any more after questioning her attitude, she’s OC.

Palin claims to be more knowledgeable than Jesus

Palin expects Jesus ASAP — but Jesus says HE doesn’t know

Sarah Palin claims she knows when Jesus will return:
A valley activist, Philip Munger … also asked Palin if she truly believed in the End of Days, the doomsday scenario when the Messiah will return.

“She looked in my eyes and said, ‘Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.’” (Emphasis added.)

But, I quote Jesus himself in Mark 13:32 —
No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the father.

Why does Sarah Palin (along with many other people) claim knowledge Jesus said he didn’t have?

Why Steve Schmidt won’t deny the Palin rumors

Given that John McCain campaign guru Schmidt is the single person who pushed Sarah Palin on John McCain, he, more than anybody else in the McCain camp, knows what’s true and what’s not about stories about Trig Palin’s parentage and Sarah Palin’s alleged affair.

And, since he still has not denied them, well…

Politically? There’s still room for 527s to go after Palin’s hypocrisy on family values with the religious right, and then pin that tail back on McCain.

Why are we giving Putz Lutz a bailout?

General Motors CEO Bob Lutz, on “60 Minutes” Sunday, again denied global warming:
“Well they don’t like what you said about global warming,” (Lesley) Stahl says. “Do you want to repeat what you said about global warming?” “Of course not, because this is a family network,” Lutz says.

“You don’t think there’s global warming? Is that really true?” Stahl asks. “I’m not going to get into this. Because…,” Lutz replies. “Because you got into so much trouble when you said it the first time?” Stahl asks. “That could be right. Yeah,” Lutz admits.

So, why should we give GM a loan guarantee bailout? Silicon Valley can make its own decision whether to invest in Lutz/GM or real technology for the future.

If Jim Jubak says it’s going to get worse …

Not just worse than now but worse than he previously predicted, then I’m really worried about the next year or two economically:
I was wrong. I no longer think we're facing a garden-variety recession. At a minimum, it will last longer than the two quarters I projected on Sept. 30. Economists are now talking about a recession that will last three, four or even five quarters.

From what else he describes, I think we’re talking about a multiple-trough, multiple-impact recession like the Carter-Reagan one of 1980-82.

Jubak thinks that, among other things, all the liquidity being pumped into the economy right now is going to sink some inflationary teeth in our butt in the future.

So, the Fed going a poor job of getting that money back out of the system could produce a second dip. Remember the inflation that Paul Volcker had to bat down?

And, the bailout itself could cause problems:
If the government's purchase of busted assets forces banks and other financial institutions to mark down their portfolios too much, those companies could suddenly find themselves short of capital when an inability to raise capital in the financial markets has led to the failures and takeovers in this crisis.

And, if you expect Paulson and Bernanke to handle that smoothly, I’ve got a new development on the Anacostia River to sell you.

Read the whole article; on page 2, Jubak takes a page from Warren Buffett with some investment advice.

News content NOT the fault of newspaper decline

The WaPost’s Paul Farhi says it’s all about the business side, including but not limited to advertising.

Speaking of advertising, Internet advertising is flat right now, he notes; papers shouldn’t look to it for salvation.

As for the content and content-related parts of websites, he suggests adding stuff like Twitter feeds. But, he adds that this will exacerbate, if anything, online advertising issues, causing already flighty online readers to spend even less time with a particular website or webpage.

The real problem? Newspaper LBOs of the last five years, combined with all the economic shit hitting the fan.

Speaking of that, the Minneapolis Star Tribune has suspended debt payments. it, Philadelphia Newspapers and others have fallen out of bond compliance.

The future? Farhi is HUGELY pessimistic for many seven-day dailies:
Some newspapers entered their death spiral months ago.

And, speaking of that, why is Sam Zell trying to sell the Cubs? The man is an idiot.

Keep the Cubs and sell everything with the Trib name on it.

Mammals in danger

Between global warming and other threats, one-quarter of the world’s mammalian species are at risk of extinction. Large, iconic animals — think bears, whales, primates — are at especially high risk.

Another reason not to use Google stuff too much

Lack of live real-person customer support. The more the info comes out about the “real Google,” the more I think Sergey Brin et al must simply have copied some Microsoft corporate operations manual.

Specific to e-mail, yes, it’s true that both Hotmail and Yahoo mail don’t have free live customer support, but, I’ve never been locked out of my e-mail accounts with either one of them for four weeks!

Palin briefs — tax returns wrong; still under wraps

Some tax experts — including one from here in Texas — agree that Todd and Sarah Palin’s 2006 and 2007 tax returns have massive errors and that they actually owe tens of thousands of $$ in taxes.

Meanwhile, Steve Schmidt can put Sarah Palin on the road but still keep her under wraps. Now, the media can’t interview people attending Palin campaign appearances?

And, at friendly audiences, Palin is repeating the “broken teleprompter” lie from the RNC.

Senate Dems at 60 — with or without Joementum?

Really, it doesn’t matter. Cloture is a vote-by-vote issue, not some “lockbox” issue that you establish at the start of a new Senate. So, in that sense, whether Senate Dems can break the 60-vote mark with or without Joementum is a bit irrelevant.

If they hit 58 without him, they know that Maine’s Snowe and Collins will support them on a fair amount of social issues. That’s 60. Midwestern Republicans, especially those up for re-election in 2010, may run for cover enough to support cloture too.

So, if Senate Dems get to 58 counting Vermont pseudosocialist Bernie Sanders, they can boot Lieberman from the caucus without any worries.

Stocks crater — more banks WILL fail

As the European Union fails to reach a membership-wide approach to its own countries’ financial problems, the Dow is below 10,000. Many banks, both domestic and foreign, realize the bailout plan by our MBA President, Secretary for Conflicts of Interest Henry Paulson and Worst Fed Head since Greenspan Ben Bernanke will take time to “work,” if it does at all.
“This is a psychologically important moment that we passed below the 10,000 level,” said Ryan Detrick, senior technical strategist at Schaeffer’s Investment Research. “But, the issues are worldwide. The fact is people are scared and the only thing they're doing is selling.”

Hell, bankers knew that a week ago. So much for the alleged brilliance of American capitalism.

As for 2009? Bank failures could increase to more than $100 failed banks and more than $1 trillion in capital. Click the link to see which states are most in trouble.

Palin is the EM-Barracuda

Joe Klein gives the McCain campaign and, above all, the Schmuckette, another well-deserved smackdown.

To paraphrase Joe, in Palin’s world, “nuttiness is next to godliness.”

Dollar stores show what’s wrong with economy

Imagine being promoted to an assistant manager at Dollar General, aka The Chinese Consulate, Retail Division, for the princely sum of $9 an hour. And, there’s the additional irony that Pam Fleck insists on driving not just an American-made car, but a Ford Taurus due to the high percentage of American-made parts, all while working at a place where, outside of foodstuffs, you’ll find it near impossible to find made-in-America items.

And, before she bought the Taurus, did Fleck check where her own small-price buys were made? Does she today? Or is it just with cars, since she is in Michigan?

Nanoparticles can enter skin

And with more and more skin products, such as suntan lotions, using nano-sized particulates of their active ingredients such as titanium dioxide, this certainly needs additional study .

CBS reporter allegedly stole Iraq artifacts

Gee, shock me something like this would be done, especially by a “reporter” who’s really just eye candy.

So, at the time that real reporters are getting laid off in broadcast media as well as print, CBS has both sexism and kleptomania on its corporate hands.

Palin aides to testify to Alaska Legislative Council

Guess that state judge affirming the council’s legal authority may have wised them up.

But, Gov. Palin and First Dumbass Todd haven’t said yet whether they’ll offer their own, unsubpoenaed testimony or not.

I guess it also shows McCain’s campaign doesn’t have deep enough pockets to buy legal mouthpieces for the small fry.

October 05, 2008

Gay seniors — surviving golden years without children

David Crary of the AP pens a touching article about gay and lesbian senior citizens and some of the elder years issues they may face.

What if family, as in sibilings, disowned you when you “came out”? Will retirement homes or nursing homes have either open or subtle gay bias?

Don’t forget (that’s YOU, Joe Biden and Barack Obama), that gay and lesbian surviving “partners,” unlike widowed/widowered spouses, aren’t eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. They may not be eligible for life insurance benefits.

It’s a great article on a serious subject. For more on what help is available for gay and lesbian seniors, go to the homepage of SAGE. (I’ve forwarded the link to friends of mine already.)

‘Sarah Palin is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the modern United States’

(Obama doesn’t get off scot-free, though)

That’s Matt Taibbi’s quote, saying Sara Palin herself is just a reflection the real problem:
The great insight of the Palin VP choice is that huge chunks of American voters no longer even demand that their candidates actually have policy positions; they simply consume them as media entertainment, rooting for or against them according to the reflexive prejudices of their demographic, as they would for reality-show contestants or sitcom characters.

That said, Taibbi obviouslynever drank the Obama Kool-Aid, either:
It is worth noting that the same criticisms of Palin also hold true for two other candidates in this race, John McCain and Barack Obama. As politicians, both men are more narrative than substance, with … Obama mostly playing the part of the long-lost, future-embracing liberal dreamboat not seen on the national stage since Bobby Kennedy died. If your stomach turns to read how Palin's Kawasaki 704 glasses are flying off the shelves in Middle America, you have to accept that Middle America probably feels the same way when it hears that Donatella Versace dedicated her collection to Obama during Milan Fashion Week. Or sees the throwing-panties-onstage-“I love you, Obama!” ritual at the Democratic nominee's town-hall appearances.

Matt does note the obvious difference in intelligence levels between Palin and Obama, but he’s right; Obama is just as much a “commodity” as she is.

Likewise, I never drank the Obama Kool-Aid for similar reasons.

Can you smell more Paulson conflicts of interest?

Outsourcing all the asset management work of the $700 bil or whatever bailout certainly qualifies in my book.
“With anyone short of the stature and honesty of a Paul Volcker running it, you need to worry a lot about conflicts of interest,” said Alan S. Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, referring to its former head. “Unfortunately, there just aren’t many people with the expertise you need but without any possible conflicts.”

And, I’d put Henry Paulson in that list of people with possible conflicts, even more so with the revelation he consulted heavily with Goldman Sachs staff during the run-up to the bailout.

Tell me again why we didn’t prop up mortgages Friday?

Now, the financial “experts” of our world tell us Czar Henry’s Damaged Derivates Dump won’t actually work until/unless we can get home prices stabilized.

And, gee, the proposals to buy up some defaulted houses, let judges adjust some bankruptcies, etc., would have done exactly that.

Barney (Not So) Frank promises Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., the Financial Services Committee chairman promises the sand-down-the-rathole measure passed Friday was just the beginning of a much larger task Congress will tackle next year.

Sure, right. That would included Barack Obama, assuming he’s elected, making sure this is OK with top campaign donor Goldman Sachs, right? And, with his Treasury Secretary, either a retained Paulson or NY Fed head Tim Geitner, right?

British general — can’t win Afghanistan

That’s the take on the situation there by Brigadier Mark Carlton-Smith. He says:
We're not going to win this war. It's about reducing it to a manageable level of insurgency that's not a strategic threat and can be managed by the Afghan army," he said.

Needless to say, the Afghan government is not pleased.

Chew on this — 7.5 percent unemployment

Yep, it could get that high by the end of next year.

Dems better get all the House and Senate seats they can this year, because if this prediction is true, they’ll lose half a dozen Senate seats and 30-40 House seats in 2010.

Bailout rathole endangers Kyoto II

Or, that’s the worry among UN climate representatives.

Poznan, Poland is the site for the latest round of “Kyoto II” talks Dec. 1-12. Publicly, at least, the European Union says it won’t back off its pledges.

Since both Obama and McCain have given a big “loan guarantee” bailout to the anti-environmental formerly Big Three, it’s hard telling how serious either one will be, through whatever unofficial representatives they send alongside BushCo’s official ones.

After Hanoi I’ll go get laid — John McCain

Rolling Stone has a high smackdown level profile piece on just how shallow John McCain really is.

The post’s title refers to an exchange between McCain and Air Force Lt. Col. John Dramesi, also held in Hanoi and tortured even more than McCain.

After they were back in the states, they were in different military war colleges when their paths crossed. Both colleges wrapped up with overseas trips to network with foreign military nad political leaders. McCain and Dramesi asked where each other was going:
“I’m going to the Middle East,” Dramesi says. “Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran.”

“Why are you going to the Middle East?” McCain asks, dismissively.

“It’s a place we’re probably going to have some problems,” Dramesi says.

“Why? Where are you going to, John?”

“Oh, I’m going to Rio.”

“What the hell are you going to Rio for?”

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs.

“I got a better chance of getting laid.”

Dramesi, who went on to serve as chief war planner for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and commander of a wing of the Strategic Air Command, was not surprised. "McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi says today. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in.”

That WOULD give more background to him trotting out his old Brazilian flame Friday now, wouldn’t it?

Was he trying to hook back up, and give himself further schooling in his foreign policy bona fides at the same time?

Second, it’s not just Dramesi. Several other officers of the same time of service as McCain are quoted.

And, plenty of non-military people weigh in too.

McCain’s first media cultivation, the NYT’s R.W. “Johnny” Apple, also gets explained.

And, given that his first wife had previously been married to an Annapolis classmate of his, that explains, I’ll venture, why she has been so publicly accepting of getting dumped by him. She know the territory.

It’s a helluva story.

Lying John McCain (apologies to Ira Hayes and Johnny Cash)

If only the Man in Black were around to sing this,

(And apologies for having posted an incomplete version earlier.

John McCain,
John McCain

Call him lying John McCain
He won’t tell the truth no more
Not the crashing Navy pilot,
Not Hanoi’s prisoner of war

Gather round me press scribes, there’s a story I would tell
About a brave young pilot you should remember well
From the land of the Navy, Maryland,
And proud and noble men
Whose forefathers had its highest naval command

Weighed down by family history
Admirals to be overcome
He looked for his new heritage
His past failures to be undone.

Now McCain’s heart was hungry
And ambition grew greedy
So when opportunity knocked
He forgot 2000’s history

Call him lying John McCain
He won’t tell the truth no more
Not the crashing Navy pilot,
Not Hanoi’s prisoner of war

He once had taunted Viet Cong captors
Leading his captive pilots
But even with their torture
To home he would not bail out.

Then when the war was over
And he had come back home
He led the GOP to glory
In the desert Arizon’

Then when St. Paul was coming
And his choice was Sarah Palin
To please the Religious Rightest
By desperate John McCai-in

Call him lying John McCain
He won’t tell the truth no more
Not the crashing Navy pilot,
Not Hanoi’s prisoner of war

McCain returned a hero
Celebrated through the land
He was wined and speeched and honored
Everybody shook his hand

McCain then ran for Congress
And found him a brand new wife
He charmed the slickest financiers
Indulged his Senatorial life.

Call him lying John McCain
He won’t tell the truth no more
Not the crashing Navy pilot,
Not Hanoi’s prisoner of war

But he was not a Christian fundy
No born-again call from above
No friend of Limbaugh, either
No talk radio with dittohead love.

Yeah, call him lyin’ John McCain
The truth he gets assailin’
Like a dog, he throw the Right a bone
And lies about Sarah Palin

Call him lying John McCain
He won’t tell the truth no more
Not the crashing Navy pilot,
Not Hanoi’s prisoner of war

Yeah, call him lyin’ John McCain
The man who will not tell the truth
Trapped in his own self-deception
Getting longer in the tooth.

He lied most every morning
Across the land he’d fought to save
And again at every evening,
Lying in the home of the brave

Call him lying John McCain
He won’t tell the truth no more
Not the crashing Navy pilot,
Not Hanoi’s prisoner of war

Yeah, call him lyin’ John McCain
And his lies are just as dry
The POW honor has gone away
In the ditch where honor died.