Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Maverick

McCain's YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare

What is this 'Iraq war' charge on my bill?

John McCain vs. John McCain

McCain's Spiritual Guide

Why Won't McCain Sign the GI Bill?

McCain Hates the Department of Education

McCain No Friend of Women

There's a reason why 53% of women voters believe that Obama-Biden better understands the issues and concerns important to women, compared to 35% for McCain-Palin, according to a September poll for Emily's List. While Obama and Biden have a record of fighting to strengthen families and provide women with the rights and support they deserve, John McCain and Sarah Palin offer just more of the same.

Choice: In what should serve as a wakeup call to the McCain campaign, John McCain was booed by the largely female audience on "The View" last week when he said 'I believe Roe v Wade was a very bad decision, it was a bad decision.' The audience, in fact, reflected the wider opinion of women across the country. Sixty-two percent of women believe that Roe should not be over-turned, compared to only 30% who do, according to a July 2008 poll by Hart Research. John McCain wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, a move that would make all abortions illegal. He caved to pressure from the right wing of his party by selecting a Vice Presidential nominee who is even more extreme than George W. Bush and favors taking away a woman's right to choose – even in cases of rape and incest. While McCain voted against requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for prescription birth control, 64% believe that it is very or extremely important for the next president and Congress to expand access to contraception, according to the July Hart poll

Equal Pay: As the father of two young girls, Obama wants them to grow up in a nation that values their right to work, and pays them fairly for it. But even now in 2008, John McCain opposes a law that would guarantee women are paid the same as men for doing the same work. While Barack Obama was proud to cosponsor the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would have reversed last year's Supreme Court decision making it more difficult for women to challenge pay discrimination on the job, Senator McCain opposed it. He suggested that the reason women don't have equal pay isn't discrimination on the job – it's because they need more education and training. Once again, McCain has put himself on the other side of women's strongly and widely held values. 77% of women say that it is very or extremely important that the next president and Congress provide women with the legal protections they need to get equal pay, according to the Hart poll.

Economy: John McCain believes "we've made great progress economically" under George Bush. Yet, unemployment is at a 5 year high, home values are plummeting, and working age family incomes have dropped $2000. For good reason, American women believe that John McCain doesn't understand their struggle to make ends meet. He showers corporations with almost $2 trillion in new tax breaks, but offers no tax relief to 101 million households or to any small business. While Americans can barely afford a tank of gas, he'll give billions in tax breaks to Big Oil. Barack Obama will bring the change we need by reversing the policies of the last eight years and rebuilding an economy that works for the middle class. He'll break the grip of the special interests, and put the middle class first by giving a permanent tax break of up to $1,000 to 95 percent of hard working Americans. Under Barack Obama's plan middle class families will face the lowest income tax rates in over 50 years. And overall taxes will be below what they were under Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama will create jobs by ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and cutting taxes for small businesses investments and companies that create jobs in America. And, he'll raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2011, and ensure the minimum wage rises each year to keep up with rising costs, giving 8 million women a well-deserved raise.

Health Care: Women and families are struggling with soaring healthcare costs and 8 million of our nation's children are uninsured. According to the Hart poll, 84% of women believe that it is very or extremely important for the next president and Congress to guarantee access to quality, affordable, comprehensive health care. And yet, John McCain doesn't have a plan to insure every American—under his plan Americans will pay taxes on health care benefits for the first time ever, eroding employer-based health care that millions of Americans rely on. His plan also allows insurance companies to cherry pick their state laws, which would allow them to evade hard fought state requirements to cover preventive and prescription coverage, and provide the bare minimum coverage. It shouldn't be surprising from the man who repeated again this week his claim that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" and admitted last week that, "It's easy for me to go to Washington and frankly, be somewhat divorced from the day-to-day challenges people have." [CNN, 9/15/08; CNN, 9/11/08]

Iraq: While McCain supports keeping troops in Iraq with no end in sight, an August Economist poll found that 68% of women disagree, with 54% believing that troops should leave within the next year.

Obama Says McCain "Sold Us Out"

Well, he did.

McCain's Manager Paid to do Nothing...

...I wonder why they would do that? Maybe to gain influence?

The implication being that McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, was being paid money in order to keep him happy until McCain became president, and then Fannie and Freddie could call in favors. I'm sorry, but, if true, this story is corrupt as hell. It goes far beyond lobbying. We are talking about potentially buying someone off.

Obama on the Economy

Register Voters In Florida. Now.

Daily Humor

Maron v. Seder

Palin Connects Iraq and 9/11

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Great New Resource On Women Voters

From Emily's List, Election Central 2008.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Story of the Day

The most talked about story on the Florida blogs the last few days was the economic meltdown and the bailout. Here's what people said...

Eye on Miami (Gimleteye): The economic staph infection

Bark Bark Woof Woof: Not So Fast

tinylittledots: The Great Swindle of 2008

Why Now?: That’s Going To Hurt

Why Now?: Grim Fairy Tales

Why Now?: The Bailout Is A Tough Sale

Blast Off!: How out of touch is the Bush crime syndicate?

Pushing Rope: No Blank Check Paulson Petition

Incertus (Amy): A Kind of Looting

Betty Cracker: Some perspective

Incertus (Brian): So...

BlueHerald 2.0: All Things Financial

Blast Off!: Sign the petition against corporate socialism

Pensacola Beach Blog: Bailout Bill's Sine Qua Non

Why Now?: What’s The Problem?

Pensito Review (Trish): Is It Time to Just Say No to Bailouts?

Stupid Enough Unexplanation: Paulson vs. Dodd

Incertus (Amy): Financial Crisis

Eye on Miami (Gimleteye): How the national financial crisis happened: pushing the referees

Pensacola Beach Blog: Sunlight on the Financial Crisis Legislation

Pushing Rope: The Bailout

Why Now?: Hmmm?

BlueHerald 2.0: What A Fool Believes

Incertus (Brian): Question of the day A Bad First Draft

South Florida Daily Blog: "We Gambled. You Pay."

BlueHerald 2.0: Bailout Roundup

ReidBlog: The Union of Soviet Socialist Republicans

Incertus (Brian): I Love Bernie Sanders

Incertus (Brian): Weird Day

Bark Bark Woof Woof: That Settles That

Betty Cracker: Say no to blank checks

Eye on Miami (Gimleteye): Conditions for the Wall Street Bailout

Interstate4Jamming2: A Couple Of Questions To Ponder

Talk to Me: Wall Street

Bark Bark Woof Woof: More on the Bailout

Pensacola Beach Blog: No to a Blank Check Bailout

BlueHerald 2.0 (Question Girl): BAIL OUT ROUNDUP

Eye on Miami (Gimleteye): Will the Wall Street bailout rouse a passive public?

Eye on Miami (Gimleteye): Depression without a recession: the New New Deal

madfloridian: Florida: 88 former federal criminals were licensed by regulators as mortgage brokers

Incertus (Brian): Dumb statement of the day

Dan Gelber: An apology would be nice

Miami Progressive: Free Market? Only when it works

Miami & Beyond: Socialism for corporations


The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

"Obsession" With Hate

Ten National Security Myths

Why Newt Gingrich Is Wrong About Capital Gains Taxes

Study: Surge in ethnic cleansing led to reduced violence in Iraq


Democrats are better than Republicans for the economy

The Perino Challenge: ‘What Specific Regulation Did We Eliminate?’

Economists: Gramm To Blame For The Current Crisis

Federal deficit to be $800 billion to $1 trillion thanks to bailout

French banks "much more solid" than US banks

Paulson to the US -- Grab Your Ankles

The Trade Deficit, The Deficit and the Bail-Out: A Grand, Unifying Theory

They Broke It You Buy It

From One Disaster To Another

Boztopia: Seven Simple Reasons to Oppose the Bailout

The Road to the White House

What are Florida bloggers saying about the presidential race? Here are the top 5 posts from yesterday...

1. Pensito Review (Buck): CNN Poll: Race Could Be a Factor — You Think?

2. Ybor City Stogie: Was the McCain Camp Engaged in “Vote Caging” in Florida

3. BlueHerald 2.0: No Fucking Way…….No Fucking How…..No Fucking McCain

4. Pushing Rope: John McCain Vs John McCain on Regulation

5. FLA Politics (FDP): Fundamentals of John McCain's Economy: 13 Cars, 7 Homes, and a Private Plane

6. FLA Politics (satyr9us): John McCain's Shockingly Dishonest Ads

7. Bark Bark Woof Woof: It's His Choice

8. Pushing Rope: Polling Numbers Improving For Obama

9. Change in Tallahassee: These yard sign questions are making my brain bleed. Please stop.

10. Pushing Rope: Obama In Jacksonville

Action Alerts

Send an e-mail: No Road Through Izembek! (TWS)

Send an e-mail: Take Action to Protect America's Oceans and Fisheries (EDF)

Send an e-mail: Open White Spaces for Everyone (STI)

Send an e-mail: Support the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights (PC)

Send an e-mail: Tell the EPA to Stand Strong on the Carbofuran Ban! (DOW)

Send an e-mail: No Road Through Izembek! (TWS)

Send an e-mail: Tell Congress to Support Education for All (Care)

Send an e-mail: Send your comments to Secretary Mike Leavitt at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Tell him: "This Administration has lost its moral compass when the personal and private beliefs of a pharmacist or bookkeeper are more important than a woman's bodily integrity, her health, her future, and her right to family planning options. Birth Control is NOT Abortion" (NOW)

Sign the petition: I am Against the Killing of Cats! (ACA)

Sign the petition: Sign the "I'm Ready for Green Jobs Now" Petition (GJN)

Sign the petition: Main Street Before Wall Street (MoveOn)

Sign the petition: Demand the Debate

Sign the petition: Co-sponser the Fair Elections Now Act (PCAF)

Add Your Shit: Buy My Shitpile, Henry

Send a letter to the editor: Keep McCain from Gambling With Our Health (DNC)

Share Your Story: Raise Awareness of the Benefits of Broadband (APT)

Submit Comments to DOH: President Bush's regulatory change lets health care providers define abortion, which could threaten access to birth control and broader reproductive health care, and allow federal funding for so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" that refuse to inform patients of or provide patients with a full range of reproductive health care options (PP)

McCain Lies Again

NYT: McCain lied about campaign manager Rick Davis' ties to Fannie and Freddie

John McCain Hates Ethics

His campaign leader Rick Davis:

The two sources, who requested anonymity discussing sensitive information, told Newsweek that Davis himself approached Freddie Mac in 2006 and asked for a new consulting arrangement that would allow his firm to continue to be paid. The arrangement was approved by Hollis McLoughlin, Freddie Mac's vice president for external relations, because "he [Davis] was John McCain's campaign manager and it was felt you couldn't say no," said one of the sources. [McLoughlin did not return phone calls].

McCain has already lied about this one.

DCCC Goes After Corrupt Tom Rooney

Daily Humor

McCain/Palin Timeout

Great Video from Scott Kleeb

He's from Nebraska so this isn't particularly Florida related, but this is a great video:

Mario: Health Care for Me, But Not For Thee

(Miami, FL) – Today, the Garcia campaign announced the release of its latest web ad titled "Beckham." The ad highlights how Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Euro) has the wrong priorities on healthcare. Diaz-Balart (R-Euro) has been quoted as saying he thinks our healthcare is just fine because athletes, celebrities and members of royal families can afford to get treatment in the United States.

"Mario Diaz-Balart believes our healthcare system should work for rich athletes, celebrities and members of royal families, instead of the 14,500 kids in our district whose healthcare coverage he voted against," said Giancarlo Sopo, New Media Director for Joe Garcia. "The people of the 25th District don't need a healthcare system that works for David Beckham, they need it to work for us."

The recording featuring Mario Diaz-Balart is from an August 22, 2008 event in Miami. See below for transcript.

Mario Diaz-Balart on Healthcare:

MDB: When was the last time that any of you heard an athlete (British soccer player, David Beckham), a celebrity (Mexican crooner, Luis Miguel), a royal family member (Prince Charles), who has a serious medical issue and they can pay, they can go wherever they want. Where do they come? Here!

Donate money to Joe Garcia

Good News -- Till Bill Moving Forward

The story of Emmett Till is one of the most heart-wrenching and important of the Civil Rights era. If you don't know about it, you can learn a lot more at The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till.

Congress is finally doing the right thing and allowing DOJ to pursue justice in unsolved cases from the civil rights era (like the Till case). It obviously should have done more at the time or when such cases could've actually made a difference in people's lives, but this is a symbolic step in the right direction.

Feeney's Sorry. Really.


For Immediate Release, 2008

It's Time for Tom Feeney to Come Clean -- Floridians Deserve Real Apology and Real Answers

Tallahassee, FL - In a desperate political move, Representative Tom Feeney (FL-24) began airing ads "apologizing" for his Scotland Golf Junket with corrupt, convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, and saying "I embarrassed myself, I embarrassed you and for that, I'm very sorry."

Unfortunately for the voters of Florida's 24th District who deserve to know the truth about Feeney's unethical actions, his new ad is long on excuses and lies, and short on the facts.

Feeney calls his connections to the convicted lobbyist a "rookie mistake."  Yet before Tom Feeney was elected in 2002, he served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (and a lobbyist at the same time), meaning he was fully aware of the way these pay-to-play trips worked.

Feeney also has the audacity to claim "I did everything I could to make it right," even though for almost a year and a half newspapers across the district have been calling on Feeney to come clean about why he is involved in an  FBI investigation.   The Orlando Sentinel wrote in April 2007, "U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney has a lot more explaining to do about his 2003 golfing trip to Scotland with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff," but Feeney has yet to 'fess up.

"What Tom Feeney should truly be embarrassed about is his continued failure to come clean about his connections to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his pay-to-play antics," said Eric Jotkoff, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party.  "Tom Feeney owes his voters real answers about what he did for the corrupt lobbyist in exchange for his luxury trip and how much his golf junket really costs.  But instead of the facts, Feeney just offers more excuses and lies.  If anything, Feeney should apologize for this desperate, political ad."

Get all of the facts at:

Below are four headlines surrounding Feeney's 2003 Golf Trip that he still hasn't told the truth about:

Rep. Feeney sought rule change tied to Abramoff

What Feeney Says:

In an e-mail sent to the St. Petersburg Times last year, which is now being sought by the FBI, Feeney's then-chief of staff Jason Roe vehemently denied any improper relationship with Abramoff.

"Tom has never written a letter for Abramoff. Abramoff has never been in our office. Abramoff has never asked anything of us," Roe wrote. "There is no accusation of a quid pro quo. No quid pro quo exists."

The Truth:

In 2003 Feeney was among several lawmakers who wrote to the Energy Department opposing changes to a federal program that also were being fought by an Abramoff client. 

The members of Congress sent their letter in March 2003, the same week that Atofina Chemicals sent a similar letter to the department criticizing a proposed change in the federal Energy Star program that rates consumer products for energy efficiency.


E-mail details false trip data

What Feeney Says:

Feeney has maintained he did not know Abramoff coordinated the trip.

Pepper Pennington, the lawmaker's spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Feeney relied on the estimates relayed to him by the sponsor of the trip, which he thought was the National Center for Public Policy Research, a Washington-based conservative think tank.

The Truth:

An e-mail obtained by the St. Petersburg Times on Wednesday shows that Abramoff's office sent specific instructions on how to report the trip expenses to a handful of people, including Feeney's congressional assistant.

The e-mail, written in September 2003, a month after the trip, was sent to Feeney's then-executive assistant Eliza Baker. Others on the e-mail list included Mark Zachares, a former House aide who last week pleaded guilty to conspiracy for his relationship with Abramoff.

According to court documents, Zachares said he knew the expense details for the Scotland trip were lies coordinated by Abramoff.


Feeney trip tied to Abramoff 'slush fund'

What Feeney Says:

In a 2005 Orlando Sentinel story, Feeney, an Oviedo Republican, said he was misled about who paid for the Scotland visit. In January of this year, he used stronger language, saying he was "duped and lied to" about what he thought was a fact-finding trip with Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to corruption charges.

"Any assertion that this office knew Abramoff paid for the Scotland trip is a g--d----- lie," Feeney's former Chief of Staff Jason Roe wrote in the email being sought by the FBI.

The Truth:

Documents obtained by the Sentinel on Thursday from the Senate Indian Affairs Committee show that Abramoff's personal charity, Capital Athletic Foundation, paid $150,226.32 for a "Scotland fundraiser" in 2003.  

The 2003 Scotland trip that included Feeney, Abramoff and six others is the only one that has come to light for that year.


Documents raise questions on trip cost

What Feeney Says:

Tom Feeney of Oviedo reported the cost of a 2003 trip to Scotland with lobbyist Jack Abramoff at $5,643. 

Feeney spokeswoman Pepper Pennington would not provide many details Wednesday when asked how Feeney derived the $5,643 figure he listed on his disclosure forms.

The Truth:

Court documents released this week show the expenses for the eight people on the trip exceeded $160,000.  If that number were divided among the eight travelers, the cost would have amounted to at least $20,000 per person -- not the figure Feeney, a Republican, reported to the House ethics committee and later agreed to pay to the U.S. Treasury after the trip was disclosed.




CG Has A Great Report on Obama Visit to Jacksonville

Check out the full report at Conceptual Guerilla and Daily Kos

Monday, September 22, 2008

Florida Congressional Candidates on the Bailout

They aren't happy.

Doug Tudor (FL-12):

I guess an aspiring congressman is supposed to have a more politically correct vocabulary, but this is absolute bullshit!

It is bullshit that once again the taxpayer is going to get stiffed, while multimillionaire CEO's strap on their golden parachutes.

It is bullshit that guys like Adam Putnam can stand in front of news cameras, spout a bunch of lies, and have the news anchor "thank you for joining us, Congressman."

It is bullshit that we have troops in the field, and our elected representatives are tripping over themselves to figure out how to keep bankers from losing their banks.

Alan Grayson (FL-08):

String 'em up.

In the last two days, the U.S. stock market has gone up by $1 trillion. That's because of a $700 billion direct transfer from taxpayers to financial corporations like AIG and, I guess, the expectation that another $300 billion will find its way into the deal before it's over. So tax dollars are being used to prop up the stock market, something that never happened even in the deepest depths of the Great Depression. It's corporate communism. That's the context.

Here is more context. $700 billion is over $2000 for every man, woman and child in America. For a family of seven, like mine, it's over $15,000. Someone just took $15,000 from me and my family, and gave it to anonymous bondholders whom I've never met, who have done nothing for me, to whom I owe nothing and -- right now -- I really don't like.

More context: you could take one percent of that amount -- one percent! -- and pay off the delinquency on every home mortgage in arrears in America. And keep people from losing their homes. But ordinary people get nothing from this Administration except grief.

Annette Taddeo:

We will not be forced into acting on a $700 billion bill without even examining what the bill does. The American people need protection so that this emergency does not turn into a boondoggle give-away to corporate insiders. Congress should send President Bush a bill that includes transaction standards, independent oversight, protections for homeowners, and constraints on excessive executive compensation.

The bill is inadequate because while doing nothing for homeowners, it gives the Treasury Department a blank check for Wall Street - it authorizes purchases "on such terms and conditions as determined by the [Administration]." There would be no guidelines, no standards, no conditions. The Treasury would be permitted to purchase assets at any price it wanted, even if it provided a huge profit to the same corporate entities that got us into this mess in the first place, entities like commercial banks, investment banking firms - even hedge funds -- that have acted recklessly or worse.

I oppose, and call on Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to oppose - the Bush Administration's proposed legislation giving the Treasury the power to spend up to $700 billion to buy "mortgage-related assets" from U.S.-based financial institutions, until the proposed bill is strengthened to protect homeowners, and to protect the American taxpayer from sweetheart deals, cronyism and outright waste.

Finally, if the bailout is to be expanded to cover foreign-headquartered companies, then our allies must share the burden. Unfortunately, after seven and a half years of Cowboy diplomacy and a war in Iraq based on lies, we have little if any leverage left with our allies. They have no desire and little incentive to help us in our moment of need. It is time for a new beginning.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kids for Obama/Against McCain

More coherent than McCain:

What Miles really thinks of McCain:

What Jack thinks of McCain:

What Carlin thinks of McCain:

The kids are Fired Up!

Tallahassee for Obama Speaks!

Stump the Candidate (Palin) Doesn't Seem Likely To Be That Difficult

McCain Doesn't Even Know Which Government Agency Is Which

A Step In the Right Direction

I know there isn't enough detail in Obama's response to the bailout, but this is much better than what's being offered by the Republicans:

The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has led to a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression.

But regardless of how we got here, the circumstances we face require decisive action because the jobs, savings, and economic security of millions of Americans are now at risk.

We must work quickly in a bipartisan fashion to resolve this crisis and restore our financial sector so capital is flowing again and we can avert an even broader economic catastrophe. We also should recognize that economic recovery requires that we act, not just to address the crisis on Wall Street, but also the crisis on Main Street and around kitchen tables across America.

But thus far, the Administration has only offered a concept with a staggering price tag, not a plan.

Even if the Treasury recovers some or most of its investment over time, this initial outlay of up to $700 billion is sobering. And in return for their support, the American people must be assured that the deal reflects some basic principles.

• No blank check. If we grant the Treasury broad authority to address the immediate crisis, we must insist on independent accountability and oversight. Given the breach of trust we have seen and the magnitude of the taxpayer money involved, there can be no blank check.

• Rescue requires mutual responsibility. As taxpayers are asked to take extraordinary steps to protect our financial system, it is only appropriate to expect those institutions that benefit to help protect American homeowners and the American economy. We cannot underwrite continued irresponsibility, where CEOs cash in and our regulators look the other way. We cannot abet and reward the unconscionable practices that triggered this crisis. We have to end them.

• Taxpayers should be protected. This should not be a handout to Wall Street. It should be structured in a way that maximizes the ability of taxpayers to recoup their investment. Going forward, we need to make sure that the institutions that benefit from financial insurance also bear the cost of that insurance.

• Help homeowners stay in their homes. This crisis started with homeowners and they bear the brunt of the nearly unprecedented collapse in housing prices. We cannot have a plan for Wall Street banks that does not help homeowners stay in their homes and help distressed communities.

• A global response. As I said on Friday, this is a global financial crisis and it requires a global solution. The United States must lead, but we must also insist that other nations, who have a huge stake in the outcome, join us in helping to secure the financial markets.

• Main Street, not just Wall Street. The American people need to know that we feel as great a sense of urgency about the emergency on Main Street as we do the emergency on Wall Street. That is why I call on Senator McCain, President Bush, Republicans and Democrats to join me in supporting an emergency economic plan for working families – a plan that would help folks cope with rising gas and food prices, save one million jobs through rebuilding our schools and roads, help states and cities avoid painful budget cuts and tax increases, help homeowners stay in their homes, and provide retooling assistance to help ensure that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built in America.

• Build a regulatory structure for the 21st Century. While there is not time in a week to remake our regulatory structure to prevent abuses in the future, we should commit ourselves to the kind of reforms I have been advocating for several years. We need new rules of the road for the 21st Century economy, together with the means and willingness to enforce them.

The bottom line is that we must change the economic policies that led us down this dangerous path in the first place. For the last eight years, we’ve had an “on your own-anything goes” philosophy in Washington and on Wall Street that lavished tax cuts on the wealthy and big corporations; that viewed even common-sense regulation and oversight as unwise and unnecessary; and that shredded consumer protections and loosened the rules of the road. Ordinary Americans are now paying the price. The events of this week have rendered a final verdict on that failed philosophy, and it is a philosophy I will end as President of the United States,” said Senator Barack Obama.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain Still Out of Touch on the Economy

DNC Starts McCain/Palin Press Watch

He promised to be open and talk to reporters frequently, but, as usual, John McCain lied.

FDP Exposes McCain Dirty Tricks


For Immediate Release: September 17
, 2008


Push-polling Jewish Seniors; McCain's Signed Letter Tells Democratic Seniors They Are Registered GOP

Tallahassee, FL - The Florida Democratic Party released the following statement in reaction to two damning investigations into dirty, dishonest tactics being used by John McCain and his Republican Party to confuse senior citizens in Florida and possibly prevent them from voting.

  1. revealed that the Republican Jewish Coalition is behind the deceptive phone calls, or "push polls," to  Florida's Jewish community. These calls are filled with lies and are clearly meant to scare people, especially senior Jewish voters.
  2. The St. Petersburg Times' broke the story about a mailing from John McCain to longtime, elderly Democrats, which claims that the voters are registered Republicans. Considering the sophistication of the Karl Rove database that McCain is using, these confusing mailings are highly suspicious - particularly with the possibility that they could be used to "cage" voters (block their votes) - like the Bush-Cheney campaign attempted to do in 2004.

"It is disgusting that John McCain and his Republican cronies would prey on Florida's seniors. John McCain's dishonorable and dishonest campaign prove he and his Republican Party are so desperate for four more years of Bush politics that they will do anything to win - except talk honestly with voters about the issues that matter," Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman said. "Frankly, John McCain should be ashamed of himself for preying on seniors like a bogus reverse-mortgage peddler."

St. Petersburg Times:

"A new pitch for John McCain's presidential campaign aimed at older Democratic voters is causing complaints by Democrats and concern by elections officials... A letter signed by McCain tells the Democrats: "We have you registered as a Republican."...

The RNC declined to discuss the mailer... "This is simply a fundraising piece," said spokeswoman Amber Wilkerson, adding in an e-mail it was not "worth writing about."

Two top Florida elections officials, both Republicans, faulted the GOP mailing, calling it "confusing" and "unfortunate" because of a potential to undermine voter confidence by making them question the accuracy of their registrations.

"It is unfortunate, because it does put a lot of doubt in people's minds," said Secretary of State Kurt Browning, the state's top elections official.

After his office received dozens of calls, Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland issued a media alert that his office had nothing to do with it. "They were upset folks and they were very concerned," said Holland, a Republican. "They mainly said their party (listing) was different than it was."...

The first-class GOP mailing has a "Do not forward" instruction on the envelope, meaning they will be returned to the GOP if a recipient has had mail forwarded, perhaps to a summer address, or has moved.

Letters returned as undeliverable can be compiled into "challenge lists" of unverifiable addresses and can be used to challenge voters' eligibility during early voting or on Election Day. The vote suppression technique is known as "vote caging."...

The card shows a nine-digit "voter ID" number, but the supervisor of elections in Jacksonville's Duval County said the numbers are wrong and do not match the state's voter database...


Politico: GOP group behind negative Obama poll
By: Ben Smith 
September 16, 2008 06:52 PM EST

A Republican group is taking responsibility for a poll that has roiled the Jewish community by asking sharply negative questions about Senator Barack Obama....

Some Jewish Democrats who received the poll - including a New Republic writer who lives in Michigan - were outraged by the poll, describing it in interviews as "ugly" and disturbing. A group that supports Obama, the Jewish Council for Education and Research even staged a protest outside the Manhattan call center from which the calls originated Tuesday. 

"If the RJC is responsible for these calls, which are designed to frighten Jews and sow mistrust, they have forfeited their place at the Jewish table," said the co-executive director of the group, Mik Moore. "It is incumbent upon the McCain campaign to speak out forcefully against this and ongoing efforts by his supporters to scare Jews into supporting his candidacy."...

Certainly, they have drawn attention: After first reporting on two voters who were polled, Politico was contacted by a half-dozen more, and many Jewish Obama backers are livid at the survey. 

"The fact that the Republican Jewish Coalition is targeting Jewish Americans with these disgraceful and deceitful tactics fits in perfectly with the dishonorable campaign that John McCain has chosen to run. Peddling lies and hateful distortions to scare Jewish voters is reprehensible and deeply disrespectful to Jewish Americans," said Florida Congressman Robert Wexler, an Obama supporter...

The selection of Sarah Palin, whose record on Israel is thin and who recently sat through a sermon suggesting that terrorism in Jerusalem is God's judgment on Jews for not believing in Jesus, has re-energized Jewish Democrats and may push some voters back to Obama's camp...

Brooks declined to release the script of the poll, but he denied the charge - made by two voters who received it - that pollsters had asked for a reaction to the [false] claim that Obama is a Muslim. 

"I went into this whole tirade about how I had read his autobiography and how he wasn't a Muslim but if he was a Muslim I would vote for him anyway," said Joelna Marcus, a retired college professor who received the call at a phone number for her home in Key West, Fla... the poll - and the Republican Jewish Coalition's material more generally - leaves out virtually all of Obama's recent record, which includes a stance on Israel that has won him praise from the main pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, and attacks from Palestinian leaders. 

He has pushed legislation, for instance, that would force companies to divest from Iran, and has backed Israel's right to aggressively fight Palestinian militants. He's also had a good relationship with Chicago's Jewish community. 

"Mr. Obama's commitment to Israel, as he has articulated it so far in his campaign, is quite moving and a tribute to the broad, bipartisan support that the Jewish state has in America," the fiercely pro-Israel New York Sun editorialized earlier this year. 

Obama is also campaigning aggressively in the Jewish community, directly and through surrogates, and his running mate, Joe Biden, recently visited South Florida and made jokes in Yiddish, his familiar presence a contrast with the unknown Palin. On Wednesday, Obama himself is slated to dial into a "National Rabbis Conference Call in honor of Rosh Hashanah," according to an email from the campaign's Jewish outreach wing.




Obama: Plan for Change

Sounds good to me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

John McCain Used the "Lipstick on a pig" comment as well

Wall Street crisis is culmination of 28 years of deregulation

No Energy Expert At Senate Hearing Willing To Say That Oil Drilling Is America’s Most Important Issue


2008 marks deadliest year for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Woodward: Quiet in Iraq Is Due to New Top Secret U.S. Weapon, Surge Played Only a Minor Role

CBO Director: ‘A Big Part Of Why The Deficit Deteriorated’ Is Falling Corporate Tax Revenue

The Road to the White House

What are Florida bloggers saying about the presidential race? Here are the top 5 posts from yesterday...

1. FLA Politics: "White pride" lifts McCain

2. Progress Florida (Ray Seaman): John McCain's Florida Cousin Speaks Out

3. South Florida Daily Blog: I'm Frustrated

4. FLA Politics: Either hit McCain on SS Privatization in FL or bail out

5. Florida Citizens for Science: Science on the national political stage, part II

6. Avery Voice: DEMOCRATS SPEAK-UP for Senator Obama

7. Incertus (Brian): You Tell Them, Leonard

8. BlueHerald 2.0: They Even Lie About Crowd Numbers

9. FLA Politics (FDP): Empty Chairs: Lots of Them at McCain Rally

10. Pensito Review: Ask Dr. Democrat: Why Do People Believe McCain’s Lies?

McCain Invented the Blackberry

What else did McCain invent?

McCain Is A Joke

McCain blackberry

Monday, September 15, 2008

Action Alerts

Send an e-mail: Tell McCain: Internet Access For All (FPIRG)

Send an e-mail: Florida: Protect Wild Animals (THS)

Send an e-mail: Ensure that Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices In Violation of Federal Law (PC)

Send an e-mail: Protect Yellowstone and the Greater Rockies (NRDC)

Send an e-mail: Ask your Representative to support the United States Cadet Nurse Corps Equity Act (NOW)

Send an e-mail: Urge Board to Reconsider Clemency for Troy Davis (AI)

Send an e-mail: Contact the Department of Fish and Game today and tell them to allow the community to connect to the city water supply (UFW)

Send an e-mail: Save the Endangered Species Act! (SoE)

Send an e-mail: Help Pass Paid Leave for New Parents (NOW)

Send an e-mail: Tell Congress to Say No to US-India Nuclear Proliferation Deal (NAPF)

Sign the Letter: Co-Sign Our Letter on Leaks About Track Palin (VV)

Send an e-mail: Tell Congress to say Yes to clean energy and No to drilling (NRDC)

Send an e-mail: Healthy Energy Development: Protect Our Lands, Waters, and Public Health (TWS)

Send an e-mail: Oppose Untested, Provocative Missile Defense in Europe (UCS)

Send an e-mail: No More Abramoffs (CC)

Sign the Pledge: I'm A Constitution Voter (ACLU)

Sign the Open Letter: I stand with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America in calling for you to keep veterans' issues at the top of your agenda if you are elected President (IAVA)

Sign the petition: Support the Employee Free Choice Act (ARAW)

Sign the petition: Tell John McCain to Stop Supporting Discriminatory Anti-GLBT Measures! (HRC)

Sign the petition: Set the Rules to End Overfishing (PEW)

Sign the petition: Save America's Last Wild Forests (HFC)

Sign the petition: Sarah Palin Doesn't Speak For Me! (PFAW)

Sign the petition: Stand up for community organizing (Credo)

Sign the petition: Tell Moffitt Cancer Center: Say No To Big Tobacco (PF)

Volunteer: Be a Pollworker for Democracy (Credo)

Make a Phone Call: Don’t Let Big Oil Hold America’s Energy Future Hostage (DOW)

The Next Cheney

The DNC goes after Sarah Palin. As well they should.

McCain Switches from Truthiness to Flat Out Lies


For Immediate Release: September 15
, 2008
Contact: Eric Jotkoff, 850.222.3411

McCain Switches from Truthiness to Flat Out Lies

Campaign Takes Bush-Rove Tactics to New Low

Tallahassee, FL - John McCain's campaign across Florida today, the McCain-Palin Campaign continues their lies and smears in an attempt to distract voters from the issues that matter.

"For months John McCain was making Steven Colbert proud by relying on truthiness in his attempt fool Americans into believing that John McCain's record of voting with George W. Bush 90% of the time was something besides more of the same. Now, John McCain is taking the Bush-Rove tactics to a new low, relying on disgusting lies to district from the issues that matter. Floridians are sick of dishonorable politicians like John McCain, who only are offering the same old tired rhetoric because they don't have solutions to fix our economy, create jobs, or lower homeowners insurance rates," said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman.

McCain wants to portray himself as a Maverick and he may be doing that in a way he never thought. The McCain-Palin camp's tactics of distorting facts, distracting Americans from real issues and outright lying are closer to an Old West gunfighter shooting at anything that moves than the straight talker McCain was in 2000. McCain may have more years in government than Sen. Obama, but as Americans have learned in this election cycle, McCain has less class and integrity.

St. Petersburg Times "McCain's commercial goes too far" (Ernest Hooper); Sometimes, John McCain comes across as that kindly uncle who likes to slip a $5 bill out of his wallet to his nieces and nephews. Then he ambushes Barack Obama with a misleading commercial that states Obama's lipstick on a pig comment was specifically directed at GOP running mate Sarah Palin. Even conservative radio host Glenn Beck said the commercial went too far. [Published Sept. 15, 2008]

St. Petersburg Times "Campaign of lies disgraces McCain" (Editorial); [McCain] has been a serious public servant willing to say unpopular truths when he thought it best for the country, but he's more than willing in this election to put his name on campaign lies. The leader who says he would rather lose an election than lose a war now risks losing his reputation in an attempt to win the White House. [Published Sept. 14, 2008]

Bloomberg "McCain-Palin crowd-size estimates not backed by officials" (Lorraine Woellert, Jeff Bliss); In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin's attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign. [Published Sept. 13, 2008]

Miami Herald "Palin could rob McCain of Jewish vote" (Beth Reinhard); Palin could have proved that she gets Israel's right to security in an interview this week with ABC's Charles Gibson. Instead, she proved only that she was well-coached. When asked how the United States should respond if Israel felt it needed to strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, she said, ``I don't think that we should second-guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves.'' Should the United States cooperate? `I don't think we can second-guess what Israel has to do to secure its nation.'' So it would be OK for Israel to strike? ``We cannot second-guess the steps that Israel has to take to defend itself.'' Americans who care about Israel have a right to know more. [Published Sept. 13, 2008]

St. Petersburg Times "Graham: McCain should return to 'honor'" (Wes Allison); Bob Graham, the former Florida governor and U.S. senator, says he considers his old friend Sen. John McCain a man of honor but that you might not know it from his campaign lately... "That sort of stuff is not the kind of remark for a presidential candidate or a presidential campaign," Graham said, "and I'm hopeful that Sen. McCain will revert to what I think is legitimately defined ... as a life of honor and valor and he will carry those values through his presidential campaign, and by doing so maintain the good feelings that he has with many Americans, including those who are not going to vote for him." [Published Sept. 12, 2008]

Miami New Times "On Israel, Biden has a record, Palin has a flag" (Kyle Munzenrieder); She's stated she's pro-Israel. But Biden, who calls himself a Zionist and sponsored the Palestinian anti-terrorism act of 2006, has the best record to back those claims up. Owning a flag doesn't measure up. [Published Sept. 8, 2008]

Orlando Sentinel "Could Gov. Sarah Palin simply avoid the press?" (Hal Boedeker); It makes me wonder: Is she not up to swimming in the choppy waters with the other candidates? Can she think on her feet? Can she take her lumps in the interviews like every other candidate for high office? Is the McCain campaign trying to pull one on the public? If tragedy struck and Palin became president, would she take questions from the press? Or would she require special handling then, too? Taking reporters' questions on the campaign trail helps reveal whether a candidate is prepared for office. If she can't deal with Bob Schieffer and George Stephanopoulos, why would she be able to stand up to the leaders of Russia and Iran? [Published Sept. 7, 2008]

St. Petersburg Times "McCain speech fails to deliver on change" (Editorial); This is supposed to be a change election, and John McCain certainly has changed. The Arizona senator, who accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night, has morphed from a maverick with broad appeal into just another hard-edged conservative relying on cynical judgments and old-fashioned rhetoric to rally his party's unenthusiastic base in hopes of a narrow victory in November. [Published Sept. 5, 2008]

Palm Beach Post "Just straight-faced talk" (Editorial); Sen. McCain chose Gov. Palin because his party is less excited about him than the Democrats are about Sen. Obama, and he wanted to excite the party's easy-to-excite religious fundamentalists. He also wanted to present something of a "historic" ticket. But in passing over all the qualified Republican women - five of them Senate colleagues - Sen. McCain went for tokenism, despite his comment in July that he favored ending affirmative action in his home state of Arizona. Tonight, Sen. McCain will tout his judgment. Based on their first big decisions, the judgment call goes to Sen. Obama. [Published Sept. 4, 2008]

Florida Today "McCain's Challenge" (Editorial); But there's another side to McCain that's troubling and raises concerns about how he would govern. He promised to run a positive campaign but has unleashed personal attacks against Barack Obama, questioning his patriotism. He admits to knowing little about economics when the economy is the nation's top concern, and has a senior economic adviser in former GOP Sen. Phil Gramm who has ridiculed hard-pressed Americans for being in a "mental recession" and a "nation of whiners." [Published Sept. 4, 2008]

Ft. Myers News-Press "McCain panders to base" (Editorial); John McCain is portrayed as a maverick, an independent, free-thinker who isn't beholden to party lines. But in the biggest decision he's made as a presidential candidate, he caved. [Published Sept. 4, 2008]

Associated Press "McCain's Obama-Palin comparison falls short" (Jim Drinkard); McCain continued the theme, noting that "when she was in government, he was a community organizer." That's incorrect. When Palin was first elected to the town council in Wasilla, Alaska, in the fall of 1992, Obama was wrapping up work in Chicago on a voter-registration drive. When that job ended, he joined a Chicago law firm and became a lecturer at the University of Chicago law school, and the Chicago Tribune picked him as one of "25 Chicagoans on the road to making a difference." Obama's community organizing career had come years earlier, in 1985-88. [Published Sept. 2, 2008]

St. Petersburg Times "Palin excites base, but not Clinton fans" (Adam Smith); Democratic former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman, who had been seriously talking about not voting, is now an Obama supporter: "I emailed about twenty or thirty like-minded Democrats that the Sarah Palin choice had pushed me over the edge.  I'll be voting for Obama and am glad to see that he is finally tackling some of  the issues that have kept me from doing so before----pay equity to be specific,'' said Freedman. [Published Sept. 1, 2008]

St. Petersburg Times "Crowd count politics in McCain country" (Alex Leary); A McCain spokesman on scene said he did not have an official tally and the consensus among journalists was it was around 1,000. The figure was reported by the St. Petersburg Times and the Wall Street Journal. But Republicans were sending messages to reporters, too. "On background, there seems to be some confusion over how many folks attended the John Rich concert tonight in Panama City. There were 3,000 people in attendance according to the United States Secret Service, which has a pretty good handle on these things." [Published August 2, 2008]




McCain Supporters Turn To Hateful Push-Polling Used Against Them in 2000

Via No Blood For Hubris:

Key West resident Joelna Marcus received a phone call today. She was asked if she is Jewish, and she replied in the affirmative.

She was asked if she was religious.

She was then asked if her opinion of Barack Obama would change if she knew that Obama had given lots and lots of money to the PLO.

Sounds like liar John McCain's Smear-Talk Express, not unlike Ol' Man River, just keeps rollin' along.

Update: Another FL voter (from Gainesville) has revealed he too received a similar push-poll call.

This type of nonsense is completely dishonest and unethical and McCain should strongly condemn it and use his power to get it stopped.

If you get one of these calls, e-mail me the phone number it came from (my e-mail and we'll see if we can coordinate some kind of strike back.

To learn the truth about the Israel/Middle East policies of Obama and McCain, go to Jews Vote or J Street.

Count the Lies

If you can keep up...

McCain Has No Honor

McCain Out of Touch on Economy


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Are You Registered To Vote?

Are you sure? You should check just to make sure. October 6 is the deadline to register if you aren't registered.

McCain Distorts Obama's Record on Sex Ed

It's Over

McCain Is Out of Touch

McCain Loves Lobbyists

Seriously, check out

Is McCain Healthy Enough to Be President?

McCain: Paid for by Big Oil

Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

John McCain Is A Liar

Daily Challenge

Okay, let's get to work. With only a few more than 50 days left before the election, we have a lot of work to do. If you aren't sure what to do, here are some strong suggestions I have for you:

1. Fight Amendment 2. If you didn't know, we have a blog dedicated to fighting the false "marriage" protection push from the religious right, The Hate Amendment. Link to it. Read it. Do what you can to learn more about the amendment and spread the word. Learn more about the amendment in Tuesday's video edition of the Word of the Day.

2. Get people to sign petitions for This is one of the biggest fights we should be engaging in right now. We get overly focused on the elections in front of us, but we need to keep the big picture in front of us. If you haven't done so already, download and sign the petitions. Tell your friends. Link to

3. Help Doug Tudor and other candidates who are being undercut by Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Call her at 202-257-3422 and demand she explain her "Don’t pull that populist stuff with me" quote to Tudor and ask her why she isn't doing more to help Florida's progressive Democratic challengers. It's her job. Read more about it...

Learn more about all three of these stories in last week's video edition of The Countdown.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Obama Responds to Ridiculous "Lipstick" Attacks

Governor Charlie Crist sounds a bit ambivalent about the Hate Amendment:

“I’ll support it, I’ll vote for it, move on,” the governor said of the Amendment 2 gay-marriage ban in an interview during a trip to tour flood-damaged areas in Central Florida. “It’s not top-tier for me, put it that way.”

When asked if he’ll spend time plugging Amendment 2, Crist said, “I don’t think so. I think I will campaign for candidates much more extensively — Sen. McCain.” The governor also reiterated his position of precluding the Republican Party of Florida from spending money to support the gay-marriage ban.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Something disturbing was brought to my attention while attending the Democratic National Convention. I've also noticed this same thing at other political and social events, regardless of party or venue. Americans tend to treat people with disabilities as if they were invisible, as objects of pity, with open hostility or, as one woman with a disibility put it to me "as pieces of furniture" -- a nuisance to be navigated around.

All of these options are profoundly wrong. And the worst part is that some of this behavior comes from people who claim to be allies of Americans with disabilities.

The disabled people I've talked to -- probably more in number that the average American -- generally only want a few things. They want to be treated just like everyone else when it comes to human interaction. They want to be given the same respect as everyone else. They want to be able to, as much as possible, live the same types of lives the rest of us live. They what to be in control of their own destiny and they want to preserve their own dignity. They want help only when they truly need it and they want to everything else for themselves -- just like the rest of us. In short, there really isn't any significant difference between people with disabilities and people without disabilities (or as I've heard some people say, "people who don't have disabilities yet").

Figuring this stuff out isn't that difficult.

If you are planning an event, political or social, or you are opening an office or acquiring a location for such an event, there is law already in place to help you understand what you should do. Also, it would be a great idea to invite people with actual disabilities into the planning committee. They are likely to be able to know what they would need, and therefore what others might need. There are also experts in ADA law and compliance.

Some of this is just common sense, though. Entrances, exits, restrooms, seating, food and beverage serving areas, etc., should be accessible to people with a variety of disabilities. If not, people should be provided with assistants or be allowed to bring assistants with no additional cost or charge. Transportation can be an issue as well, so parking needs to be available for those who need it and transportation should be provided when necessary. There are many other small things that can be done that can greatly increase accessibility and openness. We demand it of politicians, we should demand it of ourselves, too.

Democrats and liberals go out of our way to be inclusive of a wide variety of people with different backgrounds and capabilities. We should guarantee we treat our friends with disabilities the same as everyone else and include them in our activities. I've been to events all over the country and the number of them that were ADA-complient were few and far between.

We run the risk of alienating our natural allies and an important segment of our big tent. We run the risk of pushing voters to the other side. We run the risk of making our events exclusive events only open to the "right kind" of people. We run the risk of alienating voters, workers and campaign contributors.

Most importantly, if we don't start addressing these problems, we aren't living up to our own values and we aren't making the morally-correct choice.

Some of our friends with disabilities are amongst the hardest-working and most dedicated members of our movement, and they deserve to be rewarded for that and they have the right to the same respect and dignity that we demand for ourselves.


The latest links to the information you need to counter right-wing spin...

The Five Biggest Republican Lies

Palin More Qualified Than Lincoln, Kennedy, Johnson, McCain!

Presidents Without Executive Experience

Fact Checking The GOP Convention

Romney mocks Gore for non-existent private jet

Gingrich Repeats Big Oil Lie, Reveals Propaganda Plan On Tavis Smiley

Associated Press - Palin stretched the truth in speech

Important Reading

Good stuff you all should read from bloggers in other states...

Chris Bowers: How Can We End The Compliments?

Chris Bowers: Disempowering Compliments

Chris Bowers: Maybe We Aren't Taking McCain Seriously Enough

Matt Stoller: Sarah Palin and Colbert's White House Correspondent's Dinner

David Sirota: Engaging In Dubious Battle

The Road to the White House

What are Florida bloggers saying about the presidential race? Here are the top 5 posts from yesterday...

1. Smashed Frog: So Sambo Beat the Bitch!

2. Miami-Dade Dems: Jesus was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor

3. tinylittledots: John Ridley: The Guide to the Conservative Palinguage Vol.2 — the People’s Edition

4. Lucky White Girl: gendered language

5. Pensito Review (Buck): Sarah Palin’s Secret E-Mails

6. Eye on Miami (Genius of Despair): My Endorsement For President

7. Some Things We Don't Throw the Book At

8. Eye on Miami (Genius of Despair): Sarah Palin's Decision Chart: After the Water Broke

9. Bark Bark Woof Woof: Stop the Music

10. Blue Dot Musings in a Red Sea: What About the Other Guys?