Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yes We Can!!!!! Yes We Can Make a Difference!!!

We can make a difference! A week or so ago, I received a blogger's list of major Television Network Email addreses. I had already been emailing Morning Joe, Race to the Whitehouse, and other shows on MSNBC, but this list gave access to producers, show directors, and show hosts from many stations. I realized how unhappy many of the bloggers were with Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan on MSNBC, and of course, Fox Noise! So I included the list of addresses in a blog to about 60,000+ members of the 20 groups I belong to on I was amazed at the result! The past few days I have received hundreds of emails from people who decided to email the MSNBC station and other stations as well. Well done, Bloggers!! Yes We Can!!!
There is another tactic we must take to make a difference. When we blog, we are mostly blogging within our own Democratic sites to fellow Democrats who are already voting for Obama. It is a great place to share ideas and tactics, get important info, communicate successes, etc. Many of us spend hours each day blogging, which gets me to my point. I'm sure you've noticed the trolls, who respond to messages with Republican talking points and harsh criticism. I had heard on Air America that the Carl Rove Team had set up a strategy to do that very thing, and a fellow blogger sent me one of the web sites that details the strategy. Check it out at

Their goal was to create chaos within the Dems' sites figuring we would waste much time responding to these idiotic messages. Just as Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough do on MSNBC, these trolls rile us up and we spend valuable energy on them. We need to inflitrate the Republican Blogsites and start responding to their messages with our own talking points, refute the lies and smears they are spreading, and create a little chaos ourselves. We have to throw back their tactic right at them!
I decided to join some Republican blog groups, and will start working on this over the weekend when John McCain announces his VP pick, and throughout the Republican Convention and up to the election. Will you join me? We Can Make a Difference! If anyone knows where we can get the Democrat's Daily talking points, please let me know.
And, I do believe that a great response to the Republican Trollers is No Response at all or a one word response such as RIDICULOUS! Lets not waste our time on them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic Convention Cheers, Tears, & Jeers!

The Democratic National Convention opens with a bang! It was such a treat to see Teddy Kennedy on stage and listen to his powerful Kennedy voice once more! He was inspiring, and there was a tangible and visible emotion throughout the convention audience.
But, how about that Michelle Obama?! An authentic and beautiful woman, she did exactly what she needed to do and more! She painted a picture of her husband as a working-class advocate for the American dream who "will finally bring the change that we need." She stressed her and the senator's middle-class backgrounds saying the couple “were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life, that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do, that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them and even if you don’t agree with them.”
In the first major address at the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama described herself as a daughter, a sister, a wife and a mother, no different from many women. She told a boisterous and emotional crowd waving signs reading "Michelle" that she and her husband feel an obligation to "fight for the world as it should be" to ensure the promise of a better life for their daughters and all children Michelle connected with mothers all across the nation when she spoke of her daughters. Michelle Obama talked about tucking in her daughters Malia and Sasha at night, and the appearance of the two girls at the end talking through the microphones to their Dad on the LCD screen was priceless!
But it was when Michelle Obama declared "I love this country" that the crowd cheered the loudest! Putting to rest any critics who keep bringing up her possible lack of patriotism, I like what MSNBC's Tim Olberman said, "The issue is now finished, over with, done, period!"
If you missed the speech, listen here.

Overall, the opening was great, even with some Clinton protestors trying to disrupt the night. The recent attack ad by John McCain with a Clinton-backer saying that now she will vote for McCain makes me wonder how those who supposedly shared Clinton's values and agreed with her stances on the issues, which are almost identical to Obama's, could choose revenge over their country. Maybe Hillary will squash that sentiment tonight as she is scheduled as the keynote speaker.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dave Stewart American Prayer Video - Inspiring!!!!

Send this to everyone you know. It is a wonderful video!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Woo Hooooo!!!!! Its Obama-Biden!!!

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L), his wife Michelle and Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) (R) with his wife Jill greet people gathered on the lawn of the Old State Capital August 23, 2008 in Springfield, Illinois. The Obama campaign confirmed this morning Biden had been selected as Obama's running mate.
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images North America)

Great choice! I love the pick! Here is a well-thought commentary on Joe Biden
From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro of MSNBC:
DENVER -- We confirmed the news after midnight, and then after trying to get a little sleep, this text message at about 3:00 am ET woke us up: “Barack has chosen Senator Joe Biden to be our VP nominee. Watch the first Obama-Biden rally live at 3pm ET on Spread the word!” A 3:00 am wake-up call, you just can’t make this stuff up. And there were two collective sounds you could hear over the beeping cellphones and the buzzing blackberries. On the Democratic side, it was a collective "phew." As the days got nearer for the pick, it was hard to find a Democrat -- even savvy Clintonites -- who weren't hoping it would be Biden. Only the most strident Hillary supporters appear to be upset this morning. On the GOP side, the sound you heard was disappointed silence. Of everyone on the short list, the candidate many Republicans least wanted to see Obama pick was Biden. Sure, they've already trotted out their talking points. And the McCain camp even produced a rapid-response TV ad highlighting some unkind words Biden said about Obama during the primaries. (We assume this now means McCain won’t be picking Romney, right? And doesn't the McCain ad actually send the message to swing voters that Obama's willing to surround himself with critics?) But there are too many intellectual conservatives (see David Brooks) who believe Biden's the most qualified guy Obama could have realistically picked.
*** Joe’s strengths…: As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he has plenty of foreign policy experience -- something viewed as a weakness for Obama. Also, Biden’s most recent presidential bid raised his national profile, making him a politico whom most Americans know, which could help reassure some voters who have doubts about Obama. In addition, whether it has been in recent speeches or on Meet the Press, Biden has showed that he’s up to this veep responsibility: whacking the opposition. What’s more, during his presidential bid in ’07-’08, Biden demonstrated that he’s a very good debater, a quality the Democrats might want to showcase during the vice presidential debate scheduled for October 2. And electorally, Biden could help lock down Pennsylvania, as well as connect better than Obama has in blue-collar Michigan and the "U" of Ohio (Toledo to Youngstown). A few more thoughts… Biden is someone that will play well with older white voters, a demographic group Obama's struggled with, and he’s very popular with labor and trial lawyers, which while helpful financially for Obama and in the Rust Belt, could fire up the business community even more for McCain.
*** … And his weaknesses: Obama has railed against Washington and Washington insiders during his campaign, but few people are more inside Washington than Biden, who has served in the Senate for 36 years (by comparison, McCain has been in the Senate for 22 years). Furthermore, Biden often has been a gaffe machine -- whether it was calling Obama "clean" and "articulate" (news that marred his presidential announcement in 2007) or stating in 2006, "You cannot go to a 7-11 or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” And there was that plagiarism scandal that knocked him out of the 1988 presidential race. Perhaps the biggest question: Just how well will Obama and Biden mesh? Has Biden been anybody's No. 2, ever? He's run for president TWICE for a reason (the first time Biden ran, Obama was just starting law school, by the way). Biden has an actual "boss" for the first time in his political career. Is he ready to ride shotgun? And is it a problem that Obama-Biden is a mirror image of Bush-Cheney from 2000? A charismatic, inexperienced nominee taps a more experienced, dare we say, arrogant No.2? In fact, there are a lot of Republicans who believe they can sell Obama-Biden as "the Audacity of Arrogance times two."
*** Back to Springfield: When Obama and Biden appear together this afternoon at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, IL, it will come just more than 18 months after Obama officially launched his presidential bid from that historical venue. (It’s where Lincoln gave his famous 1858 “House Divided” speech, in which he railed against slavery and how it had torn the nation into two. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”) While today’s event will be a bit warmer than it was on that February 2007 day -- it was close to 10 degrees! -- that announcement back then was the first sign that there was something to Obama’s candidacy. Despite the frigid weather, close to 20,000 showed up on that day, and the crowds at his rallies only grew. Now, with the polls tightening, Obama needs to draw on some of that Springfield magic. Can he deliver?
*** The big bounce? Now for some non-VP news… Yesterday, the McCain campaign released a memo saying that Obama should receive a 15-point (!!!) bounce from his convention. But here’s a big caveat: We haven’t had a back-to-back convention schedule in a very long time, so it may make historical comparisons moot. But let's crunch some numbers from the Gallup chart McCain's campaign sent around. The average Dem convention bounce since '64 is 6.2 points. The average GOP convention bounce since '64 is 5.3 points. The average FIRST convention bounce: 6.3 points. The average SECOND convention bounce is: 5.2 points. With just three instances since '64 of open-seat presidential elections, it's useless to attempt an average if you did this average based on Olympic score (tossing the high and the low), the average convention bounce would be 5.6 points, which feels about the right bar for expectations. The Clinton example the McCain folks are using -- 16 points after the '92 Dem convention! -- is really a reach considering that Ross Perot (who was the front-runner the week before the Dem convo) dropped out the week of the Dem convo. So toss the Clinton bounce out any analysis window.
*** Saying goodbye to those red states? In addition to that memo, the McCain campaign yesterday furiously pounced on a report that Team Obama was pulling its advertising in red states -- like Alaska, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, and North Dakota -- suggesting that the Obama camp was abandoning its (almost) 50-state strategy. But as Lee Corso might say, “Not so fast, my friend.” A senior Obama campaign source told First Read that the campaign wasn’t planning to be on TV next week during their convention, but the McCain is up with negative spots in 11 states, and they wanted to match them in those 11 (which doesn't include any of those ruby-red states). Moreover, the source assures us that the campaign will resume its larger TV buy once the convention ends.
*** On the trail: McCain is down in Sedona, AZ. Obama holds his rally in Springfield at the Old State Capitol. Countdown to Dem convention: 2 daysCountdown to GOP convention: 9 daysCountdown to Election Day 2008: 73 days Countdown to Inauguration Day 2009: 150 days

Monday, August 18, 2008

John McCain's 10 Houses - Elitist & Out of Touch!

I received this email from Robert Greenwld and The Brave New Team. It is definitely worth passing along!
"Most working families today do not have homes that have anywhere near ten rooms. John McCain has ten houses. Many working people in America have to work two and three jobs to provide for their families and pay their car loans. John McCain hops on a private jet. Is it any wonder why McCain champions a George Bush agenda of cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy, helping oil companies turn record profits, and leaving working families to fend for themselves? McCain's velvet world leaves him utterly unprepared to make the tough choices we need to restore the middle class and ensure that everyone in America has quality, affordable health insurance."
- Andy Stern, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

Dear Donna,
John McCain is soaring to new heights of hypocrisy on his wife's personal jet. He flies around the country bent on duping the public into believing he's "one of them," a regular guy who can empathize with Americans facing an overwhelming economic crush. What's more, he disparages those who oppose his ridiculous policy proposals as "elitist." But who's the real elitist?

The REAL McCain is a multimillionaire who owns ten luxurious homes. The REAL McCain backs President Bush's tax cuts for big corporations. The REAL McCain empathizes only with the interests of our nation's wealthy minority, not its money-strapped majority. But far too many are buying into McCain's deceit because the corporate press won't present the whole picture, so we created this video to educate the public about the REAL McCain.

Watch the video and send it to everyone you know.

Together, you have been a force in making sure The REAL McCain videos have been seen by nearly 6.5 million people. But as Frank Rich noted in his NY Times column yesterday, 40% of Americans hear too little about McCain from the mainstream media, meaning "the public doesn't know who on earth John McCain is." That's why it's crucial you ensure this video is seen by as many as possible, and that we use each and every tool at our disposal to get the word out. Send this on to five friends and family members, and tell them to send it to five people they know. Get it to your local news outlets and blogs and networking sites like Digg. Raise hell about McCain's economic duplicity!

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney summed it up best when he said McCain "simply doesn't understand the challenges America's working families are facing because he isn't remotely affected by them." It's up to us to tell people who McCain really is, a jet-setting elitist more concerned with corporate lobbyists than hard-working Americans.

Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New team

Sunday, August 17, 2008

McCain's cross in the sand story...PLAGIARIZED?

Last night at the Saddleback Forum, McCain emotionally reitterated his story about the cross in the sand drawn by a guard while he was captured in Vietnam.
The camera panned to a sympathetic Cindy McCain as the Evangelists cheered. But today all across the blogosphere and even in the Huffington Post, his story is decried as plagiarism from an Andrew Solzhenitsyn account of a too similar experience while he was detained in a Soviet camp. It just so happens that McCain is a great fan of Solzhenitsyn (maybe he thought his base wouldn't be intellectual enough to have read any Solzhenitsyn). Politics as usual - a little more serious that the Hillary sniper fire story - a lot more serious than the Cindy McCain recipe plagiarism. :>) But McCain sould be called on it. Long story short. In 1973, a russian author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, wrote about his time in in the book "The Gulag Archipelago" and relayed exactly the same story.

From the book:

"As he waited, head down, he felt a presence. Slowly he looked up and saw a skinny old prisoner squat down beside him. The man said nothing. Instead, he used a stick to trace in the dirt the sign of the Cross. The man then got back up and returned to his work.
As Solzhenitsyn stared at the Cross drawn in the dirt his entire perspective changed. He knew he was only one man against the all-powerful Soviet empire. Yet he knew there was something greater than the evil he saw in the prison camp, something greater than the Soviet Union. He knew that hope for all people was represented by that simple Cross. Through the power of the Cross, anything was possible."

There is a nice long excerpt from John McCain's book "Hard Call: The Art of Great Decisions " released in 2005, reprinted in the NY Sun, about what a big fan he is of Alexander Solzhenitsyn writings...

We all keep repeating how we respect and appreciate John McCain's service to our country as a captive (although you really should check out the information about the other part of his naval career - a good place to start is at, but we expect the truth from a man who now is running for our President.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Real McCain

Lies, Falsehoods, Dishonesty!!!

How We Can Get Barack Obama Elected!

Georgia Conflict Orchestrated by USA Politics?

After an initial feeling of shock and anger at Russia's "invasion" of Georgia, I started looking up information. Like most Americans struggling with the day to day problems of making ends meet and family and work and so forth, I really didn't know too much about the little Democratic Georgia across the world. I learned that the United States government, in its pursuit of Democracy for all, had armed Georgia with weapons, money, and an attitude that they could face down big ole' Russia because the U.S. would be backing them. Then last night I watched an angry Mikail Gorbachav on Larry King Live expressing his feelings that the Bush administration had in effect orchestrated this whole thing for political reasons. Now, wasn't Carl Rove (vacationing?) in Europe (to avoid the supeona by Congress to tesify) just a week before this all happened? He was actually at the Yalta Conference with Mikhail Saakashvili, Bob Shrum, and Richard Haass. And shortly after the conference, Saakashvili made a reckless decision that prompted the Russian invasion of his country. Susequently, Saakashvili seemed to think that the United States was bound by some promise to defend Georgia, and issued public pronouncements to that effect. I woder where he got that idea? Hmmm: Rice, Rove and McCain all met with Mikheil Saakashvili since July 9. You can view the full list of participants here: Some real disturbing thoughts started to enter my mind, although I have to admit, it is hard for me to believe that anyone would instigate a war that has killed thousands of people, destroyed homes, schools, and hospitals, for political gain. History shows, though, that men can and have done these things (Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria . . .). Oh, and hasn't John McCain been a proponent against Russia for the past 8 years or so? Isn't this a convenient little war for him right now? I finally found Air America on my car radio yesterday, and lo and behold, people were calling in to the Rachel Maddow show with the very same thoughts as mine. What will it take for someone to get to the bottom of this, because if the American conscience becomes aware that this is true, John McCain will be finished! Please read the following articles published in the past few days - one from Mike Malloy, another from Pravda in Russia, and one from a blogger:

The Shoe Lady Mike Malloy
Which brings us to the current Russian crisis. The hot war now raging between Russia and the Republic of Georgia is yet another indicator of both Rice's uselessness and the ongoing global chaos perpetrated by the Cheney Cabal. His acid fingerprints are all over this destructive confrontation. This is a crisis years in the making, with a bloody explosion so inevitable it could have been predicted by even the most inexperienced U.S. foreign service employee.The damage done, Rice is now hustled onstage to declare her usual rhetorical nonsense when an utter catastrophe such as this one explodes with no evident foreknowledge or contingent planning on the part of the U.S. (Except, of course, our clandestine actions as the behind-the-scenes instigator. That, after all - national convulsions, civil disruptions, war - is what has given Dick Cheney such a hideous and deserved reputation and yet another example of what qualifies him as a future defendant before an international war crimes tribunal.)The Reuters News Agency reports: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday urged Russia and Georgia to end hostilities, saying progress apparently had been made toward a cease fire but it was important that all parties stop fighting. "I believe that they believe that they have made some progress and we welcome that and we certainly welcome the EU mediation," Rice told reporters at the White House after briefing President George W. Bush on French-led European Union efforts to mediate with Russia."It is very important now that all parties cease fire," Rice said. "The Georgians have agreed to a cease fire. The Russians need to stop their military operations as they have apparently said that they will. But those military operations really do now need to stop. "Rice said the United States supported Georgia's elected government. "I want to make very clear that the United States stands for the territorial integrity of Georgia, for the sovereignty of Georgia, that we support its democratically elected government and its people," she said.This is declaratory nonsense. Gibberish. Utter bullshit spoken by a shill for the most warlike and corrupt regime in U.S. history.As a result of her inability to provide effective leadership - any leadership for that matter - Rice should resign immediately. And the duties of the Secretary of State? They have been Dick Cheney's since the beginning of this horrific period of U.S. political history - the Administration of George W. Bush. Let's stop pretending its otherwise.

War between Russia and Georgia orchestrated from USA Pravda

The US administration urged for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia.In the meantime, Russian officials believe that it was the USA that orchestrated the current conflict. The chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security, Vladimir Vasilyev, believes that the current conflict is South Ossetia is very reminiscent to the wars in Iraq and Kosovo.“The things that were happening in Kosovo, the things that were happening in Iraq – we are now following the same path. The further the situation unfolds, the more the world will understand that Georgia would never be able to do all this without America. South Ossetian defense officials used to make statements about imminent aggression from Georgia, but the latter denied everything, whereas the US Department of State reloaded not comments on the matter. In essence, they have prepared the force, which destroys everything in South Ossetia, attacks civilians and hospitals. They are responsible for this. The world community will learn about it,” the official said.In the meantime, it became known that the Georgian troops conducted volley-fire cleansings of several South Ossetian settlements, where people’s houses were simply leveled.“The number of victims with women, children and elderly people among them, can be counted in hundreds and even thousands,” a source from South Ossetian government in the capital of Tskhinvali said.The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, told reporters that Georgia’s actions in South Ossetia question its consistency as a state and as aresponsible member of the international community, Interfax reports."Civilians, including women, children and elderly people are dying in South Ossetia. In addition to that, Georgia conducts ethnic scouring in South Ossetian villages. The situation in South Ossetia continues to worsen every hour. Georgia uses military hardware and heavy arms against people. They shell residential quarters of Tskhinvali [the capital] and other settlements. They bomb the humanitarian convoys. The number of refugees continues to rise – the people try to save their lives, the lives of their children and relatives. A humanitarian disaster is gathering pace,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said.The minister added that the Georgian administration ignored the appeal from the UN General Assembly to observe the Olympic truce during the Beijing Olympics.

Georgia war is a neocon election ploy
August 13, 2008
Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?
Before you dismiss that possibility, consider the role of one Randy Scheunemann, for four years a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government, ending his official lobbying connection only in March, months after he became Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser.
Previously, Scheunemann was best known as one of the neoconservatives who engineered the war in Iraq when he was a director of the Project for a New American Century. It was Scheunemann who, after working on the McCain 2000 presidential campaign, headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which championed the U.S. Iraq invasion.
There are telltale signs that he played a similar role in the recent Georgia flare-up. How else to explain the folly of his close friend and former employer, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, in ordering an invasion of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, which clearly was expected to produce a Russian counter-reaction. It is inconceivable that Saakashvili would have triggered this dangerous escalation without some assurance from influential Americans he trusted, like Scheunemann, that the United States would have his back. Scheunemann long guided McCain in these matters, even before he was officially running foreign policy for McCain’s presidential campaign.
In 2005, while registered as a paid lobbyist for Georgia, Scheunemann worked with McCain to draft a congressional resolution pushing for Georgia’s membership in NATO. A year later, while still on the Georgian payroll, Scheunemann accompanied McCain on a trip to that country, where they met with Saakashvili and supported his bellicose views toward Russia’s Vladimir Putin.Scheunemann is at the center of the neoconservative cabal that has come to dominate the Republican candidate’s foreign policy stance in a replay of the run-up to the war against Iraq.

Stop Fox's Smears of Obama

The FOX smears are continuing and we need to stop them from spreading to the rest of the media. Watch FOX's laughably inaccurate distortions, as they smear Barack Obama on everything from the economy to race to patriotism to flag pins.

In the coming weeks, FOX will escalate its gross misrepresentations of Obama, and we know from painful past experience that some in the corporate media will spread FOX's canards by presenting them as fact. We must stop the spread.

Watch the video and sign the petition.

Now that you've had the chance to watch we need you to make sure everyone else sees the distortions as we work to stop them. Sign our petition and demand FOX stop serving up blatant lies for the rest of the media to swallow. It's critical that you send it to everyone you know, get it to your local newspapers and TV stations, and post it on blogs and networking sites. Digg it and Reddit!
This is a game show because satires sometimes can be a powerful weapon. Let's use it to make sure the media know that when it comes to Obama, The FOX Is Wrong!
Robert Greenwald
and the Brave New Team

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Could Georgia Conflict Have Been Prevented?

Pictures: Reuters(L) & AP(R)
I've been listening to CNN all morning (MSNBC's political coverage not on due to Oympic coverage). Maybe its too soon to start being critical of the United States' foreign policy in regard to Georgia & Russia, but President Mikhail Saakashvili is quite angry and disappointed in the United States' lack of support. Since the violence began, I've read articles from 6 of the major papers nationwide, and the general feeling is that the U.S. has led the Georgian government to believe they would not be alone in defending their democracy against Russia. Now maybe that means diplomatic measures or pressure through sanctions or whatever, but I don't think that's what the Georgian president expected. The truth of the matter is that the U.S. has let this situation simmer the past few years, concentrating only on Iraq, and took its eye off of Russia who has been escalating its military strength and its power as a nation that could affect all of Europe eventually. Russia's attack (they call it punishment as if Georgia is a naughty child) on Georgia is a message to all, and especially the U.S., that Russia is back. They are flexing their military power and showing the world that they will not tolerate Democratic influence in their part of the world.

And then we have John McCain calling President Saakashvili and speaking for all Americans (his words) saying, "We are all Georgians today!. Yesterday the Georgian president even happily mentioned McCains' message in a rally. Today he disappointedly said that what McCain said was only words and that it should be backed up with action. WHAT IS MCCAIN THINKING? After accusing Obama for acting presidential before he is even elected, McCain is doing the very same thing! And he has used this horrendous situation for his own political gain. If McCain had the power, I think he would be planning to send troops to Georgia (maybe he could roundup some boyscouts or retired military since even our National Guard is already in Iraq and Afghanistan).

Well, President Bush will be speaking within the hour about this very situation. I'm sure he will be offering help for the rebuilding of Georgia, humanitarian aid for its people, and tough words for the Russians. Once more, our country is reactive to something that possibly could have been prevented (9/11).

Does anyone else share my feelings?

Below is a report from the associated press:

Key numbers from the Georgia-Russia conflict
By The Associated Press – 18 hours ago

LENGTH OF WAR: Six days of fighting in Georgia and two separatist regions, South Ossetia and Abhkazia, from Aug. 7 through Aug. 12 before a cease-fire was declared by Russia.

MILITARY: Russia has 1.1 million soldiers, Georgia has 37,000. The Russian armed forces have about 6,000 tanks and some 1,700 combat aircraft. Georgia has 230 tanks and 12 combat aircraft.

_ Russia sent 20,000 troops and 500 tanks into Georgia, according to the Georgian president. In Abhkazia alone, Russia estimated it had at least 9,000 troops and 350 armored vehicles.

_ The U.S. helped Georgia bring about 2,000 Georgian troops from Iraq during the fighting.

DEATH TOLL: About 2,000 people, most of them with Russian passports, were killed in South Ossetia as of Aug. 12, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Georgia's Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili said more than 100 Georgians died, including civilians and soldiers.

DISPLACED: The U.N. Refugee Agency estimates almost 100,000 people were displaced, according to figures provided by both governments. Georgian officials say a few thousand fled south into Georgia proper from South Ossetia, and up to 12,000 were estimated to be displaced within South Ossetia. Russian officials in North Ossetia suggest 30,000 people from South Ossetia remain in Russia.

OIL: Two pipelines were shut down. British energy group BP said Aug. 12 that it closed a pipeline in Georgia carrying "a limited amount" of gas and oil because of the conflict. Another pipeline operated by the London-based oil company in Georgia was out of action after a fire last week in Turkey.

MILITARY BASES: Russia seized a Georgian military base in the town of Senaki. At least four other Georgian air bases were bombed, including a base on the outskirts of Gori, the Vaziani military base on the outskirts of Tbilisi, the Marneuli air base, and another base in Bolnisi.

TOWNS HIT: Tskhinvali, Zugdidi, Senaki.

AMERICANS EVACUATED: More than 170 American citizens evacuated from Georgia to Armenia by the U.S. State Department.

JOURNALISTS KILLED: Three. Dutch TV correspondent Stan Storimans, and photojournalists Alexander Klimchuk and Grigol Chikhladze of Caucasus Images, according to The Committee to Protect Journalists. The group reported at least eight journalists were injured and two were missing.

WAR PRISONERS: The International Committee of the Red Cross said they visited two wounded Russian pilots detained by Georgian authorities.


Sources: AP reporting and UNHCR -

Compiled by AP's News Research Center.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ike's Granddaughter Calls Obama 'Future of America'

Along with Susan Eisenhower, Ike’s grandson David Eisenhower (Susan’s brother) and his wife Julie NIXON Eisenhower (Yes, that’s right: Richard Nixon’s daughter.) both not only also openly endorse Barack Obama, but have also contributed to his campaign.

Affairs to Remember!

Senator John McCain is fighting accusations tonight from the New York Times that he had an affair with lobbyist Vicki Iseman. The Senator released a statement to the Times calling the story a "smear campaign."

Cenk Uyger Huffington post
How is John McCain's Affair Different From John Edwards?

Now, we get to the most relevant question - if John Edwards' political career is done, why isn't John McCain's? John McCain had a well-documented affair on his first wife, with his current wife. He has admitted in the books he has written about his life that he ran around with several different women while still married to his first wife. And don't forget that he left her for a younger, richer woman - multi-millionaire Cindy Hensley who is now Cindy McCain - after she had been severely hurt in a car accident.
So, why are McCain's actions any more excusable than Edwards'? Because it was thirty years ago? Does that wash it away? Will we be fine with Edwards running for office again in a couple of years because then it will all be in the past? What is the statute of limitations on an affair?
Remember Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan and Ross Perot were so upset with how John McCain dealt with his first wife that they didn't forgive him for a very, very long time. Perot still hasn't forgiven him. In fact, he said recently about McCain dumping his first wife for Cindy, "McCain is the classic opportunist. He's always reaching for attention and glory."
So, I want every pundit who condemns John Edwards today to tell me what the difference between him and McCain is and why John McCain shouldn't also be run out of politics for his adulterous affairs and what he did to his first wife.

Digby is the proprietor of Hullabaloo
Media Salivate Over Edwards' Affair; Shrug Shoulders Over McCain's Alleged Infidelity

I realize that everybody gets excited about sex scandals. It's human nature. But it's important to keep in mind that John Edwards didn't even come close to winning the nomination and this is just another sleazy tabloid story with absolutely no serious significance other than the sickening spectacle of the prurient slavering of the mainstream media now that they have finally found their hook: it's because he lied to the press about his sex life. How could he???
(Lying to the press about the anthrax killers and WMD in Iraq, well, not a problem.)
Let's assume that the rules now say that denying an affair to the press is a cardinal offense that merits endless bloviating about dishonesty from a bunch of hypocritical celebrities who protect their "sources" when they lie about torture and war. Fine. But this guy actually may very well be president and they took his word for it:
I'm very disappointed in the New York Times piece. It's not true. And I'll be glad to respond to any questions you might have.
QUESTION: Senator, did you ever have any meeting with any of your staffers in which they would have intervened to ask you not to see Vicki Iseman or to be concerned about appearances of being too close to a lobbyist?
QUESTION: No meeting ever occurred?
QUESTION: No staffer was ever concerned about a possible romantic relationship?
MCCAIN: If they were, they didn't communicate that to me.
QUESTION: Did you ever have such relationship?
QUESTION: Senator, can you describe your relationship with Vicki Iseman?
MCCAIN: Friends. Seen her on occasions, particularly at receptions and fund-raisers and appearances before the committee. I have many friends in Washington who represent various interests and those who don't, and I consider her a friend.
QUESTION: But do you feel like, in terms of your relationship with lobbyists in general, you were closer to her than with others?
MCCAIN: No, no.
I have many friends who represent various interests, ranging from the firemen to the police to senior citizens to various interests, particularly before my committee. And I had meetings with hundreds of them and various interests. And that was my job to do, to get their input.
And, obviously, people who represent interests are fine. That's their constitutional right. The question is is whether do they have access or unwarranted influence. And certainly, no one ever has in my conduct of my public life and the conduct of my legislative agenda.
QUESTION: Senator?
MCCAIN: Yes, sir?
QUESTION: Did John Weaver, who is one of your former top aides -- is quoted on the record saying that he had a conversation with her saying -- basically telling her to butt out.
Do you not know of that conversation? Do you know why John Weaver would go on the record describing such a conversation?
MCCAIN: I did not and I don't know anything about it.
Many people, especially in the press, jumped to defend McCain against the evil New York Times on that one and there has been no follow up. But considering how everyone is excusing the flogging of this Edwards story on the basis of the fact that he lied to the press, I'm not sure it's in the country's best interest not to ask McCain about this again and talk to the women herself. What if it comes out that it was true after he's president? Why surely the press will be as honor bound to obsess over it as they were about Clinton and now Edwards, right? It's not about the sex -- it's about the lying, remember? (They've been saying on a loop that John Edwards was a breath away from the presidency, after all and he got about four delegates.)
I personally don't care who any of these people are sleeping with (especially McCain). Marriage is a very complicated institution and I don't pass judgment on how others conduct theirs. I think this is all bullshit. But if the media has decided that even a failed politician who has no chance at the presidency can be subject to this kind of scrutiny, then they need to be a little bit more vigilant about pursuing someone who is the nominee of his party and has been very publicly linked to a specific woman by the paper of record, not the National Enquirer. If these are the rules, then this guy is a far more likely subject of scrutiny than Edwards.

Action Wire Asks to Spread This Along!

The Obama Action Wire is a grassroots rapid response group for supporters to fight smears, spread the truth, push back on misleading media, and take positive action.

This is what they sent to me:
This week John McCain's campaign hit new lows with their attacks and distortions.

And all too often, the so-called "referees" in the news media are spending a lot of time repeating his false attacks and very little time holding him accountable.

Watch the video of Barack taking these attacks head on at an event in Indiana and help spread the truth about John McCain.

Here's the latest from McCain and the media:

Just last week, McCain and his party attacked Barack Obama and ridiculed the idea that keeping your car tires inflated is an effective way to improve fuel efficiency and keep down the cost of gasoline. The thing is, everyone from AAA to NASCAR agreed with Barack. McCain finally had to face reality this week and reverse his position. But the media had a good laugh about McCain's petty, misguided stunt and ignored his effort to distort the truth to win a few cheap political points.Earlier this week, the McCain campaign put out an ad saying that Washington is broken. It's gotten a lot of press so far, but it didn't mention that John McCain spent the last 26 years in Washington -- failing to fix this broken system. He portrays himself as a so-called "maverick" but doesn't want people to know that he has voted 95% of the time in support of George Bush's policies.

Another ad uses scare tactics to claim Barack's tax policy will hurt middle class Americans. Press coverage of the ad repeated McCain's smears, but omitted the fact that Barack's economic plan will cut taxes for 95% of American families. Not to mention that McCain's upper class tax cut plan leaves out more than 100 million middle class families.
The media may not be informing the public very well, but you don't have to sit back and wait for them to start telling the truth about John McCain.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Nine Houses & $520 Shoes?

Carol McCain & Children Praying for John in Vietnam

Everyone agrees that this election is Barack Obama's to win after 8 years of the Bush catastophe, the poor economy, the energy crisis, and the War in Iraq. So why are the polls so close? Why can't Barack break that magic 50%? Political pundits and the McCain campaign say its because we just don't know enough about Barack Obama. That he is exotic, not like one of us. That he hasn't been around long enough for us to know well.
Well, WHAT DO THEY WANT? Obama has written two biographical books, has repeated his life story over and over on the air and on a biographical tour across the country. I can repeat intimate details about he and his grandfather watching the astronauts land in the ocean, and his grandmother feeding him jello with grape halves. I've seen pictures of him as a small boy, of his mother and father and grandparents, of Barack at Harvard, of Barack as an organizer on the streets of Chicago, and on and on and on. And, "exotic"? I say "experienced" in life.
Why aren't we talking about McCain in this way? Why aren't we talking about his NINE houses, his $520 shoes, and the fact that his judgement wasn't so hot when he cheated on and then left his first wife and three children for a model and beer heiress named Cindy who was almost 20 years younger than he?(Scroll down to read my July 18th blog on THAT event in John McCain's life.)
Barack Obama said he would never smear Cindy McCain the way that the McCain campaign did to Michelle. Maybe its up to the rest of us to fight fire with the truth.
Rachel Maddow argues these points in the following video on Race for the Whitehouse yesterday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

McCain Town Hall Participants Vetted?

McCain is now orchestrating his town hall meetings & rallies to his specifications; they are now by invite only and confrontation free! Watch the video below to see how one reporter, Steven Price, senior writer for the Tallahassee Democrat, was booted from McCain's rally in Florida last Friday even though he had the proper media credentials and believes it was possibly because of the color of his skin.

One More Time on the McCain Racist Celebrity Ad!

Whether the symbols were what Bob Herbert mistakenly called the Washington Monument, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or the Victory Column in Berlin, it doesn't matter. The symbols were there! He brilliantly articuated and backed up his claim that the McCain celebrity ad is racist. Keth Olberman on the August 4th Countdown show agrees:

What about when it backfires? Because it seems like the celebrity ad continues to echo. And Bob Herbert of the New York Times was on this network pointing out something I don't know that anybody noticed before this morning. That not only in that McCain ad where there two underdressed blondes mixed with the black guy in the ad, but there were also images of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Washington Monument, and the Victory Column in Berlin -- as Bob Herbert put it, "phallic symbols." Three phallic symbols, two blondes and Barack Obama. So this is not just a sexist ad anymore. This is what they used to called "miscegenation," isn't it? This is what they used against Harold Ford.

Monday, August 4, 2008

FINALLY! Someone Says it Right!!!!

Well, someone finally has the nerve to say it like it is!!! Bob Herbert, Op-ed columnist for the New York Times, wrote an article lambasting the Republican Campaign's attack ads, and for once accurately pointing out exactly what the ad's symbols were meant to portray. On Morning Joe this morning he correctly explained to a white-faced, speechless Joe Scarborough why Paris Hilton, Brittany Spears, Barack Obama, and two phallic symbols were shown within seconds of each other in the latest smear ad by John McCain & his staff. Joe quickly turned the camera on Pat Buchanan who joked and laughed about it along with staffers who were doubled over laughing as they took in the resulting e-mails. I am so sick of the crappola on Morning Joe and the daytime shows on MSNBC. This weekend I watched CNN where I actually found a new refreshing idea; they are making a committment to show videos of the candidates talking about the actual ISSUES!!! Can you believe it? Its called "In Their Own Words" or something like that. MSNBC better take note! Morning Republican Joe and the Bubblehead Daytime hosts are off of my schedule!

Op-Ed Columnist
Published: August 2, 2008
Gee, I wonder why, if you have a black man running for high public office — say, Barack Obama or Harold Ford — the opposition feels compelled to run low-life political ads featuring tacky, sexually provocative white women who have no connection whatsoever to the black male candidates.
Spare me any more drivel about the high-mindedness of John McCain. You knew something was up back in March when, in his first ad of the general campaign, Mr. McCain had himself touted as “the American president Americans have been waiting for.”
There was nothing subtle about that attempt to position Senator Obama as the Other, a candidate who might technically be American but who remained in some sense foreign, not sufficiently patriotic and certainly not one of us — the “us” being the genuine red-white-and-blue Americans who the ad was aimed at.
Since then, Senator McCain has only upped the ante, smearing Mr. Obama every which way from sundown. On Wednesday, The Washington Post ran an extraordinary front-page article that began:
“For four days, Senator John McCain and his allies have accused Senator Barack Obama of snubbing wounded soldiers by canceling a visit to a military hospital because he could not take reporters with him, despite no evidence that the charge is true.”
Evidence? John McCain needs no evidence. His campaign is about trashing the opposition, Karl Rove-style. Not satisfied with calling his opponent’s patriotism into question, Mr. McCain added what amounted to a charge of treason, insisting that Senator Obama would actually prefer that the United States lose a war if that would mean that he — Senator Obama — would not have to lose an election.
Now, from the hapless but increasingly venomous McCain campaign, comes the slimy Britney Spears and Paris Hilton ad. The two highly sexualized women (both notorious for displaying themselves to the paparazzi while not wearing underwear) are shown briefly and incongruously at the beginning of a commercial critical of Mr. Obama.
The Republican National Committee targeted Harold Ford with a similarly disgusting ad in 2006 when Mr. Ford, then a congressman, was running a strong race for a U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee. The ad, which the committee described as a parody, showed a scantily clad woman whispering, “Harold, call me.”
Both ads were foul, poisonous and emanated from the upper reaches of the Republican Party. (What a surprise.) Both were designed to exploit the hostility, anxiety and resentment of the many white Americans who are still freakishly hung up on the idea of black men rising above their station and becoming sexually involved with white women.
The racial fantasy factor in this presidential campaign is out of control. It was at work in that New Yorker cover that caused such a stir. (Mr. Obama in Muslim garb with the American flag burning in the fireplace.) It’s driving the idea that Barack Obama is somehow presumptuous, too arrogant, too big for his britches — a man who obviously does not know his place.
Mr. Obama has to endure these grotesque insults with a smile and heroic levels of equanimity. The reason he has to do this — the sole reason — is that he is black.
So there he was this week speaking evenly, and with a touch of humor, to a nearly all-white audience in Missouri. His goal was to reassure his listeners, to let them know he’s not some kind of unpatriotic ogre.
Mr. Obama told them: “What they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he’s not patriotic enough. He’s got a funny name. You know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He’s risky.”
The audience seemed to appreciate his comments. Mr. Obama was well-received.
But John McCain didn’t appreciate them. RACE CARD! RACE CARD! The McCain camp started bellowing, and it hasn’t stopped since. With great glee bursting through their feigned outrage, the campaign’s operatives and the candidate himself accused Senator Obama of introducing race into the campaign — playing the race card, as they put it, from the very bottom of the deck.
Whatever you think about Barack Obama, he does not want the race issue to be front and center in this campaign. Every day that the campaign is about race is a good day for John McCain. So I guess we understand Mr. McCain’s motivation.
Nevertheless, it’s frustrating to watch John McCain calling out Barack Obama on race. Senator Obama has spoken more honestly and thoughtfully about race than any other politician in many years. Senator McCain is the head of a party that has viciously exploited race for political gain for decades.
He’s obviously more than willing to continue that nauseating tradition.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Rachel MADDOW: Barack Obama Presumptuous?!

Saturday Big Blue Smurf Blogging: What They Said

By Brilliant at Breakfast

Saturday, August 02, 2008
Today's honoree: Bob Herbert of the New York Times, who in "Running While Black" gives the McCain campaign the smackdown it so richly deserves, and which the television news has lacked the cojones to do. Yesterday MSNBC was All Race Card, All the Time, which of course means I won the bet about whether the suicide of Bruce Ivins would be announced and then buried as quickly as he, and the anthrax case, is about to be.
Money quote from Mr. Herbert:
Spare me any more drivel about the high-mindedness of John McCain. You knew something was up back in March when, in his first ad of the general campaign, Mr. McCain had himself touted as “the American president Americans have been waiting for. By the time McCain spoke up feebly against the Swift boat campaign, the damage had been done -- to him as well as to Kerry. He had undergone a public transformation into a willing instrument of lesser men who trampled on his character and his honor, even his patriotism, just as his campaign is now seeking to do to Obama. "They know no depths," he had complained wearily to reporters on his "Straight Talk" bus during the 2000 primaries. Now he has once more sold himself to those same forces, hoping that they will at last usher him into the White House. In his concession speech after the South Carolina primary, he said, "I want the presidency in the best way, not the worst way." That is what has changed.