Monday, September 29, 2008

house republicans are cry-babies

Yeah, we said it.

Minority Leader John Boehner and his Republican caucus are being a bunch of cry-babies.

They really want to blame the economic recovery plan's failure in the House on a "partisan" speech by Speaker Nancy Pelosi? Give me a break.

Whatever happened to putting "country first?" Or is that just a campaign slogan for John McCain and the Republicans? Instead of doing the right thing, they took their toys and went home when big, bad Pelosi hurt their feelings.

Only 65 Republicans voted for the bill. 140 Democrats voted in favor. You can see how your representative voted here.

By the way, the stock market took a plunge today as the Dow Jones saw the largest-ever single-day drop: nearly 780 points.

help our neighbor: elect andrew rice

Yes, we are a Texas-based blog, but wouldn't it be wonderful to turn Texas blue and also be surrounded by progressives across the region?

Our neighbor to the north, Oklahoma, has the chance to elect Andrew Rice to the U.S. Senate. What a refreshing change it would be to replace Sen. Jim Inhofe, who basically doesn't believe in global warming.

Please send a generous contribution to Andrew Rice today to help out his campaign. It would certainly be a good thing to send another Democrat to Washington!

mccain's last senate vote in april

According to an article in this morning's Washington Post, John McCain's vote on the bailout package will be his first since April 8. He has missed 115 consecutive votes in the Senate since then.

He hasn't voted since before Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary.

Comparatively, Barack Obama's last Senate vote was in July.

Just thought that was an interesting little tidbit. Welcome back, John.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

north texas constituents against the bailout

According to PoliTex, several North Texas lawmakers are being flooded with emails and calls about the $700 billion bailout, and the vast majority of them are against the rescue plan.

Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville: has received about 957 e-mails on the bailout, 952 against, 5 in favor.Phone calls: 364. Only 6 support the rescue.

Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington: has received more than 500 e-mails with all but 25 against a bailout. Phone calls: About 400 – with fewer than 25 constituent calls in favor of the bailout.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth: has received 340 e-mails, 265 against the rescue and 75 for a bailout in some form. Phone calls: 77 – all against.

Rep. Kenny Marchant, R-Coppell: had gotten close to 1,000 e-mails and phone calls. Over 90% are against a federal rescue.

Are you for or against the proposed plan to fix the current economic crisis? Either way, you need to let your legislators know.

david letterman snubbed by john mccain

John McCain, after suspending his campaign yesterday in light of the unfolding economic crisis, snubbed an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman.

After praising McCain's military service, Letterman took him to task for canceling his appearance at the last minute. Letterman also said that "you don't quit" in the middle of a campaign, and that McCain should have returned to Washington and let his vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin shoulder the campaign. The late night host continued to express his disappointment in McCain, suggesting that the campaign suspension was due to sliding poll numbers for his campaign.

"This just doesn't smell right. This is not the way a tested hero behaves," Letterman chided.

Later in the show, Letterman realized that McCain was conducting an interview with CBS News host Katie Couric, after telling Letterman by phone that he was "racing to the airport" in order to return to Washington.

You can view the video of Letterman's remarks below:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

obama wants to debate as scheduled

Barack Obama responded to John McCain's call to delay Friday's debate and suspend the presidential campaign by saying that the American people need to hear from the two people vying for the job of the next president.

In his statement from Florida, Obama said that he would return to Washington if necessary, but thought he could still make it to Mississippi on Friday night. He said right now he is focusing on preparing for the debate, and had no immediate intentions to suspend his campaign.

obama out in front in new poll

In a new Washington Post-ABC News national poll, Sen. Barack Obama has opened a big lead on his Republican opponent -- almost ten points.
More voters trust Obama to deal with the economy, and he currently has a big edge as the candidate who is more in tune with the economic problems Americans now face. He also has a double-digit advantage on handling the current problems on Wall Street, and as a result, there has been a rise in his overall support. The poll found that, among likely voters, Obama now leads McCain by 52 percent to 43 percent. Two weeks ago, in the days immediately following the Republican National Convention, the race was essentially even, with McCain at 49 percent and Obama at 47 percent.
Perhaps these new poll numbers -- which give Obama a comfortable lead on the economy -- have something to do with McCain suspending his campaign and calling to delay the first debate.

mccain suspends campaign, calls for delaying first presidential debate due to economic crisis

Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain made a stunning move today as he suspended his campaign and called on his opponent to do the same.

McCain suggested that the first debate, scheduled for Friday, be postponed in light of the mounting economic crisis.

"I am calling on the president to convene a meeting with the leadership from both houses of Congress, including Senator Obama and myself," McCain told reporters in New York. "It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem."

It was not immediately clear how extensive the suspension he announced would be -- whether it would include dropping television advertising or just canceling scheduled appearances. McCain took no questions after reading his statement.

Some are alluding that this is a political move from McCain following a dip in the polls. What do you think?

We're waiting on a statement from the Sen. Barack Obama's campaign, and we'll bring it to you as soon as it is made available.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

are you serious? (brimer-davis battle headed to the big d)

We only thought it was over.

As it turns out, it's only changed venue.
Attorneys are set to make oral arguments before the 5th Court of Appeals in Dallas on Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. on whether former Fort Worth Councilwoman Wendy Davis is ineligible to run against Republican state Sen. Kim Brimer.

Oral arguments had been scheduled here in Fort Worth last week until the Supreme Court of Texas moved the case to the Dallas appeals court last week after 2nd Court of Appeals Chief Justice John Cayce asked that it be moved to Dallas.

Since the case was still up in the air after the August deadline, Davis' name will remain on the ballot no matter what happens in the Dallas appeal. But should Brimer emerge victorious in the newest round, Davis would not be able to hold the seat even were she to win the election. Instead, the seat would remain vacant and would be subject to special election.

We're getting pretty tired of Brimer's sad attempts to get rid of his opponent before the election is even held. Brimer: stop the dirty tricks and let the people be heard. If the voters want to keep you, they will. What are you so scared of?

You can help the Wendy Davis campaign stand up to Republican scare tactics by making a generous donation to her campaign today.

Kim Brimer is only offering more of the same. It's obvious that he wants to play as dirty as he can in the election, so why would we trust him afterward? Come November, we're voting for change.

sen. clinton on the economy

Sen. Hillary Clinton made the television rounds to talk about the economy and the new bailout plan. She gives her take on it in an appearance on Morning Joe, which you can view below:

Monday, September 22, 2008

oliver stone's "w.": will you see it?

Oliver Stone's W. will be released October 17, so what do you think? Does it look biased or factual? Will you take the time and money to see it?

For those that haven't heard of it, it's a controversial new film depicting the life of George W. Bush.

The trailer is below:

john cornyn: all by himself

The Rick Noriega campaign has released a hilarious new ad poking fun at Sen. John Cornyn, but also raising a pretty valid point. Check it out below:

You can help Noriega today with a $1 contribution. If he gets the most $1 contributions on ActBlue, he can win a $5000 endorsement. So please consider giving $1 right away!

disd agrees to make schools safer for gay students

Dallas schools will be safer for gay students, teachers and parents, says a new agreement between the Dallas Independent School District and Lambda Legal.

As part of the new non-discrimination policy, DISD will:
  • Include training on LGBT issues as part of the regular diversity trainings for staff.
  • Allow LGBT groups such as Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), or Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG) to provide in-service trainings for teachers.
  • Use LGBT-friendly forms such as permission slips. The forms will refer to “Parent 1” and “Parent 2” instead of or in addition to “Father” and “Mother.”
  • Provide and make visible LGBT-friendly materials in libraries. Books, posters and other materials with LGBT themes and topics will no longer be held behind school library counters and individuals will no longer have to ask to view these materials.
  • Allow access to websites of LGBT organizations that are currently blocked, such as that of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Youth First Texas.
  • Make Lambda Legal materials on the rights of LGBTQ youth available at all middle and high school Counseling Offices.
We commend DISD for this new, progressive policy that will create a safer and more comfortable learning environment for all Dallas students. We hope that other North Texas area school districts will follow DISD's example and create similar non-discriminatory policies.

plan for change

In a new ad, Barack Obama details his plan for economic change that would be implemented if he were elected. It's definitely worth a look:

Texas Blog Roundup: September 22, 2008

It's Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance's weekly roundup. This week's roundup is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme notices cronies are number #1 in Texas from insurance companies to power companies

jobsanger points out the blatant racism at the "Values Voters Summit" sponsored by the Family Research Council, and wonders if John McCain's "senior moments" are indicative of a more serious psychological problem.

The Texas Cloverleaf spots State Senator Kim Brimer at a union hall. Unfortunately as they say, you can't put lipstick on a pig.

Off the Kuff takes a look at the lawsuit filed by Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr to force John McCain and Barack Obama off the ballot in Texas.

WCNews at Eye On Williamson posts on the real world effects of the TRCC in Williamson County, Builder protection agency "hits home" in Williamson County

Neither the authorities nor the media have found any bodies hanging from the trees in Galveston or on Bolivar Peninsula -- mostly because there aren't any trees high enough to catch one -- but that didn't stop PDiddie from posting the rumors at Brains and Eggs.

Mike Thomas at would fight for San Antonio's share of federal funding based on his latest ad blasting all Congressional earmarks as wasteful "pork".

McBlogger takes a moment to demystify what's going on in financial markets. And call some people really bad names.

North Texas Liberal unveils the second installment of their Sarah Palin series.

nytexan at BlueBloggin wonders how John McCain cleans up Washington and Wall Street of the lobbyist when 177 Lobbyists Work For John McCain “The Reformer”

Gary at Easter Lemming Liberal News urges all to contact your Congress people now about this bad, very bad $700 billion taxpayer funded bailout of the financial industry. Otherwise, for the next three months, and then an additional six months after that, the Treasury Secretary can do anything "appropriate" with your money without anybody anywhere looking it over.

WhosPlayin took a moment to pin that pesky "redistribution of wealth" meme back on the Republicans, where it originated and operates today.

BossKitty at TruthHugger still expects the Bush Administration to pull a fast one, because the Pakistan Meltdown Offers Bush More Opportunities To Create Crisis, the dogs of war are still salivating ...

Vince at Capitol Annex tells us that State Rep. John Davis is up to his same old tricks down in HD 129. This time, he's holding a fundraiser in Austin while his district is without power, and his constituents are without water. He's clearly addicted to campaign cash. Someone throw this guy a roll of quarters before he has a stroke.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

biden and clinton discuss women's issues

Democratic vice-presidential nominee set down with Sen. Hillary Clinton to discuss women's issues and the supreme importance of the 2008 election. View the discussion below:

action alert: tell cornyn you oppose hr6845

The following action alert comes from Jennifer McLennan with The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC).
On September 11, 2008, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee (Rep. John Conyers, D-MI) introduced a bill that would effectively reverse the NIH Public Access Policy, as well as make it impossible for other federal agencies to put similar policies into place. The legislation is HR6845: “Fair Copyright in Research Works Act” ( ...

HR6845 is designed to do the following:

1. Amend current copyright law (Title 17).

2. Prohibit all U.S. federal agencies from conditioning funding agreements to require that works resulting from federal support be made publicly available if those works meet either of two conditions:

a. They are funded in part by sources other than a U.S. agency, or

b. The results from "meaningful added value" to the work from an entity that is not party to the agreement.

3. Prohibit U.S. federal agencies being able to obtain a license to publicly distribute, perform, or display such work by -- for example -- putting it on the Internet.

4. Makes broad policy by stifling public access to a wide range of federally funded works, and effectively overturns the crucially important current NIH Public Access Policy.

5. Because it is so broadly framed, the proposed bill would require an overhaul of well-established procurement rules in effect for all federal agencies, and could disrupt day-to-day procurement practices across the federal government, including in critical areas such as research to support national defense and homeland security.

6. In particular, the bill would repeal the longstanding "federal purpose" doctrine, under which all federal agencies that fund the creation of a copyrighted work must reserve a "royalty-free, nonexclusive right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work" for any federal purpose. This will severely limit the ability of U.S. federal agencies to use works that they have funded to support and fulfill agency missions and to communicate with and educate the public.

7. The bill is a blunt instrument that uses extremely broad language to override existing procurement law, and as such has serious implications for the entire U.S. federal government far beyond articles resulting from research funding.

8. Because of the NIH Public Access Policy, millions of Americans now have access to vital health care information from the NIH’s PubMed Central database. Under the current policy, nearly 4,000 new crucial biomedical articles were deposited in the last month alone. This proposed bill would prohibit the deposit of these articles, and as a result, researchers, physicians, health care professionals, families and individuals will find it much harder to get access to this critical health-related information.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas serves on the Judiciary Committee, so it is especially important for concerned Texans to contact him. His D.C. office can be reached at (202) 224-2934. A simple 30-second phone call telling the his office that you oppose HR6845 will do the trick.

Monday, September 15, 2008

obama hits back with new "honor" ad

the sarah palin show

We all shared a laugh at Tina Fey's deadringer impersonation of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, because Fey mocked some of the obvious holes in Palin's candidacy.

But will Middle America overlook these holes, among them zero foreign policy experience? Are they more interested in her family life than her politics, and if so will that help her or hurt her in the long run?

Americans have certainly tuned in to the Sarah Palin show, and as long as it continues the public will continue to eat it up.

The past eight years have been riddled with war and scandal, but Palin's life on display translates into a more understandable narrative that is more likely to resonate with the public. Sure, the majority of people have turned on the president and believe we should end the war in Iraq, but I'm willing to bet that a majority could also recite details on Britney Spears' rocky road to recovery and Lindsay Lohan's sexual orientation. Those are the kinds of stories that get readers and viewers, and we're learning that it doesn't really matter if we're stalking celubtantes or politicians through the media's omniscient eye, we still salivate over every luscious detail.

In the same way that the English relish in royal scandals, Americans love to dissect the personal lives of their own ruling class. But there's a difference in the Palin narrative when compared to say, the Clintons or John Edwards. While a sex scandal could potentially end a politician's career, family drama could prove to propel it.

While some in the blogosphere have dismissed Palin, Middle America has embraced her as one of their own. She's a Westerner, she's folksy and gutsy, sure, but as Eileen Smith explains at Poll Dancing, there's more to it than that: she's normal.
They raise their kids, go to work, go to church and do the little things that so often don’t garner media attention, but keep much of America stable and functioning. They feel slighted by a left-wing that has (fairly or unfairly) become the party of elites that scoff at IHOP patrons and can’t step inside Wal-Mart without trepidation (the selection of Joe “I have a much higher IQ than you” Biden doesn’t help). And Palin is the perfect stand-in for their ambitions: someone who has five kids, ran a city, now runs a state and, hell, hunts moose in her free time. She embodies the overlooked potential of normal people.
I've spoken with several Texans who feel that Sarah Palin is "one of us." They don't necessarily have to have or have had a pregnant teenager in order to empathise with her. They don't have to have a son going off to war in order to know how that must feel. They don't have to have raised a child with special needs to understand and appreciate how tough of a challenge it is. But they have done it, or their sister has done it, or their neighbor has done it. These are challenges that real Americans face on a daily basis. Middle America is not judging Palin for her family woes, they're rewarding her for them. They're defending her against media slights, and in some cases, pledging to give her their vote.

In a commentary for CNN today, Ed Rollins describes the situation perfectly:

What the country wants to know is do these candidates understand what's going on in their lives and in their neighbors' lives, and are they willing to try and fix it.

They want to get our soldiers home from Iraq as quickly as possible and leave that country as stable as it can be without us being there for another decade. They want someone who understands ordinary Americans are hurting and will try to find solutions to the economic mess we are in.

The leading "mainstream media" including ABC's condescending Charlie Gibson and The New York Times' Maureen Dowd have raced "North to Alaska" to find out what makes this woman tick. But alas, they show again and again that they just don't get it.

Nobody cares if Palin knows the Bush doctrine. I defy anyone to tell you what the Bush-Cheney strategy has been over the last seven years (other than getting re-elected) or what doctrine has been practiced by this "gang that can't shoot straight." And who cares? They are gone in 126 days.

What the media doesn't get is that Palin is one of us. She got to the top of the heap because she could relate to ordinary people, because she is ordinary people and through extraordinary efforts made it.

An unnamed Dallas area professional woman told me that she would be more likely to vote Republican with the addition of Palin to the ticket. Why? "She gets it." Obama and the Democrats are once again relegated to the elite class, and while McCain may be aloof, he is experienced and he can "train Sarah Palin for the job." The source went on to say that politicians usually lie or are corrupt, so if you can actually trust them and know that they understand your needs, specific policy becomes less important.

The woman said she had voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, but is usually Republican-leaning. So we have to realize that the Palin pick may not be drawing away potential Obama voters in droves, but it's certainly inspiring previously disenchanted Republicans to make plans to support their party this time.

Clinton is reminding her voters why it's so important for them to choose Obama, but many women voters did not choose Clinton in the primary or do not have loyalty to her and are beyond her grasp. Clinton is taking the right track, though, and should continue to pound out the differences between potential Obama and McCain administrations, to really highlight it for anyone on the edge. Joe Biden needs to step up his game, as well, because he has hardly gotten half of the coverage that Palin has gotten since their respective VP announcements.

Polls show that McCain is suddenly leading the race among white women, though. This bounce can only be contributed to Palin's addition to his ticket. While black women (along with the vast majority of black voters in general) are pretty much locked up for Obama, white women have become a voting block to be reckoned with, and presently McCain holds the advantage.

It's true that the Palin bounce could be temporary, but Democrats would do well not to underestimate it.

[This post is part two of our Sarah Palin series. Be sure to read part one, The Palin Pick.]

Texas Blog Roundup: September 15, 2008

It's Monday, and that means it is time for yet another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance Weekly Round-Up.

This week, many bloggers in Houston and in the Gulf Coast region are without power and digging out from Hurricane Ike. We extend our best wishes for a speedy recovery not only to our member bloggers in these regions but to all citizens in the areas hit by Ike. Please consider making a donation to the Red Cross to help relief efforts.

Why does Sarah Palin hate wolves? The Texas Cloverleaf clues us in.

Everybody knows that this year's wedge'em and hate'em issue is Hispanics immigration. CouldBeTrue at South Texas Chisme says Texas leads the way with banning rents in Farmers Branch, denying passports to citizens in the Valley and threatening document checks during an evacuation.

During the preparations for Hurricane Ike, Off the Kuff noted yet another lawsuit filed against Farmers Branch for its ongoing war against immigrants and apartment renters.

Sen. John Cornyn claims to be voting "Texas values" when he consistently rubber-stamps Bush in the U. S. Senate. Eye On Williamson asks, since when have torture, spying on Americans and misleading the country on matters of war and peace been Texas values?

PDiddie survived Ike almost exactly as he predicted.

BossKitty at TruthHugger wonders if disaster lessons recently learned, will be used as we watch Hurricane Ike Recovery, Texas Style.

Colloquialisms are a wonderful rhetorical device to create an instant sense of commonality within the minds of the voting public. However, they can at times be misconstrued (right, Governor Swift?) which is why McBlogger took some time to offer Sen. Obama (The BEST!) a phrase he could use that can't possibly be interpreted as anything other than an attack on John McCain and his worthless ideas, proposals and suggestions.

North Texas Liberal examines in-depth the Palin pick, comparing and contrasting her with Obama's VP pick of Joe Biden, and dissecting the media's coverage of Sarah Palin.

jobsanger writes about how United States interference into Bolivia's internal affairs have gotten American ambassadors kicked out of two countries in South America, and how some politicians can't refuse even a bad photo op.

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that State Rep. Phil King (R-Waxahachie), chair of the House Regulated Industries Committee, is having a fund-raiser at the home of a lobbyist for telecom giant AT&T. King's committee just happens to regulate telecommunications in Texas.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

mccain gets grilled on the view

The View has been a controversial show since Rosie O'Donnell's occupation of the moderator's seat. She frequently got into it with conservative host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, an ongoing fight that was well-documented in the media. Since O'Donnell was replaced with Whoopi Goldberg, things have certainly calmed down, the ladies of The View showed us the other day when interviewing John McCain that they aren't afraid to ask the questions often ignored by mainstream journalists.

Co-host Joy Behar asked McCain why, at the end of his ads, he said he approved these messages when the messages were lies. Goldberg asked, if he were committed to appointing strict constitutional judges, if she would be returned to slavery.

The video below contains some of the gems from McCain's appearance:

tina fey as sarah palin on snl

Barack Obama may have had to cancel his appearance on the season opener of Saturday Night Live, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler wouldn't miss the chance to impersonate Sarah Palin and Hillary Clinton. Some have already drawn comparisons in looks between Palin and Fey, so it was only fitting that Fey portray Palin's character on the late-night sketch show.

ari melber sticks it to lying republicans

Democratic strategist Ari Melber sticks it to a Republican surrogate that is repeating the lie that Barack Obama wanted kindergartners taught sex education. This is how it's done, Democrats!

Friday, September 12, 2008

texas-sized ike "threatens to devastate coast"

Houstonians and other Gulf Coast Texans are either evacuating or preparing for the storm of a lifetime as Hurricane Ike hurtles towards the Texas coast line.
A massive Hurricane Ike sent white waves crashing over a seawall and tossed a disabled 584-foot freighter in rough water as it steamed toward Texas Friday, threatening to devastate coastal towns and batter America's fourth-largest city.

Ike's eye was forecast to strike somewhere near Galveston late Friday or early Saturday then head inland for Houston, but the sprawling weather system nearly as big as Texas was already buffeting the Gulf Coast and causing flooding in areas still recovering from Labor Day's Hurricane Gustav.

Because of its ominous size, storm surge and flooding were the greatest threats. In unusually strong language, forecasters even warned of "certain death" for stalwarts who insisted on staying in Galveston; most had complied, along with hundreds of thousands of fellow Texans in counties up and down the coastline. But in a move designed to avoid highway gridlock as the storm closed in, most of Houston's 2 million residents hunkered down and were ordered not to leave.
This is the second time this month we'll be keeping the Gulf Coast in our thoughts and prayers, and hope you'll do the same. (Like he did for Gustav, Rick Noriega has created a handy resource site for those affected by Hurricane Ike.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

we remember

in memoriam
september 11, 2001

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

the palin pick

Many analysts are pointing to John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate to explain his post-convention poll bounce, but why?

The media should have taken the pulse of the nation on the Palin pick before assuming that women would be up in arms about the choice and that informed voters would reject her. The liberal blogosphere should have given her half a second before pouncing on her, and bringing all of her personal controversies to light.

Why? Well, because the mainstream media combined with the online left may have helped to bolster Palin's image despite their efforts to tear her down. By attacking her from the moment of her announcement, Republicans were forced to learn more about her and begin defending her on day one, which has set a precedent. Because the left was so outraged at the pick, the right was automatically inspired by it.

Others will leap to Palin's defense as sexism continues to color her coverage. If some of us in the blogosphere may be thinking that Palin's large family would prohibit her from holding the office of vice president, we'd do best not to express those feelings publicly, because we would be perpetuating a sexist meme that has seeped into the American conscience: the idea that the woman's first priority is to the home.

Yes, Sarah Palin has a special needs child, a pregnant teenager, as well as three other children, but she also has a husband who can help with the parenting while she holds elected office. If it were her husband that were running for vice president, no one would even think to ask if he could hold office while presiding over a large family.

And regardless of whether or not Democrats have sexist intentions behind their comments, if the American voter perceives sexism in politics, especially if that voter is a woman, she may feel a duty to defend that person and even vote for that person. Sometimes, when the media wants to pronounce someone down and out, the American public has different ideas and forces the media to come around to the pulse of the public.

The Palin pick was not an accident. McCain knew what he was doing, whether or not you think she was fully vetted. By picking Palin, McCain utilized the element of surprise to steal attention away from Barack Obama's powerful convention speech. He knew that her feisty nature, her scrappy style of politics, her contrasting youthfulness, and her conservative chops would add considerably to his ticket. He also hoped that she might stir resentment among Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary and felt she got a raw deal.

On Barack Obama's part, Joe Biden is a solid pick. He closes holes in Obama's candidacy, namely foreign policy experience, Washington know-how, and blue-collar appeal. But Obama mainly picked Biden because he knew that Biden would actually make a decent vice president. Obama chose his Senate colleague as a running mate under the assumption that he was going to win the election. From what we have seen since the announcements, Biden has not considerably helped the Democratic ticket, but would arguably be a boon to an Obama administration if elected.

Palin's is a pure political pick, because her experience as governor of Alaska actually brings little to the table of national politics. Is it qualifying, executive experience? Sure, but how will she help McCain's administration once in office? McCain picked Palin to help him win. It is reminiscient of the long-canceled television series Commander In Chief in which Geena Davis stars as the first female president, rising to that office from vice president following the death of the president. On his deathbed, the president asks Davis' character to resign from office and allow the Speaker of the House to ascend to the presidency, reminding her that he only picked her to win the "soccer mom vote." Needless to say, she ignores his pleas and assumes the presidency.

As it turns out, Obama would have benefited greatly from picking his former opponent Hillary Clinton as his running mate. If Obama had chosen Clinton, McCain would not have chosen Palin. Because both of the running mates would be female, it would starkly contrast the two... and even Republicans can admit that Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. I'm sure that Palin was a lock under the assumption that Obama would not choose Clinton, but had he chosen her, McCain would have been almost forced to make another choice. Without the Palin pick to shake things up, the media would have incessantly covered the new Democratic team of Obama and Clinton right through the Republican convention, and with a duller pick from McCain he arguably wouldn't have enjoyed a post-convention bounce. (Another way McCain could've shaken things up would have been to choose Joe Lieberman, but that would have opened a whole new can of worms on both sides of the aisle.)

But Obama did not choose Clinton, so what can he and Biden do now to tame Palin and take down McCain?

[This post is the first in a series about Sarah Palin and her affect on the presidential race. Stay tuned for the next installment.]

Monday, September 08, 2008

Texas Blog Roundup: September 8, 2008

It's Monday, and that means it is time for another edition of the Texas Progressive Alliance weekly round-up. This week's round-up is compiled by Vince from Capitol Annex.

Two Bartonville (or is it Argyle?) Republicans are indicted for voter fraud, a 3rd degree felony. The Texas Cloverleaf follows the story.

Vince at Capitol Annex notes that right-wing Republican, anti-immigrant, 14th Amendment-hating State Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) is taking steps to launch a campaign for governor in 2010.

jobsanger points out that McCain may not want to use the "P" word but still wants to privatize social security, and tells us the investigation into Palin's ethics is getting messy (and weird).

Harry Balczak has another Reminder to You People over at McBlogger. In this edition, Joementum Loserman, disrespectful Republicans and their hatred of Veterans.

Off the Kuff looks at some polling data and suggests there isn't much room for a Palin bounce, especially in Texas.

CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme sees Republican love/hate over the Hispanic vote. Meanwhile, some Hispanics say a pox on both your houses.

Texas Liberal asks just how is it the government could come and take your gun.

BossKitty at TruthHugger is suspicious, What Is Condeleeza Rice REALLY Doing Over There?, and why the media puts this on the back page.

nytexan at BlueBloggin points out the recent activity with the McCain Palin team in Alaska is the continuation of the Bush administration corruption in McCain Palin Troopergate Stonewall Is Bush Cheney 2.0

dembones at Eye On Williamson posts a synopsis of this week's candidate forum in HD-52, Maldonado and Daniel make their case before Hutto EDC.

Harris County Commissioner Jerry Eversole declares himself a dead man walking, and PDiddie at Brains and Eggs notes his pending exit with a heartfelt "so long, and thanks for all the fish".

refinish69 at Doing My Part For The Left tells everyone who is who's fired up.

North Texas Liberal listens in on Republican commentators Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy as they tell us how they really feel about McCain's VP pick Sarah Palin when they think the cameras are off.

Friday, September 05, 2008

karl rove's vp hypocrisy

Republican strategists and pundits such as Karl Rove and Bill O'Reilly have been yet again exposed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

Watch the segment in which Rove belittles Gov. Tim Kaine, who at the time was a potential VP pick for Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, and then turn around praise Gov. Sarah Palin, whose qualifications are similar to Kaine's. Stewart also shows a clip of O'Reilly telling his viewers that Palin's daughter Bristol's pregnancy is a private matter, yet blaming pop star Jamie Lynn Spears' pregnancy on the parents at an earlier date.

It's very funny, and very telling. "The most outrageous double standards you've ever seen" abound in Washington, and thank God Jon Stewart is there to keep them honest.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

tell us how you really feel (republican pundits on palin: "it's over")

Peggy Noonan and other conservatives were caught on tape with their real feelings on John McCain's VP pick:

Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan speechwriter Peggy Noonan and former John McCain adviser, Time columnist, and MSNBC contributor Mike Murphy were caught on tape disparaging John McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate.

"It's over," Noonan said.

Noonan went on to respond to a question about whether or not Sarah Palin was the most qualified woman that McCain could have put on the ticket:
"The most qualified? No. I think they went for this, excuse me, political bullshit about narratives. Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and that's not what they're good at, they blow it."
Wow, tell us how you really feel, Peggy. Perhaps more Republicans are pretending for the cameras, but behind closed doors are disappointed with the Palin pick. Maybe Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is in agreement with Noonan, which would explain her faint praise.

campbell brown takes mccain camp to task

CNN's Campbell Brown took Tucker Bounds to task over Gov. Sarah Palin's foreign policy experience. She wouldn't let him dodge her line of questioning, saying that the Republicans set a different standard by arguing how important foreign policy experience was in this campaign, and asking for a definite answer of why Republicans felt Palin was ready to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.