Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain elected 26 years ago

National Journal Magazine - Who Can Win In 2004? Just Use This Freshness Test: "With only one exception since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, no one has been elected president who took more than 14 years to climb from his first major elective office to election as either president or vice president.

George W. Bush took six years. Bill Clinton, 14. George H.W. Bush, 14 (to the vice presidency). Ronald Reagan, 14. Jimmy Carter, six. Richard Nixon, six (to vice president). John Kennedy, 14. Dwight Eisenhower, zero. Harry Truman, 10 (to vice president). Franklin Roosevelt, four. Herbert Hoover, zero. Calvin Coolidge, four. Warren Harding, six. Woodrow Wilson, two. William Howard Taft, zero. Theodore Roosevelt, two (to vice president). The one exception: Lyndon Johnson's 23 years from his first House victory to the vice presidency."

Friday, October 24, 2008

book notes

The Dark Side by Jane Mayer

"Powell concluded that Bush was not stupid but easily manipulated. A confident said that Powell thought it was easy to play on Bush's wish to be seen as doing the tough thing and making the 'hard' choice. . .Cheney knew exactly how to push all his buttons."

Cheney's legal counsel, David Addington, controlled all the paper flow to Bush on national security and would sometimes change proposed laws wholesale before they reached Bush. Bush was not trained or inclined to looking at the details of what he was signing.

Bush ordered the CIA in charge of interrogations even though the FBI had most of the experience in interrogating Islamic extremists (the FBI was also opposed to torture). The CIA put on contract as its chief interogator a retired military psychologist James Mitchell who had never conducted an interrogation, knew no Arabic, and admitted to knowing practically nothing about Islam or the Middle East. His previous career was in preparing U.S. soldiers for the torture they would encounter if captured. But these turture techniques, which he now turned onto terror suspects, were designed to elicit false confessions from caputred soldiers for propaganda. They weren't designed to get real information.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al-Qaeda supporters back John McCain for president - Times Online

Al-Qaeda supporters back John McCain for president - Times Online: "Al-Qaeda supporters suggested in a website message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the US as a way to usher in a John McCain presidency.

The message, posted on Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah website, said if al-Qaeda wants to exhaust the US militarily and economically, 'impetuous' Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier,” the message said. “Then, al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush.”"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone

Make-Believe Maverick : Rolling Stone: "In its broad strokes, McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.

In one vital respect, however, the comparison is deeply unfair to the current president: George W. Bush was a much better pilot."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Palin Christianism

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Op-Ed Columnist - The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama -

Op-Ed Columnist - The Terrorist Barack Hussein Obama - "No less disconcerting was a still-unexplained passage of Palin’s convention speech: Her use of an unattributed quote praising small-town America (as opposed to, say, Chicago and its community organizers) from Westbrook Pegler, the mid-century Hearst columnist famous for his anti-Semitism, racism and violent rhetorical excess. After an assassin tried to kill F.D.R. at a Florida rally and murdered Chicago’s mayor instead in 1933, Pegler wrote that it was “regrettable that Giuseppe Zangara shot the wrong man.” In the ’60s, Pegler had a wish for Bobby Kennedy: “Some white patriot of the Southern tier will spatter his spoonful of brains in public premises before the snow falls.”

This is the writer who found his way into a speech by a potential vice president at a national political convention. It’s astonishing there’s been no demand for a public accounting from the McCain campaign. Imagine if Obama had quoted a Black Panther or Louis Farrakhan — or William Ayers — in Denver."

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (October 11, 2008) - In Jesus' Name, Vote McCain

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (October 11, 2008) - In Jesus' Name, Vote McCain: "'I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it's Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons,' [Pastor] Conrad said.

'And Lord, I pray that you would guard your own reputation, because they're going to think that their god is bigger than you, if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day,'"

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Reckoning - Agency’s ’04 Rule Let Banks Pile Up New Debt - Series -

The Reckoning - Agency’s ’04 Rule Let Banks Pile Up New Debt - Series - "On that bright spring afternoon, the five members of the Securities and Exchange Commission met in a basement hearing room to consider an urgent plea by the big investment banks.

They wanted an exemption for their brokerage units from an old regulation that limited the amount of debt they could take on. The exemption would unshackle billions of dollars held in reserve as a cushion against losses on their investments. Those funds could then flow up to the parent company, enabling it to invest in the fast-growing but opaque world of mortgage-backed securities; credit derivatives, a form of insurance for bond holders; and other exotic instruments.

The five investment banks led the charge, including Goldman Sachs, which was headed by Henry M. Paulson Jr. Two years later, he left to become Treasury secretary."

Palin Biden