Benny's World

Friday, October 24, 2008

The More the Dow Goes Down, the Wingnuts Get Nastier, Part 1

Poor Wingnuts.

The stocks sunk another 300 points today. I'm nervous about it as my pension plan can't be rescued easily.

But Joe the Plummer the soon-to-be-less multi-mcMansion and multi-luxury car owners GOP are very nervous. McCain campaign especially.

Let's start with a bogus report by Pittsburgh station KDKA from last night:

In case you have trouble getting to the video clip, Kos summed the incident up very well this morning:

Some poor white girl, 20-year-old Ashley Todd of Texas, was mugged at an ATM, but when the mugger (a big black guy) saw her car with the McCain sticker, he beat her and carved a letter "B" in her face with a knife. Apparently it was a dyslexic mugger because the "B" was carved backward, but whatever -- it proved that Obama's supporters were violent and craaazy!

Then Matt Drudge takes the story as "true news" and blasts it on his website. (sorry, not linking to it as it would give him more cash for his coffers) He never checks out the story, although to Drudge's credit, he's often said he's not a real journalist either.

In cohoots, Faux Noise, who takes every word Drudge (and McCain's campaign) passes on to them as gospel from the Good book, spreads the story. They don't check the story either.

And guess what? KDKA had to correct the story when the Obama campaign made inquiries to them to verify it the incident:

A campaign worker who claimed she was the victim of a politically-motivated attack in which she was beaten, kicked and cut, now admits that she made the whole story up.

Turns out that the McCain campaign was involved in pushing this story.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack.

(via the Huffington Post)

Ashley Todd, a 20 year old race-baiter who can't even self-mutilate a "B" correctly on her face. Not cute.

Sounds like Ms Todd wrote to either A) the McCain's about this and lied to them, and/or B) e-mailed Drudge this hoax. Probably both, and either both are gullible as hell, or they knew this was a bald-face, felonious lie. I suspect the latter. I'm waiting for Keith Olbermann to give his daily award for the "worst person in the world" tonight to Ms. Todd.

Maybe this was the October surprise that Lee Atwater and Karl Rove made up, but I'm still waiting for the Osama to come out and say he knows Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright, and has "palled around around with them."

Update: this pic sez it all (h/t to Iddybud)

More buzz l8tr in Part 2.

Labels: , , , , ,

The Bush Trifecta on SNL

One of the best endorsements I've seen on TV for John McPalin..

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One America, Reprised

This morning I was part of a team who helped set up for a staff appreciation day. Over 160 people attended the event and about 23 staff were honored for milestones at my institution.

I had attended one of these events a couple of years ago and thought it was nice. But today, the event was more special. Maybe it was because I put some sweat equity into it and thus, it was more meaningful. Perhaps it was because our newest staff member was being honored for her 5 year milestone. And it was sweet to see her so relaxed and happy.

But I'm pretty certain there was another reason.

One person was being honored in working for my institution for twenty years. She appears to be one of those quiet folks who does a good job, then goes home to tend to her two daughters. She's gotten a few raises, but I wasn't aware she had struggled for years to get her family its own home. Turns out 3 years ago, Habitat for Humanity gave her family that chance.

I was moved when I heard about it today. And in a colleague's ear, I whispered, "she's why my vote was so important. Everyone deserves a chance to get ahead."

This person still volunteers for Habitat for Humanity when she can in their store to help raise money.

John Edwards was so right. So is Barack Obama. An opportunity to have a good place to live, have a good job, raise your family, and retire in dignity. Honoring work over wealth. That's what most of us want. And that's what my institution was doing today: honoring some folks and their work.

This is the One America I will continue to fight for and blog about.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Elizabeth Edwards to be on BBC next week

I just read in the Guardian that BBC's "Question Time" is travelling to DC on October 30th. "Question Time" (not to be confused with the British Parliament members' interaction with the Prime Minister also known as Question Time) is a weekly panel discussion about current affairs in Britain. However, there has been much interest around the globe about the US election. (BW readers may recall that I was one of the panelists for the BBC Radio's "World Have Your Say" the day of the NH primary--and there was plenty of interest then.)

From the Guardian:

The BBC1 show's panel will include Elizabeth Edwards, the wife of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, in what will be her first British television appearance since her husband withdrew from the race for the 2008 nomination.

Edwards, who is also an adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on health issues, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2007.

Alongside Edwards on the panel will be historian Simon Schama and Clarence Page, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune journalist.

Gill Penlington, the Question Time editor, said: "This is one of the most exciting and significant American elections ever seen, and Question Time will be bringing you top quality debate, insight and analysis ahead of the big day."

It's supposed to air at 10:35p GMT on BBC1. Hopefully, they will stream it on the Net.

Good for Elizabeth. I hope it also means that her mother is out of danger health-wise. Elizabeth had to cancel most of her October personal appearances because of her mother's illness.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 20, 2008

Doing the Right Thing

Today I took a break and went to participate in early voting as I will be away on Election Day to visit my ailing mom. I liked the concept of "early voting" better compared to absentee ballot that I casted last time as my vote will be counted first instead of 2 weeks later.

Surprisingly, I waited in line for nearly 15 minutes, and the actual voting took nearly 10 because we use pens to darken the ovals beside the candidates' names and the referenda.

One person was trying to be friendly as I left the building in saying hello, and while politely I replied "hello" back, I was not in an amicable mood. I was sort of lost in my thoughts about how bittersweet my vote was today. It was the second time I voted for mainly for the potential of a partnership for the ticket, meaning that I was voting for Biden to give balance to the inexperience of Obama. In 2004, I appreciated Kerry and thought he was a good choice, but my vote was mainly for Edwards to lend inspiration in doing right meaning "justice" for the working poor and to work with the Kerry administration on various issues, and make a tie-breaking vote in the Senate, if necessary.

When I got to my car, I had to tell myself that I was right not to do a write-in for John Edwards. Both John and Elizabeth Edwards would agree that we are better off with Obama-Biden in the next 4 years. When liveblogging the last Presidential debate at Newsweek, EE said about Biden (and what Obama should have said in picking Biden) , "Ready, ready, Ready."

While many of us who are Edwards supporters weren't able to achieve our overall goal of getting John Edwards to the WH, the compromise, and life is full of compromises, we are seeking to get some progressives in the WH. No, Biden and Obama are not for bold change, but with the mess that they will inherit, if they are victorious, any decent changes are progress.

It's a roll of the dice either way (meaning Obama or McCain), but I think the consequences of Obama-Biden not being in the West Wing could plunge us into further despair, debt, and further erosion of our Constitution. Most citizens (voting or not) in our country believe we are seriously on the wrong track, and I think we are too.

As McCain says, Country First. I didn't vote for Iraq first. You betcha, Palin. I voted for my Country first.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Barack Obama Puts Barney Smith Before Smith Barney

Barney Smith appeared at the DNC Convention last August. I recall his speech about being laid off from the RCA plant hit home with many viewers, especially those in the midwest.

Obama campaign released this ad today (suspect it is targeted toward voters in Indiana):

Good punchline.

Labels: , ,

Rachel Maddow and Mudcat Saunders

I saw Mudcat Saunders, a former senior adviser to John Edwards, on Rachel Maddow's show Friday night. The context is the mud slinging of McCain's campaign, especially his race-baiting direct mail and "hate calls" about Obama.

Here's the interview clip:

Mucat says robo calls are literally " cheap "(meaning inexpensive) which is why they are used, and to start a whisper campaign of some misinformation.

Love that Mudcat--and Rachel, the new star pundit!

(h/t Liberty Air)

Labels: , , , , ,

Colin Powell Channels John Edwards on MTP

John Edwards sent himself into public exile during the general election in order not to distract attention from the Democratic candidates' campaigns, most especially the Obama-Biden campaign. It was too bad that Edwards had to disappear because all of us wanted to hear Obama to talk more about poverty, as he promised, but with the financial meltdown that impacted the middle class, the working poor, who were already behind, got left out of the conversation.

Until today.

On Meet the Press, moderator Tom Brokaw asked Colin Powell about the overlooked issues in the campaigns:

MR. BROKAW: What's not on the screen right now that concerns you that should be more prominent in the minds of the American people and the people running for president?

GEN. POWELL: I think the American people and the gentlemen running for president will have to, early on, focus on education more than we have seen in the campaign so far. America has a terrible educational problem in the sense that we have too many youngsters not finishing school. A third of our kids don't finish high school, 50 percent of minorities don't finish high school. We've got to work on this, and my, my wife and I are leading a campaign with this purpose.

Also, I think, the new president has to realize that the world looks to America for leadership, and so we have to show leadership on some issues that the world is expecting us to, whether it's energy, global warming and the environment. And I think we have to do a lot more with respect to poverty alleviation and helping the needy people of the world. We need to increase the amount of resources we put into our development programs to help the rest of the world. Because when you help the poorest in the world, you start to move them up an economic and social ladder, and they're not going to be moving toward violence or terrorism of the kind that we worry about.

Powell is borrowing from what JRE said to the Council on Foreign Relations 17 months ago:

There's an emerging consensus inside the armed forces that we must move beyond the idea of a war on terror. The Commander of the U.S. Military's Central Command recently stated that he would no longer use the "long war" framework. Top military leaders like retired General Anthony Zinni have rejected the term. These leaders know we need substance, not slogans—leadership, not labels.

The question is, what should replace the war on terror? Since the end of the Cold War, folks here at CFR and elsewhere have been engaged in an effort to be the next George Kennan and define the era. As all of you know, we need a new strategy for rebuilding a strong military for a new century.

Any new strategy must include new preventive measures to win the long-term struggle and fuel hope and opportunity. This includes strong and creative diplomacy, and also new efforts to lead the fight against global poverty. I've proposed a plan to lead an international effort to educate every child in the world. As president, I would increase foreign assistance by $5 billion a year to make millions of people safer, healthier, and more democratic, and by creating a cabinet-level post to lead this effort.

In fairness to the Obama-Biden campaign, they did mention global poverty in their position paper on Foreign Policy:

Fight Global Poverty: Obama and Biden will embrace the Millennium Development Goal of cutting extreme poverty around the world in half by 2015, and they will double our foreign assistance to $50 billion to achieve that goal. They will help the world's weakest states to build healthy and educated communities, reduce poverty, develop markets, and generate wealth.

It was good though that someone was able to remind voters that poverty is widespread and that we are all interconnected in terms of national security. It's just the American people are hurting and we have to put them first.

I thank General Powell for relaying John Edwards' ideas and putting them back on the burner.

Powell's endorsement of Obama can be found here.

Labels: , , , , ,