16 October, 2008

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Glenn Beck, CNN's resident Faux News blowhard, has finally faced facts and decided to make his Faux News "journalism" official:
Michael Calderone reports that right-wing talker Glenn Beck is leaving CNN and joining Fox News. “Beginning next spring, Beck will host FOX News Channel’s (FNC) 5 PM/ET weekday
program as well as a weekend show on the network,” a Fox News statement says. Fox News’s Roger Ailes remarked, “As we embark on a new political landscape, Glenn’s thought provoking commentary will complement an already
stellar line-up of stars at FOX News.” Check out some of Beck’s worst moments here.

Goodbye and good riddance, Glenn. You should fit right in with the rest of the right-wing hacks.

Speaking of right-wing hacks, looks like we can add the Secret Service to that list:
Today in a Washington Post chat, Dana Milbank revealed that — in “a serious violation of their duty” — the Secret Service is now preventing the press from interviewing attendees at
McCain-Palin rallies:

I have to say the Secret Service is in dangerous territory here. In cooperation with the Palin campaign, they’ve started preventing reporters from leaving the press section to interview people in the crowd. This is a serious violation of their duty — protecting the protectee — and gets into assisting with the political aspirations of the candidate. It also often makes it impossible for reporters to get into the crowd to question the people who say vulgar things. So they prevent
reporters from getting near the people doing the shouting, then claim it’s
unfounded because the reporters can’t get close enough to identify the person.

Congratulations, Georgie. You managed to turn absolutely every government agency into a right-wing enforcement machine.

The Secret Service decided after a one-day investigation that allegations of people screaming "Kill him!" at McCain/Palin rallies were unfounded. Remarkable effiency, that. Their basic premise is that, since they didn't hear anything, it never happened. I'm sure we all feel safer knowing that the folks in charge of keeping our candidates safe apparently suffer from selective deafness. And apparently don't watch YouTube videos.

In the meantime, McCain and the Republicons are working overtime to ensure the hate and fear are screwed up to a fever pitch:

When McCain/Palin offer sleazy attacks in a speech, it's easy to hold them accountable. When they offer scurrilous lies in a television ad, it's almost as easy, especially with the whole "approve this message" line and media scrutiny of campaign advertising.

But McCain, Palin, and the Republican Smear Machine save some of their most offensive work for automated robocalls, which fly just below the radar screen. It's obviously abject cowardice, but decency and honor are the last things McCain is worried about now.

The first round of calls was in line with run-of-the-mill Republican nonsense.

The robocalls [in North Carolina, Missouri, Colorado, and Wisconsin] hit Obama for attending a celebrity fundraiser in Hollywood while efforts to address the financial crisis got underway in Washington.

A second round of robocalls, also from McCain and the RNC, hits Obama as a tax-hiker, and stops just short of criticizing the big bailout package that McCain has repeatedly taken credit for helping get passed.

The second round cranked up the sleaze a bit.

"Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats aren't who you think they are," the call says. "They say they want to keep us safe, but Barack Obama said the threat we face now from terrorism is nowhere near as dire as it was in the end of the Cold War. And Congressional Democrats now want to give civil rights to terrorists."

And the third round, which is reaching households in Wisconsin, New Mexico, Northern Virginia, Maine, Florida, Missouri, and North Carolina, says a lot more about Republicans than it does

"You need to know that Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home, and killed Americans. And Democrats will enact an extreme leftist agenda if they take control of Washington. Barack Obama and his Democratic allies lack the judgment to lead our country."

Isn't that adorable? They want everyone to believe that the Democrats, Barack Obama especially, are the terrorists best buddies, and just waiting for you to elect them so that they can murder you in your beds. The only way they can get elected is if they make the voting public too shit-scared to risk those meanie Dems. Charming. Stay classy, GOP.

I think we need to start returning fire. Let's start with war profiteering:

International Oil Trading Company, which ships oil into Iraq for use by U.S. forces, “appears to have engaged in a reprehensible form of war profiteering,” according to the House Oversight Committee. The company is run by Florida businessman Harry Sargeant, who has raised at least $500,000 for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). From Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates:

[T]he prices IOTC has charged the government are not “fair and reasonable.” A “price negotiation memorandum” assessing the company’s June 2004 contract concluded that the price charged by IOTC, $2.10 per gallon of jet fuel, was at least 36 cents per gallon too high. … Of the $210 million in profits received by the company, at least one third — $70 million — appears to have benefited a single individual: Mr. Sargeant.

If this was a Dem's fundraiser, you know the GOP would be screaming for blood and demanding the tainted money be returned. We should pay McCain's sleazy fundraisers the same courtesy.

Then let's move on to demanding McCain disassociate himself with GOP officials who equate Obama with bin Laden:

Earlier this week, Time magazine’s Karen Tumulty reported on how Jeffrey Frederick, the chairman of the Virginia Republican party, gave GOP volunteers talking points on “the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden.” “Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon,” Frederick told 30 volunteers. “That is scary.”


Frederick, for his part, is standing by his words. “It is just the hard facts,” he told the Washington Post. Despite Frederick’s outrageous comments, McCain is set to appear with him in Virginia on Saturday:

The McCain/Palin campaign announced today that Senator John McCain will visit Virginia once again this week. The Republican Presidential nominee will hold a campaign rally at the Prince William County Complex here in Woodbridge on Saturday, October 18th.

“Prince William is the key to Senator McCain winning Virginia, and his visit here will only reinforce that Prince William is McCain country,” said Delegate Jeffrey M. Frederick, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and a member of the Virginia General Assembly from Woodbridge.

Contacted by ThinkProgress today, the Virginia Republican Party said that Frederick is “expected to be there on Saturday.” During the debate last night, McCain said that “every time there’s been an out-of-bounds remark made by a Republican, no matter where they are, I have repudiated them.”

Instead of repudiating Frederick, McCain is set to appear with him.

Well, since McCain makes Obama repudiate any and every Dem who hurts McCain's tender feelings, fair is only fair. Blast 'im.

From there, we can move on the G. Gordon Liddy and all of those other delightful individuals McCain loves to pal around with who think domestic terrorism is a-ok as long as it's right-wing domestic terrorism. And how about Sarah Palin's adoration of secessionist parties? Let's go there, too. And... well, the list of shady lobbyists, shadier campaign financiers, donors, and rabid crowds grows too long for me to ennumerate here.

You get the picture. If McCain and the GOP want to play guilt-by-association, let's play back. We already know who's gonna win.

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