The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bush & Cheney Won't be at GOP Convention Because of Hurricane Gustav. Karl Rove Makes Deal with Mother Nature


Shrieks of pure, unadulterated partisan joy could be heard from around the nation as news broke Sunday that President Bush and Vice President Cheney will not be attending the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul so that they can "monitor" from Texas the expected destruction in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Gustav.

With Bush and Cheney's combined approval ratings of about 40%, and with the party's presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain jumping through hoops to distance himself from this disastrous duo, the dreaded weather seems quite fortuitous. In fact, knowing how masterful Republican operative Karl Rove can be, I wouldn't doubt that the man Bush affectionately refers to as "Turd Blossom" actually had something to do with the timing of this deadly storm headed for New Orleans; a Hurricane that experts say is more intense than Katrina.

Gustav to the rescue. How lucky now for the Republican Party that it's massively unpopular president, scheduled to open the event with another rambling, unintelligible speech reminding conservatives of the failures of the past 8 years, won't be anywhere near Minnesota to fuck things up for Grandpa John and the empty pants-suited beauty queen.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

McCain's Misguided Tokenism


At 72, by presidential standards, Sen. John McCain, the Republican nominee, is old. In fact, he'd be the oldest president ever to serve. But Grandpa John's age is that much more pronounced when he stands beside his much younger trophy-veep, Alaska's rookie Gov. Sarah Palin. Remember how Karl Rove & Company took the 2000 Gore/Lieberman logo and mockingly turned it into "Sore/Loserman?" Well, this year's McCain/Palin logo should be turned into "Too Old/Too Inexperienced." That she's a governor, as the conservative spinners are touting, does not impress. To put things in perspective, the 115,000 votes she received in the general election is not much more than the 85,000 Coloradans who packed Denver's Invesco Field to hear Sen. Barack Obama' brilliant acceptance speech.

Americans will be faced with a very real, very serious problem should McCain win: Palin would be a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. That's a frightening proposition. Should something tragic happen to the 72-year-old McCain, it's absurd to think that the 44-year-old hockey mom with five kids (including an infant with Down syndrome), with less than 2 years as Alaska's Governor and with zero foreign policy experience, is ready to step in and lead America in times of war, terrorism and economic recession. Is there anyone who utters "President Palin" and feels assured? When compared to Sen. Joe Biden, with his 36 years in the Senate and chairmanship of the Foreign Relations Committee, Palin makes Harriet Miers look like William Rehnquist.

McCain's appointment of Palin is not just patently offensive, it's a gargantuan insult to women in particular, especially those who supported Sen. Hillary Clinton. It's a gross miscalculation of what Hill's highly coveted army of 18-million soldiers valiantly fought for. They did not vote for their gal simply because she has tits. Throw a little liberal ideology in here, for Pete's sake. They supported Clinton because of what she stands for. Because she's been a consistent champion of women's causes for 40 friggin' years. They're not looking for some anti-choice, anti-gay, gun-toting, carcass-skinning, under-investigation right-wing evangelical creationist oil whore in Jimmy Choos as a replacement. That McCain believes they are proves yet again how out of touch he is, and it's another shining example of how the GOP truly feels about women and how it underestimates the potency of the issues that matter to them.

The Palin decision is such a mind-blowing mistake that we should nickname her "Waterloo," for her role in McCain's ultimate demise will equal that of this 1815 battle in Napoleon's. The question, albeit the most incredibly obvious one, is, Why would any female Democrat loyal to Clinton feel inspiration and passion for McCain's pretty little Rovian beauty queen? As Gail Collins acutely pointed out in Saturday's NY Times, "I know Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton is a friend of mine, and Governor, you're no Hillary Clinton."

And just wait until the race really starts to heat up and Palin's celebrated nothingness gets put under the microscope where it belongs. The double-talking, hypocritical folks who brought us "Why can't we criticize Obama without being called racist?" will be giving us massive doses of "You're all sexists for attacking poor Sarah!"

By the way, the latest Gallup Poll shows a 9-point bounce for Obama following the Democrats' convention and his speech last week. McCain, who had led by a point on Monday, the first day of the convention, now trails by 8 points. Something tells me that with the GOP's "big tent" charade next week, led by Grandpa John and the empty pants-suited beauty queen, this gap will continue to widen straight through to election day.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's time now to help Obama fight the bigger fight and win the November election. He's gonna need money. Lots of money. Will you join me in making as large a contribution as you can to the campaign? I am personally commited to raising $25,000 for Sen. Obama and you can help me reach this goal. Click here to make a contribution. The White House is well within reach. Let's not let it slip away this time.

HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: John McCain and the GOP are going to spend tends of millions on vicious attack ads and aggressive ground teams. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizable war chest, Sen. Obama can successfully combat the GOP's attack and win these states. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's Birthday Gift to Obama: Gov. Sarah Palin Jumping Out of the GOP's Campaign Cake


August 29, 2008. Mark it down for its historical significance. It's the day that Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party officially lost the presidential election. Chalk it all up to McCain's boneheaded decision to name Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.

Now don't get me wrong. Palin seems like a swell lady. I'm sure many of the 5500 citizens of Wasilla, where she was mayor from 1996-2002, or the 115,000 Alaskans who voted for her for Governor in '06, might have kind things to say. But really, who is Sarah Palin? On MSNBC Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson, a devout Republican, surprised many in her party by saying she doesn't know much about her. Give her points for honesty.

What we do know about Palin is that she's a soccer mom with five kids (two of them named Trig and Track...go figure), knows how to cheer on a youth hockey team, and probably looks great in a one-piece bathing suit (hey, I'm not being sexist; she's a 1984 "Miss Wasilla" and a 2nd place runner-up in the "Miss Alaska" beauty pageant). But wait, there's more. Prior to running the huge Metropolis of Wasilla, she served two terms on the City Council and ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor. And, she's worked as a sports reporter for local Anchorage television stations. Hardly a stupendous resume, although she's clearly a big hit in many Alaskan circles.

But when the guy at the top of the ticket, at 72, would be the oldest president in U.S. history, and his health remains a concern given his battle with Melanoma, Palin would be more than a heartbeat away from the Oval Office. Is there any sane American who thinks Palin even remotely has the experience and readiness to be president? Commander-in-Chief? Leader of the free world? Is she who we'd want defending our citizens from terrorists and from our enemies abroad? She's so unqualified it's offensive. Her appointment is so inexplicably irrational that we should seriously begin to wonder if there's some sort of early senility settling in with McCain. And he doesn't help his own case when he's on record saying the only real qualification for vice president is whether that person can step in and be president. If he truly thinks Palin is that person, he's worse off than we think.

In one fell swoop McCain has taken the whole experience issue off the table. This had been a key weapon in his arsenal against Obama. Palin is younger than Obama, less experienced, has less national name recognition and zero foreign policy experience. The real take-away here is that in his first major "presidential" decision, McCain so clearly demonstrates poor judgement that it's obvious that it's he, not Palin, who should be nowhere near the Oval Office.

While Sean Hannity and company are trying their best to feign excitement over this disastrous appointment, they, like others in the party surprised by McCain's choice, seem horrified....if their manic, whiney defending of her is any indication. She's an utter nobody who also happens to be currently under investigation by the Alaska state legislature for allegations of abuse of power involving the controversial dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who allegedly refused to fire Palin's ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper, who's involved in an ugly divorce with her sister. Gee, another Republican politician abusing her power for personal gain. What a shocker.

Indeed, I would not want to be a Republican today. As one of my oldest chums Brian, a rabid conservative, said earlier, "I think McCain is going to lose. Who the hell is this Alaska governor? I think your rock star is in." When the GOP's lost the Brian's of the party, so goes the election.

Palin's appointment has Democrats in a lather as well. As my very cute friend Jenny said, the 44-year-old nominee is a "pro life, NRA joining, beauty pageant losing, animal hunting, idol worshiping, pawn of the GOP fool." I believe she left off "ANWR-drilling." McCain's little lady sure does love her oil (have we ever met a Republican who doesn't?).

For McCain, it was a day of grandiose bullshit. Standing with his running mate, he told a kool-aid drunken crowd in Ohio that he was choosing Palin as his running mate the week of the 88th anniversary of women's suffrage. Ironic that both would like nothing more than to overturn Roe v Wade, depriving women of their right to choose an abortion. I guess that doesn't qualify as "suffrage." Obviously, simply being a woman does not mean that you represent the interests of women. McCain's feeble attempt to out-liberal the Democrats seems concocted by a bunch of clueless high-schoolers. As cute-Jenny asked incredulously, "can they be that stupid?" Yes, I think this time they are.

Lastly, just how much passion does Palin have for the job anyway? In an interview recently, the vice presidential nominee dissed her own prospective office: "As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day? I’m used to being very productive and working real hard in an administration."

Don't worry, Sarah, fortunately for America, you're never gonna have to find out.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's time now to help Obama fight the bigger fight and win the November election. He's gonna need money. Lots of money. Will you join me in making as large a contribution as you can to the campaign? I am personally commited to raising $25,000 for Sen. Obama and you can help me reach this goal. Click here to make a contribution. The White House is well within reach. Let's not let it slip away this time.

HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: John McCain and the GOP are going to spend tends of millions on vicious attack ads and aggressive ground teams. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizable war chest, Sen. Obama can successfully combat the GOP's attack and win these states. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oh-Bama!


At the Democratic Convention Thursday night in Denver the party finally delivered its Ruthian grand slam in the form of Sen. Barack Obama's acceptance speech for the presidency of the United States of America. And holy shit, the goosebumps are still here.

Call me Michelle Obama, but I feel damned proud of my country right now. Damned proud of my party. As someone who's pushing 50 soon, I've witnessed over the years the depths of ignorance and intense racial bigotry that America's been steeped in for so long. Though he still has a major hurdle to climb in actually winning the presidency, our nation has truly entered a new era. It was nothing short of biblical to see Obama, that shining embodiment of the American dream, stand before 75,000 loyalists in Invesco Field a brilliant, passionate black man receiving his party's nomination. Our country will never be the same again. As Obama said, "all across America something is stirring." I literally was moved to tears.

Obama not only gave us the soaring rhetoric he's become famous for, he also presented compelling specifics into his policies for health care, the economy, jobs, taxes, the auto industry, education, energy, Iraq, terrorism, diplomacy and national security. He even tackled abortion, guns, gay marriage and immigration. He was, to be sure, inspirational, charismatic and transcendent. But more importantly, especially at this critical point in his dogfight with the Republicans' presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain, he was extremely forceful, tough and the fighter he needs to be.

"It's not because John McCain doesn't care, it's because John McCain doesn't get it." And with that Obama ripped into his opponent for much of the 43 minute speech, attacking McCain for his 90% voting record with Bush, his disconnect with the lower and middle classes, and his ties to the wealthy, the oil companies and special interests.

He was especially tough on McCain when it came to the Iraq war and fighting terrorism, touting his own strengths and that of his party in the area of national security:

"John McCain likes to say he will follow bin Laden to the gates of hell, but he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives...We are the party of Roosevelt. We are the party of Kennedy. So don't tell me that Democrats won't defend this country. Don't tell me that Democrats won't keep us safe."

Here's a few more gems from Obama's highly effective offensive:

"If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament and judgement to serve as the next Commander-in-Chief, that's a debate I'm ready to have."

"If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that's his choice, but it is not the change we need"

"I got news for you John McCain, we all put our country first."

He continued lashing into the Republican nominee as offering four more years of the current failed administration: "The Bush/McCain foreign policy has squandered the legacy that generations of Americans, Democrats and Republicans, have built, and we are here to restore that legacy."

On the social issues, he discussed the need to look beyond our differences, which is "America's promise...the promise of a democracy where we can find the strength and grace to bridge divides and unite in commonality." And he dismissed the criticisms of his detractors who call this message of hope and change "happy talk."

On gun control, he challenged the GOP with "Don't tell me we can't uphold the second amendment while keeping AK-47's out of the hands of criminals."

He railed against those who dismiss the Democratic Party's larger goals as "just a Trojan horse for higher taxes and the abandonment of traditional values...Because if you don't have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don't have a record to run on then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from."

And in his stirring close he invoked Dr. Martin Luther King, whose speech 45 years ago on the the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. drew people from "every corner of this land" to "hear a young preacher from Georgia speak of his dream. The men and women who gathered there could've heard many things. They could've heard words of anger and discord. They could've been told to succumb to the fear and frustrations of so many dreams deferred. But what the people heard instead, people from every creed and color, people from every walk of life, is that in America our destiny is inextricably linked. That together our dreams can be one. We cannot walk alone, the preacher cried. And as we walk we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. America, we cannot turn back. Not with so much work to be done. Not with so many children to educate. And so many veterans to care for. Not with an economy to fix, and cities to rebuild and farms to save. Not with so many families to protect and so many lives to mend. America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone, at this moment, in this election. We must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise. That American promise. And in the words of scripture, hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess. Thank you. And God bless you. And God bless America."

And then, in a brilliant co-opting of the GOP playbook, the stadium air filled with the good 'ole patriotic country music sounds of Brooks and Dunn's "Only in America" as the candidate stood with his family and his running mate Sen. Joe Biden and family. Nicely done, Barack, nicely done.

It's time now to help Obama fight the bigger fight and win the November election. He's gonna need money. Lots of money. Will you join me over the next several days in making as large a contribution as you can to the campaign? I am personally commited to raising $25,000 for Sen. Obama and you can help me reach this goal. Click here to make a contribution. The White House is well within reach. Let's not let it slip away this time.

HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: John McCain and the GOP are going to spend tends of millions on vicious attack ads and aggressive ground teams. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizable war chest, Sen. Obama can successfully combat the GOP's attack and win these states. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

McCain's Housing Crisis. Who's the Elitist Now?


After many years of having Sean Hannity pollute the airwaves, I finally agree with something the right-wing spinhead said on his program Thursday: "People who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones, don't ya think?" The irony is that he was referring to Sen. Barack Obama and the many Democrats who've publicly admonished Sen. John McCain this week for owning a reputed 7-10 high-priced luxury residences all over the country. They've been attacking McCain, and rightfully so, because of the Republican's own accusations earlier in the campaign that the Democratic presumptive nominee is "an elitist." Funny how a black guy from a poor broken family who made his way through school on scholarships and owns one home is attacked as an elitist by a silver-spoon fed Navy brat with 7+ mansions and condos who portrays himself as everyman. And to listen to Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the sorry right-wing attack dogs, you'd think everyone's been piling on poor old Johnny out of the blue. Hannity's indeed right: people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. But it's McCain whose fragile house is shattering now. And now he and his mob are whining like little beeyaches about it. What a joke.

Hannity and Limbaugh relentlessly railed on about how Democrats like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Al Gore, Howard Dean and Chris Dodd also have multiple homes, but you don't hear Democrats criticizing them. "Since when did democrats care about how many houses people own," Hannity asked with fake sincerity. Well Sean, let me makes this easy for ya pal: that's because unlike your desperate, crotchety, name-calling candidate, Obama isn't running around condemning anyone for being an elitist...until now that is. McCain started the elitist wars, not the Democrats. Remember, people in glass houses.....

Obama unveiled his new attack ad Thursday--a real beaut if I may say--where he's incredulous at McCain's lame response this week to a question about how many homes he in fact owns: "I think -- I'll have my staff get to you,...It's condominiums where -- I'll have them get to you." Huh? Wha? Would seems like a pretty easy question to answer. Are you that stinking rich that you don't even know how many homes you own? Either that or you're too old to remember, and therefore too old to be president. Either way, Johnnyboy, you've just became the gift that keeps on giving. You're clearly out of touch with Americans' economic anxiety. In fact, you're just out of touch period.

Even lamer than McCain's response to how many houses he owns was Hannity's utterly lame-ass defense of the land baron and his $100-million wife Cindy's collection of ritzy properties: "Does anybody talk about how he opened up his house to an orphan who needed a home?...Has Obama opened his house to anyone?" Are you kidding with this shit?! He then added that Obama's new ad "shows how desperate he is and how desperate the campaign is." No Sean, McCain's answer, and your pathetic justifications, show just how desperate you guys are. You can wet your collective pants all you want over the recent polls showing a statistical dead heat, but as NY Times columnist Frank Rich astutely pointed out Sunday, when it comes to historical polling, Obama's right where just about every other Democrat was at this point in the campaign with the exception of Michael Dukakis, who lead George Bush Sr. by 17 points. And remember what happened to him? But what's really ominous for McCain and the GOP, and they know it, is the significant state-by-state electoral college lead held by Obama. They're wetting their pants allright, but not in a good way.

McCain's entire campaign is built on Iraq, the surge and military blah blah blah. But only 15% of voters rank the war as their #1 issue. To most Americans, as in '92, it's still the economy, stupid. And that's where the Repubs know they're behind the eight ball big time.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: Are we gonna let the Right Wing bullies frame this election and define Barack Obama? John McCain and the GOP are going to spend tends of millions on vicious attack ads and aggressive ground teams. Obama will need millions more to effectively combat the Republicans' desperate, race-baiting onslaught. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizable war chest, Sen. Obama can win these states. We are committed to raising as much money as possible to help elect Barack Obama president. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why is Liberal Radio So Inept?


I could sum up the entire difference between political parties by how they position themselves on Sirius Satellite Radio. The left wing channel is called, well, Left, while the right wing channel proudly wears the Patriot badge. Left vs Patriot. That truly says it all.

On vacation, I've had the opportunity to indulge my politics obsession with some daily poolside talk radio, both conservative and liberal. Let's get right to the point: liberal radio is a disaster. It's un-listenable. While the right-wingers are out there relentlessly bashing the hell out of Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party in an effort to tear him and it down in their quest for the presidency, our compadres on the left are indulging themselves in sophomoric humor and inane blabbering about nothing in particular. All you need is a 30-second listen and you'll realize just how dreadful and unfocused it is. With the exception of a few ass-kickers like Ed Schultz, Lionel, Rachel Maddow, Stephanie Miller and Randi Rhodes, the whole lot should be rounded up and shipped to an Ashram somewhere. And here's the other thng about Dems that's infuriating: they finally get a true warrior like Rhodes, but in their spineless quest for political-correctness, they eat their own and can her over some stupid remark during an off-air comedy performance. In all his years of outrageously offensive on-air drivel, has the right even punished, let alone fired, the bloviating Rush Limbaugh? No. They throw him crackers and send him in to do more damage.

To use an American pastime analogy, right wing radio is the 1927 Yankees while libs are the '62 Mets. They've got singularly-focused, rhetoric-spewing vicious attack dogs like Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mike Church, Andrew Wilkow, Bill Bennett, Mark Levin, Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham. Like their gods Bush and Cheney, most if not all never served our military but shamelessly co-opt it nonetheless. They proudly assume the role of the tough-talking, patriotic all-American, promoting war and the killing of terrorists. Then they vilify and rip apart the military records of any Democrat running for office, even if, unlike them, they are decorated war heroes like John Kerry, Max Cleland and John Murtha. Unbelievably, they get away with it.

They refer to themselves as "command-dude-in-chief" and cultishly greet each other with "You're a great American" and play stirring music like "Let Freedom Ring" and the official anthems of each branch of the military. Yup, they're the rough, tough, rock 'em sock 'em types who like to let other men fight their actual battles. But on radio, they're a bunch of fucking John Waynes (btw, he never served either).

They've schooled at the chafed knee of ruthless GOP operative Karl Rove, and therefore learned the not-so-secret secret of blatantly lying to Americans because they're too uninformed to know the difference. So, these spinners claim the Iraq war's been won, the surge is working, the economy's strong and that polls show that voters are clamoring for more Bush/Cheney/McCain.

And boy do they know how to stay on message. They have laser-like focus. They name their shows "The Stop Obama Express" and make derogatory, racist remarks about Michelle Obama being a "big, mean-looking, angry woman full of rage." They call Barack Obama "baby killer" for his views on abortion. They relentlessly mock him as The Messiah, The Chosen One. They make up song parodies like "The Bush/Cheney Bash" (sung to the tune of The Monster Mash) which lavish praise on these two clowns while deriding Democrats. They incessently use the word "radical" to describe Obama, and utter in rapid-fire succession the names Wright/Flager/Rezko/Ayers to describe Obama's "deep-rooted radical associations." They say he's a Muslim. They hammer home his past drug use. They call him a Communist/Marxist for his "socialist" economic positions. They refer to liberals as "You America-despising pukes" and make up childish, derogatory names for Democrats like "Nazi" Pelosi, Hillary "Rotten" Clinton aka "Her Royal Thighness" and "BJ" Clinton. They call one highly-respected news wire service "HemmoReuters" when it happens to write something unflattering to the GOP.

While these faithful soldiers in the Rovian army are savagely ripping apart the patriotism and character of any Democrat who stands in the way of their insatiable quest for power, their counterparts on the left--again, with the exception of a few brave fighters, sound like a bunch of stoners and jazz DJ's from the college station. On Sirius's "Left," Alex Bennett, Lynn Samuels and Mark Thompson are the ones who have the least to say. Together with his stereotypical leftist freak listeners, Bennett, an ungracefully-aging hippie himself, offers up more gratuitous profanity than intellectual political thought. It's as if he and his hippie-cool listeners say "shit," "fuck," "asshole," and "douchebag" just because they can. And they say it a lot. He even calls Obama an asshole when he disagrees with his policies. And all this makes his program unlistenable, unless you're into a bunch of ungracefully-aging hippies cursing a lot about nothing. Samuels on any random listen could be whining about anything meaningless, like the day I caught her literally discussing snot and boogers. And Thompson, while a smart, passionate guy, has a program so mellow in tone that it can literally put you to sleep. His voice is so smooth and jazzy that he'd be much better off cuing up a Miles Davis album.

I don't mean to riff on any of these folks, as I'm sure they're all fine people off the air. But on the air I want the sort of Viagra-fueled maniacs conservatives have on the front lines, not a bunch of impotent lefties who couldn't fight their way out of a paper bag. Democrats need to fill every single radio slot with 24/7 aggressive spinners. Just check out Fox Radio, Patriot or ABC Radio. There's no wasted airtime on the right. Yes, right wing radio is filled with name-calling high-school-bully types who drone on like programmed partisan robots about the same shit over and over and over again. Should we be like them? You bet. These guys are part of a well-oiled machine that has a very good track-record of winning elections.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: Are we gonna let the Right Wing bullies frame this election and define Barack Obama? John McCain and the GOP are going to spend tends of millions on vicious attack ads and aggressive ground teams. Obama will need millions more to effectively combat the Republicans' desperate, race-baiting onslaught. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizable war chest, Sen. Obama can win these states. We are committed to raising as much money as possible to help elect Barack Obama president. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why Obama's VP Needs to be a 4-Star General


It's an obvious problem facing Sen. Barack Obama and the Democratic Party as both head to the November presidential election. While a majority of Americans are against the Iraq war and believe the Bush administration took its eye off terror organizations like al Qaeda, they see Sen. John McCain, the GOP's presumptive nominee, as being stronger on foreign affairs and national security. Despite thhis clear disadvantage, the odds-on favorites to be selected as Obama's vice presidential running mate are little known state Governors --Evan Bayh (Ind) and Tim Kaine (VA)-- who have no real foreign policy or national security experience. We are a nation at war, targeted by Islamic terrorists, and now back in a potential Cold War with a militaristically invigorated Russia, which has just invaded the Republic of Georgia.

So, why are two neophytes on the world stage, Bayh and Kaine, at the top of the list when Obama himself has zero foreign policy or national security chops? With McCain perceived by voters as the more capable commander-in-chief, leading in the polls by about 25 points on this issue, Obama's gonna need more than Bayh or Kaine if he expects to occupy the White House in January. Which is why he and the party must put the offensive block on the GOP by choosing a retired 4-star general as his running mate. Someone like Colin Powell, Eric Shinseki, Anthony Zinni or Wesley Clark. A move like this would totally disarm the McCain campaign and take away one of it's biggest attack points: that an Obama presidency would be woefully ill-equipped to defend America. Who better than to be at Obama's side helping to protect the United States than his 4-star general vice-president? In an age where, thanks to Dick Cheney, VP's are viewed as having much more influence and power than ever, this could prove to be a critical strategic maneuver on the part of Democrats. It would allow Obama to point to Iraq, Russia, Iran and the battle against terrorism and project strength, experience and resolve...giving voters a sense of confidence that his administration, contrary to the relentless GOP talking points, is highly capable, more capable that McCain, of defending America both at home and abroad. Think of the image of Obama standing beside a uniformed 4-star general. Think of what that image projects to these voters, amny of whom are independants still on the fence.

Conventional wisdom argues that one's choice of VP means little or nothing come November. There's no real guarantee they'll "deliver" their home states and, virtually everyone simply votes for the top of the ticket anyway, no matter how bad the VP choices appear to be. Case in point Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew. These clowns didn't stop Richard Nixon or Pappi Bush from winning. But, given the global stage these days, and the edge McCain has on foreign affairs, coupled with how the GOP has successfully defined Democrats as weak on national security, the selection of a 4-star general could very well, against 2008's treacherous international landscape, have major impact on the outcome of this election in particular.

Some notable choices for Obama would be retired Army generals Clark, Shinseki and Powell, along with the Marine Corps' Zinni. Clark's a Democrat who's already tried his hand at the presidency in 2004, and failed. But he'd make for a terrific Veep. Given the crisis in Georgia, with his track-record in Bosnia, he'd be a great running mate, as would the others, all of whom have a bone to pick with the Busheviks. Shinseki was fired after arguing that at least 300,000 post-invasion troops would be necessary in Iraq to properly stabilize the country. We now know he was dead-right. Zinni, former chief of the Central Command, the U.S. military headquarters for the Middle East, knows more about what's needed in Iraq than perhaps anyone, and he's been at odds with President Bush over this handling of the war. And Powell, for obvious bi-partisan and celebrity-cache reasons, would be a coup.

No matter how you slice it, this is the image Obama must project for his administration. As with 2004, what will award the White House to Republicans is fear, plain and simple; Americans' desire to feel safe and secure and protected here at home. On this front, McCain wins hands down. Unfortunately, guys like Bayh and Kaine, or any other generally unexciting, inexperienced, relatively unknown potential running mate, doesn't even make a dent. It's time Democrats once and for all trump the GOP on matters of national security.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Putin's Gift to McCain


As if the Iraq war and the fight against terrorism wasn't enough, Russia has decided that it's time to inject itself into the American presidential election and resurrect the Cold War, thus providing Sen. John McCain and the Republican Party even more fodder to bolster their claim to the national-security throne. Listening to right-wing radio yesterday you'd think it was 1987 and Ronald Reagan was urging Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this (Berlin) wall."

But it's 2008, not 1987, and Russia's on the warpath with its invasion of the Republic of Georgia, the western-oriented Democracy to its South which gained its independence in 1991 after the break-up of the former Soviet Union. So now we have the new Red Scare, except this one's coated in black. "Russia will go on a rampage if Barack Obama's elected president," said Sirius Radio's Andrew Wilkow. Fox's Sean Hannity said of the Democratic nominee's reaction to the invasion, "He blew his 3am moment...he looked like a deer in the headlights." Rush Limbaugh said, "Obama I don't think knows where Georgia is on the map. 'Obama, where's Georgia?' He'd look for Atlanta and he'd say, 'It's right there, it's where Dr. King's church is."

What we have here is a case of Conservatives Gone Wild. And we can thank Russian President Vladamir Putin for it all. Remember him? President Bush's BFF? The guy Bush gushed over like a love-stricken schoolgirl in June 2001: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue....I was able to get a sense of his soul." Seven years later and can you say, Divorce Court? Though I never thought this possible, Putin's big Fuck You to the West last week makes Bush look like an even bigger ass than ever. Can it get any worse for this guy? And McCain's been quick to pounce, mocking Bush by saying of Putin, "I looked into his eyes and saw K.G.B." Oh no he di-int! Did he actually say KGB? What could possibly get McCain, who's practically old enough to have witnessed the 1917 Russian Revolution firsthand, more politically excited than talk of the KGB? It's a Republican war-monger's wet dream, for Pete's sake.

To be sure, as the battle in Georgia intensifies, McCain and Co. will relentlessly exploit this crisis in an effort to weaken Obama's chances in November. And I'm afraid it make have some impact. The major area where McCain polls far greater than Obama is with national security; that he's the more capable commander-in-chief, able to better handle both the war in Iraq and the threat from terrorists here at home. Russia's march into Georgia could not have come at a worse time politically for Obama and the Democrats. Obama needs to get off the ropes in this area and aggressively go after McCain, defining him as a reckless war-monger who was wrong on Iraq and is part of the Bushevik Empire that was wrong on Putin and Russia.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Right Wing's Racist Attacks on Michelle Obama


The shameless right-wing attack machine has figured out that it may be more politically expedient to go over after Michelle Obama with subliminal racist attacks than the Democratic candidate himself. And the racist code word of the day is "angry." What they're trying to do is scare Americans into seeing Michelle Obama as nothing more than an angry black woman who they should fear getting into the White House. It's absolutely disgusting.

We've heard for months now how the wife of the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee for president, Sen. Barack Obama, is unpatriotic and hates her country. That she is not "proud" to be an American. That she believes America to be a "mean" place.

And now she's "angry." Very, very angry. One of the more relentless perpetrators of this reprehensible attack is Sirius Radio's Andrew Wilkow. On his "The Wilkow Majority" show Monday the Sean Hannity wannabe went on a verbal rampage against the "mean-faced," "tough-looking" Obama, saying she was "harboring a whole lot of anger" and that she was "full of rage." So much rage that she has "quivering lips" and a "scowl" when she speaks. And as if that wasn't enough, he railed that "she looks like the kind of woman that would hit her husband with a shoe for talking back." Is this guy for real? If Wilkow would like us to believe that he's not trying very hard to conjure up the racist image of the angry black woman, he is either terribly dumb and naive or thinks we are. Just how does Wilkow know she's "full of rage?" What's he basing this prognosis on? Is he watching the same intelligent, happy family woman that I see plastered all over the TV? I've yet to see even one public display of even a bad mood let alone the sort of "rage" Wilkow refers to. Perhaps it's Wilkow who's the one "full of rage?" Maybe it's Wilkow who "harbors a lot of anger" at the thought of a a black First Family? What's even more outrageous than Wilkow's blatant stereotyping is his claim that his attacks on Michelle Obama "are not personal." What a croc of shit.

The right wing attack dogs have one goal, and that's to scare the crap of America. "Michelle and Barack Obama. The angry radical black man and his angry black wife. A couple of militants whom Whitey should be very, very afraid of." It's 2004 all over again. But instead of gay marriage it's angry black folk. Let's just hope this time Americans care more about the war, the recession, $4.50/gallon gas prices, unemployment, record debt, the housing slump, the mortgage crisis, universal health care and global warming.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: Are we gonna let the Right Wing bullies frame this election and define Barack Obama? John McCain and the GOP are going to spend tends of millions on vicious attack ads and aggressive ground teams. Obama will need millions more to effectively combat the Republicans' desperate, race-baiting onslaught. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizable war chest, Sen. Obama can win these states. We are committed to raising as much money as possible to help elect Barack Obama president. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Who's Your Baby Daddy? Plastic Ken's Denial Part II


About a month ago former North Carolina Senator and once presidential hopeful John Edwards issued his own version of "I did not have sex with that woman." Only this time, instead of Bill Clinton's angry, finger-pointing delivery what we got from Plastic Ken was a smarmy, half-smirked, squinty-eyed look of incredulousness and mock indignation as if the reporter had just asked him the dumbest fucking question on Earth. 'What, me cheat? How dare you!'?

His denial was unequivocal, almost to the point of challenging, especially when he referred to the allegations as "tabloid trash." Probably not the smartest strategy when you happen to have an already zealous National Enquirer up your ass, feverishly gnawing away as it obsesses over proving its journalistic legitimacy. A dumb move indeed. Sort of like former Sen. Gary Hart's boneheaded challenge to the scandal-starved media back in 1987: "Follow me around. I don't care. I'm serious. If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They'll be very bored." And follow him they did, right into his mistress Donna Rice's arms.

Cut to a month later, with Plastic Ken finally admitting last week to the rest of us what he claims to have confessed to his wife Elizabeth back in 2006: that he had a "liaison" with novice filmmmaker and 80's party girl Rielle Hunter. But wait, the affair took place while Elizabeth's incurable cancer "was in remission." Good thing. Its not like she was in chemo or anything. That would've been unconscionable. See? Plastic Ken does have a conscience after all.

Now in this same admission last week Plastic Ken, who chalks up his sexual indiscretions to unbridled narcissism, flatly denied that he's the father of Hunter's six month old baby. So let's get this straight: Edwards is unequivocally denying something else?. George W. Bush had it right when he so aptly said: "...Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again." Exactly. No one believed Plastic Ken a month ago and we sure as hell don't believe him now. That he's volunteered to take a paternity test is not enough. I want him on "Maury" for one of those patented "Who's Your Baby Daddy" shows. I want all of America on the edge of their seats as Maury tears open the big manila envelope and declares, "Plastic Ken...you ARE the father!" as the publicly humiliated Baby Daddy runs offstage in tears as Elizabeth and Rielle high-five each other and curse him out on national television. That would be most fitting.

To be sure, marital infidelity is rampant in Washington, and Plastic Ken isn't the first and surely won't be the last to let his roving shmecky out of his pants. He's in good company with other fellow self-destructive narcissists such as Hart, Clinton, John McCain, Newt Gingrich, Henry Hyde, Larry Craig, Bob Barr, Bob Livingston, David Vitter, Jim McGreevey and Elliot Spitzer. But what is it about these extra-special dirtbags--Edwards, Gingrich, McCain to name a few--who are not only compelled to betray their wives, but allegedly do so while these poor women are battling some sort of dreaded illness or debilitating physical condition? They reside on the bottom of the philanderers food chain. Yet that doesn't stop them from sanctimoniously lecturing the rest of us about morality and decency. While running for president last Fall Plastic Ken said, "...We are facing a moral crisis as great as any that has ever challenged us. And, it is this test -- this moral test -- that I have come to understand is at the heart of this campaign." ("now if you'll please excuse me, I have to go boink Rielle before Elizabeth's cancer returns"). It's enought to make you sick.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

McCain at Sturges: Who's the "Radical" Now?


Just imagine. A raucous event of 500,000 engine-revving, beer-guzzling, tattooed Hells Angels-looking motorcyclists and their scantily-clad women engaging in racy contests where nudity and simulated sex take place while wife-beater-wearin' Kid Rock head-bangs in the background. And then appears a presidential candidate who gleefully announces:

"Thank you, I thank you all very much for that unique Sturgis welcome! As you may know, not long ago a couple a hundred thousand Berliners made a lot of noise for my opponent. I’ll take the roar of 50,000 Harleys any day! Any day, my friend!"

And then an insane look appears on the candidate's face as he makes a wildly animated spinning hand gesture and loud "vroom vroom" noise intended to simulate the cranking of a cycle engine but ends up his own embarrassing version of the Dean scream....and then offers up his wife in the event's notoriously T&A-infested main contest: "I told her with a little luck, she could be the only woman ever to serve as both the first lady and Miss Buffalo Chip."

Holy Radical Associations, Batman...tits, ass, booze, tattoos, sex, cycles and sluts, oh my! Had the candidate's name been Sen. Barack Obama you can bet your ass that the McCain camp, his GOP surrogates and Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the right wing attack-dogs would be crucifying "The One." You can hear them now:

"It's an outrage! Does this man really have the judgement to be president? Hanging out with biker gangs and their naked 'old ladies'....drinking, cursing, engaging in lesbian sex, topless contests....Kid Rock, for Pete's sake!? Its disgusting and un-American....and we cannot have this sort of radical behavior in the White House!"

But the candidate was none other than the socially-conservative Sen. John McCain, and there was nary a peep out of Hannity and Limbaugh and the rest of the good 'ole boy spinhead network. In fact, they think it's cool that their guy gets down with the 'real Americans...patriots...the courageous men and women who serve our country proud,' as McCain painted the Sturgis crowd.

Sweet Jesus, could you imagine the holy shitstorm the Right would make out of this had Obama been standing up there reveling in his biker glory, teasing the flesh-baring beer-buzzed crowd that Michelle should "show us your tits!?" Oh, the hypocrisy....


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. We are commited to helping the campaign raise as much money as possible to combat the bountiful warchest of Sen. John McCain and the GOP. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

David Brooks is Dead Wrong About Barack Obama


Let's get something out of the way quickly: Sen. Barack Obama is not the most credentialed presidential candidate the Democratic Party has ever sent to the general election. He has made many judgement missteps along the way, and he has only himself to blame for it. The candidate at times can also appear weak, arrogant, aloof, lacking in substance and yes, elitist. But let's not confuse all this, as NY Times columnist David Brooks wrote on Tuesday, with Obama being "not in it;" of his being psycho-socially detached from virtually everything professionally noteworthy in his life.

What Brooks fails to understand in his oversimplified Freudian assessment of Obama's psyche is something truly monumental, heretofore not seen in American politics: the very likelihood that Sen. Barack Obama will make history as the first black president of The United States of America. Given that black men were still being lynched and beaten just 45 or so years ago simply for being black, this accomplishment not only is historic and electric, but it carries with it an unfathomable amount of pressure and stress. Yes, Barack Obama is an agent of change. He is a light, a force, a movement. He is not merely a candidate, and anyone who views him that way is terribly myopic. An Obama victory can and will forever change not just America's political landscape, but it's socio-economic one as well. There is great purpose to Obama's candidacy, much more beyond simple politics. His victory would end America's first 233 year phase and usher in a new one. When Brooks writes that Obama "lives apart," he is grossly minimizing the significance of Obama the man, the candidate, the movement.

Brooks downplays the race factor and writes that Americans more so "are wary and uncertain" of Obama. He's right about that in one sense, but not in his intended meaning. Yes, Americans are wary and uncertain...the same way they are wary and uncertain when they see a black man walking towards them on a dark street, or when they are alone in an elevator with a young black man, or when LA cops see them driving in a white neighborhood late at night. I'm not sure what bugs the shit out of me more, white people's racism towards blacks or elite whites like Brooks minimizing it. The fact is, the black man walking down the street, getting in the elevator, or driving in Beverly Hills could very well be, like Obama, a Harvard educated lawyer. But to the "wary and uncertain" whites, it doesn't matter. And this is precisely where Brooks gets it all wrong.

Brooks summarily tears apart Obama's entire career as if it's truly meaningless. That Obama's a self-made success with infinitely more impressive credentials than, say, George Bush, gets lost on Brooks. His job as a conservative pundit is not to speak the truth about Republicans, but to distort the truth about Democrats. But the truth is, Obama is the American Dream personified. Of mixed-race heritage and from a poor, broken home, he made his way into the finest academic institutions in the country, and became the first ever black editor of the prestigious Harvard Law Review. He spent years as a community organizer, 12 years as a law professor, 6 years as a State Senator, 3 as a U.S. Senator, and stands the best chance of anyone in history of becoming the first black president. Yet Brooks' column conjures up the image of some emotionless, spiritless, disconnected automaton who somehow managed to accomplish this greatness without ever having any real, intimate relationships or intellectual curiosity. That he somehow robotically drifted his way to being some sort of comatose-like wonder, having fooled everyone and touched no one. Give us a break, Brooks. Your shameless partisanship precedes you. You're a Rove in sheep's clothing.

What Sen. Barack Obama stands for, what his candidacy means, transcends politics and in many ways is a larger than life phenomenon. It signals the beginning of a new dawn in American life. It's unfortunate that David Brooks cannot, or will not, see that.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. We are commited to helping the campaign raise as much money as possible to combat the bountiful warchest of Sen. John McCain and the GOP. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Right Wing Attack Machine and the Race Card


Sen. Barack Obama last week attempted to defend himself against subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) racist attacks from the Right by telling an audience that "They're going to try to say that I'm a risky guy. They're going to try to say, Well, you know, he's got a funny name, and he doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills." Oh no
he di-int!

In response, Rick Davis, campaign manager for Sen. John McCain, said "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

Oh, puleeeeze. This is the kind of projection Freud would be quite proud of. To be sure, whether directly or indirectly, everyone from Camp McCain to the GOP to conservative talk-radio hosts have been playing the race card since Day-One. What do you think the Rev. Wright scandal was all about, simple incendiary rhetoric? The imagery of an angry, unpatriotic black preacher against that of a supposedly angry, unpatriotic black presidential candidate was not just intentional, but exploitative of Americans' worst fears about race. How come there was virtually no major backlash or outcry over McCain's relationship with Rev. John Hagee? The leader of the 19,000-member Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Tex. has said the Nazis "operated on God's behalf" in driving Jews from Europe to Israel. He's also called the Catholic church a "great whore." I guess when it's white-on-white it's allright.

Or how about the fiery race-baiting ad created by Floyd "Willie Horton" Brown before the North Carolina primary that describes the murders of young people killed in Chicago gang violence and concludes by stating that Sen. Barack Obama, while an Illinois State Senator, voted against the death penalty for gang members convicted of murder. Not about race, you say? What was the ad about then, Chicago's terrifying Jewish street gangs?

Or how about the attack ad last Spring produced by the North Carolina Republican Party which featured Wright's "God Damn America" speech in an effort to align Obama with the two Democratic candidates for Governor, Bev Purdue and Richard Moore, both of whom had endorsed the Democratic presidential hopeful. Hence, don't vote for them because they support Obama, the supporter of an angry, black, unpatriotic, hateful preacher. Not about race, you say?

Or how about the non-stop attacks on Obama by Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and others in the right-wing media? Hannity uses the words "radical" every three seconds to slyly imply that Obama's nothing more than an angry black man with "radical associations." I don't recall, even in the highly contentious '04 campaign, hearing the word "radical" used--and used so often--to describe Sen. John Kerry.

Or how about Bill O'Reilly's constant lapsing into Stepin Fetchit-talk when he discusses Obama? Funny, I don't hear any black slang from him when he discusses McCain.

Or how about Sirious Satellite Radio's Andrew Wilkow who weeks ago pointed to a NY Times photo of Michelle Obama and commented how 'mean and angry' she looked, and that if she were a teacher her students would be frightened. Not an image intended to conjure up an angry black woman, you say?

Obama was 100% right when he refered to "they," and the picture "they're" trying to paint of him. The race card's being played allright, but not by Obama. Let's not confuse playing the race card with pointing out the playing of a race card. Just as the media insists Obama acknowledge the "success" of the surge while they give McCain a free pass for voting for the war and inaccurately predicting we'll be greeted as liberators and that Iraq's oil will pay for it all...the media is now choosing to turn a blind eye to the rampant racism that clearly still exists in America while vilifying a black man for defending himself against it.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

The Walmart Dictatorship: Vote McCain or Else?


It's got Karl Rove written all over it. It smacks of the lowest form yet of sleazy Republican intimidation tactics to disenfranchise voters and influence the outcome of the November election. And it's got right-wing spinmeisters whipped into a mouth-foaming frenzy. We're talking about the behemoth retailer Walmart's alleged threats against its employees if they vote for the Democratic presumptive nominee for president, Sen. Barack Obama. It's all about jobs. So is the world's largest retailer really trying to scare the bajesus out of its 1.4 million workers? 'Vote for Obama and you could be fired.' Is this what it's all coming to?

What apparently has Walmart executives' panties in a snit is the belief that if Obama becomes president it's more likely that its employees will unionize, which is something the notoriously stingy employer fears. Walmart's reputation as a lousy employer is legendary. Charges of low wages, poor benefits and overall workplace mistreatment have plagued the company for years.

At issue now is a bill, co-sponsored by Obama and opposed by the GOP's presumptive nominee, Sen. John McCain, that could force the retail giant's hand and serve to appreciably lighten its pocketbook. The measure, called the Employee Free Choice Act, would allow unions to organize workplaces without secret ballot elections, thus making it much easier to turn companies from non-union to union. Should this happen at Walmart, it would cost the company bazillions, eating into its sizable earnings. Wal-Mart recently reported first quarter 2008 profits of over $3-billion, a 6.9% increase over last year. Our collective hearts bleed for them, huh?

So what exactly is Walmart up to? The Wall Street Journal reported this week that the company has been holding mandatory Chicken Little meetings with store managers and department supervisors warning that the bill would likely pass in an Obama administration and that that would negatively impact its workers. To what degree the warnings were issued is not confirmed, but many Walmart employees anonymously have said that the company's message is quite clear: 'a vote for Obama could mean a loss of jobs.' And while the company may not have specifically instructed any of its employees--be they management or rank-and-file--to vote specifically for McCain, the intention is obvious: 'We don't like Obama. We don't like Unions. Obama will unionize us. That will hurt business and result in massive layoffs. We do not want Obama to be president.' They don't need to finish this with, "and if you vote for Obama you will lose your job." The perceived threat is already there. Of course, Walmart denies that it's threatened or intimidated its workers.

As expected, right-wing spinheads are rushing to Walmart's defense. On his national Sirius Satellite Radio program Friday, The Wilkow Majority, Andrew Wilkow emphatically and repeatedly asserted that Walmart, or any company for that matter, not only has the right to maintain whatever size workforce it so desires, but that it would be well within their right to warn employees outright that "If you vote for Obama you will be fired."

In an email exchange, I pointed out to Wilkow that not only is his suggestion unconscionable in terms of voter intimidation, but that it was convoluted in its enforceability. How would Walmart know who their employees voted for? And how, therefore, could they fire only those who voted for Obama? It's moronic no matter how you slice it.

Wilkow replied: "What I said was that a company has the right to inform the
workers of the stark reality of the effect the election may have on their
business. I wasn't endorsing voter intimidation. A company doesn't have
any obligation to maintain a particular number of employees or
production output. If a company feels that the political climate is
going to add weight or cost to doing business a company is free to cut
staff or production. If that is not the case then who is going to force
a company to maintain said levels of production and staff or stay in
business at all for that matter?"

Nice try, Andy, but the words "If you vote for Obama you will be fired" came out of your mouth, not mine. But let's give Wilkow some credit. Maybe after seeing his outlandish rant thrown back at him, he at least had the smarts to realize how irresponsible it was and he immediately backpedaled. I informed him that while a company indeed has the right to maintain whatever staff levels it so chooses, it does not have the right to attempt to control the outcome of an election by threatening its employees with dismissal if they vote for a specific candidate, which is exactly what he was urging.

This sort of tyrannical ploy is taking sleazy Republican politics to a new low, but it's surely not surprising. Republicans are desperate and scared and, like always, will do or say anything to retain power. And its corporate pals like Walmart seem all too willing to help the cause at the continued expense of the little guy. So, when exactly will the little guy learn and stop voting Republican? Perhaps this is the year we finally see an end to that unexplained phenomenon called Reagan Democrats.


HELP ELECT BARACK OBAMA PRESIDENT: It's now time for us to pull together as Democrats and unite behind Obama and his historic candidacy. These are exciting times. I urge you to support Obama by sending the campaign whatever you can afford. In politics, money is key. There are many swing states this year--Colorado, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri among them. With a sizeable war chest for campaigning, ground teams/staff, ads, mailings, Internet/email promotions, etc, he can win these states. We are commited to helping the campaign raise as much money as possible to combat the bountiful warchest of Sen. John McCain and the GOP. Click here to make a contribution. It's time to change America.