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By Orville Schell and David Shambaugh

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Tag: Barack Obama

A Campaign Without Ideas

There was a time when Republicans campaigned on their ideas, programs and values. This year—lacking ideas, programs or values—John McCain and Sarah Palin are running for the White House on an elaborate fictional narrative of victimhood.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Bill Clinton
Flickr / Photo Mojo

Bill Clinton Ready to Work for Obama

Last spring, it seemed like tug of war over the Democratic presidential nomination would never end, but now that seems part of the distant past, as Barack Obama enters the final stretch leading to November’s election. Luckily, his relations with Bill Clinton appear to have improved over time, and the former president now says he’s willing to roll up his sleeves to help Obama’s campaign however he can.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Quagmire, Phase 2: The Invasion of Pakistan

The United States has just invaded Cambodia. The name of Cambodia this time is Pakistan, but otherwise it’s the same story as in Indochina in 1970.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


I’m John McCain and I Approved This Lie

Robert Greenwald and Co. have collected some of the worst examples of John McCain’s deceptive campaign ads. Straight talk indeed.

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Zamboni Clears the Ice

Let us remember that Republicans had long targeted working mothers as the centerpiece of the culture wars. Now their heroine is the in-your-face governor who once said: “To any critics who say a woman can’t think and work and carry a baby at the same time, I’d just like to escort that Neanderthal back to the cave.” 

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE



RJ Matson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Stop Exploiting 9/11

Let this be the last time. Please, let it be the last. Let this be the last commemoration of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to be used as any sort of backdrop for political theatrics, even if the show is bipartisan.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE



McCain campaign image altered for comment

McCain Campaign Lies About Lies

It’s time to start using the L-word when referring to John McCain and his campaign for the presidency. Misleading doesn’t quite capture the hypocritical use of distortions to make your opponent appear dishonest, as McCain’s latest ad attempts.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


Obama on Lipstick and Pigs: ‘Enough!’

In case you haven’t heard, Barack Obama has been sucked into the vortex of another absurd media storm, courtesy of John McCain’s Rovian acolytes. If he plays it right, the Democrat could turn controversy to conquest.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Obama on Death and Taxes

Keith Olbermann began the second part of his interview with Barack Obama with a tale of two conservatives: “One guy who makes about $40,000 a year said, ‘Ask him why he’s going to raise my taxes.’  Another guy makes about a million dollars a year, said, ‘Ask him why he’s going to raise my taxes.’ ”

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE



iamatvjunkie.typepad.com

McCain Cries Bias, Forgets About Fox

While MSNBC reshuffles its anchor chairs, thanks in part to criticism from rival media outlets and a certain presidential candidate, Fox News continues to be a loudmouth right-wing spin factory. Is it a case of the boy who cried “terrorist,” or is there a double standard for Murdoch’s media empire? Truthdig contributor Elliot Cohen has more.

Posted on Sep 10, 2008 READ MORE


Olbermann and Obama on the Lies of the McCain Campaign

Part one of Keith Olbermann’s interview with Barack Obama focused on the falsehoods of the McCain campaign. As Obama put it: “They’re not telling the truth.” The “Countdown” host followed with a question that’s been uttered once or twice around our own offices: “Why do people hesitate to use the word lie about these things?”

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama: Bush ‘Kicking the Can Down the Road’ to Next President

Barack Obama on Tuesday stepped up his criticism of the outgoing president and the Republican who hopes to succeed him, slamming President Bush for focusing too heavily on Iraq and missing the “central front in the war on terror”—Pakistan and Afghanistan. John McCain, Obama said, would follow Bush’s lead, to America’s detriment.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Clinton and Palin
AP photo: Charlie Neibergall / Charles Dharapak

No Clinton-Palin ‘Cat Fight’

Hillary Clinton is doing another campaign push for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, but she’s apparently being careful not to take on Republican VP hopeful Sarah Palin in any way that might signal “cat fight” to those media types watching for any hint of such a conflict between Clinton and Palin.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Alaska Maverick ad
factcheck.org

Fact-Checking McCain’s ‘Alaska Maverick’ Ad

With all the spin and rumor-mongering going on this election season, it’s a good thing there’s FactCheck.org to do some much-needed investigation, because those inflated claims and scurrilous smears only work when voters don’t do their homework.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


No Maverick

Maverick? Not So Much

With its latest ad, “No Maverick,” Barack Obama’s team takes aim at John McCain’s self-styled rabble-rousin’ outsider image, offering a few examples of why the “maverick” line doesn’t work for the Arizona senator or his new sidekick from Alaska.

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Paulson and Lockhart
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Fannie and Freddie’s Double Whammy

With a stunningly vicious pair of blows, the faltering world economy—the Godzilla of this year’s presidential race—has made the candidates look small. Why hasn’t this looming crisis been part of the presidential debate?

Posted on Sep 9, 2008 READ MORE


Streisand
Keystone / Eddy Risch

Streisand to Lend Pipes to Obama’s Cause

Barack Obama will get the star treatment from Hollywood denizens (or is it the other way around?) once more before the election, at a two-part fundraising extravaganza on Sept. 16.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Wooing Those Reagan Democrats

Whoever wins two of the three big, aging and economically stressed Rust Belt states is likely to be the next president. Obama comes to them with all the potential and all the liabilities he showed during the primaries.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Keeping Palin Under Wraps

John McCain’s campaign acknowledged this weekend that Sarah Palin is unprepared to be vice president or president of the United States.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Self-Obsessed Campaign

John McCain is no silver-tongued orator, as he proved in St. Paul, but it’s hard not to be stirred when he speaks of wanting only to serve a cause greater than himself—until you take a closer look and see that he’s running one of the most egocentric presidential campaigns in memory.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Eric Draper

Bush: Under Him, Most Troops Will Stay in Iraq

Here’s one way to tell the difference between a war and an occupation: In response to the “success” of the surge and the undefined “victory” that lies just around the corner in Iraq, the president on Tuesday will pledge to maybe reduce troop levels by about 5 percent six months from now after he’s left office. How can John McCain win this argument with Barack Obama?

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Halfway Meeting

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Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE    



AP photo / Matt Rourke

Tyranny on Display at the Republican Convention

St. Paul is a window into our future. It is a future where constitutional rights mean nothing and where lawful dissent is branded a form of terrorism.

Posted on Sep 8, 2008 READ MORE


Pollsters Probe the Big Bigot Bloc

The racists of America are definitely not in the undecided column in the Obama-McCain contest, according to this tongue-in-cheek report.

Posted on Sep 7, 2008 READ MORE


Bible Thumper

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Posted on Sep 7, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Alex Brandon

Obama Gears Up for the Next Round

Barack Obama was busy drumming up support—and additional funding—in New Jersey on Friday, readying his response to the McCain campaign’s Palin-palooza at last week’s Republican National Convention and telling supporters he’s ready to scrap it out.

Posted on Sep 6, 2008 READ MORE


Palin
AP photo / Susan Walsh

A Star Wasn’t Born

What had been unexpected by the faithful at the Republican National Convention was McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee. McCain’s decision was cited as an example of his willingness to take a chance, to gamble everything on a hunch. It was much more than that.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton
AP photo / Jose Luis Magana

Clinton to Take On Palin?

In Friday’s New York Times article about whether Hillary Clinton will go to the mat against Sarah Palin, a woman delegate at the GOP convention says, “I just bet Hillary was watching Sarah’s speech on TV Wednesday night and cheering, ‘You go, girl!’ ” Really?

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


MISERY Index
thespeeddemon.com

Bush Oversees Unemployment and Misery

George W. Bush and his father share more than a last name. Reports show that August’s unemployment rate increased past the level initially forecast, rising to 6.1 percent. But even more disturbing is the fact that the misery index—unemployment aggregated with inflation—also soared to its highest level since 1991, when George H.W. Bush was in office.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


book cover

Robert Christgau on America’s Secret Fundamentalists

Just how dangerous are evangelical zealots? A new book by Jeff Sharlet takes a close and disturbing look at the group known as The Family and its disturbing and apparently widespread influence on mainstream political culture.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Obama on O'Reilly

Obama and O’Reilly Square Off

The first installment of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly aired Thursday, during which the Fox News host drove a hard line about Iran’s nuclear program and the success of the “surge” in Iraq. “Why can’t you just say, ‘I was right in the beginning and I was wrong about the surge?’ ” asked O’Reilly.

Posted on Sep 5, 2008 READ MORE


Memoir Politics

Talk about role reversal. The Republican Party, which scoffs at the nonsense of “identity politics,” has staked everything on the compelling life stories of its presidential and vice presidential candidates.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


McCain

Mr. McCain Goes to Washington

John McCain, a lobbyist and fixture of Congress for more than 30 years, nominee of the incumbent party and self-proclaimed foot soldier in the Reagan revolution, tried to convince Americans Thursday night that only he could bring real reform to that wretched place called Washington. Updated

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / buddhakiwi

Fact Check: Palin’s Dishonest Speech

The AP took a closer look at some of the claims in Sarah Palin’s speech Wednesday and found that the VP nominee, like some of her allies, is simply full of it on a number of points.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


Clooney
Wikimedia/Efloch

Clooney Raises $900K for Obama in Switzerland

He might have steered clear of last week’s Democratic National Convention, claiming that politicians were the proper stars of that show, but George Clooney didn’t miss his chance to charm some $900K out of American supporters of Barack Obama at a fundraiser in Switzerland on Tuesday.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


Palin T-shirt
cafepress.com

And Now for the Palin-Phernalia

The GOP merchandising machine is kicking into gear following VP nominee Sarah Palin’s Wasilla-to-Washington pep rally on Wednesday night, angling to compete with those ubiquitous Shepard Fairey Obama T-shirts and such by offering “Sarah Is My Homegirl” cotton separates and, yes, “Wonder Palin” thong underwear.

Posted on Sep 4, 2008 READ MORE


Palin

Palin Goes on the Offensive

Sarah Palin has been a one-woman soap opera the last few days, so when she strolled out onto that RNC stage Wednesday night without dragging a baby or a caribou carcass, she was already ahead of the game. Then she showed that she could handle the spotlight, casting herself as a small-town victim of the big-city media and relentlessly attacking Barack Obama.

Posted on Sep 3, 2008 READ MORE


Rudy Giuliani

What’s the Opposite of a Class Act?

Rudy Giuliani answered that question Wednesday with a despicable performance in front of the Republican National Convention. The former U.S. attorney said he learned as a lawyer “if you don’t have the facts, you gotta change ‘em.” Clearly, it’s a lesson he absorbed, filling his vindictive speech with distortions and cheap shots.

Posted on Sep 3, 2008 READ MORE


Palin and McCain
AP photo / Stephan Savoia

Palin’s Alaska Reaps the Windfall Profits McCain Decries

Welcome to the People’s Republic of Alaska, where every resident this year will get a $3,200 payout, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of Sarah Palin, the state’s Republican governor.

Posted on Sep 2, 2008 READ MORE


Privacy, Pregnancy and Double Standards

Pregnancy is indeed private, but the Republican meeting in St. Paul, Minn., would put decisions about pregnancy in the hands of the government and replace sex information with disinformation. No, you don’t have to pass judgment on a 17-year-old to pass judgment on these unrelenting policymakers.

Posted on Sep 2, 2008 READ MORE


Sen. Biden
biden.senate.gov

Biden Grins at Rove’s ‘Doofus’ Diss

Either Joe Biden is practicing a kinder, gentler form of campaign-trail politics or Karl Rove’s got another thing coming ... just not right this very moment. On Tuesday, after hearing that Karl Rove called him a “big blowhard doofus” at the RNC the previous day, Biden just had a smile and a patriotic compliment for Bush’s one-time sidekick.

Posted on Sep 2, 2008 READ MORE


So Much for ‘Country First’

John McCain and his supporters have been lecturing us about the grave and urgent dangers our country faces—Islamic fundamentalism, the resurgence of Russia and other geopolitical threats. In a menacing world, McCain says, he will keep America safe. So, at 72 and with a history of cancer, how could McCain choose a vice presidential nominee who has, let’s face it, zero experience in foreign affairs?

Posted on Sep 2, 2008 READ MORE


McCain’s Reckless Choice Says a Lot About Conservatives

By all rights, there should be a revolt at this week’s Republican convention against John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate—for the very same reasons so many Republicans opposed President Bush’s selection of Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court.

Posted on Aug 31, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Curb Your Enthusiasm for Obama

Barack Obama’s health care plan coddles the corporations that profit from the misery and illnesses of tens of millions of Americans. The plan is naive, at best, and probably disingenuous when it insists that we can coax these corporations, which are listed on the stock exchange and exist to maximize profit, to transform themselves into social service agencies that will provide adequate health care for all Americans.

Posted on Aug 31, 2008 READ MORE


Obama

Obama on Biden, Palin

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama sat down for a “60 Minutes” interview with his vice presidential pick, Joe Biden, to talk about why he chose Biden and what he thinks about rival John McCain’s choice, Gov. Sarah Palin, for whom Obama has a couple of nice words before noting that she “subscribes to John McCain’s agenda.”

Posted on Aug 31, 2008 READ MORE


Left, Right & Center

‘Left, Right & Center’ Looks at Dems in Denver, McCain’s Surprise

In this week’s edition of “Left, Right and Center,” co-hosts Tony Blankley, Robert Scheer and Matt Miller weigh in about the Democratic convention in Denver, Barack Obama’s historic nomination acceptance speech, and whether John McCain made a sound decision in choosing wild-card Sarah Palin as his VP.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008 READ MORE


John and Cindy McCain
AP photo / LM Otero

Cindy McCain Irked by Obama’s Acceptance Speech

Considering that she is the source of much of the McCain family fortune, it’s not surprising that Cindy McCain says she was offended by Barack Obama’s assessment that John McCain is out of touch with the middle class, as well as by the Obama campaign’s ads about the McCains’ multiple homes.

Posted on Aug 30, 2008 READ MORE


Anchorman rumble
youtube.com

AP Writer Razzed, Praised for Obama Speech Analysis

Was he tone-deaf or spot-on? Or, worse, did AP writer Charles Babington prepare his reaction to Barack Obama’s nomination acceptance speech not by listening to the address but by reading the transcript before Obama actually delivered it? And just who is this Charles Babington anyway?

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE


Olbermann and Matthews

Olbermann to AP Journo: ‘Find New Work’

Although the story was corrected later, the first version of AP writer Charles Babington’s critique of Barack Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night contained at least one technical error and other potential discrepancies that some analysts, such as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, considered to be off-base, to put it mildly.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE


Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club
AP photo / Bill Haber

Yes We Can Can

New Orleans has figured into this election season as a reminder of the Bush administration’s bungled, uncaring response to Katrina. Yet amid so much talk of hope and change, on this anniversary of disaster, many in New Orleans hope for a change of policy—the kind of federal assistance that can make a dent in crises of housing, public safety, education, health care and levee protection. It makes sense for musicians to kick-start that conversation.

Posted on Aug 29, 2008 READ MORE


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