Wednesday Open Thread

“In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane.”

–Oscar Wilde

70 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:

    NOTE: CNN Debunks McCain Claims on protecting kids from Sexual Predators, Energy Policy, The Bridge To Nowhere, Earmark Spending, And Governor Palin’s Foreign Travel.… [CNN, 9/16/08]  

    Washington, DC – The Democratic National Committee today updated the Count the Lies counter after the Associated Press called John McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s claims on energy exaggerated–“some wildly so.”  This latest article is at least the 56th fact check to debunk a McCain campaign lie since he promised to run a respectful campaign in February. Visit to see the updated Count the Lies counter.

    AP Fact Check: McCain-Palin Energy Claims Exaggerated, “Some Wildly So.  Associated Press, 9/16/08:

  2. Nancy L Baldwin says:

    This is excellent.  Required viewing for people with open minds.

    • Precinct854 says:

      BraveNet has a summery of the lies about Sen. Obama told by Sen. McCain through his campaign apparatus.

      The video “Nancy” links to is more of the same. Distortions of what was actually said by Sen. Obama. It is also safe to assume any posting by “Nancy” is a lie since “she” has done nothing but lie and spin in a partisan way since “she” started posting here at first claiming to be a loyal Democrat and yet taking the Republican side and then attacking the Democratic party and its candidates repeatedly.


      • Car 31 says:

        During Talk of the Nation a lady phoned in from Denver claiming to be a liberal Democrat that is now supporting McCain.

        When asked why, she said domestic oil production – ‘we must drill more to protect ourselves’.

        When asked by a female commentator if the caller was concerned about McCain’s stances on abortion, the economy, the war, the environment, equal pay for women, and veterans’ benefits, the caller fell back on Republican talking points.

        Somewhat surprised the screeners weren’t able to spot the bullshit before putting her on the air.

        • Nancy L Baldwin says:

          Not Republican talking points.  The opinions I express are my own and not initiated by a Republican machine.  

          I am my own person.  And I may add my opinions are also widely held by a number of women disenfranchsed by the Obama campaign.  Further the link to the you tube thing was found on a web site of Hillary supporters who are fed up with Obama’s sexism.

          • RedGreen says:

            Stop making shit up. You’re quite free to vote for John McCain, Bob Barr or “none of the above.” The Obama campaign, in fact, is suing the Michigan Republican Party to make sure everyone can vote, contrary to the GOP’s best efforts.

            • Nancy L Baldwin says:

              We were disenfranchised with some of the tactics and smears the Obama campaign made against Hillary.  This guy doesn’t care one wit about women, fairness, ethics in campaigning – so he deserves to have so many defectors to McCain.  

              Besides, everyone knows McCain is a maverick and never carried the water for Bush.  We used to cheer him on as he took on the Repukes.  We were hopeful that his bucking the Republican party would only help Hillary get elected.  Then this young upstart Obama gets in the way.

              Thinking women vote for McCain/Palin.

              • GeoGreg says:

                Disenfranchisement means that people were prevented from voting.  Period.  It doesn’t mean that someone said something mean about your candidate.  It doesn’t mean that the outcome was not what you wanted.  Disenfranchisement would occur if there were people or groups who were blocked from reaching the polls, or who were rendered ineligible by discriminatory laws.  Think poll tax, male-only suffrage, troops making sure you cast your vote “properly”, etc.  

                Accusing the Obama campaign of “disenfranchisement” is either ignorant or disingenuous, and it insults the real people who have been and still are victims of unjust electoral practices both here in the USA and around the world.

                • Nancy L Baldwin says:

                  The tactics of the Obama people during caucus claimed that Hillary supporters were “not eligible” to vote.  There were at least two in my caucus that the chair claimed weren’t registered in time.  They were allowed to be at the meeting but they didn’t get the right to vote.

                  They just live down the street from me.  And they have lived there a long time.

                  Oh, and they were both wearing Hillary stickers.  Don’t tell me that you guys didn’t make a concerted effort to block legitimate people from voting for Hillary.

                  • GeoGreg says:

                    I have no idea what happened at your caucus.  Did those people try to change registration from I or R to D, but make the change too late?    Did you inquire further as to the nature of the issue with their registration?

                    At my caucus, I (who caucused for Obama) was in the position of telling a bunch of people that candidate representatives were allowed to make a presentation to the caucus before the vote.  I wasn’t an official, but there were people clamoring to “just vote and get out of here”, not understanding that advocacy for a candidate is part of the caucus process.  I don’t remember if the advocate was for Clinton and the voters were for Obama or vice versa.  But whichever way it was, I wanted each candidate to have their time.  

                  • redstateblues says:

                    voted for Hillary 18-10 or something.

              • Poindexter says:

                “everyone knows McCain is a maverick and never carried the water for Bush.”

                Yeah, I remember the good old days when McCain dared to stand up to Bush about a preemptive war with Iraq, and challenged it from his perspective as a guy who knows how awful war is and hates it when it’s unnecessary.

                Oh, wait a minute. . .

            • GeoGreg says:

              I can only imagine that Nancy is referring to some perception that the Obama campaign somehow “stole” the nomination from Clinton.  Is running a good game in the caucus states “disenfranchising”?  No, it’s understanding the rules of the game.

              By the way, if he’s “Obama”, then she should be “Clinton”.  Or if she’s “Hillary”, then he’s “Barack”.  Personally, I’m not on a first-name basis with either of them.

        • Aristotle says:

          I didn’t catch her name, but I did wonder if the caller was our very own Nancy L. Baldwin… It seemed too much of a coincidence.

  3. ClubTwitty says:

    a link to some idiot rambling on You Tube.  

    Its impossible to start debunking the bullshit in this video.  There’s a bridge with your name on it.

    Regretfully, Nancy L Baldwin is an idiot.

  4. Nancy L Baldwin says:

    This clinches it.  Sarah Palin really is a liar.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      I kind of actually feel sorry for you as I watch you twist in the wind here daily. And as for being a Democrat? I think not. I think never.

      Clinton supporter? I think not. I think never. I know tons of Clinton supporters and they would never think of voting for McCain and for what he stands for. A man with a record that is with Bush 90% of the time? No. Never.

      You’re not a Democrat and you weren’t a Clinton supporter.

      You’re nothing more than a very bored Rethug with too much time on your hands, who thought you were being clever with your genius idea to pretend being a disenchanted Clinton supporter. And that’s just pathetic and sad.  

  5. DavidThi808 says:

    from TPM

    The sad truth is that we organize traditional public education in ways that give the children who need the very most from their schools the very least we have to offer. Low-income kids and kids of color are much less likely than others to attend schools with strong teachers; up-to-date text books and technology; rich, broad curriculum; or powerful instructional strategies. And yet, we blame their families and communities for low student achievement instead of taking a painful look at how school systems often stack the deck against their success.

    Our society’s collective excuse for not providing them with the academic supports they need is the pervasive and pernicious belief, even among people of extraordinarily good will, that these students can’t learn because of circumstances outside of school. That notion runs counter to America’s faith in education as the surest road out of poverty and strongest weapon against racism. It’s also disconnected from the demands of the increasingly complex and diverse world in which our children live–a world in which we cannot afford to continue to under-educate wide swathes of our fellow citizens.

    • parsingreality says:

      When parents don’t care, don’t push their kids, substitute a TV culture for a literate culture, schools fail.  

      Asian kids in bad neighborhood schools do spectacularly well regardless.  Now, why would that be?  

      • DavidThi808 says:

        Yes we have cultures among many poor that place no value on education. And by so doing, they presently sentence their children to a life of economic poverty.

        But we as a society should do better for those children. We don’t let parents physically abuse their children. We should not let them economically/educationally abuse them.

        • parsingreality says:

          Take all underperforming kids and put them in foster homes?

          I’m liberal, but even I say that there is only so much a government can, or should, do.  

          • DavidThi808 says:

            That is the million dollar question. We clearly can’t fix it all. But I think we need to do better in the schools, including longer days at the school. We need to at least mitigate it as much as possible.

            Solving this is the only way we can eliminate multi-generational poverty.

  6. DavidThi808 says:

    Under his watch the government has taken over Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG and between those three the feds are now probably the largest financial institution on the planet.

    I guess all true free-market capitalists will be voting for Obama as McCain is clearly 4 more years of that ardent socalist G.W. Bush…

  7. Whiskey Lima Juliet says:


    CHICAGO, IL – The Obama campaign today released a two-minute advertisement in which Senator Obama will speak directly to the nation on his view of the state of the economy and what he would do to fix it if he is elected president.  The ad will begin today nationally and in battleground states around the country.

    Once again, Real Leadership!!

    • Precinct854 says:

      I don’t know what I think about this ad. It certainly is powerful and it will probably win votes in Minnesota. But something about it makes me squirm, I felt like I was intruding when I watched it.

  8. redstateblues says:

    Is the FDIC prepared to handle the banking crisis? Maybe.

    FDIC dwindling

    What’s going to happen if people with accounts under $100,000 lost their money? This story alone is going to ramp up the current run on the banks.

    I’m not enormously worried about my money right now, but I might be if WaMu goes under.

    • Nancy L Baldwin says:

      Jim Johnson – top executive at Lehman Bros (now bankrupt) and used to be an executive at Fannie Mae.

      Frank Raines – top executive at Fannie Mae.

      Bot are top advisors to Barak Hussein Obama.

      Would you take your economic advice from these guys?

      Barak Obama is change we cannot afford!

      • He was at Lehman from 1985-1990, when Lehman was doing fine.  And then he moved to FNMA, serving a year as vice-chair and until 1998 as CEO and chair – again when it was also still doing okay and in fact recovering from the last housing bubble burst.

        As to Raines, I’d like someone to do me a favor: find a reputable source that says Raines is working for Obama.  It’s not that I don’t believe it’s true, it’s just that even the Wikipedia entry on him, which makes the same claim, is unsourced.  What Raines did was wrong, and I would hope that Obama’s calls to him, if any, are limited in scope to “current conditions” questions.

        As to why you should trust Obama on the economic issue, in his own words and actions:

        In February of 2006, I introduced legislation to stop mortgage transactions that promoted fraud, risk or abuse. A year later, before the crisis hit, I warned Secretary Paulson and Chairman Bernanke about the risks of mounting foreclosures and urged them to bring together all the stakeholders to find solutions to the subprime mortgage meltdown.


        This March, in the wake of the Bear Stearns bailout, I called for a new, 21st century regulatory framework to restore accountability, transparency, and trust in our financial markets.

        In contrast, McCain voted for his economic advisor’s de-regulation bill, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, that led to the current investment crisis.  He’s stated recently that he’s “fundamentally a deregulator.”  

  9. waltzeswithdog says:

    The language of battle that McSame uses compared to the language of unity and support for fellow Americans that Obama uses is a striking contrast.  Unfortunately, as I have a lot of history in parts of the country where the Christian right dominates, they love that battle language and it makes them comfortable.  Preachers get motivation when they talk about a war for your soul, or a war with the devil.  I however, do not resonate with that language and have found it is often used as a rationale for doing evil things (a la Matthew Shepherd).  This two minute ad struck quite a chord with me.  I really liked it, just don’t know how it plays with people who want things simple and black and white.  

    • GeoGreg says:

      In this country, evangelical Protestantism has historically been associated with division, not unity.  It has often been considered sinful to enter into fellowship with those who are not “true” Christians.  Thus, I doubt calls for unity will have much impact on those who believe that they are being asked to unify with people they may literally believe to be agents of Satan.

      There are other threads of Christianity that do stress unity, but those threads don’t seem to be popular with the “Christian right”.

      • parsingreality says:

        All western religions are heirarchical and monarchial.  Democracy is the equivalent that all men are (political) gods. No king, no heirarchy.

        Yet we keep trying to slam that round peg into the square hole.

        No conflict with Buddhism or Taoism.  

        • Precinct854 says:

          But that’s bull. If you knew anything about Christian sects you’d know about The Quakers for starters. I have trouble thinking of a less hierarchical and more democratic group.

          • Fidel's dirt nap says:

            IIRC, I think I actually remember Parsing saying a long time ago that he is a Quaker.  I could be wrong though.

            • parsingreality says:

              Member of Mountainview Friends Meeting, Iliff and S. Columbine.  Attender of most First Days here in Sarasota at the local meeting.

              Precinct, I was referring to, and it should have been obvious, traditional Christian sects and theologies.  There are always exceptions to any blanket statement.  

        • Where do you think we got some of our ideas on democracy?  It wasn’t from King George.

          The example I know best… The Presbyterian Church USA is headed by an elected body called the General Assembly; its members are half pastors and half elders – elected members of the church.  The pastors are also elected in a way, selected by committee by the church elders and deacons.  The church is governed by a Constitution, complete with an amendment process.

          The Quakers are almost completely decentralized.  And these aren’t the only examples in the Christian world.  In fact, only the Anglican, Orthodox, and Catholic Churches are really “monarchical” or highly heirarchical.  (Some Lutheran denominations also fit this mold…)  Most Calvinist churches are either congregational – organized at the church level – or presbytery – organized as a representative democracy.

          • Barron X says:


            the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is also pretty structured.  As I understand it, Phoenix, they have a leader that outranks the Catholic Pope.  

            Sometimes Christians blend two different things so closely that outsiders have a hard time segregating them.  Gosh, we have a hard time telling them apart our own darn selves.  

            One is the teachings of Jesus Christ, a way of dealing with the world and way of ordering one’s inner self.  

            The other is the human organization that believers have constructed as a sort of framework for dialogue, communion, and social (as opposed to personal) order.  

            I’m a Catholic.  Our framework, our Church, is very visible.  We collectively, through our Church, are the ones who sexually abused children for decades, or permitted it to go on.  

            It is a hierarchical organization, with ranks and levels of power, autocratic.  We need that for the teachings of the Church to have authority, I think.  It would be great if every Catholic took their spiritual existence so seriously that they thought about those transcendental questions and searched out the meaning of Jesus’ teachings our entire lives.  But experience shows that some adults just respond better to being told what’s right and what’s not, the way each of us teaches our children.  I’d guess that applied to about half the Catholics I know.  

            But for people willing or compelled to dig deeper, the ecclesiastical authority of a Pope isn’t nearly as significant as the Pope’s ability to explain the linkages, usually in written treatises.  

            So, in the Catholic Church, for about half of us, the Church is authoritarian and orders us how to act.  For the other half, the same Church, in the same pronouncements, is offering guidance, take it or leave it, about how to live consistent with the teachings of the Son of God.  

            For that second group, we see our fundamentals reflected in the Declaration of Independence.  We are free, free to choose, exercising Free Will.  

            So it’s fair to ask how, if I believe that all God’s children, including the atheists and Muslims, are free to make their own choices,

            why I think its right to impose my religious beliefs on everyone else when it comes to “reproductive freedom.”  

            For the first group of Christians, it is enough that the Church teaches that abortion is always wrong.  For the second group, it is not that straightforward.  And some genuine Christians, including some that appear to be better Christians than me, make what I’m pretty sure is the wrong choice on this.  

            So anyway, Parsing,

            I think the Christianity that comes out of the mouth of Jesus is compatible with democracy.  

            Its just so darn rare that anyone actually practices what He preaches across all aspects of their lives.


          • parsingreality says:

            I was trying to keep my original post succinct and I guess brevity is sometimes the soul of arguments.

            It’s the theology I am referring to.  You have this god up in the sky with an equal god but not god on the earth walking around. One is to defer to these gods and worship them and follow their orders, printed or pointed out by other people who have direcd lines to the gods. Bent knees are a manifestation of submission, whether the lord of the manner or the lord of the heavens.

            In democracy no one is above anyone else unless we let them be. Oversimplification, but I think essentially true.  

            • I was confusing your comment with the mistaken beliefs of a great many non-Christians and disaffected Christian’s I’ve met over the years.

              God, as a concept, is certainly “above” Man in Christianity, as gods tend to be in any theology.  Only those few Eastern religions that don’t have a strong deity structure can say that they’re “democratic” in the sense that you mean, but the cultures surrounding those religions were traditionally some of the least democratic and most hierarchical in the world.

              In defense of at least the theories of Christianity, Jesus teaches to leave things of the earthly world to earthly authorities, that God’s realm is that of the spirit/soul. (“Render unto Caesar…” isn’t just about gold….)  At heart, Christianity isn’t about temporal government; the modern dominionist/dispensationalist direction of some church sects is reminiscent of the Catholic Church of old.

  10. indipol says:

    And has McCain up 2.  Link is here: http://americanresearchgroup.c

    Unfortunately the sampling dates are Sept 10-13, so before the recent Obama and Palin visits.  My guess is that if Obama can squeeze in a few more visits, especially to the west side, those polls will trend up to him.  I think is McCain has a 2-point lead as of a few days ago, that’s what he’ll peak at.

  11. parsingreality says:

    OK, it isn’t a brick and mortar bank, but the Reserve Money Market fund has stopped withdrawals for seven days and the fund is now worth 97 cents on the dollar.

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      The Reserve fund invented the money market fund.  They were always relatively conservative, but they got holding Lehman paper (I don’t know if they held uncollateralized paper or if they were undercollateralized).

      Reserve didn’t have a corporate parent or other businesses to draw on.  Most others would have bought the wounded securites out of the portfolio, made the shares whole and worked the bad paper out over time.

      Running Money Markets is tough: no margin for error and no respect from the high beta guys.

      Liquidity and the forced sale is the killer in fixed income.

  12. Something Is Brewing says:

    Now if Gallup and are correct Obama will win the popular vote and McCain the electoral college.  

    This race is going to be neck and neck until at least the first debate.  

    • redstateblues says:

      you mean the one where Obama wipes the floor with McCain’s combover?

      Not that it did anything for Kerry though, he won all three debates, but lost the election.

    • My guess is that the economic meltdown will swing things back towards Obama.  Signs of that are beginning to show up.  Gallup has Obama up for the first time since the conventions, and I’m guessing he’ll go up another couple of points there before the weekend.

      BTW, I love 538 because it’s so open about its modeling.  Nate over at 538 noted today that their models actually downplay the newest information, making their chart slower to respond to new results, supposedly to smooth out bumps and outliers in the poll data.  So look for 538 to lag a bit on what appear to be the early signs of recovering Obama numbers.

      It’s going to be close, no doubt.  We have a deeply polarized electorate, and it’s going to take a lot to upset the average citizen’s inertia when it comes to voting.

      • Danny the Red (hair) says:

        Pollster shows WV moving into toss up because the most recent poll shows Obama within 4.

        I’m sorry, but short of an asteroid hitting McCain, there is no way Obama wins WV–its not even on the campaigns target list.

        I’m not worried

  13. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    admired John McCain as a man of principle and honor. He had become emblematic of someone who spoke his mind, voted his conscience, and demonstrated courage in bucking his own party and fighting for what he believed in. He gained a well-deserved reputation as a maverick. He was seen as taking principled positions on such issues as tax equity (opposing the newly elected Bush’s tax cut), fighting political corruption, and, later, taking on the Bush administration on torture. He came off as a man of decency. He took political risks.

    And then, in 2006, in one of his most disheartening acts, McCain supported a “compromise” with the administration on trials of Guantanamo detainees, yielding too much of what the administration wanted, and accepted provisions he had originally opposed on principle. Among other things, the bill sharply limited the rights of detainees in military trials, stripped habeas corpus rights from a broad swath of people “suspected” of cooperating with terrorists, and loosened restrictions on the administration’s use of torture. (The Supreme Court later ruled portions of this measure unconstitutional.)

    McCain’s caving in to this “compromise” did it for me. This was further evidence that the former free-spirited, supposedly principled, maverick was morphing into just another panderer – to Bush and the Republican Party’s conservative base.

    Other aspects of McCain, including his temperament, began to trouble me. He seemed disturbingly bellicose. He gave the Iraq war unflagging support no matter the facts. He still talks about “winning” the war, though George W. Bush gave that up some time ago. As the war became increasingly unpopular, he employed the useful technique of blaming its execution rather than recognizing the misconceptions that had led him to be one of the most enthusiastic champions of the war in the first place.

    Similarly, in making a big issue of having backed the surge (and simplifying the reasons for its apparent success), he preempts debate on the very idea of the war. He has talked (and sung) loosely about attacking Iran. More recently, he oversimplified this summer’s events in Georgia and made intemperate remarks about Russia, about which he’s been more belligerent than the administration for some time. (He has his own set of neocons.)

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