Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 29, 2008

WEDNESDAY'S MINI-REPORT.... Today's edition of quick hits:

* The Fed cut interest rates to just 1%. The markets' reaction was mixed.

* McCain fans get violent in Miami.

* More of the same: "Authorities at the University of Kentucky are trying to find out who hung an effigy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on campus."

* Sarah Palin has already been the subject of multiple ethics complaints; what's one more?

* It looks like there are quite a few cheapskates in the Senate Democratic caucus.

* The right is now unabashedly anti-equality? These guys have really fallen off the ideological cliff.

* By Rudy Giuliani's own standards, he can't possibly vote for John McCain.

* Rep. Chris Shays, a Connecticut Republican: "[John McCain] has lost his brand as a maverick."

* Ari Fleischer should probably brush up on GOP talking points before appearing on CNN.

* The next stimulus bill will be debated in the House after the election, but before the winter holidays.

* I get the sense that McCain doesn't know what a "safety net program" is.

* And finally, Jonathan Stein made an interesting observation yesterday: while the DNC's site is heavily promoting Obama, the RNC's site doesn't feature McCain at all. I just checked a moment ago, searching the RNC's home page. It features Obama's name six times, and doesn't mention its own party's presidential nominee even once.

Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.

Steve Benen 5:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (52)

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Comments

In its first post-conviction poll of Alaska voters, Rasmussen puts Begich 8 points ahead of Stevens for Senate.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_senate_elections/alaska/election_2008_alaska_senate

What a relief! There's been speculation up here that if Stevens still won, that he'd then resign & permit Palin to install a Palinbot in his seat until a special election could be held... which undoubtedly Palin herself would run in. If Palin has been embarrassing as a VP candidate, think
of how embarrassing she would be as a Senator... & conservative Alaskans would be dumb enough to put her there.

Posted by: Mel Green on October 29, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

the RNC's site doesn't feature McCain at all

Also conspicious in his absence is the Current Occupant of the White House. I can't quite recall his name, nobody really talks about him anymore. I don't think I've ever heard his name mentioned during a single McCain/Palin rally. As least not it polite terms. But I'm pretty sure he's a Republican.

Posted by: thorin-1 on October 29, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Rasmussen puts Begich 8 points ahead of Stevens

Republicans don't particularly care about corruption. But why won't the LA TImes release that video of Stevens at a party with Bill Allen. Many Americans wonder whether it's true that they had sex together, and I think we have a right to get answers.

Posted by: Danp on October 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

holy sh!t....

brand new at the weekly standard......after a refreshing glass of palin koolade, here's billy kristol's latest bright idea.....

"Obama’s new ad attacking Palin provides an opportunity for the McCain-Palin campaign.

Palin should hold a press conference today to respond, and do TV, radio and print interviews. In them, she should take on the Obama campaign on economic policy--the topic on which the Obama ad ridicules Palin’s alleged unpreparedness. In fact, economics--taxes and energy in particular--is an area in which Palin’s been a strong spokesman for the McCain campaign. So put her out there.

And let her accept the Sunday shows--and challenge Biden to debate economic policy with her on the Sunday shows."
================
this time, i'm down with billy...hell, yeah!!!!let's get her in front of the cameras once and for all....

all of america needs to see this MASSIVE FAIL in real time...

Posted by: dj spellchecka on October 29, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Get her on the Sunday morning teevee and ask her if taxing corporations and paying the money out to citizens is or is not socialism.

Posted by: Robs on October 29, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

* Ari Fleischer should probably brush up on GOP talking points before appearing on CNN.

I'd like to learn of Ari Fleischer being mugged and seriously injured by a homeless Iraq war vet.

Of all the people that served in the Bush administrations, only Cheney if perhaps a bigger piece of shit.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 29, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

...quite a few cheapskates in the Senate Democratic caucus.

Unacceptable. Write your Senators today and let them know.

I'd write mine, but Sen. Durbin kicked in over a cool mil already, and my other Senator seems preoccupied lately.

Illinois's Dick Durbin and Massachusetts' John Kerry kicked in just over $1 million each. Other relatively strong contributors who are currently running include Carl Levin of Michigan, $150,000; Tom Harkin of Iowa, $280,000; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, $805,000; Jack Reed of Rhode Island, $430,000; and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, $615,000.

Props to the people on that list.

Posted by: doubtful on October 29, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

STIMULUS BILL PLEASE

Yes, some of us could really use that stimulus.

MAN, I'M GLAD SOMEONE HAS CAPITAL TO SPEND or I'M GOING TO BECOME A TV STATION IN MY NEXT INCARNATION

"Illinois's Dick Durbin and Massachusetts' John Kerry kicked in just over $1 million each. Other relatively strong contributors who are currently running include Carl Levin of Michigan, $150,000; Tom Harkin of Iowa, $280,000; Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, $805,000; Jack Reed of Rhode Island, $430,000; and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, $615,000."

Posted by: Kurt on October 29, 2008 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

And today's sign of the approaching Apocalypse (courtesy of TPM):

McCain's running robocalls in ARIZONA

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!11

Posted by: Michigoose on October 29, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

McCain is now part of the rotating banner on the home page.

Posted by: lisaintexas on October 29, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

I'd write mine, . . . . and my other Senator seems preoccupied lately. Posted by: doubtful

Sorry. That don't wash. He can't possibly effectively spend all he has between now and Monday. Obama, more than anyone, should be ponying up big in the close races because that magic number of 60 (61 include that asshole Lieberman) will do more for him than anyone else.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 29, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

"My friends, did you know that Obama is a notorious suicide bomber? He's blown up numerous people. Don't let him blow up your family!"

Posted by: John McCain on October 29, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

Are we blowing bubbles again? Or is that just froth on our chins?

The Fed cut interest rates to just 1%

Almost free money!
No down payment necessary!
No interest due until 2012!
Buy something dummies!

Wasn't it cheap money that got us into this mess in the first place? At any rate (so to speak) this isn't your daddy's FED of "soft landings." More like your Grandpa's FED. Think John McCain panicking on the joystick. Think crash-and-burn. Think "THE BIG OUCH."

Posted by: koreyel on October 29, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Iowa State Daily News is reporting that McCain is ejecting attendees from rallies based on the fact that they don't "look" like they should be supporters. This is ridiculous. I'd say it was unbelievable, but this IS McCain, who has plumbed new depths of low.

Get the word out!

Below is just a small excerpt

http://www.iowastatedaily.com/articles/2008/10/28/news/local_news/doc49068f6ccce49245010961.txt

She said McCain staffers wouldn’t tell her why she was being asked to leave and when she got outside, she saw “a group of about 20 people” who had all been asked to leave.

Elborno said after seeing the people who were asked to leave, she was concerned that McCain’s staffers were profiling people on appearance to determine who might be a potential protester.

“When I started talking to them, it kind of became clear that they were kind of just telling people to leave that they thought maybe would be disruptive, but based on what? Based on how they looked,” Elborno said. “It was pretty much all young people, the college demographic.”

Elborno said even McCain supporters were among those being asked to leave.

“I saw a couple that had been escorted out and they were confused as well, and the girl was crying, so I said ‘Why are you crying? and she said ‘I already voted for McCain, I’m a Republican, and they said we had to leave because we didn’t look right,’” Elborno said. “They were handpicking these people and they had nothing to go off of, besides the way the people looked.”

Posted by: Missouri Mule on October 29, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Palin states in no uncertain terms to ABC she will indeed pursue Republican Party position in 2012 should the ticket lose!!

Apparently she hasn't much confidence they'll win this time around.

Posted by: iseerussiafromyhouse on October 29, 2008 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

“I saw a couple that had been escorted out and they were confused as well, and the girl was crying, so I said ‘Why are you crying? and she said ‘I already voted for McCain, I’m a Republican, and they said we had to leave because we didn’t look right,’” Elborno said. “They were handpicking these people and they had nothing to go off of, besides the way the people looked.” Posted by: Missouri Mule

I love it! I wonder if the cry baby learned anything today about her Rethug party?

Sounds sort of like Germany in 1938 - "Hey, you look Jewish."

Maybe they should all sew red Rs on their clothes to make sure this sort of thing doesn't happen again?

Posted by: Jeff II on October 29, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

"‘I already voted for McCain, I’m a Republican, and they said we had to leave because we didn’t look right,’” Elborno said. “They were handpicking these people and they had nothing to go off of, besides the way the people looked.”

Methinks this young lady won't be a Republican much longer.


Posted by: Speed on October 29, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is now spelling out a very potent, clear cut case as to real, core reasons why Obama is so much better than McCain.

I continue to be impressed by his speaking abilities. I hope surrogates who get tongue tied are taking good notes.

Posted by: on October 29, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Almost free money!

Wasn't it cheap money that got us into this mess in the first place? At any rate (so to speak) this isn't your daddy's FED of "soft landings." More like your Grandpa's FED. Think John McCain panicking on the joystick. Think crash-and-burn. Think "THE BIG OUCH." Posted by: koreyel

With modest inflation back in the '90s, the Japanese effectively had a negative interest rate when the Bank of Japan lowered their prime rate to 1/2%, if I recall correctly.

I think it's a brilliant move. Look what 0% loans did for the Big Three automakers.

Posted by: Jeff II on October 29, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

Obama may not be measuring the curtains for the white house yet, but let's face it...it sure looks like curtains for McCain.

Posted by: Katie, I'd like a lifeline on October 29, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, I agree with you about what a horribly debase campaign this has been. And incredibly draining.

I think it's brought out the worst in so many.

But I have to say too that I think Obama has brought out the best in many.

Perhaps there is a correlation there--I don't know.

But it didn't have to get this ugly. McCain/Palin let it, in my view.

It's truly been fascinating on several levels. I hope we get a chance to really look at it after we all have a bit more distance.

In the meantime, keep on with your fantastic coherent reporting and bright analysis. It's so unbelievably appreciated!

Posted by: iseerussiafromyhouse on October 29, 2008 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Fed is trying to spread the pain around. Those few of us who decided to have a savings plan are now being punished for not venturing all of it on the stock market. How egalitarian of them. And to think I used to laugh at my grandmother for keeping money in her mattress.

Posted by: jen f on October 29, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

I was thinking about why working class males would ever be voting for McCain, and came across an article by Robert Scheer at TheNation:

This is the tale end of his article, what struck me as brilliant in its synopsis:

"...President Bush's treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, left our collective credit card on Wall Street, where the bankers are once again to be trusted to regulate themselves. Are there any white males out there still so in the dark that they don't know that the radical banking deregulation legislation that McCain pushed so aggressively is what legally enabled those he condemned on Monday as "the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess"? Have they never heard of Phil Gramm, the man McCain picked to co-chair his presidential campaign, who sponsored the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act--both of which made legal, for the first time since the Great Depression, the credit swaps and hybrid instruments at the heart of the Wall Street scams?

Call me naïve, but I think white males, startled by job cuts and the devastation wreaked upon their retirement savings, are finally getting the point: someone's got to pay for this mess, and better those who got rich off the stock market theft than the rest of us.

Can you imagine the uproar now if the McCain-Bush plan to privatize Social Security by linking it to stock purchases had become law? And have you noticed that the Wall Street crooks are not using the bailout money to ease credit but rather to line their golden parachutes? They know how to take care of their retirement.

I don't think McCain gets that the rest of us could use a bit more lift from the government safety net. That's the same federal support that GM CEO Rick Wagoner asked about when he went, hat in hand, to Washington on Monday to lobby for a $10 billion gift to keep his company out of bankruptcy. Or is the CEO of GM just another tax-and-spend socialist?"

Posted by: consider wisely always on October 29, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK
Wasn't it cheap money that got us into this mess in the first place?

Quite the opposite; it was unexpectedly (for the borrowers) expensive money that did it; either ARMs which the borrowers were not expecting to adjust up as far as they did, or lending that with payments that ballooned in ways which may have been known to lenders, but which they expected to be able to avoid by flipping.

It was the illusion of cheap money that encouraged people to act as if they were getting cheap money when they were in fact getting expensive money that was a big factor leading into this. (There were non-credit factors, as well, but that was the credit contribution.)

Posted by: cmdicely on October 29, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

My favorite Fleischer gaffe was when he conceded that progressive taxation is OK within reasonable bounds, but said that Obama took it to a radical extreme. As evidence, he cited the fact that (I think) 49% of the public wouldn't be paying income taxes under Obama's plan. In other words, Fleischer objects that poor people aren't paying enough taxes. McCain's people ought to be having a little talk with Ari.

Posted by: Kevin Carson on October 29, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Tom Delay was on the Hardball Chris Mathews show. Here, Tom Delay, one of the biggest dirt bags in the Republican Party, and Chris says, hey you’re a pretty smart guy, then asks Delay about his ideas in the election, like is it a good strategy to use insults and personal character assassination. Delay says, “Oh yah, McCain should have done that a long time ago”.

Dick Army is another one; he says the Republican Party lost its bearings. For me, they lost their marbles, better they never had any. Ladies and gentleman of America a whole Republican Party can not be possibly thinking about the mainstream electorate to screw up the government this bad. They never had you and me in mind. The Republican Party is right were they want to be taking the electorate tax dollars as fast and as long as they can. Sheesh.

What Will Rodgers said one time is exactly correct; if you want to see Government get screwed up just elect a Republican and watch?

Tom Delay was done; Chris Mathews was making a transition saying his good bys to Delay who is in “fast retreat”. Whats my point here? We have Mr. hard ball who you would think can and should give the audience an up date on what kind of scandal this screw ball is in, or where in the legal sense he is. Isn’t this guy convicted for some political crime? Isn’t he convicted? Is he appealing his case?

Ladies and Gentlemen here is the most interesting point I would like to make. Here, a professional system like this broadcasting network, and others, can and do dwell on the poor and jailed people to include details of criminals and their appeals. O’reilly is good for this too. To rant, is a more corrosive way about for O’reilly going on about ignorant immigrant’s, poor blacks, or single out screwy stuff in the legal system.

However in either case when it comes to asking why Karol Rove or report what is going on with him is an insult to the public broadcasting license they have been given. Why does Karol Rove not appear before the Congress because he was issued a subpoena? Here from Google, more accurately, a subpoena is the conditional threat of punishment made by a governmental authority, that’s funny, our Congress huh. Here Rove is parading around Fox News making all kinds of predictions. Well, for me, I hope Obama will make my prediction come true were this guy, Karol Rove will appear before Congress in an orange suite in hand cuffs in public crying for public forgiveness.


Posted by: Megalomania on October 29, 2008 at 8:01 PM | PERMALINK

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Paul

Posted by: paul on October 29, 2008 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Watching the Obama Half Hour. Sure is beautiful. Helluva lot less dorky than "A Place Called Hope".

Rachael Maddow, please give the man a big hug for all of us. Thanks.

Posted by: MissMudd on October 29, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK
Watching the Obama Half Hour. Sure is beautiful.

Sure is. Very well done. I liked the shout out for Joe Biden too.

One thing: Obama said no new taxes for anyone earning under $200,000... I thought it was $250,000?

Uh-oh, Obama just pronounced "Taliban" weirdly: "Tah-lee-bahn". No doubt the wingers will be all over that...

Posted by: raff on October 29, 2008 at 8:26 PM | PERMALINK

I believe Tal-lee-ban (or even Tal-lee-bon) is the correct way to pronounce it actually.
Meanwhile, I hope the infomercial goes over well. I'm a worrier...

Posted by: Frak on October 29, 2008 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Views: 202

Here it is with the above note on the current views at this instant:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtREqAmLsoA

Posted by: koreyel on October 29, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK
I believe Tal-lee-ban (or even Tal-lee-bon) is the correct way to pronounce it actually.

Yes, that was my point. Remember when the wingers got into a tizzy over Obama's pronounciation of Pakistan (Pahk-ee-schtahn), even though his pronounciation was correct?

Posted by: raff on October 29, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Raff, let 'em get pissy. If they choose, like school children to improperly pronounce a name or a place merely because it "sounds funny", they're simply showing their contempt once more for education.

I came from poor folks, and paid for my education in a patch-work manner between work and kids and life. It was that important. But ask me is my family proud of me. The answer is hell no. They think I'm uppity because I know things. I don't talk like them, and I don't think like them, so I've become the godless heathen of my family.

Does it hurt? Only all the time. Nothing would have made them happier than if I'd stay in Podunk, and baked pies on the Fourth of July while holding a Bible to my chest.

I'm sick to the gills of people choosing ignorance when there's so many people like me who would've given a limb to have the educational opportunities Obama offers. I have a son in college right now, and an Obama administration means he'll have it a little easier than I did.

So let 'em steep in their stupidity. It's all they have and they're damned proud of it.

Posted by: MissMudd on October 29, 2008 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Man...
Thank god for Andrew Sullivan:

Jeffrey Goldberg wants to know what the LA Times is hiding. I'd like to know what the Palin campaign is hiding as well. We have yet to see any medical records, let alone those documenting her mysterious "pregnancy", and we have yet to have this candidate give a press conference.

She said we would have the records early this week. As Sullivan notes: Tomorrow is Thursday.

Posted by: [koreyel the commenter] on October 29, 2008 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

What the fuck is wrong with Olberman tonight?

Posted by: Econobuzz on October 29, 2008 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

What the fuck is wrong with Olberman tonight?

Could it be that Rachael got the Obama interview and that his show got knocked off for the Obama half-hour?

Posted by: on October 29, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz,

What do you mean?

Posted by: doubtful on October 29, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Exponential growth

That was quick:
Views: 73,975

American Stories, American Solutions

Posted by: koreyel on October 29, 2008 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

after obama's half hour, i flipped the stations and came across an american experience biography of lyndon johnson on pbs.

i highly recommend it. it speaks loudly of our present situation in many ways -- republicans screeching about communists and "taking it to them so they can't bring it here" versus johnson's vision of "the great society" (civil rights, education and poverty issues).

it's dizzying how history repeats itself in only slightly different permutations.


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/presidents/36_l_johnson/

Posted by: karen marie on October 29, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

karen marie, I watched that and wholly agree. It's a must see. I also recommend The War Briefing on Frontline, for a hard look at the analogies between Afghanistan and Viet Nam. Saw it last night and had a hard time sleeping.

Posted by: MissMudd on October 29, 2008 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

i'm glad to hear you saw it too, MissMudd -- send links to your friends who haven't.

on another topic, that of sarah palin's "travelgate,"

the thing that struck me about the kids' travel expenses is that the majority of the plane tickets were for ONE WAY tickets, which is way more expensive than round-trip.

why were they buying the tickets this way? was someone getting a commission from these plane tickets?

inquiring minds wanna know.

Posted by: karen marie on October 29, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Except that Johnson and his cadre of young RAND cold warriors and military industrial businessmen were taking the fight to them there.

Posted by: grinning cat on October 29, 2008 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

Karen, did I read you're in North Carolina?

Posted by: MissMudd on October 29, 2008 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

no, MissMudd, i'm in southeastern mass -- a new yorker by birth.

go watch the american experience program, grinning cat, gain some insight as to why.

Posted by: karen marie on October 29, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Watching the Bill and Barry show. Wild crowd, late night! Bill in fine form.

Posted by: MissMudd on October 29, 2008 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

MissMudd,

If it is any consolation, you are not alone when it comes to family reacting with a sense of hostility toward getting a college education. I too, am tossed the superiority hot-potato from family several members.

There is nothing you can do within the realm of being true to everything you know about the world and yourself. You just have to emotionally divorce yourself from that mindset and keep moving in a positive direction.

Good luck to your son as he continues his studies. Please keep us up to date as to his progress.

:)

Posted by: jcricket on October 30, 2008 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK

That should be several family members..


So much for the college education! ;)

Posted by: jcricket on October 30, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

To Dennis Prager: a reminder.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on October 30, 2008 at 2:48 AM | PERMALINK

related fake news

SUB-ROSA NEWS

Some of the News
That may be True

OBAMA BUYS WORLD SERIES TIME

Chicago. October 29, 2008. This morning, Senator Barack Obama's headquarters confirmed that the campaign had purchased the game 5 time scheduled for broadcasting after Obama's 30 minute infomercial. Campaign spokesman Reginald Smith noted that the unfounded charges by Senator McCain that Obama's broadcast would cause a delay in the start of the game played no part in the decision.

While the content to be aired in the extra time could not be revealed, campaign sources indicated that the Senator may be reading excerpts from the two books he had written.

When questioned by the media, Fox News responded with a press release. The release noted that this was not a whole game, since game 5 had been halted in the 6th inning. Besides, hardly any one was watching this series at all. In a separate release, Fox News announced that the entire conclusion of game 5 would be available on You Tube.

homer www.altara.blogspot.com

Posted by: altara on October 30, 2008 at 6:58 AM | PERMALINK

If McCain staffers were ejecting people based on appearance alone, I'm assuming the only people left were aging male WASP's and their blond fourth wives.

Posted by: Mandy Cat on October 30, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you, jcricket :)

Posted by: MissMudd on October 30, 2008 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

“I saw a couple that had been escorted out and they were confused as well, and the girl was crying, so I said ‘Why are you crying? and she said

‘I already voted for McCain, I’m a Republican, and they said we had to leave because we didn’t look right,’”

Elborno said.
-------------------------

Unfrickin' believable. Even as A Democrat this upsets me. What IS the matter with McCain?

Posted by: MarkH on October 30, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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