"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stuck On Stupid Alert:

Republicans Seek to Remove Black Moderator of VP Debate

Palin's Troubles Mount For McCain: Reuters (What Took So Long?)

Reuters reports that Palin's "troubles" are mounting for John McCain. The GOP nominee now spends much of his time being asked to defend Palin's judgment and experience, even among conservatives.

Mocked by comedians, derided by prominent conservatives and reeling from flustered interviews with national media, Sarah Palin is proving a risky gamble in Republican John McCain's quest for the White House.

"Palin is Ready? Please" a headline in Newsweek said this week of the moose-hunting Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate, capping a turbulent week in which Palin's fitness for the job came under growing scrutiny.

"Sarah Palin is utterly unqualified to be vice president," Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria wrote.

"She is a feisty, charismatic politician who has done some good things in Alaska. But she has never spent a day thinking about any important national or international issue, and this is a hell of a time to start," he said.

Indeed, in recent days, McCain has:

-- Gotten testy with the Des Moines Register editorial board, describing Republicans who question Palin as "Georgetown cocktail party" people

-- Insisted to NPR that he has actually
consulted Palin for foreign policy advice "many times"

-- Claimed that quoting Palin's public remarks on Pakisan was "
gotcha journalism"

-- Lost much of his campaign staff to
Palin debate prep

Senate passes $700B 'sweetened' rescue package
The Associated Press - 28 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — After one spectacular failure, the $700 billion financial industry
bailout found a second life Wednesday, winning lopsided passage in the ...

Bailout Fallout: What Should McCain and Obama Do Next?

Less than 24 hours after the bill to bailout the financial industry died an ignominious -- and surprising -- death in the House of Representatives, both presidential candidates are jockeying to find their footing in a new political reality.

Barack Obama was first out of the gate this morning with a two-pronged approach: a new proposal to increase the cap on federally insured bank deposits from $100,000 to $250,000 and a new two-minute television ad in which he seeks to make the case that he, and not John McCain, is ready and able to lead the country out of its current financial morass.

McCain, in an appearance this morning on "Fox and Friends," offered a few proposals of his own including: the same increase on FDIC insurance on deposits proposed by Obama, tapping the "exchange stability fund" at Treasury for $250 billion to shore up financial institutions and urging Treasury to use the $1 trillion at its disposal to start buying bad mortgages in hopes of turning the corner on the current crisis.

The flurry of activity this morning speaks to the huge political consequences of the ongoing battle to rescue the economy. Nearly every American is now paying attention and worried about the impact of the failure of the bailout on their own lives. In polling released by the Washington Post and ABC News this morning, more than nine in ten voters said they were worried that the failure of the bill could cause even more serious economic problems down the line. (Insert: Wall St. Problems Viewed as 'Crisis' in Latest Poll)

And, despite the fact -- as we have noted before -- that neither Obama nor McCain can do really do much to change the financial direction of the country, there's little doubt judging from their words and actions this past week that each candidate believes that voters are looking to them for solutions.

While the proposals this morning are a start, The Fix chatted with a number of Democratic and Republican strategists to solicit their ideas on what more (or less) Obama and McCain could do to "win" this issue with just 35 days left before the election.

The best of their thoughts, and some of our own, are below. Agree or disagree? Have thoughts of your own? Offer them in the comments section below.


Go Negative: Many Republican strategists believe there is simply no way for McCain to win an economic-focused election by touting his own plans to turn things around. "Go totally negative and don't let up until election day," advised Ed Rogers, a longtime Republican strategist and lobbyist. "This election needs to be about Obama and what a liberal he is. Period." Another Republican operative added: "Start attacking Obama's character relentlessly (again) if the McCain campaign has any hope of regaining the initiative.... It's not like there isn't plenty out there." The Republican National Committee seems to be following that advice with a new ad from its independent expenditure wing that savages Obama on his proposal to spend $1 trillion more on new programs; "Obama's spending plan: It'll make the problems worse," reads white writing on a black screen at the ad's close.

Stay out of Washington: McCain's initial campaign suspension gambit is widely seen in Republican circles as a failure. Don't repeat it. The more McCain reminds voters that he is "of Washington" the worse this issue plays. Always remember that less than one in five Americans approve of the job Congress is doing and a similar number believe the country is on the right track. "I don't think he should return to Washington because that just reminds and re-chatters that he returned to Washington the first time and didn't get it done," said one GOP strategist.

Persuade Privately: McCain's very public role in the negotiations blew up in his face last week. So, take the opposite tact; go underground -- organize private meetings with GOP House leaders out of the public eye to convince them of what is at stake if no bill is passed. The blame game seems to be falling inordinately on Republicans -- particularly House Republicans -- at the moment and that is bad for the GOP up and down the ticket. (Fifty-four percent of Fixistas said House Republicans should bear the blunt of the blame in our decidedly unscientific poll last night.) "Stay out of the negotiating squabble," argued on Republican consultant. "Stay quiet publicly if rumors leak out of any overt 'involvement' in them."

Summit It: Take the lead in calling for a summit between himself, Obama and their top five economic advisers. Leave Congress out of it. Hope -- and do everything you can to ensure -- that a plan emerges from that high-level summit. If the two presidential candidates can get together on a plan, it's hard to imagine that Congress would balk at the proposal. Of course, after yesterday's vote, anything is possible.

Moveon.org: Under the belief that this issue cannot be won, stay in the background and hope that a solution is found sooner rather than later. McCain's attempt to be the "man in the arena" flopped last week and that should be a sign that this is an absolute no-win for the Arizona senator. "The bottom line politically is McCain needs this behind him as soon as possible," said Phil Musser, a Republican consultant and former executive director of the Republican Governors Association. "Every day we are in this limbo where top line messaging lies well beyond our control . . . is a bad news day for us."


Do Nothing: The desire for change in Washington has been growing almost by the day since the financial crisis began nearly two weeks ago. To date, Obama has largely adopted a hands off approach, refusing to be baited by McCain's call to suspend his campaign last week and postpone the debate. And, it's worked. Public and private polling has shown an Obama rise/McCain drop in recent days -- as the average voter seems to be reacting more positively to Obama's sober approach to the crisis than McCain's more frenzied strategy. "Putting aside substance, the politics of this favor Obama so he doesn't have to do much, if he doesn't want to," said one Democratic consultant.

Summit It: The only suggestion that cropped up in our conversations with both Democrats and Republicans was the convening of a bipartisan summit led by Obama and McCain. "[Obama] should call McCain and the two of them should convene a private unity summit for Republicans and Democrats to come together to hash out an acceptable final product," said Phil Singer, a former senior official for Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign. "They should make it clear that in the interest of producing a bill, they will play no role in the process -- so as not to politicize things further."

Reintroduce the Stimulus Package: A bill aimed at providing the economy a shot in the arm passed the House last week but has been held up in the Senate. Obama, according to several Democratic sources, should re-introduce the bill and demand its passage as a necessary momentum-builder for an economy badly in need of some good news. "Obama should say we need to make sure that Main Street is a part of this effort and not passing the stimulus is a mistake," argued one Democratic strategist. "It makes McCain go on the defensive and [he] would have to come back and vote for it -- would be horrible if he voted against it."

See It’s All A Big Reality Show For Our Consumption. Does Anyone Have an idea on how we can cancel the show, and not GW’s way!

Confuse You Lose, And America Is Bailout Bonkers!