McCain-Palin: The Perils Of Promoting The Past As Prologue?

John McCain’s decision to attach the imagery of Bill Ayers to Barack Obama is reckless. By casting this election as a continuation of the ideological conflict that characterized the unrest during the era of the Weathermen, John McCain may well be fomenting the reemergence of radicalism.

Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

It seems to me that a significant question will emerge in the aftermath of the 2008 election. The crux of that question has been framed by the inflammatory rhetoric of the McCain-Palin campaign in recent days. In its effort to sway voters and win this election, the McCain campaign has chosen to ignite animosities that will undoubtedly linger beyond November 4th…animosities that have the potential to unleash the very kind of violence that typified the groups and individuals the McCain campaign has attempted to link with Barack Obama.

At the core of the conflicts that marred the sixties and

Friday, August 5th, 2011 by Daniel DiRito |

Bailout Imbroglio: Politics, Power, Pulpits, & Profit

The failure to pass bailout legislation is a symptom of a larger issue’¦one that percolates in the background. Good governance must promote a social structure that insists the nation be neutral while accepting the soul’™s autonomy. Preserving our American identity hangs in the balance.

Commentary By: Daniel DiRito

We’™re in uncharted waters with a leaky boat and a storm on the horizon’¦but the GOP wants us to know that Nancy Pelosi is a mean-spirited partisan.

Let me see if I can get this straight. The Republican president of the United States sends the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Chairman to Capital Hill with a message of impending economic doom’¦asking the party in power to put aside partisanship and pass necessary legislation.

The party in power (Democrats) holds its nose and puts together a bill premised upon the gravity of the situation, endures John McCain’™s grandstanding at the eleventh hour, allows him to characterize his involvement as critical to the success of the process, spends hours meeting with those in the GOP who want to amend the bill, comes to an agreement on a bill the GOP leadership can support, and then brings the bill to a vote.

In that vote, over sixty percent of Democrats support legislation that was requested by the head of the opposition party, two thirds of the presidents fellow Republicans jump ship and oppose the bill, and the GOP house leadership wants Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to shoulder the blame?! Well there you have it’¦nothing illogical about that, right?

Frankly, I’™ve personally reached the point at which I’™m opposed to any attempt to glue what remains of our failed government back together. Unless and until politicians are held accountable for the consequences of their actions, I’™m in favor of pulling the rest of the metaphorical china from the cupboard and smashing it all on the floor. I say as much because I don’™t think anything will change until the American public is forced to face reality’¦even if that means standing in line for a loaf of bread and a bowl of soup.

Look, let’™s be honest as to what all of this GOP partisanship is about. From their self-serving perspective, it’™s power and money’¦and they’™re willing to do whatever it takes to obtain both. Voters, on the other hand, have allowed themselves to be drawn into an ideological struggle to define morality. Taken together, this is the underlying formula for the disaster we’™re witnessing.

Instead of a candid discussion on the merits of rescuing our financial structure, the political combatants have spent years defining our differences in terms of good versus evil; right versus wrong. While voters blindly engage in this theoretical tug of war, the real battle for dominance is waged in the trenches’¦replete with lobbyists looking to commit larceny in tandem with their trusted troopers’¦the political elite.

The unseen metrics of today’™s maelstrom center upon the pursuit of profit. Those house Republicans who opposed today’™s legislation tell us they are concerned about main street. In truth they, in concert with their corporate benefactors who want the government to insure their success without foregoing the profits that may eventually result from the government’™s intervention, see main street as a peripheral player.

Let me explain. If the bail out takes the current form, the companies that avail themselves of it will have to forego the upside of the very assets that have made them a ton of money during the housing bubble and now leads them to the edge of financial ruin. Conversely, if the legislation is structured as an insurance mechanism, they receive the financial assist they need without foregoing the future profits that may ensue with the passage of time and an improved economy.

In other words, house Republicans are carrying the water of Wall Street while telling us they’™re looking out for the interests of taxpayers. You see, one need only look at the proposal that came from the Bush administration’¦a virtual blank check to assi

Sunday, July 31st, 2011 by Richard Blair |

Palin and Pelosi, Together at Last

According to a poll by Public Strategies Inc., we trust Palin and Pelosi about equally to identify and solve problems, and that trust is pretty close to nonexistent. Well, we knew Pelosi wasn’t trusted, as she has been so demonized by the right. And sane people knew Palin wasn’t competent. This poll seems on the money.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Isn’t it sweet, that Sarah Palin and Nancy Pelosi are the bottom dwellers when it comes to trust about identifying and solving problems for our nation. Of course Obama still ranks high in the trust of the people in this Public Strategies poll, consistent with other polling over the last few months. But Pelosi and Palin together? Odd bedfellows, eh? From Politico:

In a new Public Strategies Inc./POLITICO national survey of 1,000 registered voters, Obama outdistances figures on both the left and the right in earning the public’s trust, with two-thirds of respondents saying they trust the president “to identify the right solutions to the problems we face as a nation.”

Of those who said they trust the president, 31 percent said they trust him “a great deal.” An additional 35 percent said they have “some” trust that Obama will find the correct solution. Thirty-one percent said they trust Obama either “not very much” or “not at all.”

Voters were asked the same question of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Republican Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, former Massachusetts Republican Gov. Mitt Romney, conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and the two major political parties. Among those choices, only the Democratic Party was trusted to find the right solutions by a majority of voters, 52 percent to 40 percent. Forty percent of those surveyed said they trusted the Republican Party, compared with 54 percent who did not trust the GOP.

Only 26 percent said they trust Pelosi, the lowest total in the group. Palin attracted the highest percentage of those who did not trust her at all to identify the right solutions, topping Pelosi 33 percent to 32 percent. Romney got a mixed reaction, with 38 percent of voters saying they trust him and 39 percent saying they don’t.

Sane people didn’t trust Palin anyway, but I’d say it is encouraging that more people are waking to their own sanity. Still, who are those numbnuts saying they trust the woman to run the economy? Man! Even John McCain won’t mention her name.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Palin Celebrityhood? Montel, Springer, Tyra Don’t Help Ambitions

The Sarah Palin hopes for national office officially ended yesterday not when Levi Johnston went on the Tyra Banks Show and displayed his ‘œBristol’ tattoo and talked about condoms. No, the Sarah Palin response, which reads as if someone is spitting it out before closing the screen door of the double wide, sinks Sarah Palin’™s ambitions.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

I remember this Ad from the McCain campaign last Fall, wherte the implication is that Barack Obama’™s celebrity was waning and Sarah Palin was going to take over. (McCain hasn’™t gained any more sense lately, calling hispanics ‘œyou people’ and frothing at the mouth in a recent meeting.) Well, since then she’™s not exactly become an ‘œA’ list celebrity, but more appropriately a candidate for the Montel Williams Show, or Cops. OK, so she can’™t control her sister-in-law breaking into a neighbor’™s house to steal some cash. That’™s not on Palin, is it?

The fun part is that the Palin family is being revealed for the trailer trash sensibilities that are its foundation. Sure, Palin can’™t control Levi Johnston going on the Tyra Banks Show, showing off his ‘œBristol’ tattoo, and admitting to wardrobe malfunctions, er, ah, sometimes forgetting to use a condom when screwing making love with Bristol. Heck, she can’™t control the video of that appearance, due out Monday but with a sneak peek here. But Sarah Palin can control the reactions of her staff.

Sarah Palin, if she had class at all, would react to this little episode with resounding silence. But, no. Class doesn’™t enter into it. Here’™s the scoop on the Sarah Palin reaction from that celebrity gossip magazine People:

‘œBristol did not even know Levi was going on the show. We’™re disappointed that Levi and his family, in a quest for fame, attention, and fortune, are engaging in flat-out lies, gross exaggeration, and even distortion of their relationship,’ says the statement from the Palin family rep.

‘œBristol’™s focus will remain on raising Tripp, completing her education, and advocating abstinence,’ the statement continues. ‘œIt is unfortunate that Levi finds it more appealing to exploit his previous relationship with Bristol than to contribute to the well being of the child.’

The statement ends, saying, ‘œBristol realizes now that she made a mistake in her relationship and is the one taking responsibility for their actions.’

When I read Palin lashing out like this I think of one thing. I think of someone playing the Church Lady in an opposition political commercial and using Sarah Palin’™s exact words over and over and over again. Maybe splice in some scenes of a hair-pulling, chair-throwing fight just to spice up the ad. The celebrity Sarah Palin sought is now at the level of Montel and Springer and Tyra Banks. That’™s called finding its true place. Meanwhile, Barack Obama is being feted in Strasbourg.

Saturday, April 4th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

Palin Jilted for the Prom

She’s all dressed up, nowhere to go. It isn’t clear whether the GOP announced she was speaking at the big fundraiser without getting Palin’s agreement, or whether Palin’s staff is so disfunctional they screwed up the arrangement entirely. I’m betting on a combination, because the GOP is just like high school, only with more fat idiots.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Oh, this has to make Sarah Palin upset. She bought a dress, though it is not clear whether the RNC paid for it at Bloomingdale’s or at Neiman Marcus. And she was likely all excited to go to the big fundraiser for the Republicans in the House and Senate, a black tie affair where she could wear those marvelous duds and wow the crowd with a speech full of “you betcha”. The problem is that Sarah was just too coy.

Remember that girl in High School who kept turning down the boys who asked her to the prom because she was waiting for the cool quarterback of the football team to ask her? It appears Sarah Palin pulled that trick on a whole bunch of GOP bigwigs. Whole bunches of Congressmen and Senators wanted her, but she kept dithering, and now they’ve decided to go with the tried and true Newt Gingrich. No sure how Newt looks in a dress, even if that dress is from Bloomies, but they’ve made their decision, NTTAWWT. Reported by ABC News here, but I’ll quote from FoxNews:

Sarah Palin is out and Newt Gingrich is in.

Congressional Republicans decided Tuesday to ditch the former GOP vice presidential nominee in favor of the former House speaker for the critical House-Senate fundraising dinner in June 8 in Washington. It’s the marquee Republican event to raise money for GOP House and Senate candidates.

Just weeks ago, the House and Senate Republican campaign committees were giddy at securing the telegenic Palin for the dinner. But then things grew murky. At the time, the Alaska governor’s office told FOX News that Palin was still considering the invitation and had not yet made a decision. Meantime, spokespersons for the committees insisted that Palin was scheduled and it was just a misunderstanding between the Alaska governor’s office and Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC, that accepted the invite.

Sources familiar with the Palin snub fumed about how the governor handled this.

“She was a disaster,” one Republican source told FOX News. “We had confirmation.”

Of course, these are Republicans, so the whiney excuses abound. Evidently the GOP in Washington is pretty pissed off at Palin, who also canceled her star turn at the CPAC Ball last month. The Palin camp has been taking flak lately for being disorganized. They wouldn’t answer the phone when FoxNews called, and I’m guessing O’Reilly is getting ready to send his stalkers to Alaska to nail down the real scoop here. Until then, I suppose Sarah Palin must wait at home, watching Russia out her kitchen window, and hoping that another prince will invite her to the prom.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Palin Cops to Poor Choice in Prayer Partners Before VP Debate

Former campaign staffers are whining because Sarah Palin herself is whining that she couldn’t find anybody to pray with before she debated Joe Biden. CNN got the story wrong. Palin ended up choosing a poor prayer partner, daughter Piper, who simply couldn’t deliver. Piper is cute and all, but evidently has no connections upstairs.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

It goes like this. Sarah Palin was making a rambling speech the other day to a GOP Dinner in Alaska. Well, don’t ya know, those Alaskans surely wanted to know what was going on down in the lower 48, so Sarah set off on a little whine about the campaign. Then she tells the story about looking for someone to pray with before her debate with Joe Biden. Here is a little bit from CNN:

“So I’m looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra,” she said of the moments before the debate. “And the McCain campaign, love –em, you know, they’re a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray.”

As the audience laughed, Palin noted that she meant no disrespect to the McCain campaign and that ended up saying a prayer with her daughter Piper.

It is not clear exactly why Sarah Palin snubbed the staffers at prayer time. Perhaps she has a thing about germs and they didn’t have very clean hands. Or maybe Sarah Palin has supernatural powers and can see into the souls of McCain campaign staffers. What is obvious, though, is that Sarah Palin made a bad choice.

Sarah Palin ended up praying with her daughter Piper. Now Piper is a darling little girl, but Sarah Palin settling on her to pray with ended up costing her that debate with Joe Biden. Yes, Palin was right that she needed to pray, given her inexperience and tenuous hold on facts. So she picked Piper, who might have the best intentions in the world and a cute outfit from Nordstroms, but evidently doesn’t have much pull with the Almighty. The results are the results, after all – Palin lost that debate badly, and it was one any MILF worth her salt could have pulled off, if just she’d chosen a prayer partner with a little clout with the guy upstairs.

I’m guessing Sarah Palin chose Piper to pray with again just before Redoubt exploded last week. What we may have here is a woman with dreadful judgement as concerns choosing prayer partners. Heck, if I’m going to a tea party, or maybe looking for someone to skip stones with, then Piper is among my top choices. Not a doubt. But as a prayer partner? I’m thinking she may have cost her mother the debate, and maybe the election as well.

Friday, March 27th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Romney PAC Supports Romney, GOP Candidates? Not So Much

The Boston Globe reports that Mitt Romney’s PAC, the Free and Strong America PAC, was designed to support Republican candidates, but has instead been used to support Mitt romney’s chances in 2012, including employing many of his former campaign staffers. Look at the Repubs he supported, power brokers and whack jobs. Pitiful.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

When he lost the nomination for President from his Party, Mitt Romney focused on his PAC, the Free and Strong America PAC. The goal of the PAC was to support Republican candidates, but the Boston Globe reports that only 12% of the funds actually went to support those candidates. Here’s the scoop from the Boston Globe:

Republican Mitt Romney is laying the groundwork for a possible White House campaign in 2012, hiring a team of staff members and consultants with money from a fund-raising committee he established with the ostensible purpose of supporting other GOP candidates.

The former Massachusetts governor has raised $2.1 million for his Free and Strong America political action committee. But only 12 percent of the money has been spent distributing checks to Romney’s fellow Republicans around the country.

Instead, the largest chunk of the money has gone to support Romney’s political ambitions, paying for salaries and consulting fees to over a half-dozen of Romney’s longtime political aides, according to a Globe review of expenditures.

Romney founded the Free and Strong America Committee shortly after dropping out of the 2008 presidential primary. He filled its coffers by telling conservative contributors around the country that their money would be used to support Republican candidates and causes.

According to the Globe analysis, he spent $244,000 on contributions to congressional and other candidates between April and the November elections. He has spent more than twice as much on staff salaries and contracts to hire professional fund-raisers, who are compiling contributor lists that will serve Romney well in a future presidential campaign.

In essence, Romney is financing a political enterprise that he can use to remain a national GOP leader and use as a springboard should he decide to launch another presidential bid for 2012.

What the Romney funds from the Free and Strong America PAC went for was for Romney to stump around the country for Republican candidates, and I suppose that would have been fine, but as a strategy for his future political aspirations, Romney spent money far better keeping his face in front of voters than he did for the Republican candidates. In a follow-up article from UPI, Romney’s people are a bit honest about that purpose:

“The main purpose of Mitt Romney’s PAC is to enable him to travel around the country on virtually a full-time basis to campaign and raise funds for candidates and to promote policies that will strengthen America,” Fehrnstrom said.

Still, that statement conflicts from the Boston Globe report. It’s an attempt to put out the fire. But let’s say Romney WAS working for those candidates. His web site has a list of the candidates he supported. How did they do?

Well, Romney’s money was spent on some sure winners, like Thad Cochran, Lamar Alexander, James Inhofe, Jeff Sessions and Dana Rohrabacher, for instance. did those candidates really need a boost from Mitt romney? No, they needed neither the money nor Romney’s appearances. But Romney needs these heavy hitters if he has a chance in 2012, that’s for sure. There’s the real reason he made an effort on their behalf.

Romney also spent some money on some losers. Gordon Smith, John McCain, Sarah Palin, etc. I’m thinking Romney’s efforts did zero good in helping these candidates. But some of these candidates are very popular on the extremist right wing of the GOP, so Romney standing next to, say, a Sarah Palin, probably helps his stock among the whack job religious conservatives who are still suspicious of Romney’s funny underwear. Hey, the Mormon Church is taking a beating what with its supoort of Proposition 8, and I’m thinking that probably helps Romeny in the extremist Christian wing of his party. Still, he’s got to go a long way to heal that rift.

And then Romney supported certifiable whack jobs like Michelle Bachman and Saxby Chambliss. If Romney has any hope of reaching across the aisle and drawing independents to his side, he needs to ditch these folks, but it appears his aim with the Free and Strong America PAC was to elect Republicans, not to elect people who are for a free America. Bachman is on record wanting to rid the Congress of members who

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Sarah Palin, Mired in Debt, Whines, Begging for Donations

Sarah Palin has over half a million dollars in legal debt, and she’s whining about it. Everyone is out to get her, evidently. Now she’s thinking of starting a legal defense fund, where she will beg people to donate to help her out. Meanwhile she is not accepting stimulus package money that will help Alaskans with their troubles.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Of course Sarah Palin had to defend herself from ethics accusations, many of which came from before she entered into last year’s Presidential race. Evidently her legal fees are well over a half of a million dollars. I’m thinking the solution would have been not to let her husband meddle in the affairs of government and try to get someone fired, but that train left the station. Now Sarah Palin has worlds of whiney excuses for her debts. They all stem from politically motivated accusations, she says. Yes, everyone is out to get Sarah Palin. Victimhood is a familiar place, I’m sure. Maybe she’ll start accusing domestic terrorists if this ploy doesn’t work.

The wonderful part of this story is about how Poor persecuted Sarah is going to get those monstrous debts paid off. She’s going to beg people for money. It is sort of a Republican welfare thing, isn’t it? They’ve all got their legal defense funds, don’t they? Here’s a bit of the story from the Anchorage Daily News:

Legal bills have mounted fighting complaints that she called partisan, false and frivolous, starting with “the politically motivated Troopergate probe,” Palin said in a written response to questions.

She said the legal bills all stem from her actions as governor.

“I must defend against these baseless ethics accusations out of my own pocket as the use of public monies to do so could itself violate state law,” Palin wrote.

The debt, amassed since she was catapulted into the national spotlight during the presidential race, was revealed in her annual financial disclosure filed this week with the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

“On August 29, it seems the political landscape changed in Alaska. Now, it seems in order to do this job as Governor, with the political blood sport some are playing today, only the independently wealthy or those willing to spend their income on legal fees to defend their official actions in office … can serve,” Palin said in the written response to Daily News questions.

The debt is owed to the Alaska law firm Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein, Tiemessen & Thorsness, according to her financial disclosure.

The disclosure said only that she owed “hundreds of thousands of dollars.” On Friday in the written statement, attorney Thomas Van Flein wouldn’t give a precise number but said it was “a substantial debt.” Palin said she didn’t have an exact figure yet but “the debt is over a half a million dollars.”

I’m thinking most people who go on welfare don’t have the nice peachy house Sarah Palin lives in, nor do they have a job that pays over a hundred thousand dollars a year. No, and most people wouldn’t have committed the ethics violations Sarah Palin did, either. Still, she’s entitled, I suppose, to rely on the kindness of strangers, even if she is trying to deny Alaskans with real hardship from getting the services they need in refusing stimulus funds.

Hey, maybe since one of the ethics charges is that she let Todd Palin run rampant and try to control government personnell decisions, then he could sell his snowmobile collection to help pay off the legal debts. Heck, or maybe Sarah Palin could have simply come clean.

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Sarah Palin, Champion of Special Needs!

Yes, Sarah Palin has now demonstrated that she is a champion for special needs kids by going after Barack Obama for his ill-spoken joke about the Special Olympics. The people of Alaska know, however, that Obama is for funding programs for special needs kids, while Palin refuses free money targeted for special education.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

While Sarah Palin is rightly criticized for refusing money from the Obama stimulus package that would help special needs children in her own state of Alaska, she sees a bigger priority for those Alaskan citizens with special needs, and she has set out to defend them. She will fight to the end, evidently, against Barack Obama making fun of the Special Olympics. Here’s her comments from the Daily Beast:

“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics,” Palin said in a statement. “This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world.”

She added:

“These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”

Let’s get this clear. Barack Obama made a stupid statement and immediately apologized. He is also in favor of funding education for those with special needs, having put his money where his mouth is. Sarah Palin has a special needs child, and she’s willing to spout off as some kind of representative for the special needs community, but she is unwilling to go to bat for any special needs child, preferring to prance across the national Republican stage instead.

Sure, I had written about this earlier this morning, but it needs saying again. She is a phoney and should be called on it every single time she shows herself to be a phoney.

Perhaps she merely wishes to be the poster girl for Republican hypocrisy. But even that is a very hotly contested battle. Still, this statement by Sarah Palin surely puts her in the running.

Saturday, March 21st, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |

Storybook Romance Over in Alaska

It may be that we can believe in nothing anymore. We were presented with the storybook romance of young Bristol and Levi last Fall, a romance said to be enduring and deep, at least according to Sarah Palin herself. We learned yesterday that the romance is ended, though reports from the tabloids and legitimate news outlets differ.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

The young ingenue is named for the home of ESPN in Connecticut, deep in the liberal east coast of our fair land, though she was raised in a home in far away Alaska with a view of Russia outside her windows. Her mother is a political leader on the rise, according to some, and her father is king of the Irondogs. The would-be husband is named after a pair of jeans. Their romance has dominated the tabloids and legitimate news outlets since last September, when the would-be bride’s mother announced the budding romance, or at least the issue from that romance. In December that same mother announced the enduring nature of the couple’s realtionship, as quoted here in the Anchorage Daily News:

She had said in December that her daughter and Johnston “are committed to accomplish what millions of other young parents have accomplished, to provide a loving and secure environment for their child.”

Yesterday it was confirmed by young Levi Johnston that the storybook romance between Bristol Palin and himself was over. Also from the Achorage Daily News:

Johnston, 19, told The Associated Press that he and 18-year-old Bristol Palin mutually decided “a while ago” to end their relationship. He declined to elaborate as he stood outside his family’s home in Wasilla, about 40 miles north of Anchorage.

He also said some details of the breakup, rumors of which had been swirling on the Internet, were inaccurate.

In other words, don’t believe the Star, which has some bit of carping from Levi’s sister, who evidently was named for a German car. Mercede had claimed that Bristol was making it difficult for anyone on Levi’s side of the family to see the baby that issued from this marriage, rumored to have been named for a Matthew McConaughy character. (OK, I started that rumor, but it has about as much fidelity as anything else coming out of the Alaska Governor’s office, doesn’t it?)

Tabloid journalism will mourn this storybook romance gone awry. American politics will likely go on, and has an opportunity to focus on real issues. Perhaps this will help Sarah Palin fade into the background of American poltiics, but not if she has anything to say about it. This reporter, at least, hopes that Bristol Palin and her son Tripp find happiness and success in that cold state of Alaska, and hopes that Levi Johnston finds a way to finish his schooling and also to serve as a fine father to Tripp. I also hope this is the last I ever write about them, or that the rest of the media does, for their sakes.

Thursday, March 12th, 2009 by Steven Reynolds |
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