Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

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More Politics Updates

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More politics updates.

* That “overheard projector” John McCain was talking about last night? A projector for Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. Sounds like a reasonable expenditure to me.

* How will Obama save the economy and the planet at the same? As Matt Yglesias mentions, it’s a two-fer: a green recovery plan that creates jobs modernizing the nation’s antiquated energy infrastructure. We’re getting closer and closer to the point where a truly solar economy is possible—there were two major solar innovations just this week, cheap, more absorptive panels and light, more flexible panels—and frankly it’s all happening just in the nick of time.

The miracle of an Obama presidency reminds me a bit of the old Bismarck line: “God protects fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.”

* The language of “Green Recovery” also provides the necessary “crisis” rhetoric required for an massive expenditure of this nature, as if the ecological and energy crises weren’t already reason enough. Because apparently they aren’t.

* And the polls all show the same thing: Obama is winning big.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm

McCain LieWatch for Saturday, September 13

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Here’s a list of McCain camp lies I’ve seen exposed in articles I’ve read just in the last half-hour.

* Lying about their crowd sizes.

McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal.

Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events.

In recent days, journalists attending the rallies have been raising questions about the crowd estimates with the campaign. In a story on Sept. 11 about Palin’s attraction for some Virginia women voters, Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign.

* Lying about the Bridge to Nowhere even more egregiously than we thought.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has portrayed herself as a foe of pork-barrel spending, pointing in particular to her role in killing the $398 million “Bridge to Nowhere” between Ketchikan (pop. 7,400) and its airport on Gravina Island (pop. 50). I “told the Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,'” she said in her speech accepting the Republican vice presidential nomination. “If our state wanted to build a bridge, we were going to build it ourselves.”

But Gov. Palin’s administration acknowledges that it is still pursuing a project that would link Ketchikan to its airport — with the help of as much as $73 million in federal funds earmarked by Congress for the original project.

* Lying about her “trip to Iraq.”

Sarah Palin’s visit to Iraq in 2007 consisted of a brief stop at a border crossing between Iraq and Kuwait, the vice presidential candidate’s campaign said yesterday, in the second official revision of her only trip outside North America.

Following her selection last month as John McCain’s running mate, aides said Palin had traveled to Ireland, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq to meet with members of the Alaska National Guard. During that trip she was said to have visited a “military outpost” inside Iraq. The campaign has since repeated that Palin’s foreign travel included an excursion into the Iraq battle zone.

* Lying about Future Combat Systems.

“He promised them he would, quote, ‘slow our development of Future Combat Systems,’” McCain said, according to wire reports. “This is not a time to slow our development of Future Combat Systems.”

Flashback to July, however, when his campaign furnished McCain’s economic plan to The Washington Post, declaring that “there are lots of procurements — Airborne Laser, [C-17] Globemaster, Future Combat System [sic] — that should be ended and the entire Pentagon budget should be scrubbed.”

* Lying about book-banning at the local library.

So, what do we know at this point? Time reported last week that Palin asked Emmons about the process for banning library books. Emmons was reportedly “aghast” at the question. Soon after, Palin fired Emmons, and news reports from the time indicate that Palin thought Emmons hadn’t done enough to give her “full support” to the mayor. (Palin reversed course on Emmons’s dismissal after a local outcry.)

ABC News added a report this week, explaining that Palin took office thanks in large part to the strong backing of her church, the Wasilla Assembly of God, which, right around the time Palin took office, “began to focus on certain books” the church wanted to see removed from shelves.

And now we know Palin repeatedly broached the subject of banning books, and locals acknowledge that Palin, as mayor, “brought pressure on the library.”

* Lying about the truly despicable practice of making women in Wasilla pay for their own rape kits.

Despite denials by the Palin campaign, new evidence proves that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin had a direct hand in imposing fees to pay for post-sexual assault medical exams conducted by the city to gather evidence.

Palin’s role is now confirmed by Wasilla City budget documents available online.

They will lie without shame, as long as the media will not shame them.

Written by gerrycanavan

September 13, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Obligatory McCain/Palin Posting: It’s the Lying, Stupid

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Obligatory McCain/Palin posting: Team Maverick™ has lost even the AP, whose Washington Bureau is famously staffed by a man MoveOn has been trying to get fired for bias and conflict of interest. It’s the lying, stupid:

The “Straight Talk Express” has detoured into doublespeak.

Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a self-proclaimed tell-it-like-it-is maverick, keeps saying his running mate, Sarah Palin, killed the federally funded Bridge to Nowhere when, in fact, she pulled her support only after the project became a political embarrassment. He accuses Democrat Barack Obama of calling Palin a pig, which did not happen. He says Obama would raise nearly everyone’s taxes, when independent groups say 80 percent of families would get tax cuts instead.

Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain’s skirting of facts has stood out this week. It has infuriated and flustered Obama’s campaign, and campaign pros are watching to see how much voters disregard news reports noting factual holes in the claims.

Krugman, too, is outraged, and Josh Marshall (to his credit) has basically been having a week-long freakout. Here’s Krugman:

But I can’t think of any precedent, at least in America, for the blizzard of lies since the Republican convention. The Bush campaign’s lies in 2000 were artful — you needed some grasp of arithmetic to realize that you were being conned. This year, however, the McCain campaign keeps making assertions that anyone with an Internet connection can disprove in a minute, and repeating these assertions over and over again.

They’re not the only ones. ThinkProgress has a growing list of McCain’s ever-shifting positions. (Steve Benen has another one.) Basically every post on the respected and independent factcheck.org from the last week has about McCain’s lies. And on The View, just today, he falsely claimed that Sarah Palin had never requested an earmark as governor—a flagrant, wild lie.

It’s a farcical situation that turns tragic with the media’s refusal to properly report any of it. The cost for lying must be public approbation—otherwise politicians will lie constantly. The failure of the news media since the Republican convention to substantively report on basic, easily provable distortions is as great a betrayal of the public trust as any other over the last ten years. And as we all know well, all too well, that is saying a lot.

Obama, too, hasn’t yet done enough. But that may soon change: a spokesperson today claimed that McCain “would rather lose his integrity than lose an election,” presumably the first salvo in their new aggressive approach. I’ve got a lot of faith in Obama and his team; as I’ve mentioned before, whenever I’ve disagreed with their decisions they’ve turned out to be (more or less) right. Obama is cautious, perhaps too cautious, when it comes to hitting back—but it’s gotten him this far.

I agree, that is to say, with Noam Scheiber: I really think Obama’s been playing rope-a-dope, letting McCain embarrass himself with nonsense 50-days-and-change out from November 4—and now that McCain has completely overreached, Obama’s free to hit back as hard as he wants. Let’s hope the gloves really are coming off, finally and at last.