Raingod’s Weblog

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Round Two

Not only did I watch the VP debate tonight, I also moderated the live chat with regular mudflats regulars for about 2 and a half hours. At this point, the question isn’t who won, but does it matter?

With Obama leading in many of the battleground states, McCain pulling out of Michigan, and new drama over troopergate (A judge refused to toss out the lawsuit within the last hour) Palin could have pulled rabbits out of her ass and it wouldn’t change a thing. 

Yes, she did better than I expected. By that I mean she didn’t fall off the stage, hit her head on the microphone, or perform as horribly as her interview with Katie Couric. She didn’t however, perform well enough to sway undecided voters. Where Joe Biden came off as intelligent, knowledgable and gentlmanly-Sarah came off as superficial, a walking barbie doll that could only repeat talking points. Her game plan seemed to be say a lot of words nd hope some make sense. Kinda like Pacione’s writing. Yet as we all know Nikita’s writing never makes sense. 

And neither did a lot of what Palin said. She has mastered the wink and perky grin (and I swear if I see one more wink from her-she’s being sued for sexual harrassment) as well as the lie and smear tactics that grampa Mac taught her. She was style (barely) with no substance. However for all her snark regarding Biden talking about the past (re: Iraq, the economy, etc) she spent even more time talking about being governor and mayor. Seems it’s okay for her, but no one else. 

No, she made no major gaffes, yet there was nothing there. Like McCain in his debate, it was talking point after talking point. Biden, consistently gave out facts, actually answered the questions and at one point choked up when he talked about seeing his child lay in the hospital bed not knowing if he would live or not. His son I mean, not Biden himself. He displayed the wit, intelligence and passion that this country desperately needs. 

Biden won this debate, no question about that. The fact Palin held her own, as best she could, simply wasn’t enough to ressurect the McCain decline.

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October 2, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , | 4 Comments

In his dreams

Mccain’s that is. Seems his campaign committee has already decided he won tonight’s debate with an ad placed in the Wall Street Journal online edition. Thanks to mudflats for this screenshot.

Seems to me that seeing into the future like that would be considered witchcraft to some; maybe Rev Muthee prayed over the wrong person. 

This also goes to prove how desperate the McCain campaign is right now. He tries to worm his way out of the debate, in order to play the savior of wall street, and instead makes things worse. with a sharp drop in the polls, and Palin proving to be a rock around his chicken neck, McCain then decides to proclaim himself a winner in a debate he didn’t want in the first place.

It’s been one misstep after another for this campaign, and I applaud Obama for sticking to the important things, staying on message and being an intelligent, thoughtful candidate in the midst of a crisis. I was not an Obama supporter during the primaries, I liked Hillary. however when it became clear she would not get the nomination, I kind of lost interest in the race. 

When Palin was picked for the VP slot, I got interested again. I started reading about Obama and watching his speeches on youtube. I’m impressed with him, and admit I may have been wrong in giving him short shrift in the primaries.

We’re past needing a Rambo mentality in charge. We need intelligence, and grace under pressure. Obama has shown this week, he has both, and Mccain has shown nothing but the receipt he got for selling his soul to the devil.

September 26, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | 4 Comments

One cancer cell away from the Presidency

I’m posting the Katie Couric interview of Sarah Palin as a public service. This woman has no business being a governor let alone a Vice president. This interview proves it.

September 24, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , | 6 Comments

A message from Mudflats

AKMuckraker asked everyone to repost this on their blogs,  and I’m happy to do so.

Disturbing allegations of new “caging” techniques being implemented by the Republican party have surfaced in Michigan. The Republican Party Chairman in Macomb County, Michigan, (a swing county in a swing state) is planning to use a list of foreclosed homes as a resource to block voters in the upcoming election. Lose you home, lose your vote. And, yes, most of the foreclosed homes in Michigan affect African-American families. The use of these lists is an attempt to challenge that these voters are “true residents” of the state, a requirement to vote.

While this type of Republican tactic is far from surprising, what is surprising is that the Obama campaign is filing suit. They will seek an injunction to prevent the GOP from engaging in this type of voter suppression. Here’s the statement. The Obama campaign:

…seeks declaratory and injunctive relief to challenge the “lose your home, lose your vote” vote-suppression program adopted by the Macomb County Republican Party, in concert with the Michigan Republican Party and the Republican National Committee, as well as unnamed Defendants who will implement the scheme at polling places in Macomb County and throughout the state. This “lose your home, lose your vote” program is part of a broader scheme – misnamed an “election integrity” program – to harass voters and suppress the vote throughout the State of Michigan in the upcoming election on November 4.

Despite the fact that thousands of Michigan voters’ homes have been foreclosed, many residents are still living in them, but will nonetheless be disenfranchised, if the Republican party has its way. The good news here is that the Obama campaign is being proactive. Democrats (and the country) are still suffering from the fallout of the elections of 2000 and 2004. They’ve been burned once…twice… and are positively bristling with a “never again” attitude that will serve them well.

Seeing Obama taking a strong stand on these policies which he refers to as a “national and systematic program” is a good thing. They are taking it seriously. As much as we don’t want to imagine the scenario, Obama needs to be ready to legally challenge the vote in November if the signs of vote tampering/voter fraud rear their ugly heads. They can’t ‘blink’. (I humbly apologize for the use of that analogy)

Many of the same suspect voting machines that were in play in the last two elections still exist. There has been no significant vote reform and there’s nothing we can do about that at this point. What we can do is be the eyes and ears at the polling places.

The election watchdog group Black Box Voting, has sent out the following request. If you are not familiar with this group, you should be. The website is extensive, and there’s also a great documentary Hacking Democracy (available on Netflix) which tells the story of this organization and the amazing woman who started it all. This is possibly the single most important issue facing our country, because without preserving the integrity of the vote, we have nothing.

They also have a downloadable Tool Kit for the upcoming election on the website.

So do what you can. If you’re a blogger, post this. If you’re a tech, read below and get a job. Engaged citizen? Go to the website to learn more. Download a tool kit. Be prepared and know what to look for at your polling place.

It happens everywhere. In 2004 there were districts in Alaska that reported a voter turnout of more than 200%. I like to think we’re politically engaged, but not to the point that every registered voter makes it to the polls twice. These issues have still not been resolved. And who is heading up the division of Elections for the upcoming vote in 2008? Sarah Palin’s Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell.

***************************************************************

Widest possible distribution needed. Please do spread this in blogs, etc:http://www.votersunite.org/info/ReclaimElections.pdf

This post will no doubt produce howls of objection for the vendors that read it. Black Box Voting is encouraging all individuals with a technical background to search and apply for temporary tech ELECTION SUPPORT jobs for the November 2008 election.

Hiring is underway for temporary technicians to help with voting machines this fall. Vendor dependence is undermining the structure of US elections, as described here in the new report by VotersUnite.org:

We want to see You, the People, enter into the vendor mix directly.http://www.blackboxvoting.org/toolkit2008.pdf

HOW TO FIND TEMPORARY ELECTION TECH POSITIONS:

In a presidential election year, voting machine vendors will hire and train thousands of technicians staffed around the country. For example, anywhere that Election Systems & Software has a machine, they are under contract to provide an on-site support tech. Hart Intercivic, Premier (Diebold), and Sequoia also use Election Day support technicians.

Temporary election tech support jobs have been spotted on hotjobs.com, rollouts.com, and local tech temp firms like (in 2006) DecisionOne. The tech services firm may be a subcontractor for the big four voting machine companies. Sometimes you’ll find the positions advertised by your local county.

Sites like Rollouts.com have you register in their E-tech database. They search for techs based on skill set and area. There isn’t much in the way of a skill set needed for the election projects.

QUIETLY APPLY FOR THE JOBS

Anyone with tech skills interested in safeguarding the November election is encouraged to register at technical recruiting sites and apply for any election-related projects.

CONSIDER ASKING FOR TIME OFF ON YOUR FULL TIME JOB TO DO THIS. This November, there may be no better way to watch the behind-the-scenes process than to be a stagehand, so to speak.

It is not the vendor, and not the government, that has the right to elections information, it is the PUBLIC. Citizens have inalienable rights to sovereignty over the government they created and pay for. These rights cannot be honored without mechanisms to see all information related to elections, and ultimately, to have control processes that honor citizen sovereignty.

That said, it ain’t gonna happen this November. Therefore it is entirely appropriate, patriotic, and important, for citizens to apply for temporary positions as voting machine technicians to provide inside public oversight for the process.

There will be nondisclosure agreements, which are not appropriate at all for public elections, but it’s a reality now that vendors are trespassing on citizen right to know. There may be issues that arise which the public clearly has a right to know. When that happens, a decision must be made.

YOU WON’T BE THE FIRST

We have already been in communications with other patriotic volunteers who have successfully obtained these positions in the past, and are doing this for November.

THERE ARE ALWAYS WAYS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES IF THEY ENDANGER THE PUBLIC GOOD. You, the People, are needed on the inside of the elections industry this November.

This is a public service bulletin from Black Box Voting.

Black Box Voting Tool Kit 2008 – free download here:

Empower more election watchdog actions:
http://www.blackboxvoting.org/donate.html
Black Box Voting
330 SW 43rd St Suite K
PMB 547
Renton WA 98057

September 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

What are they hiding?

Thanks to AKMuckraker over at the mudfalts blog, for posting this piece by AK rep. Les Gara. I think it’s important enough to repost on my blog so others may read it. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, this should scare you.

Since Monday the McCain camp has stepped up its personal attacks against Alaskans. They’ve continued their D.C.-style tactics against neighbors in this small state. The game plan is to find an excuse to stop our Legislature’s Troopergate investigation, and hide evidence McCain’s folks really don’t want to surface before November’s election. It’s been a little Karl Rove, and parts Laurel and Hardy. How else can you explain the following?
Last week the Attorney general’s office promised state witnesses would comply with subpoenas the Legislature issued last week. Tuesday the Governor’s Attorney General flip flopped, and announced that state witnesses wouldn’t comply because, well, and I’m paraphrasing here – he’s changed his mind. And in what has to be an idea hatched after a 4th Martini at Chilkoot Charlie’s, Governor Palin’s attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the ethics claim she filed against herself two weeks ago. Yup. She really filed a complaint against herself. Tuesday she said she’s discovered, after a thorough investigation of herself, that she’s done nothing wrong. Does anyone know how to get a hold of Jon Stewart and Tina Fey?
It’s silly season up here in the far north, but this week’s moves are aimed at one thing: John McCain’s effort to find cover for being disingenuous. See, before Governor Palin’s nomination for the Republican VP spot, she did the honest thing. She admitted the evidence – of roughly 20 contacts between her staff and husband with Public Safety officials, seeking the firing of Governor Palin’s former brother-in-law – might lead a reasonable person to the conclusion that the she misused her office to fire a state employee. So when Alaska’s Republican-led Legislature called for an investigation, she did the honorable thing and said she and her staff would comply. She denies any wrongdoing.
Things changed on August 29 when Governor Palin was added to the McCain ticket. Since then his handlers have told her she can’t testify. They don’t want the evidence in this case to come out. They don’t want her to testify under oath. They don’t want other witnesses to testify under oath. So they have engaged in daily maneuvers to attack, as disloyal to the McCain campaign, anyone who wants the investigation to move forward. They’ve now attacked two well respected prosecutors, and perhaps the state’s most highly regarded law enforcement official – the Public Safety Commissioner she hired, and then fired, Walt Monegan.
Every day this week McCain operatives have sung the same tune. Today a guy with an East Coast accent, who knows nothing about Alaska, stood in front of a McCain-Palin banner to lead the attacks against people he doesn’t know. At press conferences on Monday and Tuesday campaign staffer Megan Stapleton spit vitriol to repeat her argument that this investigation is really a “Democratic” attack on Governor Palin.
See, that’s easier than just saying their VP has reneged on her promise to testify. It’s easier than just saying they don’t want anyone testifying before the November election. It’s easier than admitting they are stonewalling a legislative investigation.
Here are a few things they failed to say. There are a few small facts that make it hard to style this as a Democratic investigation. One is that Alaska is a Republican State. We have a Republican Governor and a Legislature of 34 Republicans and 26 Democrats. This summer the Legislature’s Legislative Council voted 12-0 (8 Republicans and 4 Democrats) to hire an investigator, and appointed Democratic Senator Hollis French, a well-respected former prosecutor, to find an investigator. Governor Palin stated she and her employees would comply with the investigation. French then hired Steve Branchflower, a former DA who most recently was hired by legislative Republicans to run the state’s Office of Victims rights.
And on Friday the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 (2 Democrats and 1 Republican in favor); and the House Judiciary Committee issued a 7 – 0 (5 Republicans, 2 Democrats) advisory vote, to issue subpoenas to witnesses the McCain camp had previously stopped from testifying.
Over the last two days McCain’s outside operatives have vilified former prosecutor Hollis French – as an Obama supporter who must have called this investigation to hurt the McCain ticket. But French was appointed to oversee the investigation by a 12 – 0 Legislative Council vote, and is probably the state’s most respected legislator – by Republicans and Democrats alike. He’s so popular the Republican Party couldn’t find anyone to run against him this year.
They’ve called former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan – a Native Alaskan who has served Republican and Democratic Administrations with honor, and put his life on the line in uniform – “insubordinate.” Odd, given that when Governor Palin fired him she offered him a different job. I guess being “insubordinate” was a job requirement for the new position. And they’ve challenged the independence of an investigator and former DA, who has no animus anyone can find.
Those Swift boat ads taught the McCain folks that if you say something untrue enough times, it can stick.
My favorite moment of the week came when Governor Palin’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss Palin’s ethics complaint against herself. Stay with me. Her attorneys have been buying the peyote, not me. See, on August 29 they needed to find a way to stop the Legislature’s investigation. They tried asking the Republican leaders to call it off, and take one for the team. But the Senate President and others honorably said no. So they came up with an argument that the State Personnel Board – 3 people appointed by Governor Palin and her Republican predecessor Frank Murkowski – had “exclusive jurisdiction” to investigate wrongdoing by the Governor. The Legislature wasn’t amused. So Governor Palin then filed a complaint against herself.
That, they said, put “jurisdiction” in the hands of their friends at the Personnel Board. They argued that since the Personnel Board was now proceeding with an “investigation”, the Legislature couldn’t.
To put icing on the cake, on Monday the Governor’s attorneys moved to dismiss the Governor’s case against herself. They said, and I loosely paraphrase again – that they tried really hard and just couldn’t find any evidence that the Governor did anything wrong. OK. I can’t believe I just wrote that. And I wish it weren’t true.
These are the things you have to do when your Presidential candidate doesn’t want his VP to honor a promise, and doesn’t want evidence to come out before an election. These are the things you have to do if your folks aren’t going to comply with a subpoena. That’s because without spin the headline might read: “McCain Interferes With Investigation Palin Agreed To.” How easy it is to re-write a headline. They learned that during the Swift boat campaign too.
All we can hope for is that members of the press will remember what they learned in journalism school. Not to repeat the spin of political operatives without reporting the truth. Not to write “he said she said” stories, and pretend the truth is somewhere in the middle. But to report the facts. No matter how you spin it, Governor Palin promised to comply with this Legislative Investigation. McCain’s folks got her to change her position. And the Legislature that voted for the investigation did so on a bi-partisan basis. End of story. End of headline.
Over the next few days McCain’s folks will try to get local legislators to step in line, out of party loyalty, and reverse their vote to investigate Troopergate. But many local Republicans, like Senate President Lyda Green, have so far refused to play those politics.

September 17, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , , , | 4 Comments

Hey sarah, sarah

This was too funny not to post.

September 13, 2008 Posted by | politics | , , | Leave a comment

Absolutely disgusted

I’m sick to my stomach right now. I’ve spent the last 35-40 minutes listening to sarah Palin give her acceptance speech. If EVER there was someone who shouldn’t be in the white house-even on a tour-it’s her. This was one of the nastiest, inept, and revolting speeches I’ve seen. It’s clear they’re going to try and make her a pit bull;however given the number of lies and attacks that littered her speech, it’s not going to do much good. 

She once again said she was against the bridge to nowhere, even though it’s been proven she was for it. 

She claimed she would be there for special needs parents, yet cut funding for special needs students in AK by 62%.

She had the nerve to critisize Obama’s experience, neglecting her own deficiencies.

And she discovered a new country; Eye-Raq. 

Obama and Biden compared the differences between what their administration would do compared to McCain. They both laid out plans, explained their reasoning and gave thoughtful, forward looking messages. 

The Republicans have YET to talk about the economy in any meaningful way-if at all-and refuse to talk about anything but 9/11 and MCCain being a POW. 

Romney, Guiliani, and Palin, all sickening, hateful and repugnant. and they all think their party deserves 4 more years? 

Not fucking likely.

September 3, 2008 Posted by | Legion of nitwits | , , , | 21 Comments