Tag Archives: John McCain

CarlyFailorina Conveniently Forgets the Bad Times of 2008

Remember 2008? Those halcyon days where there was discussion of a McCain-Fiorina ticket.  Well, McCain ended up being quite thankful for that. Let’s start with the clip to the right, where Fiorina says that McCain wouldn’t be qualified to run HP. She says that

It is a fallacy to suggest that the country is like a company.

Of course, while this would also suggest that perhaps Fiorina doesn’t have the necessary experience to be Senator for such a large state as California, she’s not talking about that now.  But, of course, there’s more.  When the campaign turned to executive compensation, McCain came out swinging, saying that some of the golden parachutes were absurd and way too high.

Well, yesterday the duo were back at it.  Oh, and the subject of that Fiorina comment came up:

She was permanently sidelined two months before the election when she told a radio host that Sarah Palin, McCain’s vice presidential pick, lacked the experience to lead a major corporation. She made the situation worse when she sought to clarify her remarks  by adding that McCain and then-Sens. Obama and Joe Biden also were unqualified.

When asked about those remarks on Tuesday, McCain joked, “Did she say that?” Fiorina added, “I was making a general comment about all politicians, by the way, not John McCain specifically.”

Ahh, such fun times. Two unqualified people, together again.

Arnold’s Crusade Against Legislators For Committing The Crime Of Legislating

The Sacramento Bee committed an act of journalism today, taking a look at the consequences of the legislature failing to act on various bills in favor of solving the budget.

Merced County beekeeper Gene Brandi says he had enough problems before getting ensnared in the nasty war of words between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature over California’s failure to cure its staggering budget deficit.

His Gene Brandi Apiaries in Los Banos, which once produced 400 drums of honey a year, has turned out just 20 drums so far this year as a searing drought has deprived wildland plants of the nectar that bees turn into honey.

And Brandi says he is facing competition from food processing companies that market sugar-added honey products as the real thing. “We’ve got people who take advantage of the good name of honey to try to sell their product,” he says.

Now some agricultural producers and Democratic lawmakers say Schwarzenegger and his aides are unfairly exploiting the good names of honey, blueberries, pomegranate juice – and cow tails – to bash legislators for fiddling while California burns.

The dust-up stirs debate over whether the budget mess should freeze out all other matters – or whether lawmakers still have a responsibility to continue the business of legislating, no matter how mundane it can appear.

Did this guy really ask to be turned into a punchline by the Governor?  I would argue that the crap that large multinational food producers package and sell as food is a serious problem on a variety of levels, not the least of which is public health.  And given 120 legislators with different committees and responsibilities, we are perfectly able, even with a budget crisis, to deal with additional legislation, particularly that which can make a difference to small businesses and the health and safety of the entire state.  In the past several years, with budget woes in every single one of them, somehow we passed a prescription drug benefit for seniors, an increase to the minimum wage, a landmark smart growth bill, and the Global Warmings Solutions Act, just to name a few.  

Ol’ Stogie And Jacuzzi is guilty of the exact same crime of turning every program that sounds funny, that includes animals or food, into an object of derision, as John McCain when he discussed so-called “pork” in the stimulus package:

McCain’s method of indentifying waste, gleefully repeated by Dowd, is a disgrace. His technique is to focus on programs that mention animals or food, or anythign that sounds silly. He’s clearly not interested in learning whether any of the programs he targets have merit. Here is Dowd recording McCain’s twitter postings:

$1 million for Mormon cricket control in Utah. “Is that the species of cricket or a game played by the brits?” McCain tweeted. …

$2 million “for the promotion of astronomy” in Hawaii, as McCain twittered, “because nothing says new jobs for average Americans like investing in astronomy.” …

$200,000 for a tattoo removal violence outreach program to help gang members or others shed visible signs of their past. “REALLY?” McCain twittered.

I don’t know whether or not cricket control is a necessary program. Maybe crickets are doing many times that amount in crop damage every year. Maybe it’s a boondoggle. I don’t know about the astronomy program, either, though I do think there’s a role for federal support of the sciences, even in silly-sounding places like Hawaii.

I do know that the tattoo-removal program is an effective anti-crime initiative — it allows rehabilitated former to reenter society shorn of visible markings that cut them off from middle-class culture. McCain and Dowd don’t know this, and they don’t care. What’s on display is the worst elements of political demagoguery meeting the worst elements of the instant-reaction internet culture. They think the very idea of trying to learn about something before you take a position on it is a joke.

Who could have expected that going with a chief executive this simple-minded could lead us to such a place of ruin?

D-Trip “Targets” 8 House Seats – I’ll Believe It When I See It

(Sorry, guys, I wrote this one, as well as any “Open Thread” comment.  I forget to log out sometimes…

– promoted by David Dayen

State Democrats are buzzing about this weekend’s Carla Marinucci article entitled “California Dems target 8 GOP districts”, which claims that Republican voter registration is dropping fast, providing a major opportunity to pick up Congressional seats in 2010.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has targeted 35 districts across the country represented by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives – including eight in California – that were won by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, said Jennifer Crider, the committee spokeswoman.

The Democrats plan increased appeals to voters in those areas and will make aggressive efforts to recruit Democratic candidates to run against the Republican incumbents, she said […]

The vulnerable California districts with Republican representatives that were won by Obama are those of Reps. Dan Lungren of Gold River (Sacramento County), Mary Bono-Mack of Palm Springs, David Dreier of San Dimas (Los Angeles County), Elton Gallegly of Thousand Oaks (Ventura County), Brian Bilbray of Solana Beach (San Diego County), John Campbell of Newport Beach (Orange County), Ken Calvert of Riverside and Howard “Buck” McKeon of Santa Clarita (Los Angeles County), the committee says.

It would be nice if I thought any of this would work.  First of all, the registration changes didn’t just spring up in December 2008.  These trends have been occurring for some time, and were all present during the last election.  Despite this, we had a candidate in CA-25 (McKeon) who spent less than $10,000 or her entire campaign.  The candidate in CA-24 (Gallegly) won her primary because of her ballot designation and without spending any significant money.  (By the way, CA-25 is now the seat held by the GOP with the closest registration gap between Republicans and Democrats in the whole state.  Did you know that?)   In the races where we managed to compete, our candidates significantly underperformed the top of the ticket, and in most cases underperformed Barbara Boxer’s performance in 2004, when a less dominant John Kerry was at the top of the ticket.

I don’t think there are that many other people who have followed California congressional races closer than I have, and I have to say that we simply suck at elections in these kinds of races out here in California.  The state party is dysfunctional at best and downright criminal at worst.  Put it this way: we had the same chance to win all these seats in 2008.  Nate Silver, making a separate point, provides a list of the 30 districts where Obama won between 50 and 52 percent of the vote.  As you’ll see, we did extremely well in those seats, except for in California.

Barack Obama won 51 percent of the vote in NY-20 on November 4th. How did congressional candidates perform in other districts where he received between, say, 50 and 52 percent of the vote? Again, we see essentially an even split; Republicans won 16 of 30 such districts and Democrats won 14:

Won by Republicans (16): CA-24, CA-25, CA-26, CA-44, CA-45, CA-50, FL-10, FL-18, MI-4, MN-3, NE-2, NJ-7, NY-23, VA-4, WI-1, WI-6

Won by Democrats (14): FL-22, KS-3, MI-1, MI-7, MN-1, NC-2, NJ-3, NY-1, NY-19, NY-20*, NY-24, TX-23, VA-2, WA-3

Winning percentage in these seats in states other than CA: 58.3%

Winning percentage in CA: 0.0%

By the way, the other two districts not mentioned above that are now being “targeted”?  CA-03 (Lungren) was 49-49 Obama, and CA-48 (Campbell) was also 49-49 Obama.  Heck, even CA-46 was only 50-48 McCain.  Obama got 46% in CA-19 (Radanovich), where there was no Democratic candidate, and 47% in CA-40 (Royce).

Some would argue that, properly resourced, these seats would suddenly become very winnable.  I give you CA-50, where Nick Leibham consistently beat Brian Bilbray in fundraising and maxed out at the 45% ceiling on Democrats in that district.

CA-44 is somewhat winnable because Bill Hedrick came close in ’08 and is running again.  We lost our best candidate in CA-03, Bill Durston, and everywhere else, I’m just extremely dubious, because the state party has systematically psyched itself out of winning these seats (thanks to the Faustian bargain of incumbency-protected gerrymandering designed by… imminent state party chair John Burton), and the commitment at the national level has been known to wane.  We’ve left dozens of winnable elections on the table the past two cycles, dramatically underperforming the nation.  A little DCCC money won’t change that.

Destroying The Myth: CD-Level Obama-McCain Results Show There Is No Red California

Bipartisan death cultists love to tell us that the real problem in California is that gerrymandered seats lead to extremists of both sides in safe elections, and that no opposition can win in such a rigged game.  Thanks to the Swing State Project and some dedicated individuals who have done the work, we can now pronounce that myth dead.  Completely dead.

Volunteers processed county-level information to come up with the Obama/McCain split in virtually all California Congressional districts.  Fresno, Madera, San Joaquin, Santa Clara and Ventura counties have yet to release the county-level data, so we’re missing a few districts, but hopefully that information is forthcoming.  What we can already view, the data for 43 of the 53 districts, is stunning.

Obama won 34 of those 43 districts, including 7 held by Republicans.  He just missed in CA-46 (McCain was under 50% and the spread was less than 5,000 votes).  Also, seven of the 10 currently unknown districts are held by Democrats, and I’ll bet CA-24 goes blue as well, or at least close to it.  I think we can say that Barack Obama won or was extremely competitive in 43 of the 53 Congressional districts in the state.  Here are the 7 GOP-held districts where Obama won:

CA-03 (Lungren): Obama +1,600 votes

CA-25 (McKeon): Obama +3,000 votes

CA-26 (Dreier): Obama +12,000 votes

CA-44 (Calvert): Obama +2,500 votes

CA-45 (Bono Mack): Obama +13,000 votes

CA-48 (Campbell): Obama +2,500 votes

CA-50 (Bilbray): Obama +14,000 votes

The data I’ve wanted is the downticket ballot dropoff stats, and now we have them.  I’ll list it for these seven key districts, plus CA-46 (Rohrabacher), which Obama nearly won.  These are rough estimates of the total number of votes in the Presidential contest and the Congressional contest for each district:

CA-03 Presidential 336K votes; Congressional 314K votes

CA-25 Pres. 271K, Cong. 250K

CA-26 Pres. 292K, Cong. 267K

CA-44 Pres. 269K, Cong. 253K

CA-45 Pres. 276K, Cong, 266K

CA-46 Pres. 303K, Cong. 285K

CA-48 Pres. 330K, Cong. 308K

CA-50 Pres. 329K, Cong. 313K

Though it may have made a small difference at the margins, the ballot dropoff is relatively small, actually, and to be expected to a certain extent.  Some people are just going to come out for the Presidential election, on both sides.

But what is indisputable from these numbers is that Democrats can win in California in virtually every district, even when they are “hopelessly” gerrymandered.  The shifts from 2004 to 2008 are quite incredible and represent a realignment.  In ’04 Kerry lost CA-03 58-41.  Obama won.  Kerry lost CA-25 59-40.  Obama won.  Kerry lost CA-26 55-44.  Obama won 51-47.  Etc.  You can check the numbers for yourself.

There’s only one Congressional candidate who outperformed the top of the ticket and that’s Charlie Brown.  Obama lost CA-04 54-44.  Therefore it’s untrue that, even in unfriendly areas, there is no Democrat that can make a race competitive.  The right Democrat can win in any seat in California.  And I think the numbers would bear this out in the Assembly and Senate as well.

The “hopelessly gerrymandered” line is an excuse.  An excuse used by elites who are pretty happy with the status quo and don’t want the crazy libs having a working majority in the legislature.  An excuse used by those in Washington who don’t want to spend money on expensive California races.  It’s a pernicious excuse because it restricts progress and leads us to the brink of crisis.  But it’s an excuse, nonetheless.

The Undervote

I’ll have a much larger roundup later.  But it looks to me like there was a significant undervote in the election.  So far, 10.04 million votes have been counted in the Presidential race.  Yet on Prop. 8 we have about 9.9 million votes counted.  The difference there is 79,000 votes.  But that’s the smallest discrepancy.  Most of the other statewide ballot measures had undervotes of around 600,000-800,000 votes.  And there are maybe 1 million votes yet to be counted, so this spread could be much higher.

And if you look at the Congressional and state legislature ballots, the spread is just as high.

A lot of people stopped at the top, probably because they didn’t have enough information and didn’t feel comfortable about voting.

Hockey Mom or Neiman Marxist?

You might have seen that the nurses from the national RN union–National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association–are on a national tour to talk about the role and the importance of healthcare in this election.

After healthcare, what is the first thing that people in battleground states around the country are talking about as the nurses do their ourteach?


They’re talking about the small fortune Sarah Palin dropped on 2 months of clothes. The $150,000 represents an 80-year clothes budget of the average Joe or Jo Sixpack…and symbolize a party not just out of touch with average people, but really out of hearing, sound, and sight of them as well.

So we’re launching DressLikePalin.com. Check it out. What would you spend $150,000 on?

I’ll let Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the NNOC/CNA tell you about it.

The secret is out. There is a Marxist in the Presidential race. She’s just not on the Democratic ticket. The real Marxist is in the McCain camp, the Neiman Marxist adorned in that fetching $150,000 wardrobe.

Contrast that with say, Geri the nurse who can be outfitted in scrubs for just $10 for a hospital shift. The same $150,000 would outfit 15,000 RNs.

At NNOC/CNA, we’ve created our own fashion statement — a new website DressLikePalin.com that lets you imagine other ways the Republican Party, Sarah Palin and John McCain could have spent that $150,000….In addition to the 15,000 scrubs, the same $150,000 would buy 15,000 chef coats, 5,769 painter’s bibs, 5,000 police shirts, 4,687 auto mechanics’ coveralls, 3,750 pilot uniforms, or 3,571 housekeeper uniforms. You know, all those working people McCain and Palin pretend to stand for.

Dressing up Palin in her Neiman Marxist line doesn’t quite square with the faux populism the McCain camp has been running out as the champion of Joe the Plumber. Indeed, the $10,000 devoted to two weeks of hair styling is more than the average Joe the plumber earns in two months.

Palin and McCain want us to believe they suddenly feel the pain of families crushed by un-payable bills. It’s a harder sell when you’re festooned in a jacket that would pay the entire winter heating bill for two Midwest families, or adorned with makeup that would pay for 224 mammograms, 651 flu shots, or provide 14 years worth of the cholesterol lowering drug Lipitor for one patient.

Arnold Embarrasses Himself Trying To Shield His Party And His Presidential Nominees

The Presidential campaign on the Republican side has really become ridiculous, with nonsense talk of “socialism” (I guess that’s what the kids are calling the progressive tax system nowadays).  Here, Arnold Schwarzenegger tries to defend it by playing the “I was born in socialist Europe” card (expect this to be part of his campaign address for John McCain in Ohio next week):

• Schwarzenegger seemed to embrace language that Republican John McCain has been using in his latest attacks against Democrat Barack Obama related to “redistribution of wealth.”

“I left Europe because of the socialistic kind of environment and the way countries were run and the way government was on your back and therefore stifled the opportunities in Europe and that’s why I came to America,” he said. “So I hope — and that’s why I’ve been always involved in campaigning for political leaders that I believe in, because I wanted to do everything that I can to make sure that America doesn’t go back to those days of 40 years ago when I left Europe, that we go back to that system of redistribution of wealth that some people are talking about. There is no redistribution of wealth.”

“Redistribution of wealth,” apparently, is raising the top tax rate from 36% to 39%.  Ooh!  Why don’t you just give everybody borscht as well? (By the way, hasn’t Arnold called for new taxes to fill the budget gap?  Um, Arnold, isn’t that, er, redistributing wealth?)

But that’s not half as embarrassing as this exchange with CNN’s Campbell Brown:

BROWN: Do you think she’s qualified to be president?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that she will get to be qualified.

BROWN: She will get there? What do you mean? She’s not ready yet?

SCHWARZENEGGER: By the time that she is sworn in I think she will be ready.

OK, today is October 23.  Inauguration Day is January 20.  Exactly what is going to happen over three months that would suddenly make Sarah Palin qualified for the office of the Presidency?

The answer, of course, is nothing.  But Arnold is a loyal Republican soldier and a “Free To Choose” economic royalist, so he can’t see that.  What a fraud.

2004 Redux – Arnold To Campaign for McCain in Ohio

Some people don’t have a well-developed sense of honor, I guess.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once again will stump for a Republican presidential candidate in Ohio on the weekend before the election, this time making a Halloween stop for Sen. John McCain in Columbus.

Schwarzenegger considers the Ohio capital his second home. He hosts his Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus each winter and has invested in a suburban mall there.

At a press conference backing the redistricting initiative today in San Diego, Schwarzenegger called Columbus “the city where I traditionally always go and campaign, like the weekend before the election. I have done this in 1988 and in 1992 and so on, so I will be going there for one event to Columbus, Ohio.”

Somebody should ask Arnold if this means he agrees that Barack Obama pals around with terrorists.  Somebody should ask him if he agrees that Obama tried to teach kindergarteners sex ed.  Somebody should ask him about every one of the despicable tactics McCain has used in the most dishonorable campaign in anybody’s memory.  And whether or not Sarah Palin is qualified to be President.

The thing is that, for all the moves to the contrary, Schwarzenegger is a doctrinaire Republican and loyal soldier.  There are many other Republicans rejecting McCain’s approach in this campaign – Arnold’s ideological soulmate Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, is basically sitting out the election.  But Arnold would never think of that.  He’s a Republican serving in a state that is rapidly trending Democratic.  He’s stumping for McCain while holding office in a state that may go for Obama by 20 points.  

Well, Arnold can do what he wants, although I don’t want to hear another word from him about post-partisanship.  And McCain can have Schwarzenegger; I’ll take my chances with Obama and teh Google.

SoCal Republicans put Barack Obama’s face on the $10 food stamp

California’s Inland Empire newspaper, the Press Enterprise is reporting on a recent newsletter that was sent out by the Chaffey Community Republican Women Federated. In that newsletter, the Republican Women speculated about what life would be like under a Barack Obama presidency.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

I dunno. What do you think?


The group’s president, Diane Fedele… said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”  […]

“I didn’t see it the way that it’s being taken. I never connected,” she said. “It was just food to me. It didn’t mean anything else.”

She said she also wasn’t trying to make a statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the illustration connects the two: “Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on???? Food Stamps, what else!”

Of course, this latest outrage comes on the heels of the revelation earlier in the week that the Sacramento County Republican Central Committee had material on their official website that linked Barack Obama to Osama Bin Laden and encouraged readers to “Waterboard Barack Obama”.

The California state GOP keeps backpedaling and apologizing, but it’s clear that the McCain/Palin campaign has dabbled in the dark arts and unleashed demons that they can no longer control. They MUST be held accountable.

Cross posted on Daily Kos