Tag Archives: John McCain

Hey, Media, Look at them! They Did What We Did! Get ’em!

You know the funny thing about the whole ACORN controversy? I mean besides the fact that this isn’t voter fraud and only effects a few perceptions and not any real votes. The funny thing is that this is the same kind of stuff that happens all the time with registration drives.  In fact, it happened with Republicans right here in California.  From David Markland’s Faultline:

While John McCain supporters attempt to draw connections between Barack Obama and ACORN in the wake of the thousands of bogus voter registrations submitted by the organization, California Republicans have failed to remind the media that just two years ago a group the San Bernadino GOP hired to register voters was also investigated for fraud.

The LA Times had a story back in 2006 chronicling the incident. Basically, the San Bernardino GOP hired a firm to register voters, and many of the 3,000 or so forms were missing important information, were obviously fake, or otherwise troublesome.

But, look at Obama! He associates with bad people that John McCain would never associate with…or something like that.

CNA/NNOC Launches National Bus Tour, Healthcare Voter Drive–Day 1, Nevada

The National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC) today kicked off a national road show and outreach campaign designed to inform voters about the healthcare proposals of both leading Presidential candidates.  5 swing states will be targeted before the election for this healthcare outreach.

As one nurse from St. Mary’s Medical Center Reno put it, “Our patients are voters too, and we’re here to get them the information they need.”

The road show hits 11 different Nevada cities stops this week-everywhere from Reno to Elko to the Shoshone Reservation-with a striking wrapped bus featuring the nurses’ report cards on Obama and McCain.  Next week, the bus turns left and heads to Ohio, Pennsylvania, Manchester NH and Bangor ME (along with a visit to healthcare hero Eric Massa, running for Congress in New York.)

The RNs will hand out a version of the report card at stops along the way, and mail a different version to both RNs and voters around the state.  Nurses and labor activists from across the country will follow the mail with phone calls to a targeted list largely composed of nurses and voters who are likely to want healthcare information, particularly non-partisan women.   The campaign will be supported by advertising in the local areas the bus is visiting.  The report cards gives Obama a B+, McCain an F, and calls on all candidates to support HR 676, and which guarantees healthcare with a  single-payer system like Medicare for All.

Donna Smith, a star of the movie SiCKO and now a healthcare organizer for NNOC (and their sister union, the California Nurses Association), commented on the first day:

Nurses shared their report card for the candidates where they rate Sen. Obama’s plan better thatn Sen. McCain’s plan because Obama improves access to care while McCain’s plans to tax employer-based healthcare benefits and may cause as many as 20 million more people to lose access to coverage and care.

Out on the sidewalks, citizens welcomed the chance to talk with the nurses on a cool fall day.  One young man became angry when he thought the nurses were representing the health care industry — “No, I don’t want to talk to you.  i owe the healthcare industry thousands…”  

But he stopped and listened when told the nurses are advocating HR676, the National Health Insurance Act — single payer healthcare for all.

The road show will undoubtedly bring some surprises — as the nurses take their message far and wide.  But the trust patients feel for nurses clearly softened even the most campaign-message-weary.  Citizens know who speaks the truth and who has a hidden agenda.  

And during these last weeks of what has been a two-year long presidential campaign cycle, nurses break through the din of attack ads and economic shell shock with a clear, clean message:  healthcare is a basic human right that we can and should provide one another.  It’s in the nation’s best interests.

Like the young man Donna talked to, many many Nevadans are hurting economically-which makes this the right message for the right time.  Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of NNOC and CNA was thinking of patients like that one when she asked “If We Can Nationalize Banks, Why Not Health Care?”:

Through the simple, cost effective approach of improving and expanding Medicare to cover everyone, the U.S. could effectively nationalize the financing of healthcare delivery, a single-payer system, while leaving intact the most private system of hospitals and doctors. … If it’s good enough for every other industrialized country, if it’s good enough for the speculators and CEOs who have mortgaged our financial security, it ought to be good enough for the rest of America.


CA-04 McClintock and the Minutemen, re the KKK Konnection

( Didn’t really want to write this, but since the comment to the story about  McClintock’s KKK endorsement kept expanding, it gets its own diary.   I noticed some skepticism towards this topic at dailykos, and since I had a lot of background material already available,  it is relevant. )

This “endorsement”  would explain why one of McClintock’s supporters keeps on using


Hall of Shame

This was in the local paper 9/21/08.  It’s from a McClintock supporter who posts blogs or comments on a daily basis.  Most of his stuff I won’t repeat because it’s too inflammatory. I just try to tell people that these wedge issues are being used to do internet fundraising targeting senior citizens based on a fear of minorities, and that provoking these fears is wrong.  

Regarding the above screenshot of a blog post in my local paper, I know who this is,  and I know he’s a long time financial supporter of both the Republican incumbent and the imported Southern California Republican challenger. (and I found a write up about him on a Christian website, which was not… complimentary. He has a long history of this sort of activity, which other people do not think is charitable towards others )  I’ve posted this image on dailykos before, when he first put it up. It’s following a theme they started when McClintock and Dan Logue decided to do that “Minutemen” “Secure the Borders”  tour this spring up in the northern part of the district, during the Republican Primary.




March 4, 2008.  left to right, Dan Logue, Eric Egland, Tom McClintock, Sue Horn, as McClintock announces he’s running for Congress.

Dan Logue, state assembly candidate, appeared with McClintock on the “Secure the Borders” tour with the Minutemen group in May,  and his state Cal- access campaign money records for this cycle shows he paid the group that did the tour, “Secured Borders Consulting, Inc” and Jim Gilchrist.


Eric Egland is a former CA- 04 candidate, a Fox News spokesperson, has served as President Bush’s spokesperson on mideast trips, has donated thousands of dollars to McClintock’s campaign, and has worked with MAF, which created the swiftboating ads currently being used against Democratic candidate Charlie Brown.   Sue Horn is former state assembly candidate whose husband works in the building/real estate developer business.

 Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen Project, endorsed McClintock.  The other Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (the founders split into 2 groups) which uses a cleaned up Chris Simcox as its spokesperson and consultant, appeared in Nevada City with McClintock on May 7th. Simcox also endorsed McClintock.  This is what bothered me so much when I saw the flags and other war (Minutemen and the US- Mexican 1847 ) insignia on the parade float the Republicans used during the 4th of July Parade in Lincoln this year.

Links about Jim Gilchrist:

 Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the Minutemen Project, endorsed McClintock:


Gilchrist’s Minuteman homepage:


Gilchrist’s myspace page                           http://profile.myspace.com/ind…

Links, Chris Simcox, other Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, tours with Logue and McClintock  http://www.redcounty.com/place…

Simcox’s MCDC page:   http://www.minutemanhq.com/hq/

Simcox has troubled past:  http://www.splcenter.org/news/…

Simcox and various political financial scandals:  Minuteman money mystery, 2006 article by Bill Berkowitz of Media Transparency  (very good Simcox link below)


Both Minutemen groups are associated with white supremist groups, such as the Council of Concerned Citizens, altho both deny it.  The CCC has changed its name to the CCIR.   http://www.ccir.net/

Basic information on the CCIR: http://www.splcenter.org/intel…

Some older backstory on the CCC link:  http://www.adl.org/MWD/ccc.asp

The CCC is so secretive they will not publish a membership list and require referrals before they will send you information on their organization.

These racist organizations are NOT dead, they are alive. They peaked in popularity during the first term of the Bush administration, waned, and now with the uncertain economic fallout, they are regaining some steam.  Barbara Coe, a member of the CCC, has been heavily involved recently in Minutemen border events in Southern California this summer, making appearances with  politicians running for office. Coe is also a member of the CCIR, the CA Coalition for Immigration Reform.

The Orcinus blog did a very good write up of the history of the Minutemen groups and their split, and how they front for political consultants, on June 28, 2006.  http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2…

The Rift in the Minutemen

The Subway Canaries blog (now thepinkflamingo.org)  did a write up of this relationship between the KKK and Immigration and the Minutemen groups in October, 2006, with a lot of links:


The Southern Poverty Law Center said in 2002, that most of the anti immigration “movement” is the result of work by John H Tanton, who founded, served on the boards, and funded many of them.  http://www.splcenter.org/intel…

If you are going to read just one link in my post, read this one from the Southern Poverty Law Center, from summer 2002  Note the remarks from Brian Bilbray, who was to run again in 2006 in the San Diego area and narrowly win election to the current Congress.   The article says that this network of anti immigration groups is not so much grassroots as astroturfing being done by John Tanton and Numbers USA.   Richard Mellon Scaife family foundations has been funding these groups, along with the McConnell Foundation, the Shea Foundation, the Weeden, Salisbury, Smith Richardson, Blair, and Sikes foundations.

4 page story





“The Puppeteer

The organized anti-immigration ‘movement,’ increasingly in bed with racist hate groups, is dominated by one man, John Tanton.”

The meeting with Tancredo and Bilbray  – and the entire lobbying operation in mid-February – was masterminded by NumbersUSA, an anti-immigration group that had recently opened a “government relations office” in a three-story, red-brick Victorian near the Capitol.

NumbersUSA hosted an afternoon open house at its plush new digs, where the lobbyists relaxed, nibbled on catered food, and conversed with the leaders and other officials of key anti-immigration organizations.

Patrick McHugh of the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which purports to be a squeaky clean think tank that rejects racism, was there pressing the flesh along with Barbara Coe, head of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, who repeatedly referred to Mexicans – as she has for years – as “savages.”

The Citizens Informer, a white supremacist tabloid put out by the Council of Conservative Citizens ( CCC ) hate group, was available.  

Here is another overview with links of the Minutemen, from an Australian site:


The interesting thing about THIS site is that it mentions Minuteman Bryan Barton and the 2005 T- shirt incident.

T-shirt incident

On April 6, 2005, three Minuteman Project volunteers convinced a 25-year-old illegal immigrant to hold a T-shirt and pose for a photograph and a video with one of the volunteers. The T-shirt, which was also worn by volunteer Bryan Barton, read “Bryan Barton caught me crossing the border and all I got was this lousy T-shirt”.

Bryan Barton (link to one of his spoof sites   http://www.votebarton.com/abou…   ) claims to have a journalism certificate from the same school that graduated White House pool “Reporter”  Jeff Gannon, the right wing “Leadership Institute. ”   Bryan Barton has a large body of past work available for viewing on the internet, some of which has content not suitable for family viewing, containing images that are disturbing in content, meant to defame individuals based on their race, sex, or religious creeds, or depicting scenes of past activities of the Bush administration which were inflammatory or disgusting from a human rights content. He claims it’s humor.  It’s not.  It’s porn.

Tom McClintock, last month,  used the same Bryan Barton as a spokesperson for the follow up Swiftboat “hanging effigy”  advertisement they recorded in front of Charlie Brown’s Campaign office building, whereby Byran Barton asked supposed passerby to look at pictures taken in 2005 at that anti war rally counterdemonstration,  and asked them if a blurry picture of a man wearing a camo jacket over a tee shirt and jeans was the same as a man standing there in full military uniform. It was called “Charlie Brown Uniform Shuffle.”  Link from McClintock’s campaign site:


So I’m looking at this advertisement posted on McClintock’s front page of his campaign website for several days, knowing that “Bryan Barton of the Minutemen” is this paid Republican operative now working for McClintock, and I am waiting for somebody else to make the connection. Oh well.  Here goes.  One of McClintock’s largest local donators, Fred Sacher, is involved with this Republican “journalism” school that has now given us both Jeff Gannon (of the Valerie Plame – Scooter Libby outing coverup ruse)  and Bryan Barton.   link to page which has clickable pdfs of the Leadership Institute’s financial 990’s that can be studied  http://www.leadershipinstitute…

I guess we’ve just hit the Big Time here in Northern California. Back to the KKK ~~~    

Here’s a link page from a KKK member which is very interesting if you study his site  http://kelticklankirk.com/amer…

Note the Minute Men symbolism used at the top of the page, see the various link names to these extremist groups with it or derivatives of it. The Minute Men symbol is also used by a lot of these white supremist organizations.

Warning. The home page on that KKK site manages to offend every thing. I found the co – opting and perversion of “Celtic” belief particularly vile and wish to state that Irish, Christian, Celt and Pagan ? does not equal Klan, and the use of these Celtic art symbols in this context, which have their own meanings, is really bizarre.  http://kelticklankirk.com/




McClintock’s float, the 4th of July parade in Lincoln, CA.  Flags, Republican GOP, CA state Bear Flag, American Flag, “Christian” Flag.  

The Christian Flag, the white one on the right hand side seen above, with the blue corner and red cross, is also used by the KKK in some parts of the country. Click here and scroll down to near the bottom to see an example:    http://www.kelticklankirk.com/…                   Another flag similiar to it, a pure white flag with a small confederate canton and cross in the corner is also used.  Click here for an example  http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadsh…            Notice how the Christian flag is flying same level with the other flags on this float.   The CA Bear Flag is also used by Save Our State, another white supremist group.  http://saveourstate.org/index.php     That combined with the heavy symbolism of the Mexican – US War of 1846- 47 and Minutemen symbolism on the parade float (most people did not know what they were looking at, but the few who did, it provoked quite a visceral response  )  really gave me a completely different outlook on the McClintock candidacy.   Whoever put this together wanted it to be provocative and stir up certain feelings of pitting one group against another, based on race and ancestral nationality.

The City of Lincoln, before it underwent the explosive population growth in the past decade with the population nearly quadrupling,  when the Del Webb retirement subdivisions went in, was more racially diverse and more laid – back and had a larger number of Latino Americans by percentage.

The Mexican American War ended up disenfranchising hundreds of Mexican citizens and Native Americans which were living in the southwestern  territory that the United States ended up with, because they did not get legal citizenship as was originally implied by the preliminary treaty, which the Senate then modified afterwards.   There was a lot of LDS symbolism on that float, such as the Wagon Wheel,  that also commemorated the Mormon Battalion, which marched across country from the midwest all the way to the California Coast during the same war.  The territorial gain by the United States was seen as another example of the righteousness of the theory of Manifest Destiny. The distinctive officer’s uniform on one of the soldier figurines on the float was very similar to what would have been worn by General Winfield Scott, a famous general in that war.  General Scott has another role in history, when in 1838 he also moved the Cherokee from their original homeland in Georgia to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears. Before the move started, 4 thousand Cherokee would die in confinement.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W…

Scott arrived at New Echota, Cherokee Nation on April 6, 1838, and immediately divided the Nation into three military districts. Within two weeks he had every Cherokee in North Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama who could not escape to be captured or killed. The Cherokee were rounded up and held in rat-infested stockades with little food. Private John G. Burnett later wrote, “Future generations will read and condemn the act and I do hope posterity will remember that private soldiers like myself, and like the four Cherokees who were forced by General Scott to shoot an Indian Chief and his children, had to execute the orders of our superiors. We had no choice in the matter.”[3][4]  

So …. that was a very complex parade float.  

Here’s another detail from that 4th of July parade float:


Detail, McClintock’s 4th of July parade float, Lincoln CA.  Minutemen plaque behind L M’s shoulder.

Here’s the whole float from a distance, I posted this pic before in another diary:


July 4 McClintock parade float

And if the casual viewer couldn’t “get” the point that day in Lincoln, they had another person on a lawn tractor towing a big fiberglass trio of Minute Men figurines behind the parade float carrying the McClintocks.  

I have also seen blatantly racist material at another Republican booth at a district public event,  and in the window display of a district Republican headquarters building with both McClintock and John McCain signs in it.  Once, it could be an anomaly.  Repeatedly seeing it over and over again, it becomes a theme.   The question became, for me personally, should I address this issue and let it distract from the real campaign issues, or should I just follow the money trails and see where the McClintock supporters are going with this, and will it bring them national level support?

Then, when Republican John McCain picked Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, and I started seeing a lot of graphics of Palin with her high powered rifle, peering thru the scope, juxtaposed with pictures of our candidate Barack Obama, with the caption “She’s a Better Shot than Cheney,” I knew where the Republicans were going to take their campaign.  

Damn, I’m old enough to remember the 1960’s.  Why are they deliberately doing this?  Why is one of McClintock’s local supporters repeatedly using a hanging effigy theme?

Just like in the July parade, Tom McClintock wanted to be provocative when he stood there on the State Capitol steps early last month (Sept 2) during the “Minutemen” rally and called for the Federal government to cut off funding for San Francisco. And for the Federal government to deport millions of people.  There was a giant sign parked down on the road which says “Build the Wall, Deport them All,” the loudspeakers are playing some sort of dreadful screed about how people of Native American Indigenous ancestry have to perform a blood sacrifice when they reach adulthood, and are secretly plotting to turn California and the American southwest back into the Aztec state, “Aztlan” (this is the same stuff I’ve seen on the Council of Concerned Citizens site )  and then the group of teenaged kids in white dress shirts and dress pants and some sort of red satin sashes show up with the big “Save Traditonal Marriage” Sign on the sidewalk.  They hopped in a van and drove off when they realized they were being recorded for posterity.  

It was pretty surrealistic.

Just another day at the California State Capitol, campaign 2008, McClintock version.

Here are 2 images from the Republican Booth at the Gold Country Fair in Auburn the first week in September on Saturday the 7th.

The first one shows the Christian flag flying over the booth just to the left of McClintock’s name.  The second is the closeup of one of the bumper stickers they had for sale, to the left of the man in the striped shirt. “Liberalism, the imaginary distance between church and state.”





My ancestors are doing so many flips in their graves that this is what passes for political fodder in 2008 California,  I half expect an earthquake.  

I see there is some skepticism about the link between McClintock and these extremist groups concerning a “guilt by association” of an old endorsement by the KKK.  Some people do not think this is relevant, others think it a distraction.   So I’m posting my observations on this relationship, reluctantly, because I don’t want to give Karl Rove the satisfaction of driving the dialogue here . But this subtext of forced removals of the “others,” based on their supposed cultural inferiority,  as being justified by a Higher Power, and therefore the Republican candidate is the “Right One”  has been running all thru McClintock’s campaign for CA- 04.  

Mercifully,  I see a lot of people in this district are finally starting to reject the use of these wedge issues.   I would hope the national level Republican campaign, based on what I’m seeing at McCain’s events, could come to grips with the fear issues and stop trying to scare people into voting for them.

But I also want to emphasize that we here in the district not imagining things when we say we see a relationship between the creed of the KKK and the campaign theme being used by McClintock.   This side of the aisle is rejecting the use of fear to divide us and ostracize us from each other.  

Former Chief of Dermatology at Cedars-Sinai Calls on McCain to Release His Medical Records

Cross-posted from Open Left. The author, Ron Bronow, M.D., is the former Chief of Dermatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in L.A., and one of over 2,700 doctors across the country who signed an open letter from Brave New PAC (disclosure: my employer) calling on John McCain to issue a full, public release of his medical records.  Dr. Michael Fratkin of Eureka and Dr. Noah Craft at UCLA are featured in this video explaining the importance of the issue.

Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly are screaming foul about an effort on the part of 2,768 doctors (myself among them) to get John McCain to release his medical records. After a 30-second TV ad spot on the issue went up on MSNBC for two days last week, O’Reilly even managed to bully the network into pulling the commercial off the air. Apparently, asking very real questions about McCain’s health is deemed by the right wing punditocracy to be just another disgraceful partisan attack, even when the questions come from thousands of medical doctors all over the country.

I know it’s a lot to ask of Limbaugh and the like, but let’s consider the facts:

Nobody disagrees with the fact that the melanoma removed from Senator McCain’s temple in 2000 was aggressive, requiring radical surgery. But there are two conflicting reports out there in need of resolution.  In May, when the McCain campaign allowed 20 reporters three hours each to review almost 1,200 pages of McCain’s medical records (no cell phones, internet access or photocopying allowed), one particularly disturbing piece of news emerged from the speed reading contest. While the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale had called the lesion on McCain’s temple a Stage IIA melanoma when it was resected eight years ago, it turns out that two pathologists at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology had reviewed the same slides at the time and reached a different conclusion.  They reported that the lesion was “highly suggestive of a metastasis of malignant melanoma and may represent a satellite metastasis.” That would be a Stage III melanoma.

So what’s the difference? The survival rates for Stage II melanoma are 79% for five years and 65% for ten years. For stage III melanomas the 5 and 10 year survival rates are 55% and 38%.

In general, if a melanoma recurs after the initial treatment, the five year survival rate is 7-19%, depending on the site of metastasis. It’s agreed that Senator McCain’s surgery in 2000 consisted of a 2.5 x 2.5 inch excision of the forehead tumor and the removal of 33 lymph nodes, followed by reconstructive surgery. Many experts feel that this indicates that the Senator’s tumor was Stage III.  The report from the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology only bolsters that suspicion.

The right wing pundits can – and will – kick and scream and cry foul about this call from the medical community for full disclosure.  That won’t change the fact that we have a right to know the stage of the disease of a man running for the most important job in the world.


Guess who’s coming to Los Angeles!

John McCain and Sarah Palin are heading to the Los Angeles area this week.

You know you want to come out and, um, let them know how you feel.


John McCain in Los Angeles

When: Wednesday, October 1, from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Where: Corner of Constellation Blvd. and Ave. of the Stars, Century City

Hyatt Regency, 2025 Ave. of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067

How: Signs will be provided. Public parking available at the Westfield Century City Shopping Mall


Sarah Palin in Los Angeles

When: Saturday, October 4, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Where: ADT Tennis Stadium, The Home Depot Center

18400 Avalon Blvd., Carson, CA 90747

How: Parking will be available at 10:00 AM

Please arrive as early as possible

For More Information:

Email – [email protected]

Bailout Bust – Another Massive McCain Failure

Today the Congress failed to pass a measure seeking to address the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  At every step of this developing story, John McCain has show impotence and incompetence. Today, McCain has failed yet another major test.

Let’s take a moment to review how we got here.

First, John McCain came to power as a self-proclaimed “Reagan Revolutionary”. He has been devoted to “supply-side”, aka voodoo, economics throughout his career.  As a member of the Keating 5, and the closest senator to Charles Keating, John McCain set the tone for his career, failed economic policies bordering on criminal activity, the absence of regulation and a slavish devotion to the myth of free markets.

Next, he surrounded himself with the most tainted lobbyists in Washington. The clearest case is that of McCain’s own campaign manager, Charlie Black, who remains an officer of the lobbying company which has been receiving tens of thousands of dollars a month from Fannie and Freddie. Did he do any work for them?  Did he fight off regulation, or was he simply paid to deliver access to Senator McCain, potentially the next president of the United States.  

Moreover, McCain’s closest economic advisor and mentor, Senator Phil Gramm, was the ultimate leader of the charge for deregulation.  Gramm even said that the current recession is “mental” in nature and evidence that we are a “nation of whiners.”

John McCain was clearly under the influence of Phil Gramm, his likely Treasury Secretary if elected, when he failed to understand the economic issues that created this situation. When John McCain declared that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong”, he proved himself completely out of touch with working Americans.  

When John McCain finally realized his catastrophic failure to see the political disaster in this crisis, he became a radical drama queen and parachuted into the middle of the tense negotiations in Congress. McCain hadn’t voted in the Senate since April, but he decided he would make himself out as the great savior of the economy. He “suspended” (not really) his campaign and begged for a debate delay. McCain’s unhinged shenanigans shone a white hot spotlight of presidential politics in the middle of the Paulson bailout plan negotiations and destroyed them.

With his erratic power grab, McCain took full ownership of the Paulson plan. He made it his own and then failed to see it through. The Democrats delivered their votes, but McCain, who gave his support to the plan, failed to garner Republican support in the House. Instead, 133 Republicans told McCain to take a long walk off a short pier.

In sum, this is yet another massive failure for John McCain, demonstrating once again his instability and inadequacy.  McCain was unable, even in the face of pending economic disaster, to rally his party.  With this failure, McCain has gone from primary hero to Pee Wee Herman. Unworthy of trust, and unable to cash the checks his ego writes, John McCain is the one to blame more than anyone for today’s 689 point loss on the Dow.  

From ideology to ignominy, John McCain owns this disaster.

Where are you watching the debate?

Use this as an open thread to post where you’re hanging out tonight to watch the debate.

Here’s where I’ll be:

LA for Obama/Los Angeles County Young Democrats Debate watching party

The Joint

8771 W Pico Blvd

LA, CA 90035


Suggested $10 donation to the Obama campaign

Where will you be?  What’s going on in your area?  Post it for other Caliticians who may wish to join you.

John McCain wants to postpone Friday’s Debate

PBS/Lehrer NewsHour is reporting that John McCain wants to postpone Friday’s debate with Barack Obama.  McCain is using the Wallstreet Bailout Bill as the reason for delaying an all-important meeting of the two candidates.

Read the article here: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/vo…

McCain can’t get away with this distraction.  What kind of floor action could take place in the Senate at 9PM Eastern Time on a Friday????

Hmmm.  Could it be McCain has no plan, no credible answer for the economic upheaval we are suffering RIGHT NOW?

I’m proud of Barack Obama, who has indicated that he wants to continue with the debate.  The non-partisan Commission on Debates has agreed and will go forward with the debate as scheduled.  Friday promises to give us some great television.

Let’s hope Jim Lehrer has some great questions for McCain, if he shows.  

Why Is Andy Stern Helping John McCain?

Why Is Andy Stern Helping John McCain?

( Cross posted at Openleft.com )

With all the attention that SEIU has received over rampant corruption in its largest California local, 6434 formerly headed by the disgraced Tyrone Freeman, and Michigan’s largest healthcare Union also formerly headed by, yet again another disgraced leader (Rickman Jackson), and now most recently the resignation of one of Mr. Sterns newly elected top International Vice-Presidents, Anelle Grajeda, for diverting members dues to her former boy friend, one must ask the question: “who does Andy Stern really support for President?” At first glance at the current situation with SEIU Andy Stern’s pick as our next President may seem unrelated to the corruption within SEIU. That is, until you examine closely how Mr. Stern has acted upon the alleged corruption within SEIU.

Instead of aggressively pursuing all available remedies to rid the corruption within the aforementioned SEIU locals and getting back to the business of electing a pro-worker candidate he has instead chosen to expend the vast majority of SEIU’s resources in a personal vendetta against arguably one of SEIU’s most successful union locals, SEIU-UHW West.

Why? Because SEIU-UHW West dared to hold Stern and his “Team” accountable for the inherent promise that SEIU be of the members, by the members, and for the members.

SEIU-UHW West has engaged Stern for close to 3 years in an internal debate over union governance that has challenged the destructive direction Stern has moved SEIU towards. SEIU-UHW West attempted to sound the alarm during the recent SEIU convention in Puerto Rico by bringing to the floor measures that would have ensured and preserved member governance, oversight, and participation at the highest levels of SEIU.

Unfortunately, Stern and his “Team” choreographed a textbook campaign that vilified SEIU-UHW West’s platform as centric only to the needs of SEIU-UHW West and devoid of any conscience for the plight of unorganized workers. He stated that SEIU-UHW West was only interested “in polishing their apples”. Nothing was further from the truth. In fact the platform put forward by SEIU-UHW West expanded the powers of its members and was a threat to Stern’s lust for control, power, and centralization of decision making within SEIU.

Second only to 1199 NY in its COPE contributions (member voluntary political fund) to the International, the leader in California COPE dollars by double the states locals average, and the fastest growing local in SEIU, SEIU-UHW West, instead of being utilized by Stern to ensure that we elect a President sensitive to the needs of the working class, is instead under a vicious and completely baseless attack from Stern and his appointed henchmen and surrogates that includes a threatened trusteeship on false charges of financial mismanagement.

It is important to note that this is Stern’s second bite at this apple. The international recently had their proverbial heads handed to them in the highest court in California on this very issue. The court ruled that the International had no basis for their claims and dismissed all relevant claims made by SEIU with prejudice. Put simply, the court told Stern and his “Team” not to ever bring this frivolous matter before the court again. So now Stern wants to drag SEIU-UHW West thru the mud in an attempt to discredit them as well as distract attention away from the more serious previously mentioned malfeasance (and long known by Stern) of his handpicked appointees, Tyrone Freeman, Rickman Jackson, Annelle Grajeda.

With so much at stake in this years election one must wonder why a personal vendetta against SEIU-UHW West is the highest priority for Mr. Stern. At the SEIU convention in Puerto Rico this year, delegates endured wave after wave of self righteous indignation opposing SEIU-UHW West’s desire to debate internal jurisdictional issues. At stake was the very essence of what it meant to be a healthcare worker; the ability to advocate on behalf of patients, better staffing, improvements in working conditions, and the right to choose in a fair and democratic process what union local to be represented by.

Stern surrogates and appointees made statements calling SEIU-UHW’s arguments selfish and self-serving. One even stated, “People are dying right now as we waste time debating these issues. We have work to do! Let’s get to work!” Staffers from the SEIU continued to echo this same tired line at nausea throughout the debate process.

Certainly the work of electing a progressive pro-working class president falls into the category of “work to do”. And if it does why, with the incredible political fight before us, would Andy Stern sideline his second biggest political weapon against four more years of Bush’s failed policies in order to carry out a personal vendetta against SEIU-UHW West? Stern has time and again issued the battle cry against corporate greed, affirmed his commitment to lift workers out of poverty, and boldly stated that SEIU will lead the battle to get universal healthcare and pass perhaps one of the most ambitious pieces of legislation ensuring workers rights to organize (EFCA).

So it defies logic that at the most critical time in the election process, where so many peoples lives depend on the outcome, Mr. Stern would allow himself to be consumed with forcing a trusteeship upon a union local that has a long and proven history of, not only adhering to the values he claims to hold dearly but, excelling at those same values. And why would Mr. Stern schedule the Trusteeship hearing, not only during the most critical time of the general election but on the exact same dates (September 26-27) that the Obama campaign is attempting to mobilize California supporters to participate in a canvassing effort in neighboring “swing state” Nevada, where Obama trails McCain by 1 percentage point? It begs the question, who ultimately wins if Mr. Stern allows himself to take action against a union local who has the power to help end eight years of failed economic and foreign policies? And whose’ hopes ultimately die if we fail?

Andy Stern prides himself in being a leader in the progressive majority movement. However his current actions fly in the face of his alleged progressive values. He is jeopardizing real reform in our labor movement to fulfill a personal grudge. These are hardly the qualities of a true progressive and reformer and certainly not the qualities that will bring hope and “Justice For All”.

Andrew Malcolm Is A Lying Hack

Here’s LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm, who was Laura Bush’s press secretary in 1999-2000, trying to make something out of nothing and playing John McCain’s POW card for him:

As part of its effort to show the 72-year-old Republican Sen. John McCain as old and out of touch, the Democratic Party’s hip campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, which frequently says it honors the former POW’s military service to his country, Friday released a new ad.

As noted Friday by our blogging colleagues over at the Technology blog here, the ad says, among other things: “1982, John McCain goes to Washington. Things have changed in the last 26 years, but McCain hasn’t.

“He admits he doesn’t know how to use a computer, can’t send an e-mail.”

Like many of his generation, McCain does not like to talk details a lot about his wartime experiences, certainly not about any lingering physical symptoms. To be honest, it could sound like complaining and, as he’s ruefully noted, unlike many others, McCain did come home […]

Here’s a passage from a lengthy Boston Globe profile on McCain that was published the last time he ran for president. It was headlined “McCain character loyal to a fault.” It was written by Mary Leonard.

And it was printed more than eight years ago, on March 4, 2000.

It is available online, where Jonah Goldberg of The Corner blog at the National Review found it.

“McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain’s encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He’s an avid fan — Ted Williams is his hero — but he can’t raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.”

OK, it’s a nice story, but here’s John McCain using a Blackberry.

Here’s an article from HuffPo about his learning to use Internet:

BRZEZINSKI: Does John McCain, does he use the internet? Does he use email? […]

DAVIS: He actually is, he always is grabbing people’s Blackberrys on the bus. In fact, no reporter’s Blackberry is safe from his prying eyes. He loves to tool around on the internet, he especially loves the videos that get produced that usually poke fun at him. I think that’s his most entertaining part of the internet.

Now, maybe his thumbs work and his fingers don’t, but considering that he said in the same article that he’s learning to get on the Internet by himself, I highly doubt the veracity of this.  Oh, and here’s Tucker Bounds claiming he travels with a laptop:

“John McCain travels with a laptop,” said McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds. “This is a senseless tactic from Obama’s campaign because they’re struggling with the realization that the American people understand he is not equipped to deliver change because his record has no bipartisanship or significant legislative accomplishment in it.”

This had the makings of another hissy fit, but it’s transparent nonsense.

I hate the stupid season.