Monday, September 29, 2008

I Will Make Them Famous, And You Will Know Their Names!

Borrowing the above line from John McCain, I would like to point out exactly who is responsible for voting against the bailout bill in the United States House of Representatives today. No, it's not a perfect bill, but it is a solution that had been negotiated for over a week, and did in fact contain some necessary home-owner protections and other important provisions that are key to getting the economy back on its feet.

You will know their names. These are the congressmen who voted against the Bailout Plan, most of them because they're running in close re-election races, not because they actually didn't think it was important.

I am proud to say, as a Haverford student, that Representative Joe Sestak (D-PA) buried partisan concerns and stood with the Democratic Party leadership to try and bring some relief to this economic crisis.

Upon this news, the Dow dropped 778 points today, an all-time record, putting the stock market below where it was on President Bush's first day in office.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Republican Senators Under Seige

After the 2004 elections, the Democratic Party was faced with a major deficit in the United States Senate. Minority Leader Tom Daschle even last his seat. Holding only 44 seats, and having just taken a beating at the hands of the GOP, things looked grim.

But oh, how the times have changed. Democrats now hold a 50-seat majority + 1 Independent (thanks for that one, Joe), and look to be in prime position to win several more seats this time around. Of course, the magic number is 60 seats - the amount needed to prevent Republican obstructionism and get votes to the Senate floor. On paper, a +10 victory would seem almost impossible, but the realities of this year's races give us a chance.

Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, and Colorado seem to be all but locked in for the Democratic challengers in those states. So congratulations Mark Warner, Tom Udall, Jeanne Shaheen, and Mark Udall on your impending elections as United States Senators. Beyond those races, there are a number of extremely tight contests across the country:

--> Alaska's embattled, crotchety Senator Ted Stevens (R) is currently on trial for corruption. The outcome will decide whether or not he has any chance to beat challenger Mark Begich (D). Let's see how long Sarah Palin's coattails really are.

--> In Oregon, Democratic State Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley is locked in a dead-heat with incumbent Gordon Smith (R), who has attempted to save his seat by running ads touting his close relationship with the next President of the United States - Barack Obama. Just goes to show how out-of-fashion the Republican brand is this year.

--> In Minnesota, comedian-turned-politician Al Franken is also roughly tied with incumbent Norm Coleman, who won his seat in 2002 after his opponent passed away in a plane crash two weeks before the election. Some may question Franken's qualifications to be a Senator, but remember that this is the state that elected Jesse Ventura. Also, as Franken likes to point out, he's "the only New York Jew in this race who actually grew up in Minnesota."

--> In Mississippi, former Governor Ronnie Musgrove (D) is locked in a surprisingly close battle with incumbent appointee Roger Wicker (R).

--> North Carolina also features one of the most exciting races of this cycle. Elizabeth Dole was expected to win reelection handily, but thanks to her desire to never actually be in the state of North Carolina, she currently trails State Senator Kay Hagan. This is a race that DSCC head Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will pour money into, because of how excited he is about Hagan's strong showing.

--> Finally, a new poll in Kentucky shows Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford tied with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). This would be an enormous upset for the Democrats, even larger than the defeat of their minority leader 4 years ago.

A win in all 10 of these races would give Democrats the 60 seats, regardless of Senator Lieberman's mood. A win in 9 means we have to play nice with Joe for another 2 years. So just remember, the presidential election is far from the only interesting race to watch on November 4th. Keep an eye on these seats, so that we can see how effectively President Obama will be able to work with the Senate to get his agenda passed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CNN Attacks Sexism - By the McCain Campaign

Thanks for this one...

I also believe in setting Sarah Palin free, so that she may return to Alaska and roam the land as she was meant to, instead of being stuck in Washington. In Alaska, she can still live in a white house because her office will be covered in snow.

I hope that you will all join me in freeing Sarah Palin, by voting for her return to Alaska on November 4th.

Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain Wages War on Facts, Facts Respond with "Tanks"

Steve Schmidt held a conference call today to press the media to scrutinize Senator Obama's campaign more closely. Steve Schmidt, for those unfamiliar, is Senator McCain's chief strategist on issues of mayhem, destruction, and overall naughtiness. Top campaign officials also report that he was not hugged enough as a child. He's welcome to stop by my apartment any time before Election Day for the biggest hug of his life - I'll hold him close and won't let go for 43 days.

Schmidt came out swinging today against the scourge of the GOP, The New York Times. He accused the liberal rag of failing to properly attack Obama to the same extent that McCain has felt the paper's wrath. Specifically, he whined about how, among other things, no one has pointed out that Senator Biden's son was a lobbyist for the banking industry. Of course, Hunter Biden was a lobbyist, although never for any credit card company or bank, but that didn't stop the McCain campaign. In fact, Jonathan Martin of Politico reports, shortly after Schmidt's rant was finished, RNC communications director Danny Diaz sent out a piece "to illuminate the connection." Anyone familiar with John McCain's line of attacks this fall can probably guess where the story originated: THE NEW YORK TIMES.

When pressed about the series of factual errors Schmidt made on the call, spokesman Brian Rogers, replied, "You are in the tank." Ladies and gentlemen, I give you John McCain's perception of our nation's journalists:

Meanwhile, it would be interesting how the media would react if your VP candidate would ever actually decide to take questions from the press. It's been 24 days - enough already. If she's qualified to be Vice-President, and potentially (shudder) President, then she's qualified enough to handle the U.S. media.

Obama's camp responded by pointing to a dark mark on McCain's past: the Keating Five scandal. They sent out a memo comparing the "more than 40" articles that the New York Times has written about Obama's "life, his religion, his childhood, his politics, his time in the state senate, his time in the U.S. Senate, his family, his religion, his friends, his fundraising and all other manner of associations" to the 0 articles they've written about McCain's incredibly questionable relationship with Charles Keating Jr., former chairman of the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. The Senate Ethics Committee accused McCain and 4 Democratic senators (this is how McCain views bi-partisanship) of interfering with an investigation into Keating's company.