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September 15, 2008

Just When You Think McCain Has Hit Bottom
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 03:14 PM * 65 comments

…he breaks through the crust and keeps on going.

After a series of TV ads that are farragoes of shameless lying, Straight-Talk McCain has surpassed himself.

Let’s look at those ads, first. Three ads in two days, last week. The references are from Factcheck.org:

Belittling Palin?
A McCain-Palin TV ad accuses Obama of being “disrespectful” of Palin, but it distorts quotes to make the case.
McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding
Those attacks on Palin that we debunked didn’t come from Obama.
Off Base on Sex Ed
A McCain campaign ad claims Obama’s “one accomplishment” was a bill to teach sex ed to kindergarten kids. Don’t believe it.

You’d think that false, misleading, deceptive advertisements—in which McCain repeats smears that had already been discredited when Alan Keyes used them four years ago—would take the cake.

But now, here comes some frosting for the cake. From Crooks and Liars, today:

Rovian Push Polling In Florida Links Obama To PLO
By: Nicole Belle @ 9:00 AM - PDT

It is stories like this that make me weep for my country. When people so low, so completely divested of a moral compass, can impact an election to the detriment of the whole nation. John McCain knows only too well how these kind of sleazy, win-at-all-cost tactics work and should be the FIRST person to stand up and speak against them.

Key West resident Joelna Marcus received a phone call today. She was asked if she is Jewish, and she replied in the affirmative.

She was asked if she was religious.

She was then asked if her opinion of Barack Obama would change if she knew that Obama had given lots and lots of money to the PLO.

There are no perjoratives strong enough to describe the kind of slimeball that would do this.

Comments on Just When You Think McCain Has Hit Bottom:
#1 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:30 PM:

Maybe next McCain can circulate rumors that Barack Obama has fathered a black child.

#2 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:35 PM:

I followed the link and couldn't find where this story was first published

#3 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:38 PM:

How does McCain do this and still maintain his reputation of being a man of honor and integrity? The best attack ad against McCain right now may be one that paints him as a whiny, dirty trickster who is plying the same old Republican tactics that they trot out everytime.

On one hand, yes, these are the actions of a desperate man. On the other hand, these actions have a disturbing tendency to work.

I hope the public sees them for what they are this time and they backfire. However, this may only happen if the Obama campaign outs out repeated that the McCain campaign lies, then whines about it when they get caught.

#4 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:40 PM:

a) I heard a report this morning on the radio when I was half-asleep still, that Karl Rove publically said that McCain ads were telling falsehoods!

b) I want to know if the executives in that federal office in Denver that overseeing Mining and oil and such and is supposed to collect fees from the mineral and petroleum industry for their removal of resources from federal lands, got appointed by the person who is still occupying the postion of President of the United States of America.... For those unaware, there is a sex and drugs etc. giant corruption scandal that the lid below off of within the past couple weeks, following investigation of complaints by GSA (permanent civil service) workers back in 2006 about corrupt officials at that office.

And do any of John McCain, Sarah Palin, and or Ted Stevens (whom Palin managed soft money campaign campains for... though when it because political expedient to cut ties with Sen Steven, Palin shoved him out the rear of the plane sans state parachute) have ties to any of the indicted folks?

#5 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:42 PM:

Why don't his supporters understand that someone who'll lie like that is not your friend and never will be? Why do they think he's on their side?

#6 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:45 PM:

The bigger the lie, the easier it is to swallow - does that even begin to describe McCain and his minions?

I think that guy leaves a trail of slime behind him wherever he goes.

#7 ::: JJ Fozz ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:45 PM:

The bigger the lie, the easier it is to swallow - does that even begin to describe McCain and his minions?

I think that guy leaves a trail of slime behind him wherever he goes.

#8 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 03:53 PM:

Well, now we know what someone who's sold his soul to the Devil looks like.

#9 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 04:01 PM:

Here's the Rove quote:

"McCain has gone in some of his ads -- similarly gone one step too far," he told Fox News, "and sort of attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the '100 percent truth' test."

The Obama campaign immediately leaped on the quote.

"In case anyone was still wondering whether John McCain is running the sleaziest, most dishonest campaign in history, today Karl Rove -- the man who held the previous record -- said McCain's ads have gone too far," said campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor, in a statement sent to reporters minutes after Rove's on-air comments. Rove masterminded both of President Bush's successful White House bids.

And you thought that Rove had retired the prize.

#10 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 04:02 PM:

Oh, come on, Teresa. They see him as a tricky character who's giving that liberal nigger city boy what-for, and they think that's pretty cool. They don't even consider that McCain wouldn't be on their side -- nobody outside their own kin is really on their side anyway, but McCain's close enough they derive some satisfaction from it.

They're never ever ever going to expect anything from Washington. But they do appreciate putting one over on the city boy, especially if he's black (sort of a two-in-one bonus prize).

That's why the Republicans will always get their votes. They just don't care about normal issues, don't expect benefits from the government (but sure aren't going to turn any down if they score some) -- all they care about is some little thing that can give them some pride or entertainment.

By and large they don't pay much taxes, because they don't have much money. They resent like hell every penny they do pay -- but it's never going to break them anyway, so it's just a game.

I know and you know it's chickens voting for Col. Sanders -- but they honestly don't care. Really.

The only way you can get to them is to make them feel part of your America. Liberals don't do so well on that, and there's a century or more of history to break down. I don't see it happening soon.

But -- Indiana is a swing state! So this view is clearly not 100% accurate. My father is voting Obama. !!! So ... I dunno, but I hope I've answered your question, a little. Every time I articulate it I feel as though I edge it a little closer to being comprehensible.

#11 ::: edward oleander ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 04:18 PM:

It's so nice to see Republican'ts fighting... they're so good at closing ranks we just don't see it that often...

Bush must be really pissed off at McSame about some perceived snub... Rove is well trained and never barks unless his master lets him...

#12 ::: kouredios ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 04:18 PM:

At least Obama isn't ignoring it, like Kerry tried to do. It's difficult to confront the lies in the right tone, so that one doesn't sound whiny, but I think this ad does it.

#13 ::: Syd ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 04:31 PM:

I am appalled, but not at all surprised, since I keep hearing/seeing comments that a good portion of Obama's campaign funding is coming from radical Islamists in the Middle East and elsewhere--this is just the flip side of those comments. McCain should be bombarded with questions about this tactic at every public appearance until he either denounces it and demands his supporters NOT do it (yeah, right), or he flat-out publicly agrees with it, at which point the media ought to pillory him as he deserves.

I know it isn't going to happen, but I can dream...

What I would like, though, is a simple, straightforward campaign-finances site where I can send the "OOOOhhhhOBAMAtakesEVILmoney!!!" dimwits. I tried factcheck.org, but they seem to be tracking only those donations of $200 and more, while the meme I've been seeing says the Evil People are sending lots of donations in the $10-$50 range. Does anyone have any suggestions?

#14 ::: mjfgates ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 04:54 PM:

Syd@13: It's illegal for a political campaign to accept money from non-US citizens, unless they're permanent residents. That's why, when you go to *any* candidate's website and try to donate, there's a check box you have to check that says something like "Yes, I'm a US citizen, and meet all these other criteria too."

Now, if your friends believe that there are THAT many millions of Islamic terrorists, legally living in the United States... I hope that they pay you for the time you spend delivering groceries to their basement fallout shelters.

#15 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:01 PM:

To the tune of Banned from Argo

Karl Rove rolled in to Washington
Paid well up by oil and greed,
His min'yons noting everything
On which to create screed

He ran campaigns on fear and lies
And broad election fraud
And now he's back attacking
With his fearsome cattle prod.

He's a brand for evil ev'rywhere
Brand for evil and he call opponents queer
He's put slime in the government
And kept them there for years,
And he's corrupted everything we hear.

Karl Rove he's full of dirty tricks
And loathsome evil games
And as regards his politics
He's due the viliest names.
He's outed covert agents
The laws he won't obey,
But as for getting sent to jail,
That has been no way.

He's a brand for evil ev'rywhere
Brand for evil and he call opponents queer
He's put slime in the government
And kept them there for years,
And he's corrupted everything we hear.


Now it's been near a decade
Since he put George Bush in pow'r
And everything in this country
Has gotten very sour,
And John McCain and Sarah Palin
Running with his aid,
But somehow now Mister McCain
From Karl Rove's flock has strayed

He's a brand for evil ev'rywhere
Brand for evil and he call opponents queer
He's put slime in the government
And kept them there for years,
And he's corrupted everything we hear.

It's very strange to see Karl Rove
Excoriate McCain
And stranger still as the slime brigade
Is spreading out the pain.
They're claiming that Obama give
The PLO support,
But the same now has Mister Rove
At McCain making sport!

He's a brand for evil ev'rywhere
Brand for evil and he call opponents queer
He's put slime in the government
And kept them there for years,
And he's corrupted everything we hear.

Now Karl Rove works for Fux TV
It's clearly known his side,
And where he is there always is
A slime trail mile-wide
No sorry 'bout dishonor and the wreckage and the fuss
And one sure thing that the sane all know,
He still is fucking us!

He's a brand for evil ev'rywhere
Brand for evil and he calls opponents queer
He's put slime in the government
And kept them there for years,
And he's corrupted everything we hear.

#16 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:15 PM:

Oh, wow

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/9/14/103042/902/965/597033

Rally in Alaska of women who do NOT want McCain in the White House and Sarah Palin as his heir apparent....
Signs displayed include:
Bush in a skirt
Pitbulls make poor Diplomats
McCain/Palin - Incontinence and Incompetence
Blink before going to war
McCain/Palin - A Blizzard of Lies
McCain/Palin - Unstable and Unable
Bristol Got to Choose - Why Don't We?
Hockey Mom for Obama
Keep your laws off MY body
Vote Issues, Not Gender
Sarah Palin - Fundamentally Wrong
Wrong Woman, Wrong Message
Blind Ambition Tour
Huskies for Obama
Pie

#17 ::: Mike ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:21 PM:
Why don't his supporters understand that someone who'll lie like that is not your friend and never will be? Why do they think he's on their side?

I think it's due to the common misinterpretation of Darwinism that Nature favors the dominance.

Stephen Gould summed up Darwinism as that if Nature intends anything, it intends diversity. But Darwin misapplied a phrase in one of his chapters titles that had become common in his time, "survival of the fittest." This led people to infer that evolution concluded that the dominant have an evolutionary edge over the dominated.

Bush/Cheney 2004 could sum up it's position as "we know we are strong from our domination" -- and McCain/Palin 2008 are trying to sell what they've seen work before again John Kerry, who issued no definable alternative.

So, whether McCain's supporters understand that he is not their friend and never will be -- and if he's even on their side -- never even enters into consideration. If the republicans sell themselves as Strong™ then it's their job to keep up with the republican power-structure or die trying.

#18 ::: Tracey ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:21 PM:

Huh. I got that PLO phone call during the primaries for our state.

I hung up on the campaigner.

#19 ::: John L ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:25 PM:

When McCain was on The View last week, the women on the show raked him over the coals repeatedly for sponsoring those lies masquerading as campaign ads. He sat there and repeatedly said they were the truth and he stood behind them.

ISTM that McCain's reached the point where he'd rather sell his soul than not win the Presidential campaign. His campaign staff must have realized that the people he's aiming at with those ads are more than willing to believe anything about Obama, and all he has to do with undecided voters is get one ad to stick in their minds...

Geez, that "original maverick" ad is running right now. At least that tells me that he feels NC isn't a state he can safely consider "his" this year.

#20 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:29 PM:

Can't we start a rumor that McCain survived captivity in Vietnam by eating his fellow prisoners?

No? C'mon, just a little?

Hmmph. Sometimes it sucks to be the good guys. *pouts*

#21 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:31 PM:

Tracey: I'd make them talk. I'd drag out the conversation as long as possible (claiming to be an interested swing voter).

That means at least a few minutes that person isn't calling more people.

If I can drop a shoe in that sort of machine, I will.

#22 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:32 PM:

On Friday, I was in a movie theater waiting for the show to start, chatting about the campaign with some friends. A woman sitting behind us invited herself into our conversation to ask how she could check out allegations that Obama had sexually assulted a minor that she had been emailed.

We suggested that she do a web search, but to be very careful about who she believes - calling out the freepers and the lgf people as examples of unrelaible sources. We also mentioned snopes as a good source of fact checking.

Still - allegations of sexual assault against a minor - I wonder who thought that one up. Our seat neighbor said this friend sent her lots of crazy emails from extremist Catholic sites...

#23 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:35 PM:

Larry 22: Still - allegations of sexual assault against a minor - I wonder who thought that one up. Our seat neighbor said this friend sent her lots of crazy emails from extremist Catholic sites...

Well, they'd know about sexual assault against minors, wouldn't they? And they know, none better, how the allegation can destroy a reputation.

#24 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:36 PM:

I'd ask who they are and how they got my name, and then call the state election authorities about fraud, and probably call the news media reporting fraud... and mention here, too...

It took years, but a Republican appartchik in New Hampshire actually served jail time for election interference for phone jamming a federal election--and one of the signs of the corruption and loathsomeness of the Republican Party, is that the Republican Party kept a job open and ready for him to step into, the day he got out of jail!

#25 ::: Seth ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:39 PM:

Obama wants kindergardeners to learn enough to avoid being sexually abused. McCain ridiculed that. What was McCain's real motive?

#26 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 05:57 PM:

McCain -- Keating 5, Savings and Loan Bailout... McCain 2008, responsible for repealing regulatory laws which held the commercial bankers in check, and which has results in the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac bailouts, the collapse of Bear Stevens with federal bailout, the collapse or Shearson Lehmann, the failure of various banks around the USA, AND millions of foreclosing mortgages.

And Palin raised oil and gas state taxes and expanded spending in Alaska, and would doom polar bears to extinction and kill off all the wolves in Alaska, shooting them from airplanes.

And her words and deeds match only when it's politically expedient.... she has an agenda which she's pushing and will take whatever part of it she can get--she's not "soft" on abortion, she isn't pushing is when she doesn't have the votes for passage of her religious credo to impose on others.

Obama wasn't in Congress and is blameless. McCain, however, voted for "free" market insanity.

#27 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:01 PM:

If this (via Jesus' General) is true, it's not clear what he wouldn't stoop to.
From the General: "At first blush, the news that John McCain helped his wife, Cindy, smuggle stolen charity drugs into the country sounds pretty bad. But you have to put it into perspective. Sen. McCain is a maverick who demands things to be done his way."

#28 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:04 PM:

I think it's on record that McCain's rich trophy wife was violating narcotics laws and stealing drugs, diverting them from legitimate use into her body.

It's sort of analogous to what Jeb Bush's daughter the druggie did, and didn't serve time for, either....

#29 ::: pedantic peasant ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:07 PM:

You've gotta love the oh-so-carefully chosen language. They don't say he's done it, just want to know how you'd feel if he had/did. Yeah, right.

I know it's wrong, and we're supposed to be "better" than that, but I'd so love to see someone endow some non-profit, fact checking machine that would play tit for tat. [Kind of a cross between politics and trolls.]

Call it "Keeping the Balance", or something like that, and every time a candidate, campaign, or independent group leveled a negative (but true) campaign ad, this group would fire back an equally true negative ad.

And when blatantly false crap like the PLO ad comes out, it will intiate an equally false ad campaign of the same sort, like "Would it change your mind if you knew McCain accepted huge campaign funds from Planned Parenthood" [or the NAACP].

#30 ::: Connie H. ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:19 PM:

Paula #28 -- there was just a huge article in the Washington Post about the real history of Cindy McCain's drug use. It turns out that it pretty much torpedoed the international charity she was running, so it's sad all around.

A Tangled Story of Addiction

#31 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:19 PM:

And Obama never called Sarah Palin a pig.

Even though she is one.

#32 ::: Kip Manley ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:26 PM:

tnh@5: Why do they think he's on their side?

I'd say, "Just because they hate the right people doesn't mean they like you," which is as close as I can get to making the corollary as mellifluous as the original, but I don't think they care whether or not he's on their side. They genuinely believe no politician can make it any better; every slick one of 'em's out for somebody what ain't them, and in the choice between voting for vague hope and spite, well, spite's warmer on a cold night.

#33 ::: Michael I ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:28 PM:

McCain seems intent on trying to disprove the old Wall Street axiom about the hogs always losing.

#34 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 06:39 PM:

But, the Sinclair, is it, media monopoly of radio and TV etc. and its ilk in the central and other parts of the USA, aren't going to let that sort of stuff be aired, are they? (They're the ones who were so blatant in propaganda against Sen Kerry four years ago and promoting continued tenure of I-refuse-to-type-the-name-of-the- villain.

Freedom of the press belongs to those who control the presses and information distribution systems....

#35 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 09:12 PM:

There was a short story a few years ago by Howard Waldrop, called "Calling Your Name." It ended up in a couple of Best-of-the-Year anthologies. There's this guy, see, and after getting a shock from a badly wired power tool he learns Richard Nixon was never president. And then it turns out the Beatles never got together. And then JFK turns up alive, married to Marilyn Monroe. And then even members of his family have different names. Little bits of his reality keep shifting away from him.

I feel like the guy in the story. Except instead of history, it's civilization that's shifting. It seems like every few days I wake up and find another thing that was once beyond the pale is now normal, and considered unremarkable by everyone except some blogs somewhere. The lies are a little more blatant. The standards of behavior and intellect we expect from our leaders are a little lower. And hardly anyone cares, or even notices. Maybe I'm misremembering, but twenty years ago, before George W. Bush lowered the bar, wouldn't somebody like Sarah Palin... who ran Alaska by filling important positions with old unqualified high school buddies and subadolescent sycophants who could in cold blood email things like "YOU ARE SO AWESOME"... wouldn't someone like this have been a national laughingstock?

I keep expecting, someday, to wake up and on my way to work pass a handcart selling baby seals on a stick, freshly clubbed, skewered while still writhing. And everyone will be like, where have you been, dude? Everybody's always eaten live baby seals for breakfast. It's how things are, in this great country of ours! And then they will splash me with the excess blood, laugh terrible shrieking laughs, and wander off to relieve themselves in the nearest park.

In the Waldrop story, the guy fixes things by going to the garage and giving himself another shock. I wish I could figure out how to fix my universe before Cthulhu worship somehow turns out to have been a mainstream religion all along.

#36 ::: Joel Polowin ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 09:20 PM:

Wesley @ 35: Don't be silly; baby seals are much too large to serve up like that. Kittens, maybe.

This stuff really is getting into reptilian kitten-eater territory.

#37 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 09:23 PM:

OOh -- I hope I get one of those calls. 'Cos I only have a cell phone, and then I'd have the number so I could report the person!

#38 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 10:35 PM:

TNH@5: because they don't think it's a lie?

One of the most appalling things I've recently heard anywhere was the voter discussion on ATC last Thursday; one of the people actually believed that Obama was a Muslim. Worst quote: "The only you stop being a Muslim is die."

#39 ::: Amanda ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 10:56 PM:

Wesley #35 -- Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. That captures exactly the way I've felt since November 8, 2000, when I woke up and we didn't have a president yet. It's been through the looking glass ever since.

(This has driven me out of lurkerdom -- I've never felt witty enough to comment before. Or now, really.)

#40 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 11:07 PM:

#38: Yeah, that quote grabs your attention. I suspect the reason she clings to that false belief so fervently is because it gives her a reason not to vote for Obama. It allows her to think she's not a racist. As you know Bob, racists are bad people and she knows deep in her heart she's not a bad person. Of course, not voting for someone on the basis of his religion isn't actually any less troubling than not voting for someone on the basis of his race.

She also inadvertently points out how effective McCain's tactics can be. (Yes, the lie about Obama's religion predates McCain. I'm talking about the tactic, not who used it.) The lie doesn't even need to be plausible. It just has to be something someone can hang on to in order to feel good about themselves.

That's McCain's tactic in a nutshell. Give the people who are uneasy about Obama a reason to vote against him that makes them feel good about themselves.

Is McCain pandering to racism? Absolutely. Of course, he claims Obama is playing the race card whenever Obama calls him on this.

The press, of course, simply repeats everyone's contentions taking everyone at their word. That's not news. That's a community bulletin board.

#41 ::: Jim Satterfield ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 11:15 PM:

Well, let's be honest. If you can be judged by the company you keep check out some of McCain's.

The Racists
The Virulently Hateful

#42 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: September 15, 2008, 11:43 PM:

This frantic desperation to defeat Obama on any terms, using any tactics, makes sense to me. There are too many people out there for whom a Republican victory is their best chance of evading criminal prosecution. What I don't understand is why voters buy it.

Michael Roberts (10), I know people who pay plenty of taxes and have above-average IQs, and they still can't figure it out.

Isn't there a chapter about this in Life 101? If a rock-and-mineral dealer stocks crab fire agate, dyed howlite, and strawberry quartz, you don't buy tektites from them.

#43 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 12:56 AM:

ADM: If they aren't spoofing the phone number. I keep getting calls from Fla, for a company which seems to be based in ND.

#44 ::: Leroy F. Berven ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 01:57 AM:

Wesley @ 35: Nominating the unqualified, or marginally qualified, for important government positions isn't exactly a new phenomenon.

Going back about four decades, we had the spectacle of three Supreme Court nominations in a row which received enough opprobrium (from both the Senate and the general public) to sink them: Abe Fortas for promotion to Chief Justice, followed (after Fortas' resignation from the Court) by Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell.

#45 ::: martyn ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 04:02 AM:

#25 - Seth - maybe you should check up on campaign donations from 'G Glitter'.

#46 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 05:18 AM:

> I suspect the reason she clings to that false belief so fervently is because it gives her a reason not to vote for Obama.

She could try the handy its-not-because-hes-black-excuse-wheel

#47 ::: Alan Braggins ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 05:24 AM:

> on record that McCain's rich trophy wife was violating narcotics laws and stealing drugs

"She has said she hid her addiction from her husband" and "Her husband was forced to admit publicly that he was absent much of the time she was having problems and was not aware of them" (from the Washington Post) isn't a great qualification for a president, but I think "McCain used his Senate staff and resources to cover up Cindy's drug use, and potentially to prevent the Drug Enforcement Agency from investigating his wife's theft of illegal prescription drugs" (from the Open Left story) adds a new level of low.

#48 ::: Nancy Lebovitz ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 06:33 AM:

#10 ::: Michael Roberts:

You're guessing about how a lot of people are thinking. You might be right about some of them, but McCain's also been doing a gung ho campaign about how awful it would be to doubt a veteran (yes, I know, Swift Boat and purple heart bandaids, but not everyone is fascinated by the news), and I think there's a heavy enough load of threatened shame there that some people fall for it.

#42 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden:
Isn't there a chapter about this in Life 101? If a rock-and-mineral dealer stocks crab fire agate, dyed howlite, and strawberry quartz, you don't buy tektites from them.

Um--I'm not into rocks and minerals. I wouldn't have known that any of those were fakes, though I found "howlite" to be an unlikely sounding name. It's real, though.

If rose quartz exists, why shouldn't there be strawberry quartz? A fast googling wouldn't have helped-- indications that it's a fake don't show up till the second page, though I admit that the problems with the other two minerals show up on the first page.

More generally, I don't know if Americans are more gullible than they used to be (what would be evidence?), but I wonder if generations of conventional schooling are part of the problem. I think the system teaches mental passivity.

I do think right-wing Americans are meaner than they used to be, and that might amplify the gullibility.

As for Rove, he might be speaking from actual disgust. People can have limits in the oddest places.

On the other hand, the paranoid reading might be that this is intended to undercut the Palin bump because Obama is supposed to be blamed for not being able to solve the mess created by the current administration.

#49 ::: Neil in Chicago ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 07:33 AM:

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?  UNDER A ROCK?
This is what the Republicans do in an election campaign.  Lie like hell.
And throw as many Democrats off the registration rolls as they can.  Starting a year or two in advance.  And use blatantly gimmicked voting machines.
Oh, and pander.

Anyone who has paid the least attention over the last decade(s) is not surprised at all.  The only surprise is that the professional inside-the-Beltway Democrats haven't figured it out yet.

Last spring, I was asking if Obama was really able to deal with exactly this.  It sure looks like not.

IT'S NOT ABOUT FACTS.
FACTS WILL LOSE YOU THE ELECTION EVEN WORSE.

#50 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 07:51 AM:

#49: Neil, please read this LJ entry. She puts it extremely well.

As far as I can tell, the only person expressing any shock, outrage, or surprise here is you. The rest of us are trying to understand why it works and how to counteract it.

In any case, it seems to me that Obama is dealing with this better than any previous Democrat. We'll see how it goes in the long run.

#51 ::: Wesley ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 08:25 AM:

#49: What I'm metaphorically hearing here is "Where have you been? Under a rock? People have always eaten baby seals for breakfast!"

See my earlier comment at #35 for the reference. This is exactly what I was talking about. Lying and voter suppression have been going on a long time, yes. What's new is that, where once the people who engaged in this stuff wanted deniability, it's now pretty much open and aboveboard, because everybody thinks it's normal. Open lying, voter suppression, and utterly ridiculously imbecilic candidates are now perfectly socially acceptable. And any moment of shock over the new normal will be met with "Where have you been?"

#52 ::: ADM ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 08:29 AM:

#43: Terry Karney -- Well ... bastards.

On another topic, a colleague told me about a truck she'd seen -- the owners had gone to the trouble of getting vanity plates that said NOBAMA, and the truck itself was covered with all the vicious lies out there -- especially the Obama bin Laden crap. I didn't use to want a rocket launcher.

#53 ::: Jeff Heard ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 10:11 AM:

Are there any sources for this other than Crooks and Liars? It's so frustrating to have something that purports to be fact and be unable to use it as such for any purposes other than preaching to the choir...

#54 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 10:42 AM:

This is the highest McCain is ever going to be in the polls. Right now he's benefitting from all the positives of bringing Palin on board and flinging filth, but the negatives are yet to come.

They can whine all they want about how unfairly the media is ATTACKING poor Sarah, but the fact is, there's a lot there to attack. All her positives--photogenic, popular governor, "reformer", woman, etc.--are immediately obvious, and the benefits started accruing right away. However, she has substantial negatives too--cronyism, vendetta-holding, anti-woman policies, an insatiable love for federal cash--that will take a lot longer to sink in. Palin provided McCain with a big boost the day she was picked, but from now until election day, she's going to become a heavier and heavier anchor around his neck.

Not that he can afford the extra weight, either: he's got problems of his own. McCain was only ever a viable candidate as long as he could run against the Republicans, and his recent turn towards standard Republican smear tactics (while doing immediate damage to Obama) is shredding his aura of maverickiness like nobody's business. Karl Rove thinks he's lying too much. Fox News anchors are calling him out. And this new image of McCain has months to percolate through the public's consciousness. McCain is making Obama's job of tying McCain firmly to the failures of conservatism ridiculously easy.

The only hope Republicans have of winning this one is pervasive voter fraud. I can only cross my fingers and hope that Obama's much-vaunted ground-game is prepared to counter that.

/optimism

#55 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 11:50 AM:

#48 Nancy
They're no nastier than in the past, the difference is that where the likes of Illiam Paley and Walter Cronkite wouldn't dignify their position nad, Fux Noose can't get its maskirovans fast enough out to "report" on the slime and propagate and promote their nastiness in the name of profit and audience attraction.

Blood and circus media, and if there isn't enough blood, PAY people to make the sights and sounds more "exciting."

The first clue I had, was actually long ago, at a AFCEA military command, control, and communications conference in the 1979-1980 timeframe. There was a retired admiral who told me he crashlanded his plane between two trees for a bribe of $25 from Edward R. Murrow long long before....

#56 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 12:17 PM:

Palin--former marijuana smoker/toker "when it was legal in Alaska" (and I personally expect, before then....)
o Eldest child, the one in the military, apparently had booze and drug abuse issues, prior to being enlisted in the military apparently at least in part in hopes of cleaning him up/drying him up
[This is legitimate, since Palin is extolling her son's military service as evidence of her fitness as a parent/person for responsibility and motiviting people]
Oldest of daughter, has apparently had booze and drug abuse issues, as minor child. [again, legit because Palin is promoting herself as Good Parent etc.]
Oldest daughter is a pregnant minor--this indicates a failure of the family to inculcate her with effective values preventing pregnancy as a minor....
>
Biden: no media reports I've been seeing or hearing as anything except sober, dedicated, responsible, and devoted to his family members
o No reports of drug or alcohol abuse in his offspring
o at least one offspring service in a responsible position in the Guard, being activated and sent overseas
> Sen McCain -- substantiative history of alcohol abuse/party boy irresponsible behavior while at US Naval Academy, as a young officer, and once back in the USA after repatriation from the Hanoi Hilton.
o Second wife has history of controlled drug abuse and lawbreaking to obtain drugs to abuse
o No reports I've heard of offspring being drug, licit, controlled drug, or illicit drug abuse
>
Sen Obama--reputed history of drug abuse as a young man, none as an adult college graduate and beyond
o Children too young to have easy access to drug (in retrospect, some of the kids I was in grade school with likely were drug users!)... but there are kids that age that are junkies, and even dealers.... no reports that the Obama children are anything other than sober responsible kids with lots of parental concern and attention focused on their well-being.

Bottom line--Obama may have had a wild youth, Palin had a wild youth and as an adult was toking, McCain's had boozer problems far into adulthood, Biden's apparently been sober at least his entire adult life.

Regarding offspring, Palin failed as a parent in leadership regarding proper social behavior. Biden and McCain seem to have been much more responsible and/or lucky as parents, and Obama's parenting appears to be very responsible, there are no reports of his kids being behavior problems.

#57 ::: cajunfj40 ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 02:02 PM:

ADM #52:

On another topic, a colleague told me about a truck she'd seen -- the owners had gone to the trouble of getting vanity plates that said NOBAMA, and the truck itself was covered with all the vicious lies out there -- especially the Obama bin Laden crap. I didn't use to want a rocket launcher.

Pesky property destruction laws. My idea of registering "NOCAIN" and similarly populating the vehicle (definitely a rusty pickup truck - a Prius or similar would be ignored by the target audience as "not one of us") with all the truthful statements about McCain fails due to anti-stalking and anti-harassment laws. Following the NOBAMA truck around *everywhere* would get one in trouble, but could be fun. Bonus points for getting in front so the NOBAMA driver has to read the NOCAIN vehicle's rear-mounted themes. Double bonus if the rusty pickup is a fully-functional hybrid that gets better mileage than the competitor truck, but has zero functional drawbacks and can be maintained by the average rusty pickup owner.

I'd offer to do it myself, but I've not enough vacation time between now and the election to pull it off.

#58 ::: Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 04:28 PM:

Personal peeve. It's not maskirova, it's maskirovka.

To go with that the form would be, not maskirovins (charming as the symetry with Karl "Turdblossom" Rove is), but maskirovkiniki or, (in the singular) maskirovkinik.

For those who care, the cyrillic looks like this:

Maskirovka = Маскировка

Maskirovkinik = Маскировканик

Maskirovkiniki = Маскировканики

(the terminal a changes in the plural to attempt a transliteration of the vowel shift in the longer words).

#59 ::: Jon Marcus ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 05:17 PM:

"Just when you think McCain has hit bottom...he breaks through the crust and keeps on going."

Ah, so that's what they meant by "Drill, Baby, Drill."

#60 ::: Constance ::: (view all by) ::: September 16, 2008, 06:12 PM:

It may be that Black Monday* is going to take out the Mcpln junta. I heard public radio figures who I have heard get tough only with dems or anyone who disagreed with the reThug party lines for year, whether torture, lying, shredding the Constitution, you name it -- yelling at financial officers who insisted that the worst thing that could happen re the crash of the U.S. economy is to put in federal regulation and oversight and standards. The only thing that could work is -- why we didn't we think of this? -- allow the industry to self-regulate and perform oversight.

Ashbrook went ballistic. "That's the policy that was in place! Why should the American people put up with more?"

Because, um, it seems that when "your house is foreclosed on it doesn't affect the national or global economy, but if Lehman isn't bailed out the whole thing will go." Or something like that.

Ashbrook went crazy -- for him, anyway. He's always fawned on these people.

I thought, ay-up. This guy's whole retirement got wiped out today."

Even those who were looting us are now scared it looks like. They finally lost some wealth.

Another one of them baldly stated that the mcPln economic policies were -- I kid you not -- "lipstick on a pig".

Love, C.

*yesterday's Lehman Bros. + AIG, etc.'s assets dissolving like the sugar cubes they were and the stock market's fall (September 15, 2008, for those of us who may have been flying back from South America or something (that was my husband).

#61 ::: heresiarch ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2008, 07:19 AM:

Following up on 54, Conservatives Turn on McCain-Palin.

Also, Gallup daily poll shows McCain's post-convention lead to be gone. We are exactly where we were pre-Palin/Biden/lipstick/etc., and McCain's got a new reputation as a liar and a Wall Street brought to its knees to deal with.

#62 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2008, 06:35 PM:

Okay, source of the push-poll revealed. It was the Republican Jewish Coalition.

#63 ::: miriam beetle ::: (view all by) ::: September 17, 2008, 06:47 PM:

jim,

Okay, source of the push-poll revealed. It was the Republican Jewish Coalition.

ugh. shanda-fur-de-goyim time again, is it?

#64 ::: Gabrielle ::: (view all by) ::: January 07, 2009, 12:56 PM:

Once more I say, he's full of shit.

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