The Daily Whim

The Daily Whim


The Whistleblower Who Exposed Warrantless Wiretaps“President Bush condemned the leak to the Times as a ‘shameful act’” but to me, he sounds like a true patriot.

That whole anti-American, friend-to-the-terrorists thing about President-elect Barack Obama? Never mind.Just a few weeks ago, at the height of the campaign, Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota told Chris Matthews of MSNBC that, when it came to Mr. Obama, “I’m very concerned that he may have anti-American views.” But there she was on Wednesday, after narrowly escaping defeat because of those comments, saying she was “extremely grateful that we have an African-American who has won this year.” Ms. Bachmann, a Republican, called Mr. Obama’s victory, which included her state, “a tremendous signal we sent.”

McCain Campaign Spends $14,000 on makeup for McCain and $150,000 on Palin’s wardrobe — I’m so very glad we no longer live in a political world (or recessionary times) where politicians get criticized for getting $400 haircuts, because in that world, McCain would be shredded for 14 grand in makeup. Nevermind $150,000 in clothes for his running mate (that’s three times the US median annual household income) for 2 months of campaigning (that’s $2,500 per day times 60 days). And Ms. American Populist didn’t spend it at a rural Wal-mart or Target, either. It was in the Big City, at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.

White supremacists target middle AmericaDerek Black, left, gets help from his father, Don, on his Internet radio show Sunday in Lake Worth Fla. Don Black is a former Ku Klux Klan leader, and Derek holds a seat on the Palm Beach County, Fla., GOP committee.

Unleashed, Palin Makes a Pit Bull Look TameWorse, Palin’s routine attacks on the media have begun to spill into ugliness. In Clearwater, arriving reporters were greeted with shouts and taunts by the crowd of about 3,000. Palin then went on to blame Katie Couric’s questions for her “less-than-successful interview with kinda mainstream media.” At that, Palin supporters turned on reporters in the press area, waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. Others hurled obscenities at a camera crew. One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

Bush Administration Adds Over $4 Trillion To National DebtIt’s the biggest increase under any president in U.S history. On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

Lesson From a Crisis – When Trust Vanishes, WorryIn 1929, Meyer Mishkin owned a shop in New York that sold silk shirts to workingmen. When the stock market crashed that October, he turned to his son, then a student at City College, and offered a version of this sentiment: It serves those rich scoundrels right. A year later, as Wall Street’s problems were starting to spill into the broader economy, Mr. Mishkin’s store went out of business. He no longer had enough customers. His son had to go to work to support the family, and Mr. Mishkin never held a steady job again. “We are facing a major national crisis,” as Meyer Mishkin’s grandson says. “To do nothing right now is to do what was done during the Great Depression.”

Freddie Mac Money Trail Catches Up With McCainBut the payments to [campaign manager Rick] Davis’s firm, Davis Manafort, are especially problematic because he requested the consulting retainer in 2006 — and then did barely any work for the fees […] Freddie Mac also had no dealings with the lobbying firm beyond paying monthly invoices — but it agreed to the arrangement because of Davis’s close relationship with McCain, the source said, which led top executives to conclude “you couldn’t say no.”

Hugh Hewitt’s Memo To House Republicans — Wow, it’s a Red Letter Day … Hugh actually makes sense.

McCain Meltdown Moves To Mississippi“It just proves his campaign is governed by tactics and not ideology,” said Republican consultant Craig Shirley, who advised McCain earlier in this cycle. “In the end, he blinked and Obama did not. The ‘steady hand in a storm’ argument looks now to more favor Obama, not McCain […] My guess is that plasma units are rushing to the McCain campaign as we speak to replace the blood flowing there from the fights among the staff.” Adding to the rocky perception was a McCain campaign web ad released this morning declaring “McCain Wins Debate!” — put out even before the candidate had announced he was planning to debate.

Blizzard of Lies“Did you hear about how Barack Obama wants to have sex education in kindergarten, and called Sarah Palin a pig? Did you hear about how Ms. Palin told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ when it wanted to buy Alaska a Bridge to Nowhere? These stories have two things in common: they’re all claims recently made by the McCain campaign — and they’re all out-and-out lies […] How a politician campaigns tells you a lot about how he or she would govern.”

She was for it, before she was against it; but still claims she said “no thank you”“We need to come to the defense of Southeast Alaska when proposals are on the table like the bridge,” Gov. Palin said in August 2006, according to the local newspaper, “and not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that’s so negative.” […] And while she did take part in stopping the project after it became a national scandal, she did not return the federal money. She just allocated it elsewhere. That’s the most amazing part to me … she claims she finally said “no thank you” to this waste of money … and then she kept the money!!!

A Web Developer’s Analysis of our Presidential Choices“The choice is clear: a Microsoft-supported, business-as-usual site that clings to last decade’s HTML standards? Or an Open Source-powered site, that not only does a better job adhering to standards but embraces change, transparency, and clear communication?” For example, compare 404 pages: Obama vs. McCain. Later: CSS Crimes! My eyes!

Cindy McCain’s Elitist Wardrobe“One of the persistent memes in the Republican line of attack against Barack Obama is the notion that he is an elitist” … yet Cindy McCain appeared at the convention wearing a $3,000 Oscar de la Renta dress and a $4,500 Chanel J12 White Ceramic watch (not available at Wal-Mart)

A letter from someone who has known Sarah Palin since 1992“I am a resident of Wasilla, Alaska. I have known Sarah since 1992. Everyone here knows Sarah, so it is nothing special to say we are on a first-name basis. Our children have attended the same schools. Her father was my child’s favorite substitute teacher. I also am on a first name basis with her parents and mother-in-law. I attended more City Council meetings during her administration than about 99% of the residents of the city…” And he reports extensively on, not her family, not gossip, but her style of governing. Update:, Um, it’s she and her full email with Google-able name is here.

Why the media should apologize“We have asked questions this week that we should never have asked. We have asked pathetic questions like: Who is Sarah Palin? What is her record? Where does she stand on the issues? And is she is qualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency? We have asked mean questions like: How well did John McCain know her before he selected her? How well did his campaign vet her? And was she his first choice? Bad questions. Bad media. Bad.”

Rep. John Lewis: John McCain’s Wise Man?But even though McCain has now repeatedly cited Lewis as a role model and potential adviser, McCain has not established a relationship with the Georgia Democrat in the 22 years they have served in Congress together […] In response to McCain’s latest invocation of his name, Rep. Lewis said in a statement requested by Mother Jones, “I cannot stop one human being, even a presidential candidate, from admiring the courage and sacrifice of peaceful protesters on the Edmund Pettus Bridge or making comments about it.” But, he added, “Sen. McCain and I are colleagues in the US Congress, not confidantes. He does not consult me. And I do not consult him.

The corporate free ride“Here is a crazy idea to address the United States’ gaping fiscal deficit: Persuade corporate America to start paying taxes. […] It is a uniquely American paradox. This country’s corporate tax rates are among the highest in the industrial world, yet the taxes that corporations pay are among the lowest. With an enormous budget deficit and pressing demands for better health care and other social programs, America can no longer afford free riders.”

Most companies in US avoid federal income taxes — We The People are such suckers. “Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress. The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period […] More than 38,000 foreign corporations had no tax liability in 2005 and 1.2 million U.S. companies paid no income tax, the GAO said. Combined, the companies had $2.5 trillion in sales. About 25 percent of the U.S. corporations not paying corporate taxes were considered large corporations, meaning they had at least $250 million in assets or $50 million in receipts.”

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