Friday, October 03, 2008

DoD funds next wave of Operation Happy Talk

The Defense Department will pay private U.S. contractors in Iraq up to $300 million over the next three years to produce news stories, entertainment programs and public service advertisements for the Iraqi media in an effort to "engage and inspire" the local population to support U.S. objectives and the Iraqi government.
The new contracts -- awarded last week to four companies -- will expand and consolidate what the U.S. military calls "information/psychological operations" in Iraq far into the future, even as violence appears to be abating and U.S. troops have begun drawing down.

The front page of the Washington Post this morning tells you that DoD is pushing a new wave of propaganda. The above is from Karen DeYoung and Walter Pincus' "U.S. to Fund Pro-American Publicity in Iraqi Media" and let's note this part as well:

The Army's counterinsurgency manual, which Gen. David H. Petraeus co-wrote in 2006, describes information operations in detail, citing them among the "critical" military activities "that do not involve killing insurgents." Petraeus, who became the top U.S. commander in Iraq early last year, led a "surge" in combat troops and information warfare.

Apparently those old enough to remember the human and cultural crimes of a past 'counter-insurgency' (Vietnam) are too vested in the campaign of Barack Obama to call this crap out. "Counter-insurgency" is vile and disgusting. It is an abuse of the social sciences as well as a crime against humanity. It's a damn shame that uninformed people -- such as 'folk singers' -- felt the need to make endorsements in this election cycle because all they've done is destroyed their own reputations. A younger person could get away with it. But those who remember how "counter-insurgency" was used in Vietnam? No excuse. They need to drop their peace poses, they need to drop the idea that they don't play 'party politics' and they always call out truth regardless of where it lands.

In terms of the latest wave of propaganda, if you're new to the topic, Borzou Daragahi and Mark Mazzetti's "U.S. Military Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press" (Los Angeles Times) covered another wave in November 2005:

As part of an information offensive in Iraq, the U.S. military is secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq.
The articles, written by U.S. military “information operations” troops, are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Many of the articles are presented in the Iraqi press as unbiased news accounts written and reported by independent journalists. The stories trumpet the work of U.S. and Iraqi troops, denounce insurgents and tout U.S.-led efforts to rebuild the country.

Scott Peterson's "An uncertain future for the Sons of Iraq" (Christian Science Monitor) covers the 'handover' that took place Wednesday:

Fresh concern is washing over Iraq of a new wave of insurgent violence as the bands of mainly Sunni Muslim Iraqis trained, armed, and paid by the US military to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq are now coming under the control of a skeptical Shiite-led government.
While the group called the Sons of Iraq (SOI) has been critically important in improving security, the US military and many leaders within the SOI worry that their foot soldiers -- many of them ex-insurgents -- will simply return to their old ways if they are not paid or brought into Iraq's official security forces.
"If the government doesn't accept them, most will join [insurgent] groups, and they will restart their activities stronger than before," says Khalid Jamal, an SOI leader in Baghdad. "That will make Iraq return to zero."

On Democracy Now! today, a vice presidential debate is offered between Matt Gonzales (Ralph Nader's running mate) and Rosa Clemente (Cynthia McKinney's running mate). The exchange on prison reform may be the closest the two come to "testy."

Cynthia McKinney is the Green presidential candiate and has the following upcoming appearances:

Cynthia McKinney to appear on NPR shows
Thursday, 02 October 2008 16:30

Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney is scheduled to appear on two nationally broadcast shows on National Public Radio (NPR) this month;
Wednesday, October 22
Talk of the Nation
NPR Radio, Washington, DC
2:40 pm EST

Saturday, October 25
NPR News
Weekend Edition Saturday
Scott Simon, host
8:10 am EST

Be sure to listen and tell your friends about these important opportunities to hear another point of view in this election from a progressive woman of color running on a third party ticket.

Cynthia is also announcing "Cynthia Pledges to use campaign to advance the preservation of democracy"

Thursday, 02 October 2008 05:21 Standing with Voters Pledge
I, Cynthia McKinney, pledge to use my candidacy, whenever feasible, to advance the preservation of democracy. I will officially challenge the results of the election as provided by law if the combination of election conditions, incident reports and announced election results calls into question the reliability of the official vote count. I will wait until all valid votes are counted and all serious challenges resolved before declaring victory or conceding defeat. I will involve my campaign volunteers in actions to enhance the accuracy and verifiability of the election in which I am a candidate. I will speak out publicly during the pre-election period about the importance of fair, accurate and transparent elections and about this pledge. I will designate a liaison between my campaign and "Standing For Voters" so that "Standing For Voters" can alert me to any red flags they are aware of regarding my election.

Marci notes this from Team Nader:

The Ifill Truth: ALL the Debates are Biased!


The Ifill Truth: ALL the Debates are Biased! .

The charade of the so-called Presidential Debates continues. Already a carefully orchestrated question and answer session controlled by the Democrat and Republican parties to the exclusion of other candidates, it now emerges that even the moderators may hold partisan bias. Headlines shot up around the country, raising the question of whether the debates can be considered legitimate if the moderator holds a bias. The question that Americans should really be asking, however, is not merely who's moderating, but rather, who is controlling the debates?

Gwen Ifill, of PBS, slated to moderate tonight’s Vice-Presidential Debate, has penned a book titled The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. One must instantly wonder how Ifill can call this the "Age" of Obama without having a serious predilection towards the outcome of these debates. Moreover, the book is set to be released around the time of the Inauguration, January, 2009, seemingly to usher in the "age of Obama." Columnist Michelle Malkin worries about Ifill’s ability to objectively moderate, but her criticism reveals deeper inadequacies within the system. "My dictionary, Malkin writes, "defines 'moderator' as 'the nonpartisan presiding officer of a town meeting.' On Thursday, PBS anchor Gwen Ifill will serve as moderator for the first and only vice presidential debate. The stakes are high. The Commission on Presidential Debates, with the assent of the two campaigns, decided not to impose any guidelines on her duties or questions. "

While it is unfortunate that Ms. Ifill may indeed have a pro-Obama bias while moderating, the bias exhibited against third party or independent candidates by the Commission on Presidential Debates is far greater. The 15 percent polling guideline set by the CPD is arbitrary and restrictive. Compare it to the 5 percent threshold set by the League of Women Voters, which ran the debates until 1988, when it declared, "The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates ... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public. (Full statement found here.)

Fox News Correspondent Greta Van Susteren went so far as to claim that Ifill’s authorship on Obama makes the debates "unfair" and that it should "create a mistrial." If that were so, then the CPD’s closed sponsorship of the debates should qualify them as a farce. The CPD likes to portray itself as non-profit and non-partisan, while in effect it serves as a mouthpiece for the two parties, screening questions, excluding other candidates, and ensuring that power will continue to be passed between the few. As Nancy M. Neuman, president of the League of Women Voters in 1988 warned, "under partisan sponsorship debates will become just another risk-free stop along the campaign trail."

And risk-free it is. By excluding candidates who don’t agree to couch their answers, who will tackle the hard questions, the "debates" become nothing more than a mutual interview. Ms. Neuman again warned of this outcome in 1988, stating: "it became clear that the idea of debates sponsored by the political parties had appeal with people who routinely squeeze all risk out of their candidates' appearances. They prefer instead to leave the American public at risk ... Throughout the negotiation, I asked that the campaigns open the door to the League. I was certain that the voters' interests would be better served if there were a third party in the room keeping campaign manipulations in check." Imagine what the debates would be like with not only a third party overseeing, but also participating.

Regarding tonight's Vice-Presidential debates, Mr. Nader offers a tantalizing picture: “If you wanted to see an exciting debate, something that got beyond personalities to real issues, then they should include Matt Gonzalez," I guarantee you that he would bring more to the discussion than Sarah Palin, and he would keep Joe Biden on his toes." As John Nichols of The Nation points out: "the independent candidate for vice president has credible experience helping to run a unit of government that is significantly larger than anyplace Palin has run ... if Palin and the Republicans want to suggest that the former mayor's municipal service is part of what gives her stature, Gonzalez might merit some attention -- including a place at the table in the vice-presidential debate. " Certainly Mr. Gonzalez has the experience and qualifications to be included the debates. That he will not be present tonight is only another way that the American people emerge the loser -- regardless of the winner of tonight’s charade.


Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and yesterday Nader - Gonzalez issued the following statement on the bailout:

Nader/Gonzalez Warn Against Blank Check Bailout

Thursday, October 2, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM


News Advisory
Contact: (Washington) Toby Heaps, 202-471-5833,


Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez vigorously oppose Bush's $700++ billion taxpayer bailout of Wall Street.

"This is not just a bailout of Wall Street" says Nader, "It's a bailing out of the bankrupt Republican and Democratic policies that have led us to where we are today with Senators John "Deregulation" McCain and Joe "MBNA" Biden leading the way.

Full Statement from Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez:

"The revised bailout legislation is the same $700 billion piece of burnt toast, with some window dressing, sugar coating, and $150 billion of pork tax cuts covering everything from casinos to coal.

But this isn't even the main course that Senate is serving up for Congress on Friday. The main course is on page 92 of the 451 page document:

BORROWING LIMITS TEMPORARILY LIFTED. - During the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2009, the Board of Directors of the Corporation may request from the Secretary, and the Secretary shall approve, a loan or loans in an amount or amounts necessary to carry out this subsection, without regard to the limitations on such borrowing under section 14(a) and 15(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1824(a), 1825(c)).

Translation: Bush, McCain, and Obama want Congress to co-sign off on the mother of all blank checks, paving the way for a sinking dollar and higher interest rates.

By bumping the FDIC's line of credit at the Treasury from $30 billion to infinity, the FDIC assumes fiat powers to bailout to its heart content, leaving the taxpayer to pay the bill. This unacceptable unlimited right to ransack taxpayers would last until 2010.

"The bailout ignores the needs of millions of swindled families facing foreclosure, and it squanders an opportunity to bring about real regulatory change, decisive shareholder power over their companies' bosses, and authentic taxpayer equity that would prevent economic crises like this from happening again. Wall Street's wildly overpaid bosses are addicted to speculative gambling with other people's money. When a drug addict is facing overdose, you don't give them more needles.

According to Richard W. Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: "The seizures and convulsions we have experienced in the debt and equity markets have been the consequences of a sustained orgy of excess and reckless behavior, not a too-tight monetary policy. In the end, we're going to have to deal with the underlying stock of housing."

"We need to protect homeowners and our neighborhoods first. That's why Nader/Gonzalez support introducing a law with a 5-year sunset clause that would provide homeowners facing foreclosure the right to rent to own their homes at fair market value.

"Wall Street is out of control. We need to bring some sense of accountability, transparency, and law and order back to Wall Street's crooks and speculators, or they will desperately seek socialism to bail out their criminal corporate capitalism, going again and again to the taxpayer trough in Washington DC each time. That's why Nader/Gonzalez support a Wall Street speculation tax, starting on derivatives, which would make Wall Street less like Las Vegas, and generate enough funds to more than eliminate the federal tax burden on the first $50,000 of income for every working American.

Click here for Nader's Ten Point Plan:



A visitor e-mails the public account to ask that we note this from Bob Barr's campaign:

BOTH Obama and McCain agree with Bush and push the bailout

October 1st, 2008 by Russ Verney

Yesterday I wrote you about Monday’s vote in the House of Representatives that killed the $700 billion big bank bailout. I warned that the Bush Administration in cahoots with both Senators McCain and Obama would come back with another attempt to bailout their friends on Wall Street.

The U.S. Senate has added more spending to the bill and it is being voted on today.

Yesterday, Senator McCain sent an email to his supporters scaring them with silly claims that college students won’t be able to get an education and that fast food restaurants won’t be able to remodel. Combine that with pressure from the White House and the titans of Wall Street and it is very likely the Senate will pass this bad-loan bailout unless they hear from you.

The media has noticed that Bob Barr is gaining in the polls as the only candidate who is standing up for taxpayers in this so-called crisis. Bob told viewers of CNN this morning that crowds on the campaign trail have grown in both size and enthusiasm.

Voters are finally getting it right. It is clear that only Bob Barr will bring real change to Washington. McCain and Obama are both beholden to their fat cat donors in corporate America. Only Bob Barr knows who he is working for.

To help Bob Barr continue to wage this battle against bailouts, he needs our support. To keep the campaign on the road and launch additional media efforts, I hope you’ll consider a gift to this campaign today
Any amount will help. To contribute, click here.


Bob Barr is the libertarian candidate and Wayne Root is his running mate.

Turning to public television, NOW on PBS offers:

[Streaming video of this program will be available online after broadcast]

This election year, the most crucial battleground states may fall far west of the Mississippi. Strategists say New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado are pivotal to Senator McCain's success, so how are these voters being courted?

This week, NOW on PBS travels to New Mexico to see how both campaigns are hoping to attract--and secure--first time voters on college campuses, as well as voters in New Mexico's large Hispanic population. It's clearly anyone's game—this southwestern state was won by fewer than 400 votes in 2000, and 6,000 votes in 2004.

NOW sits down with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, a supporter of Barack Obama and a former 2008 presidential contender himself, who affirms the political importance of the "New West."

"Had Kerry won those states [in 2004]," Richardson tells Maria Hinojosa, "even having lost Ohio, he'd be President."

Will the New West play a key role in determining the fate of the country?

On many PBS stations, NOW on PBS airs tonight -- check local listings for times and air date. And Bill Richardson's interview is online now in extended form. Also this weekend (and tonight on many PBS stations), Washington Week finds Gwen sitting around the table with four journalists including the AP's Charles Babington. (And for others, 'journalists' is being generous.) As noted in one of the highlights above, Gwen moderated last night's debate and you can be sure the debate will be among the topics discussed.

Last night Governor Sarah Palin debated Senator Joe Biden -- they are the GOP and Democratic vice presidential nominees respectively. Ava and I will be covering it at Third this weekend.

The John McCain - Sarah Palin campaign issued this statement regarding the debate:

Statement From Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker

ARLINGTON, VA -- McCain-Palin 2008 Communications Director Jill Hazelbaker issued the following statement on tonight's Vice Presidential Debate:

"Tonight, Governor Palin proved beyond any doubt that she is ready to lead as Vice President of the United States. She won this debate, putting Joe Biden on defense on energy, foreign policy, taxes and the definition of change. Governor Palin laid bare Barack Obama's record of voting to raise taxes, opposing the surge in Iraq, and proposing to meet unconditionally with the leaders of state sponsors of terror. The differences between the Obama-Biden ticket and the McCain-Palin ticket could not have been clearer. The American people saw stark contrasts in style and worldview. They saw Joe Biden, a Washington insider and a 36-year Senator, and Governor Palin, a Washington outsider and a maverick reformer. Governor Palin was direct, forceful and a breath of fresh air."

In addition, the campaign has rounded up pull quotes on Palin's performance in the debate last night:

ICYMI: "You Betcha Sarah Palin Can Debate"

What They're Saying About Governor Sarah Palin on Wash U. Debate: Volume 3

What They're Saying About Governor Sarah Palin on Wash U. Debate: Volume 2

What They're Saying About Governor Sarah Palin at Wash U. Debate

And we'll note this one (in full) because it includes Geraldine Ferraro in it (the first woman to be on the ticket of one of the country's two major parties -- Mondale - Ferraro in 1984):

What They're Saying About Governor Sarah Palin on Wash U. Debate: Volume 2

"She Killed. It Was Her Evening. ... 15 Minutes In, She Had Joe Biden On The Defensive On The Subject Of Obama And Taxes. ... She Killed"

The Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan: "She killed. It was her evening. She was the star. She had him at, 'Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?' It was very interesting to me, for Palin tonight, for an hour and a half, I think America saw her for a really long time, and she became a star probably on a new level. Gwen Ifill was not there for Sarah Palin. Joe Biden was not there for Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin was there with a camera. It was classic go over the heads of the media and everybody else, talk straight to the American people. She hit every populist chord. It is amazing to me that 15 minutes in, she had Joe Biden on the defensive on the subject of Obama and taxes. ... She killed." (NBC's "Vice Presidential Debate Coverage," 10/2/08)

NBC's Tom Brokaw: "I think they're whopping it up in Alaska tonight and all those parties across the country for the McCain campaign because I thought in terms of theatrics and personal style out there, you can see why she's such a successful politician in Alaska. ... And any question asked of her, she talked about John McCain's tax cuts, his record as a maverick, about his determination to reform what is going on and about energy independence. She had been called, as you know, the bumper sticker is coldest state, hottest governor. You saw some of that tonight." (NBC's "Vice Presidential Debate Coverage," 10/2/08)

"I Wanted My Granddaughters To Be Able To Look At This Debate ... I Wanted Them To Look At This Debate And See That A Woman Could Go Toe To Toe With Someone Who Has Had Tremendous Experience"

1984 Democrat Vice Presidential Nominee Geraldine Ferraro: "I really wanted her to get up there and do a good job, and I think she did. ... I think it was a good evening for -- certainly for Governor Palin. ... I think she showed she is certainly capable of going toe to toe with a man who is more than qualified to be vice president, if not president of the United States." (NBC's "Vice Presidential Debate Coverage," 10/2/08)

* Ferraro: "The thing about it is she held her own, and that for me, from a historic viewpoint, I wanted my granddaughters to be able to look at this debate -- I hope they're in bed right now. I wanted them to look at this debate and see that a woman could go toe to toe with someone who has had tremendous experience in the Senate and someone who is an incredible candidate for vice president of the United States. That to me is very very important." (NBC's "Vice Presidential Debate Coverage," 10/2/08)

MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "I think she's an extremely appealing politician. Her energy level was much better than Biden's. I think Biden lost a little speed there during the evening. I think she came across terrific in terms of presentation." (MSNBC's "Vice Presidential Debate," 10/2/08)

ABC's Diane Sawyer: "On the first go, you're right, I thought that Governor Palin, after a bruising time in the media, showed up not just with confidence, but cheerful confidence that might surprise a lot of people, talking about her personal issues ..." (ABC's "Vice Presidential Debate," 10/2/08)

"Sarah Palin Was Sensational Tonight ... I Think She Wiped Up The Floor With Joe Biden"

The Associated Press' Jim Kuhnhenn: "Under intense scrutiny, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin stood her ground Thursday night against a vastly more experienced Joe Biden, debating the economy, energy and global warming, then challenging him on Iraq, 'especially with your son in the National Guard.'" (Jim Kuhnhenn, "Palin Stands Her Ground In VP Debate With Biden," The Associated Press, 10/2/08)

* Kuhnhenn: "The Alaska governor also noted that Biden had once said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama wasn't ready to be commander in chief, 'and I know again that you opposed the move that he made to try to cut off funding for the troops and I respect you for that.'" (Jim Kuhnhenn, "Palin Stands Her Ground In VP Debate With Biden," The Associated Press, 10/2/08)

CNN's David Gergen: "She was spirited, she came out well, she came out strong." (CNN's "Debate Coverage," 10/2/08)

MSNBC's Pat Buchanan: "My take is Sarah Palin was sensational tonight. She not only met the expectations, I think she wiped up the floor with Joe Biden, quite frankly. She is personable, she is young, she's got a sense of humor...I think that she has done a sensational job and I think she as recaptured that magic she had out there at the convention." (MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," 10/2/08)

The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "She was most effective when she argued against Barack Obama ..." (Marc Ambinder, "Palin-Biden: First Take," The Atlantic's "Marc Ambinder" Blog,, 10/2/08)

The New York Times' Bill Kristol: "It was match point against Sarah Palin and she won the set and she kept the race alive." (Bill Kristol, Fox, On The Record, 10/2/08)

National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru: "Biden had a good start, but Palin was exceptionally strong." (Ramesh Ponnuru, "The Opening," National Review's "The Corner" Blog,, 10/2/08)

The New York Times' Peter Baker: "If the debate was the defining test this fall of Sarah Palin, she emerged from it largely unscathed." (Peter Baker, "Live Blog: St. Louis Showdown," The New York Times' "The Caucus" Blog,, 10/2/08)

* Baker: "[S]he came across as a forceful, articulate and well-prepared candidate, able to go toe to toe with an opponent who has been debating on the floor of the United States Senate for the past 36 years. She may not have had any breakthrough moments but she never stumbled in response to any "gotcha" questions and Joe Biden largely focused his attacks on John McCain, not her." (Peter Baker, "Live Blog: St. Louis Showdown," The New York Times' "The Caucus" Blog,, 10/2/08)

* Baker: "But she was aggressive and kept on the offense. Mr. Biden never seemed to rattle her. To be sure, he had some strong moments where he may have gotten the better of the argument on points, but she had a parry for every thrust..." (Peter Baker, "Live Blog: St. Louis Showdown," The New York Times' "The Caucus" Blog,, 10/2/08)

CNN's Bill Schneider: "Palin is going after Biden over his comments that the wealthy should pay more taxes as a patriotic move. The Alaska governor has come to this debate fully armed." (Bill Schneider, "Attack, Counter Attack," CNN's "Political Ticker" Blog,, 10/2/08)

NBC's Chuck Todd: "Governor Palin proved very adept at being a good debater. ... In many ways, she was a better surrogate for her top of the ticket than Joe Biden was for his. ... Governor Palin started this debate very strongly, I think." (NBC's "Vice Presidential Debate Coverage," 10/2/08)

The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes: "The moment in this debate when she knew how well she was doing, and was actually winning the debate came at 9:55 eastern daylight time and she said to Gwen Ifill the moderator, "can we talk about Pakistan, or rather can we talk about Afghanistan for a minute?". In other words she wanted to go back to one of these foreign policy issues. She knew that she passed the test that she could handle Joe Biden, and it was all about her as Mort said, and Bill said. This was not a debate where Joe Biden had to do much of anything, it was entirely a test of Sarah Palin, and she passed it." (Fred Barnes, Fox, On The Record, 10/2/08)

The Politico's Jonathan Martin: "She's sticking to her broader message, not getting caught up in a back-and-forth on policy that she can't win with Biden. it's all about energy, energy, energy." (Jonathan Martin, "Palin Doesn't Care What The Topic/Discussion Is (Cont.)" The Politico's "Jonathan Martin" Blog,, 10/2/08)

CNN's Bill Schneider: "Palin's primary strength is her outside of Washington status. She doesn't act like an insider, she doesn't talk like an insider, and a lot of voters may respond to that." (Bill Schneider, "Palin's Strengths," CNN's "Political Ticker" Blog,, 10/2/08)

The Hill's Walter Alarkon: "One theme Palin keeps hitting tonight is the idea that Biden and Obama are looking backward. After a riff by Biden on how McCain's policies are the same as President Bush's, Palin pounces. 'Say it ain't so, Joe,' she said. 'There you go again, pointing backwards. Now doggone it, let's look again and tell Americans what we plan to do for Americans in the future.'" (Walter Alarkon, "Liveblog: The Veep Debate" The Hill's "Briefing Room" Blog,, 10/2/08)

ABC's Rick Klein: "We knew this was coming -- attacking Obama by using Biden's own words. And the rest of the answer -- 'we're getting closer and closer to victory, and it would be a travesty' to quit now -- was very well put. 'Your plan is a white flag of surrender in Iraq,' she said." (Rick Klein, "Live Debate" Blog,, 10/2/08)

Meanwhile Team Obama appears more interested in grabbing more money. "Message from Joe: 'What they won't say'." I do like and know Joe and was willing to note some statement on last night's debate. The link is what a friend with the campaign is steering me to. I'm reading over the copy of it he's e-mailed me (with him still on the phone) and saying, "This isn't about the debate, this is begging for money." Too bad for Team Obama. If they'd had a statement praising Joe's performance, we would have noted it. Instead, they wanted to try and stick their hands in your pocket again. And now that I'm saying that (on the phone), I'm being told, "Wait, wait, there's another thing you can put up." No, I don't have all damn morning. That's what you wanted noted, you got your link. If it hadn't been a money grab, you would have got it posted in full. Without comment or snark on my part. Too bad.

On the debate last night, Kat weighed in with "My focus group scores Palin the winner," Marcia with "My grandparents say Palin won (I agree)," Mike with "Why I think Palin won the debate" and Cedric's "Biden gets a big topic wrong" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! PRECONDITIONS THROWS JOE!" (joint-post). Rebecca focused on the independent presidential candidate last night with ''ralph nader, the lenny bruce of politics" while Ruth focused on the latest nonsense from Naomi Wolf, "Naomi Wolf needs to get medical help."

Added: Chuck Baldwin is running for president as well. He is the Constitutional Party's presidential candidate (and has Ron Paul's endorsement). His website has no new information. I forgot to check his site when I posted the above. The main page has things dated from September. Darrell Castle is his running mate.

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