Saturday, October 4, 2008

Quote of the Day, Civil War edition

"Seriously Sarah, just leave me out of this. I fought hard and I loved those men of the Potomac. I know from strategies that work and strategies that keep you on a goddamned bloody lane years longer than you need to be. You’re on the wrong side of history here, just like me. You’re running against goddamned Abe Lincoln. You can’t win this and you shouldn’t."

--General George B. McClellan, responding to Sarah Palin after she used his name during the VP debate segment on Afghanistan.

"I'm a Maverick, and I May Not Answer the Questions Tonight"

For your Saturday early evening viewing pleasure:

Midday Roundup

Not a whole lot going on today, but like always here are a few tidbits to muddle through.
  • Barack Obama's Campaign for Change is headed back to Indiana. The details:
    Obama's campaign said Friday that Obama would appear at a rally at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

    The planned stop _ Obama's second visit to Indiana since the Democratic National Convention and his sixth since May _ was set for one day after Tuesday's second presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
  • Be sure to stop by the Statehouse this Wednesday to listen in on what should be a no frills showdown between Hoosier lawmakers and the petroleum industry. The IndyStar has the story:
    A commission made up of Indiana House and Senate members plans to hold a hearing at the Statehouse Wednesday to examine gasoline pricing policies in Indiana.

    The Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy is inviting representatives of the petroleum industry, local distributors, consumers and the state attorney general, who investigates consumer complaints. The public can also attend the meeting, although the agenda states that testimony will only be taken from those invited.
  • Despite an insistence on avoiding Indiana at all costs-- returning only to troll for votes after your campaign begins to spiral into oblivion-- John McCain and his Indiana devotees are as clueless as ever. Proof:
    McCain Indiana campaign co-chairman Luke Messer said the McCain campaign plans to add paid staff around the state next week. He said the campaign would place tens of thousands of yard signs and work to knock on more than 100,000 doors.

    ‘‘You can never take anybody's vote for granted, and John McCain has known all along that you have to work to win the vote of every Hoosier,'' Messer said.

Mitch Daniels' Silver Bullet

Great picture courtesy of Marti.Abernathey over at Blue Indiana. Pretty much sums up JLT's demise unfortunately.

Friday, October 3, 2008

McCampaign Implosion: Michigan Pullout a Mistake Says Sarah Palin

With news that the McCain campaign has all but given up in Michigan-- pulling out to focus resources elsewhere, Indiana included-- welcoming signs are emerging that all but spell out a complete GOP implosion over the newly adopted electoral strategy. The Political Wire has the story:
In an interview with Fox News, Gov. Sarah Palin criticized Sen. John McCain's decision "to pull campaign resources out of Michigan, saying she and her husband Todd would 'be happy' to campaign in the economically distraught battleground state."

Palin said that when she read the news, she "fired off a quick e-mail and said, 'Oh come on, do we have to?'"
Its sad to admit, but Palin is right. Had McCain chosen a viable running mate he would have been afforded the more logical move of sending his vice-president stumping across Michigan, effectively saving the cash but not abandoning presence. Nevertheless, his concession is but another in a long line of demonstrations that show what little faith he places in his own vice-presidential selection.

Thus, as chances for success continue to slim for republicans, you have to wonder how close this race would be right now had McCain chosen Michigan surrogate Mitt Romney instead. Thankfully its a moot point now, and much to our enjoyment McCain is forced to sit back and watch as like Sarah Palin, his electoral math disappears when the going gets tough.

Quotes of the Day, unemployment edition

"We've got the lowest unemployment rate in the Midwest! We're doing vastly better than any state near us. Four months ago, we were at what economists call "full employment", but I don't consider it to be full unemployment. We took a very hard hit in the RV industry with high gas prices."
--Gov. Mitch Daniels

"The unemployment rates are 2% higher then when Governor Daniels took office in January of 2005. That's not a very good record, and it's not a criticism of him, it's a criticism of the way he governs."
--Jill Long Thompson

Who's to believe? You tell me.

I just can't help but think Daniels' unemployment defense is reminiscent of a teenager arguing with his parents, "But Timmy's mom said its OK...."

Bailout Redux: Passes House, Indiana Delegation Split

The bill passed a House vote this afternoon with a final tally of 263-171. As far as Indiana's congressional delegation is concerned the breakdown is as follows:

In favor
Joe Donnelly, D IN-02
Mark Souder, R IN-03
Andre Carson, D IN-07
Brad Ellsworth, D IN-08

Visclosky, D IN-01
Steve Buyer, R IN-04
Dan Burton, R IN-05
Mike Pence, R IN-07
Hill, D IN-09

It's worth noting that Andre Carson was the only person to switch sides as a result of the bailout revisions.

Courtesy of the AP:
“This bill is not the bill that I or other Republicans would have chosen, but with a Democrat-controlled Congress, any bill must be a compromise. Possible failure of our economy was not an option.” — Rep. Mark Souder, Republican who voted for the bill.
“Something needs to be done to shore-up our financial markets, but without many substantive changes and $150 billion in additional spending — I don’t think this is the answer.” — Rep. Baron Hill, Democrat who voted against the bill.
“This crisis is a decade in the making. It is the result of cynical exploitation within an unregulated industry, and it should be addressed conscientiously and equitably. We should have considered all the viable alternatives to the bailout and deliberated the merits of each course of action in order to strengthen the banks’ balance sheets.” — Rep. Pete Visclosky, Democrat who voted against the bill.
“My number one priority is to protect our jobs and savings back home, and this bill presented us with the best chance of doing that. I did not take pleasure in voting for this legislation, but the choice before us was stark: either pass this rescue package or do nothing. Doing nothing would have cost us more jobs and billions in retirement savings.” — Rep. Joe Donnelly, Democrat who voted for the bill.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Post-Veep Debate Reaction

The overwhelming question coming in to tonight's debate centered around the notion of whether Sarah Palin is able to assume the responsibilities of the presidency should the need arise. And in all fairness I think she proved she is. She had no 'major' gaffes or stumbles and managed to speak passionately into the camera without abandoning the hockey mom persona she has taken such care to cultivate. Yet I argue, so what? For me the defining question shouldn't be whether she is able but whether she is qualified. And I think on that distinction, tonight's debate affirmed what we have all been saying so far-- she is not.

A few quick thoughts:
  • Gov. Palin on more than one occasion referred to Sen. Barack Obama as merely Barack and even once merely referred to him as Obama. I know this is petty, but a little respect while addressing a national audience never hurt anybody.

  • Her regurgitation of talking points was so repetitive and staged is was laughable. This was never more evident than in her multiple, "Oh I am glad you brought up _____" moments. She had a checklist, and doggonnit if a moderator was going to prevent her from getting through every note card put before her.

  • Joe Biden's refusal to correct Palin when she referenced General McClellan-- yes he's from the civil war-- instead of the correct General McKiernan, was subtly effective and provides fuel for the fire down the home stretch. Well played on his part.

  • I thought the most memorable segment of tonight's debate was the two minutes Biden devoted to the shredding of McCain's maverick status. Alas Palin's note cards didn't cover this so she was surprisingly at a loss for words.
WaPo's Eugene Robinson nails it:
Exactly an hour into the debate, Joe Biden began an answer by saying, "Facts matter, Gwen."

To him, maybe. To Sarah Palin, maybe not. The pattern, so far, has been one of Biden presenting facts and Palin countering with… saying stuff. Sometimes she throws in a fact, but mostly she seems to be offering a string of approximate policy positions, encomiums to the American spirit, disputed interpretations of Barack Obama's record and anecdotes from Alaska.
Maverick he is not:

Quote of the Day, cry-baby edition

"Because life isn't fair."

--Sen. John McCain, responding to a question of why Obama's poll numbers are rising as the economy sinks

Bayh and Lugar Support Revised Bailout Package

A revised bailout bill hit the Senate floor yesterday afternoon, where it passed with a not even close margin of 74-25. Both hoosier Senators opted to vote in favor of the pseudo-revised legislation, which diverged from its House counterpart in that it granted increased tax breaks for businesses and the middle-class while also raising the federal deposit insurance from $100,000 to $250,000. In statements to the press:

Evan Bayh
“The current proposal is no panacea. More difficult decisions lie ahead. But it is better than doing nothing, and that is the alternative.”
Richard Lugar
“The financial rescue legislation will restore credit flow to homeowners, businesses, farmers and all the people who, by the very nature of their businesses, need to borrow money to maintain their activity and keep employees.”
I think this is the first time I can truly agree with both of them.

"If we lose Indiana, we've already lost the election elsewhere"

We all have been ringing the bell on McCain's non-existent presence here in Indiana for some time now. Well it looks as if a national audience is catching on, with their electoral strategy analysis increasingly pointed towards Indiana as a huge McCain screw up. As Kos explains:
And what about Indiana? The McCain philosophy appears to be, "if we lose Indiana, we've already lost the election elsewhere". But suddenly, that's not necessarily the case. One can easily see Obama winning Indiana while losing Colorado, Florida, and Virginia. Yet thanks to myopic planning, McCain doesn't even have a single field office in the state. He has ceded Indiana to the Obama machine.
You have to love republican stubbornness.

Sarah Palin on the Supreme Court

More from the infamous Katie Couric interview:

COURIC: Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?
PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.
COURIC: the cornerstone of Roe v Wade
PALIN: I do. And I believe that --individual states can handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that.
COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?
PALIN: Well, let's see. There's --of course --in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are--those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know--going through the history of America, there would be others but--
COURIC: Can you think of any?
PALIN: Well, I could think of--of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.

I am speechless.