Trick or Treat: Questions linger in last 4 days

While the kids are trick-or-treating for candy sometime today, the candidates will be trick-or-treating for votes. I will slip in delightful uses of the term “trick-or-treating” like five or six more times before we’re finished today.

Aside from the obvious stories of candidates now criss-crossing the country and deploying surrogates to all the swing states, many underlying stories have surfaced which beg further exploration.

First and foremost, I’ve been reading numerous items about McCain campaign bickering behinds the scenes concerning Gov. Palin’s role as the VP and whether she’s been helping or hurting the campaign. The Politico reports:

John McCain’s campaign is looking for a scapegoat. It is looking for someone to blame if McCain loses on Tuesday.

And it has decided on Sarah Palin.

In recent days, a McCain “adviser” told Dana Bash of CNN: “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone.”

Imagine not taking advice from the geniuses at the McCain campaign. What could Palin be thinking?

Also, a “top McCain adviser” told Mike Allen of Politico that Palin is “a whack job.”

Maybe she is. But who chose to put this “whack job” on the ticket? Wasn’t it John McCain? And wasn’t it his first presidential-level decision?

And if you are a 72-year-old presidential candidate, wouldn’t you expect that your running mate’s fitness for high office would come under a little extra scrutiny? And, therefore, wouldn’t you make your selection with care? (To say nothing about caring about the future of the nation?)

McCain didn’t seem to care that much. McCain admitted recently on national TV that he “didn’t know her well at all” before he chose Palin.

But why not? Why didn’t he get to know her better before he made his choice?

It’s not like he was rushed. McCain wrapped up the Republican nomination in early March. He didn’t announce his choice for a running mate until late August.

Wasn’t that enough time for McCain to get to know Palin? Wasn’t that enough time for his crackerjack “vetters” to investigate Palin’s strengths and weaknesses, check through records and published accounts, talk to a few people, and learn that she was not only a diva but a whack job diva?

But McCain picked her anyway. He wanted to close the “enthusiasm gap” between himself and Barack Obama. He wanted to inject a little adrenaline into the Republican National Convention. He wanted to goose up the Republican base.

And so he chose Palin. Is she really a diva and a whack job? Could be. There are quite a few in politics. (And a few in journalism, too, though in journalism they are called “columnists.”)

As proof that she is, McCain aides now say Palin is “going rogue” and straying from their script. Wow. What a condemnation. McCain sticks to the script. How well is he doing?

It irks me since if I was part of the campaign, I’d be asking staffers and advisers to at least shut up until this whole thing was over with.

Either way, there clearly has been some disagreement within the campaign over how Palin has been delivering her talking points and whether she’s a “team player,” so to speak. I don’t know if this means all that much, though if McCain loses on Tuesday, it will be the continue story line about a campaign which wasn’t well-organized. Then again, if he wins, we’ll hear about how well his campaign started working in the remaining weeks of the campaign.

The other lingering issue in the McCain campaign has to do with claims by Obama surrogates, mostly, that as Governor, Sarah Palin believed in “spreading the wealth” with oil contract royalties. The report from Yahoo News:

Obama wants to raise taxes on families earning $250,000 to pay for cutting taxes for the 95 percent of workers and their families making less than $200,000. “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” he told Wurzelbacher.

McCain said that sounds “a lot like socialism” to many Americans. Palin has derided the Illinois senator as “Barack the Wealth Spreader.”

But in Alaska, Palin is the envy of governors nationwide for the annual checks the state doles out to nearly every resident, representing their share of the revenues from the state’s oil riches. She boosted those checks this year by raising taxes on oil.

McCain campaign spokesman Taylor Griffin said Thursday that spreading wealth through Obama’s tax plan and doing it through Alaska’s oil-profit distribution are not comparable because Alaska requires the state’s resource wealth to be shared with residents, but it’s not taxing personal income.

THE SPIN:

“Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth. Joe Biden calls higher taxes patriotic,” Palin told a crowd in Roswell, N.M., and elsewhere. “But Joe the Plumber and Ed the Dairyman, I believe they think it sounds more like socialism.

“Friends, now is no time to experiment with socialism.”

In Ohio, she asked, “Are there any Joe the Plumbers in the house?” To cheers, she said, “It doesn’t sound like you’re supporting Barack the Wealth Spreader.”

McCain told a radio audience that Obama’s plan “would convert the IRS into a giant welfare agency, redistributing massive amounts of wealth at the direction of politicians in Washington.”

“Raising taxes on some in order to give checks to others is not a tax cut; it’s just another government giveaway.”

THE FACTS:

In Alaska, residents pay no income tax or state sales tax. They receive a yearly dividend check from a $30 billion state investment account built largely from royalties on its oil. When home fuel and gas costs soared last year, Palin raised taxes on big oil and used some of the money to boost residents’ checks by $1,200. Thus every eligible man, woman and child got a record $3,269 this fall.

She also suspended the 8-cent tax on gas.

“We can afford to share resource wealth with Alaskans and to temporarily suspend the state fuel tax,” she said at the time.

Much as Obama explains his tax hike on the rich as a way to help people who are struggling, Palin’s statement talked about the energy costs burdening Alaskans:

“While the unique fiscal circumstances the state finds itself in at the end of this fiscal year warrant a special one-time payment to share some of the state’s wealth, the payment comes at a time when Alaskans are facing rising energy prices. High prices for oil are a double-edged sword for Alaskans. While public coffers fill, prices for heating fuel and gasoline have skyrocketed over the last six months and are now running into the $5- to $9-a-gallon range for heating fuel and gasoline across several areas of the state.”

In an interview with The New Yorker last summer Palin explained that she would make demands of a new gas pipeline “to maximize benefits for Alaskans”:

“And Alaska we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

So is redistributing anything always considered socialism? You tell me. The only difference I do see, which needs to be recognized, is that Alaska is in a unique situation where a lot of things such as food and other necessities, cost much more because they need to be trucked in. However, could it be construed that some of what I pay at the pump here in Virginia gets “redistributed” to a household in Alaska? That, I suppose, is plausible. So this issue remains as a type of black eye on Palin’s claim about Obama the redistributionist. I guess the difference is that Palin taxed oil companies while Obama wants to tax individuals making over $200, according to Wednesday’s Obama-infomercial.

The McCain campaign isn’t the only side with unanswered questions or lingering criticism, the Obama campaign has a fair share as well, which I’ll delve into a bit right now.

First, the thing which has been all over the media, since the McCain campaign brought it up, is the video being held by the Los Angeles times allegedly showing Sen. Barack Obama attending a dinner and “toasting” Rashid Khalidi, the former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, an anti-Israel terrorist group. The LA Times acknowledged they have a tape, though they refuse to release it.

The report on this one from none other than the LA Times:

John McCain and Sarah Palin sharply criticized the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday for refusing to make public a video of a 2003 event at which Barack Obama paid tribute to a Palestinian scholar.

The Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees accused the newspaper of trying to protect their Democratic rival in the final days before Tuesday’s election.

Editors at The Times and the reporter who wrote an article in April about Obama’s connection to the Palestinian scholar, Rashid Khalidi, said they were ethically bound to abide by a promise to a confidential source not to share the video.

McCain’s spokesman had raised the issue of the video a day earlier, saying it might confirm Obama’s ties to “radicals” and show that, as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, he condoned anti-Israel rhetoric at a party for Khalidi, a friend.

The Republicans increased the pressure Wednesday, when both McCain and his running mate took up the call for The Times to release the video.

“Maybe some politicians would love to have a pet newspaper of their very own,” Palin said at a rally in Bowling Green, Ohio. “In this case, we have a newspaper willing to throw aside even the public’s right to know in order to protect a candidate that its own editorial board has endorsed. And if there’s a Pulitzer Prize category for excelling in kowtowing, then the L.A. Times, you’re winning.”

McCain said in a pair of radio interviews in Miami that he believed the video would show William Ayers, the onetime Weather Underground radical who later came to know Obama, at the same 2003 party. “Now, why that should not be made public is beyond me,” he said.

Inspired by commentators on the Internet and cable television, thousands of people e-mailed and phoned The Times to demand the release of the tape. Hundreds of others expressed support for the paper’s decision.

The controversy stems from an article by Times staff writer Peter Wallsten that the newspaper published on April 10, exploring Obama’s relationships with Palestinian Americans and Jews in Chicago. The article explained how Obama had managed to be held in high esteem by both groups. It described a party in 2003 for Khalidi, a renowned scholar on the Palestinians who in the 1970s had acted as a spokesman for Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organization.

Some participants at the event spoke sharply against Israel. One young woman accused the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of the Palestinians. Obama “adopted a different tone,” according to the article, “and called for finding common ground.”

The LA Times has cited the protection of it’s source, however, many have called on the Times to just release a transcript, if possible. Either way, it does not look like the Times is budging anytime before Election Day so this too will most likely go unanswered. If Sen. Obama is pictured praising Khalidi, especially considering the anti-Israeli statements being made, it could injure his campaign.

Another question surrounding the Obama campaign has to do with their abundant source of donations and where they’re coming from.

A report from Slate on why this remains an issue:

Barack Obama refuses to release the names of the 2 million-plus people who have given his campaign less than $200. According to campaign officials, it would be too difficult and time-consuming to extract this information from its database.

So how come we were able to do it in a couple hours? Not literally—we don’t have access to the campaign’s list of donors—but we created a database of similar size and format in a Web-ready file and posted it online.

But before we get into the technical details (though, if you’re with the Obama campaign and want to skip ahead, please do), it’s worth dwelling on the reasons for the Obama campaign’s reluctance to disclose this information. It can’t be legal: No law prevents Obama from releasing these names.

Politically, there would be several advantages in releasing the names. Obama has campaigned (effectively) on a platform of making government more transparent, citing his efforts to do so in Chicago and Washington as signature achievements. He has also disclosed the bundlers who raise large amounts of money for his campaign. Finally, making the list public would rebut McCain’s broad and unsubstantiated claims that the list (and the huge sums of money it represents) is shot through with fraud.

And from a purely logistical standpoint, we have a hard time believing the campaign lacks the expertise to do this. We know the information is already in a very sophisticated database—it has to be, because the Obama campaign has been manipulating the information for more than a year as it continues to raise money from these small-fry donors. It also uses the information to contact and track donors to make sure they get out and vote on Election Day.

So what gives? Why not release these lists of donors? Again, a lingering question which we actually might get an answer to eventually, however, if there is wrongdoing, it will be too late for voters to decide whether it matters to them.

In that same line, another fund raising question has arisen surrounding the Obama campaign’s acceptance of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fraudulent credit card transactions.

The New York Times Opinionator reports:

“Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed,” reports the Washington Post’s Matthew Mosk. “Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.”

Between the prepaid cards and The Times’s earlier disclosure of people donating to the Democratic candidate under fictitious names, conservatives are talking up campaign finance reform.

“Fully $100 million of the record-breaking $150 million that the Obama campaign collected in September alone came over the internet via credit card donations,” writes Bill Dyer at Hugh Hewitt’s blog. “The Obama campaign has deliberately turned off the anti-fraud mechanisms available for internet credit card transactions. They have no clue how many millions or tens of millions of dollars have been donated to them in violation of federal election law. And now it turns out that the Obama campaign cheerfully takes even contributions from untraceable pre-paid credit cards, a/k/a ‘the pseudo-credit cards you use when you want to conceal illegal activity.’ ”

The whole “back-end screening” farce is insulting to anyone with a second-grade education. The Obama campaign cannot possibly have any objective measurement to even roughly estimate how many mistakes and how many episodes of deliberate fraud they’re catching versus how many they’re simply missing, even if one is naive enough to presume their good-faith best efforts.

Moreover, everything the Obama campaign has yet said about this entire issue utterly ignores the key questions: (1) Who ordered the anti-fraud protections turned off? And (2) why hasn’t Barack Obama already fired every such person, and exposed them for criminal prosecution as aiders and abettors of national and international campaign contribution fraud?

This seems like a larger question since you have to ask who in the campaign decided not to do basic credit card authorization checks such as a billing address? Someone will have to answer for it eventually, but it too will go largely unchecked and unanswered prior to Election Day.

These are just a few I could find readily available, however, I’ve seen probably a half-dozen other questions about both campaigns still lingering.

Sound off below, what other questions do you want answers to from both campaigns?

  • bdjnk

    You say “…Rashid Khalidi, a purported spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, an anti-Israel terrorist group.” There is nothing purported about it. The man is the cultured face of support for an organization with an agenda of murder and the subjugation of their own people. Clear financial links exist between Obama and Khalidi via the Woods Fund and the Arab American Action Network. One more name in the list of despicable relationships Obama has.

  • bdjink,

    Didn’t mean to downplay Khalidi with the word “purported,” it’s been edited slightly. Sounded more definitive when I wrote it.

    I knew with this much writing, someone would find something to pick on!

  • bdjnk

    Nate,

    Sorry for nitpicking. I was just really just using it as a start-point for an issue I wanted to bring up anyways.

    In case anyone wants a lot more detail about Obama and friends regarding Israel, they should read http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/5917

  • dale

    I have developed a LOT of websites, many with shopping carts and credit card processing facilities.

    At NO POINT have billing address or rejecting prepaid cards been an issue, ever. They are also not part of most credit card processing vendor’s features.

    The way it works is:

    Credit card data (Name, which I believe is largely ignored, number, expiry, cvc) are collected, sent to a third party provider (this is one I often use), they then pass this on to your your bank which then debits the card into your account.

    This is the way credit card processing is handled, anything more complicated than this is not standard! Anybody who suggests that checking billing address or whatever else has been turned off is doing so to present a perspective, NOT an objective assessment of how credit card processing is handled.

    the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited

    The first online store I ran I was employed as a full-time employee, THAT is how we did it, and we caught a lot of fraud that way. Most fraudulent cards still make it through CC processing checks, often looking for suspicious patterns is the best way to find fraud. These patterns can be different for each industry.

    For example: A golf company I worked at was able to spot possible fraud when a person bought a large amount of high-end clubs online. In that industry it is unusual because purchasers of high end equipment almost always want to try it and customise it. No computer software will ever pick that up.

    Now I were in Obama’s position I would not want to release the records either. Although it is likely true that the information would be reasonably readily available from a well-structured database.

    1. Because there WILL be fraud, that number of donations will always include fraud, it’s just the law of averages, there’s nothing anybody can do about that. We all know what Fox, Newsmaxx and the like would do with that information, why invite it?

    2. It gives the guilt by association lovers out there as much ammunition they can handle. Anybody questionable could be in that list, {spooky music} Look who supports Obama, whoooo {end music}

    3. MOST IMPORTANTLY. It gives the McCain camp an huge database of people they know they can try to switch. They can be as aggressive as they want because they know if they piss somebody off, they weren’t voting for their man anyway.

    4. Privacy. No organisation should have to give over than kind of information to the public. Be damned if any of my clients would.

    This is yet another virtually baseless attack based upon the fact that most people don’t understand how something works, so it’s easy to sway them in a certain direction.

  • Dreadsen

    “You say “…Rashid Khalidi, a purported spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, an anti-Israel terrorist group.” There is nothing purported about it. The man is the cultured face of support for an organization with an agenda of murder and the subjugation of their own people. Clear financial links exist between Obama and Khalidi via the Woods Fund and the Arab American Action Network. One more name in the list of despicable relationships Obama has. ”

    First of all this is also about 6 months old.

    Better Add John McCain to that list of those associated with Khalidi.

    Bernard Goldberg can’t defend McCain’s association with Khalidi on Hannity and Colmes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fT11nflYxU

    McCain’s spokesmodel Michael Goldfarb gets stuck trying to defend McCain’s link to Khalidi. This is funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu0Hz6Pj-uE

    Another McCain supporter on Larry King gets stuck as well with Ariana Huffington and Paul Begala on McCain’s link to 440K funded to Khalidi.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCrPJXjDq7U

    And here is Keith Olberman having fun with the Khalidi association to McCain. This is funny.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4caCACC3rwY

    If they were trying to protect Obama they wouldn’t have run the story in the first place.

  • My other comment on this is in moderation but here is another one with Rachel Maddow talking about the Khalidi association. Looks like every network had a field day with this.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FAc_xcqIX20

  • Babs

    Dale, I can shoot down most of your comment with one sentence.

    NZpudding, a New Zealand resident, has donated to the Barack Obama campaign. The donation wasn’t refused, and it wasn’t refunded.

    Now, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain uses the STANDARD ABS system for credit cards on the internet. Most merchants do, if they have a brain at all. Obama has chosen not to. Why? So he can take all those overseas donations like nzpuddings?

    Many, many questions here.

  • EricF

    Dreadsen in that Goldfarb interview i think we all know who he was refering to and why he couldnt call him out. i guess your a little slow so ill just tell you he was talking about Wright the racist preacher.

  • Independent Woman

    Babs,
    What is the law in the US re: donations from abroad? Is there a distinction between donations from citizens and foreigners?
    You are probably aware that there has been a rather large scandal here regarding accusations of a discussion between a Tory MP and a Russia billionaire, who was prepared to make a donation through a third party.
    It’s clearly illegal here.

  • EricF

    http://www.drudgereport.com/flashopp.htm

    PURGE: SKEPTICAL REPORTERS TOSSED OFF OBAMA PLANE

    dont they know you cant question the false messiah? lol. Obama is going to lose in a landslide.

  • Independent Woman

    Nevermind, I found the following:

    http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/foreign.shtml

    NZpudding can make a donation, if he is a citizen. His passport number should have been taken. As you can see on the sight, it is legal to deposit the money. Should a campaign discover that a donation is fraudulent they have 30 days with which to return the funds.

  • Independent Woman, excellent source. As you noted, anyone with a Green Card or U.S citizenship can vote. For you EXPATS OUT THERE, get to your nearest U.S Embassy SOON!

    Here is another link regarding policies: http://www.propublica.org/article/what-are-the-rules-on-presidential-campaign-financing-anyway-917/

  • Independent Woman

    Michael,
    I did a bit more research on this. If you log on to Obama’s sight- and go to donations- there is a banner to click for citizens abroad. On that screen are all of the fields required, including PASSPORT NUMBER.

    Then I tried the McCain campaign site. It’s much more difficult for a citizen abroad to make a donation to the McCain campaign. There simply isn’t anything specific to click, just a generic donation screen. I took the next step and phoned the campaign directly at 703 418 2008. I was put through to finance. I asked a campaign worker how I would be able to make a donation from overseas. She knew her stuff. She informed me that she would need my passport number. Both campaigns seem to be operating above board on this subject.

  • EricF

    how do you explain all these people getting statements that they donated to the Obama campaign even though they didnt? we all know whats going on, these peoples names are being used by other people to make donations above the maximum limit. the fact of the matter is that the Obama campaign disabled the filters that allowed this to happen. they did this on purpose so they could raise more money. i guess it wasnt enough that Obama went back on his word to take public financing. what a disgrace his whole campaign has been.

  • Independent Woman

    You’re right, EricF. If you read the link I attached for the FEC, you’ll see how the campaigns can deposit the money and return it later. That allows the campaigns to take in as much as they can and sort it out later. That needs to change. Apparently it’s happening in the McCain campaign as well. See Chicago Sun Times article.

    The interesting thing is this:

    “Independent Group Files Complaint Over McCain Raising Money from Foreign Nationals: “A watchdog group said Monday it filed a complaint with U.S. election officials over a fundraiser Republican presidential hopeful John McCain held in London. Judicial Watch argues that providing a venue for the event free of charge was an illegal in-kind contribution from two foreign nationals, The Hill reported. The newspaper identified the two donors only as Lord Rothschild OM GBE and The Honorable Nathaniel Rothschild.”

    Nat Rothschild was at the centre of the scandal here.

  • EricF

    “That allows the campaigns to take in as much as they can and sort it out later.”

    yes lets sort it all out after the money is already spent. holy cow you are dense. there is no way to trace these payments after the fact and Obama wont make the donations public.

    please just stop posting if its only going to be nonsense. please for the sake of everyone that reads these posts.

  • EricF

    http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=29304

    you guys have to read this. it is over.

  • Babs

    IW, I see nzpudding is not going to answer your question, so I will. nzpudding is not a US citizen, he has previously stated so on the this site. His donation was illegal.

  • JD

    Independent Woman – “That allows the campaigns to take in as much as they can and sort it out later.”

    EricF… The point that Independent Woman is making is that both campaigns do this and that it is a flaw in the system.

    To be honest, I think it just shows that the system is outdated and has not been able to keep up when it comes to the full power of the internet.

    Don’t be Dense Eric and think that Obama is the only one that has this problem.

    Dale, That was a good rundown of the credit card situation. I know Babs is trying to paint this as if Obama is not following the rules but he is.

    The real difference is, as independent woman mentioned, that the McCain Website is not as user friendly and for that reason has made it harder for international or abroad legal donors which in effect has made it more difficult for illegal donors.

  • dale

    I would like to congratulate EricF on reaching 100 times he has said incorrectly said it’s over for Obama!!!!

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    Watch out in the mail for your special plaque!

  • EricF

    two words for your sorry ass Dale, silent majority.

  • dale

    Babs,

    It’s 2:00am here, I just got home, it’s about 4:00am in NZ, give him a break.

    Let’s be a it real, Obama’s site needs a passport # for overseas people to donate, pudding was probably just blowing a bit of hot air when he said he donated, if not, I guess you have a point, but I doubt it.

    I am interested in this standard ABS thing you mentioned, I’ve done a bit of research but I’ve yet to figure out how it in any way contradicts any of my arguments. Do you have any link for it or any data that does? I think it’s a bit weird I haven’t found anything about it that in any way that would void my statement at all? What does it being an asset backed security have to do with anything?

    I stand by my statements.

  • dale

    I think what you really mean is Bradley effect, good luck with that

  • EricF

    McCain will get at least

    90% of undecideds/independents
    25% of registered Democrats
    50% of Hillary supporters
    95% of registered Republicans
    15% of polled voters that said they will vote Obama

    you do the math and note i said AT LEAST. could even be higher in some cases.

  • Independent Woman

    EricF,
    I think you missed my point. If you had read the FEC website, than you would understand it. I’m not condoning the behaviour of The Obama Campaign. If they are knowingly excepting donations that are fraudulent, that’s highly unethical and should be illegal. What I posted was how they can legally argue the practice. It’s not nonsense, it’s factual information.

    You apparently think that your “opinion” posts- that normally consist of “GAME OVER”, or “Maggot”, or “Your Dense” , or “you f***” are of a higher intellectual value. Gee EricF, please tell me where you got your higher education from. With your advanced vocabulary and flowing stream of non sequitors, I must enroll immediately. Deep down EricF, I want to be just like you.

  • EricF

    yeah IW i have been enrolled for some time now at the University of Reality. you should go there sometime and you should take Obama with you, you both could learn alot. you see at the University of Reality you have to earn what you get, you dont get handouts from the government. a fine university indeed. you are rewarded for success and hard work, you dont get your money confiscated and given away to people that havent worked as hard as you.

    ah yes at the University of Reality you are given opportunity and what you do with it is completely up to you. what a wonderful place! i would highly recommend this fine institution to all people of all backgrounds.

    i was once offered a full scholarship to attend the Obamaversity of Fantasyland but i propmtly turned it down.

    what swayed me you ask?

    well it was the ridiculous comments from one of their attendees. you can have a listen for yourself…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=381gFG4Crr8

  • Independent Woman

    Thank you EricF, just as I thought

  • Larry Linn

    During the 1990s, while McCain served as chairman of the International Republican Institute, the group distributed several grants to the Palestinian research center co-founded by Khalidi, including a $448,873 grant in 1998 to his Center for Palestine Research and Studies for work in the West Bank.

    And, since 1993, when McCain joined IRI as chairman, the group funded several studies run by Khalidi’s group in the Palestinian territories, including more than 30 public opinion polls. Khalidi helped found the center, “an independent academic research and policy analysis institution.”

    John McCain should answer why, under his own chairmanship, the International Republican Institute repeatedly funded an organization Khalidi founded.

  • PeoplePower

    Never before have I seen a comment so appropriately applied to the commentor before:

    EricF said:
    “please just stop posting if its only going to be nonsense. please for the sake of everyone that reads these posts.”

    Now, if only he’d take his own advice, we could discuss the issues with *rational* and *intelligent* McCain supporters.

    Perhaps he skipped the class about making a credible point in his “University of Reality”. I think it goes by a pseudonym of FOX News.

  • EricF

    PP any point you make is based on nonsense like the one in the other thread where you say the top 5% control 50% ofthe wealth so therefore they are not getting taxed enough.

    Bill smacked the poop out of you with his response and it pretty much proves you are a moron with an agenda.

    get lost chump!

  • EricF

    http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/31/low-richardson-pegs-middle-class-making/

    How Low Can It Go? Richardson Pegs Middle Class as Those Making Under $120,000

    damn this number keeps getting lower and lower. lol.

  • JD

    EricF,

    You continually prove that you have nothing to say. You confuse a difference of opinion with confrontation instead of conversation.

    IN OTHER NEWS… OBAMA’s Campaign Manager David Plouffe claims that Obama is doing well with early voting. Maybe it isn’t Game over like EricF is saying.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/10/31/obama_extends_fight_to_three_n.html

    “The die is being cast as we speak,” Plouffe said. “On election day, Senator McCain is not going to have to just carry the day, but carry it convincingly.”

    In Florida, Plouffe said, Republicans finished with a 40,000 vote edge among early and absentee voters in 2004. This year, Democrats have already built a 200,000-vote lead and hours have been extended at early polling sites to handle the crush of voters.

    Before registration efforts began there, he said, the campaign had identified 1.6 million potential supporters who not voted in 2004. Plouffe said Obama is doing better with Hispanics, including Colombians, Puerto Ricans and young Cuban-Americans, than Sen. John F. Kerry did in 2004.

    “We’re kind of out of the land of theory in a lot of these states. You’re beginning to see how this election is likely to unfold,” Plouffe maintained. He added that despite the early turnout, “We’re confident that we’ve got a lot of good voters left.”

    Plouffe said the campaign is “confident that we’re in very strong shape” in the states won by Democratic nominee John F. Kerry in 2004. Apart from a short visit to Pennsylvania, Obama has not recently campaigned in any of those states.

    In Iowa, Democrats cast fewer ballots than Republicans on only one day since absentee voting began, according to state figures described by Plouffe.

    In Nevada, Plouffe said 43 percent of early-voting Democrats are people who have not voted before or only sporadically.

    In North Carolina, 19 percent of early voting Democrats have never cast a ballot in a general election.

    Plouffe stopped short of predicting victory in each of the states he described. He reiterated the campaign’s strategy of expanding the map to give Obama a wide array of paths to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

  • PeoplePower

    Not gonna take the bait from a useless troll…

    Now, on to *real* commentary. The focus on this thread has been about Obama, but Nate also brought up Palin “going rogue” as well and possibly being a scapegoat, should McCain lose.

    I think there’s something to be said about the scapegoat part, but more importantly I think Palin is trying to distance herself from McCain so she can (perhaps) be a viable candidate in 2012. I don’t recall the runners-up in the many Republican primaries in my lifetime, let alone since the inception of the Republican party. Does anyone know if she would be the first woman to run as a potential Presidential candidate for the Republicans?

    She did gain some of my respect in at least one of her “rogue” comments – she disagreed with the robo-calls. Kudos to Palin for coming out against a vitriolic tactic that may gain some votes, but typically loses more.

    I think she was wrong about pulling out of Michigan. At this point, the McCain campaign doesn’t have the money to shoot for states that are strongly in Obama’s camp. The limited resources he has needs to go to real toss-up states and to defend any weakly-held “red” states.

    The “Diva” and “Whack-Job” comments are simply a mess for the McCain campaign to sort out. Those are not good messages to have out in the public arena when they relate to McCain’s *first* Presidential-level decision. By calling her those things, they’re basically calling McCain out for making a very bad decision. Bad messages to be out there for an already-struggling campaign.

  • Babs

    Sarah Palin has shown no signs whatsoever that she is “distancing herself from McCain”. As to the name calling, no one seems to be able to name the names of those supposedly doing the name calling. Rather odd, don’t you think. All “unnamed sources”………

  • Independent Woman

    PP,
    There was a woman in 1976 who ran for president named Eileen McCormick, I believe. As an opponent, she wanted to raise issue of abortion. I’m guessing she was a Republican, but will look into it.

  • JD

    PowerPeople – “so she can (perhaps) be a viable candidate in 2012”

    There is a great article floating around talking about this. It can be found on a website called youdecid2008.com. 🙂

    http://www.youdecide2008.com/2008/10/30/palin-sets-sights-beyond-2008-in-gop-circles/

    babs,

    Not sure what you meant by not being able to name people that are name calling.

    Are you talking about on the Campaigns? or on this site?

  • PeoplePower

    Hmm. I don’t know. The reports seem to say these things.

    Unnamed sources are always a little shady, but if you were on McCain’s camp and made such a comment, would you want to be called out on it? That would get you booted from the campaign awfully fast (likely).

    Palin “distancing herself” may just be media speculation based upon her verbalizing disagreement with McCain (robocalls are bad and pulling out of Michigan was wrong).

    Much of this simply could be hearsay and speculation, certainly. But there certainly is evidence of mistakes made by the McCain campaign that I’m sure will be analyzed ’til the cows come home, or the 2012 RNC, whichever comes first. 😉

  • Independent Woman

    Sorry, that was Ellen McCormick, Democrat.

    There was 1964 Senator Margaret Chase Smith, Republican

  • Babs

    PP, in truth, there has been mistakes made in the McCain campaign, but also in the Obama campaign. They are just not pointed out as mistakes, generally. For example, you have McCain tagged as making a mistake by “putting Sarah in a bubble” or whatever popular phrase you subscribe to on that one. On the other hand, it would appear Obama made a mistake NOT to put Biden in a bubble where the press are concerned. See the point?

    At the beginning of this campaign, in my first commentary, I said I didn’t agree with everything McCain said, that if I did I would worry about myself. I feel the same towards Palin. I don’t see any disagreement between Palin and McCain that would in any way inhibit them working as a team in the White House. What I see is two individuals who are agressive and headstrong about how to reach the same goal. But make no mistake, their goal is the same, no matter how each of them envisions the best way to get there.

  • the_don

    This is interesting…

    Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.

    http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/joe-plumber-more-joe-keating-family-

    now before you republicans bash me just let me say i don’t necessarily believe this, I just thought it was interesting.

  • the_don

    OMG THIS IS SO FUNNY!!!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qUVQDmLf7s

    I almost fell out of my chair!!

  • Babs

    Yes, the_don, that website named themselves aptly. 😉

  • Bill Hedges

    dON–you are right. He was playing ball in front yard playing ball. Obama comes to him. And he asks this set up question. And he forced Obama to say what he said. Joe is real set-up.

  • EricF

    OMG i have uncovered the greatest conspiracy ever. Obama is a GOP plant. they knew McCain could not beat Hillary so they sent in Obama to win the primary. after that they send in Biden and Bill Clinton to make Obama out to be more of a fool than he could do on his own and now we are on the verge of a McCain victory. the conspiracy is almost complete. once McCain wins there will be riots nationwide and the military will be sent in and authorized to use deadly force. population control.

    wake up you fools! we have all been taken for a ride!

    😛

  • the_don

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8G9jA-FGGd8&feature=related

    Now this is really interesting.. This changes my vote

  • Babs

    Are you trying to be funny, the_don, or are you just one of Obama’s “get in their face” trolls?

  • bdjnk

    For Dreadsen and Larry Linn

    Details of the various Khalidi associations from abcnews: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/10/the-khalidi-gam.html

    An opinion peice about the whole thing:
    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/blogs/index.php/greenwald/40862

    It should be quite obvious who has the deeper and more damning connection.

    As I said before, Khalidi is only one of many unpleasant anti-Israel associates Obama has:
    http://www.campus-watch.org/article/id/5917

  • the_don

    Nah, just trying to be funny. Everyone is so negative on this site. Im trying to find some funny Obama ones now.

  • EricF

    October surprise coming after early voting is over in all states. wink.

    oh wait, that will make it the November surprise 🙂

  • dale

    EricF, is the University of reality anywhere near the school of hard knocks, I hear they’ve got a hell of hockey team!

    What did you major in, Fox News regurgitation?

  • Bruce

    Ahhh EricF,

    “McCain will get at least

    90% of undecideds/independents
    25% of registered Democrats
    50% of Hillary supporters
    95% of registered Republicans
    15% of polled voters that said they will vote Obama”

    You made My day sir, I needed a good Laugh your polls only exist in your twisted Rovian/Bushisim fantasy land in your Mind. Might want to flip that little switch in your brain that says WAKE UP!

  • Bruce

    By the way EricF Obama is leading in Arizona by +12 in Early Voting if the trend stays on a track of any where near that number Nov 4th will be a Loooong Day For McCain

  • Bruce, let’s instead use good old capitalism with EricF. EricF, why don’t we place a wager on things– and you give us some odds if you are so confident. While I am not sure Obama will win, or blow out McCain, I certainly do not think McCain will steal the show– the way you are going about.

    How about you give us a 2% safety (popular vote wise), and we bet $100 on who gets the majority of the popular vote?

  • Bruce

    Oh Don’t get me Wrong I am not by ANY means saying this is Over. Although the Electoral vote is what counts in my book. As far as me Bring up Arizona is to simply say, WOW Arizona is now a battle ground state. Never good to be defending your self at your own Goal line. If I had to put Odds on it I’d give Obama the Edge by 3-4% of the popular vote. (speaking peoples votes get counted this time unlike 2000 and 2004) and Given the true Nature of this beast we call Election Day Anything is Possible. But I do have HOPE for the better of the 2 men, OBAMA 08!

  • EricF

    too funny. we know the polls have been manipulated, even so McCain has still pulled within 3 nation wide. -3 in the polls is +5 at the minimum in reality, prolly closer to +10. im telling you its over and its not even going to be close. you will see. get the tissues ready. lol.

  • Antonio

    EricF,

    Either one:

    1. you are in the “fiction” sector (writer, screen-writer, comic strips, editor, etc.) and therefore are a professional at creating/impersonating surrealistic characters or,

    2. you are indeed your own character.

  • EricF

    Antonio, we know the polls were manipulated. yep, we know all about the people saying they are Republican and they are voting for Obama when they are really dems in disguise. yep we know all about the major effort to flood the internet and make it seem like Obama has it in the bank. yep, we know all about Obama bussing people in from all over to make it look like he is drawing huge crowds.

    it was a really good try but it doesnt matter. get the tissues ready, the November surprise is coming. 🙂

  • Antonio

    I do not think polls are manipulated. I think they are wrongly interpreted and are inexact; the latter is a mathematical fact.

    Now, I’d better see Obama taking office since I believe he would be a better president for the US and abroad say, than Sara Palin (in case McCain would pass away). If McCain wins so be it; I need no tissues I am not passionate about this.