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This isn't much of a diary (I know, how often have we heard THAT before??).

But, it's a Friday and we all need a laugh.  Good thing for us, Sarah Palin's book cover came out this morning:

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Wed May 13, 2009 at 06:53 AM PDT

Godspeed, GOP

by Eric Schmeltzer

The Republican Party is in shambles.

Yeah, I know.  That's been kind of obvious for a while.  But, never was it crystallized more than in two stories running today that show the party is completely rudderless.


How crazy are today's Republicans?

42%45 votes
12%13 votes
32%35 votes
13%14 votes

| 107 votes | Vote | Results

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Let me start this post by saying I'm no Rahm Emanuel fan.  I don't like his vicious hatred of Howard Dean and the 50-state strategy (which I helped kick start back in the '04 election).  I don't like how he's stared down the base sometimes.  He's not a guy I think I'd want to chill out with.

But that's why he's the right person for Chief of Staff in an Obama administration.

I think back to 1993 for this one.  The first and maybe biggest mistake that Bill Clinton (another fresh, young president) made was picking his longtime friend Thomas "Mac" McClarty to be Chief of Staff.  McClarty was (and is) by all indications a wonderful guy.  He quickly earned the nickname "Mac the Nice."  

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Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 01:57 PM PST

Donate for Toot

by Eric Schmeltzer

This is going to be a short diary.  There are a lot of moving condolences to the Obamas for their loss of "Toot", Madelyn Dunham.

But, the family requested that people donate to their choice of cancer organizations.

The American Cancer Society allows you to donate in someone's memory, and direct your donation to the specific area of cancer research of your choice.

For that reason, I'm donating here (direct link to donate in memory page)

Yes, getting out there and working hard for her grandson is one huge way you can honor her memory.  But, at the same time, we can put this massive movement to work, financially, and help cure cancer.

I'm giving $100 right now, and ask you all join me.


The Caucus has been doing some digging, and gets more questions than answers.  It seems that some of the charges to the RNC for clothes, don't match up with receipts at the places where purchases were made:

Consider also the $4,902.45 charge at Atelier New York, a high-end men’s store, presumably for Ms. Palin’s husband, Todd, the famous First Dude.

Karlo Steel, an owner there, said he had gone through the store’s receipts for September, twice, and found no sales that matched that amount, nor any combination of sales that added up to the total. Because the store carries aggressively directional men’s wear, he caters to a small clientèle and knows most of his customers by name, as well as the history of their purchases.

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The pre-spin for the week has been spun: That John McCain is hitting the "reset" button on his crashing campaign.  Like a computer that froze, the spin goes, McCain is rebooting everything, starting today.

Except he's not.  All McCain is doing is changing the desktop wallpaper.   All he's doing is making a modest style change, as pop-up warnings have melted down his campaign - "The Program 'Economic Policy' has stopped working; Click Here to Force It To Close..." "Error: Your Campaign Extension File 'Negative Attack' Is Out of Date...."  "Warning:  Your Preferences File 'Strategy' Has Been Infected With the 'Erratic' Virus..."

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Look, I think all this stuff about past relationships is bogus, and we need to focus on the ridiculously bad policies John McCain is putting forth.  But, as long as he wants to raise relationships in every ad and speech, maybe he could answer this one.  

From the Washington Independent:

Sen. John McCain’s wife and father-in-law continued a lucrative business partnership with disgraced financier Charles H. Keating Jr. for 11 years after the GOP presidential nominee said he ended his close friendship with Keating in March 1987.

Cindy McCain’s business partnership with Keating in a real-estate development between 1986 and 1998 netted her a tidy profit, in addition to years of significant tax benefits. Her father, who died in 2000, earned similar returns.

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The Secret Service is following up on media reports today that someone in the crowd at a McCain/Palin event suggested killing Barack Obama, according to Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley. The shout of "kill him" followed a Sarah Palin rant on Obama's relationship with radical Chicagoan Bill Ayers.

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Senator McCain, in an interview with the Columbus Dispatch on Saturday said he had to return to DC for the bailout because he "didn't want to 'phone it in' like Obama."

Dispatch: Some commentators criticized you for what they called erratic statements and actions last week heading into negotiations on rescuing the economy. Describe how you played a productive role in all this.

McCain: I'll leave that up to others to make that judgment. This was an issue that was transcendent. I suspended my campaign and came back to Washington because I thought that it was vital to do so. Sen. Obama said he was available to discuss the issue by phone. I didn't want to phone it in. I'm proud that we were able to get this done, and I'll give the credit to everybody else.

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And so it all comes into focus.  Per Marc Ambinder, it seems that chatter on the Hill is that John McCain will come back to DC to destroy any compromise on a Wall Street bailout, rather than save it:

My colleague Nora McAvalnah tells me that sources close to Senate Democratic leadership now fear that McCain's true motivation for calling off his campaign and coming back to DC is simply to cast a "no" vote against the bailout, despite his private statements to the contrary. And it's a smart maneuver: nothing says "maverick," like voting against Bush and standing with the American public, who remain very wary of the proposal.

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An interesting thing happened late last week, and I haven't heard anyone really raise it in the media.

Early on in the week, Sarah Palin told Charlie Gibson that Alaska was responsible for 20 percent of domestic energy supply.

On Sept 11, in what can only be described as a bizarre interview, Senator McCain said a top qualification of Sarah Palin has on National Security is "energy," and that she knew maybe more than anyone in America on it.  He repeated what it seems like Palin told him - Alaska was responsible for 20 percent of domestic energy.

A day later, FactCheck put out the word - Alaska isn't even CLOSE to being responsible for 20 percent of domestic energy.  In other words, Palin was pulling a number out of her ass.

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OK, executive experience as a small-town Mayor is a key qualification for Sarah Palin.  So, what kind of shape did Mayor Palin leave Wasilla in?

This is a March 2005 article, a couple years after Palin was done as Mayor of Wasilla:  

WASILLA - The Matanuska-Susitna area is the methamphetamine capital of Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

In 2003, authorities uncovered nine meth labs in the area. Last year, the number increased to 42, said Kyle Young, an investigator with the troopers who works with the Mat-Su narcotics team.

Officials with the Office of Children's Services in Wasilla said the problem affects children. The office receives about 40 calls a month from people reporting abuse or neglect involving some aspect of the highly addictive drug.

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