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Who's The Celebrity Now?

Striking back a bit harder than before, Barack Obama starts airing "Embrace" on national cable today. It's a stronger response to John McCain's "Celeb" ad than the Obama campaign has offered previously, suggesting that it's the GOP candidate who has enjoyed the love of daytime and late night talk shows, Washington lobbyists and the Bush Administration.

"For decades, he's been Washington's biggest celebrity," the ad's announcer says.

"And as Washington embraced him, John McCain hugged right back. The lobbyists -- running his low road campaign. The money -- billions in tax breaks for oil and drug companies, but almost nothing for families like yours."

McCain is seen with David Letterman, Jay Leno and the ladies of "The View." But he is also seen embracing President Bush several times -- images consistent with previous Obama and Democratic-funded advertising.

The new ad comes as some Democrats have worried that the Obama campaign has not responded strongly enough to McCain's recent attacks, both in ads and on the stump.

"Democrats are worried," said Tad Devine, a former John Kerry campaign strategist. "We've been through two very tough elections at the national level, and it's very easy to lose confidence."

Wait and see if this new message helps allay those fears.

-- Ed O'Keefe

By Ed O'Keefe |  August 11, 2008; 10:25 AM ET Ad Watch , John McCain
Previous: Democrats Hit McCain on Ohio Jobs | Next: Rain Dance


Please email us to report offensive comments.

I love the shot of Bush kissing McCain's head and the other one of them nuzzling together like an old married couple.

McCain is a hypocrite of the highest order. He is wealthy beyond the imagination of most ordinary Americans, married to an heiress whom he courted (John Edwards-style) while married to his sick wife. McCain is the darling of Washington lobbyists whom he continues to hire for his campaign staff. He is in bed with Big Oil, Big Finance, and Big Manufacturers.

This Obama ad is still a bit gentle, but it is tending in the right direction. Hit 'em hard with the truth and they will topple over in November.

Posted by: dee | August 11, 2008 10:51 AM

Good one.
Hit 'em hard Big O!

Posted by: Another Voter | August 11, 2008 11:28 AM

McCaine was second last from the bottom of his graduating class. He admits that he isn't very knowledgeable when it comes to the economy. So what is he going to do for the country? Why would we we elect another Bush, like McCaine is very intelligent.

Posted by: wupta | August 11, 2008 11:29 AM

Too bad demos aren't as willing to use fear as the Republicans are. As the Republicans play on xenophobia--Do we really know Barack? Demos should be running ads playing on the ageist fears of people--is he really mentally fit?
Fear does seem to work with the largely un- or under educated American public--just as the Republicans have planned all along. "The best lack conviction given some time to think and the worst are full of passion without mercy."

Posted by: McCain | August 11, 2008 11:31 AM

'Nut-uh....you are!'


Can't wait to see Sen. Obama to challenge Sen. McCain to the Senate playground's swing set after school.

Posted by: Observer | August 11, 2008 11:31 AM

Good job Obama campaign -- keep it up, and above all, keep the young people engaged like this. And know that there are many mountainpeople waiting to great you at Mile Hi.

Posted by: mountainman | August 11, 2008 11:36 AM

Come on, you don't really believe that Republicans are completely and everlastingly evil while the Democrats are pure as the driven snow? The Republicans have plenty to answer for, but so do the Dems. Politics is inherently dirty, and BOTH parties will do whatever they have to do in order to keep power. And as long as we're " . . . hitting them hard with the truth," try this article on for size. Yes, I know, it's all lies because it discusses Barack, but if it had been said about McCain it would have been the truth:


Posted by: Segodnya | August 11, 2008 11:40 AM

McCain is simply following the tired old GOP game plan...repeat a lie often enough and the American Public might buy into it.

"The Surge Is Working"...in a disasterous $600 Billion Dollar pre-emtptive and unnecessary war that cost thousands of US soldiers lives, tens of thousands of wounded...and for what...one two-bit dictator?

"Offshore drilling will help relieve the financial pressure at the pump"...oil will take 5-7 years to come to market and will sell for whatever the global market is at that time...no savings to consumers, just more windfall profits for Exxon/Mobil..and bigger oil company contributions to the GOP (Gas & Oil Party).

Posted by: A.Lincoln | August 11, 2008 11:42 AM

Uh, like can this add be any more BORING? Been there done that and McCain's add was funny.

And doing tit for tat adds about who is the biggest celebrity just shows that Obama is on defensive. Obama loses another round. I guess the kool-aid is running out.

Posted by: hillary2012 | August 11, 2008 11:46 AM

All this PR nonsense demeaning the opposing candidate is childish and stupid.
The real questions Americans should be asking themselves is which candidate will be able to best deal with the whole array of very great problems now on the table. Which candidate can continue to make the American Dream live, and help bring freedom and well- being to mankind as a whole?
The real question is which of the candidates can be the leader America needs in the next four years.

Posted by: Shalom Freedman | August 11, 2008 11:46 AM


Nice quote from Rupert Murdoch's neocon rag. This opinion piece and character attack on Obama is brought to you by the same idiots that sold you the connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda (along with the help of the Bush Administration).

I love this ad. Talk about Celebrity...what about Reagan and Schwarzenegger? I smell a little hypocrisy here...

Posted by: Ryan | August 11, 2008 11:49 AM

I'm no fan of John McCain, but isn't this ad exactly what Obama vowed to eschew? Where is the new brand of politics he promised? His descent into "politics as usual" is disheartening and I doubt this juvenile quid pro quo will win over any voters.

Posted by: Sara | August 11, 2008 11:51 AM

Barack is the least qualified candidate, EVER. Anyone who can't see that has no business voting. Americans have already voted for a black man for President twice. Not an almost black man, a black man. His name is Alan Keyes. Obama is an affirmative action Harvard legal expert. If he isn't humiliated in his bid for President, then everyone will know that he has another position that he doesn't deserve. Why aren't black Americans running from this guy as fast as they can? Isn't there a black person in America that is qualified to be President?

Posted by: Jon Iscream | August 11, 2008 11:51 AM

McCaine was second last from the bottom of his graduating class. He admits that he isn't very knowledgeable when it comes to the economy.
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Show your support for our Troops wearing their uniforms in public places. They are should be well-beloved since your safety is safeguard by them!
And this is the unique military dating site for military singles and admirers in the world!

Posted by: chloe | August 11, 2008 11:52 AM

Having worked under republicans in state gov. I know first hand how they operate. I used to just vote but now I work in campaigns for anyone running against a republican.

Republicans hire their incompetent friends and funders. They spend their days attacking anyone who is trying to do their job. I and others spent eight miserable years under these corrupt republicans. They almost destroyed most of the agencies that help the state function. There were jokes that most of them had to have been sent ti Iraq because we rarely saw them. We learned, after they left, that they paid people living in another state.

Now I volunteer to help anyone running against a republican. There is nothing more vile than a republican.

Posted by: Will | August 11, 2008 11:52 AM

I am a huge fan of Obama, I have campaigned for him and will vote for him in November, but this ad is not what he stands for, it is just stooping to the level of the GOP by calling McCain a celebrity. This ad should never have been aired.

Posted by: Obamafan | August 11, 2008 11:52 AM

What if we could turn off our TVs ?

Whoa! OK, I'm back! Go Barry!!!


Posted by: Bud | August 11, 2008 11:53 AM

Thanks Segodnya. I appreciate the article from the Weekly Standard for what it is - more disinformation from America's premier neoconservative opinion magazine. Blech. These guys and the millions they fool are the ones who got us so far away from the true American values that most of us cherish. In the end, democracy will win and authoritarian neocon slime will lose. America is already turning away and repenting. A few years of sackcloth and ashes are in order now.

Posted by: Truthreigns | August 11, 2008 11:53 AM

I am not sure why the Edward's thing is relevant when there is so much to discuss about the actual candidates.

Who are you going to trust?
As a legacy admission (admitted because of his father), Senator McCain finished number 894 out of 899 in his graduating class from the Naval Academy in Annapolis. 5th from the bottom of his class, and he admittedly didn't care! He was a rebellious hard-drinking hell raiser. This should remind you of Bush, except that Bush doesn't have a volatile temper like McCain does. Bush, as a pilot, never crashed three different military jets like McCain did, two of which were stateside, including one in Corpus Christi bay! He comes back and abandons his invalid wife (who to this day refuses to support his presidential aspirations). He cheats on his wife, marries an incredibly rich woman, with a drug problem, successfully gets elected as Senator as a POW/war hero, supports Keating, reforms by then repeatedly alienating and distancing himself from his republican senate colleagues, ingratiates himself with the liberal press because of the latter, abandons his maverick positions, actively solicits support from the religious right.

He has an affair, divorces an invalid wife and even gets a marriage license before the divorce is final. Great character.

Posted by: Robert S | August 11, 2008 11:54 AM

Militarysoulmate.c om
Show your support for our Troops wearing their uniforms in public places. They are should be well-beloved since your safety is safeguard by them!
And this is the unique military dating site for military singles and admirers in the world!

Posted by: chloe | August 11, 2008 11:55 AM

Most of us have made up our minds long ago. The entire campaign, now, is aimed at the 10-15% of the electorate who are not too bright and get swayed by the last ad they saw on tv. There's no point in running a campaign on issues and policies - the voters who are up for grabs don't understand them, and don't care.

Posted by: BP | August 11, 2008 11:55 AM

Obama just couldn't have something original, could he?

Posted by: LL | August 11, 2008 12:00 PM

John McCain, war hero, has long been a star, but now he's fading. Such probably helps explain the note of jealousy some have detected in his ads pumping up Obama's celebrity status. All of this is perfectly human and ought to be acceptable to us as fellow beings.

More scary is McCain's apparent fantasizing about the glory of another Cold War, pitting us, under his leadership, either against an agitated Russia or against Islam. Others have noted the former prisoner of war's penchant for reliving the Vietnam War, this next time winning it instead of ending it in ignominious retreat and defeat.

Posted by: First Mouse | August 11, 2008 12:01 PM

hilarious. when's he gonna attack re:

- 40 mil net worth
- wife desertion/affair
- keating 5
- ptsd/senility/gaffes?

i'm guessing in sept/oct.

Posted by: mike | August 11, 2008 12:01 PM

Da komrades!

Russia — our sacred stronghold,
Russia — our beloved country.
A mighty will, a great glory —
Your heritage for all time!

Be glorious, our free Fatherland,
Ancient union of brotherly nations,
Ancestor-given wisdom of the people!
Be glorious, country! We take pride in you!

From the southern seas to the polar region
Spread our forests and our fields.
You are the only one in the world! You are the only one of a kind —
Native land protected by God!

A broad expanse for dreams and for lives
Is opened to us by the coming years.
Our devotion to our Motherland gives us strength.
So it was, so it is, and so it will always be!

Give Socialism a chance, Vote Obama 2008!

Posted by: GS | August 11, 2008 12:05 PM

Just keep responding like that!!!! The GOP needs to understand that they are not going to let Carl Rove detemine the winner of this election too.

Posted by: Marilyn Petreman | August 11, 2008 12:06 PM

Do John McCain or conservative republicans respect the moral foundations of this country? The U.S. Constitution was designed to protect the people of America from misguided government.

U.S. Constitution: Amendment I - Freedom of Religion
Right now, for the first time ever, your tax dollars are funding religious groups you may not agree with. To add insult to injury, conservative judges have ruled that taxpayers do not have a right to challenge this expenditure.

Amendment IV - Search and seizure
Under the guise of court action against abortion, Conservative republicans had John Ashcroft subpoena all the medical records of literally thousands of women just like you and members of your family. Conservative republicans are invading your privacy every day. Unfortunately for all of us, they don't appear to care about our U.S. constitution, or by extension, the people of our great country.

Amendment X - Powers of the States and People
John McCain and conservative republicans have tried consistently to overturn States Laws. They used your tax dollars to destroy the will of the people of Oregon, and the famous "Death with Dignity" law; they lost, but undoubtedly will try again. Conservative republicans and John McCain do not respect States Rights.

Amendment VIII - Cruel and Unusual punishment
Would you rather die, or support a government which supported and sanctioned torture? The founding fathers would rather have died, and in fact they were proud to fight and die for our government: A government which specifically outlaws cruel and unusual punishment for very important reasons.

John McCain and the conservative republicans have destroyed the moral foundations of our country. I urge you to keep this in mind in the coming election as we rebuild our nation together by voting Democrat.

Posted by: Frank US | August 11, 2008 12:06 PM

"Americans have already voted for a black man for President twice. Not an almost black man, a black man. His name is Alan Keyes."

Barack already whomped Karpetbagger Keyes in Illinois, though, didn't he. Not surprising, because Keyes is a travesty.

Posted by: laboo | August 11, 2008 12:06 PM

Anyone who listens to and argues over sound-bite campaign ads simply adds to the incentive for these mindless ads and the even more moronic coverage of them in the media, which should be discussing the pressing issues of this country factually and in depth, even if it puts a lot of Americans to sleep.

Posted by: dailapo | August 11, 2008 12:07 PM

It doesn't work. It is not funny. And Obama loses the chance to say he is on the high road. The Obama campaign needs to come up with an ad that is original and funny, not continue the "celebrity" ads.

Posted by: D. Newman | August 11, 2008 12:08 PM

Why does Washington Post put Obama's ad right with the article when you have to link to most of McCain's?

Posted by: A | August 11, 2008 12:08 PM

Its funny.
Both Lenno and Letterman blast away at McCain but avoid any joke at Obama's expense.
Further, McCain is more likely to cross party lines and support democrat legislation than any other republican. He pisses off big business and lobbyist more than any other rebublican.
Obama on the other hand has never reached across the aisle to find common ground.
He is loved by Lenno and Letterman.
And, despite his claim to the contrary, he gets more money from rich power merchants than McCain.
I don't kind you supporting Obama, just get your facts straight.
If their is a candidate in the race who will try to unite the country it is the candidate who is actually proud of this country.

Can you imagine Obama dealing with an aggressive Russia?
Will he give another speech?

Posted by: dano | August 11, 2008 12:09 PM

Why are we reading news stories about TV commercials? Isn't that just a little patheric?

Posted by: Prettierthanthou | August 11, 2008 12:09 PM

obama does not lose the high road. defending oneself is not low. mccain, initiating and perpetuating this whole farce, is low.

and i found it pretty laughable. mccain's been on snl!

Posted by: mike | August 11, 2008 12:11 PM

Okay, I'll admit that I thought the McCain ads were stupid and infantile. And if this wasn't such an obvious spoof of those ads it would have been in that same category. But because it was a spoof, I just had to chuckle.

Posted by: David | August 11, 2008 12:11 PM

Anyone who actually votes for either of these two deserves the America they are going to get. Obama will not force my child to work for the "State". and McCain will not stop me from speaking my mind. To hell with the Republicats. Its time to make a real statement and vote 3rd party. Green, constitutional, libertarian etc. show the gov that you truly mean business and stop running off at the mouth. DC will get the message when they all lose thier jobs.

Posted by: RalphS | August 11, 2008 12:13 PM

BP is 100% correct. Although, I'd add the caveat that there is another group of voters that both candidates need- the ones that voted against them in the primaries.

McCain will get the Romney voters, but the Huckabee voters may stay home rather than vote for someone who isn't a theo-con. That is a big problem because those folks can drink the kool-aid and share it with their neighbor faster than you can mix it up.

Similarly, Obama is going to have trouble getting the hard core Hillary voters to show up and vote- not because they are so different on the issues, but because many of the Clintonites have lost enthusiasm now that there isn't a female candidate for pres.

Posted by: local | August 11, 2008 12:14 PM

Change? So where's the "change"? Mr. Obama has allowed his judgement to be swayed by the typical Washington political machine - all in the quest to get elected. Talk about hypocrite! At least McCain has a record that can be analyzed. How can you analyse "present" as a vote? What does your man really stand for? He is so green and will have to rely on true political veters that he will be the puppet of the Pelosi left wing machine! Can you say 8% unemployment?

Posted by: sh | August 11, 2008 12:14 PM

they both need some fine tuning for my vote

Posted by: 6 Pak | August 11, 2008 12:15 PM

The ad does get two major points across, McCain as Washington insider and McCain as Bushy and his presidency as a prospective third Bush term. It does feel lame, however. But if that is what it takes…

Posted by: Berliner2 | August 11, 2008 12:18 PM

Oh, this ad is meant for those weak-kneed Obama supporters who want Obama to (sorta) respond in kind. But, truth be told, the ad is more on target than MCain's silly ads. McCain's "Celebrity" ads are unintenionally humorous--pointless desperation on his part. All the electoral vote polls (the ones that count) are telling McCain how desperate he truly is. So he has to try something. Here's laughing at you, John.

Posted by: dk | August 11, 2008 12:19 PM

I think more important is McCain's economic ignorance, and heavy reliance on Phil Gramm, the man who helped orchestrate the current economic woes and mortgage crisis. It's frightful to think of him being appointed Treasury Secretary if McCain were elected. I especially liked the synopsis of how Gramm has done the bidding of the banking giants, to the detriment of most U.S. citizens:

Posted by: Waking Up to GOP Realities | August 11, 2008 12:21 PM

All this tit for tat stuff is getting boring. Can't wait for the debates where we can watch McBush squirm to answer tough questions. I'm willing to bet that he will not be able to go through a single debate without making a gaffe of some sort. His senile old brain is no match for Obama's.

Posted by: Ryan | August 11, 2008 12:24 PM

the thing is, whether the sensible voter does or not, the average voter WANTS to see some attack in a campaign. they want to know their candidate has teeth and isn't afraid to use them.

to an degree it's fair. but mccain's taken it to silly jerry springer extremes. obama's been showing restraint so far, but i think the gloves will come off after the dnc. i gather he just wants it to be clear mccain threw the first punches and they were all low blows.

Posted by: mike | August 11, 2008 12:26 PM

Good ad.

The Dems should re-run Reagan's 1980 question to the voter: "Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?"

That'll work, too!

Posted by: tony the pitiful copywriter | August 11, 2008 12:30 PM

If taxing success is your fundamental solution, let's go after the biggest impacor to our economy "BIG LAW". Lawyers make more money per hour of work than anyone. It is safe to say that most of the legal settlements impact the average American the most... (high insurance premiums for healthcare due to excess litigation, long lines for free healthcare, high fuel prices due to asbestos litigation, high energy prices due to low supply and lack of nuclear energy plants.

Let's get Big Law right now and save the country from these blood suckers!!!

Posted by: Truthdetector | August 11, 2008 12:31 PM

To David;
To be honest, Obama first compared himself to Hilton in 2005

" There's nothing exotic or complicated about how phenoms are made in Washington, and, more to the point, how they are broken."

"Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame," says Barack Obama. "I've already had an hour and a half. I mean, I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."


Posted by: RalphS | August 11, 2008 12:33 PM

I don't get the celebrity slam in this race. If you're popular because of your political efforts, how can you call it fluff?

I can see the criticism sticking to actors becoming politicians, at least as a bugaboo for first time candidates. But McCain and Obama are popular for their politics. And why is this a bad thing?

Posted by: whattheshotis | August 11, 2008 12:35 PM

"I love the shot of Bush kissing McCain's head and the other one of them nuzzling together like an old married couple." Posted by: dee | August 11, 2008 10:51 AM


Yeah that was the best!

Posted by: Morris | August 11, 2008 12:37 PM

McCain shopping Ridge as VP contender? Holy crap, is John McCain trying to lose?

What demographic could Tom Ridge possibly address that would matter to McCain's winning in November?

Just when you think the McCain Campaign might be getting the message, they get cocky and fall back into thinking that voters will turn out for McCain, simply because he isn't Obama!

If McCain and the RNC keep up with these antics, they deserve to lose!

Posted by: Ed Weirdness | August 11, 2008 12:40 PM

The Pendulum must swing, if it does not then we become to lopsided. Enough of the BS and on with the real work at hand and do not act like one man can sit there and change everything. That is why we have a three part governmental system. If Obama makes to many mistakes he will be out in four years not eight like Bush. We are leaning too far to one side and the boat is about to tip over. We had better get it back up straight and back on course or we will all surly sink to the bottom.

Posted by: Pendulum | August 11, 2008 12:41 PM

And this 2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll says it all. See What America thinks.


You Won't Believe These Results!

Posted by: Brandon | August 11, 2008 12:43 PM

Dee is 100% right when she says:

"McCain is a hypocrite of the highest order. He is wealthy beyond the imagination of most ordinary Americans, married to an heiress whom he courted (John Edwards-style) while married to his sick wife. McCain is the darling of Washington lobbyists whom he continues to hire for his campaign staff. He is in bed with Big Oil, Big Finance, and Big Manufacturers."

Simply put John McCain is (i)NEOCON Trojan Horse and (ii) a corporatist of the highest order. The Neocons and corporatists have to find a different way to screw Americans now that we are on to them. So they offer up a senile old white man with an empty soul to do their bidding because he has a faux "maverick" brand which may fool some disgruntled democrats, independents and racist whites.

Posted by: Christopher London | August 11, 2008 12:46 PM

I guess he was a celeb in the Hanoi Hilton
for 5 years too. A celebrity is someone who
performs on stage, but not in the field.
And, for those who get excited with the hug photo, well there's Rev. Wright and Muslim garment photos too.
Y'all better start trying to explain the funding of trillions in new entitlements and quit getting sucked into GOP-style ads.

Posted by: La.LiveOak | August 11, 2008 12:47 PM

Obamas Scandal is Bigger than Edwards

The implication of the Edwards scandal is that, if ABC News’s top investigative reporter could take Edwards side, without any serious checking of the facts, then other candidates may be concealing scandals and hoping and planning to get away with it. That is certainly the case with Obama, who is far more of a media favorite than Edwards ever was and has, with the help of the influential Associated Press (AP), carefully concealed his relationship with an identified CPUSA member.

Obamas communist connection, which he failed to disclose in his 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, by referring to Davis only as Frank and ignoring his communist affiliation, is a far more serious scandal than an Edwards love child.

As I commented to Michael Savage on the Savage Nation radio program last week, this is the key to understanding Obama because Davis influence over him during his high-school years in Hawaii helps explain why he would later associate with terrorists, communists and socialists.


Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 12:55 PM

McCaint....the "original maverick"...sad

McCaint is more like a "Ford Maverick" is ...and much more...

Both are bad on gas
Both are old
Both look bad
Both have horrible exterior styling
Both have been recalled
Both are made of crap
Both need overhauls
Both need to be sent to the nearest dump

Posted by: AlexP1 | August 11, 2008 12:57 PM

McCain will be REALLY famous once he confesses who his SOURCE was. What Source? When he went on Letterman, McCain said he has a SOURCE, who knew that the IRAQI's did the ANTHRAX WMD attack using military grade ANTHRAX against our Congress and NBC. We later went to war against IRAQ because of their WMD capability, a pre-emptive strike rationalized partially on the basis of the attack on NBC and Congress by the IRAQI's using Anthrax.

Who was the SOURCE? Why does it matter? Because it is a crime to make false propaganda to lead the USA to war. And the FBI says the anthrax was made in Maryland by Americans. No Iraqi involvement at all. Therefore McCain was a shill for a lie to get us into the IRAQ war. McCain and his SOURCE are complicit in a crime, to draw the USA into a war based upon false PROPAGANDA. When he is in the slammer as the first Senator convicted of such a crime, then he will be famous. Or else, McCain can give up the SOURCE he is covering for. Cheney? Let's guess.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 12:58 PM

Dear Republicans,

The word "ad" has only on "d" in it.



Posted by: Bill | August 11, 2008 12:59 PM

The salient point about Obama is not that he is a celebrity, it's that he does not have the understanding or the inclination to confront the enemies of the United States (like those who killed our people in the World Trade Center) with the necessary degrees of force and vigilance.

Posted by: David Mirsky | August 11, 2008 1:02 PM


I see in your world no one is allowed to even think.
Congratulations. Names, first Obama was called a liberal, then Hillary was called a socialist, now you say he KNEW a communist.
You guys must be scared to death.
You girl scouts only know other flag pin wearing warmongers I guess.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 1:03 PM

This ad is right on. McCain with his age has become more cynical. He thinks his rather unfunny funny side will get him into the white house. The only way he is getting into the white house with a funny campaign is if he takes Larry the Cable Guy as is running mate.

Posted by: Joe McSnack | August 11, 2008 1:06 PM

McCain, agrees with Bush, ends the Constitutional protections and allows torture.

Obama will restore habeas corpus, your right be accused of an actual crime, before you can be taken away, and will restore your rights to see evidence and cross examine witnesses.

McCain has left the maverick camp and joined Darth Vadar.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 1:06 PM

I still think playing McCains commercial with an annoying baby crying in the background would have been better.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | August 11, 2008 1:09 PM

We need some grownups in government, instead of these business-as-usual pandering shoe-lickers presented as our "choices" by the big-shot party bosses.

Say what you will about Alan Keyes, but I highly recommend taking a serious, slow read of his new essay:

Two-Party System: No Choice But Evil

It's time to give all these bums the heave-ho. Dr. Keyes presents a brilliant, compelling analysis of how we got where we are, and what we can do about it. I believe it puts into words what Americans have been feeling this election.

Posted by: Katrinka Yobotz | August 11, 2008 1:10 PM

Hillary2012, your name says it all.

Buyers remorse. Sore Loser. Hypocrit. Bitter.

Enjoy being a fake DINO?

Obama '08/'12

Posted by: Jason | August 11, 2008 1:11 PM

The interesting thing is, Barack focuses on how he can help the country while McCain wastes his time on untruthful ads. I love how Barack just totally owns McCain with this ad.

See who America thinks should become President at America's one and only online 2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll:


Only 3 Months until the Election!

Posted by: JB | August 11, 2008 1:14 PM

To address A Lincoln's correct view: as long as we lease US lands, the oil that is produced from our land will be sold to the highest bidder. There is an alternative. Do as many other countries in the world are now doing, and create sovereign corporations, and run the entire process by and for Americans. No bidding. Its our oil.

Also, I noted with interest two European Car makers, SAAB and VW now have successfully tested high tech steam powered cars with electronics, that far exceed the effectiveness of old steam powered cars which themselves were able to travel at 150 MPH.
VW says, the market is not ready. This another way of saying it would cost money to educate the public on the advantages of steam powered cars. They can burn any fuel to make the water boil. We should keep our oil in reserve for the military and transition to steam powered cars and trucks and buses for civilian use. There is a finite supply of oil.
Probably the easiest way to transition to steam powered vehicles is for government to buy them at fleet prices for buses and state employees to use.
Notice that the USA, which used to make the Stanley steamer is behind SAAB and VW on this new technology. Only Obama talks about putting real money into alternative energy sources, and rebuilding our infrastructure.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 1:15 PM

@Volubrjotr HAHAHA, you lose all credibility with that comment. GO back to you circle jerk right wing nutjob blogs where sycophant tell you that you are smart.

"As I commented to Michael Savage on the Savage Nation radio program last week"

Posted by: King | August 11, 2008 1:15 PM

As a social anthropologist Stanley Kurtz knows better about making his authorial situatedness clear to readers. I had to check out more on him and found this entry from the Wikipedia, and it made me understand that he cannot afford to be balanced when writing about Obama:

Stanley Kurtz is an American public intellectual and social commentator who identifies with the conservative movement. He is an adjunct fellow of Hudson Institute, a fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, with a special interest in America's "culture wars."

Kurtz writes regularly for right-leaning publications such as National Review, Policy Review, the Weekly Standard, Wall Street Journal, and Commentary. [1] [2]

Kurtz graduated from Haverford College and holds a Ph.D. in social anthropology form Harvard University. He did his field work in India and has published extensively on family life, child rearing, religion, and psychology in various parts of the world. [3]

Posted by: hayes greenfield | August 11, 2008 1:15 PM

McCain cannot use information technology. He needs help to get around on his PC.

He is not capable of leading our country in the high tech world of innovation.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 1:16 PM

Good job guys! This is overdue, but better late than never. In the saturated presidential campaign, there is no room for subtleties; let's get straight to the point: McCain = McBush = the biggest Clown.

Posted by: Joe Hannes III | August 11, 2008 1:17 PM

Don't you find it odd that BOTH political parties and the "M.S.M." refuse to discuss economics as part of the election debate for the executive AND legislative branches ?

They are playing the electorate for fools discussing "celebrity".

It is a predetermined strategy based on the assumptions you are all imbeciles and the subject matter is over your heads.

James Quinn is Senior Director of Strategic Planning,
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.



Consider this;....both political parties put up total losers because no one wants to be the Captain of the Titanic when she goes down with all hands.

Posted by: rtfanning | August 11, 2008 1:20 PM

It's sad that Obama has to sink down to GOP levels, but with the Media refusing to scrutinize McCain, it's his only way of responding to the GOP propaganda.
An honest Media, would've questioned McCain's celebrity ad, by showing McCain's hypocrisy - - all the talk shows, in films, hosted Sat Night Live, etc.
And thus, Obama would never have had to run this ad, if the Media actually did its job...

Posted by: jon | August 11, 2008 1:21 PM

The whole point of the Celeb label for Obama, is he hasn't even finished his first term in the Senate. Can he even win a Senate race if his opposition doesn't self destruct. I mean the Senate race he won was kind of goofy. No fault of Obama's there, but do the people of Illinois really like him, or were they just voting against the Republican circus--how can we know?

Obama has said some good things, he smiles nice on TV, and sounds intelligent, but what has he done for the people of Illinois or this nation? McCain is a jerk, but at least he has done things, and the people of his home state have re-elected him time and again.

The sad fact is both the Libertarians and the Greens are running candidates that have far more experience standing for re-election than Obama. If leadership experience is what we are electing, then the race is between Cynthia McKinney and John McCain,

Posted by: huey | August 11, 2008 1:30 PM

This line of attack is already tired. Obama's campaign should just point out that Obama attracts tens of thousands of people because they yearn for change.

McCain, on the other hand, attracts a few dozen seniors who like the thought of an old guy as president.

Posted by: Alex | August 11, 2008 1:33 PM

The salient point about Obama is not that he is a celebrity, it's that he does not have the understanding or the inclination to confront the enemies of the United States (like those who killed our people in the World Trade Center) with the necessary degrees of force and vigilance.Posted by: David Mirsky | August 11, 2008 1:02 PM

Yeah sure. And Bush is doing such a fantastic job at that, right? What is it now, 7 years and the guy behind all this is still free because Bush decided to leave the job in Afghanistan half finished before deciding to invade and occupy a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11 on made up, invented evidence!!! Yeah, give me Obama any day over anyone who would even remotely follow the Bush doctrine.

Posted by: Chris, Atlanta, GA | August 11, 2008 1:44 PM

Heh, nice. About time Obama starts exposing McCain for the empty suit he really is.

Posted by: Chris | August 11, 2008 1:51 PM

American taxpayers are paying over only 1% of the GDP for the Enforcement of the Gulf War Treaty in Iraq. This is the most cost efficient war America has ever fought. Compare that to WWII of 36% GDP.

American taxpayers are getting screwed by the most wasteful spending due to NO-Fault Divorce and all combined tangential costs. This cost is $218 Billion USD/Year as releated to government hand outs because of broken homes, college bills, penal service, medical, food stamps, day care, abortions, etc etc. Barry will keep us there for "as long as it takes" to bankrupt us.


Spread the word.....

This is something you should be
aware of so you don't get blind-sided.
This is really going to catch a lot
of families off guard. It should
make you worry.

Proposed changes in taxes after 2008 General election:


0% on home sales up to $500,000
per home (couples) McCain does not
propose any change in existing
home sales income tax.

28% on profit from ALL home sales

How does this affect you?
If you sell your home and make a profit, you will pay 28% of your gain on
If you are heading toward retirement
and would like to down-size your
home or move into a retirement
community, 28% of the money you
make from your home will go to taxes. This
proposal will adversely affect the
elderly who are counting on the income
from their homes as part of their retirement income.


MCCAIN 15% (no change)

OBAMA 39.6%

How will this affect you?
If you have any money invested in stock
market, IRA, mutual funds,
college funds, life insurance, retiremen t
accounts, or anything that pays
or reinvests dividends, you will now
be paying nearly 4 0% of the money
earned on taxes if Obama become president.
The experts predict that 'higher
tax rates on dividends and capital gains
would crash the stock market yet
do absolutely nothing to cut the deficit.


MCCAIN (no changes)

Single making 30K - tax $4,500
Single making 50K - tax $12,500
Single making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 60K- tax $9,000
Married making 75K - tax $18,750
Married making 125K - tax $31,250

(reversion to pre-Bush tax cuts)
Single making 30K - tax $8,400
Single making 50K - tax $14,000
Single making 75K - tax $23,250
Married making 60K - tax $16,800
Married making 75K - tax $21,000
Married making 12 5K - tax $38,750


MCCAIN 0% (No change, Bush repealed this tax)

OBAMA Restore the inheritance tax

How does this affect you? Many families
have lost businesses,
farms and ranches, and homes
that have
been in their families
for generations because they could not
afford the inheritance tax.
Those willing their assets to loved
ones will not only lose them to these taxes.


* New government taxes proposed on
homes that are more than
2400 square feet

* New gasoline taxes (as if
gas weren't high enough already)

* New taxes on natural resources
consumption (heating
gas, water, electricity)

* New taxes on retirement accounts
and last but not least....

* New taxes to pay for socialized medicine
so we can receive the same
level of medical care as other
third-world countries!!!


McCain '08


Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 2:01 PM

Chris Matthews slam dunked Texas Senator Kirk Watson, when he asked the Senator for just ONE example of Obama's legislative accomplishments.

Want to see a politician choke on national TV?.....(watch this).... Chris was surprised when the Obama campaign's own surrogates are left utterly stumped when asked to list his legislative accomplishments as a Senator. Shouldn't this tell our country something??????????????????


Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 2:07 PM

But already Illinois Sen. Barack Obama says he has some renovation plans for the White House.

"I have sworn that we're taking out the bowling alley in the White House and we're putting in a basketball court,"

Posted by: newsmanusa | August 11, 2008 2:08 PM


Senator Barack Obama without a teleprompter

To watch, go to: http://www.StoneZONE.com

And this is someone you think can lead this country?

Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 2:09 PM

McCain may not be the best person in the world, but I'll be damn if iam going to vote for left wing/socialist/anti-American/ muslim like obama. You obama lovers can say all this isnt true, but it is. Your hate for Bush has blinded you to the point that you will vote for the devil, and if obama gets elected your going to find out how true it is. I just hope your the ones he gets first!!

Posted by: bill | August 11, 2008 2:09 PM

For those who keep saying "I thought Obama was going to eskew this type of campaigning". Well he was, and John McCain PROMISED he was but he, John McCain broke his promise and after attack ad, after attack ad, the good Senator from Illinois decided to elbow back! You guys are a trip. If Senator Obama had not fired back, you would have called him weak and how THAT highlights his inexperience, actual quotes I have read on these blogs. But, he fires back and now "he does not represent the change he claims". Yeah, you will say ANYTHING to fit your republican, John McCain, Bush term III loving selves.

There is a new sheriff in town, positive change, champion of the working American and the U.S.' over-utilized military. Get over yourselves GOP and GOP lovers. You had 8 years to get it right. You chose the wrong leader twice and now you have to live with the consequences as all Americans did the last 8 years! Enough is enough!

Ain't it great, Obama '08!

Posted by: CitizenAJ | August 11, 2008 2:11 PM

contrasting this ad with McCain's tells you all you need to know. Obama's is perfectly fair, above the belt, but hard hitting, no stretching the truth beyond recognition, no code, etc. and much better production values.

same with the Olympics ads. Obama's makes McCain's look like a grade school production, and has an infinitely more substantive and positive message.

Posted by: JoeT | August 11, 2008 2:13 PM


Senator Barack Obama without a teleprompter

To watch, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leEcpFOrulY

And this is someone you think can lead this country?

Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 2:13 PM

Don't you find it odd that BOTH political parties and the "M.S.M." refuse to discuss economics as part of the election debate for the executive AND legislative branches ?

They are playing the electorate for fools discussing "celebrity".

It is a predetermined strategy based on the assumptions you are all imbeciles and the subject matter is over your heads.

James Quinn is Senior Director of Strategic Planning,
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.



Consider this;....both political parties put up total losers because no one wants to be the Captain of the Titanic when she goes down with all hands

Posted by: rtfanning | August 11, 2008 2:15 PM

Barry & Michelle Obama “Not Likely” to Be Effective Commander-in-Chief, Says New York Times.....

Americans are afraid of this scenario, Barack H. Obama as commander-in-chief.

The New York Times and CBS News released a poll this week; in it, Americans answered detailed questions about this possibility.

The poll’s answers shocked the strategists at the Obama campaign headquarters in Chicago. An intensive international travel schedule for Obama and a refocus of the campaign’s message on defense and foreign policy speaks to this fear. The poll says Americans consider him lacking in the abilities necessary to run the armed services. Conversely, the polls show John McCain blows Obama out of the water as a good commander-in-chief.




Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 2:16 PM


July Leader Lost in 6 of Last 9 Competitive U.S. Presidential Elections

July Leader was Obama and now in August McCain moves ahead as predicted...

In all other elections since 1948 -- all but one of which involved the successful re-election of an incumbent -- the eventual winner was leading by at least 16 points at this stage of the campaign, and retained a wide lead right through the election. On this basis, these six races can be considered "noncompetitive."


Posted by: Volubrjotr | August 11, 2008 2:18 PM

the biggest hypocrite! mccain is in a world of trouble now. the dhl is going to be a big problem for him, and so is his out and out lying.

Posted by: rootn4obaman08 | August 11, 2008 2:24 PM

At least there were tits in McCains add, he still has my vote just for that reason. I'm just another dumb republican who would rather vote for a loser like McCain than have my friends know I voted Democratic.

Posted by: Big Jim | August 11, 2008 2:42 PM

Maybe you would like the Dem's to hit harder, Rovian style.

Maybe they could "songbird" McCain for spilling his guts in Hanoi. Since lying is OK now in politics this would be no worse than Bush swift-boating Kerry.

How about a shot of the Keating five or McCain himself shaking Keating's hand or maybe a pic of his old wife he left for Cindy or his lobby escapades with Vicki Iseman.

How far should we go with Rovian type lies?
McCain is a crack addict? He's a cross-dresser? A closet homosexual like J. Edgar Hoover? Or is just mean, senile old wrinkled white guy enough?

The Democrats should fight back this time.
Lie for lie if necessary. There are no rules to follow if you are one of Bush's Rovian thugs now working for McSame.

Thanks to Atwater and Rove, American politics are now ugly and shameless.

Posted by: Roy | August 11, 2008 2:42 PM

As a legacy admission (admitted because of his father), Senator McCain finished number 894 out of 899 in his graduating class from the Naval Academy in Annapolis. 5th from the bottom of his class, and he admittedly didn't care!

Posted by: 894 out of 899 | August 11, 2008 2:45 PM

Next thing the Obama supporters will be arguing is that McCain is just the 'Rhoda' and they are the 'Mary'.

Funny, I thought enlightened, ordained, transcended type candidates were above this stuff?

Posted by: bcarte1 | August 11, 2008 2:49 PM

Bill said:

"I'll be damn if iam going to vote for left wing/socialist/anti-American/ muslim like obama."

Volubrjotr said:



Don't confuse these morons with the fact that Obama is not a Muslim. They will simply refuse to believe the truth.

Proof Rovian politics work with feeble minded lemmings like these and further proof the Democrats may have to resort to the same to have any chance of fighting back. God bless America, all right. With its current crop of idiots like these, it needs a lot of blessing.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 2:52 PM

The distinction is that McCain's ad is silly and childish, and he lies. Obama's ad simply states the truth, the shots of him and Bush embracing say it all.

A picture really can be worth a thousand words.

Posted by: JR | August 11, 2008 2:55 PM

My fellow Americans:
Where is the change Mr. Obama is promising? Looks to me like it is democrat politics as usual.
Neither men in this race are president material. The American public at large are screwed either way, but one can see that Obama has already flip flopped on several issues which tells me that he has no plan unless a poll says so.
The only hope he really offers is that we can hope he is only a one term president
if he is elected.
God help America because the men running for office are not going to.

Posted by: mltucker@farmerstel.com | August 11, 2008 2:58 PM

What's the matter with this guy? Can't he come up with anything new on his own?

Posted by: Rich | August 11, 2008 3:00 PM

Hey anonymous: your the one who wont admit the truth!! His father was a black mulsim,he was in a muslim school for a time, obama(osama) changed his name to a muslim name!! He has known associates that are/in with terroists, his pastor for 20 years has spued anti-American hate of which obama sat and agreed with.You need to get your head out of your a**.

Posted by: bill | August 11, 2008 3:02 PM

You always were and will always be a demogoof!!!!

Posted by: Rich | August 11, 2008 3:09 PM

"how can you analyse "present" as a vote?"
Posted by sh

So would you rather have a candidate that doesn't show up to vote?

John McCain is rated as missing more votes than ANYONE in the senate by a large margin.

He barely shows up to work, while cashing his government paychecks- his salary as a senator AND his Social Security check, you know, the "Disgraceful" system he wants to privatize?

Oh, I forgot, he really needs that SS check because he and his wife are only worth over 100 million dollars and they ONLY OWN ten homes, but Obama is an elitest, right?

Posted by: JR | August 11, 2008 3:12 PM

"What's the matter with this guy? Can't he come up with anything new on his own?"
Posted by: Rich | August 11, 2008 3:00 PM
Ok, how about ending the Iraq war? As I recall it was OBAMA who first came up with the 16 month timeline and was called dangerously naive by Bush and McCain. Now it seems McCain, after several months of slamming Obama and refusing to set a timeline goes along with his plan, so does Maliki and now Bush. We are currently in negotiations with the government of Iraq to withdraw our troops in OBAMA'S timeline.

How about campaign finance reform?, Obama did it with commonsense by accepting donations from everyday people like you and I. No money from PAC's or special interest groups, or lobbyists.

And you are concerned about an ad?, how old are you?, 12?

Posted by: JR | August 11, 2008 3:17 PM


In 1999, when Edwards was a senator, he said of President Clinton and his affair with Monica Lewinsky:

"I think this president has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen."

Posted by: rtfanning | August 11, 2008 3:21 PM

Which celebrity, Obama or McSame, wears $550 Ferragamo Italian leather shoes?


Posted by: Garak | August 11, 2008 3:22 PM

"His father was a black mulsim,"
posted by Bill


Oh my God!, I didn't realize his father was a BLACK muslim!, if he was a white muslim it would be not as bad would it?

your statement kinda says it all.

Posted by: JR | August 11, 2008 3:23 PM

Wait until McCain's group does one of Obama
hugging and kissing Nancy P. This "tit-for-tat could get crazy. We'll see said the blind man to his deaf daughter who
has the "redest-face"? I'm very disappointed with Bush's accomplishments. However Nancy P's, and her followers (which includes Obama) are even worse when it comes to getting legislation written/implemented. It's been a waste of good money to put her and her bunch in charge. We tried it and it doesn't work. Lots of talk, all show and no go. Drill here, drill now and make it happen. We're getting killed out here.

Posted by: RobertO | August 11, 2008 3:29 PM

OBAMA has no choice. I know he would love to keep on the high road but he has to hit back. Im sure while on his mini vacation he's retooling his message and is ready to fight in a way that ODD McCain and his handlers will find shocking.

do what you have to do OBAMA. Play the politics of filth and dirt a bit exactly like what the republicans and the far right have been doing since Reagan's time.

Oh well. OBAMA will be the next president of these United States. Its a foregone conclusion.

Posted by: llewis40 | August 11, 2008 3:32 PM

OBAMA has no choice. I know he would love to keep on the high road but he has to hit back. Im sure while on his mini vacation he's retooling his message and is ready to fight in a way that ODD McCain and his handlers will find shocking.

do what you have to do OBAMA. Play the politics of filth and dirt a bit exactly like what the republicans and the far right have been doing since Reagan's time.

Oh well. OBAMA will be the next president of these United States. Its a foregone conclusion.

Posted by: llewis40 | August 11, 2008 3:33 PM

To "Jon Iscream":
Isn't there a black person in America that is qualified to be President?

Yes, and he is running. Some Republicans have said he is qualified, such as Colin Powell.

Oh, and Alan Keyes was never selected as a major party's nominee. For good reason.

Posted by: Bruce, Colorado Springs | August 11, 2008 3:33 PM

Senator Obama must get tough quickly. He came up into politics in rough and tumble Chicago and ought to know how to get nasty. He should be making 5 speeches a day in 5 states,using attack ads, use his mysterious vice-president nominee as an attack-dog and pound McCain unrelentingly and unmercifully. Programs must be clearly stated,contrasts with Bush/McCain exploited and speak to lower-middle-class working stiffs in language they can understand. Bill/Hillary are not going to "put him over the top"". Their followers have nowhere else to go but ultimately with Obama and they knoe it. They lost and now have to suck it up and get on the bus. Iraq,Afghanistan, the troops, the economy,jobs, healthcare,oil and gas prices,Republican fat cats et.al. are tailor-made to be beaten like the proverbial rented mule. If Obama loses it will be his own damned fault.

Posted by: R.H.Davignon | August 11, 2008 3:34 PM

You Dems are the BIGGEST BUNCH OF BABIES I HAVE EVER SEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TAKE YOUR BALL AND GO HOMR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: dave from ga | August 11, 2008 3:40 PM

Haha, John McSame.

Posted by: the Original Washington Insider | August 11, 2008 3:56 PM

JR, yes my statement does say it all but not what you think,it doesnt mater what color they are, you just wont admit that obama is a leftwing/socialist/anti-American muslim at heart, and leftwing/socialist/anti-American/muslims want to destroy this country. So I guess you pick your sides and we can see what side your on.

Posted by: bill | August 11, 2008 4:00 PM

Volubrjotr: ask McCain whether he would prefer to have Obama's lead. I suspect he would. The idea that being ahead in July is actually a reason to worry is absurd on its face. Please study your statistics before you use them for predictions they don't support.

Posted by: JoeT | August 11, 2008 4:04 PM

Uhhh, boring

How about an original idea, Obama. Or is this yet another flip-flop? Embracing the negative campaigning you promised not to do?

You still have hands down rights to "celebrity". Thanks for the backstage invite to your rock concert - ah, acceptance speech. And how cool I'm in the loop - waiting for your text message on your VP choice!


Posted by: Keith | August 11, 2008 4:14 PM

JR, face it man the guys a muslim. Why cant you admit that? I have seen several people on the blogs that admit they are muslim and cant understand why obama wont admit it. I personally hope obama gets elected then we can have another civil war and maybe the right side will win this time.

Posted by: jim | August 11, 2008 4:16 PM

Can NOBAMA comeup with something new? I guess this is Change you all beleive in! Makes me puke:)

Posted by: EB | August 11, 2008 4:16 PM


that is about to change. law of physics or what the hell ever.

The first African American from either party as the nominee. And he earned it. History in the making.

OBAMA will be elected president of these united states. Ive no doubt of that.

History in the making before our eyes.

Posted by: llewis40 | August 11, 2008 4:16 PM

Nice use of 1920's club jazz.

Posted by: The Duke | August 11, 2008 4:18 PM

What Obama needs to worry about is being able to perform in a debate without his teleprompter or his little written notes. Can't wait.

Posted by: Kathy | August 11, 2008 4:20 PM

Uh, like can this add be any more BORING? Been there done that and McCain's add was funny.

And doing tit for tat adds about who is the biggest celebrity just shows that Obama is on defensive. Obama loses another round. I guess the kool-aid is running out.

Posted by: hillary2012 | August 11, 2008 11:46 AM


Unfortunately, I have to agree with that. When you do tit for tat acts, the ORIGINAL one is usually the offensive and more affective one.

The sad thing is, the Obama camp said McCain's "celebrity" acts were nonsense.

AND THEN, they engage in the same nonsense!

Democrats --- "centrist Democrats" --- aren't very original, that's why they always lose to the small, leaner, and meaning GOP, comprised of a small group who are always on the offense, on the attack. And since the American people are not sure how to respond to a lot of the GOP's clever media campaign ads, the GOP has never been charge as having gone "beyond the pale," so that means they usually win in the battle to SHAPE their opponents.

But of course, it is the Dems job to cry foul all the time, to no effect. Despite the better educated, "elitist" label Dems are really slow learners when it comes to hardball politics, from one cycle to another, they always cry foul and then ATTEMPT silly, recycled GOP acts to no effect....

Posted by: Anonymous | August 11, 2008 4:21 PM

I actually thought the McCain celebrity ad on Obama (and the implied statement about Obama's fans, uh I mean supporters) was pretty funny.

The Obama response to that ad, especially in light of Obama's ad on McCain is pretty funny too.

It reminds me of 2 children fighting:

McCain: Obama, you're a celebrity (sticks out tongue)
Obama: Sticks and stones, John, nahnah boo boo. And if I am then so are you (sticks out tongue)

(hypothetical response)
McCain: No, I'm not
Obama: Yes you are
McCain: Nuh-uh
Obama: uh-huh

McCain and Obama in unison: Mom, he's being mean again.

Could we PLEASE send both of these children (the Clintons too) to their rooms and find some real adults worth voting for?

Posted by: None of the Above 08 | August 11, 2008 4:21 PM

Some Americans should stop their hypocrisy! You can't elect Obama, because you are having a war with Muslim!

Posted by: LL | August 11, 2008 4:23 PM


I cant wait either. McCain wont be able to get away with reading his prepared notes.

Cant wait to see the young, vibrant man with new ideas standing over the white haired, old and tired ill tempered ODD McCain.

Posted by: llewis40 | August 11, 2008 4:34 PM


I kinda sorta agree with you. Republicans are the best at this mean, evil style of politics. dems do have a difficult time of playing to their rules. but..

Wont matter this time. because OBAMA, no matter what the right wingers try to do, will come out smelling like a rose and will be elected our next President.

Ill say it again.If it wasn't meant for OBAMA to win this election he would never had got as far as NC. Its history in the making. A foregone conclusion. Written in stone or whatnot.

Posted by: llewis40 | August 11, 2008 4:41 PM

Read this and weep for the land. Angry? Register and vote.

Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct. The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants. New regulations, which don't require the approval of Congress, would reduce the mandatory, independent reviews government scientists have been performing for 35 years, according to a draft obtained by The Associated Press.
The draft rules also would bar federal agencies from assessing the emissions from projects that contribute to global warming and its effect on species and habitats.
REGISTER, and VOTE, absentee, and use the same signature as on your driver's license.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 4:48 PM

McCain committed a crime against the USA.

He went on Letterman and used FALSE propaganda to lead us to war. He said the Iraqi's used ANTHRAX against Congress.

The truth is that Americans working for a bio-terrorism lab in Maryland did the attack.

So McCain committed the crime, of leading the USA to war on a false pretext using the media to do propaganda. That's a crime, actually.

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 4:52 PM

McCain committed a crime against the USA.

He went on Letterman and used FALSE propaganda to lead us to war. He said the Iraqi's used ANTHRAX against Congress.

The truth is that Americans working for a bio-terrorism lab in Maryland did the attack.

WHO WAS THE SOURCE of the propaganda? VP? Pure invention?

Posted by: Bruce Becker | August 11, 2008 4:53 PM

JonIscream, your absurd comment about African American candidates can also be said about white republican candidates, each is as bad as the other.

Posted by: JGisler | August 11, 2008 4:57 PM

Obama is the most intelligent and educated candidate for POTUS ever.

Stop and Drop the drama folks..

We can all fight and pout all we want.

Neocons and Conservatives are staying home in fear of McBush 3rd term.

Obama has a website called Republicans for Obama with 900k memebers who are reaching out to another 7 million Republicans to vote for Obama.

19 million already down for O 10 Million from Hillary's 19 million means blowout for McCain..


Posted by: Nativeyes | August 11, 2008 5:01 PM






5. WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT HIS (typical white person) GRANDMOTHER.













18.) WE CAN'T TALK ABOUT Frank Marshall Davis


Rebuttal bumpersticker to

" A change we can believe in "

"Anybody but the Commie"


Posted by: BruiserND | August 11, 2008 5:04 PM

Great ad. Since most of the mainstream media is in the pocket of McCain. An ad like this will show the American people who McCain really is and what he stands for.

Posted by: Shawn | August 11, 2008 5:07 PM

Let's forget partisan. We are choosing a president for US, not for any party!

What is Obama's credit? What experiences he has? Nobody knows! He is even worse than Bush who at least had the experiences of governor and the credits in TX.

Why should we choose Obama? Only because he said he will change? Even he really will, what make us to believe he has the ability to change?

Wake up! He is not a qualified candidate. If he can be a president, everybody can!

Posted by: Ed | August 11, 2008 5:09 PM

Finally, this is a message "We can believe in". This is the right response to the sleaze we have been seeing by the GOP.

Right on! Keep hitting him harder at their own game, just make sure you continue to have the positive message about the new paradigm needed for the 21st century - self sustainable energy.

Posted by: jerry rubin | August 11, 2008 5:10 PM

We are not at War with Muslims, we are War with extremist GET IT RIGHT.

Timothy McVeigh, Una Bomber, Anthrax-guy,KKK, Aryans, skinheads and Islamic Extremist are all the same.. They seek to destroy our morals and safety.

Wake up people!!!!

Posted by: Nativeeyes | August 11, 2008 5:13 PM

Great Ad, Very funny, Very true. McCain is always ready to stand up for the industries that will donate money to his campagin.

Posted by: McLobby | August 11, 2008 5:19 PM

America needs to change direction. We need to spend that 10 billion dollars a week in Iraq right here in the USA creating jobs, jobs and more jobs. America need first class infrastructure, like the east Asians and Europeans have and we need to shed our dependence on foreign oil. Barack Obama can do that for us, McCain will be more of the same, George W. Bush's third term all over again.

Posted by: Shawn | August 11, 2008 5:21 PM

America needs to change direction. We need to spend that 10 billion dollars a week in Iraq right here in the USA creating jobs, jobs and more jobs. America need first class infrastructure, like the east Asians and Europeans have and we need to shed our dependence on foreign oil. Barack Obama can do that for us, McCain will be more of the same, George W. Bush's third term all over again.

Posted by: Shawn | August 11, 2008 5:22 PM

We need an image (or maybe video) of OLD SONGBIRD singing to the Communists in Saigon.

Posted by: OLDSONGBIRD | August 11, 2008 5:31 PM

All you Obama supporters who are decrying this move, and saying stuff like "I thought Obama was above all this," are fooling yourselves. What do you want, a nice guy who loses the election? Another Al Gore or John Kerry? Like Truman said, if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. This is politics, and you will never win it being polite. The ONLY thing that Republicans understand is force, and if Obama plays nice, he's going to lose. Let him be civil in victory, but ruthless in achieving it. We're talking about an administration that approved torture here. Don't fail to throw them out because you're afraid to throw a punch.

Posted by: Gasmonkey | August 11, 2008 5:44 PM

Why won't the media talk about McCain's personal failures or his career as the Hanoi Songbird?

Posted by: Elag | August 11, 2008 6:08 PM

It MUST be SILLY season, and SILLINESS is apparently CONTAGIOUS! OsiSpeaks.com

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | August 11, 2008 8:12 PM

The Emperor has no clothes.

Posted by: Kid in the Crowd | August 11, 2008 8:14 PM

If you think this campaign for president ought to go to the funniest commercial, we are really in more trouble than I thought. Obama gave us a 30 second ad that was serious, factual and spot on. We just need more of them. If you want funny then see Hilton's ad. THAT was funny. McC's ad isn't funny or humorous as he suggests, but then if he says it is, it must be....

It doesn't work. It is not funny. And Obama loses the chance to say he is on the high road. The Obama campaign needs to come up with an ad that is original and funny, not continue the "celebrity" ads.

Posted by: D. Newman | August 11, 2008 12:08 PM

Posted by: Lynne | August 11, 2008 8:29 PM

I can't watch this ad enough. I despise negative ads but the GOP has tried the SwiftBoat long enough. This is was GREAT!

Now, we can back to the issues and solving our energy problems, our healthcare, our housing crisis, our car loan crisis, and our capitalism crisis brought by non-other then ex-Chairman Greenspan (the ultimate sleaze bag) who worried more about the banks then he did the consumers like us.

Posted by: jerry rubin | August 11, 2008 8:58 PM

While serving time in multiple Wisconsin State prisons for the Robbery and Kidnapping of a City of Milwaukee detectives daughter, Newt Turner, CEO of G Livin Entertainment, designed the blueprint for an entertainment company called, “G-Livin” – which is known for its’ empowering and inspirational ideology. But now his movement is has been widely criticized by music executives, critics, religious organizations and parents for its’ graphic and violent subject matter.

He says, " I feel like if majority of Americans can accept these pedophile Catholic priests molesting and raping their children, then I should be able to heal those emotional scars through my music and literature, without censorship issues.”
A mother of four from Raleigh, North Carolina – who asked to remain anonymous said, “The song, “TeenAnger” should be banned from radio and stores. If the government allows him to release that music, then he should be liable for any violence children may commit after listening to it.”

“These whacked out parents don’t understand the mentalities and the emotional needs of their own children, said Newt. They don’t take the necessary time to learn about what they created. There are reasons why kids go to school and shoot everybody up. There was a reason my homegirl blew her head off her shoulders. There is a reason why a three year old girl starts crying when you leave her alone with her grandfather. I am just giving you the reasons why.”

“I don't care what people may say or think about who I am, what I am or what I am about. I refuse to let the opinions and comments of others deter me from my mission and vision. I’m always gonna stand up for what I believe in, even if I’m the only one standing”

Time Waits For No One: The First Gospel is a graphic and terrifying entry gate into a world we have never seen in music or literature. It’s a world of child abuse, sex, betrayal, ambitious lust, violence, revenge and the imprisonment of mind body and soul.

It is scheduled to be released the fall of 2008.

Julian Jen
Freelance Writer

To view the controversial song, “TeenAnger” click below. View at your own discretion.


For news and opinions on Newt Turner follow this link - http://conceivedinprison.blogspot.com/

For more information on Newt Turner, visit www.cdfuse.com (music) or keyword Newt Turner using your favorite search engine.

Posted by: JULIAN JEN | August 11, 2008 9:29 PM

Obama is a different candidate. Mccain is an actor, he was on the soaps and Saturday night live. Obama is only telling the truth about Mccain. Mccain throughout this campaign is accusing Obama for who he is. Its about time Obama started hitting Mccain where it hurts.

Posted by: Jason | August 11, 2008 10:25 PM

Perhaps it's also time for Obama to get rid of the elitist tag.

Remind people that Cindy Poo went shopping and spent $750,000.00. Just a little bit less than what the Obama's showed their net worth to be.

Then the issue about O's kids going to private schools. McCain's got one in the Naval Academy.

Posted by: Kathy | August 12, 2008 11:14 AM

OK, so they've traded "celebrity" ads--we've had our chuckles. And I suppose this playground banter was inevitable. What have we learned? Almost nothing. Who's the winner? A toss-up, I'd say. McCain's was a little funnier (maybe a lot), but Obama's ad showing McCain as a Washington insider and Bush clone was more to the point. A wash.

Big deal. Can we now have grownup campaign now? I suppose coverage of stuff like this is news, but that's calling a Big Mac filet mignon.

Posted by: old white male democrat in WV | August 12, 2008 12:40 PM

The thing is, in McCain's latest ad he is lying outright! Obama will NOT raise your taxes if you make less than 225K a year. Seriously! Jonathan Alter got a litle angry on Olbermann when he saw the latest "fan club" ad from McCain because there is so little truth in it. And he's supposed to be non-partisan.
McCain's campaign thinks Americans are idiots who can't access the information for themselves. This is because Grandpa McCain and his buddies haven't quite figured out the information age yet. Maybe by the time McCain figures out how to use "the google", he'll be using it to read "Obama wins in a landslide!"

Posted by: CrazyMe | August 12, 2008 1:24 PM

Loved the hugs...but somehow McCain's can't be a 'love hug'. He can never forget how Bush vilified McCain spreading the false news that he fathered a black child in 2000. It cost him the nomination because his wife did not want to expose their adopted daughter from an orphanage in Bangladesh. Doubt it if Barack wouldn't have his 2 girls dancing on the stage if that had been him!

McCain has been a 'maverick' and don't forget who voted in favour of that ignominious 2005 Energy bill for the likes of Exxelon--OBAMA! His donors from Exxon Exxelon were the biggest and BHO is in their pockets. BHO voted FOR the Bush -Cheney Energy bill--not Hillary nor McCain!

Barack, quit being such a xeroxed candidate. Take your lumps and disappear. The pumas' revenge for your sexist propaganda had the media misogynist frat-boys' push you to a fraudulent 'finish' line with superdels you didn't and don't have. You stole the electio from AA Sen. Alice Palmer in '96. You stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton, thanks to a corrupt DNC (Peilosi Reid Brazile gang) and the sexist media leg-thrillers of the MSNBC and CNN.
Go back to your old familiar Chicago political sewers. You just can't hack it in Washingon. No gravitas, no substance. Just revise and xerox your skinny resume and send it to SNL for the rapper-wannabe act. You'll get the job!

Posted by: mary | August 12, 2008 1:55 PM

How they are going to deal with the Georgia/Russia matter-
Obama will give a speech and McCain will forget what he was going to say

Posted by: S | August 12, 2008 2:30 PM

I am sick and tired of McCain’s constant insults toward Obama’s supporters. He calls us mindless fans. I am a 65-year old white female, a business owner, and a former college teacher, not a mindless fan. McCain is a shameless liar and manipulator. I am not alone in my opinion of him. Read this: ‘I am not voting for this most unattractive, childish, philandering human being whose worst trait can be seen in a form of his obnoxious behavior and his bulling attitude. John McCain is the least honest, the most arrogant and least charming, typical alpha male, type A. Bush would be better than McCain because when Bush is not behind office, he can be quite charming and even almost like a real decent human being’.

Posted by: elvera | August 12, 2008 4:29 PM

D. Needer and others have a valid point about following McCain down the "low road", but I think, in this election, BP has a better one: "The entire campaign, now, is aimed at the 10-15% of the electorate who are not too bright and get swayed by the last ad they saw on tv. There's no point in running a campaign on issues and policies - the voters who are up for grabs don't understand them, and don't care."

Folks who are paying attention (and most others) HAVE already up their minds, and the election will now be decided by the semiconscious illiteratti who make up their tiny minds entirely on the basis of emotion or prejudice. It ain't pretty, but the candidate who ignores that great unwashed horde will probably lose. Sound principles and policy are essential, but not sufficient to win.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | August 13, 2008 4:23 PM

I will never understand why everyone calls John McCain a hero.
McCain is running for President and we have to assume he is telling the truth that he did in fact have the military history he alleges.
I believe he is playing the roust he invented.
Heros do not seal their military records.
Maybe John McCain's "Heroism" is just a story made up by the Navy Depatment for the benefit of Admiral McCain, McCain"s father.

Posted by: Judgeretire | August 14, 2008 12:18 AM

I approves this ads. I like it!

Posted by: premier | August 14, 2008 2:08 PM

See my previous comment: My English is broken so do not copy me.

Posted by: premier | August 14, 2008 2:15 PM

Piss-Poor StateCraft...
A bungled economy...

Why would America reward Complete GOP failure ?

We wont.

Posted by: PulSamsara | August 14, 2008 4:04 PM

Obama's father conquered a white woman (maybe for a green card)and abandoned her.NOw he wants to conquer america for obvious reasons, just like his selfless mother believed his father, america might believe him too...so much for seduction. And what of his wife? she did't need to believe him, afterall, she has never been patriotic until now, she worshiped him(so much for her bitterness. But, You must all vote for obama if you don't you are racist! If you do?...what's bad accepting a little seduction, afterall its a rainbow nation.

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Posted by: aecxrmtbrn | August 17, 2008 10:53 AM

I love this ad......McCain locked in EMBRACE W/HIS NOT SO EVIL TWIN G.W.BUSH......Magnificent.....

Remember everyone....WE ARE INDEBT TO CHINA IN THE BILLIONS Only 40% of the funds in THE NATIONAL TREASURY is actually American money...You owe $145,000. And the bill is rising every day.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan criticized the nation's "hesitancy to face up to the difficult choices that will be required to resolve our looming fiscal problems."
Dennis Cook, AP/file

That's how much it would cost every American man, woman and child to pay the tab for the long-term promises the U.S. government has made to creditors, retirees, veterans and the poor.

And it's not even taking into account credit card bills, mortgages — all the debt we've racked up personally. Savings? The average American puts away barely $1 of every $100 earned.

Our profligate ways at home are mirrored in Washington and in the global marketplace, where as a society America spends $1.9 billion more a day on imported clothes and cars and gadgets than the entire rest of the world spends on its goods and services.

A new Associated Press/Ipsos poll finds that barely a third of Americans would cut spending to reduce the federal deficit and even fewer would raise taxes.

If those figures seem out of whack to you, if they seem to cut against the way you learned to handle money, if they seem like a recipe for a national economic nightmare — well, then, at least you're not alone.

A chorus of economists, government officials and elected leaders both conservative and liberal is warning that America's nonstop borrowing has put the nation on the road to a major fiscal disaster — one that could unleash plummeting home values, rocketing interest rates, lost jobs, stagnating wages and threats to government services ranging from health care to law enforcement.

David Walker, who audits the federal government's books as the U.S. comptroller general, put it starkly in an interview with the AP:

"I believe the country faces a critical crossroad and that the decisions that are made — or not made — within the next 10 years or so will have a profound effect on the future of our country, our children and our grandchildren. The problem gets bigger every day, and the tidal wave gets closer every day."

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan 2005'


Why the Emperor has no Clothes
by Andre Gunder Frank
www.globalresearch.ca 12 January 2005
The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/FRA501A.html


Decline of the US Dollar: Who Benefits?

Uncle Sam has reneged and defaulted on up to 40% of its trillion-dollar foreign debt, and nobody has said a word except for a line in The Economist. In plain English that means Uncle Sam runs a worldwide confidence racket with his self-made dollar based on the confidence that he has elicited and received from others around the world, and he is a also a deadbeat in that he does not honor and return the money he has received.

How much of our dollar stake we have lost depends on how much we originally paid for it. Uncle Sam let his dollar fall, or rather through his deliberate political economic policies drove it down, by 40%, from 80 cents to the euro to 133 cents. The dollar is down by a similar factor against the yen, yuan and other currencies. And it is still declining, indeed is apt to plummet altogether.

There was also a spate of competitive devaluations in the 1930s, called the "beggar thy neighbor policy" of shifting the costs for the neighbors to bear. True, as the dollar has declined, so has the real value that foreigners pay to service their debt to Uncle Sam. But that works only if they can themselves earn in currencies that have increased in value against the dollar. Otherwise, foreigners earn and pay in the same devalued dollars, and even then with some loss from devaluation between the time they got their dollars and the time they repay them to Uncle Sam. China and other East Asian nations do earn in dollars, to which they have pegged their currencies, so they have already lost a substantial portion of their dollar stake, by far the world's largest.

And they, like all others, will also lose the rest. For Uncle Sam's debt to the rest of the world already amounts to more than a third of his annual domestic production and is still growing. That alone already makes his debt economically and politically never repayable, even if he wanted to, which he does not. Uncle Sam's domestic, eg credit-card, debt is almost 100% of gross domestic product (GDP) and consumption, including that from China. Uncle Sam's federal debt is now US$7.5 trillion, of which all but $1 trillion was built up in the past three decades, the last $2 trillion in the past eight years, and the last $1 trillion in the past two years. Alas, that costs more than $300 billion a year in interest, compared with, for example, the $15 billion spent annually on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). But no worries: Congress just raised the debt ceiling to $8.2 trillion. To help us visualize, $1 trillion tightly packed up in $1,000 bills would create a pile 100km high.

But nearly half is owed to foreigners. All Uncle Sam's debt, including private household consumer credit-card, mortgage etc debt of about $10 trillion, plus corporate and financial, with options, derivatives and the like, and state and local government debt comes to an unvisualizable, indeed unimaginable, $37 trillion, which is nearly four times Uncle Sam's GDP. Only some of that can be managed domestically, but with dangerous limitations for Uncle Sam noted below. That is only one reason I want you to meet Uncle Sam, the deadbeat confidence man, who may remind you of the film Meet Joe Black; for as we get to know him better below, we will find that he is also a Shylock, and a corrupt one at that.

The United States is the world's most privileged nation for having the monopoly privilege of printing the world's reserve currency at will and at a cost of nothing but the paper and ink it is printed on. Moreover, by doing so, Uncle Sam can export abroad the inflation he generates by the extra dollars he prints, of which there are already at least three times as many floating around the world as at Uncle Sam's home. Additionally, his is also the only country whose "foreign" debt is mostly denominated in his own world-currency dollars that he can print at will; while most foreigners' debt is also denominated in the same dollar, but they have to buy it from Uncle Sam with their own currency and real goods. So he simply pays the Chinese and others in essence with these dollars that already to begin with have no real worth beyond their paper and ink. So especially poor China gives away for nothing at all to rich Uncle Sam hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of real goods produced at home and consumed by Uncle Sam. Then China turns around and trades these same paper dollar bills in for more of Uncle Sam's paper called Treasury Certificate bonds, which are even more worthless, except that they pay a percent of interest. For as we already noted, they will never be able to be cashed in and redeemed in full or even in part, and anyway have the lost much of their value to Uncle Sam already.

In an earlier essay, I argued that Uncle Sam's power rests on two pillars only, the paper dollar and the Pentagon. Each supports the other, but the vulnerability of each is also an Achilles' heel that threatens the viability of the other. Since then, Iraq, not to mention Afghanistan, has shown confidence in the Pentagon not to be what it was cracked up to be; and with the in-part-consequent decline in the dollar, so has confidence in it and Uncle Sam's ability to use it to finance his Pentagon's foreign adventures (See Coup d'Etat and Paper Tiger in Washington, Fiery Dragon in the Pacific , which also conjures up the productive growth of China). Additionally we must realize that Uncle Sam's numbers above and below are also all literally relative. So far relations with other countries, in particular with China, still favor Uncle Sam, but they also help maintain an image that is deceptive. Consider the following:

A $2 toy leaving a US-owned factory in China is a $3 shipment arriving at San Diego. By the time a US consumer buys it for $10 at Wal-Mart, the US economy registers $10 in final sales, less $3 import cost, for a $7 addition to the US GDP. (Blaming 'undervalued' yuan wins votes , Asia Times Online, February 26, 2004)

Moreover, ever-clever Uncle Sam has arranged matters so as to earn 9% from his economic and financial holdings abroad, while foreigners earn only 3% on theirs, and among them on their Treasury Certificates only 1% real return. Note that this difference of 6 percentage points is already double what Uncle Sam pays out, and his total 9% take is triple the 3% he gives back. Therefore, although foreign holdings and Uncle Sam's are now about equal, Uncle Sam is still the big net interested winner, just like any Shylock, but no other ever did so grand a business.

But Uncle Sam also earns quite well, thank you, from other holdings abroad, eg from service payments by mostly poor foreign debtors. The sums involved are not peanuts or even small potatoes. For from his direct investments in foreign property alone, Uncle Sam's profits now equal 50%, and including his receipts from other holdings abroad now are a full 100% of profits derived from all of his own domestic activities combined. These foreign receipts add more than 4% to Uncle Sam's national domestic product. That helps nicely to compensate for the failure of domestic profits as yet to recover even their 1972 level, because Uncle Sam has failed to boost productivity sufficiently at home.

The productivity hype of president Bill Clinton's "new economy" in the 1990s was limited to computers and information technology (IT), and even that proved to be a sham when the dot-com bubble burst. Also, not only the apparent increase in "profits" but also that of "productivity" were, at the bottom, on the backs of shop-floor, office and sales-floor workers working harder and longer hours and, at the top, the result of innovative accounting shams by Enron and the like. Such factors still compensate for and permit much of Uncle Sam's $600-billion-and-still-rising trade deficit from excess home consumption over what he himself produces. That is what has resulted in the multitrillion-dollar debt. Exactly how large that debt is Uncle Sam is reluctant to reveal, but what is sure is that it is by far the world's largest, even as net debt to foreigners, after their debt to him is deducted.

How has all this come about?

The simple answer is that Uncle Sam, who is increasingly hooked on consumption, not to mention harder drugs, saves no more than 0.2% of his own income. The Federal Reserve's guru and now you see it, now you don't doctor of magic, Alan Greenspan, recently observed that this is so because the richest 20% of Americans, who are the only ones who do save, have reduced their savings to 2%. Yet even these measly savings (other, poorer countries save and even invest 20%, 30%, even 40% of their income) are more than counterbalanced by the 6% deficit spending of the government. That is what brings the average saving rate to 0.2%. To maintain that $400-plus-billion budget deficit (more than 3% of national domestic product), which is really more the $600 billion if we count, as we should, the more than $200 billion Uncle Sam "borrows" from the temporary surplus in his own Federal Social Security fund, which he is also bankrupting. (But never mind, President George W Bush just promised to privatize much of that and let people buy their own old-age "security" in the ever-insecure market).

So with this $600-billion-plus budget deficit and the above-mentioned related $600-billion-plus deficit, rich Uncle Sam, and primarily his highest earners and biggest consumers, as well as of course the Big Uncle himself, live off the fat of the rest of the world's land. Uncle Sam absorbs the savings of others who themselves are often much poorer, particularly when their central banks put many of their reserves in world-currency dollars and hence into the hands of Uncle Sam in Washington, and some also in dollars at home. Their private investors send dollars to or buy dollar assets on Wall Street, all with the confidence that they are putting their wherewithal in the world's safest haven (and that, of course, is part of the above-mentioned confidence racket). From the central banks alone, we are looking at yearly sums of more than $100 billion from Europe, more than $100 billion from poor China, $140 billion from super-saver Japan, and many 10s of billions from many others around the globe, including the Third World. But in addition, Uncle Sam obliges them, through the good offices of their own states, to send their thus literally forced savings to Uncle Sam as well in the form of their "service" of their predominantly dollar debt to him.

His treasury secretary and his International Monetary Fund (IMF) handmaiden blithely continue to strut around the world insisting that the Third - and ex-Second, now also Third - World of course continue to service their foreign debts, especially to him. No matter that with interest rates multiplied several times over by Uncle Sam himself after the Fed's Paul Volcker's coup in October 1979, most have already paid off their original borrowings three to five times over. For to pay at all at interest rates that Volcker boosted to 20%, they had to borrow still more at still higher rates until thereby their outstanding foreign debt doubled and tripled, not to mention their domestic debt from which part of the foreign payments were raised, particularly in Brazil. Privatization is the name of the game there and elsewhere, except for the debt. The debt was socialized after it had been incurred mostly by private business, but only the state had enough power to squeeze the greatest bulk of back payments out of the hides of its poor and middle-class people and transfer them as "invisible service payments" to Uncle Sam.

When Mexicans were told to tighten their belts still further, they answered that they couldn't because they had already had to eat their belts. Only Argentina and for a while Russia declared an effective moratorium on debt "service", and that only after political economic policies had destroyed their societies, thanks to Uncle Sam's advisers and his IMF strong arm. Since then, Uncle Sam himself has been blithely defaulting on his own foreign debt, as he already had several times before in the 19th century.

Speaking of that, it may be well to recall at least two pieces of advice from that time: Lord Cromer, who administered Egypt for then-dominant British imperial interests, said his most important instrument for doing so was Egypt's debts to Britain. These had just multiplied when Egypt was obliged to sell its Suez Canal shares to Britain in order to pay off earlier debts and British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli explained and justified his purchase of the same on the grounds that it would strengthen British imperial interests. Today, that is called "debt-for-equity swaps", which is one of Uncle Sam's latter-day favorite policies to use the debt to acquire profitable and/or strategically important real resources, as of course also was the canal as the way to the jewel of the British Empire, India.

Another piece of practical advice came from the premier military strategist Carl von Clausewitz: make the lands you conquer pay for their own conquest and administration. That is of course exactly what Britain did in and with India through the infamous "Home Charges" remitted to London in payment for Britain administering India, which even the British themselves recognized as "tribute" and responsible for much of "The Drain" from India to Britain. How much more efficient yet to let foreign countries' own states administer themselves but by rules set and imposed by Uncle Sam's IMF and then effect a drain of debt service anyway. Actually, the British therein also set the 19th-century precedent of relying on the "imperialism of free trade" with "independent" states as far and as long as possible, using gunboat diplomacy to make it work (which Uncle Sam had already learned to copy by early in the 20th century); and if that was not enough, simply to invade, and if necessary to occupy - and then rely on the Clausewitz rule.
We shall note several recent instances thereof, and especially the Iraqi one, in the second article in this series.

After I wrote the above, I received by e-mail an excerpt from the Democracy Now! website, titled Confessions of an economic hit man: How the US uses globalization to cheat poor countries out of trillions

We speak with John Perkins, a former respected member of the international banking community. In his book Confessions of an Economic Hit Man he describes how as a highly paid professional, he helped the US cheat poor countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars by lending them more money than they could possibly repay and then take over their economies ...

JOHN PERKINS: Basically what we were trained to do and what our job is to do is to build up the American empire. To bring - to create situations where as many resources as possible flow into this country, to our corporations, and our government, and in fact we've been very successful. We've built the largest empire in the history of the world ... primarily through economic manipulation, through cheating, through fraud, through seducing people into our way of life, through the economic hit men. I was very much a part of that ... I was initially recruited while I was in business school back in the late '60s by the National Security Agency, the nation's largest and least understood spy organization ... and then [it] send[s] us to work for private consulting companies, engineering firms, construction companies, so that if we were caught, there would be no connection with the government ...

I became its chief economist. I ended up having 50 people working for me. But my real job was deal-making. It was giving loans to other countries, huge loans, much bigger than they could possibly repay. One of the conditions of the loan - let's say a $1 billion to a country like Indonesia or Ecuador - and this country would then have to give 90% of that loan back to a US company, or US companies ... a Halliburton or a Bechtel ... A country today like Ecuador owes over 50% of its national budget just to pay down its debt. And it really can't do it. So we literally have them over a barrel. So when we want more oil, we go to Ecuador and say, "Look, you're not able to repay your debts, therefore give your oil companies your Amazon rain [forests], which are filled with oil." And today we're going in and destroying Amazonian rain forests, forcing Ecuador to give them to us because they've accumulated all this debt ... [We work] very, very closely with the World Bank. The World Bank provides most of the money that's used by economic hit men, it and the IMF.

Last but not least, oil producers also put their savings in Uncle Sam. With the "shock" of oil that restored its real price after the dollar valuation had fallen in 1973, ever-cleverer-by-half Henry Kissinger made a deal with the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, that it would continue to price oil in dollars, and these earnings would be deposited with Uncle Sam and partly compensated by military hardware. That deal de facto extended to all of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and still stands, except that before the war against Iraq that country suddenly opted out by switching to pricing its oil in euros, and Iran threatened do the same. North Korea, the third member of the "axis of evil", has no oil but trades entirely in euros. (Venezuela is a major oil supplier to Uncle Sam and also supplies some at preferential rates as non-dollar trade swaps to poor countries such as Cuba. So Uncle Sam sponsored and financed military commandos from its Plan Colombia next door, promoted an illegal coup and, when that failed, pushed a referendum in his attempt at yet another "regime change"; and now along with Brazil all three are being baptized as yet another "axis of evil").

After writing this, I found that the good (hit) man Mr Perkins was in Saudi Arabia too:

Yes, it was a fascinating time. I remember well ... the Treasury Department hired me and a few other economic hit men. We went to Saudi Arabia ... And we worked out this deal whereby the Royal House of Saud agreed to send most of their petrodollars back to the United States and invest them in US government securities. The Treasury Department would use the interest from these securities to hire US companies to build Saudi Arabia - new cities, new infrastructure - which we've done. And the House of Saud would agree to maintain the price of oil within acceptable limits to us, which they've done all of these years, and we would agree to keep the House of Saud in power as long as they did this, which we've done, which is one of the reasons we went to war with Iraq in the first place. And in Iraq we tried to implement the same policy that was so successful in Saudi Arabia, but Saddam Hussein didn't buy. When the economic hit men fail in this scenario, the next step is what we call the jackals. Jackals are CIA-sanctioned people that come in and try to foment a coup or revolution. If that doesn't work, they perform assassinations. Or try to. In the case of Iraq, they weren't able to get through to Saddam Hussein. He had - his bodyguards were too good. He had doubles. They couldn't get through to him. So the third line of defense, if the economic hit men and the jackals fail, the next line of defense is our young men and women, who are sent in to die and kill, which is what we've obviously done in Iraq.

To return to the main issue and call a spade a huge spade, all of the above is part and parcel of the world's biggest-ever Ponzi-scheme confidence racket. Like all others, its most essential characteristic is that it can only continue to pay off dollars and be maintained at the top as long as it continues to receive new dollars at the bottom, voluntarily through confidence if possible and by force if not. (Of course, the Clausewitz and Cromer formulas result in the poorest paying the most, since they are also the most defenseless: so that the ones sitting on/above them pass much of the cost and pain down to them.)

What if confidence in the dollar runs out?

Things are already getting shakier in the House of Uncle Sam. The declining dollar reduces the necessary dollar inflows, so Greenspan needs to raise interest rates to maintain some attraction for the foreign dollars he needs to fill the trade gap. As a quid pro quo for being reappointed by President George W Bush, he promised to do that only after the election. That time has now arrived, but doing so threatens to collapse the housing bubble that was built on low interest and mortgage - and remortgage - rates.

But it is in their house values that most Americans have their savings, if they have any at all. They and this imaginary wealth effect supported over-consumption and the nearly as-high-as-GDP household debt, and a collapse of the housing price bubble with increased interest and mortgage rates would not only drastically undercut house prices, it would thereby have a domino effect on their owners' enormous second and third remortgages and credit-card and other debt, their consumption, corporate debt and profit, and investment. In fact, these factors would be enough to plummet Uncle Sam into a deep recession, if not depression, and another Big Bear deflation on stock and de facto on other prices, rendering debt service even more onerous. (If the dollar declines, even domestic price inflation is de facto deflationary against other currencies, which Russians and Latin Americans discovered to their peril, and which we observe below.)

Still lower real US investment would reduce its industrial productivity and competitiveness even more - probably to a degree lower than can compensated for by further devaluing the dollar and making US exports cheaper, as is the confident hope of many, probably including the good Doctor. Until now, the apparent inflation of prices abroad in rubles and pesos and their consequent devaluations have been a de facto deflation in terms of the dollar world currency. Uncle Sam then printed dollars to buy up at bargain-basement fire-sale prices natural resources in Russia (whose economy was then run on $100 bills), and companies and even banks, as in South Korea. True, now Greenspan and Uncle Sam are trying again to get other central banks to raise their own interest rates and otherwise plunge their own people into even deeper depression.

But even if he can, thereby also canceling out the relative attractiveness of his own interest-rate hike, how could that save Uncle Sam? What remains the great unknown and perhaps still unknowable is how a more wounded, Ponzi-less Uncle Sam would react with more "Patriotic" acts at home and abroad with the weapons - including the now almost ready "small" nukes - he would still have, even if his foreign victims no longer paid for new ones. So, to compensate for less bread and civil rights at home, an even more patriotic, nay chauvinist, circus at the cost of others abroad is the real danger of the current policies to "defend freedom and civilization".

So, far beyond Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda and all the terrorists put together, the greatest real-world threat to Uncle Sam is that the inflow of dollars dries up. For instance, foreign central banks and private investors (it is said that "overseas Chinese" have a tidy trillion dollars) could any day decide to place more of their money elsewhere than in the declining dollar and abandon poor ol' Uncle Sam to his destiny. China could double its per capita income very quickly if it made real investments at home instead of financial ones with Uncle Sam. Central banks, European and others, can now put their reserves in (rising!) euros or even soon-to-be-revalued Chinese yuan. Not so far down the road, there may be an East Asian currency, eg a basket first of ASEAN + 3 (China, Japan, South Korea) - and then + 4 (India). While India's total exports in the past five years rose by 73%, those to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) rose at double that rate and sixfold to China. India has become an ASEAN summit partner, and its ambitions stretch still further to an economic zone stretching from India to Japan. Not for nothing, in the 1997 East Asian currency and then full economic crisis, Uncle Sam strong-armed Japan not to start a proposed East Asian currency fund that would have prevented at least the worst of the crisis. Uncle Sam then benefited from it by buying devalued East Asian currencies and using them to buy up East Asian real resources, and in South Korea also banks, at bargain-basement reduced-price fire sales. But now, China is already taking steps toward such an arrangement, only on a much grander financial and now also economic scale.

A day after writing the above, I read in The Economist (December 11-17, 2004) a report on the previous week's summit meeting of ASEAN + 3 in Malaysia. That country's prime minister announced that this summit should lay the groundwork for an East Asian Community (EAC) that "should build a free-trade area, cooperate on finance, and sign a security pact ... that would transform East Asia into a cohesive economic block ... In fact, some of these schemes are already in motion ... China, as the region's pre-eminent economic and military power, will doubtless dominate ... and host the second East Asia Summit." The report went on to recall that in 1990, Uncle Sam shot down a similar initiative for fear of losing influence in the region. Now it is a case of "Yankee Stay Home".

Or what if, long before that comes to pass, exporters of oil simply cease to price it in ever-devaluing dollars, and instead make a mint by switching to the rising euro and/or a basket of East Asian currencies? That would at one stroke vastly diminish the world demand for and price of dollars by obliging anyone who wants to buy oil to purchase and increase the demand price of the euro or yen/yuan instead of the dollar. That would crash the dollar and tumble Uncle Sam in one fell swoop, as foreign - and even domestic - owners of dollars would sell off as many of them as fast as they could, and other countries' central banks would switch their reserves out of dollars and away from Uncle Sam's no-longer-safe haven. That would drive the dollar down even more, and of course halt any more dollar inflow to Uncle Sam from the foreigners who have been financing his consumption spree. Since selling oil for falling dollars instead of rising euros is evidently bad business, the world's largest oil exporters in Russia and OPEC have been considering doing just that. In the meantime, they have only raised the dollar price of oil, so that in euro terms it has remained approximately stable since 2000. So far, many oil exporters and others still place their increased amount of dollars with Uncle Sam, even though he now offers an ever less attractive and less safe haven, but Russia is now buying more euros with some of its dollars.

So also many countries' central banks have begun to put ever more of their reserves into the euro and currencies other than Uncle Sam's dollar. Now even the Central Bank of China, the greatest friend of Uncle Sam in need, has begun to buy some euros. China itself has also begun to use some of its dollars - as long as they are still accepted by them - to buy real goods from other Asians and thousands of tons of iron ore and steel from Brazil, etc. (Brazil's president recently took a huge business delegation to China, and a Chinese one just went to Argentina. They are going after South African minerals too.)

So what will happen to the rich on top of Uncle Sam's Ponzi scheme when the confidence of poorer central banks and oil exporters in the middle runs out, and the more destitute around the world, confident or not, can no longer make their in-payments at the bottom? The Uncle Sam Ponzi Scheme Confidence Racket would - or will? - come crashing down, like all other such schemes before, only this time with a worldwide bang. It would cut the present US consumer demand down to realistic size and hurt many exporters and producers elsewhere in the world. In fact, it may involve a wholesale fundamental reorganization of the world political economy now run by Uncle Sam.'

We need John McCain about as much as we need another WAR...oh yeah, John McCain is for another war remember 'BOMBOMBOMB, BOMBOMB IRAN!!!!'

Posted by: Need4trth | August 19, 2008 7:47 PM

I am curious why McCain's decisions to not pay his home taxes for 5 years is not talked about as an example of his ability to lead.

Posted by: tom | August 19, 2008 11:23 PM

I think the republicans aren't real republicans anymore. Their party are silly. This party has no shame. I would be ashamed to call myself a republican. Just look what Bush has done in just 8 years and Mccain wants to embrace destruction. I don't think I'll ever understand them. The republican party wasn't always like this but it is a party seriously on a planet of their own.

Posted by: Linda | August 21, 2008 4:13 AM

We thought Bush would have been the dumbest president. Now here comes Mccain. Throughout this election, Mccain has made a complete ass out of himself. He is not presidential at all. This man can't even pronounce words properly. He is a habitual liar. Mccain would be a worst president than Bush. He a nut case. I don't believe a word Mccain say's.

Posted by: Gary | August 21, 2008 4:16 AM

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