Two Telling Articles

Source: Freddie Mac paid McCain aide's firm

By PETE YOST, Associated Press Writer 28 minutes ago

Almost up until the time it was taken over by the government in the nation's financial crisis, one of two housing giants paid $15,000 a month to the lobbying firm of John McCain's campaign manager, a person familiar with the financial arrangement says.The money from Freddie Mac to the firm of Rick Davis is on top of more than $30,000 a month that went directly to Davis for five years starting in 2000.The $30,000 a month came from both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the other housing entity now under the government's control because of the nation's financial crisis. All the payments were first reported by The New York Times, which posted an article Tuesday night revealing the $15,000 a month to the firm of Davis Manafort. The newspaper quoted two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement. In response to the latest disclosure, the McCain campaign issued a statement saying that Davis left the firm and stopped taking salary from the firm in 2006. A person familiar with the contract says the $15,000 a month in payments to Davis' firm started around the end of 2005 and continued until the past month or so. The person spoke on condition of anonymity.

The connection between Davis and the housing giants that figure centrally in the global financial crunch emerged after the McCain campaign unleashed a sharp attack on Democratic rival Barack Obama.McCain has tied Obama to Fannie and Freddie's troubles and has called on Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines — both Obama supporters and former Fannie Mae executives — to return large golden parachute payments they received from the corporations after leaving. McCain's campaign released a new television ad that says Raines is among those advising Obama on housing policy. Obama's campaign released a statement from Raines, who says he is not an Obama adviser. Robert McCarson, a former spokesman for Fannie Mae, criticized the McCain campaign's attack on Obama, given the five years of payments to Davis."It's either idiocy or hubris" on the McCain campaign's part, McCarson, a Democrat, said in an interview.

Gee. What a surprise. And 15 grand a month, but not really sure what it's for? How about supplying the lube to the nation for the grand rogering it's experiencing from the banking world and Wall Street? 15 Grand can buy a lot of lube. (Of course, I wouldn't know about that). Maybe this guy can join Carly Fiorino in "out of McPalin's hair" camp. Anyways, someone please call Senator McCain what he really is; a prevaricator.

September 24, 2008

Pinpoint Attacks Focus on Obama

STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — Hundreds of times in the past three weeks, cable television viewers here have been the exclusive audience for two of the roughest advertisements of the political season.One links Senator Barack Obama to the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame M. Kilpatrick, an African-American whose political career unraveled in scandal. The other features Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A Wright Jr., also black, and his now infamous sermon marked by the words “God damn America.”

Ooh! America is frightened! We're scared! We need to lock our doors at night, or some boogy man is going to creep in and steal us blind. Wait a second, that's already happening. How about Herman Munster Paulson? Does he want in too?

The advertisements, from a political action committee that is not connected to Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign, are running only here, in Macomb County, heavily populated by white, unionized auto workers, once considered “Reagan Democrats,” whose votes could largely determine which candidate wins Michigan, a state vital to both sides. The advertisements point up the unusual nature of this year’s more potentially pernicious political attacks: They are not coming with the loud, nationally recognized cannon blast of the type launched by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth against Senator John Kerry in 2004, but, rather, as more stealthy, narrowly aimed rifle shots from smaller groups armed with incendiary material.

As Mike Moore points out in "Bowling for Columbine" - everything that's dark and insidious in America started somewhere in Michigan. Yet again!

Mr. McCain has at times been a target of over-the-top attacks from outside groups, such as a recent advertisement from the liberal group Brave New Pac, based in California, that suggested his time in a Vietnamese prison ill-affected his ability to be president; the Internet was filled with various unsubstantiated and discredited rumors about his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, immediately after he named her last month.But the more explosive charges from outside groups against Mr. Obama have often drawn closer scrutiny this year for their volume and the cultural and racial sensitivities they tend to touch, and, occasionally, seek to exploit.

In Mr. Obama’s case, the messages have frequently sought to paint him as foreign, like the chain e-mail messages sent for months to Jewish areas of Florida, suburban Philadelphia and other swing states that portray Mr. Obama as Muslim (he is Christian). This week, a hate group calling itself the League of American Patriots distributed fliers to as many as 50 homes in Roxbury, a mostly white town in northern New Jersey, portraying Mr. Obama as Osama Bin Laden and including language that was derisive of black people. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, said the fliers, initially reported by The Star-Ledger in Newark, were the first overtly racist printed tracts of their kind this election season.

Wait a second. Isn't this kind of mail against the law? A hate crime?

The advertisements running here against Mr. Obama come from a group called Freedom’s Defense Fund, a political action committee based in Washington that was formed four years ago and raises money from conservatives around the country. The advertisements have stood out because of the group’s connections — including to its paid consultant, Jerome S. Corsi, the author of the highly negative, largely discredited political biography of Mr. Obama, “Obama Nation” — and what local critics say are their racial overtones. “That’s all they are — race oriented,” said Ed Bruley, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Macomb. “I think some people will be affected by it, others will see it for what it is.” It is a view shared by Democratic leaders, including Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who, in a recent interview with MSNBC, said of the advertising campaign, “The fact that it is being run in a predominantly white suburb tells you that there is an explicit effort to try to divide people by race.”

No shit, Sherlock.

Todd Zirkle, the executive director of Freedom’s Defense Fund, said race had “zero” to do with the spots. “That’s the standard retort when you want to say ‘Don’t listen to these people,’ ” Mr. Zirkle said. He said the group’s intention was to show Mr. Obama’s affiliations — although Mr. Obama and Mr. Kilpatrick were never known to be close. He said coming spots would highlight Mr. Obama’s ties to two white men, the developer Antoin Rezko, a former financial backer of Mr. Obama’s who has been convicted of fraud, and to the Weather Underground founder William Ayers, with whom Mr. Obama worked on an education commission in Illinois and whose past Mr. Obama has repudiated. Mr. Zirkle said a fifth spot would highlight Mr. Obama’s supposed support for the Kenyan prime minister, the opposition leader Raila Odinga. Mr. Zirkle did not share that script, but Mr. Corsi’s book asserts, without substantiation, that Mr. Obama has been a close supporter of the African leader. Mr. Obama remained neutral in the Kenyan elections.

Liars who love to lie. So drunk on power they lose their souls. If it wasn't so important, I'd have compassion for this pathetic creep. But there's too many of them out there. Creeps with money. Liars with access to video equipment. Shame on Zirkle. Shame on Corsi. Couple of creepos. Obama was 8 years old when Ayers was an anarchist. And what was he protesting? To allow Nixon to continue the war?

Officials with Freedom’s Defense Fund, which gives Mr. Corsi’s book to its donors, said they paid Mr. Corsi only to help write fund-raising appeals. Federal returns show he was paid $15,000 as a fund-raising consultant. But the details of his book provide a thread that runs through several of the anti-Obama groups. One of them is the National Campaign Fund, a group directed by Floyd Brown, who produced the Willie Horton attack ads against Gov. Michael S. Dukakis of Massachusetts in the 1988 race. An advertisement Mr. Brown hopes to run against Mr. Obama this fall — and now on his group’s Web site — cites Mr. Corsi’s book in trying to paint Mr. Obama as a Muslim.

Mr. Brown said in an interview that he had spoken with Mr. Corsi, whom he said he has known “for years,” but Mr. Corsi is not listed as a formal consultant. Federal filings show that Mr. Brown’s group has spent more than $60,000 for a direct mail campaign, the content of which he would not share. Disputed claims that Mr. Corsi has made about Mr. Obama’s abortion stance have dovetailed with those of a group that recently ran a commercial in Dayton, Ohio, accusing Mr. Obama of supporting “infanticide” (he does not). The group, the Black Republican PAC, has several connections to the Freedom Defense Fund. They share the same treasurer, Scott B. MacKenzie, who had also worked on Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaigns in 1980 and 1984, as well as those of Jack Kemp and Patrick J. Buchanan. Mr. MacKenzie’s office is located in the direct mail firm working with both groups, BMW Direct, whose chief operating officer, Michael Centanni, is also the chairman of the defense fund.

God, the lies are so rampant - from WMD's to emergency bailouts. "I'm the decider." What a dolt. But that's the mantra. "I'll decide what's good for the country, and the economy. "

Mr. Centanni said he has no connection to Mr. McCain’s campaign. He said Freedom’s Defense Fund, with relatively scant resources to spread nationally, decided it could have the most impact by focusing its presidential efforts here for tens of thousands. “We feel Obama can’t win the presidency without Michigan and he can’t win Michigan without Macomb,” he said. “We’re relatively small, but we’re trying to be effective and relevant.” Bill Burton, a spokesman for Mr. Obama, said, “Considering that these ads have only run on television a couple of times, this group is getting a wealth of attention it would otherwise never get just by this article appearing in The New York Times.” Macomb is where the Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg helped define the term “Reagan Democrat” in the mid-1980s, conducting a series of polls to conclude that white, unionized workers came to believe Democrats had abandoned them for, in part, the poor and African-Americans.

Guy should be prosecuted for lying, slander and just being a public nuisance.

Mr. Greenberg returned this year with his Democratic advocacy group, Democracy Corps, to find that racial attitudes among white workers had grown less hostile, though concerns had not disappeared. Union officials have worked to dispel those concerns. Waiting in a car outside a Dollar Store here, a retired auto worker named Angie Christel, 78, who is white, said the union had dismissed for her the notion that Mr. Obama was Muslim. “I thought he was Muslim until I got the letter in the mail,” Ms. Christel said, “and he was raised by all white people.”

Oh Lordy! One person doesn't fear the half white/half black candidate. Did you know that in Puerto Rico, if one of your parents is white, you're considered white? Why is the US the only country on the planet that has it backwards? Our nation is so inured to its xenophobia, so addicted to the drug of fear, it's driving itself off a cliff.

My two cents.

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