Tuesday, September 09, 2008

McCain's Honor

What's that quote, sometimes attributed to Twain, other times to Churchill? "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." Well, it looks like the truth is belatedly catching up to McCain and Palin on their nonstop "she stopped the bridge to nowhere, she sold the plane on eBay, she fired the governor's mansion cook" attempts to create a hockey mom, reformer, just-folks persona that rests on a tissue of lies.

No, she didn't kill the bridge to nowhere; no, she didn't return the money for the bridge -- she kept it; no, she didn't sell the plane on eBay, and took a loss when she sold it otherwise; no, she didn't fire the governor mansion cook, just let him go during the summer, when she wasn't there anyway; no, she didn't put Wasilla's fiscal house in order, she increased the town's debt; no, she didn't oppose earmarks, she took in more earmark money per capita than any other governor in the United States.

It'll be interesting to see whether the facts carry the day. So often, people will just go on believing what they want to. What's that other Churchill line? "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."

Here are a few links to the facts:





Many more articles and links on Talking Points Memo.


-- Barry


Barry Eisler said...

I'm always grateful when commenters unintentionally prove my points. This is from a message I received on MySpace in response to this post.

"Those are YOUR facts and the liberal media's!"

My response:

I don't understand your point. How can these facts be mine, or the media's, or anyone else's? They're just... facts. A fact, as I'm sure you know, is "a thing that is indisputably the case."

Again, Churchill: "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened." Even by Churchill's standard, I must say your recovery from your stumble seems swift.


PBI said...


Thanks pulling these links and vids together; they'll come in handy when Anonymous (honestly, why someone can't just pick a freakin' handle for the purposes of conversation is beyond me) starts asking for citations as a result of my comments on your last post.

Folks like your MySpace commenter are the people who - as Stephen Colbert said of President Bush - "believe the same things on Wednesday he believed on Monday; no matter WHAT happened on Tuesday." I don't really know how to be nice about it, so I'll just say that that person is fool and deserves everything that happens to him as a result of his willful stupidity. (Sorry, was that elitist of me?)

In the meantime, we need to make sure that we keep the truth front and center and confront the lies. Hopefully, if people keep tripping and falling over it, they'll find it harder to ignore, no matter the rich fantasy life they have woven for themselves!

Sensen No Sen

Sandra Ruttan said...

Of course these aren't your facts, Barry. They're just facts.

The real complaint Palin supporters have when they hear these details is that they don't support the view they want presented of her.

I've already expressed my thoughts at length on my blog, but since then I've read more about her environmental record (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/377955_palinenvir07.html) and I'm appalled. I've been to Alaska. And I love nature. I've seen wolf packs in the wild and what a thrill that is. They aren't the vicious predators they were portrayed as in fairy tales. The Bow Valley wolf pack was handed a death sentence when enough wolves were shot that they weren't left with a sufficient gene pool to sustain the pack through breeding.

Once our wildlife, and our natural resources, are gone forever we can never get them back. But hey, I guess if the world is about to end it doesn't matter anyway, right? We'll just call our convenient policies God's will.

Here's what I want to know. If she loses the election will she go on TV and publicly admit that was God's will? Or will she blast the US as being full of heathens who defied God's will?

Anonymous said...

Facts and convictions that Obama will win because of the grievous deficiencies of McCain and Palin may be trumped by the theft of the upcoming election. This is a serious possibility. Please check out Mark Crispin Miller's new book, Loser Take All: Election Fraud and the Subversion of American Democracy, 2000-2008. This isn't wild conspiracy stuff. Miller's an expert on the subject and an important prophetic voice being ignored by the media, including National Public Radion and public television. If you want to hear an excellent, if obscure, interview with Miller, google "Audio Mark Crispin Miller." It will make your hair stand on end.

JD Rhoades said...

How DARE you attack Governor Palin's family!

This is all part of a left wing blog conspiracy to destroy conservative women just because they're women!

I'd say I was being satirical, except these are actual quotes I've heard in response to actual, legitimate questions.

Unknown said...

Interesting stuff. The problem I have been experiencing is there is so much conflicting information out there that it is hard to know just WHO to believe. Hard to decide whether a slam against either party is a "hit piece" or not. As someone who still hasn't made up his mind I wonder if I'll just have to depend on the actual debates in a couple of weeks.

Narbe said...

About 90% of what the McCain-Palin camp has said has been lies. The most recent one http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/09/09/mccain-ad-obamas-lone-edu_n_125205.html, distorting Obama's measure to teach kids about sex-predators, is the lowest yet. Obama really needs to get pissed and call them to the carpet on this.

Joshua James said...

The battle between faith and facts is one that has raged through the ages - it's only that the Republican party has made faith (believe in me, etc) their centerpiece and has really messed things up - I don't mean just faith in God (though they do that too) but faith in their mission, the faith of their followers is what they prey on, and it always comes down to, in the words of Eddie Murphy, "Who are you gonna believe? Me, or you're own lying eyes" in the end.

They picked Palin as a model of what they think folks want to believe it (and, judging by the rabid following, they picked well) and now we're in a battle of faith vs facts, which is the same fight Bush used against Gore and Kerry, when you think about it.

It'd be cool to see someone slap them down with it, ie, these guys have betrayed your faith. He's not a uniter, she's not a reformer, etc.

Take it right to their strong point, and bury the point home.

Anonymous said...

I'm so angry about this stupid lipstick thing, I can't concentrate. Obviously McCain doesn't believe sexism exists. He doesn't believe it hurts real people. His actions show he sees it as merely a game based on editing clips together that don't relate. Gotcha!

McCain is no reformer. He's no maverick. And he has no honor. With this he has proven he embraces the same tactics as the current administration (along with embracing their policies). When will the American people finally realize they are being insulted by this kind of garbage?

And I'm so sick of a "news" media that refuses to discuss the issues but are all over bullshit sensationalist political ploys like this. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Liberal, conservative, independent, we all deserve better than this.

PBI said...


If I may, I'd say that past experience leads me to believe that no one will learn enough from the debates to make a decision if they remain truly conflicted. I would strongly suggest sites like ProCon.org and OnTheIssues.org for evaluating candidates on the stuff that matters. Likewise, FactCheck.org is a good source for cutting through the chaffe and determining what is a hit piece and what is simple recitation of fact.

Sensen No Sen

Natalie Hatch said...

Barry I'm amazed, you seem to be accused of doing something that is omniscient as in 'creating fact'... I have never met a human being that could do such, so now I'm really excited, Barry Eisler creates facts... woo hoo, I'd put that down on my resume anyday. lol.
But on a more serious note, from a completely outsiders point of view 'the republicans are in trouble'. I'm sure that the hollowmen behind the players are kicking themselves by pulling the palin candidate out of the hat. Surely there were more qualified and seasoned women in the Republican party that could have filled this spot? If they were just looking for the woman vote thing.
There's a great television program over here called The Hollowmen (http://www.abc.net.au/hollowmen) which shows where the decision making processes really lie in Australian politics.

David Terrenoire said...


I've followed, and been active in, presidential politics since 1972. I've seen the worst of Nixon's men, Lee Atwater and now Rove.

Cynicism is king. Winning is everything, ethics are nothing.

We have reached a point where the choices are crystal clear. One choice answers questions as if we are grown-ups. The other gives us bullshit as if we're children.

If the bullshit wins, I have lost all hope for this country and, by extension, the benefits of democracy.

I'm that bereft of hope.

KSR said...

For those who want Obama to win, don’t despair. Right now, the race is essentially a tie. That is McCain’s high-water mark, after the convention bounce. His tactics of lowbrow politics seem to be backfiring. The press is all over the lies and distortions. I do not believe that Obama needs to “get pissed” as Narbe suggests. Clinton ran an exceptional campaign in 1992 and never showed himself to be upset at the garbage they threw at him. He stuck to his message (“It’s the economy, stupid), and it worked. It can work again.

The thing that makes me most nervous is actual election fraud. Electronic voting machines have made the job of changing votes already cast incredibly easy. It’s documented. Witnesses or individuals who have actually been complicit in stealing votes have stepped forward disclosing what they’ve seen or done. I was at the debut screening of the documentary “Stealing America: Vote by Vote” this summer in Austin, Texas. (see: http://www.stealingamericathemovie.org/) It was the first time I’ve ever really been terrified of the subversion of the “will of the people.” It seems almost commonplace now, where these machines are used, the final vote count changes by about 7%. It happened in precinct after precinct in Ohio in 2004, and in many counties in the 2006 elections. The difference there, is that Democrats won by more than 7% in many elections, and so even with the vote tabulations removing 7% from the Democrat and giving it to the Republican, it wasn’t enough to change the outcome (although it did in a few contests). You’ll have to see the documentary, read Mark Crispin Miller’s book, or read “What Went Wrong in Ohio” The Conyers Report on the 2004 presidential election (available at Amazon…where I bought mine) for more detailed explanations.

One of the things to pay attention to, is exit polling. Exit polling has historically been extremely accurate. You have people reporting who they DID vote for, not a submission of who they MAY vote for. The numbers have been amazingly close to the final numbers for decades. Only things started to go awry in 2000. Exit polling data predicted winners who eventually went on to lose (see Al Gore for the most famous example). It happened again in 2002, but really no one was paying attention. Ohio 2004 (Kerry) was extremely interesting because there was constant reporting of exit polling vs. actual precincts reporting on the network news channels until about midnight. And things were taking shape the way the exit polls predicted. And then, inexplicitly, the data flow from the Secretary of State’s office stopped reporting returns for about 45 minutes. The news crews went nuts. They had no idea why the information flow had stopped. When they came back live, there was a 7% switch from Kerry to Bush, giving Bush the state. Networks called a winner, and the exit pollsters “readjusted their formulas” to make their data match the “official results.” It’s maddening. Why is that we simply accept the state’s results? If exit polling is accurate, it’s the state that should be re-examining the results.

Anyway, I think McCain is about as high in the predictions polls as he’s going to get. His campaign is running on tricks, because he has nothing else to say. Tricks are usually reserved for the homestretch of a campaign. Where does he go from here? He has over 50 days left (and three debates). Barring a major gaffe from Obama, the McCain campaign should start disintegrating.

PBI said...


Agreed on all points; there has been some bad stuff happening over the past few years. I'm hoping that the increasinlgy widespread discrediting of electronic voting machines will at least mitigate the fraud that appears to have been in play since 2000.

On the polling front, there appears to be some monkeying around in the selection of the participants. It appears that, despite a significant voter registration advantage for Dems, the newest polls are sampling Republicans and Democrats equally, which is not, in fact, reflective of the electorate. The closeness of recent polls seems to be a product of both convention bounce for the GOP and polling methodology. (See here: and here for more detail.) Here's a good summary quote from the Daily Kos story:

Now this is not to say McCain-Palin haven't shown recent movement. They have. Their base (at the moment) seems energized. But the difference is, if party ID was truly representative Obama would still be leading comfortably, or big with most polls, or barely losing or keeping it tight (as he's doing now) with outlier polls like the recent 10 pt USA-Today LV Poll. In other words, when Dem party ID is down, and McCain makes movement, Obama's numbers are not going to appear robust. When party ID is accurately representative (which it rarely is) and there's movement towards Obama, then you get your Bloomberg, Newsweek 13-15 point blowout leads that the media hated. No more of those polls! Lol.

Certainly no excuse to get complacent, but worth considering in the present media environment.

I'm also getting the sense that the McCain campaign is in the process of jumping the shark. The Lipstick on a Pig and the new "Obama wants to teach kindergartners about sex" ad are starting to reek of both desperation and the cheapest of politics, and even some Republicans have expressed embarrassment. Nonetheless, McCain is dominating the airwaves with this nonsense, and Obama needs to be more aggressive - more offense and less defense!

Sensen No Sen

David Farnell said...

I've been worried about electronic voting since it started to become an important factor in 2002--I graduated from the same college as LBJ, so I know how easy it is to steal an election even with a clear paper trail. But some of the info presented here is new, and quite unsettling, to me.

I wish Obama would get this subtly into the thoughts of citizens by, I don't know, promising to end the use of voting machines that we can't have confidence in. He can't directly come out and say that electronic voting machines are being rigged by the companies who make them (which happen to be headed by big Republican supporters), because that will prompt the standard Republican line of, "Oh, so THAT'S going to be your excuse for why you lost, huh? Sore losers!" But it would be good to get people thinking about the issue.

It would also be good to lay the groundwork for a post-election investigation now. People need to stop thinking of recounts as the last resort of a sore loser. Even just taking into account the razor-thin closeness of recent elections, we need to stop with the hysterical need to have a result the very next day. I remember in 2000 how people in America were acting like it was the end of the world that we wouldn't know who the next president was going to be for a few weeks, as if American civilization was about to collapse. And everyone seemed so relieved when the Supreme Court wrongly stopped the Florida recount and essentially chose Bush for us, invalidating the entire election.

My Japanese family and friends are fed up with their government and how it can't seem to keep a Prime Minister in place for long, but I have to say, I kind of like it. If Americans weren't in such a rut about the 4-year cycle, Bush could have been forced out even before 9/11, after the Enron and California power-company scandals.

Well, I look forward soon to casting my absentee ballot. Too bad I'm registered in Texas, where a vote for Obama won't make a damn bit of difference.