10/02/2008 - 11:28am
Just because Joe Biden pretends to be the everyman and is one of the least rich members of the senate doesn't mean he doesn't live as a member of the elite.

Although he is among the least wealthy members of the millionaires club that is the United States Senate — he and his wife, Jill, a college professor, earn about $250,000 a year — Mr. Biden maintains a lifestyle that is more comfortable than the impression he may have given on the campaign trail.

A review of his finances found that when it comes to some of his largest expenses, like the purchase and upkeep of his home and his use of Amtrak trains to get around, he has benefited from resources and relationships not available to average Americans.

Are you shocked?

As a secure incumbent who has rarely faced serious competition during 35 years in the Senate, Mr. Biden has been able to dip into his campaign treasury to spend thousands of dollars on home landscaping and some of his Amtrak travel between Wilmington, Del., where he lives, and Washington.
Campaign funds for landscaping? If that's legal, why didn't Ted Stevens just do it that way?

And the acquisition of his waterfront property a decade ago involved wealthy businessmen and campaign supporters, some of them bankers with an interest in legislation before the Senate, who bought his old house for top dollar, sold him four acres at cost and lent him $500,000 to build his new home.
Same game Barack played with the corrupt Rezko's helping him buy, and getting him a discount on his house. These guys are going to change the way Washington does business? It seems unlikely.

Mr. Biden’s campaign said the payments to tree trimmers and lawn services, typically totaling a few thousand dollars a year, were permissible because they were tied to political events at his home. Jim Whittaker, co-owner of Grass Roots Inc., which was paid $4,345 in 2000, said the payment probably represented several visits to the senator’s property, adding that Mr. Biden was “late paying the bill one time.”

“We cut the grass and put sod down for him, did spring cleanups, mulching and knocked down vegetation,” Mr. Whittaker said. “One time we did a mulching job and he was having an event, but I don’t know if it was political or just for friends.”

For the Obama team to represent change would mean they'll have to change the way they do business.
Mr. Biden previously lived for 21 years in a 10,000-square-foot former DuPont mansion in Greenville, which he bought in 1975 for $185,000 after learning it was slated for demolition.
After extensive renovations, he sold it in February 1996, through word of mouth, to John R. Cochran III, the vice chairman of MBNA, one of the nation’s largest credit card companies. He agreed to pay Mr. Biden’s full asking price, $1.2 million. MBNA reimbursed Mr. Cochran for a loss he took on the sale of his old home, according to a 1997 securities filing, which said the company requested that he move to Delaware from Maryland.
Mr. Cochran, who still lives at the house, could not be reached for comment. The real estate deal was just one facet of a close relationship between Mr. Biden and MBNA, which donated more than $200,000 to his campaigns.
The Delaware-based company gave a job to Mr. Biden’s son Hunter; flew Senator
Biden and his wife to the Maine coast, where Mr. Biden spoke at a company retreat; and its former chief executive, Charles M. Cawley, donated at least $22,500 to a nonprofit breast cancer fund started by Jill Biden.

Change? Nope. More of the same.
10/02/2008 - 11:15am
Yesterday's Gallup poll showed McCain picking up some ground, cutting Barack's lead from 8% to 4%. But today's Rasmussen ticks up a point for Barack.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack
Obama attracting 51% of the vote while John McCain earns 44%. This seven-point
advantage is the largest yet enjoyed by Obama during Election 2008 and is
consistent with the stable lead he has enjoyed over the past week. For each of
the past seven days, Obama has been at 50% or 51% and McCain has been at 44% or 45%.

The challenge for McCain remains the strong focus on the bad economy. Will the conversation shift, or can McCain figure out how to get some traction on the Wall Street fiasco? He missed an opportunity to reinforce his brand when he voted for the bailout last night without demanding that the pork be removed. But I suspect the campaign is gunshy after last week's campaign suspension failed to impress.
Obama leads 63% to 32% among voters who name the economy as the top voting
issue. McCain lead 74% to 24% among those who say that national security is the
highest priority. Fifty percent (50%) of voters say the economy is most
important while just 19% see national security that way.
10/01/2008 - 8:58pm
These people are sick. Wall Street needs a bailout, and anyone in congress who isn't brain dead is appalled at the $700B request. So how do Democrats respond to the horror of socializing the financial sector in the new version of the bill?
The Senate substitute now runs over 450 pages. And tucked away in the tax provisions is a landmark health care provision demanding that insurance companies provide coverage for mental health treatment—such as hospitalization—on parity with physical illnesses.
Brilliant. That should certainly lower the cost of health insurance. And it should help the proposal sail through the house.
Really a bill onto itself, the mental health parity measure has been a bipartisan priority for top lawmakers in both chambers but has stalled because of disagreements again over how to pay for its estimated $3.8 billion five-year cost. In the current climate, that seems to be no longer a stumbling block, and if the Treasury plan becomes law, it will also.
What's another $4B to these morons when they're adding $100B to the $700B package? It's lunch money.
Senate leaders are confident that they can prevail, but the strategy is not without risks in the House given the added costs of the tax package. Congressional Budget Office estimates indicate that the net impact will be to add almost $105 billion to an already large deficit next year, and fiscal conservatives will feel they are being straight-armed by the Senate which has refused to do more to offset the costs.
Why should the care when they're also padding the bill with an expensive fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax without worrying about where the money will come from.
The biggest single piece in the package is an extension of protections for millions of middle class families who would otherwise find themselves exposed to the higher levy under the alternative minimum tax. This alone accounts for about three quarters of the cost or $78.8 billion in 2009. Almost $14 billion more can be attributed to a variety of tax break extensions important to business, including the R&E credit worth about $8.4 billion in 2009.
These people are sick on two levels. First, the way they try to force us into socialized medicine by piling on costs when they should be looking for ways to make it cheaper. And second, for using the crisis on Wall Street to expand their crisis in health insurance.
10/01/2008 - 4:49pm
I don't see why it matters much even if VP debate moderator Gwen Ifill's book is a celebration of the wonder of Barack. She's from PBS, so we weren't expecting her to be other than highly supportive of the Democratic ticket.
The McCain camp is claiming it didn't know about Gwen Ifill's book prior to agreeing to her as moderator for the VP debate.
Democrats, who don't see skin color, are orgasmic over Barack because he is black.

If that's true, it just shows the McCain campaign's incompetence. The debate moderators were agreed to on August 6. Ifill's book was reported in the Associated Press two weeks earlier.

The same thing happened in Massachusetts two years ago, where we elected a disaster of a governor, in part, because he is black. Deval Patrick, who I believe has given up on any ideas of running for a second term, seems to be counting on being brought to Washington in an Obama administration. The idea that that he is also to be featured in Ifill's book lends a comical air to the tomb long before its release.

We've been around the block on this hope and change nonsense in Massachusetts. And we know that the purveyors of hope being inexperienced, or black, doesn't help them do job they're unqualified for.
10/01/2008 - 2:55pm
If you ran anti-abortion ads that were this visual and manipulative, would there be an outcry?

10/01/2008 - 12:19pm
Take a look and see that Sarah Palin, when comfortable, can discuss issues just fine. This is a piece of a gubernatorial debate in her Alaska race two years ago.

10/01/2008 - 8:58am
While Sarah is being mocked for her answer to Katie's question about what newspapers she reads - obviously, she's not over her nerves or she could have at least mentioned the Anchorage Daily News - I see this as a sign that she's calming down.
Palin avoids the question with a confident sidestep about how Alaska isn't a foreign country. This is what slick politicians do to avoid being cornered.
10/01/2008 - 8:25am
Has McCain's corporate tax break been added to the revised bailout bill that the senate will vote on tonight?

In a surprise move to resurrect President Bush's $700 billion Wall Street rescue plan, Senate leaders slated a vote on the measure for Wednesday - but added a tax cut plan already rejected by the House. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky unveiled the plan Tuesday.

The move to add a tax legislation - including a set of popular business tax breaks - risked a backlash from House Democrats insisting they be paid for with tax increases elsewhere.

Barack has attacked McCain for favoring tax breaks for business.

The Senate plan would also raise federal deposit insurance limits to $250,000
from $100,000, as called for by the two presidential nominees only hours
Both candidates support the insurance hike.

But by also adding legislation to prevent more than 20 million middle-class
taxpayers from feeling the bite of the alternative minimum tax, the step could
build momentum for the Wall Street bailout from House Republicans. The
presidential candidates Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Barack Obama, D-Ill.,
intend to fly to Washington for the votes, as does Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware,
the Democratic vice presidential candidate.
Aren't they afraid of messing things up if they return to Washington? Shouldn't they be out on the campaign trail where they belong?

The surprise move capped a day in which supporters of the imperiled
multibillion-dollar economic rescue fought to bring it back to life, courting
reluctant lawmakers with a variety of other sweeteners including the plan to
reassure Americans their bank deposits are safe.

10/01/2008 - 7:06am
Where are the ads? The 527 created campaign that should be re-creating the Swift Boat attacks of four years ago - something Barack's shady past makes him far more vulnerable to than Kerry ever was. Is it possible that the big money GOP donors aren't that interested this time?

This ad demonstrates how easy it is to produce very effective ads on Barack - and Vets for Freedom is paying to run it in California, a Democratic stronghold!

The group, Vets for Freedom, has been active in several battleground states. But this is its first ad buy in California, which is considered to be firmly in Obama's column. His Republican rival, John McCain, is making only token campaign efforts in the state.

With the economic crisis controlling the news cycle, keeping the country reminded of how much people want "change," no matter how random or ill advised, McCain needs to educate about the Obamafia - the Reverends, the terrorist, the Briber, et al.

I fear they're planning a last minute attack campaign, which may be too late.
10/01/2008 - 6:36am
McCain has cut Barack's lead in half this week according to Gallup.

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking update of registered voters finds Barack Obama at 48%, and John McCain at 44%, marking a slight narrowing of the race from the eight percentage point margin Obama held earlier this week.

Rasmussen has the race unchanged from Tuesday.
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday is
unchanged from the day before with Barack Obama attracting 51% of the vote while
John McCain earns 45%. This is the sixth straight day that Obama has been at 50%
or 51%, the sixth straight day that McCain has been at 44% or 45%, and the sixth
straight day the Obama has enjoyed a five or six point lead.

The challenge for McCain has been the shift of focus onto the economy, a place where voters feel better about Barack.
Obama is now trusted more on economic issues by 51% of voters, McCain by
42%. That’s the biggest advantage either candidate has enjoyed on this issue
during Election 2008 and the first time either candidate has been trusted more
by a majority of voters (see crosstabs, trends). This comes at a time when 48% of voters say that the economy is the top issue while just 20% say that national security is the highest priority. Obama has nearly eliminated McCain’s advantage on national
security issues and the Democrat is now trusted more than McCain on ten other key issues tracked by Rasmussen Reports.
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