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Lipstick Lies

Sarah Palin injected lipstick into the political lexicon in her speech in St. Paul, which is the script she uses all the time.  She was reeling off the zingers that had been written for her and seemed to veer from the (tele)Prompter to add a joke about hockey moms and pit bulls with lipstick as the punch line.

The lipstick line (ital) resignated (end ital) as W. would say, even with progressives; many emails have spun puns around it, and a (female) caller to my radio show today referred to the almost-Miss-Alaska as "Bush with lipstick".

Then I got an email flash from Ari Melber, who is on the Obama press bus and is filing frequently at with this story from Lebanon, Virginia.

So Obama was reaching for ways to say McCain and Palin are stretching the truth and fibbin about some sh*t and used the old cliche about putting lipstick on a pig.  And the GOP Slime Squad's Sexism Strike Force spins into action, outraged by its own concoction--that Obama called Palin a pig.

They'll say anything, twist everything they can as they play the politics of distraction and destruction.  Hold your nose, watch your back.

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OMG, There's a Lib on My Tee Vee!!

After hearing Giuliani, Palin and others demonize the "liberal media" at the RNC last week, it's so damn refreshing to see a new progressive face in prime time on cable news. Rachel Maddow had a pretty smooth launch on MSNBC tonight, and delivered nooz and perspective with some of that cool attitude she brings to her radio show. I was glad that they didn't have a lotta whooshes or cartoon graphics, and far less of the cheezy celebrations of celebrities, morons, and O'Reilly that clutter up Olberman's show.

This viewer must ask: why does MSNBC insert the Grand Wizard of the culture wars into every one of its shows? Pat Buchanan is only occasionally relevant these days, but he seems to be the most frequent paid panelist on MSNBC and Rachel is not immune--there was Pat on her maiden voyage, the feminist voice defending Palin from the "scurvy lies and slander" on dailykos and now here's Pat, the Opus Dei Catholic extremist, defending the VP candidate for her religious extremist views You Tubed fresh this summer, by sliming Rachel for "trashing religion" by examining the religious rants of the born-again Gov. Now, Pat lobs the absurd smokebomb, demanding proof that Palin plans to establish her church as a national church but that's a dud so he attacks Obama for Rev. Wright as Rachel deftly scolds him "bad strategy to talk about trashing religion and come on and bring that stuff up" and winds the geezer down to the break with a thankyouverymuch. We're all
rooting for Rachel to survive and thrive in the pixel jungle of cable news--tell your friends to watch!


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Paul Waldman: author of four books on media and politics. His latest is called “Free Ride: John McCain and the Media”. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is a Senior Fellow and Director of Special Projects at Media Matters for America. He is also a columnist for The American Prospect. You can read his blog at

Dahr Jamail: is an award-winning freelance journalist. His reporting from Iraq has earned him numerous awards, including the prestigious 2008 Martha Gellhorn Award for Journalism, the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, and four Project Censored awards.

Jeff Cohen: media critic and lecturer, is founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, where he is an associate professor of journalism. His latest book is Cable News Confidential: My Misadventures in Corporate Media.

Kay Brown: Communication Director for the Alaska Democratic Party, has, almost single-handedly, steered that party in a more progressive direction on a par with Democratic Party organizations outside of Alaska.

Jason Leopold: investigative journalist. He writes for the online publication The Public Record.

Melanie Sloan: serves as CREW’s Executive Director. Prior to starting CREW, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia where, from 1998-2003, she successfully tried cases before dozens of judges and juries.

Free Speech Zone

Bennion Spencer: filed to run for Congress in Utah's 3rd District. He will be running on the Democratic ticket, and is very excited to have the opportunity to run for Congress.

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Kelley Beaucar Vlahos: has spent nearly seven years as a political reporter in Washington DC for, and is a Washington correspondent for the DC-based homeland security magazine, HSToday, and a regular contributor for The American Conservative magazine and its daily weblog, @TAC.

Andrew Jakabovics: Associate Director for the Economic Mobility Program. He works on housing, household debt, and higher education, as well as other issues related to sustaining and growing the middle class.

Cliff Schecter: political commentator and journalist. His blog is called The Political Carnival. His latest book is called “The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn’t”.

John Brakey: While monitoring a handcount of ballots from the September 3rd Arizona primary, in his capacity as an official election observer for the Democratic and Libertarian parties, EDA Investigations Co-Coordinator John Brakey was arrested and ejected from the Pima County election headquarters on orders of Pima County Elections Director Brad Nelson.

Free Speech Zone

Johnny Steele and Dan Piraro: Comedians Dan Piraro and Johnny Steele present Two Guys With Hats, a comedy show featuring stand-up, multimedia, and more surprises. Piraro is best known as the cartoonist behind Bizarro; Steele, a former winner of the San Francisco International Comedy Competition, is a popular radio and TV host in the Bay Area.

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Pulling the Pin on the Palin Grenade

McCain and his lobbyist-heavy campaign team have lobbed the grenade named Sarah Palin into this year’s political combat. While they will go to great lengths to protect the young governor from close scrutiny by the press or Obama/Biden, I think it will be hard to keep her leashed and on script. Her extreme religious zealotry includes a righteous streak that is clear in her record in Wasilla and Juneau, and even in the town halls with carefully selected crowds, I expect she will define herself in ways that will drive up her negatives in the polls.

But Palin is connecting with some Republicans who were lukewarm about McCain. On a hot Saturday night, we made Mojitos and BBQ for our neighbors Hank and Gail, who define themselves as low-tax, small government Republicans; they soured on Bush only in the last year or two, and have the fear of Dems and Libs you get from regular exposure to Fox News and conservative talkradio. They buy into the concoction the GOP served up in St. Paul—that McCain and Palin are peacemongers and reformers, and that the liberal media will try to destroy her.

I mentioned that I thought the McCain team was employing the strategy used by diehard Hillary supporters at the end of the primary; even though it was clear she could not beat Obama, a group funded by a San Francisco millionaire ran ads portraying Sen. Clinton as a victim of sexism and misogyny. The GOP has played the victim card almost from the introduction of Gov. Palin, and their talking points demonize the media for “attacks” that have been mild and reasonable, and often based on family matters that clearly conflict with Republican ideals of “family values”. Giuliani and Palin both took big swipes at the media in rhetorical brushbacks that have, unfortunately, intimidated much of the media.

But Hank changed the subject to his biggest concern, which is Obama’s connection to Rev. Wright and Black Liberation Theology. His indictment was rich in the disinformation that is Sean Hannity’s signature product, and included, of course, the out of context soundbite “God Damn America”. While Hank conceded that the quote was way out of context, his outrage was undiminished. So I made the point that Wright is not running for president, but that Palin’s own comments that mix religion and politics were “chilling” to me. This put Hank over the top—he had seen the same video on YouTube, and found her comments quite acceptable, even the part about the war in Iraq being one of “God’s tasks”. My comparison of his candidate’s religious extremism to that of Obama’s former pastor was way out of line; he said he couldn’t listen to me anymore, and got up to clear the dishes.

I see Sarah Palin as an updated Spiro Agnew in a skirt. Her injection into this campaign will enhance the fearmongering and division that have been effective GOP tools in recent years, and if Hank and Gail are any indication, many Republicans and some independents are ready to buy the incredible package they are being sold: a 25-year veteran of Washington who will extend our sorry status quo has repackaged himself as the reformer who is running against Washington and his own party.

We have a lot of work to do, and we can start by pressing the corporate media to provide full, honest coverage of Palin and not allow her to avoid scrutiny and contact with the media.

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Robert Parry: founder of His new book is called “Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush”.

Joshua Kors: an investigative reporter for The Nation, where he covers military and veterans' issues. Kors earned national attention this year for his work uncovering the veterans' benefits scandal.

Ron Suskind: is an author and journalist based in Washington, D.C. Mr. Suskind’s latest book, “The Way of the World,” is a multi-layered narrative about the forces at home and abroad fighting today’s battles for hope and security.

Adam Kokesh: a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and a veteran of the Iraq War.

Brad Friedman: self-described election integrity muckraking journalist jerk. You can read his blog at

Emily Levy:

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Mark Crispin Miller: is professor of media studies at New York University and the author of the book: Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections. He is known for his writing on American media and for his activism on behalf of democratic media reform.

Scott Dick: regular contributor on Military/Vets issues. Dick hosts his own radio broadcast called The Scott Dick Show.

Ari Melber: is The Nation’s Net movement correspondent, and a writer for the Campaign 08 blog at

Mark Dice: also known by the pseudonym John Conner, is an author and Christian conservative political activist based in San Diego, California. Dice founded an organization, [1] variously called The Resistance,[2] The Christian Resistance or The Resistance for Christ

R J Shulman: political satirist. You can read Shulman’s blog at

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Eric Boehlert: Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America. He is the author of “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush”.

Brian Katulis: Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where his work focuses on U.S. national security policy with an emphasis on the Middle East, Iraq, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Pakistan. He is co-author of “The Prosperity Agenda”.

Dr. Phil Butler: Doctor Phillip Butler is a 1961 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a former light-attack carrier pilot. In 1965 he was shot down over North Vietnam where he spent eight years as a prisoner of war. Check out his new video at

Steve Featherstone: a writer and photographer. He lives in upstate New York.

Amy Goodman: Recently arrested in St. Paul, host and executive producer of the popular news radio program Democracy Now! is one of the toughest no holds barred journalists in America.

Roy Zimmerman: Has a new song concerning Sarah Palin. Visit his site at

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John Nichols: Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent.

Prof. Andrew Bacevich: Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University.

Cliff Schecter: political commentator and journalist. His blog is called The Political Carnival. His latest book is called “The Real McCain: Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Him and Why Independents Shouldn’t”.

Jason Leopold: investigative journalist. He writes for the online publication The Public Record.

Free Speech

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Reruns of the Peter B. Collins Show including guests; Scott Ritter, Randy Hayes, and Kevin Danaher