31 August 2008

Obama Bouncing: Gallup 8/31/08

According to Bloomberg, Senator Obama has "jumped to his biggest lead since late July in public opinion polls." In a USA Today/Gallup poll (8/25-28) Obama leads Senator McCain 49 to 41.

USA Today
/Gallup wasn't quite so kind to Governor Palin: in a poll "conducted Aug. 29, about 40 percent of respondents said they consider Palin, a 44-year-old first-term governor, qualified to be president." Apparently, that's the lowest result since President George H. W. Bush selected Dan Quayle. Ouch. Even so, let's wager that the public's perception of the Governor will improve. How much and how quickly this occurs depends, naturally, on her upcoming political appearances.

Underestimating Palin's Potential

Joe Trippi is right: Democrats dismiss Sarah Palin at their own peril. See his post, "Don’t LOL. Palin Pick Is About Taking On Washington — Not About Gender," and note his argument well. Trippi predicts that McCain, having acquired a VP with a solidly reformist background, will employ rule number one from Karl Rove's playbook: turn your opponent's greatest strength into a weakness. In this case, Trippi asserts, McCain and Palin will zero in on Obama's role as "agent of change" and recast him as part and parcel of the political establishment:
The McCain/Palin duo will challenge Barack Obama’s claim of “a new kind of politics” and chastise Obama and Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee, Joe Biden, for their “silence” in taking on corruption in their own party in Illinois, Delaware and Washington, DC.
Think about it; the McCain camp didn't decide on Palin solely to pander to the distaff vote (and assuming as much underestimates women voters as well as the McCain campaign. Neither are stupid). Palin's record of cleaning up corruption, and her status as Washington "outsider," help reinvigorate McCain's "maverick" image; thus strengthened, he'll be equipped to go after Obama at full blast. And he will.

Democrats: don't laugh. Don't brush her off. Ignore her at your own risk.

Aside: Having said that, do read Maureen Dowd's column on Palin, "Vice in Go Go Boots." Fab.

Added: Bruce Reed at Slate,
"Why Democrats needn't rush to trash Sarah Palin."

Update: Is Palin as straight-up and golden as she seems, and is she so terribly anti-earmark as she suggests? Perhaps not. See USA Today, The Anchorage Daily News, and The LA Times, . If nothing else, her history seems mixed at best.

30 August 2008

Sarah Palin Gives Hillary Shout Out, Gets Booed by GOP Crowd

Well, she tried.

John McCain's VP choice, Sarah Palin, spoke in Pennsylvania today, and, as in Friday's Dayton speech, she graciously mentioned Hillary Rodham Clinton as a groundbreaker. Yesterday they applauded. Today? Not so much:
But in contrast with the mild reception that greeted her comments at the Ohio event, when Palin praised Clinton here for showing “determination and grace in her presidential campaign,” the Alaska governor was met with a noisy mix of boos, groans and grumbles around the minor league ballpark where the “Road to the Convention Rally” was held.
Ouch. How are PUMAs going to take this? They're going to go and hook up with the party that tormented Senator Clinton for nearly twenty years? The crowd's reaction to Palin's mentioning Hillary testifies to the Republican base's objection to the Clintons--you know, the reason why Rush Limbaugh kickstarted Operation Chaos (a ploy, by the way, also pushed by Laura Ingraham).

The whole idea that Republicans were planning on voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, the woman they vilified for well over a decade, was questionable, and this reaction to her name suggests that the GOP idea of Hillary as arch-villainess remains entrenched--at least, in Pennsylvania.

(Aside: I thought Pennsylvania was "Hillary country")

Update: Palin has excised references to Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferrarro from her stump speech.

Happy now PUMAs?

YTD: PUMA Murphy and a 2003 Fraud Case ?

Over at Yes to Democracy (the Anti-PUMA), Christina has uncovered a 2003 court case decision that finds a Darragh Murphy responsible for "fraudulent loans and monetary transfers" involving a bankruptcy case.

Is this Darragh Murphy the PUMA Murphy? Keep an eye on the Anti-PUMA.

Added: Apparently, The Strange Death of Liberal America posted this on 07 August:
As for Murphy, she has an interesting past, formerly serving as head of Rowanoak Corporation (presumably named after William Faulkner’s home–an interesting choice for a business name especially if you know your Faulkner), which arranged for construction work in the Boston area but itself did no actual contracting. In 2003 the United States District Court for Massachusetts issued a judgment against Murphy’s mother Ann Walsh for receiving “fraudulent transfers” to her from Murphy.
Again, it looks like a case of two people working on the same thing independently. I wonder if anyone has asked Murphy about this matter, and, if so, how about sharing her response?

L A Times: "A Few PUMAs On The Loose"

Meghan Daum's story in the 30 August issue of the L A Times is well worth a read. Here's a taster from Daum's (none too flattering) column:
That's right, cable TV viewers, talk-radio listeners and blog readers of America: Just when you thought Clinton's most ardent supporters had finally worked their way through the stages of grief and were ready to get behind the nominee, along comes evidence that they're not just angry feminists moping because they won't see a female president in their lifetimes, they're self-sabotaging lunatics!

I mean, did you see them? There they were, foaming at the mouth and cropping up in more of the coverage than many actual convention speakers.
She continues with examples of die-hard Hillary supporters, including Elizabeth Joyce and Cristi Adkins, on Hardball, The Daily Show, and Larry King. Thankfully, she notes (finally someone in the MSM does!) that although PUMA's numbers seem plentiful, there are actually few of them: it's simply that they are a noisy few. I'm not saying that all PUMAs are kooky, or loud, or loud and kooky. Some do remain dignified in their anger and frustration and try to effect change using the system (cf. Will Bowers' current plan); unfortunately, the kookier PUMAs' noise drowns out the sensible PUMAs' efforts.

One other thing: I've never heard so many wisecracks about repealing the nineteenth amendment as I have this week. Something about female hysteria not mixing with politics keeps coming up. I wonder why.

29 August 2008

Operation Nobama !

I tried to post this the other day but hit the wrong button. *Poof* went the post, and then Bill Clinton came onstage at the DNC Convention, so we'll try it again, even though it might now be irrelevant considering that the CAACR news has exploded in the mainstream media. Even so, I’d like to point out another coincidence.

If you're not familiar with "Operation NOBAMA!" (so evocative of "Operation Chaos," no?), it's an element of "mission: NOBAMA!," a rallying cry for Just Say No Deal and Clintons4McCain. Webpages began echoing with "Operation NOBAMA!" following a press release authored by Ms. Adkins on 09 June, which stated:
The Just Say No Deal is made up of over 20 grassroots organizations and over 1 million subscribers thus far with one unifying mission: Operation Nobama

Guess who registered a site titled “Operationnobama.com” (as well as "America's Hope Foundation) that very same day? Let's see:

Domain Name.......... operationnobama.com
Creation Date........ 2008-06-09
Registration Date.... 2008-06-09
Expiry Date.......... 2010-06-09
Organisation Name.... Jonathan Davis
Organisation Address. 166 blue mountain rd
Organisation Address. front royal
Organisation Address. 22630
Organisation Address. VA
Organisation Address. UNITED STATES

Ladies and gentlement, it's jdawg/Jonathan Davis! Despite the registration's timeliness, the site owner never developed it beyond a “this site brought to you by Earthlink” banner. You can see a cached copy of that front page here; the site has, along with the rest of “jdawg’s” sites, gone completely down.

Although "operationnobama.com" is dark, an "operationnobama.org"is live (though barely so. See below). Someone registered the second site on 07 July. Who registered the site? Someone in Madeira, Portugal. Rather, that’s the address given in the site’s whois registration.

Created On:07-Jul-2008 23:32:00 UTC
Last Updated On:29-Aug-2008 11:59:27 UTC
Expiration Date:07-Jul-2009 23:32:00 UTC
Sponsoring Registrar:Register.com Inc. (R71-LROR)
Registrant Name:Domain Discreet
Registrant Organization:ATTN: operationnobama.org
Registrant Street1:Avenida do Infante 50
Registrant City:Funchal
Registrant State/Province:Madeira
Registrant Postal Code:9004-521
Registrant Country:PT
Registrant Phone:+361.19027495331
Registrant Email:[a whole lotta numbers]@domaindiscreet.com

Essentially, the info is fake. The address seems to be an all-around shell address. It’s used for an eccentric variety of websites, such as “nekkid.info” “swisscashbiz” etc., anti-Obama sites such as “nowewont.org,” and the site of a group opposing Florida beach development. It’s also used for offshore finance services. See, for example, this listing:

Citco Corporate Management (Madeira) Limitada
Avenida Do Infante 50, 9000 Funchal, Madeira
Telephone +351 [redacted]

The address is the same, but something's wonky. The phone number. Once again, we have a phone number that can't be traced. We can’t locate a country that has “361” as a country code. Of course, as Portugal’s country code is 351, this might be a repeated typo (the number appears more than once). We'll give the registrant the benefit of a doubt. (Aside: When you look under the “underlying” whois information, you discover that the newer “operationnobama,” is web.com).

This information prompts a significant question: why on earth would someone want to mask his or her ownership of an anti-Obama site so thoroughly that they decide to give it an overseas registration? Aren’t the anonymous services in the USA sufficient? Especially when you consider that the site is so...basic?

As noted earlier, “OperationNobama.org” is rather minimalist. It offers a "welcome message" of sorts, and appears to present itself as a "clearinghouse" for people's anti-Obama sentiments. See:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Something to think about
I really, really hope that American Citizens are smart enough to realize how phony Senator Obama is.

If we don't step up to the plate and educate the public, especially voters, we're in for a very rude awakening. Time is running out my friends. Please send an email to the link on this page. I will include your comments and opinions exactly as they appear in the email.

Thank you fro visiting, and God bless the United States of America.
5:34 pm est

(Aside: notice the irregularity between the post's date, "July 9" and the comment's date, "2008.07.01"?)

The site includes a hotmail address towards which you can direct your objections to Obama, a link to a video, and claims that the site will begin selling anti-Obama materials in the future, but, other than, it's bare bones.

Ah, the site does repost the debunked email from US CPT Jeffrey S. Porter--you know, the one that claims Obama blew off troops in Afghanistan so he could play basketball (in case you didn't know, Porter, who is a real person, has recanted. He explains that he passed an unsourced, anonymous email on to his family, and it began circulating with his name attached. On 25 July, a second email from CPT Porter appeared in The New York Daily News blog:

“I am writing this to ask that you delete my email and not forward it. After checking my sources, information that was put out in my email was wrong. This email was meant only for my family. Please respect my wishes and delete the email and if there are any blogs you have my email portrayed on I would ask if you would take it down too. Thanks for your understanding.”

As the email clearly states, CPT Porter wishes people to cease forwarding "his" email and for bloggers who have posted "his" email please remove it from their blogs. As Porter's email was posted to "Operationnobama.org" after Porter recanted, we can assume that the person(s) behind the site is either unaware of Porter's request or said person just doesn't care and prefers to propel debunked rumors.

Anyway, the other day, wondering about “operation nobama,” I took some time to Google the term. Guess what came up at Mahalo?

Guide Note
Clintons4Mccain is an organization, founded by Cristi Adkins, that opposes the decisions of the DNC on the Florida Michigan Delegates Controversy and feels that "the media and Hollywood" unfairly influences the election process.1

Since the nomination of Barack Obama, members of the group, most of which are registered Democrats, have pledged their support for John McCain.

Fast Facts

Founded by Cristi Adkins

Administers a large number of individual websites under "Operation NOBAMA"

I think it’s interesting that Clintons4McCain “administers a large number of websites under ‘Operation NOBAMA.’”

It's also interesting that "jdawg," once again, happens to pick up on the Clintons4McCain angst and lays quick claim to the "Operation Nobama" name--the very day of the press release.

I do think these are totally unrelated; it's mere coincidence. Anybody could have created the second site. The point of the post? To provide another example of a "Hillary Trojan" site--just more Astroturf.

Aside: Please note that the site quoted above is one of two Clintons4McCain entries at Mahalo. Cristi Adkins's bio links directly to the second entry (here) , and mentions "Mission: Nobama" rather than "Operation Nobama."

McCain Money for PUMA, Just Say No Deal ? (Updated)

Whilst trawling the Internet, I came across a compelling bit of infighting amongst Hillary supporters over some people's defection to John McCain's camp before Obama had even received the Democratic nomination, and what might prompt such swift support for the Republican nominee.

In a post titled "Hoodwinked and Bamboozled"(7/02/08), a Hillary Clinton voter alleges that in a conference call on 29 June, which was attended by a cabal of pro-Clinton grassroots leaders, the following took place:

Marilu Socher (of "Women For Fair Politics") stated that " she had just gotten out of a meeting with the McCain people" and some of the topics discussed were "how to funnel money" to the "Just Say No Deal" Coalition, and she also announced that PUMA/ Just Say No Deal will now be represented by the "very Republican" Taft Law Firm, and she further stated that the "McCain people" also informed her that "Hillary has no chance", and they need to put their efforts towards electing McCain. Quite frankly, I smell a "rat" in our house, and it must be eliminated immediately [emphasis added].

One of the people “fingered” in the post is Will Bower of PUMA08 (at one point, a commentor accuses him of being an Obama “double agent”). As Mr. Bower had participated in the teleconference, a poster challenges him to confirm the meeting’s events:

Do you deny what Marylou, Women For Fair Politics, said? The Taft Law Firm? Meeting with the McCain campaign? Funneling money to JSND? No chance for Hillary, insinuated per the McCain campaign? (7/5/08 12:19am)

No-one either confirms or denies what roles McCain money or Taft Law firm might have played in the cabal’s conversation. However, in a striking response to the above comment, Bower asserts:

"Just Say No Deal" has not accepted a single -dime- from -anyone-. Yes, members within the coalition -have- accepted money, but "Just Say NO DEAL" has had no part in that... nor have I as an individual (7/5/08 4:38 am).

Despite encouragements to enlighten fellow posters more, Mr. Bower ventures no further with his claims, and other posters remain unsatisfied (although they do redirect their ire: Mr. Bower, it seems, does keep it clean). This frustration is evident is such bluntly worded posts as the following:

I have been watching PUMA and JSND for a while now and all they actually seem interested in doing is lining their own pockets or certain members seeing
themselves on t.v. with no desire to actually make a difference except for
McCain (7/5/2008 at 7:47 pm).

This is one of several assertions that prompt a mini-battle. One person named in the ensuing thread (and who replies with gusto to the blogger's queries about this teleconference) is Cristi Adkins. In a noteworthy aside, Ms. Adkins tells Mr. Bower,

So my friend, let me do the dirty work and you get back to doing what you do
best...keeping it clean (7/18/2008 at 7:58 pm).

Of course, this is out of context, so do please read the entire exchange for yourself (the truly interesting material begins after the notes on Obama’s use of subliminal suggestion). I might comment on this a bit further down the road, but do read the post, and do review the comments.

Aside: One of the posters at "Unheard American Voices" suggests that others look into FEC reports on RNC expenditures. There is no indication that anyone took up her challenge.

NB: The dear Anti-Rocinante drew my attention to this post a month or so ago, and I forgot it. Mea culpa, A-R, and many thanks.

Obama and "Killing Babies": Factcheck

Remember Jerome Corsi's claim that, if an aborted fetus survived the procedure, Obama "wanted the child killed if the mother desired an abortion"? Annenberg Political FactCheck has presented an analysis of the claims for and against Obama and his position on Illinois "born alive" legislation. This legislation would have provided "legal protection" for "any aborted fetus that showed signs of life [. . .] even if doctors believe it could not survive." As a state senator, Obama opposed such legislation in 2001, 2002, and 2003. Many qualify this position as "infanticide." However, as Factcheck suggests,
Whether opposing "born alive" legislation is the same as supporting "infanticide"[. . .] is entirely a matter of interpretation. That could be true only for those, such as Obama's 2004 Republican opponent, Alan Keyes, who believe a fetus that doctors give no chance of surviving is an "infant." It is worth noting that Illinois law already provided that physicians must protect the life of a fetus when there is "a reasonable likelihood of sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb, with or without artificial support" [emphasis added].
Obama's argument against approving the Illinois legislation was based on two things: that Illinois had a standing law covering aborted fetuses that were "born alive," and that language in two versions of the legislation provided a means of attacking, and potentially overturning, Roe v. Wade directly:
Obama, Senate floor, 2001: Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a nine-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.
In terms of the "infanticide" question, it comes down to a reinforcement of Obama's "pro-choice" position. It looks as though he tried to protect Roe V. Wade and saw the current Illinois law as sufficient for protecting the lives of the newly born, aborted or full term, and it appears that presenting Obama as someone willing to "kill babies" relies on a matter of interpretation, as do all abortion debates: when is a fetus a child? But, to tell the truth, I'm not willing to engage in that particular pro-life/pro-choice discussion at this time. The arguments on both sides are old and entrenched. I've heard them, you've heard them--we know how we, as individuals, define "child" and "abortion," so let's leave it there for now.

Update: The McCain campaign has run an ad "featuring a woman who said she survived a failed abortion and that 'If Barack Obama had his way, I wouldn't be here.'" Factcheck reviews the ad alongside a brief analysis of its claims that Obama doesn't support protecting infants who survive an abortion.

Sarah Palin Completes the GOP Ticket

After "Pawlenty" of rumors (sorry), we have John McCain's choice, and it's grand news: today Senator McCain will announce that Sarah Palin, Alaska governor and GOP "outsider," is his VP choice.

Although this comes nearly thirty years after Geraldine Ferrarro, the first woman to run as VP for a major political party, taken in conjunction with Hillary Clinton's groundbreaking run, surely this indicates progress in women's position in American culture. the county may not, as yet, be prepared for a woman to take over the Oval Office directly (e.g, as head of a ticket), but we're getting there. We're getting there.
Congratulations, Ms. Palin!

(and a very happy birthday to John McCain!)

Aside: According to NPR, McCain and Palin will greet a crowd of 15,000 in Dayton: the largest ever crowd for Senator McCain. Maybe they'll greet him with a resounding chorus of "Happy Birthday to You."

28 August 2008

Early Word: Pawlenty McCain's VP Pick

That's the rumor anyway. We'll see soon.

This morning Drudge reported that the news would be "leaked" at 6:00 and "confirmed" at 8:00. This seems unlikely, It's a hard day to break this kind of news, or any kind of news, really, considerng what's happening at Mile High Stadium tonight.

Apparently John McCain is having a hard time filling the 10,000 seats at the Dayton, Ohio venue for his speech tomorrow; according to MSNBC, they're busing people in.

The New York Observer

Yesterday, Matt Haber at The Observer published a story titled, "Clinton Supporter Smears Obama on MSNBC and Daily Show in Same Day; Who Let the Dogs Out?"(ouch!). He's followed that with a fresh story that offers a solid overview of the facts of (and the speculations about) Cltins4McCainer Cristi Adkins's activities. Take a look; it's worth your time.

McCain's "Rogue State Rollback." Sound Familiar?

This is old news (it first circled 'round in April), but it's worth repeating.

During the his campaign in 2000, John McCain endorsed a foreign policy strategy he called "rogue state rollback." What defines "rogue state rollback"? According to ABC News, during a debate in February 2000, the moderator posed the following question:
"What area of American international policy would you change immediately as president?"

To which McCain responded:

"I'd institute a policy that I call 'rogue state rollback,'" said McCain. "I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically- elected governments."

McCain retained this faith in remaking foreign nations, evidenced by his 2003 on North Korea article in The Weekly Standard. Although he wavers a bit from America should deal with North Korea through armed force, he dismisses diplomacy and calls for isolating North Korea (no more carrots, he states), and then, should North Korea fail to cease nuclear development, we move in. He criticizes the Bush administration's assurances that America wouldn't be the first nation to attack North Korea, should an attack be needed, and writes, "[t]his rapid deterioration of our resolve is as reckless as it is disingenuous," adding later, "[i]f we fail to achieve the international cooperation necessary to end this threat, then the countries in the region should know with certainty that while they may risk their own populations, the United States will do whatever it must to guarantee the security of the American people." Now, in his attempt to appeal to war-weary American folk, McCain has redefined "rogue state rollback." On a Hardball College Tour appearance earlier this year,
McCain said: "I wasn't saying that we should go around and declare war," said McCain. "I was saying that we nations of like values and principles and belief in democracy and freedom should make efforts to modify the behavior of other nations."
So, which is it? And how would "we nations of like values ...modify the behavior of other nations"? What doe these "efforts" consist of"?

Certainly McCain's policy on "rogue state rollback" must be addressed in a larger forum; a debate, a detailed interview, but the mainstream media must focus on this point. People deserve to know whether there are any guarantees that McCain won't adopt a foreign policy approach that aims to forcibly remake belligerent, or unfriendly, nations in the American model?

ASIDE: It just came over the BBC's newscast that Vladimir Putin has just accused the USA of prompting Georgia to act up for "domestic, political reasons." That is, we get anxious over a bellicose old enemy, so we vote for a national security man.

Update 9/28: In the first presidential debate, Senator McCain "said he envisions a "league of democracies" -- such as the French, British and Germans -- that would help the U.S. impose "significant, meaningful, painful sanctions"(Sun-Times). In other words, it's the "rogue state rollback" modified in an appeal to voters. Question: is its ultimate aim still to "eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically- elected governments"?

Karl Rove Aims to Stop McCain / Lieberman Ticket

According to Politico's scoop, Rove quietly phoned Senator Joe Lieberman to ask him to "withdraw his name from vice presidential consideration." Lieberman declined Rove's suggestion, as you might expect. Should Lieberman be McCain's pick, however, you can expect the GOP to suffer unspeakable fits of outrage over Lieberman's stance on social issues (e.g., abortion).

A McCain--Lieberman ticket ain't gonna happen; even so, it speaks to Rove's hubris that he'd actually get on the phone and ask Lieberman to take himself out of the running.

NPR's "Secret Money" on Cristi Adkins, the CAACR

A reporter from National Public Radio's "Secret Money" project has just published a well-researched article on the Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric, media figure Cristi Adkins, and a man amed Mike Donovan. You might recall that the CAACR produced a short-lived anti-Obama ad based on distortions. Do take the time to read the NPR piece.

Apparently, the ad was pulled A point of interest the real reason why the ad was pulled, originally because the station's payment wasn't forthcoming. Afterwards, Allen Media Services "canceled the buy." It appears that the ad was pulled, then, because there was no money to pay for it: Mike Donovan, so the article suggests, ran off before delivering the funds to the station and to the videographer.

Another point of interest:
[the videographer] says Adkins originally wanted to depict Obama with devil horns juxtaposed with images of Hitler [. . . .] Adkins acknowledges she wanted to show the disturbing similarities she saw between audience reactions to Obama and Hitler. As for the horns, the hypnotherapist says, "I might have said, 'Can you put a subliminal shadow in?' I don't know that I said put devil horns.
Nice evasion there. Note that the imagery mentioned in the article--the mish-mash of Satanic and Nazi symbols. While that didn't make the CAACR ad, it certainly made the Donovan-related website, Obama Hate Speech (see images here and site registration here).

Adkins never once mentions who made up the Coalition Against anti-Christian Rhetoric. The videographer believes the "coalition" was Adkins.

Rather than distance herself from the CAACR and its controversial ad, Adkins claims that, once her newer organization, Clintons 4 McCain, " own[s] the ad," they "might use some form of it to blast Obama again." Consider yourselves forewarned, then.

Someone posted a comment or two the other week claiming that the NPR story would vindicate Adkins. It doesn't seem to have turned out that way. It's a well-written, objective piece, but it confirms Adkins's involvement with a scurrilous attempt at political action.

Just for the record, this is a case of two people working on the same topic independently. The NPR reporter is, in no way, affiliated with this blog or with anyone who writes for it.

The Democratic Convention: Two Things

1) Here's a nifty little drinking game. Sorry I'm posting it so late in the game (you can make up for it by doubling up on your units tomorrow).

2) If you've missed Andrew Sullivan's commentary on the Democratic Convention, you've missed a treat. Head on over to his joint and enjoy yourselves. And happy first anniversary, Andrew. It's paper, you know.

Obama+ Satan+ Nazism: The Image

According to the videographer of The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric's ad, Cristi Adkins, who hired the videographer,
originally wanted to depict Obama with devil horns juxtaposed with images of Hitler [. . . .] Adkins acknowledges she wanted to show the disturbing similarities she saw between audience reactions to Obama and Hitler. As for the horns, the hypnotherapist says, "I might have said, 'Can you put a subliminal shadow in?' I don't know that I said put devil horns.
Because the videographer balked, the image didn't make the ad. However, one that seems strikingly similar appeared, until a few days ago, on a site linked to another name linked to the CAACR: Mike Donovan. The above snaps come from the "jdawg"/"Jonathan Davis" site ObamaHateSpeech. Here's the presumptive Democratic nominee with devil horns and Hitler-esque (not to mention minstrel-esque) overtones. Tasteful, no?

The screen shot is from 8/21/08; you can find another Obama HateSpeech.com screen shot here.

27 August 2008

And the Democratic Party Nominates. . .

I know this news arrives as a complete shock, but there you go.
Congratulations, Senator.

* Apparently, he's not the "official" nominee until the conclusion of his acceptance speech, but I'll take a wild guess that not much will change things between now and then.

Clinton Supporters on "The Daily Show"

Here you go, kids. Enjoy.

"Healing Clinton Supporters" from The Daily Show and Comedy Central.

Clintons4McCain Blogger News

Following Cristi Adkins's Hardball fracas, the 'net exploded with bloggers seeking out further information on Clintons4McCain and its members. Circuit Boy has published a story that reveals Anne Franklin's alleged donations to Bob Dole and George W. Bush's campaigns (information courtesy of Open Secrets), and Robin Carlson, who stood beside Adkins in the Hardball clip (and who a poster identified for me. Thanks Anonymous!), may have given $300.00 to the Michigan Republican Party in October last year. I say "may" as some have posited that Ms. Carlson is actually a California resident.

Now these women may well be sincere Clinton supporters (although you have to wonder why they disapprove of Obama's stance on issues, such as "choice," when his position is often parallel to Clinton's). But the more that is revealed the more tempting it is to suppose that maybe someone decided to enlist these women to propel disinformation. But that's conspiracy theory time, and I tend to steer clear of conspiracy theories. But it sure is suspicious, isn't it? This collection of Republican-turned-"independent" Hillary supporters--especially considering the vast ideological and policy differences between Clinton and McCain. . . .

26 August 2008

On Hillary's Speech (wow!)

BAM! Out of the park.

Senator Clinton's oration was, in turns, inspirational and combative. This was, truly, a presidential speech, and I can't help but wonder if, had she delivered something like this a bit earlier in the year, the presumptive nominee might be different. This was, far and away, the best speech she's ever given.

I agree, for the most part, with the The National Review's Jim Geraghty's summation. Yet while some viewers might find the Harriet Tubman reference a bit over the top, as Geraghty claims, many will embrace it. "Keep going" indeed.

Ah, well.

Her address to the PUMAs (and surely it was that) was most interesting; so interesting that I will return to it a bit later.

"A bit later": Aw, heck. Nevermind. I'll refer you to these OpEds:
Cenk Uygar's "Hillary's Best Line: 'Were You In It For Me'?"
I agree entirely. This was her best line. Well, this and the crack about how appropriate that the Republican Convention will be help in the Twin Cities, Bush and McCain being so similar and all.

Nora Ephron's "Hillary the Adominsher," which is a less approving look at the Senator's speech, but is a critique of the speech within the context of the Clinton campaign overall.

Yes, it's a HuffPo morning.

Added: The online Hillary Clinton meetup group tied to the CAACR ignores its heroine's admonitory speech: rather celebrate Senator Clinton's successes, it's become something of a clearinghouse for potential smears. Foci now include: the Berg lawsuit, Obama's Certificate of Live Birth (it's a "fake" you know), calls to make a smear video go viral, articles that cast aspersions at Michelle Obama. and a return to William Ayers. This is their right, of course, but as I've written before, it adds to the impression that it isn't so much "pro-Hillary" as it is "anti-Obama."

PUMApac's Racist Video?

Kevin K. at Rumproast has located and posted a three part video, produced by Puma members and recently uploaded to YouTube. The video, titled The Lost Michelle Obama Tapes, aims to be satire (that's my guess anyway), but it fails in every sense. We've got people in blackface, white "slaves," references to the "National Association for the Annihilation of Caucasian People" (NAACP, geddit?), and more.

Head over to Rumproast for the video.

This nonsense about the Obamas hating white people has been a consistent theme for PUMA and Clintons4Mcain. The fear that a black president will somehow work to exact revenge for slavery, Jim Crow laws, and so on is simply ludicrous, but it's a regular talking point for some (see the comments here for example, as well as Cristi Adkins's comparison of Obama to David Duke, famous Holocaust denier and former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan).

Added: Here's a Michael Crowley article that discusses the "revenge" angle at The New Republic.

25 August 2008

Cristi Adkins on Hardball (8/25/08)

I'll confess that I missed seeing this on television, but a reader alerted me to Cristi Adkins's appearance on Hardball tonight.

Clutching a "Clintons4McCain" banner with two other women, she entertains (?) a dumbfounded Chris Matthews as she revisits some familiar memes about Obama, Islam, citizenship, and so on. Ms. Adkins also claims that she has access to a special "17 page" report on Obama by a Congressional investigator. Here is the clip via YouTube (although it seems that Jezebel posted it online first).

UPDATE: Apparently, Ms. Adkins forwarded a copy of the "17 page Congressional report" to The Huffington Post; go ahead and review writer Elizabeth Rauber's research. Bet you can't guess her conclusions.

A Curious Coincidence (updated)

When time grew close to the “Votergate08 Super Rally” (WA DC 5/31/08), someone alerted the press to a few “interview opportunities,” one potential interviewee supported Obama, the other supported Clinton. According to the release:
Interview Clinton/ McCain supporter: Cristi Adkins
Interview Obama Supporter: John LaCombe

Why is this noteworthy? Recall that one of the “All Voices Heard, All Votes Matter” organizers, the man who set up the “VoterGate08” website was Mike Donovan. And here is an interesting coincidence: it seems that a man named Mike Donovan is, or was, an associate of John LaCombe’s in a well-intentioned organization that aims to expose and eradicate those predatory lending companies that offer short term loans at extortionate interest rates. In fact, Donovan achieved a bit of fame when, in 2007, he turned whistleblower against one of these operations. This Donovan managed a Check ‘N Go; when he left his job, he made the company’s practices public. You can read notes from Donovan’s press conference about the situation here. Is the whistleblower Donovan the “VoterGate” Donovan, or is this but a coincidence?

Added: Even more peculiar! The Check 'n Go whistleblower Donovan is currently engaged in some "breach of contract" legal wrangling with Eastern Specialty Finance, Inc, which does business as Check ‘N Go. According to publicly available court documents, as well as other sources, the Check 'N Go Donovan shares an address with the Shenandoah Donovans (cf. Irondragonz).

Moreover, the Shenandoah Mike Donovan is currently wanted for writing bad checks and defrauding a hotel. You can view his "most wanted" photo here.

In another coincidence, a John LaCombe in VA has a MySpace page populated with friends that include TW and CS of those Shenandoah Donovans (and whose names are listed in the cached version of the CountAllVotes e-petition that preceded the Coalition Against anti-Christian Rhetoric's foray into notoriety. See here, here, and here).

It seems possible that Donovan introduced Adkins to LaCombe, considering that, by this point, he and Adkins already had an established association (see here).

Joe's Joke, John's Jest: Chill

Some people are a bit peeved about Joe Biden’s “joke” about his wife Jill on Saturday. Okay, folks, how is this:

"Ladies and gentlemen, my wife Jill, who you'll meet soon, is drop dead gorgeous," said Biden.

"She also has her doctorate degree, which is a problem," he added. "

Worse than this:

“I told her with a little luck that [Cindy McCain] could be the only woman to serve as First Lady and Miss Buffalo Chip,” Mr. McCain told the crowd, as his wife waved to them.

According to ESPN, the Miss Buffalo Chip competition “is essentially a topless beauty pageant. And occasionally bottomless, too.”

Yes, men make jokes about their wives, and sometimes those jokes are inappropriate. Pelosi’s right on this one, people. Get a grip. There are real things to get bent out of shape over.

Of Politics, Messiahs, and Optimism.

Some rough thoughts to be revised later:

Jonanthan Chait has a fine piece at The New Republic wherein he examines what he calls "The right's silly obsession with the Obama 'cult.'" The classification of Obama’s following to that of “cult” has become something of a cliché with both online and mainstream print commentators, with Pro-Clinton, Pro-McCain, and other, more starkly anti-Obama groups. In just one example, Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric's press release (and ad) utilized quotations from Oprah Winfrey and Chris Matthews to suggest Obama’s election to Messianic status. But, as Chait presents it, is this treatment of Obama fair, or even new to politicians? Not quite.

After detailing examples of “Obama as Millenial cult leader” stylings from Conservative pundits such as Charles Krauthammer, Chait lands a solid blow in reminding readers of the nearly full-blown Messianic treatment G W Bush received following 9/11 when he became, for many, the agent of God. That President Bush “spoke” to God and acted with God’s grace became a popular talking point (and a popular point of criticism). Chait asks, isn’t this the very definition of “Messianic”? Casting a political figure as a “Messiah” isn’t new, then. It’s not a fresh point of discussion; the focus has simply switched from one major party to the other. So what prompted the turnabout? From "The Messiah Complex-Complex":

The hysteria about Obama's alleged messianism is, in part, a calculated response to his wild popularity with the Democratic base. McCain does not inspire strong loyalty among Republican partisans. (Indeed, a year ago, conservatives were still savaging him as a self-righteous poseur, and, while they've now discovered virtues in McCain that previously eluded them, it's too early to whip up full-blown Bush-style worship.) The cult accusation is a way of turning Obama's strengths--his rhetorical skills and intense support--into a weakness.

This sounds reasonable. Just as Democrats derided the “cult of Bush” by presenting the President’s supporters as herds of mindless sheep (another cliché) and extremist Millennial Christians set on bringing about the Rapture, Republicans are deriding Obama’s supporters as herd of mindless sheep set on some idealized vision of a secular paradise. Something else the two have in common: the treatment of both men as “Messianic figures” lead, almost inevitably, to comparisons with Hitler (yet another cliché ).

This turnabout corresponds with something I’ve been mulling over lately. Optimism has, apparently, devolved into a negative characteristic. Not so long ago, it was among the most desirable qualities in a political figure. You can see this opposition in play in the plentiful comparisons, favorable and less so, between Ronald Reagan and Obama.

Regan’s optimism and idealized vision of America was, and continues to be, celebrated, while Democrats have been labeled as gloomy realists. You might recall how Democrats dismissed Reagan’s sunniness as an indication that he didn’t understand the problems that then-beset the nation; as Charles Krauthammer said in 2004, focusing on Reagan’s optimism was a way of trivializing his work and worldview. Many classified Reagan’s attitude as a type of pandering, a reliance on the pathetic appeal. "Insufficient" and “empty gestures.”

In a reversal, Republicans now qualify Obama’s optimism as an “empty gesture” in place of a plan, as a type of pandering to people’s angst over the country’s problem, a reliance on the pathetic appeal. Now the Republicans cast themselves as the “realists.” It’s an interesting turnabout, and it’s uncertain how this will play out. The comparisons between the country now and the country in 1980 are numerous, and I won’t bore you with those (but you can see this), but such analogies point toward the Republicans' fear: Reagan helped relieve the angst of the 1970s hangover; he was, in effect, a national savior who rescued our pride and confidence in proposing "morning in America." They want to prevent Obama's potential usurpation of that role.

Despite the men's vast ideological differences, both signify "hope"; whether this "hope" is a strength depends on your political affiliation. And why does any of this matter? Mostly because labeling politicians as "Messianic" figures who project an "empty optimism" simply illustrates the reliance on established metaphors and the dearth of innovation in political rhetoric and behavior in both major parties. What does it say about us that we continue to buy it?

24 August 2008

Hillary Clinton to Release Delegates on Wednesday

From a Mike Allen "Politico Playbook" email update:

AP's Devlin Barrett: 'Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, hoping to unite the Democratic Party and cement her future in it, will gather her hard-won primary delegates Wednesday at a reception where she is expected to formally release them to Barack Obama. The New York senator has invited her pledged delegates to a reception at the Colorado Convention Center, not far from the main Democratic National Convention arena.'

So, there it is.

No doubt about it: the Democratic party has a dramatic (even melodramatic) week ahead. There will be tears before bedtime, as they say.

Senator Clinton has also encouraged her supporters to "rally around" Obama, and she took a dig at the new McCain advert that plays on PUMA anger:

Clinton mocked a Republican advertisement using some of her criticisms of Obama during the nominating duel.

"I am Hillary Clinton and I do not approve that message," she said, earning a standing ovation from a New York crowd waving blue signs saying "Hillary Made History."

Whether the Hillary die-hards heed her suggestions. . .we shall see.

22 August 2008

Early Reports: Biden is the Man

Just as it says.
And you know, in all honesty, I was kind of hoping for Hillary. Not because of the PUMAs or other so-called "dead enders," but because it's Hillary, and the idea of the pair of them really promises some unity and an opportunity to bring the country together.
Ah, well.

Joe's good. He's smart. He's also as uncorrupt as they come. A good, albeit wonkish, choice if these early reports are borne out.

The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric's Press Release

Here it is, folks. The un-vanishing of the CAACR's press release:


The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric announces the release of a new Ad concerning Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign. This ad will be web released on the Coalition’s website and will be aired in both South Dakota and Montana on Monday and Tuesday.

Ad Location on Web: http://www.caacr.com/News.html

Washington, DC – May 30, 2008 – The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric has produced a new ad highlighting Coalition concerns with the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Included in the ad are excerpts from Obama speeches that indicate a lack of acknowledgement or respect for the principles of faith upon which this country was founded. In Obama’s own words, he describes the United States of America as a “Muslim nation and a Nation of Non-Believers”, while also saying that the US is “no longer a Christian Nation”. The ad also highlights the perception in the media and from some pundits who have treated Barack Obama’s candidacy as almost supernatural, with syndicated talk show host Oprah Winfrey referring to Obama as an “evolved leader” and MSNBC’s Chris Matthews calling his campaign of “the new testament”.

The campaign of Barack Obama has, at times, highlighted the worst in classism and disrespect toward American Christians that exists in our culture. In Barack Obama, the aforementioned themes have permeated his campaign. The Coalition wishes to provide voters in Montana and South Dakota (as well as voters across the US) with proof – in his own words – of Senator Obama’s disdain for people of faith and his disregard of our most precious traditions.

We will have a media contact available for interviews. Please feel free to contact the Coalition with any inquiries.

For information contact:

Mike Donovan

The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric


Phone: 206 [redacted]

Source: The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric

The Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric is a group of committed, politically active persons of faith who stand against attempts to belittle, attack, demean or degrade people of faith or their religious traditions. The Coalition sponsors grassroots action to support the mission of the organization.

Fact check Gets Ahold of Obama's COLB

And it's legit, folks. See here.

I don't know how this will impact Philip J. Berg's lawsuit, filed just yesterday, but I can say that it doesn't look good.

A Referral

I’ve been dead busy recently; consequently, few new posts.

To help keep you busy in the meantime, here’s an item of interest: “The People Behind the New Swift Boating.” It does prompt some additional question about Fox News's involvement, but...well, see for yourself.

21 August 2008

Fair Use Rules

Yesterday the Electronic Freedom Frontier published a story alerting all that a judge has declared that copyright owners must consider fair use before filing "takedown notices under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA)." It's about time. Let the parodies begin!

Aside: If you're unfamiliar with what constitutes "fair use," you can take a look at this tidy overview at Stanford University.

20 August 2008

Some Followup to the CAACR Followup

The blog has received numerous helpful emails and comments regarding the defense that the CAACR ad was shown “accidentally” after it had been pulled "after Cristi consulted the CAACR who did NOT approve of the ad."A few items have surfaced that either complicate or negate that assertion. For the moment, let's focus on what we know from public sources about the days surrounding the ad's airing.

We know that Cristi Adkins and Mike Donovan worked together to publicize the VoterGate and Count All Votes sites.

We know that on 28 May, Cristi Adkins, or someone posing as her, posted a call for funds for an ad “to appear before the primaries in S Dakota and Montana.” The ad was for the CAACR, a group for which Mike Donovan was asked to act as media contact.

On June 1st, Adkins asked for prayers to aid Mike Donovan during his scheduled interview with Neil Cavuto. In another instance, on the same day, she also directed a suspected “Obama troll” to “open THIS,” followed by a link to http://www.caacr.com/News.html

On June 2nd, Adkins issued a second plea for funds alongside a link to the original CAACR ad on YouTube. She wrote, “[t]he ad is jarring, but gets enough attention to reach the National Scale of media needed for more impact to the Super delegates and to S. Dakota and Montana voters. You can help” by donating five or ten dollars.

A few hours later, she sent out notice that she had:

1. Got news that the ads are stirring a big rucus and may be pulled.
2. Got the word that Cavuto is thinking of bumping his segment today…

And yet later on the 2nd, Adkins sent out an alert asking supporters to:
Email them and find out why the ad’s are being pulled? What happened to freedom of speech?

Of course the ads, and Donovan’s segment on Cavuto, were pulled. The following day, Adkins wrote:

I sent notices yesterday, there will be no segment. The show had reservations about the guest due to the controversy of the ad’s thus, the official statement is “Neil never agreed to the show”
Shortly after this, CAACR’s press release and its website were deleted. The ad had touched off a mini-controversy, and people worked fervently to remove as much evidence of its existence as possible. Its truncated record prompts questions about the CAACR's membership--many posters have suggested it was a fabrication. I'm not quite prepared to make that claim, yet I think it's important to address questions about Adkins’s level of involvement in the group (and its ad), and, perhaps more so, about Mike Donovan, who seems to be fairly close to Adkins in the development of petitions, websites, and press releases in support of Hillary Clinton’s campaign prior to the campaign’s suspension.

All of this information, by the way, is available via Google.

And why is it important? Maybe it's not, ultimately, but in my view, it's a matter of ethics. It's one thing to argue over a candidate's non-viability for office based on policies and public issues. It's another thing altogether to negate a person's candidacy on the basis of edited speeches, lies, and distortions. Perhaps some residual idealism is poking through here; naturally, muddy tactics are often (but not always) effective, and politics is a bloodsport. That being said, however, people who endorse and raise funds for groups organized with the specific goal of destroying someone--well, what do you say?

One thing to add: Ms. Adkins is, indeed, a Clinton supporter. She's not a GOP operative, which is why I find statements attributed to her puzzling. How do such statements, such advocacies, reconcile with the support of a woman who, in nearly every sense, has been victimized by people who oppose her politically and ideologically?

Rats. It's that dratted idealism poking up again.

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, 1949-2008

The AP is reporting that Representative Tubbs Jones has passed following a brain hemorrhage.

Thank you, Representative, for all of your work on behalf of the people of Ohio.
Your brilliant smile will be missed.

19 August 2008

The Coalition Angainst Anti-Christian Rhetoric at MyBarackObama

It might seem a strange place to publicize their video, but the Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric (CAACR) have themselves a MyBarackObama page. The CAACR has a “community blog” page (although there are no entries). If you visit the CAACR profile, you find a new name and some interesting details:

Location: Washington DC
Issues: peace & social justice
Registered to Vote: Yes

For Peace and Unity

For “peace and unity”?

Anyway. “American Christian Coalition/CAACR” only left a pair messages on MyBarackObama blogs. Here they are:

On Sam Graham-Felsen's blog you find this comment:

By American Christian Coalition Jun 2nd 2008 at 5:04 pm EDT

Donate to a cause you can believe in by www.caacr.com

Go to Link

Help the Coalition get more air time on their ad circulating the blogs.

It seems a tad strange that they’d expect My BarackObama bloggers to rush to the CAACR’s aid, but nevermind. I guess you grab your audience where you can. This next comment is more interesting because of the questions it provokes. In response to a blog post that critiques Cristi Adkins right after the Clintons4McCain story broke, “American Christian Coalition” wrote:

By American Christian Coalition Jun 7th 2008 at 2:34 am EDT

Follow us over to Link [the link leads you to Clintons4McCain's website]

"Sour Grapes make Great Wine"

We're sore losers? Can't accept the outcome of the primaries? We want to "take our ball" and go home? We're racists?

Well, sour grapes make great wine and we are NOT accepting Sen. Obama to represent us in the White House. He doesn't represent us, or grassroots Americans. He represents elitism, class warfare, demagoguery, race-baiting and misogyny. That's his vision for America and the Democratic Party, not ours.

We object to him on many levels, but none have to do with the color of HIS skin. Clearly though he has a problem with color (or lack thereof) and if he isn't outright racist, certainly doesn't mind playing that race card. But it's not even a 'race' card per se, it's a color card. Because we believe there is only one race, the Human race. And people like Obama have been groomed just for this purpose, to use our diversity as a weapon to always have us fighting one another, always keep us divided. We are not accepting that and we are not accepting him.

We will vote for Senator John McCain and help defeat what we believe is evil in our midst and send a message loud and clear that we will be heard and we will not tolerate bigotry, separatism and everything else Obama clearly stands for.

Why is this interesting? The same thing is posted, word for word, on the Clintons4McCain “About” page. It’s the only other place on the web I can locate this “sour grapes” complaint.

Yes, it’s true that any old someone could have copied and posted the item to the MyBarackObama blog. Note well that it’s posted in response to a critique of Adkins, and rather than defend Adkins, the poster, who associates him-or-herself with both the CAACR and Clintons4McCain, repeats an affirmation of support for McCain.

ASIDE: It should be evident, but I should note that none of this is conclusive: this series of posts has presented a largely circumstantial case pointing towards Adkins's possible participation in a variety of activities that argue against Obama's candidacy. If Ms Adkins should wish to present her "side" of things or to alert posters of any corrections, she is welcome--and encouraged--to do so by contacting mp&gs via email.

Some Brief CAACR Followup (Updated)

Last night (8/18/08) an anonymous reader left a comment in response to the post on CAACR. Here is an edited version of that comment:

the [CAACR] ad was originally pulled by Burke at AMS, NOT the stations. The ONE ad that did air in SD was not supposed to air. Burke pulled it after reviewing it extensively and warned the stations not to play the ad after Cristi consulted the CAACR who did NOT approve of the ad as well.

Both the CAACR and AMS REFUSED to air the ad, and immediately called the station to PULL ALL ADS>

The station in SD state they 'accidentally' left in one rotation although, they removed it from all others.

All information that named other individuals (both of whom I am unfamiliar with) has been removed. As the rest of the post's material seems immediately relevant to the CAACR post, here it is.

Added (8/20/08): In an email message, KELO's President and General Manager, Jay Huizenga, concurs that the CAACR itself pulled the post. This does, of course, conflict with media reports that the station pulled the ad. However, unless other evidence is made available, perhaps Mr. Huizenga's statement should be the final answer. There is no word, however, on when the ad was pulled.

UPDATE: (8/22/08): Two readers forwarded the following discoveries to me:
The first item (source here):

From: cristi adkins

Sent on: Sunday, June 1, 2008 2:01 PM

Open this NOBAMA Rat Troll


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of jack[xxxx]
Sent: Sunday, June 01, 2008 2:41 PM
To: [address removed]
Subject: RE: [hrclinton-32] Hillary needs your help with DNC Today!

I need to advise you to be careful as to what you open and download. I have just discovered that there is an Obama troll amongst us.


The second item (source here):

Important Updates...


cristi adkins

Sent on:

Monday, June 2, 2008 12:23 PM

1. Got news that the ads are stirring a big rucus and may be pulled.

2. Got the word that Cavuto is thinking of bumping his segment today…

3. Hillary campaign wants to know if you want her to stay in or not…see message I got today from insider in campaign


Yesterday I sent out the email below. I informed the highups in the campaign that I know. The goal is to raise money and show Hillary how many Americans want her to go All the Way. [rest of unsigned fundraising email redacted]

Both messages are from the Hillary Clinton meetup site. Cavuto did, indeed, "bump his segment" on the CAACR (see this post). Perhaps he was concerned about appearing to endorse the ad by legitimizing the group with an appearance on his show. Regardless, both messages seem to conflict with the idea that the CAACR and AMS desired distance from the ads as Cristi, who, if the anonymous poster is correct, acted as mediator between CAACR and AMS, continued to "push" the ads. But there may be some simple explanation for this.

Again, if Ms. Adkins, Mr. Donovan, or any other representatives of CAACR wish to confirm, correct, or question this series of posts, they are encouraged to contact m, p, & gs at their convenience.

Rumor Central: McCain & Solzhenitsyn

Those rumors that the nasty moonbatty libs started about John McCain ripping off Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn? Those nasty moonbatty libs didn’t start ‘em (although they, among others, have happily circulated the story). Review the following posts at Free Republic, and note the dates.

"freedomdefender"cites McCain's cross-in-the-dirt story.

"Driver Dave" states, "[l]ooks like McCain has been reading Solzhenitsyn," and then he cites an urban legend about Solzhenitsyn's experience in the Gulag. The Soviet prisoner never wrote it; rather, the story was retold by Chuck Colson and Jesse Helms. Andrew Sullivan offers a detailed discussion of the story at his blog.

So there you go.

18 August 2008

A Message from the CAACR Ad's Videographer?

Note: this appears as an anonymous comment following this story; it's worth its own post. Shortly after it appeared in the comments section, another anonymous commentor replied in defense of Allen Media Strategies, and you can read an edited version of that response here.

Dear MPandGS,

I happened to stumble across your blog this morning while doing some research of my own. The connections you have drawn out concerning the CAACR video and Cristi Adkins are accurate. I know because I am the videographer that produced the "Obama Rhetoric Video" as it was so named, for the Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric, or CAACR. I can not speak of some of the other connections you have made.

Here's how things unfolded:

-Cristi Adkins approached us in February asking for a quote to produce a 30 second smear ad against Obama (for the CAACR). We quoted the job but they then declined due to the cost.

-We were approached again in late May for the same ad, except this time, we were told that someone (Mike Donovan) was able to raise the funds. We were to have the video completed in time to air the commercial prior to the primaries in South Dakota and Montana. We debated if we wanted to do the work because some of the imagery described was questionnable. Mike D. was presented to us as the financier, and as such, had creative control of the project. Mike discussed the video with us, and after providing an outline, we agreed to do the production since the imagery had been toned down.

-Mike drafted a "script" of the commercial and provided us with the photos used in the video. We were instructed to also use a video clip from YouTube which was a speech Obama gave on religion.

-We began production on Wednesday, May 28th. We had to do some deletions of the script in order to reach the 30 second target, but working with Mike via phone, youtube.com, and e-mail we finally developed the finished ad.

-On Friday, May 30th we had the video transferred to BetaCam tapes and sent them via UPS them to Allen Media Strategies (for delivery on Monday June 2. I sent it to them b/c Burke had purchased media time for the commercial per Mike's request. We also uploaded the video to a YouTube Account (caacrvideos) that Mike had set up. Finally we sent a high res copy to Mike and Burke via a site called USendIt.com

-Payment for the video was to be paid net 14 days after delivery per a contract between us and the CAACR, drafted and signed my Mike Donovan. Mike has not paid anything toward the debt and it is my understanding that he has never paid Burke for the media buy, either.

-The video almost immediately got a negative response. I think that it aired one time on television (not sure of the station), but it was reported that other TV stations refused to play it due to complaints from the Obama campaign (concerning the fact that the speech was "modified")

-Almost immediately after Hillary lost the nomination, the CAACR website went black (I think it was June 3 or 4) and the media alerts that had listed Mike D. as the media rep were pulled. I began to contact both Allen Media Strategies and Mike D. because I was concerned about not receiving payment for our services. There were several reasons that were given for the site going down, everthing from those involved receiving threats to a possible negative story that was going to be published by the New York Times.

-When confronted about the identities of people in the CAACR, Christi refused to state who was involved (excluding Mike Donovan). She stated that the CAACR were friends of hers and that she occasionally did work for them. She admitted that:
1. She set up the CAACR website
2. She initiated the request for the video production
3. She promoted the video and approved of its content on behalf of the CAACR.

-Since the CAACR website was shut down we (the video production co) have attempted to collect payment for the video from Michael Donovan (unsuccessfully). We have also been unsuccessful in determining a physical address for him, so we have not been able to file suit for non-payment. Ultimately, we WERE successful in negotiating a resolution with Allen Media Strategies and they have honored the agreements made so far.

17 August 2008

Cristi Adkins and a Clumsy Smear or Two

Before we go much further, I'd like to post a background reminder:

On 15 May, the Republican National Committee registered the website, “ClintonsforMcCain.”

Cristi Adkins, the public face of Clintons4McCain, joined an online Hillary Clinton Meetup group on 16 May.

On 5 June, Sarah Lai Stirland from Wired published the story, In Appeal to Angry Clinton Voters, Republicans Prep ClintonsforMcCain.com.” Prior to this date, Stirland had emailed the RNC a series of questions about the "ClintonsforMcCain" site. The RNC did not reply to Stirland's emails.

On 4 June, the day before Wired posted Stirland's story, a fresh site, “Clintons4McCain,” appeared. This is Adkins's site. (T. S. reminds me to remind you, reader, that Adkins also met with Senator McCain earlier this summer).

Because of the RNC's involvement with "ClintonsforMcCain," many have been suspicious about "Clintons4McCain" and view Adkins as a GOP "operative." Adkins denies that she’s Republican; however, she’s employing some questionable tactics in supporting her preferred candidate, Senator Clinton. In actuality, rather than actively support either Clinton or McCain, she prefers to actively smear Senator Obama. Case in point: in spring and summer 2008, she appears to have actively participated in/propelled one of the more disreputable anti-Obama operations.

In my previous entry, I posted information regarding various websites registered to a “Jonathan Davis,” which appears to be the pseudonym of man named M. Donovan. "Davis's" sites began to emerge beginning 26 May. The “Coalition Against Anti-Christian Rhetoric,” or “CAACR,’ also appeared about this time. The group's vehemence alarmed much of the public--both liberals and conservatives--after it released an anti-Obama commercial, consisting of manipulated footage from an Obama speech, in Montana and South Dakota just prior to the states' primaries. As a result of the outrage, the group's advertisement, and its site, vanished quickly. Therefore, we only have records of mainstream media and bloggers mentioning the organization. However, we do know that Mike Donovan acted as “contact” for the group should anyone desire information.

The first message about CAACR appeared on 9 May at a site dedicated to the idea that Barack Obama is the anti-Christ from the Book of Revelations:

caacrdotcom said...

If you are a Christian you need to see this video...
go to www.caacr.com
if the clip is gone, request to view it from the founding members.

Obama may not be the antichrist, but is most definately spewing anti christian language to Muslim groups as posted by Muslim Bridges...

May 9, 2008 7:26 PM

As CAACR is long time down, it’s impossible to confirm anything about this particular video. It isn't the clip used in Montana and South Dakota, however, as that ad relied on audio. The ad discussed at the "Obama as anti-Christ" site appears to adapt from Obama’s letter to the organization Muslim Bridges, a group whose stated purpose "is to Build Bridges - to promote Peace and Dialogue through Proactive Interactions at individual and organizational levels."

Ten days later, someone called "Founding Fathers" alerts posters to the website and video while visiting Fox’s website for Greta Van Susteran:

Founding Fathers
May 19th, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Obama is continually attempting to subdue our voices so that he can obtain a subtle ‘control’ over the masses. Yet, not so subtle is his anti-christian values.
Please log onto http://www.caacr.com and weigh in on his speech where he speaks in front of a group, Muslim Bridges.

He states that this is no longer a Christian nation…
Then he mocks us for believing in Angels…
And, he tells the Muslim Bridges group that we ’stone our children’ and ‘endorse slavery’

And the more he can get us to ‘lay off his wife’ the more he can get us to cling to our religion.

Go to http://www.caacr.com and find out more.
Go to the Presidential Rhetoric page…

Again, as the website is down, we can only go by what the poster says about it. In alluding to Obama’s “subtle ‘control’ over the masses,” “Founding Fathers” touches on one of Cristi Adkins’s most favored arguments: that Obama employs mass hypnosis to sway voters to support him.

At this point, CAACR chose to extend its message beyond the internet and sets about creating a commercial to air in South Dakota and Montana. Cristi Adkins, who was involved in setting up “Count All Votes” and “Votergate 08,” issues a plea for funds on the Hillary Clinton Meetup site. The subject refers to a “NOBAMA” ad in the works:

From: cristi adkins
Sent on: Wednesday, May 28, 2008 3:30 PM
New Ad Donations: Please send inquiries to [address removed]

There is a new ad circulating brought to the attention of Count All Votes.org and they have asked me to request donations for this ad to appear before the June 3 primaries in S Dakota and Montana. If you are in favor of a NOBAMA ad, support democracy, national security and want to see the right nominee in the DNC, please contact [address removed] and find out how you can contribute to this ad. It is a last ditch effort to show the real Obama before the voters go to the poll on Tuesday.


When a contributor expresses interest in viewing the ad, Adkins responds with the following message (sent May 29, 8:49 am):

The ad is in it’s final stages…I’ll forward your message to the Founding Fathers of the PAC


From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of [redacted]
Sent: None
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [hrclinton-32] NOBAMA television ad

I sent them an email.
I would like to see the ad.

While the messages neglect to mention CAARC, we can confirm that “Count All Votes” did not release a television commercial, but a few days later, the CAACR ad, which had been “in it’s [sic] final stages” on 29 May, was broadcast in Montana.

Here is the CAACR television ad.

Shortly after the ad aired, Adkins brought the media response to her fellow Meetup group members' attention:

Top NBC Montana story


cristi adkins

Sent on:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 5:50 AM

NBC Montana led with the ad as their top story. Here is a link to the written copy. VERY interesting….


Ad: www.caacr.com/News.html

We have evidence then, that Adkins was both aware and supportive of the ad. Recall, as well, that immediately after the ad aired, CAACR encountered some pretty severe fallout (for examples, see here, here, and here. For blog examples, Google the Coalition's name). Consequently, Mike Donovan, who had been scheduled to appear on the Neil Cavuto show to discuss CAACR, was disinvited:

RE: [hrclinton-32] Neil Cavuto Drops Obama Bomb Monday June 2, 4 PM Fox News


cristi adkins

Sent on:

Monday, June 2, 2008 1:53 PM

I called the Cavuto show myself and they said they will not be interviewing Mike Donovan of the Caacr.com because of problems with the ad. I asked her if there would be any other information revealed today and she said she’d call me back…no word yet

That’s what I know at this time.

And this despite Adkins’s call for prayers, or, at least, a “higher consciousness” to aid Mike Donovan the night before his planned Cavuto appearance.

Now, take a listen once more to the CAACR television ad.
Next, please visit this website and listen to welcome page's voiceover. Unless my hearing is quite mistaken, it’s the same voice.

It belongs to Cristi Adkins’s husband, Burke Allen (Burke Allen Adkins).

Recently, bloggers have defended Adkins as the victim of "Obama bloggers," of undeserved attacks and accusations; I read these, and then I think about her record of supporting (at least endorsing) political smear jobs. It seems to me that Adkins and Donovan, and, quite likely, a few other associates, appear to have have consistently targeted Obama and pushed questionable stories into the media; if one item doesn't effectively stir the voting public, it gets swept under the rug and they move to the next. The only outrages they haven't covered yet are drugs, gay sex, and murder. Oh, wait. . .nevermind.

It is my opinion, my guess, that this league of Virginian tricksters, if it is such, shall continue apace until November, so get ready folks. They just might get dirtier the closer we get to the end of the election season.

UPDATE: Adkins appeared on a radio program tonight to announce that she was unable to attract media attention to Larry Sinclair, and so she will not be pursuing the Sinclair angle in attacking Obama. Kudos to Cristi.

UPDATE: Please read the post in response to "NPR Defender" below.

Found! Here is the CAACR's press release.

UPDATE (8/27/08): Confirmed!
NPR's "Secret Money" project on the CAACR.

ASIDE: It should be evident, but I should note that none of this is conclusive: this series of posts has presented a largely circumstantial case that, I believe, point towards Ms. Adkins's possible participation in a variety of activities that argue against Obama's candidacy. If Ms Adkins should wish to present her "side" of things or to alert posters of any corrections, she is welcome--and encouraged--to do so by contacting mp&gs via email.