Sunday, March 9, 2008

60 Minutes Transcript: John McCain Interview

The Republican nominee had interesting answers (read the transcript/article) during his interview on 60 Minutes:

"I wonder at what point do you stop doing what you think is right and you start doing what the majority of the American people want?" Pelley asked.

"Well, again, I disagree with what the majority of the American people want. Failure will lead to chaos, withdrawal will lead to chaos," McCain said at the time.

"That was not what the American people wanted to hear at that time," Pelley pointed out.

"That's exactly right. It's not what they wanted to hear. I can read the polls very well," McCain said.

"But you said it anyway," Pelley said.

"Well, I said, at the time I'd much rather lose a campaign than lose a war. Now, more and more Americans are believing that the surge is succeeding. I'm very glad of that," McCain replied.

What about waterboarding:
Pelley asked him about American interrogation methods today. Asked if water boarding is torture, McCain said, "Sure. Yes. Without a doubt."

"So the United States has been torturing POWs?" Pelley asked.

"Yes. Scott, we prosecuted Japanese war criminals after World War II.
And one of the charges brought against them, for which they were convicted, was that they water-boarded Americans," McCain said.

"How did we lose our way?" Pelley asked.

"I don't know the answer to that. I think one of the failures maybe was not to listen more to our military leadership, including people like General Colin Powell, on this issue," McCain said.

No answers on the economy:
"What do you do for the person who just saw gasoline go from three and a quarter to three fifty on its way to $4?" Pelley asked.

"I would love to tell you that I have an immediate answer for that. And I don't. The only way we are going to fix it is to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. We've got to have a crash program, a all out effort," McCain said. "But, I can't give you straight talk and tell you that tomorrow I can change the price of a gallon of gas."

Aren't you part of the culture of corruption, John?:
"You point your finger at other senators and claim that there is a culture of corruption on Capitol Hill. But you take money from lobbyists who have business before your committee as other senators do. So, how is it that you call the system corrupt?" Pelley asked.

"Well, one of the reasons why I call the system corrupt is because we have members of Congress who are in jail, who are former members of Congress. But it’s not the individuals, it's the system we have today. I believe that I serve with honorable men and women. And I believe that the people who bring their case to government, the overwhelming majority of them are honorable people," McCain said.

"The lobbyists?" Pelley asked.

"Retirees have a lobbyist. Firemen have a lobbyist. Your business has a lot of lobbyists," McCain said.

McCain claims he’s never done a favor for money. He believes he’s being held to a higher standard because of his criticism.

Meet The Press Transcript: Obama, Clinton Surrogates Debate

This was the next best thing to a debate between Obama and Clinton (read the entire transcript):

MR. RUSSERT: Should the candidate who has the most elected delegates be the nominee?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Absolutely. I don't see how we could possibly do anything other than respect the will of the people who have voted in caucus and primary states all over the country. And what it would say to the world, to the country that we'd overturn the verdict of those, of those elections would be travesty for, for the party and for the country.

[...]MR. RUSSERT: Governor Rendell, if, in fact, Barack Obama goes to the convention in Colorado in August with the most elected delegates, having won more contests and a higher popular vote, the cumulative vote, could he be denied the nomination?

GOV. RENDELL: Well, sure, Tim, because, number one, Hillary Clinton has won states with about 260 electoral votes. Barack Obama has won states with about 190. And we decide the presidency not by a popular vote, we decide it by the electoral vote. And the traditional role of the superdelegates is to determine who's going to be our strongest candidate. Tim, you and I have been doing this for a long time, as Tom has, and we know the big four in any presidential election recently are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. And in all four of those states--Pennsylvania hasn't voted yet, but I assume we're going to do real well--Hillary Clinton will have taken those states, if it--she takes Pennsylvania, and will have taken them by significant majorities. She's clearly the strongest candidate in the states that Democrats must win to have a chance. Look, it's great that Barack Obama is doing wonderfully well in Wyoming and Utah and, and places like that, but there's no chance we're going to carry those states. Whether he gets 44 percent as opposed to 39 percent doesn't matter, but we're not going to carry those states. We do have a chance to carry the big four. We've got to in three of the big four. Hillary Clinton's the strongest candidate to do that. That's been proven by the voters in the--those states and hopefully by Pennsylvania as well.

MR. RUSSERT: But, Governor, you're counting Florida when, in fact, the candidates did not campaign in Florida. So you--are you suggesting Hillary Clinton won?

GOV. RENDELL: Oh, there's no question. In an even playing field, nobody campaigned, 1.7 million Floridians voted, and she won by 17 percent. But I have a suggestion, if you don't like that, Tim, or if Tom doesn't like that, let's revote in Michigan and Florida. Let's end all the suspense. If our campaign is wrong and we are not going to be the strongest in those states, let the voters choose it. And Tom always talks about--the Obama folks talk about undemocratic. How can the Democratic Party go to Denver and deny the people of Michigan and Florida, two crucial states, a voice in this, in this nominating process? Makes no sense at all. Let's revote, and let's see how we do.

MR. RUSSERT: But in Michigan, you'll acknowledge that you have said repeatedly that the Clinton campaign cannot make the statement that they won Michigan.

GOV. RENDELL: Right. Which is why I'm calling for a revote.

Here's the shocker. This idiot has the nerve to talk about democracy. Part of democracy means playing by the rules, not making them as you go along:
MR. RUSSERT: Would you accept the caucus in Michigan?

GOV. RENDELL: No. Caucuses are undemocratic. That's another thing. We talk about the superdelegates being undemocratic. If you're a caucus, older people can't vote, older people who vote by absentee ballot. There's no absentee ballots in a caucus. Tim, if you're a shift worker and a lot of our workers, because they're low-income workers, are shift workers, you can't vote in a caucus. So we want primaries. That's the way we elect presidents. We don't have caucuses to elect presidents in the fall. Let's have a primary. Let's decide this. Let's hear from the Obama campaign about a revote in Florida and Michigan.

MR. RUSSERT: So the Iowa caucus, the Nevada caucus were undemocratic.

GOV. RENDELL: Undemocratic compared to primaries, yes.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator...

GOV. RENDELL: Absolutely.

MR. RUSSERT: Senator...

GOV. RENDELL: Tim, do you believe, do you believe older people should have the right to vote? They can't in a caucus because they can't get out of the house. So you're disenfranchising some of the most important voters in the fall election. How about that shift worker who works 4 to 12? He can't vote. He might really want to vote, but he can't.

[...]MR. RUSSERT: Senator Daschle, a proposal from the Clinton campaign to have new primaries in Florida, in Michigan, paid for by private donors.

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Well, Tim, first of all I think it'll come as a real shock to Iowa and to Nevada and to many other states that they don't have a democratic process. I think that it's very democratic, and we saw yesterday in Wyoming we had a lot of seniors and older people to participate. People from all walks. They were participating in unprecedented numbers, so I, I don't concede that point at all. But let me just say...

GOV. RENDELL: What about shift workers, Tom? What about shift workers and people who can't get out of their homes?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Shift workers, too, Ed. Absolutely.

GOV. RENDELL: What about people who can't get out of their homes?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: No, I think--I think everybody--we'll accommodate. We'll accommodate them.

GOV. RENDELL: You can't. There's no absentee ballots in caucuses.

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Well, listen, let me--there are a lot of issues with primaries as well that you'd have to address. But, but the bottom line is, you got to play by the rules. We all agreed to the rules earlier in this campaign, Tim, and one campaign now has broken those rules, has decided not to abide by them; and our campaign has chosen to do that, to, to abide by the rules and to, and to work something out. We recognize that those are two very important states. We want to see this resolved. We want the parties to work with the states to come up with a resolution. We'll be competitive, whatever it is. Whatever fair approach that we can employ, we'll forward, we'll take it, we'll do it. But it has to be fair, and it has to be worked out in concert with the parties and, and abide as much as possible with the rules that everybody agreed to six months ago.

MR. RUSSERT: So you would be open to primaries in Michigan and Florida?

FMR. SEN. DASCHLE: Oh, of course. Absolutely. We would be.

Dick Morris: It's Over

Dick Morris was largely responsible for Bill Clinton getting elected in 1992. He knows the Clintons very well. He is also a master strategist. So when Morris says Hillary Clinton can't win he knows what he's talking about:

The real message of Tuesday’s primaries is not that Hillary won. It’s that she didn’t win by enough.

The race is over.

The results are already clear. Obama will go to the Democratic Convention with a lead of between 100 and 200 elected delegates. The remaining question is: What will the superdelegates do then? But is that really a question? Will the leaders of the Democratic Party be complicit in its destruction? Will they really kindle a civil war by denying the nomination to the man who won the most elected delegates? No way. They well understand that to do so would be to throw away the party’s chances of victory and to stigmatize it among African-Americans and young people for the rest of their lives. The Democratic Party took 20 years to recover from the traumas of 1968 and it is not about to trigger a similar bloodletting this year.

John McCain’s nomination guarantees that the superdelegates wouldn’t dare. A perfectly acceptable alternative for most Democrats, McCain would harvest so large a proportion of Obama’s votes if Hillary steals the nomination that he would probably win. Even putting Obama on the ticket would not allay the anger of his supporters; it would just make him complicit in the robbery.

Will Hillary win Pennsylvania? Who cares? Even if she were to sweep the remaining primaries and caucuses by 10 points, she would move just 60 votes closer to Obama’s total of elected delegates. And she won’t sweep them all. Even if Hillary wins Pennsylvania, the largest prize up for grabs, Obama will probably win North Carolina, which is almost as large. He’s likely to win Mississippi and Wyoming and has a good shot in Oregon and Indiana. The most likely result of these coming contests is that Obama will be roughly where he is now, about 140 elected delegates ahead of Hillary.

Economic Crisis Report 3-9-08

This is a transcript of a report given on Lou Dobbs:

  • ROMANS: Employers cut 63,000 jobs in February, the largest number in five years. The losses were widespread, coming from many sectors, including construction and manufacturing. And if not for government hiring, job losses would have topped 100,000. President Bush today tried to put the crisis in the best possible light.
  • ROMANS: But many fear growth is a long way off. The president's top economic adviser today said the nation could experience negative growth this quarter. And for many middle-class Americans, a recovery doesn't seem to be in their future.
  • Alarming since consumer spending drives economic growth. And according to the Labor Department, the number of long-term unemployed remains high especially in the Midwest and Northeast. Those are people out of work for at least six months. At this New York City career center, the number of people looking for work has skyrocketed 50 percent during the past year.
  • ROMANS: Grim jobs news, a new record high in oil, a housing market deteriorating by the day, according to new data from the Federal Reserve, consumers are increasingly turning to their credit cards to get by. And the Central Bank is making available billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars to banks to encourage them to keep lending so the economy can grow.

    It was a bad day on Wall Street as well as investors reacted to that grim economic news. Stocks tumbled. The Dow closed under 12,000, its lowest level in almost a year and a half.
Meanwhile the CEOs responsible for the collapse of the housing market make millions:
SCHIAVONE: Golden parachutes (ph) to Angelo Mozilo Countrywide CEO, who made $120 million in stocks and options last year and 400 million in stock sales since 1998. Stan O'Neal, former Merrill Lynch CEO who got $161 million in stock options and retirement benefits. Charles Prince, former Citigroup CEO, leaving the company last year with a $10 million bonus, 28 million in stocks and options and 1.5 million in other perks.

REP. HENRY WAXMAN (D), CALIFORNIA: You're in the middle of an enormous debacle that ended up costing your companies and shareholders billions of dollars. It cost people their homes. It cost other people their jobs. It seems like everyone is hurting except for you.

SCHIAVONE: Mozilo says he worked hard for the millions he made at Countrywide, the company he co-founded.

ANGELO MOZILO, CEO, COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: I'm very found of the home ownership opportunities that Countrywide has provided for over 20 million families.

SCHIAVONE: Many such opportunities on the ropes as credit- challenged homeowners across the nation face the threat of foreclosure. The executives before Congress and their company's compensation officers said they were paid for their talent, skills for which evidently there is no price ceiling.