So let me get this straight. The Bush administration, the very people who religiously eliminated regulation and thwarted any attempts at oversight — in other words, the very policies that have brought us to the brink of financial disaster — want close to $1,000,000,000,000 of our money to fix it. No strings attached, no obligation to Congress, and absolutely no potential review by the courts.

I say No.

What do they propose to do with ONE TRILLION DOLLARS? Buy all the bad debt from the companies that benefitted most from this lax environment, which leaves them wholly intact to pursue the very same corrupt practices, allows the people criminally responsible to escape without penalty, and sweeps the entire mess under the proverbial rug before the election. No accountability, no meaningful examination of the policies behind the mess, and no chance of enacting new laws to prevent this from happening again.

I say No.

Just like oil revenues were supposed to pay for the War in Iraq, the Bush administration claims this deal will pay for itself, meaning that someday we’ll profit from the purchase of their currently worthless assets — if that’s the case, why are these financial companies so desperate to sell? I see this as nothing more than a short-term fix to prevent their worst fears from coming true: not the collapse of the economy, not the final death of the American dream, but the ultimate revelation that George W. Bush and his Republican party ruined America. They’ve bankrupted us, morally and financially, and now they not only want a “Get out of jail free” card, they want John McCain elected to serve Bush’s third term.

I say No.

Do you support Bush today, more than you did four years ago?

Approval Ratings: The Public v. McCain is a great ad. I wish it were a little sharper on the failings of the Bush presidency — New Orleans didn’t just fall, it flooded and its people were left to die by the Bush Administration (at least McCain got his cake) — but overall I think it’s right on target. Here’s the transcript:

He’s the worst president in history and an international embarrassment.

It took years for George Bush to squander the faith of this country.

We wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

But as Americans learned more, his approval ratings slide lower and lower.

Yet, there is one man whose support of Bush just keeps growing.

They campaigned together as our soldiers died.

They ate cake together as New Orleans fell.

And each year, he votes with Bush by ever increasing percentages.

77% of the time in 2005. 86% in 2006. 95% in 2007 and 100% in 2008.

As time finally runs out on this presidency, ask yourself this:

“Do you support Bush today more than you did four years ago?”

John McCain clearly does. Still think he’d be a good president? Still think he’d be anything other than George Bush’s third term? Does anyone really think that’s what America needs?

This quote from Edward R. Murrow is the perfect end to Humanitainment’s take on John McCain:

I never realized it until recently, but losing to George W. Bush in 2000, then having to kiss his ring in 2004 in order to position himself for 2008, must have crushed McCain’s soul. He is clearly half the man he was in 2000. Furthermore, he is incredibly ill-equipped for today’s much more transparent campaign; sad but true, this sea change has left him high and dry. Still, none of that excuses his blatant pandering and outright lying. This man is not fit to be president.

I did a bit of digging into Humanitainment and found their incredibly pointed positioning: “The promotion of social reform through the art of popular entertainment.” Those of you near and dear to me know my passion for politics and my desire to fill the void created by today’s (purposefully) empty-headed coverage. I’ve danced around this topic time and again, never quite sure of how best to engage it, but I remain convinced that simple and fiendishly clever humor is an important part of the answer. What’s missing for me is the call-to-action — what will really make the American people move on an issue or candidate?

That answer, and much more, soon.

John McCain in his own words:

This is how you run against a war-monger. This is how you attack his supposed strengths. The American people are done with this war, and they are most certainly done with this disastrous, draconian, oppressive Republican mindset. McCain, Mr. 26%, and the rest of their Republican party are dinosaurs, awaiting extinction. War is not the answer, no matter how valiant and virtuous they paint it.

Good luck with that in November? Exactly.

In a post on Daily Kos that I wish I would have written this afternoon, David Sirota furthers my point about the uniquely and deeply disruptive progressive populism of John Edwards:

We are at a historic moment right now — and I say that not in the way the Monday Night Football-mimicking political media bills every single election as “the most important election in our lifetime.” I say it because I believe America is, for the first time in many generations, starting to think in terms of economic class. Put another way, the battle between Democrats and Republicans is being superseded by the battle between The Money Party and The People Party. How this new class awareness manifests itself in one election cycle is far less important than the fact that awareness is rising at all.

This, beyond everything else, is the storyline that will never be written by the Beltway media — because class awareness among the masses is something that threatens the powers that be. The system in Washington is set up to crush class awareness and solidarity among the masses — to break us up along racial, ethnic, geographic and religious lines so that we do not unify in support of an economic agenda based on fairness and equality. This Washington system exists, ironically, to preserve a well-coordinated class war being waged by an economic class very aware of itself — a class war by the wealthy against the rest of us. This may sound like hyperbole, but polls show most Americans know this is the undeniable truth. And no matter whether your personal preference wins or loses tonight in Iowa, We The People have already won, because class awareness and class-based politics is on the rise. [my emphasis in bold]

I am pleased that Edwards fared so well tonight, holding his own against two extremely well-funded opponents. I remain ever hopeful about his prospects in the coming weeks, as I believe Barack Obama clearly benefitted from having Independents and Republicans vote for him in Iowa (not a complaint, just a point to keep in mind). Edwards’ continued viability will take his message to more and more people, and force Obama and Hillary Clinton to sharpen their rhetoric as well.

Beyond that, I am even more heartened by the overwhelming enthusiasm and support for our Democratic candidates:

Percentage of total vote:
24.5% Obama
20.5% Edwards
19.8% Clinton
11.4% Huckabee (R)

No matter who gets the Democratic nomination, America is clearly over the unscrupulous and overly sanctimonious Republican party. That to me is the greatest victory of all.

I have long been a John Edwards fan, but I haven’t been ready or willing to commit to his candidacy until now. It certainly seems to me that he has really caught fire in the past few weeks, and I don’t believe I’m the only one who’s noticed. I just hope it isn’t too late.

I am especially thrilled with the fact that he has continued to attack the rich and powerful, especially those who have bought and paid for our leaders in Washington. Edwards recently said, “We’re not gonna have an auction in Iowa, we’re gonna have an election. We’re gonna decide who the best candidate is, not who the person is who can raise the most money.” This is a refreshing and much needed change after seven long years of bush league government sold to the highest bidder.

Contrary to popular belief, the presidency of George W. Bush has not been a failure. Rather, I submit to you that he and his Republican party have been quite successful in the things they set out to do. The sad fact is that those things were never meant to benefit me and you — it was always about enriching themselves and the people that put them in power. Nothing more and nothing less.

There is a undeniable wave of authentic populism in America right now. You see it in Ron Paul’s fund-raising numbers, in Mike Huckabee’s overnight emergence from relative obscurity, and in the deep emotional response to John Edwards. Very few Americans have shared in the Bush boom, and many are truly struggling to make ends meet. We also have very real concerns about the priorities of our government and our standing in the world.

John Edwards is clearly a threat to the status quo, and those who stand to lose their unfair advantage under an Edwards administration have made a concerted effort to silence his critiques and eliminate his message from our political discourse. But that just makes an ad (via Digby) like this one even more powerful:

Doug Bishop says, “I’m gonna do my best to make sure that my children aren’t the first generation of Americans that I can’t look them in the eye and say ‘you’re gonna have a better life than I did.” Both he and I believe that Edwards is the only candidate on either side who can make that happen.

I sincerely hope he gets the chance. It will be the fight of a lifetime, but one that desperately needs to happen and one that we can win with a President John Edwards.