Please note that we've moved to a new blog at www.LibraryGrape.com.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Esquire Endorsed Obama; First in 75 Years

Esquire magazine endorsed Barack Obama today -- the first such endorsement in 75 years.

On Obama:

Senator Obama is the only one of the two candidates who seems to believe in the idea of a political commonwealth, that there are those things -- be they the guarantees in the Bill of Rights or mountains in Alaska -- that we own together. Barack Obama stands, however inchoately and however diffidently, for the notion that a common purpose is necessary for common problems, that "government," as it is designed in our founding documents, is our collective responsibility. It is this collective responsibility that built America into a great power without peer in the history of the world. And it is this collective responsibility that has succumbed to nearly thirty years of phony rightist populism, corporate brigandage, and the wildly cheered abandonment of a common American civic purpose. It is shocking that in America an argument for salvaging the common good is regarded as a radical notion by anyone, but that is where we are. And that is what Barack Obama seems to stand for. After all, as a young man with his potential, he could have headed straight to midtown Manhattan and made a fortune. Instead, he took a church job working for poor people in Chicago, and for his troubles, he and those poor people have been viciously jeered by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin. Such is their regard for the common good. And such is Obama's promise. And in that, however inchoately and however diffidently, Obama stands not only against Bushism, but against Reaganism, which gave it birth. And that is more than enough.

On McCain:
[Obama's] Republican counterpart is one of the first presidential candidates in history to run as a parody of himself. John McCain has decided on a cheap and dishonorable campaign. He has embraced the tactics with which he was slandered in 2000, and he has hired the people responsible for them. In so doing, he has become something of a mockery of everything he once purported to be. He has stated that he wouldn't now vote for his own immigration bill. He has operated in violation of the very campaign-finance law that bears his name. And even though his own body bears the scars of torture, he has silenced himself on the issue of the torture sanctioned and designed by the government he seeks to lead, so as not to alienate "the base." The most underutilized trope of the campaign is the notion that John McCain is running against John McCain.

Read the Whole Thing

McCain Surrogate Eagleburger: Palin Not Ready

This from McCain supporter Lawrence Eagleburger:

A former Republican Secretary of State and one of John McCain's most prominent supporters offered a stunningly frank and remarkably bleak assessment of Sarah Palin's capacity to handle the presidency should such a scenario arise.

Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, said on Thursday that the Alaska governor is not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment's notice but, even after some time in office, would only amount to an "adequate" commander in chief.

"And I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested," he added for good measure -- referring both to Palin's policy dexterity and the idea of McCain not making it through his time in office.

Karl Rove Forecasts Obama with 311 Electoral Votes

This from the mind of Karl Rove:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Republican Hack: Equality is Not an American Value

This is some of the most sad, mindless, scary wingnut bullsh*t I've ever read, uttered by talk radio idiot Dennis Prager:

“Equality, which is the primary value of the left, is a European value, not an American value.”

Disgusting. As C&L put it:

Wow. So I guess that Congress was being oh so continental when they wrote this:

Amendment XIV

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Brilliant Quote of the Day

This is one of the best quotes I've read in a really long time. Read the whole article.

"Let me offer what is evidently a radical argument — identifying the candidate that best approximates your ideological beliefs is not sufficient reason to cast a presidential vote on his behalf. Yes, a conservative is naturally going to weigh a candidate’s adherence to conservatism very heavily, but not as an end in itself. The ultimate goal is to choose the candidate whose election most benefits the country, not the candidate whose beliefs most closely reflect your own." -- Conor Friedsdorf

Obama's 30-Minute Closing Argument Ad - Video

Here's the video from Obama's 30-minute closing argument ad that ran last night in primetime on seven networks:

Barack Obama 30 Minute Commercial Video Part 1

Barack Obama 30 Minute Infomercial Video Part 2

Barack Obama 30 Minute Ad Video Part 3

Barack Obama 30 Minute Speech Video Part 4

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Out of Town

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last few days. I'm out of town on business again without much internet access. I'll be back on Friday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Picture of Empty McCain Rally Today

A picture is worth a thousand words:

Quote of the Week: Hitchens of Palin

In this quote, you'll find out why I (sometimes sheepishly) love Christopher Hitchens:

[The Republican Party] has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just "people of faith" but theocratic bullies.

On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.


NASCAR Patriarch Endorses Obama

One of the founding fathers of NASCAR, Junior Johnson, endorsed Barack Obama in a fundraising email to Obama supporters:

My family and I have given this election a lot of thought.

Our country is in a rough spot, and we're going to need some serious change. There's only one candidate ready to deliver it -- and that's Barack Obama...

Every day I talk to someone else who's never voted for a Democrat, but now they're voting for Barack Obama. They realize that Barack understands what we're going through here in North Carolina. And they're ready for change.

So I've made up my mind, and I'm ready to get involved. I know that I could never have won a race without my pit crew, and I know Barack can't win this one without us.

Breaking: Stevens Found Guilty of Felony Corruption

Embattled Alaska Senator Ted "The Internet is a Series of Tubes!" Stevens was found guilty today on seven felony counts of corruption.

Enjoy federal prison, convicted felon Stevens!

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was convicted of seven corruption charges Monday in a trial that tainted the 40-year Senate career of Alaska's political patriarch...

Stevens, 84, was convicted of all seven charges he faced of lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor. Jurors began deliberating Wednesday at noon.

Stevens faces up to five years in prison on each count when he is sentenced Jan. 26, but under federal sentencing guidelines, he is likely to receive much less prison time, if any.

Top 10 Reasons for Conservatives to Vote Obama

A top-notch Top-10 list from the Daily Dish on why conservatives should vote for Obama:

10. A body blow to racial identity politics. An end to the era of Jesse Jackson in black America.

9. Less debt. Yes, Obama will raise taxes on those earning over a quarter of a million. And he will spend on healthcare, Iraq, Afghanistan and the environment. But so will McCain. He plans more spending on health, the environment and won't touch defense of entitlements. And his refusal to touch taxes means an extra $4 trillion in debt over the massive increase presided over by Bush. And the CBO estimates that McCain's plans will add more to the debt over four years than Obama's. Fiscal conservatives have a clear choice.

8. A return to realism and prudence in foreign policy. Obama has consistently cited the foreign policy of George H. W. Bush as his inspiration. McCain's knee-jerk reaction to the Georgian conflict, his commitment to stay in Iraq indefinitely, and his brinksmanship over Iran's nuclear ambitions make him a far riskier choice for conservatives. The choice between Obama and McCain is like the choice between George H.W. Bush's first term and George W.'s.

7. An ability to understand the difference between listening to generals and delegating foreign policy to them.

6. Temperament. Obama has the coolest, calmest demeanor of any president since Eisenhower. Conservatism values that kind of constancy, especially cmopared with the hot-headed, irrational impulsiveness of McCain.

5. Faith. Obama's fusion of Christianity and reason, his non-fundamentalist faith, is a critical bridge between the new atheism and the new Christianism.

4. A truce in the culture war. Obama takes us past the debilitating boomer warfare that has raged since the 1960s. Nothing has distorted our politics so gravely; nothing has made a rational politics more elusive.

3. Two words: President Palin.

2. Conservative reform. Until conservatism can get a distance from the big-spending, privacy-busting, debt-ridden, crony-laden, fundamentalist, intolerant, incompetent and arrogant faux conservatism of the Bush-Cheney years, it will never regain a coherent message to actually govern this country again. The survival of conservatism requires a temporary eclipse of today's Republicanism. Losing would be the best thing to happen to conservatism since 1964. Back then, conservatives lost in a landslide for the right reasons. Now, Republicans are losing in a landslide for the wrong reasons.

1. The War Against Islamist terror. The strategy deployed by Bush and Cheney has failed. It has failed to destroy al Qaeda, except in a country, Iraq, where their presence was minimal before the US invasion. It has failed to bring any of the terrorists to justice, instead creating the excresence of Gitmo, torture, secret sites, and the collapse of America's reputation abroad. It has empowered Iran, allowed al Qaeda to regroup in Pakistan, made the next vast generation of Muslims loathe America, and imperiled our alliances. We need smarter leadership of the war: balancing force with diplomacy, hard power with better p.r., deploying strategy rather than mere tactics, and self-confidence rather than a bunker mentality.

Those conservatives who remain convinced, as I do, that Islamist terror remains the greatest threat to the West cannot risk a perpetuation of the failed Manichean worldview of the past eight years, and cannot risk the possibility of McCain making rash decisions in the middle of a potentially catastrophic global conflict. If you are serious about the war on terror and believe it is a war we have to win, the only serious candidate is Barack Obama.

Palin: 'Share the Wealth' by Taxing Oil Companies

I'll wade into the McCain/Palin "Socialism! (Be Afraid!)" silliness for a moment by pointing out an interesting bit of irony hypocrisy uttered by $150,000 Caribou Barbie (TM) the Very Serious Republican Vice President Nominee Sarah Palin back in Alaska:

Just last month, in an interview with Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker, Palin explained the windfall profits tax that she imposed on the oil industry in Alaska as a mechanism for ensuring that Alaskans "share in the wealth" generated by oil companies. [...]

In fact, Alaska's Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) program, which manages the redistribution of oil wealth in Alaska, brings in so much money that the state needs no income or sales tax. In addition, this year ACES will provide every Alaskan with a check for an estimated $3,200.

As Hendrick Hertzberg notes, "Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it ... but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist."

Obama's 'Closing Argument' Speech in Ohio - Video

Here is the video of most of Obama's "Closing Argument" speech, which was delivered today in Canton, Ohio. It brought my dear mums to tears:

Here's my mom's assessment:

Just finished watching Obama's speech this morning,
absolutely moving, on point, and fantastic.
Holy Cow, Batman! Hope brimmith over!
Did you watch it? If not, see it soon.
Who needs prozac when we'll have him?

Update: Here's a gem of a quote from the speech (full transcript here). I'm sure you'll agree that it's chock-full of fiery, radical, tax-and-spend, liberal rhetoric:
Now, I don't believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don't either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves -- protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children; invest in new roads and new science and technology. It should reward drive and innovation and growth in the free market, but it should also make sure businesses live up to their responsibility to create American jobs, and look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road. It should ensure a shot at success not only for those with money and power and influence, but for every single American who's willing to work.

That's how we create not just more millionaires, but more middle-class families. That's how we make sure businesses have customers that can afford their products and services. That's how we've always grown the American economy -- from the bottom-up. John McCain calls this socialism. I call it opportunity, and there is nothing more American than that.

Quote of the Day: Ungodly Hubris; The Sin of Pride

Great quote from Minister Oliver Thomas:

My father, who was a Baptist deacon as well as a World War II veteran, was such a patriot. Pop taught me that true patriotism is not a contest to see who can fly the biggest flag. True patriotism exists where citizens love their country enough to hold it accountable. That means working to make certain that the president we have elected and the government we have created live up to the words of our creeds and the dreams of our poets and prophets.

Quote of the Ages: Anti-McCarthyism

An article by Menachem Rosensaft reminded me of a quote that I heard a while ago from the sad, sad McCarthy Witchhunt(TM) days:

In her 1950 Declaration of Conscience, Margaret Chase Smith said that "I don't want to see the Republican Party ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny -- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry and Smear." John McCain, Sarah Palin and the Republican Party have knowingly resurrected these demons with a vengeance. We must not, we cannot let them get away with it.

GOP Actively Intimidating Voters in New Mexico

Shameful... Just fundamentally shameful:

A major voting-rights group has sent a letter to New Mexico U.S. Attorney Gregory Fouratt, calling on him to investigate claims of voter intimidation and suppression.

The letter, from the group Project Vote, comes in the wake of reporting by TPMmuckraker and others about a private investigator -- who said he was working for Pat Rogers, a lawyer connected to the state GOP -- appearing at the homes of Hispanic voters in Albuquerque, and questioning them about their right to vote. In a press release announcing the letter, Project Vote refers directly to these reports.

Read More

McCain's Last-Ditch Argument: Divided Government

I don't have overly much to say about this but McCain's latest gambit, to stoke fears about the evils of a united Obama-Pelosi-Reid Democrat-controlled government, is laughable:

This election comes down to how you want your hard earned money spent. Do you want to keep it and invest it in your future, or have it taken by the most liberal person to ever run for the Presidency and the Democratic leaders who have been running congress for the past two years -- Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid? This is a dangerous threesome. They believe that $1 trillion of rescue financing is not enough and have already proposed another $300 billion spending spree they are calling a stimulus plan.

Every time it looks like the polls show Americans about to vote in an Executive/Legislative Democrat diumvirate, the Republicans and the pundit class hem and haw about Americans' phantom concerns about the two political branches of government being in the hands of one party.

The reason why this is a stupid argument for McCain to make in this election?

Hmm, let's think back... Way back into the past...

When was the last time one party held control of the Presidency and the Congress?

That's right, way back in the ancient days of 2000 to 2006!

What exactly is McCain's argument here? This is the only logical thing I could come up with:
"Well, the American people entrusted the Executive and Legislative branches of government to the Republican Party for the first six years of the 21st century... Oops! We all see how badly that went! Let's not do it again!"

Sen. McCain, do you really want us to reflect more precisely on the recklessness, corruption and mismanagement that took place under the six long years of Republican misrule, which the American people are correctly blaming for our current financial crisis?

Sen. Chuck Hagel Rips into Sarah Palin

Thank God for the ever-reasonable Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE):

Hagel may be the only senior Republican elected official who has publicly criticized McCain’s choice of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate. “I don’t believe she’s qualified to be President of the United States,” Hagel told me. “The first judgment a potential President makes is who their running mate is—and I don’t think John made a very good selection.” He scoffed at McCain’s attempts to portray her as an experienced politician. “To try to make the excuse that she looks out her window and sees Russia—and that she’s commander of the Alaska National Guard.” He added, “There is no question that this candidate is arguably the thinnest-résumé candidate for Vice-President in the history of America.”

Palin Unqualified? Blame McCain's Judgment

When we I correctly criticize Sarah Palin for being an unprepared, bumbling buffoon, what I think can get lost in the weeds is the key concern that this should raise in people's minds.

It is not enough to dismiss Palin as an ineducable wingnut with zero understanding of serious domestic or foreign policy as many in McCain campaign and Republican Party are doing right now; e.g.:

"Her lack of fundamental understanding of some key issues was dramatic," said another McCain source with direct knowledge of the process to prepare Palin after she was picked. The source said it was probably the "hardest" to get her "up to speed than any candidate in history."

Get beyond the immediate travesty that Sarah Palin embodies -- seriously ponder what this says about McCain's poor judgment in picking her as his running mate without doing any serious vetting.

As Steve Benen puts it:
[I]f Palin was hopelessly ignorant and unable to learn the basics, why on earth did McCain pick her? If the McCain/Bush aides hope to gain an edge by preemptively blaming Palin for a defeat, it doesn't exactly clear their boss -- McCain chose Palin to be one 72-year-old heartbeat from the presidency. If she's the disaster who gets the blame, it's still McCain who bears responsibility for the fiasco.

Republican Rep. Larry Pressler Endorses Obama

The flood of Obamacons continues:

Former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.), who was the first Vietnam veteran to serve in the United States Senate, is the latest Republican to back Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign, Politico learned Sunday.

Pressler, who said that in addition to casting an absentee ballot for Obama he'd donated $500 to the Illinois senator's campaign, cited the Democrat's response to the financial crisis as the primary reason for his decision.

Steve Benen notes something very important about the endorsement:
Pressler's explanation for why he dumped McCain for Obama is the part that stood out for me. For weeks, the pundits have noted that the financial crisis has seriously undermined the McCain campaign. That's true, but it overlooks why -- McCain has handled the crisis really badly. It's not enough to simply note that a focus on the economy is necessarily good news for Obama; McCain had a chance to deal with this crisis effectively and he blew it.

Newspaper Endorsements: An Obama Landslide

Editor and Publisher magazine has updated its list of newspapers that have endorsed either McCain or Obama. The results? A 3-to-1 Obama landslide, with a deluge of papers that backed Bush now in the Obama column:

Two more major papers that had backed Bush in 2004--the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Providence Journal--came out for Obama, joining at least 35 others who had done the same thing already.

In another embarrassment for McCain, the Indianapolis Star, which also supported Bush in 2004, revealed that it would not endorse this year. At least two other Bush 2004 papers, the Ann Arbor (Mich.) News and the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star, took the same route.

Another paper just now backing Obama: The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, which made no endorsement in 2004. He also earned the nod from the Financial Times and the Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J.

Obama still leads by almost 3-1 in all editorial endorsements. Updated with the latest from today his lead stands at 180 to 75.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Quote of the Year: Case for Obama

This is from last year but Andrew Sullivan's early case for Obama is as prescient and wise as ever:

If you believe that America’s current crisis is not a deep one ... if you believe that today’s ideological polarization is not dangerous, and that what appears dark today is an illusion fostered by the lingering trauma of the Bush presidency, then the argument for Obama is not that strong ...

But if you sense, as I do, that greater danger lies ahead, and that our divisions and recent history have combined to make the American polity and constitutional order increasingly vulnerable, then the calculus of risk changes. Sometimes, when the world is changing rapidly, the greater risk is caution. Close-up in this election campaign, Obama is unlikely. From a distance, he is necessary. At a time when America’s estrangement from the world risks tipping into dangerous imbalance, when a country at war with lethal enemies is also increasingly at war with itself, when humankind’s spiritual yearnings veer between an excess of certainty and an inability to believe anything at all, and when sectarian and racial divides seem as intractable as ever, a man who is a bridge between these worlds may be indispensable.

Republican Circular Firing Squad on Larry King

My mom pointed out this episode of Larry King Live. Watch and witness what is happening in the Republican party. Christopher Hitchens is priceless:

Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama

The Alaska newspaper of record, the Anchorage Daily News, endorsed Obama for President:

Sen. McCain describes himself as a maverick, by which he seems to mean that he spent 25 years trying unsuccessfully to persuade his own party to follow his bipartisan, centrist lead. Sadly, maverick John McCain didn't show up for the campaign. Instead we have candidate McCain, who embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years.

It is Sen. Obama who truly promises fundamental change in Washington. You need look no further than the guilt-by-association lies and sound-bite distortions of the degenerating McCain campaign to see how readily he embraces the divisive, fear-mongering tactics of Karl Rove. And while Sen. McCain points to the fragile success of the troop surge in stabilizing conditions in Iraq, it is also plain that he was fundamentally wrong about the more crucial early decisions. Contrary to his assurances, we were not greeted as liberators; it was not a short, easy war; and Americans -- not Iraqi oil -- have had to pay for it. It was Sen. Obama who more clearly saw the danger ahead.

Read More

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain Adviser Charles Fried Votes for Obama

CURRENT McCain adviser and staunch conservative Charles Fried endorsed Obama today and said that he voted for him by absentee ballot. Ouch, kinda close to home for Sen. McCain...

Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.

This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

Fried is exceptionally thoughtful and principled; his vote for Obama is especially noteworthy.

Pollster Average for Obama Climbs to New High

Obama's lead in the Pollster.com average has never been higher:

McCain Volunteer Made Up Mugging Story

This is truly shameful. The woman who yesterday claimed that she was mugged by a black man who carved a 'B' into her face today admitted that she made the whole thing up. I wonder if the wingnut bloggers (including Matt Drudge) will print a thorough retraction, with an apology for ginning this up.

Police tell KDKA that a campaign volunteer has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

Ashley Todd, 20, of Texas, initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.

: At least the NRO has the fleeting decency to print a lukewarm retraction.

Obama en Espanol

Here's a new Obama ad, in Spanish:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

McCain's Brother Calls 911 for Traffic Complaint

This is pretty funny:

[John McCain's brother Joe] called the police emergency line because he was angry he was stuck in traffic.

The 911 call came into the City of Alexandria on Oct. 21st That's creating some buzz because it appears to come from Joe McCain, John McCain's brother.

Operator: 911 state your emergency

Caller: It's not an emergency but do you know why on one side at the damn drawbridge of 95traffic is stopped for 15 minutes and yet traffic's coming the other way?

Operator: Sir, are you calling 911 to complain about traffic? (pause)

Caller: "(Expletive) you." (caller hangs up)

The complaint call about traffic on the Wilson Bridge, outrageous enough that the 911 operator called back. The voicemail on the other end, appears to belong to Joe McCain, brother of presidential candidate, John McCain.

Michele Bachmann's Unforced Error

TPVtv breaks down wingnut Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann's fall from grace:

Hatch: Rest of World is Just Jealous of Us

Making what I believe to be one of the most indefensibly inane arguments of this election cycle, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch recently made the ludicrous claim that America's standing in the world hasn't suffered under Premier Bush's eight-year reign of terror. He goes on to dismiss countries who criticize us as "jealous".

HATCH: There’s a lot of jealousy of the United States, especially in Europe, and France in particular and some of the other nations as well. So naturally they’re constantly poking holes at the United States. … Yeah there’s some irritation with the United States but mainly it’s because we’re so powerful and strong militarily and economically and otherwise.

Doesn't this remind any of you who've watched Jerry Springer of a typically toothless 300-lb. meth-addicted female paramour exclaiming to the long-time girlfriend of the randy cheating boyfriend: "You just jealous!! I look good!!!"

ThinkProgress just so happens to have a handy graph that definitively disproves Hatch's fact-free head-in-the-sand bullshit:

Republican Former Minn. Governor Endorses Obama

The flood of Obamacons continues unabated:

Arne Carlson, a former Republican governor in Minnesota, has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Carlson said Thursday that the Illinois senator's stances on the Iraq war, the economy and green energy goals won him over. Carlson, who served from 1991 to 1998, also cited recent comments by GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann questioning whether politicians have "pro-America or anti-America views."

"Regardless of our party, regardless of our partisan inclinations, there is no interest more compelling than the interest in the well-being of the United States," Carlson said at a gathering of Obama supporters at the state Capitol.

Carlson added, "He has laid out for this nation a vision for a national purpose."

Obama: There are no 'fake' parts of America - Video

Here is Obama responding to what appears to be a deliberate, concerted effort by McCain and the Republican Party to paint parts of the country as "pro-America" and "anti-America":

Transcript Here

The Death of the Modern Republican Party

Here's a great image to sum up what November 4th is looking like it will bring us:

Schwarzenegger: Sarah Palin Isn't Qualified

In an interview with CNN's Campbell Brown, California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed that he doesn't think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President... yet (?):

BROWN: Do you think [Palin is] qualified to be president?

SCHWARZENEGGER: I think that she will get to be qualified.

BROWN: She will get there? What do you mean? She's not ready yet?

SCHWARZENEGGER: By the time that she is sworn in I think she will be ready.

Quote of the Day

"New ad slogan: 'Clothes for Gov. Palin? $150,000. Time machine to go back two months to late August and ask what the Hell were Schmidt and Davis thinking when they cooked up this idea and sold it to McCain? Priceless.'" -- Republican Mike Murphy, who once ran the campaign of McCain 1.0

Ordinary Conservatives for Obama - Video

This is a pretty powerful video of ordinary, everyday conservatives speaking out on why they're supporting Obama over McCain in this election:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

'We Can't Afford Another Joke in the White House'

Check out this star-studded independent ad for Obama put out by the Jewish Alliance for Change, which is targeted at seniors:

Criticism Does Not Implicate 'Freedom of Speech'

Look, I know some of you out there are guilty of this but I hereby call for a fine for anyone invoking "Freedom of Speech" or the First Amendment in response to someone criticizing them for saying something stupid.

I happen to be a lawyer and I can definitively tell you that the only thing the "Freedom of Speech" ensconced in the First Amendment of the US Constitution protects you from is being penalized by the government. As a result, whining about freedom of speech when someone criticizes you for saying something stupid is meaningless.

Overtly Racist Mailers Circulating in Texas

Can someone find me one of those people who say we should just "get over" all this silly "racism" business? We're over that right? We're an enlightened, modern country now, where Republicans welcome minorities into the fold...

Oh, there are some exceptions of course. Like this mailer circulating in Texas that basically calls a sitting Democratic legislator a nigger-loving race traitor:

Stay classy, Texas.

McCain for 'Socialism' Before He Was Against It

The heights of hypocrisy reached by John McCain in this election are mind-boggling.

McCain and his well-dressed running mate are still running around out there screaming that OMG, Obama is a SOCIALIST! (!!!)

Well, consider this exchange from long, long ago (i.e., 2000) when an audience member asked McCain if a progressive tax system is "SOCIALIST!"

Audience member: "Why is it that someone like my father who goes to school for 13 years gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he's a doctor."

McCain: "I think it's to some degree because we feel obviously that wealthy people can afford more."

Audience member: "Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism?"

McCain: "Here's what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there's nothing wrong with paying somewhat more."

As The Daily Show put it:
"That, of course, is the late socialist leader John Mccain. I believe he passed away during the Republican primaries. He will be missed."

Reality Check on McCain in Pennsylvania

For the life of me, I can't understand McCain's gambit to pull out of Colorado and focus on Pennsylvania.

Look at the poll numbers:

Tips for Getting Your Vote Counted!

Check out these tips for avoiding the Republican disenfranchisement machine from StealBackYourVote.org:

STEP 1: DON'T DON'T DON'T mail in your ballot!! Absentee ballots are often not counted for the weakest of reasons. Furthermore, there are new rules in many states that you must photocopy your ID and send it with the ballot. However, they often don't even tell you that. So HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of absentee votes will not be counted for this reason.

STEP 2: VOTE EARLY ...VERY EARLY! Many states are already allowing you to vote. Do it NOW. That way if you're not listed on the voter roles, you have plenty of time to get your complaint heard.

STEP 3: REGISTER AND THEN REGISTER AND THEN REGISTER! There is a TON of purging of voter rolls going on. It's not enough to think you're registered. Double check twelve times. You can check online at www.votersunite.org/info/RegInfo.asp . Once you're done with that, go register. ...Then go register.

STEP 4: DO NOT FILL OUT A PROVISIONAL BALLOT if your vote is challenged!! In 2004 the Republicans challenged a ridiculous number of voters. The voters were then told by a sweet little lady at a table that their "provisional ballot" would be counted, BUT IT WON'T. Don't listen to the little old lady!! DEMAND that poll judges make the judgement ON THE SPOT. Demand a call to the supervisor of elections. If you have to, go home and come back with a better form of ID.
If you need help, call ELECTION PROTECTION at 1-866-OUR-VOTE . And help those around you when you're at the polling place. Look for people having trouble. Call the number for them. Tell them not to fill out a provisional ballot!

STEP 5:STEP AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER! Walk out your front door and get active!! Volunteer to help with the campaign. Or ignore the campaign and do something on your own. It's as simple as printing out these ELECTION PROTECTION steps and leaving them at people's doors. Hell, you could hand then out outside the polling places. Don't sit still or this election WILL be stolen. And go to a swing state if at all possible.

STEP 6: FRIENDS DON'T LET FRIENDS VOTE WITHOUT FRIENDS! Don't go to vote alone. Bring friends!! Lots of them or only one of them. Make it a date. Arrange to have lunch with everyone after you vote. Whatever it takes. And have your election protection phone number WITH YOU (1-866-OUR-VOTE).

STEP 7: IT AIN'T OVER 'TILL IT'S OVER! If the election is indeed stolen, don't throw in the towel! The day after is CRUCIAL! Three words need to be chanted over and over again: COUNT EVERY VOTE. For example, in 2000 Al Gore lost because of a Supreme Court decision that was 5-4 against him. Imagine if he had won that court decision. But if half of America had not chanted COUNT EVERY VOTE after election day, we would never have gotten to the Supreme Court. Half of America could've thrown in the towel on election night, but thanks to people in the streets, it was fought to the end.

Palin Spending Spree is Illegal

As you may have heard by now, the RNC took Sarah Palin on a $150,000 shopping spree (with cash and prizes!) at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue using RNC campaign contributions.

Leaving aside the sheer boneheadedness of the politics of spending $150,000 on Sarah Palin's wardrobe, makeup and hairdos (which is more than what most people in the country spend on clothes in 80 years) during a financial crisis when people are struggling to pay their bills, let's focus on the fact that this is illegal.

Let's examine the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act of 2002:

    (a) PERMITTED USES- ...
      (1) IN GENERAL- A contribution or donation described in subsection (a) shall not be converted by any person to personal use.
      (2) CONVERSION- For the purposes of paragraph (1), a contribution or donation shall be considered to be converted to personal use if the contribution or amount is used to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate's election campaign or individual's duties as a holder of Federal office, including--
        (A) a home mortgage, rent, or utility payment;
        (B) a clothing purchase;
        (C) a noncampaign-related automobile expense;
        (D) a country club membership;
        (E) a vacation or other noncampaign-related trip;
        (F) a household food item;
        (G) a tuition payment;
        (H) admission to a sporting event, concert, theater, or other form of entertainment not associated with an election campaign; and
        (I) dues, fees, and other payments to a health club or recreational facility.'
Pretty clear, isn't it? Organizations like the RNC are prohibited from converting campaign contributions for personal use, including (explicitly) with respect to "clothing purchases".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Poll: Palin is #1 Negative Concern About McCain

What do voters worry about when they think of John McCain? His age? His temperament? His similarities to George Bush?

A new NBC News poll reveals that most voters' top negative concern about McCain is Sarah Palin. Oh, sweet, sweet, justice:

Palin’s qualifications to be president rank as voters’ top concern about McCain’s candidacy - ahead of continuing President Bush’s policies, enacting economic policies that only benefit the rich and keeping too high of a troop presence in Iraq.

As Andrew Sullivan puts it:
Yes, 34 percent rank Palin as their major issue with McCain, above the 23 percent who are concerned that McCain will be a third term for Bush and the 20 percent who don't like his economic policies.

Poll: Palin is Worst VP Pick Ever

An interesting number hidden in a new New York Times poll:

Mr. Obama’s favorability is the highest for a presidential candidate running for a first term in the last 28 years of Times/CBS polls. Mrs. Palin’s negative rating is the highest for a vice-presidential candidate as measured by The Times and CBS News. Even Dan Quayle, with whom Mrs. Palin is often compared because of her age and inexperience on the national scene, was not viewed as negatively in the 1988 campaign.

Self-Parody Quote of the Week: Cindy McCain

This is pretty hilarious.

On Faux News recently, Cindy McCain had this to say about the media coverage of her husband's campaign:

"What has really stunned me is the -- quite honestly, is the kind of viciousness of the media on occasion," Mrs. McCain said. "In 2000 -- there's certainly always been, you know, differences, and the -- you know, the things that occur. But this has taken on a different tenor. And I don't know why and what's caused that, and I'm sorry for it because I think it turns a lot of young people off."

Imagine how different this would sound if you just swapped out a few words:
"What has really stunned me is the -- quite honestly, is the kind of viciousness of the [the McCain campaign] on occasion," [an undecided voter] said. "In 2000 -- there's certainly always been, you know, differences, and the -- you know, the things that occur. But this has taken on a different tenor. And I don't know why and what's caused that, and I'm sorry for it because I think it turns a lot of young people off."

Daily Show Eviscerates McCain 'Real America' BS

This is just PERFECT!

Fight Michele Bachmann, Donate to Tinklenberg

First-term Minnesota Republican Representative Michele Bachmann has been in hot water lately for explicitly calling for a McCarthy-esque inquisition into which members of Congress are "pro-America" or "anti-America".

Since she made her indefensible comments over the weekend, the Democrat challenging her for her House seat, El Tinklenberg, has experienced a flood of donations -- garnering nearly $1 million in four days. I dug into my wallet and added $100 to the mix yesterday. I suggest you do the same.

Here's an ad that El Tinklenberg's new flood of cash is helping pay for:

Some Sick People in the Republican Base

As I noted a bit earlier today, Barack Obama will be taking Thursday and Friday off to visit his sick grandmother. When I heard the news, I shuddered at the prospect of what hateful, vile things this might prompt some on the lunatic fringe to say.

Well, I came across some of this over on Jake Tapper's ABC News blog and, in the spirit of exposing these nutjobs to the cold light of scrutiny, posted some below. If you're emotionally dyspeptic over the election, you may not want to read further.

One person slams Obama's dead mother:

The fact that his GM raised him doesn't say much for his "wonderful" mother.

Think I recall him saying that he was fearful of his GM. Where was his mother when he was growing up? Didn't want to share the food stamps. Hum.... Maybe someone from a decent part of the MSM might be trying to interview his GM; bet she would have some stories to tell.

While he is gone and Michelle takes over, with any luck she will step in some more s- - -. When I listen to her I hear the Rev. Wright.

This one brims over with warm Christian empathy:
Ask me if I really care. Maybe he can get that crazy radical Rev. Wright to "pray" for her during his next "damn America" sermon.

NRO Writers to Leave Country if Obama Wins

Can someone tell me why exactly wingnut Republicans are able to plausibly lay claim to "True Patriotism" when the right-wing nutjobs at the National Review Online are broadcasting that if Obama wins, they will leave the country?

Here's Mark Steyn:

Just for the record, nobody's jumping out of tenth floor windows here. Jonah was down at the sleazy waterfront dive checking whether his fake Paraguayan passport is ready yet, and Jay was at the end of the rotting wharf gazing at the horizon and looking for the guy he gave five grand to for a berth on the last tramp steamer out.

Believe me, I'd be happy to pay for their tickets to permanently relocate to Paraguay. However, if statements like this were ascribed to supporters of Barack Obama, wouldn't the NRO wingnuts be screaming at this as evidence of how much these country-leaving traitors hate America?

Republicans Called JFK a Traitor Too

Remember how the red-meat Republican base has been screaming that Obama is a 'Traitor!'?

It's remarkable how the same old Republican canards keep coming back to haunt us.

Think back to the days of JFK and consider this leaflet, which was distributed on the day that JFK was assassinated in Dallas:

Amazing how some people might get it in their small little heads to actually do harm to Obama -- either before the election or afterward...

Obama to Visit Ailing Grandmother

As reported last night, Obama will be taking Thursday and Friday of this week off to visit his ailing grandmother, who has apparently taken a turn for the worse. I just wanted to write a quick note to wish Obama, his grandmother and his family well.

Mitt Romney Unsure If Sarah Palin is Qualified

Oops, Mormo-robotron 2000 Mitt Romney got caught in a brain freeze recently when asked whether Sarah Palin is qualified to be President:

When asked by host Wolf Blitzer whether she is “ready to be President,” Romney hesitated and offered this stuttering response: "Well, that — that’s something which I — I believe the American people will, uh, assess individually and say, uh, yeah, she’s got the kind of executive experience that you’d hope to find from a person who’s been a governor and a mayor."

Olbermann Special Comment: Pro- and Anti-America

I watched this Keith Olbermann Special Comment last night and it was spot-on. He rails against recent comments by Sarah Palin, nutjob Minnesota Republican Representative Michelle Bachmann and McCain hack surrogate Nancy Pfotenhauer to the effect that the areas of the country that support McCain and the Republicans are "pro-America" and the "real America", while areas and people that support Obama are "anti-America":

Palin as President

This is brutal but hilarious.

Check out the site PalinAsPresident.us.

The site envisions what Sarah Palin's oval office would look like -- with audio!

Click on all the items to hear her take on topics and issues of the day. I especially like the audio for the empty diploma frames: "Learnin's HARD!"


Obamacon Quote of the Day

Larry Gellman opines on the state of the GOP:

This latest descent completes the utter destruction of the Republican party as a force for good in this country. Until eight years ago, Republicans had a deserved reputation for being more socially and fiscally conservative and responsible. When the party culture became infected with the Bush/Rove/Cheney virus, it began to morph into a divisive force that possessed none of those qualities.

Now the mass exodus is underway. Anyone who is fiscally conservative can't call himself a Republican anymore. Anyone who is a religious Christian can't honestly be part of this since Jesus preached about caring for the sick and the poor--not about eliminating reproductive choice or issues related to same-sex marriage. There's nothing Christian about the agenda of the Religious Right--it's a totally political movement focused on issues that Jesus never mentioned and they ignore the issues about which Jesus preached constantly.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Conservative Ken Adelman Endorses Obama

Conservative foreign policy hawk Ken Adelman joins the ranks of the Obamacons.

A brief bio from the New Yorker:

Ken Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan’s director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld’s second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. Adelman’s friendship with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their wives goes back to the sixties, and he introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in.

In recent years, Adelman and his friends Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz fell out over his criticisms of the botching of the Iraq War. Still, he remains a bona-fide hawk (“not really a neo-con but a con-con”) who has never supported a Democrat for President in his life.

Here's an excerpt from his endorsement:
Why so, since my views align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s? And since I truly dread the notion of a Democratic president, Democratic House, and hugely Democratic Senate?

Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.

Palin Wants Nationwide Gay Marriage Ban

Sarah Palin has again plopped herself far to the right of even John McCain. In a recent interview, she revealed that she supports a federal amendment to the Constitution to ban gay marriage:

I am, in my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage.

Fareed Zakaria Endorses Obama

Highly respected foreign affairs journalist and commentator Fareed Zakaria endorsed Barack Obama for President. No doubt right-wing pundits will now accuse Mr. Zakaria of being a communist terrorist sympathizer.

On McCain:

To watch McCain address the current economic crisis is to see a man out of step with his time. His responses have been a recitation of old slogans—cut taxes, limit the government, cut spending—that are largely irrelevant to today's problems. Does anyone really believe that tackling earmarks will get credit markets functioning? In some ways, McCain's intellectual fatigue reflects the exhaustion of the ideological revolution begun by Reagan and Thatcher. The country needs fresh thinking that is ready to accept new facts and new ideas. It's a new world out there...

McCain's problem is not only one of substance but perhaps more crucially of temperament. Throughout the campaign, he has been volatile and impulsive. He moves suddenly and unpredictably—one day suspending his campaign, the next urging that the chairman of the SEC be fired, the third blaming Democrats for the economic crisis.

On Obama:
Obama's broader economic agenda—health-care reform, infrastructure investments and a major push for alternative energy—are large solutions to the growing problems of our times. They are not radical, but neither are they overly constrained by the fear of seeming liberal. Bill and Hillary Clinton were always careful not to stray too far from the country's comfort zone. Obama is pushing to change the parameters of that zone. That's leadership.

On foreign policy, Obama is cool to McCain's hot, discriminating about the fights he wants to pick. He argues for greater international cooperation and the aggressive use of diplomacy. He sees a world in which America doesn't have to get adversarial with everyone and tries instead to work with other countries—of whatever hue—to solve the common problems we face...

I admit to a personal interest. I have a 9-year-old son named Omar. I firmly believe that he will be able to do absolutely anything he wants in this country when he grows up. But I admit that I will feel more confident about his future if a man named Barack Obama became president of the United States.

Read More

Racist Anti-Obama Ads Wrapup

I know it's infuriating to look at but I've decided to post some of the worst examples of racist Republican Obama-hatred put out during this campaign. Stuff like this should be subjected to the cold light of scrutiny:

Billboard in Missouri:

"Obama Waffles", sold at the Values Voters Summit (and reportedly purchased by one Lou Dobbs):

"Obama Bucks" flyer, distributed by the Chaffey Community Republican Women of California, showing Obama surrounded by the typical racist milieu of a black man and his favorite food: fried chicken, watermelon, ribs and Kool-Aid:

"Waterboard Barack Obama" advertisement put up on the official website of the the Sacramento County Republican Party, calling for us to torture Barack Obama:

Analysis of California GOP Voter Fraud

As I noted in an earlier post, the CEO of a Republican voter registration outfit was arrested over the weekend for alleged voter registration fraud (yes, the same stuff McCain is so outraged about -- at least when it comes to poor, Democrat-leaning minority voters).

For more background and analysis, check out this video:

Fleeting Breath of Temperance from McCain Supporters

I needed to see a bit of this today. At a recent McCain rally, some right-wing nutjobs were out peddling hateful rhetoric against Obama and falsely accusing him of being a Muslim. A journalist captured a refreshing moment of sanity, where some rational folks and a few McCain-supporting Muslims drove the wingnut bigots off the grounds:

McCain Improperly Solicits Donation from Foreign Government

All you need to know about this is that it's illegal for Presidential candidates to receive or solicit campaign funds from foreign governments:

Russia's permanent mission to the UN has received a letter from U.S. Republican presidential candidate John McCain asking for financial support of his election campaign, the mission said in a statement on Monday.

"We have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia's permanent mission to the UN nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries," the statement said.

According to Ruslan Bakhtin, press secretary of the Russian mission, the letter dated September 29 and signed by McCain, was addressed to Vitaly Churkin, Russia's envoy to the UN, and arrived on October 16.

Read More

Quote of the Week: Obama Special!

Speaking about the McCain campaign's never-ending sleaze campaign, Obama let loose this powerful zinger at a recent rally:

It's getting so bad that even Senator McCain's running mate denounced his tactics last night. As you know, you really have to work hard to violate Governor Palin's standards on negative campaigning.

A Window into Intolerant American Xenophobia

I don't know why I torture myself watching videos like this. I suppose it's good to understand what you're fighting against but this clip, from a new PBS program, disgusts me on so many levels. Listen to the way that this allegedly good Christian woman oozes contempt for just the words "Obama" and "Muslim". Isn't it amazing how so many people in our country have twisted the largely inclusive, caring message of the Bible into an irrational, angry screed of racism, hatred and xenophobia?

Voters Reject Ayers Argument and Palin

A new ABC News poll shows voters rejecting Ayers as an issue and questioning McCain's judgment due to his pick of Sarah Quaylin:

More challenges for John McCain: Likely voters overwhelmingly reject his effort to make an issue of Barack Obama's association with 1960s radical William Ayers. Fallout continues from McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for vice president, with 52 percent saying it weakens their confidence in his judgment. And on optimism, it's Obama by 2-1.

Skepticism about the Ayers issue was one of the factors cited by Colin Powell in his endorsement of Obama yesterday, and in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, likely voters broadly agree: 60 percent say Obama's relationship with Ayers is not a legitimate issue in the presidential campaign; 37 percent say it is.

A couple of other nuggets ferreted out by Steve Benen:
And while I tend to think the media's interest in "optimism" is overstated, I suppose it's also worth mentioning that Obama enjoys a huge edge -- 62% to 30% -- when respondents are asked with candidate is more optimistic. Similarly, Obama also enjoys a big lead - 54% to 37% -- on which candidate has the better personality and temperament for office.

Arrest Made in Voter Registration Fraud Scandal

I'm sure John McCain will be pleased with these developments -- he's all about pushing the 'voter registration fraud' meme, right?

Well, the CEO of a conservative voter registration company, YPM or Young Political Majors, was arrested on Saturday on charges of willfully violating election law in 2006 and 2007. Although his arrest stems from wrongdoing in earlier elections, his organization, which was hired by the California Republican Party, has found itself in the national spotlight recently because they are being investigated for fraudulently and illegally switching voters' party affiliation from Democrat to Republican:

Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country.

Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Some said they were told that they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Others had no idea their registration was being changed...

It is a bait-and-switch scheme familiar to election experts. The firm hired by the California Republican Party -- a small company called Young Political Majors, or YPM, which operates in several states -- has been accused of using the tactic across the country.

Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and Ventura counties say they are investigating complaints about the company.

The firm, which a Republican Party spokesman said is paid $7 to $12 for each registration it secures, has denied any wrongdoing and says it has never been charged with a crime.

So, Mr. McCain, where's the OUTRAGE? Oh, that's right, only advocacy groups for registering poor minorities deserve your opprobrium...

Read the Whole Article Here

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Conservative Newspapers Endorse Obama

The flood of conservative and other newspapers endorsing Obama continues unabated:

The Eagle - Bryan/College Station:

Of great concern is McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Like Obama, she has little experience in governing, but unlike the Illinois senator, she is a candidate of little intellectual curiosity who appears to be hopelessly unready to be president. The fact that people are confused by the difference between Palin and comedian Tina Fey's caustic impersonation is clear evidence that Palin should not be, as they say, a heartbeat away from the presidency.

Houston Chronicle:

Obama appears to possess the tools to confront our myriad and daunting problems. He's thoughtful and analytical. He has met his opponents' attacks with calm and reasoned responses. Viewers of the debates saw a poised, well-prepared plausible president with well-articulated positions on the bread-and-butter issues that poll after poll indicate are the true concerns of voters. While Arizona Sen. John McCain and his running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin have struck an increasingly personal and negative tone in their speeches, Obama has continued to talk about issues of substance.

Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.

The Denver Post, "which had backed George W. Bush in 2004 and is owned by Republican-leaning William Dean Singleton," endorsed Barack Obama for president on Friday. "So did the Chicago Sun-Times, Kansas City Star, Southwest News-Herald (Ill.) and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. And to top it off: another Bush-backing in 2004, The Salt Lake Tribune."

Others: Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader, Idaho Statesman, Las Vegas Sun, Akron (Ohio) Beacon-Journal, Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, Daily Breeze of Torrance, Ca., Rockford (Ill.) Register, Nashua (NH) Telegraph, Concord (NH) Monitor, Columbia (Mo.) Daily Tribune, Eugene (Ore.) Register-Guard, Daily Herald of Arlington, Ill, Burlington (Vt.) Free Press, Mid-Columbia Tri-City Herald.

Obama Draws 175,000 People to Missouri Rallies

Holy crap. According to official estimates, Obama held two rallies in Missouri recently that brought in 100,000 and 75,000 people, respectively. Amazing!

Obama Raised Mind-Blowing $150 Million in September

I can hardly wrap my mind around how significant this is. Owing, I suspect, in large part to John McCain's terrifying pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate, Obama raised $150 million in September, which more than DOUBLED his previous record of $65 million:

Campaign manager David Plouffe, in an e-mail to supporters Sunday morning, said the campaign had added 632,000 new donors in September, for a total of 3.1 million contributors to the campaign. He said the average donation was $86.

The Democratic National Committee, moments later, announced that it raised $49.9 million and had $27.5 million in the bank at the start of October. The party has been raising money through joint fundraising events with Obama and can use the money to assist his candidacy.

Colin Powell Endorses Barack Obama

This is big news. Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama for President:

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell announced Sunday that he will break with his party and vote for Sen. Barack Obama. "He has both style and substance. I think he is a transformational figure," Powell said on NBC's Meet the Press.

"I come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities -- and you have to take that into account -- as well as his substance -- he has both style and substance," Powell said. "He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president."

Powell noted that McCain has been a good friend for 25 years, but expressed disappointment in the negative tone of the GOP campaign, as well as in McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as the vice presidential nominee.

"Now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don't believe she's ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president," Powell said. "And so that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Crazy McCain Campaign Ladies

My mom always implores me to try to sympathetically understand the ignorant Republican base that's out there wandering around America screaming wildly about how they believe Obama to be a baby-killing, terrorist sympathizing Arab-Manchurian candidate. Although I generally try to give ignorant rubes little quarter, this piece in the center-leaning American Conservative gives me some pause for sympathy:

Perhaps you‘ve seen it, the near-precise moment when John McCain lost control of his campaign. The scene is a now familiar one, the bogus “town-hall meeting.” He’s passing the microphone around like a decrepit Donahue, standing before a woman who starts by saying she “can’t trust” Obama; McCain is nodding along, intimately engaged for the moment in manipulating the neurotic angst that is the dwindling lifeblood of his campaign. About the time she says her fear is due to what she’s been reading, a look of worry creases his trademark frown of condescending concern; he’s contemplating preemptively snatching the microphone back from her, when she lays it on him: Obama is “an Arab”. She’s managed to confuse her slander (assuming there isn‘t an “Obama is an Arab” email careening about the internet), but it matters not.

Taking back the microphone, still in the affectedly somber tones we usually hear dulling the senator’s continual call to panic (before the more immediate economic panic swamped it along with his campaign) he informs his disappointed supporter that while he‘s spent the last several months denouncing as irresponsible peace-mongering Barack Obama‘s marginal departure from a foreign policy of serial occupations determined by the requirements of AIPAC and the defense industry, no, the man is in fact human, and all that entails. The crowd lets fly with various notes of despair, all but booing their candidate.

It was about as close to sympathetic as our too-proud would-be president has come in a long time, but it’s the anonymous woman, now a momentary punchline, who deserves our compassion (in taking a break from writing this I find her being parodied on television as “Crazy McCain Campaign Lady”). Her only sins are a lack of sophistication and an abiding faith in a political party. In taking advantage of this that party has terrorized her with the serial bogeys of Iraqi WMD, Iranian nuclear weapons, treasonous Democrats and now an Islamic Manchurian Candidate, with only resolute John McCain and his platoon of lobbyists and ideologues standing athwart these allied furies, united solely but unalterably in their Hatred of America and Her Freedoms.