No one who knows me would ever consider me a domestic terrorist. I am, in fact, a pacifist. You may think that's naive, but it would be a real stretch to consider my pacifism to be the same as terrorism, even if you think it helps terrorism (in which case I strenuously disagree). I'm a doctor and take the responsibility to heal pretty seriously. Barack Obama is being accused of "palling around with terrorists" because he has had an association with people the McCain campaign decided they want to call domestic terrorists purely for the purpose of inferring guilt -- guilt, literally, by association. So in the interests of full disclosure and for the purpose of making a clear statement, I declare that by their standard I've palled around with a few domestic terrorists in my time. Most of them weren't terrorists at all. Not by any stretch of the imagination. I'll concede some could plausibly be described as low level domestic terrorists. Like Bill Ayres. Although I don't know Bill Ayres from a hole in the wall, I may indeed have "palled around with him" once. I have no idea. Here's the story.
I assumed most people already knew that I had supported Obama. Anyone who has spent five minutes listening to my program would have known that. But if it helped to make it official, I'm happy to make it so.
The disappearance of the town hall format from McCain's campaign is striking, political observers said, offering a vivid example of how a signature strength became a potential liability and was abandoned. (Obama, too, has done away with the town halls, last taking questions from voters on Sept. 12 in New Hampshire.) "The town hall format proved to be a little embarrassing for the campaign, and it built a negative picture about what this campaign is all about," said Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, adding that the encounters were "too costly." Over the past few weeks, McCain has replaced his beloved town halls with large rallies, press statements delivered at factories and in hotel ballrooms, "town square" stump speeches given in the center of small towns, and stops at restaurants and other local landmarks.
In Colorado later this afternoon, Barack Obama will pounce on Dick Cheney's endorsement of John McCain earlier today. From the prepared remarks:
McCarthyism has rightly become an American shorthand for smearing liberals and anyone else from the center leftward as political traitors. The McCain campaign's current campaign of villification of Rashid Khalidi is cut from a very similar cloth -- the kind of rancid race-baiting that we sometimes see at the fringes of our politics but seldom quite so directly and formally from a national campaign, even going so far as to have McCain himself compare Khalidi to a neo-nazi. Where McCainism is different is in its particular amalgam of racism and xenophobia specially suited to this historical moment, to this opponent and to Americans' continuing fears of foreign threat from Muslims and Arabs seven years into the War on Terror.
Reagan's Chief of Staff on Palin's lack of qualifications:
Beautiful. Quoting the Clean Break paper just like Grant Smith and the paleo's. Klein's anguish is exactly like the anguish of the Italian-American who dimes out his cosa nostra cousin to the feds. Because this was a family affair, and we were supposed to give cover to the neocons. This conversation won't be finished till the neoliberal hawks like Goldberg himself are made to account openly for their own thinking/reporting preceding the Iraq war, and how much of it came out of an Israeli agenda. All that talk of Palestinian suicide bombers. And make no mistake, the conversation's going there. Just remember the free for all after Vietnam. A necessary one, in which the Liebermans and Bermans and Schumers of the world rose up, in antiwar righteousness--and status.
At a boisterous Sarah Palin rally in Polk City, Florida on Saturday afternoon, one name was surprisingly absent from the campaign dÃ©cor -- John McCain's.
There is apparently not a single prominent person who supports John McCain's technology policies and is confident enough to go out there and debate in favor of them. As readers of this blog know, after publishing the Wired Scorecard a couple weeks ago, I've been wrangling with the McCain campaign, trying to get someone to defend his tech record and platform in a debate. There are enough Obama surrogates to fill the Queen Mary and the first one I called, former FCC chair Reed Hundt, was eager and willing to find a time. But finding a campaign surrogate for McCain was not easy.
I don't know where Oprah votes precisely, but if in Chicago, her vote was probably lost on one of Sequoia Voting System's touch-screens. If out in the burbs, it was likely Diebold's touch-screen. Either way, it's a 100% unverifiable vote. Even after she succeeded in making her selection. I'm happy to advise you on what actually happened, Oprah. Anytime. Gimme a call. But I promise, it wasn't your fault, so please stop blaming yourself. Educate yourself instead --- here's a fine place to start --- so you can educate your millions of viewers, so we can finally begin restoring transparent, verifiable democracy in America.
McCain Reacts to a Party Under Palin:
The 2008 US presidential election will be over in about 100 hours (unless Florida can't make up its mind again). There are, in fact, other elections as well next Tuesday. But of course we all know the real battle is Obama vs. Palin - er, McCain. Without further ado (and before the comment firestorm begins below), The Blog Herald presents the best blogosphere and social media destinations to track Election Day 2008, in no particular order:
I'm speculating (!) that the secrecy that invested the hedge funds carried over to the neoconservative political ideology these men funded. And so the Bill Kristols and David Frums of the world did not feel that they owed personal transparency to the world. I always compare Kristol's father's and uncle's openness about their Jewishness in their politics to the subterfuge that Kristol engages in. In that link he seems paranoid about such exposure. Frum has radiated the same vibe at times. Everyone says, well that's Straussian. Maybe it's hedgeian.
What Kramer fails to understand is that this situation of being "caught between traditions" is the human condition, the condition of modernity, of history, and yes, too, of progress. Who in the American elite is not perplexed/intrigued/delighted/staggered by the confluence of so many crumbling traditions that a body must step over (including Protestantism spavined by entitlement, Catholicism by pedophilia and Judaism by dual-loyalty)? Well, the neocons. They are not uncertain, and now they are over.
We do not often cheer on Fox News's coverage of politics. But we did the other day when the anchor Shepard Smith reported on an especially absurd turn in the "Joe the Plumber" saga.
"The very idea that Indiana is shaping up to be a nip and tuck race seems to belie the Republican argument that things are moving in McCain's direction in the final days...Even the most ardent Democratic strategists largely agree -- privately -- that the ideological makeup of the country probably prevents Obama from winning 55 percent of the vote or more, which would amount to an electoral vote landslide. But, a natural tightening does not equal momentum. At least not yet."
In fact, Obama stands a greater chance than any Democratic President since Lyndon Johnson of making an impact on the both the appeals courts and the Supreme Court, especially if the Democrats get 60 seats in the Senate, which must confirm appointments.
Among the reasons, say court observers, is the unique knowledge he and his running mate would bring to the process. Obama, a Harvard Law School graduate, was a lecturer at the University of Chicago for 12 years, from 1992 to 2004, when he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Biden, who earned his law degree at Syracuse, chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee from 1981 through 1987 and again from 1995 through 1997, presiding over the stormy confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas and Robert Bork, and opposing both nominations. "The first thing to know about Obama, which hasn't gotten sufficient attention, is that he is himself appointable to the Supreme Court," said Harvard Law School's Cass Sunstein, an Obama friend, advisor and former faculty colleague at the University of Chicago Law School. "He is a constitutional specialist who has taught for many years, said Sunstein. "There's a guarantee that we'd get someone of the first intellectual rank. No Harriet Miers."
As a final word of warning, proceed cautiously with any polls that were in the field last night. Friday nights are difficult enough to poll, and holidays are difficult enough to poll, but when a Friday night coincides with a holiday (in this case, Halloween), getting an appropriate sample is all but impossible.
A speechwriter for Reagan and Nixon--who worked at the National Review for four decades--on why he's voting for Obama.
The parent of a kid trick or treating dressed as an assasinated Obama (bullethole in the head and all) -horrible...
The past week has been so insane and frantic -- thanks, Ashley Todd! -- that we never got around to mentioning the daily endorsements of "That One" by myriad Republican politicians and power-brokers. So let's run down the list, and maybe even figure out what it all means, at this late stage in the game.
The real impact of these nearly daily defections from the GOP to Obama may just be in their relentlessness, the way each morning's news has yet another prominent conservative renouncing John McCain and endorsing the Democrat. There is no modern precedent for this kind of painful, public dumping on the Republican candidate by Republican stalwarts -- the last time it happened was 1964, when moderate Republicans washed their hands of Barry Goldwater for being an "extremist" and a scary loon who would get us all nuked. He wouldn't become a saint until Reagan was elected in 1980. And it was Ronald Reagan who, while running for governor of California just two years after LBJ slaughtered Goldwater 61%-38%, created the "11th Commandment," to keep Republicans from eating their own: "Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican." That's dead now, too.
click to see the image
Why aren't any of these just ordinary bullying (Coulter) or just art (effigies) or just polemics (Rhodes), or just speech? Because, in my opinion: I wouldn't let my kid do it, and I wouldn't let them do it as an adult either.
I've even gone so far as to suggest that President George Bush's predilection for giving everyone who works with him nicknames is partially to blame. Some people actually, really, do not like to be called by nicknames. They like and want their own name to be used. What is wrong with wanting that? Why must someone else's desire to not call you by your given name and instead call you something cutesy or dude-like take precedence over what you want?
To me, that is insane and not too sensitive. Why? Because where in the world do we get that someone else should be able to control what I am called when I know and they know damn well what my name is and who I am.
When Sarah Palin calls Barack Obama a socialist with an intention to portray an image that she hopes voters will dislike, or John McCain calls him Barack the Wealth Spreader intending to get people to dislike Obama's policies, or any of the tens of names they've cooked up? It doesn't matter how many times they try to tell us that this is not negative campaigning. It's plain, cruel, mean-spirited, unnecessary and childish teasing and bullying - of us, the voters, not only if at all Barack Obama.
People have dismissed the use of such language in politics by saying that it is just that: just politics. And I call that out as lazy and evasive. Why should the desire to win a political race trump the way we are supposed to treat one another? Why should the desire to win a political race make it okay to be mean, to do what we teach our kids not to do? Why should the desire to win a political race make it okay to be a bully?
The answer is: it shouldn't - and it doesn't. The desire to win does not justify the pursuit of acts and words that we would never sanction our kids to do. And, ultimately, if you can't win without calling someone names, then you don't deserve to win in the first place.
With so much recent news of commercial companies peddling services and kits for gene profiles of almost anybody, the Journal's Robert Lee Hotz enterprisingly enlivens the topic with a fresh angle. "...political candidates may be pressed to disclose their own DNA, like tax returns..." he surmises. In a way, of course, this year's race and the wide discussion of Sen. Obama's distinctive ancestry means that his genes were under scrutiny, for better or worse, already. But nobody asked for his DNA profile. Such queries from rivals or the general public could come as soon as the next presidential cycle,Hotz's sources tell him.
There's no question that if McCain loses on Tuesday, conservatives are going to embrace their favorite meme about how the liberal media bent over backwards during the campaign to sink the GOP ticket; how the press ganged up on Republicans. The hitch this time around, as Brian Normoyle details at HuffPost, is that it's been conservative writers at the front of the line critiquing McCain/Palin in recent weeks. So how is that the fault of "the liberal media"?
Saxby Chambliss certainly knows what he has to do to win the Georgia senate race. He's got to pit white against black. He's seen the rush to the polls by African Americans in Georgia's early voting: "The Republican is outwardly confident, but there's urgency in his voice as he tours North Georgia, trying to boost turnout in his predominately white base: "The other folks are voting," he bluntly tells supporters."
Don't get me wrong...this Coulterless election season has been refreshing as a motherfucker. And its not as if others haven't picked up the nastification slack in her absence. I know that she's still churning out outrageous shit somewhere, but a bitch hasn't been assaulted by her presence on morning television for months. Mayhap the faithful aren't buying her brand of chili the way they used to. Pause...consider...continue. Could it be that a new version of the Republican 'fear the other and resist reality' brand is being developed during this election cycle? I was so sure Coulter would emerge when the Edwards sex scandal broke since she adores hating on all things Edwards...but, if she held a party a bitch sure as shit didn't see anything about it. 'Tis a mystery, for sure.
Laura Little Walker cast an early vote for Barack Obama. Nevermind that she's never cast a ballot in her 92 years, or that her great-grandson is also voting for the first time. What's important, Walker said, is that she voted. ...Walker's vote wasn't made in haste. In the beginning of her electoral process, Walker asked her family for information on the Chicago senator. Relatives compiled the political information that Walker now keeps in a hunter-green binder next to her living room recliner. In it are copies of newspaper and Internet articles, downloaded information about the senator from family, copies of his speeches and printouts of portions of his proposed plans and policies. Inked notes are in the margins of some of the papers where Walker has been reading.
It's one of the key underplayed stories of this election, but more and more media figures are beginning to acknowledge that the onetime Ruler of Their World has lost his hypnotic sway over the media.
This appears to be the story in other states, such as Indiana: Obama put an organization on the ground in "out of reach" red states, then worked and worked to make the race close or even take the lead, leaving the McCain camp scrambling to catch up.
Using the debates as a tool for reassurance appears to have been Obama's strategy as well. "I think it took Obama three debates for people to see how calm he was, how composed he was, that you couldn't get to this guy," Commission on Presidential Debates Republican Chairman Frank Fahrenkopf told Kaiser. "He was very well organized. By the time that final debate was over, I think he satisfied the qualms of the American people."
One of the mundane-but-necessary tasks that occasionally falls to those of us in the reality-based community is debunking the Right's laughable claims of media bias. It typically isn't difficult work, though it is sometimes time-consuming. Fortunately, conservatives sometimes do the heavy lifting for us by leveling self-debunking attacks on the media, as Bill Kristol did on The Daily Show:
I was going to try to come up with some sort of snarky rejoinder to this, but really, how could I? If I tried to argue that Barack Obama was the son of Lao Tzu and Booker T. Washington, I couldn't come up with a more incomprehensible and bizarre argument than the one Pam Gellar came up with, arguing that Barack Hussein Super-Allah Karl Marx Gaius Baltar Benedict Arnold Adolf Mondale Hitler Obama Soetro Chirac IV is actually the illegitimate son of Malcolm X. --------------------- I can't wait for the next four years. By 2011, Barack Obama will be the secret love child of Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, and Jane Fonda. Yes, all three. He will also be the Fifth Cylon, the man on the grassy knoll, and Bill Ayers himself, after extensive plastic surgery. It's only gonna get more insane, folks. Buckle up.
Somehow, in Sarah Palin's brain, it's a threat to the First Amendment when newspapers criticize her negative attacks on Barack Obama. This is actually so dumb that it hurts:
One of the few things worse than right-wing pundits trying to depict Barack Obama as a Muslim in order to win the election are the ones who do it but then are too cowardly to admit they're doing it. National Review's Mark Steyn was on The Hugh Hewitt Show a couple nights ago and said this:
There's this strange, self-serving "standard" used by establishment media outlets which provides that while they must credit one another when citing stories that they report, they are free to duplicate or just copy from non-establishment media outlets and can pretend that it's original or "exclusive" to them. Certain cable news shows frequently copy wholesale from blogs in their stories without any credit -- something that never happens when they copy from other establishment outlets. That sort of uncredited copying is perhaps impolite though not particularly significant. But claiming "exclusivity" for a story that others have worked on and previously reported is just highly misleading.
Although he began doing so a bit later than one might argue he should have, Klein really became the first person in a venue as establishment-serving as Time Magazine to explicitly criticize neocons for their Israel-centric fixations and, much more importantly, for their disgusting exploitation of "anti-semitism" accusations against anyone and everyone who disagrees with their views on the Israel-Palestinian conflict and, more generally, on the Middle East.
Having someone like Klein, in a place like Time, make those arguments without punishment is highly threatening to the neocons' ability to continue to intimidate people away from expressing divergent views by wielding "anti-semitism" accusations. And they know that it is threatening, which is why, once Klein began doing it, they engaged in a full-court swarm to attack and demonize Klein and even insinuate that he should and would be fired for his transgressions on the topic of neocons and Israel.
John McCain votes early for Obama for real!
If the McCain/Palin campaign has done anything, it has exposed the worst in our society. Couple that with the hate talk that infests the once-public airwaves from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and the xenophobic, racist rants of the right wing blogs and this is what you get.
November 4th 2008 the American people will choose a new president. The president of the United States of America is the most powerful person in the world. We would like to know who would be the next president of the United States of America - if the world could vote! In the presidential election in 2004 122,267,553 people voted. 6,500,000,000 people did not. Our mission is to get more people to vote than voted in the last election. Mission impossible, we know, but still, wouldn't it be great to see what the whole world thinks? If we are to have any chance of reaching that goal we need your help. Tell all your friends around the world about iftheworldcouldvote.com. You can send them email, share it on Facebook (we also have a group you can join), digg it, reddit, save to delicious ... Or all of it. So go ahead. Let's see who would be the next president of the United States of America - if the world could vote;)
On "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" last night Fey talked about meeting Palin when the veep contender made a cameo appearance on "Saturday Night Live"-- and revealed that the governor offered her daughter Bristol to babysit for Fey's three-year-old daughter Alice. "It is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me -- and I have been involved in a lot of weird things, and I know a lot of weirdos," said Fey of meeting Palin up close and personal after making fun of her on "SNL." At one point during the taping Fey said she was holding her daughter Alice while watching Palin on the studio monitors, and her daughter got confused, thinking the gov. was mommy. Later the hockey mom offered some homey assistance to Fey.
If anything, Palin has this exactly backwards, since one thing that the First Amendment does actually guarantee is a free press. Thus, when the press criticizes a political candidate and a Governor such as Palin, that is a classic example of First Amendment rights being exercised, not abridged.
There is so much desperate, crapulous spew from the McCain campaign right now that it's hard to keep track of it all--but this ad, via Andrew Sullivan, marks some sort of low. Yet again--in a last, desperate attempt to scare the elderly Jews of Florida--McCain posits Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the "leader" of Iran, even though he has no control over Iranian foreign or military policy. (Ayatullah Ali Khamenei is the guy in charge in Iran, which is why they call him--you guessed it--the Supreme Leader.) Yet again, McCain brings up the notion of "preconditions," only now the preconditions are Ahmadinejad's: namely, that the U.S. would have to leave the Middle East before he'd be willing to talk.
During the campaign, the media has largely respected calls to treat Bristol Palin's pregnancy as a private matter. But the reactions to it have exposed a cultural rift that mirrors America's dominant political divide. Social liberals in the country's "blue states" tend to support sex education and are not particularly troubled by the idea that many teen-agers have sex before marriage, but would regard a teen-age daughter's pregnancy as devastating news. And the social conservatives in "red states" generally advocate abstinence-only education and denounce sex before marriage, but are relatively unruffled if a teen-ager becomes pregnant, as long as she doesn't choose to have an abortion. A handful of social scientists and family-law scholars have recently begun looking closely at this split.
But former government officials and public policy experts say early preparations are essential given the challenges that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and economic turmoil will present to the new president when he takes over in January.
It's not exactly the all-at-once rush of leaving the office early to take the kids trick-or-treating, but the presidential election is requiring employers to cope with some unexpected absences. Georgia's early voting was intended to draw more voters and give them a chance to avoid lines on Election Day. The idea has proven wildly popular --- creating its own long lines every day for the past few weeks. Some voters have experienced waits of four hours and more. The early voting turnout has many employers hoping that might mean less workplace disruption Tuesday, when voters are legally due a two-hour period to place their vote.
As you know, McCain has been claiming that the "gap is closing" in many toss up states. This is an expected exaggeration, but it is not pure fantasy, and it is a bit worrisome. There are three important factors here.
We read the published comments from McCain spokespeople that argue the dialing/canvassing numbers are ahead of where they were at the same time four years ago. Well, either the Bush ground game of 2004 was the Big Myth, or those spokespeople are flat lying to reporters, who have no context to challenge those claims because they haven't seen the empty offices the way we have.
When the final chapters are written in this election about the ground game, many thousands of words will recognize that the Obama campaign truly was this:
But the other story, the story on which we've had a running eight-week exclusive in 36 separate On the Road pieces and counting, is that John McCain's ground campaign is just not happening. It hasn't been happening, without Sarah Palin there might be four or five volunteers across the entire nation left, and now, per Mosk's piece at WaPo, it looks like it will be happening even less.
Internet-age users overwhelmingly back Barack Obama for US president, according to a poll at at the world's largest social networking website, MySpace said Thursday.
Survey data collected during a year of unprecedented online political campaigning and discourse shows that 60 percent of the millions of eligible voters on MySpace prefer Democratic candidate Obama.
The survey, which has a three percent margin of error, shows that only 34 percent of MySpace users said they were likely to vote for Republican candidate John McCain.
Obama's supporters have high expectations, and they may expect to have a voice in governing.
North Carolina is swinging in the balance as America's most quixotic battleground state. Obama and McCain are deadlocked and Sen. Elizabeth Dole is flailing fire and brimstone at the little-known state senator who's poised to end her 40-year career as an inside-the-Beltway icon. This year, politics is the new basketball in North Carolina. And it's shaping up as a Carolina blue election.
But let's be frank. Something new is happening in America. It is the imminent arrival of a new liberal moment. History happens, it makes its turns, you hold on for dear life. Life moves.
A fitting end for a harem-scarem, rock-'em-sock-'em shakeup of a year -- one of tumbling inevitabilities, torn coalitions, striking new personalities.
Eras end, and begin. "God is in charge of history." And so my beautiful election ends.
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.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain goes into the campaign's final weekend a bigger underdog than any victorious candidate in a modern election. With four days until Election Day, national polls show his Democratic rival Barack Obama leading by an average of 6 percentage points, and battleground polls show Obama ahead in more than enough states to win the decisive 270 Electoral College votes.
Going back to the Nixon soliloquy -- when the people in rural America see Obama, they see who scares them, they see the future that one way or another, is coming. In that way Obama is like Nixon; when they look at him they see who they really are. When they look at McCain they see who they want to be. In urban America, it's exactly the opposite. We look at Obama and see who we want to be and look at McCain and worry that's who we really are.
Roger Simon: No Match Between Obama and McCain Ground Games:
Over the last eight years the Bush administration has sacrificed American lives, resources, and influence at every turn. President George W. Bush, with the avid support of Sen. John McCain and most of the Republican Party, took the US into an unnecessary war in Iraq, increased the number of America's enemies and the threat of terrorism, strengthened the Iranian regime, and sacrificed US clout with friends and foes alike. Yet polls indicate that more Americans trust Sen. McCain than Sen. Barack Obama as military commander-in-chief. It's a bizarre conclusion.
A Grosse Pointe Farms woman is accused of pulling a political dirty trick. Instead of giving away treats to every child who knocks on her door, parents say she's only giving them to kids who agree with her choice for president. FOX 2's Andrea Isom talked with the woman accused of denying children candy.
This week, Barack Obama ran a half hour ad right before Game 5, Part II of the World Series of American Heterosexual Baseball. The going whisper campaign was that Obama pushed back the start of the third of a game to air his presumptuous ad, and that Real Americans would be bitterly, clingily angry at his great affront to a playoff series none of them were watching. In 2000 and 2004, this would have been the defining narrative of the last two weeks, not McCain's William the Hung or a tape concerning an obscure Columbia professor's 2003 dinner. Obama not understanding the real priorities of American, of having the utter audacity and presumptuousness to think that a glorified infomercial was enough to push the American pastime out of the way. Yet, somehow, it wasn't.
OK - I know we're not ready as a Country to even consider this right now - but wouldn't it be nice if.....
Our President believed that a person gets one life - here - on Earth - and that there is no magical fairy land where you go when you die.
*That President might be a little less likely to allow the poor, the sick and the needy to suffer through the one life they were born into. They might do a little more to care for those in other areas of our World who, through no fault of their own don't have the resources to provide even basic services for their citizens. So they suffer and die in horrible conditions and death is sometimes a welcome predator. That President might be more willing to mobilize our vast potential for good and provide a better life for those people.