Monday, October 27, 2008

Headlines - Monday

8 days to go.....
Another great column from the Anchorage Daily News, people who know Palin better than most:    

Just why a church in Wasilla, Alaska, would adopt the language of witchcraft to express their belief in a battle of good versus evil is not clear. But even more revealing was Rev. Muthee's summary of the principles of what has come to be called Christian Nationalism, which preceded his "laying on of hands" ritual.

Extreme Christian Nationalists not only believe that the United States was founded as a Christian nation but that its institutions should be run entirely by fundamentalist or evangelical Christians. They believe they have a mandate to purge our institutions of "humanists" who believe that humans are in control of their own destiny, progressive Christians and non-Christians. They believe there are seven areas of society that must be controlled, the so-called Seven Mountains Strategy: church, family, education, government and law, media, arts and entertainment and business.

Further thoughts on the coming bloodbath of the GOP:
Republican Email Warns Jewish Voters of Second Holocaust If Obama Wins

"Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008," the e-mail from the Republican Federal Committee of PA reads. "Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let's not make a similar one this year!"

It warns "Fellow Jewish Voters" of the danger of a second Holocaust due to the threats to Israel from its neighbors and touts Republican presidential candidate John McCain's qualifications over those of Obama.
The email was sent to 75,000 Jewish voters. The Republicans in PA have disavowed the email and claim that the "strategist" who helped draft the letter was fired.

The AP reports that Bryan Rudnick who was responsible for the email said he had authorization from party officials to send the email, but wouldn't say who it was.

According to
TPM it gets better. The person who is distancing himself from the email is Peter Feldman, the same guy who on Thursday was pushing the mugging hoax by the white woman who falsely claimed that a black Obama supporter attackers and maimed her.

Ironically, on Saturday night, Feldman told the press that McCain "rejects politics that degrade our civics." The AP didn't remind him about the mugging hoax.

While it's great that Obama is ahead in the polls, don't believe the hype, and let that be your excuse for not voting or for not voting early. And though it's easy for those of us living in red states to become discouraged and think it doesn't really matter if we vote, remember: every vote counts.
It pains me to point to anything written by Piggy Noonan, but this is is from her column on Friday:

...The RealClearPolitics average of national polls as I write, rounded off, is Obama 50%, McCain 43%. Actually Mr. Obama has 50.1%, and if that is true and holds, it would make him the first Democratic presidential nominee since Jimmy Carter to break 50%. But I find myself thinking of what that 43% means. It's a big number, considering that this is the worst Republican year in generations. Amid two wars, a deep economic crisis, a fractured base, too much cynicism, and a campaign with the wind not at its back but head on in its face -- with all of that working against Mr. McCain, 43% of the American people say, right now, in these polls, they are for him.... Forty-three percent of 122 million is 52 million people, more or less....

There are too damn many polls showing Obama with a double-digit lead, as far as I'm concerned - if he wins the popular votes by six points or fewer, especially a lot fewer, too many of the chatterers are going to talk as if he actually lost, as if he underperformed when he had everything going his way, that he didn't really "close the sale," that he squeaked by. They'll suggest that McCain-Palin and McCain-Palinism were what voters really wanted, and would have voted for if that pesky Bush guy weren't making McCain and Palin look like something they really, really aren't, i.e., Bush Republicans. Or they'll say that McCain minus Bush and Palin would have won, so McCain was kinda-sorta the people's choice.

Obama needs every vote he can get, in every state. Every vote helps reduce the possibility that he'll be seen this way, and seen as lacking a "mandate" (and yes, I know perfectly well that this wasn't a problem for W after 2000 election, but, of course, there's your double standard).

So - not that I need to tell you this - but vote for Obama, dammit. Vote for him in whatever state you're living in. It's important.
John McCain yells at clouds in Woodbridge, Virginia:

Meanwhile, Obama draws more than 100,000 in Denver:

I know I risk being accused of passing along too many smarmy Obama stories, but I can't pass this one up:

Obama: When no one is watching:


U.S.General Target of Guantanamo Probe

My prediction: he'll be investigated by his own department and found not guilty.


The picture is coming:


In the beginning of Robert Draper's long article on the McCain campaign is a jaw-dropping graf.

[McCain's chief campaign strategist Steve] Schmidt in particular was a believer in these kinds of defining moments. The smartest bit of political wisdom he ever heard was dispensed by George W. Bush one spring day at the White House residence in 2004, at a time when his re-election effort was not going especially well. The strategists at the meeting — including Schmidt, who was directing the Bush campaign's rapid-response unit — fretted over their candidate's sagging approval ratings and the grim headlines about the war in Iraq. Only Bush appeared thoroughly unworried. He explained to them why, polls notwithstanding, voters would ultimately prefer him over his opponent, John Kerry.

There's an accidental genius to the way Americans pick a president, Schmidt remembers Bush saying that day. By the end of it all, a candidate's true character is revealed to the American people.

So said the man who had to have the '04 election stolen in order to win, the man who had to have both the elections that put him into office stolen for him because the "accidental genius" of the American people would have thrown the imposter out on his ass had the vote been counted honestly, and he knew it.

Pity poor Schmidt, a victim of his own propaganda.

Or don't.

Is the fix in for McCain too?

Yesterday on Meet the Press, it almost seemed like Brokaw was admitting he knew that Ohio was fixed in 2004: 

"Four years ago I interviewed President Bush at a time when it looked like he may be in trouble against John Kerry, final weekend of the campaign. I showed him a map. He said, "Oh, I just don't do that. Karl Rove does that." As soon as the interview was over, he said, "I'll win here," and pointed to southeastern Ohio. Where will you win if you win?"

And McCain said this:

"I guarantee you that two weeks from now, you will see this has been a very close race, and I believe that I'm going to win it. We're going to do well in this campaign, my friend. We're going to win it, and it's going to be tight, and we're going to be up late."

Maybe it's just me, but there's something about the idea of the Republican candidate giving a "guarantee" of victory after a squeaker when the Republicans have been working very diligently to suppress the vote via vote caging, challenges to new voters, attempts to challenge those whose homes have been foreclosed, etc., and when voting machines in many places are changing votes from Democrat to Republican, or dropping the Presidential vote off when the voter does a straight-ticket vote, that just sort of gives me pause.

Early voting is already showing that Obama votes are being lost.

Much more here.

Since the Democratic Party and the Obama campaign obviously don't give a bleep whether your vote counts, you're on your own to make sure it is.


Living on borrowed time - Is it time to pay the piper?

A sobering assessment:                                                            


Last time it was a message from Osama Bin Laden conveniently timed to help the then-embattled George W. Bush win re-election. This time it's an expansion of Bush's War into Syria.

That's right, military helicopters launched an extremely "rare: attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as "serious aggression."

Regardless of the motivation, the end result is that if, as it appears barring continued voting machine vote-flipping in swing states, a successful effort by the Justice Department to overturn the Supreme Court's decision on Ohio voter registration, and successful suppression of new voters, Barack Obama wins this election, the Bush Administration is bound and determined to exit with far more mischief than pulling keys off of computer keyboards.


State Unemployment Funds Running Dry - h/t Dick

No worries, mates, you can always go to work for Blackwater hunting pirates. 

NAIROBI, Kenya – Blackwater Worldwide and other private security firms — some with a reputation for being quick on the trigger in Iraq — are joining the battle against pirates plaguing one of the world's most important shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia.

The growing interest among merchant fleets to hire their own firepower is encouraged by the U.S. Navy and represents a new and potential lucrative market for security firms scaling back operations in Iraq.

But some maritime organizations told The Associated Press that armed guards may increase the danger to ships' crews or that overzealous contractors might accidentally fire on fishermen.

What could possibly go wrong? AP?
4,188 soldiers killed in Iraq; 624 in Afghanistan.
Straight from Freeperville, Barbara West auditions for Faux News
Are you joking? Is this a joke?
Biden shuts down Florida television anchor Barbara West (Her husband is a GOP media consultant. who was spewing Sean Hannity's talking points.

Someone's been listening to a little too much Rush Limbaugh. Compare this interview to the softballs she threw John McCain less than two weeks ago. Kudos to the Obama campaign for responding by canceling a Jill Biden interview with the same network.

From a commenter: the woman was like a cartoonish caricature of a wingnut, and her questions were straight out of a Steven Colbert interview. I kept waiting for her to ask Biden when Obama stopped being a member of al Qaeda.


Paging Blackwater: Sand thieves shrinking Caribbean beaches at alarming rate:


On Friday, two Feder staffers approached Republican Rep. Wolf in a public location to ask him some questions. Two different individuals who were accompanying Wolf assaulted the staffers, as you can see quite clearly in the video. The first Feder staffer was hit with a cane and then punched. The second staffer was pinned to a wall and forcibly held there. All of this took place in the presence of Congressman Wolf, who stood by and did nothing to intervene.

You do not, in a civilized society, stand by and watch while your hangers-on beat citizens in your presence.

Virginia needs to do the right thing and end this guy's career.


The U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn't agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq. Tariq al Hashimi, Iraq's Sunni vice president said that many Iraqi politicians "view the move as akin to political blackmail."


I'm not a football fan, but if I was, I wouldn't watch the 49ers ever again

NFL Network's Adam Schefter reported on NFL GameDay that the San Francisco 49ers want to talk to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice about a high-level position within the organization — perhaps president. Schefter said "a lot of people feel she could be very instrumental in procuring a new stadium" for the 49ers. Rice has not been coy about expressing her deep interest in working in the National Football League. She has said she wants to be NFL Commissioner, but she added, "I've decided that it would be all right to run a team, as well." When former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue stepped down in 2006, Rice passed on the position, explaining, "Unfortunately, it came open at the wrong time."  

If Condi's time with the 49ers will be in any way like her time in the White House, methinks the entire city is in jeopardy.


Harper's: Palin's Nightmare

In a speech in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin told the crowd that an Obama presidency would present the specter of a socialist state in which fundamental American freedoms are undermined. Let's go to the video:

Does Sarah mean a state:

  • That snatches its victims off the street, denies them all form of legal process and whisks them away to secret "blacksites" where they can be tortured using all the techniques described in Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon?
  • That arrests and prosecutes its political adversaries for imaginary crimes so as to eliminate them from the running in election cycles in which they could do some damage?
  • That destroys the careers of professional military men because they got promotions under a prior regime and therefore considers them disloyal?
  • That believes it can detain and hold its enemies forever without any charges or any evidence against them, denying them access to courts to prove their innocence?
  • That constantly manipulates the population's fear whenever its public popularity slips and elections begin to approach?
  • That believes that it can make no errors, and that those who point to its errors are traitors?
  • That systematically spies on millions of its citizens in direct violation of a criminal statute which forbids such surveillance?
  • That signs new laws with its fingers crossed in the form of signing statements, so that no one knows whether the laws—or any part of them—will actually be enforced?
  • That lies to its people about threats from abroad in an effort to build popular support for a series of wars and then cites the existence of those wars as a reason to suppress dissent?
  • That nationalizes the debt of predatory capitalists so they suffer no punishment for their misconduct and then nationalizes major financial institutions, converting the nation's free market system into a socialism in which crony capitalists are a privileged elite?

Sarah, you have no need to fear the future.

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