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Saturday, November 01, 2008

“His choice?”

Barrack Obama’s campaign is now directing reporters to an ad it released Wednesday morning October 29th, that is focused on the shortcomings of both John McCain’s understanding of the economy and McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin for Vice President.

Dick Cheney stumps for McCain/Palin

For Atlanta voters, 10 hour lines await

At many polling spots around the country, early voting is for the studious: arrive whenever, brave a relatively small crowd, and cast a ballot well before the deadline.But, not this time. In Atlanta, GA., MSNBC's Tamron Hall found not just long lines, but a day-long wait as well."These are folks standing in line, trying to get in before early voting ends in that state," said Hall. "It ends today, by the way. And this line? Eight to 10 hours is the estimate for some poor soul who's at the back of the line right now. Eight to 10 hours."These lines are everywhere in the state as voters are packing into the polling locations. They say across the state, lines at polling locations are several hours long, not just where we're looking, at this strip mall. Officials estimate, according to what I'm reading here on one of the local news Web sites, about 12 percent of the state's 5.6 million registered voters have already cast their vote."... They're seeing a strong turnout among African-American voters in this state. Some of the more populated areas, like Atlanta with more African-Americans, are seeing a huge turnout. This appears to be the case from just looking at the video."Poll lines of daunting length -- though none which top Atlanta's 10 hour wait -- have been reported in Florida, North Carolina and Nevada. More are expected on election day. LinkHere

Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama infomercial tops network prime-time ratings

American Stories, American Solutions: 30 Minute Special

Views: 1,485,363

Source: Reuters
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Barack Obama's campaign "infomercial" was the most-watched telecast in U.S. prime time on Wednesday, drawing an "American Idol"-size audience that easily eclipsed even the climax to baseball's World Series.

More than 33.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the Democratic presidential nominee's paid 30-minute message, aired on three major broadcast networks and four smaller channels, Nielsen Media Research reported on Thursday.

The three big networks alone, CBS, NBC and Fox, accounted for 25.5 million viewers combined -- 1.2 million more than they drew in the same half hour a week ago, Nielsen said.

By comparison, 19.8 million viewers watched the conclusion to baseball's World Series championship as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays. The game, ranking as the night's No. 2 broadcast, was carried by Fox following Obama's multi-network commercial.

Gallup Poll day after the ad (and Rasmussen survey)

Gallup ROCKETS in the wake of the Obamamerical
Likely Traditional (Drudge Version)
Obama 51 +1
McCain 43 -2

Likely Expanded (Reality)

Obama 52 +1
McCain 43 -1

Registered (Obama-verse)

Obama; 52 +2
McCain: 41 -1

There was Rasmussen Data this morning on the impact of the advertisement.
From the Sub-section on Rasmussen...

Ad Make You More/Less Likely to Vote for Obama?

More Likely: 54%
Less Likely 24%

Among McCain Voters: 8% More Likely

Among Conservatives: 39% More Likely

Among Republicans: 21% More Likely

Among Men: 50% More likely
Among Women: 59% More Likely

Among 65+: 57% More Likely

Among Whites: 50% More Likely


Arianna On Larry King: Talks Obama's Chances, "Spreading The Wealth" Attacks, Khalidi Smears

Arianna appeared on Larry King Thursday night, where she discussed the presidential race with Ben Stein, Paul Begala and Michael Medved. Watch videos of her appearance below.


'the retooling of America,'

Conservative gun enthusiasts have succeeded in forcing a Montana-based rifle manufacturer to oust its CEO after he revealed his support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Dan Cooper, founder of Cooper Firearms, resigned his position with the company after a wave of condemnation from gun owners who don’t believe Obama’s assurances that he plans to protect gun rights.
Cooper, founder and part owner of Cooper Firearms, told USA Today in a story published Tuesday that he has voted for Republicans for most of his life, but he is backing Obama ‘probably because of the war. And also because the Republican Party has moved so far right in recent years,’” the paper reported. “Cooper said he was attracted to the Democrat’s message about ‘the retooling of America, which involves the building of middle-class jobs and helping American small business be competitive with those overseas.’”
The article “sparked outrage from some gun owners and bloggers, including an open letter on a blog called Firearms and Freedom, urging people to boycott the company’s products,” USA Today said. “Many gun enthusiasts believe Obama will try to restrict their right to bear arms, although he has said he respects the Second Amendment.”

Five Reasons Why the Obama Infomercial was Worth the Cost

Let's be honest: the Obama infomercial was about comforting white Americans -- especially middle and working class white Americans. That said, it was arguably necessary and -- for what it was -- very effective.
Although only time will tell, it appears that the Obama infomercial accomplished exactly what it needed to do: soothing skittish white undecided voters without alienating current supporters.
1. With a set evocative of the Oval Office, Obama's presence in the piece served as a preview to what it would look like if he were to be elected as President. By providing a chance for the still uneasy undecideds to envision this future, it will likely work to move some of those voters out of their reluctance. Despite the McCain campaign's increasingly strident assertions to the contrary, Obama gave every appearance of being more than "ready" to step into the role of a world leader. 2. By showing numerous photos of Obama interacting with white working class Americans of different ages (in addition to black and Latino Americans), the infomercial leveraged the power of visual imagery to contextualize Obama as "one of us" within the minds of those voters. This is a welcome and much-needed change from advertisements by the campaign that have, up until now, sometimes focused too much on words alone to convey their messages. In addition, the narratives within the piece evoked emotional response and connection -- again, very welcome and somewhat different than the frequently more conceptual and cognitive appeal of previous Obama campaign advertising.
3. For those who resonate to the cognitive, the infomercial also clearly presented (again) specifics of Obama's plans to address the most pressing issues on the minds of many voters. If you believe their words, undecided voters tend to respond well to specifics and to talk about "needing more information" when asked about why they continue to be undecided.
4. If, however, you do not believe the words of the undecided voters tell the whole story, the piece was still effective. By any objective measure, Obama came across as reasonable, knowledgeable and -- most importantly for the sake of television -- likeable. As anyone who is familiar with media knows, that is the primary goal of any television appearance. People seldom remember more than one point someone makes (if they even recall one) when they appear on television, but they are strongly affected by how the person comes across.
5. Within the biographical parts of the piece, Obama's life story was reiterated as epitomizing the American dream. Certainly it can be said that it would take someone very determined to continue to characterize Obama as a "terrorist" within their own minds after watching the infomercial -- and those people would never vote for him anyway. Additionally, when Obama talked about his mother's death and about his own lack of perfection -- saying even "I will not be a perfect president" -- his humanity came through powerfully.
The Obama infomercial was a risk -- but the piece will likely go down in history as yet another way that the Obama campaign has forever changed the face of political campaigning through its creative use of media.

"Must Testify"

No, this is not some Halloween stunt. That guy you see over there being held accountable is actually the vice president of the United States.
The U.S. District Court in D.C. ruled today that Vice President Dick Cheney will have to let his deputy chief of staff, Claire O'Donnell, give testimony in a lawsuit over his records.
Cheney, with his well-known passion for secrecy, had argued that a vice president need only preserve records central to his job as the official who presides over the U.S. Senate or records relating to specific tasks assigned by the president. That would narrow the pile considerably.
Read the whole story here.

"confusing" and "unfortunate"

Two top Florida elections officials, both Republicans, faulted the GOP mailing, calling it "confusing" and "unfortunate" because of a potential to undermine voter confidence by making them question the accuracy of their registrations.

WATCH: Bill Kristol Says You Can't Trust NYT On "Daily Show"

Bill Kristol knocked his own paper, the New York Times, on "The Daily Show" last night, and repeated his prediction that John McCain will win the White House on Tuesday.
Jon Stewart joked with the error-prone Kristol, who he has mocked before, "You can't look at past performance as a predictor, otherwise you wouldn't be, obviously, still a pundit."
"You're reading The New York Times too much, Jon," Kristol told Stewart, only for Stewart to remind him that he works there. "Oh, it's a very fine newspaper — on one day of the week."
Kristol also predicted that McCain would "win huge," but that even if Barack Obama does pull it off, he will be a "conventional" president." LinkHere

AZ-Pres: Neck and neck, and check out 2010

by kos
Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 08:48:17 AM PDT
Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 10/28-30. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

McCain (R) 48
Obama (D) 47

Early voters (17 percent of sample)

McCain (R) 42
Obama (D) 54

I can't believe we may actually win Arizona. And I have a bonus treat for you guys:

If the 2010 election for U.S. Senate were held today for whom would you vote for if the choices were between Janet Napolitano the Democrat and John McCain the Republican?

McCain (R) 45
Napolitano (D) 53

Janet Napolitano is Arizona's governor, currently serving her second term. Her favorability rating of 67-29 is higher than Palin's, which is 65-35 in a poll we'll be releasing in a few hours. Napolitano's job approval rating of 69-21 similarly beats Palin's 61-37. Palin may be giving the Rick Lowrys of the world starbursts, but Napolitano is wowing them with competent governance, and it looks like Arizonans wouldn't mind sending her to Washington instead of McCain.

Update: McCain forced to campaign in Arizona on Monday. I bet he wishes he could spend the evening in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Florida.

"Daily Show" Investigates ACORN, Community Organizing

John Oliver of "The Daily Show" talked to ACORN's Bertha Lewis about the evils of "community organizing." He also spoke with Liz Shaw, a conservative Christian community organizer who says the mockery of her profession at the Republican National Convention led her to organize for Barack Obama. But Matthew Vadum of the Capital Research Center reminds viewers that community organizing of any kind is a gateway-job into crack dealing.

Noooooooooo,you mean the black population are voting, dang

Sen. Chambliss (R-GA) Urges White Base: "The Other Folks Are Voting"

Via John Cole, the Politico reports on Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss' candid assessment of what motivates Republicans in his state:
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.
Just in case anyone was confused about who those "other folks" are, Chambliss gave this quote New York Times:
The development is not lost on Mr. Chambliss. "There has always been a rush to the polls by African-Americans early," he said at the square in Covington, a quick stop on a bus tour as the campaign entered its final week. He predicted the crowds of early voters would motivate Republicans to turn out. "It has also got our side energized, they see what is happening," he said.
Former Sen. Max Cleland, who was beaten by Chambliss in 2002, expressed concern in an interview with the Huffington Post about a "white backlash" to Barack Obama in the South. But he also touted the "historic numbers in terms of registration, African-Americans and young people" that is changing the region's political landscape in "fundamental" ways.

"without any questions, a terrorist group."

McCain Was Strong Supporter Of Group Accused Of Terrorist Activities
During the closing weeks of the election, Sen. John McCain has gone to great lengths to present his opponent, Barack Obama, as someone too willing to coddle to groups that have ties to terrorists or terrorist activity.
It is important to understand which individuals and organizations Obama has been associated with, the refrain usually goes, as it is reflective of his foreign policy as a whole.
But if that is indeed the standard by which voters are to judge the candidates, than McCain has some questions of his own.
During the late 1990s, the Senator supported and reportedly helped arm an organization that, while eventually tolerated by the U.S. foreign policy establishment, was accused of terrorist activities and allegedly had ties to al Qaeda.
During the late stages of the Balkan War, the Kosovo Liberation Army was known for committing incredible atrocities in its efforts to facilitate Kosovo's independence from Yugoslavia. The guerrilla group often was responding to acts of violence committed against its own people. But its tactics were, nevertheless, viewed as condemnable: abductions and murders, systematic burning and looting of homes, and harassment and intimidation of Yugoslav officials.
President Clinton's special envoy to the Balkans, Robert Gelbard, described the KLA in 1998 as, "without any questions, a terrorist group."
Eventually, the KLA went from being criticized for threatening a fragile peace process to, gradually, being recognized as a military force that had popular roots within the Albanian community and a shared mission with America. But within the United States, the group was never publicly praised and often considered dangerous.
"As far as I know, no one ever turned around and said, 'these were freedom fighters and I support them,'" said Fred Abrahams, who documented the Balkans War for Human Rights Watch.

"We still feel like our vote was stolen,"

To Help Obama Effort, Al Gore Goes Back To Florida
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — "So, where were we?" That was the bit of humor former Vice President Al Gore delivered Friday in Florida, the state that dashed his White House dreams eight years ago after a confusing ballot, dimpled punch cards, hanging chads and a Supreme Court decision that stopped a 36-day recount. In the end, George W. Bush won the presidency by just 537 votes. "It's been a long eight years," Gore said as he took the stage to raucous applause from about 200 supporters.
The Democrat embarked on a series of events to boost the candidacy of Barack Obama, with sights set on Florida's 27 electoral votes.
Gore's visit to Florida, a state still up for grabs, marked the first time he's hit the campaign trail for Obama since endorsing him in June and speaking at the Democratic National Convention in August.
Gore and his wife, Tipper, planned another rally in Pompano Beach later in the day. In Palm Beach County, voters have not forgotten what happened eight years ago. The county's confusing ballot in 2000 was blamed for people mistakenly voting for third-party candidate Pat Buchanan instead of Gore.
"We still feel like our vote was stolen," said Mary Phillips, 45.
"This election is personal to us," said West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel. "We know it was the curse of the butterfly ballot that brought the chaos to the world. ... We're not going to let what happened eight years ago happen again." LinkHere

Eagleburger Blisters Palin: "Of Course" She's Not Ready

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.

Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.
Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official - Colin Powell - in his decision.
Read the whole story here.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rachel Maddow Interviews Obama

Barack Obama appeared on "The Rachel Maddow Show" Thursday night for a two part interview with the MSNBC host.
Here is the first part of the interview.

George Will Castigates McCain, Palin, Defends Obama On Campaign Financing

In an op-ed in this morning's Washington Post, columnist George Will took John McCain to task once again, criticizing his decisions, labelling him "careless," and, in the unkindest cut of all, denigrating McCain's key issue: campaign finance reform.
It all begins with a lede that neatly stitches McCain and Bush together:
From the invasion of Iraq to the selection of Sarah Palin, carelessness has characterized recent episodes of faux conservatism. Tuesday's probable repudiation of the Republican Party will punish characteristics displayed in the campaign's closing days.
Will's harshest seeming terms, and the bulk of his attention, seems to go to Palin. This is not surprising -- he's been one of the godfathers of the anti-Palin, scent-of-common-sense conservative fringe for some time now. And, really, one would hope that Palin's inability to nail down the precise duties of the Vice Presidency would set Will's teeth on edge. Still, it's refreshing to see Will put it in these terms: "Perhaps Palin's confusion about the office for which she is auditioning comes from listening to its current occupant. Dick Cheney, the foremost practitioner of this administration's constitutional carelessness in aggrandizing executive power, regularly attends the Senate Republicans' Tuesday luncheons."
Will calls out McCain for his "history of reducing controversies to cartoons," and then, with a flourish, all but throws McCain's legacy under the bus:

SMITH: Do you think John McCain agrees with you?

So, Joe The Plumber was out on the trail with John McCain today, apparently giving the thumbs up to someone in the crowd who felt that an Obama Presidency would bring about the end of Israel. From Raw Story:
The Ohio plumber, who has no license and is actually named Samuel Wurzelbacher, spoke at a McCain campaign event in Columbus Monday. A McCain supporter asked if "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel." JTP hardly batted an eye.
"I'll go ahead and agree with you on that," Wurzelbacher said.
It's all a part of Joe the Plumber's "Maybe I'm A Foreign Policy Expert, But Anyway, You Should Go Out And Get Your Own Opinions On Things Instead Of Listening To Mine, Even Though I'm Going To Keep Opining If You Give Me Half A Chance, And Anyway, I Don't Even Really Know What John McCain's Position Is On Anything Anyway, And Probably I Should Be Snaking A Sink Trap Or Something, Instead Of Dragging Myself All Over The Country Making Statements Which I Then Sort Of Disavow A Few Minutes Later Anyway, Who Knows?" Tour of 2008!
Honestly, it's like the 24 Hour News has finally reached the 25th Hour or something.
Anyway, five minutes with Joe The Plumber had Shepard Smith so frustrated that the Fox anchor felt compelled to issue a disclaimer, immediately following the segment, pushing back on any notion that Obama would mean the "death of Israel," saying: "I just want to make this 100 percent perfectly clear -- Barack Obama has said repeatedly and demonstrated repeatedly that Israel will always be a friend of the United States, no matter what happens once he becomes President of the United States. His words." Smith later added, "The rest of it -- man...some things -- it just gets frightening sometimes. We'll be right back." I haven't seen Shep this broken up about the state of the world since Katrina.
Meanwhile, let's remember that after a year of trying to figure out what their campaign is about, the McCain camp has basically pinned all their hopes to the avatar of Joe The Plumber, a random dude who says, "I know just enough about foreign policy to probably be dangerous...I have no idea where John McCain's position is...I honestly want people to go out and find their own reasons. I tell people not to listen to everyone else's opinion. I'm not going to have them start listening to mine." His words. Such as they are. LinkHere

Rachel Maddow Interviews Obama: A Preview

Hell Yeah you go girl
Tonight, Barack Obama sits down with Rachel Maddow for an interview on her eponymous MSNBC show. We have previews! In this first clip, Maddow talks with Obama about the distinction he makes between criticism of the Bush administration and criticism of the Republican Party, and whether he believes there is a "stark difference" between the two parties:

Maddow and Obama also discussed national security issues, with Maddow looking to Obama to suggest how he would approach homeland security vulnerabilities connected to declining infrastructure:

Lest you think that everything is going Barack Obama's way and that t
he media is totally in the tank for Barack Obama, we bring you word of an endorsement the Illinois Senator has failed to receive: that of Wasilla, Alaska's hometown newspaper, the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman.
Oh, this is funny! Here's the entirety of what the paper has to say about Sarah Palin:
Since her announcement Aug. 29 as Sen. John McCain's running mate on the Republican ticket, Gov. Sarah Palin has dominated the political headlines. From her personal life to her sudden rise into the national spotlight, America and the media cannot seem to get enough Palin.
While the clamor over Palin has been revealing and entertaining, it's time for voters to focus on the choice we have to lead the United States for the next four years.
We endorse John McCain as that leader.
As many have turned a tabloid eye to McCain's running mate in the weeks leading up to the election, we urge voters to remember that McCain, not Palin, is the Republican candidate for president, and it's because of McCain's proven leadership and integrity we urge Alaska and the Mat-Su to vote McCain.
I don't know! That seems a little like damnation by means of some faint praise! But make no mistake, the Frontiersman is all but clear about what they think of Obama. In the paper's eyes, Obama is a candidate who will "[toe] the Democratic Party line," and thus enable the "ultra-liberal Pelosi-bots in Congress." Honestly? That's some top flight snark. Additionally, they call out Obama for being a "wimp," and praise McCain for having the "military background and the experience to know that whatever anyone thinks about our war on terror in Iraq, that defeat is not an option."
Editor and Publisher has more on the endorsement. LinkHere

The Economist Issues 'Wholehearted' Endorsement Of Obama

Senator McCain; the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated.

Since I received a spate of emails wondering how The Economist would come down with their Presidential endorsement, I figured I might as well end the suspense: it's Obama.
Released today, The Economist's endorsement is titled, "It's Time," and encourages America to "take a chance and make Barack Obama the next leader of the free world." That's the overall tenor of their support: the acknowledgment of a gamble, yet one they recommend with few misgivings:
The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America's self-confidence. But we acknowledge it is a gamble. Given Mr Obama's inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead.
The magazine does not take some dogmatic anti-McCain stance, saying that "selection of Mr McCain as the Republicans' candidate was a powerful reason to reconsider" voting to keep the GOP in charge of the Executive Branch, despite the "incompetence, cronyism and extremism of the Bush presidency." But the magazine makes their stance on McCain clear in a section that's titled, "If only the real John McCain had been running": LinkHere

McCain Undercuts Campaign, Admits Obama Not A Socialist

McCain Camp Pushes New ACORN Outrage Based On Unreliable Accuser

McCain Spokesman Wusses Out On CNN

Campbell Brown Rips Dole's "Godless" Ad: Reclaim Your Dignity!

Elizabeth Dole's "Godless" attack ad against her opponent in North Carolina's U.S. Senate race keeps getting hammered in the press.
The Huffington Post put a spotlight on the negative -- and factually bankrupt -- spot on Wednesday, while Democrat Kay Hagan, the target of the ad, forcefully objected to its portrayal of her as "godless."
Wednesday night, CNN's Campbell Brown delivered an impassioned criticism of Dole's tactics.
While conceding that politics is "not for the faint of heart," Brown nevertheless singled out Dole's ad as the dubious "winner" among all the dirty attacks circulating during the final week of campaigning.
"The information in this ad is so ridiculously misleading, and yet Senator Dole is standing by it and continuing to raise questions about Hagan's so-called godlessness on the campaign trail," Brown said. "Is this really what it has come down to? We are fighting two wars, our economy is a disaster, and Senator Dole's message to voters is to falsely accuse her opponent of not believing in God?" LinkHere

McCain Undercuts Campaign, Admits Obama Not A Socialist


Barack Obama Infomercial Ratings: 33.6 Million Watch Across All Networks, Tops World Series

Obama's 30-minute primetime infomercial was seen by 33.6 million viewers across seven networks -- including CBS, NBC, Fox, Univision, MSNBC, BET and TV One.
That's 70% more people than watched the conclusion of the World Series last night on Fox (19.8 million). Clearly, Obama vs. McCain is more compelling to viewers this week than Phillies vs. Rays.
Nielsen estimates that roughly 71% of viewers were white, 17% of viewers were black and 15% were Hispanic.*
Read the whole story here.

Stephen Colbert Endorses (But Does Not Support) Barack Obama (VIDEO)

Startling Stat: At Least 46 Papers That Endorsed Bush in 2004 Have Now Switched to Obama

Source: Editor&Publisher
NEW YORK As the Obama-Biden ticket continues to lead in daily newspaper endorsements by roughly 220 to 90, what is most startling is the Democratic ticket winning over so many editorial boards that backed President Bush in 2004.
Obama has picked up at least 46 switchers -- including the Chicago Tribune and three of the top dailies in Texas -- and we suspect the total is much higher as we have not identified how every paper decided in 2004. Some have revealed they have never backed a Democrat for president, or at least for the past several decades or 100 years (the Joplin Globe in Missouri that to declare the latter).
The McCain-Palin ticket remains stuck at four switchers so far.
In addition, many papers that backed Bush in 2004 (such as the Indianapolis Star) are sitting out the race this year.... LinkHere

Associated Press Writer

No one knows for sure, but auditors think the U.S.
has paid well over $6 billion to private security
companies who've been guarding diplomats, troops,
Iraqi officials and reconstruction workers in Iraq.

The money amounts to about 12 percent of the $50
billion Americans are paying for reconstruction in
the country, said Special Inspector General for Iraq
Reconstruction Stuart Bowen.

The figure, included in a report being released by
Bowen's office Thursday, is likely to be taken as
the most authoritative accounting so far of what it
has cost taxpayers to provide private security since
2003 in the violence-plagued nation.


There are likely more contractors he has yet to count
and so the $6 billion is almost certainly not the full
picture, he said in an interview Wednesday. LinkHere

New Obama ad questions choice of Palin

Palin's 2012 talk leaves McCain aide speechless

Vice presidential contender Sarah Palin told ABC in an interview to air Thursday that she's not going to leave national politics if she doesn't enter the White House in January, fueling speculation that she's considering running for President in 2012."I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we've taken...I'm not doin' this for naught," Palin told ABC's Elizabeth Vargas on being asked.CNN's Dana Bash told cohort Wolf Blitzer that a senior McCain advisor was rendered "speechless" by Palin's comment. "There was a long pause, and then I just heard a 'Huh.' on the other end of the phone. I mean, this is certainly not a surprise to anybody who has watched Sarah Palin that she is interested in potentially...a future national run. Certainly she is being urged to by a lot of people inside the Republican Party if they do lose."Gov. Palin has already been called a "diva" and "rogue" by people within the McCain campaign who see her straying from prescribed narrative in her speeches, having "lost confidence in most of the people on the plane.""When two mavericks join up they don't agree on everything but that's a lot of fun," Senator McCain said of the differing viewpoints between himself and his running mate. LinkHere

Surprise! Diebold, ES&S machines; PA: Judge rules for emergency ballots.

AMAZING: 6th, 7th Graders Rap About The Election, "You Can Vote However You Like"

A Look Into The Mind Of White Working-Class Voters (VIDEO)

Much has been said about white working-class voters. But those who've been doing all the talking are pollsters and political operatives. As part of the Long View series, ANP traveled to rural Virginia to talk to someone who's lived the life and knows from personal experience what those voters are thinking -- author Joe Bageant. His highly-acclaimed recent book, Deer Hunting With Jesus, was lauded by one reviewer as a "raging, hilarious, and profane love song to the great American redneck." In addition to being that, it's also one of the most prescient pieces of analysis about American politics and culture in this election year.
There are a lot of things to ridicule about Sarah Palin's incomprehensible speaking style and backwards, simplistic views on the issues. But it's her politics of fear and division that must be wholly rejected on Tuesday because it's practically too terrible to imagine waking up one week from today in an America that rewards the awfulness and fear she and her allies rely upon. So before we arrive at the end of the Bush dark ride, let's make sure the Palin dark ride comes to a complete stop on Tuesday.

Big Biz Still For GOP

Why can't corporate America end its perverse love affair with Republican politicians?PHOTOS
What They Got Away With
A look at the CEOs who walk off with mountains of money

Three articles from the Wall Street Journalshow the strange myopia of businesses and business groups when it comes to politics. One article detailed how big retailers (Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Lowe's, Target) are warning employees about the possibility that a Democratic sweep could give unions the upper hand (translation: vote Republican!). A second describes how the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is mounting a huge $35 million campaign—twice the amount it spent in 2006 Congressional races—to support "almost exclusively Republicans in contested Senate races." And Federal Express CEO Fred Smith gave an interview to the editorial page in which he endorsed Sen. John McCain: "Because I agree with him on trade, taxes, energy and health care."
Let's take each in turn. Big retailers such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and Target, the Journal reports, are freaked out that Obama and a Democratic Congress would pass the Employee Free Choice Act, "which would do away with secret balloting and allow unions to form if a majority of employees sign cards favoring unionization." Now, don't get me wrong. EFCA may be a disaster for retailers. But of all the woes facing companies—the credit crunch, crappy growth, a disastrous job market, a lost decade in the stock market—unions are the least of their problems. So far this year, legions of retailers have gone bankrupt—Steve & Barrys, Linens'n'Things, the Ponderosa and Bonanza restaurant chains—victims of excessively optimistic projections, poor expansion choices, mismanagement, and horrific capital structures. Unions had nothing to do with their failure.
Retailers that survive face a bigger challenge. We've just concluded an economic expansion in which median incomes failed to rise. The people who shop at Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Target are basically making the same amount of money they were in 1999. There are a host of reasons why wages failed to rise in this expansion, among them: globalization, outsourcing, and a decline in the educational attainment of workers. But unions aren't one of them. What's more, long-term stock charts put the lie to the binary concept—Republican, anti-big-labor good, Democrat, pro-big-labor bad. Check out these charts of Home Depot (up about five fold in the Clinton years, down about 60 percent in the Bush years), or Wal-Mart (boom in the Clinton years and drift in the Bush years, or Target (ditto).
Now, with consumer confidence at a record low, credit difficult to come by, and demand shrinking, retailers are facing a bleak outlook. And they're worried about the prospect of greater unionization at some point in the future?

AIG Burning Through $123 Billion Fed Loan With No Explanation

Bill Clinton Joins Barack Obama in Florida

Obama Charlie Gibson Interview: Obama Says His Cabinet Would Be Bipartisan (VIDEO)

With Election Day less than a week away, presidential candidate Barack Obama said if elected he would choose a bipartisan Cabinet and criticized John McCain's campaign's recent attacks on his economic plan.
Obama told ABC News' Charlie Gibson that he didn't have a list of people he wanted to bring into the government but said "I've got some pretty good ideas about the senior Cabinet of government officials that I think could perform very well for the country. ... I have a good idea of who the candidates would be."
Obama said he would reach across the aisle on a range of issues, from energy independence to health care to education.
Keep reading here.

Obama's Daily Show Interview

Barack Obama continued his media blitz tonight with an appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Obama's appearance comes on the heels of his half hour long infomercial which ran in prime time tonight on several major networks, as well as some cable networks. Watch clips of Obama from his interview, including the candidate conceding the "Sean Hannity vote," and how Obama has been undergoing therapy to ensure that his white half doesn't prevent him from voting for himself. LinkHere

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

American Stories, American Solutions

New Ad Mocks GOP Skills At Disaster Management

"Americans don't want government handouts," the closing title reads. "Just government in good hands."
My Republican Party

McCain's Last Ditch Effort: Tying Obama To Muslim World


John McCain's campaign is making what appears to be a final, full-throated effort to paint Barack Obama as a sympathizer with the Muslim world. In the process they are putting out into the public domain as many images as possible of Obama's face cast over a map of the Middle East.
The latest salvo came Wednesday afternoon, when the Republican nominee released a web ad placing Obama's visage in front of an outline of Iran, and presenting aspects of the Senator's foreign policy alongside music traditionally associated with a Muslim call to prayer.

Questions About "Overseas" Donor Who Gave McCain $70,000 In One Day

Little known about man who has sent thousands to GOP
By Andrew Zajac, Ray Gibson and Bob Secter Tribune reporters
October 29, 2008
Big campaign donors typically come with deep pockets and influence. But in Illinois this election cycle, no one not running for office himself has given more to the nation's federal campaigns than Shi Sheng Hao of Roselle, a virtual unknown in business and political circles.Before September 2007, Hao's name had never appeared in the 15-year-old federal database of campaign contributors. Since then, however, his donations have topped $120,000 — including $70,100 on a single June day to Republican presidential candidate John McCain.Over the same time frame, a network of Hao relatives has kicked in more. The take from this group over the last 13 months exceeds $269,000, a small amount to Democrats but most of it to McCain and the Republican National Committee, records show.Hao didn't register to vote at the northwest suburban address attached to his donations until October 2007, a month after he wrote his first political check, $25,000 to the RNC. LinkHere

"Go Vote"

There’s only one place this vote should be decided: ON THE DANCE FLOOR!


Burn pit at Balad raises health concerns

Troops say chemicals and medical waste burned at base are making them sick, but officials deny risk
By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writerPosted : Wednesday Oct 29, 2008 7:53:04 EDT
An open-air “burn pit” at the largest U.S. base in Iraq may have exposed tens of thousands of troops, contractors and Iraqis to cancer-causing dioxins, poisons such as arsenic and carbon monoxide, and hazardous medical waste, documentation gathered by Military Times shows.
The billowing black plume from the burn pit at 15-square-mile Joint Base Balad, the central logistics hub for U.S. forces in Iraq, wafts continually over living quarters and the base combat support hospital, sources say.

Ad: President Palin Is "Our Greatest Fear"

Our Greatest Fear

"These are troubled times in a volatile world. With unprecedented crises at home and abroad, we need sound judgment and a steady hand to lead the most powerful nation on Earth," the ad begins, echoing some of the gravitas-laden ads targeting Barack Obama's inexperience. But Elfman's ad takes a twist: "John McCain's age and continuing battle with cancer makes the liklihood of him not completing his term higher than any president in American history. President Sarah Palin. Think about it." LinkHere

Palin Target Of New Ethics Complaint

CBS News Investigative Unit Has Learned Of New Complaint Related To Travel By Alaska Governor's Children

Obama Ad Uses Winking Palin


From the ABC/Washington Post tracking poll:
More than twelve million voters have already cast ballots in the presidential contest, according to one estimate, and new data from the Washington Post-ABC News tracking poll shows these voters breaking Democratic by a wide margin.
Among those who said they have already voted at an early voting location or sent in an absentee ballot, Barack Obama picked up 60 percent of the vote in the new poll to John McCain's 39 percent.
These voters make up 9 percent of "likely" voters in the track.
The senator from Illinois has a similar lead, 58 to 39 percent, among those who plan to vote early but have not yet. (Those who plan to vote on Election Day also go for Obama, but by a narrower, 51 to 45 percent.)
From Gallup:
The voter preferences of the group of 1,430 individuals who have already voted and who were interviewed by Gallup between Oct. 17 and Oct. 27 show a 53% to 43% Obama over McCain tilt.
Among the group of those who say they have not yet voted, but will before Election Day, the skew towards Obama is more pronounced, at 54% to 40%. By comparison, those who are going to wait to vote on Nov. 4 manifest a narrower 50% to 44% Obama over McCain candidate preference. (Across all registered voters over this time period, Obama leads McCain by a 51% to 43% margin).

Palin Spent $50K Of Taxpayer Money Remodeling Governor's Office

GOP vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin spent more than $51,000 in taxpayer funds to remodel the governor’s Anchorage office suite and spruce up her mansion and office in Juneau, a Herald review of expense records shows.
Palin spent most of the funds, $45,137, in April to build and furnish three offices inside her suite at the Robert B. Atwood Building in Anchorage, records show.
In June 2007, Palin spent $5,380 for labor and materials on a 72-inch wooden display case in her Juneau office. The case houses a football and basketball signed by players from championship high school teams, native artwork, a Klondike Trail mug and other items, said gubernatorial spokesman William D. McAllister.
Another $1,205 was spent in February 2007 on blinds for an arched window and stairwell at the governor’s mansion in Juneau.
The McCain-Palin campaign said it would characterize the remodeling expenses as “routine.”
“Gov. Palin has a long record of cutting wasteful spending, using her veto pen to eliminate nearly a half-billion dollars from the budget,” said Jeff Grappone, New England communications director. “She sold the state’s luxury jet, scrapped the governor’s personal chef and got rid of the personal driver.”
On the campaign trail, Palin has touted that record.

The Rachel Maddow Show

Kieth Olbermann Show

What Goes Around, Comes Around, Sadly It Took 8 Years 2 Wars and Economic Meltdown, For It To Happen

In surprise visit to GOP headquarters, pushes staff to work hard for McCain.

Lawsuit: Thousands of voters illegally purged in Colorado

Election watchdog groups are accusing the Colorado Secretary of State of purging up to 30,000 voters in violation of federal law.Common Cause of Colorado, Mi Familia Vota, and the Service Employees International Union have filed suit in U.S. District Court in Denver. The suit seeks to prevent any more voters from being removed in violation of the National Voting Rights Act of 1993, which mandates that a voter cannot be removed from the rolls less than 90 days before an election except due to felony conviction, death, incapacitation or a specific request to be removed. Also sought is a preliminary injunction to restore the names of those removed. The case is expected to be heard Wednesday morning. (A PDF copy of the complaint is available at THIS LINK.)CSU student Alexandra Vitale is one voter whose registration was nullified with no explanation: "I said to them...I'm not dead, and I haven't moved, so why did this happen? And they said they didn't know." Voters unable to re-register in time will be allowed to cast provisional ballots and challenge their county clerk's office. LinkHere

The Uneducated Bush McCain Palin Faux citizens.Simply amazing, voting against their better interests.

A demonstrator outside a McCain rally in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on Monday could be hearing from the Secret Service after his statements were filmed by Keystone Progress Blog."Bomb Obama!" he said repeatedly. "Get rid of him," he told the cameraman. "I've had a number of people in the...when he gets in the White House...(mimicks the sound of a gun firing)." The exchange was reported to Pottsville police and the Secret Service. Pottsville Police Captain Richard Wojciechowsky reportedly said it "did not sound serious.""I'd never vote for a black man," said a Democratic McCain supporter. "[I don't] want to sound racist here," said another participant, "but I do not want a black man running my country.""Catholics must not vote for Obama," a protest sign read. "They will be ex-communicated from the Catholic Church."Various rally participants, while waiting to greet Senator McCain's "Straight Talk Express" tour bus, called Senator Obama a communist, claimed his stances and connections were "un-American," and one said that Obama was born in Kenya. (He was actually born in Hawaii.) One referred to him as "President Hussein." LinkHere

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Georgia voters stand in line for 12 hours

Patricia Lewis would not be deterred by an hours-long wait that kept her at the Frank Bailey Senior Center in Riverdale, Georgia deep into the night to cast her vote."I vote every election, and I couldn't pass this one up," she said to WSB-TV. "I think about my dad and all the struggles that he went through, and for me to vote again... it's amazing.""I stand in long lines to shop," she added. "Six hours to vote...nothing."Voters in Clayton County, Georgia reportedly waited in line between eight and twelve hours on Monday, in some cases into early Tuesday morning. The county's election supervisor Annie Bright blamed the state for the delays, citing computer problems, while the Secretary of State's office lodged the blame back to the county."I feel good," said poll worker Beatrice Lyons, who was on her 18th hour, but excited to see the turnout. "They can just come on--stay all night long. I'll be right here." LinkHEre

Olbermann: Sarah Palin Is A Socialist

In a Special Campaign Comment, Keith Olbermann cites yet another example of the McCain campaign accusing Barack Obama of something of which they themselves are guilty. In this case, Sarah Palin is accusing Barack Obama of advocating socialism when she literally used that word to describe the collective wealth sharing in her home state of Alaska.


Obama's Day In The Rain (PHOTOS)

Barack Obama spent part of Tuesday outside in the rain in Chester, PA, while John McCain postponed his outside rally in nearby Quakertown. Dressed in sneakers and jeans, the rain pouring down as he spoke, Obama addressed the 9,000 who turned out. ""Let me just begin by saying that a little bit of rain never hurt anybody."
LinkHere for photos
The Obama campaign is, not surprisingly, ecstatic with the decision by Florida's Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to extend early voting hours in his state -- a decision that most every political observer predicts will help the Democratic nominee in this mega-swing state.
"We applaud Gov. Crist for responding to the overwhelming enthusiasm shown by Florida voters during this election season. To this point, an estimated 2 million Floridians have already cast a ballot over the last eight days," reads a statement from Florida Obama-Biden State Director Steven Schale. "It is critical that everyone who is eligible and eager to vote be able to participate and have their voice heard. And now with the extended hours, thousands more will have that opportunity."
The extension will mean that votes will be cast 12 hours a day, not eight. So far, George Mason University has calculated that more than 2 million Floridians have cast early ballots. Of that total, 44.7 percent have been for Democrats and 40 percent for Republicans. If Obama were to keep these margins through November 4th, it could create a distance between him and McCain that the Republican ticket can't overcome.
Observers in the Sunshine State said they weren't necessarily surprised by the Governor's decision even if it seemed likely to hurt his good-friend.
"It just reflects from the get-go that he has always been into expanding the electorate. It is consistent with his approach. I think he is just in touch with the kind of demographics that our state has," said Susan MacManus, a political science professor at the University of South Florida. "I just think that Gov. Crist is a person who tries very hard to represent all of the people. And he knows that even if this is not of the best interest of Republicans, it is in the best interest of Florida as a state and as a whole," said Joyce Cusack, Democratic Leader pro tempore of the Florida House of Representatives.
But the practical implications of extending early voting were hard to dismiss. In addition to providing voters with a greater window of time to cast ballots around their work schedule, the move promises to help lesson lines on Election Day itself. And, while the Republican ticket traditionally is bolstered by absentee ballots, the general rule in this scenario is that the larger the vote totals the more likely it is that Obama can pull off the victory.

Police: Teen Attempting To Take McCain Sign Shot By Man

Source: AP
POSTED: 7:24 am EDT October 28, 2008
UPDATED: 8:45 am EDT October 28, 2008
LEAVITTSBURG, Ohio -- Authorities in northeast Ohio say a teenager was shot and wounded by a man who said he wanted to stop the boy and another from taking his John McCain yard sign.

Warren Township police Lt. Don Bishop said 50-year-old Kenneth Rowles told officers he got out a .22-caliber rifle Saturday afternoon to fire warning shots, not hurt anyone.

Rowles pleaded not guilty Monday to felonious assault. A preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 4, Election Day.

Bishop said 17-year-old Kyree Flowers was shot in the right arm and was treated at a hospital.

Police said two shots hit a van the other teen was driving.

No charges were filed against the boys.

Local Republican and Democratic officials say campaign signs are disappearing frequently and people are frustrated.

In Bone-Chilling Rain, Obama Says Change is Coming

by Jitendra Joshi – 18 mins ago
HARRISONBURG, Virginia (AFP) – White House rivals Barack Obama and John McCain entered the final seven days of their historic campaign Tuesday, sparring in rain-lashed Pennsylvania as the Democrat exhorted his fired-up supporters to nail down victory.

While McCain canceled one event in the rust-belt state owing to the foul weather, Obama paid tribute to more than 9,000 hardy supporters who turned out at an outdoors rally despite freezing rain and driving winds.

"This is an unbelievable crowd for this kind of weather," the Democratic senator from Illinois, who is bidding to be America's first black president at the youthful age of 47, said to huge cheers in Chester, Pennsylvania. "If we see this kind of dedication on election day, there is no way that we're not going to bring change to America," Obama said on the final countdown to next Tuesday's vote.

Michael McDonald, a political scientist with George Mason University in Virginia, said about 12 million voters had already cast ballots nationwide ahead of the November 4 election.
McDonald said that based on stated party affiliation, most of the early votes have gone to Obama. A new Suffolk University poll meanwhile showed Obama surging to a 10 point lead of 50 percent-40 percent over McCain in Nevada, which along with Colorado and New Mexico could be set to flip from Republican red to Democratic blue.

(Pittsburgh) Councilman Calls For Apology Over (McCain Volunteer) Attack Hoax

Source: WPXI
PITTSBURGH -- A Pittsburgh city councilman said he is upset with the way Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign handled last week's alleged attack of a supporter, which later turned out to be a hoax.

The Rev. Ricky Burgess said a McCain-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin official was pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than what was confirmed at the time.

"I don't know why the campaign decided to push or publicize this story, but it did have the effect, I believe, of insulting Pittsburgh as a whole and also, perhaps, trying to polarize this region by accusing an African-American male of a dastardly deed," said Burgess.
Burgess sent a letter to McCain, saying, "That one of your campaign spokespersons would spread such an incendiary story before any confirmation of the facts is both irresponsible and runs counter to our nation's constitutional guarantee."

Burgess also asked for an apology to the city of Pittsburgh and its black community.

Judge rules Ohio homeless voters may list park benches as addresses

Source: Columbus Dispatch
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors.

Monday's ruling resolved the final two pieces of a settlement between the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Campbell Brown, Jon Stewart Talk Bias, Bullshit, Bounds On Daily Show

Slate Staff Prefer Obama Over McCain By 55-1 Margin

Obama Carries the Great State of Slate
Today, Slate's staff and contributors reveal how they're voting in next week's presidential election. This continues a tradition we began in 2000 and repeated in 2004. It will come as little surprise to many of our readers—and certainly as no surprise to Sarah "Media Elite" Palin—that Barack Obama won Slate in a landslide. In capturing 55 of our 57 votes, with 1 to McCain and 1 to Libertarian Bob Barr, Obama won an even bigger Slate majority than Al Gore in 2000 (29 of 37 votes) or John Kerry in 2004 (46 of 52 votes). Incidentally, this is a voluntary project: Our staff and contributors can reveal how they voted, but they are not required to.
My two predecessors as Slate's editor, Michael Kinsley and Jacob Weisberg, each wrote articles explaining why we reveal our votes. I don't have anything to add to their eloquent arguments, so please read Kinsley's 2000 piece here (mentally subbing "McCain" for "Bush" and "Obama" for "Gore"), and Weisberg's 2004 piece here ("McCain" for "Bush" and "Obama" for "Kerry").
Why did Obama win the swing state of Slate? Like Mike and Jacob before me, I don't think a candidate's Slate victory reflects a bias that has corrupted the magazine during the campaign. There are obvious reasons why Slate would lean heavily toward Obama: Most of our staff and contributors live in extremely Democratic cities on the East and West Coast. (It's worth noting that our lone McCain voter, Deputy Managing Editor Rachael Larimore, lives in Ohio.) Slate's voters tend to skew young, and all polls show younger voters favoring the Democrat. Also, a significant number of former Slate contributors, among them Austan Goolsbee, Jason Furman, and Phil Carter, are now advising Obama. It's understandable that our affection for them and respect for their views may be accruing to Obama. (He's taking Jason and Austan's advice on the economy? Then he must be pretty smart.) And, finally, we are journalists, and, to quote Kinsley:

Palin, Alone Aboard the Bus

Aides Torn Between Letting Her Be "Scripted Robot" Or "Unscripted Ignoramus"
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