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Voting Rights of Thousands of Purged Colorado Voters Restored

Friday, October 31, 2008

"Thousands of Colorado voters illegally purged from the registration lists will have their votes counted."

By Common Cause
Mi Famila Vote

An agreement reached late Wednesday before a federal judge in Colorado ensures that tens of thousands of Colorado voters illegally purged from the registration lists will have their votes counted.

The decision was hailed by voting rights and good-government groups in Colorado and nationwide as a victory for voters and a clear message that election officials must take the necessary steps to make sure ballots cast by eligible voters are counted.

"This is a great victory for working families in Colorado. This lawsuit was filed to protect voters and make sure no one will be turned away on Election Day," said Grace Lopez Ramirez, Colorado state director of Mi Familia Vota, one of the plaintiffs along with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and Common Cause. "Voters will be assured that their voices will be heard."

Under the settlement between plaintiffs and the defendant, the Colorado Secretary of State, every wrongfully purged Colorado voter in question will be placed on a protection list that assumes their eligibility and guarantees that in the event they are given a provisional ballot on Election Day, county election officials will promptly verify their eligibility.

Any ballots cast by the purged voters contested at the county level will have to be reviewed by the Colorado Secretary of State as well as advocates for the purged voters -- rather than be discarded and not counted, as often happens with provisional ballots -- in order to make sure all eligible votes are counted. If the Secretary elects to reject the ballot, representatives of the plaintiffs will also have the opportunity to review the registration and contest any rejections of wrongfully purged voters. Additionally, the court will retain continuing jurisdiction over the tens of thousands of voters wrongfully purged, which allows plaintiffs to go directly to the judge to swiftly resolve any disputes and guarantee votes are properly counted....(Click for remainder).


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Thursday, October 30, 2008


Barack Obama on The Daily Show


Evangelicals and Rural Americans Are Breaking Big for Obama

A mass defection from the Republican Party may be underway in counties that were once GOP strongholds. Call it the reverse Bradley Effect.

By Robert S. Eshelman

There's clearly a new political landscape forming in the U.S. That's what the polls are telling us. It's not just that the first major-party black candidate for President is leading by significant margins in the national polls; it's not just that North Dakota, a state George W. Bush won in 2004 by 64%, is believed to be "in play"; it's not just that Virginia which, like North Dakota, was last carried by a Democrat in the sweep year of 1964, is, according to the most recent Washington Post poll and others, in the Obama camp by at least 8 points, or that he's leading in a remarkable number of states Bush took in 2004, or even that Democratic Senate and House candidates are making a run of it in previously ridiculous places.

Consider, instead, three recent polls in the context of the Bush years. Obama and McCain are now in a "statistical dead heat" among born-again evangelicals, those Rovian foot soldiers of two successful Bush elections, according to a recent survey; and the same seems to be true in Sarah Palin's "real America," those rural and small town areas she's praised to the skies. According to a poll commissioned by the Center for Rural Strategies, in those areas which Bush won in 2004 by 53%-41%, Obama now holds a statistically insignificant one point lead. To complete this little trifecta, Gallup has just released a poll showing that Jews are now likely to vote for Obama by a more than 3 to 1 majority (74% to 22%).

If present projections come close to holding, this could prove to be a rare reconfiguring or turning-point election -- as Wall Street expert Steve Fraser first suggested might be possible at TomDispatch way back in February 2007. If so, the Republican Party, only recently besotted by dreams of a generational Pax Republicana, might find itself driven back into the deep South and deep West for who knows how long, "an extremist rump, reduced to a few stronghold states and obsessed with causes that seem not to matter to the general public."...(Click for remainder).


The Myth of Voter Fraud

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Republicans' partisan pursuit of an unlikely Election Day crime.

By Daphne Eviatar
Washington Independent

Earlier this month, Republicans in Ohio lost their lawsuit challenging a state rule that allows voters to register and vote early on the same day. But the state party had no intention of conceding the point. GOP officials demanded records from all 88 county boards of election identifying every person who took advantage of same-day registration and voting. In one county, the Republican district attorney even opened a grand jury investigation.

"He's investigating people who the law says are allowed to vote," said Ohio ACLU lawyer Carrie Davis. After it was revealed that the district attorney was also the local chairman of the McCain campaign, he was forced to appoint a special prosecutor to handle the case.

There's no indication that any of these voters did anything illegal. But the attempt to investigate voters who took advantage of a state rule designed to encourage voter participation exemplifies the kinds of attacks on new voters that are going on across the country.

Even when the challenges fail, Republican officials persist in their claims of voter fraud in what appears to be an effort to lay the groundwork for challenging the outcome of Election Day. In about a dozen interviews, legal scholars and voting experts say this broad-based attack could lead to serious and continuing challenges to the legitimacy of the next president....(Click for remainder).


The New York Times' Biggest Screw-up Since They Sold the War in Iraq

Deconstructing the NYT fairy tale of the poor innocent small democracy of Georgia attacked by a cruel Cold War Russian monster.

By Mark Ames
The Nation

You may not have noticed it, but a couple of weeks ago, the New York Times slipped in a story that completely contradicted a narrative that it had been building up for two straight months, one that was leading America into another war-a so-called "New Cold War." The article exposed the awful authoritarian reality of Georgia's so-called democracy, painting a dark picture of President Mikhail Saakashvili's rule that repudiated the fairy tale that the Times and everyone else in the major media had been pushing ever since war broke out in South Ossetia in early August. That fairy tale went like this: Russia (evil) invaded Georgia (good) for no reason whatsoever except that Georgia was free. Putin hates freedom, and Saakashvili is the "democratically elected leader" of a "small, democratic country."

Yes, it was only a month ago that we were stupid and crazy enough to think that the United States had no choice but to launch a costly new cold war against a nuclear power, even though we still haven't closed the deal on a couple of mini-wars against Division-III opponents, and we were on the verge of bankruptcy. Ah, to be blissfully nave-and bloodthirsty at the same time-wasn't it wonderful?

As the South Ossetia war raged in early- and mid-August, the Times published an editorial labeling Georgia's invasion as "Russia's War of Ambition"; it also published a series of hysterical op-eds, including William Kristol's comparing Russia to Nazi Germany (Hitler's charred skull must be spinning in its museum case from being turned into the cheapest clich in the hack's analogy box), and another from Svante E. Cornell of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at Johns Hopkins-the same corruption-plagued institute that ABC News discovered was taking money from Kazakhstan's tyrant for issuing positive reports about that authoritarian oil-rich country....(Click here for remainder).


Assassination plot targeting Obama disrupted

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday.

In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.

"They said that would be their last, final act - that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying."


Wassup 2008


How McCain Turned His Back on the Vietnamese Man Who Saved His Life

Forty-one years after McCain was shot down in Vietnam, the man who saved his life has died in obscurity.

By Norman Stockwell

Sunday, Oct. 26 marked the 41st anniversary of John McCain's plane being shot down over Hanoi. It's a narrative that has become a central theme of McCain's presidential campaign -- but in the four decades since his capture, the story has become revisionist history.

In March of 2008, I traveled to Vietnam for the 40th anniversary of the incidents in Son My village that have come to be known to the world as the My Lai Massacre. During my visit, I spent some time in Hanoi visiting the museums and relics of what the Vietnamese call "the American war." One of these trips took me to the notorious Hoa Lo prison, or "Hanoi Hilton" -- formerly a French prison where independence fighters were jailed during the decades of French colonial rule, but which had later been turned into a stockade for U.S. pilots shot down over Hanoi from the mid-1960s to early 1970s. It was here that John McCain spent most of his 5½ years in captivity as a prisoner of war. Today, the prison museum features photos of McCain, both as a prisoner between 1967 and 1973 and on a return visit as a U.S. senator.

McCain was a hot commodity in Vietnam during my visit. According to my official translator from the Foreign Press Center, many other translators had been assigned to various foreign news crews around Hanoi that were all gathering material on McCain's time in Vietnam. McCain is well known to the Vietnamese; they all seemed familiar with his Senate career and his runs for the White House. The Vietnamese press was writing about McCain too; one article from a local paper particularly caught my eye. It was the story of McCain's rescue from Truc Bach Lake, accompanied by a grainy photo of a battered John McCain being dragged to the shore on a long bamboo pole. McCain had been reunited with his rescuer, Mai Van On, in 1996....(Click here for remainder).


Michelle Obama on The Tonight Show


Jury finds Stevens guilty of lying about gifts

By Erika Bolstad and Richard Mauer
Anchorage Daily News

WASHINGTON — A federal jury on Monday convicted U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens on all seven counts of lying on his financial disclosures, a crippling blow not just to his election chances next week but to his legacy as Alaska’s longest serving and most accomplished living politician.

Stevens also risks jail time. The seven felonies each carry a penalty of five years in prison, though it’s unlikely a significant prison sentence, if any, would be imposed on an 84-year-old, first-time offender with a long record of public service and a longer list of character references.

"It’s not over yet!" Stevens said angrily to his wife as he walked from the courtroom Monday afternoon.

"You’ve got that right," Catherine Stevens replied as she reached for him through the crowd of supporters rushing past reporters for the door.

"Not over yet," Stevens said.

Neither he nor his lawyers talked to reporters as he left the courthouse and climbed into a waiting white van amid a throng of cameras....(Click for remainder).


Colorado Sued To Reverse Voter Purges

Colorado Voting rights groups sue the Republican Secretary of State to restore between 16,000 and 30,000 voters who were illegally purged this fall.

Advancement Project, a national voter protection organization, and others filed a lawsuit on behalf of Colorado Common Cause, Mi Familia Vota, a non-partisan civic engagement campaign, and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) against Colorado Secretary of State, Mike Coffman, to challenge an illegal purges and cancellation practices that apparently have removed between 16,000 and 30,000 voters from Colorado’s rolls.

"These purge programs violate a federal law that is intended to protect eligible voters from being swept off the rolls," said Penda Hair, co-director, Advancement Project. "The state admits engaging in these practices and purging thousands of voters’ registration records without notice. We felt that filing this action was the only way we could ensure that thousands of Colorado residents would not show up at the polls on Election Day only to find they could not participate in this historic national election."

Advancement Project is challenging two types of purging practices by the state as violations of the National Voting Rights Act (NVRA).

First, Secretary Coffman has implemented a Colorado law requiring cancellation of new registrations when a non-forwardable notice sent by mail to the voter is returned as undeliverable within 20 days of receipt of the registration application. As recently determined by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a state law mandating cancellation of new voter registrations because a mailed notice was returned as undeliverable violates the NVRA and cannot be enforced. These 20-day cancellations have removed several thousand eligible voters. Coffman has admitted, 1,136 of these voters were purged between July 21 and October 9. Moreover, his records show that 3,291 of these voters have been purged since August 2007....(Click for remainder).


Obama stirs up supporters in Colorado

Monday, October 27, 2008

By Ben Feller
Associated Press

DENVER — Roaring toward the finish, Barack Obama presided Sunday over two Colorado rallies that together drew about 150,000 people, a startling turnout in a key swing state.

In Denver, the city where he claimed his historic presidential nomination, Obama stepped on stage and seemed surprised at his own following. He saw an estimated crowd of more than 100,000 people _ the largest U.S. rally to date in an Obama campaign full of them.

"Goodness gracious," Obama said as peered at the human mass in Civic Center Park.

Smelling victory, supporters even lined the steps of the Capitol, which was so far away from the stage that the people there needed binoculars just to hope to see Obama.

The setting, on a sparkling day in this battleground state, said perhaps more than Obama did in his actual speech. It rippled with the kind of enthusiasm found at victory rallies.

The location of a later rally _ a Colorado State University lawn known as "The Oval" _ suggested Obama's possible future workplace. He spoke to an estimated 45,000-50,000 people at the Fort Collins event.

Obama's campaign is capitalizing on the scope of such rallies to get people to cast votes early, permitted in Colorado and more than two dozen other states....(Click for remainder).


5th Grade Reporter Interviews Senator Joe Biden


Obama Ad: McCain "Out Of Ideas, Out Of Touch, And Running Out Of Time"


Barack on the Bush-McCain Philosophy

With 9 days left before elections day, Barack Obama spoke to an enormous crowd at the civic center park at the state capital in Denver, Colorado.


Your request is being processed... Will Ferrell Back As Bush With Tina Fey's Palin On Thursday's "Saturday Night Live"

Sunday, October 26, 2008



Saturday, October 25, 2008

By Steven Weber
Huffington Post

What must the gods who make all things happen know that we mortals do not?


How could a guy like John McCain renounce all that defined him as a viable (but still extremely flawed) candidate? Under what circumstances would this war hero/torture victim/malcontent turn into a flailing, obsequious, directionless failure? What assurances was he given in the oak paneled rooms (as I imagine such rooms would be decorated) which were persuasive enough to turn this tough guy around? It must have been some incentive potent enough to move this man to utterly subvert any heroism he may have earned, any sense of duty to country he extolled, any sense of ethics he tried to embody, any hint of soul he may have possessed that could have moved him so.

His fall is classically tragic, the stuff of a Phillip Glass opera, full of piteous cadences and shameful free-falling motifs charting McCain's own trajectory away from any form of honesty and honor.

And the hell of it is, it has all been performed in broad daylight, his perverse conversion on full public display, scrupulously recorded and catalouged. And even more shocking still, his actions failing to dissuade those that would follow him and thereby assuring their own paths to Oblivion reserved for such Faustian also-rans. The limbic imperative to trust above all else that Daddy will not hurt or disappoint under any circumstances must be at work here; indeed there has been no comparable case of suicidal mass delusion than the one which occurred in Germany in the late 20's. People, psychologically cornered by harsh realities, forced to serve the interest of their own narcissism, are capable of anything. Watching The John McCain Show is like watching a trapped animal gnaw off it's own head to escape (an M.C. Escheresque proposition, but you get the idea)....(Click here for remainder).


The Mysterious Change

By Mike Farrell
Huffington Post

"You really do hate America!" This was the parting shot from a man I had just debated on a television show shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Because he's a notorious right-wing blowhard, I laughed it off as the ravings of a crackpot in extremis.

Little did I know...

Soon, those of us who opposed the Iraq war, torture, "extraordinary rendition," Guantanamo, spying on innocent Americans and other illegal tools in the Cheney/Bush black bag began to hear variations on that theme from people one would have expected to know better. And it's gotten worse as they've become more desperate... or do the depths to which we've fallen suggest a fault-line in America's culture?

Only a short time ago we dissenters were called "Saddam-lovers," "America-haters" or, when they really wanted to cut deep, "French!" But that usually came from the relatively unhinged, like my debate-partner. Today, similar imprecations fall readily from the lips of media bloviators while the hoi polloi moves toward lynch-mob tenor with screams of "traitor," "terrorist," "kill him," and "off with his head" -- these not aimed at lowly actors but rather the next President of the United States. Worse, it is winked at and ignored, then defended and embraced by some from whom we expect better.

As one in the crucible of this volcanic yet potentially transformative moment, John McCain, who claims to put "Country First," should re-read The Ugly American. Sarah Palin can watch the movie....(Click here for remainder).


Michelle Obama gives the Democratic radio address




The Making (and Remaking) of McCain

By Robert Draper
NY Times Magazine

On the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 24, John McCain convened a meeting in his suite at the Hilton hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Among the handful of campaign officials in attendance were McCain’s chief campaign strategist, Steve Schmidt, and his other two top advisers: Rick Davis, the campaign manager; and Mark Salter, McCain’s longtime speechwriter. The senator’s ears were already throbbing with bad news from economic advisers and from House Republican leaders who had told him that only a small handful in their ranks were willing to support the $700 billion bailout of the banking industry proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. The meeting was to focus on how McCain should respond to the crisis — but also, as one participant later told me, “to try to see this as a big-picture, leadership thing.”

As this participant recalled: “We presented McCain with three options. Continue offering principles from afar. A middle ground of engaging while still campaigning. Then the third option, of going all in. The consensus was that we could stay out or go in — but that if we’re going in, we should go in all the way. So the thinking was, do you man up and try to affect the outcome, or do you hold it at arm’s length? And no, it was not an easy call.”

Discussion carried on into the afternoon at the Morgan Library and Museum as McCain prepared for the first presidential debate. Schmidt pushed for going all in: suspending the campaign, recommending that the first debate be postponed, parachuting into Washington and forging a legislative solution to the financial crisis for which McCain could then claim credit. Exactly how McCain could convincingly play a sober bipartisan problem-solver after spending the previous few weeks garbed as a populist truth teller was anything but clear. But Schmidt and others convinced McCain that it was worth the gamble....(Click for remainder).


Opponents of gay marriage ban ride wave of donations

By Mike Swift
Mercury News

Riding a 4-to-1 edge in fundraising this month from donors both small and large, opponents of a ban on same-sex marriage have erased a big fundraising deficit, picking up the support of several Silicon Valley icons this week.

Flush with nearly $11 million raised through 17,000 donations during the first two and a half weeks of October Equality California ( has pulled even and possibly surpassed the lead committee supporting Proposition 8, And that doesn't include more than $3 million in big donations this week from the likes of Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and filmmaker George Lucas.

Friday, the No on 8 campaign also picked up the support of Apple Corp., which said it would make a $100,000 donation. The two sides in the tight, emotional race are on a pace to collectively spend well over $60 million by Election Day.

"The momentum has shifted and our donors have really stepped up to the plate, both some of our large donors and thousands of small donors," said Steve Smith, the lead campaign consultant for the No on 8 campaign. Smith said in the past two weeks Internet contributions, consisting largely of small donors, have been bringing in several hundred thousand dollars a day.

Contributions have been so heavy, Smith said, that Equality California's computer server crashed when it was trying to file its report with the state Thursday night, forcing the campaign to miss its midnight deadline....(Click here for remainder).


Is John McCain Stupid, or Does He Think We Are?

That's the question, as he slams Obama for his plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich.

By David Sirota

Is John McCain stupid, or does he believe we are? That's the question as he criticizes Barack Obama for allegedly trying to "redistribute the wealth" with a plan to lower taxes on the middle class and raise them on the super-rich.

Of course, the Democrat's proposal would merely slow down (not fully halt) the less-talked-about redistribution whereby Washington sends middle-class money up the income ladder. Either McCain doesn't know about this kleptocracy and is the dumbest presidential candidate in history, or he thinks America is too ignorant to recognize theft. Which is it?

I'm guessing the latter, since the evidence is so overwhelming.

In the last eight years, we the little people have been forced to provide more and more of the taxes fueling America's redistribution machine. As the Congressional Budget Office reports, the $715 billion in tax breaks that President Bush gave to those making more than $342,000 a year began dramatically shifting the overall tax burden from the rich onto the rest of us. Meanwhile, because of lobbyist-crafted loopholes, most corporations pay zero federal income taxes, according to the Government Accountability Office. The result is what Warren Buffett admits: When counting all taxes (income, payroll, property, etc.), billionaires and Big Business often pay lower effective tax rates than their employees....(Click for remainder).


Man allegedly pulls a gun after rally

Friday, October 24, 2008

Well this is just more proof of the kind of people that Caribou Barbie is appealing to. Shocking!

By Paul Shockley
Grand Junction Correspondent - Glenwood Springs Post Independent

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado — Heated words between drivers leaving Sarah Palin’s rally Monday allegedly escalated with one man brandishing a loaded handgun.

Jack B. Cheskaty, 62, of Grand Junction, said he pulled a handgun because “he wanted to be ready for anything” in what started as a verbal spat between drivers in bumper-to-bumper traffic leaving Lincoln Park around 8 p.m. Monday, according to an arrest affidavit.

Cheskaty and three family members were riding in a Chrysler, moving slowly in a line a traffic. A man behind the wheel of a Kia SUV attempted to inch in front of Cheskaty’s Chrysler, the affidavit said.

“If you want to get ahead of me you’ll have to deal with my insurance agency,” Cheskaty allegedly shouted.

The Kia’s driver reportedly replied, “I’ve got insurance too.”

The driver in the Kia alleged Cheskaty then displayed a handgun, “racked the slide” and held the weapon over the steering wheel, according to the affidavit.

A 14-year-old girl riding in the Kia noted, “Dad, he’s got a gun.”

A female was heard yelling in Cheskaty’s car, “Knock it off.”...(Click for remainder).


The Battle for Obama's Economic Soul

Let's hope Obama continues to rely on economic advisers whose vision for the country extends beyond their own bank accounts.

By Robert Scheer

The battle for Barack Obama's economic soul is on in earnest, and it has nothing to do with the "European socialism" that John McCain attempted to use as an epithet against him. The Republican quickly dropped that line of attack, perhaps because the European Union's brand of democratic socialism has proved more effective in regulating the rapacious financial markets at the heart of the economic meltdown. Besides, the socialist British Labor Party has been President Bush's most loyal supporter of the Iraq occupation that McCain has made the test of true patriotism.

It would be encouraging if the Democratic presidential candidate did indeed attempt to learn something from Europe's democratic, and barely socialist, governing left concerning the welfare of those who are not super-rich, i.e., how to provide quality health care and education for all -- but that is not what is happening. Instead, Obama has turned to the same American "free market" elite that views government as merely a corporate subsidiary. Even within that crowd, however, there are serious splits, and the more enlightened side seems to be winning.

Key among the good guys is former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who consistently challenged the radical anti-regulatory crusade of Alan Greenspan, his immediate successor at the Fed. Greenspan's all-too-successful effort to give the banking lobby everything it had ever dreamed of was abetted by two Clinton-era secretaries of the treasury, Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers. Unfortunately, the two, who should have mustered the grace to depart public life in deep contrition over their failed policies, are prominent in the Obama campaign....(Click for remainder).


John McCain Accidentally Left On Campain Bus Overnight

John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight


Why Barack Obama Is Winning

Thursday, October 23, 2008

By Joe Klein

General David Petraeus deployed overwhelming force when he briefed Barack Obama and two other Senators in Baghdad last July. He knew Obama favored a 16-month timetable for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq, and he wanted to make the strongest possible case against it. And so, after he had presented an array of maps and charts and PowerPoint slides describing the current situation on the ground in great detail, Petraeus closed with a vigorous plea for "maximum flexibility" going forward. Obama had a choice at that moment. He could thank Petraeus for the briefing and promise to take his views "under advisement." Or he could tell Petraeus what he really thought, a potentially contentious course of action — especially with a general not used to being confronted. Obama chose to speak his mind. "You know, if I were in your shoes, I would be making the exact same argument," he began. "Your job is to succeed in Iraq on as favorable terms as we can get. But my job as a potential Commander in Chief is to view your counsel and interests through the prism of our overall national security." Obama talked about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the financial costs of the occupation of Iraq, the stress it was putting on the military.

A "spirited" conversation ensued, one person who was in the room told me. "It wasn't a perfunctory recitation of talking points. They were arguing their respective positions, in a respectful way." The other two Senators — Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed — told Petraeus they agreed with Obama. According to both Obama and Petraeus, the meeting — which lasted twice as long as the usual congressional briefing — ended agreeably. Petraeus said he understood that Obama's perspective was, necessarily, going to be more strategic. Obama said that the timetable obviously would have to be flexible. But the Senator from Illinois had laid down his marker: if elected President, he would be in charge. Unlike George W. Bush, who had given Petraeus complete authority over the war — an unprecedented abdication of presidential responsibility (and unlike John McCain, whose hero worship of Petraeus bordered on the unseemly) — Obama would insist on a rigorous chain of command....(Click for remainder).


The Colbert Report: The Word - Fantasyland


On patrol in the "Valley of Death"


Republicans Voting for Obama: In Their Own Words

By Eric Hirshberg
Huffington Post

There are a number of people in my life -- some family, some friends, some colleagues -- with whom I have never agreed upon anything political. Ever. These are my political opposites. My bizarre-o twins. And they have been my adversaries in countless debates; the kind nobody ever wins, but nobody ever seems to tire of, either. 

Sadly, politics have become sort of a new sports league in modern culture. We don't really listen to each other's points of view so much as we pick a side and root for it. And just as with our favorite sports teams, our faith in our parties can become blind. I have had about as much success convincing my Republican father-in-law of my liberal points of view as I have had convincing my father, an Ohio State alumnus, to root for Michigan.

But over the last few months, something unprecedented has happened. Almost all these folks have told me that, for the first time ever, they are voting for the same candidate I am: Barack Obama. 

Now, these are not casual conservatives. These are people who, each in their own way, are deeply committed to their conservative beliefs. For most, this will be the first time they have voted for a Democrat in their entire lives. And when taken as a whole, they represent a fair cross section of the Republican Party. Some younger, some older. Some fiscally driven, some culturally driven. But almost all, up until now, have been intractable. Yet here we all are, staring down the barrel of a remarkably nasty presidential election, all in a rare moment of agreement. I figured this simply could not be an anomaly. Perhaps this was a groundswell. 

I started asking around and found a number of my liberal friends were having a similar experience. So we asked these folks if they would appear on camera and share with the world why they changed. It seemed to me that the most convincing argument a conservative on the fence could hear might not come from a liberal, or even from Obama himself, but instead, from one of their own; a conservative who had crossed over. So we turned on the camera, and they did the rest.

(Click here for remainder)


Michelle Bachmann: Under the taunt canvas


Hardball: Matthews Hammers Pfotenhauer Over Palin


Al-Qaida-linked Web site backs McCain as president

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

By Pamela Hess
Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, "impetuous" Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier," the message said. "Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."

SITE Intelligence Group, based in Bethesda, Md., monitors the Web site and translated the message.

"If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests," the message said, "this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it."...(Click here for remainder).


Morning Joe: Palin's $150K Wardrobe Shatters Hockey Mom Myth


Fuck John McCain


My friends, I have the experience, I have a plan, I have a big stick, and I walk softly with Ronald Reagan. And Roosevelt and Lincoln are here, too, and a lot of other qualified Americans, who are good Americans, and who know how to fix the problems in America that America has. And might I just mention that I know how to reach across the aisle and say, with full confidence: Fuck John McCain.

Let me say that again. Fuck John McCain.

I know, I know, all the big pundits are piling on now, talking about how he's changed and this isn't the guy they remember from back before he sold his soul to run for President. Here's the problem: McCain has been a complete dickhead his entire career. Starting the very first night he was elected to the Senate, when he screamed at one of his volunteers because the podium he was supposed to speak at was too tall. Pure class, right there. And if that's how he treats people who give up their weekends to work for him without pay, imagine how he's gonna treat the rest of us.

You know what we need for our next President? An unstable asshole. That is a brilliant fucking idea. How about we pick some slob whose idea of etiquette is shoving a ninety-two-year-old on the Senate floor. What could go wrong with a guy like that? I can see the commercials now: John W. McCain, an Unstable Man for Unstable Times.

Or how about we get a guy who's so unable to control his temper that on diplomatic missions he tries to wrestle the foreigners he's supposed to be meeting with. I'm starting to think that the only reason he doesn't want to meet with Ahmadinejad is that he's not sure if he can take him in a fair fight....(Click here for remainder).


Joe Biden on the Ellen Show


Spread the truth about ACORN


The Daily Show: Understanding real America in Wasilla


Farmer in Chief

By Michael Pollan
NY Times Magazine

Dear Mr. President-Elect,

It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to, at least since the Nixon administration — the last time high food prices presented a serious political peril. Since then, federal policies to promote maximum production of the commodity crops (corn, soybeans, wheat and rice) from which most of our supermarket foods are derived have succeeded impressively in keeping prices low and food more or less off the national political agenda. But with a suddenness that has taken us all by surprise, the era of cheap and abundant food appears to be drawing to a close. What this means is that you, like so many other leaders through history, will find yourself confronting the fact — so easy to overlook these past few years — that the health of a nation’s food system is a critical issue of national security. Food is about to demand your attention.

Complicating matters is the fact that the price and abundance of food are not the only problems we face; if they were, you could simply follow Nixon’s example, appoint a latter-day Earl Butz as your secretary of agriculture and instruct him or her to do whatever it takes to boost production. But there are reasons to think that the old approach won’t work this time around; for one thing, it depends on cheap energy that we can no longer count on. For another, expanding production of industrial agriculture today would require you to sacrifice important values on which you did campaign. Which brings me to the deeper reason you will need not simply to address food prices but to make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change. Unlike food, these are issues you did campaign on — but as you try to address them you will quickly discover that the way we currently grow, process and eat food in America goes to the heart of all three problems and will have to change if we hope to solve them. Let me explain....(Click for remainder).


Keith Olbermann: Special Comment on Anti-American Americans


Working for the Working-Class Vote

By Matt Bai
NY Times Magazine

For a guy who just four years ago was running his first statewide campaign, Barack Obama has made startlingly few missteps as a presidential candidate. But the moment Obama would most like to take back now, if he could, was the one last April when, speaking to a small gathering of Bay Area contributors, he said that small-town voters in Pennsylvania and other states had grown “bitter” over lost jobs, which caused them to “cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them.” That comment, subsequently posted by a blogger for the Huffington Post, undercut one of the central premises of Obama’s campaign, an argument he first floated in his famous 2004 convention address — that he could somehow erode the tired distinctions between red states and blue ones and appeal to disaffected white men who had written off national Democrats as hopelessly elitist. Instead, in the weeks that followed, white working-class primary voters, not only in industrial states like Pennsylvania but also in rural states like Kentucky and West Virginia, rejected his candidacy by wide margins, and he staggered, wounded, toward the nomination.

“That was my biggest boneheaded move,” Obama told me recently. We were sitting across from each other on his plane, the one with the big red, white and blue “O” on the tail, flying some 35,000 feet above Nebraska. “How it was interpreted in the press was Obama talking to a bunch of wine-sipping San Francisco liberals with an anthropological view toward white working-class voters. And I was actually making the reverse point, clumsily, which is that these voters have a right to be frustrated because they’ve been ignored. And because Democrats haven’t met them halfway on cultural issues, we’ve not been able to communicate to them effectively an economic agenda that would help broaden our coalition.”

Obama was wearing his classic starched white shirt (how many of those shirts does he have, exactly?), along with a tie the color of a robin’s egg. One on one, he has a crisp and effortless conversational style; his answers are thoughtful, but you rarely glimpse the thought process itself, the internal calibrations that every politician is constantly making. The only outward sign that Obama is laboring over his formulations is the way he will often elongate the word “and” for several seconds, a processing hitch that enables him to preview in his own head what he is about to tell you, like one of those five-second delays the networks use so they can bleep out profanity....(Click for remainder).


Will the GOP Ever Recover From 2008?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

By Bob Fertik

I'm going to step out on a limb and predict Obama will win by 7%, which is 1% more than his current lead. (I'm 3% more optimistic than Chris Bowers because McCain has discredited himself and Obama has an awesome ground game.) And I'll predict Democrats end up with 58 Senate seats (a gain of 7) and 258 House seats (a gain of 22).

When the new Congress begins, the Republican Party will be powerless. Yes they will be able to form alliances with conservative Democrats to limit President Obama's reach, but they will not be able to stop Obama from enacting his core agenda. And within a year, the 2010 mid-term campaign will begin.

Republicans hope 2010 will be a repeat of 1994. Republicans started 1993 as a permanent (40 year) minority in the House with a popular Democratic President, but Newt Gingrich and Tom DeLay seized on Clinton's health care debacle to take over the House in a rightwing Republican revolution.

In 2009, Democrats won't repeat the mistakes of 1993. A controversial health care bill won't be the first big item on the agenda, but rather an energy/jobs plan that will be immensely popular in the middle of a recession. And as they work their way through other issues, Democrats won't fracture, but will remain united to deliver on as many promises as they can.

As a result, Republicans will have few issues to run on in 2010. But the bigger question is: will they have any decent challengers?
2008 was not a great advertisement for the Republican first string: McCain only won the nomination because he was less awful than Mannikin Mitt, Rudy Mussolini, Mike Wannabee, Fred Gumption, and the rest of an awful field. The second string VP choices were worse; then-unknown Sarah Palin outshone Romney, Lieberman, and Pawlenty.

For the 2010 election, the GOP will have to look beyond its dismal second string and empty out its bench. And the fundamental problem for the GOP is ...they have no bench!...(Click here for remainder).


A McCain "Win" Will Be Theft, Resistance Is Planned

By David Swanson

If your television declares John McCain the president elect on the evening of November 4th, your television will be lying. You should immediately pick up your pre-packed bags and head straight to the White House in Washington, D.C., which we will surround and shut down until this attempt at a third illegitimate presidency is reversed.

A McCain "win" will not be illegitimate because I disagree with his policies, but because he himself has rendered it illegitimate. He and his campaign and allied supporters have sought to illegally remove hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls, fraudulently registered people as Republicans without their knowledge and against their will, obstructed voter registration drives, falsely warned students against voting where they attend school, falsely accused community groups of voter registration fraud, falsely alleged the widespread existence of voter fraud, and encouraged supporters to falsely believe McCain's opponent is a foreign terrorist through speeches, recorded phone messages, and flyers. Already in early voting in a number of states there have been cases of votes on electronic machines visibly flipping to McCain or McKinney when intended for Obama. We will see McCain supporters on November 4th challenging people's right to vote, seeking to force people to vote on provisional ballots, and seeking to have provisional ballots discarded. And we will see electronic vote counts wildly out of step with the most recent polls, although not with exit polls -- which we will be denied any access to unless they have been "adjusted" to match the official counts.

Inciting your supporters to violence with racist and religious lies about your opponent, effectively alleging treason on absolutely no basis, should be enough, alone, to disqualify a campaign for the presidency of the United States. Working to block voters from registering should be enough on its own. Any of the dozens of creative forms of vote suppression currently being used by the Republicans should be enough. And allowing votes to be counted on completely unverifiable machines owned and controlled by corporations allied with your party should make the results illegitimate even if plausible. If McCain is declared the "winner," it will not be plausible, but at this point he has so disgraced himself and our electoral system that he is no longer a legitimate candidate for president regardless of what the polls (themselves fallible, but all we've got) say just before election day. Too many people have already been denied the opportunity to even push the buttons and have their votes miscounted. Too much incendiary slander has been let loose. Too much visible vote flipping has already been documented....(Click here for remainder).


Block the Vote

This is an incredibly important article. It is essential that all Americans know and understand what is happening to our right to vote.

Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president?

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr & Greg Palast
Rolling Stone

These days, the old west rail hub of Las Vegas, New Mexico, is little more than a dusty economic dead zone amid a boneyard of bare mesas. In national elections, the town overwhelmingly votes Democratic: More than 80 percent of all residents are Hispanic, and one in four lives below the poverty line. On February 5th, the day of the Super Tuesday caucus, a school-bus driver named Paul Maez arrived at his local polling station to cast his ballot. To his surprise, Maez found that his name had vanished from the list of registered voters, thanks to a statewide effort to deter fraudulent voting. For Maez, the shock was especially acute: He is the supervisor of elections in Las Vegas.

Maez was not alone in being denied his right to vote. On Super Tuesday, one in nine Democrats who tried to cast ballots in New Mexico found their names missing from the registration lists. The numbers were even higher in precincts like Las Vegas, where nearly 20 percent of the county's voters were absent from the rolls. With their status in limbo, the voters were forced to cast "provisional" ballots, which can be reviewed and discarded by election officials without explanation. On Super Tuesday, more than half of all provisional ballots cast were thrown out statewide.

This November, what happened to Maez will happen to hundreds of thousands of voters across the country. In state after state, Republican operatives — the party's elite commandos of bare-knuckle politics — are wielding new federal legislation to systematically disenfranchise Democrats. If this year's race is as close as the past two elections, the GOP's nationwide campaign could be large enough to determine the presidency in November. "I don't think the Democrats get it," says John Boyd, a voting-rights attorney in Albuquerque who has taken on the Republican Party for impeding access to the ballot. "All these new rules and games are turning voting into an obstacle course that could flip the vote to the GOP in half a dozen states."...(Click here for remainder).



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