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McCain's dangerous choice

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I received this email from MoveOn.org this morning, and felt that it was worth sharing. I think that it's important to let the nation know who this Sarah Palin actually is. When you do take the time to look, what you see is pretty scary!


Yesterday was John McCain's 72nd birthday. If elected, he'd be the oldest president ever inaugurated. And after months of slamming Barack Obama for "inexperience," here's who John McCain has chosen to be one heartbeat away from the presidency: a right-wing religious conservative with no foreign policy experience, who until recently was mayor of a town of 9,000 people.

Huh?

Who is Sarah Palin? Here's some basic background:

  • She was elected Alaska's governor a little over a year and a half ago. Her previous office was mayor of Wasilla, a small town outside Anchorage. She has no foreign policy experience.1
  • Palin is strongly anti-choice, opposing abortion even in the case of rape or incest.2
  • She supported right-wing extremist Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. 3
  • Palin thinks creationism should be taught in public schools.4
  • She's doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change.5
  • She's solidly in line with John McCain's "Big Oil first" energy policy. She's pushed hard for more oil drilling and says renewables won't be ready for years. She also sued the Bush administration for listing polar bears as an endangered species—she was worried it would interfere with more oil drilling in Alaska.6
  • How closely did John McCain vet this choice? He met Sarah Palin once at a meeting. They spoke a second time, last Sunday, when he called her about being vice-president. Then he offered her the position.7

This is information the American people need to see. Please take a moment to forward this email to your friends and family.

We also asked Alaska MoveOn members what the rest of us should know about their governor. The response was striking. Here's a sample:

She is really just a mayor from a small town outside Anchorage who has been a governor for only 1.5 years, and has ZERO national and international experience. I shudder to think that she could be the person taking that 3AM call on the White House hotline, and the one who could potentially be charged with leading the US in the volatile international scene that exists today. —Rose M., Fairbanks, AK

She is VERY, VERY conservative, and far from perfect. She's a hunter and fisherwoman, but votes against the environment again and again. She ran on ethics reform, but is currently under investigation for several charges involving hiring and firing of state officials. She has NO experience beyond Alaska. —Christine B., Denali Park, AK

As an Alaskan and a feminist, I am beyond words at this announcement. Palin is not a feminist, and she is not the reformer she claims to be. —Karen L., Anchorage, AK

Alaskans, collectively, are just as stunned as the rest of the nation. She is doing well running our State, but is totally inexperienced on the national level, and very much unequipped to run the nation, if it came to that. She is as far right as one can get, which has already been communicated on the news. In our office of thirty employees (dems, republicans, and nonpartisans), not one person feels she is ready for the V.P. position.—Sherry C., Anchorage, AK

She's vehemently anti-choice and doesn't care about protecting our natural resources, even though she has worked as a fisherman. McCain chose her to pick up the Hillary voters, but Palin is no Hillary. —Marina L., Juneau, AK

I think she's far too inexperienced to be in this position. I'm all for a woman in the White House, but not one who hasn't done anything to deserve it. There are far many other women who have worked their way up and have much more experience that would have been better choices. This is a patronizing decision on John McCain's part- and insulting to females everywhere that he would assume he'll get our vote by putting "A Woman" in that position.—Jennifer M., Anchorage, AK

So Governor Palin is a staunch anti-choice religious conservative. She's a global warming denier who shares John McCain's commitment to Big Oil. And she's dramatically inexperienced.

In picking Sarah Palin, John McCain has made the religious right very happy. And he's made a very dangerous decision for our country.

In the next few days, many Americans will be wondering what McCain's vice-presidential choice means. Please pass this information along to your friends and family.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ilyse, Noah, Justin, Karin and the rest of the team

Sources:

1. "Sarah Palin," Wikipedia, Accessed August 29, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Palin

2. "McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate," NARAL Pro-Choice America, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17515&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=1

3. "Sarah Palin, Buchananite," The Nation, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17736&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=2

4. "'Creation science' enters the race," Anchorage Daily News, October 27, 2006
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17737&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=3

5. "Palin buys climate denial PR spin—ignores science," Huffington Post, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17517&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=4

6. "McCain VP Pick Completes Shift to Bush Energy Policy," Sierra Club, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17518&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=5

"Choice of Palin Promises Failed Energy Policies of the Past," League of Conservation Voters, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17519&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=6

"Protecting polar bears gets in way of drilling for oil, says governor," The Times of London, May 23, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=17520&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=7

7 "McCain met Palin once before yesterday," MSNBC, August 29, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=21119&id=13661-5612470-yF5ap_x&t=8

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Barack Obama's answers to the top 14 science questions facing America

1. Innovation. Science and technology have been responsible for half of the growth of the American economy since WWII. But several recent reports question America’s continued leadership in these vital areas. What policies will you support to ensure that America remains the world leader in innovation?

Ensuring that the U.S. continues to lead the world in science and technology will be a central priority for my administration. Our talent for innovation is still the envy of the world, but we face unprecedented challenges that demand new approaches. For example, the U.S. annually imports $53 billion more in advanced technology products than we export. China is now the world’s number one high technology exporter. This competitive situation may only worsen over time because the number of U.S. students pursuing technical careers is declining. The U.S. ranks 17th among developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving degrees in science or engineering; we were in third place thirty years ago.

My administration will increase funding for basic research in physical and life sciences, mathematics, and engineering at a rate that would double basic research budgets over the next decade. We will increase research grants for early-career researchers to keep young scientists entering these fields. We will increase support for high-risk, high-payoff research portfolios at our science agencies. And we will invest in the breakthrough research we need to meet our energy challenges and to transform our defense programs....

(Click here for remainder).

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Congratulations Squirrel! You Are Proud Father of Dead Moose!

By Thers
Firedoglake.com


It's no secret that the biggest problem facing the GOP in 2008 is that their party is run by, and supported by, crazy people. To illustrate. Here are some things the GOP faithful believe:
  1. Partisan Democrat liberals run the teevee in manner of Evil Cabal or similar.
  2. Saddam Hussein totally did too! have nukes and chemical weapons and WMDs.
  3. Global Warming is a Fraud launched by False Prophet Scientists with sinister motives.
  4. Homosexuals do not deserve equal marriage rights under the law for reasons of ickiness or something equally vague.
  5. Barack Obama, like Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry, Al Gore, and Bill Clinton, is a Marxist Communist. (Adding, Obama is an effete elitist latte & malt-liquor-swilling hardcore weenie gangsta rapper who wants to bang your sister, make everyone gay like him, & impose Islamofascism, because he's too smooth, too angry, too Ivy League and too South Side all at the same time.)
  6. Torture is swell!
  7. Despite its expensive pointlessness, we should drill drill drill! for oil that's not there that we need to wean ourselves off of anyhow.
I could go on. The surface is not at all scratched, itchy as it may be. But this brief summation should suffice to make the point that to be a true-believing GOP voter nowadays, you are required to swallow a lot of untrue, asinine crap....(Click here for remainder of article).

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"Christian" based bank failed amid FBI Inquiry

By PAUL DONSKY, PÉRALTE C. PAUL
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Friday, August 29, 2008


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and state regulators Friday shut down Integrity Bank, a troubled local lender hurt by the real estate crisis.

Birmingham-based Regions Financial will acquire Integrity’s $974 million in deposits, the FDIC said. Integrity customers will have access to their accounts and no interruption of service is expected, the FDIC said. Integrity’s five branch offices will reopen Tuesday as Regions offices and customers can continue to use those locations, the FDIC said.

However, the matter may not be over. The FBI, which investigates possible financial crimes, is looking into the situation, said agency spokesman Stephen Emmett. The “FBI is working with the FDIC” on the case, but it “is not prepared to discuss Integrity Bank at this time,” he said.

The Alpharetta-based bank, which opened its doors in 2000 with a Christian-centered philosophy, is the 10th U.S. bank to fail this year and the second Georgia institution to fail in the past 12 months.

As ranked by its total assets of $1.1 billion, Integrity becomes the third-largest bank failure in Georgia history.

Integrity fell on hard times over the last year after its strategy of funding construction in Atlanta’s booming northern suburbs backfired amid the real estate downturn. In June, Integrity topped a list of 25 troubled banks across the country published by research firm SNL Securities....(Click here for remainder of article).

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PALIN-tology - 45+ Problems for McCain's VP in just 35 hours

I posted a shorter version of this list yesterday and was asked to expand and repost it.

What do we know about Sarah Palin?

She's a popular governor with some mixed history of standing up to Alaskan Republicans and big oil. In the next few days we will hear a lot about her "soccer mom" lifestyle and "Miss Congeniality" awards. We'll hear about her DRILL DRILL DRILL mentality to solving gas prices and her staunch anti-choice beliefs.

We all know that she is under investigation for abuse of power and there are audio recordings to back it up. What you won't hear on the news is this list of other things you didn't know about the woman they call "Miss Baracuda."

  1. Sarah Palin has an Abramoff problem - a Pro-Palin illegal mailer was sent during her gubernatorial campaign on behalf of Palin by the RGA, the DC group that got money from Abramoff, Reed, etc.
  1. She advocated AGAINST mine safety / pollution control
  1. She has an ANTI-ENVIRONMENT RECORD and is on the wrong side of global warming and doesn't think polar bears should be listed as endangered because it interferes with her drilling plans.
  1. She's against sex education - abstinence only.
  1. She appears to oppose windfall taxes on oil companies at the national level but supported them to benefit her state and she wants to drill ANWR.
  1. Believes Creationism should be taught in science classes
  1. Don't believe the whispers that she supportive of the GLBT community. She's opposed to state health benefits for same-sex partners and only vetoed a resolution that would have ended state benefits because the Supreme Court had already declared it unconstitutional.
  1. She's opposed to universal health care and stem cell research

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"No Change" Ad

A new ad from the Barack Obama Campaign, pretty much says it like it is.

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Announcement stuns, splits Alaska political world

By Sean Cockerham and Wesley Loy | Anchorage Daily News

John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate stunned and divided Alaska political leaders today. Supporters said she was a shrewd choice, but others argued Palin has no business being a heartbeat away from the presidency.

"I think it's very easy to underestimate Sarah Palin," said John Binkley, a former state legislator who lost to her in the 2006 Republican primary for governor.

Binkley said Palin has guts and an innate ability to connect with voters. He said the choice of Palin lets the McCain campaign refocus on its theme of change, which he said it's been drifting away from.

Binkley dismissed doubts she isn't ready.

"Many people said that about her in terms of being governor, and I think she's done an excellent job," Binkley said.

The reaction wasn't so rosy elsewhere. State Senate President Lyda Green said she thought it was a joke when someone called her at 6 a.m. to tell her the news.

"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"...(Click here for remainder of article).

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Defense contractor accused of human trafficking

LOS ANGELES (AP)- The families of 12 Nepali men killed by Iraqi insurgents have filed a federal lawsuit accusing defense contractor KBR Inc. and a Jordanian subcontractor of human trafficking, saying the men were sent to work in Iraq against their will after being promised jobs in a posh hotel in Jordan.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court alleges the workers were being taken to work at a U.S. air base in Iraq in 2004 when insurgents intercepted their caravan and killed them days later. A Nepali worker whose car survived the attack is also a plaintiff; Buddi Prasad Gurung, now back in Nepal, claims he was forced to work at Al Asad Air Base as a warehouse loader for 15 months.

The 13 Nepali men were recruited by Daoud & Partners and other subcontractors with promises of work at an Amman hotel before their passports were taken and they were sent to Iraq, according to the lawsuit.

Heather Browne, a spokeswoman for Houston-based KBR, declined to comment, saying the company has not yet seen the lawsuit. A contact number for Daoud & Partners could not immediately be located....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Cafferty: Does McCain Undercut His Own Message With VP Pick?

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RNC: Welcome Evangelicals by Derf

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Massive police raids on suspected protestors in Minneapolis

By Glenn Greenwald
Salon.com


Protesters here in Minneapolis have been targeted by a series of highly intimidating, sweeping police raids across the city, involving teams of 25-30 officers in riot gear, with semi-automatic weapons drawn, entering homes of those suspected of planning protests, handcuffing and forcing them to lay on the floor, while law enforcement officers searched the homes, seizing computers, journals, and political pamphlets. Last night, members of the St. Paul police department and the Ramsey County sheriff's department handcuffed, photographed and detained dozens of people meeting at a public venue to plan a demonstration, charging them with no crime other than "fire code violations," and early this morning, the Sheriff's department sent teams of officers into at least four Minneapolis area homes where suspected protesters were staying.

Jane Hamsher and I were at two of those homes this morning -- one which had just been raided and one which was in the process of being raided. Each of the raided houses is known by neighbors as a "hippie house," where 5-10 college-aged individuals live in a communal setting, and everyone we spoke with said that there had never been any problems of any kind in those houses, that they were filled with "peaceful kids" who are politically active but entirely unthreatening and friendly. Posted below is the video of the scene, including various interviews, which convey a very clear sense of what is actually going on here.

In the house that had just been raided, those inside described how a team of roughly 25 officers had barged into their homes with masks and black swat gear, holding large semi-automatic rifles, and ordered them to lie on the floor, where they were handcuffed and ordered not to move. The officers refused to state why they were there and, until the very end, refused to show whether they had a search warrant. They were forced to remain on the floor for 45 minutes while the officers took away the laptops, computers, individual journals, and political materials kept in the house. One of the individuals renting the house, an 18-year-old woman, was extremely shaken as she and others described how the officers were deliberately making intimidating statements such as "Do you have Terminator ready?" as they lay on the floor in handcuffs. The 10 or so individuals in the house all said that though they found the experience very jarring, they still intended to protest against the GOP Convention, and several said that being subjected to raids of that sort made them more emboldened than ever to do so....(Click here for remainder of article).

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Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rip into McCain's VP choice

Doesn't the McCain campaign see that they're only providing fodder for Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart? Oh, I hope they don't because the funnies make me laugh!




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Minneapolis Raid Of Peace Protesters, Bruce Nestor

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1st Amendment? No. Police State? Yes

By Lindsay Beyerstein
The Campaign Silo


Thanks to the miracle of cellular technology, I was able to talk to a homeowner while his home was surrounded by police conducting an RNC-related raid. At approximatedly two-thirty this afternoon, I reached Mike Whelan, a waiter and army veteran, at his duplex at 951 Iglehart Ave. in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Whelan said he'd invited independent observers from the group LegalWatch stay in one half of his side-by-side duplex while they monitored RNC protests.

Whelan described himself as a supporter of the RNC demonstrations, but said he is not affiliated with any particular group. "I want to build a country that's based on good social values," he explained.

When I spoke to him, Whelan was waiting in one half of the duplex with his roommates, Dan and Julian. The three were afraid to go outside because the police were still there. Whelan said he thought that the police were inside the opposite side of the duplex, where the legal observers were staying. "I think they are detaining people," he added.

Whelan, who seemed remarkably calm for a guy whose flower garden had just been trampled by police with drawn automatic weapons, said he'd just returned from a morning of garage sale shopping when the commotion started. That would have been about one o'clock local time. He described what happened:

"About an hour and a half ago 20 to 30 heavily armed police officers surrounded the house," Whelan said. "One of my roommates said 'I want to see a warrant' and she was immediately detained."

"Are they still outside?" I asked.

"Oh, yes, they're still outside," Whelan replied cheerfully, "The streets are blocked off."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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Sarah Palin - Bad News for McCain, Good News for Alaska’s GOP

By Philip Munger
The Campaign Silo


We're not in Kansas anymore. We're in Alaska.

The rise of Gov. Sarah Palin from the City of Wasilla Planning Commission, to City Council, to Mayor, to a high level position in the Frank Murkowski gubernatorial administration, to maverick outsider, to Governor, to Vice Presidential nominee, over the course of fourteen years, is meteoric. The first 20 months of her administration saw her approval ratings in the high 80s. But this summer, in a surprise move, she fired a highly respected chief of public safety. Then, the man Palin appointed to be the new top cop, lasted only a few days, as a sexual harassment charge against him surfaced. And her stated reasons for firing Walt Monegan in the first place, never made any sense.

The fallout from that move is still playing out. In July, the Alaska Legislature hired a well-respected retired prosecutor, Steve Branchflower, to handle the investigation. It was given a low budget, but its slow pace may now be hurried and harried forward. But it is still expected to take months.

Palin's Attorney General, my longtime friend, Talis Colberg, was tasked by Palin to hold his own investigation. So far, that has resulted in the suspension of her boards and commissions director, Frank Bailey, for pressuring at least one state trooper, to act against another trooper, who is Palin's sister's ex-husband. The latter is involved in a child custody dispute with Palin's sister. This is real Hatfield-McCoy stuff.

Having known Palin through most of her political career, I've seen her grow as a politician, and until recently viewed her as a person who could be described as a pragmatist. Over the course of 2008, though, she has made a series of moves that indicate she is as close-minded as most Alaska Republicans.

Resource development issues, particularly ANWR oil, offshore drilling and a series of projected mega-mines and coal-fired power plants are major here. Palin's stance on resource development is totally pro-development. At the same time, she has rejected the earmark paradigm exemplified by the careers of Sen. Ted Stevens and Rep. Don Young....(Click here for remainder of article).

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The Beauty and the Beast, GOP-Style Edition

By RS Janes
BartBlog

“Wonder if he’s going to have her go compete in the ‘Miss Buffalo Chip’ contest?”
– Comment by jfredmuggs at Common Dreams, Aug. 29, 2008.

It was highly entertaining to watch the Pundit Crews on cable news work themselves into a case of the vapors Friday morning, frantically trying to figure out which human sacrifice McCainiac would condemn as his Veep. Some of the Big Media Brains went agog for Tim Pawlenty; others assured the viewers Mitt Romney would probably emerge as The Choice, even while admitting that the hulking shadow of Tom Ridge continued to lurk in the wings. By later in the AM, Pawlenty and Romney were pushed overboard, leaving Ridge or – could it be? — the ‘maverick’ pick of McCain toady Joe Lieberman, still standing.

Yep, even Your Intrepid Tattler thought it would likely be Ridge carrying Johnny Mac’s coat, but that was because, like the Punditocracy, I gave credit to the Old Gluehorse for a residue of sanity, not recognizing McCain is no longer functioning in that psychological state – he’s been driven stone crazy by his own blind ambition to be president, and perhaps a touch of incipient senility. (After all, this is a man who has publicly contradicted himself twice in one day, embraces those who viciously slander him, occasionally goes blank on simple questions, and now opposes most everything he stood for in 2000.)

Seen in that light, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin makes perfect sense. You can imagine the sludgy gears of cynicism turning in McDuffer’s head, or, more likely, one of his Rove-trained staff: “We aren’t exciting the GOP base or doing that well among independents, and that damned Obama just cleaned our clock last night in a speech where he looked like the second coming of JFK – we’ve got to dominate the next news cycle so the Talking Heads don’t have time to praise him, and pick off those millions of Hillary voters we’re convinced will vote for us. What to do, what to do? Hey, how about that gal from Alaska? She’s a good-looker — might sucker in the young studs — and women are so dumb they’ll vote for any female over a young black guy and an old white fart – uh, you know what I mean – any day of the week. Ha, ha, we’ll call her a ‘feminist’ just to confuse ‘em! Plus she’s got that whole conservative family values stuff going on – Jesus, FIVE kids and she’s only 44! — so that can’t hurt. She’s tight with Big Oil, too, another plus, and she’ll do what she’s told, just like Alberto and Harriet. Get that Sarah what’s-her-name up in Alaska on the horn!”

But just who is this Sarah Palin, McCain’s new Minute Maid of America? Let’s put up the major points: She won the Miss Wasilla beauty pageant and was a Miss Alaska finalist; she has a BA in journalism from Cabin Fever University; she’s been Governor of Alaska for 18 months and hasn’t done much except concoct schemes to pump more oil and natural gas; she’s an evangelical Christian who endorses teaching Creationism; she opposes women’s rights; she’s against gay rights; members of her family work for Big Oil; she likes to hunt, fish and eat moose meat; she loves guns and has a platinum NRA card; she’s a hockey nut who once wanted to be an ESPN sportscaster; she has a weird antipathy to polar bears; she continues to support corrupt Alaska Republicans like Sen. Ted Stevens; she’s embroiled in a possible abuse of power scandal in her home state; in high school, she acquired the nickname ‘Sarah Barracuda’ for her fierce need to demolish the competition in girl’s basketball, a trait she brought with her to the governor’s office; she named her eldest son ‘Track’ for some mysterious reason; she voted for Pat Buchanan in 2000 and now ferociously supports Junior — in other words, she’s a Republican man, except for the beauty pageant competitions but, no doubt, some GOP men would enjoy that as well, if they could find a key to free them from the Heritage Foundation’s walk-in closet. A well-known Republican woman who most closely displays the interior landscape of Sarah Palin would be Phyllis Schafly of the Eagle Forum....

(Click here for remainder of post)

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Poll: Voters uncertain on Palin

By Susan Page, USA TODAY

ST. PAUL — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin faces a getting-to-know-you process as the Republican vice presidential candidate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds: Most Americans say they've never heard of her.

There is also wide uncertainty about whether she's qualified to be president. In the poll, taken Friday, 39% say she is ready to serve as president if needed, 33% say she isn't, and 29% have no opinion.

That's the lowest vote of confidence in a running mate since the elder George Bush chose then-Indiana senator Dan Quayle to join his ticket in 1988. In comparison, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden was seen as qualified by 57%-18% after Democrat Barack Obama chose him as a running mate last week.

"Americans are just beginning to discover that Gov. Palin is an experienced executive who has held office since 1992 and demonstrated time and again her willingness to roll up her sleeves and taken action," says Maria Comella, Palin's spokeswoman for the campaign. "As governor, she has proven to be a real reformer, bucking the establishment to enact sweeping ethics reform, utilize her veto power to cut spending and stand up to big oil to enact legislation to develop Alaska's energy resources."...(Click here for remainder of article).

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Obama Outwits the Bloviators

By Frank Rich
New York Times

STOP the presses! This election isn’t about the Clintons after all. It isn’t about the Acropolis columns erected at Invesco Field. It isn’t about who is Paris Hilton and who is Hanoi Hilton. (Though it may yet be about who is Sarah Palin.) After a weeklong orgy of inane manufactured melodrama labeled “convention coverage” on television, Barack Obama descended in classic deus ex machina fashion — yes, that’s Greek too — to set the record straight. America is in too much trouble, he said, to indulge in “a big election about small things.”

As has been universally noted, Obama did what he had to do in his acceptance speech. He scrapped the messianic “Change We Can Believe In” for the more concrete policy litany of “The Change We Need.” He bared his glinting Chicago pol’s teeth to John McCain. Obama’s still a skinny guy, but the gladiatorial arena and his eagerness to stand up to bullies (foreign and Republican) made him a plausible Denver Bronco. All week long a media chorus had fretted whether he could pull off a potentially vainglorious stunt before 80,000 screaming fans. Well, yes he can, and so he did.

But was this a surprise? Hardly. No major Obama speech — each breathlessly hyped in advance as do-or-die and as the “the most important of his career” — has been a disaster; most have been triples or home runs, if not grand slams. What is most surprising is how astonished the press still is at each Groundhog Day’s replay of the identical outcome. Indeed, the disconnect between the reality of this campaign and how it is perceived and presented by the mainstream media is now a major part of the year’s story. The press dysfunction is itself a window into the unstable dynamics of Election 2008....(Click here for remainder of post).

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