By Mark Morford
San Francisco Chronicle
The entire world is, apparently, full of whiny no-good commie liberals.
It's true. This is the only logical conclusion, the only way you can possibly parse the piles of (largely unscientific, but still pretty damn convincing) numbers and data and full-blown emotional consciousness now pouring in from all over the world, pumping our little presidential election full of all sorts of cosmic meaning and profundity and oh-my-God-can-it-be-true.
Check that: Maybe it's not the only way to parse it. But if you're a hard-core McCainite and/or are under some sort of unfortunate, chemically-induced delusion that Sarah Palin is just exactly the sort of dangerously harebrained, folksy, winking, nonsensical political confection we all really need right now, well, you might be more than a bit peeved to learn that the entire world has already cast its vote for our next president.
And of course, the world wants Obama.
Overwhelmingly. Crushingly. Rather staggeringly. By quite possibly the largest margin you will see anywhere except maybe Hawaii and D.C. and, well, San Francisco.
Did you already suspect? Could you not already guess? Because despite how here at home Obama is pulling nicely ahead by anywhere from five to 10 points almost across the board, we still call that a relatively close race. It's still "anybody's game," with both candidates currently whipping the battleground states into a frenzy and spending millions in a mad-dash sprint to an extraordinary finish.
The rest of the world? Not quite so divided. Not by a long shot.
Just look. Over at The Economist, they put together a rather ingenious tool, this Global Electoral College tracker thing, wherein we can ask, well, exactly that: What would happen if the nations of the world were divvied up in a way similar to our electoral college, with each nation getting a certain number of votes based on population? How might the world choose? Whom would they pick?
You might think the answer fairly obvious, given how many nations have been so violently insulted and ignored for the past eight solid years, and that the world's current shocking fiscal meltdown can, at least in part, be traced directly to Bush administration incompetence. It's no stretch at all to see McCain as merely a clone, more of the toxic, poisonous same, if not worse.
But come on, it can't be that much of a global landslide, right? Surely there must be some stiff, stoic nations out there who'd want a grumpy, tempestuous military man to lead the U.S., if only to have someone to play with in the grand sandbox of war and intolerance and oily greed?...(Click here for remainder).
Why are there active duty soldiers stationed on U.S. streets?
By Amy Goodman
Amy Goodman: In a barely noticed development last week, the Army stationed an active unit inside the United States. The Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Team is back from Iraq, now training for domestic operations under the control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The unit will serve as an on-call federal response for large-scale emergencies and disasters. It's being called the Consequence Management Response Force, CCMRF, or "sea-smurf" for short.
It's the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to USNORTHCOM, which was itself formed in October 2002 to "provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts."
An initial news report in the Army Times newspaper last month noted, in addition to emergency response, the force "may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control." The Army Times has since appended a clarification, and a September 30th press release from the Northern Command states: "This response force will not be called upon to help with law enforcement, civil disturbance or crowd control."
When Democracy Now! spoke to Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jamie Goodpaster, a public affairs officer for NORTHCOM, she said the force would have weapons stored in containers on site, as well as access to tanks, but the decision to use weapons would be made at a far higher level, perhaps by Secretary of Defense, SECDEF....(Click here for remainder).
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:36 AM
Five reasons why Obama may be changing the electoral map for years to come.
By Daniel Okrent
Everyone knows about the dreaded Bradley Effect: the phenomenon that leaves white voters loath to tell pollsters they won't vote for a black candidate. There's been a lot of fretting about this recently -- fretting, I find, that correlates with age: the older you are, the more likely you are to believe the Bradley Effect will turn up in this election. Here are some reasons Democrats needn't be overly worried, in ascending order of importance:
1. The event that gave the BE its name -- the 1982 California gubernatorial election, when Tom Bradley, the black mayor of Los Angeles, polled well and then lost resoundingly -- took place 26 years ago. Don't you think the world has changed a little bit since then, especially regarding tolerance? Consider a prejudice once thought to be even more intense than racial prejudice: If we've made even a quarter of the progress in racial matters that we have in issues regarding sexuality, that alone turns the Bradley Effect on its ear.
2. There are 60 million Americans of voting age who hadn't yet reached the age of eight in 1982. Don't you think their racial attitudes are different from the people who have disappeared from the voting roles in that time -- namely, their dead grandparents?...(Click here for remainder).
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:34 AM
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana (AFP) - Barack Obama promised Americans "better days ahead" despite another day of carnage on Wall Street and global markets, rising job losses, and dark clouds of economic doom.
The Democratic nominee struck an inspirational note on the day after his latest debate clash with John McCain, but intensified his relentless drive to saddle his Republican foe with President George W. Bush's unpopular legacy.
Obama's call for national steadfastness in the hours of crisis came as he stretched his lead to 11 points in the latest daily Gallup tracking poll over McCain -- less than four weeks before the November 4 election.
"I'm here today to tell you that there are better days ahead," Obama told a 20,000 strong ethnically diverse crowd in Indiana, a once solid Republican state which is now a battleground.
"I know that many of you are anxious about the future. But this isn't a time for fear or panic. This is a time for resolve and leadership," Obama said, vowing the United States would steer its way out of the crisis....(Click here for remainder).
Posted by Bret M-C at 8:32 AM
Posted by Bret M-C at 7:25 AM