Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Various Things

Tony Rezko's singing, Joe Biden's talking. Don't know which is worse for The Anointed One.

Colin Powell appeared on "Meet The Press" and could not come up with a single substantive reason for supporting Obama. It was the usual, you know, he sends tingles towards my crotch answer one gets whenever one asks someone why they're voting for a corrupt, leftist thug.

Real reason for Powell's sell-out of America to come.

Meanwhile, Obama continues to plummet in the polls. Rasmussen, which at one point about two weeks ago had him up by as much as eight (as I recall) now has his "lead" cut in half. Battleground (George Washington University) poll saw The Anointed One's "lead" go from thirteen about two weeks ago is down to one. Both these polls over sample Democrats and neither considers what has been called the "enthusiasm gap" (brain-dead leftists exited by Obama's looks and voice who cheer his blowing his nose -- literally -- are more likely to waste their time taking phone calls than are people less enthusiastic about McCain who is, after all, only mortal. And all this before the Bradley Effect which measures the FEAR of being attacked as a "racist" if one doesn't give the politically correct answer to the stranger taking the poll (or worse, a visit from the thugs at Obama's ACORN.)

The truth is, factor in all of these things that are unpredictable in exact numbers but real nonetheless, anyone who thinks this race is over is in for a big surprise on election day.


Obama has declared his plan to "spread the wealth." He has also declared himself a "citizen of the world." If elected, one can count on -- by his own words -- the impoverishment of America and the bolstering of nations around the world. Further, since the most impoverished ones tend to be the most corrupt and brutal, it is guaranteed that Obama's presidency would see the weakening of taxing of the good in order to subsidize the evil.


Don Rogers said...

You're kind of a dick, dude.

obama's all drama said...

Obama also says he's going to change the world. Too bad he's going to have to do it from his US Senate seat... and given his record of non-accomplishment there so far, his future prospect of cashing in his words isn't very likely.

Anonymous said...

Obama's chance of winning big

By Professor Larry Sabato
University of Virginia

The whisper of September has turned to a roar in October: Barack Obama may be on the verge of a landslide victory.

A year ago, no one on the planet could have conceived of such a thing.

Jimmy Carter took 50.1% of the vote, in 1976
After all, Democrats have elected just two American presidents since 1968, moderate white Southerners Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both by modest popular vote margins.

In 2008 Democrats took a daring leap of faith and chose a far more liberal nominee who is the first African-American standard-bearer - no minor matter in a nation that is just 11% black and has been plagued by racial divisions since its founding.

Yet the improbable is becoming probable.

With the presidential debates completed, Obama appears to have an unobstructed path to the White House.

The polls show he won all three debates and is viewed more positively than opponent John McCain.

Voters also believe Obama has the more qualified vice-presidential candidate, Joseph Biden. Sarah Palin, who once gave McCain hope for attracting a generous share of Hillary Clinton's supporters, did so poorly in a series of well-publicised media interviews that she has become a liability outside of the conservative Republican base.

The 'wrong track'

More importantly, the fundamentals of the election year have conspired to create a perfect storm for Democratic victory:

Analysts are straining to come up with ways McCain could reverse the flow of the election at this late date. The truth is, such a task is out of his hands

• President Bush's popularity is now at 23%, three points below Richard Nixon on the day he resigned the presidency in August 1974 and only one point higher than the all-time presidential low of 22% recorded for Harry Truman in 1952, in the twilight of his White House years. Bush has made the political environment toxic for all Republicans, even one like McCain who enjoys a "maverick" image and ran against Bush in 2000.

• The rocky economy, with an ongoing mortgage crisis and other troubles, became a major disaster area with the financial meltdown of Wall Street in September and October. Americans are now convinced that a major recession - some insist it is a depression - has begun, and the traditional "pocketbook" issue has powerfully taken over the campaign. The party not in control of the White House (in this case, the Democrats) always benefits from the fear and anger such conditions create.

• An astounding 91% of the voters say that the country is seriously on the wrong track - a level of dissatisfaction never registered in the history of polling.

Obama had held a modest lead in the popular vote and the electoral college count since June, save for the period immediately following the Republican National Convention, when McCain enjoyed a decent "bounce".

By late September the financial crisis had converted Obama's edge into a gulf, and his margin expanded to an average of seven percentage points. In more than a few respectable polls, he has been outpacing McCain by 10% or more.

Obama's lead

The electoral college has followed suit. Based on current polling averages, Obama is already above the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.

This map shows Obama at 273, and includes only those states where Obama has leads outside the margin of error in current surveys. McCain has just 155 electoral votes firmly in his column.

This leaves nine states unaccounted for: Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. At present, Obama has modest leads in all of them, save Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia - which are essentially tied toss-ups.

Should Obama capture all the states where he is ahead with two weeks to go in the campaign, his electoral college total would be a remarkable 364 - 94 more than needed for election.

If he also wins the three pure toss-ups, he would go to 383, an excess of 113 votes. Such a total would exceed that of Jimmy Carter in 1976 (297), Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 (370 and 379), and both of George W. Bush's elections (271 in 2000 and 286 in 2004).

Close finishes

Realistically, many observers doubt that Obama will hit the 383 mark, and perhaps even the lower 364. Indiana, North Dakota, and West Virginia may be a bridge too far, and no-one would be surprised to see McCain hold on to Missouri and North Carolina.

Should McCain win relatively conservative Florida, Ohio, or Virginia, it would count as only a mild upset. After all, these eight states backed George Bush twice, and only Ohio was even close.

Are there some people who just cannot bring themselves to vote for an African-American? Yes

Douglas Wilder

Will closet racism derail Obama?
Analysts are straining to come up with ways McCain could reverse the flow of the election at this late date. The truth is, such a task is out of his hands.

A major terrorist strike or an international crisis might give McCain the opportunity to demonstrate his commander-in-chief credentials, though there are no guarantees this would work.

The much-discussed "Tom Bradley-Doug Wilder" effect, named after two black politicians who unexpectedly lost many white votes on election days in the 1980s, could enable McCain to sneak past Obama on 4 November. Yet the country has made great strides in race relations over the past several decades, and it would be a major surprise if so-called "racial leakage" at the polls cost Obama the White House.

It is important to note that some presidential contests have tightened considerably in their final days, resulting in a closer-than-expected finish.

This phenomenon was observed in 1968 (Richard Nixon v Hubert Humphrey), 1976 (Jimmy Carter v Gerald Ford), 1992 (Bill Clinton v George HW Bush), and 2000 (George W Bush v Al Gore). In each case, though, the frontrunner managed to hold on.

In 1980, the opposite happened, as a tight match-up between Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan turned into a Reagan landslide. A late debate conquest by Reagan and the collapse of the Iranian hostage negotiations pushed the lion's share of the undecided voters to the Republican in the campaign's final week.

Political capital

Tightening aside, at this point, a McCain victory would rival that of President Harry Truman's giant upset in 1948. It's always possible Truman will be reborn, but the 33rd chief executive is invoked every four years by the trailing candidate - and nothing like Truman's triumph has happened in a presidential election since his long-ago shocker.

When governing, the size of your electoral college majority matters

Of course, if asked today, Obama would be pleased to take the absolute minimum of 270 electors, and be done with it.

However, if elected, he will inherit a deeply troubled economy, $10 trillion in national debt, and controversial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He will need all the help he can get.

Large electoral college majorities confer political capital on a new president, enabling him to claim a mandate for swift passage of his platform.

The essential question to be resolved in two weeks is the identity of the 44th president.

A second vital query will be answered then, too: Will the new president have enough clout to deal confidently and effectively with the enormous challenges that await him on 20 January?

In the electoral college, for governing at least, size matters.

Professor Larry J Sabato is the director of the Center for Politics, University of Virginia, and author most recently of A More Perfect Constitution.

Anonymous said...

Military families tilt to Obama


SUFFOLK, Va.–When retired Gen. Colin Powell endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, you could almost hear a collective gasp in Hampton Roads, a sprawling southeast Virginia region that's home to much of the state's large and traditionally Republican military establishment.

But there were only cheers among the members of Blue Star Families for Obama, a group launched by military wives who were tired of the stereotyped image of quiet obedience to the rules – the assumption Republicans have a hold on the country's armed forces – and determined to lobby for change.

Using the Internet, phone banks and personal canvassing to recruit new members they've expanded to 24 "pods" of supporters across the country.

"We're pro-military and proud of our military heritage," says Amanda McBreen, an executive and wife of a Marine lieutenant colonel. "We've buried my husband's two closest friends in Arlington cemetery. They're there because of bad decisions. We're patriotic Americans who believe we need to change."

McBreen, a co-founder of the group, has boldly flouted the military's unwritten vow of silence on political issues to campaign against former war hero John McCain.

"He deserves respect for what he's done for his country," she says. "But his record of support for the military is terrible."

Blue Star's outreach deputy director, Stephanie Himel-Nelson, agrees. She says Powell's endorsement of Obama has added to the momentum at a time when increasing numbers of military people are having doubts about McCain.

"It's a significant step," says the lawyer and wife of a retired naval reservist.

"I think it will do a lot to influence Republicans who are taking a hard look at the situation – and the undecided in the military."

Even before Powell put his stamp on the Obama campaign, there was quiet nail-biting in Virginia's military enclaves over endorsing former prisoner-of-war McCain, an icon to many but too close to the failed policies of President George W. Bush for others' liking.

Military casualties in Iraq alienated some Republican supporters, and McCain's public statements of affection for veterans, and his hints that Obama, a non-vet, is unpatriotic, have not universally won them over.

In a forthcoming article in The New Republic, infantry officer and author Jason Dempsey says while studies of military politics often show a tilt to the right, they tend to focus on "white, older and more senior" officers who make up only 14 per cent of army personnel.

When looking down the ranks to junior officers and enlisted men – many of them from racial and ethnic minorities – "the army, it turns out, is hardly a bastion of right-wing thought."

Support for Obama is strong here, and getting stronger every day," says Himel-Nelson. "It's hard to get figures, because people in active service are very nervous about talking about their political affiliations. But military members stationed overseas donated to Obama over McCain at a rate of 6 to 1."

Yesterday, Obama took a 10-point lead over McCain in historically Republican Virginia, according to a survey by Rasmussen Reports. It says Obama has been "drastically outspending McCain on television advertising" in the critical state.

But the Blue Star campaigners are not ready to run up the victory flag yet.

"My biggest frustration is with people who blindly support McCain," says Casey Spurr, a teacher and wife of a navy pilot, as the three women gathered in McBreen's spacious kitchen over croissants and salad. "Of course he deserves our thanks for serving his country so heroically. But they have to look at what he has done as a lawmaker."

McCain campaigned against a new GI bill, because he contended it would "encourage more people to leave the military."

And he voted against bills to spend more money on upgrading protection equipment for troops and increase funding for veterans' health care.

"He is not the right choice to be our commander in chief," says the Blue Star website, pointing out veterans' organizations have handed McCain low marks for his performance, while Obama, who sits on the Senate committee on veterans' affairs, is ranked at 80 per cent.

Taking their case to the military hasn't been an easy task, in a tightly knit society that closes ranks against political outspokenness. But members' spouses have not stood in their way in spite of fears of retribution.

"I wear my Obama shirt in the commissary," says McBreen. "People are flabbergasted. When they say 'I can't believe you have an Obama sign,' I just say, 'I can't believe you don't.' "

Anonymous said...

Analysts: Powell endorsement more a rejection of GOP, McCainStory

Former secretary of state says he was troubled by GOP's "narrow" direction

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Colin Powell's endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama was as much a rejection of the Republican Party and Sen. John McCain's campaign as an embrace of the Democratic presidential nominee, political analysts said Monday.

Colin Powell may have given voice to moderates unhappy with the GOP ticket, an analyst says.

Syndicated columnist David Sirota said Monday that the Powell endorsement was a troubling sign for McCain as his campaign enters its final weeks.

"The repudiation of John McCain by such a high-profile Republican certainly hurts John McCain," he said.

David Gergen, a CNN senior political analyst who has advised the last four presidents, said the Powell endorsement may give voice to "disillusioned" moderate Republicans disappointed by the negativity of the McCain campaign.

"They've been muttering about [it], but they were afraid to give voice to, and he came out and said it, in a way," Gergen said.

Powell's endorsement may also sway some voters who were hesitant to vote for Obama because they felt he was not ready to be the nation's commander in chief, said Bill Schneider, a CNN senior political analyst. Watch panel debate impact of Powell's endorsement »

"It was extremely reassuring for this experienced military leader, a general, someone who is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was secretary of state, to endorse Barack Obama and say, 'His world experience, his commitment and knowledge of national security are fine. You can vote for him without those kinds of reservations,' " Schneider said.

On Monday, Obama said Powell would advise him if he becomes president.

"He's already served in that function, even before he endorsed me," Obama told NBC. "Whether he wants to take a formal role, whether there's something that's a good fit for him, I think is something that he and I would have to discuss." Watch Obama say Powell will advise him »

Powell, a former secretary of state for President Bush as well as a former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said Sunday he decided, in part, to back Obama because he was troubled by the rightward direction the Republican party had taken in recent years.

Powell told NBC's Tom Brokaw that he was troubled by the McCain campaign's attempts to associate Obama with former '60s radical William Ayers and some within the Republican Party -- but not McCain -- were making the assertion that Obama is "closet" Muslim.

"On the Republican side, over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party and Mr. McCain has become narrower and narrower," said Powell. Watch Powell endorse Obama »

In contrast, Obama's "inclusive" approach that crosses "ethnic lines, racial lines, generational lines" is what the nation needs right now, he said.

Powell said he made his choice to back Obama after watching both presidential candidates' reactions to the financial crisis that has gripped credit markets in recent weeks.
iReport.com: What do you think about Powell's endorsement of Obama?

Calling the crisis a "final exam," Powell said he found McCain "a little unsure as how to deal with the economic problems that we were having, and almost every day, there was a different approach to the problem."

"That concerned me," Powell added.

After Powell's announcement, McCain told FOX News he considered Powell and himself "longtime friends" and that he respected him, but that the endorsement of his rival did not come as a surprise.

"I'm also very pleased to have the endorsement of four former secretaries of state: Secretaries [Henry] Kissinger, [James] Baker, [Lawrence] Eagleburger and [Alexander] Haig," he said. "And I'm proud to have the endorsement of well over 200 retired Army generals and admirals."

Tara Wall, the deputy editorial editor of the Washington Times, said that moderate and conservative Republicans have been skirmishing throughout this election year, and that the Powell endorsement had brought that fight into the open.

While it energized conservatives, McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as a running mate may have alienated moderate Republicans like Powell, Wall said.

Powell said he did not feel Palin was ready to be president and that factored into his decision to endorse Obama.

"[McCain] took the calculated risk of putting Palin on the ticket to pacify the conservatives, and it did re-energize the base. And for that reason, you're going to have some of those moderates within the party feel a little disenfranchised, and I think that was the case for Colin Powell," Wall said. "So it is significant. I think it does send a message to Republicans."

Anonymous said...

October 21, 2008, 6:54 am
Political Wisdom: Is it Worth Covering Palin At All?

Here’s a summary of the smartest new political analysis on the Web:
by Sara Murray and Gerald F. Seib

Sarah Palin waves as she steps on her plane to depart from Denver International Airport to head to an appearance in Grand Junction, Colo., Monday. (AP)
Given that it now appears Gov. Sarah Palin will finish the campaign without ever holding a press conference or making an appearance on the Sunday interview shows, Christopher Hitchens, writing on Slate, wonders whether the press should even continue to cover her. Noting that Sen. Lindsey Graham, an adviser to Sen. John McCain, in early September offered a promise that Palin would be made available, Hitchens writes: “If it is not kept, then why should the press and the networks continue to cover a candidate who could, for all we know, be Angela Lansbury?” Hitchens writes that, when she was named, “I rather feebly took the line that one should give her the benefit of the doubt and not be condescending, but it does now begin to look as if most of what she claimed for herself, from the ‘bridge to nowhere’ to the ‘troopergate’ business, was very questionable at best, and much of what her critics said was essentially true…The problem with Gov. Palin is not that she lacks experience. It’s that she quite plainly lacks intellectual curiosity….”

Speaking of the Republican vice presidential nominee, Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times looks into her college career, and finds she left few footprints. Among professors and classmates, Abcarian writes, “Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin…is barely remembered at all. In the five years of her collegiate career, spanning four universities in three states, Palin left behind few traces. ‘Looking at this dynamic personality now, it mystifies me that I wouldn’t remember her,’ said Jim Fisher, Palin’s journalism instructor at the University of Idaho, where she graduated with a bachelor of science degree in journalism in 1987…Indeed, interviews with a dozen professors yielded not a single snippet of a memory. Most were perplexed and frustrated that they could offer no insight into a woman who has become their most famous former student. Only a few classmates recalled her, and those with the strongest memories were people she had grown up with in Alaska.”

While vice presidential picks usually don’t have an effect on the outcome of the race, the Palin pick might be different, points out the Huffington Post’s Thomas B. Edsall. For one, she’s “costing McCain newspaper endorsements. Editor and Publisher calculated that as of Oct 18, Barack Obama led McCain 58-16 in the competition for the backing of newspapers. Many of the endorsements cited Palin as a factor in their rejection of McCain.” Plus, there’s her effect in Florida. “If McCain loses Florida by a close margin, Palin will likely deserve responsibility because of the animosity she has generated among a key constituency the GOP was depending on to abandon its traditional support for Democrats: older Jewish voters.”

Edsall also addresses the future, saying “The crucial long-range question about Palin is whether she becomes the banner carrier for Republican conservatives, especially social conservatives, earning their support for the GOP nomination in 2012.” Edsall quotes a piece from Washingtonpost.com’s Chris Cillizza from right after the Palin nomination in which he says, “She is seen as the bright new star in the Republican universe and it seems unlikely that her fresh-faced appeal will wear off completely — especially among the GOP rank and file voters who tend to decide the identity of their party’s nominee.” Ultimately, Edsall concludes, “That luster has, however, come off and — despite Democrats privately cheering her on — Palin’s future as a national politician now appears likely to be damaged.”

Anonymous said...

Obama lead over McCain widens to eight points, poll shows

Poll finds growing support for Barack Obama in wake of endorsement from Republican secretary of state Colin

PowellMattthew Weaver and agencies guardian.co.uk, Tuesday October 21 2008 10.43

Barack Obama's lead over John McCain has widened to eight points a fortnight before the US presidential election, according to the latest poll today.

The Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby telephone tracking poll put Obama on 50% and McCain on 42%.

It is the first time Obama has stretched his advantage over McCain to more than six points since the tracking poll began more than two weeks ago.

The pollster John Zogby said: "Things clearly are moving in Obama's direction."

The poll found growing support for Obama among a number of key groups, including Republicans, in the wake of an endorsement from the former Republican secretary of state Colin Powell.

Polling took place between Saturday and Monday. Powell announced his support for Obama on Sunday morning.

"Maybe this is the Powell effect. That wasn't just an endorsement, that was a pretty powerful statement," said Zogby.

His support among Republicans has increased from 9% to 12%. Among independent voters he has opened up a 15% lead.

Obama told NBC television yesterday that Powell was welcome to campaign for him and might have a place in his administration. He said Powell "will have a role as one of my advisers" and that a formal role in his government was "something we'd have to discuss".

A poll released yesterday for CNN-Opinion Research Corp conducted between Friday and Sunday showed Obama's lead had narrowed to six points, 49-43.

Its previous poll gave Obama an 11-point margin.

Obama is currently campaigning in Florida, which voted for George Bush in the last two elections.

On Thursday and Friday he is due to suspend his campaign to fly to Hawaii to visit his seriously ill grandmother.

McCain spent yesterday campaigning in Missouri, which has voted for the winning candidate in every election bar one since 1900.

Anonymous said...

21 Oct 2008 11:08 am

McCain And Independents

They were and are the core base of his appeal. As a "maverick" Republican, his fundamental gamble was that he could appeal to enough of them and win over enough Clinton Democrats to beat the odds this year. And yet, no group has responded more negatively to McCain these past seven weeks than independents. McCain's unfavorables among independents have soared from 24 percent to 44 percent in seven weeks. Palin has also turned them off, after a promising start. Her unfavorables among independents have jumped 14 points since she started campaigning.

Among Republicans, her favorables are down 8 and unfavorables up 10.

In the same period, Obama has seen his favorables soar among independents, while his unfavorables have only nudged upward under the negative ad onslaught. Joe Biden has had the best month on the personal appeal front, with large gains in favorables and an actual decline in unfavorables among Republicans.

Money quote from the piece:

“Even though I am a Democrat, there was a strong possibility I would have voted for McCain,” said Yolanda Grande, 77, a Democrat from Blairstown, N.J. “What pushed me over the line was McCain’s choice of vice president. I just don’t think she is qualified to step in if anything happened to him.”

Anonymous said...

Obama juggernaut brings red states back into playDemocrat campaign machine puts once-safe Republican states such as North Dakota and Missouri back on electoral mapDaniel Nasaw in Washington guardian.co.uk, Tuesday October 21 2008 15.06 BST Article history
Supporters wait to hear Barack Obama speak at Legends Field in Tampa. Photograph: AP

The momentum of Barack Obama's presidential campaign has penetrated Republican heartlands and led to a growing number of once-safe red states being considered winnable.

Obama's legions of volunteers and campaign staff have made deep inroads in North Dakota and Missouri - states that have not voted to put a Democrat in the White House since 1964 and 1996 respectively.

Polling in North Dakota, a sparsely populated prairie state with a rugged frontier conservatism, puts Obama in a dead heat with his Republican rival, John McCain.

In Missouri - a much older state with large metropolitan areas around St Louis and Kansas City and a rural white conservative base - Obama has edged ahead of McCain in seven out of 10 major polls since early October. The most recent, released yesterday by Fox/Rasmussen, shows him at 49% to McCain's 44%.

Should Obama's lead in Missouri and North Dakota hold, their combined 14 electoral votes would give Obama a strategic cushion in the electoral college and free up some of his campaign war chest for spending elsewhere. If Obama wins these states he will enter office with a strong national mandate for his policies.

"It's mathematically irrelevant," says the liberal blogger and Democratic internet organising pioneer Markos Moulitsas Zuniga of North Dakota. "But politically it would be huge. It would show Republicans that they aren't safe anywhere, not even in their supposed strongholds."

Polls indicate Obama has won support for his plans to handle the economic crisis. He has a large advantage over McCain in campaign funds and volunteers, enabling him to buy more advertising, staff the telephones and send people doorknocking for support.

In recent weeks, the Obama juggernaut has overwhelmed long-held assumptions about the viability of a Democratic candidate in states like North Dakota, Virginia and North Carolina. In 2000, the Democratic presidential geographical base was limited to the liberal north-east and west coasts, and the traditionally progressive states of the upper mid-west.

In 2004, John Kerry lost ground, ceding New Mexico and Iowa to George Bush, and Democrats feared that the Republican party's appeal to culturally conservative voters had crystallised, locking out the Democrats from large swathes of the south and mid-west.

Obama won the Democratic nomination in part on a promise to redraw the electoral map with his appeal to young voters, blacks and independents sick of Bush Republicanism. He was aided by efforts of the Democratic party's chairman, Howard Dean, who pledged to revive dormant party organisations in conservative states like Oklahoma.

Obama has been helped by his long and bitter primary battle with Hillary Clinton. By the time he staggered over the finish line in June, he had built massive volunteer organisations in Republican states such as North Carolina. Once he had the nomination secured, his campaign redirected these resources to the general election battle with McCain. Democrats registered hundreds of thousands of new voters across the country.

At first, the election race seemed to follow the geographic groove cut by Bush and his successive opponents Al Gore and Kerry, with the fiercest battlegrounds in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But it soon became clear Obama was competitive in Colorado and New Mexico, where he has maintained a substantial polling lead boosted by his popularity with Hispanic voters. By mid-September, when the US banking system appeared on the verge of collapse, Obama had pulled ahead in Virginia and was pressuring McCain in North Carolina.

GOP government said...

Catastrophic Success
Boris Johnson, the lavishly Tory Mayor of London ...

However well-intentioned it was, the catastrophic and unpopular intervention in Iraq has served in some parts of the world to discredit the very idea of western democracy.
The recent collapse of the banking system, and the humiliating resort to semi-socialist solutions, has done a great deal to discredit - in some people's eyes - the idea of free-market capitalism.

Democracy and capitalism are the two great pillars of the American idea.

To have rocked one of those pillars may be regarded as a misfortune.

To have damaged the reputation of both, at home and abroad, is a pretty stunning achievement for an American president.

karin said...

Mac's pulling out of three more states!

From now on he will campaign only in the real America.

I say we divide the country with them after the election on the basis of who wins each state.

I think there's enough room in Oklahoma for them, and morons seem to feel at home there.

karin said...

Don Rogers, you are very insightful.

Anonymous said...

Ken Adelman, Conservative Republican for Obama

October 21st, 2008

By MICHAEL STICKINGS, Assistant Editor

Colin Powell’s recent endorsement of Obama may not have come as much of a surprise — and I’m generally not surprised that Obama has found supporters among Republicans, given the pathetic state of McCain’s vicious and dirty campaign and the extremist state of the GOP these days — but Ken Adelman… well, that’s a different story altogether.

If you don’t know him, and not many do, Adelman is a long-time stalwart of the neoconservative foreign policy movement, a member of both the Committee on the Present Danger in the ’70s and the Kristol/Kagan-founded Project for the New American Century in the ’90s, the latter the think tank that pushed for war with Iraq — and the overthrow of Saddam — long before 9/11 gave the warmongers in the Bush Administration, some of whom were PNACers (Wolfowitz was both a CPDer and a PNACer), all the excuse they needed. He was a staunch supporter of the Iraq War, until he turned against it. He is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board, the right-wing committee that advises the Pentagon.

Given his current views on the Iraq War, it may actually not be much of a surprise that Adelman has endorsed Obama. However, other than this break with his friends on the right, and his critique of the Bush Administration warmongers as “among the most incompetent teams in the postwar era. Not only did each of them, individually, have enormous flaws, but together they were deadly, dysfunctional,” he has been a loyal Republican. During the Ford Administration, for example, he was Rumsfeld’s assistant at the Pentagon. Later, under Reagan, he was the deputy U.S. ambassador to the U.N., then the director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency and an advisor to the president.

And now? As George Packer notes in The New Yorker, Adelman is a still a conservative — a “con-con,” not a “neo-con.” As he himself puts it, his views “align a lot more with McCain’s than with Obama’s.” Yet he says he’ll be voting for Obama on November 4. Why?

Primarily for two reasons, those of temperament and of judgment.

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office — I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign — Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.

Adelman may not share Powell’s disgust with the GOP, and he may not share Powell’s enthusiasm for Obama, but like Powell he is now willing to break with his party, and his friend McCain, to support a Democrat — one who has shown himself over the course of this long campaign to be a man of exceptional intelligence, judgment, curiosity, and wisdom. It’s not like either Powell or Adelman was looking to break with the GOP and McCain. They both probably wanted to support McCain (Adelman more so than Powell). And yet both are now with Obama.

And, in Adelman’s case, notice why: McCain’s “weird” and erratic response to the financial crisis, including the phony suspension of his campaign, and, as is the case with quite a few conservatives, Sarah Palin, whose very pick speaks to McCain’s irresponsibility and lack of judgment.

To be sure, many conservatives, including Krazy Bill Kristol, remain on McCain’s side. And many of them just love Sarah Palin. But there are those — the courageous few who are putting country before party — who have simply had enough.

Adelman’s endorsement won’t mean nearly as much as Powell’s, but it’s a stunning reflection of Obama’s broad appeal and the collapse of McCain’s integrity and credibility.

100 proof said...

Yeah, I got that Powell transcript where he says, "...and you know, Tom, he makes my crotch tingle."

Stuff like that is why we check this sicko out every day. The phenomenon of seeing right wing degeneracy and mental defect just has a certain, freak show magnetism to it.

Anonymous said...

Desperate Republicans are sinking to new lows
Thomas F. Schaller
October 21, 2008
Facing the prospect of a catastrophic defeat in two weeks and, with it, possible relegation to minority party status in all branches of the national government, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain, his running mate, the Republican National Committee and their affiliated partisans are flailing around in a disoriented fit of pique.

In recent weeks, attendees at McCain rallies have shouted, "Kill him!" in reference to Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama; dressed up a monkey doll with an Obama sticker; held up a sign calling for waterboarding Mr. Obama; told a black television cameraman, "Sit down, boy"; and kicked another reporter in the leg.

It's easy to dismiss these episodes as the isolated outrages of a lunatic few. That excuse cannot be used, however, to explain the disgusting robo-calls and television ads sponsored by the RNC, or incendiary statements made by Mr. McCain, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and McCain advisers.

Some automated telephone calls insinuate that Mr. Obama is a terrorist because of his association with former domestic terrorist William Ayers. (They fail to mention that Mr. Ayers committed his crimes when Mr. Obama was an 8-year-old living halfway around the world, and Republicans also "associated" with the two men on a civic board that included a McCain backer.) Meanwhile, a new ad by the National Republican Trust political action committee uses scary images of 9/11 hijackers as a way to link Mr. Obama's position on driver's licenses to the terrorist attacks seven years ago.

On the stump, the Arizona senator describes Mr. Obama's tax plan as a new form of "welfare," with the implication that such "socialism" will be a "redistribution" of tax revenues from white people to black people. (In those same speeches, Mr. McCain reiterates his pledge to use government revenues to renegotiate new, lower mortgages for those in default, a move that by his own definition would be redistributive socialism.)

As for Mrs. Palin, during a campaign appearance in North Carolina on Friday, she implied that only some parts of the United States are "pro-America." The very next day, McCain senior adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer, a self-described "proud resident" of Oakton, Va., said the parts of the commonwealth outside the Washington suburbs are the "real Virginia" and will thus be "responsive to Senator McCain's message."

Here's what real Americans are doing: writing checks to Mr. Obama.

In September alone, more than 632,000 new donors helped the Obama campaign raise a mind-boggling $150 million. Until this year, no American presidential campaign had ever attracted 1 million unique donors; Mr. Obama has 3.1 million donors.

And here is what real Americans are not doing: making angry outbursts at campaign rallies.

Moments after he endorsed Mr. Obama during his Sunday morning Meet the Press appearance, Colin L. Powell, the former Republican defense secretary and secretary of state, was asked to comment on the comportment of the McCain campaign. Mr. Powell mentioned the serious problems America faces, including two wars abroad and economic stresses at home. "Those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about - not about Mr. Ayers, not about who is a Muslim and who is not a Muslim," he said.

The race-based fear-mongering and incitement of culture-war definitions as to who is and isn't a "real American" are not just appalling, they're backfiring. The Republicans have reached the bottom of the barrel, and it's not a pleasant place.

not that anyone cares said...

They fail to mention that Mr. Ayers committed his crimes when Mr. Obama was an 8-year-old living halfway around the world, and Republicans also "associated" with the two men on a civic board that INCLUDED A McCAIN BACKER.

suze said...

Stuffit says: "Real reason for Powell's sell-out of America to come."

save it. we all know it's gonna be racism, you crazy, freakin racist.

btw, where's that imaginary audio of you and the imaginary liberal whose imaginary ass you imagined that you kicked? no comment? don't blame you, coward.

Anonymous said...

Obama, McCain: 'Terrorists, Keating Five'
Sarah Palin reached far for fodder. Barack Obama didn't have to reach far.
Posted October 6, 2008 9:05 AM

by Mark Silva

"Terrorist'' versus corrupt banker:

In the game of guilt by association and mutual assured destruction that the two leading candidates for president appear poised to play, both campaigns are reaching back into the past to find someone who might stick to their rivals today.

But in the case of the McCain campaign's attack, running mate Sarah Palin has reached so far into the past of an associate of Democrat Barack Obama that it has no apparent relevance to the candidate himself, while the Obama campaign today plows an episode of influence-peddling in Washington in which Republican John McCain has admitted his own "poor judgment.''

Palin accuses Obama of "palling around with terrorists'' - one, actually, who isn't really a terrorist anymore, but happens to be a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an author of educational reform books, William Ayers, who - four decades ago - took part in the radical anti-Vietnam war protests of the Weather Underground which he helped form, a group claiming credit for protest-bombings at the Pentagon and the Capitol.

Obama, who was eight years old at the time of those bombings, has denounced the past activities of the radical-turned-professor, and has served on civic boards in Chicago with him.

The Obama campaign's retaliatory attack today hits much closer to home for McCain, who in fact was embroiled in a scandal with four other members of Congress in the late 1980s - they became known as "The Keating Five.'' When Charles Keating, an Arizona homebuilder and banker who helped bankroll McCain's early campaigns, came calling for help with federal regulators cracking down on his savings and loan, McCain and others met with the regulators. McCain took part in just the first two meetings, and then stepped away as the severity of Keating's trouble grew clear, yet after the case of the senators' interference with regulators came to closure before the Senate Ethics Committee, McCain conceded: "I was judged eventually, after three years, of using, quote, poor judgment, and I agree with that assessment.''

Palin, the Republican Party's vice presidential nominee, insisted over the weekend that her campaign trail attacks against Obama for his association with Ayers are relevant because Ayers once hosted a small, meet-the-candidate event for Obama in 1995, early in his political career and donated $200 to Obama's state legislative camapign. Palin said in California on Sunday: "I think it's fair to talk about where Barack Obama kicked off his political career, in the guy's living room."

By that measure, then, it's certainly fair for the Obama campaign to talk about McCain's association with Keating, because Keating and associates raised $11,000 for McCain's first congressional campaign in 1982 and ultimately raised more than $100,000 for McCain's early political campaigns. McCain and his wife, Cindy, also had often been guests of the high-flying Arizona homebuilder, flying aboard his private jet to his vacation home in the Bahamas - trips for which the senator repaid Keating only after his problems with federal regulators surfaced.

"Charlie was a real go-getter,'' McCain has written in his 2002 memoir, Worth the Fighting For.

"On several occasions, he invited Cindy and me to his beautiful vacation retreat at Cat Cay in the Bahamas, flying us there, with out infant daughter, Meghan, and her nanny, on his private jet,'' McCain wrote with co-author Mark Salter, his chief of staff and speechwriter. "The place always seemed to have a huge, boisterous crowd in attendance... We would all crowd on his yacht, off for a day of swimming and snorkeling, and then return for another extravagant party with the best wine, food and entertainment available. They were memorable experiences, and even though our trips there would almost lead to my ruin, I would be lying were I to deny just how much I enjoyed them and how eagerly I awaited invitations to Charlie Keating's Shangri-La.''

For more detail on McCain and the Keating Five, see a summary from my book: McCain: The Essential Guide to the Republican Nominee, published by the Chicago Tribune and Triumph Books in September:

Charles H. Keating Jr., a high-flying homebuilder in Arizona who had befriended and entertained McCain and other politicians, wanted to head off federal regulators who were moving in early 1987 to take over the failing Lincoln Savings and Loan, a subsidiary of his American Continental Corp. Keating had contributed thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Arizona's senior senator, Democrat Dennis DeConcini. In March of that year, Keating asked DeConcini to convene a meeting with the thrift regulators and urge them to leave Lincoln alone. DeConcini arranged a meeting with not only the regulators, but also four other senators, including McCain.

McCain had met Keating, a fellow Navy flyer, a few years back. Keating had sponsored a fund-raiser for McCain's first congressional campaign in 1982, raising more than $11,000 from employees of American Continental. In 1983, as McCain prepared for reelection without any prospect of a serious challenge, Keating sponsored at $1,000-per-plate dinner for his campaign. And in 1986, Keating raised $50,000 for McCain's Senate race. By 1987, according to the Arizona Republic's count, McCain had collected about $112,000 in contributions from Keating and associates. The newspaper also found that a partnership involving McCain's wife and father-in-law had invested $359,000 in a shopping center that Keating developed in 1986, and that the McCains had made at least nine trips aboard the American Continental jet, including three for vacations at Keating's retreat in the Bahamas. McCain did not pay Keating for some of the trips - at a cost of about $13,000 - until years afterward, after learning that Keating was in trouble.

Keating had a list of demands for federal regulators, but McCain told Keating that all he intended to do was attend the meeting to see if Keating was being treated fairly. The first session, on April 2, 1987, in DeConcini's office, included McCain and Democratic Sens. John Glenn of Ohio and Alan Cranston of California. The four senators met with the chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, Ed Gray. He told the senators that, as chairman of the board, he had no personal knowledge of Lincoln's situation but would defer to regulators based in San Francisco.

In the next meeting, on April 9, a fifth senator joined in, Democrat Donald Riegle of Michigan. Among them, the five had collected $300,000 in campaign contributions from Keating. The five met with James Cirona, president of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and two other federal regulators. William Black, deputy director of the Federal Savings and Loans Insurance Corp., attended the meeting - which he later called a show of force by Keating -- and told the Republic that Keating hoped senators could pressure the regulators to drop their case against Lincoln. "The Senate is a really small club, like the cliché goes,'' Black told the newspaper. "And you really did have one-twentieth of the Senate in one room, called by one guy, who was the biggest crook in the S&L debacle.''

Black also kept notes of the meeting, and quoted McCain as saying in that second session: "One of our jobs as elected officials is to help constituents in a proper fashion. (American Continental) is a big employer and important to the local economy. I wouldn't want any special favors for them... I don't want any part of our conversation to be improper.'' Still, Black maintained that the regulators were nervous about the senators' intentions. "They were all different in their own way,'' he told the newspaper. "McCain was always Hamlet... wringing his hands about what to do.''

The other senators were more direct: Glenn telling the regulators to charge Lincoln or leave it alone, DeConcini calling it unusual for regulators to be putting a company out of business. But the regulators advised the senators that Lincoln's abuses were so serious that they were sending a criminal referral to the Justice Department. "This is an extraordinarily serious matter,'' one said.

McCain was finished with the matter after this meeting. He maintained later that he had been "troubled by the appearance of the meeting'' and "only wanted them to be fairly treated.''

The government's case against Lincoln moved forward, though it was taken out of the San Francisco-based regulators' hands and moved to Washington. In April 1989, the government seized the bankrupt Lincoln. Its federal bailout, $2 billion, was the costliest of the nationwide S&L scandal. In 1990, Keating was charged with 42 counts of fraud. In 1993, a federal jury convicted him of 73 counts of wire and bankruptcy fraud and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. He served four years before the conviction was overturned, and in 1999, at the age of 75, he pled guilty to four counts of fraud and was credited for time served.

The senators had become known as "The Keating Five.'' In August 1991, the Senate Ethics Committee passed judgment on its own: Cranston, DeConcini, and Riegle had substantially interfered with federal regulators. The committee, deeming Cranston the worst offender in the matter, reprimanded him for "improper conduct'' in November and recommended censure. Cranston retired from the Senate the following year. The committee found that Glenn and McCain were only minimally involved, and accused McCain of "poor judgment.'' The committee's counsel had wanted to drop McCain from the case, but leaders kept him in it to maintain an appearance of bipartisan scandal. McCain later concluded: "I was judged eventually, after three years, of using, quote, poor judgment, and I agree with that assessment.''

karin said...

My, Mc's connections with Keating were infinitely longer and closer than Obama's are with Ayers...who, by the way, is now a professor and a totally respected and rehabilitated member of society.

Are these vicious wingbats saying that we should never associate with people who made mistakes in their youths?

Because that would be a laughable and despicable position on the face of it.

Not to mention incredibly hypocritical considering their connections.