John McCain thought he was being clever picking a fellow maverick to be his running mate. The problem with mavericks, however, is that they don't follow instructions. Pretty soon they go rogue and before you know it you've got a full-fledged diva on your hands.
When Sarah Palin, looking sharp in a black suit that could have come from Neiman Marcus, took the stage at a campaign rally in Leesburg yesterday, it didn't take long for roguish elements to creep into her speech.
She was introduced by a construction company owner, Tito Munoz, whose name is common among Hispanics but not to the governor of Alaska. "I'll tell you, Tito," Palin said, "not since the Jackson Five has the name Tito been used so often."
The Diva then introduced the Dude. "Someone I'd like you to meet, and that is my husband, Alaska's 'first dude,' Todd Palin," she said. When the crowd answered with chants of "Duuuuude! Duuuuude!" she added: "It's about time we had a dude in the White House."
Continue reading "Sarah the Diva, Looking Past John the Runner-Up" here.
The ad, which will air on CBS, NBC and Fox at 2000 (midnight GMT) on the East Coast, could cost up to $6m, it's been reported, which would make it the most costly single piece of political advertising in US history.
It is the first time since 1992 - when independent Ross Perot bought a series of 30-minute slots - that a candidate has chosen to use this format.
It has not been in common use for decades, because of the immense cost involved, and from 1992 until now no contender for the White House has been able to match Perot's extravagance.
"This is more than message imbalance," said Evan Tracey of the Campaign Media Analysis Group, which tracks political advertising
"This is, in media terms, a rout. John McCain is in a shouting match against a guy with a megaphone."
Indian Country Today, "Obama: a leader and a partner," asserts that the “maverick” strategy is failing, mostly due to a disappointing campaign that baits the right-wing conservative base with negative ads and McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.
Palin is both embraced and criticized by Native people. Much of the praise for Palin stems from her husband’s Yup’ik heritage and the inference that she will be sympathetic to Indian rights as vice president. Her detractors point to a record of opposing the subsistence rights of Alaska Natives. Palin’s involvement in a state ethics investigations and her willingness to exploit xenophobic conservative themes at campaign appearances add more reason for concern. If McCain’s selection of Palin was an attempt to attract Clinton supporters, it was an alarming miscalculation and an insult to that educated, open-minded voting bloc.
The political will exists in Congress to sustain the foundation of Indian sovereignty. We are encouraged by a progressive leader like Obama, who offers a principled blueprint for an Indian policy that addresses rights and cultural integrity. He believes that treaties are “paramount law,” which will inform his judicial appointments and help the case for U.S. recognition of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Read the complete article "Obama: a leader and a partner" here.
Now McCain has a non-political, non-vetted, non-licenced fake plumber setting his foreign policy agenda. As reported in Politico from the AP:
...In a McCain rally at a flag store, Wurzelbacher said he feared that Obama would turn the U.S. into a socialist nation.
When a McCain supporter asked him if he believed "a vote for Obama is a vote for the death of Israel," Wurzelbacher replied, "I'll go ahead and agree with you on that." He didn't elaborate on how Obama, who has said his commitment to Israeli security is "nonnegotiable," would be caustic for the Jewish state.
Fame brought media scrutiny to Wurzelbacher, who turned out to be an unlicensed plumber with unpaid back taxes.
McClellan, who wrote a book critical of the Bush administration, said Obama has "the best chance of changing the way Washington works." His comments were made during the taping of a new CNN talk show featuring comedian D.L. Hughley that airs this weekend.
McClellan's announcement comes days after former secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday that he would back Obama. McClellan was Bush's chief spokesman from 2003 to 2006 and went to work for his fellow Texan's first presidential campaign in 1999.
The Wasilla mayor's seat is nonpartisan, and Mayor Stein, a former city planner who had held the post for nine years, ran a businesslike campaign that stressed his experience and competency. But Palin ignited the traditionally low-key race with scorching social issues, injecting "God, guns and abortion into the race -- things that had nothing to do with being mayor of a small town," according to Tigner.
Palin's mayoral campaign rode the wave of conservative, evangelical fervor that was sweeping Alaska in the '90s. Suddenly candidates' social values, not their ability to manage the roads and sewer systems, were dominating the debate. "Sarah and I were both Republicans, but this was an entirely new slant to local politics -- much more aggressive than anything I'd ever seen," said Stein, looking back at the election that put Palin on the political map.
There was a knife-sharp, personal edge to Palin's campaign that many locals found disturbing, particularly because of the warm relationship between Palin and Stein before the race.
"I called Sarah's campaign for mayor the end of the age of innocence in Wasilla," said Carney.
Even though Palin knew that Stein is a Protestant Christian, from a Pennsylvania Dutch background, her campaign began circulating the word that she would be "Wasilla's first Christian mayor." Some of Stein's supporters interpreted this as an attempt to portray Stein as Jewish in the heavily evangelical community. Stein himself, an eminently reasonable and reflective man, thinks "they were redefining Christianity to mean born-agains."
The Palin campaign also started another vicious whisper campaign, spreading the word that Stein and his wife -- who had chosen to keep her own last name when they were married -- were not legally wed. Again, Palin knew the truth, Stein said, but chose to muddy the waters. "We actually had to produce our marriage certificate," recalled Stein, whose wife died of breast cancer in 2005 without ever reconciling with Palin.
"I had a hand in creating Sarah, but in the end she blew me out of the water," Stein said, sounding more wearily ironic than bitter. "Sarah's on a mission, she's an opportunist."
Weld, a Republican, said he has never endorsed a Democrat for president before, but in the last six weeks or so, it became “close to a no-brainer.” Obama has a history of bringing Democrats, Republicans and independents together and is the best choice at a time when America’s standing in the world is at a low point, he said.
“It’s not often you get a guy with his combination of qualities, chief among which I would say is the deep sense of calm he displays, and I think that’s a product of his equally deep intelligence,” he said.
Republicans for Obama on the Chris Matthews "Hardball" show:
Blues goalie Manny Legace left after one period Friday night with a hip injury that occurred when he slipped on the carpet placed on the ice for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
The Alaska governor dropped the ceremonial first puck before the Blues hosted the Los Angeles Kings. A narrow carpet walkway was placed from the gate at the Blues bench to center ice for Palin, her husband and two of her daughters.
Just before the ceremony, Legace was the first player onto the ice for St. Louis. A team official pointed to the carpet. But Legace said the official moved his own foot from the carpet just as Legace stepped down, causing the carpet to slide.
Legace fell, then gingerly made his way to the crease.
After Legace’s mishap, the official rolled up enough of the carpet so other players wouldn’t have to step on it.
Legace described the injury as a strained left hip flexor. He doesn’t believe it is serious but said it is painful. He said he won’t play Saturday when the Blues host Florida, but wasn’t sure if he’d miss any additional games.
source: AP Yahoo Sports
Maureen Dowd from the New York Times writes, The governor who spent all her time talking about how she had cleaned up excesses in Alaska, and would do the same in Washington, also went over the top on hair and makeup. As a former beauty pageant contestant and sports anchor on TV, Palin already seemed on top of her grooming before the McCain campaign made her traveling makeup artist, Amy Strozzi, the highest-paid individual on the campaign for the first two weeks of October. Ms. Strozzi, who earned an Emmy nomination for her war paint skills on the TV show “So You Think You Can Dance,” made $22,800 for the first half of this month.
Governor Palin, who used to get her hair done at the Beehive in Wasilla and shop at an Anchorage consignment shop called Out of the Closet, paid her traveling hairstylist — recommended by Cindy McCain — $10,000 for the first half of October.
In The New York Times Magazine today, Robert Draper reveals that the campaign also hired a former New York stage and screen actress, Priscilla Shanks, to be her voice coach for the convention. The expense was listed in finance reports as Operating Expenditures and Get-Out-The-Vote consulting. Apparently getting out the vote includes teaching a potential vice president the correct way to pronounce “nuclear.”
The conservative big shots who have not deserted Palin and still think she can be Reagan in a Valentino skirt are furious at those who have mishandled the governor and dimmed her star power. They mourn that she may have to wait now until 2016 to get rid of the phony stench of designer populism.
Makeovers are every woman’s dream. But this makeover has simply pushed back Palin’s dream of being president.
Your heart will be where your riches are. (Matthew 6:21)
By Jose Antonio VargasOnline, no one has control over presenting an event. If something smells fishy, all the bloggingheads are on deck.
Just ask McCain-Palin volunteer Ashley Todd.
Less than a day after Todd's story of being mugged by a dark-skinned man first hit the Web, the student from College Station, Tex., told police that she'd made it all up. At a news conference this afternoon, assistant police chief Maurita Bryant said the 20-year-old said she had prior mental health problems.
But on Wednesday night, Todd claimed, she had been robbed at an ATM in Pittsburgh. After seeing a McCain bumper sticker on her car, she said, her assailant -- enraged -- had pinned her down and cut a backwards "B" onto her cheek. Todd, who is white, described the robber as a tall black man.
The Drudge Report picked it up the story from a local television Web site and gave it a big headline Thursday afternoon. A photo of Todd's face soon surfaced. Gov. Sarah Palin gave her a call; the McCain campaign issued a statement, as did the Obama campaign.
And, it seemed to many, a combustible moment rife with political, racial and class tension had arrived. "It had to happen," John Moody, a news executive at FOX, wrote on his blog Thursday night.
"If Ms. Todd's allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee," Moody wrote. "If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting."
But the moment Todd's tale -- and especially its accompanying photo -- went viral, the Web went into typical vetting mode. Is she for real? Where's her MySpace page? (Bloggers found it.) Her Facebook profile? (That, too.) How about her Twitter feed? (Yep.)
Conservative blogger Michelle Malkin was skeptical. One of her readers wrote Malkin: "Notice how the 'B' is backwards on the right cheek ... if you were looking in a mirror and put it on your own face ... she put it on her own face but forgot it would show up backwards." When Malkin posted her blog item at 6:43 p.m. Thursday, she wrote: "Why that McCain volunteer's 'mutilation' story smells awfully weird." Then she updated it later, after police reported inconsistencies in Todd's story. "Police to administer polygraph; conflicting evidence at scene," Malkin wrote.
Steve Huff at True Crime Report said he smelled "a rat" when he saw the photo. He started blogging about Todd on Thursday afternoon, minutes after reading about her on Drudge. By 1:06 a.m. Friday, he wrote: "Will Ashley Todd's Story Implode Tomorrow?"
"Before the Internet age, her story would have had traction for weeks. She could have spun this out for a while, even if the cops said they don't believe her," Huff told The Trail. "But on the Web people started investigating her right away. And it wasn't just bloggers on the left doing it. It's bloggers on the right, too."
"But here's a fact -- Todd set up her own crash."Rachel Maddow's Show:
Keith Oberman's Coutdown:
From the New York Times, "The George Wallace We Forgot" by Russ Rymer:
JOHN McCAIN deplored them, Barack Obama distanced himself from them, but the comments that Representative John Lewis of Georgia delivered on Oct. 11 may turn out to be some of the most trenchant — and generous — of the campaign. Mr. Lewis charged Mr. McCain and Sarah Palin with “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” in their fervently red-meat rallies, not unlike “a governor of the State of Alabama named George Wallace” whose race-bating rhetoric, Mr. Lewis noted, contributed to the 1963 bombing of the Birmingham church in which four young girls were killed.
The context of Mr. Lewis’s critique is not as has been presented: a saint of the civil rights movement likening a decorated war hero to an infamous racist. Rather, it was a collegial (if rough) caution from one brother to another, about a third, politicians all.
Mr. Lewis’s authority to chastise Mr. McCain comes not from his Bloody Sunday stand on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., in 1965, but rather from his subsequent record on the hustings. His mettle was tested not only in Selma but also in three tough campaigns, characterized by tactics of personal destruction.
The first was his race in 1966 to retain the chairmanship of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. For three years, Mr. Lewis had used his office to promote SNCC’s early emphasis on black and white activists working hand in hand. But by 1966, that inclusive and nonviolent climate was under siege. Peaceful marchers found themselves shadowed by a volunteer bodyguard of shotgun-wielding black militants, and a group known as the Atlanta Separatists was demanding that all whites be expelled from the civil rights leadership.
Continue reading this article here.
Facing a firing line of questions from Washington lawmakers, Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman once considered the infallible maestro of the financial system, admitted on Thursday that he “made a mistake” in trusting that free markets could regulate themselves without government oversight.
A fervent proponent of deregulation during his 18-year tenure at the Fed’s helm, Mr. Greenspan has faced mounting criticism this year for having refused to consider cracking down on credit derivatives, an unchecked market whose excesses partly led to the current financial crisis.
Although he defended the use of derivatives in general, Mr. Greenspan, who left his post in 2006, told members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform that he was “partially” wrong in not having tried to regulate the market for credit-default swaps.
But in a tense exchange with Representative Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat who is chairman of the committee, Mr. Greenspan conceded a more serious flaw in his own philosophy that unfettered free markets sit at the root of a superior economy.
“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said.
Referring to his free-market ideology, Mr. Greenspan added: “I have found a flaw. I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”
Mr. Waxman pressed the former Fed chair to clarify his words. “In other words, you found that your view of the world, your ideology, was not right, it was not working,” Mr. Waxman said.
“Absolutely, precisely,” Mr. Greenspan replied. “You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that it was working exceptionally well.”
The oversight committee held a four-hour hearing on Thursday to determine what gaps in the regulatory structure abetted the crisis that has roiled the world’s financial markets.
In short: all style, no substance. The fact that the cash-strapped McCain campaign decided (in the midst of a major economic crisis) to spend four times Joe the Plumber's annual income on one month of Palin's apparel--even though she can't name a single Supreme Court case she disagrees with--only serves to reinforce this "Image First" impression. "
Suppressing the vote has long been a cornerstone of the GOP's electoral strategy. Shortly before the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980, Paul Weyrich — a principal architect of today's Republican Party — scolded evangelicals who believed in democracy. "Many of our Christians have what I call the 'goo goo' syndrome — good government," said Weyrich, who co-founded Moral Majority with Jerry Falwell. "They want everybody to vote. I don't want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."
Today, Weyrich's vision has become a national reality. Since 2003, according to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, at least 2.7 million new voters have had their applications to register rejected. In addition, at least 1.6 million votes were never counted in the 2004 election — and the commission's own data suggests that the real number could be twice as high. To purge registration rolls and discard ballots, partisan election officials used a wide range of pretexts, from "unreadability" to changes in a voter's signature. And this year, thanks to new provisions of the Help America Vote Act, the number of discounted votes could surge even higher.
Read the entire "Block the Vote" article here.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY JR. & GREG PALAST
Read the links below to witness a few examples of conservative columnists:
Peggy Noonan: "Palin's Failin'"
Kathleen Parker: "Palin Problem"
David Brooks: "The Class War Before Palin"
Christopher Buckley: "Sorry, Dad, I'm Voting for Obama"
George Will: "Is McCain Fit for the Presidency?"
Christopher Hitchens: "Vote for Obama: McCain lacks the character and temperament to be president. And Palin is simply a disgrace."
Even the mormon press is endorsing Obama:
Dems and a Republican denounce GOP 'robo calls': New Mexico's Lt. Gov. Diane Denish held a teleconference with reporters Tuesday to denounce automated phone calls sponsored by the Republican National Committee. The calls, going to voters all over the country, work to tie Obama to Bill Ayers.
"People are very troubled by the kind of campaign that John McCain is conducting. They are very disappointed in the nature and the tenor of the robo calls that are basically not about the things they are interested in," she said.
Las Vegas, N.M., Mayor Tony Marquez said during the conference that he was turned off by the calls. "Knowing that I am a Republican mayor in Northern New Mexico, I also condemn these unnecessary, negative calls," said Marquez, who is supporting the Democratic nominee for president.
"I'm very offended by those robo calls. I shouldn't have to listen to that garbage on my answering machine and neither should residents of New Mexico," he said.
Senator McCain runs his campaign with a politically tin ear. His own GOP buddies like Sens. Collins and Snowe of Main, along with Sen. Norm Coleman
If Sarah Palin didn't hate the "other America" so much or have such a nasty taste in her mouth for the so called "Hollywood elites." The starmaker himself, Loren Michaels, from Saturday Night Live said in an interview in Entertainment Weekly: "She's a ratings magnet, too — do you think she can land a development deal if this VP thing doesn't work out? She could pretty much do better than development. I think she could have her own show, yeah."
Oh, yes. I called this one. She could make 10x more money in Hollywood than she ever could in Washington, DC. She should just drop grumpy old McCain off at some rest home in Arizona and get her own show. You know Rupert Murdock and Barbara Walters are chomping at the bit for the end of this election so they can get a ratings magnet. They'd give her EVERYTHING she wants, and she wouldn't have goof old McCain sniffing down her Victoria Secrets, either.
In the episode, two of the characters, Stewie (a talking baby) and Brian (a talking dog) are transported to Poland during the Nazi invasion of World War II. In one scene, the characters beat up and steal the uniforms of two Nazi officers. Stewie looks down at his Nazi uniform and notices a McCain/Palin campaign button attached to its lapel, remarking “Huh, that’s weird."
The McCain campaign did not have an immediate comment. A rep for the show defended the episode, telling Foxnews.com: "From its inception, 'Family Guy' has used provocative concepts an
So what was Sarah Palin doing in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Noblesville Friday afternoon motivating the GOP faithful? Why are Barack Obama and the Republican National Committee advertising heavily on Indianapolis television? How come most recent polls (there have been only a handful of statewide surveys this month) show Obama within striking distance of the lead? Why has Indiana become 2008's most unlikely battleground state?
Leila Tvedt, associate vice chancellor for public relations, said Monday night that maintenance workers found the 75-pound bear cub shot to death in front of the school's administration building at the entrance to campus. The Obama yard signs were stapled together and placed over the bear's head, Tvedt said.
The bear had been shot in the head, Tvedt said.
"Western Carolina University deplores the inappropriate behavior that has led to this troubling incident," Tvedt said.
CHESTER, Va. (AP) - Chesterfield County police are investigating the theft of a resident's campaign sign supporting Barack Obama's historic bid for the presidency.
The 4-by-8-foot sign in the yard of a black resident was replaced by a Confederate flag.
The Obama sign was posted by 78-year-old Leroy C. McLaughlin, a Baptist minister. He reported it missing on Friday.
...A spokesman for Obama's campaign in Virginia said there have been other incidents ini Virginia and elsewhere that have had racial overtones.
Senators John McCain and Barack Obama visited the Show Me State of Missouri. Unfortunately, the "Show Me State" forgot to show Mr. McCain any love. John McCain visited the suburbs in St. Louis and Kansas City, MO, and Obama visited the cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. The crowd attendance gap is absolutely amazing two-weeks out in a major battleground state.
Crowd attendees for Obama vs. McCain in Missoui. Senator Obama had over 175,000 people that attended his rallies, while Senator McCain had less than 10,000. Oops, don't forget the 15 people that greeted McCain upon his arrival.
St. Louis: 100,000.................2,500
Kansas City: 75,000...............6,000
With two weeks left, Mr. McCain certainly is feeling "The St. Louis Blues," composed by W.C. Handy, sung brilliantly by Eartha Kitt.
Bob Herbert from the New York Times writes:
It never ends. The Republican Party never gets tired of spraying its poison across the American political landscape.
So there was a Republican congresswoman from Minnesota, Michele Bachmann, telling Chris Matthews on MSNBC that the press should start investigating members of the House and Senate to determine which ones are “pro-America or anti-America.”
Can a rancid Congressional committee be far behind? Leave it to a right-wing Republican to long for those sunny, bygone days of political witch-hunting.
Ms. Bachmann’s demented desire (“I would love to see an exposé like that”) is of a piece with the G.O.P.’s unrelenting effort to demonize its opponents, to characterize them as beyond the pale, different from ordinary patriotic Americans — and not just different, but dangerous, and even evil.
But the party is not content to stop there. Even better than demonizing opponents is the more powerful and direct act of taking the vote away from their opponents’ supporters. The Republican Party has made strenuous efforts in recent years to prevent Democrats from voting, and to prevent their votes from being properly counted once they’ve been cast.
Which brings me to the phony Acorn scandal.
John McCain, who placed his principles in a blind trust once the presidential race heated up, warned the country during the presidential debate last week that Acorn, which has been registering people to vote by the hundreds of thousands, was “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history.”
It turns out that a tiny percentage of these new registrations are bogus, with some of them carrying ludicrous names like Mickey Mouse. Republicans have tried to turn this into a mighty oak of a scandal, with Mr. McCain thundering at the debate that it “may be destroying the fabric of democracy.”
Please. The Times put the matter in perspective when it said in an editorial that Acorn needs to be more careful with some aspects of its voter-registration process. It needs to do a better job selecting canvassers, among other things.
“But,” the editorial added, “for all of the McCain campaign’s manufactured fury about vote theft (and similar claims from the Republican Party over the years) there is virtually no evidence — anywhere in the country, going back many elections — of people showing up at the polls and voting when they are not entitled to.”
Two important points need to be made here. First, the reckless attempt by Senator McCain, Sarah Palin and others to fan this into a major scandal has made Acorn the target of vandals and a wave of hate calls and e-mail. Acorn staff members have been threatened and sickening, murderous comments have been made about supporters of Barack Obama. (Senator Obama had nothing to do with Acorn’s voter-registration drives.)
Second, when it comes to voting, the real threat to democracy is the nonstop campaign by the G.O.P. and its supporters to disenfranchise American citizens who have every right to cast a ballot. We saw this in 2000. We saw it in 2004. And we’re seeing it again now.
In Montana, the Republican Party challenged the registrations of thousands of legitimate voters based on change-of-address information available from the Post Office. These specious challenges were made — surprise, surprise — in Democratic districts. Answering the challenges would have been a wholly unnecessary hardship for the voters, many of whom were students or members of the armed forces.
In the face of widespread public criticism (even the Republican lieutenant governor weighed in), the party backed off.
That sort of thing is widespread. In one politically crucial state after another — in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, you name it — the G.O.P. has unleashed foot soldiers whose insidious mission is to make the voting process as difficult as possible — or, better yet, impossible — for citizens who are believed to favor Democrats.
For Senator McCain to flip reality on its head and point to an overwhelmingly legitimate voter-registration effort as a “threat to the fabric of democracy” is a breathtaking exercise in absurdity.
Read the entire New York Times Op-Ed writer Bob Herbert's article "The Real Scandal" here.
This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain".
In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.
They also blamed voters for not being more careful.
"People make mistakes more than machines," said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.
Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.
"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.
"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.
"I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.
Ketchum's son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.
"I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead," Oates said of her experience Thursday.
She said she caught the mistake, called over a worker in the county clerk's office and was able to correct her vote. But she worries other voters may not catch such a mistake.
Read the complete story here.
Here is a sweet tribute by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, to Levi Stubbs. Although Levi is wheelchair bound, he's overwhelmed by this sincere song. The members of the Four Tops support his vocals and help him with the lyrics.
Adam Bernstein from the Washington Post writes, The original members -- the baritone Mr. Stubbs, first tenor Abdul "Duke" Fakir, second tenor Lawrence Payton and baritone Renaldo "Obie" Benson -- continued to perform together until Payton's death in 1997. Afterward, the group sang as "The Tops."
As one of the most formidable groups after the Temptations, another Motown hit machine, the Four Tops were responsible for setting "a high standard for contemporary soul in the mid-Sixties," according to their 1990 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
This is a clip of Levi Stubbs singing "I Believe in You and Me," when he was young and healthy. Rest in Peace, my brother. We'll miss ya' Levi Stubbs.
100,000 Obama supporters in St. Louis, MO.
Barack Obama made history again today after drawing the highest American crowd of this year's presidential campaign.
The senator who became the first black man to become a candidate was cheered on by more than 100,000 people in St Louis, Missouri.
‘All I can say is wow,’ he said as he took the stage in his latest bid to woo voters in the key battleground state.
...‘George Bush and John McCain are out of ideas, they are out of touch, and if you stand with me in 17 days they’ll be out of time.’
In its fumbling attempts to explain the purge of United States attorneys, the Bush administration has argued that the fired prosecutors were not aggressive enough about addressing voter fraud. It is a phony argument; there is no evidence that any of them ignored real instances of voter fraud. But more than that, it is a window on what may be a major reason for some of the firings.
In partisan Republican circles, the pursuit of voter fraud is code for suppressing the votes of minorities and poor people. By resisting pressure to crack down on “fraud,” the fired United States attorneys actually appear to have been standing up for the integrity of the election system.
John McKay, one of the fired attorneys, says he was pressured by Republicans to bring voter fraud charges after the 2004 Washington governor’s race, which a Democrat, Christine Gregoire, won after two recounts. Republicans were trying to overturn an election result they did not like, but Mr. McKay refused to go along. “There was no evidence,” he said, “and I am not going to drag innocent people in front of a grand jury.”
Later, when he interviewed with Harriet Miers, then the White House counsel, for a federal judgeship that he ultimately did not get, he says, he was asked to explain “criticism that I mishandled the 2004 governor’s election.”
The claims of vote fraud used to promote these measures usually fall apart on close inspection, as Mr. McKay saw. Missouri Republicans have long charged that St. Louis voters, by which they mean black voters, registered as living on vacant lots. But when The St. Louis Post-Dispatch checked, it found that thousands of people lived in buildings on lots that the city had erroneously classified as vacant.
The United States attorney purge appears to have been prompted by an array of improper political motives. Carol Lam, the San Diego attorney, seems to have been fired to stop her from continuing an investigation that put Republican officials and campaign contributors at risk. These charges, like the accusation that Mr. McKay and other United States attorneys were insufficiently aggressive about voter fraud, are a way of saying, without actually saying, that they would not use their offices to help Republicans win elections. It does not justify their firing; it makes their firing a graver offense.
U.S. Rep John Lewis of Georgia also noticed the similarity. He issued a statement last week accusing Palin and John McCain of "sowing the seeds of hatred and division." He invoked "another period, in the not too distant past," when George Wallace "created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who only desired to exercise their constitutional rights."
So how is Sarah Palin like—and not like—George Wallace? And how much is John McCain relying on tactics Wallace used? The answers: more than she can probably know and more than he appears to have admitted to himself.
Wallace is a pivotal figure in American politics, the man who yoked white racism with middle-class cultural grievance when the civil rights revolution and the Vietnam War protest movement provoked a (so far) permanent counterinsurgency of "real Americans." At the time of his ascendance in the 1960s as Alabama's "Segregation Forever!" executive, Wallace seemed to be on the wrong side of history, a "stumpy, dingy, surly orphan of American politics" (in the words of Marshall Frady, whose work I rely on here) standin' in the schoolhouse door of enlightenment. He turned out to be the godfather, avatar of a national uprising against the three G's of government, Godlessness, and gun control. There is ample analysis—see especially Wallace biographer Dan T. Carter, whose book I also rely on—tracing the line from Wallace to Ronald Reagan and on to Newt Gingrich with his 1994 junta. Now comes Sarah Palin.
Grant later said: "But really folks, did you notice Obama is not content with just having several American flags, plain old American flags with the 50 states represented by 50 stars? He has the "O" flag. And that's what that "O" is. That's what that "O" is. Just like he did with the plane he was using. He had the flag painted over, and the "O" for Obama. Now, these are symptom -- these things are symptomatic of a person who would like to be a potentate -- a dictator. And I really see this in this man."
The Ohio State Flag: Adopted in 1902, designed by John Eisemann, and shaped like a pennant, the Ohio burgee is properly a swallowtail design.
The union of the flag, a large blue triangle is populated with seventeen white stars. Those that are grouped around the circle represent the thirteen original colonies. The four stars found at the apex of the triangle combine with the stars of the thirteen original colonies to total seventeen. Ohio was the seventeenth state to enter the union.
Three red and two white horizontal stripes and the blue field copy the red, white and blue of the Stars and Stripes. The blue field represents Ohio's hills and valleys. The stripes represent the roads and waterways of the state.
The white circle with a its red center forms the "O" in Ohio and can also be related to the state's nickname, the "Buckeye State."
Just a few days after a black cameraman was told to "sit down, boy," at a Palin rally in North Carolina, some attendee kicked a reporter in the back of the leg.
In any contest between fear and hope, apparently fear will only go down kicking and screaming -- literally, it seems.
The justices on Friday overruled a federal appeals court that had ordered Ohio's top elections official to do more to help counties verify voter eligibility.
Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, faced a deadline of Friday to set up a system to provide local officials with names of newly registered voters whose driver's license numbers or Social Security numbers on voter registration forms don't match records in other government databases.
Ohio Republicans contended the information for counties would help prevent fraud. Brunner said the GOP is trying to disenfranchise voters.
California Republican Party officials asked Sacramento party leaders to remove the offensive material, including an image of Obama in a turban next to bin Laden near the caption: "The difference between Osama and Obama is just a little B.S." By Wednesday, the offensive material had been removed from the site.
Now the lead story on the site is headlined: "This Election is Really a Referendum on the Stupidity of the American Voters." The accompanying essay, largely an anti-mainstream-media invective, wonders: "Imagine how much garbage there must be on the Marxist messiah, Barack Obama, that even his lovers, the mainstream press, cannot hide it all."
While that was going on, a 50-year-old, independent San Bernardino County Republican women's group, unaffiliated with the state party, published a racially insensitive image of Obama in its newsletter.
The last weeks of the campaign reveal the GOP's rotting soul.
A new sport hits America—nelly baiting. It involves walking up to a McCain/Palin supporter with a video camera and pressing ”record”. The result is a guaranteed instant real–life horror documentary, several fine examples of which now litter the Internet.
In the future these videos will be prized historical documents. They mark the exact moment the Republican Party ceased being the most powerful, sophisticated and successful political organization in world history—and instead became a batshit insane racist lynch mob.
Recent research indicates that the more impotent a person feels, the more likely they are to believe in ”magical thinking”.
The crowds at McCain/Palin rallies are proof that the utterly impotent—the broke–ass, credit squeezed, mortgage defaulting, 401(k)–raped, Wal–Mart–waged losers desperately searching for reasons to a) believe that George Bush hasn’t totally screwed them over seven ways to Sunday and b) not to vote for the black guy—will believe absolutely anything.
And that Democrats need to get jobs, stop being ”Jews” and ”European socialists” and ”commie faggots” and ”socialist swine”, and to get back to Russia and stop murdering babies and die. Pretty much in that order.
For anyone with a brain and/or a soul—by which I mean everybody on the planet hoping for an Obama victory—these YouTube videos are glorious evidence of what lies at the heart of the GOP—nasty, snarling, finger–sniffing, pin–prick pupiled, reptile brain–stem fascism.
By now everyone in America has witnessed the numerous excerpts of what is occurring at the McCain/Palin stumps around the country. Both candidates have been spouting unbridled hate, fear, division, and derision, then standing back with a smile as the crowd erupts with various chants of “Terrorist!,” “Off with their head!,” “N——-!,” and “Kill him!,” just to name a few. Not to mention the constant swell of boos and hisses every time Obama’s name is uttered.
But where are the flaming crosses? Shouldn’t everyone be wearing their cleanest white sheets? And why isn’t there a noose hanging from the nearest tree, or for an even better photo op, placed on stage behind the speakers standing next to the American flag flapping gently in the wind?
Because let’s face it, these Republican-sanctioned gatherings have become nothing more than heinous KKK rallies. It is unbelievable. Yet what’s really scary is that there are a large number of children amongst the crowds, who are carefully taught to accept the hate and fear being spewed around them.
Of course, now that the word is out about the true nature of his campaign in recent days, McCain is suddenly suggesting, albeit half-heartily, that Sen. Obama is actually “a decent man.” But by then, the damage has already been done. I’m sorry, but you can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater and then stand near the exit with a big smile and say “Oops, just kidding!“
So again — and I paraphrase — does the McCain/Palin campaign, and most especially the Republican “mob” backing them, have any sense of decency left?
Letter by Bart Rettburg from Charleston.
We were in South Boston in February 1976, and Wallace was running for president. Five hundred people were packed into a small hall, and 300 more waited outside.
Wallace had been shot and paralyzed in Laurel, Md., during the 1972 presidential primary. Many people remember that. But not many remember that he also won the Maryland primary that year, just like he won Michigan, Florida, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Now he was in Southie, where a few nights before, police and anti-busing protesters had clashed, with many injuries. Wallace was not cowed.
“You! The working men and women will be the kings and queens instead of the ultra-liberal left that has been getting everything all the time!” he roared.
After his speech, Wallace took some questions.
“My strategy?” Wallace said. “I put down the hay where the goats can get it.”
The name of George Wallace, who died in 1998, was invoked recently by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who likened the rhetoric of Wallace to the rhetoric of John McCain and Sarah Palin.
“George Wallace never threw a bomb,” Lewis said. “He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Ala. As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all.”
A stunned McCain called on Barack Obama to “repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments.”
Obama obliged. In part. Bill Burton, spokesman for Obama, said: “Sen. Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace. . . But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee . . . ‘pals around with terrorists.’ ”
McCain wants to get out of this campaign without being accused of racism. And that was the point of Lewis’ statement. Lewis was issuing a warning to McCain: Don’t lay down the hay where the goats can get it.
“I do not regret what I said,” Lewis said. “Maybe it could have been said in a different way, because it was not suggesting that [Republican running mates] John McCain or Sarah Palin was closely related [in] any way to the actions of Governor Wallace.”
Said the Atlanta congressman and civil rights icon: “It was all about what I call toxic speech —- statements [and] an audience that can unleash bitterness and hatred. And I don’t need anyone to lecture me about my feelings, or what I have observed for more than 50 years.”
Last week, in the face of declining polls, Republicans concentrated on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and what they called issues of character —- and what Democrats called “code words” for race.
Before large crowds, GOP vice presidential nominee Palin repeatedly criticized Obama for “palling around with terrorists.”
“This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said.
On Saturday, Lewis rocked the presidential campaign with his statement that McCain and Palin “are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.
“During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate.”
McCain immediately called Lewis’ remarks “beyond the pale” and called on Obama to repudiate them. On Monday McCain fumed to CNN that Lewis’ controversial remarks were “so disturbing” that they “stopped me in my tracks.”
The Obama campaign said any comparisons to Wallace were out of line, but also said that “Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked.”
Lewis made his Tuesday remarks at Spelman College in Atlanta, after the unveiling of a video documenting the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march and the confrontation at the Edmund Pettus Bridge between Alabama state troopers and 600 African-American demonstrators.
Speaking with reporters, Lewis said that a comparison that wouldn’t have injected racial images would have been the McCarthy era of the 1950s and the accusations of “guilt by association” that marked that period.
Regardless of any criticism, which he characterized as overblown, Lewis said his Saturday protest had its effect. “I think it checked some of the things that had been going on. I don’t think you’re going to see people making reference to a young man who is the nominee of his party as running around with terrorists. I don’t think you’re going to have that anymore,” Lewis said.
He has talking points. He is against taxes, earmarks, and pork. But he can't knit what he opposes into a coherent economic philosophy that would inspire voters to get behind him in the final days of this presidential campaign.
...McCain had at least one good line last night: "Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush you should've run four years ago." But one good line isn't a lifeline.
The Arizona senator finally mentioned Bill Ayers and ACORN to his opponent's face. But he can't link Obama to Ayers and domestic terrorism, or to the controversial community group called Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, as tightly as Obama can link McCain to Bush. And that remains one of Obama's biggest advantages in this race.
The Democrat has other advantages, from the economy to his own eloquence. He also has the ability to do what McCain can't do: look and sound presidential.
Enjoying a surge in the polls, Obama was confident, maybe a bit overconfident in this final debate
Obama grinned; McCain grimaced.
Each knows his destiny. One man is walking to the White House. The other is just a politically dead man walking.
Senator John McCain extended his "Anger Mismanagement Tour" during last night's debate. According to Harold Meyerson from the Washington Post: John of the Grimaces met Barack the Unflappable in Hempstead tonight, and the guy with the arctic cool, not surprisingly, prevailed.
Now we know why Obama’s aides were goading McCain earlier this week to raise the Bill Ayres issue in the debate. They wanted to play McCain’s rage against Obama’s measured, judicious, statesmanlike, even a bit boring presidentiality. And McCain obliged them big time...
The Obama campaign has always believed that if McCain was going to be knocked out in the course of a debate, it would be at the hands of McCain....
Plainly, Obama’s goals in the three presidential debates were to show his understanding of how the nation’s problems affect real people and to put out some plausible-sounding solutions, and, just as if not more important, to show people he was serious, reliable, thoughtful and safe -- just the guy to steer us through rough economic times. As the debates dwindled down to a precious one, McCain’s goals were all but contradictory: to attack Obama hard enough to get the kid to crack and to reverse voter sentiment, but not hard enough to reinforce the impression that he was waging a preponderantly negative campaign or, worse yet, that he was an angry white man. In short, he had to square a circle. In short, he didn’t.