Friday, October 31, 2008

"Make History"

New spot from

(alt. video link)

Rachel Maddow Interviews Barack Obama

Two segments, via Jed. The first begins with a brief news recap before the lead-in to the interview.

(alt. video link)

(alt. video link)

Two important faces of the new era in America.

(Serious) Line of the Day: 2008-10-31

I haven't bothered to post anything here about the stupid that is the wingnutosphere's latest obsession over The Tape. No, nothing to do with the tape referred to in the previous post. This is the one involving Rashid Khalidi … oh, forget it. Just the thought of trying to summarize it … 

Anyway, if you haven't heard about it by now, today's superb WaPo editorial will fill you in. I especially like the way it ends:

Which reminds us: We did ask Mr. Khalidi whether he wanted to respond to the campaign charges against him. He answered, via e-mail, that "I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over." That's good advice for anyone still listening to the McCain campaign's increasingly reckless ad hominem attacks. Sadly, that wind is likely to keep blowing for four more days.

(h/t: TJR | pic. source)

Line of the Day: 2008-10-31

I hear that Larry Johnson has a video of Barack Obama saying that he's going to replace the Star-Spangled Banner with the Theme from Shaft, to which I say: it's about time.
-- TBogg (and yes, TBogg has video!) (not that video)

cf., cf.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Epic Fail: The Latest From Michael Goldfarb

Here's John McCain's Deputy Communications Director and official campaign blogger, aging frat boy Michael Goldfarb, being called out on the latest smear the Straight Talk ExpressTM is trying to peddle:

(alt. video link)

More from the Goldfarb Files of Fail here, here, here, here, and here.

(h/t: Twin, via email)

[Added] And.

Another Coastal Elitist for Obama

(alt. video link)

It's not too late to get involved in Neighbor 2 Neighbor outreach, even if you don't have a horse:

McCain Panic Watch

The erstwhile candidate of honor is now serving up robocalls smearing Obama.

In Arizona.


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Signs of the Times

Remember the yard sign? It's been updated.

"American Stories, American Solutions"

Here's the half-hour spot Obama ran on network television earlier tonight

(alt. video link)

Line of the Day: 2008-10-29

Now, because he knows his economic theories don't work, he's been spending these last few days calling me every name in the book. Lately, he's called me a 'socialist' for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class.

I don't know what's next. By the end of the week, he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.
-- Barack Obama

End Times

Desperation down the home stretch, shown in this ad from incumbent Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-No Kidding), sinking to McCain/Palin levels of smear:

(alt. video link)

Bear in mind, this is an ad tailored for North Carolina, where the charge of "godless" carries a bit more of a punch than it may where you live. And that last voice you hear in the commercial? That's apparently an impersonation of Kay Hagan's voice.

Possible reason for Liddy's tastelessness?

Kay HaganBonus fun fact: Kay Hagan was a Sunday School teacher.

If you would like to help usher Liddy Dole into the retirement she so richly deserves, visit

We want 60. We want this one.

(h/t: John Cole | pic. source)

McCain's Robocalls

New spot from Obama supporters

(alt. video link)

John McCain is running out of time to salvage his reputation, ersatz though it may always have been.

"John McCain In His Own Words"

Once again, the Obama campaign prefers the scalpel over the cudgel:

(alt. video link and source)

Schism Exemplars

Following up on my last post, here are two groups of young people.

Palin people:

(alt. video link)

My people:

(alt. video link and source)

The Coming Conservative Schism Watch

From Conor Friedersdorf, writing at one of the smarter conservative blogs:

In case you haven’t been paying attention, an enormous turnout at an Obama rally means that he is a celebrity cult leader who talks pretty to his mindless supporters but lacks substance, whereas smaller crowds turning out to see Palin prove that she is the best decision John McCain has ever made, and that she is obviously qualified to be vice-president.

From Daniel Larison, another reality-dwelling conservative:

McCain was right about this much when he said, “if Sarah Palin is enough to make you decide you’re not a Republican, you’re not a Republican.” Indeed, I am not, never have been and, if Palin is the future of the GOP, I never will be.

Speaking as a proud liberal, I like nothing finer than watching the wingnuts insist that Sarah Palin is their new standard bearer, and that anyone who can't get with the program should be branded an apostate. Long may she rule them.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

"The Truth Has a Well-Known Liberal Bias" Watch

Self-described non-partisan employee of the Fair and BalancedTM network has the electoral map showing McCain up 189-183, with the rest undecided. Can't wait to hear the No SpinTM on November 5th.

McCain Supporters Wavering in the Buckeye State?

McCain in Ohno?

(maybe not)

I Know It's a Cliché, But ...

Jack Kemp throws up in his mouth?

... did John McCain's "rousing" words just make Jack Kemp throw up in his mouth a little bit?

I mean, given recent history ...

(pic. source)

Props to Crist

Via Sully: Ben Smith of Politico reports that Florida Governor Charlie Crist, a Republican, ordered early voting stations to stay open for more hours each day to help deal with the increased number of early voters.

As to the perception that more early voting helps Democrats, Crist said: "This is not a political decision. This is a people decision."

Good man.

Another Republican quoted in Smith's post seems truer to form:

"He just blew Florida for John McCain," one plugged in Florida Republican just told me.

That's the only way the GOP knows how to win, apart from selling fear and hate: by subverting the democratic process.

More info on early voting here. You should, if you can. Then you can do other useful things on November 4th.

And remember, complacency kills:

(alt. video link and source)

Testing, Testing, ...

Last week:

America will not have a president who needs to be tested. I've been tested, my friends.
-- John McCain

This week: Self-described tested guy is tested by … (effects, please) …

 … a little stormy weather.

As McCain Cancels, Obama Rallies

CHESTER, PA - Dressed in blue jeans and a black jacket, Barack Obama braved the cold rain falling in Pennsylvania, and held his scheduled rally - outdoors. “A little bit of rain never hurt anybody,” he quipped to the 9,000 who showed up in ponchos and futilely holding umbrellas.

Just an hour away in Quakertown, the rival ticket cancelled their own outdoor rally due to inclement weather. Unfazed, Obama incorporated the conditions into his speech.

Obama delivered his “closing argument” speech in full - even though his teleprompter seemed to give out midway due to the rain.

Damned liberal media, spinning it like that. Oh, wait.

Real toughness (click to enlarge):

Obama fans in Chester, PA

Obama in Chester, PA

(vid, pic. sources: 1, 2, 3)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Line of the Day: 2008-10-28

We were offered a stunning bit of straight talk -- an October surprise -- from his top economic adviser, who actually said that the health insurance people currently get from their employer is -- and I quote -- 'way better' than the health care they would get if John McCain becomes president. Now this is the point I've been making since Senator McCain unveiled his plan.

It took until the last seven days of this election for his campaign to finally admit the truth. But hey, better late than never.
-- Barack Obama

(h/t: Josh Marshall)

[Added] See the video version.

Another Horserace of Interest

Will McCain break 200 before Election Day? Keep your eye on the McCainPedia counter over in the side bar. We're now at 172 documented McCain lies. On a page that launched in mid-September.

Time to Panic?

New poll from reputable organization shows statistical tie.

Nice Moments From The Endpoints

Two via Oliver Willis.

(alt. video link)

Little boy at Obama Rally

Sheer Delight

Last week, Jon Swift wrote a fantastic round-up of the wingnutosphere, which for reasons passing understanding, I neglected to pass along immediately. Probably, I was laughing too hard to type. Anyway, read Great Moments in Election-Year Blogging before you do anything else (or at least, before you read the rest of this post).

You'll note that one of the "great moments" was Ann Althouse's claim that she could see that Barack Obama was wearing an earpiece during one of the debates. She had some sort of strange picture posted, obtained, I believe, from pointing her camera at her TV screen. Hilarity ensued, Althouse backpedaled, took her usual dishonest approach of modifying her post without acknowledging the changes, but still left (in her own defense, believe it or not) another Althousism for the ages:

You know, just because the thing I saw wasn't there doesn't mean there wasn't something there that I didn't see.

And, of course, she did not fail to come to Jon Swift's attention.

Comes now Jon's latest post: Swift Reactions 9: In Which Ann Althouse Tasks Me. There is nothing for me to say except: Read The Whole Thing.

P.S. If you're new to the strange world of Ann Althouse, or, like me, you find her one of the most poisonous voices on the Internet and can't get enough of her being flensed, skewered, and otherwise pierced with sharp implements,* then I strongly recommend Jon's earlier piece, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Ann Althouse* (* But Were Afraid To Ask).

* Metaphorically, Ann. Please, calm yourself. And too much ego-surfing is bad for you. Haven't we spoken about this already?

"Barack Obama: Closing Argument"

Following up on the excerpt I posted earlier, here's the full 30-minute speech that Barack Obama gave in Canton, Ohio, on 27 October 2008.

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Jed's video bar)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sanity Breaking Out Watch

From TPM, via Sully:

Some three dozen workers at a telemarketing call center in Indiana walked off the job rather than read an incendiary McCain campaign script attacking Barack Obama, according to two workers at the center and one of their parents.


"We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger," this worker said. "I wouldn't do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting."

Important footnote: Robocalls are illegal in Indiana. Is it too much to wish for the rise of the machines next?

Hope kicks fear's ass.

Pep Talk From Ohio

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

So, What Are You Doing November 4th?

(alt. video link)

More info here.

"Voter Fraud" and Voter Suppression Watch

1. Zachary Roth has a nice article up on TPM that summarizes the FBI/DOJ investigation into ACORN. If you're new to this story, there are two things Roth doesn't mention (probably sick of typing tehm), but are worth keeping in mind before you click the link.

First, there is a world of difference between a bogus registration form submitted to ACORN and the submitter actually being able to follow up on that to cast a fraudulent vote. Second, no matter how ludicrous the form might seem to ACORN, they are required to submit every form to the pertinent government registrar. (Otherwise, there's no way to be sure a get-out-the-vote organization wouldn't be discarding valid forms.)

2. This just in from CREDO: A report on the "exact match" tactic that the GOP is trying to foist on newly registered voters in Ohio. If this term is new to you, here's the gist: the GOP would like to require that information on a voter registration form exactly match other places where the voter's name may appear in government databases. We're talking down to the level of middle initials appearing or not, even down to whether or not a period appears after "Jr." Ohio is not the only state where this is going on; e.g., this has been happening in Florida, Washington, Wisconsin, and Maryland and Pennsylvania, as well. And bear in mind that there's no reason to believe existing databases are without their own errors.

3. John Evo sent me a link to a handy tool on MoJo. It's an interactive map that lets you see where documented efforts of voter suppression have occurred and in some cases, are still occurring. Tip: This wasn't immediately obvious to me, but when you click a specific state, it will appear as though the same page reloads, again, just showing the map of the whole US. You have to scroll down a bit to see the text details for the state you clicked on. Worth a look, this minor quibble aside.

Looks Like I Picked The Wrong Week To Quit Drinking Champagne

TPM: Stevens Guilty

Click to enlarge. And yes, there are updates where that came from. (And there's also background, if you haven't been following this one.)

Yard Sign of the Day

Best McCain yard sign ever

(h/t: KK, via email)

[Added] Update.

"Panic in the streets of Wingnuttia"

The Poor Man Institute summarizes the last few weeks of fearmongering on the far right, as much characterized by incoherence as it is by lunacy:

This is the problem. It’s not just the McCain campaign’s problem - although their inability to pick a narrative and stick to it is a special kind of inexcusable - it’s a problem for the entire wingnut noise machine. Obama is a Marxist Muslim Arab Jesus Black White Terrorist Technocrat Racist Do-Gooder Liberal FDR Stalin Hilter Commie Fascist Gay Womanizing Naive Cynical Insider Noob Boring Radical Unaccomplished Elite Slick Gaffe-Prone Pedophile Pedophile-Seducing Liberation Theology Atheist Etc. & Anti-Etc. with a bunch of scary friends from - wait for it! - the Nineteen Hundred And Sixties. It makes no sense. It’s a jumble sale of fears and scary associations from 50 years of wingnut witch hunts and smear campaigns, a flea market of pre-owned and antique resentments, and if one does detect a semi-consistent 1960’s motif running through it all, that’s because that’s when most of these ideas were coined.

Takes on a Plane

Joe Klein narrates a slide show multimedia presentation!, describing his recent interview with Barack Obama. Both the pictures and the soundtrack are quite good, as is the accompanying article.

(h/t: Oliver Willis)

The Greatly Slow Awakening

Shorter Instapundit:

You know, I always thought Dick Cheney was a good guy, but with the prospect of Joe Biden looming on the horizon, I now fret that the Vice President shouldn't have executive power.

[Added] I just realized that the same NYT op-ed page also features Bill Kristol, who today, nine days from the election, comes to with a start and advises John McCain not to do so much negative campaigning. There's an analogy with World War I generals in there, murmuring that Sarah Palin should make herself available to the media, and … trust me, you don't need the link.

Do I insert a mocking comment about the so-called liberal media, or do I give the NYT the benefit of the doubt, and say that they're doing their readers a service by exposing them to what passes for intellect on the Right?

[Added] Via Sully: A more considered version.

Compare and Contrast

Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado:

Obama in Denver

John McCain in Woodbridge, Virginia:

John McCain in Woodbridge, VA

Line of the Day: 2008-10-27

This was said a couple of weeks ago. Sadly, it still applies just as much as it ever did.

… pretending to douse flames that you are busy fanning does not qualify as straight talk.
-- Khaled Hosseini

RTWT, obvs.

(h/t: Thoreau)

Your Moment of Awwww

There are four more, even better, pictures on Gawker. How do you not click?

(h/t: urkobold)

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Presumably, one of the reasons you would offer in support of getting me to renew my Premium membership would be your superior writing. This isn't helping:

Salon: impact: ugh

(click pic to enlarge)

We'll work on impacting change in the Camille Paglia department at another time.

This Is What We're Working For

Came across a nice pic at Attaturk's place:

Jayden Brown, 9 listens to Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., at a rally held at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Reminded me of an earlier find.

Isn't it going to be great to have a president that we can look up to?

Hey, Where's Flowbee?

Updated below. Two times.

I wanted to see what the Larry Johnson and associated crazies were saying these days, but appears to have vanished. It's not just not responding, I'm getting a error message saying the domain name is unknown.

Should be the first link on this Google search.

A whois lookup indicates that the domain name's registration is good through 2012-11-07, but notes that it was updated 2008-10-24.

Google's latest cache result, as of this posting, shows a post dated "October 25, 2008 at 5:30 AM."

Anyone heard anything?

[Added] Read farther down on the cached page. Looks like a server migration was planned. May it go poorly.

[Added] DNS resolution is established. Site still not up. How will we ever see the "whitey tape?"

Too Good!

Where would we be without Teh Sadlys?

"Defining Moment"

The new two-minute ad from Barack Obama:

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Jed)

Just Sayin'

Endorsement from Alaska (via):

Anchorage Daily News Endorses Obama

Photo from New Hampshire (via):

McCain campaign: Closed

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Light Bytes

Charles Pierce's Slacker Friday letter to Eric Alterman is teh awesome. I have always liked lima beans. Now I like them even better.

• Oliver Willis has posted Almost Transformers. Silliness! Lags a bit in the middle (of a two-minute video, the ADD-addled blogger complained), but the idea, the costumes, and the ending are great.

Bad News For the Lunatic Fringe, John Cole reports. Big laffs for the rest of us.

James Wolcott encounters Seekrit Agent (shhh!) Jay Nordlinger. (Who, if you don't know, is one of the wingnut welfare recipients installed at America's Shittiest WebsiteTM for the apparent sole purpose of making Jonah Goldberg seem like an intellectual.) Next, he descends even lower (hard to believe, I know, but there it is), and does a quick survey of the watery bowels of some of the far right's truly unhinged. I knew Obama=Hitler for these cretins, but I have come to find out that he's also Stalin, Saddam, and Pol Pot. "[A]fter a petit mal seizure," I hasten to add. Pol Pot, I mean, not Obama. Or so it would appear. And he hasn't even been elected yet!

• From another one of the good and brave souls of the leftosphere who reads The Corner so I don't have to: TBogg collects foam from the mouth of Mark Levin. He also (*shudder*) reads McMegan.

• Via somebody in my RSS feeds whose name I forgot to note, I saw Thandie Newton And Ricky Gervais Reenact Scene From “Who’s Nailin’ Paylin?”. I'm not sure how many levels of meta this involves, but it's really funny. The video itself is tame, but the whole page may be mildly NSFW if someone uptight is looking over your shoulder. What, you already clicked? Sorry about that.

• And finally, via Oliver Willis, I came across The Many Superhero Faces of Barack Obama. This is my favorite …

Obama: Matrix -- Not This Time

… probably because it reminded me of this.

Behind The Scenes

Remember the orange picture that I liked so much? Oliver Willis came across some video footage that looks as though it was shot at the same time.

(alt. video link)

I can see disagreeing with the man's policy proposals, perhaps, but I cannot for the life of me understand where the hate comes from.

Selected Shorters

Robert Farley:

This is My Dream...

Palin wins the 2012 nomination, and an aging, cranky McCain refuses to endorse her.


Perhaps someone ought to remind Craig Crawford that an important feature of a well executed Hail Mary pass involves throwing the ball in the direction of the correct end zone....

Blue Texan:

Shorter Palin: it's my handlers' fault that I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. [in re]


Shorter Krauthammer: I can't say how much I dislike Sarah Palin, because I don't want to be stuck in a closet with Peggy and Kathleen. So Go McCain! [in re]

Wardrobegate Summation of the Week

Doghouse Riley:

I can't look at Sarah Palin without seeing Edith Prickley, except Edith dressed with élan and Palin looks like she's trying to one-up everybody else at church, or remind the fill-in weather reporter who the real star is.

Mr. Riley takes a timeout from his usual essay form and offers up a bunch of semi-connected thoughts which end up blending well together, like a stew or something, so the only thing I don't really get is why he named the post after some kind of margarine.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Curious Inspiration of Dr. Seuss and Budweiser

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(alt. video link)

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

Must. Resist. Juvenile. Phallic. Humor.

Here's a screenshot from's interactive poll of polls. Looks like the erection in Indiana will be close for the first time since 1964.

Indiana polls

(click pic to, um, enlarge)

Forgive me. It's been eight years since I've been able to make a Dick joke that didn't involve Cheney.

Hoax Fallout Worsens

Following up from the third item in an earlier post: TPM (via) reports the following:

John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

Long article, well worth reading.

Why We Call Them Wingnuts

I do not call all conservatives or all Republicans or all religious people wingnuts. Certainly, they don't all deserve to be stigmatized for reasonably disagreeing with the way I see things. And, from a linguistic point of view, it's important that the label be preserved to convey a real meaning.

Case in point: Dan Riehl, of Riehl World View, who today shared his thoughts regarding Barack Obama's trip to visit his sick grandmother. In the original post, he said, among other things, this:

Man. I hope his numbers don't start to drop. He might have to hold a pillow against her face and maybe later break into tears the way Hillary did. Only I suspect hers were genuine.

After the post had been up for a while, he added this to the top of the post:

Update: Well, due to the extreme criticism from the "Laura killed her high school sweetheart, Cheney shot his friend, Bushitler" Left - I felt I should update and bump this post. I'm sorry if my sarcasm regarding the pillow reference came across as too unkind. I am certain Obama is a kind man. Consequently, I don't actually believe he would "smother" his Grandma with a pillow.

I imagine his compassion would compel him to use a plastic bag. But as that is so environmentally unsound, I didn't want to even suggest it in case it might damage his reputation among the faithful, so many of them being Green and all.

Any further comment necessary? I think not.

Here's a link to the post, if you insist: wingnut.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

[Added] Riehl has a great face for radio, don't you think?

Signs of Hope

Nate Silver shares results from a new CBS/NYT survey that shows 3 out of 5 registered voters are aware enough to realize that McCain's tax policies would favor the rich, only 1 in 10 mistakenly thinks he'd be better for the middle class, and only 3% think he'd be better for the poor.

Andrew Sullivan passes along a story from The Salt Lake Tribune, which says that the Mormons' aggressive efforts to make same sex marriage illegal in California is tearing the LDS Church apart. I'm always happy to hear about divisiveness in any politically powerful religious organization, but here, I'm doubly delighted to learn that tolerance among Mormons is higher than I would have suspected. Vote No on 8, y'all, and if you can't, because you don't live in California, at least help them out. (see also)

• Twin says via email, "At the very least, I'm upgrading her from the most loathsome category of wingnuts. :-)" Here, he's referring to Ann Althouse, who was among the few in the wingnutosphere who displayed early skepticism about yesterday's lies from some loser McCain volunteer. (Stalkin' Malkin was another, to her credit).

Of course it was a

Another wingnut hoax

I will say this: as much as it pains me to say anything good about hatemongers like Althouse and Malkin, it's nice to see them taking a step back towards the reality-based community. A trillion parsec journey begins with a single deorbital maneuver, or something like that.

This latest shiny Cheez Doodle, which has doubtless left most of Wingnuttia scrambling to cover up the nonsense they initially posted, also makes a line from yesterday's post by Fox News Executive Vice President, John Moody, worth noting hurling back in his face:

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.

Hyperbole, to be sure, but how can you not be encouraged when even the brass at Fox News is looking for reasons to jump ship?

Vote No on Prop. 8: New Ads

My favorite from the new series (Andrew Sullivan has this one and two more posted):

(alt. video link)

Official site:

Good for Apple. This, at the moment, is the lead news item on their start page:

No on Prop 8

Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

The State of Campaign Finances?

Obama Ad on McCain's Bus (wink)

Source: of course (via).

GOP Voter Suppression Watch -- New Mexico

Zachary Roth, whose report on GOP voter suppression in Indiana I linked to Wednesday, has a new article up describing another form of Republican ugliness in New Mexico.

One part is familiar: several Republicans accuse ACORN of "voter fraud," the story is investigated, the allegations are once again proven false. There's a new wrinkle, though: apparently, the GOP has employed a private investigator to visit minority voters at their homes, where among other things, he threatens them with visits from La Migra, demands to see their ID, and lies to them about their eligibility to vote.

That Sinking Feeling

Adding to the tally of conservatives and Republicans fleeing McCain, here are three more. First (via), two former governors, both Republicans:

Former Governor William Weld of Massachusetts is the latest Republican to cross over and support Democrat Barack Obama for president.

Weld held a press conference in Salem, N.H. to announce his endorsement. While Massachusetts is a slam dunk for Obama, neighboring New Hampshire is a competitive state.

"Senator Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime candidate who will transform our politics and restore America's standing in the world," Weld said in a statement. "We need a president who will lead based on our common values and Senator Obama demonstrates an ability to unite and inspire. Throughout this campaign I've watched his steady leadership through trying times and I'm confident he is the best candidate to move our country forward."

Weld supported former Bay State Governor Mitt Romney during the Republican primaries.

He joins former Governor Arne Carlson of Minnesota, who announced his backing for Obama on Thursday.

Third (via), a real shocker:

Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.

This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."

Will She Ever Stop Digging?

Michele Bachman's never-ending attempts to deny what she said last Friday on Hardball continue. You'll recall from yesterday that I observed:

After first lying outright and saying she hadn't said what she'd said, she changed her story to a claim of being misunderstood. Then she tried the non-apology apology for a while.

Her latest? I know this'll shock you, but the latest, as of this posting, is blaming the LIEbrul media for "laying a trap."

The latest latest is her claim that she had never before heard of the show Hardball, which for a politician on the national stage to say is roughly equivalent to an Eskimo protesting, "What's this snow stuff?"

At this point, I'd be willing to bet that she's been on Hardball before, and when someone digs up the old footage, she'll deny that, too.

Here's Josh Marshall's video report on this and other Bachmann lies:

(alt. video link)

You'll note that he put this together before the latest polling data from Minnesota came out. If you missed this story from the beginning, here's my first post on it, and earlier updates are here, and here, here.

Go Tinklenberg!

Bumped Up

Dan Weston's comment on Obama's speech in Richmond that I posted yesterday:

Barack Obama is the real deal. He didn't have to put "gay or straight" into his one-America litany. His gay support is up there with his black support. Nor does he speed through it, lower or raise his voice for it, wince inwardly, or otherwise pander or gloss over. His is not an expression of support, but of acknowledgment.

Not only is he post-racial, he is post-sexual-orientation. Former German Chancellor Kohl once spoke enviously of young Germans and their "Gnade der späten Geburt" ("grace of late birth"), unencumbered by baggage before they were born.

Similarly, few baby boomers (much less older folks) can move freely through the jungle of gender identity and sexual orientation, nor navigate shifting and self-defined gender roles without sexist impulses or defensive self-righteousness, the way young people can. Obama is truly the voice of a new generation.

I voted for Hillary Clinton in the primary, but I confess I do not miss her trading on the sexism of her opponents or triangulation on wedge issues. If she had had the self-confidence to ignore the ignorance of her enemies and move on, the country might have moved on with her. But she (and I) are a product of our times, and we can only look on with envy as others get beyond what our generation cannot seem to get past.

More pearls from Dan are available at the most misleadingly named blog on the Web: Rantings of a Crazed Lunatic.


From TPM:

At a Senate debate yesterday in Iowa, GOP candidate Chris Reed accused Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) of having an "Anti-American policy," and of having "an eight-year history of becoming the Tokyo Rose of al Qaida and Middle East terrorism." Harkin, who is a safe bet to win re-election, told Reed after the debate: "You're a nice young man and I thought you had a political future ahead of you, but that just ended your political career right there."

And, in other news of anti-Americanism:

A new University of Minnesota poll gives Democratic candidate El Tinklenberg a 45%-43% lead over Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), whose once-safe re-election bid has been seriously complicated by her McCarthyesque comments on Hardball. This corroborates last night's SurveyUSA poll, which put Tinklenberg ahead 47%-44%. The margin of error on the new poll is ±4.7%

Note: The above blockquote was grabbed from the home page of TPM Elections Central. They appear to have modified the page while I was in the middle of composing this, rewriting the above (which was originally in their round-up post) into a separate post.

This is understandable. It's good and important news. Go visit Elwyn Tinklenberg. Bachmann must go.

Endorsement of the Day: 2008-10-24

No, this isn't as surprising as the two from the Goldwater family or as off-beat as the one from the Mayor of London. Considering the source, you could predict the bottom line. But it is very well said, starting with:

Hyperbole is the currency of presidential campaigns, but this year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance.

The United States is battered and drifting after eight years of President Bush’s failed leadership. He is saddling his successor with two wars, a scarred global image and a government systematically stripped of its ability to protect and help its citizens — whether they are fleeing a hurricane’s floodwaters, searching for affordable health care or struggling to hold on to their homes, jobs, savings and pensions in the midst of a financial crisis that was foretold and preventable.

As tough as the times are, the selection of a new president is easy. After nearly two years of a grueling and ugly campaign, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois has proved that he is the right choice to be the 44th president of the United States.

Mr. Obama has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change. He has shown a cool head and sound judgment. We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation’s problems.

In the same time, Senator John McCain of Arizona has retreated farther and farther to the fringe of American politics, running a campaign on partisan division, class warfare and even hints of racism. His policies and worldview are mired in the past. His choice of a running mate so evidently unfit for the office was a final act of opportunism and bad judgment that eclipsed the accomplishments of 26 years in Congress.

Given the particularly ugly nature of Mr. McCain’s campaign, the urge to choose on the basis of raw emotion is strong. But there is a greater value in looking closely at the facts of life in America today and at the prescriptions the candidates offer. The differences are profound.

(And take another two and a half pages to list. Read 'em.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"We All Love This Country"

Barack Obama in Richmond, VA, 22 October 2008, pushing back against GOP divisiveness once again:

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Oliver Willis)

"Sounds suspicious ..."

Just came across an excellent summation by Hendrik Hertzberg, titled "Voter-Fraud Fraud," that tears apart the ACORN nonsense that the McCain campaign and the rest of the GOP has been trying to sell.

Send a copy to everyone who has ever forwarded you an anti-Obama email.

That Ol' Straight Talk Express Keeps Chuggin' Along

What about releasing your medical records, Gov. Palin?

“If that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have, oh one more thing that they can either check the box off that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or find something to rest them assured over, fine,” she said.

In related news, Box of Rocks and Sackful of Hammers asked a federal judge to prevent their names from being used in any more comparisons with the Republican vice presidential nominee. "We don't care that we're listed as the smarter ones. She's still tarnishing our brand identity," said a spokesman.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"The Map of GOP Sleaze"

Lila Shapiro at TPM has posted a slick interactive graphic that lets you click on individual states to display the various mailers and robocalls being used in that state. Nice work.

Hey, Joe

I never saw the whole "Joe the Plumber" video (until just now). Not that I much cared, but if you haven't either, you might find it worth two minutes of your time. And you'll certainly like Ta-Nehisi's accompanying comments.

[Added] Thanks to Twin: It turns out there's an even longer video (about six minutes) of the same encounter:

(alt. video link)


Check this out.

More info in the Comments.

Site Update -- New Commenting

[Update 2, 2008-11-04 02:00] Gone back to the old way, at least for the moment.

(Updated -- minor corrections)

It looks like Blogger has upgraded the platform to make leaving a comment easier.

If you're looking at an individual post page, say, as a result of following a link from your RSS reader or another site, you'll see the comment form right at the bottom of the comments for that post, if any exist, or at the bottom of the post, if not. Just scroll down as needed, type away merrily in that box, and click Preview or Post when you're ready.

If you're looking at a page with a bunch of posts -- say, the main (home) page or a past month's worth of posts from the archives or a list of posts from clicking a label or doing a search -- and you click the Comments link for a given post, the page will reload with just that post showing and you'll be positioned at the beginning of the comments, if any are already posted, or the comment form itself if not, when the page finishes loading. Scroll to the end of the posted comments to add yours.

Blogger says this is better. It does seem that way for the case where you're already looking at a single post on a page. I hope the latter option won't prove too disconcerting.

I just tried leaving a comment on another post on this site, and things seem to work. The result of clicking Preview is just a little sluggish, but a couple seconds' patience gives you what you'd expect. Ditto Publish.

Let me know if you hate it. I think I can flip a switch to make it go back to the old way.

Blogger's announcement, which is probably of most interest to other Blogger bloggers, is on Blogger Buzz.

Massive Popcorn Shortage Looming?

Michele Bachmann and George W. BushJust got an email from John Evo with happy news of the rats continuing to turn on each other: Sam Stein of the HuffPo is reporting the latest fallout from Michele Bachman's MacacaCarthy Moment on last Friday's Hardball:

Two sources aware of ad buys in Minnesota say that the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its media purchases from Bachmann's race.

I was a little hesitant to pass this along as is -- rumormonger the GOP? Moi? *ping! halo appears overhead* -- but Reid Wilson of Politico is reporting the same thing, as is Eric Kleefeld of TPM, from their own, presumably different, sources. Kleefeld says:

A Republican source has confirmed to Election Central that the NRCC is indeed pulling all its advertising for Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). … Several hundred-thousand dollars worth of TV time had previously been reserved on Bachmann's behalf, but now it has all been cancelled.


Bachmann could still potentially win, as this district voted 57%-42% for George W. Bush in 2004. But she's now on her own. It's a rare thing for a national party to totally cut off an incumbent, so this should give you an idea of just how unpopular Bachmann is among Washington Republicans right now.

Meanwhile, it looks like Bachmann Spinner Overdrive is about to smoke its bearings. After first lying outright and saying she hadn't said what she'd said, she changed her story to a claim of being misunderstood. Then she tried the non-apology apology for a while.

Her latest? I know this'll shock you, but the latest, as of this posting, is blaming the LIEbrul media for "laying a trap."

As Ta-Nehisi said a few spin cycles ago, "We saw the tape, lady."

(pic. source)


If you'd like to help with the final push, visit the website of her Democratic opponent, Elwyn Tinklenberg.

If you missed this story, here's my first post on it, and updates are here, here, and here.


P.S. Lest you think I'm going overboard because of this one macaca moment, I'm not. I've been aware of Bachmann for some time now. She's a vile wingnut with strong homophobic, racist, and xenophobic tendencies, a history of advocating teaching creationism in science classes, and she carries James Dobson's seal of approval, among other things. If you want to know more, I came across a site while looking for confirmation of the the story John sent that appears to have been on the case since April 2004: Dump Michele Bachmann.

GOP Voter Suppression Watch

Zachary Roth of TPM reports on Republican efforts to stifle early voting in areas with large black populations in the state of Indiana.

Indiana, as you might already know, is a battleground state this year, after forty years or more of being a gimme for the GOP.

[Added later] TPM has an update to this story. Good news, for the moment.

[Added] Via MJS: Have a look at Kennedy and Palast's long and detailed article on the general state of GOP voter suppression efforts, in the latest Rolling Stone.

More Threads

Following up on an earlier post, KK emails a story from the NYT that goes into more detail about Wardrobegate.

Yeah, I didn't think I was the first to neologize, either.

[Afterthought] What if the GOP intentionally leaked this story, in a desperate bid to get a certain general off the front page?

But Seriously ...

Following up from the last post, you might actually want to know more about early voting.

From what I can see, 31 states offer some form of early voting. If you'd like to look into it, visit the government's official website: the Election Assistance Commission.


Indications are that Republicans are leading among early voters in Florida. And you know what that means: it's time to deploy the big gun.

Never mind that everyone else on the Internets has already posted this. You should thank me for saving it for this great moment of need.

(alt. video link)

Want more information? Visit

Beauty Queens?

The smart ones are on our side.

Keep Pulling Threads

Okay, here's some special bonus robo-clothes shopper snark.

You know you want it. Badly.

Beyond awwww ...

Oliver Willis has a great slideshow up. Go see.

Dress Reversal

So far, no one has complained about McCain's makeup bills (cf.), but the Palin wardrobe story is causing the rats to turn on each other.

(h/t: John Cole)

[Added] More Republican spinning and squabbling.

[Added] By contrast:

[Added] Shameless piling on! See hilzoy, Wonkette, Orr/TNR, watertiger/FDL, Taylor Marsh, Pam Spaulding, and last but certainly not least, TBogg (x2).

New Record Set for Irrelevance

This time Axl means it.

For Junkies Only

Michael Crowley has a fascinating article up on TNR, titled "Survey Says," that talks about the new landscape in political polling. If guys in thick glasses backbiting about each other's statistical methodology sounds like the kind of soap opera you thought you could only dream about, you'll love it.

On a related note, and even more highly recommended, check out Nate "538" Silver's post on McCain's recent decision to concentrate his resources in Pennsylvania, despite every indication that this state is an ex-battleground state. (Read last phrase in British accent.*) This is inside baseball at its insidiest, to the point where actual inside baseball metaphors are used to dissect what appears to be yet another McCain moment of Hail Mary. (Which, it must be admitted, is an inside football metaphor.)

Okay, I'll stop now. Go read.


(alt. video link)

Next time you hear a Republican fulminating about "voter fraud" ...

... point to this:

The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud.

State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.

Jacoby's arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department late Saturday came after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by people employed by YPM. The voters said YPM workers tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters.


Several dozen voters recently told The Times that YPM workers said they had to become Republicans to sign the petition, contrary to California initiative law. Other voters said they had no idea their registration was being changed.

YPM has been accused of using bait-and-switch tactics across the country. Election officials and lawmakers have launched investigations into the activities of YPM workers in Florida and Massachusetts. In Arizona, the firm was recently a defendant in a civil rights lawsuit.

(h/t: TC, via email)

And then, point them to Alterman and Zornick's analysis of the media coverage of this supposed "scandal" that McCain, et al, keep trying to trump up. Bottom line (and this'll shock you): in case after case, the MSM plays stenographer, dutifully typing in Republican accusations without doing the slightest bit of work to verify the charges.


Basically, partisan operatives make loud charges of “fraud” to discourage further enrollment of new voters—even though the evidence behind the charges is frequently paper-thin. This, in fact, was official government policy under the Bush administration. In the wake of the U.S. Attorneys scandal, Jeanne Cummings of the Associated Press reported that “operatives tucked thick folders of newspaper clippings and other fraud tips under their arms and pitched to reporters their claims that the Democrats’ registration program would lead to rampant voter fraud. Their passion was clear, but their evidence was slim, consisting mostly of isolated incidents of voter registration irregularities that were handled by local police or election officials.”

These thin charges are easy to disprove should journalists choose to do so. Sadly, Erin Ferns and Nathan Henderson-James of Project Vote write that, “the history of this issue shows that it has been bereft of this kind of basic journalism, even through the 2006 mid-term elections. This is important because haphazard reporting of partisan claims of voter fraud without checking the facts is how the media helps these voter suppression efforts. These stories not only deter potential voters from getting on the rolls, but… inspire bad election reforms aimed at disenfranchising voters, particularly those that are currently underrepresented in the electorate.”

Bundy Gets a Clue

Al, not Ted, I mean:

(alt. video link)

Calculate your expected tax savings:

(h/t: Twin, via email)

[Added] I can never be reminded of that old show, "Married With Children," without thinking back to a time I went an AIDS benefit at the Los Angeles Zoo back in the early '90s. It was one of the best "for a good cause" tickets I've ever bought. Getting to roam around the zoo at night absent the usual crowds was a real treat.

The highlight of the evening was a concert, featuring Katey Sagal (Mrs. Bundy) as lead singer. At the time, I'd probably seen the show all of three times, and to the extent that I thought of her at all, I thought of her character from the show -- a useless ditz. But boy, I'll tell you, what a stage presence: smart, funny, and sexy as hell. She did a version of "Chain of Fools" that absolutely burned the place down.

Which makes me think of the time, long ago, when I was watching a basketball game on TV, and Jean Stapleton, better known as Edith Bunker, dropped in to speak with the announcers for a few minutes. Again, the contrast between the character and the real-life person could not have been more stark. As I remember it, she had to be taken away before the announcers passed out from hypoxia from laughing so hard.

What does all this have to do with how much money you're going to save on your taxes?

We leave that as an exercise for the student.

Gene Genie

Care to guess whose grandfather this man is?

See Andrew and especially Ta-Nehisi.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Time for another exciting edition of IOKIYAR!

$14,000+ for makeup for him? $150,000+ in new clothes for her?

Not elitist.