Your weekend politics

Note to GOP - ACORN Was Defrauded and You Know It:

1. The GOP during the 70's, 80's and 90's employed a number of methods to register voters to insure the people they were registering were indeed Republican.

One method was to go through a neighborhood and register everyone who wasn't registered. Then they would throw out all the voter registration cards of those who had registered as "Democrats" - thereby building up Republican registration.

I am not saying that Democrats were saints. But Democrats did not have to employ this method. Democrats tended to go deep into poor and minority areas such as Watts, or Harlem and could register thousands, even millions, of new voters and only rarely find someone who registered as a Republican. So few that it wasn't worth disenfranchising them by throwing their registration cards in the trash.

With Democrats registering new voters by the millions in inner cities - Republicans had to keep up by mounting some kind of registration drive - they had to go into suburbs and places where voters were split and they had to find a way to come out of their drives with far more Republicans than Democrats to make it worth the effort. Throwing out registration cards of those who registered as Democrats became on way to do this.

BUT LAWS BEGAN TO BE PASSED TO PROHIBIT THIS PRACTICE - INCREASINGLY THESE LAWS REQUIRED THAT ALL REGISTRATION CARDS HAD TO BE TURNED IN. You could not simply turn in the registration cards that you wanted to turn in - you had to turn them all in.

This is exactly why ACORN had to turn in the "fraudulent" voter registrations cards for Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Anchorage Daily News: Obama for president:

Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she's a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight.

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.

Defeat GOP Voter Suppression Tactics - Here's Why You Should Vote Early:

The right wing of the GOP is engaged in an unbelievable attempt to stop you from voting. Using phrases like "voter fraud" they hope to either steal the election or diminish Senator Obama's eventual victory.

If you are a first-time or new voter; if you are a minority; if you live in a heavily-Democratic voter district; if you're poor or otherwise disadvantaged, the Republicans are targeting you.

Meet The Press: McCain to Brokaw: I reject your objective measures of reality and substitute my own:

When confronted by Tom Brokaw with the daunting poll numbers that show Senator Obama leads him (by double digits) on the issue of taxes, health care, economy, and the housing crisis, John McCain comes out and simply denies that that's what the polls say and, indeed, that polls really mean anything -- well, except for the one he agrees with.

Lieberman: I Respect Obama:

An interesting pattern now seems to be coming from Joe Lieberman: He is now reminding us all how much he respects Barack Obama, even if he's for John McCain this time around.

In Defense of White Americans :

But the other, less noticed lesson of the year has to do with the white people the McCain campaign has been pandering to. As we saw first in the Democratic primary results and see now in the widespread revulsion at the McCain-Palin tactics, white Americans are not remotely the bigots the G.O.P. would have us believe. Just because a campaign trades in racism doesn't mean that the country is racist. It's past time to come to the unfairly maligned white America's defense.



Acute economic crisis may cure the nation's chronic materialism:

A more likely scenario, she said, is a gradual shift of values, with Americans putting greater emphasis on "green" products and businesses, and on no longer spending what we don't have. This transition would favor companies that make things people genuinely need as opposed to what people want. It would entail a newfound emphasis on long-term satisfaction rather than instant gratification.

Rove And Kristol Fault Disloyal, Ill-Serving Campaign Staff For McCain's Struggles:

It makes sense that Kristol is trying to direct blame onto staffers and away from Palin: after all, McCain insiders have credited Kristol with convincing them to go with Palin to begin with. The New Yorker's Jane Mayer said Kristol was "the most ardent promoter" of Palin, repeatedly talking up her electoral prowess on Fox News and urging McCain to choose her for vice president.

Why hasn't Condoleezza Rice endorsed John McCain?:

So why isn't Condoleezza Rice, the current Secretary of State, on that list? Rice has said she's "not going to get involved in this political campaign." But perhaps her hesitation has something to do with Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK). When asked in September whether Palin had enough experience for the job of vice president, Rice deliberately avoided the question, saying only, "These are decisions that Senator McCain has made. I have great confidence in him."



The Pensacola News Journal: For president of the U.S.:

Since August, the two have taken different paths. Obama has shown himself to be a leader, with policies and vision that should resonate with Northwest Florida voters specifically, and all Americans in general. McCain has floundered, unable to stick to any clear direction.

The Editorial Board feels the choice is clear: Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois is our recommendation for president of the United States.

We have watched Obama run an impressive campaign, responsive to the unfolding economic crisis, while McCain's offers little more than that he is not George Bush.



And now I feel bad for the National Review:

She had no idea who or what the National Review is. If she did, she would have said something like, "Actually, the National Review has been a big supporter of mine, so I'm sure you must be misquoting them, or quoting some kind of dissenting letter to the editor."

60 Senators? Don't count on it:

Bottom line: While the Democrats have a 60 percent chance of getting to 55 seats and a 50 percent chance of reaching 58, their odds of reaching 60 drop to just 30 percent. And the 61-seat majority that would make up for Lieberman? A 20-percent chance.

Palin Tells Dobson That 'Prayer Warriors' Should Ask God to Intervene in U.S. Election for GOP:

Does this mean that Sarah Palin believes that without God's intervention the McCain-Palin ticket will lose?

Dems predicting 'earthquake' election:

Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg said Friday that his party is in position for "an earthquake election" come Nov. 4.

"Nothing is going to look the same," Greenberg said, joined by Democratic strategist James Carville at a breakfast with reporters hosted by The Christian Science Monitor.

Obama Ad Hits McCain on the Economy:

Thirty-second negative spot says the Arizonan has "no plan to lift our economy up," instead targets Obama "with scare tactics and smears." Depicts McCain and Bush together.

Ohio's Election Ground Game :

Tension is especially high in a handful of toss-up states that will determine the winner of the presidential election, and nowhere is the tension higher than in Ohio. This is the state that determined the winner in 2004 and grass roots efforts for both campaigns are fighting long and hard. Guest Host Alison Stewart speaks with NPR's David Greene about the battle for Ohio.

In Iowa, McCain dismisses sour poll numbers:

Republican John McCain, behind in the polls and looking for a comeback, argued Sunday that voters should elect him president to create a check on a Democratic Congress that he says is determined to increase taxes and the size of government.

Internet Grass Roots Changing Political Machine:

The Obama machine is new kind of hybrid of top-down leadership and bottom-up energy. While many of its activities are initiated from above, it is also benefiting from a huge outpouring of voter-to-voter self-organizing. By putting the power in supporters' keyboards, the political machinery of 2008 has differed dramatically from that of previous election years. Guest Host Alison Stewart talks with Micah Sifrey, of and Chuck DeFeo, of about how both parties have used technology to reach out to voters and change campaigning in the future.

The Right's Howard Dean:

I've been struck at the similarities between the GOP these days and our Democratic Party back in 2004. We weren't happy with our standarbearer, we chaffed at the out-of-touch party establishment still fighting the battles of 1968 rather than adapting and evolving in this new milenium. Our preferred candidate in the primary, Howard Dean, had excited and engaged a new generation of activists, and his loss crushed us.

But in retrospect, it's hard to see how Dean might've fared better than John Kerry against Bush. And had Dean won the nomination, his loss in the general would've discredited our little nascent movement, given the old establishment a reason to say, "See? We tried it your way and failed."

Barack Obama: The TIME Interview:

Joe Klein's notes....

CNN's Rick Sanchez calls out media who fell for McCain staffer hoax:

That would be FOX, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Newsday.

McCain Cites 'Dewey Defeats Truman' (He'd Be Truman):

Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, issued a statement saying: "While this charge is completely false and there is no draft of an inaugural address for Senator Obama, the last thing we need is a candidate like John McCain who just plans on re-reading George Bush's."

Mr. McCain also neglected to mention that the same story also noted that Mr. Obama himself has sought to avoid the appearance of "measuring the drapes in the White House," another phrase Mr. McCain often uses against his rival.

McCain adviser: Palin 'is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone:

The Politico reports that tensions between the Palin and McCain camps are increasing in the waning days of the campaign. Palin reportedly "has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her," blaming "her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image." A McCain campaign source unloads on Palin in an interview with CNN:

YouTube Videos Draw Attention to Palin's Faith:

Ms. Palin's faith has come under scrutiny after two videos taken in her former church surfaced on YouTube and became immediate sensations. The first showed a visiting preacher from Kenya praying fervently over Ms. Palin in a gravelly voice and asking God to favor her campaign for governor and protect her from "every form of witchcraft."

The second showed Ms. Palin at an event in June praising the African preacher's prayer as "awesome" and "very, very powerful." She is also seen nodding as her former pastor from Wasilla prays over her and declares that Alaska is "one of the refuge states in the Last Days," a piece of prophecy popular in some prayer networks that predicts that as the "end times" approach, people will flock to Alaska for its abundant open space and natural resources.

White House Wants DOJ Action On Ohio Voting Case:

Looks like the White House is having trouble getting out of the habit of using the Department of Justice for political purposes.

The Washington Post reports that President Bush has asked DOJ to look into a request by House Republican leader John Boehner that would force Ohio's Secretary of State to provide local election officials with information on 200,000 newly registered voters who have mismatched registration data. That could make it possible for Republicans to issue challenges to many of these voters, perhaps forcing them to cast provisional ballots.

An N.C. early voting record (plus weekend hours):

As of yesterday, the ninth of 17 early voting days, voters had cast 1,088,825 early votes. In all of 2004 early voting, 1.1 million early votes were cast.====Party: Democrats 58%, Republicans 25%, Unaffiliated 17%. Gender: Women 56%, Men 43% Race: Whites 66%, Blacks 30%

Gallup, Early Voting, and Some Numbers:

The key fact to bear in mind, though, is that early voters in the last two cycles have voted for the GOP, 60-40%. There's a reason for that, and it's not mostly about the GOP's turnout operations or the enthusiasm of its base, although those factors certainly played some role. Half of voters in Western states and more than a third of those in Southern states plan to vote early this year - but just 9% of those in the Northeast and 20% of those in the Midwest. On the whole, early voting is more popular - and more widely available - in red states than in blue ones. So the Gallup numbers are shocking in their suggestion that Obama is currently enjoying a significant lead, and that even once the initial surge of black voters recedes he'll slip back only into a virtual tie. That's a 20-point swing from recent cycles. If Obama is actually running even or marginally ahead among the 30% of voters who will vote before November 4, he should win going away

Palin Pathology: What's Wrong with Sarah and Her Fans?:

I would never suggest that all McCain/Palin supporters are crazy, but a significant number particularly of Sarah Palin's most zealous supporters have exhibited behavior sufficiently extreme to suggest that some form of social pathology is indeed taking root in the grotesque traveling circus the McCain/Palin campaign has become. McCain/Palin rallies, and particularly Palin rallies, have turned into festivals of hate as attendees shout "Terrorist!" and "Kill Him!" at each mention of Obama's name and vent their rage at the media by attacking reporters

End of an Era:

What about Republican strategy, which still wakes Democrats up in the middle of the night--the devastating invocation of Bill Ayers, terrorists, real Americans, small-town values, Hollywood, and (on the fringes of the McCain-Palin campaign and Fox News) the spectre of a Muslim President destroying the country from within? Even right-wing commentators have been begging the campaign to drop this line of attack--not because they disapprove, but because it isn't working. If anything, it's dragging McCain's numbers down and driving moderate Republicans and Independents toward Obama. A Republican congresswoman from Minnesota deployed the strategy at its most unvarnished on national television, and the Party has had to desert her. Who can blame Michele Bachmann for being dumbfounded? It was always O.K. when it was successful.

7 Things That Could Go Wrong on Election Day:

In the hands of sometimes inept or partisan state officials, the database matches have become a practical nightmare that experts fear could disenfranchise thousands.

Blame game: GOP forms circular firing squad:

At his Northern Virginia headquarters, some McCain aides are already speaking of the campaign in the past tense. Morale, even among some of the heartiest and most loyal staffers, has plummeted. And many past and current McCain advisers are warring with each other over who led the candidate astray.

Republican former governor endorses Obama:

Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld, a Republican, plans to endorse Barack Obama for president Friday, The Associated Press reports.

Weld becomes at least the third prominent Republican this week to endorse the Democratic presidential candidate. Former Bush administration Secretary of State Colin Powell endorsed Obama Sunday, and former spokesman Scott McClellan threw his support behind Obama Thursday.

Electoral Armageddon Awaits McCain:

With the flood of new polls out in the past couple days showing Obama ahead everywhere...the electoral maps are looking the absolute worst they have ever been for McCain.

Seriously, take a look...

Election 2008: NC early voting numbers big -- but many still haven't voted:

Election watchdog group Democracy North Carolina has crunched the numbers and finds early voting has been a huge hit -- especially with African-American voters and Democrats -- but many still have to vote.

Why the Republicans Must Lose:

Nothing short of defeat will put the GOP back on its limited government track

McCain camp hits back at 'diva' Palin:

Responding to the grumblings from Palin's camp in my story this morning, McCain's camp hits back in conversations with CNN:

Ideologues in Extremis:

One of my guilty pleasures this year has been to check out the neoconservatives over at the Commentary blog as they attempt to...explain...what's...happening. Like, why Jews--who should really just, uh, get it about who this guy really is--actually, hmmm, seem to favor Obama at about the same rate as they favored other Democrats in the past. Or why Joe The Plumber has really struck a chord. Or why I am a terrible person. (Answer: because I called them out on their conflated and wrong-headed misapprehension of Israel's and America's best interests.)

Goodbye To All That:

It is what Reagan did as well. And the great crushing blow of this campaign is to have watched John McCain run a campaign that is, at its worst, "the systematic organization of hatreds." My essay of a year ago on Obama's potential to get us past the toxic, red-blue, boomer divide can be found here. In trying to write my own endorsement of Obama these past couple of days, I realize I already said almost everything I wanted to say in that piece. And the events of the last year - and the deepening darkness we are in - have led me back to Square One:

McCain: Vote for Me and I'll Create an International Crisis:

So rather than respond to an international crisis provoked by others, McCain intends to provoke one himself? Why? Sounds dangerous.


I remain convinced that there was a road not traveled for McCain. A choice like Lieberman, or more to the point, former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, could have demonstrated independence from his party without undercutting the claim to experience. And given Palin's performance, not to mention the eventual centrality of Pennsylvania in the McCain campaign's electoral math, you have to imagine that McCain is rather unhappy with the decision he ultimately made.


John McCain is mounting his final stand not in Colorado, a state Bush won in 2004, but in Pennsylvania, which Kerry won comfortably and where Obama has a double digit lead. Why? One answer is that he's still hung up on Obama's apparent weakness among Appalachian whites. He can't get over the weaknesses Clinton appeared to expose in the primary campaign, and is gambling that racism will overwhelm party affiliation and economic distress. Weird bet. But another possibility, suggested by a New Republic reader, is that the Obama campaign has successfully faked McCain out:

Quote of the Day:

The McCain campaign has said a gazillion times that Palin was chosen because she's a maverick, then bought her a $150,000 wardrobe, and now they have the temerity to call her a diva like it's a bad thing?! LOL.

From the moment McCain put Palin on his ticket and made out like it was because he cares oh-so-much for the ladiez, I've been saying we'll see what a great feminist he is when he loses and starts blaming Palin. Uh-huh.



The recriminations phase begins:

As tempting as it is to believe that Sarah Palin's big mouth is evidence that she's disobedient, though, I'm thinking the real source of this story is that said aides are putting their applications for their next jobs together and want to make sure that they aren't held responsible for the enormous error that was adding a barn-storming paranoid racist Bircher to the ticket. It may be true that she's stupidly willful and unwilling to let people who understand politics better tell her what to do, or it may not be true. Either way, the reason that these aides are leaking these blame-shifting stories is to protect their own reputation.

The Past Ain't Prologue:

The old Democratic majorities of yesteryear depended upon a lot of Southern Democrats (the old school super-conservative, often racist ones). Those types are not ALL gone from the party -- but it's pretty close. Plus, the demography is changing to make that particular bloc of voters less important every passing year.

The truth is that (knock on wood) the incoming Democratic majority will be the most progressive one in the nation's history. The party's been largely freed of relying on racist southern legislators, and the more liberal areas are now safely Democratic (as the GOP continues to disappear from places like the Northeast).

And I say "most progressive in history" with great pride. It's easy to use simple-minded narratives about "left," etc., to describe it, even though there's no true left in America. But whatever word you prefer, I think recent years have shown that it is the new progressive mentality (market-friendly coupled with confidence in government activism; patriotic but not uber-nationalist) that simply has a better grasp of both the empirical nature of our problems and what do about them -- e.g., global warming, taxes, foreign policy, financial meltdown, health care.

Again, none of this is to belittle the real problem of overreach. But the past isn't a very good guide in this respect. Obama + 60 really is a whole new game.

Oh Noes! Socialism!:

Look: socialism is a word that has a meaning. It means public control of the means of production. It does not mean taxing the top bracket at 39%. Likewise, "collective ownership" has a meaning, and it does not mean the situation that obtains when the government can repeal tax cuts for the top 5% of the population.

I assume that if Sarah Palin had a decent argument against Obama's policies, she'd make it. Trying to cast Obama as a socialist is just laughable -- almost as laughable as the idea that this line of attack will appeal to anyone outside the Republican Party's lunatic fringe.


Putting aside McCain's obvious confusion about economics, McCain's "warnings" really don't make any sense. As Yglesias put it, "Presumably, the reason Democrats are forecast to make gains in the House and the Senate and Obama is leading in the polls is that, yes, most voters want Democrats to take over. This sounds more like a fundraising pitch than a general election argument."

On the surface, there may be something appealing about an amorphous phrase like "checks and balances." But one of the problems with McCain's argument is that it lacks consequences. He doesn't have an answer to the "or what?" question. ("We can let Dems control the White House, Senate, and House," McCain says. "Or what?" voters ask.)

McCain's pitch is premised on the notion that voters won't think it through, and will prefer gridlock just for the sake of gridlock. If the president and the Congress are on the same page, they'll be more likely to move away from Bush's economic policies, pass a middle-class tax cut, end the war in Iraq, pass a universal healthcare plan, pass a comprehensive energy policy, and make college more affordable.

McCain's argument, in effect, is, "Vote for Obama and he'll likely be able to deliver on his promises. Vote for me so those things you want are less likely to happen."

McCain has experimented with all kinds of different messages lately, but this is comically unpersuasive. If Democrats are really lucky, McCain will keep this up and make it his central focus for the next nine days.

Memo to Palin: Here are some other domestic terrorists:

Well, just in case Mrs. Palin forgot, there was a running spate of domestic terrorism in the United States in the 1990s created by the far-right "Patriot" movement, much of it revolving around abortion and hatred of the federal government.

The signature event, of course, was the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. But that was hardly the end of it. Indeed, by the end of 1999, we were able to document over 40 such cases -- many of which were nipped in the bud before they reached fruition. Some were not.

Let the Defenestrations Begin:

I am so looking forward to this. Is this schadenfreude? Or does that require at least a veneer of pretending that you're not really taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others? I'm not sure. But I'm looking forward to it anyway.

And you know the part I'm really looking forward to? Sarah Palin's role in all this. I expect her to rip McCain absolutely to shreds. On background, of course, but it will be no less vicious for that. Her future, such as it is, lies with the wingnut rump of the party, and she knows what her audience wants: John McCain's blood. And lots of it. They never liked him in the first place, and I expect them to be howling for his head on a platter starting at about 8:01 pm EST on November 4th.

Palin, autism and fruitflies - it does not add up:

You have probably heard that Governor Palin, in a recent speech contradicted herself within a span of a couple of sentences. So, she said that "Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference.", then in the next breath dissed that same research: "You've heard about some of these pet projects they really don't make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not." You can see that part here:


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This is so thorough it's ridiculous. How do you have time to read so much??!? Just admit, you have pet robots who do it for you. I wish I could blog like you.

Answer: FriendFeed! Smart people recommend good stuff. I bookmark it and read it throughout the week. Then I collect it here on the weekend.