Add the Chicago Sun Times to the list of papers endorsing Sen. Barack Obama. Why won't it support McCain?
[S]omewhere along the line, McCain stopped being McCain. The maverick who always thought for himself turned his thinking over to others. He became too driven to win.
He reversed his position on major social issues to curry favor with the Republican base. He pulled silly surprises from a hat, such as “suspending” his campaign. Most egregiously for a man of advanced age who knew how important this decision could be, he chose the unqualified Gov. Sarah Palin to be his vice president. (emphasis supplied.)
On Obama: [More...]
Here in Chicago, we have been watching Barack Obama and sizing him up for some time. We knew him well before he introduced himself to the nation with his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.
We saw the strength of character, the steady temperament, the dazzling intellect, the good judgment, the compassion, the ability to see through others’ eyes.
Barack Obama, we believe, will stand tall for America, first and always, but will restore our nation’s stature in the world.
The UK's Daily Telegraph reports that the UK will run out of English honey by Christmas. Why? Just like the mammals, amphibians, and birds who share Earth's biosphere with humans, honeybees have been dying off. No bees, no honey. In the UK, bee[...]
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Surely you're now curious about whether Rep. Michele Bachmann, everybody's favorite right-wing nutcase of the hour, has any chance of actually being unseated in the coming elections.
There's good news for you, courtesy of the DCCC.
Grove Insight for the DCCC. 10/10-12. Likely voters. MoE 4.9% (No trend lines)
Bachmann (R-inc) 42
Tinklenberg (D) 38
This is perhaps not surprising, for if ever there were a Representative who defines the term "Bushbot", it is Michele Bachmann. That's best illustrated in picture form by her famous kiss of the President (after the 2007 State of the Union). But as this ad from Alliance for a Better Minnesota notes, it's in her voting record as well.
Now that the Bestest President Ever is no longer in public favor, of course, Bachmann's trying rather hard to scramble away from her beloved Decider. She isn't that close to him, she says...no closer than that Democrat opponent of hers, anyway!
Bachmann even tried to link her Democratic challenger, former state transportation chief Elwyn Tinklenberg, to the GOP president.
"He is more line with President Bush's policies than I am," said Bachmann, ticking off issues where she has disagreed with Bush, including the $700 billion financial services bailout. Bachmann voted against the bill twice. Tinklenberg has said he would have voted for it.
Yeah, I'm positive El Tinklenberg would vote with Bush 89% of the time, as Bachmann has done.
And as for the kiss...well, she'd be just as thrilled to kiss that Obama fellow as well!
"If the presidency would somehow go to Barack Obama, I would welcome him to the 6th District as well," she said after the debate. "As a matter of fact, I would put my hand on his shoulder and give him a kiss if he wanted to."
There's no word on why she'd kiss a man she publicly believes to be anti-American, though. Perhaps she just likes making out with Presidents; power is, after all, one hell of an aphrodisiac.
What makes Michelle Bachmann a double disgrace to her constituents, of course, is not solely that she's an embarrassing right-winger. It is also that she persists in seeking as much media attention as she can find in order to publicize this fact. Witness her now-legendary argument with James Carville, attempting to defend the qualifications of Everybody's Favorite Governor of Alaska:
The polling suggests that the good people of Minnesota's Sixth District have had quite enough of being represented by someone who frankly is rather like a Sarah Palin who gets to do as many media appearances as she wants.
And the netroots have done a stellar job today of helping Democrat Elwyn Tinklenberg bring about the change Minnesota needs. From thereisnospoon's diary earlier:
Unfortunately, Tinklenberg hasn't gotten the Netroots love he deserves: he's only raised $2,500 on ActBlue so far. We can do better. Show him some love today. And kick the anti-American, McCarthyist Bachmann out of the Congress she defiles with her bigoted presence.
Yeah, well, thanks to that diary, and Stiffa's, and the combined efforts of the online progressive community, Tinklenberg has now raised over $30,000 on ActBlue, and that is climbing by the minute.
That's people power at work.
On the web:
Elwyn Tinklenberg for Congress
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has just released its Sunday endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama.
Columnist William Kristol, a longtime McCain backer, calls the McCain campaign “close to being out–and–out dysfunctional,” concluding that “its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic.”
And of course, the most unfortunate evidence of that “strategic incoherence and operational incompetence” was McCain’s selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, a person utterly unprepared for the high post in question.
Not just unprepared, but "utterly unprepared." The paper's primary reason: McCain is Bush III. [More....]
However, in his current role as Republican nominee, McCain has yet to explain how most of his proposed policies and approaches differ from those of the current president. From deregulation of Wall Street and tax cuts that favor the richest 5 percent of Americans to a more aggressive foreign policy, McCain’s approach now reflects the same Republican orthodoxy that has governed this country since 2000. Time and again, he has been offered chances to explain how his philosophy differs from that of the current president, and he has not been able to do so.
And it’s not just a matter of policies. A third term under another Republican president would inevitably be populated by much the same cast of GOP staffers, executives and bureaucrats that has run Washington for so long and with such disastrous results. McCain’s campaign staff illustrates that problem perfectly because it is populated by many of the same people who ran previous Bush campaigns. They are also still trying to run the same basic Republican playbook that the party has used since 1980.
Listen to the following discussion on BlogTalkRadio: The Future of America: Where Are We Going, and What Critical Coalitions Will Lead the Way?Host: Nancy Hanks (The Hankster)Robert Koulish (Koulflo Memo)Jeff Freeman (Wrong Enemy, Wrong War)Joseph McCormick (Transpartisan Alliance)Michael Silverton (http://michael.silverton.palo-alto.ca.us/)Feel Free to Let me Know What You Think!
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Amy Goodman talks with Nir Rosen about his Taliban embed.
Nir Rosen imbedded with the Taliban for his latest report on Afghanistan, out now in Rolling Stone. His experiences included almost being executed by a fanatical Taliban local warlord, but he came away with the conclusion that adding more troops to Afghanistan won???t work, and that we should prepare an exit strategy.
Simply put, it is too late for Bush's "quiet surge" ??? or even for Barack Obama's plan for a more robust reinforcement ??? to work in Afghanistan. More soldiers on the ground will only lead to more contact with the enemy, and more air support for troops will only lead to more civilian casualties that will alienate even more Afghans. Sooner or later, the American government will be forced to the negotiating table, just as the Soviets were before them.
"The rise of the Taliban insurgency is not likely to be reversed," says Abdulkader Sinno, a Middle East scholar and the author of Organizations at War in Afghanistan and Beyond. "It will only get stronger. Many local leaders who are sitting on the fence right now ??? or are even nominally allied with the government ??? are likely to shift their support to the Taliban in the coming years. What's more, the direct U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan is now likely to spill over into Pakistan. It may be tempting to attack the safe havens of the Taliban and Al Qaeda across the border, but that will only produce a worst-case scenario for the United States. Attacks by the U.S. would attract the support of hundreds of millions of Muslims in South Asia. It would also break up Pakistan, leading to a civil war, the collapse of its military and the possible unleashing of its nuclear arsenal."
In the same speech in which he promised a surge, Bush vowed that he would never allow the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan. But they have already returned, and only negotiation with them can bring any hope of stability.
John McCain's strategy - following the Bush administration in handing policymaking to General Petraeus - isn't going to work any better. Talking our way to an exit from the doomed adventure in Afghanistan really is the only way out of that grim trap.
Crossposted from Newshoggers
Strategists with the National Republican Senatorial Committee were planning to pull their cash out of Louisiana’s Senate race on Thursday — until they got a call from the state’s Republican senator, David Vitter.
“Suffice to say, the senator raised hell with the NRSC and told them to get back in and they listened,” said a person familiar with Vitter’s call. The exchange was prompted by reports the committee was withdrawing independent expenditure support from John Kennedy, who is fighting a steep uphill battle against popular incumbent Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu.
The rumor swirling around Democratic circles is that Karl Rove, who prodded Kennedy to run in the first place, has joined Vitter in pressuring the NRSC to stay in play. GOP sources couldn’t say if that was true.
The DSCC, Jim Martin, Kay Hagan, and I thank incompetent NRSC chair John Ensign for letting Diaper Boy and Turd Blossom dictate control his committee's spending decisions.
“They are all over the place, just like John McCain,” says Matt Miller, spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. “They can’t seem to decide who to help and who to abandon.”
Update: FleetAdmiralJ in the comments says:
So the conditions on the ground
were Vitter's anger and Rove's pride, basically?
My heart has been broken by the fact that Johnny Depp’s participation in the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series has further delayed the Dark Shadows remake. Tim Burton was set to direct but the project is now on the shelf[...]
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Finally, for the first time this year, a prominent media figure asked John McCain abouthis relationship with G. GordonLiddy last night.The lack of media attention to the Liddy-McCain relationshipis one of the clearest double standards in recentpolitical history. McCainand the news media have devoted an extraordinary amount of attention to BarackObama's ties to Bill Ayers, yet until last night, McCain hadn'tbeen asked a single question* about his ties to Liddy, a convicted felon whohas[...]
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The tsunami cometh, and that right soon.
With two weeks to go, the Cook Political Report - one of the very best sources of political analysis in the business, particularly in analyzing House races - has made a major shift in their House ratings, moving 25 races ratings in one fell swoop.
All of this movement favors Democrats.
Cook acknowledges that the political climate is ripe for a major Democratic wave:
For House Republicans, already dark days are getting darker. Movement in Congressional races tends to accelerate in mid-October, and with the exception of Rep. Tim Mahoney’s district (FL-16), every district on the move is headed in Democrats’ direction. Heavy Democratic spending and the GOP’s cash shortfall are taking its toll on Republican candidates in districts that the committees have targeted all cycle long. But the state of the economy and the presidential race are exposing weak GOP polling numbers even in seats neither party had given much thought.
Cook's current projection is that Democrats will gain 20-25 seats in the House.
Here's the full list of ratings changes:
AZ-05 Mitchell: Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
AZ-08 Giffords: Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
CT-05 Murphy: Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
GA-12 Barrow: Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
IL-08 Bean: Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
IL-14 Foster: Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
IN-09 Hill: Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
KS-02 Boyda: Toss Up To Lean Democratic
MS-01 Childers: Toss Up To Lean Democratic
NH-02 Hodes: Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
PA-04 Altmire: Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
PA-08 Murphy: Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
TN-04 Davis: Likely Democratic to Solid Democratic
AZ-01 Renzi (OPEN): Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
CA-03 Lungren: Solid Republican to Likely Republican
CA-04 Doolittle (OPEN): Likely Republican to Lean Republican
CA-46 Rohrabacher: Solid Republican to Likely Republican
CA-50 Bilbray: Solid Republican to Likely Republican
IN-03 Souder: Likely Republican to Lean Republican
MD-01 Gilchrest (OPEN): Lean Republican to Toss Up
MO-09 Hulshof (OPEN): Lean Republican to Toss Up
OH-02 Schmidt: Likely Republican to Lean Republican
OH-16 Regula (OPEN): Toss Up to Lean Democratic
SC-01 Brown: Solid Republican to Likely Republican
VA-11 Davis (OPEN): Lean Democratic to Likely Democratic
Some of the movement here is incredible. That any prognosticator in the business - let alone Cook - ranks the race in IN-03 as "Leans Republican" is almost miraculous. Democratic candidate Mike Montagano has run an excellent campaign, and incumbent Republican Mark Souder is an especially weak candidate, but still, this is an R+16.3 district.
Similarly, we've known for a while that the open-seat race in MO-09 was competitive, and it's why Judy Baker is an Orange to Blue candidate today. But to have a legitimate progressive Democrat running in an R+7 district, and for her to be quoted "tossup" odds in her race, is really remarkable.
We have unique opportunities to run up the score this year. We have the chance to post numbers as a party on election day that will never be forgotten - we have a shot at the kind of electoral avalanche that will haunt the Republicans' nightmares for decades, the way that 1980 and 1994 have haunted ours.