Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Palin albatross

McCain insiders are increasingly coming clean with their real assessment of Sarah Palin, and her (lack of) readiness to assume the presidency should the need ever arise.

One top McCain adviser has referred to Pain as a 'diva;' and another has openly called her a 'whack job.'

In the latest slam (of McCain's judgment, and of Palin herself) has now come from one of McCain's touted 'Secretary of State supporters,' former Republican Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger:

Lawrence Eagleburger, who served as Secretary of State under George H.W. Bush and whose endorsement is often trumpeted by McCain, said on Thursday that the Alaska governor is not only unprepared to take over the job on a moment's notice but, even after some time in office, would only amount to an "adequate" commander in chief.

"And I devoutly hope that [she] would never be tested," he added for good measure -- referring both to Palin's policy dexterity and the idea of McCain not making it through his time in office.

Meanwhile McCain has been openly bragging about Eagleburger's endorsement (and so has Sarah Palin) in a campaign that grows stranger and more dissonant by the day.

In an interview on CNN, McCain downplayed the importance of Colin Powell's Palin criticism by accusing Powell of failing to grasp Palin's "political gravitas" (this quote from Huffington Post, but I find it hilarious.)

"I especially disagreed when he said the comments that he made about Governor Palin," McCain said. "And I hope that sometime General Powell will take time out of his busy schedule to meet with her. I know she'd be pleased to meet with him."

Perhaps Eagleburger, too, should sit in on that meeting.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Economist endorses Barack Obama

So far Obama leads McCain in endorsements (and that includes conservative rags) 3-1. However in light of our current financial crisis, this particular conservative endorsement stands out from the crowd.

The Economist:

In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

Read the entire endorsement here.

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The Daily Show: Goin' Rogue

Even Fox's Shep Smith is doing it!

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Joe-the-plumber MIA

I see John is still doing those 'air quotes.' He must have missed Jon Stewart's 'air quote slapdown' earlier in the week.

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Americans fighting back

It appears that all across this nation, Americans in every state are actively fighting back against voter suppression propagated by the GOP.

Great news out of Ohio: in spite of George W. Bush's request, the DOJ will not intervene in Ohio's election process:

The Department of Justice will not require Ohio to disclose the names of voters whose registration applications did not match other government databases, according to two people familiar with discussions between state and federal lawyers.

The decision comes about a week after an unusual request from President Bush asking the department to investigate the matter and roughly two weeks after the Supreme Court dismissed a case involving the flagged registration applications.

More good news from Ohio:

(AP) — A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors.

And of course, the governor of Florida has increased the early voting hours in Florida to accommodate everyone who wants to vote ahead of election day! It appears that Florida is fighting to shake off the same 'voting irregularity' stigma that has haunted Ohio for the last four years.

In Florida, there is a huge resistance to handing out provisional ballots (which many believe go largely uncounted.) In an article entitled "Election revolt over provisional ballots," county election officials are rebelling against Republican Secretary of State Kurt Browning and seem determined to let people clear up registration discrepancies at the polls - anything to avoid a provisional ballot:

The two sides disagree over how to interpret the controversial Florida Voter Verification Law, better known as the "no match, no vote" law that applies to anyone who registered to vote after Sept. 8. The law requires that the driver's license or Social Security number provided on a voter registration application match the number in the state's database.

Roughly 12,000 would-be voters have been snagged by the new requirement and should have received letters telling them to contact their local election supervisors to clear up the discrepancies.

If they don't, Browning says elections officials should give provisional ballots to no-match voters who show up at the polls and tell them they have 48 hours to deliver, e-mail or fax any identification documents to the elections office. The documents will then be reviewed by the county canvassing board, which decides if the vote counts.

But Pinellas Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark announced this month that she'll give no-match voters a chance to correct any problems while they're at the polls on Election Day. If they do, she'll hand them a regular ballot. About 30 other county elections supervisors have announced policies similar to Clark's, to Browning's chagrin.

Browning and his staff contend that all 67 counties should follow the same approach, or the state could face a lawsuit over the lack of uniform vote-counting methods.

Ohio and Florida, both fighting back. Maybe we can overcome the bit-flipping thievery this time.

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President Bill Clinton brings it home

"We need a president who wants to understand, and who CAN understand." - President Bill Clinton

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The great vote grab

I hate reading about our election process in a foreign paper. Here we are, a self-proclaimed super power democracy, and our voting system is now in total disarray.

This story out of the UK comes right out and admits what our strangely pro-government national media refuses to directly address: that the 2004 election was stolen:

Writing in the New Statesman way back in 2004, reflecting on criticisms of the electronic voting systems used in the presidential election that year, Michael Meacher MP pointed out that statisticians, academics and political analysts had highlighted significant voting differences between electoral districts that used paper ballots and those that used electronic systems. These cannot be explained by random variation. The investigators found a much larger variance than expected and in every case it favoured George W Bush over John Kerry. In Wisconsin and Ohio, the discrepancy favoured Bush by 4 per cent, in Pennsylvania by 5 per cent, in Florida and Minnesota by 7 per cent, in North Carolina by 9 per cent and in New Hampshire by a whopping 15 per cent.

Research by the University of Berkeley, California, revealed election irregularities in 2004 in Florida. These irregularities, all of which were associated with electronic voting machines, appear to have awarded between 130,000 to 260,000 additional votes to Bush.

Funny -- everyone in the world knows it happened, and they're all discussing it with great interest. But we don't talk about it. We wave our flags and shout 'we're the greatest democracy on the earth,' without even considering the fact that - without clean elections - we are no longer a democracy at all. The planet is littered with banana republics that have 'elections,' wink wink.

Computer programmer testifies about writing a program to hack the votes:

A few other interesting tidbits in this story. Did you know that we are one of the only democracies that allows private - partisan - corporations to secretly count our votes using their own proprietary software? What the hell? Add to that, the fact that most western democracies have independent election commissions that oversee their entire voting systems and verify results. But of course - we don't.

What the hell kind of democracy is this, anyway?

Most election ballots will be counted or scanned by only four private companies - Sequoia, Diebold, Election Systems & Software (ES&S), and Hart InterCivic. According to Robert F Kennedy Jr. (who has been doing the work Democratic leaders won't do,) three out of the four companies have close ties to the GOP:

Three of the four companies have close ties to the Republican Party. ES&S, in an earlier corporate incarnation, was chaired by Chuck Hagel, who in 1996 became the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Nebraska in twenty-four years - winning a close race in which eighty-five percent of the votes were tallied by his former company. Hart InterCivic ranks among its investors GOP loyalist Tom Hicks, who bought the Texas Rangers from George W. Bush in 1998, making Bush a millionaire fifteen times over. And according to campaign-finance records, Diebold, along with its employees and their families, has contributed at least $300,000 to GOP candidates and party funds since 1998 - including more than $200,000 to the Republican National Committee. In a 2003 fund-raising e-mail, the company's then-CEO Walden O'Dell promised to deliver Ohio's electoral votes to Bush in 2004."

Kennedy exposed all of this well ahead of the 2008 election. But of course, very little was done. Here in Indiana, those voting on election day will have to use these 'black boxes.' Apparently those who vote early can use paper ballots. Is it any wonder we have had record early voting this year?

The people of this country want change. More than even that, we want a return to fair elections -- to actual democracy, not that sham that we've been told is the 'best we can do.' Bullshit. Our ballots were counted for 200 years before these shady electronic devices, and democracy - government of the people - is just too damn important to be opened up to partisan hacking.

It better not happen again. Not this time. The entire world is watching, and everyone knows Obama is far, far ahead in most state polls (even if desperate, GOP-connected pollsters won't admit it.)

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And the Colbert bump goes to... Obama!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bill Clinton on fire

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McConnell to Stevens: Resign from Senate or be expelled

Politico is reporting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has joined a growing list of senators demanding that Ted Stevens resign from the United States Senate:

"I think he should resign immediately," McConnell said. "If he did not do that ... there is a 100 percent certainty that he would be expelled from the Senate."

The article notes that McConnell, who originally held back from demanding Stevens' resignation, is locked in a "tough reelection fight in Kentucky" (red state Kentucky? Times they are a-changin!)

It appears that McConnell - a former chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee - is finally throwing Stevens under the bus.

GOP Presidential hopeful and Senator John McCain, along with Republican senators Norm Coleman, Jim DeMint, John Sununu and Gordon Smith all called on Stevens to resign on Tuesday. Once McCain demanded that Stevens step down, even Sarah Palin decided to let Stevens sink or swim on his own.

It appears that Senate Republicans are desperately hoping that Alaskans will do the 'dirty work' of getting rid of the inconvenient Stevens problem by electing Democratic candidate and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich:

While the Senate can expel Stevens, senators are clearly hoping that he saves them from the excruciating and embarrassing task of expelling him – or that Alaska’s voters do it for them when they go to the polls on Tuesday.

"Voters will determine Ted Stevens' fate much more quickly than the Senate could at this point," said one Senate Republican aide. "Should he be reelected, however, he will most certainly face serious and immediate consequences in the 111th Congress."

Another top GOP aide, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that “the voters in Alaska will be the judge and jury” in deciding Stevens’ fate at this time, not his Senate colleagues.

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Ready to vote?

Apparently the electronic voting machines are not.

This is Jeff Waybright - Jackson County Clerk in West Virginia - demonstrating (well he thought he would be demonstrating) that West Virginia's electronic voting machines will not flip to McCain whenever someone votes either straight Democrat or for Obama, as long as they are correctly calibrated.

What he ended up showing, in stark detail, was that even when 'calibrated' these machines will flip a vote to nearly anyone on the ballot BUT Obama.

For weeks we've been hearing complaints of vote-switching from early voters in West Virgina. Here are a few who went on video to talk about their experience at the polls:

Isn't it funny that votes never seem to jump from Republican... to Democrat? That is some pretty selective mis-calibration.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Stranger buys foreclosed home, gives it back to owner

My husband and I were driving around town this past weekend, and couldn't help but notice two huge, wooden signs posted in front of two homes in different areas of the city. Both advertised upcoming home auctions. We were horrified by the size of the signs and talked about how we hoped the people had already moved out and didn't have to suffer through that added humiliation.

Then we mused aloud about how fun it would be - if we had the money - to buy a foreclosed house at an auction and hand it back to the owner.

Just like Texan Marilyn Mock apparently did for a total stranger at a home auction Saturday... probably around the time we were having our little 'Santa' fantasy.

(CNN) -- Tracy Orr sat in the back of the room and prepared to watch her foreclosed home go up for auction this past Saturday. That's when a pesky stranger sat down beside her and struck up a conversation.

"Are you here to buy a house?" Marilyn Mock said.

Orr couldn't hold it in. The tears flowed. She pointed to the auction brochure at a home that didn't have a picture. "That's my house," she said.

Within moments, the four-bedroom, two-bath home in Pottsboro, Texas, went up for sale. People up front began casting their bids. The home that Orr purchased in September 2004 was slipping away.

She stood and moved toward the crowd. Behind her, Mock got into the action.

"She didn't know I was doing it," Mock says. "I just kept asking her if [her home] was worth it, and she just kept crying. She probably thought I was crazy, 'Why does this woman keep asking me that?' "

Mock says she bought the home for about $30,000. That's when Mock did what most bidders at a foreclosure auction never do.

"She said, 'I did this for you. I'm doing this for you,' " Orr says. "When it was all done, I was just in shock."

I immediately fired off an email to my husband -- "Someone actually DID IT!"

The fact is... this is the sort of selflessness that used to (and I believe still does) define us as Americans. We are not the sum total of the bad apples among us. Every society has people who are afraid or who hate. And we are certainly not defined by the differences that some would drum up and emphasize to make us feel alienated from each other.

NO -- I have heard it said (and by a friend in Europe) that Americans are at their best when things are worst.

Why be so generous?

"She was just so sad. You put yourself in their situation and you realize you just got to do something," says Mock, who says she has trouble walking by homeless people on the street and not helping them out.

"If it was you, you'd want somebody to stop and help you."

This is who we really are.... or certainly who we can be, at our best.

Mock didn't have the means to buy the house 'no strings attached;' she put one of her business dump trucks up as collateral for the loan. What she provided wasn't a hand out, but a helping hand to a neighbor in need. Orr was able to stay in her home... and Mock made made a new fishing friend:

Mock says she's excited for another reason too. Orr's house is located near a Texas fishing hot-spot. "She says I can come up there and fish, and I love to fish!"

Orr, who nearly lost her home, says her newfound friend has "given me back faith and hope to keep going and hold my head up."

If we are in fact facing another depression (like the Great Depression that our parents and grandparents lived through,) we will undoubtedly find ourselves pulling together as communities and taking care of each other. Not charity... just neighborly compassion, as we all seek shelter in these troubled times.

Cross-posted on Daily Kos and ePluribus.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Indiana just says NO

Sarah Palin would do well to note Hoosier values. Because these are the people the GOP are losing - by the truckload - in the 2008 election. Good people. Hard-working people. Friendly people. People with real values.

And apparently, McCain/Palin couldn't pay or threaten them into making hate-filled robocalls to their fellow Hoosiers. 40 of them walked off the job in Hobart, Indiana rather than be a part of this nastiness.

Dozens Of Call Center Workers Walk Off Job In Protest Rather Than Read McCain Script Attacking Obama

By Greg Sargent - October 27, 2008, 5:18PM

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.

Nina Williams, a stay-at-home mom in Lake County, Indiana, tells us that her daughter recently called her from her job at the center, upset that she had been asked to read a script attacking Obama for being "dangerously weak on crime," "coddling criminals," and for voting against "protecting children from danger."

Williams' daughter told her that up to 40 of her co-workers had refused to read the script, and had left the call center after supervisors told them that they would have to either read the call or leave, Williams says. The call center is called Americall, and it's located in Hobart, IN.

"They walked out," Williams says of her daughter and her co-workers, adding that they weren't fired but willingly sacrificed pay rather than read the lines. "They were told [by supervisors], `If you all leave, you're not gonna get paid for the rest of the day."

The daughter, who wanted her name withheld fearing retribution from her employer, confirmed the story to us. "It was like at least 40 people," the daughter said. "People thought the script was nasty and they didn't wanna read it."

And I am not the slightest bit surprised to hear this.

Indiana has been hit very hard by the economic downswing. Jobs have been leaving this state at an alarming rate, with factory after factory moving overseas. But integrity isn't for sale here. Its just not how we were raised -- any of us.

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What hate has wrought

Senator McCain and Sarah Palin: look upon your creation. This is your hate-child; the viper you have raised in the heart of America.

Take a good, hard look. These are your people. This is your base. This is the fruit of your hate-filled, racist rhetoric.

Now tell me again - go ahead - tell us all how much you love your country.

ATF disrupts skinhead plot to assassinate Obama

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday.

In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.

Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

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For he's a jolly good felon!

It would appear that poor Alaska just can't stay out of the news these days. No wonder the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska's largest newspaper) endorsed Obama. They've obviously seen more than enough GOP corruption of their own.

From The Hill:

Sen. Ted Stevens guilty of felony charges

By Manu Raju

Posted: 10/27/08 04:02 PM [ET]

Ted Stevens, the longest-serving Senate Republican in history and patriarch of Alaska politics, was found guilty of all seven felony charges for making false statements.

The verdict could spell the end of a 40-year Senate career for a man who rose to be one of the most dominant figures in the upper chamber and who helped transform Alaska in its 50 years of statehood. The verdict was reached after the jury deliberated since Wednesday and found the 84-year-old senator guilty of failing to report more than $250,000 in gifts from Bill Allen, the former head of Veco Corp., and other friends.

They say what goes around comes around. It would appear that a whole lot of GOP 'go around' is coming back to smack them squarely in the face.

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Blue Indiana

Please bear with me -- I can't get over this new look in national electoral maps.

It's the light blue state in the middle that confounds me. I have never seen this before. Since my earliest memory, it has never been anything but red. I'm still not quite convinced that this is real, but looking at it has me scratching my head and wondering.

Something very historic is happening in our nation...

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McCain volunteers are paid...

...but don't talk to them or McCain brown shirts will try to have you arrested. Even if you are standing on a public sidewalk. Even if interviewees are voluntarily answering your questions.

Oh the things that turn up on the Internets.

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And the 'Great Voter Purge' continues...

The latest targets? First time voters.

The Great Voter Purge of 2008 doesn't really care if you are White or African American. It doesn't entirely care if you are urban or rural. It doesn't discriminate between first time student voters and elderly retirees. If there is any chance - any chance at all - that you plan to vote for Barack Obama... you might find your voter registration has 'suddenly gone missing.'

From CNN:

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- College senior Kyla Berry was looking forward to voting in her first presidential election, even carrying her voter registration card in her wallet.

But about two weeks ago, Berry got disturbing news from local election officials.

"This office has received notification from the state of Georgia indicating that you are not a citizen of the United States and therefore, not eligible to vote," a letter from the Fulton County Department of Registration and Elections said.

But Berry is a U.S. citizen, born in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a passport and a birth certificate to prove it. Video Watch some of the concerns of voting experts »

The letter, which was dated October 2, gave her a week from the time it was dated to prove her citizenship. There was a problem, though -- the letter was postmarked October 9.

"It was the most bizarre thing. I immediately called my mother and asked her to send me my birth certificate, and then I was like, 'It's too late, apparently,' " Berry said.

Berry is one of more than 50,000 registered Georgia voters who have been "flagged" because of a computer mismatch in their personal identification information. At least 4,500 of those people are having their citizenship questioned and the burden is on them to prove eligibility to vote.

Experts say lists of people with mismatches are often systematically cut, or "purged," from voter rolls.

It's a scenario that's being repeated all across the country, with cases like Berry's raising fears of potential vote suppression in crucial swing states.

Polls mean nothing now. What most of us are waiting anxiously to see is whether (or not) our election system is so thoroughly compromised that an anticipated landslide victory for Obama can be thwarted.

Eight days and counting.

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The Daily Palin: What will she say next?

The McCain campaign is now (purportedly) complaining that Palin has gone 'rogue,' and is no longer speaking at the direction of the main campaign. How interesting... a rogue VP. We sure haven't seen that before.

Her latest crazy claims? An Obama presidency will be a dark descent into communism.

Communism? That is so 80s. We aren't at war with communism anymore, Sarah. Our biggest 'trading' partner and debtor is Communist China. (Someone needs to get some new, updated talking points into this woman's hands.)

Sarah Palin is... almost breath-takingly ignorant.

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I read the news today - oh boy (Monday edition)

It's Monday! Time to refocus our attention on financial chaos!

LONDON (CNNMoney.com) -- Stock around the world took another heavy beating Monday, with shares in Japan falling to their lowest level in 26 years, as fears of a global recession continued to sweep markets.

U.S. futures, which offer an indication of how Wall Street may open when trading begins in New York, were sharply lower.

European shares tumbled, with Britain's FTSE 100 down 4.8% in midday trading. The CAC-40 in Paris was down 6.5% and Germany's DAX fell 4%

In Asia, Japan's benchmark Nikkei index finished the session 6.4% lower -- its worst closing level since October 1982. Hong Kong shares were pummeled, with the Hang Seng index plunging 12.7%.

Meanwhile, here in these United States, the layoffs have begun in earnest:

Layoffs have arrived in force, like a wrenching second act in the unfolding crisis. In just the last two weeks, the list of companies announcing their intention to cut workers has read like a Who’s Who of corporate America: Merck, Yahoo, General Electric, Xerox, Pratt & Whitney, Goldman Sachs, Whirlpool, Bank of America, Alcoa, Coca-Cola, the Detroit automakers and nearly all the airlines.

When October’s job losses are announced on Nov. 7, three days after the presidential election, many economists expect the number to exceed 200,000. The current unemployment rate of 6.1 percent is likely to rise, perhaps significantly.

There isn't much more to say. This is just more of the same economic pain and chaos we've watched unfolding for weeks. We built our economy on sand - the sly manipulations of greedy men - and now the waves are washing it all away.

Greenspan has admitted to Congress that he greatly underestimated the power of greed. I find that darkly amusing. Many of us have been watching this travesty in disbelief for half a generation. I'm sure it was simply convenient to look the other way. Like the breached levees in New Orleans post-Katrina, this was all entirely predictable (and planning for the obvious outcome -- terribly inconvenient.)

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Daily Palin Scandal: AP Special Investigation

I have to hand it to the AP: they took on the job of vetting Sarah Palin, and they have yet to run short of scandals to break. Ten more days of this and we'll discover she was once married to the Unibomber...

From the AP

Palin pipeline terms curbed bids

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin's signature accomplishment — a contract to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48 — emerged from a flawed bidding process that narrowed the field to a company with ties to her administration, an Associated Press investigation shows.

Beginning at the Republican National Convention in August, the McCain-Palin ticket has touted the pipeline as an example of how it would help America achieve energy independence.

"We're building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America's largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever, to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets," Palin said during the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate.

Despite Palin's boast of a smart and fair bidding process, the AP found that her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited the winner, TransCanada Corp.

And contrary to the ballyhoo, there's no guarantee the pipeline will ever be built; at a minimum, any project is years away, as TransCanada must first overcome major financial and regulatory hurdles.

In interviews and a review of records, the AP found:

_Instead of creating a process that would attract many potential builders, Palin slanted the terms away from an important group — the global energy giants that own the rights to the gas.

_Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.

_The leader of Palin's pipeline team had been a partner at a lobbying firm where she worked on behalf of a TransCanada subsidiary. Also, that woman's former business partner at the lobbying firm was TransCanada's lead private lobbyist on the pipeline deal, interacting with legislators in the weeks before the vote to grant TransCanada the contract. Plus, a former TransCanada executive served as an outside consultant to Palin's pipeline team.

_Under a different set of rules four years earlier, TransCanada had offered to build the pipeline without a state subsidy; under Palin, the company could receive a maximum $500 million.

Read the rest here...

Thanks to the AP for doing the job most American journalists aren't willing to do (actual investigative reporting.) Sarah Palin has proven (to me at least) that she's ready to be the next Dick Cheney.

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Jon Stewart: The great pundit smackdown

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Bush orders DOJ to probe Ohio registrations

Even though the Supreme Court of the United States already overruled the GOP's attempt to challenge the validity of new voter registrations in Ohio, George W. Bush (of movie fame) had decided to step in and take charge. He is, after all, the decider. He has apparently decided that these new Ohio voters should not be allowed to vote.

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled an attempt by Republicans to challenge the validity of 200,000 voter registrations in Ohio, saying that the party lacked the standing to sue.

The Republicans had sued to force Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, a Democrat, to provide county election officials with lists of registrants whose personal information did not exactly match Social Security or driver's license data, a step that would leave those voters vulnerable to eligibility challenges.

Tensions began to escalate Thursday with disclosures that the FBI is investigating ACORN and the possibility that it's engaged in a vote-fraud scheme.

On Friday, Obama's legal counsel, Robert Bauer, wrote Attorney General Michael Mukasey, charging that the inquiry is politically motivated and that it risks repeating the 2007 scandal over the Bush administration's politicization of the Justice Department.

Bauer asked Mukasey to broaden a special prosecutor's investigation to examine the origin of the ACORN inquiry.

Thanks Nancy! First he was only throwing food and painting on the walls... now he's burning the entire house down.

But sure: why impeach?

President George W. Bush late Friday asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate whether hundreds of thousands of newly registered voters in the battleground state of Ohio would have to verify the information on their voter registration forms or be given provisional ballots, an issue the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on last week.

The unprecedented intervention by the White House less than two weeks before the presidential election may result in at least 200,000 voters in Ohio not being able to vote on Election Day. Information on the 200,000 voter registration forms does not match up exactly with information on government databases. Republicans are claiming that's evidence of voter registration fraud.

But the mismatched information can be attributed to misspellings and other minor mistakes, not a malicious intent on the part of voters to cast fraudulent ballots.

Still, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, sent a letter to Bush Friday asking that he order the Department of Justice to probe the matter claiming Ohio election officials are not complying with federal law. Boehner wants Mukasey to order the Ohio Secretary of State to identify the 200,000 voters by county and precinct and be given a provisional ballot until their registrations are confirmed. Provisional ballots largely go uncounted.

“I strongly urge you to direct Attorney General Mukasey and the Department of Justice to act." Boehner said in his letter “Unless action is taken by the Department immediately, thousands, if not tens or hundreds of thousands of names whose information has not been verified through the [Help America Vote Act] procedures mandated by Congress will remain on the voter rolls during the November 4 election; and there is a significant risk if not a certainty, that unlawful votes will be cast and counted. Given the Election Day is less than two weeks away, immediate action by the Department is not only warranted, but also crucial.”

Independent studies have shown that phony registrations rarely result in illegally cast ballots because there are so many other safeguards built into the system.

George George George... what ever happened to 'states rights?'

Worried about an Obama landslide? Or is this simply part of a much larger, intricate election stealing mechanism already in place?

Because - God knows - your chances of legally hanging onto your (abuse of) power grow slimmer every day.

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Character and the hero's journey

Barack Obama left Hawaii after saying goodbye to his grandmother. She may well be dying, and may not even live to see the results of this election. My heart goes out to him today.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. - Helen Keller

I guess over time, I've come to appreciate that everything happens for a reason. Barack Obama wouldn't be who he is today without having suffered and struggled. The reason that he connects with his fellow Americans - that he cares so deeply - is because he has suffered with us, experienced disappointment, loss, and pain.

Lincoln's loss of his mother at an early age, and his subsequent battles with depression forged a depth of character that made him our greatest president and leader. FDR's battles with polio (and also depression) were undoubtedly the source of his great compassion for everyone in the nation that suffered through the Great Depression

Barack is often compared with Bobby Kennedy - but RFK was forever changed by the assassination of his brother. He came out the other side a fiery and compassionate leader of the people. He connected with the pain all around him. It was personal.

Al Gore never looked half as presidential in 2000 as he did when speaking at the 2008 Democratic Convention. Gore went through his hero's journey after the election, and emerged an inspirational world educator and leader in the fight against climate change. He also won a Nobel prize.

The qualifications of a truly great president include more than political savvy. It is not enough to be intelligent, well organized and ambitious if you lack personal character and compassion. If Mr. Obama is elected president in 10 days, he will need every bit of strength, character and determination to turn this country around... and we will need every bit of his compassion.

We ourselves have experienced several very painful losses this summer. I hope we can make a small difference in this world. Obama has the opportunity to change history.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain's big Faux moment

This story is becoming Shakespearean in its grandiosity. Let me narrate as best I can.

A McCain campaign worker from Texas (in Pittsburgh) filed charges that she was attacked because she had a McCain sticker on her car -- and it appears that she also claimed this was done by an African American male.

Richard said the woman had described her alleged attacker as an African-American, 6 feet 4 inches tall with a medium build and short dark hair, wearing dark clothing and shiny shoes.

It seems the hapless woman carved a backwards 'B' on her face (using a mirror?) and gave herself a black eye; then told the police that she was attacked while using an ATM. Strangely, the ATM tape didn't show any attack, so the police grew suspicious. They gave her a polygraph test and lo -- she confessed that she made the entire story up.

Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

At a news conference this afternoon, officials said they believe that Ashley Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.

Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.


Not before the story ran in all its dubious glory on the Drudge Report.

And not before McCain's Communications Director in PA gave reporters a very incendiary version of what is now known as the "Carved B" story:

MCain'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.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

And not before Faux News blared the story -- all day -- sputtering their outrage and citing this as the death knell for the Obama campaign; even prompting the station's executive vice president, John Moody, to write:

It had to happen.

Less than two weeks before we vote for a new president, a white woman says a black man attacked her, then scarred her face, and says there was a political motive for it.

Ashley Todd, a 20-year-old white volunteer for John McCain’s presidential campaign, says she was mugged at an ATM machine in Pittsburgh (my hometown) by a big black man. She further says he threw her down, then disfigured her by carving the letter "B" into her face with a sharp implement when he saw that she supported McCain, not Barack Obama.

Part of the appeal of, and the unspoken tension behind, Senator Obama’s campaign is his transformational status as the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination.

That does not mean that he has erased the mutual distrust between black and white Americans, and this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election.

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.

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

I am waiting excitedly for word that Moody, and in fact all of Faux News, has now endorsed Barack Obama for president. Obviously Mr. Moody is correct, and Senator McCain's campaign is now over - dead and buried. I'm sure they will announce their endorsement soon.

In other news... former McCain campaign advisor Charles Fried announced today that he has voted early, casting his vote for... Barack Obama.

And look at this new national map! Indiana is blue blue BLUE!!

UPDATE: Best Ashley Todd joke, courtesy of Bill Maher:

"McCain called her to offer his support, Palin called her to offer her support, and Karl Rove called to say 'You dumbass, you got the B backwards.' Of course the police knew she was lying all along, because she told this outlandish story about getting money out of a bank."

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When two lines collide...

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Obama in Indy: Don't it paint my red state blue

Watch the speech, thanks to the Indy Star:

Indiana loves him.

This from WHAS11 in Kentucky, our nearest red neighbor to the South:

(WHAS11) - If it wasn’t a battleground state before but it is now! According to recent polls, Senator Barack Obama has taken the lead in the Hoosier State.

Both sides of the political aisle are spending quite a bit of time in Indiana. Senator Obama stumped in Indianapolis Thursday, and Governor Sarah Palin will be in Fort Wayne on Saturday.

A democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Indiana since Lyndon Johnson did it in 1964. And if John McCain loses the reliably republican Hoosier state, it would be a sign that he’s unlikely to win the presidency.

Barack Obama has spent far more time in the Hoosier state than John McCain because it was up for grabs in the democratic primary race as well.

Now, all of that time spent in Indiana is paying off for Obama. The new WHAS11/Survey USA poll shows Obama leading McCain 49% to 45% in Indiana.

By the way, John Mellencamp's Indiana radio commercial, encouraging Hoosiers to vote for Obama, can be heard online right here.

We in Indiana are ready and waiting for November 4th, and we may just have a little surprise waiting for the rest of this country when the networks throw up their 'red' and 'blue' states on the electoral map.

Indiana has been suffering from a severe case of the economic blues for years under the Bush Administration. Republicans, Independents and Democrats alike: we're sick of being taken for granted and left behind.

If current trends continue (and there isn't any 'battleground state' funny business at the polls,) we'll be wearing those blues on our state map election night.

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Steal back your vote!

Not much I can add to this: the last two elections have been stolen from us, the American voters. Armies of lawyers and judges are involving themselves in the process this year, (most of them on our behalf,) but nothing can replace the education vigilance of the voting public. Its up to us to guard our democracy.

From RFK Jr. and Greg Palast: Steal back your vote!

Steal Back Your Vote! from Greg Palast on Vimeo.

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McCain Adviser Pfotenhauer "not a constitutional scholar"

Nancy Pfotenhauer hasn't read the Constitution.

Chris Matthews has read it. I've read it (and I'm not in politics.) Kucinich carries a pocket copy around in his pocket.

I suppose many neoconservatives don't bother to read the Constitution anymore; their commander in chief has done everything in his vastly expanded power to undermine it's legality during his two terms. Besides... it's just a piece of paper. Right?

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

"I don't give a goddamn," Bush retorted. "I'm the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way."

"Mr. President," one aide in the meeting said. "There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution."

"Stop throwing the Constitution in my face," Bush screamed back. "It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"

I never understood how this incident was allowed to slide.

Bush swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. Americans have been dying for centuries to protect the rights laid out in this sacred document that defines our very democracy and our rights as citizens.

But of course, everything was allowed to slide.

And so we have yet another round of constitutionally-ignorant Republicans who somehow believe they are qualified to lead this once great democracy... right over the cliff.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama: There are no 'real' and no 'fake' parts of the country

We need someone to inspire us... I think we've found that guy.

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Judges rule against GOP in Indiana and Nevada

The GOP just can't seem to win these days.

Two rulings came down today -- both in favor of voters (and against the GOP lawsuits thrown up to block or otherwise hamper early voting in urban centers.)

In Indiana, Republican attempts to shut down the early voting centers in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago failed today when Superior Court Judge Diane Kavadias-Schneider ruled against them:

The Lake County Board of Elections and Registration is hereby enjoined from terminating the operation of in person absentee voting currently being conducted in the offices of the Clerk of the Lake Circuit Court in the courthouse buildings in Gary, Hammond, and East Chicago and the offices of the Lake County Board of Elections and Registration in Crown Point.

It is further ordered that all ballots that have already been cast at the early voting locations in Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, and Crown Point shall not be invalidated except for instances of voter fraud.

And in Nevada, the fight for/against voter suppression has taken a new twist.

Yesterday, Republican chair Sue Lowden asked the Secretary of State to invalidate the registrations of any Nevada citizen whose registration information contained errors or was in any way 'incomplete.' Interestingly, her greatest concern seemed to be the registrations from the urban areas (most likely to vote Democratic.)

Today Nevada Secretary of State, Ross Miller, responded that Nevada Statue 293.5235(6) requires the county to notify the voter of any deficiency and give them 15 days to correct the error. He ruled that because the voters have not been given advance notice of any errors in their registrations, the corrections could be handled at the polls.

Score two for the voters!

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McCain explores boundaries of erratic


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Jon Stewart nails McCain's hide to the wall

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RNC spends 150K on Palin 'accessories'

Sarah Palin is no Barack Obama. I'd have to agree with her own assessment: Sarah Palin really does see America a bit differently than Barack Obama does.

While Obama walks all over the country talking to voters, wearing his shoes out and occasionally re-soling them, Palin is out shopping at Saks Fifth Avenue.

From Politico:

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission's long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

And yet another Palin scandal -- campaign cash used to purchase personal accessories. But then, that's Sarah's modus operandi. She runs for newer and better offices so she can take trips using taxpayer money, and buy herself and her kids bigger and nicer presents.

I can only imagine what she'd be like in the White House. First they resurrected Joe McCarthy... now the RNC has resurrected Marie Antoinette! Brilliant strategy in these hard economic times!

Can we safely say that this is just a bit more extravagant than John Edwards' haircut?

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What the shoes told

"Senator Obama was doing press interviews by telephone in a holding room between events. Sometime later as he was getting ready to begin his event, he asked me if I was photographing his shoes. When I said yes, he told me that he had already had them resoled once since he entered the race a year earlier. Providence, R.I., 3/1/2008."

He re-soles his shoes? No way? Really?

This is the kind of guy I want for president. Today I am officially, 100% sold. This is a man who will look out for us.

When was the last time we had a president who would even think of having his shoes re-soled - not to mention walking so much that he would wear them out?

When was the last time we had a president who wouldn't - at the first sign of wear - simply toss the old shoes into the trash and send someone out to buy him a new (and very expensive) pair? Lincoln?

This says more about the difference between Obama and McCain than anything I've read in the last 9 months. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words... this one is priceless.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Another Palin scandal? You betcha

Kudos to the AP for running with this; and Newsweek for highlighting it:

(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) Gov. Sarah Palin charged the state for her children to travel with her, including to events where they were not invited, and later amended expense reports to specify that they were on official business.

The charges included costs for hotel and commercial flights for three daughters to join Palin to watch their father in a snowmobile race, and a trip to New York, where the governor attended a five-hour conference and stayed with 17-year-old Bristol for five days and four nights in a luxury hotel.

In all, Palin has charged the state $21,012 for her three daughters' 64 one-way and 12 round-trip commercial flights since she took office in December 2006. In some other cases, she has charged the state for hotel rooms for the girls.

What do we call this one... 'Mommy-gate?'

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The Daily Show: Real Americans

It was impossible to pick just one of these videos: every one was a classic.

Well I certainly watch the Daily Show, so I'm very obviously not a 'real American.' Hmm... this could have some advantages (tax advantages especially.)

Perhaps some new lyrics to that annoying 'Proud to be an American' song are in order; for all of us who have been kicked out of the Real America:

Guess I'm proud to be un-American
Sarah Palin set me free
All this time I thought I lived here too
And the word applied to me
Now I'm glad to stand up, free and clear
Much relieved to finally say
That its not my fault... its gone to hell...
And the debt's not mine to pay!

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PPP showing slight Obama lead in Indiana

As much as I have suspected this, seeing it on display in a poll -- and one that was run before the 'Powell Effect' -- is pretty damn exciting.

This is what I'm talkin about!

Barack Obama 48
John McCain 46

Benefiting from overwhelming support among voters who didn't cast a ballot for President in 2004, Barack Obama has a small lead in Indiana.

New voters are going for Obama at a clip of 68-24, allowing him to overcome a 48-45 lead John McCain has with folks who did vote in the last Presidential election.

Obama has a 49-39 advantage with Hoosier state independents, and is doing almost as good a job as McCain of holding the support of voters within his own party. Obama is winning 84% of Democrats while McCain gets 86% of Republicans.

Obama is winning 89% of the black vote and remaining competitive enough among white voters to keep the overall lead. McCain is winning whites 51-42.

Cheers to Hoosiers for polling - and soon voting - in their best interest!

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Keith Olbermann Special Comment

Shouting 'Fire' in a Crowded Theater

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The Hate-talk Express reaps dark rewards

It has begun. As we knew it would. As we warned it would.

McCain/Palin would not stop. They spewed their hateful accusations and dark innuendos; they declared that Senator Barack Obama was 'palling around with terrorists' and that, by virtue of his middle name, must himself be a Muslim (he isn't - but what if he was?) and a terrorist.

Imagine... calling a fellow senator a terrorist!

And so they reap their dark rewards. And - unfortunately - so does all of America.

This is the GOP 'leadership' that will inspire a nation? This is all we can expect from a former war hero? This is their Christianity -- inciting American jihadists?

In Little Rock, Arkansas:

Little Rock police are investigating an early-morning home invasion that has left a KATV morning anchor hospitalized.

According to authorities, Anne Pressly, 26, is in critical condition at a Little Rock hospital after being found in her home with what police call “severe wounds.” Early reports said Pressly had been stabbed or cut, but Monday afternoon investigators confirmed the injuries occurred from blunt force trauma to the head and upper body.

-- snip --

Recently, Pressly landed a small role in the new Oliver Stone movie, “W” which opened in theaters last week. (She played Ann Coulter.)

Update from Arkansas Times Blog:

The crime had earmarks of a targeted act against a single person. The police have told the local neighborhood association, however, that patrols in the area will be increased until a suspect is arrested.

Pressly has a small role in the current movie, "W," Oliver Stone's portrayal of George W. Bush. She played commentator Ann Coulter in the movie, much of it filmed in Shreveport.

Update from Under the Dome:

She was on her Facebook page last night at 9:51 thanking those who went to see her 30 second part in the movie "W." Pressly has been with KATV since June, 2004.

In Ashville, North Carolina:

A dead bear was found dumped this morning on the Western Carolina University campus, draped with a pair of Obama campaign signs, university police said.

Maintenance workers reported about 7:45 a.m. finding a 75-pound bear cub dumped at the roundabout near the Catamount statute at the entrance to campus, said Tom Johnson, chief of university police.

"It looked like it had been shot in the head as best we can tell. A couple of Obama campaign signs had been stapled together and stuck over its head," Johnson said.

In Hays County, Texas:

In western Hays County, Texas, at around 8PM Sunday night 19 October, thugs trashed my car while I was having dinner with some friends.

Out in the country. Miles from anywhere.

My "Obama 08" bumper sticker was torn off the right rear bumper, a 20-lb rock was dropped through the back window, 2 stolen Obama yard signs were shoved through the gaping hole in the window, and a cryptic almost "OBAHA" (or something...) was scrawled in orange spray-paint on the drivers side front and back doors and windows.

In Jackson, Mississippi:

Government employees in a north Mississippi county were told not to use public property for political activity after a comptroller used a work computer to forward a chain e-mail asking people to pray for Barack Obama's defeat, a county official said Wednesday.

DeSoto County Administrator Michael Garriga said Comptroller Tom Arnold sent the message, titled "Pray, Pray, Pray," sometime in the past few days to at least 35 addresses on the county's e-mail user list. He said Arnold could face disciplinary action as a result.

"We don't need to be expressing any political or religious views when we're at work or when we're using county resources," Garriga told The Associated Press in an interview.

The e-mail implies that Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, is Muslim. Obama is Christian.

"We have the power to change the course of this election and to keep a man as suspect as Barak (sic) Obama from leading our country to who knows where with his message of 'change'; a change which I fear will be away from our Christian ideals, and away from Christ, and further away from one nation under God to one nation under Allah," the e-mail said, according to portions published Wednesday by The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn.

In Chicago, Illinois:

Two supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama found handwritten death threats in their mailboxes Thursday and reported them to Villa Park police.

A 74-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man with Obama signs in their front yards near the 600 block of South Villa Avenue received similar letters that had a Villa Park Village Hall return address. "Get the Obama signs off your property—now," the letter reads. "Failure to obey this order will result in the immediate death of all family members." Both residents said they will not remove their signs, though the man, who had voted Republican for 25 years before switching parties this year, said his wife is worried about letting their 7-year-old son play alone outside.

In Princeton, West Virginia:

In Richmond, Virginia:

On Friday night, a large Obama sign was stolen on Bailey Bridge Road. It was replaced with something that has shocked the community.

In the sign's place was a confederate flag.

"I was kind of upset and shook up," said Reverend Leroy McLaughlin, the signs owner.

Rev. McLaughlin does not hold back when he describes the culprits.

"...evil folks, mean and got the devil in them."

Stolen campaign signs are a problem every year around election time but Rev McLaughlin says this act crossed the line and seems racist.

In Fayetteville, North Carolina:

Someone slashed the tires of at least 30 vehicles parked outside the Crown Coliseum on Sunday during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating. The tires were cut while people were inside the Crown Coliseum listening to speeches, said Maj. E. Wright of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Many of the damaged vehicles were parked on Wilkes Road. Representatives from Obama and Sen. John McCain’s campaigns said they were unaware of the acts.

Susan Lagana, the North Carolina communications director for Obama, said it was extremely disappointing and unfortunate that “people would have to experience something like that.”

Mario Diaz, communications director for McCain, did not respond to a call late Sunday.

Sarah Revis, who lives on Wilkes Road, said the slashed tires left several women, including a single mother and a toddler, stranded and upset. At least four tow trucks were sent to move the vehicles from the Crown, Revis said.

In Columbus, Ohio:

Ohio's elections chief said the state's Web site is running on limited capacity after several security breaches.

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner said in a statement Monday that the site has been partially disabled to protect state records and data. A spokesman said he is unaware of any personal records being accessed.

The state highway patrol is investigating the breaches.

The statement said officials are also investigating other security threats, including a suspicious package covered with threatening messages and containing an unidentified powder that was mailed to Brunner's office last week.

The statement said the office has also been inundated with death threats in e-mails and telephone calls.

Brunner's office has been embroiled in controversy over Ohio voter registration rules.

In Caledonia, Wisconsin:

In an exclusive interview with 12 News, 58 year-old Nancy Takehara of Chicago says she was going door-to-door when she came across a disgruntled homeowner.

“The next thing I know he’s telling us we’re not his people, we’re probably with ACORN, and he started screaming and raving,” Takehara said. “He grabbed me by the back of the neck. I thought he was going to rip my hair out of my head. He was pounding on my head and screaming. The man terrified me.”

The man eventually stopped and the Caledonia police were called. Takehara was asked if she needed medical assistance, but she was not seriously injured. Instead, she says she was shaken up by the homeowner’s reaction.

“This negative stuff has to stop,” said Takehara. “We’re all Americans. This is all about protecting our democracy, not about attacking each other.”

Where will it break out next?

This domestic terrorism isn't going to stop. Not until the instigators, John McCain and Sarah Palin stop inciting it.

Who is the terrorist now, John McCain? No really -- because the only people I see "palling around with terrorists" right now, are you and your running mate.

I fail to see how I am expected to believe that you love America as much as I do. Your words and your actions say otherwise. "By their works you will know them." I wonder... do you even remember who said those words?

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Lou! You found the forest!

Is Lou FINALLY starting to get it?

It appears he has set aside his fascination for ACORNs, and focused on the veritable forest of nation-wide voting problems.

Lou Dobbs Tonight
Monday, October 20, 2008

Tonight, we continue to examine the state of our voting system, and most importantly, its integrity as voters prepare to flock to the polls in record numbers. A Superior Court judge ordered stepped up security of 10,000 electronic voting machines in New Jersey Friday. The machines have been proven to be hackable in seven minutes. The court also agreed to release a Princeton University professor's report that questions the reliability of the machines. Princeton's Coalition for Peace Action and others have sued to force the state to return to paper balloting. New jersey does not have a paper trail and electronic machines miscounted voted in the primaries.

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Obama fighting hard for Indiana

If Indiana turns blue at last, it won't be simply because of overwhelming turnout in Lake County or the Democratic cities like Indianapolis and Bloomington. If Indiana turns blue, it will be because Indiana Hoosiers are disgusted with the Bush Administration... and because Obama has run a terrific ground offensive in this state. He has done what many (including myself) might have thought impossible: he is making serious headway in the wealthy Republican suburbs that ring Indianapolis:

Bruce Babcock, a lifelong Republican and a retired executive with a Fortune 100 company, had no reluctance about advertising his newfound political allegiance with an Obama sign. "Bush has not done a very good job. And the Republicans don't deserve another chance at all." Babcock’s last words were designed to underscore that he has no animus toward McCain: "They'd have to resurrect Lincoln to get me to vote Republican."

This is actually hard for me to visualize, because I used to live in the area bordering Dan Burton's district, and it is about as GOP as GOP gets. But I have been hearing for months that there is a quiet revolt happening in the White, Republican suburbs. Republicans in the wealthy suburbs that encircle Indianapolis are turning on the GOP and mobilizing for Obama:

Westfield, Indiana, is at the very center of Hamilton County, one of the most Republican counties in the country, and the location of my home. It was in my home that a couple of dozen Republicans for Obama (RFOs) met last week to socialize. Yes, I said Republicans for Obama, a phenomenon similar to the Reagan Democrats of the 80's. While the GOP is denying we exist as a movement, the Obama campaign is prepping to support our group on a national level with a presence on barackobama.com as well as staffer support for meetings like this one.

My wife, Sharon, and I have been Republicans since Reagan's first term. We hosted this first "Central Indiana Republicans for Obama In Home Social" on the evening of Thursday, July 24th. Two dozen Republicans attended, as well as several members of the Obama campaign who came to show their support for our nonpartisan efforts. Even a reporter from The Indianapolis Star attended to report on what could be said to be a historic event.

And that was only August.

From Salon:

Finding Democratic voters in fast-growing suburban Hamilton County, just north of Indianapolis, seems as unlikely as spying a herd of giraffes frolicking in a mall parking lot. In 2004, Bush rolled up the kind of victory in Hamilton County that Vladimir Putin might envy -- obliterating Kerry by 51,000 votes with a 74 to 25 percent margin. Yet Obama has two storefront offices in the county (among 44 offices statewide) and is running an aggressive canvassing operation. This unusual commitment of resources is not lost on the Republicans. "Obama's campaign has targeted the Doughnut Counties" -- local lingo for the eight counties that ring Indianapolis --"particularly Hamilton County," says Clark, the GOP chairman. "They are targeting upscale voters, particularly women."

About a dozen Obama canvassers headed out Saturday morning from the newly opened campaign headquarters in affluent Carmel; I accompanied Barbara Kirk, a retired psychotherapist wearing a black Obama T-shirt with a peace sign in place of the "O," and Beth Maier, a photographer who just moved to Indiana with her husband, a medical scientist. They were making the rounds in the Smokey Ridge neighborhood, where houses list for about $500,000. Carmel, where 89 percent of all high school graduates attend four-year colleges, is not anything like a typical Indiana community. But this is an area where the downside of the Bush era's hard-right tilt of the Republican Party can be observed -- as upscale moderate voters who might be attracted to John McCain for economic reasons recoil because of the social conservatism symbolized by Palin's presence on the ticket.

Laurie Dwyer, a youthful looking 62-year-old woman wearing a Citadel T-shirt (her husband's alma mater), is just this sort of repentant Bush 2004 voter. "I don't say that I'm a Democrat or a Republican," Dwyer told the Obama canvassers, after admitting that she would be voting for their candidate. "I just think that McCain did us all an injustice by choosing his running mate. McCain has made so many mistakes running his campaign, who knows what he would do as president." Offered an Obama lawn sign, Dwyer, presumably thinking about the reaction of her neighbors, said softly, "I better not." (Her precinct went for Bush in 2004 by a vote of 780 to 247.)

But not only the wealthy Hoosiers are 'getting it.' Indiana has been slammed by enormous factory job losses. We're being hammered by weather changes that have threatened our corn crops (alternating floods and droughts -- the weather here has been spooky even by unpredictable Indiana standards.) And the Indiana unemployment rate is now the highest that it has been in over 20 years.

Hoosiers aren't stupid. I've kept my ear to the ground, and have struck up conversations in rural restaurants, hardware stores, and with repairmen who have come to our house. Every conversation has turned to outrage with Bush, comments about how our government has gone 'straight to hell,' or about the ill treatment of returning war veterans.

I recall one conversation that I had with a repairman last year. He came to our house to fix our plumbing, and ended up spending an extra 20 minutes ranting about how badly his brother was treated when he returned from Desert Storm. He died from the strange 'Gulf War' illness that affected many returning vets, and according to the account I heard, he received little if any medical treatment from the government. When he died, his brother the repairman was outraged that the military would only provide a taped recording of Taps for his funeral. This is Indiana; blue-collar, working class Indiana.

People here are angry. People here are more than ready for change. All they want to hear is that someone really means the political rhetoric and really understands the suffering.

Back to the Salon essay:

But if Obama wins the state, more than anything it will be due to the best voter-contact operation Indiana has ever seen. Even Murray Clark, the Indiana Republican chairman, says with grudging admiration in his voice, "Obama's done these things right. That's how he nearly beat Hillary in the primary."

Ignored for decades by presidential candidates, Indiana in 2004 boasted a dubious distinction -- the lowest turnout rate among registered voters (57.4 percent) of any state in the union. Had the Obama campaign been pinched for cash instead of raking in a jaw-dropping $150 million in September, Indiana probably would have remained the Midwest's leading flyover state. Instead, buoyed by the primary turnout, the Obama team saw opportunity amid the decades of neglect. As Emily Parcell, the Indiana Obama coordinator puts it, "Unlike Iowa, where every election is hard fought and where a good field operation can add only about 3 percentage points, there is a much greater opportunity for a good field operation here. Hoosiers are not used to Democrats coming to their door. They're not used to being told about early voting."

If you live in Indiana, get out there and talk to people! Or simply listen and then tell them how you feel about Barack Obama. You may be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

UPDATE: The Indianapolis Star ran a story yesterday about the struggling Indiana economy. More fodder for discussion while canvassing local voters:

After five years of concerted effort by government and business leaders, Indiana's economy is still falling behind.

About 40,000 high-paying industrial jobs have vanished since 2003, and efforts to replace them with a high-wage tech economy have not taken hold.

That means Indiana paychecks still are rising less than the U.S. average, a process that began decades ago and shows few signs of reversal despite successful efforts to increase biotech, advanced manufacturing and service jobs.

Those efforts were partly undermined by the rapid disintegration of the national economy brought on this year by high fuel prices and the global lending crisis. Hoosier unemployment, for example, was below the national average for years but suddenly surpassed it this summer as the U.S. economy slumped and high gas prices hit Indiana's RV industry.

Cross posted from Daily Kos, ePluribus Media, and Blue Indiana.

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Brzezinski: We are in a deep, deep historic crisis

Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski explains why Barack Obama is such a transformational candidate - cutting across racial and generational boundaries - and what Colin Powell's endorsement really says about the state of our government today.

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Racists flushed out into the open

Angry GOPers are now accusing Colin Powell (once a Republican, now a Black man) of endorsing Obama simply because he is African American.

Powell - who spoke as eloquently as anyone I have yet heard, about the reason Obama is the best choice for America - has apparently brought the racists right out of their closets.

Note each one: as John McCain has said - we will know their names:

-- Pat Buchanan on Hardball, accused Powell of being a traitor to the Republican Party, and said that he endorsed Obama simply because he is Black.

-- Rush Limbaugh

Limbaugh: Where are the inexperienced, white liberals Powell has endorsed?

Rush Limbaugh said Colin Powell's decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama's status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in an e-mail. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."

As for Powell's statement of concern this morning about the sort of Supreme Court justices a President McCain might appoint, Limbaugh wrote: "I was also unaware of his dislike for John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia. I guess he also regrets Reagan and Bush making him a four-star [general] and secretary of state and appointing his son to head the FCC. Yes, let's hear it for transformational figures."

Limbaugh obviously forgot that Clarence Thomas... is Black.

-- George Will:

Who will step out next? Let's get you all out in the sunshine where we can see you... without your sheets, shall we?

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