Saturday, October 25, 2008

Our Dumb Dialogue

One of the reasons our politics have gotten so much dumber is because the media coverage of it has lead the way in stupidity. Besides the obvious culprits-- talk radio, Fox News, cable news blowhards and pundits in general-- there is one person who best sums this up... Matt Drudge (one of my favorite people!). According to the liberal media, he rules their world.

Yesterday was a key example of his stupidity... Drudge pushed big time on Thursday evening (with siren and oversized red font and everything) a local Pittsburgh story about a college Republican woman who claimed she was beaten by a savage negro for having a McCain bumper sticker. Of course, even an initial glance at the story saw that it was full of holes (even Michelle Malkin, among others, called BS right away), but Drudge's pimping of it helped propel it into the national media. It got so big that even the McCain campaign got involved. Of course, by yesterday afternoon, the obvious was confirmed- the woman made it all up. One would assume that Drudge would be humbled by this, his latest in a series of getting caught up in BS non-stories, and strive to be taken more seriously.

Nope! Here's his big headline (no, no official mea culpa from Drudge) this morning-


Yes, this apparently, according to the media, is what the election comes down to... Joe the Plumber, fake muggings, and fears of non-existent terrorist candidates and socialism. I would like to believe, despite my complete skepticism, that current poll #s are accurate, because it means that the American people are smarter than they're given credit for.

I look forward to seeing what other stupidity will be slammed with in these final two weeks.

[PS- A Plumber Joe reality check, and a highlight reel of anti-Obama right-wing stupidity.]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Obama?

I can't remember which blog I found this on, but here is a succinct, 3-minute video summing up some key reasons why Barack Obama is the superior candidate in this election-

Pass it around. Not sure if it's viral-quality, but it deserves to be watched.

Links Ahoy!

I read a lot of news. And I choose to share important/interesting stories with you. Enjoy?

NY Times: Deficit Rises, and Consensus Is to Let It Grow

YouTube (BBC report): Is This The End Of America's Superpower Status?

Huffington Post: Muslim McCain Fans Confront Intolerance At Rally (VIDEO)

Time: California and Beyond: The Battle Over Gay Marriage

The Telegraph (UK): Climate change is 'faster and more extreme' than feared

NY Times: New Doubts Cloud Iraqi Security Pact With U.S.

Are You A Real American?

That's the latest divisive meme from McCain/Palin. Jon Stewart rips them a new one.

In particular, watch for Jason Jones' visit to Wasilla, Alaska... a real reality check.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I'm An Optimist. Can You Tell?

Apropos of my initial post yesterday, National Review Online's odious editor Kathryn Jean Lopez (archives) today posts this to cheer up depressed conservatives, but it should be a warning to complacent Democrats not to, well, get complacent. A lot can happen in two weeks.

Don't just get your own ass out to vote on November 4th... call/email/drag every swing state friend and family member you have with you and make sure we win this thing by an un-stealable margin (yes conservatives, that's what actual voter fraud looks like). Polls mean nothing unless they're backed up by actual votes.

It certainly helps we have a superior candidate this time, but take nothing for granted.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

I don't know how much this news means to the average American, but I found it noteworthy, so here it is... Colin Powell-- the man who (regretfully) gave one of the key presentations necessary to helping Pres. Bush sell his war in Iraq-- has decided to endorse Barack Obama for President (the right, of course, is responding all pissy, by playing the race card).

Let the purging of party moderates continue full pace, GOP!

The reason I find this noteworthy isn't the endorsement, per se, since I have no clue if voters even pay attention to this stuff. Rather, it's how he elaborates on his thinking here... his condemnation of the current state of the GOP, his regret at the McCain camp's increasingly vile tactics, his support for the calm governing approach of Obama, and the polarization of American politics. These were all the notes I wanted to see hit.

I also recommend watching Powell speaking with the press after the endorsement, where he goes further. He touches on the differences between McCain and Obama, Iraq, the GOP's divisive McCarthyism, and the new 'socialist' attacks on Obama. In regards to the latter, he said it's "because [Obama] dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have. Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who pay them, in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there's nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more or who should be paying less, and for us to say that makes you a socialist is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate," then adding his dislike of taxes is outweighed by dislike of deficits and outdated infrastructure. Refreshing to see a defense like that of progressive tax policy, particularly coming from a life-long Republican.

[PS- Looking for the SNL/Palin clips? NBC has them on their website for free viewing.]

Quote of the Day

A warning from TPM's Josh Marshall on why overconfidence is very dangerous right now-
"Yes, it looks good for the Democrats. But you need to play close attention to the McCain campaign's final weeks' strategy under and just above the radar...

....Stripped down to its components McCain's message to voters is this: 'Don't forget. He's definitely black. And he may be a terrorist.' That's the message. The nuts and bolts is a concerted effort to keep Democrats from voting -- through intimidation, by striking new voters from the rolls, which is going to happen to lots of them, clogging polling stations to create delays that keep late day (predominantly) Obama voters from voting altogether. Smears in the air and voter suppression on the ground.

Many people say, well ... all this stuff just hasn't worked. But the truth is that the really corrupt and vicious part of McCain's effort only comes now because it's only in the last couple weeks that you can pull stuff that the press won't get to call you on before election day -- after which it doesn't matter. Will it take Obama down? So far McCain's gutter campaign has hurt him more than helped. But there's no reason to be sure it will continue that way. And many Obama supporters, sure the election is basically wrapped up, appear ready to slack in the stretch and let McCain smear and cheat his way into office."

And the scary part is that the swing demographics that the Obama camp needs to ensure victory are the ones most susceptible to these smears and innuendo (older voters, small town white voters, etc). I don't need to re-link to all the videos/stories about the racist anger the GOP is fomenting in these final weeks (see some links in my odds and ends post from Friday)... we've all seen them by now. And if you call them on it? They accuse you of playing the race card. You'd be amazed at what people with absolutely no shame can, and have, gotten away with.

As for the GOP's voter suppression efforts-- perfected over the last eight years-- you need only read this investigate Rolling Stone piece to see reason for concern. That's what all this GOP/Fox News-pushed ACORN insanity is about... a magician's sleight of hand trick to get you focused on the fake-out while the real act is being performed elsewhere. Mickey Mouse can't show up and vote on election day, but a lot of real people who do plan to vote will find doing so much more difficult thanks to Republican efforts.

And the 'socialism'/'class warfare' card, while not mentioned by Marshall, I would argue is another sleight of hand trick. The policies and actions of the Republicans have devastated our economy. The results have been on the front page of the papers for months. And they haven't, and won't, defended those policies. So they will spend the final weeks warning against strawmen (Barack will destroy us with middle class tax cuts and health care!). Do these attacks still work? We won't know until late in the evening on November 4th.

I don't know what any of us can do about all of this except, a) correct the misconceptions of our swing state friends/family, b) vote, and c) hope and pray that they fail this time.