Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


You Betcha
October 10, 2008 6:00 PM   Subscribe

Legislative panel concludes that Palin abused the power of her office. A Republican-dominated Alaska State Legislative panel voted unanimously this evening to release to the public the results of the investigation into Governor Sarah Palin's dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. (Full report PDF here) Among four key points released in the report, the most significant "concludes that Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act, which says that 'each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.'"
posted by XQUZYPHYR (477 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Frogmarch?

please?
posted by brain cloud at 6:05 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


YOU ARE PEOPLE ARE LIVING IN THE PAST MAN

My God, that was WEEKS AGO!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:05 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why do I have the feeling that this result won't change a thing.
posted by PercussivePaul at 6:06 PM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


Wow. Even the Republicans in Alaska don't have her back.
posted by jetsetsc at 6:06 PM on October 10, 2008


Y'know, now is not the time to be playing the blame game. Y'know?
posted by brundlefly at 6:06 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh good, the other two threads were starting to get long.
posted by casarkos at 6:06 PM on October 10, 2008 [13 favorites]


I can't wait for the McCain campaign's statement on this.
posted by Flunkie at 6:07 PM on October 10, 2008


Why do I have the feeling that this result won't change a thing.
Because you're right - it won't. Barack Obama will still win.
posted by Flunkie at 6:08 PM on October 10, 2008 [34 favorites]


suuurreeellyyyyy thiiissssss willlllll

end well on Nov 4th YAAAAAY!! *kermit dance*
posted by cavalier at 6:09 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


In another several-thousand-post thread?

I think the McCain campaign might be done and this is officially game over. He's been going heavy negative and this will completely undermine his message that Obama's not to be trusted when his own running-mate has been shown to abuse her powers. His campaign will be trying to spin this but I can't see anyone buying it.

I thought this election was going to be closer than the polls indicated, but I honestly can't see it happening now.
posted by HaloMan at 6:09 PM on October 10, 2008


Every time I think I'm out of Palin threads, she pulls me back in!
posted by mazola at 6:10 PM on October 10, 2008 [24 favorites]


So does he pull her off the ticket and do an eleventh-hour substitution or what?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:11 PM on October 10, 2008


Interesting that abusing power isn't also breaking the law in Republican Alaska. What happened to oppressive government?
posted by DU at 6:12 PM on October 10, 2008


So does he pull her off the ticket and do an eleventh-hour substitution or what?

Not at all.

She'll just suddenly develop a desire to spend more time with her newborn disabled baby.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's cause she's a do-er! Not a think-er! *wink and a gun*
posted by spec80 at 6:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's almost as if the Republicans WANTED to lose this election so they wouldn't have to attend to the country's looming financial disaster...

Hmmm...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [11 favorites]


Wow. Even the Republicans in Alaska don't have her back.

They're divided. On the one hand, the conclusion. On the other... Friday night news dump?
posted by rokusan at 6:14 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for the McCain campaign's statement on this.

Well hell, I don't need to read their statement to know that the hands of the islamoterrorist Barack Obama were all over this!! *grabs pitchfork*
posted by brain cloud at 6:14 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bad news for Republicans always gets put out on Fridays. People will have forgotten all of this by Monday, sadly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:16 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why do I have the feeling that this result won't change a thing.

Enough already with the fatalism. This is a good thing.
posted by jonmc at 6:16 PM on October 10, 2008 [6 favorites]



Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down
posted by bukharin at 6:17 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


As pleased as I am to see justice being done, I wish people would stop adding *&?%-gate to everything scandalous. IT WAS A HOTEL, PEOPLE.
posted by Shepherd at 6:18 PM on October 10, 2008 [21 favorites]


Ouch. I was surprised that it was so strongly worded. I was guessing that it would have a wishy-washy conclusion about her overstepping slightly, but not too much. This one has got to hurt.

For an example of how this will be spun, look at the last sentence of the article about this on the Fox News site:

"I think there are some problems in this report," Republican state Sen. Gary Stevens. "I would encourage people to be very cautious, to look at this with a jaundiced eye."

So basically it was all a partisan attack, more of that old Beltway insider nastiness that those mavericks are here to save us from.
posted by Forktine at 6:18 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


braincloud...

But after she joined the national Republican ticket, she and her supporters said the legislature had no right to investigate her, and [she] accused legislators involved in the probe of supporting Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid.

Emphasis added.
posted by lekvar at 6:19 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


So does he pull her off the ticket ?

No. Why would this matter at all? If you like Palin, this isn't going to do a thing to lower your opinion of her.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:20 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you like Palin, this isn't going to do a thing to lower your opinion of her.

If you're undecide, it just might.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


As pleased as I am to see justice being done, I wish people would stop adding *&?%-gate to everything scandalous. IT WAS A HOTEL, PEOPLE.

Tired-of-your-ignorance-gate!
posted by Manhasset at 6:21 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is it that both HuffPo and the AP story state that the report uses the word 'unlawful,' when in fact the report says that she did not violate the law?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:22 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Bad news for Republicans always gets put out on Fridays. People will have forgotten all of this by Monday, sadly.

Nahhhhh. America really, really loves Sarah Palin -- just like the islanders loved Edward Woodward in The (old, good, bee-less) Wicker Man. Ironically given McCain's weird-assed attempt to place Obama in the same category as Paris and Britney, Palin's the one with all the bimbo trainwreck appeal. Is SNL new, despite the holiday weekend? No, we haven't seen the last of this one; the GOP doesn't get those free passes anymore.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:22 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. Even the Republicans in Alaska don't have her back.

I heard an NPR piece about this last week. It seems the Alaska Republicans were more than willing to do what they could to protect her...up until clouds of McCain droids parachuted into the state and began strong-arming everyone to start playing the spin and deflection game. The McCain people royally pissed-off the party up there and a lot of them have been taking pains to make sure the investigation, in fact, continues as planned.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:23 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why is it that both HuffPo and the AP story state that the report uses the word 'unlawful,' when in fact the report says that she did not violate the law?
It says that she didn't violate a law.

It also says that she did violate a different law.

That's why.
posted by Flunkie at 6:24 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]



Bad news for Republicans always gets put out on Fridays. People will have forgotten all of this by Monday, sadly.


With the economy tanking and only a few weeks remaining before a Presidential election, I'm not sure the whole "brush it under the rug by releasing on Friday" thing really works. I suspect a large portion of the voting public is very tuned in to what's going on right now.

That, and wouldn't this be the obvious political story to lead off the next week - assuming John McCain doesn't lose his shit and shoot up a church on Sunday or something?
posted by jal0021 at 6:24 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


There are no wheels left on the straight-talk express.

Obama's pulling ahead in states he has no business winning.Now 8 pt.lead in West Virginia. The numbers are just devistating. Christopher Buckley of the National Review just endorsed Obama.

Obama is just manhandling McCain. When McCain started this whole Ayres thing, Obama dared him to "say it to his face." That, my friends, is a bitch slap you can believe in.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:24 PM on October 10, 2008 [69 favorites]


Jonmc, you might be right - but if someone's still undecided at this point, I doubt this bit of news will break through whatever wunderfilter they have up. It's worth it for an Obama-surrogate (Obamagate! ha!) to emphasize that a vote for McCain is a vote for Palin, though.

One of the Republican, HRC-hating women at my office isn't voting for McCain because she was so insulted by the Palin selection (but her vote in CT won't count anyway).
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:25 PM on October 10, 2008


Bad news for Republicans always gets put out on Fridays. People will have forgotten all of this by Monday, sadly.

Holiday weekend (for some) too. A well timed report release, I'll say.
posted by anastasiav at 6:25 PM on October 10, 2008


This will have all the serious repercussions of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson unanimously concluding that Dennis abused their trust by stealing cookies out of the jar.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:26 PM on October 10, 2008


Why would this matter at all? If you like Palin, this isn't going to do a thing to lower your opinion of her.

Indeed, it is notoriously hard to reason with idiots.
posted by DU at 6:26 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


John McCain today on Barack Obama: We have to fight and I will fight but we will be respectful. I admire Sen. Obama and his accomplishments and I want to be respectful. ... He is a decent person, and a person you don't have to be scared of. ... He's a decent family man with whom I happen to have some disagreements."

Sounds like John is facing the inevitable.
posted by ColdChef at 6:26 PM on October 10, 2008 [22 favorites]


America really, really loves Sarah Palin

KFB, surely you meant "[some crazy, illogical, mindless sections of] America really, really loves Sarah Palin," right? Because I'm pretty sure that this country, as a whole does not love her. Like, at all.
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:27 PM on October 10, 2008 [12 favorites]


It says that she didn't violate a law.

It also says that she did violate a different law.


Where? From the report:
Finding One

For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39/52/110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) provides

The legislature reaffirms that every public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.

Finding Two

I find that, although Walt Monegan's refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooter was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin's firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.
I'm not trying to make light of 'abused her power,' but Finding Two says right there says the whole thing was 'proper and lawful.' As someone said above, I'm surprised that abuse of power doesn't constitute breaking the law, but it appears that it doesn't. What law did she break?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:27 PM on October 10, 2008


I expect she'll remain the public face of the GOP for the next decade at least -- boy do they love her. My mom thinks she's the cat's meow.

Meow!
posted by Auden at 6:28 PM on October 10, 2008


Gosh darnit, I'm gumshucks surprised! [wink]
posted by five fresh fish at 6:29 PM on October 10, 2008


Where?
Did you not notice that the text that you quoted says that she violated Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a)?

Yes, it also says that she was allowed to fire the guy she fired.

How does that change the fact that it says that she violated Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a)?
posted by Flunkie at 6:31 PM on October 10, 2008


Is it a coincidence that McCain finally tried to dial the hatred back a notch after he knew this report was going to be release?
posted by snofoam at 6:31 PM on October 10, 2008


For the reasons explained in section IV of this report, I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39/52/110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.

A statute is a law, therefore, she violated the law. It's not very hard to understand.
posted by empath at 6:31 PM on October 10, 2008


Is it a coincidence that McCain finally tried to dial the hatred back a notch after he knew this report was going to be release?
Almost certainly. If there's one thing that this campaign has shown us, it's that John McCain is not good at planning things out.
posted by Flunkie at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, you know, this is just the liberal media and those angry Alaska republicans trying to snipe at our girl Sarah. I mean, when I first saw Sarah Palin step out next to McCain, I said to myself, 'Who the fuck is this woman? After all the hate and vitriol I've accumulated against Hillary Clinton over the years, how on earth could McCain choose someone of the same sex from a state I've never even heard of to be his VP?" But then, I heard her melodious voice, and I looked in my gut, which has more nerve endings than the brain, and there, behind the half-digested remnants of the dumpstered bagels that make up 74% of my daily caloric intake, I saw something that made me think twice. Yes, I saw a little ball of what looked like black bile, but which was, in fact, the last remnants of my American Dream. I had almost given up hope on this country, but not entirely, because only terrorists like Michelle Obama ever give up on their country. But I saw, and I thought twice.

Anyways, I looked at that little remnant of a fetus that had been force fed to me in the school cafeteria all those years ago as part of a nationwide effort to divert waste from abortion clinics and reduce the cost of school lunches in low income areas, and I thought of what that little protoplasmic abortion could have become if its life hadn't been cut so tragically short. And I knew that Sarah Palin, who has never blinked in the face of the abortion lobby, was exactly what this country needed. That's right. It's time to stop this holocaust and take a stand on behalf of aborted babies everywhere. A new time's a-coming, and the righteous will be separated from the weak. All of the little babies that she rescued in Wasilla by denying women access to rape kits are going to be the generals in God's army; the Second Coming is going to come crawling half dead out of a Planned Parenthood dumpster somewhere in North Dakota and lead us all to a better life. And Sarah Palin will stand tall next to him and Jesus will say, 'Sarah, are you ready to take on the burden of the holy mission that has been entrusted to us?' And Sarah will look Jesus in the eye (if it doesn't violate whatever protocol is in force when one addresses a divine being), and she won't blink, not even once, and she'll take a deep breath and say in a voice full of love for everything that's ever died screaming on a linoleum floor and divine fury for the infinite evils of this world,

"You betcha!"
posted by kaibutsu at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2008 [27 favorites]


Jonmc, you might be right - but if someone's still undecided at this point, I doubt this bit of news will break through whatever wunderfilter they have up.

Not everybody follows political minutia as closely as us denizens of MeFi. And blatant corruption like this sets off alarm bells in people. Plus it kind of adds to the negative image I have of Palin as a rapaciously ambitious gladhander (and I don't think I'm alone in that view of her). And it's timely since it's much more immediate and obvious than Obama happening to have met a guy who by accounts of contemporaries I've spoken to is something of a public relations hound. I'm optimistic about the impact of this. Sometimes we get it right.
posted by jonmc at 6:33 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think McCain started to dial it back a notch because he has as much contempt for the inbred hillbilly's yelling out at his speeches as we do and he was tired of it. I think the anger on his face when he snatched the mike away from that woman was sincere.

He lost control of his campaign the last few weeks, and I think he's starting to realize it. I hope that means he's going to lose with honor.

I doubt that he will, though.
posted by empath at 6:34 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


KFB, surely you meant "[some crazy, illogical, mindless sections of] America really, really loves Sarah Palin," right? Because I'm pretty sure that this country, as a whole does not love her. Like, at all.

I...don't want to spoil my obscure, Dennis-Miller-before-he-sucked style cinematic reference or anything, but what I meant is that America loves Sarah Palin the way you love the guy you just set fire to as a human sacrifice meant to appease the gods and, with any luck, deliver a fruitful spring. Which is to say, what's unpleasant for her is great for us, and also lots of fun to watch, if you enjoy that sort of thing.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:35 PM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


As pleased as I am to see justice being done, I wish people would stop adding *&?%-gate to everything scandalous. IT WAS A HOTEL, PEOPLE.

You know how this English language of ours, how it has foreign words and new words and slang words and stuff like that? Yah, you might want to think about suffixes and how they become part of our language.

OS X Dictionary:
-gate
combining form
in nouns denoting an actual or alleged scandal, esp. one involving a cover-up : Irangate.
ORIGIN early 1970s: suggested by the Watergate scandal, 1972.

posted by five fresh fish at 6:35 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know how this English language of ours, how it has foreign words and new words and slang words and stuff like that? Yah, you might want to think about suffixes and how they become part of our language.

Hopefully there will eventually be a scandale involving an opening in a fence and we will be treated to GateGate.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on October 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


but Finding Two says right there says the whole thing was 'proper and lawful.'

The conclusion says that allowing Todd to pressure on Monegan (and other subordinates) was illegal, but his eventual firing was not. Two separate charges.
posted by cillit bang at 6:37 PM on October 10, 2008


So what happens to Palin now in terms of follow up from the Alaskan authorities now? Does she get kicked out of office? Prosecuted? Or what?
posted by orange swan at 6:37 PM on October 10, 2008


or even better one involving Bill Gates: GatesGate! or one involving someone holding a dgree one level higher than a B.A.: MasterGate!
posted by jonmc at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did you not notice that the text that you quoted says that she violated Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a)?

Yes, it also says that she was allowed to fire the guy she fired.

How does that change the fact that it says that she violated Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a)?


I suppose I figured that there was only one action in question. Does that mean that all that Finding Two states is that it is within Palin's jurisdiction to fire Monegan?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008


OS X has a dictionary?

I'm looking forward to some sort of water-related scandal, myself.
posted by Shepherd at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm going with "Or what."
posted by empath at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008


I think the ethics violation/"proper and lawful" thing just puts it into the same category as the Alberto Gonzales US Attorney firings. It was within her power to sack whoever she wanted, but she did it for unethical reasons.

This will not disappear by Monday. If she was just governor of Alaska, and not on the ticket, it probably wouldn't be a huge deal. With McCain's campaign already in the shitter, this is just the final nail in the coffin.
posted by neroli at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


He lost control of his campaign the last few weeks, and I think he's starting to realize it. I hope that means he's going to lose with honor. -empath

I used to respect McCain. His behavior over the last eight years and now, the last few months of his campaign, have pretty much destroyed any ounce of that. I'd like to think that whatever it was that I once appreciated about him is still inside, lurking, and will eventually beak out. But I agree, I think that's very unlikely. He's acting like a man grasping at a rope in high seas and doing everything he can to reach it.
posted by Atreides at 6:38 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, that video that Codchef linked to is pretty surprising. Looks like McCain either
A. discovered a shred of decency
B. has thrown in the towel
C. realized how desperate the mud-slong makes him look.
This campaign certainly has twists & turns.
posted by theora55 at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2008


Well, heck, don'cha know she's a maverick!
posted by ericb at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2008


Why bring Watergategate into this?
posted by Iridic at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, that video that Codchef

mmmm, cod.
posted by jonmc at 6:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think the ethics violation/"proper and lawful" thing just puts it into the same category as the Alberto Gonzales US Attorney firings. It was within her power to sack whoever she wanted, but she did it for unethical reasons.

Thank you. I apologize for misunderstanding, which temporarily put me in the category of The Enemy.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:41 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I suppose I figured that there was only one action in question. Does that mean that all that Finding Two states is that it is within Palin's jurisdiction to fire Monegan?

The finding on Sarah Palin was twofold:

1) It's illegal for the Governor to pressure subordinates to act for her own personal gain. She did so in violation of the law.

2) The governor is free, however, to fire anyone she wants for any reason that she wants, even if the motivation for the firing was illegal, so although the firing itself was legal, the pressure that she placed on him before firing him was illegal.
posted by empath at 6:41 PM on October 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


Doesn't five-thirty-eight or whatever it is, the meta-poll polls analysis site, indicate that Obama has it in the bag at about a 95% sure-thing rate?

The Republicans weren't ever serious about this race, or they'd have fielded a better candidate.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:41 PM on October 10, 2008


Whoa. Neo.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:42 PM on October 10, 2008


Yahtzee!
posted by SaintCynr at 6:42 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hopefully there will eventually be a scandale involving an opening in a fence and we will be treated to GateGate

Hopefully there will be a scandal involving Tony the Tiger. Obviously they'll call it 'They're Grrreat-gate'.
posted by popcassady at 6:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Doesn't five-thirty-eight or whatever it is, the meta-poll polls analysis site, indicate that Obama has it in the bag at about a 95% sure-thing rate?

90.9%, at the moment.
posted by Iridic at 6:44 PM on October 10, 2008


Prepare for a Category Five Smear campaign against Wooten, Monahan, and the Members of the legislative committee, btw.

Part 1 -- "He tasered his son!"

(answer: He didn't 'taser' his son, he had a training taser that only does a small shock that he brought home from work, and his son asked him to shock him with it. It was stupid, but not abusive, IMO.)
posted by empath at 6:45 PM on October 10, 2008


By and by, the McCain campaign in the New York Times coverage of the findings simply referred to the report they released yesterday. So they're game plan is to simply state that the findings in Alaska was just one of several findings and shouldn't be weighed any more heavily or less.
posted by Atreides at 6:45 PM on October 10, 2008


I said this on the other ElectionFilter thread before I noticed this one...

My own bit of schadenfreude about this revolves around the person who seems to have pushed hardest for Palin's selection: Bill Kristol. His standing in Republican circles is gonna take a big fucking hit, and I couldn't be happier about that.
posted by neroli at 6:48 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sounds to me like he's scared shitless that one of his looney supporters is going to try an assassination attempt.

I suspect that would be the nail in the Republican Party's coffin. A replacement party would have to rise from its ashes. A real Republican party, not this abomination that's been hijacked and destroyed by loons this past couple decades.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:49 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


He lost control of his campaign the last few weeks, and I think he's starting to realize it. I hope that means he's going to lose with honor.

I hope he can restrain his supporters long enough to do that.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 6:53 PM on October 10, 2008


What, politicians at the highest levels of office abusing their power isn't in vogue anymore? Myself, I think it's far from going out of style, and that this is therefore actually quite good for the McCain campaign.
posted by treepour at 6:53 PM on October 10, 2008


Doesn't five-thirty-eight or whatever it is, the meta-poll polls analysis site, indicate that Obama has it in the bag at about a 95% sure-thing rate?

No. 538.com uses statistics to indicate that, based on an intensive analysis of all current polls, in 10,000 simulations of elections results based on those polls, Barack Obama would win an election held today in about 90% of them.

Unfortunately, the actual election is held only once, and in three weeks.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:58 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Who's this Sara Palen?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:59 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


No. 538.com uses statistics to indicate that, based on an intensive analysis of all current polls, in 10,000 simulations of elections results based on those polls, Barack Obama would win an election held today in about 90% of them.

Unfortunately, the actual election is held only once, and in three weeks.


Actually the 538.com model accounts for the fact that the election is not being held now but in three weeks -- if the election were to be held now that number would be higher.
posted by peacheater at 7:02 PM on October 10, 2008


No. 538.com uses statistics to indicate that, based on an intensive analysis of all current polls, in 10,000 simulations of elections results based on those polls, Barack Obama would win an election held today in about 90% of them.

Unfortunately, the actual election is held only once, and in three weeks.
No, you're wrong. FiveThirtyEight is estimating the chance that Obama will win the election, not the chance that Obama would win an election today.

See their FAQ for details. And when you read what "4. Snapshot" says, and decide, based on that, that I am wrong, please continue on to read "5. Projection".
posted by Flunkie at 7:03 PM on October 10, 2008


McCain booed by his own supporters... this shit is getting scary, and I think everyone had better be taking some active steps in encouraging the shut-down of the dangerous lunatic fringe. This is a Very Bad Time for rash actions.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on October 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


rapaciously ambitious gladhander


This is my new favorite phrase and will be worked into my lectures on Monday. Maybe with jazz hands.
posted by Bibliogeek at 7:04 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Doesn't five-thirty-eight or whatever it is, the meta-poll polls analysis site, indicate that Obama has it in the bag at about a 95% sure-thing rate?

No. 538.com uses statistics to indicate that, based on an intensive analysis of all current polls, in 10,000 simulations of elections results based on those polls, Barack Obama would win an election held today in about 90% of them.


So, basically, yes?
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:04 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, this just proves that Sarah Palin would go to any lengths to protect her family. I mean, if your family was being threatened by a taser wielding maniac with a badge, wouldn't you be willing to go outside of the law to protect your family from them? Wouldn't you, Governor Dukakis? Or would you just stand there while he tased your wife?
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:05 PM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


Palin comparison. Too easy.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:05 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


ColdChef’s video, at 0:51:

Disheveled woman in audience: “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not… he’s not… he’s a… uh… uh… He’s an Arab. He’s not… No?”

McCain: “No, ma’am. No, ma’am. He’s a… he’s a decent, family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on… on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about. He’s not. Thank you.”

posted by Dragonness at 7:10 PM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


I'm going to violate the public trust of this thread and take a stab at personally gaining a tidbit of information on the mechanics of American elections:

kittens for breakfast: So does he pull her off the ticket and do an eleventh-hour substitution or what?

Can that actually be done, post-convention-and-official-veep-choosing?
posted by CKmtl at 7:13 PM on October 10, 2008


I've always wondered if this is a common thing in American English. Like, after the Teapot Dome scandal, were there a lot of less important scandals that all got tagged with the "Dome" moniker?
Like, "Speakeasy Dome" and "Flapper Dome" scandals all in the yellow journalism?
posted by thecaddy at 7:14 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


She's governor of the state and she can't get a guy fired without leaving her fingerprints all over it. I expect a politician to be competent at abusing their power.
posted by rdr at 7:14 PM on October 10, 2008 [14 favorites]


So the moral of the story is... maybe gettin' all maverick-y in there is a bad thing?
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:15 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain's statement is out.

Basically says "the report shows she was allowed to fire the guy".

I fear that its spin will be normalized into the conventional wisdom on this. The report does show that.

Of course, it also shows that she violated the law. Directly and explicitly says it. But this is, apparently, easy to miss - I've already seen several people and two major media outlet articles saying essentially the same thing as the McCain statement, even before the McCain statement was released.
posted by Flunkie at 7:18 PM on October 10, 2008


FUCKING MAVERICK FTW YOUBETCHA MY FRIENDS!
posted by Mister_A at 7:18 PM on October 10, 2008


ColdChef’s video , at 0:51:

Does anybody else feel sad for McCain? He's telegraphing "I know I'm going to lose and I've decided I want to do it with a shred of dignity" with the volume at 10 in that clip.

On the other hand, fuck you for starting this shit in the first place, asshole.

I guess you could say I've got mixed feelings.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 7:18 PM on October 10, 2008 [17 favorites]


On the plus side (ha!), this may be what keeps her off her (rumored) Saturday Night Live appearance. I don't think even a campaign as incompetent as this one has shown itself to be would let her go out and get booed on live television, as she surely would if she showed up in the NYC studio on Saturday.
posted by yhbc at 7:19 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


As recently as this spring, I thought to myself, though I'm an Obama supporter and disagree with many if not most of John McCain's views, that it wouldn't necessarily be bad if he ended up winning the presidency. He is a war hero and has served this country honorably as Senator (in spite of the Keating stumble); back then, he seemed more of a pragmatic conservative without being rabid, inflexible and disagreeable like the people in the Bush administration.

I come away from watching that YouTube video feeling profoundly sorry for the man. At 72 years old, this is his last realistic shot at the office, and he blew it, and I think at this point he knows he blew it. If the John McCain in that YouTube video had been running these past several months instead of the mean, petty old man we saw at the debates, in his attack ads and at various campaign stops, he'd be in an entirely different position.

I am glad, though, that we did get to see that ugly side of him BEFORE the election, because it just goes to show how poor his judgment is in following the completely wrong advice of his horrible campaign managers. From start to finish, he's been completely tone-deaf, from picking Sarah Palin as his running mate (which pretty much neutralized the most resonant attack he had against Obama... the inexperience), to the ugliness of this past week, which seems to have completely backfired. He's just been dead wrong the entire time, and better that he run his campaign into the ground than run the country into the ground like George W. Bush has.

I am really not trying to get my hopes up and be overconfident on an Obama win, but it's looking more and more like McCain will be defeated. I hope that Senator McCain can do something to rehabilitate his reputation after the election, and I also hope, in the spirit of unity, that (cross fingers) President Obama will help him do it.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:22 PM on October 10, 2008 [21 favorites]


FUCKING

AWESOME

BWAHAHAHAHA.
posted by The Straightener at 7:25 PM on October 10, 2008


The next sex scandal: GGGgate.
posted by pointilist at 7:27 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I fear that its spin will be normalized into the conventional wisdom on this.

There's nothing to fear. It's not important to winning the election, it's not going to change anything, Palin isn't leaving the ticket and Obama will probably do the smart thing and just ignore this, since he has so many other things to hit McCain on.

Seriously, if you didn't like Palin before, the only surprising thing about this report is that it was released before the election.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:29 PM on October 10, 2008


I really think that Obama at the next debate, after McCain goes off on earmarks for the thousandth time, should say something like.

"You know, I agree with John on wasteful earmark spending, and one of the things I really appreciate about the Senator is his passion for this issue, and I want to pledge right now, that if I win, I'll work with John in the Senate to remove these items in the senate before they even reach my desk. And I'll also pledge, right now, that if the positions are reversed, I'll do the same. I respect John's opinions on a lot of issues, even if I disagree with him on [issue A, B and C], but no matter who takes office in November, I'll work with John to do what's best for the American people."

I think saying something like that will put a lot of people at ease, and also also makes people think that maybe John McCain would be better off in the Senate, since that seems to be where his passion lies.
posted by empath at 7:30 PM on October 10, 2008 [11 favorites]


I just had a conversation with some of the folks I'm working with on this campaign. One of our big focuses now is not letting our people get cocky. Barack has a really, really, really good shot, but that doesn't mean it's in the bag.
Obama supporters- no gloating, save it for the 5th.
McCain supporters- neener, neener, neener!
posted by piedmont at 7:30 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm holding out for some sort of logic scandal.





You know, logic gate.




I'll be on my way, now...
posted by gc at 7:31 PM on October 10, 2008 [29 favorites]


Breaking News!

I have to say that the whole townhall format idea doesn't seem like such a vote-getter when you're forced to spend time explaining things like that to your slope-browed supporters on national television.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:33 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Have you ever seen a magician use his female assistant to distract the audience? Maybe that's why those evil bastards chose Palin. McCain has done worse and she is just a distraction.
posted by Huplescat at 7:35 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sounds to me like he's scared shitless that one of his looney supporters is going to try an assassination attempt.

I think he's starting to realize that if he somehow won the election one of his Palin's looney supporters would try to assassinate him.
posted by nicwolff at 7:37 PM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


In McCain's statement: Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached, making a tortured argument to find fault without basis in law or fact.

I wonder if we'll see the Alaska legislature release a statement condemning the campaign for this. The Republicans there can't appreciate it too much, and it's not like the campaign has any real or moral authority to cast doubt on their findings or argue their role their own state government system. And Palin had initially acquiesced to their authority when the investigation first came about, before her nomination.
posted by troybob at 7:38 PM on October 10, 2008


I am really starting to get concerned about the rabid McCain contingents, calling out for violence, making insane statements. John McCain is having to defend Obama to his own consituents! It is frightening how ballistic his supporters are... Apparently there is a high correlation between their frothing and the presence of Sarah Palin. I woefully predict that someone is going to try to kill Obama soon. I say this with the saddest of hearts.
posted by jcworth at 7:43 PM on October 10, 2008


KFB: I am so sorry! In rereading your comment after I posted I realized that I missed the reference you were making. Please forgive me for the occasional gaps in my pop cultural education. Again, sorry about that.
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:44 PM on October 10, 2008


I'm just trying to figure out what would happen here in WA if the current governor had a similar scandal come to light. I'm sure there would be very loud calls for her resignation, especially as she was elected by a ludicrously small margin. I'm sure lots of time would be spent in the various legislative chambers trying to figure out what to do.

So...is anything at all going to happen to Palin regarding her position as governor as a consequence of this?

It's also interesting to note that you don't get Sarah anywhere that you don't also get a big dose of Todd, whereas I couldn't tell you a thing about the partners of any Washington governor up to and including the current one, which is as it should be--I certainly don't cast my vote for them.
posted by maxwelton at 7:45 PM on October 10, 2008


Doesn't five-thirty-eight or whatever it is, the meta-poll polls analysis site, indicate that Obama has it in the bag at about a 95% sure-thing rate?

A somewhat neutral (ie, non-US, but still lefty) opinion from the Guardian says that Obama's election is still no sure thing:

If the election were to be held today, polls suggest Obama would win by a landslide, but the gap could still narrow. A poll published yesterday gave Obama an 8% lead over McCain in Florida, which was pivotal for the Republicans in 2000 and held by them again in 2004.

McCain is resting much of his election hopes on taking Pennsylvania from the Democrats, but polls over the last few days give Obama double-digit leads, including one of 13%. The third of the big three swing states, Ohio, is tighter but Obama has leads of between 4-6% in four polls and McCain is ahead by 1% in another.


I doubt the Palingate results are really going to influence the core Republican base that is going to vote for McCain no matter what. Still a month to go, too, during which anything (including our very worst fears) could happen.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:46 PM on October 10, 2008


I come away from watching that YouTube video feeling profoundly sorry for the man.

McCain broke my heart a long time ago. I doubt he would ever have gotten my vote, but he did have my respect. It's easy to forget there was serious talk of him becoming John Kerry's running mate -- to forget how much love this guy got from the left, while remaining very much a republican. Then he sold his soul the way you're supposed to in politics if you want to win. But at some point the rules changed, I guess. And he can't go home again. It's too late.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:47 PM on October 10, 2008


Does anybody else feel sad for McCain?

Absolutely. I think it's clear in that video that McCain has finally realized just who he's been pandering to, and I'd like to believe that he's disgusted at how far he's sunk.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:47 PM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


The investigator found that, while she had the power to fire the commissioner, the grounds she fired him on violated the law. She received personal gain from the firing. Also, the degree her husband, Todd Palin, sought to influence decisions made in state government was found to be, at the least, inappropriate for someone who was not an elected official or state employee.

The legislative committee voted to release the findings, essentially putting their stamp of approval on it. At this point, I think there are three possible routes to prosecution. The leg. as a whole might decide to begin impeachment proceedings, the division of personnel could choose to go after her, or the judicial branch might. Impeachment is highly unlikely in a state that is almost completely Republican. The attorney general was appointed by Palin and is an old school buddy so that is unlikely, too. Considering how slowly the division of personnel works, she will probably be long dead before the paperwork to begin proceedings is finished.

As an Alaskan, I am predicting she will be re-elected governor.
posted by Foam Pants at 7:47 PM on October 10, 2008


Okay, yes, McCain is very truly fucked now, but still... I hope McCain's words from coldchef's video there (fixed video link here or transcripted version here) means that McCain is finally realizing he cannot let these crazy mobs just play out.

That is, I hope he keeps hitting the cool-down switch hard for awhile, and if so I'll be fine letting him have a nice decent legacy for it. Because he really must do this.

That said, wasn't it the Palin crowds that were scariest? What has she said today?
posted by rokusan at 7:48 PM on October 10, 2008


Prediction: On November 5, Palin gives a press conference and says, "You won't have Nixon Palin to kick around anymore because, gentlemen, this is my last first last press conference."
posted by grounded at 7:49 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


It does say right in the record "Compliance with the code of ethics is not optional. It is an individual responsibility imposed by law" That means she broke a law and could possibly be impeached. That is going to depend on Alaskans and how much they care.

I do agree that McCain will never dump her. It is way too late in the game and she is too tied into his campaign. Without her, most of the base won't even bother to vote. If she was replaced tomorrow by ? independents could only conclude that McCain has the personnel-choosing abilities of Chimpy.

Before the report came out, Palin was trying to neutralize it by saying "It can't be fair-- I wasn't even interviewed." The fact that she refused to be interviewed doesn't seem to matter.

Interesting that the McCain camp is claiming that Sarah didn't know the extent of Todd's involvement until August. I wonder when? Was it after she accepted McCain's offer? Because that would have been an awkward conversation. "Uh, honey? Remember how I used to get mad about Wooten all the time, until you told me to shut-up about it? And remember how I took all those photographs of him and kinda followed him around for awhile? Well, I may have made a few phone calls to Monegan's office Maybe a few...dozen. But I swear I never asked Monegan to fire the guy. I never crossed that line."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:51 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


KFB: I am so sorry! In rereading your comment after I posted I realized that I missed the reference you were making. Please forgive me for the occasional gaps in my pop cultural education. Again, sorry about that.

Bah! No biggie. It was kinda obscure.

posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:51 PM on October 10, 2008


Here's a video of McCain trying to tamp down on some of the extreme Anti-Obama stuff that's been going on at his rallies. It's kind of painful to watch. Man.

I was expecting to be going into an exciting election but it's just been depressing. The republican party has been in freefall along with our economy. The worst elements of the base have totally taken control over the past few days and while McCain rode that wave for a while it's clearly failed. It's hard not to feel bad for the guy.

Well, not too hard.
posted by delmoi at 7:51 PM on October 10, 2008


It seems to have taken the McCain campaign an hour and a half to put out a response.

They had to have known essentially what the report was going to say. Or at least known that what it wound up saying was a contingency that should have been planned for.

Either they were not prepared despite that fact, or... what?

Maybe they were spending an hour and a half on the phone to Romney, Huckabee, and the reanimated corpse of Ronald Reagan, trying to get somebody, anybody to step up to the plate and take one for the team by accepting a doomed nomination as backup VP candidate?
posted by Flunkie at 7:52 PM on October 10, 2008


You know, logic gate.

Me, I'm hoping for a scandal involving a sun-bronzed politician illegally providing room and board for folks at his estate.

A...Tan Houser Gate?

Quickly follows gc through the door....

posted by lord_wolf at 7:53 PM on October 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


When Mom gets back to Juneau those guys are in trrroubllle.

On the bright side it is good to know that you can be too dumb to get elected. I was starting to wonder.
posted by fshgrl at 7:56 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, logic gate.

I'm picturing a George Lucas/Steve Jobs collaboration for some reason.
posted by jonmc at 7:56 PM on October 10, 2008


I woefully predict that someone is going to try to kill Obama soon. I say this with the saddest of hearts.
posted by jcworth at 10:43 PM on October 10 [+] [!]

I remember back in the spring reading a comment (on another blog) saying "I will never vote for him because I do not want his blood on my hands." Meaning that electing a Black Man would inevitably lead to an assassination attempt. Although I could not agree with the reasoning-- I believe Michelle and Barack have said they are aware of the risks-- I could sympathize with the sentiment.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:57 PM on October 10, 2008


Gergen: McCain, Palin Should Calm Down Unhinged Supporters
posted by merelyglib at 7:57 PM on October 10, 2008


Troopergate, as I said nearly a month ago now, is a pathetic scandal to hang your hopes of taking out Palin.

It won't add up to a thing.

Now the scandal reported by The Enquirer that she cheated on her husband? If THAT was true? KA-BOOM!

To her "base", and these people we now all know are the Dumbest Dumbshits on the Planet, a scandal like that would rock the shit out those mouthbreathers.

Yeah. A good portion would sustain their current Olympian record levels of cognitive dissonance but it would whittle away just enough of them to make a big difference in swing states.

That is the scandal for which I pray.
posted by tkchrist at 7:59 PM on October 10, 2008


As an Alaskan, I am predicting she will be re-elected governor.

As a realist, I am predicting she will have a show on Fox News by 2010.

I'm not trying to be snarky here. Assuming she isn't elected Vice-President, the idea that she will either be capable of managing her own presidential campaign, let along any Republican being stupid enough to make her a running mate a second time, is laughable. She'll have nowhere to go if McCain loses and the only major asset she'll have is a legion of hard-right idiots in love with her. She can make millions as a Fox host and Murdoch would easily pay her mid-seven figures.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:59 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bah! No biggie. it was kind of obscure

Yes, but it's the weird and rather obscure references that make me love this place so damned much.

posted by shiu mai baby at 7:59 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just had a conversation with some of the folks I'm working with on this campaign. One of our big focuses now is not letting our people get cocky. Barack has a really, really, really good shot, but that doesn't mean it's in the bag.
Obama supporters- no gloating, save it for the 5th.


Screw it, I'll get all partisan for a moment and note that indeed, there is still plenty of opportunity if you want to do something positive to contribute to Obama's campaign. The official website has the listings of things you can do, including things you can do right from your home. There is also this, contributed to by one of our own. I plan to make some calls over the next weeks (there's not much more I can do here locally in Minnesota's 5th district... we sent a real Muslim to Washington, y'know). I think hearing calm, polite, friendly and respectful voices could have a real impact on undecided voters observing the current news cycle.
posted by nanojath at 8:00 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think it's clear in that video that McCain has finally realized just who he's been pandering to, and I'd like to believe that he's disgusted at how far he's sunk.

Honestly, from the time he picked Palin (I wasn't paying so much attention to him prior), I thought he was intentionally sabotaging the Republicans. I was surprised most that he would give evangelicals such a prominent voice in his campaign, or that he was (as was reported) intimidated by them in their lack of support for his picks for VP. My impression was always that he hated the evangelicals and nutcases, and that he wasn't particularly fond of the talk-radio crowd, who condemned him up to the point where they had no choice but to pretend he is the one they wanted all along. It seemed almost like he was going to let them have the voice and power they were desperate for in order to hang themselves with it, proving their worthlessness to the party, perhaps taking on the temporary loss in order to rebuild the party into something honorable, without the nutjobs. Of course, those nutjobs own a major tv news station, so maybe it couldn't work anyway.

I mean, it was that or believe the guy went fucking insane, and I was trying not to go there.
posted by troybob at 8:00 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'd love to see the polls go further in support of Obama. But I will not even think about getting excited or anything. Go out there and volunteer if you want to make this happen. There are lots of ways to help - registering voters, persuading voters, going door to door.

It is not even close to over (as much as I wish it was). I heard a commentator on CNN say of Palin, that once you become the object of ridicule on SNL that you're history. Bullshit. I watched old SNL clips from 2004 the other day with Will Ferrell playing Bush as a complete doofus frat boy in a bar. And we all know how that ended.

So file this away and reference it properly as needed, but remember. Remember what happened before. Palin isn't quitting. John McCain is giving up Nothing. As some one already said, he's 72. He has nothing to lose. Nothing! He reigned those people in because the exposure was hurting him. He's not without scruples, but do Not delude yourself into thinking this is even close to over.

As Michelle Obama said - run through the tape. Don't stop now. Keep donating, keep volunteering, keep making arrangements to volunteer those last few days of the campaign. Keep talking to your friends and family members and informing them of what is going on. Don't think it's going to be a victory - Make it a victory.
posted by cashman at 8:00 PM on October 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


I think he's starting to realize that if he somehow won the election one of his Palin's looney supporters would try to assassinate him.

You know, back in the 90's McCain seemed to loathe GW Bush and Bush unquestionably treated him extremely shabbily, yet he still through his support behind him. I always wondered if BushCo had something on him, but usually wrote that off as paranoia. Now I wonder if my instincts were accurate.
posted by jonmc at 8:01 PM on October 10, 2008


Another possible reason for McCain's sudden decision to try to damp down some of the truly repulsive mob rhetoric is that (assuming he's decided he's going to lose) he may be hearing from some vulnerable Republican Senators and Congressmen that it's not playing well in their races. In that case his job is to try to make sure he has the best possible coattails and not screw it up for the rest of the party even if he knows he's going down.

By the way, as a devoted Obama supporter from day one and a reader of fivethirtyeight, I am not at all confident Obama has this locked up. 24 days is an eternity. Obama went from +6.4 to -2.9 nationally in ONE WEEK between the end of the DNC and the days following the RNC. The battleground states are, in large part, much closer than that. Obama supporters have to keep fighting even if they do trust the polls, which, of course, they shouldn't.
posted by The Bellman at 8:01 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


So...is anything at all going to happen to Palin regarding her position as governor as a consequence of this?

You have to remember that she succeeded Murkowski, the least popular governor ever. He did far worse and nothing ever happened to him.
posted by fshgrl at 8:02 PM on October 10, 2008


I woefully predict that someone is going to try to kill Obama soon.

You might be right. God I hope not.

And I hope with all my heart it is not even CLOSE to successful. Because if it does happen?

Let's just say I'll be offering my car as a free shuttle service for young inner city youth to the wealthier Republican districts of my town so we can do some aggressive out-reach.
posted by tkchrist at 8:03 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let's just say I'll be offering my car as a free shuttle service for young inner city youth to the wealthier Republican districts of my town so we can do some aggressive out-reach.

And I'd be working with my gay brothers and sisters to build the all-new Weather Girls Underground.
posted by troybob at 8:06 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


As of right about now:

NYTimes: "violate law". MSNBC: "unlawfully". CNN: "violated state ethics law". Fox News: "'proper and lawful'", "failed to keep her husband from meddling".
posted by tss at 8:08 PM on October 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


all-new Weather Girls Underground.

It's McCainin' Men, Sarah Palin....

I got nuthin, dude.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


(Those are headlines and blurbs, not articles).
posted by tss at 8:09 PM on October 10, 2008


So any guesses as to what was in the confidential part of the Report-- the part that was not released?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:11 PM on October 10, 2008


NY Times:
Ms. Palin has provided various reasons for terminating Mr. Monegan on July 11. Initially the governor said through a spokeswoman that Mr. Monegan’s firing had nothing to do with a “personality conflict.” Since then, her explanations have evolved, from saying that he was falling short on filling trooper vacancies and attacking alcohol-abuse problems in rural Alaska to showing an “intolerable pattern of insubordination” and a “rogue mentality” by resisting her authority and fiscal reforms.
Think of how dangerous this lady could be if only she had the brainpower of Dick Cheney-- All the evilness but now comes with perky breasts! Honestly she and Todd are not the sharpest pencils in the box; they couldn't even get their stories straight. You think if Cheney wanted someone fired it would take him 3 years and still end in failure? Because Wooten is still a state Trooper. Talk about incompetent.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:13 PM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


We need a scandal involving stolen marbles. It could be called agate.
posted by drezdn at 8:13 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


showing an “intolerable pattern of insubordination” and a “rogue mentality” by resisting her authority and fiscal reforms

Sounds like a maverick to me!
posted by sciurus at 8:16 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


or one involving a celebrity: Stargate.
posted by jonmc at 8:16 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


A somewhat neutral (ie, non-US, but still lefty) opinion from the Guardian says that Obama's election is still no sure thing

They're simplifying it for the British audience by pretending there are only three swing states. There are about 10, and currently most of them are leaning Obama. Due to the differing numbers of electoral votes they have in the bag, Obama needs only a few, while McCain needs just about all of them. Thus McCain can't rely on doing a bit better in a couple of close states - he needs a national swing in his favour. Not a very big swing, granted, but currently all signs point against it - and towards Obama's lead increasing.
posted by cillit bang at 8:18 PM on October 10, 2008


Perhaps most appropriately: HateGate
posted by JaredSeth at 8:21 PM on October 10, 2008


Just waiting to happen:

FellateGate
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:23 PM on October 10, 2008


I think there will be a scandal involving adding another major country to the Group of Seven major financial powers. That's right. G8-gate.
posted by The Bellman at 8:24 PM on October 10, 2008


A scandal in which some politician is found to have a connection to failed assassin Lynette Fromme... SqueakyGate.
posted by wendell at 8:27 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A scandal involving a now dead hardened criminal who ended up working for the U.S. Department of State. It turns out that they were seeing someone who was a foreign spy in the now legendary Late-State-Reprobate-Date-Gate.
posted by drezdn at 8:27 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


A big money scandal rising up from the San Francisco Bay area? GoldenGate.
posted by wendell at 8:28 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just waiting to happen:

FellateGate


I'm kind of suprised they didn't use that on Clinton to be honest. Maybe there's some central authority that doles out scandal names. They call them the GateKeepers.
posted by jonmc at 8:29 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Whoa. So did McCain just imply that all of his crazy followers are disrespectful?
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:30 PM on October 10, 2008


Three young children accidentally release a horde of nasty, pint-sized demons from a hole in a suburban backyard? TheGateGate.
posted by defenestration at 8:32 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah yeah yeah. But did you know Obama's middle name is HUSSEIN?
posted by dirtdirt at 8:32 PM on October 10, 2008


If I were a omnipotent diety witha cruel sense of humor...

The Obama campaign, having bet everything on his revolutionary ground organization, all of a sudden finds it hard to stoke the fires of his supporters. Anticipating a victory, they all start popping the champagne a few days early, and on Election day, "yes we can" turns into "someone else will"

Meanwhile...

McCain dials back the torch-waving crowds, and in hopes of retaining some shred of credibility in losing, ditches the last 3 weeks of attack ads. Palin is effectively derailed by the trooper-firing scandal, but realize sthat her Time in the national spotlight has increased her grip on Alaska politics ten-fold. So she turns her mighty scorn-ray back on her home-state enemies, and away from Obama. Instead of the pitchfork weilding loonies, McCains' final town-hall appearances start filling up with Vets wanting to giving the old warrior a final goodbye. McCain feeling the emotion of his final tour of duty, digs down deep, and finds that last little bit of straight talk...

And the polls swing back in his direction at the last minute.

Considering every other mind boggling thing that has happened in this election cycle, that's a pretty realistic scenario.
posted by billyfleetwood at 8:37 PM on October 10, 2008


ColdChef’s video , at 0:51:

Does anybody else feel sad for McCain? He's telegraphing "I know I'm going to lose and I've decided I want to do it with a shred of dignity" with the volume at 10 in that clip.


I did. My immediate feeling was, "Here is a man who has crashed five planes and who is now seeing the ground rushing up to meet him for the sixth time."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:39 PM on October 10, 2008 [18 favorites]


Hopefully there will eventually be a scandale involving an opening in a fence and we will be treated to GateGate

I fully expect that the last few episodes of Our Favorite Show will deliver unto us Gaetagate.

I always wondered if BushCo had something on him, but usually wrote that off as paranoia. Now I wonder if my instincts were accurate.

Simple: Why don't you play a game of solitaire, John?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:40 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


The unruly crowds are spreading.
specifically the battle between GOP incumbent Saxby Chambliss and his Dem challenger:

Thursday's debate took place in front of a highly partisan crowd in the GOP stronghold of Middle Georgia.

Chambliss supporters waved "Saxby" signs and offered up a sustained "boos" when Martin mentioned Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

"Bomb Obama," one woman hollered.
The Republican party is careening out of control
in the absence of leadership. George Bush is toxic, John McCain, Boehner and Mitch McConnell were unable to command the Republicans into passing the first bail-out, and now even the crowds are taking on the character of unruly mobs. Crowd members here lecture McCain, telling him to “stand up” against socialists Pelosi and Obama. Does McCain do anything to silence the crowd, hush them back in to reasonableness? No, he agrees with the man.
This has the potential to become dangerously ugly. I know we have all talked about the fearful consequences if Barack should lose, but what if he wins? Will it all be sweetness and light?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:46 PM on October 10, 2008


A detergent maker uses sex and drugs to win Washington favor in era-gate.
posted by drezdn at 8:47 PM on October 10, 2008


The governor is free, however, to fire anyone she wants for any reason that she wants, even if the motivation for the firing was illegal, so although the firing itself was legal, the pressure that she placed on him before firing him was illegal.

She couldn't fire Trooper Wooten. That's the problem.

What amazes me is that as a campaigner, Obama is a novice. This really is his first major campaign. Yet he's just clobbering a long-time veteran who is a household name. Admittedly, McCain is in a bad environment, but Obama is really putting the wood to him.

I think his secret is really demonstrated by what he did this week. McCain has controlled the topic of the news cycle, but Obama is letting him do that. Obama is the master of turning your meme against you. At the beginning of the week, McCain started his "who is Barack Obama" meme. He brought Ayres into the mix. In the past, Democrats would run from these stories and try to push their own meme. Obama uses his opponent's memes against them, as a springboard to his own themes.

Thus Obama dared McCain to bring up Ayres. He literally encouraged his opponent to execute their plan. His press people probably pushed the stories about the crazies at the McCain rallies. Today was the pivot--Obama called out McCain trying to divide and pushed his credentials for uniting the country. McCain had to restrain his crowds, and we came full circle--Obama sent out an E-mail to supporters with the subject line "Who is Barack Obama?" It used McCain's exact words--effectively stealing the meme.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:48 PM on October 10, 2008 [17 favorites]


I've always wondered if this is a common thing in American English. Like, after the Teapot Dome scandal, were there a lot of less important scandals that all got tagged with the "Dome" moniker?
Like, "Speakeasy Dome" and "Flapper Dome" scandals all in the yellow journalism?


Can't speak for historical citations, but there are definitely some variants to be found here.
posted by cortex at 8:50 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for Steve Jobs to have an affair with pop diva Aguilera.

Christina AppleGate
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 8:51 PM on October 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


McCain booed by his own supporters... this shit is getting scary, and I think everyone had better be taking some active steps in encouraging the shut-down of the dangerous lunatic fringe. This is a Very Bad Time for rash actions.

Yeah, I fully expect the right wing nuts to be absolutely apeshit tomorrow. They were already mad at McCain for, well, being McCain. There was anger that he "wasn't letting Sarah be Sarah" until just recently. The nutter-intelligensia were muttering that they would have to drag McCain over the finish line and then deal with the disaster that would be his presidency because he did have that awful tendency to *shudder* compromise with the other side on things.

The Economist US Election Blog has had some good coverage. One post that really struck me is: Will the Republicans learn the wrong lessons?

The nutters really ought to split off and form the Jesus party already, and let the Country Club Repubs do for themselves for a while.



What, no unfettered spending scandal? Prolifera-gate!
posted by lysdexic at 8:52 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: Obama is a judo master!
posted by lysdexic at 8:56 PM on October 10, 2008


Or he's Bugs Bunny, opening the door so the Tasmanian Devil/Coyote/Yosemite Sam rush out into traffic/over the clif/right into the train.

Hard to tell, some days.
posted by lysdexic at 8:57 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think GOP senators like Gordon Smith and Norm Coleman and the few remaining republican congressmen in the north east were absolutely in a panic over the negative turn the campaign is taking.

The GOP is going to end this election as a regional rump party. I think in 8 years, it may not even exist as a functioning unit. The three legs of the conservative stool are off, and I don't think they'll ever come back again.
posted by empath at 9:01 PM on October 10, 2008


Conspiracy theory: McCain/Palin got punk'd by the New York Times. After claiming she read all media, Sarah Palin listed the New York Times as one of the newspapers she reads. Then they run their story on Bill Ayers, which basically says there's no there there, but the original print version looks damaging if you, well, don't read the article. McCain/Palin jump on the article as their key to victory, but it doesn't support their claims. Obama says, "RFTA," and McCain/Palin are hung out to dry.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:04 PM on October 10, 2008


Before I toddle off:

BluePlateSpecialGate
GatorGaiterGate
MasturbateADateGate
WaitWaitDontTellMeGate
TailgateGate
FiftyEightStateGate
GuessYourWeightGate
FreightTrainFateGate
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:05 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Considering every other mind boggling thing that has happened in this election cycle, that's a pretty realistic scenario"

Nnnnnnnah. I still think Obama is going to continue to beat on him.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:09 PM on October 10, 2008


Ooh, ooh, I got one! Imagine a scandal involving hydropower concerns!

We can call it "WaterGate".

... what? Why are you looking at me like that?
posted by barnacles at 9:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [8 favorites]


This has the potential to become dangerously ugly. I know we have all talked about the fearful consequences if Barack should lose, but what if he wins? Will it all be sweetness and light?

Well, Obama will be fine. The Secret Service has kept Bush alive eight years, and it's not even safe to leave him alone in a secure room, if there are pretzels in it. I don't know if those dudes are superheroes or ninjas or what, but they're obviously very, very good at what they do.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [17 favorites]


Forget all this Palin stuff. That report from the Anchorage newspaper quoted a couple of people who are representing North Pole, Alaska. How cool is it to say you're the senator from the North Pole? That's like the Emperor of Ice Cream or the Duke of Earl.
posted by joaquim at 9:17 PM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


billyfleetwood--

As a pessimist, I appreciate your doomsday scenario above, but I don't buy it. It might be plausible if:

--there was more time before Election Day

--McCain hadn't cashed in almost all the goodwill he had with the media and moderate voters. (He'll get it back, I think, but not by Nov. 7th)

--McCain had any kind of coherent message (He's not just running on a The Other Guy is Scary platform because he's desperate, he's doing it because he truly doesn't have anything else to say)

--there wasn't this huge fucking financial crisis thing going on

--Barack Obama wasn't running the tightest, smartest campaign anyone has ever seen. I don't think that's hypebole. The people he's got running the ground game are not going to get slack because they're overconfident. They're not just looking to win, they're trying to create a network of supporters that will stay in place after the election.

And when it comes to larger strategy, I really think the "he's playing chess, while McCain's playing checkers" cliche is right on the money. I mean, he's taking the fact that McCain makes sudden, over-the-top decisions, calling him out for it, then forcing him to make more.

McCain tries to rile up the base with the Ayers smears, and the story is: "McCain-Palin rallies turn into scary lynch mobs."

So McCain tries to walk it back and calm things down, and what's the story there?

"McCain Lauds and Attacks Obama in Same Day"

posted by neroli at 9:18 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


Don't forget TheGate.
posted by inigo2 at 9:22 PM on October 10, 2008


McCain hadn't cashed in almost all the goodwill he had with the media and moderate voters. (He'll get it back, I think, but not by Nov. 7th)
Warning! Election Day is November 4th, not November 7th.

If you are a McCain supporter, please pay no attention to this post. Thank you.
posted by Flunkie at 9:22 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Airforce one arrives at the airport several hours late:

etagate
posted by empath at 9:24 PM on October 10, 2008


Why does nobody bother to defend Ayers? There's actually a fairly decent case to be made for defending the Weathermen. I mean, obviously, Obama shouldn't do it -- but Rolling Stone, maybe?
posted by empath at 9:25 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Warning! Election Day is November 4th, not November 7th.

Oy. Sorry about that. I'm obviously drinking too much wine working for the insidious Maoist group ACORN.
posted by neroli at 9:27 PM on October 10, 2008


Hows about etaggate?
posted by Xurando at 9:29 PM on October 10, 2008


President Obama's first move should be granting Alaskan secession, and then all the assholes could just move there. Seward's Folly indeed.
posted by Camofrog at 9:29 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


I wish people would stop adding *&?%-gate to everything scandalous. IT WAS A HOTEL, PEOPLE.

If only there had been some Hilton-related scandals so we could have had HiltonGate.
posted by Artw at 9:30 PM on October 10, 2008


Bad news for Republicans always gets put out on Fridays. People will have forgotten all of this by Monday, sadly.

Probably because they'll have other things to worry about, like what they wanna dress up as on Halloween and all the economic chaos and whether they'll have a job by Christmas and stuff...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 9:33 PM on October 10, 2008


The GOP is going to end this election as a regional rump party. I think in 8 years, it may not even exist as a functioning unit. The three legs of the conservative stool are off, and I don't think they'll ever come back again.

Let's not get all "irrationally exuberant" here, it was just a few years ago that the right was crowing about a permanent conservative majority.
posted by TungstenChef at 9:34 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why does nobody bother to defend Ayers?

I wasn't going to bring it up for fear of starting a shitstorm, but yeah, I'm with you, empath. The documentary I referred to earlier, The Weather Underground, points out that there was never a single death associated with the Weathermen's activities, they only bombed federal buildings in the middle of the night when nobody was in them, and they did so to protest Nixon's government making them complicit in the murders of thousands of Vietnamese civilians.

Like I implied earlier, these are the actions of someone who loves their country, not someone who hates it.

But why bother making this argument? The people that need to be convinced of it think Barack Obama is muslim, for god's sake.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 9:34 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


A collection of lame -Gate jokes is amassed, then systematically deleted? AggreGate/AbroGate.
posted by defenestration at 9:36 PM on October 10, 2008


Nice aggregate, SLoG
posted by Rumple at 9:42 PM on October 10, 2008


The documentary I referred to earlier, The Weather Underground

Viewable here.
posted by empath at 9:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, this just proves that Sarah Palin would go to any lengths to protect her family. I mean, if your family was being threatened by a taser wielding maniac with a badge, wouldn't you be willing to go outside of the law to protect your family from them? Wouldn't you, Governor Dukakis? Or would you just stand there while he tased your wife?

It's up to McCain, now: This will be the measure of the man's character, for the history books. Will McCain will really put country first, or will he drag himself and the country down with the Dukakis maneuver? Hopefully he understands the stakes here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:45 PM on October 10, 2008


But why bother making this argument? The people that need to be convinced of it think Barack Obama is muslim, for god's sake.

I don't think he's a Muslim. And I will vote for Obama. But holy shit, yes, I would need some serious brew in me in order to be convinced that bombing a federal building in the middle of the night is what you do when you "love your country."

Gandhi hated the British. So he walked to the ocean and made salt. Martin Luther King hated racist bigoted politicians. So he marched to Washington and made a speech.

Those are the things you do when you love your country.

Bomb-throwing at innocents is what you do when you're an asshole that wants to have fun. Bill Ayers was not a "good" version of Tyler Durden, no matter how much anyone wants to romanticize the 60s. He's just a significantly less deranged version of Timothy McVeigh.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:45 PM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


The Secret Service has kept Bush alive eight years

One word, two syllables: Cheney.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:47 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yeah, if you really love the country you bomb foreigners!
posted by mazola at 9:48 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


This will be the measure of the man's character, for the history books. Will McCain will really put country first, or will he drag himself and the country down with the Dukakis maneuver?

That's actually an interesting take. McCain has said repeatedly that he's against corruption and waste and will "make you famous" if you try to pull some underhanded shit.

OK, Senator. Here's your chance. Your running mate pulled some underhanded shit. You gonna make her famous now?

We'll all be waiting over by the water cooler.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:48 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Like I implied earlier, these are the actions of someone who loves their country...

Sorry to come back to this ... but holy shit! Dumbest fucking thing I've ever heard!

You know, O.J. said about Nicole that he "loved her too much."

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:50 PM on October 10, 2008


The Secret Service has kept Bush alive eight years

Dick Cheney has kept Bush alive for eight years.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:54 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think GOP senators like Gordon Smith and Norm Coleman and the few remaining republican congressmen in the north east were absolutely in a panic over the negative turn the campaign is taking.

This. I find it notable that here in Maine (where we split our electoral votes), our junior Senator, Susan Collins (R) is running for reelection. Todd Palin is campaigning here this weekend, but only in the second district -- in the northern, much more rural part of the state. Interestingly, Sen. Collins is staying far from him ... her website doesn't mention his visit (despite the fact that she just got the endorsement of the Maine Snowmobile Association. I don't blame her. Association with them is going to be toxic to her RINO (Republican in Name Only) image, and I suspect that she probably disagrees with the Palins on more points than they agree.
posted by anastasiav at 9:56 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


So any guesses as to what was in the confidential part of the Report

Probably contains a discussion of stuff from the personnel file for the trooper and the guy who didn't fire him. Normally local governments with open meetings discuss personnel matters in closed sessions.
posted by zippy at 9:57 PM on October 10, 2008


“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” - Edward Abbey

We'll agree to disagree, Cool Papa.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 9:59 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


Gergen: McCain, Palin Should Calm Down Unhinged Supporters

David Gergen worked for Ronald Reagan, so he surely remembers the 11th Commandment: "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." For people like him to be coming out and saying things like that in public is extraordinarily telling. I guarantee you McCain's been chewed out behind the scenes by a dozen GOP graybeards today.
posted by EarBucket at 10:00 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


I would gain much of the respect that I've lost for McCain if he called Palin out on this, and replaced her with someone else. It might actually rejuvenate his campaign.

Whether the firing was legal or not, she abused her power, and she is not fit to be in the position to become President.
posted by jnaps at 10:02 PM on October 10, 2008


I was out and about yesterday afternoon, when I had to wait for a motorcade to pass before I could cross the street. Six or so shiny black limos and SUVs, with a giant bus bringing up the rear. "Oh my God," I thought, "Maybe it's Obama!"

When I got home I looked in the local paper to see if any politicians were in town.

It was Sarah Palin.

I have not yet stopped throwing up.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:02 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


“A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.” - Edward Abbey

We'll agree to disagree, Cool Papa.


Great quote.

So, is this the point where I break the news to you about what was printed on the T-shirt Timothy McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:06 PM on October 10, 2008


There were already random republican racists on a methed up killin mission, and they got caught because they couldn't drive straight.

I've always been squicked out by the implications behind the Barret .50's. If Obama returns to Chicago, does the secret service have to clear out 64 moving blocks?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:08 PM on October 10, 2008


Why does nobody bother to defend Ayers? There's actually a fairly decent case to be made for defending the Weathermen. I mean, obviously, Obama shouldn't do it -- but Rolling Stone, maybe?
Speaking as a commie myself, my admittedly not terribly informed impression had always been they were a bunch of elitist dilettantes and stuntists divorced from the working class who did things like turn up on a picket line and call the strikers "pigs," so fuck them really. And the elite origins show when Ayers could go on to a decent career while the Black Panthers are pretty much all dead, in jail or in exile.
posted by Abiezer at 10:19 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


So, is this the point where I break the news to you about what was printed on the T-shirt Timothy McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested?

You couldn't trot out a lamer fallacy if you tried. If a stupid fucker wears a T-shirt with the 23rd psalm/preamble to the constitution/lyrics to Camarillo Brillo on it, that doesn't exactly say anything about the 23rd psalm/preamble to the constitution/lyrics to Camarillo Brillo, does it.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:31 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think it's clear in that video that McCain has finally realized just who he's been pandering to, and I'd like to believe that he's disgusted at how far he's sunk... I come away from watching that YouTube video feeling profoundly sorry for the man... Does anybody else feel sad for McCain?

"Watch this, Lise. You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half."

I'll admit I felt a bit of a twinge, but at the same time, reap the fucking whirlwind, you Maverick, you.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:35 PM on October 10, 2008 [3 favorites]


That McCain video was... something. It was so good to see.

If this were a movie, he'd be finally deciding to accept the inevitable and - full of regret over how he had chosen to conduct his campaign - be going up to Obama to shake his hand and apologise for everything, when he sees someone raising a gun - and dives in front of Obama to take the bullet.

"I'm sorry Barack."

"Don't talk, John - save your strength. They're finding someone who can help you..."

McCain lifts a hand weakly towards Obama; Obama grasps it.

"I... I just wanted to get into a position where I could help."

"I know, John. You can help still. We need you, John - hold on." Obama, turning to the Secret Service people. "Where's the ambulance? Someone help him!"

"I'm so... tired." McCain closes his eyes.
posted by Ira_ at 10:36 PM on October 10, 2008 [21 favorites]


Sounds like John is facing the inevitable.

ColdChef, you actually elided the most telling part of his words: "and I will respect him...."

He probably meant to make it a conditional, but the tone in his voice was that of a concession speech. In October.

I also found it telling that he still bears some personal contempt. He called Obama a "person" and a "citizen", but not the most natural response, "an American".
posted by dhartung at 10:37 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I'm so... tired." McCain closes his eyes.

And... Scene!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 PM on October 10, 2008


I guarantee you McCain's been chewed out behind the scenes by a dozen GOP graybeards today.

Yep. Whether out of genuine moral outrage or sheer self-preservation, add IL Rep. Ray LaHood to the growing list of Republicans who have been telling McCain/Palin, you know, ix-nay on the ace-ray aiting-bay.

Yeah, there were some pissed off rich white folks on the phone to Rick Davis today, I can feel it.
posted by scody at 10:39 PM on October 10, 2008


Meanwhile, the shooter shoots Obama, because everyone was watching the scene!

And now Tod Palin runs over Biden with a snowmobile (oh, sorry, snowmachine, Wooo!), and Sarah becomes President. Well that's just great.

I thought this was a chick flick! There were Wu Wu Sisters, and goofy shit like that! Now it's a total fucking horror movie!
posted by dirigibleman at 10:43 PM on October 10, 2008


"I would need some serious brew in me in order to be convinced that bombing a federal building in the middle of the night is what you do when you "love your country.""

Sure it is. Or a beer hall.
Or a suicide bombing.
(Granted the members of the White Rose were non-violent, and quite respectable as well)

People do a lot of stuff because they love their country. I've killed people myself who I otherwise had no grudge against and did nothing to me personally.

Big difference between your country and your government though. Takes a while to learn that sometimes.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:43 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


OK, everyone here's an Obama man. We're 200 comments down, I can be fairly certain that I'm preaching to the choir. Good. This is a message for the choir.

If John McCain somehow wins this thing there could very well be trouble for you. I will be asking everyone I encounter if they voted. If your answer is no? I will hit you about the head and ears with a tire iron until I feel like stopping. I have the tire iron right here.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:44 PM on October 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh, and it looks like Norm Coleman's had a come-to-Jesus moment, too.
posted by scody at 10:46 PM on October 10, 2008


Lets not all be so quick to assume that McCain has had his visit from the Three Christmas ghosts, or what not. Unless I see a substantial change in his campaign's television ads and verbal attacks on the campaign trail over the next couple weeks, we should simply assume that yesterday's admission was simply politically motivated to try to reign in something that could prove more damaging than useful.
posted by Atreides at 10:47 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Surely this... (kill me now)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:47 PM on October 10, 2008


I can't wait for the McCain campaign's statement on this.

Uh, I can't believe I'm the first to point this out, but:
McCain/Palin camp clear Palin in probe

Shorter version: They preempted the actual report and claimed to exonerate themselves. Which would be laughable were it not so cryable. Or whatever the appropriate fucking word is for this nonsense.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:47 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought this was a good post on Bill Ayers and the Weather Underground/Weathermen/Weatherpeople, along with discussing moral culpability and "air power" in the Vietnam War as it relates to McCain.
posted by Gnatcho at 10:48 PM on October 10, 2008


McCain/Palin camp clear Palin in probe

Isn't press complicity adorable? Any reputable source would state "McCain/Palin camp claim Palin innocent of wrongdoing".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:48 PM on October 10, 2008


I guess "adorable" is one way to phrase it. Maybe ad-horrible?
posted by joe lisboa at 10:50 PM on October 10, 2008


LEGISLATIVE PANEL CONCLUDES: PALIN A MAVERICK!
posted by mazola at 10:50 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, is this the point where I break the news to you about what was printed on the T-shirt Timothy McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested?

"100% Cotton"?
posted by Bobby Bittman at 10:52 PM on October 10, 2008 [9 favorites]


Any reputable source would state "McCain/Palin camp claim Palin innocent of wrongdoing despite all fucking evidence to the contrary."

Fixed.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:52 PM on October 10, 2008


So, is this the point where I break the news to you about what was printed on the T-shirt Timothy McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested?

It's not one of those "You might be a redneck..." t-shirts with the case of Busch, five open-mouth bass and eighteen pert, jiggling breasts printed on it, is it? Because, like, that would be a total fashion faux pas when dealing with peace officers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 PM on October 10, 2008


Actually, it was a Thomas Jefferson quote along the lines of "I love this country so much I have to blow it up" asshat sentiment you were spouting off.

But hey. Who cares, right? Fuck the man. And his nine-year-old children. Your logic is undestructable.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:01 PM on October 10, 2008


He parked in a gravel lot for the night and waited for the dawn and the drive to his target. He was dressed for the mission in his favorite T-shirt. On the front was a picture of Abraham Lincoln with the motto "sic semper tyrannis," the words Booth shouted before he shot Lincoln. The translation: Thus ever to tyrants.

On the back of the T-shirt was a tree with blood dripping from the branches. It read, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

Like his role model in The Turner Diaries, he headed for a federal building where he was convinced ATF agents were working. There, the people of Oklahoma City would pay a terrible price for McVeigh's compulsive and irrational paranoia.


So I guess the real difference between McVeigh and Ayers was the time of day.

And, you know, all those dead children.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:03 PM on October 10, 2008 [4 favorites]


And the polls swing back in his direction at the last minute.

Passingly unlikely unless some external factor arises (e.g. October Surprise, whether coordinated or random). Obama is proven to have been an eight-year-old bagboy on the Pentagon job. That sort of thing.

(If Obama gets shot, and I hate writing these words, I have no doubt that Biden would be able to play the LBJ finish-the-job thing.)

There's actually a fairly decent case to be made for defending the Weathermen.

In a sense, yes, but I think it became morally impossible to do so after 9/11. We would need to develop a nuanced national consensus on that first. Unfortunately, we're still in the OMG no flag pin? what phase

Whoa. So did McCain just imply that all of his crazy followers are disrespectful?

He lost control of his campaign the last few weeks, and I think he's starting to realize it.

he's doing it because he truly doesn't have anything else to say

These three statements are all connected. He basically just found out that his "supporters" were largely "can't-vote-for-the-darkies". Or at least the crazy 27% and change.

The way they turn on McCain and boo him, their Great White Hope, tells you (and him) all anyone needs to know.

The GOP is going to end this election as a regional rump party

I don't think they're down for the long haul -- they will regroup in some fashion. But the interesting thing about this election even before Obama's recent poll numbers was that he was likely to win without a single Southern state. The South had always been necessary for a Democrat to win. It turned red, but what also happened was that the GOP alienated its New England moderate wing and turned those states blue.

This is not to say they can't win an election, but it will take some (to borrow an overused word this cycle) "fundamental" changes.
posted by dhartung at 11:05 PM on October 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm hoping there will be a scandal involving a microcrystalline variety of quartz - Agategate.
posted by tellurian at 11:05 PM on October 10, 2008


They're simplifying it for the British audience by pretending there are only three swing states. There are about 10, and currently most of them are leaning Obama

Actually there aren’t really and swing states left. Just blue states and a couple states that should be red but aren't. I mean Obama is ahead in West Virginia?

What amazes me is that as a campaigner, Obama is a novice. This really is his first major campaign. Yet he's just clobbering a long-time veteran who is a household name. Admittedly, McCain is in a bad environment, but Obama is really putting the wood to him.

That's the thing though, he beat Hillary. I always knew beating her would be ten times tougher then beating McCain, and I think that's how it's played out.

I think his secret is really demonstrated by what he did this week. McCain has controlled the topic of the news cycle, but Obama is letting him do that. Obama is the master of turning your meme against you. At the beginning of the week, McCain started his "who is Barack Obama" meme. He brought Ayres into the mix. In the past, Democrats would run from these stories and try to push their own meme. Obama uses his opponent's memes against them, as a springboard to his own themes.

That's exactly how he beat Hillary as well. Of course, he had a massive delegate lead by the time Hillary got her bearings and really started campaigning (after Wisconsin, starting with Texas and Ohio) but the media campaign and the rest of the primary was brutal anyway. Hillary brought up all of this stuff. Wright, Ayers, etc. She dominated the news cycle week after week, and week after week she lost.

I don't know if it's just a post-boomer thing or what, but Obama just seems to have the ability to let things slide not fight every point while his opponents jump on everything they can jump on and sooner or later they make a mistake. Look at Hillary when she hit him for saying something nice about Reagan. She ended up looking ridiculous. Same thing with both Hillary and McCain for attacking him over saying he'd hit Bin Laden in Pakistan.

He's an amazing politician, and that's what we need. Someone who can sell America back to the world, and convince Americans to believe again. The entire world seems to be teetering on the edge and having a strong unifying figure who can convince everyone to work together will be a huge help.
posted by delmoi at 11:07 PM on October 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


Your logic is undestructable.

You're comparing McVeigh, who decimated a street block and deliberately killed people — who was reluctant but ultimately unapologetic about killing children — with criminals who committed property damage, but went out of their way not to hurt people in committing that property damage.

If the goal of Ayers and the WU was to cause terror in the manner of Timothy McVeigh and right-wing militia-led domestic terrorists, their evacuation notices didn't help them do a very good job.

I don't write this to somehow let Ayers off the hook. Rather, that comparing apples to oranges in this way makes a joke of the serious notion of terrorism, of what it really means, and what we need to do to address it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:12 PM on October 10, 2008 [11 favorites]


Josh Marshall:
And yet this conveys too much suggestion of planning and intent. I have more the sense of someone desperately casting about and losing control of the situation itself. Even hypocrites can get in over their heads. Indeed, in a more nuts-and-bolts strategic sense McCain has really gotten himself into a hole because the campaign he's been running has almost entirely been premised on the claim that you should be scared of an Obama presidency. Not that McCain, if he'd run a very different campaign, couldn't have run on issue disagreements with Obama. But right now if you take away fear of Obama becoming president, there's almost no reason not to vote for him since McCain has basically conceded the issue agenda to Obama. If you look at every poll for months, voters are dying for change. Fear of Obama is the only thing keeping him from leaving McCain in the dust. Take that away and McCain's done.
posted by delmoi at 11:13 PM on October 10, 2008


Gnatcho - I completely disagree: "Here’s something much more dire to worry about: in less than a month, tens of millions of Americans will go to the polls and cast a vote to make a well-known and unrepentant war criminal head of state"

McCain is in no way a war criminal. I'll grant he was in an unpopular and (as put) contemptable war. But I place his service in the same category as anyone who does what they think is right for their country. The difference being - Ayers, et.al. had more personal control over their actions which makes them more personally responsible for what they did directly.

So if the WU bombed some place, and Ayers wasn't involved - no sweat. If Ayers went out and did it himself (hypothetically) - that's his operation and he's answerable for what happened.
A service member willfully surrenders control over his personal actions in service to (ostensibly) the will of the people.
So, just as I recognize Ayers commitment to changing government policy to align more with what (obviously) the will of the country was (or at least the majority) - so too one must accept, as long as a given service member is following legal orders - their support of their country in terms of the execution of the will of the people.

Or if you're into fighting injustice so much, you pick up a weapon, go to Darfur yourself, and you straighten things out.
So either we have a military - and they must do whatever goofy thing we say - or we do the deed ourselves and put our own necks out for it.

Otherwise violence anywhere is unacceptable in any cause. Which is a philosophy I deeply respect (Quakers, et.al.) but I'm not bad ass enough to walk. And clearly - neither was Ayers. So given we're none of us blushing virgins, we're only talking what our personal flavor is.

"So I guess the real difference between McVeigh and Ayers was the time of day."

Bullshit. I don't buy handing this crap to either of them.
McVeigh wasn't a terrorist in any case. He was obsessed with fantastic conspiracy rumors (Area 51 and such) and out of his mind with rage. Hell, he said himself his objective wasn't to change policy, but some weird idea of revenge.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:22 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I come away from watching that YouTube video feeling profoundly sorry for the man... Does anybody else feel sad for McCain?

I don't feel sorry for him, exactly. But as the election gets closer, the Obama campaign will only keep gaining momentum while the McCain team will go completely to pieces, and face a humiliating defeat. Palin's young, resilient and brazen enough to get through this and reinvent herself, but I don't think McCain will live to see the end of Obama's first term. He's an old man in uncertain health and this will break his spirit.

We're watching the bitter final chapter of a man's life. He may have brought himself to this end through his own actions, but that doesn't mean I enjoy seeing it.
posted by orange swan at 11:25 PM on October 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


The entire world seems to be teetering on the edge and having a strong unifying figure who can convince everyone to work together will be a huge help.
The Second Coming, no less. To metaphrase (and mangle):
He will lead us to…
1) It
2) Springs of living water
3) Profit!!!
posted by tellurian at 11:33 PM on October 10, 2008


Wow, some strong words from Michelle Laxalt on Larry King last night. The old country club Republicans are pissed -- they are scrambling for the life boats while trying to keep the Sarah Palins locked in steerage as the ship goes down.

Wow, this schadenfreude is so tasty too! Just like candy!
posted by scody at 11:42 PM on October 10, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hey guys. Just browsing this thread from the office. From one mefite to another...I think it might be a good idea for you all to denounce the Weather Underground.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 11:59 PM on October 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why? Are all 60,000 of us running for public office as members of a mainstream capitalist party?

No? Then I think we, collectively, can retain a wide range of opinions, even when some of them might be unpopular.
posted by scody at 12:06 AM on October 11, 2008


who are you to tell us what and what not to denounce? a guy in an office?
posted by Hat Maui at 12:09 AM on October 11, 2008


I'm totally denouncing old raggedy hippies who've started new careers as education advocates who were incompetent would-be radicals before I was born!

In addition, I think that the Wobblies were probably unpleasant people in their private lives, and I am utterly opposed to the actions of the Committee for Public Safety during the French Revolution.

And Yetis. Fucking Yetis. They're no good.
posted by winna at 12:41 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Another cool thing about that Larry King episode: Laxalt got Bay Buchanan to say that Palin was the best choice McCain could have made for his VP pick, that there was indeed nobody better. Of course, she would speak only in terms of electability and not at all in terms of ability to govern. But still, what's great about this is that she and big bro (1) are eating shit now to go along, or (2) will be eating shit later to backtrack. Here's hoping it gets served back to them over and over anytime they try to portray themselves as knowledgeable pundits.
posted by troybob at 12:42 AM on October 11, 2008


Huh. McCain certainly looked genuinely disgusted in that video coldchef linked. Now whether it was sincere revulsion at the moronic racist babbling or something more selfish, along the lines of "oh god, oh fuck, why the fuck did I have to put *this* drooler in front of the mic, I really, really don't need this, aaaarggggh," I don't know. Probably both. But, yes, that was an intense moment, and he came off as pretty damned decent. Of course, as others have said, the fact that his camp has been deliberately inciting people to this sort of thing makes it a lot tougher to swallow, but I'd like to think that this was a brief snapshot of the real guy.
posted by taz at 12:52 AM on October 11, 2008


Wow. Echoing all the others, but that video was just sad. I really actually felt for McCain.

Ouch.
posted by aclevername at 1:04 AM on October 11, 2008


I don't feel sorry for McCain at this point. He unleashed the dogs of hell and a few days later he seems to cry 'enough'. When you pick up a stick, you pick up both ends i.e. actions have consequences. He launched these attacks on Obama and now he wants to back off? C'mon, how many time scan this guy flip-flop in a week? He is without any moral compass and his actions time and time again demonstrate this fundamental truth. His demons are coming home to roost and we should not waste a scintilla of sympathy for him. Where is fourcheesemac when we need him?
posted by vac2003 at 1:13 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Hey guys. Just browsing this thread from the office. From one mefite to another...I think it might be a good idea for you all to denounce the Weather Underground."

You are totally right!!! OMG! We should totally bend over for our government!
posted by clearly at 1:23 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I do love that Team McCain's response was more or less, "Sure, she acted unethically - but it was legal!" Talk about killing with kindness. Might as well have said "But Wooten was a douchebag! Come on."

And of course, there just had to be this:

Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached, making a tortured argument to find fault without basis in law or fact.

You just can't let it go, can you, McCain? We GET IT already, sheesh! What a broken record.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:32 AM on October 11, 2008


"This was a partisan led inquiry run by Obama supporters and the Palins were completely justified in their concern regarding Trooper (Michael) Wooten given his violent and rogue behaviour," the campaign's statement said.

Ahh, well that explains it.

It's just Obama up to his terrorist-late-term-abortin'-violent-rouge-state-trooper-supportin' tricks again.

Nothing to see here folks, you can all go home.
posted by mattoxic at 2:05 AM on October 11, 2008


>You're comparing McVeigh, who decimated a street block and deliberately killed people [...] with criminals who committed property damage, but went out of their way not to hurt people in committing that property damage.

Forgive me if I'm remembering this wrong, but weren't the Weather Underground getting ready to bomb a USO dance—filled, as you'd expect a dance to be, with scores of living, breathing, couples—when the ones making the bomb accidentally blew themselves up?

posted by blueberry at 2:42 AM on October 11, 2008


Sam Wang thinks this will be a landslide bigger than Clinton's 92 win. That is all.
posted by the cydonian at 2:49 AM on October 11, 2008


See, this is my favourite scenario


Dear John McCain,

When you dog-whistle, make sure you've got a cage ready for when they come running.

Why the fuck are you dog-whistling to Nazis anyway, you thought they were going to abstain from voting against Obama? You know he's black right?

Fucking idiot.

Yours,
Karl Rove




Karl,

Would you try my new Poll?

"Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child? taken your "base" and shoved it right up your fat fucking ass"

John.


Ahhhh, 'tis nice to dream.
posted by fullerine at 2:50 AM on October 11, 2008 [23 favorites]


Dick Cheney has kept Bush alive for eight years.

You're making the assumption here that people who would seriously contemplate assasinating a president have the sense to think this through logically.

Though I don't deny that there are some truly racist and crazy people who would like to kill Obama, I would be really and truly shocked if someone were actually successful. This is a man who enjoys overwhelming support worldwide (outside of the US) and has a majority of USians who support him.

Bush, on the other hand, has faced overwhelming opposition worldwide (outside of the US) for the vast majority of his presidency and within the US has faced fairly extreme opposition by many of those on the left. And not for a second do I believe that the right has a monopoly on crazed and dangerous nutcases. The extreme far left has their fair share as well. Despite being highly unpopular in his own country and worldwide as well as starting a highly unpopular war and in many people's mind destabilizing an entire region, pissing all over the Geneva Convention and being blamed for making the world a much less safe place overall, he has suffered not as much as a scratch on his cheek from someone throwing a pop can at him. I read an article a few years ago - and I wish I could remember where - that had an illustration of the president's motorcade, which showed all the cars that he has and who would be in which car and all the precautions that are taken, from switching him between cars and using dummy cars etc., it was really amazing. And that article was only showing things that could be made public. You can bet that most of the precautions they take and protocol they use is top secret. Bush has made many trips abroad and I'm always reading about how the security precautions that have to be taken when he visits Europe are unlike anything the country in question has ever seen before. In fact, I have read (again, can't remember where or I'd link it) that the protection that is given to our current president is higher than for any other president ever. Say what you will about the rest of the US government but IMO the Secret Service does not fuck around.

And Bush has been fine. Do I believe that there are people who want Obama dead? Yes. Do I believe, that with his Secret Service protection, he is vulnerable? Not as much.
posted by triggerfinger at 3:51 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


a landslide bigger than Clinton's 92 win

i think you mean his '96 win (which is what the article refers to) but either way, winning less than 50% is not really worthy of being called a landslide. sure, clinton whooped up on dole, but absent ross perot it'd have been closer. it was nothing compared to reagan v. mondale.

also, how in the holy fuck is it possible that one of the nine states (can you believe that bush sr. won in 41 states?) that dukakis won in '88 was west by god virginia?
posted by Hat Maui at 4:08 AM on October 11, 2008


It amazes me that but a short time ago, prior to the crash taking place in the economy, McCain was ahead by a point or two and all was consistently neck and neck...now, with election nearly here, Obama consistently pulling ahead. The Baked Alaskan thing matters not for her supporters--they will continue like her bra to support her--but for those who are wavering or independents: they have further reason now to view the GOP ticket with suspicion.

If Obama wins, what happens to Palin and the GOP future? Well, best guess is that she will not be a national figure and might well have troubles in Alaska...and now stories leaking out of alaska as to why her son suddenly went into the army. But American politics have always been filled with the madness we are seeing now, but every so often, a very young an inexperienced person, with but a very few years in national office comes along, and gives us hope: Lincoln. and now, Obama.
posted by Postroad at 4:18 AM on October 11, 2008


also, how in the holy fuck is it possible that one of the nine states (can you believe that bush sr. won in 41 states?) that dukakis won in '88 was west by god virginia?

All of the people who I know who live in West Virginia are Democrats. Coal mining leads to unions leads to Democrats.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:19 AM on October 11, 2008


Nice. Now the campaign is suggesting that maybe Obama planted those people at McCain's rallies to act like racist lunatics and make McCain look bad:

When asked about these outbursts, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said that he didn't know who those people were and if they were there as supporters or to disrupt the rallies.

So much for being respectful.
posted by EarBucket at 5:25 AM on October 11, 2008


I was just making a little COINTELPRO joke earlier. Domestic surveillance is hilarious.
posted by GalaxieFiveHundred at 5:39 AM on October 11, 2008


The enemy's gate is down?

I think I did it wrong...
posted by educatedslacker at 5:42 AM on October 11, 2008


Disheveled woman in audience: “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not… he’s not… he’s a… uh… uh… He’s an Arab. He’s not… No?”

McCain: “No, ma’am. No, ma’am. He’s a… he’s a decent, family man, citizen, that I just happen to have disagreements with on… on fundamental issues, and that’s what this campaign is all about. He’s not. Thank you.”


As an Arab, I would have appreciated it if someone had told me I had to make a choice before I had kids. Shit -- what do I do now?
posted by Killick at 6:10 AM on October 11, 2008 [13 favorites]


The Anonymous Liberal has a plausible take on why they've got Palin campaigning in West Virginia, a state they shouldn't have any trouble in: Palin's negatives are now so high that she is endangering Republicans in close races just by showing up.
posted by RussHy at 7:05 AM on October 11, 2008


lysdexic: "Or he's Bugs Bunny, opening the door so the Tasmanian Devil/Coyote/Yosemite Sam rush out into traffic/over the clif/right into the train."

Newshoggers had a spot-on riff on that theme this week; casting Obama as Bugs up against McCain as Daffy Duck:
You honestly couldn't get a much better description of the two candidates if you tried, right down to the recent Obama-Biden calling out McCain and all but questioning his manhood to see if they can get him riled up enough to shoot himself in the foot again. You suspect it's the equivalent of Bugs enticing the bull to charge with the red cape that just happens to have an anvil parked behind it.

McCain's temper is legendary, and his actions of the past few months; the Palin choice, the campaign suspension, the incoherent and ever-changing response to the credit crisis, have "Daffy" written all over them.

Meanwhile, "Bugs" Obama leans back, smiles, and carries on about his business of winning the election.
If you think about the last few weeks, the news has all been about McCain, Obama hasn't really done much, but it's all about McCain flailing around and making a mess of things. Obama's winning just by being calm and making the occasional taunting remark.
posted by octothorpe at 7:16 AM on October 11, 2008


He's an amazing politician, and that's what we need. Someone who can sell America back to the world, and convince Americans to believe again. The entire world seems to be teetering on the edge and having a strong unifying figure who can convince everyone to work together will be a huge help.

Let's keep some perspective here. Electing Obama is a no-brainer for "the world"; it would basically translate as 'we're trying to stop screwing up everything now'. I don't for a second think that, with his election, the world is going to just forget the last eight years (most especially the 2004 election) and everything'll be back to the way people in the US like to imagine it is.

One of the major reasons there is so much anti-Americanism in the world, and has been since well before 9-11, is the overwhelming arrogance that seeps out of the US at every opportunity. The idea that Obama will be "a strong unifying figure who can convince everyone to work together" is a prime example of this, and is setting the man up to fail besides, don't you think?

If Obama can reverse Bush's damage to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, let alone deal with the domestic economic situation, he'll be doing amazing work and that's more than enough for any one administration. The US' image abroad is something that has developed over decades, and chances are it will take decades to bring it around again.

All that said, he is an amazing politician, yes.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:21 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


One of the major reasons there is so much anti-Americanism in the world, and has been since well before 9-11, is the overwhelming arrogance that seeps out of the US at every opportunity. The idea that Obama will be "a strong unifying figure who can convince everyone to work together" is a prime example of this, and is setting the man up to fail besides, don't you think?

Dude, the rest of the world thinks obama is fried gold. Elect him and they face the horrifying prospect of actually saying nice things about you.
posted by Artw at 7:50 AM on October 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


i think you mean his '96 win
Yes, sloppy summarization on my part; meant to say biggest win since '92.
posted by the cydonian at 8:02 AM on October 11, 2008


Sam Wang thinks this will be a landslide bigger than Clinton's 92 win. That is all.

I have been saying for months now that while I really have no idea who will win, whoever does will do it by a landslide. Either the nation will lean toward change and as much distance from Bush as possible, or they'll still want to rely on the idea that age=experience in the face of a war. In other words, people aren't just "pretending" they're voting for Obama in one small district in Pennsylvania. Either the polls are correct across the board, or they're wrong across the board.

But likewise, I think if you're planning any election night parties, you should really start 'em early and not show up late. Because honestly this election is going to be decided at about 7:00 PM Eastern Time when Virginia polls close- if McCain wins it by 5% or more then he's probably won the election. If Obama has won it or kept it close, he's probably done it. Same deal with New Hampshire an hour later- if it swings to McCain then he's probably eking out the other states he needs too.

I've already said that Nate Silver's site gives me far less confidence than it does others, but if his current electoral projection is accurate on Election Night, than this would be beyond Clinton's '92 win; this would be an anomaly of Reagan '84 levels in which Obama would have actually won the presidency- by that I mean been guaranteed over 270 electoral votes, by 9:00 PM EST, before the polls had even closed in California.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:16 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


As non-American, and as a non-American with somewhat of a reputation around here for being anti-American¹:

Obama will do a lot to restore America's place at the global table. He knows how to listen to and communicate with people. He is smart and he will make sure he is well-prepared before meeting with foreign leaders. He will treat his peers with respect and will actively work to build consensus.

Indeed, I'll wager that he could turn the image of the US around in a fortnight, simply by presenting a plan for changing the offensive military campaigns in the mid-East into co-operative police and peace-keeping actions. Peace keeping, not war-mongering.

¹I'm actually not: I'm anti-expansionist, anti-violence, anti-stupidity. Unfortunately, recent US history is all those things.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:16 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was Sarah Palin.

I have not yet stopped throwing up.


This is just as disrespectful as what McCain supporters have been saying about Obama. It's not a substantive criticism of Palin's policies or actions, it's just an insulting remark towards her person, an attempt to dehumanise and make her an Other who can be simply hated rather than a political opponent to stridently disagree with.

The thing about wanting politics and political discourse to be better is that everyone needs to work for it. How is calling George Bush "Chippy" any different from someone insulting Obama for his name? (Obama could have changed his name; Bush could not change his appearance). Calling out George Bush for incarcerating people illegally and is responsible for torture - that's what people should be doing.
posted by jb at 8:17 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


FFF: yes, this. See, as supporting evidence, his correct pronunciation of "Pakistan" - which the rabid right Republicans found so squicky.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:27 AM on October 11, 2008


Regardless of McCain's motivations, I was happy to see him finally attempting to raise the tone and temper the hatred during at the Lakeville rally yesterday, and I sent the McCain campaign a message saying so.
posted by gruchall at 8:27 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's winning just by being calm and making the occasional taunting remark.

You see, that's the brilliance. Somehow, everything about the Obama campaign projects calm, when actually a million things are going on at once, from the grassroots level on up. The dude is not just playing chess, he's playing crazy three-dimensional Star Trek chess. On several boards at once. While simultaneously reciting Emerson from memory and whipping a tasty creme brulee.

In the midst of all the nastiness going on in the media, the campaign quietly releases this 15-minute video, a sweet, incredibly well-made, behind-the-scenes look at the Denver convention. It the last three days, it's gotten over a quarter of a million views on YouTube.

It's worth watching, not just for its feel-good-ism, but for how politically skilled it is. I can't even count how many sweet spots it hits, how many implicit attacks it counters.
posted by neroli at 8:30 AM on October 11, 2008 [9 favorites]


I think it might be a good idea for you all to denounce the Weather Underground.

Question: Do you denounce the Weather Underground and all the political forces of wickedness that rebel against winning elections?
Answer: I denounce them.

Question: Do you denounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?
Answer: I denounce Karl Rove.

Question: Do you denounce all impolitic desires that draw you from winning elections?
Answer: I denounce them.

Question: Do you turn to David Plouffe and accept him as your manager?
Answer: I do.

Question: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and skill?
Answer: I do.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:37 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


He knows how to listen to and communicate with people. He is smart and he will make sure he is well-prepared before meeting with foreign leaders. He will treat his peers with respect and will actively work to build consensus.

I agree with all this. Again though, I suspect he'll be a little too busy with domestic issues to finally create peace in the Middle-East. But hey, if I'm wrong, that'd be great.

All I'm really saying is that it's not so simple as - Elect Obama, and the World will fall to its knees in rapture, and anti-Americanism will disappear. Obama has a charisma that transcends nationality, yes, his presidency would certainly be perceived as a positive step for the US.

But the man is not a panacea. No single leader of any place at any time has done what some are suggesting Obama will certainly do - turn around the world's opinion of a country and its effect on the world 180 degrees. Gorbachev would likely be the closest candidate, I should think.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:40 AM on October 11, 2008


Unfortunately, we're still in the OMG no flag pin? what phase

I have a confession to make, the sight of the American Flag does not make my breast swell with patriotism. I think the 70's cured me forever of flag fever because back then the kind of people who waved flags had bumper stickers on their cars: America, Love it or Leave it. Message? If you don't love unconditionally, if you try to change things, if you complain about things (like the Viet Nam war) then you should just move to Canada, you long-haired, dirty hippy, because you whiny candy-assed commies are the problem, not the Government.

To a great extent, those are the types of flag-wavers I see today (well, those, and companies that want to sell you something like WalMart and Ford.) They bust out the flag to prove what good people they are and how much they love their country. They demand that school children recite the pledge-- as though forcing someone to make a pledge will bear significant fruit. I don't deny that for some the pledge and the flag do mean something, but what, exactly?

Every time I see George Bush and Dick Cheney with their tiny little flag pins, I wonder, does it hold any significance, or is it just a part of their costume? If it does mean something to them, what does it stand for? What is it that they love about their country? The land? The resources? The power? The history? We all know they don't love the people of the United States. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the sight of those Americans stranded in the Superdome during Hurricane Katrina made Bush physically ill. Not out of empathy or sympathy for their plight but because they were a hard-hitting visual signal that the Bush Administration was incompetent.

So when I heard that Barack Obama wasn't automatically wearing a flag lapel pin, that's when I knew I was going to vote for him. I think he gets it. America is a great and wonderful place, but it is the people who make it great-- not the government. It is the glorious melting pot where you can decide for yourself how hard you want to work, where you want to live, what you want to do. It is opportunity. It is taking the best of each culture that arrives and adding it the heady mix.* It is always changing, always evolving. Those people who stand in the way trying to stop the movement, the momentum, they are the real problem.

*Maybe it helps that I grew up in SoCal and lived in a Spanish-style house with Japanese-style garden and adored my Hungarian grandmother's cooking.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:44 AM on October 11, 2008 [20 favorites]


This is just as disrespectful as what McCain supporters have been saying about Obama.

Which ones, those calling him a terrorist, arab or yelling "kill him" ?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


neroli: gods, that video was awesome.

I wonder if Barack won his bet with Malia?
posted by brain cloud at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2008


The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.
posted by hooove at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2008


More on topic: Palin denies she abused power.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:03 AM on October 11, 2008


> The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.

You forgot to twiddle your moustache and say "Mwahahahaha!" before twirling your cape and melting back into the shadows.
posted by you just lost the game at 9:15 AM on October 11, 2008 [15 favorites]


The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.

Oh, excellent! Karl Rove got a MetaFilter account. Welcome, Karl!
posted by brain cloud at 9:23 AM on October 11, 2008 [5 favorites]


In a nutshell: The McCain/Palin ticket is the first in American history in which both candidates were found to have violated ethics standards before a national election.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:26 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The dude is not just playing chess, he's playing crazy three-dimensional Star Trek chess. On several boards at once. While simultaneously reciting Emerson from memory and whipping a tasty creme brulee.

Man, these Skull & Bones initiation rituals are nothing if not baroque.

Still think the best characterization of the Obama strategy is rope-a-dope - watching this thing unfold makes me wish I'd been alive to see Ali in his prime . . .
posted by gompa at 9:28 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


neroli: In the midst of all the nastiness going on in the media, the campaign quietly releases this 15-minute video , a sweet, incredibly well-made, behind-the-scenes look at the Denver convention. It the last three days, it's gotten over a quarter of a million views on YouTube."

Make sure that you watch all the way to the end (starting around 14:00) to see the pixar-like outtakes. Obama and Biden really look like a team.
posted by octothorpe at 9:34 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Time Magazine:
But the Branchflower report still makes for good reading, if only because it convincingly answers a question nobody had even thought to ask: Is the Palin administration shockingly amateurish? Yes, it is. Disturbingly so.

The 263 pages of the report show a co-ordinated application of pressure on Monegan so transparent and ham-handed that it was almost certain to end in public embarrassment for the governor. The only surprise is that Troopergate is national news, not just a sorry piece of political gristle to be chewed on by Alaska politicos over steaks at Anchorage's Club Paris.

A harsh verdict? Consider the report's findings. Not only did people at almost every level of the Palin administration engage in repeated inappropriate contact with Walt Monegan and other high-ranking officials at the Department of Public Safety, but Monegan and his peers constantly warned these Palin disciples that the contact was inappropriate and probably unlawful. Still, the emails and calls continued — in at least one instance on recorded state trooper phone lines.
Which is what I was saying last night-- Todd and Sarah are so incompetent they couldn't even get Wooten fired. They're like a couple of children hanging on daddy's arm at the grocery store, "Please daddy, please, I'll hold my breath till I turn blue, I won't love you anymore, I think you're a big, fat meanie, Mommy always buys me candy, I hate you." but Daddy just says "No," and keeps right on walking, and they don't get the candy. Monegan was the adult. He knew there were no grounds to fire Wooten so he just kept ignoring Todd's "evidence." And in the end, Todd and Sarah didn't get the candy, and they did get their hands spanked by the adults.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:40 AM on October 11, 2008 [9 favorites]


Forgot the link: Time
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:40 AM on October 11, 2008


From the opening prayer at McCain's rally today:

“There are plenty of people around the world who are praying to their god, be they Hindu, Buddah, or Allah, that (McCain’s) opponent wins. I pray that you step forward and honor your own name.”
posted by EarBucket at 9:46 AM on October 11, 2008


So when I heard that Barack Obama wasn't automatically wearing a flag lapel pin, that's when I knew I was going to vote for him. I think he gets it. America is a great and wonderful place, but it is the people who make it great-- not the government. It is the glorious melting pot where you can decide for yourself how hard you want to work, where you want to live, what you want to do. It is opportunity. It is taking the best of each culture that arrives and adding it the heady mix.*

If you watch some of the videos on the Obama youtube site - esp some they have featured like their signs of hope and change video - it's quite clear that the campaign is actually trying to create a new visual language of America and Patriotism.

The imagery of American patriotism that I grew up watching* on television and in the media is quite different from the one that the Obama campaign is promoting. It was an imagery which usually shows that skin colour doesn't matter that much (esp if you are black or white, as opposed to any other race), but clothes/language/culture do - so you can be non-white, you need to dress like white Americans of a certain class (mainly Anglo working and middle class), not have an accent or a different language, not eat strange food - it's also an imagery dominated by certain landscapes (mostly epic rural or wilderness). You are American if you do American things: wave the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance with your hand over your heart - but also eat barbeques, dress like Americans, talk like Americans.

But the imagery being promoted by the Obama campaign is trying to rewrite the the imagery less as a melting pot, and more as a funky stew with lots of idenitfiable chunks (old people, young people, non-Anglo people). The video begins with classic American landscape imagery - coast, mountains, urban skylines, fields (screaming "Morning in America"), but then it begins not to subvert but transform this imagery into a new, more specific and more diverse imagery than I have seen before - a rural trailer, a New York streetscape which isn't Times Square but somewhere New Yorkers actually live, children playing in another city (yes, there are other cities), a man on a small town porch - and more elderly and young people than I had noticed before, as well as class diversity and a racial diversity which goes beyond white and black. But also connections - the road in the city is the road in the wilderness is the road in a suburb is a road in a small town. And the words "hope" and "change" hold steady(ish) like a linkline between the people constantly changing. (Interesting - that the only links are ideological - not cultural).

I don't know if what I'm saying makes sense, but I think that it is a fascinating aspect of the campaign. It isn't just that they have message discipline (thought they do) - they have fascinating and sophisticated visual design. I feel like they really are trying to redefine the meaning of "American" through their visual imagery. My husband thinks this particular video is aimed at energising the base - and I agree - but I also think about what effect efforts like this will have on the very important conversation about what it means to be an American in America.

*I'm not American but grew up watching American television - I feel sensitive to the language of American patriotism and identity since I was always outside it, and always had the Canadian language of patriotism and identity as a contrast.

Interestingly, while I very happy to see the American patriotic language become more diverse, I would say that the Canadian patriotic language needs more connections - our program of multiculturalism has been wonderful, but left Canadians without a centre through which to link our great diversity. We need a patriotic language that focuses on shared values which works with multiculturalism. I think the party most likely to acheive this might be the Liberals - they brought us our last great experiment in creating patriotic imagery - the flag, the red and white - but I don't know if those symbols are strong enough. They needs values behind them.

posted by jb at 9:48 AM on October 11, 2008 [21 favorites]


Since religion has been a factor in this campaign, I look forward to a scandal involving one of the candidates not knowing the true meaning of words in the Bible, leading to Vulgategate.
posted by lukemeister at 9:50 AM on October 11, 2008


ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala, traveling with Palin, reports that a Palin supporter in Johnstown, Pa., today was holding a Curious George monkey doll on which he'd put an Obama sticker.
posted by EarBucket at 9:52 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


More on topic: Palin denies she abused power.

What a shocker! Has there ever been a politician that hasn't denied abuse of power charges?

From the opening prayer at McCain's rally today:

“There are plenty of people around the world who are praying to their god, be they Hindu, Buddah, or Allah, that (McCain’s) opponent wins. I pray that you step forward and honor your own name.”


They left out godless heathens like me that also want Obama to win. But I can see how that might have messed up the good preacher's riff on those pagan false god worshippers. The good preacher also left out all of the Christians that are praying for Obama to win.
posted by birdherder at 9:53 AM on October 11, 2008


ABC News' Imtiyaz Delawala, traveling with Palin, reports that a Palin supporter in Johnstown, Pa., today was holding a Curious George monkey doll on which he'd put an Obama sticker.

We'd never do that.
posted by mazola at 10:06 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Gaitgate is old news…

"In 1892, Leland Stanford settled an argument about whether trotting horses were ever fully airborne: he paid photographer Eadweard Muybridge to prove it photographically. The resulting photo, the first documented example of high-speed photography, clearly showed the horse airborne."
posted by JBennett at 10:09 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


> We'd never do that.

I hate to break it to you, but monkey (and ape, etc.) have been racial slang used against african americans a lot longer than describing an incompetent president.

What is surprising if the number of creationists who use it, because mostly the monkey term is used to imply that africans are a more primitive, less evolved race than whites.
posted by mrzarquon at 10:17 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mazola, the "Bush as a chimp" meme is clearly intended as "Bush is an idiot".

Do you think that's the same target that this Palin supporter with the Curious George monkey doll with an Obama sticker on it was shooting for?
posted by Flunkie at 10:21 AM on October 11, 2008


mrzarquon: Agreed.

Equating Bush to a chimp took off because it was a good way to connote that he was a belly-scratchin' unevolved half wit. And also, you know, his facial expressions were eerily simian.

Put an Obama sticker on a Curious George doll, and you're only millimeters away from doing the same, but with a tar-baby.
posted by brain cloud at 10:22 AM on October 11, 2008


You honestly couldn't get a much better description of the two candidates if you tried, right down to the recent Obama-Biden calling out McCain and all but questioning his manhood to see if they can get him riled up enough to shoot himself in the foot again. You suspect it's the equivalent of Bugs enticing the bull to charge with the red cape that just happens to have an anvil parked behind it.

I can't help imagining Obama dressing up like a lady and seducing McCain.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:24 AM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


BARACK OSAMA GONNA MAKE YOUR SON GAY MARRY SOMEONE WHO PRAYS TO HINDU
posted by Flunkie at 10:27 AM on October 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


I can't help imagining Obama dressing up like a lady and seducing McCain.

Ssshh...you'll spoil the October Surprise.
posted by neroli at 10:32 AM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


> The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.

This comment is much improved if you read it in Darth Vader's voice.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:37 AM on October 11, 2008 [16 favorites]


> The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.

This comment is much improved if you read it in Darth Vader's voice.


Hmmm. I don't know. His lack of punctuation disturbs me.
posted by elfgirl at 10:55 AM on October 11, 2008 [3 favorites]


some meandering thoughts on tactics and identification.

We are all Americans (except for those of us who aren't), but first we are individuals. Nationalism is a way of subverting people's individuality towards the will of those in power, by making those lower on the chain identify with the whims of those at the top. This is exactly what we see happening in the 'red states' when people vote for the flag and against their own economic interests. To be sure, people (even thinking people) make decisions that aren't in their best interest in one way or another. But everyone should still have (and in fact, do have) the opportunity to act on their personal beliefs, in spite of social repercussions for our actions.

Do you love polar bears? What if a 'violent' act of property destruction (like blowing up a section of pipe somewhere in the depths of Alaska) could stave off their extinction? While it is often the case that violence - especially in America, where we have been so trained to eschew violent resistance - isn't politically expedient, acts of sabotage can still accomplish particular goals. Maybe we can start admitting that property destruction isn't murder, though the law certainly wants us to understand that it views the two acts equally. Property destruction is massively unpopular amongst Americans. It isn't a hearts-and-minds tactic (and the civil rights movement had to be built on hearts-and-minds tactics), but that doesn't make sabotage an invalid tactic in all situations. That said, sabotage isn't a necessary (or even necessarily useful) tactic in our modern, massively decentralized world. Because I need to find people to work with, and enlarge the base of like-minded people intent on making things better, these tactics probably won't include sabotage. But, just as the government always refuses to rule out possibilities, so too will I go forth in my work and not rule out sabotage.

There is an individualistic, anti-government refrain in the populist portion of the Republican message - people know this and understand it, and a major part of the Republican phenomenon has been co-opting this spirit of individualism into a larger anti-individualist, nationalist platform. (Hey, you want guns to defend yourself from the big, evil government? You got it. Isn't it great that you live in a country that lets you have guns to resist the big, evil government? Yes, it is. Now get out there and vote. Real patriots love America and hate the government.)

Now, we live in this increasingly interconnected world, and we really need to talk to each other and work together to fix up this pile of messes that we've made. The kind of individualism that sends people to live on isolated ranches and never talk to their neighbors and shoot the tax collector when he steps onto their property without permission isn't the kind of thinking that will make the world safer or better. It is important to understand that we don't have to identify as Americans first, but that we also need to form coalitions, find like minded people, and start coming up with tactics to defend the things that matter and fix what's been broken. And identifying the tactics that will actually get shit done.

You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:00 AM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


What a shocker! Has there ever been a politician that hasn't denied abuse of power charges?

In the letter to Keating, McCain apologizes for his staff sending Keating a request to solicit donations.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:01 AM on October 11, 2008


No doubt he finds our lack of fear disturbing.
posted by lysdexic at 11:10 AM on October 11, 2008


10/11/08, 3:20 PM: University of Florida footballers caught making illegal in-uniform campaign appearances in "Gatorgate".

10/11/08: 3:40 PM: Linguistic purists on MeFi, fed up with tenuous analogies to the original DNC break-in, demand '''gate'-r 'Gatorgate'".
posted by ormondsacker at 11:28 AM on October 11, 2008


Newsday:
An Associated Press review of the Republican vice presidential candidate's record as mayor and governor reveals her use of elected office to promote religious causes, sometimes at taxpayer expense and in ways that blur the line between church and state.

Since she took state office in late 2006, the governor and her family have spent more than $13,000 in taxpayer funds to attend at least 10 religious events and meetings with Christian pastors, including Franklin Graham, the son of evangelical preacher Billy Graham, records show.
I'd be pretty angry about this if I lived in Alaska.

NY Times:
Remember how we used to joke about John McCain looking like an old guy yelling at kids to get off his lawn? It’s only in retrospect that we can see that the keep-off-the-grass period was the McCain campaign’s golden era. Now, he’s beginning to act like one of those movie characters who steals the wrong ring and turns into a troll. During that last debate, while he was wandering around the stage, you almost expected to hear him start muttering: “We wants it. We needs it. Must have the precious.”
McCain is a troll, in the old-fashioned fairy tale sense. It's like he has had a spell put on him making him smaller, more twisted. From time to time the old McCain peeps out of the blackened shell, but the spell is too strong for him.

Be sure to read the rest of the op-ed, it is pretty funny in a sad way.
I miss the old George W. Bush. When he came out of the White House and made an announcement, you would usually think that whatever he wanted to do was a terrible idea. But at least you thought he could actually make the terrible idea happen.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 11:45 AM on October 11, 2008


I miss the old George W. Bush.

So do I. I miss the George W. Bush from the 2000 presidential debates, who said the United States should not "go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be," that this was "one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American." The one who said we should stop "nation-building". Not that I voted for the guy or anything. I'm just saying, that guy was the Master Statesman compared to the haggard, defeated, bunkerized guy we have in the White House now.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:20 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Thinking about it, I had to go back and find the transcript from the 2000 debate. Man, this is heartbreaking stuff:
BUSH: Let me comment on that. I'm not so sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say this is the way it's got to be. We can help. And maybe it's just our difference in government, the way we view government. I want to empower the people. I want to help people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do. I just don't think it's the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, we do it this way, so should you. I think we can help. I know we've got to encourage democracy in the marketplaces. ... So I'm not exactly sure where the vice president [Al Gore] is coming from, but I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, we do it this way, so should you. Now, we trust freedom. We know freedom is a powerful, powerful, powerful force, much bigger than the United States of America, as we saw recently in the Balkans. But maybe I misunderstand where you're coming from, Mr. Vice President, but I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:25 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


There are no wheels left on the straight-talk express.

Is it a hovercraft ?
A sled ?
An wreck on the highway ?
No-o-o-o-o.....

Well, you don't know what we can find
Why don't you come with me little girl
On a magic carpet ride
Well, you don't know what we can see
Why don't you tell your dreams to me
Fantasy will set you free
Close your eyes girl
Look inside girl
Let the sound take you away....





ps. IT WAS A HOTEL, PEOPLE.

Nuh UH.

IT IS AN APARTMENT OFFICE BUILDING SHOPPING CENTER HOTEL COMPLEX, SHEPHERD.

Let'sGetOurClichesStraightGate !


Careful, there's a beverage, here...

posted by y2karl at 12:27 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


I prefer Troopermuff.
posted by lukemeister at 1:10 PM on October 11, 2008


Indepent 4 McCain
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 1:41 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Indepent 4 McCain

*snort* My personal favorite handmade political sign this year has to be the one I saw in somebody's yard here -- "OBAMA IS A MUSLIN!"
posted by brain cloud at 2:00 PM on October 11, 2008


.......... SPIEGEL: After travelling through the United States 170 years ago, Alexis de Tocqueville reported, "the people reign over the American political world as God rules over the universe." Was he a dreamer?

Chomsky: James Madison’s position at the Constitutional Convention was that state power should be used "to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority." That is why the Senate has only a hundred members who are mostly rich and were given a great deal of power. The House of Representatives, with several hundred members, is more democratic and was given much less power. Even liberals like Walter Lippmann, one of the leading intellectuals of the 20th century, was of the opinion that in a properly functioning democracy, the intelligent minority, who should rule, have to be protected from “the trampling and the roar of the bewildered herd.” Among the conservatives, Vice President Dick Cheney just recently illustrated his understanding of democracy. He was asked why he supports a continuation of the war in Iraq when the population is strongly opposed. His answer was: “So?”

SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you "fired up”?

Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.

Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.

SPIEGEL: Do you prefer the team on the other side: the 72 year old Vietnam veteran McCain and Sarah Palin, former Alaskan beauty queen?

Chomsky: This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching us from Mars, they would think the country has gone insane.

SPIEGEL: Arch conservatives and religious voters seem to be thrilled.

Chomsky: One must not forget that this country was founded by religious fanatics. Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.

SPIEGEL: Is there nothing about McCain that appeals to you?

Chomsky: In one aspect he is more honest than his opponent. He explicitly states that this election is not about issues but about personalities. The Democrats are not quite as honest even though they see it the same way.

SPIEGEL: So for you, Republicans and Democrats represent just slight variations of the same political platform?

Chomsky: Of course there are differences, but they are not fundamental. Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party.

SPIEGEL: You exaggerate. In almost all vital questions -- from the taxation of the rich to nuclear energy -- there are different positions. At least on the issues of war and peace, the parties differ considerably. The Republicans want to fight in Iraq until victory, even if that takes a 100 years, according to McCain. The Democrats demand a withdrawal plan.

Chomsky: Let us look at the “differences” more closely, and we recognize how limited and cynical they are. The hawks say, if we continue we can win. The doves say, it is costing us too much. But try to find an American politician who says frankly that this aggression is a crime: the issue is not whether we win or not, whether it is expensive or not. Remember the Russian invasion of Afghanistan? Did we have a debate whether the Russians can win the war or whether it is too expensive? This may have been the debate at the Kremlin, or in Pravda. But this is the kind of debate you would expect in a totalitarian society. If General Petraeus could achieve in Iraq what Putin achieved in Chechnya, he would be crowned king. The key question here is whether we apply the same standards to ourselves that we apply to others.
............


posted by Rumple at 2:02 PM on October 11, 2008


My personal favorite handmade political sign this year has to be the one I saw in somebody's yard here -- "OBAMA IS A MUSLIN!"

There you go again with your intellectual elitist gotcha-style obsession with "spelling" and "facts".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:15 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


IT IS AN APARTMENT OFFICE BUILDING SHOPPING CENTER HOTEL COMPLEX, SHEPHERD.

At the time, though, it was just a hotel with a dry cleaner and a bar. Now it's mostly condos, I think. GetYourVerbTensesStraightGate?
Chomsky: Let us look at the “differences” more closely, and we recognize how limited and cynical they are...
Aaand this is what I hate about Chomsky. He's so smart, but blind to obvious realities because they don't conform to his theories.

Had Gore been president, WE WOULD NOT HAVE INVADED IRAQ. Period, end of story. The executive would not have fabricated "evidence" used to justify the war. Of course, once we did invade, no politician has a chance of being elected President if he says the war is morally wrong - never mind that he said it was wrong before - because no one, in any democracy, can win an election by telling the people they've fucked up. Sheesh.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:14 PM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Can someone tell an outsider how possible it is for this to turn around? I mean... I'm starting to get pretty exctied (in Australia). Can this all change? From what I can tell, these polls seem to be more than just momentary changes in opinion. So what are the chances that things could switch? Is it still somewhat realistic that McCain could spin this around?
posted by twirlypen at 3:24 PM on October 11, 2008


Is it still somewhat realistic that McCain could spin this around?

Not highly likely. Obama has a significant enough lead in the polls that absent a major, game-changing event, McCain's not going to overtake him. Now, anything could happen, from Obama making a huge gaffe in the last debate (not very likely) to Osama bin Laden releasing another tape right before the election (probably more likely) to a war or a terrorist attack breaking out (who knows how likely). It's unclear how any of those events would affect the ground the election's being fought on, but the current race is Obama's to lose.
posted by EarBucket at 3:33 PM on October 11, 2008


Of course it's more than realistic that Obama's lead could change in a heartbeat. That's why we're always talking about an October Surprise. McCain is pretty well screwed since the big issue now is the economy and not some sort of military issue, but we're proud of our American ingenuity and I'm sure that we can figure out some way to wage war against (fill in the blank) in the blink of an eye in an attempt to get our thoughts off hope and get them back to the fear and loathing with which we've become so very comfortable.
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:34 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


You can also take heart in the fact that, after a week of the nastiest campaigning we've seen in a presidential race in my lifetime at least, Obama is leading by slightly more than he was at the beginning of the week.

I think he's probably about at his high-water point, barring some kind of spectacularly stupid mistake on McCain's part, and we may yet see some tightening. But John McCain could convince every single undecided voter in the country to vote for him and it still wouldn't put him over the top at this point. Obama's averaging 50% in Florida, for god's sake.
posted by EarBucket at 3:59 PM on October 11, 2008


And here's some video of the gentleman with the Curious George doll at the Palin rally today.
posted by EarBucket at 4:08 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The best part is where he gets busted being a racist asshole and tries to pass the monkey off to the cute kid.
posted by The Bellman at 4:28 PM on October 11, 2008


Why does nobody bother to defend Ayers?

"...And secondly, even if I did beat my wife, it was a fair fight."

NO. BAD STRATEGY.
posted by spiderwire at 4:36 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Heh. And here's Palin dropping the puck at the Flyers game in Philadelphia tonight, to boos, jeers, and thumbs-down gestures from the crowd.
posted by EarBucket at 4:36 PM on October 11, 2008


The Obama/Biden sign behind her was a nice touch.
posted by scody at 4:42 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


I once bought an ice cream bar at the little convenience store at the Watergate. It was very exciting.

Also, I wish people like Chomsky would stop saying that America was founded by religious fanatics. Some of the first Europeans to come here were devout Christians. Some of them were foaming at the mouth fanatics. Some of them were just here to make a buck. Most just wanted to live their lives in peace and prosperity as we do now.
posted by Biblio at 5:12 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


rate-my-gate.com
posted by Eekacat at 5:14 PM on October 11, 2008


> The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.

This comment is much improved if you read it in Darth Vader's voice.


True enough, but I hear it in Carrie Fisher's weird half-hearted stab at a Received Pronunciation accent, as in: "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:19 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The longer this run up to the election goes on and the more sure of this election's final results you people become the more amusing it will be when things do not turn out as you hope.

I hear it in the voice of Oglethorpe, the German alien from Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
posted by EarBucket at 5:36 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Obama campaign has about 100 paid staff members in [Nevada].

A few Republican operatives, who declined to be named, offered blunt criticism.

The McCain campaign is “a joke,” one said. “There’s not a campaign in Nevada. A couple of guys, running around, being incompetent. Or even worse, arrogantly incompetent.”

The consultant said there was no discernible McCain ground game, which is political jargon for the massive effort needed to find likely supporters and get them to the polls.

He did hedge a bit, saying that if some earth-shattering event were to occur, McCain could still win in Nevada. Otherwise: “There’s not one single positive note for Republicans. I couldn’t be more pessimistic.”

posted by EarBucket at 5:40 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


Had Gore been president, WE WOULD NOT HAVE INVADED IRAQ.

That's right. Because it's not like he selected a vice-presidential candidate who's an ardent fan of US aggression in the middle-east.
posted by rodgerd at 5:44 PM on October 11, 2008 [2 favorites]


here's some video of the gentleman with the Curious George doll at the Palin rally today

Calvert Deforest has come back from the dead as a racist Republican?

If that ain't an October Surprise, I don't know what is.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:47 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just spent the afternoon canvassing in Indiana. We worked a neighborhood that would have been 100 percent Bush voters 4 years ago. Now there are Obama voters and Obama signs all over the place. Very few McCain signs. Obama can win this state, I'm sure of it. The volunteer office was incredibly organized and there were dozens of volunteers coming by to get canvassing packets in the 20 minutes we were there. Unreal level of energy.

McCain is so fucked.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:05 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


PS -- not one person was resting on the polls or slacking at all. People are working harder because they taste victory!
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:07 PM on October 11, 2008


Some of the first Europeans to come here were devout Christians. Some of them were foaming at the mouth fanatics. Some of them were just here to make a buck.

Actually the majority of those on The Mayflower were on board as part of an extended "business trip," "...to make a buck."

The Mayflower crossing was funded by a group of private investors (known as the Merchant Adventurers). Of the 132 passengers on board only 50 were Puritans (aka Separatists/Leideners) with the majority being folks recruited by the investors to establish a profitable community in the "New World."
posted by ericb at 6:21 PM on October 11, 2008


That's right. Because it's not like he selected a vice-presidential candidate who's an ardent fan of US aggression in the middle-east.

We would, of course, have to assume that 9/11 first happened with a Gore presidency. I am not ready to do so. But moving on:

Lieberman being a war hawk wouldn't have made any difference. If Lieberman had become VP then Jodi Rell would have refilled his seat with a Republican, making the Senate 51-49 Republican and Jeffords' 2001 defection irrelevant. A GOP-led senate would not, simply would not, have allowed the Democratic president to cast a war as a positive thing. Republican leaders would have flip-flopped completely on Gore suggesting a war with Iraq using nearly the exact same rhetoric that many on the left used for Bush. Bush Sr. himself said invading Iraq would be a bad idea. The GOP lambasted Clinton for his actions in Serbia.

The absolutely reality of the Iraq war is that it happened because a Republican president wanted one and a Republican-dominated political environment at the time, thanks primarily to 9/11, allowed him to have it.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:30 PM on October 11, 2008 [6 favorites]


Actually, I'm going to go further as I reflect on the day's canvassing. People are fired up even more because of the nastiness of the McCain campaign in the last couple of weeks. If he intended to fire up his base, he neglected to consider that such tactics have fired up Obama's supporters even more. We are not letting this bastard beat us with this crap. Not this time. Not this year.

One middle-aged white guy who (to judge from the truck in the driveway) had a small business doing satellite TV installations, told us he'd voted republican his entire life, other than voting for Carter in 76. But now he's either not voting or voting for Obama (and his kids have him leaning that way, actually). He considers Palin unqualified. He's not thrilled with Obama, but he considers him "strong" and "intelligent." He had nothing but derision for McCain and his campaign effort.

I just read this excellent piece by Al Giordano at NarcoNews. It describes the unbelievable level of pro-Obama energy and action in North Carolina (including something I didn't know, which is that Obama is brilliantly using barbershops and beauty salons as voter registration centers in black communities, and it's working). Made my day. Highly recommended.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:40 PM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah, here in Raleigh, you can't walk past a downtown barbershop without seeing half a dozen Obama posters in the window. They've basically turned them into satellite voter registration/GOTV centers. Black turnout's going to be huge here in the Triangle. When I talk to black voters (and a surprising number of whites, too), I get a real sense of people champing at the bit. People can't wait to get to the polls.
posted by EarBucket at 6:55 PM on October 11, 2008


FCM, thanks for the field report from Indiana. Here in northern Illinois, it's difficult to gauge the reality on the ground in swing/red states. I will say that even in the really, really red county where I live I'm seeing probably 5x more Obama stickers and signs than those for McCain. That's obviously going to be affected by the fact that Barack's our senator, though.

I even saw two women putting up an enormous wooden Vote Pro-Choice sign the other day at a busy intersection -- this, after having to consistently drive by "Right to Life McHenry County" anti-choice/anti-euthanasia billboards ever since I moved here. I wanted to hug those ladies.

Also, thanks for the piece at NarcoNews. I really do think we're seeing a game-changing type of politics, here. I think once the dust settles we'll really be able to analyze how Obama's organization has fundamentally shifted the way political campaigns work. It's very exciting.
posted by sugarfish at 6:56 PM on October 11, 2008


What was printed on the T-shirt Timothy McVeigh was wearing when he was arrested?

It said a lot of things. Some washing instructions, a Lincoln quote... but you probably mean the real important part.

"Made in the USA".
posted by rokusan at 7:22 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, as smart as Chomsky is, the ignorance of "this country was founded by religious fanatics" is astounding. Which "religious fanatic"? George Washington was pretty areligious when it came to the belief system of others. Adams was a Unitarian who signed the oft quoted Treaty of Tripoli. Jefferson was a Deist who was highly skeptical of Christianity to the point of writing his own Bible. Madison, who essentially wrote the constitution, was a Episcopal who believed strongly in religious liberty. Franklin's view of religion is pretty well known. And that's just off the top of my head.

Certainly he can't be mistaking the "puritan" mindset for the "American" one. (Assuming, of course, that the puritan mindset was essentially a religious one rather than an economic one - a matter of serious debate even today) Even assuming the New England Puritans were all religious fanatics, which they were not, the colonists of Virginia and the southern states were supremely areligious going back to the earliest colonies.

Sure, the First Great Awakening was going on at the time, or a little before, but that was largely a movement of the common people that didn't come close to touching the political movers and shakers of the day. (In fact, the First Great Awakening was largely a movement of the *already faithful*, rather than a huge swelling in numbers of the devout).

His line of thought is frustrating to me to no end, in no small part because it plays into the narrative of the "Christian nation" so beloved of the right. Considering he's almost peerless in his understanding of the power of language, myth, and all that, it's doubly disappointing to me that he buys into such a patent falsehood.
posted by absalom at 7:22 PM on October 11, 2008 [4 favorites]


Considering he's almost peerless in his understanding of the power of language, myth, and all that, it's doubly disappointing to me that he buys into such a patent falsehood.

I think your mistake is in taking Chomsky seriously at all, but regardless, this isn't really that surprising, is it? -- I mean, Newton believed in alchemy.
posted by spiderwire at 7:27 PM on October 11, 2008


If Gore had been elected - that is, if the Democrats had demanded a statewide recount in Florida and the Supreme Court, without its weird equal-protection excuse, let it go on and Gore won - the Republicans would have daily denied the legitimacy of his presidency, and come 9/11 the Republican Senate would have impeached him before September 2001 was out. Whether we would have invaded Iraq depends on whether the craven Democrats in the House gave them enough votes to remove Gore from office, in which case President Lieberman would have invaded Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Egypt by 2004.

On the other hand, I'd never have had to hear of Sarah Palin.
posted by nicwolff at 7:31 PM on October 11, 2008


Meanwhile, Sarah takes off her own gloves.
posted by rokusan at 7:41 PM on October 11, 2008


"The McCain campaign is “a joke,” one said. “There’s not a campaign in Nevada. A couple of guys, running around, being incompetent. Or even worse, arrogantly incompetent.”

This could not be more true. At the Obama rally here in Reno there were literally 12 protesters. One for every thousand who came out in support.

Here is a pic of one protester. The entire lawn behind him was fenced off for protesters and demonstrations. It ended up being 12 people lined up along the fence, which wasn't along the main entrance/exit route.

Here is another protester. I laughed all the way to my car.
posted by clearly at 7:57 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


from Crooked Timber: I hear (via a prominent member of the sane Republican faction) that the word on the right side of the street is that the Republican National Committee is about to pull the plug on its joint ads with the McCain campaign, and devote its resources instead to trying to save a couple of the senators who are at serious risk of losing their seats. Now this is gossip, albeit of the high class variety; take it with the requisite pinch of salt. But it points to some real vulnerabilities in the McCain campaign’s finances. . . .
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:29 PM on October 11, 2008


Yikes, pardon my momentary insanity a couple of comments ago - of course the House impeaches and the Senate tries impeachment.
posted by nicwolff at 9:19 PM on October 11, 2008


Palin On Obama: "Unconditional Support For Unlimited Abortion"
posted by homunculus at 9:22 PM on October 11, 2008


I'd have an easier time believing McCain was serious about stepping up the tone of this campaign had I not seen this an just a few minutes ago, deliberately equating Obama with terrorism (via Bill Ayers and claiming Obama lied about it), and with McCain at the end saying he approved the message.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:16 PM on October 11, 2008


Somebody (at FOX natch) is itching for a riot.
What Will You Do If the Election is Stolen?"
Read the comment section and become very, very afraid.
posted by stagewhisper at 10:17 PM on October 11, 2008


"Obama is a politician who has long since left behind even the middle ground on the issue of life."

That's fucking rich. Odd how this is the first time she mentioned the topic. Seems like they needed to distract us from some-- HEY, LOOK OVER THERE OBAMA'S TRYING TO ABORT SOMEONE AGAIN!
posted by graventy at 10:42 PM on October 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


What Will You Do If the Election is Stolen?

That is a bugfuck insane thread.

If those fruitcakes represent anything more than a teeny, tiny sliver of your society, you should be goddamn afraid of your near future.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:02 PM on October 11, 2008


What Will You Do If the Election is Stolen?

These people have already decided to reject Obama's legitimacy if he wins. This ACORN conspiracy bullshit is just their latest rationalization. But then, we’ve seen this before.

If those fruitcakes represent anything more than a teeny, tiny sliver of your society, you should be goddamn afraid of your near future.

Hey fish, if we have another civil war, can I come up and crash at your place? You have a hot tub, right?
posted by homunculus at 11:16 PM on October 11, 2008


more fucking scariness.

Holy shit. Raving lunatics.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:42 AM on October 12, 2008


McCain/Palin seem to have gone really feral at this stage. They will, however, reap what they sow. I am confident that there are enough men and women of good will to ensure that America does not suffer these fools any longer than is necessary. Have faith in the goodness of what you believe in and know to be right.

When I read these threads and the stories they tell of America, when I see, for example, the video, of the behind the scenes at the Democratic Convention, first mentioned by Neroli upthread, when I watch, again, Obama's speech at Fredericksburg, VA, I know for sure change is a'comin'. We must be strong, have faith, and know, if I may be permitted one more truism, that we shall overcome.
posted by vac2003 at 12:46 AM on October 12, 2008


And another page from fff's link is depressing beyond words. Motivated to buy an offensive shirt--check. Has the McCain/Palin bumper sticker--check. Votes in the election? Let's all just hope that he stays home and drinks.
posted by leftcoastbob at 6:36 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where is fourcheesemac when we need him?

Aww, thank vac2003. Just saw that upthread.

Where I was for most of this thread: canvassing for Barack Obama in Indiana. So I'm sure you'll forgive my absence from the last couple of days of threads here!
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:37 AM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Because it's not like he selected a vice-presidential candidate who's an ardent fan of US aggression in the middle-east.

You may not remember this, but before the Cheney presidency, the vice president had little power to actually do anything.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:10 AM on October 12, 2008


Sarah Palin's campaigning in West Virginia today.

Republican congressman Lee Terry of Nebraska is running ads touting "Obama-Terry" voters.

And Republican congressman Mark Souder of Indiana says: "I'm not sure right now that McCain can carry seven states."

We're watching a national political realignment happen in real time. This is historic.
posted by EarBucket at 7:17 AM on October 12, 2008


Interesting article from the LA Times.

Big business was granted wide access to Sarah Palin's office during her first 20 months as Alaska governor, but she rarely met with labor, environmental or other groups pressing alternative views, her official calendar shows.

Not exactly the way Josie Sixpack has portrayed herself, is it?

But what's even more interesting is this:

The Times obtained Palin's calendar under a Freedom of Information Act request. The governor's office turned down a similar request for calendars and schedules pertaining to her husband, Todd Palin, who reportedly has played a prominent role in her decision-making.

Gov. Palin's office said her husband does not keep a calendar.


The interesting part is that MSM is now very interested in the First Dude as a shadowy part of the Palin administration.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:32 AM on October 12, 2008


More video of the guy with the Curious George doll. He's more vocal without the CBS camera on him.
posted by EarBucket at 7:49 AM on October 12, 2008


But wait, did you know that William Ayers actually wrote Obama's book "Dreams of My Father?"
posted by octothorpe at 7:53 AM on October 12, 2008


Via Obsidian Wings, the full list of Obama's ghostwriters:

Preface — Barack Obama
Chpt. 1 — Bill Ayers
Chpt. 2 — Jeremiah Wright
Chpt. 3 — Larry Johnson (ed. — That one surprised me).
Chpt. 4 — Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Chpt. 5 — Billy Mitchell (slimy cheat from King of Kong)
Chpt. 6 — Karl Marx (posthumously)
Chpt. 7 — Darth Vader
Chpt. 8 — The gorilla from Donkey Kong
Chpt. 9 — Eric Martin
Chpt. 10 — Hamas Q. Muslimman (a Buddhist, ironically)
Chpt. 11 — the New Deal
Chpt. 12 — Gary Farber

posted by EarBucket at 7:55 AM on October 12, 2008 [8 favorites]


The only upside I see to those Pennsylvania GOP videos is that most of the creeps are middle-aged to senior. A dying breed of racist and hater.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:07 AM on October 12, 2008


Armchair auctorial analysis from the right is just as embarrassing as armchair medical diagnosis from the left. Woof.
posted by cortex at 8:14 AM on October 12, 2008


We're watching a national political realignment happen in real time. This is historic.

Mondale didn't end the democratic party, and this won't end the GOP.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:14 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


The pitbull seems to have become a bit too rabid for thinking Republicans.

Mark Salter, McCain’s long-serving chief of staff, is understood to have told campaign insiders that he would prefer his boss, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, to suffer an “honourable defeat” rather than conduct a campaign that would be out of character – and likely to lose him the election.

Palin, 44, has led the character attacks on Obama in the belief that McCain may be throwing away the election and her chance of becoming vice-president. Her supporters think that if the Republican ticket loses on November 4, she should run for president in 2012....“Sarah Palin is no fool. She sees the same thing and wants to salvage what she can. She is positioning herself for the future. Her best days could be in front of her. She wants to look as though she was the fighter, the person with the spunk who was out there taking it to the Democrats.”
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:17 AM on October 12, 2008


Where I was for most of this thread: canvassing

Ditto. After I wrapped up canvassing, I went and talked to a guy I described in one of the super-long Palin threads. He's a Republican and voting for McCain. I wanted to see what he thought of all that had happened in the weeks since I'd talked to him. So I stopped by and he was enthused to see me. I figured out later that he likes to talk politics and nobody in his family is sufficiently engaged enough so he probably relishes talking about it to someone who is knowledgeable.

We talked for about 30 minutes. Without recounting the whole story, it began similar to our previous encounter. He talked about how he thought God would be the one to put someone in the position, that God is the one who ultimately has control, but he is voting of course. But one of the first things out of his mouth was that McCain isn't saying the things he should be saying, so it's disappointing. Same thing with Barack, he said, it's disappointing when he doesn't say things he should.

He pointed out McCain's strengths (connections with military) and Barack's strengths (connections with ordinary people). We both agreed that people need to get involved. That people need to be knowledgeable about issues and the structure of the government so we could hold whomever got elected accountable. He said he was dismayed to see people who couldn't even point to a picture of Biden or Palin and identify them (20/20 from Friday).

He turned to the war and the debates. He said he'd been for the war, but then he was reading the bible and began to really think about all the innocents that have been killed in the Iraq war. He was passionate in saying you know the war in Iraq is all about oil.

He said there was so much crap on television, with Fox leaning right and CNN leaning left, that he was sick of it and was watching the last debate and that was it. But then, like many of us, he admitted that he couldn't stop paying attention. Then he said "you see that they said Barack couldn't debate, that without teleprompters or making a speech, he would fall apart - but look at him, he was solid".

He started looking away from me nodding and then he started talking about how there's a chance, yes that Barack could get his vote. We shook hands about 4 times through the whole conversation, high-fiving once during talks of gas prices. We talked about so many different issues during the 30 minutes. It was all cordial, with me probably listening more than talking, but making sure to interject where I thought some piece of information (typically something I picked up through a mefi link from one of these threads) was needed or relevant. We talked about passages in the bible, voter education, the war, gas prices, Darfur, Pakistan, Bush - just a number of topics that I won't waste your time typing out.

He said he thought Obama's campaign was good because people were actually out there and involved. I initiated several of the handshakes (I was actually trying to leave, I didn't want to pester the dude), but he initiated one of the last ones by saying "It was great for you to come out here, knowing how I felt or who I was supporting, and that goes a long way - nobody else has come out here to talk to me," and he flashed a knowing smile.

So I thanked him and as I left, he asked in a requesting way if I would come back after the election, and I immediately said "Yes." So in a few weeks, we'll see who he votes for, but more importantly, I like this guy. We differ on some things, but agree on some things. And he's not a wacko who will ignore evidence and fall for stupidity. He made it a point to say a lot of things they show on television you know are just ridiculous lies and he shouts at the TV about how bogus it is, while his wife is wondering what he is going off about.

It's just one voter, though he does seem to influence the rest of his family of 4 or 5. I got the impression that if Barack is solid in this debate, and McCain still showing this same demeanor and such, that he might go in there and vote for Obama. But one thing is certain - whereas previously I didn't know if he'd think of me when he went into the booth, I know he'll remember me now.

I've never canvassed or participated or even donated to a political campaign. I wouldn't even check that box on my taxes. I've always payed attention, watched debates and voted though. But the more I interact with this guy, the more it seems to me that there are some understandable differences between people, but so many things seemed focused on casting it as an uncrossable chasm. I probably got lucky with this guy, but all I ask, all a lot of people on metafilter ask for, is for people to consider facts and make reasoned arguments that are based on logic and truth.

Oh, and this time he specifically said people always want to go out and talk and say their part but people aren't listening to each other, we need people to listen. So when he shook my hand at the end and thanked me - you know, I do think that there's a good chance he might vote for Obama based on himself. Me being out there seemed to allow him to bring everything out. Me listening a lot of the time let him hear himself talking about both candidates, and bringing out their good and bad points, and I think I actually watched when he realized that he should vote Obama, when he was mentioning these various good things Barack is about, and it matched up with some of the things he'd been saying needed to happen. And I didn't make that connection until 60 seconds ago when I was typing this. Oh the things you learn on metafilter. Link [mega thread - will eat your browser] to previous comment about this dude. I hold no illusions about this man. He may very well turn on some ridiculous happening, and vote McCain anyway. But I know there's more of a chance he'll vote Obama now than before. We'll see.
posted by cashman at 8:22 AM on October 12, 2008 [48 favorites]


Thanks for being out there cashman. I blew off canvasing this week to get some work done on my house that I've been ignoring, but I'll be back out knocking on doors next week and on until the election. I wish that we could just vote now, the next three weeks are going to take forever.
posted by octothorpe at 8:38 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mondale didn't end the democratic party, and this won't end the GOP.

No, it won't end them. But the shape of the political landscape is undergoing a significant change, much as it did with Reagan's election. Either the Republicans will learn the same lessons that the Democrats did from their time in exile and become more centrist and pragmatic, or they'll slide into irrelevance.

McCain's treating this election like a binary game--either he wins or he loses. In a game with those victory conditions, it makes sense to take crazy chances and throw Hail Marys when you're far behind, because there's not much practical difference to you between losing by one electoral vote and losing by two hundred. But the nominees' performances have a major impact on downticket races, too. And we're starting to hear rumblings that the downticket candidates are frightened.

It now looks all but certain the Democrats will pick up a couple dozen more seats in the House. It looks increasingly possible they'll have a filibuster-proof sixty/forty split in the Senate. There are rumors that the RNC is preparing to stop running ads for McCain and concentrate its resources on stopping the bleeding in Congress. Obama's coattails may even reach down to state-level races, and with congressional redistricting coming up in two years, control of the statehouses is a critical prize for the parties.

Mondale didn't kill the democratic party, but his loss set it back years and helped shape the narrative of the country into one that was conservative by default. Liberals were seen as uncool, wimpy, and vaguely unpatriotic. Obama has a chance here to paint Republicans in a similarly unflattering shade of red.
posted by EarBucket at 8:53 AM on October 12, 2008


For those of you shocked by the Fox link on how the Democrats plan to steal the election....I just returned from deep into the heart of a scared, angry, contested swing state, and this "ACORN conspiracy" is all Fox news (and the local affiliates) are talking about, whipping working AND middle class conservatives into a frenzy. Senior citizens are afraid to file absentee ballots ("they" are going to invalidate them all through these shenanigans!) and of course it's believed that absentee ballots from the troops ("because we all know they vote Republican") are going to be tossed out by "them" as well. Bill Ayers and Louis Farrakkan (who declared Obama a "messiah" on a clip played on a neverending loop on Fox News) are recast as not just blood thirsty terrorists, but first degree intimates of the Barak Hussein Obama.

The narrative already in place for an Obama victory is that a black man, an inexperienced "unknown" with terrifying friends, is going to steal this election with the help of dark (pun intended) forces bent on destroying America. Wait for it.
posted by availablelight at 8:58 AM on October 12, 2008


In a game with those victory conditions, it makes sense to take crazy chances and throw Hail Marys when you're far behind, because there's not much practical difference to you between losing by one electoral vote and losing by two hundred.
posted by EarBucket


But ya gotta ask yourself--How many Hail Mary's does a guy get before his rosary explodes??
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:14 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fox News' faux documentary sets new low: Sean Hannity's Sunday report, 'Obama and Friends: The History of Radicalism,' relied on innuendo and guilt by association to label the Illinois senator a dupe of the shadowy forces of the left.
posted by homunculus at 9:43 AM on October 12, 2008


TIME Magazine: Troopergate Report Shows Palin Administration "Shockingly Amateurish"
posted by ericb at 9:43 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yep, the ACORN brouhaha is scoring extremely high on the Scodymom Rant-o-meter -- she was getting in her digs about it on a voicemail this morning, which is quite unusual for her; she usually doesn't tip her hand on her talking points before we have an actual conversation.

I think FOX news and their brownshirts viewers are bracing for a McCain defeat next month and gearing up for four solid years of sweet, delicious paranoia and racism as they plan their revenge in 2012 (presumably by running Palin herself?). What's hilarious is that all that will do is further the very public and very messy split that's already clearly happened within the GOP between the country club wing and the Know-Nothing wing. The Know-Nothings are going to be braying for blood and a return to the good ol' days of culture wars, while the country clubbers seem to have finally noticed that perhaps there were drawbacks to ceding all that ground to anti-intellectual extremists.
posted by scody at 9:44 AM on October 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: too much toking on theHOPEium bong have driven you insane

From the comments on the Fox election-stealing thread.
posted by lostburner at 9:52 AM on October 12, 2008


I have never had much respect for Sean Hannity but this is low even for him. It frightens me that people still believe that FOX is "fair and balanced".

This type of thing is just free advertising for Obama's plan to spend more money on early childhood education. Spend more on education--with an emphasis on critical thinking--so that your children can see through this kind of bullshit.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:56 AM on October 12, 2008


Palin...supporters think that if the Republican ticket loses on November 4, she should run for president in 2012.

<fingers posn="pressed-together">Excellent.</fingers>
posted by furtive at 10:03 AM on October 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


Can you imagine what 2012 (and late 2011) would be like though? Ugh.
posted by Artw at 10:21 AM on October 12, 2008


At the risk of being proven wrong by a recent poll - which I don't trust at the best of times anyway - Palin's flailin' isn't going to effect anything substantial, other than reinforce negative perceptions of the Repub base. The commenters on FOX, the "Commie faggot" shouters, the Curious George asshole, these aren't undecideds who were won over, they are people who showed up in 2000 and 2004, whose votes already were in the bag for McCain this year.

I've said it before, these people aren't kingmakers, they are just people who exercise their right to vote in a country where almost half the population doesn't bother. Their power comes not from any sort of moral high ground or even substantial numbers, it comes from the disenfranchisement and apathy of a far greater chunk of the population.

It's these diehards who are pushing undecided and unmotivated voters to choose what kind of America they want to live in, and it's these diehards and the politicians who exploit them in the ugliest of ways, who are responsible for the possible marginalization and disempowerment of their own party. Like others have said, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Republicans make a clear move toward the center after November.

Done properly, the politics of inclusion will beat the politics of division almost every time.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:24 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have to say that I really appreciate cashman and fourcheesemac, and anyone else who is out there putting action behind their words. (and, again, to ericb, who keeps us up on the words behind the words). The political canvassing thing sounds really difficult to me; as it is, I'm not a people person at all and lack the skills to work a basic party, so it sound herculean to me that you can engage with people the way you are. Not to put down the power of the small donation, as I know that has made a bit difference to Obama, but I put you guys up there as what to aspire to.

I kinda feel like I should be like those women who used to go around NYC after 9/11 blowing firemen, but with Obama campaign workers.
posted by troybob at 10:31 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Palin...supporters think that if the Republican ticket loses on November 4, she should run for president in 2012.

These people have memories like goldfish. All that Palin had going for them was 1) new 2) culture wars populist 3) modestly attractive. It'll take about a month to groom an equivalent replacement out of any of the deep-red districts of the country. In four years she won't have 1) have lost some 3) and will probably have more scandals and/or been impeached. Her equivalent wouldn't win the primaries (there's a big contingent that wants some experience, someone already in the pocket), but she would make them ugly.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 10:37 AM on October 12, 2008


I wonder if the reality of some of this is that McCain's support has dwindled to such a point that all that remains are the whackos. Trust me, if the democratic support dwindled enough, all of a sudden everybody on television would be "AIDS was started by the CIA" and "The FBI is monitoring me through microchips in my heads" people. Politics attracts its share of loonies, whatever the stripe, but usually there are enough non-crazy people to drown them out.

At least, I hope this is the case. I hope reasonable Republicans are so disenchanted with their candidate that they have packed their bags and gone home, leaving behind the paranoiacs who see socialists under their bed and terrorists in their schools. Because if this is the real face of the Republican party, or if this is what they can be whipped up into after just a few weeks of innuendo and pitbull-with-lipstick rhetoric, well, then I genuinely fear for this country.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:59 AM on October 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Palin...supporters think that if the Republican ticket loses on November 4, she should run for president in 2012.

Anyone else notice the slight, and by that I mean total and complete, absence of Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee from the campaign trail shilling for McCain?

Romney, especially, understandably considers McCain's selection of Palin as an outright insult. There's not a single Republican with even the smallest shred of personal presidential aspirations willing to allow a soundbyte to exist of them saying Palin is actually qualified.

Obama, mind you, is simply ignoring Palin for the most part. If she loses this election and dares to actually run in 2012 her Republican opponents are going to stomp her into the ground.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:59 AM on October 12, 2008


Good ole Sarah isn't going to let a little thing like ethics get in her way of the golden ring! Here she has a phone interview with some Alaska journalists with whom she talks about "Tasergate". God bless her---there she goes again; changin' the dialogue by changing the language!

I particularly enjoy the intro to this:
I’ve been struggling to find the right terminology for this. She has jumped the shark. She has landed on Fantasy Island. She has slipped through the looking glass. She’s Queen of Denial. She has become the Head of Orwell’s Ministry of Truth… choose whichever metaphor works for you.
Listen to the interview here.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:06 AM on October 12, 2008


From What Will You Do If the Election is Stolen:
Then there was the 2000 presidential election. Many Democrats believed that they were disenfranchised by another kind of fix: according to this narrative, the election was decided by the Republican appointees to the United States Supreme Court all of whom voted as “their party” might have instructed.

That story line was factually wrong, but it didn’t matter–Democrats believed–and many still do–that, as the old quote has it, “we wuz robbed.”
What, exactly, is factually wrong about this? It's a fact that the decision was Bush v. Gore - it was Bush who was unsatisfied that the Florida Supreme Court allowed for another recount, and so he went over their heads - and it's also a fact that six of the nine US Supreme Court justices were appointed by either Reagan or Bush Sr.
... direct connections between Barack Obama’s campaign and ACORN, now under investigation in 12 states for registering the dead, so to speak.
The investigations themselves are not an indication of wrongdoing on behalf of ACORN, though, a little fact that he omits to mention. Seems the facts in the matter are completely different:

"ACORN is registering voters and is REQUIRED BY LAW to submit voter reg forms as the voter fills them out. Even so, the total "fraudulent" registrations they are accused of submitting nationwide is very low, maybe a few thousand. This is across the entire country when they have registered more than 1.3 million new voters. And this is all about registration forms that are filled out wrong by the voter, not ACORN, or a voter submitting more than one registration. This is what all the noise is about. This is the key thing to know: None of these faulty registrations are capable of resulting in a single fraudulent vote."

But back to the "stolen election" article:
Some have suggested that ACORN is in fact a criminal conspiracy of the type envisioned by RICO statutes; instead of drugs or gambling, its goal is the election of Obama.
And you know, some have suggested that I am a gorgeous human being with a winning smile and a dynamite personality. Some have suggested I cook a mean barbeque. Some have suggested Richard Miller is a pompous blowhard.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:06 AM on October 12, 2008


If she loses this election and dares to actually run in 2012 her Republican opponents are going to stomp her into the ground.

I'm still predicting that after the election, her most vocal supporters are going to realize what she looks like when they are sober and with the lights turned on, and they're going to do everything they can to overcome the embarrassment of hooking up with her. I'm guessing Noonan already has a room booked at Betty Ford.
posted by troybob at 11:07 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


And you know, some have suggested...

Ah yes, a classic turn of phrase employed by master rhetoricians such as Cicero, Quintilian et al. to imply a trend, movement, etc. that is often not backed up by facts.
posted by ericb at 11:23 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Palin will run for President in 2012.

She will be the figurehead of the Country First splinter party which falls off the base of the GOP.
posted by fullerine at 11:38 AM on October 12, 2008


If she loses this election and dares to actually run in 2012 her Republican opponents are going to stomp her into the ground.

If history is our guide, the stompage will be successful. The only vice-presidential candidate from a losing Dem or GOP ticket who later won the presidency was FDR. The stench of electoral loserdom tends to be quite persistent.
posted by hangashore at 11:39 AM on October 12, 2008


Newsweek: Troopergate: Not Over Yet
“McCain campaign spokeswoman Meg Stapleton dismissed the report as the product of ‘a partisan-led inquiry run by Obama supporters.’ But there could be more land mines ahead. Some weeks ago, the McCain team devised a plan to have Palin file an ethics complaint against herself with the State Personnel Board, arguing that it alone was capable of conducting a fair, nonpartisan inquiry into whether she fired Monegan because he refused to fire Wooten, who had been involved in a messy custody battle with her sister. Some Democrats ridiculed the move, noting that the personnel board answered to Palin. But the board ended up hiring an aggressive Anchorage trial lawyer, Timothy Petumenos, as an independent counsel. McCain aides were chagrined to discover that Petumenos was a Democrat who had contributed to Palin's 2006 opponent for governor, Tony Knowles. Palin is now scheduled to be questioned next week, and the counsel's report could be released soon after. ‘We took a gamble when we went to the personnel board,’ said a McCain aide who asked not to be identified discussing strategy. While the McCain camp still insists Palin ‘has nothing to hide,’ it acknowledges a critical finding by Petumenos would be even harder to dismiss.”
posted by ericb at 11:45 AM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


How McCain Will Steal the Election from Obama (sort of)
posted by homunculus at 12:00 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn good stuff, homunculus.

I have to say I find that the more wheezy hysterical the Republicans get, the better it looks for Obama. I mean, who would you trust more with your country - that calm, smiling, rational guy, or the crazy old man shaking his cane and ranting about Freemasons and UFOs?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:13 PM on October 12, 2008


Fourcheesemac: Aww, thank vac2003. Just saw that upthread.

Where I was for most of this thread: canvassing for Barack Obama in Indiana. So I'm sure you'll forgive my absence from the last couple of days of threads here!


You betcha I do! No seriously, it is great to hear reports from the front-line from those like yourself who are taking action and fighting the good fight. One of the things I enjoy about these threads is the sense of community they generate. Even from here in New Zealand I can sense the excitement and enthusiasm of those out canvassing for Obama. Wonderful!
posted by vac2003 at 1:38 PM on October 12, 2008


But don't forget that the McCain supporters are out canvassing, too! (insert snigger)

And I'm volunteering at the Dem office here and have volunteered to coordinate the volunteer phone bankers one day a week from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. I'm not taking any chances with this election--rather too much than too little.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:23 PM on October 12, 2008


The political canvassing thing sounds really difficult to me

I thought it would be too, I'm fairly introverted and don't particularly like talking to strangers. But it's really fairly low-pressure and easy, and most of the people you talk to are extremely friendly; even 95% of the McCain supporters I talk to are very polite. Once you've done it a few times, it gets pretty easy. I knocked 75 doors today.
posted by EarBucket at 2:39 PM on October 12, 2008


I wonder if the reality of some of this is that McCain's support has dwindled to such a point that all that remains are the whackos. Trust me, if the democratic support dwindled enough, all of a sudden everybody on television would be "AIDS was started by the CIA" and "The FBI is monitoring me through microchips in my heads" people. Politics attracts its share of loonies, whatever the stripe, but usually there are enough non-crazy people to drown them out.
Tens of millions of people are going to vote for John McCain.

It didn't take all that big a dwindling, I guess.
posted by Flunkie at 2:42 PM on October 12, 2008


Seconding EarBucket, if I can canvas, anyone can. I'm an introverted quiet software geek and I've been canvasing for a couple of months now; once you get over the idea, it's really fun. You go into the campaign office, they give you a packet with a script, survey sheets with each name and address to visit, a google map of the area and a stack of literature to hand out. They set up each packet to be a just enough houses for one person to walk in an afternoon. If you're doing for the first time, you can go out with a partner whose doing it before.
posted by octothorpe at 2:58 PM on October 12, 2008


Cool...I guess I discounted it too easily. (And I guess I shouldn't have necessarily singled out individuals to praise for this kind of work...there are more on-the-ground heroes here than I could have fairly accounted for. I think you're all pretty amazing.)
posted by troybob at 3:05 PM on October 12, 2008


Speaking of doing canvassing.
posted by cashman at 4:31 PM on October 12, 2008


Just got back from an organizational meeting in Raleigh, NC. Hundreds of people showed up; literally standing room only. The regional field organizer told us the state GOP held five canvass events this week. . .in the entire state. They have no fucking idea what's about to hit them. We're going to bury them.
posted by EarBucket at 6:13 PM on October 12, 2008 [4 favorites]


So, back to Troopergate and the Branchflower Report. Are we going to see anything more about this? It's totally dropped off the front page of the Times (and dropped out of this thread too). Does the story have legs?

There hasn't been any comment from the Obama camp, but I'm sure they'll be pressed to say something. I imagine they're waiting out the weekend to get something in at the beginning of the next news cycle. Given how pitch-perfect most of their statements have been, I'm guessing the response will be minimal but very subtly knife-twisting. (Actually, thinking about it, I don't think they've officially said a single thing about Palin since she was selected, other than "she's a skilled politican." It's kind of extraordinary.) My guess is it will be something along the lines of: "We have not been involved in the investigation and we will continue to stay out of it. It is up to the Alaska state government to determine whether the the governor's abuses of power warrant further action." And then they won't say a single thing about it again.
posted by neroli at 7:17 PM on October 12, 2008


The Wonkette headline is particularly entertaining:

Liberal Alaskan Laws Smear Sarah Palin
posted by neroli at 7:38 PM on October 12, 2008


ABC News: Palin Makes Troopergate Assertions that Are Flatly False.
posted by ericb at 7:58 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Giant construction contracts are being awarded to campaign contributors at the same time that "buddies" who just happen to be contractors are "helping" Todd build their two-story house. At the same time Sarah ensures there will be no public record of building permits.
Ouch.
Unable to find wrongdoing under the original investigation, Mr. Branchflower tried to stretch the Ethics Act to fit facts that are well beyond the scope of the law. To say she is in violation because she did not stop Todd Palin from raising concerns with appropriate authorities about a rogue State Trooper who had threatened their family and abused the public trust really defies commonsense and has no basis in the law.
Touché. The kid-zapping incident sounds like cause for concern. OTOH, Todd's got his paws in a lot of Sarah's pies. I trust that fucker less than I trust Sarah. He shouldn't be allowed near anyone who can do him a "favour" because they support his wife's ability to give them an advantage. He's a fucking leech.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:25 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Greg Palast on voter theft covered on Democracy Now. The video interview is well worth watching.
posted by stagewhisper at 8:51 PM on October 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


(also, one last small derail on voter theft ) Here is a link to Can I Vote (.org), a good place to check and make sure you are properly registered to vote, and to find out ahead of time what item/s you might need to bring in order to prove your identity, state by state.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:07 PM on October 12, 2008


Excellent Newsweek article, and a good comments discussion as well (skim past the dipshits).
posted by five fresh fish at 9:24 PM on October 12, 2008


and a good comments discussion as well (skim past the dipshits).
posted by five fresh fish


I think we know how to do this--Hello??? We're on metafilter!
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:31 PM on October 12, 2008


We tend to get distracted by the dipshits, vis a vis Palin.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:05 PM on October 12, 2008


The creator of the 'Obama is a Muslim' rumor.

Looks like he's a freeper. And also totally insane. But good ole fair and balanced Fox gave him his moment to shine.
posted by sugarfish at 6:09 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was only recently that I realised that the "pitbull with lipstick" line could imply a dog that has an erection.

I'll leave you with that thought.
posted by longbaugh at 6:40 AM on October 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


Just got back from an organizational meeting in Raleigh, NC. Hundreds of people showed up; literally standing room only. The regional field organizer told us the state GOP held five canvass events this week. . .in the entire state. They have no fucking idea what's about to hit them. We're going to bury them.

I'd like to second this. I just attended a similar meeting in Winston-Salem, NC. We have an operational schedule broken down into 15-minute increments for the entire period between Oct. 30 - Nov. 4.

Nobody is taking it easy, no matter what the polls are showing. One really cool tidbit was prompted by a question about voter registration - someone was wondering what precautions the campaign has made to prevent incorrect registrations from being processed, thus making the campaign look bad or result in legal issues. Our regional director indicates that there is a very intense process of checking each form. He isn't aware of a single registration, literally not one in the entire region, that was rejected.

Here's the cool part: Every voter registration form is electronically tagged and reviewed later. If that registration doesn't show up on the voter rolls their legal team will go into action.
posted by odinsdream at 6:59 AM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


The creator of the 'Obama is a Muslim' rumor.

That video is chilling - and insane. It's the worst in "he has three letters in his middle name, and so does this scary guy!"-type slander. (Also, Martin can't understand someone leaving well-paid but unfufilling work, for poorly paid and fufilling work? How does he explain the missionary movement?)

If it were just on the internet on a conspiracy theorist's website, it would almost be funny.

But, like it or not, being on television gives Fox News a kind of legitimacy (despite the lapse of the Fairness Doctrine), and it has just accused a presidential candidate and possible future president of being "a communist sleeper agent" (to quote my husband, who is up on all his Cold War paranoia).

Dan Rather's career was destroyed over questionable grounds (little evidence that the documents were false), but Hannity can give a platform to a virulent anti-Semite slanderer on his show without consequences? It is chilling.

And I fear not for the election - because I don't believe this will sway undecided voters - but for the political world after the election. And not least because I'm TAing classes on pre-Nazi Germany and the "stab in the back" myth right now. Political discourse matters - language and rumour matter.
posted by jb at 7:31 AM on October 13, 2008


This might be the nail in McCain's North Carolina coffin. Obama's campaign just blasted out an email endorsement by Dean Smith:

There are pivotal moments in history when the right decision by a nation can change its course for the better -- opening up new paths before us and providing future generations with opportunities that we had not thought possible. This coming election provides one of those moments. Linnea and I believe Barack Obama is the right leader at this critical juncture. I have written that when coaching a team, you must be prepared to make changes to meet new challenges and obstacles. We must be prepared to do the same as a nation. Now, it is the United States that needs a change in direction... and a change in leadership.

Linnea and I respect all that Senator McCain has done for our country. However, we feel strongly that it is Barack Obama who offers the real leadership our nation needs to tap its potential as a land of opportunity -- even as we face difficult times at home and abroad. Senator Obama is a patriotic American, a committed Christian, a good family man, and a man who shares the bedrock values that most North Carolinians have in common: fairness, hard work, respect for others, and personal responsibility. And he has the vision and judgment to help us push through this period of uncertainty to a time of greater economic stability and greater security from threats abroad.

posted by EarBucket at 8:00 AM on October 13, 2008


That may gain Obama votes in Chapel Hill, but it fucks him in Durham and Raleigh.
posted by dersins at 9:13 AM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]


Does anyone really put that much weight on the opinion of a basketball coach? I get that he's a respected member of the community, but would the folks of Durham and Raleigh really let what amounts to school rivalry influence their vote?
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:28 AM on October 13, 2008


Well, folks in North Carolina are kinda nuts when it comes to college basketball, but I was mostly kidding.
posted by dersins at 9:42 AM on October 13, 2008


Heh -- okay. You never know what's going to push someone's buttons, so I was ready to believe it.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:47 AM on October 13, 2008


Just called an old Duke-crazy friend to ask what he thought.

Still voting for Obama.
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


From leftcoastbob's link:

Palin, 44, has led the character attacks on Obama in the belief that McCain may be throwing away the election and her chance of becoming vice-president. Her supporters think that if the Republican ticket loses on November 4, she should run for president in 2012....“Sarah Palin is no fool. She sees the same thing and wants to salvage what she can. She is positioning herself for the future. Her best days could be in front of her. She wants to look as though she was the fighter, the person with the spunk who was out there taking it to the Democrats.”

From an earlier link (not sure who posted it)

Long before she stood up to Republican cronies and "the good old boys" of Alaska, Palin stood up to Carney, a colleague on Wasilla's city council. As Kaylene Johnson explains in her sympathetic biography, Sarah, Carney had the gall to propose an ordinance giving his own company the city contract for garbage removal. In Johnson's telling, it was the first time Palin bravely spoke truth to power: "'I said no and I voted no,' Sarah said. 'People should have the choice about whether or not to haul their garbage to the dump.'" Johnson writes that Palin's vote made Carney into a "political enemy"--the first of many, it turns out.

... Except that, according to those who were present, Carney wasn't quite the crooked trash magnate Palin makes him out to be.


Carney was an early mentor who actually got her started in politics. Her entire career is based on backstabbing. It will be interesting to see how far she breaks from McCain.
posted by lysdexic at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


sugarfish: He's perfect for Faux News: Fairly Unbalanced!
posted by lysdexic at 10:42 AM on October 13, 2008


A non-batshitinsane evangelical. More evangels with brains need to be interviewed and heard.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:12 PM on October 13, 2008


Levi Johnston gives his first interview

Not surprisingly, Johnston was a little shocked when he learned about Bristol's pregnancy, but he says he quickly embraced the prospects of fatherhood. The baby is due Dec. 18. Johnston has dropped out of high school to take a job on the North Slope oil fields as an apprentice electrician.

I wish these two and their baby well. We don't choose our parents.
posted by Rumple at 12:17 PM on October 13, 2008


I can't imagine how overwhelming this must be for the poor kid. Knocking up your girlfriend at 19 is traumatic enough, but being caught up in this insane campaign on top of that....
I hope he gets his GED first, as that seems to be a requirement.
posted by Floydd at 12:24 PM on October 13, 2008


Maybe America can offer him asylum after the election.
posted by Artw at 12:29 PM on October 13, 2008


A Dose of Reality on the ACORN Hysteria
posted by homunculus at 12:47 PM on October 13, 2008


It's the worst in "he has three letters in his middle name, and so does this scary guy!"-type slander.

It reminds me of how immature we used to think high school kids were for pointing out to people that there are six letters each in the three names "Ronald", "Wilson" and "Reagan".

Although it certainly would explain a lot.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:08 PM on October 13, 2008


My favorite part of the eagerly awaited Levi interview is that it appears he learned to lie from Sarah Palin herself:

For starters, he said his much-maligned MySpace page was a joke — the one that claimed he said: "I'm a ... redneck," and "I don't want kids." Johnston said his friends created the page a few years ago and he had nothing to do with it.

Dude 1: Hey man, let's set up a fake MySpace page for Levi. That would be rad.

Dude 2: Yeah, and don't forget to put on there that he doesn't want kids. That would be fucking hilarious.
posted by troybob at 1:36 PM on October 13, 2008 [8 favorites]


I bet anonymous did it!
posted by Artw at 1:38 PM on October 13, 2008


Johnston has dropped out of high school to take a job on the North Slope oil fields as an apprentice electrician.

I'm a firm believer that the lives of the candidate's children don't have any direct bearing on their ability to govern, but surely these people have to know that it's in the best interest of the unborn child that it's parents at least graduate High School. Especially considering it's being born into a large family with ample resources. "We'll pay for the diapers until you kids graduate" is just basic common sense. Sarah just had a baby, so I'm sure there's plenty of baby crap laying around they can use.

At this point I wouldn't be surprised to go to their house and see them eating dinner off of the billiards table, and Granny chasing Mr. Drysdale around with a shotgun.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:31 PM on October 13, 2008 [5 favorites]


Levi Johnston gives his first interview

The main thing that struck me reading that interview is that he seemed like a pretty open, honest(-ish), no bullshit kind of kid. So very unlike his future mother-in-law.
posted by contessa at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2008


Poor kid. I'll bet the McCain campaign lawyers told him that a promise ring is legally binding.
posted by troybob at 3:15 PM on October 13, 2008


Andrew Sullivan must be given credit for finding the following clip to illustrate William Kristol's thesis latest bullshit today that Obama is like Road Runner and McCain like Wile E. Coyote. This, my friends, is must-see YouTube TV.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:06 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Conservatives are bailing in droves. Big media names are speaking out strongly against McCain.

I wonder if there has been a talking points memo promoting that Democrats be made to take the fall as the next huge crisis raises its head. The Republicans actively do not want to have this next presidency.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:33 PM on October 13, 2008


Just for fun: an amazing and somewhat disturbing ad for Jim Slattery, or more accurately, against Sen Pat Roberts (R-Kansas). (Youtube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:58 PM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


John McCain lies, is on crack, says people at Obama rallies called him a traitor and a terrorist. Seriously, John McCain - what the fuck?

I'm just going to start saying that every time he does yet another ridiculous thing or says something bizarre and (yes) erratic. John McCain...the fuck?
posted by cashman at 6:03 PM on October 13, 2008 [4 favorites]


Acorn pushes back, hugs McCain
posted by homunculus at 8:40 PM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]


More ethics complaints investigated by the personnel board:

One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan's firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.

I'll go out on a limb here and say that the first complaint has something to do with a high school buddy of Palin's and the second is in regard to Palin's husband reading Wooten's personnel file.
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:48 AM on October 14, 2008


Quinnipiac: Colorado 52-43, Michigan 54-38, Minnesota 51-40, Wisconsin 54-37. It's hard to see how McCain comes back from numbers like those. It's looking more and more like Obama's got Kerry + IA + NM + CO + VA tied up.

Meanwhile, Obama's expanded his advertising campaign to the Xbox 360.
posted by EarBucket at 5:14 AM on October 14, 2008


Anchorage Daily News
“Sarah Palin's reaction to the Legislature's Troopergate report is an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation.

She claims the report ‘vindicates’ her. She said that the investigation found ‘no unlawful or unethical activity on my part.’

Her response is either astoundingly ignorant or downright Orwellian.

Page 8, Finding Number One of the report says: ‘I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.’

In plain English, she did something ‘unlawful.’ She broke the state ethics law.

Perhaps Gov. Palin has been too busy to actually read the Troopergate report. Perhaps she is relying on briefings from McCain campaign spinmeisters.

That's the charitable interpretation.

Because if she had actually read it, she couldn't claim ‘vindication’ with a straight face.”
posted by ericb at 8:13 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heh. Wonkette:

John McCain is running Hillary Clinton’s exact same campaign: chaotic, lurching from “Only I have the experience to lead” to “I am the only white opponent in this race” to, this week, “I am the scrappy underdog who will fight for you.” And we all know how well Clinton’s campaign turned out!
posted by EarBucket at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2008


Quinnipiac: Colorado 52-43, Michigan 54-38, Minnesota 51-40, Wisconsin 54-37.

Said pollster Peter Brown:
“Sen. Obama's leads in these four battleground states are as large as they have been the entire campaign. Those margins may be insurmountable barring a reversal that has never been seen before in the modern era in which polling monitors public opinion throughout the campaign.”
posted by ericb at 8:46 AM on October 14, 2008


“My friends, we've got them just where we want them.”
McCain says he has Obama just where he wants Obama. That's why McCain and Palin have to campaign in what were once reliably Republican states.
posted by ericb at 8:47 AM on October 14, 2008


WSJ – McCain’s Monday Campaigning Leaves Some Puzzled
“Several things about John McCain’s Monday caused some head scratching, including the tease of some new economic policies to a town hall meeting with no Q&A.

It began with McCain’s close friend Sen. Lindsey Graham who said McCain would propose new tax policies this week. Yet Monday brought two stump speeches with no new economic proposals. Instead, McCain reiterated what he’s been saying for weeks.

A conference call with the campaign provided little guidance. It seems Monday was all about unveiling a new stump speech, according to campaign spokesman Brian Rogers.

On Tuesday, McCain will outline ‘specific new measures,’ according to Doug Holtz-Eakin, the campaign’s economic policy director, on a conference call with reporters. He declined to elaborate any further, saying only, ‘We just need to look forward to hearing from him.’

Then came the event in Wilmington, N.C., held at — irony alert! – Cape Fear Community College. McCain stood in front of the crowd and said he would take questions or comments after he delivered his remarks. He finished his prepared speech and tacked on a longtime stump story about the bracelet he wears. But then the music and handshaking began. No questions or comments to be heard—at least those directed at the senator. ‘I thought this was a town hall meeting?’ a man asked the press corps.”
posted by ericb at 8:50 AM on October 14, 2008


John Cleese on Sarah Palin
posted by homunculus at 9:56 AM on October 14, 2008 [5 favorites]


John Cleese on Sarah Palin

Ouch.
posted by lekvar at 10:26 AM on October 14, 2008


"My friends, we've got them just where we want them."

psst, Senator? That endorsement from John Elway didn't actually mean, you know, that you could become John Elway.

posted by scody at 10:53 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Adam Serwer in The American Prospect, What Right Wingers Mean When They Call Obama a "Socialist": Right-wing attempts to paint Barack Obama as a socialist aren't just disingenuous. They're rooted in a history of conservative smears against black leaders.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:29 AM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


John Cleese on Sarah Palin

I was hoping for the Sex Education Sketch from MP'sMOL but with new audio or just Sarah Palin's head crudely pasted over Carol Cleveland's (??) face...

We'll take the foreplay as read if you don't mind, dear?

[overdub mode="crude"] YOU BETCHA [/overdub]

As you can see, the penis is more or less fully erec...

[overdub mode="extraordinarily crude"] DRILL BABY DRILL [/overdub]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:29 AM on October 14, 2008


Did The Palin Administration Exclude Blacks? Members of Alaska’s African American community say Sarah Palin shut them out of her administration.
posted by homunculus at 1:00 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Remember the US Attorneys
posted by homunculus at 2:31 PM on October 14, 2008


CBS national poll: Obama 53 - McCain 39
posted by EarBucket at 3:57 PM on October 14, 2008


I've lately been hearing rumbles, here and elsewhere, of Palin running for president in 2012. I truly, sincerely hope she does.

"Oh hey guys, remember me? I almost single-handedly tanked McCain's entire campaign just by appearing on the ticket as a VP candidate. And now, I'm ready to run for president!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:52 PM on October 14, 2008


I've lately been hearing rumbles, here and elsewhere, of Palin running for president in 2012. I truly, sincerely hope she does.

I doubt she would make it halfway through the primaries. The other candidates would see to it that all the shit the Republicans are currently trying to obfuscate would be brought into bright, shiny focus.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:12 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin running in the next election will be a very clear indication that the Republican party failed to get its shit together.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:13 PM on October 14, 2008


Awesome new MoveOn ad parodies drug war bullshit public service spots: "Talk to Your Parents About John McCain."

13 points in CBS today, baby. May be an exaggeration, but it's driving the narrative.

Also, Rick Sanchez is my hero (I used to think he was a dolt, but for a moment I couldn't tell if I was watching Frontline or CNN today).

both links to youtube
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:39 PM on October 14, 2008 [3 favorites]


Gotta love it.

McCain's brother blasts campaign strategy
“In a new shot across the bow of Arizona Sen. John McCain's lagging campaign, the Republican candidate's younger brother is blasting the campaign's top management and desperately pleading for a change of course.

Joe McCain, in an e-mail sent late Monday night, called on top campaign aides to allow more press access to those who know the presidential nominee best. He said loosening the tight message control was needed because it had become ‘counter-productive’ and was ‘causing gangrene.’

Reflecting apparent unhappiness with the way his brother is being portrayed, Joe McCain also said the campaign needs to make new ‘ads that show John not as crank and curmudgeon but as a great leader for his time.’

‘Let John McCain be John McCain,’ he wrote, criticizing unnamed campaign managers for slamming the door shut to reporters eager to interview those who know the candidate best.”
John McCain: a crank and curmudgeon.
posted by ericb at 6:20 PM on October 14, 2008


PBS NewsHour -- Native Vote Emerges as Key Bloc in New Mexico (web only feature, but the rest of the series on NM is also excellent).
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:20 PM on October 14, 2008


CBS national poll: Obama 53 - McCain 39

More from the CBS/New York Times national poll:
"Among independents who are likely voters - a group that has swung back and forth between McCain and Obama over the course of the campaign - the Democratic ticket now leads by 18 points. McCain led among independents last week.

McCain's campaign strategy may be hurting hurt him: Twenty-one percent of voters say their opinion of the Republican has changed for the worse in the last few weeks. The top two reasons cited for the change of heart are McCain's attacks on Obama and his choice of Sarah Palin as running mate....

McCain's favorable rating has fallen four points from last week, to 36 percent, and is now lower than his 41 percent unfavorable rating. Obama, by contrast, is now viewed favorably by half of registered voters and unfavorably by just 32 percent."
posted by ericb at 6:23 PM on October 14, 2008


Spiders for Obama

No comment. Worth it. Youtube.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:24 PM on October 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bush Strategist: McCain Knows He Put Country At Risk With Palin Pick
“Matthew Dowd, a prominent political consultant and chief strategist for George W. Bush's reelection campaign eviscerated John McCain on Tuesday for his choice of Sarah Palin as vice president.

Dowd proclaimed that, in his heart of hearts, McCain knew he put the country at risk with his VP choice and that he would ‘have to live’ with that fact for the rest of his career.

‘They didn't let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP,’ Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. ‘When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race... as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible.’

Saying that Palin was a ‘net negative’ on the ticket, he went on: ‘[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with... He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that.’”
posted by ericb at 6:27 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Conservative Columnist Kathleen Parker: White House Officials Agree That Palin Should Be Off GOP Ticket
"Last night on the Colbert Report, Parker reiterated her belief that Palin is not qualified for the GOP ticket, but she also revealed that some White House officials have told her that they secretly agree:

COLBERT: Now but you said you got emails from people in the White House who secretively –

PARKER: Did I say that?

COLBERT: Yes you did. You said you secretly got emails from people in the White House but you wouldn’t name who they were, who said that they agreed with you.

PARKER: That’s correct. I got a lot of off-the-record emails and a lot of phone calls from people who said, you’re saying what we’ve been saying.

Watch it (starting at 2:06)."
posted by ericb at 6:34 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Awesome new MoveOn ad parodies drug war bullshit public service spots: "Talk to Your Parents About John McCain."

Starring cast members from the television hit 'Gossip Girl'.
posted by ericb at 6:43 PM on October 14, 2008


Jim Webb vouches for Barack to his fellow NRA members in Virginia. Rocks hard. (Audio, TPM)
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2008


McCain Knows He Put Country At Risk With Palin Pick

If John McCain were to win - not looking likely at this point - then yes, he did put the country at great risk by choosing Sarah Palin. Hell, the whole world would be a worse place because if it. If that's how he meant it, then I wholeheartedly agree.

But Dowd could have meant 'put the country at risk' in the sense that the Palin pick gives the Republican's boogeyman, Barack Obama, a commanding lead and a better-than-decent shot at winning this thing. If that's what he meant, well then, eff you Matthew Dowd.

PS - Lieberman sucks too, and would not have been any better of a choice.
posted by brain cloud at 7:19 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


"There will be no mudslinging in this debate -- unless my opponent slings it first!"
posted by scody at 7:39 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Purge Begins
posted by homunculus at 11:28 PM on October 14, 2008


I realize that this Rachel Maddow interview of David Frum is only somewhat relevant to the original post, but it's too delicious to not link. Enjoy! (makes that chef fingertip smacking gesture)
posted by maryh at 12:31 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


The information in this link is pretty important stuff. Essentially, Ohio Sec. of State Brunner is being ordered by the U.S. District Court in Columbus to set up a system "to verify new registrations by comparing that information with data from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration", by Friday. Brunner has contended that everything's on the level already and is planning to immediately appeal.

I don't see this as being a "purge" per se. Sure, the county prosecutors who launched the suit against Brunner, Stephen Haller and Sheriff Gene Fischer, are both Republicans, and Haller is the ex-law partner of Mike DeWine, a Republican and former U.S. senator who is chairing John McCain's Ohio campaign, but hey - if this nickel-and-dime nonsense is all they have in terms of a campaign, great. Nothing the American public loves more than this kind of petty, bald-faced partisan heel-nipping, if 2000 was any indication.

Plus, Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett's comment that "Brunner was destroying the public's trust in Ohio's elections system" was pretty choice. News flash, Bennett: the public trust in Ohio's election system was destroyed four years ago.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:19 AM on October 15, 2008


Brunner seems to have some guts. Her response is pretty fierce. Gives you some hope.

Anywho, just wanted to drop the single best Jon Stewart video mashup of all time on y'all: McCain's "New" Stump Speech (for those who missed TDS last night).
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:01 AM on October 15, 2008


In regard to the Ohio situation, here's some more information. I read that in early voting in Ohio, turnout was light. Which was kind of weird because you know this year turnout is going to be pretty heavy. So I talked to friends in the state, and it's because after the legal challenges and drama back and forth between the election officials, people are scared their vote won't end up counting if they go early. That all the votes from the early period would be thrown out or ruled to not count and even if it a presumed decision reversed that, that the votes "wouldn't get counted in time" basically. Hence the light turnout.

An article yesterday made it clear - Ohio voter fraud is rare. From 9 million votes in 2 general elections - 4 instances of ineligible people attempting to vote. 4.
A 2005 report by the League of Women Voters of Ohio and the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, for example, found that of more than 9 million votes cast in the state's 2002 and 2004 general elections, there were four instances of ineligible people attempting to vote. The data were collected from interviews with all 88 county Boards of Election.
4 out of 9,000,000, from 2 general elections.

So the election day turnout will likely be seriously heavy. What needs to happen is extended voting hours across Ohio. Open at 6 a.m. and stay open until 10 p.m. Because a few people I've talked to in the state are going on election day because they feel their vote is more likely to count on actual election day. (good god, "more likely to count".)
posted by cashman at 7:21 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


That is such a sad commentary on the state of our democracy, cashman. Maybe what we need is an outside agency like the UN to look at our voting and make sure that it's honest. Pretty much no one trusts our own government to keep it honest any more--and that makes me want to cry.

"Shining city on a hill" my ass!
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:27 AM on October 15, 2008


leftcoastbob- I read that as "Shining shit on a hill"
posted by pointilist at 8:03 AM on October 15, 2008


Quayle warns against counting out McCain -Former vice president says he's advised Sarah Palin to be herself.

When you're getting advice from Dan Quayle....
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:36 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


pointilist, your reading of it may be a bit more accurate.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:05 AM on October 15, 2008


Contemplate this line from Dan Quayle's interview and ask if he is insulting himself, McCain, Bush, Palin, or all of the above:

He also compared Palin's selection by McCain to his own by President George H.W. Bush in 1988.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:09 AM on October 15, 2008


Working for the Working-Class Vote : Will Gun-Toting, Churchgoing White Guys Pull the Lever for Barack Obama?

Also I would like to say that I love Barack Obama. Love love love. LOVE. (IANAGTCWG)
posted by contessa at 9:35 AM on October 15, 2008


Four funny ads from Ohio: beer gut, PANIC!, pinch me, nuts.
posted by Rumple at 10:27 AM on October 15, 2008


California GOP had Same Voter Registration Problems as ACORN in 2006
posted by homunculus at 11:01 AM on October 15, 2008


It is nice to see the polling maps which are predicting a breakup of JesusLand, it'll be much harder to tell myths about huge chunks of the states which some of us (Canadians) tend to do. It'd be nice if Arkansas and West Virginia and North Dakota and Montana went blue but even as it stands JesusLand will be retired for now.
posted by Rumple at 4:14 PM on October 15, 2008


Help... is there a new thread to tonight's debate? I can't do this alone people!
posted by kimdog at 4:31 PM on October 15, 2008


This appears to have the mantle:

http://www.metafilter.com/75675/Elections-are-fun
posted by Pantengliopoli at 4:39 PM on October 15, 2008


« Older The 150 Best Online Flash Games grouped according...  |  Meet Andy Martin, aka Anthony ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments