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October 15, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Welcome to The Sacramento County Republican Party. The official website has removed content calling for Obama to be waterboarded. But it still contains fake quotes supposedly from Obama's memoir. In this political climate, 33% of voters do not identify Obama as Christian, and 8% believe he is Muslim. Yet, the polls predict a landslide, hinted at by early voting. McCain needs something spectacular, and he may be regretting his decision to invoke Bill Ayers in tonight's debate; and perhaps other things.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (1600 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite

 
“I think he is probably ensured that it will come up this time.”

Maybe I can forestall a political flamewar by making this into a grammar flamewar. Does this actually scan?
posted by GuyZero at 9:57 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Threatening a U.S. Senator? Isn't that... Terrorism?

*waits patiently for The Sacramento County Republican Party to be rounded up & sent to Gitmo*
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:58 AM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


i have the feeling that if mccain doesn't bring it up obama will
posted by pyramid termite at 10:00 AM on October 15, 2008


The last link is a CNN piece on the Alaskan Independence Party. I've wondered for a while why this group hasn't been brought to the fore by the media, and it's interesting to see what CNN has to say about them.
posted by boo_radley at 10:02 AM on October 15, 2008


God I can't wait for McCain to be a footnote to history.
posted by mattbucher at 10:03 AM on October 15, 2008


Is this gonna be tonight's debate thread?
posted by ericb at 10:03 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rarely is the question asked: Progressive-Equally-Scary-Commie???
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:04 AM on October 15, 2008


33% of voters do not identify Obama as Christian

Pretty interesting that he still gets a landslide. Of course, it depends on what you mean by "identify" and "Christian".
posted by DU at 10:04 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


he may be regretting his decision to invoke Bill Ayers in tonight's debate;

I don't think he understands the point of a whisper campaign. The problem with leveling nonsensical, truth-stretching accusations directly to your opponent is that he gets to refute them just as directly. Not only that, but by making it clear in advance, he's given the Obama campaign half a week to prepare remarks.

I mean, he clearly understands that "You don't say that out loud!" when you're figuring out a game plan. But appeasing some riled up supporters is all it takes for him to spell out his plans. Does he really want them watching tonight?
posted by almostmanda at 10:06 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


the polls predict a landslide

Hell, even Karl Rove thinks it's going to be a big win for Obama.
posted by EarBucket at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2008


33% of voters do not identify Obama as Christian

Pretty interesting that he still gets a landslide. Of course, it depends on what you mean by "identify" and "Christian".


I would get a big kick if he were to win in a landslide and there winds up being a chorus of misinformed voters who feel that they were awfully progressive to have voted for that nice Arab Muslim man.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:07 AM on October 15, 2008 [15 favorites]


The official website has removed content calling for Obama to be waterboarded.

Wow, thats positively tame. Alot of posters over at FreeRepublic are already making vague threats against Obama's life or hinting that there may be another secession/Civil War if he wins. Kudos to the Sac Repubs for only wanting to horribly torture Obama. They're obviously the moderates in this election.

Another interesting thing I've noticed on those websites are a total rejection of polling data. CBS had a poll yesterday that showed Obama +14 nationwide (which even I think is an outlier), but regardless the rightly blogs were full of posts about how polls are being manipulated by libural elites to demoralize True American Patriots.

I think the real antipathy against polls goes deeper on the Right, however. If you think about it, extreme Rightism (or extreme Nationalism or Fundamentalism of any kind) takes a very dim view of people's opinions. Opinions are something that are supposed to align with Authority (God, the State, the King, the Pope, etc.) not something that you're supposed to, you know, just have on your own.

Rightist leaders (I'm thinking specifically of Bush here) pride themselves on "doing whatever is right" even when almost everyone (90% of the world and 75% of America in Bush's case) disagrees with them. People's opinions are immaterial to God's/the Leader's/the King's Will.

I remember reading another poster on FreeRepublic who once said that he or she "dreamed of a world without polls". I was startled at how shockingly revealing that statement was.
posted by Avenger at 10:08 AM on October 15, 2008 [17 favorites]


While McCain supporters touted Obama as a secret Muslim operative, McCain revealed his own secret identity.
posted by The Straightener at 10:10 AM on October 15, 2008 [11 favorites]


I'm really looking forward to McCain's concession speech -- that is, if he gives one. Given their history of coping with facts, there's a good chance the McCain-Palin ticket will simply declare victory and show up for the inauguration regardless.
posted by grounded at 10:10 AM on October 15, 2008 [31 favorites]


Who is Batman?
posted by EarBucket at 10:10 AM on October 15, 2008 [31 favorites]


I don't think Ayers will come up tonight.
posted by Tehanu at 10:10 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another interesting thing I've noticed on those websites are a total rejection of polling data. CBS had a poll yesterday that showed Obama +14 nationwide (which even I think is an outlier), but regardless the rightly blogs were full of posts about how polls are being manipulated by libural elites to demoralize True American Patriots.

Well Christ, that poll was conducted by CBS and The New York Times. Both avowed enemies of the state, what did you expect?
posted by octothorpe at 10:12 AM on October 15, 2008


Waterboard Obama?

"In the governor's view, it's completely and totally inappropriate," said Julie Soderlund, a Schwarzenegger spokeswoman.

Spin, spin, sugar. In other words, "not everyone found this offensive, but The Governator's word should probably be followed."

But he defended his Web site. "I'm aware of the content," he said. "Some people find it offensive, others do not. I cannot comment on how people interpret things."

MacGlashan said he would "consider people's complaints" before taking any action.


Spin me right 'round .. would you consider waterboarding patriotic, or torture? Or is that also something you're leaving open to interpretation? Apparently The Governor's complaint was enough.

But to be fair, the Dems also sound ... less than realistic.

Democratic party officials condemned the GOP site. "It's exactly the kind of vile, repugnant politicking that has relegated the California GOP to an afterthought in California politics," said Roger Salazar, spokesman for the state Democratic Party. "Even the top of their ticket would be disgusted by this display of dishonesty."

"Afterthought in California Politics?" Yes, I realize California is strongly Democratic in the broad term, but there are whole sections of the state that are very Republican. Are those sections an afterthought, too? And "display of dishonesty?" It's a crude effort to rouse the public, not dishonesty. "We don't agree with and/or like that guy, let's attack him!" is not being dishonest, it's rabble-rousing.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:17 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


As scary as this whole pile of shit is, it is nothing compared to how scary it would be if it actually worked.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:20 AM on October 15, 2008


It seems like Obama is baiting McCain to bring up Ayers, and it seems like McCain has taken the bait. If he is stupid enough to follow through on this, Obama gets the chance to make a well-rehearsed, decisive refutation of McCain's accusations, and McCain will be playing into the recent public image of him as a mean-spirited whiner who would rather attack his opponent than say something constructive. If McCain has any sense, he will let it drop.
posted by mai at 10:21 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also interesting that Republicans now do believe that waterboarding is extraordinarily cruel. Not to mention punitive, not informative--notice they don't want him to talk, they want him to shut up.
posted by DU at 10:23 AM on October 15, 2008 [15 favorites]


Get ready for the big debate switcheroo tonight. McCain won't bring up Ayers - in fact, he'll paint Obama as the uber-negative candidate, talk about how he's run more negative advertising than McCain, he'll accuse Obama of thuggery in regards to ACORN, and he'll call for a more civil campaign. He'll dole out a lot of straight talk, and he'll talk about honor, and about victory in Iraq, and his judgment on the surge, and all that stuff.

No Ayers. Just pure, unadulterated John McCain superhero POW bullshit. And Obama, I'm guessing, will be a little flat-footed because he'll be expecting a complete hit job.
posted by billysumday at 10:24 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Isn't threatening a US Senate with assassination or torture a federal crime? You can't say anything about plotting to kill the doofus in office, surely there is something against doing this?
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:26 AM on October 15, 2008


If McCain has any sense, he will let it drop.

McCain has sense (or I used to think so). What he doesn't have is a base with sense. They want to run on blood and fear like in 2002 and 2004. But it's 2008 now and ISLAMOATHEISTTERRORISTGAYSAREKILLINGOURBABIES isn't going to work.

The dynamic predicted before this election began is playing out: McCain has to run as a rightwing nutjob to get the base turned out but as an independent to run against Bush. This is an impossible task, so he must choose only one. He's made his bed and is now lying in it.
posted by DU at 10:29 AM on October 15, 2008


This is an impossible task

McCain as HAL.
posted by cortex at 10:30 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


My uncle is a whale in the Sac GOP, the kind of guy who donates enough money and time and cultivates enough contacts that Arnold shows up to his dinner parties.

Uncle GOP is voting for Obama this year.
posted by jamaro at 10:31 AM on October 15, 2008 [15 favorites]


Who is Batman?

Equating McCain with The Penguin is completely unwarranted.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:32 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hell, even Karl Rove thinks it's going to be a big win for Obama.

He's been wrong before.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:32 AM on October 15, 2008


McCain has to run as a rightwing nutjob to get the base turned out but as an independent to run against Bush. This is an impossible task, so he must choose only one. He's made his bed and is now lying in it.

He's trying to do both, and he's failing at both.
posted by Tehanu at 10:32 AM on October 15, 2008




Rolling Stones article on McCain

Sympathy for the Devil?
posted by ob at 10:38 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


This op ed piece blew me away... a first-hand report of Bill Ayers' sterling character and good works... in today's Wall Street Jounral fer crimeny sakes.

McCain might as well just give up now.
posted by emmet at 10:38 AM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


Democrats need to push back against this anti-ACORN B.S. that's floating around the MSM. They hire people to register voters, and sometimes those registrations are erronious. But there's really nothing they can do, other then stop registering people. Obviously some registrations are going to be wrong, and sometimes people will fill out more registrations in order to cheat ACORN. But ACORN has no choice but to turn in the bad registrations, because the law requires it. They do put cover letters on registrations they think are bogus, but they are required by law to turn them in.

The alternative would be to cease registration entirely, which is exactly what the republicans want.
posted by delmoi at 10:39 AM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


I don't think Ayers will come up tonight.

If he does -- Obama Pre-Debate Memo: We're Ready For Ayers.
“Honoring the pre-debate tradition, Barack Obama's campaign is out with a memo on Wednesday raising the expectations for John McCain to ungodly heights. But in addition to setting the stage for tonight's affair, the Illinois Democrat did something peculiar: he allowed a peek into internal strategy.

Spokesman Bill Burton lays out -- in no small measure -- how he believes the debate will proceed.

‘Just this weekend, John McCain vowed to 'whip Obama's you-know-what' at the debate,’ he writes, ‘and he's indicated that he'll use Bill Ayers to attack Barack Obama... Senator Obama is going to use the debate to discuss his plan for the economy. That's what he's been doing this entire campaign.’

Such a prediction may appear, at once, over-simplistic and optimistic. But the Obama campaign has seemingly been engineering this scenario for the past week. Indeed, if John McCain brings up Ayers in tonight it may be because he was goaded into doing so.
Following the candidate's second debate, both Obama and Joe Biden chided the Republican nominee for not making the personal character attacks he made on the stump to Obama's face. Since then, however, polling data has shown voters recoiling from McCain's use of Bill Ayers in political attacks. The Arizona Republican is left in a quandary: don't bring up the former '60s radical and risk being seen as squirmy and afraid; or bring him up and get bashed by Obama for not talking about the economy.

As Burton writes: ‘But after two debates in which John McCain didn't mention the middle class once -- and after his campaign declared openly that they want to turn the page on talking about the economy -- the real question is not how many attacks McCain can land in the debate, but whether he can finally communicate a vision to turn this economy around.’”
posted by ericb at 10:41 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I hate to link to Politico but this is a funny little article about how people are believing the crazy right-wing crap that said about Obama but they're voting for him anyway:
54 year-old white male, voted Kerry '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, hunter, NASCAR fan...hard for Obama said: "I'm gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He's gonna be a bad president. But I won't ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President."

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."
posted by octothorpe at 10:43 AM on October 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


mattbucher: "God I can't wait for McCain to be a footnote to history."

Say what you will about him, but I think he's already made a big enough mark to not go down as a footnote. 30 years in the Senate, a Vet, a POW, Presidential candidate multiple times, etc. A bit far from a mere footnote.

Avenger: "I remember reading another poster on FreeRepublic who once said that he or she "dreamed of a world without polls". I was startled at how shockingly revealing that statement was."

Well, I dream of a world without polls as well. I think there are too many people who don't bother making up their own minds, but just follow the polls. I am sure there are people who only like Obama because he's the frontrunner, and I am sure their are Republicans who will motivated to vote by this same fact. Both seem like stupid reasons to vote to me.

Just like the stock market going up or down based on news reports, I think politics suffers from this same self fulfilling prophecy. The polls say it's so, so it becomes fact.

I also have a huge damage with exit polls. I think they should be illegal.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:43 AM on October 15, 2008


You know, I laugh at those people who were wondering what was going to happen "in the ghetto" if McCain won. I think the real danger is from the "Falling Down" conservatives. What will the whackjobs do if Obama wins?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:44 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


More fun with the base. I suspect the guy at 00:31 is going to get his milkshake drunk.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:45 AM on October 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


I think McCain will focus on convincing moderates, rather than appeasing the far-right. I mean, if he "wimps out" and doesn't attack Obama's character with the terrorist BS, the far-right is still more or less obligated to vote for him, right? If he continues to come across as petty and uninspiring, undecided voters will increasingly break the other way.
posted by snofoam at 10:47 AM on October 15, 2008


Spin, spin, sugar. In other words, "not everyone found this offensive, but The Governator's word should probably be followed."

In Schwarzenegger's defense, he's probably sincerely disgusted by this stuff. He's been intensely frustrated by the provinciality and narrowness of his own party's state legislature representation. He knows that the Republican party can never take a leadership role in California state politics without significantly broadening its appeal, and this kind of nonsense is incompatible with broader appeal.

The California Republican party is a parochial, right-wing, relic. Schwarzenegger himself would have never been elected if he had had to run in a primary in which the voters were that party's narrow base.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:47 AM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


I used to feel sorry for John McCain. I used to say that he was the only Republican I would be happy to vote for. Those days are over.

He has squandered all my goodwill in the same way that his buddy W did after 9/11. The moment has passed, and his time is up. I don't even want him in the Senate anymore. He's fucking crazy and he makes bad decisions.

If I had my druthers, he'd retire now and spend his remaining years spending his SECOND wife's (you know, the one he called a cunt) money on frivilous things... like starting an investment banking firm.
posted by chuckdarwin at 10:47 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


If he does -- Obama Pre-Debate Memo: We're Ready For Ayers.

I know they're ready, but I also think McCain, while making some bad mistakes right now, will not make that one tonight.

It'd be nice if I was wrong, because I think it is probably the very worst thing he could do.
posted by Tehanu at 10:49 AM on October 15, 2008


Spiders for Obama.
posted by swift at 10:49 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


When republican spinsters start talking Obama landslide they want Dems to think it is in the bag so anyone a bit lazy will figure they don't need to take the time to vote. It also serves to further rally the base.

GET OUT THE VOTE!
posted by HyperBlue at 10:50 AM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


I think the real danger is from the "Falling Down" conservatives. What will the whackjobs do if Obama wins?

DFENS.
Start from day 1 blaming Obama and the dems for anything and everything that goes wrong, from a drop in the DOW to a hangnail.
posted by inigo2 at 10:50 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I think McCain will focus on convincing moderates, rather than appeasing the far-right. I mean, if he "wimps out" and doesn't attack Obama's character with the terrorist BS, the far-right is still more or less obligated to vote for him, right? If he continues to come across as petty and uninspiring, undecided voters will increasingly break the other way.

I think this is right on target.
posted by ericb at 10:52 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is a metric I apply to candidates for national office. I call it the Mondale Unit.

A candidate whose MU approaches one has little or no charisma. He is incapable of inspiring anybody to self-sacrifice. His campaign exists -- even to his own partisans -- purely as token opposition. In general, when comparing candidates running for the American presidency, the candidate with a lower MU is going to win.

Somebody whose MU is zero -- who has no Mondale in him whatsoever -- could talk you into walking into a burning building singing a happy song, and you'd thank him for the opportunity. Presidents of the 20th century with vanishingly low MUs would include FDR, JFK and Reagan.

Despite the way I'm talking, this isn't a specific value of a candidate's electability -- it's a dominant influence on that electability, a synthesis largely of the perceiveable qualities of the candidate himself. It is related to his charisma, but is defined not only by that but by the quality of the campaign around him, and innumerable intangibles.

You can even use this in a fantasy-football way, hypothetically running, say, McGovern against Bob Dole.

In modern politics, a candidate's MU is a changeable value as the candidate learns how to campaign or begins flailing against slipping odds. For example, Hilary's MU was lower in December 07 than in May 08, though it was never as low as Barack Obama's MU. The MU becomes a fixed value only after their exit from national politics -- Hilary's MU has been sliding downward slightly now that she's at least making a game attempt at campaigning for Obama.

Kerry's MU rose as the Republican smear machine did its work on him. Al Gore's MU, weirdly enough, dropped in the waning days of the campaign, but it wasn't adequate.

Obama's MU is vanishingly small (can you think of ANY American candidate who inspires unsolicited propaganda from so many popular artists?), and McCain's is the highest of any Republican's since Bob Dole's, although he looked much better in the earlier primaries. Come the debate tonight, the winner will not be the one who performs the best rhetorically or stays the most meaningful or truthful. It's the guy who impresses the most Americans that they could put up with seeing him on TV regularly, talking about policy, for the next few years.

It's been said that Americans, above all, vote for a President they could have a beer with. I don't think that applies to either of these candidates. Then again, I never pictured Ronald Reagan chilling with a brew and his buds, either.
posted by ardgedee at 10:52 AM on October 15, 2008 [15 favorites]


That video from Al Jazeera is hilarious.
posted by chunking express at 10:52 AM on October 15, 2008


I also have a huge damage with exit polls. I think they should be illegal.

You want it to be illegal for a free citizen to walk up to another free citizen and ask them a question they're entirely free to ignore.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:53 AM on October 15, 2008 [19 favorites]


From electoral-vote.com on why Obama may be spoiling for this issue to be brought up:
McCain's Transition Chief Lobbied for Saddam Hussein

The person charged with planning the McCain administration, William Timmons, lobbied for Saddam Hussein in an effort to get the international community off his back. Obama challenged McCain to talk about William Ayers to his face at the debate tonight and McCain accepted the challenge. What was Obama thinking? Maybe he will bring up Timmons and point that he (Obama) was 8 years old and living in Indonesia when Ayers was planting crude bombs but McCain knowingly chose Saddam Hussein's lobbyist for an important job in his campaign. There could be fireworks if Obama brings this up.
posted by spock at 10:53 AM on October 15, 2008


I also have a huge damage with exit polls. I think they should be illegal.

Why? I think they should be mandatory. At this point, they are the only remaining sanity check on the vote. Until we have paper trails on our votes, we need external monitoring.
posted by phooky at 10:54 AM on October 15, 2008 [11 favorites]


This is why Democrats can't win national elections. It just supports your own self-satisfied conceit to not allow the Republican to distort, lie and defame.
posted by tkchrist at 10:54 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Falling Down conservatives"

Yes.
posted by DU at 10:56 AM on October 15, 2008


Democrats need to push back against this anti-ACORN B.S. that's floating around the MSM. They hire people to register voters, and sometimes those registrations are erronious.

Or "fraudulent".
posted by Kwantsar at 10:58 AM on October 15, 2008


>I think the real danger is from the "Falling Down" conservatives. What will the whackjobs do if Obama wins?

>>DFENS.


No, no; the correct answer is DPENS.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:58 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I guess I don't hang out in enough right-wing forums since this is the first time I've seen the bumper sticker "The only difference between Obama and Osama is BS." Nonsensical and offensive, but rather funny, actually.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:00 AM on October 15, 2008


Democrats need to push back against this anti-ACORN B.S. that's floating around the MSM. They hire people to register voters, and sometimes those registrations are erronious. But there's really nothing they can do, other then stop registering people. Obviously some registrations are going to be wrong, and sometimes people will fill out more registrations in order to cheat ACORN. But ACORN has no choice but to turn in the bad registrations, because the law requires it.

Oh, stop bending over backwards for those radicals. Let's be clear: if you offer a service collecting paperwork from people, and that paperwork is filled out incorrectly, then you are to blame. I don't want to hear any excuses about "legal requirements to submit the paperwork anyway". This is why I want to see people hold the US Post Office accountable for their share of bad voter registration forms. They've been awfully quiet. What do they have to hide?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:01 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


going to get his milkshake drunk

How satisfying would it be to see Obama deliver that line to McCain? I think there should be one last debate on 11/5, just so these two can say everything they actually WANT to say...

Still, I'd be surprised if McCain actually brings up Ayers and, if he doesn't, Obama may just let him stew. Either way, Obama will be prepared to deal with it -- he's not been caught flat-footed on many issues so far, especially those with this much press coverage.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 11:02 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


New McCain slogan: Obama Puts Hollywood Before America!

Looks like someone's not going to take Dennis Hopper's betrayal lying down.
posted by scody at 11:03 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Rolling Stones article on McCain

Sympathy for the Devil?


You Can't Always Get What You Want.

In McCain's case, he just wants to finally outrank his father. This is his last chance and it seems highly likely that he never will.
posted by matteo at 11:03 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Are there plausible October surprises that could flip the results at this point (knock on wood)? If terrorists attack, that ruins the one thing that has been okay. If Bin Laden is caught, who needs someone who's better at homeland security. If the market goes up, we're still going to be getting a constant stream of data supporting the notion that the wider economy is doing poorly. If Monica Lewinsky comes out of retirement to give him a blow job, maybe. But really, what events could happen that would turn this around?
posted by snofoam at 11:03 AM on October 15, 2008


I hate to link to Politico but this is a funny little article about how people are believing the crazy right-wing crap that said about Obama but they're voting for him anyway:

That made my head asplode. And it's fascinating to compare that to this NYT article on the views of some Southern voters.
posted by lord_wolf at 11:04 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the NY Daily News Piece on scenarios for a McCain upset:

6. A Terrorist Attack
The unspeakable would benefit the Republican by shifting voter fears from financial security to personal safety. Even the most cynical players on both sides pray that won't happen.


I think that's given the Wacko Right a lot more credit than they deserve.
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:04 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


When Bush was put into office by judicial coup, our conservative friend were quite bullying about it. Suck it up, they said. You lost, now live with it.

Dollars to donuts the day after Obama wins the election, they find some self-proclaimed redneck in a pickup truck filled with rifles and explosives driving toward Washington, and, when they pull him over, he tells them that Obama and ACORN stole the election.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:05 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was wondering what that "Hollywood" business was. I got a voicemail message from a McCain volunteer that was so rushed I couldn't understand it, but "Hollywood would repeated in it twice. It sounded like this:

ThisismarilyncallingforjonmccainobamaputsHOLLYWOOD beforepresidencywheneconomywastankinghejustsat whilebillswerepassednayinalsecurity whoisobamaHOLLYWOOD.

We replayed it four times trying to understand why the word Hollywood kept jumping it. It seemed unrelated to everything else.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:09 AM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Dollars to donuts the day after Obama wins the election, they find some self-proclaimed redneck in a pickup truck filled with rifles and explosives driving toward Washington"

That's a fairly safe prediction, seeing as how it already happened -- just replace "Washington" with "Denver".
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:10 AM on October 15, 2008


It seems like Obama is baiting McCain to bring up Ayers, and it seems like McCain has taken the bait. If he is stupid enough to follow through on this, Obama gets the chance to make a well-rehearsed, decisive refutation of McCain's accusations, and McCain will be playing into the recent public image of him as a mean-spirited whiner who would rather attack his opponent than say something constructive. If McCain has any sense, he will let it drop.

Why? There is photographic evidence that Obama actually took part in Weather Underground activities. Just look at the picture and be terrified of an Obama presidency!
posted by NoMich at 11:11 AM on October 15, 2008 [11 favorites]


And it's fascinating to compare that to this NYT article on the views of some Southern voters.

I hate those articles. Some reporter goes out and finds the most racist voters they can, in the southeast, and it makes it seem like that's the dominant reason those states swing Republican. It's one reason, for sure, but it's terrible reporting. Those people are everywhere.
posted by Tehanu at 11:15 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


cjorgensen: "I also have a huge damage with exit polls. I think they should be illegal."

ROU_Xenophobe: "You want it to be illegal for a free citizen to walk up to another free citizen and ask them a question they're entirely free to ignore."

Yes.

As it is done now at least.

Often, by the time I get to vote, I already know the results of the election in my state based off these polls. I'm not looking for suspense, don't think somehow the outcome has been spoiled like knowing the ending of a movie, but I do want to preserve the integrity of the vote.

How many people choose not to bother to vote because they know it's a hopeless cause for their candidate? How many people in California choose not to vote because they already know the electoral outcome has been decided before they even get to cast a vote? Talk about your vote not counting.

Exit polls deprive people of their voice.

I also don't think any state should release the results for three days after the election, and think all polling places should close at the same time and open at the same time.

You're free to do all the polling you want, ask whomever whatever you desire. Just stay away from me while I am conducting my civil responsibility. And you're right, I am free to ignore the person, but honestly don't think I should have to. They have no right to be there.

Just as I think it's a bad idea to interview a juror during an active trial. Pretty much the same thing. I think exit polls are manipulative and misleading. They are part of what gave us the Florida fiasco.

If there were decent ethics involved in this kind of polling I wouldn't mind. A reasonable and respectful distance from the polls, not reporting the results until the poll closed, and accounting of what their margin of error is (how many times did they call it for the wrong candidate, etc.). Also, these pollsters are not unpolitically motivated. Many are associated either directly with a campaign or special interest group. Forgive me if I don't trust them to be unbiased.

Even the ones that are supposed to be independent probably aren't truly. Many are unpaid volunteers working for various news organizations. I just don't see how you can trust the data.

Fortunately, there is data I do mostly trust, called a vote count. Let's just wait to see what it says. I don't see why we need insta-polls and predictions. A candidate doesn't win based on what people say as they leave the polls, and it's an election, not a fortune telling event.

So in the interest of preserving fair elections I do think exit polls should be outlawed.

Besides, it's nobody's business that I'm voting for Obama!
posted by cjorgensen at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2008


The unspeakable would benefit the Republican by shifting voter fears from financial security to personal safety.

On the contrary, I'd be even more determined (if such were possible) to vote for Obama. One of the worst attacks on American soil happened on their watch, with warning, and not only did they fail to prevent it they didn't even lock the doors AFTER the horses were stolen.
posted by DU at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


ardgedee: Come the debate tonight, the winner will not be the one who performs the best rhetorically or stays the most meaningful or truthful. It's the guy who impresses the most Americans that they could put up with seeing him on TV regularly, talking about policy, for the next few years.

Is it sad that I think this is the most accurate description I've seen of how Americans choose their president?
posted by threeturtles at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2008


This is why Democrats can't win national elections. It just supports your own self-satisfied conceit to not allow the Republican to distort, lie and defame.

What? We only have one national election, and Clinton, Carter, LBJ, Kennedy, etc won and it looks like Obama will win.

I just hope the democrats don't go back to their Kerry/Dukakis/Mondale nominating ways in 2016.
posted by delmoi at 11:17 AM on October 15, 2008


Which John McCain will show up to debate?

Start from day 1 blaming Obama and the dems for anything and everything that goes wrong, from a drop in the DOW to a hangnail.

Plus a Republican zeal for the separation of powers, checks and balances, and limits on executive power.

Just look at the picture and be terrified of an Obama presidency!

He's got a weapon!

The only difference between Obama and Osama is BS.

Doesn't that imply that one of them's a straight talker and the other one's a bullshitter?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:22 AM on October 15, 2008


I just hope the democrats don't go back to their Kerry/Dukakis/Mondale nominating ways in 2016.

I, too, hope they never nominate anyone besides Obama.
posted by lostburner at 11:23 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Exit polls The Electoral College deprive[s] people of their voice.

ftfy
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:26 AM on October 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


I'm certainly not counting my chickens in regards to McCain losing at the moment. I genuinely admired the man during the 2000 election cycle, but have been more and more disappointed with him in the ensuing years. During this election, he has made bad decisions after bad decisions, chosen a vice presidential candidate who is ill-prepared for the job, and moved erratically from one strategy to another. I confess, I can't recall the last time a Republican candidate for President has seemed this ill-prepared - indeed anti-prepared, if there is such a word - for office (and I'm counting Bush, who we at least knew had evil geniuses pulling his strings).

No, no matter how far ahead Obama might be in the polls, it isn't far enough ahead to make me feel its safe to stay home on election day. It isn't enough for Obama to win, the win has to be so enormous and decisive that there is absolutely no question but that he won. In fact, I won't feel that we're entirely safe from a McCain/Palin presidency until Chelsea Clinton is sworn in in 2017.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:30 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yesterday was the last day for Oregonians to register to vote so the student government at Portland Community College had (obviously well-trained) volunteers going around campus asking people if they're registered to vote. If anyone on campus had given them fraudulent info on their voter registration forms, would the GOP be up in arms to say that the student government was at fault? Of course not. Then why is everyone so quick to condemn ACORN? Isn't it the same scenario?
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:30 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I read a particularly bizarre exchange between a door-to-door canvasser and a potential voter here:

“I don’t want to sound like I’m prejudiced,” Ms. Mendive said. “I’ve never been around a lot of black people before. I just worry that they’re nice to your face but then when they get around their own people you just have to worry about what they’re going to do to you.”

Ms. Vance responded: “One thing you have to remember is that Obama, he’s half white and he was raised by his white mother. So his views are more white than black really.” She went on to assure Ms. Mendive that she was so impressed with Mr. Obama the person, that she failed to notice the color of his skin anymore.


It's a tactic you don't often see used by the liberal set: Rather than immediately admonishing someone for their prejudiced belief, you play it to your favor.
posted by schroedinger at 11:31 AM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Aw, Jesus fuck. I just read the NY Times article lord_wolf linked to.

*sigh*

I'm a seventh-generation Alabamian who is voting for Obama. It is the first time I am voting for a Presidential candidate with such enthusiasm. I like the man, I like his policies, and I see him as a way forward out of the horrible morass that ignorant mouth-breathers like those quoted in the NY Times article (and the politicians who pander to them) have led my nation into. There's a lot of good people down here, and we're really fucking tired of fighting the battles of the last generation. God bless Barack Obama, God bless America, and God save Alabama from itself.

Now I'm gonna go take a shower.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:31 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


ACORN, which most conservatives had never heard of before conservatives made it the bugaboo of the financial crisis. Now they're making ACORN their catch-all socialist terrorist election-stealing bad guys.

What do you expect when you try to help poor people? In American, that IS Socialism.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:35 AM on October 15, 2008


It's a tactic you don't often see used by the liberal set: Rather than immediately admonishing someone for their prejudiced belief, you play it to your favor.

There seem to be a number of lifelong Republicans and not so liberal people volunteering for Obama right now, so I think it a lot of cases it's probably more honesty about their own prejudices than playing to someone else's.
posted by Tehanu at 11:35 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Let's also make sure to remember that as recently as 2006, McCain was a vocal supporter of ACORN.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:44 AM on October 15, 2008


How many people choose not to bother to vote because they know it's a hopeless cause for their candidate?

As many as choose to on the basis of that information, as is their right.

How many people in California choose not to vote because they already know the electoral outcome has been decided before they even get to cast a vote?

As many as choose to on the basis of that information, as is their right.

Talk about your vote not counting.

In both of these instances, assuming what was reported was accurate "My vote doesn't matter" would be an accurate statement of the facts on the ground. Not some terrible bugbear that we mustn't mention, but the plain and simple truth.

The idea that you can improve the integrity of an election by denying people accurate information that they'd like to have seems ludicrous to me. More information that's accurate can only improve people's decisions over (Vote for A, vote for B, vote for other, stay home), not harm it. More (accurate) information gets you decisions that are more in line with the voter's actual interests as they understand them.

You don't like the decisions that some people make when they receive a particular variety of accurate information. You don't like that, knowing that the presidency is already decided, some people in CA or HI might stay home instead of voting -- that staying home is, under those circumstances, more consonant with their interests as they understand them than going to vote is. But what people do with information is fundamentally none of your business.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:46 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Am I the only one who thinks "Weather Report" each time I see "Weather Underground"?

And wondering, if only for a split-second every time, why Obama's association with early jazz fusion would be such a bad thing??
posted by LordSludge at 11:48 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Drinking game suggestions? Anyone?
posted by lunit at 11:49 AM on October 15, 2008


Avenger: "I remember reading another poster on FreeRepublic who once said that he or she "dreamed of a world without polls". I was startled at how shockingly revealing that statement was."

Well, I dream of a world without polls as well. I think there are too many people who don't bother making up their own minds, but just follow the polls. I am sure there are people who only like Obama because he's the frontrunner, and I am sure their are Republicans who will motivated to vote by this same fact. Both seem like stupid reasons to vote to me.


You know who else wanted to get rid of the polls? Hitler.

Wait. That might have been the Poles.
posted by Bonzai at 11:51 AM on October 15, 2008 [23 favorites]


From the NYT article:

“I’ve always been against the blacks,” said Mr. Rowell, who is in his 70s, recalling how he was arrested for throwing firecrackers in the black section of town. But now that he has three biracial grandchildren — “it was really rough on me” — he said he had “found out they were human beings, too.”


Change comes, but sometimes it's slow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:52 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Do people really only go to the booth to vote for President? There are lots of other things to cast a vote for or against on your ballot, many of which will affect you at a more personal level than the presidential race.
posted by maxwelton at 11:53 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sips
My friends
Middle class
Tax cut
Experience
Jobs
Health care


Shot
Ayers
Radica
McCain obviously avoids contact with Obama
Obama mocks something McCain just said
posted by Tehanu at 11:54 AM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


God damn I am a genius. My coworkers and I just has this brilliant idea. Stay with me.

You wanna cinch this election for Obama? Obama only needs to do one thing: Buy the rights to two episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Where Mary breaks her glasses. And later the one where she goes blind. The two saddest episodes of any TV show ever. Then he needs to buy three hours of prime-time one and half hour for each episode. Instead of any campaign ads he simply has a half hour fire-side chat call-in after each episode. Obama would then comfort Americans with this giant nation wide cathartic therapy session.

I swear Bin Laden would turn himself in after seeing Mary telling Pa she'd gone blind.

Obama:
"We have a call from... Pakistan?"

Bin Laden:
"Hello? Sniff... "

Obama:
"It's... it's okay. It's gnna be alright...go ahead caller."

Bin Laden:
"First time caller here... sob."

Obama:
"It's okay Pakistan. America is here to help."

Bin Laden:
"Mary... she going to be blind now? By the great profit, blessed be his name, this seems so unfair..."

Obama:
"She has Pa. And Ma and Half Pint. You have us. We here for eachother during this time of world crisis."

Bin Laden:
"Will... she... will Mary get into the special school... for the little blind children!? Oh sweet Allah, may his justice and love be upon us, please tell me WILL SHE FIND A HUSBAND!"

Obama:
"With the love and support of her family and community... yes... the answer is yes. Mary will start a family. it will be tough. But, Pakistan?"

Bin Laden:
"Sniff... I am still here."

Obama:
"I promise you we are all in this together and together, with th greatness of America, we shall see that Mary, Pa and Ma and Half Pint will thrive even through the most dire of circumstances. With Obama/Biden in 2008 THE NELLIE OLSONS OF THIS WORD WILL NOT PREVAIL! I Promise you.

Now pleases stay tuned, if we win on Tuesday, the following Wednesday we will run a special episode of Little House on The Prairie. Mary's wedding."
posted by tkchrist at 11:56 AM on October 15, 2008 [61 favorites]


tkchrist:
Good plan, but you made an error. It's the Republicans who worship "the great profit."
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:58 AM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, Tehanu, is this drinking game called "Who Can Get Alcohol Poisoning First"?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:59 AM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


The best part? all the pundits and all the polls show that the independents and undecided detest name calling and want issues addressed so that the more the GOP continues the sniping, the better things go for Obama.
As fort ACORN--here is what is behind it all

http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/10/10289_the_acorn_controversy.html
posted by Postroad at 12:01 PM on October 15, 2008


As a Sacramento resident who lives in McGlashan's district I am disgusted at this. I just wrote my first letter (since 3rd grade) to an elected official. Roberta McGlashan just motivated a voter to get off his ass.
posted by Big_B at 12:03 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I see Obama every time
I'm in Hollywood
If he could be there all the time,
Man, you know he would.
He's always at Universal Studios
Enjoying all the rides
And I saw him touring Paramount
And bothering the guides.
He's often at sitcom tapings
Laughing and applauding
As he plans a presidency
Won by ACORN's election frauding.
You see him in the wax museum
Staring at the stars
And then its off to the Hard Rock
To goggle at guitars.
You will see Obama on Vine Street
At the Mann Chinese Theater
And then it's off to Musso and Franks
Where's he's a frequent eater.
He's written several screenplays
To pitch to CAA
And he likes to drive his Porsche
Down the Golden State Freeway.
He'd be happy to be president
And if it happens, good,
But he'd be antsy in the White House
As he'd miss Hollywood.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:03 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


Do people really only go to the booth to vote for President? There are lots of other things to cast a vote for or against on your ballot, many of which will affect you at a more personal level than the presidential race.

I cannot favorite this enough.
Feel like your vote for president is worthless? I know you've got at least 1 house member to vote for, a 1 in 3 chance there's a senator to vote for and god knows how many local offices to vote for. And how about those issues? Wanna pass some school levees? Statewide smoking ban?

The president doesn't put in the order to get your road repaved, folks.
posted by cimbrog at 12:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [12 favorites]


ROU_Xenophobe:

You're presuming unbiased unmanipulated accurate information.

Also, exit polls should have no influence on how a person votes, (yes, in my opinion) yet they do.

The information that you find so valuable to people shouldn't (again, my opinion) have anything to do with how a person votes.

This is an election. It's something that we, as a nation, should be deciding together, not some people in Maine and Florida before California and Hawaii even get to weigh in.

Exit polls are too screwed up, inaccurate, biased, and uncertain to have any real value.

They will call a poll for a candidate based on what replies they get, regardless of whether the information they have is truthful or even complete.

Again, I point to Florida.

Exit polls serve no purpose other than to provide the media with something to report as it's happening. They are disruptive, invasive, and dishonest. I think the process is too important not to get right. If this means we can't have the results before it's actually over I don't think anyone is harmed by this. Wouldn't it be a shame if the election was decided by votes the cast?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


How many people choose not to bother to vote because they know it's a hopeless cause for their candidate? How many people in California choose not to vote because they already know the electoral outcome has been decided before they even get to cast a vote? Talk about your vote not counting.

Exit polls deprive people of their voice.


Nah. If anyone actually does stay home because of polling (and I'm not sure they do), that's their choice - so their vote gets counted exactly as it should, as that of someone who didn't care enough to cast it. People should vote regardless of whether the candidate is up, down, or even. Anyone who bothers to learn even a little bit about elections knows about eleventh-hour surprises; when I went to bed in 2004, Al Gore was President-elect. Glad I voted anyway, or the election wouldv'e been even easier to steal.

It's regrettable if people choose not to vote, but strategists often say that an uncast vote is a vote for the status quo, and I think that's a completely accurate way to read it.

On the topic of voting, lats week's New Yorker piece "Rock, Paper Scissors: How We Used to Vote"blew my mind. I almost FPPd it. The voting standards of America's past make today's look like sheer perfection. It's astounding.

McCain would be better off not mentioning Ayres, but he's between a rock and a hard place. If he doesn't mention it, he won't have a chance to spread the message, and he'll look like a total wuss who couldn't stand up to Obama's challenge to "say it to my face." If he does, he'll be stepping into a planned counterattack (with plenty of firepower). It's a checkmate.

And finally, one thing that's been on my mind in watching and listening to these right-wing attacks has just been a sense of despair about people's reasoning. I certainly believe there are legitimate and honest viewpoints on right and left. But I have a very hard time believing that hard-right nutsos can honestly believe the messages they're spewing. If they do, their ability to read and critically evaluate information is so severely handicapped that, were they children, they'd be evaluated for special-needs support in reading and language arts. If they believe this stuff, their credulity is childlike. I give a bit of a pass to the ignorant, the uninformed, the politically disengaged, the poor -- people who really have been disenfranchised by the entire political process for so long that they only follow vague and shallow messages anyway. The people who are most deeply disturbing, though, are not those folks - they are the fairly well educated, well-spoken folk who read right-wing emails and parrot easily refuted talking points as if true, the people who feign (or really have) distrust for clear, demonstrable facts as reported in the mainstream media. I heard a non-crazy-sounding caller to "The Diane Rheim Show" yesterday state that Obama was "not an American citizen, and the Democratic Party is covering that up." I mean, come on, folks - any educated person who is politically active enough to be calling and emailing about the campaign and believes that stuff to be true has some diagnosable mental dysfunctions, and it's time to point that out in clear and certain terms. Debate the merits of the different platforms all you want, but good God, don't expect us to believe your horseshit. Or even to believe that you believe it.
posted by Miko at 12:09 PM on October 15, 2008 [24 favorites]


‘Just this weekend, John McCain vowed to 'whip Obama's you-know-what' at the debate'

I initially read this as McCain vowed to whip OUT Obama's you-know-what at the debate.

“I don’t want to sound like I’m prejudiced,” Ms. Mendive said. “I’ve never been around a lot of black people before. I just worry that they’re nice to your face but then when they get around their own people you just have to worry about what they’re going to do to you.”


Fear of a black penis seems to be running high in this election.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:14 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


That video from Al Jazeera is hilarious.

Agreed, but I'm not sure who the joke's on. In any case, I could've sworn the thing was an outtake from Mississippi Burning. I honestly didn't know people still said nih-gruhs.
posted by gompa at 12:14 PM on October 15, 2008


If they do, their ability to read and critically evaluate information is so severely handicapped that, were they children, they'd be evaluated for special-needs support in reading and language arts.

Not if their school's funding were eviscerated years ago by far-right anti-public education politicians.

Wait a second...!
posted by sondrialiac at 12:16 PM on October 15, 2008


Why "Hollywood"? Because "gay weirdos" is just a bit too crass.
Lee Atwater: "By 1968 you can't say '[n-word]'-- that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

''And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me -- because obviously sitting around saying, 'We want to cut this,' is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than [n-word]'"
posted by milkrate at 12:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, exit polls should have no influence on how a person votes, (yes, in my opinion) yet they do.

The information that you find so valuable to people shouldn't (again, my opinion) have anything to do with how a person votes.


Isn't this the same argument made by those who oppose requirements to label genetically modified foods as such? I don't think people's decisions should be affected by this particular information, therefore people should not be provided with such information.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


When Bush was put into office by judicial coup, our conservative friend were quite bullying about it. Suck it up, they said. You lost, now live with it.

I've been preparing for an Obama win by promising myself I will not say "How does it feel to be out of touch with mainstream America?" to all of my Republican friends and family.
posted by effwerd at 12:20 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Feel like your vote for president is worthless? I know you've got at least 1 house member to vote for, a 1 in 3 chance there's a senator to vote for and god knows how many local offices to vote for. And how about those issues?

Exactly. And not only that, but let's say somehow there are no issues or Congresspeople on your ballot (which is BS, but stick with me): An election, especially a Presidential one, especially especially one of this magnitude, isn't a simple binary value. The margin is the mandate. If Obama wins by .1%, he's President. If Obama wins by 10%, he's God (at least for 18 months).
posted by DU at 12:22 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


exit polls should have no influence on how a person votes, (yes, in my opinion) yet they do.

They shouldn't? Says who, other than you? What does it matter to you why someone else votes? If you are concerned about how others "should" vote, then beat the streets as a volunteer while you still have time to convince them. America's universal suffrage means that everyone has the right to vote - or choose not to vote - and what other people think they "should" do with their vote is really immaterial. I personally agree with your feeling that it would be great if everyone did vote regardless of what the expected outcome was; I deplore people who refuse to vote for any reason; and I suspect some people do vote as a reaction to the overdog/underdog ratio in the exit polls. But that's not something within my power to control; those people have all the rights and responsibilities I do, and they're entitled to use their vote in the way they see fit.

Another reason exit polls can be important is when an election is contested. Exit polls are much more accurate than pre-election polling, as they poll actual voters, not likely voters, and because the die has been cast and any last-minute changes are behind us. This can be rather important in areas where there is a suspicion of fraud. When exit poll results run counter to the actual reported election results, something's rotten in Ohio in 2004. It can be the data that spurs an investigation or a recount.

And it is true that, regardless of what's happening with the charismatic megafauna offices like President, there are always local representatives on the ballot, and in some states, there are important ballot questions, too - ones which may affect your taxes, infrastructure, school system, etc. Of course people should go out to vote on these offices and questions. If they don't, though, exit polls aren't to blame - their own inclinations, or simple lack of education about what's on the ballot, are the culprits.
posted by Miko at 12:22 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


The margin is the mandate.

Beautifully phrased, and true.
posted by Miko at 12:25 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]




My prediction:

- Obama wins, though not a landslide
- Within the first two months, at least two major attempts at assassination foiled easily
- Within six months, a major assassination attempt that nearly succeeds
- A cascading effect of right-wing control of media, such that within the first two years of his mandate we see right-wing media far worse than appeared under Clinton's two terms (of which we are still coping with)
- A media-driven takeover of the midterms elections by Republicans, who stonewall all progress
- Two years of a lame duck Democrat in the White House

It all reminds me so very much of Carter's great promise but lack of impact.

Don't get me wrong, I am very pro-Obama. I just don't see JFK reborn.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Is this gonna be tonight's debate thread?

If you're in New York and fancy a nice place to watch the debate with your other Pinko-Commie-Queerlovin'-Terrorist friends, the Museum Of Sex is unveiling a friend's painting and screening the debate. No cover. Free hard cider.

MuSex Events

I'll be there.
posted by The Whelk at 12:26 PM on October 15, 2008


In McCain's case, he just wants to finally outrank his father.

You really got me thinking with this.

* George W. Bush = big-time daddy issues w/ President father;
- Result: War with Iraq to compensate

* John S. McCain III = big-time daddy issues w/ Admiral father;
- Result: War with Iran to compensate

* Barack H. Obama = raised by a single mother and her parents;
- Result: A moving biography dedicated to the biological father he barely ever got to know, much less develop some whacked-out Oedipal complex about AND the clear decision to provide a stable home with a loving paternal presence for his own two children

I'm no Freudian but I think there's something to this.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:28 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


And it's fascinating to compare that to this NYT article on the views of some Southern voters.

The best part of that article is the fact that they found a confused old doofus who just happened to be named Glenn Reynolds.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 12:29 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


How many people choose not to bother to vote because they know it's a hopeless cause for their candidate?

Your problem isn't exit polls, it's a lack of electoral reform that has left you with a broken and obsolete form of democracy. You should instead campaign to upgrade to one of the better systems of democracy that includes proportional representation - then it doesn't matter if you know you're a minority, your vote still matters, and you still get representation because of your vote. (And as a super power-bonus, it chops off the head of the two-party system and it's poison, so instead of a two-headed one-horse race, you get multiple parties covering a vast array of viewpoints, forced to negotiate with each other over legislation. Much like national healthcare, it's a thing of almost unending win that some people love to hate)
posted by -harlequin- at 12:29 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've been preparing for an Obama win by promising myself I will not say "How does it feel to be out of touch with mainstream America?" to all of my Republican friends and family.

It's going to be hard. Here's a list of things we could say, just to twist the knife, but probably shouldn't:

You lost, get over it.

Such and such is why Republicans can't win a national election.

If you don't support Obama, you're un-American.

If the Republicans ever win again, we'll have given in to what the terrorists want.


Etc. etc. etc. There's a massive stockpile of bullying rhetoric that conservatives have used over the past few years, all rooted in the idea that they didn't simply win an election, but, despite their consistently narrow victories, they were nonetheless given a mandate by true Americans and that their policies reflected the beliefs and ideas of what is somehow the real America.

It's hard not to want to throw that back in their face. But, as Pyrrhically satisfying as it might be, I won't do it, because that sort of stuff is poison. I've had it poured down my throat for too long to actually want to poison someone else with it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


More on ACORN: ACORN Smear is Effort to Cover Up Massive GOP Push to Undermine 2008 Elections Through Coast-to-Coast Vote Suppression

one choice bit: "The Philadelphia Daily News has reported that fliers showed up in African-American neighborhoods of Philadelphia recently showed up warning residents that undercover cops would be prowling the polling places, arresting would-be voters with so much as an unpaid traffic ticket on his or her record."

And "Editor and Publisher" asks, why does it seem to be a greater sin to be suspected of voter registration mistakes than to publicly engage in voter suppression efforts?
posted by taz at 12:30 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


their ability to read and critically evaluate information is so severely handicapped that, were they children

Someone mentioned it in a thread somewhere on here a few weeks ago. They are functioning like children. That's not to be dismissive, it's saying they are processing things like a child might when it runs into information it doesn't like. The hyperbole, ignoring obvious facts, completely believing things they want to believe while ignoring the reality of a situation.
posted by cashman at 12:34 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Avenger writes "I think the real antipathy against polls goes deeper on the Right, however. If you think about it, extreme Rightism (or extreme Nationalism or Fundamentalism of any kind) takes a very dim view of people's opinions. Opinions are something that are supposed to align with Authority (God, the State, the King, the Pope, etc.) not something that you're supposed to, you know, just have on your own. "

Note that this is only true if the polls are against them. Otherwise, the political Right is more than happy to cite how high Bush's approval ratings are, for example (well, at least back in 2003, when they were high).
posted by krinklyfig at 12:34 PM on October 15, 2008


Russia invades Poland?

How many times in history has Poland been invaded?

Too many.
posted by captainsohler at 12:37 PM on October 15, 2008


re Acorn: then you are to blame. I don't want to hear any excuses about "legal requirements to submit the paperwork anyway". This is why I want to see people hold the US Post Office accountable for their share of bad voter registration forms. They've been awfully quiet. What do they have to hide?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:01 PM on October 15 [+] [!]


[on preview: I realized that you are probably being sarcastic and my irony metre was off - but I finished writing the comment first, so thought I would post it for the general point.]

Acorn is legally required to submit all voter registrations because if they weren't there would be huge potential for them to abuse the system. They could, for instance, tell millions of people that they are registering to vote, but never hand those registrations in and thus disenfranchise people. Not that Acorn would ever do this, but other groups could and it would be far more dangerous than a few poorly filled out registrations.

But Acorn is also very worried about voter fraud. Which is why they have spent millions of dollars (that they could be using to do other charity work) to check the voter registrations themselves and flag questionable ones for the election officials. Some of these warnings have been ignored by those officials. But a whole lot of the criticism about bad registrations is actually based on bad registrations which Acorn pointed out were bad.

As Acorn has pointed out, they are the ones who have been defrauded by bad employees who were paid but didn't do their job (get legitimate voters registered) - they are the victims, not the perpetrators of this fraud.

--------------------

To be honest - I had never heard of Acorn before these last few weeks. And now the more I learn about them, the more I am impressed by them. They are pretty damn awesome, and I would love it for a Canadian branch to start up (and a British branch, and an everywhere-else branch). I need a new career path - maybe I should look into community organizing. It's kind of like being a mayor,* only you actually do some good in the world.

*no offence intended to dedicated city politicians - but the parallel structure was too nice to not use.
posted by jb at 12:37 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Change comes, but sometimes it's slow.

Exactly. And that's what I took from that article: that all the people the reporter quoted first were a set up to make that last guy's epiphany that much more powerful.

There was a time when I would have reacted to his comments with vitriol: "You goddamned idiot, of course we're human beings." But the older somewhat wiser wolf wants to give him a hug and say, "Welcome to the family of humanity, brother. We've been waiting for you."
posted by lord_wolf at 12:39 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


If Obama wins, I hope it happens with a no doubt landslide, as it's hard to blame a five percent difference or more on voting errors.
posted by drezdn at 12:43 PM on October 15, 2008


delmoi writes "The alternative would be to cease registration entirely, which is exactly what the republicans want."

I can see the teasers now: "The organization that doesn't want you to register to vote! More at 11."
posted by Mitheral at 12:49 PM on October 15, 2008


But the older somewhat wiser wolf wants to give him a hug and say, "Welcome to the family of humanity, brother. We've been waiting for you."

and then you eat him?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:55 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


"In McCain's case, he just wants to finally outrank his father. This is his last chance and it seems highly likely that he never will."

But Johnny got the heiress -- did either his Dad or Grandpa manage ever to be kept men with seven homes in 3 time zones and 9 personal vehicles?
posted by vhsiv at 12:59 PM on October 15, 2008


I personally have no problem with exit polling, but I'm surprised that the results aren't embargoed until the polls close (as is the case in the UK, for instance). Plus, stopping a poll early means you run the risk of having a sampling bias based on when voters show up.

Speaking of which, having never participated in an exit poll, how are they normally conducted? Surely any competent organization could collect the data electronically and have an analysis ready within seconds, right?
posted by teraflop at 1:04 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised that the results aren't embargoed until the polls close (as is the case in the UK, for instance)

Yes, this is a good idea.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I, too, hope they never nominate anyone besides Obama.

Michelle Obama in 2016!
posted by MegoSteve at 1:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I bet he mentions Ayers in closing comments.
posted by dsword at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I realized that you are probably being sarcastic and my irony metre was off - but I finished writing the comment first, so thought I would post it for the general point.

My irony has been all too convincing lately. I really need to start taking into account the monstrous heaps of Absurd that the McCain campaign has been shoveling at us, and that comments such as mine - that I might think are pretty obvious exaggerations - are more or less par for the course from the right. Hell, with the official California GOP website calling for the waterboarding of a US Senator, and the Sacramento County GOP Party Chairman more or less says, "Hey, some are offended, some aren't", what do I have to work with here? How do you satirize the insane?

The right's dogpile attack on ACORN sickens me to the core, given the cynical and desperate shenanigans they engaged in in 2004 and 2000. The same people who used to get intimidated and pushed around by local cops and GOP operatives are now getting organized and getting assistance in making their vote count, and it makes the GOP furious. They had their chance and blew it.

But what gets to me the most about all this is, McCain hasn't even tried running a solid issues-based platform. His campaign managers actually revel in this underhanded crap. Palin's just a small part of this - she's nothing more than the physical manifestation of the cynical MO of Team McCain. What America wants doesn't matter, clearly, when this ACORN attack boils down to actually trying to block votes.

On the flip side, this sort of crap is food for Obama campaigners and voters. It just gives them all the more determination to get people to the polls. But don't expect this to end when Obama does take the White House. The GOP has already paved the way for what will surely be legal challenges to the Obama presidency. FOX columnists have already declared beforehand that the election will be "stolen" (right, because every poll in the country is run by liberal propagandists, after all).

Ah, well. I bet the dinosaurs were pretty hostile to the first mammals, too.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]




I'm surprised that the results aren't embargoed until the polls close (as is the case in the UK, for instance)

Is it really that surprising? The country has partisan groups running their elections. States decide how to run a federal election. Voting machines fuck up. Paper ballots fuck up. There is all sorts of voter suppression. The US has no clue how to run an election.
posted by chunking express at 1:17 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]




I bet he mentions Ayers in closing comments.

Any idea who goes first / last?
posted by inigo2 at 1:24 PM on October 15, 2008


I bet he mentions Ayers in closing comments.

And (also) if McCain goes last, and says something like that (with no ability to respond by Obama), I'm gonna be pissed if Obama shakes his hand.
posted by inigo2 at 1:25 PM on October 15, 2008


billysumday writes "Get ready for the big debate switcheroo tonight. McCain won't bring up Ayers - in fact, he'll paint Obama as the uber-negative candidate, talk about how he's run more negative advertising than McCain, he'll accuse Obama of thuggery in regards to ACORN, and he'll call for a more civil campaign. He'll dole out a lot of straight talk, and he'll talk about honor, and about victory in Iraq, and his judgment on the surge, and all that stuff."

It's a little late for that. If he does that, he will yet again be changing the messages coming out of his campaign, which contradict earlier messages. You can only get away with this for so long before voters lose confidence, as illustrated by the Clinton primary campaign.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:29 PM on October 15, 2008


I bet he mentions Ayers in closing comments.

No way. If he did this, every media outlet on earth would immediately announce that McCain is the biggest pussy of all time, ever.
posted by snofoam at 1:30 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


From the Pemanent Smear Campaign:
The outside groups arrayed against Obama have not exactly been models of competence and effectiveness this year. When it comes to assembling the dirt, John Boehner is no Newt Gingrich or Tom DeLay. Among all the insinuations that Obama might be a terrorist, furthermore, is a healthy does of red-baiting that is more silly than frightening ... And just as the increasingly hateful tone of the crowds at John McCain's rallies (especially when Sarah Palin is there to egg on the thugs) is turning off moderate voters, the anti-Obama forces' worst enemy will be their own craziness. As Garrett Epps wrote in the Prospect in 2002, Bill Clinton didn't destroy his enemies; he drove them insane, and they destroyed themselves.
This is important to remember - they can and probably will launch a mean-spirited opposition to anything President Obama tries to do, but we're not exactly dealing with political game masters here. Where Gingrich was Axis & Allies, Boehner is Risk.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I personally have no problem with exit polling, but I'm surprised that the results aren't embargoed until the polls close (as is the case in the UK, for instance).

That has been the case in the US (at the state level) for the past few elections. The media will call states based on exit polls once the polls in the states close.

They could wait to hold back everything until the last polls close in Western Alaska, but that is not really realistic in today's now now now US. It is also unnecessary, the only state in play in the West is Nevada. They networks won't call the election until Nevada unless Obama has already secured the 270 without needing Nevada (Nevada closes when California does so they'll automagically turn that state Blue at the second the polls close).

If voters do stay home because they see on TV that their guy either already won or lost, it won't make a difference. It isn't like an extra McCain vote will make a difference in California because Obama is declared the winner of Florida. It only makes a difference this year in Nevada.

Rather than outlaw exit polls, make them irrelevant. Many states have early voting now, the rest should do get with the program. I can vote a the grocery store by my house any time within a two week period starting on Monday. The polling places are conveniently located and have convenient hours. If there's a long line on Monday, then I could come back later in the week. If a machine is broken or they need more, they can get it taken care of while it still makes a difference. I can't remember the last time I actually voted on election day.

Having elections on "the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November" may have been a good idea in the 18th century, but now? And while we're fixing when we vote, we should fix how we vote. The US sent a man to the moon, and the company that makes cash machines can't produce a receipt for voting machines? The voting system in this country is a disgrace. And people in normal country would be embarrassed by it.

I was looking just now and found that 45% of eligible voters stayed home for Bush/Kerry in 2004. So 62M voted for Bush, 59M voted for Kerry, and 100M people couldn't be bothered to vote. I'm sure if you look at it at the state level in the swing states the Apathy Party vote by not voting would be even more striking.
posted by birdherder at 1:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


But I have a very hard time believing that hard-right nutsos can honestly believe the messages they're spewing. If they do, their ability to read and critically evaluate information is so severely handicapped that, were they children, they'd be evaluated for special-needs support in reading and language arts.

They believe every word of it. But it's not the special needs kids who grow up to be these low-information, email-forward-loving voters. It's the kids who were just plain fucking stupid. They could read, in theory, but they spent more time torturing animals down by the creek. They could do simple math but once high school began they took the easiest math course possible (typically pre-algebra, twice) and maybe passed it with a C-, after their mom called and complained about the D.

Hell, the only Minnesotan I know who was planning on voting for McCain (before I informed her that she needed to actually register first) is a woman who has so far owned one book in her lifetime: Tim Allen's Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man.

And is it better or worse that I don't think she even read it?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:39 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


You know what else is awesome about this debate? It's McCain's most likely chance to turn things around before election day, but Obama still has a half-hour block of primetime on October 29th. If the race tightens, he uses that time to tell us about the ponies we're gonna get. Landslide!
posted by snofoam at 1:41 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I just don't see JFK reborn.

JFK didn't actually do a whole lot in his time as President other than inspire. He died too soon to get too deeply embroiled in Vietnam, for example. LBJ took the brunt of the blame for the events of the time, but it is entirely possible that things would have happened more or less exactly as they had even if JFK had survived.

That said, I hope that there is not even an assassination attempt much less a successful attempt, but with Obama we at least know that Biden would be able to handle the job of POTUS from day one. That's one smart decision Obama already made on our behalf.

The thing is, unless the Democrats get that 60 seat senate majority, even if Obama pops into town as President trying to do all the wonderful things that progressives imagine, he's not going to be magically able to accomplish a whole lot. Indeed, I think it is wise to remind ourselves that what many of us are hoping for out of Obama isn't some sort of miraculous shift to the left, but rather a degree of sanity and accountability returning to the White House.

Even that might be too much to ask, but its still better than 1 and a half years of ailing, erratic President McCain followed by 2 and a half years of incurious President Palin.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:42 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


cjorgensen writes "I also have a huge damage with exit polls. I think they should be illegal."

Exit polls are one way to examine whether there is actual voter fraud. It's not the smoking gun, but it can provide a basis to investigate. IIRC, exit polling is used this way in election monitoring around the world.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:46 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


If the race tightens, he uses that time to tell us about the ponies we're gonna get.

I picture Obama on a magical pink pony riding on a road of rainbows as bluebirds sing his praise and the sun looks down approvingly. I don't know why.
posted by cimbrog at 1:48 PM on October 15, 2008


"In McCain's case, he just wants to finally outrank his father. This is his last chance and it seems highly likely that he never will."

But Johnny got the heiress -- did either his Dad or Grandpa manage ever to be kept men with seven homes in 3 time zones and 9 personal vehicles?


for all his money (well, his wife's), McCain still has to salute his father's ghost.

read Faith Of My Fathers, it's really transparent.
posted by matteo at 1:49 PM on October 15, 2008


inigo2 writes "Start from day 1 blaming Obama and the dems for anything and everything that goes wrong, from a drop in the DOW to a hangnail."

To be fair, that also happened with W. Our current economic crisis sure didn't start with him, although he hasn't helped. I'm not defending Bush, but this is a common problem.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:51 PM on October 15, 2008


I was looking just now and found that 45% of eligible voters stayed home for Bush/Kerry in 2004.

Hey, could you share that link? I've been meaning to look up that info...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:52 PM on October 15, 2008


Hell, the only Minnesotan I know who was planning on voting for McCain (before I informed her that she needed to actually register first) is a woman who has so far owned one book in her lifetime: Tim Allen's Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man.

You don't need to register first. Minnesota has same-day registration. And I understand the Tim Allen book. After all, he did time in Minnesota.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:53 PM on October 15, 2008


The Hollywood angle?

See, "Muslim terrorist" was covert for "nigger."

"Hollywood" is covert for "faggot."

There doesn't need to be any logic, it's just that having failed with one kind of mud, they're trying with another.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:56 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


They could do simple math but once high school began they took the easiest math course possible (typically pre-algebra, twice) and maybe passed it with a C-, after their mom called and complained about the D.

You promised not to tell anyone about that! I trusted you!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:56 PM on October 15, 2008


Terrorist wasn't a code word for Terrorist?
posted by chunking express at 1:59 PM on October 15, 2008


I picture Obama on a magical pink pony riding on a road of rainbows as bluebirds sing his praise and the sun looks down approvingly. I don't know why.

Because of this?
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


ardgedee writes "Obama's MU is vanishingly small (can you think of ANY American candidate who inspires unsolicited propaganda from so many popular artists?), and McCain's is the highest of any Republican's since Bob Dole's, although he looked much better in the earlier primaries."

That's because he ran as a party outsider. He bucked the conventional wisdom of the GOP and ran his own campaign. Since gaining the approval of the party and the nomination, this is no longer true, and that's one of the reasons he's struggling so much. He had to abandon who he is politically which brings him so much success in order for his party to nominate him, and he's been straddling that line ever since, trying to play to both sides. Nobody is buying it this time around. If you campaign on authenticity and fail to be authentic, it causes serious image and credibility problems.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:04 PM on October 15, 2008


Also, Sepia Mutiny has been writing about how Obama and McCain should probably try and push the "it's OK to be Muslim" thing a tiny bit. I don't see McCain doing that anytime soon, but Obama probably should.

Maybe after he's elected.
posted by chunking express at 2:06 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm surprised that the results aren't embargoed until the polls close (as is the case in the UK, for instance)

Just wanted to point out that the results, in fact, are embargoed in each district until the polls close. Vote counts aren't announced until then. Exit polls are a way to get early information and indications, but they are not the official results.

They believe every word of it. But it's not the special needs kids who grow up to be these low-information, email-forward-loving voters. It's the kids who were just plain fucking stupid. They could read, in theory, but they spent more time torturing animals down by the creek. They could do simple math but once high school began they took the easiest math course possible (typically pre-algebra, twice) and maybe passed it with a C-, after their mom called and complained about the D.


No; I don't think it is. It would be much easier and more convenient if it were the troglodyte sector. But in fact it's people who are to all appearances normal, who hold jobs in offices in your town, who participate in events, who read the paper. I'm not sure exactly what they believe, except that it's okay to pretend to believe anything as long as your guy wins. The hardest challenge I've had in discussions with righties is not getting them to see things my way; it's getting them to be honest about their own motivations as voters.
posted by Miko at 2:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I was looking just now and found that 45% of eligible voters stayed home for Bush/Kerry in 2004.

Hey, could you share that link? I've been meaning to look up that info...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:52 PM on October 15


http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781453.html.
posted by birdherder at 2:11 PM on October 15, 2008


Dollars to donuts the day after Obama wins the election...

You folks who keep offering this bet... have you checked the price of donuts lately?

Time for a new metric.
posted by rokusan at 2:11 PM on October 15, 2008


I think the McCain campaign may be approaching the point where whatever they do, positive or negative, act or don't act, damages them. It's like a mirror image of Dukakis in 1988. This debate could be their last chance to pull out of the tailspin (an experience McCain is already familiar with. sorry)

That being said, does it make me a bad person that I secretly want to see Obama approach the podium on inauguration day, raise his fist in a black power salute and say "Ha! Fooled y'all, bitches! Kill Whitey!"? It would be America's real "brown note" moment.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


...pull out of the tailspin (an experience McCain is already familiar with. sorry)

Well, he wasn't able to do so on five occassions (in million dollar jets).
posted by ericb at 2:17 PM on October 15, 2008


does it make me a bad person

Yes. Yes it does. BAD TheWhiteSkull.
posted by cashman at 2:24 PM on October 15, 2008


Dollars to donut holes.
posted by i_cola at 2:29 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


And (also) if McCain goes last, and says something like that (with no ability to respond by Obama), I'm gonna be pissed if Obama shakes his hand.

Why don't we just cut to the chase here?

TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES!!
posted by telstar at 2:30 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm still hoping for "'scuse me while I whip this out."
posted by yhbc at 2:31 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


It doesn't matter at this point, it seems like Obama's winning the spite vote nomatter what. It cracks me up how the GOP is in denial as to how bad their boy Bush broke the thing.

Forget the Jeremiah Wright smears... Jeremiah Wright himself could be running, and a lot of people would just hold their nose and give it a whirl. The fact that Obama just happens to be Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters all rolled up in one is just a happy accident.

The thing about hitting Obama with the Ayers thing head on is that he doesn't even have to answer it well. Look at Palin and the Alaska-Russia foriegn policy gaffe. She answered that questionas badly as could be, and guess what? Noone has asked it since.

And I'm not really putting much stock in the right wing whackos believing Obama is an arab muslim terrorist. These are excuses, not beliefs. People just say any old dumb shit they hear on the TV. It's like that one lady who thinks Sex and The city is just like her and her girlfriends, except she lives in Kansas, is married with 3 kids and is a customer service rep for the water dept. Their stated positions don't hold any water.

Until I see a poll that shows 10% of Americans really believe that if Obama wins, Bin Laden will be the new host of the Tonight show, and we're changing the name of the NY Yankees to the New York Al Quedas, i'm not giving the wackos any play.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


"'scuse me while I whip this out."

Holy cats, if they used the Theme from Blazing Saddles as his inauguration song, I would probably die of joy.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:38 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


it's getting them to be honest about their own motivations as voters.

miko its simple. Liberals are pussy fags. This is IT. This is the underlying and successful meme in Right Wing propaganda for the last 30 years.

It used to be "Commie Fags." But the Right Wing doesn't even know what communism IS anymore. So it's now "Pussy fags." Except for a few old school hold outs who still go with "Commie Fag."

This is THE defining difference as far as Righties are concerned. It has nothing to do with policy. It has nothing to do with principle... other than where principle intersects with not identifying with being a pussy fag. It certainly has nothing to with logic.

Basically this is how the entire RNC went: "You're voting for Obama? What? Are you some sort of pussy faggot or something? No? Okay then. Her's your McCain/Palin button."
posted by tkchrist at 2:43 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Although it's a partial derail...
I actually feel some sympathy for the woman mentioned in schroedinger's NYTimes link up above. I've luckily not had to deal with that scenario at all while canvassing (although college students in my area seem to be maddeningly apathetic), but I have had to make a somewhat similar decision. With my grandparents. They seem to be convinced that he is a Muslim (although they are aware he's not 'an Arab') and dislike his 'heritage'.

I think that if I came across something like the woman in the article I would either get incredibly angry or just have to leave. (I am really not all that good of a canvasser). With my grandparents I don't think the option of not talking to them really existed. I went with a gentle but mildly upset response that, I hope, will manage not to garner any ill-will but will also provoke some thought from them.

Allowing some racial prejudice or, worse, slur, so that you can get some point across is rightfully difficult and incredibly unpleasant. It's a compromise, and it's still one that I feel pretty upset about allowing. I'm not sure which stakes are higher at this point: a Barack presidency and my grandparents not disowning me or allowing blatant racism to run about unchecked.

Then again, there's still a couple of weeks for me to get angry again and send a scathing response.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 2:47 PM on October 15, 2008


is this seat taken?
posted by Sailormom at 2:54 PM on October 15, 2008


I bet he mentions Ayers in closing comments.

Obama's winning tactic is to declaw the attacks before McCain can present them, so that McCain looks wimpy if he doesn't and foolish if he does.

"John, you've been leveling some pretty vigorous and inflammatory attacks on my character, honesty and associations recently, and you've promised to bring them to me this evening. So, let's get this out in the open.

"You've said that X, which is baseless because _____________.
"You've said that Y, which is baseless because _____________.
"You've said that Z, which is baseless because _____________.

"If there are any other points you'd like to discuss, you can bring them up, but Americans are concerned about what's going on in the country and we owe them the respect of having our political discourse be about issues, records, and ideas rather than about name-calling and finger-pointing. [Segue into the issues]"
posted by lostburner at 2:57 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


That being said, does it make me a bad person that I secretly want to see Obama approach the podium on inauguration day, raise his fist in a black power salute and say "Ha! Fooled y'all, bitches! Kill Whitey!"? It would be America's real "brown note" moment.

I'm kind of hoping for Obama's walk to the podium to mirror O-Ren Ishii's march into the club, with Barack flanked by Bill Ayers and Michelle Obama decked out in fatigues and trailed by a mixed crew of Nuwabians and anarchists. With a haughty sneer he'll announce Hakim Bey will be the first to fill the newly created position of Sex Education Czar and proclaim smiles to be the common currency of New Zero Amerika.

That'd be awesome.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:03 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's the kids who were just plain fucking stupid. They could read, in theory, but they spent more time torturing animals down by the creek. They could do simple math but once high school began they took the easiest math course possible (typically pre-algebra, twice) and maybe passed it with a C-, after their mom called and complained about the D.

Nah, here's the thing: it's really not just these folks.

I know I mention my parents' crazy-ass politics all the time (and yes, I've discussed my mom issues with a therapist over the years!), and while it's true they are odd ducks in their own way -- i.e., educated, well-traveled professionals in the arts, residents of ultra-liberal Santa Fe, Democrats their whole adult lives who turned hard neocons after 9/11 -- the fact that they have enthusiastically embraced the far right's toxic stew of lies, divisiveness, paranoia, bullying, and out-and-out racism illustrates that there's necessarily more to "Falling Down" conservatism (as Ironmouth nicely put it) than something as simple as plain backwoods ignorance.

I apologize for getting all armchair psychologist about it; it's sort of the only way I can think about it, though, given that the question is so close to me personally. But there is, I am convinced, a visceral satisfaction to this line of thinking -- indeed, strictly speaking, it's more about feeling rather than thinking, and it's not confined to one slice of the demographic pie. It's emotionally childish and strangely narcissistic, dependent on an over-identification between the self and whichever authority figure is being embraced -- a relationship that is, in turn, dependent on total black-and-white delineation of Us vs. Them (by which Them is not merely an outsider, but the ENEMY, which necessitates a more-or-less permanent siege mentality -- for which see "News, FOX").

However, there's a flipside. For every hardcore wingnut with an Obama bin Lyin' poster, there are plenty of non-hardcore types who have voted Republican in the past but have been swayed in this election on the basis of outreach, issues, and character to vote for Obama. (This is partially why, I think, we're seeing a certain layer of Republicans so desperately backing the hell away from McCain now that the recent demons have been unleashed: they get that the quasi-brownshirt approach is actually out of sync with the current mainstream zeitgeist.) They have been inoculated, if you like, against the filth that's being spewed and will continue to be spewed -- folks like my boyfriend's brother (who I mentioned here), or the people discussed in Nate Silver's article about Obama outreach in Toledo here:
After Barack Obama's major economic address to 3,500 people in Toledo, the office several blocks away swelled to capacity with newly-fired up volunteers. One of the volunteers who'd come into Obama's office in recent weeks is Debrah's husband, such a staunch Republican that he'd long been donating monthly like clockwork. He'd even gone into the nearby Toledo McCain office, but when he visited it had been nearly empty. The explosive energy difference, Debrah told us, particularly in the past few weeks, made an impression on her husband, who planned to vote for Barack Obama.
These are people whose own personal experiences mean that they now simply aren't going to believe fringe-y emails about Obama being a baby-killing Muslim. And they're not going to believe that hordes of nefarious community organizers stole the election when they, themselves, went into that booth and voted for Obama.

That doesn't mean, of course, that there aren't still plenty of inhabitants of Planet Hannity; there are, and they'll keep up their barrage of filth. But it does mean that their audience is shrinking rather than expanding; they have begun to expose themselves as the fringe we all know they are, rather than the majority they've long claimed themselves to be.
posted by scody at 3:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [11 favorites]




Remember when McCain said he was giving up on Michigan to focus on Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Maine? Yeah, turns out, he's now given up on both Wisconsin and Maine.
The Republican National Committee is halting presidential ads in Wisconsin and Maine, turning much of its attention to usually Republican states where GOP nominee John McCain shows signs of faltering.

The shift in advertising resources suggests that the RNC has decided to focus on defending reliably Republican-voting states against Obama's onslaught of advertising. Flush with money, Obama is outspending the joint efforts of the Republican Party and the McCain campaign by more than 2-1.

McCain has led Obama in ad spending only in Iowa and Minnesota. But television stations in Minneapolis-St. Paul said Wednesday that Obama is increasing his spending and is committed to run ads through Nov. 3.
I don't know if McCain is aware of this, but generally, when you want to win in a state, you campaign there. What exactly is his strategy here? Is he stopping his campaign for the good of the economy again, only this time on a state-by-state basis?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


After watching the McCain's "new" stump speech piece on last night's Daily Show, where they did a side by side demonstration of how it was almost verbatim the words used at the Republican convention, It was really brought home to me that these people are fucking insane. Seriously, they don't believe that we are paying attention at all, they don't think that anything they say will be fact checked, and they clearly don't understand that their words aren't drifting off into the ether, and that we can play these recordings back to them.

This really started to be noticeable in the Bush administration, and it seems that this is yet another way that McCain is just trying to carry on his legacy.
posted by quin at 3:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


CNN is now predicting Obama will win Virginia and the electoral college.

But he's been left for dead before and has come roaring back. This election is not over yet," said CNN political editor Mark Preston.

I see what you did there Mark... clever fella.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 3:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh, shit. I thought the election was over. What do we do now?
posted by snofoam at 3:26 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I also thought McCain was already dead. My bad.
posted by snofoam at 3:27 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm going to see Toadies tonight. Let me know what happens.
posted by sciurus at 3:29 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm so proud of you, America. Every time I visit you, you seem so wonderful. Great people, amazing places, peanut-butter in chocolate... you truly are blessed. Every time though, I'd return home to Australia and would be at a loss to explain why you keep insisting on screwing yourselves.
"Forgive them," I'd say, "they didn't know in 2000 that Bush was going to end up like he did. Don't worry. This time it's a nice easy choice- the guy who's mangled the last four years, or the actual war hero who has a plan."

Well, you messed that up properly. Lord, did I have a hard time defending you then. You RE-elected Bush? That hurt. I'd been telling people for years how intelligent and friendly you all were, how we shouldn't judge America by its polititians, how the people aren't represented at all by their fool of a President. And then you go and shoot yourselves in the foot. I've gotta admit- it was tough to explain that one away.

That's all history now though. What I want to say is how happy I am that you guys are really doing it this time. I never would have thought it. A candidate- a black candidate- campaigning on a platform of honesty and integrity, who doesn't accept lobbyists money, who voted against the war back in the day. And he's winning! You're doing it, America! Even the smears and the lies and the filth thrown at him isn't sticking. You're really doing it!

So, America, I just want to say how proud I am of you. You're doing a fantastic job, and the whole world is behind you. Keep your eye on the ball now, lets finish this strongly, and then settle in for a party that's been eight years in the making.
posted by twirlypen at 3:35 PM on October 15, 2008 [22 favorites]


Yeah, turns out, he's now given up on both Wisconsin and Maine.

Good. I really didn't want to believe that he had much of a chance here, but when you get away from Milwaukee, there are McCain/ Palin signs everywhere. My neighborhood is full of them, and there are only a couple of Obama signs to be seen.

I really have been hating the fact that I don't know if I can much respect most of my neighbors anymore.
posted by quin at 3:36 PM on October 15, 2008


they didn't know in 2000 that Bush was going to end up like he did

Oh yes they did. And they did it anyway. Twice.

That's the amazing and terrifying thing about the last seven years. It was so predictable it was like a frigg'n script.
posted by tkchrist at 3:44 PM on October 15, 2008


“Don't get me wrong, I am very pro-Obama. I just don't see JFK reborn”

JFK was overrated. But taking the gist of what you’re saying - you’ve never seen him work.
Clinton, McCain - it’s tue, they had no idea what they were up against.

There’s a nifty scene in Marvels where Galactus is about to devour the planet and the news is interviewing this old black WWII vet about his take and he thinks that Captain America can save them.
But the words he uses I think are appropriate to Obama: “Just find him. I’ve seen him fight. Just find the man.”


“I’ve always been against the blacks,” said Mr. Rowell,”

Man, seems I’m always against the blacks too. Taking my knights, forcing my bishop off to one side and blocking everything up with their pawns. Don’t even get me started on the queens.


“So in the interest of preserving fair elections I do think exit polls should be outlawed.”

The press too. They say a lot of things that could influence elections. We should outlaw them as well.

“Alot of posters over at FreeRepublic are already making vague threats against Obama's life...”
“What will the whackjobs do if Obama wins?”

I’d say they better hope they have a good dental plan. I’d be happy to invite any of them out to my garage and we can have a nice chat about that. Straighten some things out.

Typically though most of those folks say things like that exactly because they don’t want to do anything. They want to be seen as tough. That’s the goal. Not actual execution of any plan or action.

And when it comes to it, most people don’t really want to play at those stakes even if they actually have the means. Sometimes especially if they have the means. (Reminds me of the scene from Tombstone - are you going to jerk that pistol and go to work or just stand there and bleed?).

Hell if they had the balls or their words carried any conviction they’d be in Iraq or Afghanistan now anyway, yeah?
posted by Smedleyman at 3:46 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


cjorgensen writes "Exit polls are too screwed up, inaccurate, biased, and uncertain to have any real value."

I'd like to see some data backing this conclusion. Otherwise, you're sorta talking out your butt.
posted by krinklyfig at 3:47 PM on October 15, 2008


“And he's winning! You're doing it, America! Even the smears and the lies and the filth thrown at him isn't sticking. You're really doing it!”

We’re sort of like the good natured monster in the Japanese serial movies that gets his ass kicked by the bad-guy monster for a while
...until he gets mad.

America: the good guy monster.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:50 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hi y'all,

I just noticed something while watching CNN International: whenever the US-based coverage is about to switch to Lou Dobbs—even just for a momentary check-in before his show—CNN Int't cuts away for International Update. I'm guessing this has to do with Lou Dobbs being the CNN version of a conservative / xenophobic blowhard (kinda like O'Reilly-Lite™).

Anyway, sorry if this is a bit off topic. I was watching the lead-up coverage to the 3rd debate when I noticed this Dobbs-Avoidance-Strategy.
posted by LMGM at 3:51 PM on October 15, 2008


CNN is now predicting Obama will win Virginia and the electoral college.

Some media outlets have skewed their reporting to make the race seem closer than it is, and CNN may be doing it, too. Is their data available? Pollster has Obama ahead by 4%+ in Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, and CNN has them as tossups.

Yeah, turns out, he's now given up on both Wisconsin and Maine.

McCain's plan is a white flag of surrender and that is not what our Republicans need to hear today, that's for sure.

for all his money (well, his wife's)

Well, his mobbed-up, convicted felon father-in-law's.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:55 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama, he’s half white and he was raised by his white mother. So his views are more white than black really.

So he could the one to finally teach those uppity negroes how to behave?

Interesting vote-getting tactic.
posted by rokusan at 3:56 PM on October 15, 2008


Pollster has Obama ahead by 4%+ in Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, and CNN has them as tossups.

A lot of the maps I've seen use 5% as their threshold. Less than that is scored as 'even'.

I don't know if they're engineering it to look close, or if they're just adjusting for the Diebold Effect.
posted by rokusan at 3:58 PM on October 15, 2008


Yet, the polls predict a landslide, hinted at by early voting.

I've said this before, but polltakers are not election-day voters. On top of that, the early voting trend seems to be the most popular among Obama supporters, so that's a poor predictor.

I hope I'm wrong, but I will be very, very surprised if Obama wins.
posted by Rykey at 4:01 PM on October 15, 2008


JFK was overrated.

"was"? as "when he was running"? or "when he was President"?

he certainly wasn't overrated when he was running, back then he was the rich-boy hawk son of an appeaser and chummy with the McCarthyites, deeply disliked by the liberals and the surviving New Dealers (including Eleanor Roosevelt). they wanted Adlai to run for the third time (then proceeding to get clobbered for the third time, one fears), not the Kennedy kid.

as President he was hardly overrated, if anything he got some regularly bad press (except from his buddies like Ben Bradlee), and when he died he was not that popular and hardly a shoo-in for victory in '64 (he also appeared in the process of dropping LBJ from the ticket due to the Bobby Baker scandal). once murdered, yes, he was indeed sainted and therefore necessarily overrated. but praise is cheap in politics when you're praising a dead man.

think of Lincoln getting killed after two years and ten months, though, instead of the four years and one month he actually served. had Lincoln died after a thousand days, he'd be remembered as the worst US President ever. maybe even as the last one.
posted by matteo at 4:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


I hope I'm wrong, but I will be very, very surprised if Obama wins.

Very, very surprised? Why's that? Is there some data indicating a different trend then, say, every poll in the country that brings you to this conclusion?

Of course polls aren't ballots. But really, where is this disbelief coming from?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:11 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


chunking express writes "Also, Sepia Mutiny has been writing about how Obama and McCain should probably try and push the 'it's OK to be Muslim' thing a tiny bit. I don't see McCain doing that anytime soon, but Obama probably should."

Yes, but this is known as getting "in the weeds." Unless Obama's going to give another groundbreaking speech on race and religion, it's not a good idea to even bring it up. This is unfortunate, but it's always bad to try to get into "not that there's anything wrong with that" conversation in politics during a national campaign, particularly in responding to an attack with a bad assumption built in. Other people should object to the idea that there's something wrong with being a Muslim, however, like Sepia.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:13 PM on October 15, 2008


I will be very, very surprised if Obama wins.

Obama could be polling up 30% or more, for the past six months, and I'll still be surprised if he wins. I'm just sort of amazed that America is on the cusp of electing an intelligent, educated, intellectually curious, proven capable individual. That will stun me no matter how long or short the odds.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:17 PM on October 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


Alot of posters over at FreeRepublic are already making vague threats against Obama's life...

I don't doubt it. I hope Obama remembers Benazir Bhutto and listens to his security people, the way she didn't, to keep himself safe. But I was thinking about this just today. You know whose assassination, or assassination attempt, would really ruin things for progressives? McCain's.

Think about it. If McCain was shot or shot at, he could step effortlessly (or posthumously) into the role of soldier under fire. The nation would recoil in horror from whatever the shooter claimed to stand for -- or whatever the media claimed the shooter stood for. It might be an elaborate false-flag operation by Freepers, or Shadowy Corporations, or a single paranoid schizophrenic with a gun, but it would be blamed on Obama's supporters, and by extension, him.

(I outlined an entire terrible novel plot in my head, a real airport page-turner, but I feel like this plot has been done by somebody else.)
posted by Countess Elena at 4:18 PM on October 15, 2008


Well hello, debate thread.
posted by defenestration at 4:35 PM on October 15, 2008


and by the way, speaking of politicians who are capable of losing with honor and dignity: as much as I'm appalled by Barry Goldwater's ideas, when he ran he found himself trailing LBJ and right in the middle of the campaign one of LBJ's most trusted advisers and Texas mafia point man got busted by the cops in a public toilet with another man. against his advisers counsel, Goldwater refused to make the arrest an issue.

I read Goldwater's biography -- an excellent book I recommend, by the way -- and in it the guy who once ranted of nuking the Kremlin remembers the time he decided not to rag on a father of six who got caught in a YMCA restroom and simply writes, "winning isn't everything".

I still remember that story.

(it's also important to remember that that case also is the one and only time Lady Bird Johnson disagreed in public with her husband; she wanted to put out a press release with very kind words for her and her husband's loyal friend; LBJ was horrified and said no, voters would not understand. she went ahead anyway. the world didn't fall. a few days later, even Billy Graham called Johnson and told him that Jesus was kind toward those who have moral lapses, and please let your friend know I'm praying for him. LBJ won in a landslide).
posted by matteo at 4:39 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama could be polling up 30% or more, for the past six months, and I'll still be surprised if he wins.

Well, sure - you're not taking into account the well-known 50-point Bradley effect.
posted by ormondsacker at 4:41 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm just sort of amazed that America is on the cusp of electing an intelligent, educated, intellectually curious, proven capable individual. That will stun me no matter how long or short the odds.

This says less about Obama than it does about just how completely and thoroughly Bush and the Republicans have shit the bed over the past eight years. Which reminds me of one of my favourite MeFi comments of all time:

"Beyond that, I will truly enjoy it when, during the traditional meeting of the once and future Presidents on Inauguration Day, Obama tells Bush, "you were so fucking bad at this job, they elected me, a black guy named Barack."
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:43 PM on October 15, 2008


RealClearPolitics' final 2004 poll average had Bush leading Kerry by 1.5% of the popular vote; he won by 1.4%. Compare the charts for 2004 and 2008. There was a lot of back-and-forth in the 2004 race; Obama's led the entire race since he clinched in early June except for the week of the Republican convention. Since then Obama's been climbing and McCain's been nosediving. Obama's got a pretty steady lead of 7-8% in OpenLeft's tracking poll average over the last nine days; I suspect he's close to his ceiling.

I'm not saying it's over, but an Obama win seems very probable to me. Unless McCain does something incredible in the debate (and manages to do it without looking erratic), Obama bungles something horrifically, or some devastating new revelation about Obama comes out, it's hard to imagine the momentum turning in the next 20 days. I'm not convinced a terrorist attack, capturing bin Laden, or attacking Iran would automatically benefit McCain.

A lot of the maps I've seen use 5% as their threshold. Less than that is scored as 'even'

Pollster has Obama leading by 6.1% in Florida and 7.1% in Colorado. It would help if CNN listed their data and classification criteria.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:49 PM on October 15, 2008


Also, Obama's leading by 7% or more in averaged polls in enough states to give him 271 electoral votes, and leads by 4.0-6.77% in states with an additional 78 electoral votes.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:52 PM on October 15, 2008


Hell if they had the balls or their words carried any conviction they’d be in Iraq or Afghanistan now anyway, yeah?

Just so.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:54 PM on October 15, 2008


Electoral-vote.com says that today it's Obama, 357 to 181.
posted by vhsiv at 4:58 PM on October 15, 2008


Democrats need to push back against this anti-ACORN B.S. that's floating around the MSM. They hire people to register voters, and sometimes those registrations are erronious.

Or "fraudulent".


So what if the registrations are fraudulent. It's not as if a fraudulent registration somehow conjures up a fraudulent voting spectre that goes on to cast a fraudulent vote. It's pretty hilarious that somehow this has been spun in such a way that people somehow think it's going to have an impact in the actual election, when all it really means is a bunch of paperwork tossed in the shredder.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:00 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


when I went to bed in 2004, Al Gore was President-elect.

Those were some nutty exit polls, all right!
posted by Greg Nog at 5:11 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Why? I think they should be mandatory. At this point, they are the only remaining sanity check on the vote. Until we have paper trails on our votes, we need external monitoring.

As a Canadian who just voted using a paper ballot for the nth time I must say you don't know how bass-ackwards that statement sounds. You've had eight years to fix the problem and from the looks of it it only sounds worse off. I hope it's not too late.
posted by furtive at 5:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's not as if a fraudulent registration somehow conjures up a fraudulent voting spectre that goes on to cast a fraudulent vote.

In my dreams (literally!) Obama takes on this very line of reasoning tonight and achieves the ultimate victory. (pls excuse vanity self-link to MeCha kthxbye)

posted by scody at 5:14 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Of course polls aren't ballots. But really, where is this disbelief coming from?

From a lot of places, but mostly from the awareness that if this country were full of thinking, even minimally politically-conscious people, everything about political campaigns would look different.

Instead, campaigns (on both sides) operate almost exclusively on empty talking points and appeals to emotion and patriotism. In such a political climate, a black guy with a funny name (who might be a Muslim!) will have a hard time convincing people that he is a more fit candidate than the kindly veteran who looks like your uncle.

A simplistic assessment? Hell yes, but it's only a reflection of the simplistic reasoning of the average voter.

I truly, truly wish I couldn't say that about my country. I truly do.
posted by Rykey at 5:19 PM on October 15, 2008




I was just doing a little reading up on tonight's debates, and what the running mates and spouses are doing right now. Biden has been in three separate rallies in Ohio today, while Michelle Obama went to a rally in Indiana before speaking at Hofstra University. Good plan - battleground states where Team Obama needs to increase their lead. Team McCain? Sarah and Todd Palin are in New Hampshire. That's right, New Hampshire, where Obama is up by an average of 10%. Oh, but it's not a wasted effort - Todd's gonna talk to diner patrons!

Anyway, regarding the debates, which are apparently going to be about economy and domestic policy: I really enjoyed this quote from McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace:
[Wallace] said the senator from Arizona would focus tonight on what she called "the truth about Barack Obama's plan for raising taxes" and his pursuit of other "liberal" policies. "Barack Obama is measuring the drapes," she declared. "He and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are planning a liberal Democratic takeover of our economy." She referred to the speaker of the House and the Senate majority leader.
Oh, God, this just keeps getting better. Obama's tax plan? Really? You mean the one where everyone making less than $250k gets a tax cut? Oh, yeah. I'm sure working families are going to hate hearing more about that.

Seriously, I really think McCain's entire campaign is one big practical joke being played by the Republican Party, on him. Next week they'll be telling McCain to go to Alaska and club some seals for a television crew.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:23 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


(Link for the Wallace quote)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:24 PM on October 15, 2008


Well, you messed that up properly. Lord, did I have a hard time defending you then. You RE-elected Bush? That hurt. I'd been telling people for years how intelligent and friendly you all were, how we shouldn't judge America by its polititians, how the people aren't represented at all by their fool of a President. And then you go and shoot yourselves in the foot. I've gotta admit- it was tough to explain that one away.

It's as simple as this: John Kerry was a terrible candidate. He tried to rise above the fray, but he had no clue how to counter Rove, and he was perhaps the least charismatic candidate since Dukakis. I know all this seems very superficial, and you are correct if you think so, but that's a very important part of getting elected. Obama has the charisma and the chops, but he also has the ethical foundation and the vision not only to bring this home but to follow through. So, he has the superficial part down, but it's a good thing he's also more substantial than that. Also, this is a change year, and 2004 was too close to 2003, which was a great year for Bush. This is a good year for Democrats.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh, God, this just keeps getting better. Obama's tax plan? Really? You mean the one where everyone making less than $250k gets a tax cut? Oh, yeah. I'm sure working families are going to hate hearing more about that.

Yeah, McCain's never been honest about Obama's tax plan, but to that I need to quote a recent review by Ebert:

So here's the bottom line, kids. The United States is probably going to go broke during your lifetimes. Actually, it's already broke, but getting deeper into debt allows it to keep running on thin air, like the Road Runner. My advice? Learn Chinese. Start savings accounts. Don't buy what you can't afford. Any politician who tries to win votes by promising to cut taxes is digging our country's grave.

I hate that you have to promise a tax cut to take the issue off the table, which is exactly what Obama's done, and that was a smart jujitsu move (a pattern with Obama, which was also a Clinton strategy). Whether it's a smart policy move remains to be seen. Cutting taxes? Now? Really? How about that $3/4 trillion bailout we just passed? Where is the money to pay for it? Oh, we have to borrow it ... Robbing Peter to pay Paul. Isn't that sort of the heart of the problem?

I hope this doesn't become like that infamous George HW Bush albatross, "Read my lips: No new taxes!" But it becomes much less of a political liability when the Dems offer a better tax cut for the middle class than the Republicans. I just don't know if this political strategy has a basis in good policy.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:35 PM on October 15, 2008


Instead, campaigns (on both sides) operate almost exclusively on empty talking points and appeals to emotion and patriotism. In such a political climate, a black guy with a funny name (who might be a Muslim!) will have a hard time convincing people that he is a more fit candidate than the kindly veteran who looks like your uncle.

I can appreciate that sentiment, but campaigning is really very multifaceted, and adapts to its medium. On television, the medium of choice for the attention-span impaired, ideas and principles are delivered in simple, easy to digest morsels. Radio spots are a little wordier, but not much. However, in the printed media you find a much broader range of analysis, from the shallow to deep end, from the right to the left. On the ground, (good) rallies will evoke a lot of ideas, and some of the most engaging and thought-provoking exchanges occur between canvassers and canvassees.

It's the ground work that Obama has been utliizing most, and I think it's a testament to where most Americans stand on substance vs. shitslinging that Obama's lead has been steadily building. Sure, there are plenty of idiots out there, but the numbers speak for themselves.

Also, McCain no longer looks "kindly" or like my uncle. Pale, red-eyed- and beat up are adjectives that spring to mind. Wait, that actually is a lot like my uncle.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:35 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh, forgot the link. Here's the Ebert review of I.O.U.S.A. where I pulled that quote.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:37 PM on October 15, 2008


The Republican National Committee is halting presidential ads in Wisconsin and Maine, turning much of its attention to usually Republican states where GOP nominee John McCain shows signs of faltering.

In Maine, I suspect this has more to do with the fact that McCain's chances of winning here were frail at best, and the McCain association is doing more harm to Senator Collins than it was good for McCain.

That Palin woman is going to be here tomorrow, but she's coming to Bangor (not anywhere in Southern Maine) and she's apparently not even leaving the airport. Over the weekend her husband did an appearance in Palmyra of all places -- Palmyra has a population of under 2,000.
posted by anastasiav at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2008


"I'm going to see Toadies tonight. Let me know what happens."

Well, it will be a fairly traditional set of late 90s alt rock lasting approximately 45 minutes. Possum Kingdom will be conspicuously absent until the very end, when you will be get all 27 dollars of admissions worth of entertainment screaming "Do You WANNA DIE?!?!" in the middle of a crowd of fellow generation x concertgoers looking to relive their best days.
posted by clearly at 5:39 PM on October 15, 2008 [27 favorites]


In such a political climate, a black guy with a funny name (who might be a Muslim!) will have a hard time convincing people that he is a more fit candidate than the kindly veteran who looks like your uncle.

But it's happening. Demonstrably. Again, how else do you explain my bf's brother: a white, working-class guy with lifetime membership in the NRA who's voted Republican for 30+ years... who, last I heard, was voting for Obama? Or the diehard Republican in Toledo who had every intention of volunteering for McCain and ended up volunteering for Obama?

The situation is not simply a black guy with a funny name against a kindly veteran who looks like someone's uncle. It's a black guy with a funny name running an extraordinarily skillful campaign against a not-very-kindly veteran who looks like someone's crazy uncle who is member of the same party as a stunningly unpopular lame duck president whose policies are widely seen as responsible for the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Under such circumstances, some people's ideas start to shift.
posted by scody at 5:41 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


I read Goldwater's biography -- an excellent book I recommend, by the way -- and in it the guy who once ranted of nuking the Kremlin remembers the time he decided not to rag on a father of six who got caught in a YMCA restroom and simply writes, "winning isn't everything".

You know we're in a bad way when we can reminisce about how much we miss Barry Goldwater.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:48 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


However, in the printed media you find a much broader range of analysis, from the shallow to deep end, from the right to the left.

And what is your estimate of the ratio of people who get all their information about politics (and just about everything else) from television versus print?
posted by Rykey at 5:59 PM on October 15, 2008


CHALLENGER READY? GLADIATOR READY?
posted by penduluum at 6:01 PM on October 15, 2008


Two men enter....
posted by jokeefe at 6:02 PM on October 15, 2008


Cspan is split screening for the first time - it's a strange effect.
posted by jb at 6:06 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain looks like he's dressed for a funeral.
posted by jal0021 at 6:07 PM on October 15, 2008


Joe Rixelburger: the fulcrum on which this whole game is going to turn.
posted by penduluum at 6:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Poor Joe!
posted by liquorice at 6:08 PM on October 15, 2008


And he certainly doesn't look comfortable with this direct attack referencing the plumber from Ohio.
posted by lyam at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2008


WHY DO YOU HATE JOE THE PLUMBER (AND HIS PROSTATE) BARACK OBAMA?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2008


mmmmm . . . Rixelburger . . .
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2008


Also, Obama will force Joe into a gay marriage.
posted by scody at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder if McCain will go after the Bob the Builder vote next.
posted by topynate at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama's sticking the knife in on taxes.
posted by EarBucket at 6:09 PM on October 15, 2008


I wish I was a fucking plumber.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 6:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I late for the debate thread?
posted by lekvar at 6:10 PM on October 15, 2008


Didn't we get into this mess because bad loans were made to people trying to realize the "American Dream" ?
posted by almostmanda at 6:10 PM on October 15, 2008


Joe SixfigurePack isn't getting a tax cut. Tear.
posted by clearly at 6:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain looks like he's dressed for a funeral.

The suit he wore for the last debate was particularly shiny. It was kind of creepy watching him wander around the stage in this shimmering, black fabric.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2008


Fuck this noise, Joe the Plumber for Labor Secretary.
posted by penduluum at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama seems totally calm, cool and collected. McCain looks quite shaky.
posted by lyam at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Spread it around, Joe, spread it around.
posted by odinsdream at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2008


And what is your estimate of the ratio of people who get all their information about politics (and just about everything else) from television versus print?

I don't have any hard data regarding that in front of me, but wherever all these people are getting their information from, Obama supporters currently have a sold majority, which certainly brightens my mood a little (although I agree wholeheartedly this is far from a foregone conclusion).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2008


CLASS WARFARE!!!! WOO!!!!


. . .wait, what?
posted by Ndwright at 6:11 PM on October 15, 2008


And since Obama is a Muslim, Joe the gay plumber-wife will have to wear a burqa.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain sure is blinking a lot. Obama, on the other hand, looks steadily.

So... the eyes have it?

(wow, that made even me groan...)
posted by Rhaomi at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


"I want Joe the plumber to spread his seed around"
posted by scody at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Who's taking shots on 'Spread the wealth around'? Are you still conscious?
posted by lyam at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm gonna have an epileptic seizure from all all this blinking.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008


Barack is really doing well on the specific examples tonight.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh shit, Obama's good.
posted by topynate at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Senator McCain, linear thinking please.
posted by clearly at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


We are TALKING about JOE THE PLUMBER. STAY on the ISSUES, Obama.
posted by penduluum at 6:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does nobody in McCain's campaign understand you don't wear moire-inducing patterns on television?
posted by odinsdream at 6:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


If I were Joe the plumber, I would resent having to be "Joe the Plumber" in this debate.
posted by Countess Elena at 6:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can McCain stop smirking and giggling now? It's kind of annoying.
posted by lullaby at 6:13 PM on October 15, 2008


Okay, Obama just screwed up - he's repeating talking points, but not taking down McCain's stupid Fannie and Freddie point. This American Life/Planet Money told me that they did NOT cause the problem. And TAL/PM are never wrong. (Except when they are. But not in this case.)

Please, set the record straight on Fannie and Freddie today -- and definitely on Acorn.

I wonder if McCain will go after the Bob the Builder vote next.
posted by topynate at 9:09 PM on October 15


Isn't he British? I don't think he can vote unless he's a dual citizen.

----------

OMG! McCain said "class warfare". Okay, McCain is so red-baiting.

I know a commie when I see one. I've been one (okay, I was 12, and since have become disillusioned about command economies when I learned how they work). Obama ain't no commie.

Taxes are a patriotic thing to pay. People should be proud about paying taxes the way Christians are proud of paying tithes.
posted by jb at 6:14 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Im actually kind of surprised that McCain is unhinging and acting like a dick
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:14 PM on October 15, 2008


Wait, what about Josephine the Plumber, goddammit?
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm, I just realized that both Obama and McCain are left-handed. So were Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan, and Ford.

Yay us!
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Can McCain stop smirking and giggling now? It's kind of annoying.

It's also not a great approach when you're talking about an economic meltdown and That One is looking totally presidential.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:16 PM on October 15, 2008


"While you were asking that question, I had time to phone up my friend Joe the Plumber, and he said that if you think you can fund health care during this time of economic crisis, you have your head in the fiscal toilet, Senator Obama."
posted by penduluum at 6:16 PM on October 15, 2008


'Profligate'. Nice.
posted by lyam at 6:16 PM on October 15, 2008


"countries that don't like us very much" - DRINK!
posted by scody at 6:17 PM on October 15, 2008


To clarify, I think Obama did very well with 'helping Joe the Plumber before he's in a position to make $250000 a year'. It stops McCain from letting Joe stand in for all of Middle America.
posted by topynate at 6:17 PM on October 15, 2008


COUNTRIES THAT DONT LIKE US VERY MUCH

TAKE A DRINK
posted by arcanecrowbar at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain: A hatchet in one hand and a scalpel in the other!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


ahhh scalpel? bizarre
posted by wowbobwow at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


First I'd use a hatchet, THEN I'd use a scalpel!
posted by odinsdream at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


Every time McCain presents a plan, he mentions that people think it's a bad idea.

Haha.
posted by defenestration at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


a hatchet AND a scalpel? DEXTER MORGAN '08!
posted by scody at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


Heh, Bob Scheiffer is running a pretty tight ship here.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


HATCHET + SCALPEL = GREAT SOCIETY
posted by localhuman at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain knows how to do stuff!
posted by ceiriog at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain scoring big on broad promise to stop spending money.
posted by lyam at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain wants a hatchet... I will not sleep well tonight.
posted by woodway at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008


I like the somewhat aggressive moderation. It's making this debate far more watchable than previous outings.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I saved billions. What did you ever do?
posted by casaubon at 6:18 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


HAHHAHAHAHAH

HATCHET > SCALPEL

I will cut off the leg and then I will OPERATE on that leg!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


oh snap. 'Overhead Projector'.
posted by lyam at 6:19 PM on October 15, 2008


INCLUDING THE PLANITARIUM PROJECTOR!?!!!!!
posted by odinsdream at 6:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder if McCain will go after the Bob the Builder vote next.

Nah, Obama's got that all wrapped up. In fact, I'm pretty sure he stole adopted his campain theme from Bob The Builder (and I know this because my toddler walks around the house singing the theme song all day....)

"Can we build it?"

"YES WE CAN"
posted by anastasiav at 6:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Joe the Plumber? Joe Six-Pack? Overcompensating for Obama picking a guy named Joe for VP?
posted by wendell at 6:19 PM on October 15, 2008


Did he SERIOUSLY bring up the projector again?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain has this weird, maniacally triumphant grin at the end of his answers, it's creepy.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2008


Crap, McCain is trying to sell me that used car again... "See, it has power windows. You don't get that everywhere. V6 engine. Clear coat finish. Lumbar support. Did I mention the power windows? Check these out! Up! Down! They're tinted! Let's step into my office, OK?!"
posted by jal0021 at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


History for Obama is Bush era. History for McCain is the Great Society
posted by casaubon at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2008


Aha, so this is the debate thread.

Did McCain really just complain about the planetarium projector again, or did I hallucinate that?
posted by rokusan at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2008


i feel bad for bob schaefer. no way he's gonna get headway on these questions.
posted by wowbobwow at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2008


Does McCain's campaign ever go over previous debates? He keeps rolling out the same canards that seemed to flop last time.

I KNOW -- sticking by that line?
the projector again? WTF
posted by graventy at 6:20 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh sure, McCain likes Joe the Plumber, but has NO RESPECT for Polly the Projectionist at Adler Planetarium.
posted by scody at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hell yes, staying on point: McCain = Bush.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008


Senator, I know President Bush. I am no President Bush. OH SNAP!!!
posted by odinsdream at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


That got weird for a second. How DARE you compare me to a guy that I actually compare very closely to?
posted by penduluum at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008


JOB CREATION OF ENERGY INDEPENDENCE!
posted by defenestration at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama looks pissed.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008


Americans are hurting tonight ... wasn't that a Clinton line?
posted by penduluum at 6:21 PM on October 15, 2008


I think they should take a hatchet, scalpel, and a pipe wrench to the budget.
posted by mazola at 6:22 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Senator Obama, I am not President Bush. If you wanted to run against President Bush you should have run four years ago."

That might be McCain's single best debate line ever. He didn't even turn purple.
posted by rokusan at 6:22 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


McCain = Bush.

Which still blows my mind, considering the way the Bush machine treated him back in 2000. I can't understand why he stands by them.
posted by jonmc at 6:22 PM on October 15, 2008


Maybe my party's just right more of the time. Ever think about that one?
posted by penduluum at 6:22 PM on October 15, 2008


he said that if you think you can fund health care during this time of economic crisis, you have your head in the fiscal toilet, Senator Obama."

I always wonder about the cost of switching the US to a National Health Service. Because I thought I had read somewhere that the US gov't is already spending as much as most countries do to provide an NHS. I realise that does include research funding and there may be more of that than elsewhere. But still, I can't help but think there must be some way to switch the US over to real healthcare. But I don't believe there is the political will - too many myths about gov't health care have been told in the U.S.
posted by jb at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2008


FOX NEWS EYE BUG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by scody at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2008


Even Fox News disputes it!
posted by liquorice at 6:23 PM on October 15, 2008


Holy shit that was an awesome takedown by Obama, and McCain looked genuinely surprised.
posted by LooseFilter at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008


That 6.8 Billion dollars he saved on the aircraft tanker?

That contract went to EADS, a European company. Boeing on the other hand was snubbed and has filed an appeal.
posted by clearly at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Scars to prove it? Holy hell, he's scrambling his talking points.
posted by penduluum at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008


Wait, scars? What?
posted by EarBucket at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008


Scars!
posted by ceiriog at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008


"I got the scars to prove it" - drink!
posted by scody at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008


I got the scars. Fuck, I can't lift my fucking arms! FUCK!
posted by odinsdream at 6:24 PM on October 15, 2008


::30 minutes into the debate, tension has increased as each candidate has perfectly parried each others attacks::

McCain: You are wonderful.
Obama: Thank you; I've worked hard to become so.
McCain: I admit it, you are better than I am.
Obama: Then why are you smiling?
McCain: Because I know something you don't know.
Obama: And what is that?
McCain: I... am not left-handed.
[McCain moves his pen to his right hand and gains an advantage]
Obama: You are amazing.
McCain: I ought to be, after 20 years.
Obama: Oh, there's something I ought to tell you.
McCain: Tell me.
Obama: I'm not left-handed either.
[Obama moves his pen to his right hand and regains his advantage]
posted by quin at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008 [49 favorites]


Oh, here we go.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh here we go now ...
posted by penduluum at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008


I really... can he get any more sleazy?

OH FUCK HERE comes Ayers!!!!
posted by odinsdream at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Whoa, fucking Bob put it right on the fucking table!!!!!
posted by LooseFilter at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008


SAY IT TO HIS FACE, OLD MAN
posted by scody at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008


He brought up Ayers.
posted by lyam at 6:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Ooooooooh, this is gonna be good...
posted by lekvar at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008


JB, Wikipedia sez:

The U.S. spends more on health care per capita than any other nation in the world. Current estimates put U.S. health care spending at approximately 15.2% of GDP... The health share of GDP is expected to continue its historical upward trend, reaching 19.5 percent of GDP by 2017. In 2007, the U.S. spent a projected $2.26 trillion on health care, or $7,439 per person.

So... yes.
posted by rokusan at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


.......whaa.. town.. h.. WHAT?!
posted by odinsdream at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008


WHY DID YOU MAKE MCCAIN CALL YOU A TERRORIST, OBAMA?
posted by EarBucket at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008


AYERS! ITS ON!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008


"I had to be an asshole, cause he said no to the townhalls!"
posted by the other side at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh, look at ME, the VICTIM!!!!!!
posted by scody at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008


"I'm the victim!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2008


That is ... HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA OUTSTANDING
posted by penduluum at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2008


The George Wallace canard.
posted by lyam at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2008


Come on Obama... call him the fuck out. "McCain, call me a terrorist, right now. Let's go."
posted by odinsdream at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Note that McCain is STILL refusing to talk about Ayers.
posted by scody at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2008


Truthful campaign? McCain ain't gonna bury the hatchet, folks.
posted by woodway at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2008


WTF the question was about their respective campaigns, not what random supporters say. McCain as victim, what a crock.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 6:27 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain is all the fuck over the place - town halls, campaign finance, repudiate editorials... what?
posted by odinsdream at 6:28 PM on October 15, 2008


Opportunity to bring Ayers to his face ends up being a town hall meeting callout!

In the words of a crazy city council speaker about a rogue helicopter pilot, what a "lemon headed chameleon coward terrorist pussy!"
posted by clearly at 6:28 PM on October 15, 2008


He's not going to bury the hatchet OR the scalpel.
posted by scody at 6:28 PM on October 15, 2008


100%!!
posted by lyam at 6:28 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain's running mate says Obama is palling around with terrorists, and OBAMA is the one doing wrong?

Jesus Christ.
posted by lullaby at 6:29 PM on October 15, 2008


"I think the American people are less interested in our hurt feelings ..."

Sweet!

Kapow!
posted by krinklyfig at 6:29 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


*Licks tongue and draws a line in the imaginary Obama column*
posted by clearly at 6:30 PM on October 15, 2008


That was historic.
posted by odinsdream at 6:30 PM on October 15, 2008


JOE THE PLUMBER BACK IN THA HOUSE
posted by scody at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2008


Jesus Christ, this bastard is getting away with equating negative ads about his record with vicious hateful character attacks.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2008


Why isn't Joe the Plumber his VP?
posted by mazola at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2008


Whats going on? Somebody give me a play-by-play!
posted by Avenger at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2008


OK, you asked for it, John
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2008


NEWSFLASH! MCCAIN IS AGAINST AMERICAS TEAM! COWBOYS FANS FURIOUS!
posted by clearly at 6:31 PM on October 15, 2008


Somewhere in Middle America, Joe the Plumber licks his tongue and draws a line in the very real Joe the Plumber column.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


FUCK YES HERE WE GO.
posted by odinsdream at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2008


Any critique = negative dirty campaigning! Asshole.

Yeah! Stick it to him about his running mate!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Terrorist" and "kill him" from Obama's mouth. Wow.
posted by rokusan at 6:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Barack just wiped the floor with Grampa.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:33 PM on October 15, 2008


"you gotta read it" -- god, the psycho-killer crazy weird voice and smirking and interrupting! Does no one in the McCain campaign say "DON'T ACT LIKE A DICK"????
posted by scody at 6:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I want this man to be President.
posted by casaubon at 6:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain is going to lose it, Obama is quoting his supporters and McCain says he is Proud of that.
posted by odinsdream at 6:34 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Buzzbomb!
posted by stinkycheese at 6:34 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain's just rambling now.
posted by EarBucket at 6:34 PM on October 15, 2008


obama just ripped mccain's throat out.
posted by xorry at 6:34 PM on October 15, 2008


literally?
posted by Avenger at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm listening to this on the radio, so I don't know how it looks, but McCain sounds like he's about to cry.
posted by lekvar at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain's just rambling now.

Cut some slack, the white haired dude is like 97.
posted by clearly at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2008


He is, as far as I can tell.
posted by odinsdream at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain is FURIOUS. The huffing and puffing and freaking out and eye rolling and interrupting... too bad petulant children can't vote because HE'S THEIR MAN.
posted by scody at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Hey, is this where I can find the bad t-shirts McCain is talking about?
posted by graventy at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


lol. He burst.
posted by casaubon at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


Hah. In before the lock!
posted by topynate at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh dear god.
posted by mazola at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


"destroying the fabric of democracy"
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


ACORN is "destroying the fabric of democracy"? Seriously?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh my god McCain just brought up ACORN.
posted by odinsdream at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


I just intercepted this message:

To: john@mccain.com
From: joe@plumber.com

Leave me alone already!

Unless your drain's clogged, in which case I'll be right over. It's after 5, so I'll have to charge you double-time.
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


ACORN IS DESTROYING THE VERY FABRIC OF DEMOCRACY!!! THEY ARE DOING WHAT EVEN AL-QAIDA COULD NOT!
posted by scody at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


HEY!

Stop reading this and go back up here and hit "Favorite"
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:36 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama needs shorter sentances. Damn his actual literacy.

------------

Oh! Now I want to rip out McCain's throat. Don't you dis my ACORN! I just found out who they are, and I'm in love with them.
posted by jb at 6:37 PM on October 15, 2008


ACORN is destroying the fabric of democracy!

And to think, I turned down a job with them. I could have altered the very course of history.
posted by hippugeek at 6:37 PM on October 15, 2008


oh SNAP, Ronald Reagan's ambassador!
posted by scody at 6:37 PM on October 15, 2008


Wow, McCain's just grasping at straws now. Obama's framed the course of the debate and McCain is being led by the nose.

It's almost painful to listen to.
posted by lekvar at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2008


PWNED.
posted by EarBucket at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama just decimated Ayers and ACORN.
posted by odinsdream at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2008


OH YOU GO MAN -- here are my associations
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


HIS LIVING ROOM!!!!!!!
posted by scody at 6:39 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain, your response?

Blbb...bhas. b...blblbmmbmmmm
posted by odinsdream at 6:39 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


PWNEDDDD!!!!!!!!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:39 PM on October 15, 2008


He should defend ACORN - he should point out that they flagged out the problem registrations.

Please, Mr Obama, defend ACORN. They are cool.
posted by jb at 6:39 PM on October 15, 2008


Anyone want to lay odds on a total meltdown during the debate?
posted by lekvar at 6:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Hah! Go Bob. Running mates! Hah!
posted by kimdog at 6:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Oooooooweeee, Bob Schieffer is god.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Daaaamn Bob is bringing it.
posted by odinsdream at 6:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh, this is going to be gooood.
posted by ceiriog at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


Yeah, I wish he'd stepped up to the plate on ACORN. They do good things.
posted by graventy at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


Shit, I just realized I could have been watching CNN with their little magic lines at the bottom. How were they going during that whole exchange?
posted by scody at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


Can someone explain where this "Obama started his campaign in Ayers' living room!" thing came from?
posted by lullaby at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


Can I nominate Jim Lehrer as this year's best moderator by a freaking landslide?

Talk about not pussyfooting around. Finally.
posted by rokusan at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


Hah. How does McCain follow this response?
posted by casaubon at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


It's over. Obama could just sit there for the remainder of this thing and still get fucking 400 EVs.
posted by odinsdream at 6:41 PM on October 15, 2008


Yeah, Schieffer's significantly better than the previous three moderators.
posted by EarBucket at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


lullaby, it's an outright fabrication - pretty simple.
posted by odinsdream at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm waiting for McCain to attack Biden instead of promote Palin. What could he possibly say?
posted by lullaby at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2008


On CNN international, the ohio men flatline on the little meter whenever obama talks. Weird
posted by dhruva at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2008


See kids?

THIS is how you moderate a debate
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Can someone explain where this "Obama started his campaign in Ayers' living room!" thing came from?

Before Obama ran for anything, there was apparently some sort of open house held at Ayers house. That's what I've heard, anyway.
posted by graventy at 6:42 PM on October 15, 2008


A ROLE MODEL TO WOMEN?

Senator, take it from this woman: FUCK YOU.
posted by scody at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008 [21 favorites]


Sarah Palin's a ROLE MODEL TO ALL WOMEN?
posted by bluishorange at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008


lullaby, it's an outright fabrication - pretty simple.

Right, but who started it? The Clinton campaign? McCain campaign?
posted by lullaby at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008


Fuck you, indeed.
posted by bluishorange at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008


Feh air indeed!
posted by kimdog at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008


Mohn JcCain por freisident!
posted by topynate at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's time we had that freth of breast air.
posted by penduluum at 6:43 PM on October 15, 2008


...and there's the Tard Card.
posted by Rykey at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


reform reform reform autism reform she hasn't actually done anything reform
posted by scody at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008


Uh, the special needs vote? Seriously? That's what he's going for now?
posted by odinsdream at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain Palin - A bresh of freath air for America
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008


Can someone explain where this "Obama started his campaign in Ayers' living room!" thing came from?
posted by lullaby at 9:41 PM on October 15 [+] [!]


There was some early campaign thing in the 1990s which was hosted by Ayers. I think. Maybe. Heard it somewhere, but not crazy source (NYT?).

I would look it up, but I have beer, and thus not enough brain cells available. Also, I can see the US from my house.
posted by jb at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008


capable... ... politician
posted by casaubon at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


She understands special needs...yet is looking to eradicate autism?
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


THIS is how you moderate a debate

Exactly. Finally got it right.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


She has an IQ outside of the lower margin of the first standard deviation.
posted by clearly at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008


Is she qualified?

"She's excited the base."

HAHAHAHAHAH
posted by scody at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2008


Having a special needs kid doesn't qualify you to be vice president. Might give you valuable experience for working with the McCain campaign, though.
posted by EarBucket at 6:45 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


Oh SNAP, the scalpel vs. hatchet!
posted by scody at 6:45 PM on October 15, 2008


Yes, Iraq is just one happy unified state.
posted by scody at 6:46 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]



Shit, I just realized I could have been watching CNN with their little magic lines at the bottom. How were they going during that whole exchange?


The "independents" are much more partisan this time. The men are obviously more biased towards McCain, the women are obviously more biased towards Obama.
posted by TungstenChef at 6:46 PM on October 15, 2008


heartache?!
posted by AwkwardPause at 6:46 PM on October 15, 2008


Also, I can see the US from my house.

So you're the one who's been rearing his head in my back yard?
posted by rokusan at 6:47 PM on October 15, 2008


I love the look that Obama has when McCain brings up specifics, as if he's saying to himself "Oh, John, you really don't understand, do you."
posted by odinsdream at 6:47 PM on October 15, 2008


Don't correct the moderator, John ...

Wow. Bad form.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:47 PM on October 15, 2008


How in the hell would one even go about unilaterally renegotiate anything?
posted by penduluum at 6:47 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder how Obama's chuckling at McCain's policy arguments is going to play. It could come across as cocky, but it might help hammer home the idea that McCain really doesn't know what he's talking about. The idea of a spending freeze in the middle of a recession is just insane.
posted by EarBucket at 6:47 PM on October 15, 2008


Navy ships have nuclear PLANTS on them?? For 60 years? Sailing around the world?
posted by scody at 6:48 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


You don't tell countries you will unilaterally renegotiate with them

You do unilaterally invade them on false pretenses.
posted by clearly at 6:48 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


The idea of a spending freeze in the middle of a recession is just insane.

Obama rightly pointed out that this is an historically empty gesture. It's not going to happen, and this is just grandstanding on McCain's part.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:49 PM on October 15, 2008


Can someone explain where this "Obama started his campaign in Ayers' living room!" thing came from?

Ayers and Obama live in the same neighborhood. In 1995, when Obama's political career was just starting Ayers hosted a "meet the candidate" house-party type thing at his home for Obama, during his run for the local Senate (State Senate) seat.
posted by anastasiav at 6:50 PM on October 15, 2008


Well, you have to establish some prerequisites before negotiating with Canada.
posted by graventy at 6:50 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah - the whole dependant on foreign oil. Y'all didn't like Carter because he told you to put on a sweater. Well, he was damn right. You didn't want Carter, you wanted Reagan instead - and now you have $4 gas and cars way less efficient than Europe has.

Dammit! I'm voting Carter for 2008.

Also, Mr McCain? This Canadian would be happy to stop selling you oil. It's destroying our environment and propping up a right-wing gov't. Sure, it will be a bit tough for us, but we too can sacrafice to save our planet. Because I like our planet - it's my favourite planet to live on.
posted by jb at 6:50 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


This "Drilling technology" is here ..."now"?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:52 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain is a free traitor?
posted by Bobby Bittman at 6:52 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ayers: Obama spoke carefully when it swatted down the Ayers issues, and said that Ayers had nothing to do with "this" campaign.

Which makes the whole allegation even more stupid then I'd previously thought, if that is possible.
posted by gofargogo at 6:53 PM on October 15, 2008


Killing young Americans? Someone tell David Bowie.
posted by scody at 6:53 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, that was completely unintelligible.
posted by odinsdream at 6:53 PM on October 15, 2008


It's true. I saw it on TVC15.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


Ayers and Obama live in the same neighborhood. In 1995, when Obama's political career was just starting Ayers hosted a "meet the candidate" house-party type thing at his home for Obama, during his run for the local Senate (State Senate) seat.

Ah. Thanks for the explanation.
posted by lullaby at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain's getting really pissy. That's not going to play well.
posted by EarBucket at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


oh, and by the way, McCain: SPAIN.
posted by scody at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2008


Don't worry, it won't matter in five years. That's all we got.
posted by kimdog at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2008


Someone get McCain a paper bag or something.
I can hear him hyperventilating from here.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:54 PM on October 15, 2008


Is anyone else hearing a weird snorting/growling sound coming from McCain while he's sitting there smirking?
posted by scody at 6:55 PM on October 15, 2008


HOOVER!!!!!!!!!
posted by scody at 6:56 PM on October 15, 2008


I think he's choking on his sleaziness.
posted by odinsdream at 6:56 PM on October 15, 2008


Not to interrupt the debate but I can't resist my inner poll geek...

Some media outlets have skewed their reporting to make the race seem closer than it is, and CNN may be doing it, too. Is their data available? Pollster has Obama ahead by 4%+ in Colorado, Florida, and Ohio, and CNN has them as tossups.

In all fairness, the major media outlets are being conservative and that's a good thing. There really isn't much reason for the MSM to jump the gun on any tossup states. They aren't really trying to do what FiveThirtyEight, for example, is trying to do. They're just trying to reflect what the polls are showing at the moment.

Besides, even if you take away every slightly questionable state and make it a tossup you still end up with Obama at 259. That means he only needs to win one tossup state east of the Mississippi or two west of it as long as one of them is Colorado, any three otherwise. Though the optimism does break down at the end of that last sentence, the odds of Obama getting swept east of the Mississippi are pretty slim.

Still, this is what makes Colorado so critical. If Obama can secure his lead there, he would only need to win one more of the tossup states and the election result would be pretty much set. With the Republicans determined to throw all their efforts behind voter suppression (since McCain isn't really doing anything to win this thing), there is definitely a risk in, well, every tossup state, but if the national polls have Obama at around +6 percent or more just before election day and he loses the election, that shouldn't sit well with anyone.

And after this election, I am going to have to find a clinic that treats poll addiction.
posted by effwerd at 6:57 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I lve it when Obama looks me in the eye and talks policy.
posted by splatta at 6:58 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Is anyone else hearing a weird snorting/growling sound coming from McCain while he's sitting there smirking?

It is the sound of Presidential hopes and dreams leaving his body.
posted by clearly at 6:58 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


McCain: "My friends, THAT ONE's health care plan will raise Joe the Plumber's taxes. Mine, however, is quite simple and economical: A HATCHET AND A SCALPEL."
posted by scody at 6:58 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


oh, now the Young Americans that aren't dead are fat.
posted by scody at 6:59 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh for fuck's sake
posted by penduluum at 6:59 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain: Talk to your children about Obesity.
posted by odinsdream at 6:59 PM on October 15, 2008


OH MY GOD, I HAVE ESP!!!!
posted by scody at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh my gosh, Scody is psychic.
posted by ltracey at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2008


Jesus, I'm glad "Joe the plumber" wasn't a drinking game token tonight.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joe the Plumber TANKS with women on the CNN tracker thingie
posted by Rumple at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2008


Get out of my secret plumbing place John McCain!
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Enough with Joe the Plumber, what about Boris the Spider?
posted by scody at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Navy ships have nuclear PLANTS on them?? For 60 years? Sailing around the world?
posted by scody at 9:48 PM on October 15 [1 favorite +] [!]


yep. That's what powers submarines. Didn't know ships had them too.

-------

I agree, Obama should stop smiling when he's annoyed. It sounded like a sigh the last time.

But then, John McCain just rolled his eyes. Smiling or rolling eyes? I don't decide, because I'm a foreign bum sucking your country dry.
posted by jb at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2008


That's right, I would love Canada or England.
posted by odinsdream at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oooh, McCain didn't like that one.
posted by penduluum at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2008


Sean Quinn over at FiveThirtyEight notes that McCain is doing a tongue jut consistently after every attack and potentially dishonest statement. It's an interesting tell.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2008


LOL... "ZERO?!"

Yep, John.
posted by the other side at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2008


Is it wrong that I get sort of tingly when Obama says "pay into a kitty"?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh sweet Jesus. I deeply, deeply want to see an interview with Joe the Plumber where he says he's voting Obama. And ZING on the $0 fine. Ouch. McCain looked like someone unexpectedly slapped him with a fish.
posted by jaduncan at 7:02 PM on October 15, 2008


These guys are wasting their time. Joe is totally voting for Ralph Nader. He told me last night.
posted by jal0021 at 7:03 PM on October 15, 2008


"CONGRATZ JOE" omg you bitter pisser!
posted by wowbobwow at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama makes policy-wonkery sexy again.
posted by odinsdream at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2008


"Zero?"
"Zero, John"

I love that little jaw-drop, that little moment before McCain regained his composure, when he seemed to be thinking "Well heck. That sounds pretty good, then."
posted by hippugeek at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


I don't think people understand the whole deal about their healthcare benefits being taxed under McCain. I truly believe the followers of McCain are the great un-mathed masses who barely understand how to read their own paystubs.
posted by brain cloud at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2008


Did McCain just say that Joe is rich? The "everyman" who is his example, is a rich person? WTF?!?!?!
posted by breath at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2008


The hell with these two. I'm voting for Joe the Plumber!!
posted by educatedslacker at 7:04 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


He just lost the transplant vote....
posted by Rumple at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008


You'd think a seasoned gambler like McCain wouldn't have such an obvious tell.
posted by graventy at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will pay someone cash money for this political debate not to be about Joe the Plumber.
posted by penduluum at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


McCain, here's a tip: when you attack hair transplants, you really have to say the word 'hair'.
posted by topynate at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


WHOA! "Senator Government!"
posted by brain cloud at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008


Yeah, John, fuck organ transplant patients. Fucking freeloaders, get your own organs!
posted by odinsdream at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [15 favorites]


SENATOR GOVMINT
posted by wowbobwow at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


TRANSPLANTS EXEMPT FROM MEDICAL COVERAGE!!!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008


The upside of the Joe the Plumber shit: it's reminding me bigtime of the A-Ha video pipe wrench fight.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain is insisting that there IS SO a fine for Joe the Plumber like Sarah Palin insists that she was found not to have violated ethics laws in Alaska.

Gold-plated Cadillac? Whoa, McCain just channeled the ghost of Reagan and his Welfare Queen of Terror!
posted by scody at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


So this is McCain's cunning plan? Talk about Joe?
posted by effwerd at 7:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wowzers, Bob.
posted by penduluum at 7:06 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh no. The Litmus Test Litmus Test.
posted by effwerd at 7:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


If you missed the first bit, this Joe person is a complete mystery. It also makes for TERRIBLE sound bites on the news later. Amateurish pseudo folksiness
posted by Rumple at 7:07 PM on October 15, 2008


The senate was about to blow up?
posted by scody at 7:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


...the decision should rest with the states, I'm a federalist. Except with regard to health care, and pretty much any other issues.
posted by odinsdream at 7:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


JOE THE PLUMBER FOR CHIEF JUSTICE
posted by scody at 7:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


globalize the US supreme court!
posted by Rumple at 7:08 PM on October 15, 2008


So justices should be confirmed based on.... what?
posted by Rykey at 7:08 PM on October 15, 2008


Navy ships have nuclear PLANTS on them?? For 60 years? Sailing around the world?
posted by scody at 9:48 PM on October 15 [1 favorite +] [!]

yep. That's what powers submarines. Didn't know ships had them too.


Aircraft carriers have had them for 48 years, and it kind of makes sense given their size, power requirements, and tendency to not sink since World War 2.
posted by Ryvar at 7:08 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


GI JOE....
A REAL AMERICAN HERO!!!
posted by TungstenChef at 7:09 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ummm... McC doesn't believe anyone who supports Roe v Wade could be qualified to be on the Supreme Court... no, I guess that's not quite a litmus test.
posted by kimdog at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


The senate was about to blow up?
posted by scody at 2:07 AM on October 16 [+] [!]


Don't worry about it Scody, he was watching 24 and got confused about it later.
posted by jaduncan at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


NICE. "The first amendment should not be subject to state referendum."
posted by scody at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did McCain just say that Joe is rich? The "everyman" who is his example, is a rich person? WTF?!?!?! Joe the Plumber, bringing home $250K a year *is* rich -- the average American wage is $39273... $40K vs $250K? I'd say Joe's rich too.

Which is telling that McCain is trying to paint Joe as the American "every man."
posted by susanbeeswax at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2008


God he's good... just explained abortion rights in an easy to understand, accessible manner in about 30 seconds.
posted by odinsdream at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


How are the CNN Ohio women reacting to the Roe and wage-fairness stuff?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:11 PM on October 15, 2008


Did Obama just say we shouldn't put basic human rights up to popular vote? If he did, awesome.
posted by effwerd at 7:11 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


(thanks for the info about nuclear power and subs/ships -- the way McCain said it, I thought he meant there were actual nuclear plants on ships that sailed around providing power outside the ship... sort of like Three Mile Island of the Seas.)
posted by scody at 7:12 PM on October 15, 2008


"It was a trial lawyer's dream!" -- so John McCain, you're saying you voted the way a trial lawyer would make his case? I thought all trial lawyers were Democrats.
posted by brain cloud at 7:12 PM on October 15, 2008


...young woman who's facing this terribly difficult decision forced pregnancy.

Fixed that for you, McCain. Seriously - what part of Anti-Choice does he not understand?
posted by odinsdream at 7:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'd listen to a band named Failed Abortion.
posted by BaxterG4 at 7:12 PM on October 15, 2008


interestingly the preamble to McCain's pro-life blurb completely flatlines on CNN, then the partial birth tanks with women and ticks upwards with men.
posted by Rumple at 7:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


What effwerd said -- Obama's coming off as completely statesmanlike tonight, especially that earlier stuff about how we all are going to have to start living within our means.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2008


Well, a candidate accusing another candidate of infanticide in a Presidential debate is a milestone, of sorts.
posted by topynate at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


I feel like McCain is rummaging around all of the attack ad allegations and "whipping them out" and hoping some of them will stick to Obama.
posted by ltracey at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


If it sounds like bullshit, IT IS. Nice.
posted by scody at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


BTW, Obama kicking 50 kinds of ass tonight. Barack Obama, you complete me.
posted by brain cloud at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Common ground. Snifffff.
posted by effwerd at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2008


Yes, yes yes! Common ground!
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:14 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama, it's OK, you can say BIRTH CONTROL too.
posted by scody at 7:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Woo! Cavalier activity!
posted by Ryvar at 7:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Did McCain say Obama voted against Breyer? Wouldn't he mean Alito?
posted by AwkwardPause at 7:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Day-Glo Abortions
posted by Rumple at 7:16 PM on October 15, 2008


So this is McCain's cunning plan? Talk about Joe?

He should take to heart Peggy Noonan's complaints about this campaign's reliance on narratives.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:16 PM on October 15, 2008


We'll help take care of it. Until it's born. Then we don't care. Now I will smile creepily.
posted by odinsdream at 7:16 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


JOE THE PLUMBER, PAY NO ATTENTION TO OBAMA'S CLEVER ELOQUENCE, HE WANTS TO FORCE YOU TO KILL THE BABBY IN YOUR TUMMY
posted by scody at 7:16 PM on October 15, 2008 [10 favorites]


Is McCain calling it the "pro-abortion" movement? Who are these "pro-abortion" people?
posted by lullaby at 7:17 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey - Obama knows a Supreme Court decision he doesn't like. (I also don't like the Lilly Ledbetter decision.)
posted by jb at 7:18 PM on October 15, 2008


Women are eating up Obama's education plan -- off the chart on the cost of college
posted by Rumple at 7:19 PM on October 15, 2008


Who are these "pro-abortion" people?

The Voluntary Human Extinction movement?
posted by Ryvar at 7:19 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm pro-abortion. But, I really hate babies, so maybe I'm more anti-baby.
posted by graventy at 7:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


Obama: SCIENCE!
McCain: vouchers!
posted by scody at 7:19 PM on October 15, 2008


Ayone notice that, during the abortion discussion, McCain spoke about women's health with an air of absolute contempt?

Great way to alienate independents & centrists.
posted by aerotive at 7:20 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Did McCain just say he's going to fire bad teachers and find them other jobs?

Well, I guess it's nice he finally mentioned JOBS...
posted by scody at 7:20 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


We should let troops come straight back to be teachers without having to take those pesky exams and get certified.

WHAT THE HELL IS THIS ABOUT?!?! GOD THIS MAN IS FUCKING INSANE!
posted by odinsdream at 7:21 PM on October 15, 2008 [16 favorites]


We should let troops come straight back to be teachers without having to take those pesky exams and get certified.

I have to assume that McCain misunderstood this plan as it was explained to him, because this makes no sense. It's worse than nonsense, it's an actively terrible idea.
posted by EarBucket at 7:23 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


"I don't think America's youth are interest groups." OMG I KISS YOU OBAMA.
posted by brain cloud at 7:23 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


You know, I know how dumb it sounds, but sitting here listening to John McCain's education plans, I find it sincerely reassuring knowing that the next President of the United States will have watched the fourth season of The Wire.

I mean I know his favorite character is Omar but I bet he has a soft spot in his heart for Bunny Colvin too.
posted by Simon! at 7:23 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Yeah, that snide attitude is gonna do you a lot of good, John.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2008


"Do you have a teaching degree?"

"No, but I do have PTSD."

"Okay, then!"
posted by EarBucket at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [14 favorites]


Cindy and THAT WIFE ONE
posted by Rumple at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think Obama should promote Geoffrey Canada's "baby college" (from the Harlem Children's Zone) to go national - only maybe not just one organisation, but many local organisations working on the same issues. Helping parents parent - and also helping parents improve their own education. I'm tutoring kids right now, and that's one of the biggest gaps. I grew up on welfare, but I had parents who went back to school at the same time to improve their literacy, and that made a huge difference in my life. If my mom had had poorer literacy, she couldn't have helped me do my homework.
posted by jb at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


Well, if being a POW qualifies you to be President, then serving overseas surely qualifies you to be a teacher.
posted by kimdog at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


We should let troops come straight back to be teachers without having to take those pesky exams and get certified.

Yeah, WTF? Is McCain taking CRAZY PILLS???
posted by TungstenChef at 7:24 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I'm surprised you didn't pay attention to that." I bet McCain just assumed that Obama didn't know about that just because he's black.
posted by effwerd at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2008


EarBucket; That's what I'm saying - seriously, I will be doing some research, but this comes across as completely batshitinsane, so I assume he's misinformed. Does anyone have some links to what the hell he might possibly be talking about?
posted by odinsdream at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2008


Is McCain under the impression that Down's Syndrome and autism are the same thing?
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2008 [12 favorites]


I don't know if this comes across to most people, and I feel somewhat cheap for saying it, but on some visceral, deep level McCain irritates and creeps me out in a fundamental way. It's not just the fact that he lies, cheaply runs race-based attacks and can never be honest enough to own them. It's that he actually knows what he does is wrong, and quite often can't meet the eyes of Obama while he does it. It's the pain of watching a man who has looked at all of his principles and sold them all.

It's actually like watching a Shakespearian tragedy. Somewhere, somewhere in his soul he knows this is wrong and that he is betraying himself, and watching his actions disconnect so much from his conscience is something quite unsettling.
posted by jaduncan at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


she has an autism baby and she lives near Russia. YESSSSS
posted by BaxterG4 at 7:25 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Transparency : Reform :: Hatchet : ?
posted by scody at 7:26 PM on October 15, 2008


Every time McCain mentions Sarah Palin and autism, I think, "Wait, Sarah Palin has autism?"
posted by jal0021 at 7:26 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Joe the plumber must be wondering if he got slashdotted tonight.
posted by mullingitover at 7:26 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


god mccain is just a real prick. FAIL
posted by wowbobwow at 7:26 PM on October 15, 2008


It would be cool if my seven year old knew how to arm a Claymore...
posted by docpops at 7:26 PM on October 15, 2008


Autism != Down Syndrome in any sense, especially parenting challenges and diversity of potential etiology
posted by Rumple at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


Oh thank god it's almost over
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


I love McCain's hoity-toity "I'm taking out my pen and I am jotting that shit down."
posted by odinsdream at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008 [22 favorites]


SNORT
posted by Ryvar at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


I'd love it if Schieffer would just say, "SENATOR MCCAIN, STOP INTERRUPTING."
posted by scody at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm gonna give you all a $50 off coupon toward K-12.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


Did McCain just snort?
posted by 0xFCAF at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


My friends! *drinks*
posted by jaduncan at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


Did McCain just snort during that cute little interjection? Christ.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2008


Hehe, GHHLIIGHLGH
-- John McCain
posted by topynate at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Goddamn. That was the debate/smackdown I've been craving.
posted by lekvar at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


God not another list of "whether it be's"

PLEASE JOHN, STOP.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008


My friends -- and especially my BFF, Joe the Plumber -- I have been a careful steward of the Hatchet of Freedom.
posted by scody at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Sarah Palin knows autism on account of she has that thalidomide XYY baby."
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Bob to millions of viewers: Go to mydebates.org

APACHE FAIL
posted by odinsdream at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


a man who has looked at all of his principles and sold them all.

I remain unconvinced that he ever had them.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:28 PM on October 15, 2008


You guys are funny. The debate isn't on until tomorrow night. At 11pm, on Comedy Central. It should be between 6 and 24 minutes long.
posted by paisley henosis at 7:29 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


There's been a long line of McCains whose legacies I have tarnished.
posted by scody at 7:29 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


And the little whistle-slurp McCain when he breathers in between sentences really grosses me the hell out.

How's that for a hard, substantial policy comment?
posted by dirtdirt at 7:29 PM on October 15, 2008


We should let troops come straight back to be teachers without having to take those pesky exams and get certified.

He mischaracterized the actual Troops to Teachers program.
DANTES assists eligible members of the armed forces to obtain certification or licensing as elementary school teachers, secondary school teachers, or vocational or technical teachers and to become highly qualified teachers. The program also helps these individuals find employment in high-need local education agencies (LEAs) or charter schools.
McCain just described it incorrectly.
posted by lullaby at 7:30 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obama cocks his head too much, it's a little weird
posted by Rumple at 7:31 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama should have just closed with:

"I strongly agree with Senator McCain that America needs a change. I hope you agree, too. Goodnight."
posted by rokusan at 7:31 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


i want to feel big and strong, bob, can you show me how?
posted by wowbobwow at 7:31 PM on October 15, 2008


Whooaaa there take it easy McCain.
posted by odinsdream at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2008


Well, evidently McCain got the memo that he's supposed to shake Obama's hand THIS TIME.
posted by scody at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Now *THAT* was a debate, by gods.
posted by dejah420 at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, Bob for moderator of all of the debates next time. Or at least someone else who has some level of competence that cannot be matched by the autocue alone.
posted by jaduncan at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


good job good job good job omg I'm touching a black man
posted by BaxterG4 at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [13 favorites]


OK, excellent debate, good moderation. Serve up 5 more of those please.
posted by Rumple at 7:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've seen Asimo take stairs better than Cindy McCain.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 7:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [15 favorites]


Good job! GOOD JOB!!!! Seriously, I am impressed as shit, wow motherfucker!!!!! GJ!!!!!!!
posted by paisley henosis at 7:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


How McCain thinks: Less than a year with a down syndrome baby makes you an expert on Autism.
posted by drezdn at 7:36 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


scody: "Well, evidently McCain got the memo that he's supposed to shake Obama's hand THIS TIME."

No fair, scody, McCain did shake Obama's hand at the last debate. Hell, they even embraced.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:37 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


That was awesomely un-spinnable. And yet, I'm sure they'll try to crowbar it into a tie somehow.
posted by odinsdream at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2008


relax, Rhaomi, it was a joke.

Chris Matthews is ripping McCain a new one for belittling the health exception for women on the question of abortion.
posted by scody at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2008


I'd love it if Schieffer would just say, "SENATOR MCCAIN, STOP INTERRUPTING."

Nah, just let him lose points on his own. It doesn't help McCain to do that, but I'm glad he just let it go, because if he chided him it might make people feel sorry for McCain.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2008


Obama on the high cost of college: I will take the following steps to make it more affordable... I will also give students the opportunity the chance to pay off their loans through service. Etc.

McCain: I will make it easier to get loans.

What! For the people I know at least, the problem isn't that the loans were hard to get. Even with just federal loans from lowly state colleges my wife and I have 40k+ in loans still to pay.
posted by drezdn at 7:40 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Right. Well, that sure as hell made up for the bland nonsense of the first two debates.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:44 PM on October 15, 2008


I kinda get the impression that McCain is just happy to be running for president, and doesn't really care about winning. He looked really happy to simply be up there being asked real, presidential questions, and even when Obama scored big points against him, he just cackled all the more. Because, like, just being there means he's already won, you know?
posted by breath at 7:47 PM on October 15, 2008


The Look
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM on October 15, 2008


the problem isn't that the loans were hard to get

Bingo. When I went into college in 2000, the (professional, published) student aid counselor I talked to said that on average an excellent student should be able to pay for a third of their tuition with grant money without trying very hard. By the time I left, and certainly in the years since, grants have dried up and the interest rate on student loans has gone way up. Subsidized education is a joke now.
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:52 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain wants to fire bad teachers and find them new jobs but then he wants to give vets teaching jobs without passing certification tests? WTF JOHN?
posted by drezdn at 7:52 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just listened this time (NPR) and avoided pundits/discussions. Interesting.

Overall, I think McCain just solidified his ('maverick') base - the ones who think they really aren't like 'those Washington people'. BUT, I think he may have put some distance between him and the right fringe-ies with his lack of commitment to load the Supreme Court down with a true anti Roe v. Wade justice and with his talk about 'civil rights'. Palin will have to pick them back up tomorrow with some of her 'good cheer' I guess. He really tried to derail the issues discussion with his 'whining' about negative campaigning --- AND while I was bored with it, I suppose that the 'moving on' refocusing by Obama will just seem to be another 'unfair attack' to his loyal supporters who love this kind of theater. They love to play (live) the victim card.

Obama (who I support) does sound less assertive than I would like in this kind of forum. It is his manner of speaking -- it sometimes sounds tentative. I, personally, would *like* to have a leader who takes time to consider his words, but I think it works against him for some of the population who are 'fight driven'. He did serve a few really good volleys - in education, taxes, and health care. Still, those issues involve concepts that take more details than a 30 second definition. I really liked the way he cleared up his position on so many things -- even if McCain jumped in with one last retort - lie - as much as he could.

The whole Ayers thing is such a waste of time. Does anyone but the fringe wackos even care??

I did feel good with Obama's performance tonight; maybe I just need to have more faith in the American people?
posted by Surfurrus at 7:55 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


What exactly is wrong with saying "Yes, you're damn right I would apply a litmus test, because there are thousands of qualified judges out there and it really isn't that hard to find a good one that agrees with me on this very important issue" ? Isn't that a completely reasonable position to take?
posted by 0xFCAF at 7:59 PM on October 15, 2008


The moment that struck me that seems to have gone unnoticed by the pundits is when, right after a long argument about abortion, McCain described charter schools as the civil rights struggle of the 21st century. That's going to infuriate a lot of pro-lifers, who see abortion as the foremost civil rights issue today.
posted by EarBucket at 8:02 PM on October 15, 2008


The whole Ayers thing is such a waste of time. Does anyone but the fringe wackos even care??

Not so long as Obama keeps countering it, whereas there's a good record of smears not going away if ignored.
posted by topynate at 8:02 PM on October 15, 2008


CBS undecided voters give it to Obama, 53-22.
posted by EarBucket at 8:04 PM on October 15, 2008


CNN snap poll:

Who did better?
Obama: 58%
McCain: 31%

Obama favorable: 66%
Obama unfavorable: 33%

McCain favorable: 49%
McCain unfavorable: 49%
posted by scody at 8:04 PM on October 15, 2008


Why on earth didn't Obama serve up a critique of Palin's qualifications?! He said he thinks she's a good politician for heaven's sake.

I'm also thinking we're going to see a Joe the Plumber character on SNL.
posted by orange swan at 8:05 PM on October 15, 2008


> McCain wants to fire bad teachers and find them new jobs but then he wants to give vets teaching jobs without passing certification tests? WTF JOHN?

Glad I'm not the only one who caught that. And, of course how he'd fund autism programs and such while holding to his across the board cut (except for military adventures, corporate tax cuts and free market bailouts, of course).
posted by Artful Codger at 8:06 PM on October 15, 2008


So anyone else notice that Obama had a red tie and McCain a blue tie, but their wives where in oddly similar kinda-60s dresses, Michelle in Blue, Cindy in Red?

I just wonder about the odd, covert ninja tactics used by turnout clothing assistants. Morse code on the pipes "HE. ...PICKED .....BLUE..."

that or they both wives have the same designer with a really fun sense of humor.
posted by The Whelk at 8:06 PM on October 15, 2008




I'm apologize for the bad syntax. There was a drinking game.
posted by The Whelk at 8:08 PM on October 15, 2008


Hilarious!
posted by defenestration at 8:09 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Why on earth didn't Obama serve up a critique of Palin's qualifications?! He said he thinks she's a good politician for heaven's sake.

Because he could damn her with faint praise, and get no flak for it. He didn't say she was qualified - he said the American people would decide. Also, notice how he stressed politician - she's been trying to run as someone who is not a typical politician, and he just called her one.
posted by jb at 8:10 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty convinced that John McCain was just drawing naughty caricatures with that big old sharpie of his all night.
posted by sugarfish at 8:11 PM on October 15, 2008


He took the high road; people already know she's grossly unqualified.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:11 PM on October 15, 2008 [9 favorites]


joedan: Oh man that split-screen is awesome for showing that moment! My feed was one-camera and it's not nearly as awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 8:12 PM on October 15, 2008


Did Fox News release their text message poll on who won the debate? If not, when do they normally release them? Are they holding it back?
posted by Science! at 8:14 PM on October 15, 2008


Seriously. The way his jaw drops is priceless!
posted by joedan at 8:14 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because he could damn her with faint praise, and get no flak for it.

I think he should have gone ahead and talked about the problems with her record and qualifications. Flak be damned. Also I would have enjoyed seeing McCain try to rebutt what Obama said about Palin.
posted by orange swan at 8:15 PM on October 15, 2008


Never mind, the results will be released around 10:30 Central. I know you're waiting for it MeFites.
posted by Science! at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2008


That debate was a freth of bresh air!

Just got back from debate-watching party; now on to review thread for zeitgiest.
posted by Miko at 8:19 PM on October 15, 2008


Never mind, the results will be released around 10:30 Central. I know you're waiting for it MeFites.


WE DESIRE DATA NOM NOM NOM.

Maybe it was because I was in a room full of liquored-up libruls, but that was a smack-down. Much for clear WIN than in the previous debate.


And what was with the shaky, akward "thank you! thank you! thank you!" of McCain during the handshake. Odd, uncomfortable, and weird.
posted by The Whelk at 8:20 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm pretty convinced that John McCain was just drawing naughty caricatures with that big old sharpie of his all night.

I think he was practicing his signature.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:23 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain must have had some kind of vouchers, because he just got schooled.
posted by snofoam at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2008 [38 favorites]


snofoam just won the whole internets.

I'm sorry
posted by Science! at 8:27 PM on October 15, 2008


538 has a good roundup of post-debate polling. Stick a fork in it.
posted by EarBucket at 8:28 PM on October 15, 2008




LOL -- Loopy Eyes
posted by Surfurrus at 8:30 PM on October 15, 2008


Miko; I look forward to your analysis.
posted by odinsdream at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2008


I think he was practicing his signature.

"Mr. Joe the Plumber-McCain"
posted by scody at 8:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


The other thing I want to say is this: Obama isn't out-fundraising everyone in history because the internet exists. There are plenty of things on the internet that I give absolutely no money to. Obama is awesome and his campaign is awesome. Even if he was up by 700 billion points, I would still give money, just so they could do cool campaign shit with it. Buy more airtime, make a video game where we could pretend to enact your policies, go make some more speeches in Europe. And, sure, win the election, too.
posted by snofoam at 8:32 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


OK, EAST Mani ... you are one faster than me!
posted by Surfurrus at 8:33 PM on October 15, 2008


Uh, haha, does anyone notice that the first link in this post now redirects to a non-official site? Poor, panicking gop.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain's Micro-Gaffes
posted by homunculus at 8:34 PM on October 15, 2008


Early on in tonight's debate I felt as though Obama wasn't responding well to McCain's lies. He seemed to be holding back. Too measured, too cautious. However as McCain continued to interrupt, go long, and generally display a disheveled and cantankerous demeanor it only served to make Obama look more Presidential.

At every turn Obama took the high road, but he did it with spine. He eschewed the soft Palin underbelly target, but he deftly handled the Ayers/ACORN/Lewis charges, AND, he did it without slinging mud. He truly showed my inner Hater how to defend without giving offense. You could tell: this is a man who knows a. what he is talking about, b. where he is going, and c. how to get us to go there together. He defused every single "OMG! did Schiffer just ask that?!" moment. Finally, we have a candidate worthy of respect, and the highest office!

McCain looked like a tired, frustrated, soul-less shell of a man. The grimmace. The snorts. The shame. He leads the tattered, embarrassing remains of his party to doom.

The best thing we can do when Barak Hussein Obama is elected is to show love. Sure we have vitriol over the last 8 years of bad sport, lies, and the mess they've left us in as a nation. It will be extremely tempting to return some of the snark, gloating and dividing. We AS A PEOPLE must avoid this trap of hate, show some compassion for the misled, work together as one, and let the world see what kind of citizenry a PRESIDENT Obama inspires.

The transformation will be historic. Epic even.
posted by HyperBlue at 8:40 PM on October 15, 2008 [45 favorites]


Barack
posted by HyperBlue at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2008


speaking of LOL, are there no lolpoliticians threads?
(sorry lol-haters)
posted by uni verse at 8:42 PM on October 15, 2008


The transformation will be historic. Epic even.


Demand Love?
posted by The Whelk at 8:43 PM on October 15, 2008


when I went to bed in 2004, Al Gore was President-elect.

Um, yeah. well spotted. anyway, you know where I was headed there.
posted by Miko at 8:44 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain's hoity-toity "I'm taking out my pen and I am jotting that shit down."

Camera zoomed-in on McCain's notes.
posted by rokusan at 8:45 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Concern for the health of the mother is an "extreme pro-abortion position"?
posted by Flunkie at 8:48 PM on October 15, 2008


He leads the tattered, embarrassing remains of his party to doom.

Joe the Plumber better watch his back, lest McCain put his hatchet in it on his way there.
posted by scody at 8:51 PM on October 15, 2008


The single best moment of the debate, for me, was Obama's defence of labour organizers in Columbia. He didn't have to go there to make his case against the Columbia FTA, but it was the strongest, most moral argument to make, and he made it. Good for him for showing solidarity.
posted by topynate at 8:54 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


McCain looked like a tired, frustrated, soul-less shell of a man. The grimmace. The snorts. The shame. He leads the tattered, embarrassing remains of his party to doom.

To be fair, it's a gimme from the perspective of the Republicans. They gave him his shot, but they weren't expecting to win, which I think has a lot to do with why they gave it to him this year. They figure they'll rebuild and come back in 4 to 8 years. The party intellectuals are all signaling in that direction. I feel sort of bad for McCain, because they basically threw him to the wolves and didn't back him up too well. But then their claims of party discipline are only really relevant when they're winning. In decline, a political party is always undisciplined and in disarray, and it's clear they don't have a common vision this time around.

What frustrates me so much these days is how quickly it swings back and forth. It has come to the point where getting anything done is a crap shoot for a brief moment between the furious battles over bullshit "culture war" issues and years-long campaigns, so people are constantly distracted from how they're being represented, and how their government is really working. I do hope the grassroots Obama has stirred up will move forward and continue to do work in the trenches, and I hope he'll encourage and cultivate it, because that's the only way this thing is going to actually work longer than one president's tenure. Any real change involves all of us, but I think this could be a moment when the opportunity presents itself. The Republicans figure, let the Dems have it, it will be a rough ride, but this is when real work gets done.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:58 PM on October 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


joedan: "McCain's deer in the headlights moment."

If I didn't know any better, I'd say that was fake. He just holds that open-mouthed stare for so long. It almost looks like they looped his half of the screen.

sugarfish: "I'm pretty convinced that John McCain was just drawing naughty caricatures with that big old sharpie of his all night."

"Vice President Sarah." With hearts over the i's.

Flunkie: " Concern for the health of the mother is an "extreme pro-abortion position"?"

Sure. Nearly as extreme as that "present" vote he cast on the issue.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:02 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Concern for the health of the mother is an "extreme pro-abortion position"?

As people begin to digest how fucking ridiculous it was for McCain to refer to a woman's health—nay, her life—in such a mocking, disrespectful and dismissive way, it will certainly hurt him, big time – at least outside of his angry, fringe, single-issue-voting base... and, well, they were voting for him Palin anyway.

Big mistake on McCain's part.
posted by defenestration at 9:02 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


The single best moment of the debate, for me, was Obama's defence of labour organizers in Columbia. He didn't have to go there to make his case against the Columbia FTA, but it was the strongest, most moral argument to make, and he made it. Good for him for showing solidarity.
The split screen of this is... err... interesting.

When Obama says that Colombian labor leaders have been targeted for assassination, McCain gets a little bit of an incredulous look on his face (not as big as the "Zero?!" gem, of course).

But then when Obama continues, saying that there have been no prosecutions for these assassinations, McCain gives a big eyebrow-raising eye roll. As if he was reacting to something ridiculous. Completely ridiculous.

As if concern over the lack of prosecutions for assassinations of labor leaders is completely ridiculous.
posted by Flunkie at 9:04 PM on October 15, 2008


Concern for the health of the mother is an "extreme pro-abortion position"?

I've heard pro-lifers describe it exactly thus.

I've also heard them say, with straight faces, that there is no medical reason why a woman should ever need an abortion, ever.

McCain was playing to the base with that comment, but hopefully Independents will chew on his pandering for a while.
posted by Avenger at 9:05 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


God how bad I want to see what they write on their notepads.
posted by Camofrog at 9:06 PM on October 15, 2008


Anyone know where I can download an mp3 of the debate?
posted by zardoz at 9:08 PM on October 15, 2008


Not that Jon Stewart doesn't have a gold mine of material to delve into already, but I'd love to see him take a look at those notepads. I bet McCain's is all angry drawings of Obama.
posted by Tehanu at 9:08 PM on October 15, 2008


breash of freth air

Someone forgot his Polygrip.
posted by furtive at 9:09 PM on October 15, 2008




God how bad I want to see what they write on their notepads.
One thing that I thought was weird in the debate before this one - the one with Brokaw, where the candidates had chairs but were wandering around a lot:

As they came out, there were already pads of paper on the little tables next to their chairs. McCain actually began writing as they were still being introduced, before he even sat down, and continued writing nonstop as he was in the process of sitting down and after he had sat down.

It was as if he had been keeping a couple things in super-short term memory and needed to dump them out as soon as possible. I am curious as to what those things were.

I imagine McCain standing offstage just before the debate begins, as Brokaw is giving his little intro speech, thinking "REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK".
posted by Flunkie at 9:15 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


hey gave him his shot, but they weren't expecting to win, which I think has a lot to do with why they gave it to him this year

They "gave" it to him since every other qualifier was 10x worse -- a MORMON, folksy fundie Baptist minister, a little-L libertarian dweeb, an actor, a true whackjob, and Mr 9/11.

Obama is the best of a rather sorry lot, that's why a freshman senator is running away in the polls. That, and the wheels of the Bush Economy have finally fallen off. Pretty shitty timing on that, yah.
posted by troy at 9:20 PM on October 15, 2008


"REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK REMEMBER TO SAY OBAMA DOESN'T SPEAK SOFTLY AND CARRY A BIG STICK".

NEVER PUT SALT IN YOUR EYES. NEVER PUT SALT IN YOUR EYES. NEVER PUT SALT IN YOUR EYES. PUT SALT IN YOUR EYES. ALWAYS PUT SALT IN YOUR EYES!
posted by defenestration at 9:21 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


Hey, is tonight's barn-burner being repeated anywhere tonight? My bf was at the gym while I was watching it, and the stupid DVR didn't record it even though we programmed it to. (It did get an episode of Ghost Hunters: Joe the Plumber Edition, though, so thank goodness for that.) He did see manage to see most of it with the sound down, though, and he said McCain's body language and pissy faces and dilated, buggy eyes were just off-the-charts weird -- like he was on speed or something.
posted by scody at 9:21 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Zombie McCain!

Holy shit!
posted by Tehanu at 9:22 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey, is tonight's barn-burner being repeated anywhere tonight?

hulu.com
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 9:23 PM on October 15, 2008


God how bad I want to see what they write on their notepads.

In either case I suspect it was just "FUCK YOU" in big bubble letters, that's what I would have been writing at least. However if I was Obama, I would also have had that fucking snorting, eye-rolling rich dickhead smirk smacked off that old asshole's face with the quickness and him in an half-nelson saying "Uncle" and "Sorry Sorry Sorry" for his whole inhuman, pandering, hypocritical, war-mongering, meretricious, race-baiting, lying campaign. Which is why I'm not running for president on the democratic ticket, I guess.

Please make sure to vote my friends, and please work on your racist grandmas and GOP uncles. Obama may not be enough to save this mess, but he is a million times better than the alternative.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:25 PM on October 15, 2008


I am *so* looking forward to The Daily Show and Colbert Report tomorrow night. Fuck, yah.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:28 PM on October 15, 2008


I am *so* looking forward to The Daily Show and Colbert Report tomorrow night. Fuck, yah.

Ditto. The Daily Show—especially Jon, during the interview—was particularly brilliant last night.
posted by defenestration at 9:31 PM on October 15, 2008


"Joe The Plumber" says Obama is 'almost as good as' Sammy Davis, Jr.

Wha?! He also admitted that he makes less than $250,000 a year, meaning his taxes will not be raised.
posted by defenestration at 9:38 PM on October 15, 2008


Do plumbers not make buckets of money in the US?
posted by chunking express at 9:41 PM on October 15, 2008


he said McCain's body language and pissy faces and dilated, buggy eyes were just off-the-charts weird -- like he was on speed or something.

Maybe it's time Starbucks cut him off. The poor man is frapp-happy!
posted by maryh at 9:44 PM on October 15, 2008


As people begin to digest how fucking ridiculous it was for McCain to refer to a woman's health—nay, her life—in such a mocking, disrespectful and dismissive way, it will certainly hurt him, big time...

Yeah. It's political anathema, but part of me wishes Obama would paint this situation in stark, clear, and real terms, the kind of terms that most women listening to this with any life experience at hand understand: You're seven months pregnant. Your hope and desire is to become a mother; you've sacrificed your own physical comfort and body and time and perhaps your personal agenda to this dream for several months of your life because you want more than anything to bring a child into the world. During your seventh-month prenatal visit, your doctor informs you that something very serious is very wrong: your baby's heart has not formed. Or its lungs are not forming. Or its brain is forming...outside its skull. Or it has developed hydropcephalus; it's brain-dead, and you may die delivering it. Or your own constitution is failing due to a chronic illness or a pregnancy-induced illness. To carry the baby to term and give birth may mean you die as well as the baby, leaving your husband, the baby's father, grieving, shocked, and alone; leaving your parents, the prospective grandparents, bereft, your siblings without you. Your baby will never exist; you will likely cease to exist if you force the baby's birth.

It's up to you to make the decision: will you try to carry to term, risking likely death for the baby, and/or you as well as the baby? What if you're the father - and the doctor says "We could take the risk, and you're likely to lose your wife and baby. Or we can terminate the pregnancy, and your wife stands a chance of living and perhaps you can try again."

This isn't pretty stuff. It's the stuff of total, personal, human misery, the stuff of late-night tears, prayers, painful decisions, heartbreak, loss, regret, hiccuping sobs, misery, second-guessing, hard realities. But it takes place in a private family context that is fucking.not.political, any more than it's political when you have to decide to stop administering heroic measures for your geriatric parents or when you agree that your twenty-year-old son, felled by an auto accident and flatline brain-dead, can be an organ donor.

It sickens me to see late-term abortion get dragged into the debate this way: exceptions for "the health of the mother" seem so light and flagrant, but in fact, when you're debating between the health of the mother and the death of the mother, it's pretty ficking serious business. It's personal, private, intensely medical, personally ethical, and it's really not the business of the federal government to dictate the proper course of action here. When the doctor says "your baby's dead, and I'm sorry, but you could die too if you try to carry to term," it's really hard to see why Governor Palin should be able to intervene.

I wish someone would paint the reality of late-term abortion in full, painful color so we can see why the issue isn't a political football but a serious, personal, medical and ethical decision that falls far outside of ideology. "Partial-birth abortion" is such a bogeyman; I don't think most people reacting to that phrase have any idea at all what it really means or describes, or why it should not be a criminal offense.
posted by Miko at 9:46 PM on October 15, 2008 [109 favorites]


Don't they make white dentures?

"I think the decision should rest in the hands of the states. I'm a federalist." Like Palin, McCain seems to think "federalist" means the opposite of what it really means.

Stephen Breyer joined the Supreme Court in 1994. Obama joined the US Senate in 2005.

McCain has an elitist way of pronouncing "rather."

Do McCain and Palin not understand what pro-choice means? Palin told Katie Couric she'd "counsel the person to choose life." In tonight's debate McCain said, "It's got to be courage and compassion that we show to a young woman who's facing this terribly different decision." Hello! "Choose." "Decision." That's what pro-choice means!

Note to McCain: lying about your opponent's position works better when he's not sitting right there and hasn't just said the opposite of what you claim he's said.

Note to McCain 2: as discussed in previous debates, the audience has been instructed not to respond, so your mugging and corny jokes makes you look a little crazy.

Count of times where Obama drank some water instead of calling McCain a lying motherfucker to his face: 2

I'm gonna give you all a $50 off coupon toward K-12.

You ski the K-12 dude, and girls will go sterile just looking at you!

McCain's deer in the headlights moment.

That is a lot of blinking.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:46 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


Obama may not be enough to save this mess, but he is a million times better than the alternative.

McCain did look and sound bad tonight, just bad. simple as that. a bit creepy, too. bad show.
posted by matteo at 9:48 PM on October 15, 2008


"And, now, I think the American people are less interested in our hurt feelings during the course of the campaign than addressing the issues that matter to them so deeply."

That was the line. Man, that was a great backhanded zinger.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:49 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think she said "I'm a Federalist" in the Couric/Supreme Court debate, and I questioned that oo. Federallist meant something pretty clear to me when I studied American History. Turns out, though, that she's talking Newspeak: Bush's New Federalism means something different, and that's the Federalism Palin's talking about.
posted by Miko at 9:50 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Katie Couric also called him Joe Wurzelburger, and he indeed turns out to be a font of Republican talking-points.

Is it possible the McCain camp actually vetted Joe better than they checked out Sarah?
posted by rokusan at 9:55 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whew. That passed uneventfully. Just a little under three weeks left to go...
posted by lunit at 9:58 PM on October 15, 2008


Note to McCain 2: as discussed in previous debates, the audience has been instructed not to respond, so your mugging and corny jokes makes you look a little crazy.

Despite this, Obama did get a laugh line. I forget what it was ... anyone remember?
posted by krinklyfig at 9:59 PM on October 15, 2008




Despite this, Obama did get a laugh line. I forget what it was ... anyone remember?

When he dissed Fox News, saying even they disputed some of McCain's claims against him.
posted by Bobby Bittman at 10:01 PM on October 15, 2008


Despite this, Obama did get a laugh line. I forget what it was ... anyone remember?

Mentioning that even Fox News didn't believing some claim, and that there were few claims about Obama that they would dismiss.
posted by jb at 10:02 PM on October 15, 2008


Since you're all in the tank for Obama, you missed the fact that McCain wrapped up a very coveted demographic tonight—plumbers who make more than $250,000 a year.
posted by drezdn at 10:02 PM on October 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


didn't believing

I should sleep now.
posted by jb at 10:03 PM on October 15, 2008


Yeah, that's right. Getting a laugh with that sort of audience with explicit instructions not to react is not easy. I knew he had it in the bag at that moment.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:05 PM on October 15, 2008


Since you're all in the tank for Obama, you missed the fact that McCain wrapped up a very coveted demographic tonight—plumbers who make more than $250,000 a year.

Except for the fact that he doesn't make $250,000 a year.

A joke – I know, but the whole fucking thing is a joke.
posted by defenestration at 10:07 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Watching or reading anything about this election is starting to give me the same tense, anxious feeling I get from watching the Space Shuttle countdown clock.
posted by teraflop at 10:17 PM on October 15, 2008


Holy hell, it gets better: check out McCain's eyeroll.
posted by joedan at 10:17 PM on October 15, 2008


I'm getting flashbacks of Gore sighing...
posted by joedan at 10:18 PM on October 15, 2008


For those who are interested, prolifephysicians.org has a handy summary of why abortions are never medically necessary, specifically regarding eptopic pregnancies:

The abortion exception for the life of the mother is the exception that most commonly seduces the sincere pro-lifer. The scenario in which this exception is most frequently packaged is an ectopic pregnancy, which is when the embryo attaches somewhere inside the mother’s body in a place other than the inner lining of the uterus. It is argued that in an ectopic pregnancy, an abortion must be performed in order to save the mother’s life.

What is rarely realized is that there are several cases in the medical literature where abdominal ectopic pregnancies have survived!
...

Incidentally, this organization is based in .... *drumroll* .... Ohio.
posted by Avenger at 10:19 PM on October 15, 2008




Great clip, defenestration. How long before Joe the Plumber gets his own talk show?
posted by joedan at 10:22 PM on October 15, 2008


Just a few more days 'till the big "medical emergency" -October-surprise.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:28 PM on October 15, 2008


What is rarely realized is that there are several cases in the medical literature where abdominal ectopic pregnancies have survived!

There are also "several cases in the medical literature" of people surviving after having nail gun accidents that lodge spikes in their brains, too.

Shall we draft national policy around this?
posted by rokusan at 10:33 PM on October 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


I have a theory on McCain's sharpie -- he uses a fat felt pen to take notes with because he doesn't want to wear reading glasses and it's the only way he can see his notes.
posted by Rumple at 10:40 PM on October 15, 2008


Joe the Plumber is an interesting guy. It seems like he set out with a specific intention of tripping Obama up on a question. Then, when that failed, he's set himself up as some sort of pundit arguing that he didn't like Obama's answer.

I'd like to see someone get the same nuanced and detailed answer from McCain.
posted by graventy at 10:48 PM on October 15, 2008


re: ectopic pregnancies -- My mom had one when I was really small. She was at work as a nurse at a catholic hospital when it had to be taken care of. They were going to take care of it via surgery, but refused to do anything to her other gonad. She had already had her tubes tied, but just in case the next ectopic pregnancy could come to term, they wouldn't remove the other side.

re: Joe the plumber video -- That guy's sort of a dick. "We don't know Obama's plans" "Well, I'm not making more than 250,000 now, but what if Obama says 100,000 is the tax rate in the future"
posted by garlic at 10:54 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


That was the best debate out of all of them. Bob Schieffer deserves an award or a kiss on the lips or something for not being a pushover or a douchebag. Really well done.

I thought McCain did an OK job painting Obama as being too eager to spend. I think Obama could have come back with more "I'm going to pay for that stuff by cutting crappy programs" or "we need to pay for the RIGHT things".

But Obama basically came off great as usual. McCain was kind of sputtery and awkward and didn't speak in terms the average folk could understand, in my opinion.
posted by frenetic at 10:55 PM on October 15, 2008


Absolutely. Schieffer deserves a medal.
posted by joedan at 10:57 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or, saving a little money otherwise spent in YOUR war in Iraq, John.....
posted by Rumple at 10:59 PM on October 15, 2008


McCain's "woman's health" air quotes
posted by Rumple at 11:09 PM on October 15, 2008


Note to McCain 3: it's "you can't blink," not "blink 43 times after Obama says 'zero.'"

"Certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe v. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to [undergo] illegal and dangerous operations." -- John McCain, 1999.

McCain tonight: "I am not president Bush. If you want to run against president Bush, you should have done that four years ago." McCain 2005:
The fact is that I have agreed with President Bush far more than I have disagreed. And on the transcendent issues, the most important issues of our day, I've been totally in agreement and support of President Bush....I will argue my conservative record of voting with anyone's, and I will also submit that my support for President Bush has been active and very impassioned on issues that are important to the American people. And I'm particularly talking about the war on terror, the war in Iraq, national security, national defense, support of men and women in the military, fiscal discipline, a number of other issues. So I strongly disagree with any assertion that I've been more at odds with the president of the United States than I have been in agreement with him.
I have a theory on McCain's sharpie -- he uses a fat felt pen to take notes with because he doesn't want to wear reading glasses and it's the only way he can see his notes.

He may also have arthritis or something that makes it difficult for him to grasp a smaller pen.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:12 PM on October 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


"I am not president Bush. If you want to run against president Bush, you should have done that four years ago."

As one of the talking heads said, McCain himself could have run against Bush four years ago.....
posted by Rumple at 11:19 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I doubt he was writing anything down. He just needs something to occupy his twitchy body while Obama speaks.

The Rolling Stone article linked somewhere above is an excellent read. McCain is a spoiled, self-indulgent bastard who is no war hero: he spilled his guts to the Vietcong and has spent his life fucking-over the people in his life.

A vote for McCain is a vote for the end of the USA as a powerful first-world nation.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:27 PM on October 15, 2008


A vote for McCain is a vote for the end of the USA as a powerful first-world nation.

Well, to be fair, the USA stopped being that around 2004.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:51 PM on October 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


Paris Hilton lied to me. What happened to "See you at the debates, bitches"?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:53 PM on October 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


So yeah, I'm totally in the tank for Obama and I may not be the most unbiased observer but that debate was a McCain flameout.

With his pursed lips and ghoulish smile and wild eyebrows and feverish, staring, glare and huffy mugging asides to the camera, John MCCain looked somewhat less than presidential, and his catchphrases? Jesus seriously, his catchphrases?

What really got me tonight about those catchphrases ("countries who don't like us very much", "I've got the scars to prove it", "miss congeniality") was that when I got that awful feeling of being punched in the gut by stupidness, I flashed back on the last time I felt it, the VP debates, and why, and I got it. McCain is Palin.

Sorry I didn't realize it earlier. Sorry I wondered for so long why he chose her. McCain is, or has somehow become, just as stone dumb as Palin is, and does nothing but spout tiny hateful speeches with all the subtlety and content of detergent slogans, crafted for him by someone or some group of someones with more cynicism than brains.

Thankfully, our guy is a gentleman and a scholar. Maybe it's because I lost the drinking game tonight, but I'm ready to be optomistic now. We're going to win.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 11:59 PM on October 15, 2008


self-indulgent bastard who is no war hero: he spilled his guts to the Vietcong

not to piss on the fine pro-Obama vibe we've got here, but I find this statement . . . fucked up; the direct analog of Malkin putting it out there that Kerry shot himself to get out of his service.

While being a good open-minded free thinker I can not condemn the North Vietnamese for torturing our captured fliers -- our guys were, after all, shot down over NVN while engaged in a years-long and often questionable terror bombing campaign of civilian areas and infrastructure -- to slag on McCain's service as a POW and his breaking under torture is beyond the pale of decency and shows little understanding of character and the realities of McCain's situation.
posted by troy at 12:01 AM on October 16, 2008 [16 favorites]


Divine Wino, I adore you for using the word 'meretricious'. It sums up the current Republican strategy so beautifully I've been using it myself for weeks.
posted by winna at 12:07 AM on October 16, 2008


I agree with troy.

No one needs to move into those sort of nasty "purple heart band-aid" arguments. It's not as if we're exactly short on things to mock and criticism McCain for, here.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:11 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Agreed: there are plenty of examples of McCain's lack of honor and shitty politics and grotesquely self-serving behavior, but breaking under torture ain't one of them.
posted by scody at 12:19 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


A "lexical analysis of 2008 US Pres. and VP debates." On the page are weighted word maps, as well as things like sentence size and a "windbag index." Their lexical summary:
Speech structural parameters of candidates fall within very narrow tolerances, suggesting high degree of wordsmithing and rehearsal. For example, noun/verb/adjective/adverb ratio is nearly identical, as is unique word count and noun phrase profile. Speech of Presidential candidates is more complex and less repetitive than that of their Vice-Presidential counterparts. Biden is the most repetitive speaker. The Obama/McCain debates began with balanced performance from both candidates but end with Obama verbally overpowering McCain with overwhelming superiority in concepts delivered.
posted by Korou at 12:26 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


As an ex-pat who couldn't watch the debate live, I *heart* mefi. Comedy gold in here, people. Comedy gold.

Oh, and it looks like we're going to have a president we can be proud of again come January. Thank God.
posted by bardic at 12:29 AM on October 16, 2008


Miko gave an excellent summary about late term abortion above. The percentage of late term (after 20 weeks) abortions in the US is roughly 1.4%. This is about 1200 procedures a year. And given the nature of the procedure, this is not something people are romping in to do before getting a mani-pedi at the spa, nor is it something a health care provider will do without a damn good reason.

If anyone is interested in the way the treatment of abortion has evolved in the US since the late 1800s when it was first made illegal, a good book is Leslie J Reagan's When Abortion Was a Crime. In particular the book looks at how the idea of pregnancy has evolved as we've grown more able to predict a positive outcome for the mother and child as well as how the rationale and motivations for abortion evolved as the medical community became more engaged in the process. Just a fun fact: before the development of accurate pregnancy testing women thought of the beginning stages of pregnancy and the stoppage of periods as a very grey area. Women took what we would now consider abortificants to regularize their period. The definition of pregnancy was quickening, which is when the mother first feels the baby stir.

In the late Twenties scientists developed a cumbersome and expensive test which involved injecting rodents with the urine of pregnant women to determine pregnancy. At this point the ongoing professionalization of medicine meant that women began to rely on doctors to determine their pregnant status rather than making a self-determination. At this point the way pregnancy began to be defined by the diagnosis of pregnancy by a doctor.

At this point abortion was legal as long as it was performed by a doctor. This continued throughout the Thirties, with doctors making not only medical determinations about whether or not abortion was acceptable, but economic determinations. Women who could not support additional children were given abortions by doctors. There were abortion clinics working openly.

During the Forties the rise of the family culture and the prominence of the abortion providers in the Thirties caused a backlash against abortion providers. While few doctors were punished for providing abortions, doctors and hospitals set up committees to determine if abortion was appropriate into the Fifties and Sixties. The key determination now was not whether your doctor thought you had a medically or (after Freud became popular) psychologically fit to be a mother, but whether the hospital committee who were collectively under pressure from the state to reduce the number of abortions thought you should have one.

Doctors began to agitate against these standards for humanitarian as well as administrative reasons, along with feminist collectives and the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion in the late Sixties. This agitation eventually led to the Roe v Wade decision.

It's a rough summary of the timeline and I do not do it justice, so if the above seems interesting, Reagan's book is fascinating, well-written and much more in depth.
posted by winna at 12:36 AM on October 16, 2008 [20 favorites]


McCain repeated his weird line of attacking Obama for not opposing his own party.

1. Obama's not claiming to be a maverick that sometimes goes against his party, so criticizing him for not going against his party doesn't make any sense.

2. The entire time Obama's been in the Senate, George W. Bush has been president, so naturally Obama would be voting with the Democrats and against Bush most of the time. McCain's basically trying to criticize Obama for not voting with Bush enough.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:46 AM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


For those of you (like me) who missed the debate, C-SPAN has a stream of it (Real Video) up at their site.
posted by MikeKD at 12:46 AM on October 16, 2008


Maybe it's because I lost the drinking game tonight, but I'm ready to be optomistic now. We're going to win.

That's downright preposterous. You can't lose at a drinking game.
posted by clearly at 12:51 AM on October 16, 2008






Whoa, this is interesting: Paddy Power is paying out early for bets that Barack Obama will be the next President. Of course, this doesn't mean it's in the bag:
The Irish betting company has paid betters prematurely in the past. On June 12, shortly before polls closed, Paddy Power said it would pay out 80,000 euros ($107,176) on bets that Irish voters would ratify the European Union's governing treaty, adding that the ballot was ``in the bag.''

Voters came out against the treaty by about 53 percent to 47 percent.
posted by mullingitover at 2:14 AM on October 16, 2008


Oh, I nearly forgot InTrade, which called Florida for Bush in 2004 and saw Obama beating Clinton last February. They've currently got the chances of an Obama victory versus a McCain victory at 84.1% and rising to 16.7% and falling, respectively. Keep in mind that the gambling community isn't as concerned about party platforms in these predictions as they are with, well, winning their bets.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:23 AM on October 16, 2008




I hope that picture is widely copied, Marisa.
posted by orange swan at 3:53 AM on October 16, 2008


I hope that picture is widely copied, Marisa.

Oh, don't worry - it's making the rounds.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:05 AM on October 16, 2008


McCain's basically trying to criticize Obama for not voting with Bush enough.

Which is doubly odd, considering that the Democrats and Obama have voted for a great portion of the critical, influential and far-reaching aspects of the Bush Doctrine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:24 AM on October 16, 2008


I wish someone would paint the reality of late-term abortion in full, painful color so we can see why the issue isn't a political football but a serious, personal, medical and ethical decision that falls far outside of ideology.

People have tried. Women who had had to have late-term abortions testified before congress during that particular debate about how and why. And it still didn't help.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:27 AM on October 16, 2008


Jon Swift: In Defense of Angry Mobs:
This country wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for an angry mob that decided it wanted a tax cut and threw English tea into Boston Harbor. Angry mobs once enforced local justice without interference from the meddlesome federal government in the Old West and in the south after Reconstruction, just as our Founding Fathers had envisioned in The Federalist Papers. And we would probably all be Muslims now if an angry mob hadn’t chosen Barabbas over Jesus 2,000 years ago.

The Republican Party certainly owes a lot to angry mobs. Angry mobs in Little Rock and Selma deeply concerned about the issue of state’s rights, angry mobs of parents in Boston who didn’t want their kids bussed across town and angry mobs of Chicago homeowners who didn’t want their property values to go down all helped give birth to the modern conservative movement.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:56 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I hope that picture is widely copied, Marisa.


I'm waiting for his awesome rendition of the robot that followed directly after this to come out on YouTube, set to music.
posted by Rykey at 5:09 AM on October 16, 2008


McCain repeated his weird line of attacking Obama for not opposing his own party.

I was disappointed that Obama didn't say something along the lines of "Because my party hasn't completely screwed everything up, John. Taking an occasional stand against the Republican party of today doesn't make you a hero, it's the barest measure of having common sense."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 AM on October 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


Y'know, Marisa, after thinking more about our brief discussion of Obama's chances of winning, I should probably clarify my argument a little.

My skepticism about an Obama win is less a rant about the stoopidness of the average American than an observation about how little thought goes into voting on the part of a very large number of people in this country. A great many number of people indulge in about five seconds of political thought per year; instead of being the culmination of their careful consideration of the issues, which way these people vote is influenced by social forces like their church (if you've ever been to a service in an evangelical church, it's clear who the leadership is rooting for, even if they don't name names), their family's tradition of voting for a certain party, or even just who's lampooned more down at the local watering hole.

So, in essence, many, many people know next to nothing about which candidate stands for what (beyond one or two token issues), but believe it's important to vote. It just seems to me that this block of voters tends to fall into the reactionary, flag-waving camp.

Interesting ideas here all around, at any rate.
posted by Rykey at 5:35 AM on October 16, 2008




oh, god... *slaps self* ... I keep feeling sorry for McCain at various points throughout this campaign period, and the zombie McCain pic is another instance of this - it's just such a typically ordinary human sort of face and gesture to make when you realize you're doing the wrong thing (trying to go in the "out" door, mistakenly walking into the Ladies instead of the Gents, whatever).

Yet the fact that pity is an emotion that seems to continue to assert itself in regard to this candidate (despite how much I utterly deplore so many of his tactics and strategic choices) is heartening. I can't be the only one reacting this way, and it is not a feeling that inspires confidence in one who is bidding to be the next Commander in Chief of the United States.

At any rate, I do think we saw altogether too much of John's tongue during this debate. Get that thing under control, man!
posted by taz at 5:42 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Concern for the health of the mother is an "extreme pro-abortion position"?

To be fair, McCain was being consistent. He also suggested that believing that nuclear plants should be "safe" is an extremist position.
posted by EarBucket at 5:45 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


okokok
I really wanted to hear Obama say "It's ok John, you can rest now. You got seven beautiful homes, a loving family, you've done the best you can, it's time to retire to the porch," while gently patting his hand and helping him off stage.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:17 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Apparently, McCain claims to be a maverick whenever he does not vote with the Republicans. Put another way, McCain is a maverick when he votes with the Democrats.

Obama should say, "If you are a maverick sometimes because you don't vote with Republicans, then I guess that makes me a maverick all the time." I would also like Obama to add a cheerful, mocking "motherfucker!" at the end of that sentence.
posted by flarbuse at 6:23 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


to slag on McCain's service as a POW and his breaking under torture is beyond the pale of decency and shows little understanding of character and the realities of McCain's situation.
Soon after McCain hit the ground in Hanoi, the code went out the window. "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital," he later admitted pleading with his captors. McCain now insists the offer was a bluff, designed to fool the enemy into giving him medical treatment. In fact, his wounds were attended to only after the North Vietnamese discovered that his father was a Navy admiral. What has never been disclosed is the manner in which they found out: McCain told them. According to Dramesi, one of the few POWs who remained silent under years of torture, McCain tried to justify his behavior while they were still prisoners. "I had to tell them," he insisted to Dramesi, "or I would have died in bed."

Dramesi says he has no desire to dishonor McCain's service, but he believes that celebrating the downed pilot's behavior as heroic — "he wasn't exceptional one way or the other" — has a corrosive effect on military discipline. "This business of my country before my life?" Dramesi says. "Well, he had that opportunity and failed miserably. If it really were country first, John McCain would probably be walking around without one or two arms or legs — or he'd be dead."

Once the Vietnamese realized they had captured the man they called the "crown prince," they had every motivation to keep McCain alive. His value as a propaganda tool and bargaining chip was far greater than any military intelligence he could provide, and McCain knew it. "It was hard not to see how pleased the Vietnamese were to have captured an admiral's son," he writes, "and I knew that my father's identity was directly related to my survival." But during the course of his medical treatment, McCain followed through on his offer of military information. Only two weeks after his capture, the North Vietnamese press issued a report — picked up by The New York Times — in which McCain was quoted as saying that the war was "moving to the advantage of North Vietnam and the United States appears to be isolated." He also provided the name of his ship, the number of raids he had flown, his squadron number and the target of his final raid.
Read the Rolling Stone article. I know it's long and full of words, but you deserve to know the real story, not the fairy tale.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:37 AM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Are there plausible October surprises that could flip the results at this point

Not to be ghoulish, but I think if Nancy Reagan dies the Repubs are going to get a bump.
posted by nax at 6:42 AM on October 16, 2008


Damn, this is a good ad: 90%

It's a good example of the Obama campaign's political jujitsu: take McCain's best one-liner of the night and build an attack around it, add a devastating soundbite, and sprinkle in some goofy faces from the debate.
posted by EarBucket at 6:43 AM on October 16, 2008


Read the Rolling Stone article. I know it's long and full of words, but you deserve to know the real story, not the fairy tale.
posted by five fresh fish 10 minutes ago [+]


I'm skeptical on the Rolling Stone article - I talked to a naval historian about it, and their account of the Forrestal disaster was very misleading.
posted by jb at 6:49 AM on October 16, 2008


A top adviser, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, said Obama is considering expanding his active campaign back into North Dakota and Georgia, from which he’d shifted resources, and into the Appalachian heartland of West Virginia and Kentucky.
posted by EarBucket at 6:51 AM on October 16, 2008


Nancy Reagan is going to be fine.

And Obama is going to be president.

I am allowing myself the slightest indulgent fantasy as I drift off to sleep, imagining the reports from cities around the world, but especially in the global south -- Jakarta, Nairobi, maybe in particular -- on the evening of Nov. 4 at about 9PM EST when this thing is called a landslide for Obama. The pure catharsis of redemption in the eyes of the world, a second chance for the American model for democracy to show what it can do even under the heel of tyranny (as I think we will come to view the Bush years, a slow motion coup d'etat against the American people and the constitution). Mind you, there's a lot of making up to do, but I predict it will be instantly safer and happier to be an American abroad on Nov. 5, and that most American citizens will find themselves taken by surprise at the joy they will feel at no longer being feared and/or despised quite as much for their recently dumb and blind attitude of entitlement and exceptionalism.

Back in 2004, I remember a young African American woman asking a question at a town hall debate about what the candidates would do to make it less shameful to be an American with a passport, in almost those words. That was always a resonant question for me in this election, and a big reason I've been for Barack since the day Kerry lost.

I am not counting chickens. I've been working on the campaign. I've given all I can give. I trust only the headline in the New York Times on Nov. 5. I fear a last minute CIA-engineered surprise from Bush. But I find it helpful to visualize the finish line and why it's worth it to survive what's coming and keep fighting for just 19 more days.

Yes. We. Can.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:56 AM on October 16, 2008 [12 favorites]


@jb, so maybe McCain's only 90% super asshole?
posted by chunking express at 7:01 AM on October 16, 2008


With the way the McCain campaign has been lately, I'm half expecting an ad where they attack Obama for being too old and pointing out that he could die at any time.
posted by drezdn at 7:11 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I hope that picture is widely copied, Marisa.

Oh, don't worry - it's making the rounds.


It's a Reuters photo. They show Obama as not cropped out in the full photo. Compare and contrast the two candidates.
posted by ericb at 7:14 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Newsweek: McCain deploys a kitchen-sink strategy
posted by ericb at 7:16 AM on October 16, 2008


As much as I would have liked Obama to have his share of "OH SNAP!" moments, he's doing what he needs to do. The task at hand is to convey himself as disciplined, knowledgeable, serious, authoritative - presidential (which might be easier for him because heaven help us, he might really actually BE all of those things instead of merely performing).

Tit for tat (note repeated use of that phrase during the debate) with some failed military prince doesn't really do him any favors. His entire approach to McCain is the right one. Respectful, but ultimately dismissive. McCain is a problem for the next four weeks, but clearly, this man wants to get to work, already.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 7:18 AM on October 16, 2008


It's a Reuters photo. They show Obama as not cropped out in the full photo. Compare and contrast the two candidates.

LOOK OUT SENATOR OBAMA! Zombie!
posted by Tehanu at 7:21 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wow, just wow...that picture is just perfect.
posted by schyler523 at 7:21 AM on October 16, 2008


I saw that photo (cropped and uncropped) on DU this AM and laughed so hard I spit my coffee up.

If there is any justice, it will exactly compensate for Dukakis in the tank. It's that iconic. In a more trivial time, it might sink a campaign. Here, it just needs to stand for a sinking campaign.

By the way, does anyone else especially hate the way Sarah Palin says "Barack Obama?" Now she's repeating the "as my running mate said last night, if he wanted to run against President Bush he should have done it four years ago" line in Maine right now.

You can taste the defeat in her voice today, however. It's a curled up ball of rage, but it's defeat.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:21 AM on October 16, 2008


BTW, here's the new GOP meme theme for the day: Obama is mean -- overconfident, smug, arrogant are the buzzwords.

Wow.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:23 AM on October 16, 2008


@jb, so maybe McCain's only 90% super asshole?
posted by chunking express at 10:01 AM on October 16 [+] [!]


After the Swift-Boating of John Kerry, I think we should all be aware of how stories can be twisted for political purpose. I had read the Rolling Stone article, and was equally shocked. Then I started talking to a naval historian, and he pointed out all sorts of inconsistencies in the article - things that might look bad to a reporter who didn't understand military procedure but which would actually be the right thing to do as far as anyone in the Navy was concerned. Like getting out of the way of the men who had been trained to fight fires, and reporting to your duty station.

As for the POW accounts - I would never hold any judgement of anyone in such a situation because I have not been, and I do not know what I would have done. But here, as well, it is easy to twist what was actually a much more complex situation than the article makes it out to be.

I just don't think that honest political fights are about dragging up questionable articles whose only purpose is to blacken a man's character by twisting things and painting them in the worst light. His policies and current political platform reflect his current character and what he values: McCain should be judged on that.
posted by jb at 7:24 AM on October 16, 2008 [11 favorites]




New Obama Ad: McCain = 90% Bush.
posted by ericb at 7:26 AM on October 16, 2008


billyfleetwood: "Until I see a poll that shows 10% of Americans really believe that if Obama wins, Bin Laden will be the new host of the Tonight show, and we're changing the name of the NY Yankees to the New York Al Quedas, I'm not giving the wackos any play."

Even then, I'd want to see if Bin Laden has the comedy chops, and could care less what the Yankee's want to change their name to.


cjorgensen: “So in the interest of preserving fair elections I do think exit polls should be outlawed.”

Smedleyman: "The press too. They say a lot of things that could influence elections. We should outlaw them as well."

Then I would be out of a job. I don't think anyone would be hurt by disallowing the results of the polls being announced until after the polls have closed. But I don't think you've been reading what I've written.

If another country had elections as messed up as our 2000 elections were, and we were observers in that country, we wouldn't have certified the results.

I have no problem with monitoring the polls (someone else points to exit polls as a method of keeping polls honest or to identify discrepancies). I do have problems with what I see as interfering with the process. Press and pollsters aren't allowed inside, many states have laws about how close they can be outside. I'm just saying these rules should be consistent from state to state, and the results should not be allowed to be reported until after the poll closes. There should also be checks on the data gathering and accuracy, but as it stands now, you can choose to stand outside, for however long you feel is needed to get your "sample," then you can call it how you see fit, as soon as you see fit to call it.


cjorgensen: "Exit polls are too screwed up, inaccurate, biased, and uncertain to have any real value."

krinklyfig: "I'd like to see some data backing this conclusion. Otherwise, you're sorta talking out your butt."

They're not hard to find.

Report Acknowledges Inaccuracies in 2004 Exit Polls
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A22188-2005Jan19.html

HAVE THE EXIT POLLS BEEN WRONG BEFORE?
http://www.mysterypollster.com/main/2004/12/have_the_exit_p.html

Egg On Face of Exit Pollsters
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,137451,00.html

Was the 2004 Presidential Election Stolen?
http://www.amazon.com/Was-2004-Presidential-Election-Stolen/dp/1583226877

If you want any more, do your own damn research, or go ahead and crawl up inside my ass and look for whatever information you think you'll find there.

A lot of exit polls are just college kids standing outside getting answers from the people willing to give them. There's no way to check the truth of what the voter chooses to say or get any kind of demographics. Nor is there anyway to check the accuracy of what the pollster chooses to report.

It was on the basis of exit polls that Florida was called for Bush, then Gore, then Bush, then too close to call. Forgive me if I place enough importance on the process to want the results to match what's reported.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:31 AM on October 16, 2008




BTW, here's the new GOP meme theme for the day: Obama is mean -- overconfident, smug, arrogant are the buzzwords.

Wow.


I'm no longer surprised when they do this. I still think it's bizarre, but it seems to be their strategy. Whatever thing they are doing, they attack Obama for doing. I'm not sure why they think that will will people over, but it really is striking that every attack they use reflects exactly what their own campaign is doing and should be wary of calling attention to. Yet.
posted by Tehanu at 7:33 AM on October 16, 2008


From Five Thirty Eight:
McCain's implication that Obama was principally responsible for the negative tone of the campaign was simply not going to be credible to most voters. Certainly, the Obama campaign has been negative at times -- more often than either the Al Gore or John Kerry -- and on several occasions explictly misleading. But voters came into the debate thinking by 2:1 margins that McCain was running a negative campaign and Obama a positive one. To try and fight against that tide was a significant mistake.
posted by chunking express at 7:37 AM on October 16, 2008


That's one thing I thought about during the debate -- McCain kept harping on about how much money Obama has spent on negative ads, more than anyone in history. Yeah, well, when you have as much money as his campaign has, of course you're going to spend more money on everything! What's he supposed to do, sit on a big cushion of donations until November 5? Buy half hour slots on network TV just to play Donald in Mathmagic Land*?

* I have been giggling over that comment since I saw it.
posted by sugarfish at 7:47 AM on October 16, 2008


McCain Frowns, Rolls Eyes, Blinks More Than 3,000 Times
"A Democratic researcher spent the evening counting the Arizona Republican's blinks, and tallied more than 3,000 during the night's affair -- three thousand blinks in a 90-minute time span. They even compressed a 30-second clip of those blinks into a nine second video."
posted by ericb at 7:48 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


By the way, does anyone else especially hate the way Sarah Palin says "Barack Obama?" Now she's repeating the "as my running mate said last night, if he wanted to run against President Bush he should have done it four years ago" line in Maine right now.

But what the hell is she doing in Maine? At this point, they should cash themselves out and go to Vegas to hit the tables... it'd be money better spent.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 7:49 AM on October 16, 2008


McCain Frowns, Rolls Eyes, Blinks More Than 3,000 Times

He and Palin are the perfect ticket - like Jack Sprat and his wife!
posted by snofoam at 7:53 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also:

“I am not going to be President Bush.”

Fixed that for him. Ha ha!
posted by snofoam at 7:55 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


But what the hell is she doing in Maine?

Maine's 1st Congressional District could be considered in play but McCain's chances there are about as slim as Obama winning in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District. But you're right. Counting on that one electoral vote isn't a winning strategy for McCain right now.
posted by effwerd at 8:04 AM on October 16, 2008


cjorgensen writes "It was on the basis of exit polls that Florida was called for Bush, then Gore, then Bush, then too close to call. Forgive me if I place enough importance on the process to want the results to match what's reported."

Exit polls have historically proven to be accurate in most elections. There has been a recent effort to discredit exit polling on the behalf of Republicans, at least since the 2000 election which to me is in line with their attempts to discredit science, intellectuals and community organizers. The problem you talk about in the media had to do with the media, not so much the exit polling, and perhaps we need to continue to prohibit exit polls from being released until after the votes are counted. The thing to keep in mind is that exit polling is a tool that we use for analysis. It's not an end unto itself, but it is used to detect fraud, and this happened recently in Ukraine. If there are issues with the polling, they can be worked out, and that is much less serious than issues with voting.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's one thing I thought about during the debate -- McCain kept harping on about how much money Obama has spent

That came across as ridiculously jealous and childish. McCain sounded like a ten year old who's mad because a ten-year-old classmate (the one who gets better grades and is better looking and more popular, especially with the girls) was able to get a paper route and can spend his earnings on things like an iPod. "Yeah, well, you're spoiled and iPods are dumb anyway!"
posted by orange swan at 8:09 AM on October 16, 2008


But what the hell is she doing in Maine?

It's damage control. Palin may not do the GOP much good there, but she can't do much harm either.
posted by orange swan at 8:13 AM on October 16, 2008


So Palin's taken her "...breast of flesh...air" to Maine, now?
posted by Floydd at 8:18 AM on October 16, 2008


Dramatic McCain vs. Dramatic Chipmunk!
posted by ericb at 8:21 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I read through the transcript when I got home this evening. Some things mentioned in the thread didn't make the New York Times' transcript, strangely.

Still, when I got to Obama saying that he'd try to stop the practice of refusing health care for pre-existing conditions... as someone who's had back problems and surgeries since age of 20, who just can't get insurance back in the States, if I wasn't voting for him before, I am now. I never thought I could be a single issue voter (and I like to think I'm not), but not being able to get coverage for my back is one reason (of several) why I live overseas.

Before I said I joked that if Bush won in 2000, I'd stay overseas. Tonight, I thought, "Holy shit, Obama's going to help me come home."
posted by Ghidorah at 8:25 AM on October 16, 2008 [11 favorites]


Dramatic McCain

What I'd like to do is take McCain's side of the screen from the "ZERO?!" clip--which I didn't get to see, on PBS, I might add--and stick it into the split-screen from the entire debate.

Moderator asks a question: ZERO?! Barry's talking about education: ZERO?! He's asked for a closing remark: ZERO?!
posted by uncleozzy at 8:34 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama has spent on negative ads, more than anyone in history. Yeah, well, when you have as much money as his campaign has, of course you're going to spend more money on everything!

So let me get this clear, from the fact checkers I've heard and read this morning:

Obama has spent more on negative ads than anyone in history. OK.

Obama is outspending McCain on advertising at a rate of around 3 to one. Wow, OK.

About one third of Obama advertising is negative and close to 100% of McCain's is negative. Jeez.

So, if I do my maths correctly: One third of three times X is an equal ammount. So doesn't that mean John McCain has spent more on negative advertising than anyone in history too?
posted by Pollomacho at 8:47 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Whenever I see that 'Zero!?' clip I can't help but picturing Scooby Doo doing the voice...
"Zweroh?!?"
posted by PenDevil at 8:47 AM on October 16, 2008


Why didn't McCain run against Bush in 2004?

McCain said, "Every time there's been an out-of-bounds remark made by a Republican, no matter where they are, I have repudiated them." Really? Does he repudiate Sarah Palin every time she says Obama pals around with terrorists?

At the Saddleback appearance in August, McCain named John Lewis as one of the "wisest people that you know that you would rely on heavily in an administration." Why demand that Obama renounce his comments (even though Obama already did)?
posted by kirkaracha at 8:50 AM on October 16, 2008




But what the hell is she doing in Maine?

My guess is she's talking about moose hunting a LOT.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:51 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Being from Chicago, I was incredibly annoyed that McCain brought up the goddamn projector again. I mean, we have a mayor who goes around stealing airports in the middle of the night. Or whatever. And the best you can come up with on Obama is this motherfucking projector bullshit. Fuck that.
posted by 912 Greens at 8:54 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


John McCain appears to be going for the 'kindergartners who like to be patronised' demographic. Or maybe he's just really shit at reading scripts.

McCain Plan:

Rebuild Savings
Grow Investments
Energy Independence

Details? Why have details when you can speak in an odd voice meant to sooth, but which actually terrifies and annoys simultaneously.
posted by Happy Dave at 8:55 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, if I do my maths correctly: One third of three times X is an equal amount. So doesn't that mean John McCain has spent more on negative advertising than anyone in history too?

My friends, this is just another example of Pollomacho's eloquence. But you've got to really listen to what he's saying under all those words: an "equal" amount. "Equal"? That idea of "equal" has been stretched to mean anything by the extremist pro-arithmetic movement. What it really means, my friends, is that we can't be certain of anything Pollomacho tells us except that he's going to fine people who don't balance their checkbooks every month. Joe the Plumber, Pollomacho is going to fine you, and he won't even tell you how much that fine is.
posted by scody at 8:55 AM on October 16, 2008 [18 favorites]


McCain started off two of the three debates by saying an old person was in the hospital.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:00 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm no longer surprised when they do this. I still think it's bizarre, but it seems to be their strategy. Whatever thing they are doing, they attack Obama for doing. I'm not sure why they think that will will people over, but it really is striking that every attack they use reflects exactly what their own campaign is doing and should be wary of calling attention to.

They do this to blunt criticism, and are essentially playing a game that works because of what is essentially a loophole in thought and discourse that can happen because of the time-crunched society that exists now. For years this tactic has built itself up, and it's playing itself out on an absurd scale.

What they're doing probably has a name, but I'll just explain it in general terms - it's a false controversy. It's essentially the "teach the controversy" nonsense, where you have a mountain of scientists on one side, and a few dingbats on the other, and you say "it's a controversy!" This happens in a number of fields where there is general agreement that something is wrong, but in the misguided attempt to give time to what are supposed to be differing opinions but are typically completely disregarded ones, somebody with a bs view gets equal time and thus some issue that shouldn't even be getting questioned is posed as an ongoing dispute.

And people don't have time to dig into the details, so they just chalk it up as an "ongoing dispute" and wait to hear the final verdict, which never comes because the media keeps giving airtime to knuckleheads.

So to bring it back, what McCain's campaign does when they accuse Obama's campaign of what they're doing, is set it up for the media to say "The McCain campaign and the Obama campaign have been trading accusations of negative ads," and "Today McCain and Obama each accused each other of having supporters who say violent and dangerous things at their rallies." Which is indeed the only explanation for McCain's insane suggestion that anybody at an Obama rally had been screaming "kill him" or anything close to the level of the shouts Obama has received, towards McCain.

So you see this reflected in the opinions of the uninformed. Notice how the undecided viewers typically are like "we don't care about the personal attacks or the back and forth, focus on the issues." Partly that's because of the situation the country is in, but it's also a reflection of this bewildering barrage of claims the general public doesn't have the time to follow, investigate and sort out.

So it won't win anybody over - it'll just keep them ignorant of the dirty crap that goes on at their rallies, and the dishonorable way he's been carrying himself.
posted by cashman at 9:01 AM on October 16, 2008 [15 favorites]


Fact-Checking ‘Joe The Plumber’.
posted by ericb at 9:02 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


This image has given me the greatest joy all morning. Rest of it is here, but that first panel really captures the deftness of Obama and his campaign's ability to turn around whatever McCain's campaign comes up with back onto them.
posted by jamaro at 9:03 AM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


Gamechanger Dept: John McCain just announced a radical new plan to make dinner time earlier. He was just on Fox News claiming "millions of Americans are simply too hungry to wait." The proposed plan will provide immediate relief to the elderly, his friends and fellow prisoners.
posted by snofoam at 9:04 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


And oh, god, that "Angry McCain" video ericb links to is so priceless. The best part, I think, is actually Obama's reaction very early, around :08. It's like a parent talking to a pissy little brat who keeps interrupting, thinking he's really getting his digs in and setting the agenda while the adult just isn't even fazed: "Little Johnny and I have some differences about chores and allowance--" "And I better get my allowance tonight!" "--which is what we're discussing right now, Johnny."

I mean, seriously, it's a thing of fucking beauty. McCain sits back with this weirdly manic smug look of "HA! I brought up a topic WE'RE GOING TO DISCUSS! Take THAT, Mr. Double-Digit-Lead" and Obama, totally in control and essentially swatting away a rhetorical fly, doesn't even blink. I fucking love him.
posted by scody at 9:09 AM on October 16, 2008


Okay, wait. So Joe the Plumber isn't undecided, isn't a plumber, and his name is actually Sam?
posted by effwerd at 9:11 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama at a fundraiser this morning:
“For those of you who are feeling giddy or cocky and think this is all set, I just say one word. I guess it’s two words for you: New Hampshire. You know, I’ve been in these positions before where we were favored and the press starts getting carried away and we end up getting spanked. And so that’s another good lesson that Hillary Clinton taught me.”
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I don't think anyone would be hurt by disallowing the results of the polls being announced until after the polls have closed.

Except the idea of a free press who doesn't need the government's permission to publish.

There's no way to ... get any kind of demographics.

This is simply false. Exit polls commonly offer demographic crosstabs.

The way you "get any kind of demographics" is by doing the amazing thing of asking "How old are you?" or "Do you usually think of yourself as a Democrat, a Republican, or what?"
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Martin Eisenstadt’s Blog
Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher related to Charles “the Crook” Keating. Oops.
October 15th, 2008 . by Marty

John McCain did great tonight in the debate. But every time John mentioned “Joe the Plumber,” some of us in the campaign banged our heads against the wall. If Steve Schmidt had any hair left, I hear he would have been pulling it out tonight. He reportedly screamed at John’s debate prep team tonight (out of earshot of reporters, of course). “You idiots - he’s related to Charles Keating… of the Keating Five scandal!” They thought they had a real live Joe Six-Pack who’s spurned Barack Obama’s tax plan. But what they forgot to do was check on Joe Wurzelbacher’s background.

Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years.
.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:27 AM on October 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


Thanks cashman. You spelled out the train of thought I was starting to have but hadn't quite fully figured out yet. Once this is over I'd like to make a list of the McCain/Palin claims about Obama, dates first made, and how they're usually accurate criticisms of some new development in their own ticket.
posted by Tehanu at 9:33 AM on October 16, 2008


McCain started off two of the three debates by saying an old person was in the hospital.

Well, to be fair, in his peer group, many of his friends probably are in the hospital or dying off.

It was interesting hearing him mention Nancy Reagan and his hopes for her recovery. According to the Rolling Stone article on McCain, the Reagans and Nancy especially never forgave him for his treatment of his first wife, as the two couples had been friends.

I can just see Nancy sitting up in her hospital bed thinking, "I don't need your prayers, you mofo. I just want to live long enough to see Obama cream you in the election."
posted by orange swan at 9:36 AM on October 16, 2008


But what they forgot to do was check on Joe Wurzelbacher’s background.

I LOVE it! Once again the flat-footed fuck up big time. Too bad Joe wasn't a veterinarian! McCain would have said "Joe the Vet" 26 times.

Vet, vet, vet...
posted by ericb at 9:37 AM on October 16, 2008


fleetmouse writes "Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years."

Wow. OK, I have to try to get some work done for a while, but that's fascinating.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:38 AM on October 16, 2008


In an update Eisenstadt notes that DailyKos has picked up the link to Keating. Please let this spread like wildfire. The McCain camp has been using the "guilt-by-asssociation" gimmick against Obama. Let this allow the media et al to bring up McCain's role in the Keating scandal.
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on October 16, 2008


Nothing to do with anything, but hearing about "Joe the Plumber" all night made think of and listen to Joe the Lion before going to work today.
posted by marxchivist at 9:41 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


And from the sound of it, I bet this Joe the Plumber was tasked to trip Obama up, and he didn't quite do it. Then McCain picked up the ball. I'm sure this is part of a strategy, knowing Joe's connections. It couldn't have been random.

OK, back to work.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:47 AM on October 16, 2008


Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law

For fuck's sake, aren't there like three hundred million people in this country? How the hell does this kind of stuff always come back to someone who is directly related to someone else from one of their scandals?

It's like we're living in the Star Wars universe, where you can't trip over some random person without expecting that they will play a major roll in the next three acts.
posted by quin at 9:48 AM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


He's a plumber, sure, respectable blue collar work. But honestly, right now, in this climate, how many voters exactly personally relate to a guy who's planning on buying a business? Oh no, Senator Obama might stop Pete the Locksmith from flipping his house and buying that Land Rover! And that was before it was revealed that Joe the Plumber might be a Republican plant!

This Joe ‘the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher already talks like a GOP pundit (he's got the accidental casual racism down!), and his aw shucks willingness to repeat ancient class war talking points to every camera in sight is actually a bit suspicious for a random voter, but the most important thing about Joe Wurzelbacher is his last name: it's the same as the last name of Charles Keating's son-in-law!

Keating's son-in-law, Robert Wurzelbacher, served a 40-month prison sentence in 1993 in connection with Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan collapse. Since then, who knows what he's been up to, but there is a Robert Wurzelbacher who lives just outside of Cincinnati, owns a wood company, and donates to Republicans.

Meanwhile there is a Joseph Wurzelbacher who owns a painting company in Cincinnati! Along with a septic tank repair company!

These dots were all connected by a DailyKos diarist, who has no proof that Joe and Robert Wurzelbacher are related, but, you know, it's suspicious. The Wurzelbvacher connection was also made, amusingly, by this right-wing satirical blogger.

But regardless of whether Joe the Plumber is a Republican plant or not, one thing is for certain: he's not actually voting for McCain. Because the asshole isn't actually registered.”
posted by ericb at 9:50 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't think they chose Joe BECAUSE of his connection to Keating. I think they just don't actually know anyone who isn't tied to some kind of corruption.
posted by snofoam at 9:50 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh damn. Who is the REAL Joe the Plumber?!?!?!
posted by snofoam at 9:52 AM on October 16, 2008


The problem with the Republicans pounding on the Ayers thing is that, even if all but the most batshit allegations are true, its just another example of political politician is political. And we already knew that. Most people already knew that Obama was an aggressive political climber, nay mountaineer, and that his climb from local to national politics involved the messy politics of Chicago. We are quite comfortable with the premise that yesterday's terrorist can become tomorrow's reformer.

We are also quite comfortable with the idea that our presidents may not have had squeaky clean associations. Bush I was in the CIA. Kennedy had mob ties, and FDR was the beneficiary of old-school cronyism.

Which is why I don't think the American public are buying the Ayers connection as a pivotal issue. Compared to McCain's corruption involving quid pro quo arrangements with AT&T and Verizon, the Savings and Loan scandal, and participation in groups that funded terrorism in Central America, Obama getting a party from a naive college radical with a shady radical past seems much less likely to screw the middle class out of millions of dollars.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:00 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I enjoy that line of reasoning to deflate the whole maverick mythology...

"John, you've voted with Bush 90% of the time. If that remaining 10% is what makes you a maverick, then it's a 10% we can agree on. So you're 90% with Bush and 10% with me."
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 10:03 AM on October 16, 2008


Because the asshole isn't actually registered.

He's a registered Republican.

I'm really hoping the Kos loons don't overreach enough to turn this into another failed ratfuck.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 10:04 AM on October 16, 2008


Plumbergate.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on October 16, 2008


Joe the Plumber, plumbers like from Watergate? Neato!
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:08 AM on October 16, 2008


Also from fivethirtyeight (how did we live without Nate and company before this election?) --

On the Road in Marietta Ohio:

When local field organizer Christian Lund took the stage just prior to Joe Biden's appearance on Tuesday night in Marietta, he asked those in the attendant crowd of about 4,000 to look at the sheets in their hands. Each sheet held four names, and each name had a phone number and a bar code for later data scanning. Lund asked the people in the crowd to make four phone calls to this targeted group, and then he demonstrated.

Lund got voicemail. Over the microphone, he left a message informing his phonee about where and when to early vote, as well as where and when the Obama volunteer office was located in town and what it's hours were. After he was finished, it was the crowd's turn. "We even got extra cell tower juice just for tonight" Lund told the crowd, so go ahead and make four quick calls on Barack Obama's behalf. They did.


I think I posted this in an earlier thread (it's hard to keep track anymore), but this Al Giordano report from North Carolina on the Obama ground operation and popular groundswell there is one of the finer pieces I've read of the sort in this campaign season.

I'm telling you, the pollsters and pundits are missing the size and organization of the Obama movement on the ground, still. I've seen it up close, have friends and students working for it, and have been following its refinement since early in the primaries (and there is nothing we have more to be thankful for that the long Obama/Cinton battle, which produced live fire testing conditions and model refinements well in advance of the general).

Some people think it's being overstated, or that at most a solid ground operation is at most good for a point or two. What those analysts (which include the likely voter modelers for every major polling firm) don't get is that Obama's operation was *built* from the bottom, so the assumptions go against conventional "top down" wisdom in which the ground operation is managed and organized as an afterthought to the crafting of messaging and fundraising models.

Just as insta-polling has humiliated and silenced the usual pundit bullshit in post-debate spin analysis (or co-spinning, as it usually is), the Obama turnout machine is going to shock and awe America's punditocracy on Nov. 4. My gut feeling, having worked on prior campaigns and having personal experience or direct knowledge of conditions in Indiana and Colorado, in particular, is that it is a conservative bet that the national polls are undercounting Obama's actual vote by 3 or 4 percent. Early voting evidence is now starting to show that, too. Registration data (not a guarantee of turnout, but a measure of the size and efficiency of the ground force) has been showing it for a long time.

Si se puede, you right wing motherfuckers. Obama has intercepted Rove's best (and quietest) trick -- peer-to-peer GOTV and persuasion models based on coherent and interlocked communities of interest -- and converting it into a touchdown run for the ages.

Hold me to it: the actual vote on Nov. 4 will be at least 3 points above the composite poll average on Nov. 3.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:14 AM on October 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


I'm really hoping the Kos loons don't overreach enough to turn this into another failed ratfuck.

This "coincidence" is so blatant to any journalist with basic research skills, that I wonder if the connection is tenuous at best and that this is Rovian setup, much as Dan Rather's career was destroyed with the Bush AWOL documents in 2004.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:15 AM on October 16, 2008


Or in other words, this is what you get when you put a community *organizer* in charge, Rudy and Sarah.

I still boil at the way they mocked Obama for that. I want to see them humiliated.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:17 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Still President Bush
posted by homunculus at 10:24 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


MSNBC: 'Plumber' says he has no plumbing license.
posted by ericb at 10:29 AM on October 16, 2008


Please let this spread like wildfire. The McCain camp has been using the "guilt-by-asssociation" gimmick against Obama. Let this allow the media et al to bring up McCain's role in the Keating scandal.

Don't do this. Let the Republican wingnuts keep their monopoly on conspiracy theories.
posted by neroli at 10:31 AM on October 16, 2008


If the republicans wanted a real October surprise, Bush would endorse Obama.
posted by drezdn at 10:32 AM on October 16, 2008


From the perspective of a volunteer, I completely agree with fourcheesemac's assessment of the ground operation. I volunteered for Clinton in 1992 and Kerry in 2004, and both campaigns were rinky-dink in comparison with Obama's. The new VoteBuilder software (thanks, Howard Dean) is astoundingly grainy and very finely honed for accuracy and usability. Campaign offices are well staffed and well supplied, busy all hours of the day. There's a daily routine that you can slot into anytime you have available (ours is data entry in the morning, lit prep in early afternoon, visibility in late afternoon, phonebanking in the evening, canvassing on weekends). There are scheduled events and special efforts to mix it up a bit. There are scripts, but they're simple and open-ended enough so that volunteers can open up a genuine connection and conversation with voters. We're told not to leave messages on answering machines: the grail is a real conversation with a real voter. Volunteers each have a folder with records of our voter contacts and our next set of call lists - staffers update it in between our shifts and leave it ready for us. We are getting to the point where we have actually talked to almost every voter in the district who will answer the phone - tens of thousands, and they've been gradually been checked off the list over the months. There are fact sheets and background sheets on every issue at hand. There are clinics and trainings regularly. One wall is covered with signup sheets listing the next 7 days' campaign agenda; you never leave without a staffer asking you when you can return, and so you stay engaged. Next Wednesday we'll be having a coordinated GOTV meeting to outline the overall strategy for election week.

I don't know if other states are doing this, but here, the office is a "Coordinated Campaign" office that houses staff and materials for Obama, our US Senate candidate, our district Rep candidates, and our state assembly candidates all at once. Brilliant and simple - saves money, energy, and time, and volunteers can be redeployed to support other campaigns if, say, there is an overabundance of Obamans on a given night (which happens). In fact, the office is now borrowing phone lines from local businesses because there aren't enough for all volunteers to make calls every night.

It's pretty amazing. It's how a campaign should be run. Someone earlier mentioned "generational pride" in the Obama campaign, and this is it all the way. This is a campaign run GenX style - efficient, informal, able to quickly absorb and respond to change, serious, no BS, focused. I have a lot of respect for the local, state, and national leadership who can work with the oddball classic Dem volunteers, Obama converts of all stripes, and the new green volunteers who have never been in a campaign before and make it all work smoothly and clearly.
posted by Miko at 10:33 AM on October 16, 2008 [12 favorites]


Don't do this. Let the Republican wingnuts keep their monopoly on conspiracy theories.

Amen. We don't need to go there and we shouldn't. We can win based on the issues and the strength of our candidate alone. Still, I do kinda think Osarah bin Palin may be an Arab.
posted by snofoam at 10:35 AM on October 16, 2008


"[Joe has] succeeded in raising the ire of a lot of his plumbing brethren, particularly those in the United Association of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry!

The UA was the 'first international Union to endorse Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States,' having thrown their support behind Illinoisan way back in January. Radar called them up to see how they felt about a man so inextricably linked to the world of pipes suddenly becoming a campaign talking point....'You know, hopefully Joe put in his time as an apprentice and a journeyman, so he can appreciate what it's like to be a working person,' a spokesperson told us. 'Now that he has succeeded and has the chance to become a contractor and a business owner, he should really be supportive of Senator Obama's tax plan, which will benefit the working-class people who really need it.'

So, confidential to Joe: stop being such an asshole. You're disappointing plumbers all over the country!"*
posted by ericb at 10:39 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


cjorgensen: I don't think anyone would be hurt by disallowing the results of the polls being announced until after the polls have closed.

ROU_Xenophobe: "Except the idea of a free press who doesn't need the government's permission to publish."

Bah. I'm not saying they can't publish, just this faster that real time stuff is crap.

And my point on demographics is they can only gather this on the people who choose to participate in the exit poll.

There's already a lot of restrictions on the press. Many self-imposed.

We don't report the names of sex assault victims. We don't report the names of minors. We don't report the facts in a criminal case without inserting "allegedly" (like that's going to keep people from forming opinions). We don't do interviews with jurors during an active trial (why not, since seems this would be helpful to, you know, help them make up their minds with up to the minute feedback on what the other people in the box are thinking). We don't allow reporters to report on news they are actively involved in (as when the reporter becomes the story). We don't fabricate stories wholesale. And there are libel laws.

I find exit polls to be harmful as they are done now. You think they're great. I can see your side of things. And I have actually backed away from the stance of making it illegal (you're right there, bad idea), but I do think there needs to be more responsibility and accountability. You think the information is helpful, I don't find this to be the case (while the polls are still open).

I think we'll have to just not be on the same side on this issue. Nice discussion. And I apologize if I'd misrepresented your stance in any of the above (just my reading of what I believe you're saying).
posted by cjorgensen at 10:40 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Joe the Plumber Isn't Licensed (Toledo Blade)

I'm an atheist, but my unbelief is being sorely tested today.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:40 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whoops, ericb beat me to it. Still, so funny it bears repeating.

Can Republicans even tie their own fucking shoes?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:41 AM on October 16, 2008


I'm really hoping the Kos loons don't overreach enough to turn this into another failed ratfuck.

Wait, I just want to get my definitions strait. Wouldn't kos loons overreaching on a Repub. plant be, in the Nixonian sense, a very successful ratfuck?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:43 AM on October 16, 2008


LOL. McCain has just lost the plumber vote. Whatever union vote he had left is going to be sorely tested. Unlicensed and untrained Joe has pissed off the United Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics, early endorsers of Obama.

In Ohio, and elsewhere in the midwest, that's the kind of thing that trumps the latent remains of racisim any and every day. Take it to the bank.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:49 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


And I have actually backed away from the stance of making it illegal (you're right there, bad idea), but I do think there needs to be more responsibility and accountability.

In which case, we no longer disagree at all, though I'd probably say "there needs to be more methodological care taken."

Frankly, 2000 seems to have largely cured the press from being too anxious to "call" a state on election night and from treating exit polls as straight from God's mouth.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:55 AM on October 16, 2008


I think we are all ignoring an important historical precedent for this debate:

Batman vs. Penguin
posted by hippugeek at 10:59 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the Republicans are going to have a really tough time because facts, reasoning and even emotional arguments are all ringing false for them. Just today:

A pro-McCain economist on NPRs Planet Money claimed that the tax credit for adding employees in the US was bad because it was an accounting nightmare. Really? We can exploit every loophole on earth and run our profits tax-free through Bermudian subsidiaries, but we can't handle this? And what's your plan, anyways?

I mention that median household income has gone down over the past 8 years. The only response: I don't think that's possible. But it is.

And when McCain kept saying "spread the money around" were there not millions of people at home saying to themselves, hey, I think he's onto something.

I also had a conversation where I was saying I supported universal health care. The response? Great, but it would drive up taxes. And then because taxes are so high, we'd start taking four weeks of vacation every year like the Europeans do.

This is my new platform: universal health care in order to force us to start taking lengthy European-style vacations. Plus billions in earmarks for cheese and cured meats.
posted by snofoam at 11:00 AM on October 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


This "coincidence" is so blatant to any journalist with basic research skills, that I wonder if the connection is tenuous at best ...

Well Martin Eisenstadt is the one who brought up the connection (as mentioned above).

Who is Eisenstadt?
"Political strategist and conservative analyst Martin Eisenstadt is a senior fellow at the The Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy and Founder and President of the influential Eisenstadt Group. An expert on Near Eastern military and political affairs, Mr. Eisenstadt works alongside Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, offering advice and liaising with the Jewish community in particular. Prior to that, he consulted on the Rudolph Giuliani campaign, as well as numerous corporate and multinational organizations on issues of security and policy development. Mr. Eisenstadt has been an influential voice in Near Eastern policy debate for over a decade."
And, to repeat from his blog post:
Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher related to Charles “the Crook” Keating. Oops.

"John McCain did great tonight in the debate. But every time John mentioned “Joe the Plumber,” some of us in the campaign banged our heads against the wall. If Steve Schmidt had any hair left, I hear he would have been pulling it out tonight. He reportedly screamed at John’s debate prep team tonight (out of earshot of reporters, of course). 'You idiots - he’s related to Charles Keating… of the Keating Five scandal!' They thought they had a real live Joe Six-Pack who’s spurned Barack Obama’s tax plan. But what they forgot to do was check on Joe Wurzelbacher’s background. Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law and the former senior vice president of American Continental, the parent company of the infamous Lincoln Savings and Loan. The now retired elder Wurzelbacher is also a major contributor to Republican causes giving well over $10,000 in the last few years."
So, I'd say that if McCain advisers Steve Schmidt and Martin Eisenstadt know of the "connection" then it's likely not "tenuous at best."
posted by ericb at 11:00 AM on October 16, 2008


538's got Arkansas as leading red. Arkansas. That's nuts.
posted by lunit at 11:01 AM on October 16, 2008


Feh - I have no hate for Joe the Plumber. He may be a McCain supporter but at least he seems to realize that he is out of his depth. If we see him alongside Gov.Palin on campaign stops, then he shall receive my wrath. And the Keating connection sounds like something the Republicans would come up with - Obama's people shouldn't need tinfoil hats. He thought he had a "gotchya" question for Obama - who here wouldn't want to try and pin down McCain if he came to their door?
posted by cimbrog at 11:01 AM on October 16, 2008


miko, fourcheesemac, thanks for spreading the word on the organization. I've been prattling on about this so much I'm starting to sound like a loon. When this thing is said and done, this will be the campaign all others are based on. I can't wait to see the documentary somebody eventually comes out with about this campaign.

The other thing that gives me much hope is the way Obama's Political instincts dovetail so perfectly with this type of campaign. I think he does it this way partially because of his ideals, but mostly because it just wouldn't work any other way. That's the real lightning in a bottle aspect of this whole thing.

And it's just hilarious watching his opponents toss the old-school political tactics at him and their bafflement as to why it's not working. I knew the McCain campaign was in big trouble when they released the "Look at how many times Obama says McCain is right" ad after the previous debate. The old political rules say agreeing with your opponent is bad. They don't even see how Obama has turned that all on it's head.

I hate to always fall back on the sports metaphors, but watching this campaign reminds me so much of Michael Jordan in his prime. He was so good that opposingteams would get flustered and overfocus on him, ignoring his really excellent teammates. And he made it look so easy, everyone underestimated how hard he worked, and how competitive he was.

Despite Obama's cool, calm and collected demeanor, i bet he HATES losing.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:03 AM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


leaning red.*
posted by lunit at 11:05 AM on October 16, 2008


I just plugged Joe's surname into the World Names Profiler, and noticed that the most popular places on Earth to be a Wurzelbacher are 1) Ohio and 2) Alaska.
Just sayin'.

winkwink
posted by maryh at 11:08 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Despite Obama's cool, calm and collected demeanor, i bet he HATES losing.

And as proof, it's only happened once. After that experience, he hasn't even come close to the worry zone.

Man has he got game.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:10 AM on October 16, 2008


I just played the "zero?" clip while my four year old was around and he said, "that man (points to Obama) knows everything, and that man (McCain) knows nothing".
posted by stinkycheese at 11:10 AM on October 16, 2008 [27 favorites]


Stinkycheese, I love your four year old -- tell him he's awesome for me.

And fourcheese... yeah, I just can't get over what a cool customer Obama is... I can't wait for 11/4.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 11:16 AM on October 16, 2008




Aren't racists the only group left McCain can try and court?
posted by chunking express at 11:32 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


538's got Arkansas as leading red. Arkansas. That's nuts.

Clinton's home sate where Democrat Mike Beebe is the governor?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:34 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Who is Barack Obama? Who is the real Barack Obama? Who?
Barack Obama says he likes fried chicken and collard greens.
But he also likes foie gras and lahdi-dah.

How disrespectful.

This November, learn Mister Hussain good where he belong - picking cotton in Gitmo

I'm John McCain and I approve this message because Steve Schmidt told me to and sometimes he hits me and I know he's only kidding but it really hurts
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:36 AM on October 16, 2008


but watching this campaign reminds me so much of Michael Jordan in his prime. He was so good that opposingteams would get flustered and overfocus on him, ignoring his really excellent teammates.

Ha! Yes! There was that brilliant moment in the second debate when Obama totally set McCain up and scored on him so perfectly that I jumped up from the couch, screaming "MICHAEL FUCKING JORDAN, MY FRIEND!"

So I guess this makes Joe Biden the Scottie Pippen of the campaign, and David Plouffe is Phil Jackson. Now, who's Rodman? Toni Kukoc? Ron Harper? Luc Longley? Man, I can't believe how much I miss watching the Bulls of the 1990s. *sniff*
posted by scody at 11:37 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


We are also quite comfortable with the idea that our presidents may not have had squeaky clean associations.

I'd argue that this is an impossible ideal anyway. Politicians meet and work with so many people. How can we expect them not only to be clean themselves but to never work with anyone who has never done anything wrong? And you know that Obama's past has been fine combed umpteen times. Frankly, if the worst they can come up with on Obama is that he served on a board with a rehabilitated former extremist, that's about as clean as anyone's ever going to be. I know they could come up with worse on me!
posted by orange swan at 11:37 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sure, one little racist mailing and everyone gets bent out of shape. Democratic groups put John McCain's face on food stamps with pictures of fried chicken and watermelon all the time. The only difference is the liberal media always gives them a pass.
posted by snofoam at 11:38 AM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


From Republican mailing depicts Obama with watermelon and fried chicken:

[Chaffey Community Republican Women President Fedele] said she doesn't think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president.

Oh, I see, supporting Alan Keyes makes you not a racist.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:38 AM on October 16, 2008


Whoops, "to never have worked with anyone who has ever done anything wrong".
posted by orange swan at 11:39 AM on October 16, 2008


I know she's gone, but I have to put this out there:

Obama will be in Fayetteville, North Carolina on Sunday.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:40 AM on October 16, 2008


Republican mailing depicts Obama with watermelon and fried chicken.
posted by EarBucket at 2:29 PM on October 16 [+] [!]

Aren't racists the only group left McCain can try and court?
posted by chunking express at 2:32 PM on October 16 [+] [!]


Honestly, as this point, I'd half expect that anyone who is so uninformed or misinformed as to not see that Obama's the far superior candidate will say, "Hey! I LOVES watermelon and fried chicken! I'm going to vote for that guy so's I can eat high on the hog!"
posted by orange swan at 11:43 AM on October 16, 2008


"I didn't see it the way that it's being taken. I never connected," she said. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else.

Fried chicken, watermelon, ribs and Kool-Aid. It sounds like a pretty good picnic, but to say she never connected them as racist? That's the most disingenuous thing I've ever heard. That, or her spinal cord doesn't actually touch her brain.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:45 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Who doesn't love friend chicken and watermelon? I know these things have racist implications, but I've never understood why. It's like saying BLACK PEOPLE LIKE CANDY in a disparaging way.

Of course they do. It's candy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:47 AM on October 16, 2008 [17 favorites]


oh, and while I have basketball on the brain and on the off-chance that Dikembe Mutombo reads Metafilter, I apologize for forcing him to be the McCain in that clip, since of course Mutombo is a great player and an even greater human being.
posted by scody at 11:50 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


orange swan: Frankly, I'm more concerned with McCain's Iran-Contra connections. Lets make this plain and blunt. As much as demons like Abrams like to whine that they were just the victim of congressional gotcha politics, Iran-Contra was about terrorism, the Contras and other paramilitary groups that were getting funded by the Reagan administration were terrorists. The revelation that the administration approved of torture is no surprise to me given that the same monsters who openly and publicly supported mass slaughter and "disappearing" political foes were appointed by Bush to such Orwellian positions as "Human Rights Czar."
posted by KirkJobSluder at 11:51 AM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's dem Sec of State, has appealed the circuit court ruling requiring a cross check of all new registrations to the US Supreme Court. Justice Stevens will rule on the matter (SCOTUSBlog).

In his powerful dissent in Bush v. Gore, Stevens wrote:
Time will one day heal the wound to that confidence that will be inflicted by today's decision. One thing, however, is certain. Although we may never know with complete certainty the identity of the winner of this year's Presidential election, the identity of the loser is perfectly clear. It is the Nation's confidence in the judge as an impartial guardian of the rule of law.

OK, dude. Impartiality is expected here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:51 AM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


538's got Arkansas as leading red. Arkansas. That's nuts.

Clinton's home sate where Democrat Mike Beebe is the governor?


Arkansas' electoral votes went to Bush in 2000 and 2004. Beebe won after Huckabee reached his term limit.
posted by Tehanu at 11:55 AM on October 16, 2008


538's got Arkansas as leading red. Arkansas. That's nuts.

Well, that and there are many states in which it seems to be a long-standing tradition to split the vote between state and federal elections.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:01 PM on October 16, 2008


cashman: it's also a reflection of this bewildering barrage of claims the general public doesn't have the time to follow, investigate and sort out. So it won't win anybody over - it'll just keep them ignorant of the dirty crap that goes on at their rallies, and the dishonorable way he's been carrying himself.

Thanks for this. It explains why several of my acquaintances have said things like "When they start putting each other down I turn the TV off," "Obama's the lesser of two evils" and "I don't like either of them!" (I'm in a conservative pocket of CA.) I wasn't able to tackle these comments effectively because their equivalence of Obama's and McCain's campaigning and behaviour floored me. That, and the sense that these people were so fed up with politicians generally that they would never have commented on the subject at all, were it not for me saying I was going to watch, or had watched, the debates.

I think I can do a better job if it happens again, thanks to reading here and elsewhere. But the yawning chasm between the garden-variety negativity and exaggeration of some of Obama's ads, and McCain's "teaching kindergarteners about sex" ad, eg, or equating the "Kill him!" "Terrorist" cries at McCain/Palin rallies and the "negativity" (what, booing??) at Obama/Biden rallies...the concept that I, or anyone, has to spell out the difference to these well-intentioned, good-hearted people who are demonstrably not used to critically evaluating what they hear and not used to seeking out information for themselves...ye gods. I had thought after the second debate that Obama missed a golden opportunity, in response to someone's question "How can we trust either of you?" to say "Don't trust either of us. Check the facts for yourself, inform yourself as much as you can with opinions from both sides, and then make your own decision." But I'm realizing now that even many of those who spend time informing themselves don't seem to have practice weighing that information. All the more reason to give a hearing to and engage in frank, non-judgmental discussions with open-minded people of diverse beliefs and experiences.

All the more reason to help get Obama elected by as big a margin as possible, so that (among other things) he can get public education back to teaching critical thinking skills, and instilling a hunger for learning about the world, for digesting and incorporating facts into a worldview instead of considering facts as accessories to cherry-pick for propping up one's pre-existing beliefs.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:05 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now, who's Rodman?

Has to be Hillary Clinton. Has to be.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:11 PM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


Sorry I couldn't find a better source, but apparently the Secret Service is now reporting that they could find no evidence that anyone shouted "kill him" at a McCain rally.

I thought it was absurd, because I could have sworn I'd seen video of it, but after searching YouTube I came up with zilch. Apparently all the mentions of it in the media stem from a single unproven print accusation.

I guess this is how McCain supporters would feel when they learn that the salacious rumors they believe about Sen. Obama that they see bounced around in the media are not true.

It feels... scuzzy.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:17 PM on October 16, 2008


FBI investigates ACORN for voter fraud

Josh Marshall at TMP notes: But, remember, this is right out of the book of the Bush Justice Department's efforts to assist in GOP voter suppression efforts in the 2004 and 2006 elections (part and parcel of the US Attorney firing story). This is the same scam US Attorney firing player Bradley Schlozman got in trouble for pulling with ACORN just before the 2006 election. And before he got canned, Gonzales helped revise and soften the departmental prohibition on DOJ announcements, thus making it easier to play these kinds of games.
posted by effwerd at 12:19 PM on October 16, 2008


neroli writes "Don't do this. Let the Republican wingnuts keep their monopoly on conspiracy theories."

You have to understand that some political tactics are conspiratorial. This is not an accusation. This is a fact. Voter suppression efforts are conspiratorial. Swift-boating by 527s is conspiratorial. This doesn't mean it has anything to do with the X-Files or 9/11 Truthers. Conspiracy is common. Don't let that word trip you up. This is reality.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:25 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


"When they start putting each other down I turn the TV off," [...] I wasn't able to tackle these comments effectively because their equivalence of Obama's and McCain's campaigning and behaviour floored me

It's really, really tiring. I say this as somebody who hates John McCain and his campaign with the heat of a thousand suns. I can't watch the debates, I can't watch TV news, I can't listen to interviews with voters on the radio. Stop the fucking negativity. Stop the smarmy smirking bullshit. Talk about your fucking platform, answer the question, and shut the fuck up. Everybody.

My mother has the TV news going constantly, she watches the debates, and I am 100% certain that she couldn't pick either candidate's tax plan or education plan or comments on the economy out of a lineup. It's not because she doesn't pay attention, it's not because she's stupid, it's because this material is unavailable unless you seek it out from a neutral source.

This is why people give up.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:27 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


How is contacting her now going to help anything?
posted by tss at 12:27 PM on October 16, 2008


he can get public education back to teaching critical thinking skills, and instilling a hunger for learning about the world, for digesting and incorporating facts into a worldview instead of considering facts as accessories to cherry-pick for propping up one's pre-existing beliefs.

Perhaps that's a bit much to expect out of a president in 4 years.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2008


I believe in confronting racists. It reminds others of the shamefulness of their beliefs.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


From the story on the GOP racist mailing:
The group's president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club's meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he "doesn't look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills."

"It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don't want to go into it any further," Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. "I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn't my attempt."
OK. Two things. First, what is "outrageous" about Obama pointing out that he does not resemble a white man? Second, even if you wanted to mock this statement by putting Obama's face on some fake money, and depict him in a humorous fashion, was it necessary to include the Kool-Aid, ribs, fried chicken and watermelon? Someone put some time into that. How this can be interpretted as anything but purposeful and deliberate racism is beyond me.

Anyway. In other news, two things about Joe the Plumber. First, Joe owes Ohio about $1,200 in back taxes. Now, admittedly, I think that might actually be a sympathy point for Joe. I think a lot of Americans can relate to having tax trouble, with not being able to make ends meet to pay what you owe, and such. Fortunately, Joe the Plumber would qualify for a tax cut under an Obama administration.
ABC News' Chris Bury is outside Toledo, near the home of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka "Joe the Plumber," and reports that Wurzelbacher -- such a key part of Sen. John McCain's critique of Sen. Barack Obama's economic proposals -- acknowledged that he wants to purchase the plumbing business for $250-280,000, not that he would net that much in profits.

He would make much less, he said.

Which would seem to indicate that he would be eligible for an Obama tax cut, not that he would be subject to the tax increase from 36% to 39% Obama would impose on those making more than $200,000 per person, or $250,000 per family.
So thank you, John McCain, for sifting through your Keating buddies and finding this American Everyman, putting a face to the sort of person who would benefit from an Obama presidency.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


(I should point out that no, of course I don't think that's entirely the candidates faults, but it still burns my biscuits.)
posted by uncleozzy at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2008


Someone mentioned it in a thread somewhere on here a few weeks ago. They are functioning like children. That's not to be dismissive, it's saying they are processing things like a child might when it runs into information it doesn't like.

This topic is so far upthread that I don't know if anybody's even engaged in it anymore, but I've just spent a few days with friends and family that are definite "Nobama" voters. These are not stupid people, they're definitely functional adults, and I'm not exactly sure what to do in confronting them. My uncle brought up how ACORN is going to steal the election and I did tell him that while ACORN does have problem with fraudulent registrations, they're following the law, it's certainly not their intent, and it doesn't translate into vote fraud, etc. He's obviously not convinced. One of my Dad's best friends from college -- smart guy, strong wit, mathematician, programmer for several decades, no mental lightweight by any means -- considers Obama a chicago machine politician and thinks McCain is trying to be too nice to a wily opponent who's willing to stab him in the back. I have enough respect for these people that it's a serious problem for me: I certainly can't say these people are stupid or like children, but I certainly the facts as I've been given them suggest to me they are very wrong about some things. I don't know how to square this yet. I do suspect there's a problem with selective processing of information, but I doubt it's a problem beyond what most human beings have and wonder if it has more to do with systemic problems in media channels.

And it's worth noting that this isn't limited to knee-jerk Republicans. Anybody else heard the Howard Stern clip here? The interviewer presents McCain's views as Obama's positions, and then asks an Obama supporter if he's behind that. It's cheating a bit, but it's a handy test of how issue-driven the voter is, and seriously, the fact that guy didn't get that Sarah Palin is McCain's running mate means that he's voting for Obama for some reason that's pretty far from informed and studied consideration.

The point of this isn't to take away from convincing arguments that Obama's the better candidate; I believe he is. Mostly I think it's a bad habit to get into to discuss the people who've come to the opposite conclusion as if they're simply morons. There's a lot of evidence they're not. And I don't think we're going to be able to come to any long-term solution to problems underlying how people see and choose candidates unless we're willing to set that idea aside.

And to a large extent, I feel like one of the reasons Obama's made so much headway is that he's practiced some of this. His campaign's had its bullshit moments, but for the most part, it feels to me like he's talked to voters like they're adults and counted on an election-winning majority of them to respond. Right now it looks like that will pay off. If so, there's a lesson there.
posted by weston at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I debated posting this. But then I decided it was acceptable. [...] It's publicly posted and given as the contact email for the group that put out those "food stamp" images. I'm not outing anyone here, only suggesting a politely worded note of protest would not be inappropriate.

Publically posted or no, REPOSTING it here still falls into the "not cool" camp for me. Sorry. Flagged.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:38 PM on October 16, 2008


Sorry I couldn't find a better source, but apparently the Secret Service is now reporting that they could find no evidence that anyone shouted "kill him" at a McCain rally

No evidence that it was yelled on Tuesday of this week in Scranton.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:41 PM on October 16, 2008


Rhaomi writes "I thought it was absurd, because I could have sworn I'd seen video of it, but after searching YouTube I came up with zilch."

I guess you didn't look very hard. This is one of numerous videos I found, and Milbank's report on the Post isn't the only report.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:45 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought it was absurd, because I could have sworn I'd seen video of it, but after searching YouTube I came up with zilch.

Well, here's some video for you vis-a-vis "kill him" -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Need more? I can provide some more links for 'ya.

Let's not forget "off with his head" at a McCain rally.
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Moot anyway. The email addy appears defunct.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:47 PM on October 16, 2008


I recently looked into a question I had about the cognitive capacity of America. The question I've wondered is what is the cognitive capacity of America to be able to grapple with the kinds of issues we face in the 21st century.

I found an article on IQ that makes the point that 62% of American have less than a 110 IQ and that an IQ at that level or below would struggle to pass a college prep course in high school. To the degree IQ measures the innate cognitive capacity of a person to comprehend their world, conceive of solutions to problems and craft persuasive arguments to make their case, then we have a much bigger problem on our hands.

If simple associative lies can be successful in persuading someone to a point of view then I think that is illustrative of their innate cognitive capacity. It's easy to write off your opponent as stupid and certainly when I spend time on the HuffingtonPost or on Townhall you see both sides accusing the other of that. I didn't find credible data about IQ and political affiliation but I do wonder whether we have a more elemental problem in our society that we assume enough people are capable of working on and dealing with complex issues like overvalued derivative financial instruments, stem cell research ethics, or global warming implications on the biosphere.

What if the problem is simply that we don’t have the societal intellectual capacity to grapple with the issues we face in the 21st century. You could argue our current President vividly displayed where that limit is and he’s in the upper 25th percentile for IQ. By that logic then our real goal should be to accelerate the Flynn effect (each generation appears to be 3 points higher in IQ than the preceding) to keep pace with the complexity of the problems we face as a society.

Stuff like the Sacramento site illustrate a deep cynacism about people and play to the worst in us when the challenges we have to work on demand that we appeal to the best.
posted by benignfun at 12:48 PM on October 16, 2008


Perhaps that's a bit much to expect out of a president in 4 years.

I meant not in the sense of a full-fruition polished product, but just...respect! for the mere concepts of learning and thinking: seeking out and evaluating information from differing perspectives. And having the guts to admit it when you're wrong.

The past 8 years under Bush have done the opposite. McCain, to judge by his trumped-up attempted character assassinations pandering to lizard-brain fears and hatreds, is from the same mold. Apologies if my comments suggested worshipful reverence of Obama, because that's not what I intended. I meant that real leaders set the tone and example for their followers of what's acceptable, what's not, and what to shoot for. When done right that has powerful ripple effects down to ground levels.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]



Republican mailing depicts Obama with watermelon and fried chicken.


Did the McCain hire 4chan without telling anyone?
posted by ryoshu at 12:50 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's important to note that the Secret Service found no evidence of "kill him" at the rally in Scranton (October 14, 2008), but they are still investigating the "kill him" threat caught on news video/audio (to which I provided links above) at the rally held in Clearwater, Florida (October 6, 2008).
posted by ericb at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


This morning palinaspresident.com had "Joe the Plumber" truck pulling up. Seems to be gone now, replaced with "Wolf Kills" on the desk. Any ideas why this would be the case?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2008


Publically posted or no, REPOSTING it here still falls into the "not cool" camp for me.

Well, EmpressC, consider an analogy: a company runs a racist ad. Someone posts their official contact information on a blog.

vs.

An official GOP organization posts a racist image. Someone posts their official contact information on a blog.

What's the difference? This is a public organization communicating publicly, and inviting communication publicly. No one is being outed and no one's previously private statement or identity is being violated. And I was specific to call for polite correspondence.

I won't object if it's removed, especially since the email appears no longer to work, but I deny any intention to incite anyone harass an individual for private statements. I suggested contacting an organization at their official, posted contact address.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:56 PM on October 16, 2008


In a stark new brochure Wednesday, the Republican National Committee subtly plays on the false belief held by many Americans that Barack Obama is a Muslim, an Arab, or somehow un-American. . . . "Islamic extremists want our laws changed, our culture destroyed and our families converted. We don't. What is there to talk about?. . . .Barack Obama," it says, "Not who you think he is."

"Subtly"? What's subtle about this?
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Al Giordano today, coincidentally: "The Community Organizing Renaissance."
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:03 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


And even if you don't read Al's article (your loss, he's one of the smartest commentators out there) you *must see* this YouTube video. Obama's event schedule can be export in KML and plugged into Google Earth. Here is a visualization of all his community events so far scheduled in a Google Earth projection, from now to election day.

For Miko, I think I was the one (or one of the ones) who mentioned "generational pride" in the Obama campaign in an earlier Palin thread. Quiet technological expertise is part of that appeal. KML-compatible event data? Check.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Republican mailing depicts Obama with watermelon and fried chicken.

Urge to kill...rising.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:09 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]




The Squirrels of Armageddon (collection of quality debate snark from Obsidian Wings)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 1:12 PM on October 16, 2008


Those Obama bucks will work nicely with my McCain coins - painstakingly carved by a pecking pterodactyl out of large block of granite, depicting McCain wearing an animal skin while driving his family down the street through the courtesy of his two feet.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:23 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ok, that google earth thing was a bit creepy. Like world domination creepy. And the music? I expect some of those rallies will now need a monolith and monkeys cracking skulls.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:27 PM on October 16, 2008


And Joe the Plumber shows up on paliaspresident.com if you open the windows, and click on her desk in the lower right.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:28 PM on October 16, 2008


[comment removed - for the record it is NOT OKAY to repost someone's email address/personal information here, period, full stop.]
posted by jessamyn at 1:29 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


krinklyfig: "I guess you didn't look very hard . This is one of numerous videos I found, and Milbank's report on the Post isn't the only report."

ericb: "Well, here's some video for you vis-a-vis "kill him" -- 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5. Need more? I can provide some more links for 'ya.

Let's not forget "off with his head" at a McCain rally.
"

I came across all those videos in my search, and while I did hear "terrorist" and "zero", I didn't hear anybody say "kill him." Not being flippant here, but can you point to the specific video and timestamp where that's said?

And yes, they did say "off with his head" at one point, but that's not the case the SS was investigating, and I generally trust their judgment on these issues -- or at least hope I can trust them.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:44 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, EmpressC, consider an analogy: a company runs a racist ad. Someone posts their official contact information on a blog. vs. An official GOP organization posts a racist image. Someone posts their official contact information on a blog. What's the difference? This is a public organization communicating publicly, and inviting communication publicly. No one is being outed and no one's previously private statement or identity is being violated. And I was specific to call for polite correspondence.

No difference for me -- I wouldn't think it's cool to post the specific email for the private organization either. I'd link to the "contact us" web page at the MOST, but reprinting the email just seems a bit too rabble-rousy for me. Because -- usually a call for polite correspondance isn't enough to stop everyone from going too far.

I'll grant you that I'm more conservative in this, but publically reprinting specific contact info -- even if it is publically listed -- just feels hinky to me. After all, people who have numbers in the phone book also have "publically available" numbers, but we usually frown on publishing them online too for whatever reason. Suggesting people look it up themselves is a bit of a cowards' way out of doing the same thing, but at least it leaves the final step of "do I get this person's contact information" in the hands of the individual.

Your mileage may vary, but that's my logic, anyway.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:50 PM on October 16, 2008


I want to tell you the article about the "kill him" comment was only about ONE rally that was investigated. Yes, "kill him" was shouted in another rally. I want to agree with fourcheese about publicly posted info. But I can't really get into all that because maybe I just have lived in places where baseball is a big deal, but I'm busy thinking Obama is a bad mofo for this:
MLB pushes back World Series Game 6 by 8 minutes

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball has agreed to push back the start time of a potential World Series Game 6 by eight minutes to allow Democrat Barack Obama to purchase a half-hour of air time on the Fox network.

Baseball spokesman Pat Courtney said Thursday that the game time would now be set for 8:35 p.m.

The Obama presidential campaign said Oct. 9 that it had bought the 8-8:30 p.m slot on CBS and NBC.

"Fox will accommodate Senator Obama's desire to communicate with voters in this long-form format," network spokesman Lou D'Ermilio said in a statement. "We are pleased that Major League Baseball has agreed to delay the first pitch of World Series Game 6 for a few minutes in order for Fox to carry his program on Oct. 29. If requested, the network would be willing to make similar time available to Senator McCain's campaign."
Yeah I know it's just a couple of minutes. Yeah I read the disclaimer about doing the same for his opponent at the bottom. But come on - I know I'm not the only one who reads this and hears "Bownch Bownch....OHHH YEAHHH....chcka chckaaaa".

I have to join the league of bad people because I now want to imagine him finishing a rally speech with "I'm Pretty! I'm Pretty! I'm a bad man!!"
posted by cashman at 1:58 PM on October 16, 2008






Damn liberal MLB! Supporting the Jihadists.

Right now I am rooting for the Rays, if anything, because if they go to game six, it means we would have two swing(ish) states tuning in to listen to Barack for 30 minutes while they wait for the game to start.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:16 PM on October 16, 2008


‘In cooperation with the Palin campaign,’ Secret Service now blocking reporters.

Well, shoot, that's just Palin bein' a maverick! Obama said last night that the First Amendment wasn't up for discussion? Well, now it is -- you betcha! *wink*

Anyway, reporters ought to announce en masse that they will save the Secret Service the bother, because they now refuse to cover any Palin events until they are given free access as befits a free press in a free society.
posted by scody at 2:21 PM on October 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


One thing Obama has been very effective at is not giving the media the chance to paint him as either weak or pandering. Probably the closest he has come would be bowling poorly. There's been no shot of him looking silly in a tank, wearing a hunting vest or wind surfing. He hasn't actively tried to appeal to "everyone" like some dems have in the past.
posted by drezdn at 2:22 PM on October 16, 2008


I found an article on IQ that makes the point that 62% of American have less than a 110 IQ

By definition because IQ is a norm-referenced test with the mean set at 100.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 2:24 PM on October 16, 2008




Exactly drezdn. That hit home for me last night when McCain started out by wishing Nancy Reagan well and I thought "Well, okay, now Obama has to say something about her" and it came to him and he acted like McCain hadn't even mentioned her. It was not a big deal, but it stuck out to me. Kerry would have mentioned her. Gore would have mentioned her. Clinton might not have, but might have. And why? There are tons of people in the hospital. Why should anyone go out of their way to wish Nancy Reagan well? Those other guys would have done it because McCain did it. Because if a Republican did it then it must be the American thing to do, so they better do it. They would have worn flag pins and voted for the war and agreed to suspend the debate. Democrats have acted in the past as if the default setting for Americans is Republican, and those real Americans have to be convinced to vote for a Democrat. Obama doesn't see America that way. He sees this country the way it is. "American" doesn't mean white SUV-driving gun-owning Christian Republican suburbanite. "American" means all of us. It is no more American to wish Nancy Reagan well than it is to not wish her well and if he doesn't feel like doing it then McCain can, but he doesn't have to. It is little stuff like that that makes people respect Obama in a way that they didn't respect Gore or Kerry. Believe in yourself and your views. Democrats are not this fringe movement surrounded by people that hate us. Democrats are Americans and Republicans are Americans. The weird fringe group are the Joe the Plumbers out there that don't believe in social security and think that the invasion of Iraq is akin to a Christian being saved. The weird fringe are the Sarah Palins out there that want to outlaw abortion in all circumstances and charge women for rape kits and make America a theocracy. American doesn't mean Republican and Obama gets that and it comes across in the way that he doesn't pander to people that Democrats typically pander to.
posted by ND¢ at 2:40 PM on October 16, 2008 [17 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher : Perhaps that's a bit much to expect out of a president in 4 years.

I know that you are right. And I know that I'm foolishly setting my hopes up for a huge disappointment, but after watching the skill with which he as run his campaign I secretly harbor this dream, that if he wins, in his first four years, he accomplishes the impossible and does everything he said he would; healthcare, tax reform, balanced budget, everyone keeps their tires inflated, all of it.

Not only because it would make everyone's lives immeasurably better, but because I love the idea of him looking at George W and saying "I was able to fix in four years, what it took you eight to break. Man you really sucked at this, you know that?"
posted by quin at 2:42 PM on October 16, 2008


More on “Joe the ?”
“Wurzelbacher first came to attention over the weekend, when he engaged Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, in a six-minute discussion of tax policy at a rally in Holland, Ohio. He told Obama that he was a plumber and was hoping to buy his boss’s business, which he said made $250,000 to $280,000 a year. He was concerned, he said, that Obama’s economic proposals would mean he’d be kicked into a higher tax bracket.

…Legally speaking, Wurzelbacher isn’t a plumber, because he isn’t licensed by Toledo, Lucas County or the state of Ohio. A representative of the Toledo Building Inspection Division said a plumber must be registered with the state and only then can apply for a city plumbing contractor’s license.

Wurzelbacher said he worked under the license held by his boss, Al Newell of Newell Plumbing and Heating Co. of Toledo. Newell is a licensed plumbing contractor in Toledo, records show. But anyone working under Newell should have a journeyman’s plumbing license or an apprenticeship license, officials said.

Building Inspection officials said Newell was responsible for making sure that anyone working under him was licensed. The Toledo Plumbing Board of Control may consider sanctions against Wurzelbacher or Newell, officials told NBC affiliate WNWO of Toledo.
‘There’s a lot I’ve got to learn’ about the plumbing business, Wurzelbacher said Thursday.

Wurzelbacher also acknowledged that he had no specific plans for buying Newell’s business, saying he and Newell had simply talked about the idea from time to time. He might have difficulty making the purchase: Court records from his divorce show that Wurzelbacher made $40,000 in 2006.

Even if he did buy Newell Plumbing and Heating, Obama’s tax plan wouldn’t affect him. While Wurzelbacher told Obama that the business would be taxed at a higher rate because it grossed more than $250,000 a year, Ohio business records show the company’s estimated total annual revenue as only $100,000.

In any event, Obama’s tax plan specifies that the higher rate would apply only to revenue above the $250,000 threshold. For a company with revenue of $280,000, the top end of Wurzelbacher’s supposition, only the extra $30,000 would be taxed at a higher rate.

Analysts calculated that the extra tax would amount to $900, which would likely be more than offset by separate provisions of Obama’s plan: a 50 percent tax credit for health care and elimination of the capital gains tax for small businesses.

… Asked about other issues by a covey of curious reporters, Wurzelbacher voiced strongly Republican opinions.

‘Social Security’s a joke,’ he said. ‘I have parents. I don’t need another set of parents called the government. Let me take my money and invest it how I please.’

On immigration: ‘I wish our borders were closed.’

And on the war in Iraq, which McCain has strongly supported: ‘I’m not sorry we’re in Iraq. ... It’s made us safer. I absolutely believe that.’”
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on October 16, 2008 [10 favorites]


I found an article on IQ that makes the point that 62% of American have less than a 110 IQ and that an IQ at that level or below would struggle to pass a college prep course in high school.

This is true for the entire world, and any sufficiently large subset of its population (Canada, Germany, Australia, Lesotho). I bet that article also came to the stunning conclusion that 50% of Americans have less than a 100 IQ.
posted by oaf at 2:52 PM on October 16, 2008


I found an article on IQ that makes the point that 62% of American have less than a 110 IQ

By definition because IQ is a norm-referenced test with the mean set at 100.
If IQ has a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, the 62nd percentile is at 104.6. So that data would suggest that Americans are slightly smarter than your average bear.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 2:57 PM on October 16, 2008


> If IQ has a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, the 62nd percentile is at 104.6. So that data would suggest that Americans are slightly smarter than your average bear.

Or just better at taking tests the we, as in western culture, had made for ourselves.
posted by mrzarquon at 3:02 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay, wait. So Joe the Plumber isn't undecided, isn't a plumber, and his name is actually Sam?

Frankly I am surprised the 'the' remains uncontested at this point.
posted by mazola at 3:05 PM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


On the other hand, we learned yesterday that the US ranks 29th in infant mortality globally, which is appalling regress.

So how fucking smart are we really?
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:09 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Santorum: Obama Is ‘Condescending’ Because He Refuses To Wear An American Flag Pin
"...It’s not clear how not wearing a flag pin makes someone condescending. Regardless, Obama does wear a flag pin. He has, in fact, worn one at each of the three presidential debates. The person who refuses to wear one is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Kerry would have mentioned her. Gore would have mentioned her. Clinton might not have, but might have.

I agree with your main point but I think Clinton would have made all the past mistakes you're describing. I'm not saying she'd lose, who knows, but I think at least the election would be much tighter right now. Contrast Clinton and Obama's reactions to McCain's ridiculous proposal to make gas tax-free on Memorial Day weekend. (also that 2nd article's great with economic hindsight now). Clinton immediately followed suit. People were pissed/freaked about gas prices and the economy, and this was sure to score points, right? No. Obama refused to support the idea and explained why it wouldn't actually accomplish the goal of helping average people make ends meet. He passed on the easy sell and stuck to the harder sell because he was already focusing on the bigger picture. There was a tenuous moment where that made me very nervous. This was the first time I heard him stand up and disagree with something that seemed likely to be very popular. And then within another news cycle people were discussing how McCain and Clinton seemed to be pandering to voters while Obama was not.

Without a doubt Clinton would have played along with McCain's opening comments. This is why her candidacy made me nervous. She would have been a strong candidate, and I think she probably would have been an even better president. I don't dislike her stance on most issues, but in terms of her strategy, how she interacts with the voting public, I'm convinced she would have been predominately playing by the same rules of 2000 and 2004. Defense. Most importantly, she was pissing me off in the end by starting to use the same tactics McCain is currently using. This would have been an extremely dirty campaign if she'd been the nominee, and far more polarizing. I do think Obama's strategy and his candor about complex issues is long overdue. So much so that I switched my registration back to Democrat.
posted by Tehanu at 3:23 PM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


mazola: Frankly I am surprised the 'the' remains uncontested at this point.

Well, since "the" suggest that he is the only one, or the singular best example of this group, I think we can safely refute it as well.

So I think we are now left with: Sam a guy without a plumbing license.

Which really doesn't have the same ring to it, now does it?
posted by quin at 3:23 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sam, Barack Obama wants to fine you for not having a plumbing license.
posted by scody at 3:28 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Goddamn lib'ral gotcha media digging into facts! Fuck facts!
posted by ericb at 3:33 PM on October 16, 2008


I just want to point out that my IQ comment above in no way reflects my own opinion of the relative intelligence of Americans. I myself am not American, although I currently live among them in their country. I find them no more or no less intelligent than the average bear, on the whole. I also have no opinion on the relevance of IQ tests as measures of intelligence, or on any cultural bias implicit in such tests.

I am, however, of the opinion that the 62nd percentile of the normal distribution with mean 100 and standard deviation 15 is in fact 104.6. And I stand by that.

posted by ocha-no-mizu at 3:33 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Santorum: Obama Is ‘Condescending’ Because He Refuses To Wear An American Flag Pin

From the article: "SANTORUM: Well, I’m from western Pennsylvania. I grew up in western Pennsylvania. I grew up in a steel town — Butler, PA — and those people are not racist."

Senator, I've been to Butler. I have friends from Butler. And they sure the fuck are racist. Not everyone, obviously, but shit I heard bad some stuff there...
posted by inigo2 at 3:36 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Damn right. I've been to Butler a *lot.* My mom lived there for several years.

And I can guarantee you I can find someone willing to say the N word on camera in 10 minutes of walking down the street. Plenty of racists there.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:42 PM on October 16, 2008


Santorum? Really?
posted by Tehanu at 3:44 PM on October 16, 2008


The excruciatingly insufferable Tucker Carlson throws in the towel:

Not that any of this matters for the purposes of the election. It’s over. Obama won.

posted by Rumple at 3:51 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just caught up with this thread, so here are my accumulated comments:

McCain's jumping on "zero" is reminiscent of the convention chants of "ZERO ZERO ZERO" referring to Obama's executive experience. He may have been talking to the base when he repeated that. Also, the mouth-open astonished look was definitely phony. He was trying to impart "Your claim is so preposterous, it makes me lose control of my face." But he screwed it up by not actually challenging Obama on the point, and eventually realizing that his hamming it up looked ridiculous, and putting back on the serious face. The result is that Obama looked like he refuted McCain's lie, and McCain looked like he failed at his show of dramatically defending his lie.

Despite Obama's cool, calm and collected demeanor, i bet he HATES losing.

He hasn't had much opportunity to develop a hate for it.

Who doesn't love friend chicken and watermelon?

Oh, sure, I bet you're friends with Buddy Pig and Comrade Cow too, you *ptoo* vegetarian.
posted by lostburner at 3:53 PM on October 16, 2008


Toadies Concert Update: They played for an hour and a half, Possum Kingdom was pretty much in the middle of the set and the ticket was only 18 bones. They did indeed play all the old classics and there were a bunch of aging GenXers reliving their glory days. Looked like most of them hadn't been to a concert in the past ten years. Yesterday was also Rez's birthday and the whole crowd sang to him.
posted by sciurus at 3:54 PM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


I came across all those videos in my search, and while I did hear 'terrorist' and 'zero', I didn't hear anybody say 'kill him.'

But you did hear John McCain say, "I'm John McCain and I repudiate this message" after each remark, right? Because in the debate he said, "Every time there's been an out-of-bounds remark made by a Republican, no matter where they are, I have repudiated them."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:56 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow. Tucker Carlson dares insult the intelligence or honor of John Lewis? John LEWIS? TUCKER Carlson?

Dude needs his bow tie stuffed up his preppy little nose.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:09 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Dude needs his bow tie stuffed up his preppy little nose.

I think he quit wearing it after Jon Stewart hurt his feelings.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:15 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meet Wade Williams, 72, of Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. Mr. Williams was so upset that he hadn't received his voter registration card so he could "keep the N**ger from getting into office" that he threatened to show up at the registration office with his shotgun.

Anyone who thinks there aren't hundreds more like him does not know America.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:16 PM on October 16, 2008


Whoops, that should be "Meet Wade Williams."
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:17 PM on October 16, 2008


Who doesn't love friend chicken and watermelon? I know these things have racist implications, but I've never understood why.


Both of these go back to the agricultural south and became prominent memes during Reconstruction and the Jim Crow era. If you think about the pre-climate-control agricultural South, and think about a watermelon, it's easy to understand that they were a major treat. Watermelons are cool (I think it's 55 degrees) inside even on a hot day. Watermelons take a full season to grow and reach maturity late in the summer, meaning work preceded the wait. People enjoyed watermelon as a special indulgence, a reward in that late-summer heat - watermelon was for picnics, church suppers, fairs, eating on the porch as dessert after the day's work was done.

The implication that "black people love to eat watermelon" was that black people only enjoyed the lazy, pleasurable part of life - not the hard work that went before. The idea was that after all, yes, everybody does love watermelon. But those blacks want to eat it all the time, because they're only interested in the rewards, not the labor. The Jim Crow Museum's writeup says it this way:
It became part of the image perpetuated by a white culture bent upon bolstering the myth of superiority by depicting the inferior race as lazy, simple-minded pickaninnies interested only in such mindless pleasures as a slice of sweet watermelon.
Chicken is similar. I could stand to learn a little bit more about how the chicken figured in Southern and black cultural history and culinary practice, but my understanding is that, again, it was a pretty rare treat, especially in the poorer rural South. You ate beans a lot, and eggs a lot, and ham a lot (because it lasted a long time) but you only ate a chicken when you killed it (doesn't preserve well). And you could only keep as many chickens as you could feed and house. Poor people (black people, in the pre-Civil Rights South) didn't get a chance to eat chicken all that much for these reasons. So chicken was a rare treat and not many people could afford to keep chickens, or to kill the chickens that they did keep on a frequent basis. Chicken-stealing was a common crime, and blacks were commonly accused of the crime (rightfully or not) - so when blacks were depicted enjoying chicken, the implication was often that it was probably a stolen chicken. The chicken story ends up getting pretty complicated, because a genuine tradition of cooking, raising, enjoying, and starting businesses using chicken exists in history and is a part of real black American culture today - chicken is soul food. At the same time, chicken-eating was so often depicted in comic dismissals of blacks - and commercialized in some nasty restaurant ventures on on the vaudeville stage - that associating blacks with chicken to make a joke can carry an intent to humiliate. So it happens that racist attitudes toward blacks have sometimes gotten mapped onto chicken, and at the same time, it has a legitimate place in black foodways.

So in other words, these things - watermelon, chicken - were things everyone loved, especially people in the South, just because they're really good and really prized by everyone -- but through racist caricature they became associated with black people in a way that signifies enjoyment without effort, laziness, and "brute" sensual pleasure.

I’m from western Pennsylvania. I grew up in western Pennsylvania. I grew up in a steel town — Butler, PA — and those people are not racist."

*spit take*
posted by Miko at 4:31 PM on October 16, 2008 [42 favorites]


Like others I am beginning to wonder if "Joe" was a McCain plant all along.

Watch “Joe’s” initial encounter with Obama earlier this week in Ohio.

“Joe's” opening comment:
“My name is Joe Wurzelbacher. I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes $250 to $270, $280 million a year. Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”
A bald-face lie, as he now says he's not in a position to buy a company that's "not for sale," a company which has an estimated total annual revenue -- not profit -- of $100,000, and about which he says he's dreamed about buying sometime in the future.

Oh, BTW, Joe, you'd also need to be a licensed plumber to run such a company. And, as it stands, you are unlicensed (no journeyman or apprentice license), as required by law.

You also owe back taxes and had a 2006 yearly income of $40,000.

Like the McCain/Palin playbook: "liar, liar, you're pants are on fire."
posted by ericb at 4:36 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Wade Williams does sound like a piece of work. But, WTF is with the charge: "Statute 14:40:01 Terrorizing".

Is that some weird terminology, or a federal - DHS thing? Casualizing or normalizing "terrorism" this way is not helpful to anyone in my opinion
posted by Rumple at 4:42 PM on October 16, 2008


Yeah, sorry, these intelligence arguments don't fly. The main problem is not an inability to grasp the issues; it's an unwillingness to do so in an unbiased fashion, in an honest attempt to arrive at truth.

Take the flag pin example. Someone argues that Obama is being condescending by refusing to wear one. Point out that he did, repeatedly, and that McCain did not. (I'm just taking the above example and not claiming this as fact, btw) Any reasonably intelligent person should be able to see how the initial argument (refusal to wear flag pin = condescending) now applies to McCain. Someone who grumbles and changes the subject, and throws up another objection isn't failing to understand the point. They are avoiding the point, because it runs counter to their personal bias. This isn't lack of intelligence. It is lack of integrity.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2008 [4 favorites]


*your pants are on fire*
posted by ericb at 4:49 PM on October 16, 2008


Write up of McCain on Letterman tonight.

But what freaked me the fuck out was a comment from "NOBAMA" for this article on the WSJ:
(The article is written by Laura Meckler)
Hopefully the woman with the spark-throwing thing on Letterman’s “will it float?” skit will send a few good sparks into Laura Meckler’s general direction. But hopefully Ms. Meckler’s cathair turtleneck sweater won’t catch fire, at least not unless someone can promptly turn that water hose on the wall on her.
I don't understand what NOBAMA is saying. NOBAMA wants the author of a somewhat objective article on what happened on the show to have her clothes catch on fire? And/or that the fire will be put out with the fire hose on the wall? Is NOBAMA mad about the Wall Street Journal's liberal bias here? Or because Meckler is giving spoilers.

I wish there was a plugin to hide comments on newspaper websites. Some of these people make YouTube commenters look like geniuses.
posted by birdherder at 4:52 PM on October 16, 2008


This isn't lack of intelligence. It is lack of integrity.

Sorry. No. It's both.
posted by tkchrist at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2008


Bob Schieffer: "Barack Obama is one cool customer."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:57 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sen. McCain was also asked about his running mate and whether she was his first choice for the job. Sen. McCain said "absolutely" she was. But he confessed, "I didn't know her well at all. I knew her reputation."
...
The host also asked whether Gov. Palin had said that Sen. Obama "pals around with terrorists." McCain started to say he didn’t know, then said "Yes. And he did."
Lieberman was his first choice.

And last night he was too chickenshit to say Obama "pals around with terrorists to his face, but he's back with the smears. Also, "terrorists" is plural. Are there more of them than Ayers?
posted by kirkaracha at 5:04 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


People of intelligence but no integrity manipulate people of average intelligence or better but of above average ignorance into becoming people who can't find integrity through the fog.

Or, in short, Karl Rove.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:24 PM on October 16, 2008


“think of Lincoln getting killed after two years and ten months, though, instead of the four years and one month he actually served. had Lincoln died after a thousand days, he'd be remembered as the worst US President ever.”

Yes, but he didn’t actually divide the country himself. He held it together. And after his presidency because of his policies (contrary to the radicals who wanted to punish the south) the country had a chance to heal. The fact there was so little partisan warfare after what had been a bloody civil war is alone testiment to that. Even the copperheads paid homage to him at his funeral.
Kennedy on the other hand, lots more acrimony in the country.

I’m not saying Kennedy didn’t have potential. He created the Peace Corps.
But looking at just what happened is all we have to go on.
The Bay of Pigs then operation mongoose, then the embargo - then the Cuban missile crisis which f’ing duh, you push them into a corner like that, almost lead to world war three when Kennedy put NORAD on Defcon 2 (Sept. 11 we were on Defcon 3), and ordered hot nukes on SAC Europe planes all because he was going ahead with too much balls and not enough brains to keep the joint chiefs in hand.

So what, Castro’s position gets solidified (did he intend that? Doubtful), the Soviets get missles backed out of Turkey and we get - what? Not to end the world over a gambit the Soviets probably had no intention of pushing?

I do think he became a better president because of it though and he learned that you have to negotiate. He still didn’t learn (at least before they blew his head off) the art of making a ‘no’ sound like a ‘yes’ and how to turn enemies into friends, how to form coalitions, all that, and so just after his presidency was a very troubled time.

Point being, this is what Obama is bringing to the table - going in.

That sounds like a ringing endorsement, and I guess it is, but with the caviat that a man like that is tremendously dangerous. People are willing to not only do things for you, but work quite hard for you and subsume themselves to your service.

I know from my own experience how terrible and seductive that kind of power is and what a burden it is. It’s a terrible thing to be great.
I prefer being able to move around anonymously, bbq with people and just be some guy and live my life.
I don’t mind the sacrifice part. But to be a leader you have to be more than just a man. You have to live your life, most of it, for others.

That is, if it’s to be done properly of course. You could sit around on vacation all the time, clear brush, call reporters ‘assholes’ or some such, blow off 80% of your responsibilities and phone in the rest.

But that’s just sitting in the chair, that’s not leadership. And men might follow you out of respect for the chair, once you leave office, you in no way are remembered as being a leader.

I still have men who would cut their own mother’s throats for me. But that’s because they know I’d cut my own throat before I ever gave an order like that. They know any response from me would be as a leader, not from my own interest.

Which, I have to say, is what’s encouraging about Obama.

I wondered how he would weather the storm, but he got his legs under him right away. You must learn some of the same things in community organizing that you do in the military as a leader.

All the calls for him to ‘get tough’ or go on the offensive and so forth - I never bought into it.
That might be what some Joe might do, that might be what you or I might do or what a candidate might do. Keep taking hits - say “the hell with this” and start kicking some ass.

But it’s not what a leader does. A leader doesn’t think of himself first. And damned if Obama isn’t shrugging off all the acrimonious personal bullshit like a tough old overcoat.
He’s just leading.
And a what a man does is what he becomes.

Obama looks outright Presidential.

Hell, I’d even call him ‘sir’ and I haven’t used that word in years.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:25 PM on October 16, 2008 [20 favorites]


Also, the mouth-open astonished look was definitely phony. He was trying to impart "Your claim is so preposterous, it makes me lose control of my face."

Really? I saw a combination of terror and betrayal, like he was shocked to be told that and immediately furious at his staff for not spotting it earlier.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:27 PM on October 16, 2008


Sorry. No. It's both.

Well, fair enough. It's a dumb argument to begin with. But take any easily disprovable assertion levelled against Obama. What happens when the facts are pointed out? Misdirection. That's not an unintelligent response, but it certainly smacks of a lack of integrity.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:40 PM on October 16, 2008


There's only one way I've found to have a productive conversation with someone who keeps spouting bullshit memes (Muslim, terrorists, ACORN) and shallow talking points (tax structure, healthcare). It's to sort of circle around and come from the flank. Instead of contesting any of the stated obstacles head on, use questions instead. Start in, like "Let me ask you this. How do you feel about the Supreme Court, the choice issue, eminent domain? What do you think about oversight and regulation in the banking industry - do we need more or less? How do you feel about your health insurance premiums/prescription drug prices? Economically, do you think middle class people are doing well enough right now - as well as they were ten years ago? Do you think you should have access to affordable health care, or not? How do you feel about the war in Iraq - what would you like to see us do about it?"

This kind of approach leads to a decent conversation a surprising amount of the time. I think that's because a lot of people are not actually that clear on the issue agenda of their own candidate. They're very familiar with the sound bites their favored campaign uses, but they're not so good on the stances or voting records. Sometimes you get the opportunity to say "Huh, so you're pretty sure NAFTA cost America jobs. John McCain actually supports NAFTA as is, and Obama wants to reform it." Or something like that.

But even when that doesn't happen, you at least end up having a conversation about their authentic views and ideas about governance rather than hearing just a litany of whole talk-radio script material or having things devolve into a shouting match. You may not be able to sqay a vote, but you can find common ground, and even in doing that you sort of demonstrate that you are a reasonable person who cares about America and respects others, which reflects well on your chosen candidate and makes it harder for people to demonize him and his supporters. It makes you too human.
posted by Miko at 5:42 PM on October 16, 2008 [8 favorites]


...also, it completely sidesteps the "media bias" reaction. By sticking to how people feel about the issues, and the candidates' actual platforms, you don't have to argue about whether the MSM is biased, controlled, lying, or whatever.
posted by Miko at 5:45 PM on October 16, 2008



Really? I saw a combination of terror and betrayal, like he was shocked to be told that and immediately furious at his staff for not spotting it earlier.


I agree.

McCain was working way to hard to emote properly. And it made him look even more kooky.

We are apes. We can't really help what messages pass between our emotional center and our monkey/ape brains - and it will show on our faces.

We try to mask our feelings through layers of contrived behavior on top of our monkey face. But basically the monkey face prevails.

It's too important, in terms of social evolution, for other monkeys to know how we REALLY feel. You can never really fool the other monkeys.

I wasn't fooled.

The only people that can successfully mask their emotions are psychopaths. But even they trip your monkey radar eventually.

My brother, a parole officer for sexual offenders, often talks about this. What these offenders say and how they emote doesn't add up. And the social part of your monkey brain gets subconsciously skeezed out and suddenly wants to crush the other monkeys skull with a branch or run away.

posted by tkchrist at 5:47 PM on October 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


The only people that can successfully mask their emotions are psychopaths.

Isn't that sociopaths?

I agree, though. I'm among those who think you can watch a debate with the sound off and know who's projecting more calm, strength, knowledge, honesty. It was interesting that W faked all that well enough to win enough votes to become President. I have a friend who has a well-developed theory that he is a sociopath. Don't know as I would go that far, but he was able to convince a lot of people that he was the real thing.
posted by Miko at 5:52 PM on October 16, 2008


"Let me ask you this. How do you feel about the Supreme Court, the choice issue, eminent domain? What do you think about oversight and regulation in the banking industry - do we need more or less? How do you feel about your health insurance premiums/prescription drug prices? Economically, do you think middle class people are doing well enough right now - as well as they were ten years ago? Do you think you should have access to affordable health care, or not? How do you feel about the war in Iraq - what would you like to see us do about it?"

Ah thank you'd better git off mah porch, hippy!
posted by tkchrist at 5:53 PM on October 16, 2008


Isn't that sociopaths?


Yeah true. Psychopaths don't know what the fuck they project. My brother has dealt with a couple of those as well.
posted by tkchrist at 5:54 PM on October 16, 2008


I have a friend who has a well-developed theory that he is a sociopath. Don't know as I would go that far, but he was able to convince a lot of people that he was the real thing.

That would explain why have been smashing my TV with a branch and throwing poo at it during State of Union Addresses.
posted by tkchrist at 5:57 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


McCain is doing some sort of comedy routine at a charity dinner in New York right now, with Obama and Hillary Clinton among those in attendance. It's about as odd as one might expect, although I've got to admit that he's doing alright. Lots of laughs and applause. Lots of attacks disguised as jokes, too.

...

I really hope this isn't the sort of thing that might sway people.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:21 PM on October 16, 2008


A few weeks old but worth revisiting: a primatologist analyzes the McCain-Obama body language and signalling.

Looking at the body language of the candidates, however, I did not come away with the same impression. A confident alpha male chimpanzee would never show studied indifference. I have seen such behavior only in males who were terrified of their challenger. Chimpanzees provoke higher-ups by making impressive displays in their vicinity, hooting loudly in their direction, and sometimes lobbing objects at them to see what happens. Will the other startle or will he return the challenge? It's a war of nerves.

A self-confident alpha male just approaches his challenger and sets him straight, either by attacking him or performing a spectacular display of his own. No avoidance of eye contact: he takes the bull by the horns.

It rather is the hesitant or fearful alpha male who avoids looking straight at the other, sidesteps him as if nothing happened, ducks when objects fly, and just hopes that the other will give up and go away. This may work, but also signals weakness. One day, the challenger will pick up courage and do something more drastic, such as hitting the old guy's back. If the latter still tries to ignore his challenger after this, he's toast.

I read the body language between McCain and Obama as that between a senior male being challenged by a remarkably confident junior one. The senior didn't know exactly what to do. He avoided eye contact and body orientation, probably realizing that a direct confrontation might not go his way.

If McCain was an alpha male, it was an incredibly insecure one.

posted by Rumple at 6:29 PM on October 16, 2008


Aw, forget what I said, McCain did a great job. I'm impressed. If he does sway a few folks, he earned it -- it was decent material.

And now Obama is going to do a bit in a little while. And in a bow tie!

Entertaining stuff.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:29 PM on October 16, 2008


Barack just did an even better job, FWIW. Damn funny and sharp.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:46 PM on October 16, 2008


If the republicans wanted a real October surprise, Bush would endorse Obama.

Just might happen. I think it is dead obvious that the Republicans actively do not want the next Presidency.

It would not surprise me if the current financial crisis happened six months earlier than it was supposed to happen, and that the looney American bailout plans were intended to stave off disaster until after the election. A scheme intended to utterly destroy the Democrat party, gone awry (just like all recent Republican plans.)
posted by five fresh fish at 6:48 PM on October 16, 2008


'from the front door you can see the Russian Tea Room' (inexact quote). sweet!
posted by troybob at 6:48 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some highlights from Obama's routine tonight:

"There is no other crowd in America I'd rather be palling around with. Can somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested?

"Contrary to the rumors you may have heard, I was not actually born in a manger, I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor-El to save the Earth.

"This crisis has been eight times harder on John McCain.

"Fox News accused me of fathering two African-American children in wedlock."

posted by EarBucket at 7:01 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


Haha, take that, freepers! Obama's middle name is STEVE!!
posted by brain cloud at 7:03 PM on October 16, 2008


"Contrary to the rumors you may have heard, I was not actually born in a manger, I was actually born on Krypton and sent here by my father Jor-El to save the Earth."

I ♥ him.
posted by lekvar at 7:07 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, HAAAAAAAAAAA!

Self-Link Disclaimer:
Yes, I am dating the guy who made that. Can you blame me?

posted by Space Kitty at 7:11 PM on October 16, 2008 [9 favorites]


What is this comedy event? Is it on TV? What odd timing!
posted by Miko at 7:14 PM on October 16, 2008


Space Kitty, that needs to be a bumper sticker!
posted by brain cloud at 7:17 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


HAH!

"I got my name Barack from my father.... it's actually Swahali for "That one."
posted by EarBucket at 7:18 PM on October 16, 2008


Miko - here are some youtube links (while they last) --

McCain roasts Obama

Obama roasts McCain | part 2
posted by brain cloud at 7:22 PM on October 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


Frightening Prospect.
posted by chunking express at 7:33 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain's isn't funny so far. It's just got too much underlying bitterness in it.
posted by Tehanu at 7:33 PM on October 16, 2008


He ends it well though.
posted by Tehanu at 7:35 PM on October 16, 2008


Wow. Obama's speechwriters' humor >>> McCains' talking points as jokes
posted by Tehanu at 7:39 PM on October 16, 2008


It kinda sucks how they refer to the inspiration brought to millions by the opponent who's lost/losing. It seems like there's got to be a better way to acknowledge them in a positive way.
posted by Tehanu at 7:41 PM on October 16, 2008


Wow. Obama's speechwriters' humor >>> McCains' talking points as jokes

I take that back. They just intersperse it better with riffing on recent events and self-deprecating humor.
posted by Tehanu at 7:43 PM on October 16, 2008


Thanks brain cloud, those clips are awesome...
posted by Pantengliopoli at 7:51 PM on October 16, 2008


Thanks for the links. This is interesting. I don't ever remember this in a presidential campaign before, but maybe I was just unaware of it.
posted by Miko at 7:53 PM on October 16, 2008


I ♥ him THAT ONE.

Fixed that for you.

And Space Kitty, that image rocks!
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:02 PM on October 16, 2008


McCain was funnier. Obama was funny, but he should have practiced his delivery and not looked down so much - McCain's delivery was much better and never looked like he was reading.
posted by jb at 8:15 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


In 2004, Kerry was not to be invited to the dinner because of his dispute with the Catholic church over abortion. The dinner organizers didn't feel it would be fair to invite one candidate and not the other, so there was no participation that year. (The dinner is a fundraider for Catholic charities, you can see the Cardinal of NY among the guests in some coverage.)

The first time it became a campaign stop was in 1960, when Kennedy and Nixon both attended.
posted by ltracey at 8:34 PM on October 16, 2008


Poor people (black people, in the pre-Civil Rights South)

Miko, if you're suggesting that prior to 1968 that poor people = black people in the South, you need to go back to some history books. Ones that are a bit more accurate than the ones you've been reading until now.
posted by rodgerd at 8:37 PM on October 16, 2008


You know, I don't think that Obama is out of the woods here yet. Reading around the Internet, I just feel like too many people in positions of real power are against him winning. I think we might be looking at a case of Gore/2000 all over again.

Maybe I've just had a bad Interweb cruising day.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:48 PM on October 16, 2008


Joey Michaels, I share your worries.
posted by drezdn at 8:56 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can't forget, though, that the media in all its forms benefit from having the race look as tight as possible. If they were to come out and say Obama has it pretty much tied up (not that he necessarily does, just that even if it were the case), their readership/viewership/clickership have little reason to obsessively check in for up-to-the-minutes.
posted by troybob at 9:07 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


A of of their best dirty tricks rely on McCain being within a few points.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:12 PM on October 16, 2008


There are two things that I think the Dems have going for themselves this year compared to 2000. First off, while on the surface it might not be apparent, many republicans aren't huge fans of McCain (especially people like Bush), and they're probably only making half-hearted efforts to swing things his way. Secondly, if it comes down to a Florida situation again, I wouldn't be surprised if Obama already has an effective strategy to deal with it, or at least more focused than Gore's handling of the situation.
posted by drezdn at 9:13 PM on October 16, 2008


And really, if Obama goes into it with a clear lead and then doesn't win, I know I'll be rioting in the streets.
posted by troybob at 9:18 PM on October 16, 2008 [3 favorites]


rodgerd: Miko, if you're suggesting that prior to 1968 that poor people = black people in the South, you need to go back to some history books. Ones that are a bit more accurate than the ones you've been reading until now.

Heh. Did rodgerd just suggest that Miko doesn't know her American history?

*grins, mixes a drink, takes a comfortable seat*
posted by scody at 9:30 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


That Letterman appearance was rough. McCain shouldn't have done it - better to have Dave joke about him behind his back than to sit there and let Dave tear him a new one on television. The "write up" posted above doesn't reflect how aggressive an interview it was and McCain's protestations that he believes Sarah Palin to be the best possible choice to potentially lead us just came off as sad.
posted by moxiedoll at 9:42 PM on October 16, 2008


The Washington Post endorses Obama:

Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence, with a nuanced grasp of complex issues and evident skill at conciliation and consensus-building. At home, we believe, he would respond to the economic crisis with a healthy respect for markets tempered by justified dismay over rising inequality and an understanding of the need for focused regulation. Abroad, the best evidence suggests that he would seek to maintain U.S. leadership and engagement, continue the fight against terrorists, and wage vigorous diplomacy on behalf of U.S. values and interests. Mr. Obama has the potential to become a great president. Given the enormous problems he would confront from his first day in office, and the damage wrought over the past eight years, we would settle for very good.
posted by Rumple at 9:48 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Election Issue of the NY Review of Books is good reading, e.g., Joan Didion:

We could forget that we ourselves induced the coma, by indulging the government in its fantasy of absolute power, wielded absolutely. So general is this fantasy by now that we approach this election with no clear idea where bottom is: what damage has been done, what alliances have been formed and broken, what concealed reefs lie ahead. Whoever we elect president is about to find some of that out.
posted by Rumple at 9:56 PM on October 16, 2008


I just realised that most of what I've been reading lately has come from links in this (hugely pro Obama) thread. I think I may have been getting a skewed view about what's really going on. Whenever someone posts a comment like Rumple's "The Washington Post endoreses Obama", are five other people on Republican message boards posting links to five other articles endorsing McCain?

I know Obama's doing better in the polls, but how much am I being misled by all the nice words here?
posted by twirlypen at 9:58 PM on October 16, 2008


And really, if Obama goes into it with a clear lead and then doesn't win, I know I'll be rioting in the streets.

I would prefer flooding the streets in peaceful protest. A Blue Revolution of a sort.

Seriously, though, as much as I've been cheerleading Obama's lead, this definitely isn't over even if his advantage doesn't change from now until election day. We know what the Republicans are going to do and that's going to put the narrow margins at risk. Ohio is evidently on track for another disaster. I still don't trust Florida. And I don't know how Virginia would react to some vote counting crisis. Or Nevada.

I'm still very optimistic, but if anyone feels the need to fret over the election, there's plenty to fret over. It helps if you do something to take you mind off of it, though.
posted by effwerd at 10:18 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know, I don't think that Obama is out of the woods here yet. Reading around the Internet, I just feel like too many people in positions of real power are against him winning. I think we might be looking at a case of Gore/2000 all over again.

I firmly agree that the polls don't mean squat, and Obama doesn'thave this thing wrapped up. However, I think looking at this through the lens of the last 2 elections misses the real picture. Outside of my personal support of his candidacy,I am all kinds of excited to see what happens on election day. Obama is taking a huge gamble in this election. He really is running a different type of campaign, based on a different set of political assumptions, and counting on demographics in a way that is really hard to measure by the standards of past elections. It's either going to pay off for him in a big way that nobody really saw coming, or it's going to fail majestically.

You can see it in the frustrations of his opponents so far. If Obama hadn't been in the race, Clinton would have steamrolled through the primaries in unprecedented fashion. McCain is running a pretty shitty campaign, but in any other year, his stunts and big showy maneuvers would have had his opponent running in circles trying to keep up.

I don't know what's going to happen n election day,but the only real gauge we have of how Obama's going to do is past performance in the primaries. That tells me that Obama is not trying to win the polls. He's not trying to win a race of public opinion, or even the popular vote. He's not concerned with "beating" John McCain. They're going after 270 electoral votes, and they're going to do it by mobilizing large numbers of people in a very organized way. Win or lose, i'd be keeping my eye out for something big and unexpected on election day.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:19 PM on October 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Here is the list of both candidates newspaper endorsements, as provided by wikipedia.

So I don't think we are really cherry picking the news as it comes in. There is just less positive stuff for McCain out there. Of course, the Freepers (see links above) are complaining it is just the news media taking sides and not reporting the true facts they they clearly see. I mean, when you have Fox News let their own focus group give the debate to Obama, to us it was just showing how clear Obama's lead truly is. To them it was the last vestige of the true honorable news channel falling into the hands of corporate media.
posted by mrzarquon at 11:14 PM on October 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have to agree that Joe the Plumber certainly smells like a McCain plant. It's just too perfect - regular working class guy who happens to be thinking of buying a company, but oh no! Obama's tax plan would destroy him! Only ... no, not really, he would actually get a tax cut - and I'm glad to see the facts of this brought up on MSNBC and Yahoo. Looks like McCain has an ongoing problem with vetting his lackeys.

Anyway, here's another joke from the Alfred E. Smith dinner:
Obama also poked fun at his Democratic National Convention acceptance speech, which he delivered before a crowd of tens of thousands at an outdoor football stadium on an elaborately constructed stage.

"I was originally told we'd be able to move this outdoors to Yankee Stadium," he said of the dinner.

Then, pausing and looking around, he said, "Could somebody tell me what happened to the Greek columns that I requested?"
Yeah. Politicians should definitely not write their own jokes. Sorry.

Oddly enough, McCain is actually funny when he's the butt of a joke (at about 3:00):

CARRELL: "Senator, how do you reconcile the fact that you are one of the most vocal critics of pork barrel politics, and yet while you were chairman of the Commerce Committee, that committee set the record for unauthorized appropriations?"

MCCAIN: ". . ."

CARRELL: "I'm just kidding! I don't even know what that means."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:21 PM on October 16, 2008


You can't forget, though, that the media in all its forms benefit from having the race look as tight as possible. If they were to come out and say Obama has it pretty much tied up (not that he necessarily does, just that even if it were the case), their readership/viewership/clickership have little reason to obsessively check in for up-to-the-minutes.

Repeated for emphasis. The media games the public: the media is not about informing you, but about selling your eyeballs to advertisers.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:00 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's either going to pay off for him in a big way that nobody really saw coming, or it's going to fail majestically.

If he fails, I invite him to Canada. We can do with more politicians who are passionate about creating a unified, forward-thinking society of safe, educated, happy people.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:07 AM on October 17, 2008


>> Poor people (black people, in the pre-Civil Rights South)

> Miko, if you're suggesting that prior to 1968 that poor people = black people in the South, you need to go back to some history books.

I think you have that backwards. Miko isn't saying most poor people were black, she is saying most black people were poor.
posted by ryanrs at 1:32 AM on October 17, 2008


Mr. Obama is a man of supple intelligence

He's supple all right. WOOF.
posted by orange swan at 4:43 AM on October 17, 2008


I know Obama's doing better in the polls, but how much am I being misled by all the nice words here?

...I know MeFi is great and all, but why would anyone ONLY be getting their news from here? It's up to each of us to read other sources and come to our own conclusions. If you're skeptical, it's a great big internet out there where anyone can investigate.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:59 AM on October 17, 2008


"James Taylor will play five free concerts in North Carolina as he tours the state to support Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Taylor has concerts scheduled in Charlotte, Asheville, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Wilmington beginning Sunday. Taylor, who was raised in Chapel Hill, has at times used his musical celebrity to highlight political candidates in the state."

"The change that's happening in North Carolina could lead America into a new spirit of engagement and responsibility and get people back into their government again and back into working as a team," Taylor said in a phone interview from the Massachusetts Turnpike. "North Carolina is in a position to own that change."
posted by cashman at 5:01 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wade Williams does sound like a piece of work. But, WTF is with the charge: "Statute 14:40:01 Terrorizing".

Louisiana Title 14 - Criminal Law - RS 14:40.1:

§40.1. Terrorizing

A. Terrorizing is the intentional communication of information that the commission of a crime of violence is imminent or in progress or that a circumstance dangerous to human life exists or is about to exist, with the intent of causing members of the general public to be in sustained fear for their safety; or causing evacuation of a building, a public structure, or a facility of transportation; or causing other serious disruption to the general public.

B. Whoever commits the offense of terrorizing shall be fined not more than fifteen thousand dollars or imprisoned with or without hard labor for not more than fifteen years, or both.

Acts 1985, No. 191, §1; Acts 1997, No. 1318, §2, eff. July 15, 1997; Acts 2001, No. 1112, §1


Miko, if you're suggesting that prior to 1968 that poor people = black people in the South, you need to go back to some history books. Ones that are a bit more accurate than the ones you've been reading until now.

You read Miko's comments in reverse. Black people in the pre-civil rights south were for the most part one example of "poor people." Where I disagree with Miko's theorizin' starts here:

And you could only keep as many chickens as you could feed and house.

Not true. In the rural deep south it is still common to find chickens running free in a yard. They feed themselves for the large part off of grass and bugs that they catch. Though you would only eat one for occasions such as Sunday dinner they were a pretty common (weekly) staple protien specifically because they are cheap and easy to raise. Chicken is comfort food (aka Soul food) not extra special food to be lauded. It is remenicient of good times and family in the midst of hardship. Traditional southern families, white and black, eat ham and pork on extra special occasions like Christmas, that is your special food. Soul food does not equate to special occasion food, it is, in fact the opposite.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:20 AM on October 17, 2008


You guys are making me hungry... watermelon... fried chicken... and waffles... mmmmm... (Homer gargle) Dang, I miss California.
posted by like_neon at 6:27 AM on October 17, 2008


> If IQ has a mean of 100 and standard deviation of 15, the 62nd percentile is at 104.6. So that data would suggest that Americans are slightly smarter than your average bear.

Or just better at taking tests the we, as in western culture, had made for ourselves.


And moreover, IQ is just a measure of potential, anyway. It's a measure of how smart you could be if you applied yourself; I always compared it to the size of a pitcher. The size is one thing, the contents are another. If you have the big pitcher but you fill it with rancid strawberry Yoo-Hoo, it don't matter -- people are going to be less interested in that than they are in the smaller pitcher filled with champagne.

IQ scores don't mean much -- I'm actually a card-carrying member of MENSA, where you have to have a high IQ, but I definitely can still be a big horkin' bonehead.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:30 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It would have been funnier if they'd put arugala and a latte on the "food stamp" bill.

I mean, I know racism is always stupid, and racists always stupid people on some level. But this most recent spate of efforts to spin classic racist stereotypes against Obama is just particularly ridiculous. I'm surprised we haven't seen more hip-hop themed racist attacks, since one of the few ways in which Obama evokes a black identity in public is through allusions to his musical tastes and occasional hip-hop gestures (like dusting off his shoulders). But you reveal a particularly musty kind of racism if you think you can stick a watermelon slice and a bucket of fried chicken on your Barack Obama effigy and do anything other than a) confuse most white Americans and b) do anything other than push up the meter on the African American vote.

I've told this story before here -- twice, I think -- but here I go again. Back when Obama won Iowa in December, the NY Post ran a cover with a huge picture of his face and "Obama wins!" or something like that. I was in a dumpy little all-night deli in Harlem at about 5AM that morning (don't ask) when an elderly black man who looked like life had beaten him down hard walked in. He stopped in front of the newspaper display, did a double take at the Post cover, and then reverently picked one up and held it up in the air to examine it in better light. The whole time he kept muttering, to himself, "I can't believe they let the brother win." He had tears -- looked like joy to me -- on his face, too.

I've been for Obama since I heard him speak at the 2004 convention, though I entertained a backup interest in Edwards through the primaries (what a disaster that would have been, huh?) But that was the moment I first realized what his candidacy meant for African Americans.

Since then, I've been obsessed with the way the African American community has mustered its support, dealt with its anxieties, and come to terms with the explosion of panicked, disorganized, and euphemistic racism this country has lately exhibited under the bullshit guise of talking about "race" as a "factor" in the election. I have been impressed at the "message discipline" from that community, in general, with occasional slipups and exceptions (Jesse Jackson, Sr., I am looking right at you here). I've done my own ethnographic poking into the situation, and I think a lot of black folks are perfectly conscious that they, like Barack, need to play down (and refuse to play into stereotypes of) their experience as African Americans in a racist country, their ethnic cultural identities and values, and the social problems in their communities, to make themselves very small targets for smearing and fearing discourse until Barack could complete the sale. Seriously speaking, the black community's political discourse machine has gone *eerily* quiet in the last year, relative to past elections. Everyone is holding his or her breath.

On Nov. 4, all that work and hope and fear and prayer comes to a head. We are going to see stunning record level black turnout in this election, and the revelation of a powerful peer-to-peer registration and turnout operation. In 2004 and 2000, Bush peeled off a few votes among black evangelicals, but also relied on driving apathy or distaste for politics among those same evangelicals, and on the usual racist suppression of the broader black vote (which they are planning on a truly massive scale now, knowing that what I am saying is exactly right, but I don't think they can make it nearly massive enough). For every vote they suppressed, traditionally, they probably discourage two more African Americans from registering or bothering to vote out of cynicism and frustration. Why vote if it won't count, or won't change anything? Why stand on line for three hours (while the white folks in the next town have a 20 minute wait, hmm) for nothing? Why vote when the best you can even hope for is a bone or two from big house table?

Well, the calculation is different this time. When we're seeing 25-30 percent black participation in early voting in states like Indiana and Georgia and now North Carolina, and 95 percent support levels among blacks for Obama in much polling, and record new registrations in black communities, it will take a very close race for voter suppression efforts to hold back the tide.

No one is counting on this. Polls are really not modeling for it. The rosiest assumptions figure a 5 percent increase in the black vote. Bullshit. It's going to swamp anything we've ever seen.

I'll be in Harlem on Nov. 4th. And I expect it to be a great catharsis for an anger I've nursed since attending protests against Bush's post-theft inauguration in January 2000. A change is gonna come.

18 days. Everyone get out there and push just a little harder. Do it for everyone they lynched, abused, spat on, enslaved, and called a "n*gg*r," and do it for that old man in the deli. Obama represents a great promise of change for so many reasons to so many people, but this is a really big promise of some small level of redemption for the real American Dream. What the racists don't understand about Obama's (and my) generation (and younger) is that for every one of them who finds Barack's "exotic" biography a reason to fear him, there are many more of us who find it a strong reason to support him -- not because of how he looks, but because of what he's experienced. He truly will be the change we seek just by standing there and taking the oath. I'm not reducing him to that, or thinking it will be a radical transformation of America's structurally racist society. But symbols like this matter in history. And we get to make it. It's like affirmative action for our souls as Americans of all colors.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:54 AM on October 17, 2008 [33 favorites]


Miko, if you're suggesting that prior to 1968 that poor people = black people in the South, you need to go back to some history books. Ones that are a bit more accurate than the ones you've been reading until now.

I started with a snarky response, but I'm discarding it because ryanrs and Pollomacho are right about what I was trying to say. Of course there were (are) vast numbers of poor whites in the South before, during, and after the Civil War. And there were (are) vast numbers of poor blacks, too. But there were also other income sectors in which whites could fall: the comfortable merchant class and a wealthy landowning/industry-owning class - and those, barring some black-owned small businesses and farms, were all white. Also, poor rural whites in the south have been more able to take advantage of economic opportunity when it arose, because institutional racism made resources available to them that were denied to blacks. White-controlled institutions of credit, manufacturing employers, and educational institutions were white-controlled. This system ensured that most rural blacks in the South stayed poor - they had limited opportunity to position themselves for financial success that would put them on a par with the emerging Southern middle class. In other words, black people in the rural South were almost guaranteed a life of poverty (there are notable exceptions), while whites stood a chance to fare better when jobs and credit were available because their race was an advantage in securing resources. What I was trying to note there, not very well, was that if you're talking about the set of black Americans in the rural pre-Civil Rights South, there is a near-complete overlap with the set of poor black Americans in the rural pre-Civil Rights South. If you were black, you were overwhelmingly likely to be poor.

Now, chicken: I see your point, Pollomacho. I still want to learn a little more about chicken and foodways in that time and place. I know that today, chickens are relatively easy to keep, but today's conditions are different from those of the past. For one thing, if you leave a chicken to survive on bugs, you can't keep as many chickens, because each one eats a lot of bugs and you need a very large range in order to support a small flock. In addition, the supply of bugs varies seasonally. In the winter, even in the South, there aren't that many bugs around and you have to provide additional feed. So people didn't keep chickens over the winter much.
Chickens can find their own feed, but each chicken needs a lot of room if this is going to work. Also, chickens that live entirely by foraging have to have their population adjusted to match the feed supply. For example, a farmer of 100 years ago might have kept a dozen hens and a rooster through the winter, and allowed the hens to hatch a brood of chicks each in the spring, giving, say, 72 chicks plus the original 13 chickens, or 85 birds total. The old rooster would be sold after the chicks had hatched. The old hens and most of the young chickens would be sold in the fall, and one cockerel and twelve pullets would be kept through the lean months. By having 85 chickens during the fat months and only 13 during the winter, the amount of supplemental feed needed by the chickens would be minimized. A flock of 13 chickens might survive all winter on the grain spilled by a cow and a team of draft horses, plus some hay and whatever else they could find. This winter diet would be nutritionally poor (both vitamin- and protein-deficient) and the hens would lay no eggs, but they'd recover in early spring and the cycle would repeat.

Nutritional deficiencies increase with the number of chickens. I've heard estimates that you can support 1-2 hens per acre with no supplemental feeding, though probably not during the winter. As you add chickens to the farm, they first exhaust the supply of high-calorie feeds such as seeds, then the supply of high-protein feeds such as bugs, worms, and high-protein forage. Finally, they use up the supply of high-vitamin feeds such as grass. Modern poultrykeeping revolves around supplying the nutrients the chickens can't find for themselves.

In the good old days, when people didn't feed their hens at all, much of the hen's diet was provided by sheer sloppiness. People threw their garbage out into the street or the barnyard. The cows and horses spilled grain. Manure was everywhere and was full of yummy maggots. Even with all the natural bounty provided by Stone Age sanitation, the number of hens that could be supported without supplemental feeding was very limited. Flocks of over fifty hens were unusual before chicken feed was invented.
Finally, before industrialization the rural South was still a place where livestock in the open were in danger - it was a place of bobcats, foxes, and feral dogs, all of which are happy to pick off chickens one by one or in a crazy slaughter, so chicken attrition was pretty high. And certainly any time there's hunger, which for poor people is almost all the time but was at a point of national emergency during the Depression, chicken theft was real and common.

So my point was that chicken wasn't an everyday food like it is in today's world of chicken nuggets, fingers, and Ceasar salad. It represented a greater investment of resources and its use had to be rationed out so as to maintain a breeding flock. It strikes me that you're right about ham being a more special food than chicken, though I think for a different reason: bacon and off cuts were kind of a staple, so ham's specialness, I think, comes from the fact that it was a great cut of meat that could be preserved, which meant it could be held in store for a very special occasion such as Christmas, whereas chicken has to be consumed soon after it's killed. There also might be a point to make that hogs require a whole lot more investment in the form of scrap food, and in poor communities there isn't that much scrap food.

I think you're probably also right about chicken being somewhat more available than I suggested, but I wouldn't make comparisons to the ease of keeping chickens today due to the obstacles to keeping large numbers of them and preventing theft or death. I still think it was much more highly valued than is it now. I think we kind of agree on the uses for chicken - a special dinner, a Sunday dinner, a church supper -- which are definitely not just your average weeknight meal. Chicken is indeed a soul food, but it's special soul food, not an everyday thing like grits or greens or black-eyed peas or cornbread. What I've read of primary sources referencing chicken makes it seem as though a chicken dinner was looked forward to with more than everyday glee and eating fresh chicken was cause for celebration - a good comparison to today might be a steak dinner.

Anyway, I totally want to know more about how chicken figured in a small-scale hardscrabble farming operation.
posted by Miko at 7:00 AM on October 17, 2008 [10 favorites]


Oh, here's my source on feeding chickens over the winter.
posted by Miko at 7:01 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


For as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on earth is my story even possible.

I guess this is true, since you can't become president of the United States if you live in Canada. Still, awesome poster.
posted by chunking express at 7:01 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I know Obama's doing better in the polls, but how much am I being misled by all the nice words here?
posted by twirlypen at 12:58 AM on October 17 [+] [!]


A lot, probably. But such is life.


To the whole chicken/pork debate: I don't know anything about the south, but I can say that in 17th century England and WWI trenches (two things I've been reading about recently) bacon was a staple and the most common meat (along with cheese and milk in the 17th century farms) -- and probably was most of the time inbetween (farmer was telling me that everyone in the English country side had pigs in the 1930s-1950s, even if they weren't farmers). Chicken would have been around (the same sources that show pigs in the 17th cent show lots of "ffowells") - but there isn't that much eating on just one chicken compared to what you could get from it in eggs. In 19th cent rural P.E.I. they talk about roast chicken and chicken salad as being things for when people visited. In India, traditionally lamb is more common and cheaper than chicken (or so says my cookbook); this has clearly been reversed in Western grocery stores where chicken is by far the cheapest meat - largely due to factory farming, much of which is in the south.

Yeah, so that's what I have to say on chicken - basically that having lots of chickens around doesn't mean people are eating chicken meat in a pre-industrial economy, but the South may have been exceptional, esp as large-scale chicken farming for meat got going in this century. When do our stereotypes date from?

And, of course, the stereotype is not just of chicken but of fried chicken, which is a decidedly southern thing. (I figure it must be a heat thing - it's so much easier to fry food than to turn on your oven on a hot day - whereas for 10 months of the year in England, turning on your oven is a good thing as it will warm up and dry out your house).
posted by jb at 7:11 AM on October 17, 2008


White-controlled institutions of credit, manufacturing employers, and educational institutions were white-controlled.

Ah, yes, my laser-sharp reason requires me to drink more coffee and shut up for a while. Yeesh.

Great post, fcm. I agree that the black institutions and individuals who are normally very vocally involved in presidential elections have maintained a much lower public profile this year, or so it seems to me, anyway. I do get NAACP emails and they do hint at a calm approach and a desire to stay organized, stay focused, but not to create issue distractions. One part of me is really curious about what other forms this organization is taking in other groups - and another part is just satisfied that it's happening and reluctant to draw more majority attention to it for fear of arousing a negative response. The good news, speaking historically - if there's any group of Americans that has the experience and preparation to organize itself through informal personal networks and community institutions, it's probably black Americans.
posted by Miko at 7:15 AM on October 17, 2008


When do our stereotypes date from?

These particular ones start popping up with the explosion in popularity of minstrel shows, in the 1830s and 40s, but really intensify and multiply during Reconstruction, when a whole lot of factors - cheap paper, cheap printing, emergence of mass media, fear in the South of a majority black population suddenly able to vote, and widespread financial insecurity - provided both the technology and the motivation to spread caricature and stereotype. They continued and transitioned to electronic media during the "Jim Crow" era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and obviously continue today to some extent.

And, of course, the stereotype is not just of chicken but of fried chicken, which is a decidedly southern thing

Fried chicken seems to be the most common depiction, but images of chicken-stealing depict live chickens, and there are also references to chicken and dumplings, chicken stew, chicken and biscuits, etc. These are all firetop processes rather than what we'd have in New England, (roasts) because of exactly the point you mention, jb - it takes a much longer time, more fuel, and more heat to cook a roast than to stew or fry. In northern climes that is an advantage because wood is abundant and cooking for a long time heats the chimney, which forms the central core of the house, so it heats the whole house (a little bit). In the South, the quantities of wood needed for having lots of coals and hours' worth of fire were harder to come by, as the lowland regions (where black people were most likely to live) had been cleared for agriculture during the cotton-growing era. Also, of course you didn't want to heat up the house eight months of the year. With stewing and frying as methods, you could even cook right in your dooryard and not have to be inside at all. Even when I was a kid in East Texas, my grandfather always fried his perch in a kettle in the yard. My grandmother didn't want the smell and heat in the house. I'm sure they had been adhering to that practice since before the Depression and it seems likely it predated their own childhoods.
posted by Miko at 7:28 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


David Brooks thinks about Obama, but can't quite accept the fact that he likes him. On the one hand, every single thing about him seems awesome, on the other hand, what if all these strengths somehow undermine him. Hmmm.
posted by snofoam at 7:33 AM on October 17, 2008


From fourcheesemac's long comment: "I can't believe they let the brother win."

Dude, they had no choice. The brother is THAT GOOD!
No
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:33 AM on October 17, 2008


I don't even know what thread to post this in, the last Palin thread seems pretty dead. Her office is charging the AP $15 million dollars for copies of all state employees' emails to Todd Palin. It does seem that it is technically okay to charge that under Alaska's Public Records Law but his seems egregious to me. Public records law is supposed to make public records accessible, not put up roadblocks like this.

I deal with public records law every day (in a different state) and I just don't see something like this flying here, glad I don't live in Alaska.
posted by marxchivist at 7:49 AM on October 17, 2008


wow. when i woke up this morning, i think the last thing i expected to be added to this thread was an in-depth look at the history of chicken farming.

guess there's no news, then? oh, wait <drevilvoice>15 milllllion dollars!!</drevilvoice> Fuck you, FOIA.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 8:05 AM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


EarBucket writes "Damn, this is a good ad: 90%"

Very good, especially the end.

mazola writes "Frankly I am surprised the 'the' remains uncontested at this point."

"Actually that's pretty good for the Howler"
posted by Mitheral at 8:18 AM on October 17, 2008


"It does seem that it is technically okay to charge that under Alaska's Public Records Law but [t]his seems egregious to me."

If true, it's definitely way out of line. But at this point the more outrageously bad Palin appears, the more I laugh. I love that more garbage is surfacing on her every day, and that the majority of Americans can see quite clearly just how unfit Palin is for any public office.

"Public records law is supposed to make public records accessible, not put up roadblocks like this."

posted by marxchivist at 10:49 AM on October 17 [+] [!]


But you would think that, wouldn't you. I am neither a marxist nor an archivist nor any combination thereof, but I agree.
posted by orange swan at 8:18 AM on October 17, 2008


I know this is a total derail, but I just want to clarify some things about rural southern living and chicken "farming." I think to start I have to describe where and the conditions by which rural southern black pre-civil rights (as if life has changed much) sharecroppers live. In rural south and central Alabama and Mississippi there are places known as "Quarters" (Kwa-tahs). Usually these are found at the end of a long series of drives down progressively less developed roads like this one. Why are they called quarters? Because they were the old slave quarters, charming. Even more charming is the fact that the landlord is literally the great-great grandson of the guy that owned the residents' great-great grandfathers (we're talking 2008 here, this is not ancient history). But anyway, in the Quarter you have a row of shotgun shacks (more and more replaced by mobile homes in the more "upscale" quarters). Many of these shacks were the actual leftover houses that slaves were housed in. If you saw the move Ray you can get a visual of what it looks like, if you remove the flurry of activity that seems to always be going on in the background of the film (this is rural country and its freaking hot and humid and as such there is little to no movement). These communities are often without electricity and running water. It is doubtful if these houses have a working lock on the door, though what would there be to steal?

Between the houses and along the road run chickens and often guinea fowl. At night these animals pen up under the houses with the dogs or in crude hen houses. They subsist on picking seeds and bugs which are pervasive in rural Alabama and Mississippi even in winter as there is no killing frost to speak of during the mild winters. Occasionally if a pot of grits or beans has sat too long and congealed this mash will be tossed out onto the ground near the house and the fowl, along with mangy, motor oil covered dogs feast. Cotton is no longer king in the area, so the Quarter's economy relies now mostly on Federal assistance and odd jobs on farms. If the cotton fields adjacent to the Quarter have been converted to pasture land for cattle ten the chickens and guinea fowl will graze for seed and bugs in the tall grass that the cows and bush-hogs have missed. There is no limit to their range, though they do tend to return to the shelter before sun down. Often, if it is warm, they will roost in low tree branches. Hogs on the other hand run off and go feral, thus there is a problem with wild pigs as urbanization creeps closer to their domain.

So anyway, my point, there is no chicken farming in the Quarters per se, what does exist is a relationship between people and flocks of chickens that roam around eating bugs, seeds , and scraps around their houses, breeding, fighting and living wild until those people grab one and cook it.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:27 AM on October 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


$15 million dollars?! Pb would do that shit in 15 minutes. Sarah Palin is terrible.
posted by cashman at 8:30 AM on October 17, 2008


Fuck you, FOIA.

FOIA only applies to Federal Records. So, a more accurate rejoinder would be: "Fuck you idea of open and accountable government."

Not a Marxist, used to be an Archivist, I like to collect Marx playsets.
posted by marxchivist at 8:31 AM on October 17, 2008




How scary! And this

To her credit: Palin stopped the speech to suggest that maybe the security shouldn’t escort the protesters off — maybe they should “stay and learn something.”

Sounds so very ominous in the right tone of voice (which is what's playing in my head). I do wonder what the Obama supporters were hoping to accomplish.
posted by like_neon at 8:59 AM on October 17, 2008


Her office is charging the AP $15 million dollars for copies of all state employees' emails to Todd Palin.

And from the linked MSNBC article. it's $15 million per other requests:
"NBC's price quote for e-mails sent to Todd Palin: $15 million.

The AP's price for e-mails between state employees and the campaign headquarters of Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain: $15 million.

And the AP again, for e-mails between state employees and the National Park Service (on polar bears, wolves and other topics): $15 million.

The AP's news editor in Anchorage, Mark Thiessen, told msnbc.com he wasn't authorized to say whether the AP, a nonprofit cooperative owned by newspapers, planned to pay the $45 million for e-mails."
Unbelievable.
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fuck you, FOIA.

FOIA only applies to Federal Records. So, a more accurate rejoinder would be: "Fuck you idea of open and accountable government."


Yeah, I realized that after posting, but you understand, the need for snark is much greater here than the need for accuracy.
posted by acid freaking on the kitty at 9:05 AM on October 17, 2008


(From EarBucket's link):
For a moment I considered running the bloated, twelve-sandwich eating prick down and beating the living hell out of him…and then I remembered that I’m a reporter, how much I enjoy being gainfully employed and how hard it would be to keep my job if I got into a fistfight with a guy at a political rally.

So instead I limped off to try to find a security guard or cop.

When I did the guy was nowhere to be found.

“He’s this big fat guy with a brown beard and he’s wearing a McCain-Palin shirt and hat,” I said.

And then felt like an idiot. I was surrounded by people who fit that description.


I...I have no words. That's just hilarious.
posted by contessa at 9:07 AM on October 17, 2008


Well, here's some news. SCOTUS sides with Ohio Sec of State Brunner! The GOP Ohio election theft has been set back again.

Damn!
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:11 AM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


SCOTUS Per Curiam order (pdf)

Ohio GOP does not have standing to sue, no judgment on the merits of the case. This is in a way good -- it should hinder other efforts in other states to make mischief in the courts.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:17 AM on October 17, 2008


Awesome. Chalk one up for the good guys.
posted by EarBucket at 9:26 AM on October 17, 2008


Barack about to speak live in Roanoke, Virginia. Jim Webb about to introduce. Streaming here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:29 AM on October 17, 2008


(And by good guys, I don't mean the Democrats. I mean anyone who thinks everyone who's legally eligible to vote should get to.)
posted by EarBucket at 9:30 AM on October 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


Pollomacho, I totally hear you (except - weren't those gandydancers' railroad shacks rather than slave quarters?), but the domestic economy now is totally different from a time when you had to manage the livestock for survival and as a primary economic resource. Reasoning from today doesn't work that well in that respect, because the chickens are not an important source of food or income.

In the past, people didn't have chickens randomly living as wild, they had chickens they owned, maintained and managed and protected - for subsistence and for cash income. I understand the difference between "farming" and keeping hens, but I still think people didn't eat chicken as an everyday meal. The abundance of chickens around a house is more of a modern phenomenon, because we have other sources of food. If those birds were your family's meals running around, you'd be a lot more protective of them and a lot more careful with using up the resource.

This book Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs(I haven't read it) is looking really good. The author talks about the role of chickens in African-American history as both a story of economic survival and a story of racist caricature. She has plenty of evidence demonstrating the value of chickens during and after slavery:
For all of the accusations of theft by blacks, there were still more who did not acquire their stock in that fashion. Many came to obtain their livestock...through industry and privilege. Were this not the case, then fewer blacks would have been observed in possession of such flocks. In her mid-ninteenth-century travel observations, Scandinavian novelist and feminist activist Frederika Bremer noted: "Every house has a pigsty, in which there is generally a very fat pig; and many hens and chickens swarm about the garden-plot, in which they grow beans, Indian-corn, and different kinds of roots...the slaves sell eggs and chickens, and every Christmas their pig also...they often lay up money, and I have heard speak of slaves who possess several hundred dollars..."
A bit later, she talks about how the development of new roads and railroads in the South gave birth to new towns and opportunities for income. One popular business model that was low-capital, high-reward was selling food to train travelers. Fried chicken was one of the most commonly sold (I'm guessing because it can be eaten hot or cold). So chicken was inventory, not a semi-worthless dooryard pest. Speaking of two women who raised and sold chicken and chicken dinners in the early 20th century, the author says:
For Winston, Edwards, their families, and community members, chicken was more than a source of nourishment; it was their livelihood. Most likely, the black people in Gordonsville (VA), like families elsewhere, ate very little of the surplus that provided their families with income. Winston notes in [a] news article that her own children "never knew there were parts of the chicken besides wings, backs, and feet until they were big enough to move away." This was not to withold "the best" from her children; rather, "the best" was reserved for sale so that her children could have even more.
So this supports what I'm saying: not that chickens didn't exist, but that they had value, and thus weren't squandered or wasted or eaten every day. If you were eating chicken, it was good times, and represented a financial sacrifice.
posted by Miko at 9:35 AM on October 17, 2008 [19 favorites]


Thanks fourcheese!
posted by cashman at 9:43 AM on October 17, 2008



Barack about to speak live in Roanoke, Virginia. Jim Webb about to introduce

Oh, good. A reason to turn off Rush.
posted by lysdexic at 9:45 AM on October 17, 2008


"Sir...I understand you're a diehard Republican"

"Yes I am"

"I said sir - how's business?"

[thunderous applause]

Classic.
posted by cashman at 9:52 AM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


If those birds were your family's meals running around, you'd be a lot more protective of them and a lot more careful with using up the resource.

For the people I'm talking about, the ones that live presently in places like Jackson Quarters, AL or Walton Quarter, AL those chickens are their meals. These aren't people from a literary past, these are our contemporaries! Folks can cite all sorts of historical studies, but I'm just trying to relay what I've seen there with my own eyes. There are no new roads or railroads there. There is no town. We're talking about places where "town" is the place with more than one road down the middle of it and maybe a store. There are lots of places like that. Look at that map I linked, just search around. If you go north of Jackson's Quarter you find a place called Dolla' Hide. There are all sorts of roads there marked and unmarked with what look like bare patches in the woods off of them. Those are house sites. People live there now. They don't steal chickens in those places, they don't have ownership of chickens. In town maybe people did, but the roots of African-American culture didn't grow in town, they grew in places like Dolla' Hide! When black America moved into town they became "people" they began to ease away from oppression and eventually into the civil rights movement, but those people out there in the woods and the fields, they still haven't come that far and you can go there, today, and see what Williams-Forson theorizes about.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:04 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


(All this chickenshit, er, I mean, all this chicken shit, is the kind of thing that makes Metafilter great. Thanks guys.)

How about some more pie?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:14 AM on October 17, 2008


Yeah, and what's the historical context of the watermelon thing? It seems like that part was kinda glossed over.
posted by snofoam at 10:28 AM on October 17, 2008


Yes, and when were waffles thrown into the mix?

(Soooo good)
posted by Bookhouse at 10:35 AM on October 17, 2008


Am I really the first one to mention that Pollomacho's robust knowledge of chickens is eponysterical?

Also: huzzah! for the Ohio ruling, and where can I get some waffles?

posted by scody at 10:50 AM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


This chicken thing is the best, most educational and most fascinating MeFi derail ever.
posted by orange swan at 10:50 AM on October 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


This thread needs a 'chicken' tag pronto!
posted by contessa at 10:52 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pollomacho, I've traveled and lived in many parts of the South. I know those places exist and have also seen them (though shotgun shacks like those you describe are rarely pre-1900). I also have a lot of context for thinking about this as a broad phenomenon. There are some similarities in today's rural black southern population and those populations in the past. But there are some differences, and there's no question that the relative value of food is one of the differences. Before the 1930s there was no federal or state food support for poor families. There was less of a cash economy. The value of a chicken was different; a chicken was always special, not everyday. My statement begins and ends there, and obviously, the chicken story is really interesting and complex and can take in the conditions you report as well as many others from other times and places.
posted by Miko at 11:12 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


the roots of African-American culture didn't grow in town

This is untrue - there were enslaved people in urban settings as well as rural ones. The black population was greater in the rural south than the urban south prior to industrialization, but in the North, the urban black population was greater than the rural. All of these strains are part of African-American culture. We tend to associate slavery and black poverty with the rural south, but it was found everywhere until things changed gradually and unevenly.
posted by Miko at 11:15 AM on October 17, 2008


A little off-topic from the chicken talk, but this makes me want to \o/ and :D
posted by elfgirl at 11:16 AM on October 17, 2008


...and I'm pretty sure that "Quarter" is from the French Creole land-divisions made in Colonial Alabama andLouisiana, rather than a derivation of "slave quarters."
posted by Miko at 11:16 AM on October 17, 2008


Guys, you're really not helping me kick the KFC habit.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:20 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


This chicken talk brings to mind songs like Shout Bama Lama made famous by Otis Redding.

lord have mercy on my soul
how many chickens have I stole
one last night and the night before
I'm going back and tryin' to get 10, 11 more
startin' to get 'em and I

I love a chicken, baby
shoutin' bama lama
well, well, well
nobody's gonna set him down.

And there is the line from the Kris Kristofferson song Sunday Morning Coming Down

Then I crossed the empty street,
'n caught the Sunday smell of someone fryin' chicken.


which would suggest that fried chicken was a Sunday smell. I know there are a lot of old songs about this topic but I don't have the time to go into it right now.
posted by Sailormom at 12:14 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


McCain campaign focused on "narrow victory scenario." Indeed. I look forward to next week's "statistically still possible victory scenario."
posted by snofoam at 12:14 PM on October 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Breaking: The general counsel of the Obama campaign is currently holding a media conference call to "Announce Major Action Taken Today To Address Illegal Conduct and Improprieties in the Sham "Anti-Fraud" Campaign Orchestrated By McCain-Palin and the RNC."
posted by scody at 12:14 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, "Shout Bama Lama" is one of my favorite songs and I never ever thought about what it said. Chickens!
posted by wemayfreeze at 12:28 PM on October 17, 2008


I look forward to next week's "statistically still possible victory scenario."

You're forgetting the "an asteroid might fall from the sky and crush Obama" strategy. I think it's very telling that while Obama is revving up his machine in Missouri, North Carolina, Florida and Virginia, McCain is just trying to hang onto what states he has plus Florida and Ohio. Won't that still put Obama over the 270 EV mark?

That said, let's not forget these words of wisdom:
"Don't underestimate the capacity of Democrats to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Don't underestimate our ability to screw it up. I want everybody running scared. Over the next 18 days, other than your family and your job, I want you to make a decision that there is nothing more important than bringing about this change that we need."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:29 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]




Also, is Sarah Palin just flat-out determined to make an ass of herself?
"We've really got to hand it to Joe [the McCain lackey]," Palin said. "Somehow he got Barack Obama to finally state his intentions in plain language — Sen. Obama said he wants to spread the wealth and he wants government to take your money and decide how to best redistribute it."

After the crowd booed, Palin added: "Joe suggested that sounded a little bit like socialism. Whatever you call it, I call it bad medicine for an ailing economy."
Now, fortunately, this article points out that Joe would actually benefit from Obama's tax plan, so chalk up one for the MSM for that one. But this oft-quoted "redistribute the wealth" meme that Team McCain loves to hammer on needs context, so hear is the full quote of what Obama actually said to Mr. Wurzelbacher:
"I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well – even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. . . . My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."
Only a Republican could take this pro-business position ("Let people have more money to spend") and turn it into "socialism". Inigo Montoya springs to mind ... "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:39 PM on October 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


For the record, I'm not counting my chickens until Obama has at least 270 projected electoral votes from states who use paper ballots statewide.
posted by snofoam at 12:52 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Nor am I counting chickens that may be wandering around my rural area, chickens that come from a specific historical context that cannot inferred from modern conditions, chickens served to people who happen to be traveling through this area by rail, chickens that I fry instead of roasting because it's too damn hot to use the oven, or chickens I may or may not have stolen from white people.
posted by snofoam at 1:00 PM on October 17, 2008 [11 favorites]


Dare I say that the real answers to the chicken question will likely come from Historical Archaeology, since documentary or even oral information on centuries old patterns of the quotidian subsistence of "underclasses" is notoriously lacking or unreliable. Zooarchaeology is never the most reliable either, but it does provide some evidence of what actually was done rather than what people say was done or wrote down was done. Quick Google (not very thorough or vouched for and kind of random etc.) reveals some archaeo and other info on chickens in the pre-civil war days:

enslaved AA foodways -- notes less emphasis on chicken than other domestic meats or even wild food (Chesapeake)

Ritual sacrifice of chicken -- plantation Florida (suggests Chicken was "worth sacrificing")

Interpretation of structures as chicken coops at Jefferson's plantation:

The two additional structures were smaller in size. One measured 13 feet square, the other was poorly preserved, but appears to have been about 181/2 feet square. Artifacts show that a variety of tasks occurred at this quarter, including sewing, cooking, handicrafts, gardening and probably the raising of chickens and ducks for meat and eggs. The remains of a garden were found behind one of the cabins, and several fences marking enclosed work yards ran along the front of the buildings.


Chicken and African American Women


excerpt:
Landon Carter's diary has several entries wherein the slave Sukey gives him an account of that "which she has been entrusted with." Sukey's "charges" included:

Old geeses 33 Goslings 78 two geese still to hatch Old ducks 8 Young ducks 20 seven hens sitting on duck eggs Old fowls 32 Chickens 200 one hen still sitting on her eggs Old turkey 12 Young ditto 7 seven turkey hens sitting

Surprisingly good article from Answers.com:

Whitehead and Blanks found that other foods in the core diets of their study families were not a regular part of slave diets according to historical accounts. Among these foods are pork products, such as hams, ribs, chops, loins, and shoulders; whole chickens and chicken breasts, thighs, legs, and wings; beef products, such as ground beef, roasts, and steaks; fresh fruit; desserts, such as fruit pies, cobblers, cakes, and cookies; and beverages, such as sweet milk, coffee, tea, and lemonade. This does not mean that some slaves and some black free persons did not eat such foods, but according to historical accounts most African Americans did not eat them frequently during the slave period. It is likely that after emancipation more African Americans raised their own food and traded for or bought a wider variety of foods.

posted by Rumple at 1:20 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus. I make one goddamn joke about fried chicken and watermelon and a book emerges.

A fascinating book. Thanks, Miko.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:22 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should have known this thread would go fowl.
posted by troybob at 1:24 PM on October 17, 2008


If all this chicken talk has made you hungry, this may kill your appetite: Death threat, vandalism hit ACORN after McCain comments.
Kettenring said that a senior ACORN staffer in Cleveland, after appearing on television this week, got an e-mail that said she "is going to have her life ended."

A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of "We know you get off work at 9," then uttered racial epithets, he said.

McClatchy is withholding the women's names because of the threats.

Separately, vandals broke into the group's Boston and Seattle offices and stole computers, Kettenring said.

The incidents came the day after McCain charged in the final presidential debate that ACORN's voter-registration drive "may be perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history" and may be "destroying the fabric of democracy."

[...] Since McCain's remarks, ACORN's 87 offices across the country have received hundreds of hostile e-mails, many of them containing racial slurs, Kettenring said. "We believe that these are specifically McCain supporters" sending the messages, he said.
Whaddya say, McMaverick? Are you proud of those supporters, too?
posted by scody at 1:28 PM on October 17, 2008 [3 favorites]




Man, I’d like to farm a chicken.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:40 PM on October 17, 2008


Also, is Sarah Palin just flat-out determined to make an ass of herself?

Only if by that you mean "parroting Rush Limbaugh's talking points." That "spread the wealth" thing has been grist for the mill for days.

I haven't been over to Fox lately. Has that been a common refrain?

oh, and when I was searching for the idiom "gnawing on chicken bones" I found this
posted by lysdexic at 1:41 PM on October 17, 2008


Man, I’d like to farm a chicken.

That was your doodle in the picture Jessamyn so kindly showed us?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:58 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


More from CNN on the Obama pushback on Acorn.
posted by scody at 2:08 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


...and I'm pretty sure that "Quarter" is from the French Creole land-divisions made in Colonial Alabama andLouisiana, rather than a derivation of "slave quarters."

That's odd considering how they are often adjacent to an anti-bellum plantation site and often carry the name of the plantation family (often the family still uses residents to do yard work at their houses in town or to work the farm lands, I shit you not)! Occasionally a slave owner will have had a fetish for a certain type of slave, say extremely short and stocky, the decendants of that owner's slaves will still carry the traits. I know one woman who used to say she was going to "go pick up one of the migets to do her yard this Friday" or such. Disgusting, but true! This is what they look like even today (and that one is electrified!) I'm sure many of these buildings were built since "emancipation" but I'm also positive that there is no way to white-wash the name quarter for these places.
posted by Pollomacho at 2:19 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama Camp Connects ACORN Probe to US Attorneys Scandal

This crew is good.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:29 PM on October 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


A friend's observation about that Homo McCainis image:
"All I could think of was Obama shaking his head at the idea of having evolved from that."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:51 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Pollomacho writes "That's odd considering how they are often adjacent to an anti-bellum plantation site and often carry the name of the plantation family"

A further data point: Around here named quarters designate (originally anyways) a quarter section IE: approximately 160 acres. They are named after the original homesteader or current owner. Gets interesting when you have entire families who got quarters next to each other and you have to differentiate between the land claimed by 16 assorted Władysław sons.
posted by Mitheral at 3:19 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]




There are certain hometown pride issues, but...

Chicago Tribune endorses first Democrat in 160 years.
posted by ormondsacker at 4:31 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


In the meantime, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) today called for witchhunts of all liberals for their "anti-American" views.
posted by scody at 4:32 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, and speaking of destroying the fabric of democracy via fraudulent voter registrations...
posted by scody at 4:43 PM on October 17, 2008


Poor ole Sarah, bless her little frozen heart:To Avoid Being 'Depressed,' Palin Skimps on Campaign News
Palin also made a point of mentioning that she loved to visit the "pro-America" areas of the country, of which North Carolina is one. No word on which states she views as unpatriotic.
This is exactly the sort of behavior I am looking for when electing someone to run this great country-- a statesman with the fortitude to stick his or her head in the sand and avoid confronting uncomfortable truths. A person who doesn't hesitate to divide the states into "pro-America" and anti-America. A person who equates love for herself with love for the nation. "California, why do you hate America? And you, New York! Don't make me laugh! You aren't real America."

Palin went on to tell the crowd:
But it's at events like these and our rallies that we are so energized and inspired and we know that we are not alone. We feel your strength and we feel the power of prayer, so many of you tell us that you are praying for us and praying for our country and that's why we so appreciate you being here."
Wait. Is that the editorial "we" or the royal "we"? Did she forget to tell us that she is running for Queen??!!
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:49 PM on October 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Now, fortunately, this article points out that Joe would actually benefit from Obama's tax plan...

‘Joe The Plumber’ Comes Clean: ‘I Would Be Receiving Obama’s Tax Cuts’.
posted by ericb at 5:01 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's "quarters" in Canada, too: it's how farmland was handed out to settlers. You got your section or quarter-section and if you could clear it and make it productive farmland, you got to keep it.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:06 PM on October 17, 2008


In the meantime, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) today called for witchhunts of all liberals for their "anti-American" views.

Ahh, silly crazy lady! Now, if she had never gone on TV and said despicable untrue things, I never would have heard about her. And if I never heard about her, I never would have felt compelled to look up who is running against her for her House seat. His name is El Tinklenberg, and he now has $10 extra in his campaign warchest to fight her and hopefully win. Go get 'em, EL!
posted by brain cloud at 5:07 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Update: Sarah clarifies where we might find the pro-America parts of the country. Can you guess? (hint...small towns)
"We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe" -- here the audience interrupted Palin with applause and cheers -- "We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:11 PM on October 17, 2008


Ahh, silly crazy lady! Now, if she had never gone on TV and said despicable untrue things, I never would have heard about her. And if I never heard about her, I never would have felt compelled to look up who is running against her for her House seat. His name is El Tinklenberg, and he now has $10 extra in his campaign warchest to fight her and hopefully win. Go get 'em, EL!

Good idea. Link.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:18 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


In the meantime, Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) today called for witchhunts of all liberals for their "anti-American" views.

I agree with Michelle toward the end of her rant: the media does need to do an exposé on what the politicians believe.

Take, for instance, Michelle Bachmann. I would love to know what she really believes. Does she believe blacks should vote? Is she a creationist? What is her knowledge level regarding the things she needs to know in order to be an effective representative? Does she donate to charity, and how much, and which ones? Does she support free public health care for those who are unable to afford it, and what limits would she impose on that healthcare? Does she believe sex education belongs in the schools? And what about her association with lobbyists — is she bought and sold?

I suspect that if a full accounting of the beliefs and behaviours of politicians were known to the public, we'd see a fairly sharp turnover in the next house/senate elections.

I suspect many, many more Republican politicians would find themselves out of a job if we knew what they really think and want.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:20 PM on October 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


"So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."


In this economy, racism is officially a luxury. How is John McCain going to win if he can't win those voters?"

posted by maryh at 6:09 PM on October 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


“That was your doodle in the picture Jessamyn so kindly showed us?”

Jessamyn put my doodle on the web? Isn’t that another thread?
my plumber’s crack maybe

“I suspect that if a full accounting of the beliefs and behaviours of politicians were known to the public, we'd see a fairly sharp turnover in the next house/senate elections.”

I read a (sci-fiction obviously) story about the development of telepathy and how it was thoroughly repudiated and reviled, laws were changed to prevent its being taught, etc.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:12 PM on October 17, 2008


brain cloud: Just heard that since the interview aired, Tinklenberg has raised over $30,000 in campaign contributions.
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:17 PM on October 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


The land-surveyor's "quarter" is where I think it comes from. I was wrong about it being a French system - it was Greek by way of a Brit, apparently.
Survey of the Louisiana Purchase: The survey method used during the Louisiana Purchase survey was the rectangular survey system. It was an orderly method for arranging the sale and grant of Louisiana Purchase lands to settlers. The rectangular land surveys of the Louisiana Purchase are continuous over thousands of square miles of land and its initial point of survey is found in Arkansas. This survey system replaced the pre-Revolutionary War system of “metes and bounds,” by which property was identified by physical features (i.e., streams and trees). The rectangular survey system was introduced by a British soldier, Colonel Bouquet, who learned about the survey while stationed in Sardinia, Greece. Thomas Jefferson, a man interested in science and survey, developed a system based on Bouquet’s observations in the 1780s. It was adopted by the United States Congress and used for the NorthwestOrdinance of 1785.

The rectangular survey system is based on the “Y” axis (principal meridian) and the “X” axis (base line) system. The two points intersect at a point based on identifiable physical geographic features, such as Robbins and Brown’s witness trees. After this initial point of survey was established, the property could be divided into six-mile square townships with sections and quarter sections for sale or grant to potential property owners. Many of the survey lines follow state and county boundaries in the United States. The rectangular survey system is also a basis for the use of “sections” of lands that are equal to 640 acres, “quarter” sections of 160 acres and “quarter-quarters” or “forties” of 40 acres. Throughout the 1800s and early 20th century, villages and towns were laid out in a rectangular grid pattern based on the rectangular system of survey. Today, the United States is a very “rectangular” country, with political and civilian property divisions in the west and Midwest following a checkerboard pattern of squares or oblongs with lines running directly north-south and east-west.This major development of the United States is a direct result of the survey of Arkansas that occurred in 1815...
The old engraving of a row one-room log cabins you linked to, Pollomacho, certainly could be slaves' houses. But the single tin-roof one in the color picture could be a very late 19th-early20th century house for any poorish person, and lots of whites lived in cabins like that one.

None of these are shotgun houses, though, which really didn't become common until at least the 1880s- there are some really early examples and most sources online seem to agree that the style originated in New Orleans (earliest example in city records is 1833), perhaps with free black immigrants from Haiti, but it looks like they were most widespread well after the Civil War, not during slavery, and that the house style became common and equally popular with blacks and whites before becoming associated with black poverty in the 1930s. They were a popular, quick and cheap form of workforce housing for companies like oil refineries, railroads, and lumberyards.

The study of shotgun houses turns out to be pretty interesting, at least as interesting as chickens and plates of beans. Apparently before there were shotgun houses, the iconic southern porch was unknown. A folklorist, John Michael Vlach, has made a life's study out of them, and even went to Haiti to compare shotgun structures with American ones, looking at things like bracing and dimensions, and found some convincing similarities between the Caribbean and American forms.

I don't dispute anything about the social relationships you describe today. The housing might tell a different story than assumed, though, and the answers lie in architectural history and the local records of deeds, probate, and tax assessments.
posted by Miko at 6:30 PM on October 17, 2008




Asswipe.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:58 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


On August 29th, McCain introduced Sarah Palin to try to sway white women voters away from the Democratic ticket.

But he forgot the one thing that is even more powerful to women than another woman...

...a boy band.

posted by neroli at 7:04 PM on October 17, 2008


I gave Tinklenberg $50 tonight too.

Fuck Michelle Bachmann,
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:05 PM on October 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


Just heard that since the interview aired, Tinklenberg has raised over $30,000 in campaign contributions.

AWESOME.
posted by brain cloud at 7:07 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


jesus, fff, that's quite a video. Better be grounds enough for a Secret Service visit or two.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:18 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think that Michelle Bachmann is right, but I don't trust the media. I think she should take over the investigation. She should use her position in the house to set up some kind of commitee looking into unAmerican activities.
posted by jb at 7:23 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Michael Demmons at Balloon Juice: You might be excused if you said placing Obama’s face on a $10 food stamp with a bucket of fried chicken, watermelon, ribs, and Kool-Aid was an isolated act.

When a major right-wing network calls Michelle Obama, “Obama’s Baby Mama,” you could dismiss it as as an overzealous producer who just thought it was funny and didn’t mean it to say that black women are just baby machines for black men. You could, I suppose. . . .

In fact, you could cite dozens of examples of these racist, divisive, dillusiuonal attacks on Barack Obama and conclude that they are just elements of the fringe and don’t represent mainstream Republicans.

Sooner or later though, you will have to acknowledge that this “fringe” is very widespread. You’ll have to come to grips, eventually, with the fact that this “fringe” has become the very definition of the your party.

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:24 PM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Chicago Tribune endorses first Democrat in 160 years.

Wow, that's a pretty big deal. This is a major vote of no confidence for McCain.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:32 PM on October 17, 2008


"My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody." (Obama, quoted above)

I just taught a class on Keynes and the great Depression today - and I had been thinking all week how separate I was from my students, because I grew up (partly) under a Keynesian consensus, but my students have never know anything but the neo-classical economics in their public discourse. Now they may see Keynes again - demand-side economics. (I also finally understand the "supply" bit of supply-side.)
posted by jb at 8:00 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I should have known this thread would go fowl.

You got a problem with that?
posted by orange swan at 8:08 PM on October 17, 2008


Just when I think this whole situation can't keep getting better, it does. I was thinking today how sweet it would be if Arizona and Alaska voted Democrat. I know it's a long shot, but in these giddy, schaedenfruedilicious times, anything seems possible.
posted by orange swan at 8:12 PM on October 17, 2008


While watching clips of the Obama/McCain debate, where McCain is saying Obama refused to go to townhall meetings, and that's why the campaign turned nasty, that it suddenly struck me that McCain is the kind of guy who would strike out in anger. The phrases he used were ones that abusers use when justifying their behaviour: s/he made me do it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:26 PM on October 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


I know it's a long shot, but in these giddy, schaedenfruedilicious times, anything seems possible.

This Election needs a schadenfreudelicious tag.
posted by brain cloud at 8:38 PM on October 17, 2008


Yikes! This unruly McCain-Palin crowd footage may be the worst yet; watching this stuff makes me very uncomfortable. You can feel how the individuals take strength from the crowd to say things they would ordinarily not allow themselves to say. Note that the Curious George doll guy is there and he shows no embarrassment.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:53 PM on October 17, 2008


This frames it better. Pandering to the nuts endangers the public.

It freaks me out that there are enough nuts to make such a long line. There are a lot of raciest, hatrist, vulgar people out there. That's a civilized nation?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:58 PM on October 17, 2008


It seems that Peggy Noonan is done with Palin, and by extension, washes her hands of the McCain-Palin ticket:
it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things.

Her supporters accuse her critics of snobbery: Maybe she's not a big "egghead" but she has brilliant instincts and inner toughness. But what instincts? "I'm Joe Six-Pack"? She does not speak seriously but attempts to excite sensation—"palling around with terrorists." If the Ayers case is a serious issue, treat it seriously. She is not as thoughtful or persuasive as Joe the Plumber, who in an extended cable interview Thursday made a better case for the Republican ticket than the Republican ticket has made. In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand. This is not a leader, this is a follower, and she follows what she imagines is the base, which is in fact a vast and broken-hearted thing whose pain she cannot, actually, imagine. She could reinspire and reinspirit; she chooses merely to excite. She doesn't seem to understand the implications of her own thoughts.[...]

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:08 PM on October 17, 2008 [9 favorites]


it's unclear whether she is Bushian or Reaganite. She doesn't think aloud.

Or internally.

Palin's nothing but a third-rate hustler. There are no fixed principles there. Her only goal is to grab whatever she can however she can.
posted by orange swan at 9:54 PM on October 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


Wow, the WSJ comments and forums are erupting right now. A lot of their readers are very unhappy. However, a surprising number agree.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:02 PM on October 17, 2008


WSJ and Chicago Trib, that is.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:03 PM on October 17, 2008


~ There are a lot of raciest, hatrist, vulgar people out there. That's a civilized nation?

No, its America. And it is disgusting who many of my fellow Americans really are, when they feel like it is Ok to stop hiding their real feelings.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:13 PM on October 17, 2008


Secret Life of Gravy: Videos like that continue to make me want to become a better and even better person and to do all that I can to engender the same spirit in anyone with whom I associate. I believe that most of this country is so much better than what the individuals in these videos represent and I also believe that an Obama presidency would proliferate and help to manifest that that ideal.
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:21 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


- one "that"
posted by inconsequentialist at 10:23 PM on October 17, 2008


I'm reading up on CNNs articles on ACORN and trying to get a better sense of what's really going on here - it looks like Obama's ties were training people, and now they're accused of voter registration fraud, and the DOJ is getting involved where (it apparently?) shouldn't.

It seems to be another guilt-by-association assault, but it does look like ACORN warrants some investigation, does it not?

I'm asking because in discussions with conservative friends, they're complaining how this voter fraud isn't receiving enough media attention - I'm still trying to get a sense of the scale of the potential problem, say, compared to what's going on in Ohio, using as many mainstream sources as possible ( if I'm going to dismiss their right-wing blog picking, I can't very well whip out DailyKos.)

I'm just trying to understand.
posted by canine epigram at 10:27 PM on October 17, 2008


There are a lot of raciest, hatrist, vulgar people out there. That's a civilized nation?

No, its America. And it is disgusting who many of my fellow Americans really are, when they feel like it is Ok to stop hiding their real feelings.


Much as I'd love to think you Amerks have cornered the market on this kind of thing, it's human nature, I'm afraid. You people talk as if you've never taken a good look at some of the really ugly aspects of your own natures.

But you know what? We don't have to be perfect. We don't need others to be perfect either. Obama isn't going to get 100% support in your country (and I don't think he should - how terrifying to think that anyone could get that kind of unthinking adulation). But he'll get a majority, and that's all he needs in order to be able to set to work.

We're never going to get a 100% educated, thinking, civilized populace in this world. But we can do better than we have done, and we can reach enough people in order to do what needs to be done.
posted by orange swan at 10:30 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I agree. But what I see on the video is simply unacceptable. A society worth having is a society in which that behaviour is understood to be beyond the pale. I am all for openly dissenting against corruption and corporatism. But balls-out racism? For fucks sake, volunteer those assholes for the first Mars Mission. Get them the hell out of our society.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:58 PM on October 17, 2008


Asswipe.

That effigy had a Star of David on top. I'm confused. First Obama was supposed to be a radical black Christian, then he was supposedly muslin, now he's Jewish?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:13 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It seems to be another guilt-by-association assault, but it does look like ACORN warrants some investigation, does it not?

No. ACORN has to turn in all their registration forms, even if they're not valid, by law. This is to prevent disenfranchisement by registrars. They flag the ones they think aren't valid. That's what happened here. A community group like ACORN has to hire low wage workers to register people. There simply aren't enough volunteers to do this. Every time they have to weed out the bad ones, turned in by people who were just trying to get some quick money for a few hours work. This is not fraud. This is how registrations are done. As long as the bad ones are weeded out through the process, which they usually are, there is no vote recorded by non-existent people, as they don't get registered. Disenfranchisement of minorities at the polls and through misinformation campaigns is much more serious, as it directly denies people their vote, and is actively practiced by the Republican Party, including during this election. They may not be getting as much traction, however. The USSC ruled against their attempts to purge voters in Ohio.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:15 PM on October 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm asking because in discussions with conservative friends, they're complaining how this voter fraud isn't receiving enough media attention...

I wonder if your friends are either blind & deaf or disingenuous -- ACORN's been a pretty hot topic everywhere for the last week or so. Is the problem a lack of press - which is certainly not the case - or is it the lack of outlets pillorying Barack Obama personally for the faults of a group that he has a vague relationship with?

Voter registration fraud is problematic, yes - but fraudulent registrations do not equate to fraudulent votes. And groups like ACORN who do mass registrations (like many other groups do -- both on the right, and on the left) are not responsible to validate the registrations they collect; in fact, the best they can do if they receive a voter registration that smells funny is flag it for the actual elections agencies who they turn the paperwork over to. The fact that the groups themselves are outside of the validating process is a GOOD thing, not a bad thing. Suppose a conservative church group had a voter drive, and never handed in registrations of anybody who 'looked' gay? Or if the VFW had a vote drive and a renegade amongst them conveniently misplaced the registration of someone wearing an antiwar shirt?

Put it this way - say you're signing up voters, and you get 100 different forms filled out for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Bozo the Clown. Obviously somebody's having a bit of fun at your expense, but once the pen is to paper it's your duty to make sure it's turned in. The papers themselves may be considered 'fraudulent,' but the act of collecting it and turning it in is not - it would never even result in a registered voter. Elections officials don't just blindly register every paper that crosses their desk; there is a lot of validating and cross-checking of names and identifying information.

Even if there were an accidental Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck that slipped through, a person would actually have to present themself at the polls, with all the proper ID in hand, to make the vote. There is no "scale" to the problem because the bad registrations will never even show up on the rolls on election day. It's a lot of hysteria being drummed up to set the stage in case McCain loses; if it can be painted as a fraudulent and questionable election, rigged behind the scenes by Obama and his confederates, then it works for them very well politically.
posted by brain cloud at 11:20 PM on October 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


By the way, as recently as 2006, McCain was praising ACORN and was featured as a guest at an event they sponsored. All this "controversy" is unmitigated crap, a complete fiction and a smokescreen for Republican attempts to purge voter rolls. I'm relieved that Obama's actively pursuing legal means to expose this deception, which is meant to deny people their vote, while at the same time they claim fraud. It's really sickening.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:24 PM on October 17, 2008 [5 favorites]


That effigy had a Star of David on top. I'm confused. First Obama was supposed to be a radical black Christian, then he was supposedly muslin, now he's Jewish?

Yes! Exactly!

Barack Obama is a radical black Christian Muslim Jewish extremist. WHY IS THE MEDIA IGNORING THIS??!
posted by brain cloud at 11:28 PM on October 17, 2008


Meet Wade Williams, 72, of Ouachita Parish, Louisiana. Mr. Williams was so upset that he hadn't received his voter registration card so he could "keep the N**ger from getting into office" that he threatened to show up at the registration office with his shotgun.

Anyone who thinks there aren't hundreds more like him does not know America.


I do see reason to hope for grudging change in stories I have heard such as this one described by FiveThirtyEight. Of course the other parts of the story are very discouraging.

So a canvasser goes to a woman's door in Washington, Pennsylvania. Knocks. Woman answers. Knocker asks who she's planning to vote for. She isn't sure, has to ask her husband who she's voting for. Husband is off in another room watching some game. Canvasser hears him yell back, "We're votin' for the n***er!"

Woman turns back to canvasser, and says brightly and matter of factly: "We're voting for the n***er."

posted by Tehanu at 11:41 PM on October 17, 2008



That effigy had a Star of David on top. I'm confused. First Obama was supposed to be a radical black Christian, then he was supposedly muslin, now he's Jewish?


When I was about 10, I had 2 friends over and we were playing gi joes. We split up the gijoes we had (I always liked getting storm shadow) and had played for about 10 minutes when me and one friend pinned the 3rd guy in. His dudes were trapped in the valley (the floor) and my friend and I had staked out positions in the couch mountains, our guys strategically placed so the laser guns would never kill anybody wipe out anybody in his crew who came out from behind the bit of floor cover.

Suddenly, my 3rd friend yells "jum-pers!" and suddenly the gi joes can jump 7 times their height, to get away from being pinned in. It made no sense. It was clearly insane nonsense, but in the mind of a child, when you don't like something, it's completely unfair if you lose, even if you're wrong.

You remember those days and years. You were playing something and you just knew you were about to win, and bam, you lost. You threw the controller down and somehow the person who beat you was cheating and was a deceptive crappy bastard. From the other room you stomped off to your brain fumed and you were so mad you couldn't even do anything but grit your teeth and frantically comb your brain for some way that reality was wrong. That if you were losing, no matter what the truth was, it was false.

You accused your little playfriend of something dastardly, called him some name, angrily refused all attempts of adults to get you to reason, and finally your mom or dad said "Okay, that's enough. You need a nap." That's what I hope happens on November 4th. The people going buck freaking wild hanging effigies, screeching 'terrorist!", roaring about how the end is nigh because McCain is on track to lose to a better candidate rightfully - they're essentially told to take a nap by the election results. Then when they wake up a few days later they'll have calmed the heck down, realized their friend is still their friend, and noticed they're still able to have fun in their play room, they'll apologize and move on. But I suspect a lot of tantrum throwing remains in the next 2 weeks. For the supporters that are acting this way, hopefully Daycare worker McCain tells them to calm down and take a nap a couple more times before Nov 4.
posted by cashman at 11:41 PM on October 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


That effigy had a Star of David on top. I'm confused. First Obama was supposed to be a radical black Christian, then he was supposedly muslin, now he's Jewish?

I think I'm getting a handle on it: Obama is a radical black fake-Christian commie Arab Muslim terrorist trained at an early age in Indonesia and now working with the Jews to advance their radical communist agenda, but only for black people, through ACORN, because they're all faithful adherents of Marx, Stalin, and Hitler(?). And Castro. And Mao, too. I think.

Forget it, I'm confused, too.
posted by effwerd at 12:05 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Newspaper endorsements on Wikipedia

Fun fact: Just at this moment Wikipedia lists ten newspapers, with a combined circulation of 1.8 million readers, that have switched from endorsing Bush in 2004 to endorsing Barack Obama in 2008.

Combined circulation of all papers endorsing John McCain: 1.7 million readers.
posted by ormondsacker at 12:42 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nosferatu the candidate
posted by Abiezer at 12:51 AM on October 18, 2008


From the article about the Obama = Hitler sign in the McCain campaign office:
The sign in question mocked Obama's call for change and asked what other figures "called for change in this fashion." The answer: Marx, Hitler, Castro, Joseph Stalin and Benito Mussolini. "And you want Obama for President? Are you nuts,” the sign said.
Actually, it gets better. If you look at the sign, it also says, "Each and every one called upon youth movements!"

So that's what the problem's been throughout history. Those evil, evil young people. This speaks volumes about McCain's entire worldview: youth and change = bad! Does McCain want a reverse Children of the Corn situation or something?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:20 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


As long as the bad ones are weeded out through the process, which they usually are, there is no vote recorded by non-existent people, as they don't get registered.

Even if they do get registered, no votes are made, as krinklyfig says. Here's the Republican prosecutor of the largest Acorn-related "scandal" to date, describing the results of that investigation. During it, a pile of bogus registrations were in place during two election cycles, and generated no votes. None. Nobody used those registrations to vote. Acorn was found to have been too lax in its supervision of its workers, and paid a fine to cover the expense of removing the bogus registrations from the rolls. The prosecutor says "this scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting."

This is about voting suppression by the Republicans, not voter fraud by Acorn. The GOP is trying to disenfranchise thousands of people who registered legitimately, by challenging all the Acorn registrations. Their own voter registration drives have seen the same kinds of problems as Acorn's.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:27 AM on October 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


Does McCain want a reverse Children of the Corn situation or something?

Geezers of the Bunion
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:30 AM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Videos like that continue to make me want to become a better and even better person and to do all that I can to engender the same spirit in anyone with whom I associate.

You already are a better person . . . than me. Videos like that make me want to show up with a baseball bat and do some serious damage to those people.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:47 AM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


That effigy had a Star of David on top. I'm confused. First Obama was supposed to be a radical black Christian, then he was supposedly muslin, now he's Jewish?


And don't kid yourself. If Obama *were* Jewish, you'd be hearing all the vicious anti-semitism that lies in the hearts of these same racist freaks. Count on it. Supporting Israel would be equated with supporting terrorism (since the GOP would have no Jewish votes to worry about).

Those people hate Jews nearly as much as they hate Blacks, Muslims, and America herself.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:51 AM on October 18, 2008


- one "that"

No, no. THAT ONE.

FTFY.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:52 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think I'm getting a handle on it: Obama is a radical black fake-Christian commie Arab Muslim terrorist trained at an early age in Indonesia and now working with the Jews to advance their radical communist agenda, but only for black people, through ACORN, because they're all faithful adherents of Marx, Stalin, and Hitler(?). And Castro. And Mao, too. I think.

How do the reverse vampires fit into this again?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:57 AM on October 18, 2008


How do the reverse vampires fit into this again?

Duh. Who do you think is the behind Palin/McCain '08? It is pretty obvious.
posted by birdherder at 9:17 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Republicans seem to be all about denying votes to people these past several elections, and it's about damn time the problem were taken care of. You can not have a democracy if people are being denied their vote.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:35 AM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Come to think of it, I'm not sure I've ever seen evidence that the Republicans actually want a democracy. Most of the time it seems they'd be far happier if the USA were a monarchy, dictatorship, theocracy, or other rule-by-fiat.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:37 AM on October 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


FFF, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Republicans HATE foreign cars.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:24 AM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, and speaking of destroying the fabric of democracy via fraudulent voter registrations...

I think the Republican party has sunk to its lowest depths when it has to trick people into registering for it.
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:54 AM on October 18, 2008


Ahh, silly crazy lady! Now, if she had never gone on TV and said despicable untrue things, I never would have heard about her. And if I never heard about her, I never would have felt compelled to look up who is running against her for her House seat. His name is El Tinklenberg, and he now has $10 extra in his campaign warchest to fight her and hopefully win. Go get 'em, EL!

Good idea. Link.


Done. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:03 AM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the Republican party has sunk to its lowest depths when it has to trick people into registering for it.

Lower depths have been attained before. I personally miss the good ol' days when corrupt political machines were comically brazen about it - offering immigrants citizenship in exchange for their votes, promising neighborhood businesses lucrative kickbacks in exchange for hanging up giant campaign posters over their storefront windows, candidates literally tossing handfuls of money into the air in front of polling places ... now that's a corrupt campaign. None of this self-righteous, sneaky, underhanded crap. Boss Tweed must be spinning in his grave.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:15 AM on October 18, 2008


On the Michelle Bachmann front:

Tinklenberg is supposed to make an announcement this afternoon of how much money has been donated to his campaign since the Bachmann appearance yesterday. It's something like $170,000 at this point.
posted by neroli at 11:38 AM on October 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Tinklenberg is supposed to make an announcement this afternoon of how much money has been donated to his campaign since the Bachmann appearance yesterday. It's something like $170,000 at this point.

Every penny of which will go into building a madras, I'm sure.

Here's something from Yahoo's front page - the headline alone made me shout-laugh: McCain draws bipartisan criticism for 'robo calls':
Two senators in opposing political parties [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, and Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican] asked Republican presidential candidate John McCain to stop the automated phone calls that link Democratic candidate Barack Obama to a 1960s radical.

"These kind of tactics have no place in Maine politics," Collins spokesman Kevin Kelley said. "Sen. Collins urges the McCain campaign to stop these calls immediately."

Reid told reporters at a news conference in Las Vegas that he's surprised at the "scummy" tactics employed by McCain's presidential campaign and "can't believe John McCain knows what's going on."

The automated calls in Maine, Nevada and other states — they are commonly known as "robo calls" — say Obama "has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home and killed Americans." The charge is misleading: The bombings, which took place more than 35 years ago, didn't result in fatalities and the group didn't claim responsibility for the attack on the judge's home.

Obama has condemned Ayers' radical activities, which took place in the late 1960s and the 1970s, when Obama was a child. In the debate Wednesday with McCain, Obama said Ayers played no role in his presidential campaign.
This whole thing makes the Willie Horton ads seem tasteful and fair. Besides, Horton was a scary guy. Ayers is a freakin' professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. What's he going to do, lecture me to death?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:53 AM on October 18, 2008


Tinklenberg is supposed to make an announcement this afternoon of how much money has been donated to his campaign since the Bachmann appearance yesterday. It's something like $170,000 at this point.

Awesome. Since common decency clearly doesn't impel these wingnuts to keep their traps shut, maybe the threat of becoming an inadvertent fundraiser for their opponents will.
posted by scody at 12:07 PM on October 18, 2008


Over 100K -- that's one hundred thousand -- turned out for Barack in St. Louis today.

And word is that Colin Powell will endorse tomorrow, *and* that he will specifically call out McCain's campaign of smears. Whatever your opinion of Powell, there is no denying the power his denunciation could carry at this moment.

I predict this will be a game changer if it happens, and that people are underestimating it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:09 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


A HUNDRED THOUSAND IN ST. LOUIS?

Oh. My. God.
posted by scody at 12:13 PM on October 18, 2008


And word is that Colin Powell will endorse tomorrow, *and* that he will specifically call out McCain's campaign of smears. Whatever your opinion of Powell, there is no denying the power his denunciation could carry at this moment.

"Less than a teaspoon of tears, a little bit about this amount -- this is just about the amount of a teaspoon, which you see in this vial -- less than a teaspoon of tears were all I shed in endorsing a Democratic candidate."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:16 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pics of the crowd in front of the Gateway Arch today. Wow. My flabber is gasted.
posted by scody at 12:18 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


My flabber is gasted.

Me too. The photos gave me chills, in a good way: ever since I came of voting age (Carter '80!), I've more or less resigned myself that my political views were not shared with the majority of my country. Seeing images like this makes me want run in there and hug every person in that crowd.
posted by jamaro at 12:26 PM on October 18, 2008


Since common decency clearly doesn't impel these wingnuts to keep their traps shut, maybe the threat of becoming an inadvertent fundraiser for their opponents will.

Although I will rescind that sentiment for now in the hopes that she says something outrageous about gay marriage, as the No on Prop 8 campaign needs the donations now to keep up with the money from the out-of-state bigots who are bankrolling the Yes on 8 campaign. (And yes, this is my not-so-sly plea to all Mefites out there who believe in marriage equality.)
posted by scody at 12:30 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


From what I'm hearing, 100K is a conservative estimate of that crowd. Missouri is ours.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:44 PM on October 18, 2008


I think the Republican party has sunk to its lowest depths when it has to trick people into registering for it.

Lower depths have been attained before.


Right. When Nixon ran against JFK in 1961, the Democrats stole the election. I've heard that one area (Boston?) in which there were more votes than there were registered voters. And Nixon did not contest it because he felt it best not to undermine the integrity of the electoral college.

I hope the electoral process clean up is on Obama's to do list. This garbage has gone on for far too long.
posted by orange swan at 1:32 PM on October 18, 2008


Colin Powell's going to endorse Obama?

As I keep saying, just when I think this can't get better, it does.

I am SOOOO tempted to go on over to some angst-ridden Republican community blog and snark my little Canadian butt off just to stir the pot a little more.
posted by orange swan at 1:36 PM on October 18, 2008


Colin Powell may not have been one of the bad apples in the barrel, but he sure as hell is covered with disgusting rancid apple slime. If he endorses by saying, "Obama was right and I was wrong about Iraq", then that removes a small amount of the slime but it will be a long time before he gets the label off his chest: "I am a lying sack of shit".
posted by Rumple at 1:40 PM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Please please please, you guys. My cynicism has vanished, my hopes are high, and I have crossed everything that can be crossed. Get it done, America. I'm holding my Canadian breath here.

100K in St. Louis? My ex is from there. I get how huge that is. And a Powell endorsement? Brilliant. I have the feeling-- for the first time in many, many years-- that America is remembering its better self. Thanks here to all who have worked on Obama's campaign; if I were south of the border I'd be right there with you.
posted by jokeefe at 1:45 PM on October 18, 2008


Right. When Nixon ran against JFK in 1961, the Democrats stole the election.

But then Nixon came back, and restored the integrity of the White House!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:45 PM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


I just dropped $100 on the "No on 8" folks. Apparently there's a challenge grant going on at the moment, so if you donate today or tomorrow your donation is effectively doubled.

I'm not rich by any means, but I'm making more money than I ever have at the moment, and it's been wonderful to be in a position where I could donate not-insubstantial amounts of cash to political candidates this season.
posted by the_bone at 1:49 PM on October 18, 2008 [3 favorites]


orange swan: You're right. The electoral college mess is yet another hurdle that Obama faces if, and hopefully when, he is elected. And this is how he seems to handle hurdles in general.

For more Obama sports fun, here's another move he has up his sleeve.
posted by inconsequentialist at 1:53 PM on October 18, 2008


For more Obama sports fun, here's another move he has up his sleeve.

Ha! It's true though - Obama's talents are boundless.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:59 PM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, Colin Powell just, in effect, endorsed Ted Stevens at his trial. I wonder how many kickbacks went into that?
posted by Rumple at 2:00 PM on October 18, 2008


Seriously, though, can someone help me out with something here?

What I'm seeing by mild estimate is that it's 344:167 EV, in Obama's favor. With 270 EV needed to win, what states can McCain pick up to get those 103 electoral votes he needs to win? Where's the real battleground in all this? Even if he takes Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Nevada, that's still only 91 EV. Obama, in comparison, could lose Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida and still have 271.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:10 PM on October 18, 2008


UPDATE with fundraising numbers:

24 hours ago, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announced that all those who disagree with her are "Anti-American." Since then, the outpouring of support for my campaign has been extraordinary. Since Congresswoman Bachmann's outrageous remarks, my campaign has raised $438,346.57, and we're working to reach $500,000 by 5 p.m. today. Congresswoman Bachmann's extreme ideology divides people, but her comments on MSNBC's Hardball have united all of those who believe that I will jump start the ecomomy on Main Street by creating jobs and rebuilding our infrastructure. As a Minister and Mayor, I brought people together. I believe that we build by addition, not division. I want to thank you all. It is now clear that we have the momentum to win and I ask for your financial support. I will keep everyone posted.

Thank you,

El Tinklenberg

posted by Rumple at 2:13 PM on October 18, 2008 [9 favorites]


MSTPT: The new narrow victory strategy that the McCain camp appears to be pursuing does seem to cut things pretty close. Chuck Todd had a really nice analysis of how the plan, according to some internal information, is first to figure out how to get to 260 and only then to even consider how to get past the 270 mark. I wish I had a video to show you. The scenario you lay out is pretty much the same one he proposed, except that NV went to Obama. The final outcome was a 269/269 tie and it seems that a tie is the best that the McCain camp is hoping for right about now.
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:19 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


a tie is the best that the McCain camp is hoping for right about now.

Even that is delusional.
posted by orange swan at 2:25 PM on October 18, 2008


You know Bachman's in trouble when these guys get involved.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:30 PM on October 18, 2008


The automated calls in Maine, Nevada and other states — they are commonly known as "robo calls" — say Obama "has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge's home and killed Americans." The charge is misleading: The bombings, which took place more than 35 years ago, didn't result in fatalities and the group didn't claim responsibility for the attack on the judge's home.

That's not a misleading charge: that's balls-out lying and, I should think, actionable defamation.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:38 PM on October 18, 2008


I've been going around and around in my head about Colin Powell. He's a real villain of the piece, an enabler of a true horror in Iraq at the behest of men he knew were lacking in either souls or courage or honor. Somehow that makes it worse, too. I mean, Scooter Libby doesn't seem to have had any honor to abandon. And yes, I know about the My Lai PR flack work he did. And I'd never seen his management of Gulf War The Prequel as any more brilliant or honorable than it was a simple application of illegitimate (ha, but now in retrospect it seems downright humanitarian) brute force compounded by an abandonment of the mission when we might in fact have spared the Iraqi people another decade of Saddam at his bloodthirsty worst. War is big business in America, and I saw Powell as the Vice President of Production at the time. Neither here nor there. And you bet, that little vial and those stupid slides at the UN, and the subsequent series of interviews in which he lied through gritted teeth to sell Dick and Donald's Big Fucking Adventure, were repellent. When the effort began to show cracks -- that famous interview where he told his handler to shut up, for example, and answered relatively truthfully about the failure of US strategy -- he slid off the chair and into a cushy and powerful role as a corporate boardsman and public speaker, where he's surely sold his influence more than a few times. (On the other hand, he has given a long series of interviews in which he has made a case that he was misled and used by Cheney and Rumsfeld, and those remarks have legitimized the critique of the war and amplified its force in the last few years.)

And yet . . . There is something about the man's presence that suggests he's got a soul in there, and -- despite recent evidence to the contrary -- courage. And whether those of us who know his record and/or prioritize peace in our politics think it's a good performance or not, a very large number of Americans in the crucial demographic segment Obama needs to win consider him something of a saint. It will be a major shock to the system if he endorses Barack, and more so if he calls out McCain's divisiveness. I think it will decisively wound McCain as much as it will decisively ignite Obama's afterburners heading into the stretch. The right will be forced to attack Powell -- you know they will feel they have to, it's what they always do. And that will generate a huge backlash, an "at long last have you no decency" moment. My gut tells me it seals the deal for Obama. Currently that's a minority view among the people I read, but it's what I think.

I'm wrestling with whether the forgiveness I already feel towards Powell -- *if* he endorses -- is a selfish emotion, gratitude for the pragmatic value of his support trumping the courage of my own convictions, a little vial of "the end justifies the means" held up to the light with noble words about the redemption of a great American blah blah blah. But I don't think it is. I think I'm like the average American voter in simply having a gut (or is it my Colbertian gut?) feeling that Powell is an honorable man who made a bad mistake in trusting bad men, and that when an honorable man makes amends for a lie with a powerful truth, it bears hearing out, and maybe acceptance.

Or maybe he'll endorse McCain and we'll hear the world's loudest sad trombone.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:44 PM on October 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


The impression I've gotten from all my reading of Iraq war info is that Powell knew perfectly well that the Bush case for the Iraq war was bullshit, but that when he at first refused to play ball for the Bush team he was being isolated and undermined. Had he refused to endorse the war it would have meant the end of any role in the Bush administration or Republican party. So he went along with it, and lied.

Perhaps he felt that what the Americans hoped to accomplish in Iraq and what he hoped to accomplish as a part of the Bush administration would justify the means, I don't know.

Obviously, it hasn't worked out that way. And certainly many of us feel nothing could justify his support of a bogus war or his lying to the U.N. and to his country.

Regardless, I do believe in giving credit where credit is due and acknowledging a good act whatever the motivation for said act may be. So if Powell stands up like a man and endorses Obama, I'll thank him. No, I won't consider him to have redeemed himself thereby, but the fact that he did this will always appear on his account sheet and will always weight the final assessment of his life by at least a little.
posted by orange swan at 3:12 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Michelle Bachmann, in a debate last week:

Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann would kiss Barack Obama. She said so herself after the debate last night, according to the AP: "If the presidency would somehow go to Barack Obama, I would welcome him to the 6th District as well. As a matter of fact, I would put my hand on his shoulder and give him a kiss if he wanted to."

So here's the question voters in her district need to ask Congresswoman Bachmann Fuhrer Overdrive: Are you completely disingenuous and willing to say anything that advances your cause in the moment, or are you psychotic?

Because that woman is dangerous, either way.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:13 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


With 270 EV needed to win, what states can McCain pick up to get those 103 electoral votes he needs to win?

I'd say McCain's best-case scenario at this point is to hold every Bush state except New Mexico and Iowa and squeak past with 274. On a really good night, he might take New Hampshire and have enough insurance to cover a loss in Nevada or Colorado (but not both). Realistically, though, that strategy means he must win Ohio, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, and Indiana. A single loss and Obama is the next president. It just looks extremely unlikely at this point, and there's not a lot of time left on the clock.
posted by EarBucket at 3:21 PM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


(And that doesn't take into account recent polling that shows North Dakota and West Virginia being competitive, or Obama's reported incursions into Kentucky and Georgia. McCain's got a lot of territory to defend, and he can't afford to lose any of it.)
posted by EarBucket at 3:23 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Some early W.Va. voters angry over switched votes: "When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 3:35 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think New Hampshire is now out of reach for him. He needs all, including NM and CO.

Not gonna happen.

Obama will be at Kansas City shortly. A little murky, but I read in the local press that "tens of thousands" had already lined up to get in to the Museum of World War I where he is speaking.

This local station says it will be streaming after about 6PM central. No stream up yet.

And no notification yet at BarackObama.com. But here's their live stream page anyway.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:36 PM on October 18, 2008


Are you completely disingenuous and willing to say anything that advances your cause in the moment, or are you psychotic?

Take it from this Minnesota dude, the latter.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:39 PM on October 18, 2008


EarBucket: "McCain's got a lot of territory to defend, and he can't afford to lose any of it."

And if you think about it, he isn't really defending this states unless you frame it in relation to 2004. Obama has built significant leads in most of these areas, and has fought former strongholds like West Virginia and North Carolina to a standstill. So really, McCain needs to go on offense in all these states, wear down Obama's advantage, and take every single one of them -- without losing a single contest.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:39 PM on October 18, 2008


Ah, Sam Wang, as always, on why it's best to ignore the sound of water sloshing in a bucket.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:46 PM on October 18, 2008




Thanks for the heads up, fourcheesemac.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:22 PM on October 18, 2008


Here he goes with the pie thing again. It's becoming a great riff as he improvises it anew in each city.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:25 PM on October 18, 2008


I love the pie thing. All my friend had had to eat the day before and most of the day that we went to an Obama rally was a piece of lemon meringue pie.
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:29 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


What pie thing?
posted by sciurus at 4:38 PM on October 18, 2008


Obama loves pie!
posted by inconsequentialist at 4:40 PM on October 18, 2008


I like pie.
posted by sciurus at 4:46 PM on October 18, 2008


Ok this story is hilarious. Radio host Bob Grant :
But really folks, did you notice Obama is not content with just having several American flags, plain old American flags with the 50 states represented by 50 stars? He has the "O" flag. And that's what that "O" is. That's what that "O" is. Just like he did with the plane he was using. He had the flag painted over, and the "O" for Obama. Now, these are symptom -- these things are symptomatic of a person who would like to be a potentate -- a dictator. And I really see this in this man.
The "o" flag in question is the Ohio state flag.

And good news, GOP turnout lagging in heavy N. Carolina early voting.
Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent unaffiliateds.

African American turnout was up significantly. Black voters, who make up about 22 percent of registered voters, were 36 percent of Thursday's early voters.
I knocked on about 25 doors today here in NC and while a large number of registered voters had moved (I live in an area with lots of renters) those who were home had already voted for, or were planning on voting for, Obama. Every single one. I gave out lots of maps to the nearest early voting station.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:03 PM on October 18, 2008 [6 favorites]


Some early W.Va. voters angry over switched votes: "When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain."

We are going to hear oh so much of that on Nov 6th.

It wouldn't surprise me in the very least to discover that Diebold boxes are not the least trustworthy, and it continues to astonish me that any US state is stupid enough to be trusting them after the stories have been told.

But the fact of systemized cheating is going to be muddied by the noise of lying voters pretending to have voted for the winner; or lying voters pretending to have voted against the winner.

We'd probably learn that there was fraud, but we'd never learn the extent of it.

The problem should have been resolved before this election.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:32 PM on October 18, 2008


Hey, northern Virginians! The McCain campaign would like you to know that you're not a part of the "real' Virginia. Pass it on to your friends and neighbors!
posted by scody at 5:54 PM on October 18, 2008


Barack Obama is a motherfucker
posted by Rumple at 7:31 PM on October 18, 2008 [4 favorites]


Around here the Republicans are looking for canvassers on Craigslist.
posted by drezdn at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Republicans, at it again in Ohio. Having the county prosecutor subpoena your records - well that's not going to send a chill through the community is it? Even if you're completely on the up and up, knowing that the county prosecutor (Oh Hai, surprise, he's John McCain's local campaign manager) is poring over your record isn't exactly soothing.

Maybe somebody with a better understanding of rights and legislative positions can read this and comment. I'm zonked after 8 straight hours of canvassing.
posted by cashman at 8:10 PM on October 18, 2008


Is that all the Palin we get on SNL? Did anyone notice the llama behind her?
posted by inconsequentialist at 8:36 PM on October 18, 2008


That rap was great. I liked the moose.
posted by brain cloud at 9:29 PM on October 18, 2008


I found Baldwin's inability to look at Palin while doing his part almost as amusing as the rest of the sketch.

Also: Palin is kind of plain-looking compared to Fey -- more sunken eyes, a squarer jaw, and a lot more make-up. I had thought them pretty similar before, but the quick-change between the two makes their differences much more striking, especially in that last close-up. It at least makes those complaints about the "unflattering" Newsweek cover a little more understandable.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:31 PM on October 18, 2008


Amy Poehler Ripped the mic, oh shit! Sarah Palin was useless as usual, good for a few roof-raising gestures, and that was it. Poehler was dope!

Now I want Barack to go on there November 1st and kill it. I want some once-in-a-lifetime shit, Lorn.
posted by cashman at 9:31 PM on October 18, 2008


A Lesson

Another Lesson
posted by homunculus at 9:40 PM on October 18, 2008


Republicans, at it again in Ohio. Having the county prosecutor subpoena your records - well that's not going to send a chill through the community is it? Even if you're completely on the up and up, knowing that the county prosecutor (Oh Hai, surprise, he's John McCain's local campaign manager) is poring over your record isn't exactly soothing.

If you feel like getting really angry, spend a little time Googling McCain SW Ohio campaign manager, Hamilton County Prosecutor, Joe Deters. The guy's a piece of work.
posted by neroli at 9:54 PM on October 18, 2008


It was fucking stupid. These people only care about ratings and this show is horrendously unfunny.

First sketch she was in made fun of the fact that she has never held a press conference and barely does interviews. I'd laugh if it wasn't true and so fucking upsetting that people just accept it – hell, some people look at it as a good thing.

The rap included Ayers references that she sang along to while 'raising the roof'. It makes me feel ill. This a woman who has purposefully attempted to 'otherize' Obama with xenophobic race-baiting, and is now playing the 'real' Americans versus the socialists(!) game – please do not forget this. This is the same woman who is part of a campaign that is sending out robocall after robocall explaining that Obama cares more about Hollywood than America. On Monday, she will be back in some other 'worthy' pocket of this country, spouting even more vile bullshit, to a crowd that will eat it the fuck up. YOU WERE SO GREAT ON SNL, SARAH! LOL! YOU'RE A STAR! YOU GOT A MILLION YOUTUBE PLAYS, YAY!

This is not someone we should be laughing 'with'.

Now I want Barack to go on there November 1st and kill it. I want some once-in-a-lifetime shit, Lorn.

I'd rather he continue to lay out how he is going to fix the fucking mess we're in. I'd rather he continue to inspire us rather than try to make us laugh.
posted by defenestration at 9:55 PM on October 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


Peggy Noonan on Palin: She doesn't think aloud. She just . . . says things.

No, her lips move when she thinks.

In the end the Palin candidacy is a symptom and expression of a new vulgarization in American politics. It's no good, not for conservatism and not for the country. And yes, it is a mark against John McCain, against his judgment and idealism.

Um, new? And this is the same "kinder, gentler" Peggy Noonan griping about how exclusive the Democrats were and how inclusive the Republicans were a few years back? (Along with others)

They may be sorry about Palin, but it's like the thief who isn't sorry he stole, but terribly sorry he's going to jail. They're getting beat at their own game.

Maybe she's sincere, but for the "true believers", I suffer no pity.
posted by lysdexic at 10:19 PM on October 18, 2008


Dangit, forgot a great tirade by Glen Greenwald tearing up Brian Williams for wanting to nominate Noonan for a Pulitzer.

Bonus: If you've got time, there's this gem: nearly 200 pages on Politics and Language. (HTML rendering of .PDF link)
posted by lysdexic at 10:24 PM on October 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


Excellent two-part series from al Jazeera on voting irregularities in the USA
posted by Rumple at 11:15 PM on October 18, 2008


A BBC reporter tooling through the [New Mexico] state fair Thursday — the same day that Democrat Barack Obama was in New Mexico — was asking Hispanics their views on Barack Obama’s presidential bid. Reporter Jon Kelly talked first to a young graduate student who said he was going to vote for Obama.

Then Kelly stumbled upon Fernando C de Baca, chairman of the Bernalillo County Republicans. According to Kelly, C de Baca said Hispanics were a naturally conservative group.

Then C de Baca offered Kelly a blunt assessment on why Hispanics wouldn’t vote for Obama.

The reporter, John Kelly, quotes C de Baca as saying:

“The truth is that Hispanics came here as conquerors,” he said. “African-Americans came here as slaves.

“Hispanics consider themselves above blacks. They won’t vote for a black president.”
*
posted by Rumple at 11:29 PM on October 18, 2008


It is true that many Hispanic people who live in northern NM come from families that have been there for hundreds of years. But thinking they're above African-Americans? Well, maybe the head of a Republican group thinks that way, but I would in no way begin to assume that Fernando C de Baca speaks for the majority of Hispanic people in New Mexico.
posted by sugarfish at 11:44 PM on October 18, 2008


"Hispanics" are an amazingly varied group of people. A lot of them ARE black.

But yeah, a good chunk of my family moved here way back when but the only people who care about that are elitist, xenophobic, and generally not worth anyone's time.
posted by sondrialiac at 12:02 AM on October 19, 2008


Peggy Noonan on Palin: In the past two weeks she has spent her time throwing out tinny lines to crowds she doesn't, really, understand.

Ah, but here's the thing -- the crowds don't understand what she's saying either. At least, judging from the two videos I've seen of Palin supporters.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:43 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama's september take...
$150,000,000
posted by billyfleetwood at 3:52 AM on October 19, 2008


Holy fucking shit.
posted by kosher_jenny at 4:14 AM on October 19, 2008


Holy crap. Obama raised 150 million bucks, with an average donation of $86, in September. He's over 3 million total donors (that, my friends, is 1 percent of the population, probably more like 2-3 percent of the electorate, and that, my friends, is also the very definition of "public financing").

Suck on that, GOP. Obama has now raised 605 million in total, completely dwarfing any prior campaign, up to and very much including the GW Bush money machine they thought we could never beat.

Turnabout is such fair play.

And the sox forced game 7. And Powell might endorse today. And Barack had 175K+ people between his two stops in f'ing Missouri yesterday. And nearly every major newspaper in the US is endorsing him this weekend.

Only way we lose now is GOP dirty tricks. And with an extra hundred million in the banks, we can buy a lot of very expensive legal talent to fight that shit.

What a day!
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:20 AM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ha. Sorry to repeat the point.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:23 AM on October 19, 2008


Bob Grant is a zombie racist cadaver.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:27 AM on October 19, 2008


Just a little heads up -- a bunch of us who are sick of the anti-Muslim bullshit are changing our middle names to "Hussein" on Facebook (or other SN sites). It could catch on and get some press attention, maybe. And it's fun. (Go to your account settings, not "edit my profile," and edit your name.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:04 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Whoooooooooooooooohooooooooooooooooo!
posted by inconsequentialist at 6:18 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


POWELL!
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:27 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stick a fork in the racist bastards. They are done.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:28 AM on October 19, 2008


Powell has gone a long way to redeeming himself in my eyes -- and not so much for the (very eloquent) endorsement as for his big Shame On You, Republicans about the Muslim crap.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:29 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I forgive Colin Powell. He's speaking live now about the need for generational change, and Obama's leadership qualities. He's being very eloquent, and what I've read from the MTP interview is very strong too -- condemns the negative campaigning of McCain, but also the rightward turn of the GOP, and strongly praises Obama -- and despite early reports he apparently IS willing to campaign for Obama, which would really be something to see. Maybe a good use of the Oct. 29 national TV buy.

I love pie in the morning. I really do.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:34 AM on October 19, 2008


Oooooo, he just went after Michelle Bachmann!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:36 AM on October 19, 2008


OMG, sorry. Powell on CNN right now just tearing into McCain's racism, Muslim baiting, red baiting, Ayres baiting -- just really strong. Now attacking the "socialist" bullshit.

Colin Powell is an American hero after all. Listen to this shit. He's calling it exactly like it is! This will blow McCain's polling numbers out of the water. He'll be at 38 percent by THursday.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:38 AM on October 19, 2008


YES! He just elected Tinklenberg!
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:38 AM on October 19, 2008


Fox News is spinning like a goddamn centrifuge. Somebody on there just suggested he did this because he was passed over for McCain's VP spot. Unbelievable.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:53 AM on October 19, 2008


And cuing "they all stick together" in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . .
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:55 AM on October 19, 2008


I just want to say that I freakin' love it that I get to vote for this guy. The kind of guy who'd do this. We're going to have a decent human being occupying the Oval Office.
posted by EarBucket at 7:11 AM on October 19, 2008


Sweet.
posted by Bookhouse at 7:11 AM on October 19, 2008


Yes, that guy. THAT ONE!
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:12 AM on October 19, 2008


Of course, Drudge is playing the "it's because he's black" thing. ANd the more out there rightwing sites are contracting in paroxysms of rage right now. (Don't look.)

But if they attack Powell directly they are only blowing an even larger hole in their own foot. Bring it on.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:14 AM on October 19, 2008


Earbucket: I got a kick out of that event, too! There are more and better pictures available here.

I'd just like to know how that conversation went. Imagine that, getting a call from a presidential candidate. And not some p.r. thing planned in advance and performed for the news networks, but an off-the-cuff, unscripted talk that few even know about.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:21 AM on October 19, 2008


OCTOBER SURPRISE!
posted by EarBucket at 7:22 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh man, the right-wing blogs are losing it. I was just looking over littlegreenfootballs - they're now chalking Powell's endorsement up to racial loyalty, unquestionably.

These, the same people who castigate Obama for falling back on the race card whenever one of his surrogates suggest there's a racist undertone to the latest character assassination from the right.

Well, at least their flailings will make their platform that much more unpalatable to the rest of the country.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:35 AM on October 19, 2008




The example he used to make that point was deeply moving.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:56 AM on October 19, 2008


Here's the photo he referred to: Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, Spc., US Army (Arlington NC headstone).

Take that, racist scum.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:59 AM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Powell's post-MTP comments -- even more damning of McCain. (YouTube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:08 AM on October 19, 2008


Fareed Zakaria in Newsweek today:

This is the case for Obama on substance, which is the most important criterion. But symbolism is also a powerful force in human affairs. Imagine what people around the world would think if they saw America once again inventing the future. And imagine how Americans would feel if they saw their country once again fulfilling its founding creed of equal opportunity, if they saw that there really were no barriers in their country, not even to the highest office in the land, not even for a man with a brown face and a strange name.

I admit to a personal interest. I have a 9-year-old son named Omar. I firmly believe that he will be able to do absolutely anything he wants in this country when he grows up. But I admit that I will feel more confident about his future if a man named Barack Obama became president of the United States.

posted by fourcheesemac at 8:13 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Powell on MTP.
posted by pointilist at 8:14 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Well the correct answer, he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian, he's always been a Christian. But the really right answer is 'what if he is?' Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no, that's not America."

Thank God someone with political clout finally said this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:19 AM on October 19, 2008 [13 favorites]


"But the really right answer is 'what if he is?' Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no, that's not America."

And the corollary to that question is, "Is there something wrong with being a(n evangelical) Christian in this country?" Well, yeah, sometimes.
From evangelicals' general enthusiasm for an Iraq war that defied most interpretations of Christian just-war doctrine, to their support for political figures and tactics that defy all standards of decency and honesty, we see a pattern of behavior conspicuously out of step with the book they claim as their manual for living.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:29 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I choked up. Thank you, Colin Powell. Not my favorite guy - it's hard to overlook what he did in the Bush administration - but I sure do appreciate the statement; moreso for it to come from him.
posted by BinGregory at 8:29 AM on October 19, 2008


Here's the photo from the New Yorker that Colin Powell was referring to.
posted by horsewithnoname at 8:30 AM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Should be a hell of a day for a stump speech from the main man, and by happy MetaFilter coincidence, he happens to be in Fayetteville, NC this afternoon. You all remember Fayetteville, right? It's that quintessential small town American den of virtue!

Wanna bet he draws 30K or better?

Anyway, gates are open, event is supposed to start at 1:30PM, meaning Barack around 2, I would think (but don't quote me on it). Here, as usual, is the streaming link for when it's starting (I may not be able to post it then).

He's been outdoing himself (and drawing ever larger crowds) in recent days on the stump, and on a day this good he'll be on fire. I'm sure Powell will get a major shout out.

Yes we can.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:16 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have been thinking this all morning. This was Welch saying "at long last sir, have you no decency?"

Wasn't it?

There's a stunned feeling in the air.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:22 AM on October 19, 2008


Just watched the post MTP remarks. God what a joy it is to hear somebody talking in lucid, sane terms about America and America's future. Thanks, Colin Powell.
posted by jokeefe at 9:27 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]




My fiancee just called from the line at the Fayetteville rally. (I'd be there, but I'm canvassing this afternoon.) She said the line is stretching back for blocks, and she's been standing in line waiting to get in for two and a half hours now and only just now getting close to the doors.
posted by EarBucket at 9:33 AM on October 19, 2008


homunculus, I cwas considering posting that myself (except I assume half of us have dKos open in another tab) -- it is a tremendous (and scary) analysis of the risks of an enraged conservative fringe after Obama wins. It deserves a wider readership than dKos.

Thanks for posting it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:41 AM on October 19, 2008


Not sure if this has been linked here yet, but:

"A Message To Sarah Palin From The Young Girls Of America."

Yes, it's hosted on Perez Hilton, but it's still pretty moving.
posted by yeti at 9:43 AM on October 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Over 100K -- that's one hundred thousand -- turned out for Barack in St. Louis today.

Are we absolutely sure they weren't there for the Decemberists this time?
posted by yeti at 9:59 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


No, they were there for the Novemberist.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:03 AM on October 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Si se puede, you right wing motherfuckers

This is my new motto. Thanks fcm
posted by nax at 10:10 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a new Obama ad out with clips from the DNC video, and I like it. It ran after MTP this morning, and I thought it was very effective. Very well done. With that, the images posted above of the soldier Colin Powell referred to, one of the soldier's headstone and then the contrast with the picture of his mother at his headstone, with hundreds of thousands of people standing up for change, with $150 million in September, it's going to be tough to get through the day without bawling.

But anyway, if anybody can find a video of that ad (I couldn't), it's about 30 seconds long.
posted by cashman at 10:15 AM on October 19, 2008


Obama in Fayetteville, CNN live stream (on now!). Not yet on BO.com.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:22 AM on October 19, 2008


Liveblog of event on Fayetteville Observer website

From said live blog:
Jimmy Goins, from Pembroke chairman of Lumbee Tribe, came to the rally to give Obama the support of the Lumbee tribe.

“I cannot believe this. I was totally amazed that this many people would come out to see Senator Obama. This is a historic moment,” he said.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see it in my life time. It makes us feel proud to be important this time.”

He said at least 100 people from tribe are here tonight
.

Crowd sounds HUGE.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:26 AM on October 19, 2008


Watching the stream right now. Maybe it's just me, but I swear you can feel the energy coming off the crowd. It's electric.
posted by jokeefe at 10:41 AM on October 19, 2008


he happens to be in Fayetteville, NC this afternoon

I wonder if Konolia will attend. One should think that by now, she's starting to realize that she just might be wrong about things.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:44 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


C'mon, fff---we're waiting for an October surprise, not April Fool's Day.
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:48 AM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I doubt it, fff. She's a single issue voter, and that issue is abortion. I doubt she'll be swayed away from that.
posted by jokeefe at 10:48 AM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Some early W.Va. voters angry over switched votes: "When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain."

And so it begins.


Also... way to go Colin Powell.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:59 AM on October 19, 2008


I will pay Barack Obama $10 to have this thread not be about konolia.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:59 AM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, you can feel it in the air today. Hurricane Barack is about to make landfall.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:59 AM on October 19, 2008


Here comes the pie!
posted by yeti at 11:00 AM on October 19, 2008


He really likes that pie story, doesn't he? :D
posted by jokeefe at 11:01 AM on October 19, 2008


Bravo Rhaomi!

And in a clear shout out to us in this thread, Barack just detoured from pie to fried chicken!
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:02 AM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


New strong material on taxes . . . wow.

Remember when they said he was too professorial, couldn't connect to ordinary folks, couldn't make a clear case to them?

LOL.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2008


And the corollary to that question is, "Is there something wrong with being a(n evangelical) Christian in this country?"

There most certainly is, in my mind. I'm appreciative of guys like Richard Cizik, of course, but they're few and far between in the evangelical community. Here's a guy who proposes that environmentalism should be an issue of concern to Christians, calling it "creation care", and the reaction? Calls for his resignation as head of the National Association of Evangelicals.

We're in another Vietnam right now, and the evangelicals are overjoyed at this. Supposed Christians are cheering about being at war. It boggles the mind. Not all Christians are thrilled about the war, of course, and the tradition of anti-militarism that groups like the Catonsville Nine made famous has been co-opted by hawks bearing a cross.

But the most bizarre thing of all is, the evangelicals are a minority in America yet seem to have great influence on American politics. Well, yes and no. Reagan pandered to these extremists and brought them into the political fold, and they have proven to be an effective money-making machine. However, Jerry Falwell had to dissolve the Moral Majority in 1986. The Christian Coalition has been fracturing. The number of attendees to evangelical churches have been declining.

So keep this in mind: while the God, Guns and Country, speaking in tongues, Jesus Camp, clinic-bombing, pro-war Talibaptists might seem like a fair representation of the American Christian, this is far from the truth, and their influence is on the wane.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:13 AM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh, boy. On now is the Best of Rush (I kid you not) and he was relating someone's theory on why Wright was "off the table" for McCain: he desperately wanted Collin Powell's endorsement.

I can't say I care, either way. To me, if he'd done it a long time ago, it might have meant something. Now it's just putting more wood on the fire, ensuring it will burn longer, into January. This could have burned out over the summer.

Anyway, my silly theory was that saying Wright was off the table was a backassward way of putting him on the table: "don't think about Wright! Stop thinking about Wright!" It's hard to tell who's playing who.
posted by lysdexic at 11:20 AM on October 19, 2008


Random anecdote:

Today my girlfriend was organizing a CROP walk in Harrisburg, PA. Lots of local media attention (radio stations, local paper, etc.). All of the sudden, the STRAIGHT TALK EXPRESS pulls up and blocks their walk route, moments before the event is supposed to begin. Secret Service guys are all around, and so on, telling everyone to get back despite the fact that, hey, they were there first. Nobody really knows what is going on, and people are kind of angry that they've been made unwitting participants in a McCain rally. Stickers are being handed out and so on. The local media is asking questions about whether the charity walk was actually *organized* by McCain all of the sudden, and the walkers are naturally kind of pissed [aside: would they have been pissed if it an Obama bus pulled up? Heh... this was a United Church of Christ event, by the way, of which Obama is a member, so I would guess not.]

Anyway, turns out that it's Cindy McCain on the bus. She commandeers the radio station's mic and talks for about 30 seconds, and tells my girlfriend that she has a nice haircut. The Straight Talk Express rolls onward, and the walk starts late.

Just weird, that's all. They had to know the walk was happening, it seems to me like it was a deliberate effort to co-opt a nonpartisan humanitarian activity for their mini-rally. The Harrisburg/Carlisle area has been getting steadily bluer over the last couple of decades, kind of a light-purple bastion in the middle of crimson red Pennsyltucky, so I wonder how the local media present will interpret this?
posted by synaesthetichaze at 11:22 AM on October 19, 2008


Palin as President. A playtoy!
posted by Miko at 11:47 AM on October 19, 2008


Holy. Crap.

When the paper of record in the reddest little corner of Florida endorses Barack Obama, you're not just seeing a contrarian view; you're seeing a revolution.

I'm speechless.
posted by contessa at 11:56 AM on October 19, 2008


Anyway, with regards to Colin Powell:

First of all, awesome. Despite the paroxysms from the LGF idiots who think this is about race, the fact remains that Powell has always been a widely-respected military leader and statesman. In many ways, he's the kind of man McCain pretends to be - a moderate uniter who's commanded the respect from people of both parties. Let's not forget he's served under both Republican and Democratic presidents (Reagan's National Security Advisor, GHW Bush's and Clinton's Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and of course George W Bush's Secretary of State until 2005).

His initial, public position on the war in Iraq is troubling, but to understand it, you have to understand Powell's military philosophy. Powell believed the US military could be a force for global justice, as opposed to simply serving national interest. Writing in Foreign Affairs in 1992, Powell said in part:
"The summons to leadership that we face at present is our fourth rendezvous with destiny. Answering this summons does not mean peace, prosperity, justice for all and no more wars in the world—any more than the American Revolution meant all people were free, the Civil War meant an end to racial inequality, or World War II and our great victory in the Cold War meant the triumph of democracy and free markets. What our leadership in the world does mean is that these things have a chance. We can have peace. We can continue moving toward greater prosperity for all. We can strive for justice in the world. We can seek to limit the destruction and the casualties of war. We can help enslaved people find their freedom."
So Powell has always been an interventionist, has always believed in the military as a tool for humanitarianism. Ironically, in this same article he says that Gulf War 1 had a "limited objective" because for the US to take over Iraq would cost an "unpardonable expense in terms of money, lives lost and ruined regional relationships", saying of those who criticized Bush Sr. for not capturing Saddam, "Even if Hussein had waited for us to enter Baghdad, and even if we had been able to capture him, what purpose would it have served? And would serving that purpose have been worth the many more casualties that would have occurred? Would it have been worth the inevitable follow-up: major occupation forces in Iraq for years to come and a very expensive and complex American proconsulship in Baghdad? Fortunately for America, reasonable people at the time thought not. They still do."

Yeah. So what happened between then and 2003? Not much, really. In fact, Powell has said he tried to talk Bush out of invading Iraq: "I tried to avoid this war. I took him [Bush] through the consequences of going into an Arab country and becoming the occupiers." Powell was no extremist. In 2004, again writing in Foreign Affairs, he makes a strained attempt at painting Bush as a unifier, reaching out to other countries in combatting terror. Here, Powell says more about himself than Bush, though - Powell still believes in multilateral humanitarian military action and endured a great deal of cognitive dissonance in order to try and shape Bush in this image - this same year, he refered to neo-cons as "fucking crazies".

Colin Powell remains a moderate Republican - he's pro-choice and supports "reasonable" gun control. His support of Barack Obama is a reflection of his respect for the quality of a leader remaining calm in a storm - a quality somewhat lacking in the current president, to Powell's dismay, and a quality sorely lacking in McCain as well, as Powell fully recognizes. Given Powell's carreer and personal philosophy, his support of Barack Obama comes as no surprise.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:00 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


That effigy had a Star of David on top. I'm confused. First Obama was supposed to be a radical black Christian, then he was supposedly muslin, now he's Jewish?
Don't forget atheist. And I heard he prays to Hindu.
posted by Flunkie at 12:05 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


synaesthetichaze : Republican flash raid on unsuspecting church group...wtf, mavericks?
posted by brain cloud at 12:11 PM on October 19, 2008


(And Blazecock Pileon starts a thread on this very subject. Mods, feel free to delete my above comment - I've posted it in the Powell thread where it's probably more relevant.)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:21 PM on October 19, 2008


Dear FCM: My friend and I made some FCM in your honor today. Thanks for keeping the live streams flowing.
posted by inconsequentialist at 12:30 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ambinder has a good take on Powell's endorsement (which was, despite him being a lying sack of shit) and amazingly fluent monologue (and I wonder if he negotiated that he would have 7 minutes of uninterrupted airtime to make his case -- normally he would have been interrupted after 30 seconds with some inane question to get Brokaw's hair in the frame), anyway:

The Powell Endorsement: Hurts McCain; Helps Obama

In that order, I think.

(1) It deprives McCain of a day to win the news cycle. There are sixteen left.

(2) Powell is a "man who I admire as much as anyone in the world," McCain has said. He was an informal adviser to the campaign early on. And the content of the endorsement acknowledges what McCain's accomplished, studies it, and judges that it is insufficient for the modern world. (Powell is closer to McCain than Obama on Iraq.) McCain would be a maverick, Powell says, but America needs a transformation figure.

(3) McCain might take this as a personal rejection, and he might wear it on his sleeve.

(4) Powell is a culturally individuated African American hero; to the extent that there remain white voters who have inchoate worries about Obama's race, it helps to have him associated with a man whose race they've already gotten over. I do think this cohort of people is tiny.

posted by Rumple at 12:34 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


inconsequentialist, I'm touched!
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:39 PM on October 19, 2008


From the comment section of the Naples paper endorsing Obama:
If McCain had been a member of the KKK, and had a colleague who is a proud abortion clinic bomber, he would have been universally reviled.

We don't even know for sure if Obama is an American since he refuses to release his birth certificate. His Kenyan grandmother brags that she witnessed his birth in Kenya. No wonder Obama is fighting the federal lawsuit seeking him to prove where he was born. John McCain turned over the appropriate documents as soon as he was asked. BO has been fighting that request tooth and nail. As far as we know, he is not only constitutionally ineligible to be president, he is an illegal alien
.
I've heard a lot of things about Obama before but illegal alien???
posted by leftcoastbob at 12:55 PM on October 19, 2008


I've heard a lot of things about Obama before but illegal alien???

Sad to say, it's far from the first time I've heard or read that ridiculous allegation. Welcome to the lunatic fringe that is Naples, FL.

PS: I've long since learned to stop reading the comment section in the NDN. I'ts soul-destryoing. When we talk about people being proudly ignorant, the NDN peanut gallery is the image that comes to my mind. Every. Single. Time.
posted by contessa at 1:07 PM on October 19, 2008


McCain defending Palin on Fox News:

WALLACE: ...(H)asn't Governor Palin become a drag on your ticket?

MCCAIN: As a cold political calculation, I could not be more pleased. She has excited and energized our base. She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America. She has a wonderful family. She's a reformer. She's a conservative. She's the best thing that could have happened to my campaign and to America

posted by Rumple at 1:21 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


"She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America."

I don't think that anyone on either side of the spectrum is going to disagree with that one.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:29 PM on October 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


Fayetteville Observer slideshow of today's rally -- terrific pics!

Starting to gather the tone of commentary from smart people around the nets on the Powell endorsement. A lot of people think this is going to get votes directly, and indirectly.

Lawrence Lessig, writing on Politico (a short comment) called it "the most important 7 minutes of the campaign," singing out the precision of Powell's critique of the GOP; other smart people are focusing on how concise and forceful it was too (on Salon, Andrew Leonard called it the "Powell doctrine of overwhelming force" applied to an endorsement).

Another smart comment pointed out that his presser after the appearance appeared to fill in several slots Brokaw did not ask about, as if Powell had a list of points he needed to make (and a lot of people are noting Brokaw's dyspeptic performance, he's obviously peeved at having to be the bearer of John McCain's political obituary). A wag wondered how much attention Powell must be paying to the election and the media to have had the Michelle Bachmann story (which only went down Friday night, or about half a million dollars ago).

Consensus building that this is a punch in McCain's gut.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:36 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I didn't much about this Michelle Bachmann: I can't decide if her wikipedia entry is no real surprise or surprisingly awful even for her type. Sorry for the long pastes below but sheesh, she is Sarah Palin with slightly better hair: edumacated at an Oral Roberts law school, married to a Jerry Falwell graduate, apparently has risen (via community organization) on the basis of being a moderately attractive, outspoken highly-conservative woman. Wow.


Bachmann had grown up in a Democratic family, but says she became a Republican during her senior year at Winona State. She told the (Minneapolis) Star Tribune that she was reading Gore Vidal's novel Burr: "He was kind of mocking the Founding Fathers and I just thought, 'I am shit. I just remember reading the book, putting it in my lap, looking out the window and thinking, 'You know what? I don't think I am a Democrat. I must be a Republican.'"

They then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she enrolled at Coburn School of Law.[8] Coburn was an affiliate of Oral Roberts University. The law school was accredited by the American Bar Association but folded after less than a decade of operation.

n 1993, Bachmann joined with other parents in Stillwater to open New Heights Charter School, the first K-12 charter school in the nation ....

Minnesota state law prohibits charter schools from using taxpayers' money for teaching religiously motivated courses. Parents charged Bachmann with trying to set up classes on Creationism and advocating "something called '12 Christian principles' be taught, very much like the 10 Commandments." Bachmann and the board of directors also refused to allow the in-school screening of the Disney film Aladdin, feeling that it endorsed magic/witchcraft and promoted paganism. With her directors, Bachmann appeared before the Stillwater School Board to address the concerned group of parents. Feeling that the criticism was an unfounded personal attack, she stated, "Are you going to question my integrity?" As the critique continued, Bachmann and four members of her board resigned on the spot – reportedly viewing the whole controversy as stemming from anti-Christian discrimination.

Bachmann headed a drive to have intelligent design be given equal time with evolution in Science classes.

Bachmann is a member of a church that is part of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, whose doctrine teaches that the Roman Catholic papacy is the Anti-Christ identified in Scripture.[34]

During the 2007 State of the Union Address, Bachmann was on the aisle in a very visible position in the Chamber and frequently greeted members going into the Chamber. During President Bush's exit from the Chamber, Bachmann clasped his shoulder for about 30 seconds while waiting for a photograph to be taken.[47] Bush signed two autographs for Bachmann and, finally, leaned into Bachmann for a kiss

Bachmann introduced the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, to repeal the nationwide phase-out of conventional light bulbs.

In support of a constitutional amendment she proposed to ban same-sex marriage,[68] Bachmann said that the gay community was specifically targeting children and that "our children...are the prize for this community."[67] Bachmann believes that people who are homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or transgender suffer from "sexual dysfunction" and "sexual identity disorders."

Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann, operates a Christian counseling center in the St. Croix valley area. He has a master's degree in counseling from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and a doctorate in clinical psychology from a distance-learning school, Union Institute & University in Cincinnati

posted by Rumple at 1:42 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


sheesh, she is Sarah Palin with slightly better hair: edumacated at an Oral Roberts law school, married to a Jerry Falwell graduate, apparently has risen (via community organization) on the basis of being a moderately attractive, outspoken highly-conservative woman. Wow.

And, as in the case of Sarah Palin, this election marks the end of her political abilities being taken seriously by any but a fringe group of Americans.
posted by orange swan at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2008


The Lightbulb Freedom of Choice Act is my new favorite band name/nickname for the Republican ticket. Monty Python could not write better material, as John Cleese has observed (somewhere upthread, I think).

It's a little racy, but Jesus' General has a really funny post up about the use of sexed up female spokespeople to sell sexual repression and right wing truisms. And you're right -- Bachmann and Palin are two of a widespread type of conservative climber of the post-Gingrich GOP -- Katherine Harris was another. There are a lot of them. Somehow, GOP men are OK with women candidates if the women manage to convey an acceptance of basic patriarchal boundaries. It makes conservatives see little stars to get some T&A with their racist demagoguery. Similar standards apply in the pundit class.

But one more thing about these women -- if anything, they seem more unhinged and psycho than similarly right wing men. Maybe it's because ambition is differently gendered. And not that the men *aren't* psycho.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:58 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


FCM, I changed my middle name on Facebook to Hussein (great idea!), and then I noticed some of my friends and "friends" had been doing it a few days, and then found the group Today We Are All Hussein.
posted by Miko at 2:24 PM on October 19, 2008


> Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann.... a doctorate in clinical psychology from a distance-learning school, Union Institute & University in Cincinnati

Is this possible in any legitimate way? How can you get clinical hours and perform an internship through distance learning?
posted by ardgedee at 2:41 PM on October 19, 2008


I've watched the SNL-Palin sketches from last night. I have to admit, I do have a visceral reaction to the idea of Palin being on SNL. It seems to legitimize her. I have to firmly remind myself that it's just a comedy television show and won't have a real impact on anything. I'll save the outrage for the event of future political offices or appointments being won by or given to Palin.

To be fair, I have to hand it to Palin for being a very good sport — better than I would ever be. I can't say she was funny, but then, to be fair, most non-actors who appear on SNL aren't funny and more or less walk through their parts. The SNL cast members have so much talent and skill they make their work look easy, but it is not easy. And at least Palin can read off the teleprompter much more naturally than Alec Baldwin (what the hell was with him?!). BUT she didn't do as well as Hillary Clinton. Check out this sketch in which Clinton appears relaxed and radiates enjoyment, and has every bit as much presence as Amy Poehler, if not more.

Did you notice the icy Palin walk-by Tina Fey did? I wouldn't be surprised if Fey refused to act opposite Palin. Poehler did something similar. Good for them for refusing to compromise their critiques of Palin.
posted by orange swan at 2:54 PM on October 19, 2008




Joe Biden live in Tacoma. Big crowd. He's on fire.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:12 PM on October 19, 2008


Oh, and thanks Miko. I joined up!
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:13 PM on October 19, 2008


Union is the same schoo Gary Null has a "degree" from. I think it is nominally accredited, but it's a notorious degree mill. Here's a Quackwatch page on Null that goes into some detail about Union lower down the page.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:18 PM on October 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Joe Biden live in Tacoma. Big crowd. He's on fire.

Great speech so far... Watch this people!
posted by defenestration at 3:19 PM on October 19, 2008


I should say, to be careful, that Union has a *reputation* as a degree mill among people who are critical of the bogus credentialism of fringe "alternative" medicine. I have no first hand knowledge if that is true.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:24 PM on October 19, 2008


Damn, I love it when Joe Biden gets going -- this speech is terrific.
posted by brain cloud at 3:31 PM on October 19, 2008


I'm heading over to the Powell endorsement thread . . . farewell chicken thread!
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:44 PM on October 19, 2008


Here's that other thread. I haven't had anything to add there yet, but I wanted to keep track.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:11 PM on October 19, 2008


It wouldn't surprise me in the very least to discover that Diebold boxes are not the least trustworthy, and it continues to astonish me that any US state is stupid enough to be trusting them after the stories have been told.


It would seem reasonable for a state to demand to see field validation study results, complete with transparent methodology and third party oversight, before using these machines. They are essentially black boxes where Diebold is saying, "Trust us."
posted by Mental Wimp at 6:11 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin didn't really do anything on SNL--the writers just made it look like she was saying more than she actually was. Watch it again, she only says 3 or 4 lines in the whole thing, maybe 20 or so words. orange swan, I agree that it's annoying that her appearance can be seen as legitimizing...but only to those who are in the tank for her already.

I'm gonna guess, with her public speaking abilities, that she'd make an ok actress/comedian/SNL member (of course in a bizarro universe somewhere). McCain has freakin' hosted SNL at least once, and yeah, Hillary Clinton was surprisingly natural in the skit she did. I say surprising because I found her speeches to be really horrible to listen to.

You know who was pretty lame on Saturday Night Live? And at this recent Al Smith Dinner? Barack Obama. He's just not got the acting DNA, it seems.

That's fine with me. His talents are geared toward running the U.S. government, not winning a popularity contest like Republicans do every. single. election. Obama's got a sense of humor, but he's basically a serious guy, tackling serious problems. Don't worry about whether he can't act or Sarah Palin can--in mere days SNL will be forgotten, and Obama will be that much closer to victory.
posted by zardoz at 8:46 PM on October 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now at least we won't have to hear about McCain/Red Sox comparisons.
posted by drezdn at 8:47 PM on October 19, 2008


drezdn: "Now at least we won't have to hear about McCain/Red Sox comparisons."

I've got to say, drezdn, I'm bummed out by their loss. I've got a family member on the Red Sox staff, so I was obviously rooting for Boston. But on top of that, I was hoping that if they did clinch the series again I might snag a spot on the team's victory trip to the White House in February. I mean, a World Series victory and a meet-and-greet with President Obama? That would have been sweet, indeed.

But I guess I'll have to settle for, you know, actually having a decent president for a change. Also: Tampa Bay? I'd consider forgiving you for tonight if you could, oh... swing Florida for Obama by a few thousand votes. I'd like that. That would be nice.
posted by Rhaomi at 9:07 PM on October 19, 2008


You know who was pretty lame on Saturday Night Live? And at this recent Al Smith Dinner? Barack Obama. He's just not got the acting DNA, it seems.

I checked out Dreams From My Father on CD from my local library. It was read by Barack Obama and he did a wonderful job reading it. His mimicry was spot on. He read the parts from his relatives in Kenya with their accents. He did a masterful impersonation of the guys he played basketball with.

I would highly recommend listening to it even if you've already read it. He was absolutely great.
posted by leftcoastbob at 5:51 AM on October 20, 2008


SNL Writer #1: How do we bring Palin on the show without really giving her a chance to actually rebut anything we've said about her or defend anything she's said or done in the campaign?

SNL Writer #2: How about we just go with the script we already had for the episode, continue to make attacks on her, and just have her sit there and take it?

SNL Writer #1: But, won't that kind of let her reclaim her dignity by letting her be part of the joke?

SNL Writer #2: Not if we're careful to keep her from being part of the joke. The actors won't really address her or acknowledge that she's in the room, they'll kind of just attack her while she watches them.

SNL Writer #1: You think she's dumb enough to agree to that?

SNL Writer #2: Probably.
posted by lunit at 6:59 AM on October 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


I thought the SNL thing was masterfully clever on their part. Alec Baldwin got to dis her to her face. Tina Fey didn't have to be in the same room as her. Amy Poehler got to mock her to her face in a rap.

And, having Mark Wahlberg on pointing out how accurate their mockery of him is was surely designed to also authenticate Fey's performance.

Of all the candidates, she's the last one who needed to appear on SNL. Politicians appear on SNL to be seen by the public as "more down-to-earth". We already know she's one of us. She needs to appear on Meet the Press or something to actually prove her political talents.
posted by graventy at 7:50 AM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Obama's got a sense of humor, but he's basically a serious guy

I'm not getting the sense that Obama has much of a sense of humour. I haven't heard him say anything funny yet. I agree that he is essentially a serious, earnest, man. I think this is probably an asset to him, because it enables him to treat everyone with respect, regardless of whether they deserve it. I mean, could you treat McCain and Palin with respect and keep a straight face meanwhile? Really? This lack of a sense of humour means Obama can stay on task and forge ahead with what needs doing while practically everyone else gets derailed into mudslinging and snark.

He is an excellent orator, which is why I'm not surprised to hear that he could do a good reading of Dreams of My Father, but that's not the same as having a sense of humour.
posted by orange swan at 9:26 AM on October 20, 2008


orange swan, I've read many examples of Obama's sense of humor. They are not hard to find, so I'll link only to my favorite.

That picture and the Jor-El joke he made at the Al Smith dinner the other night lead me to believe he's alos a Superman fan. Cool.
posted by lyam at 9:35 AM on October 20, 2008


Or it could be a difference in the style of humor. I see McCain's sense of humor as being more of the vaudevillian handshake-buzzer/pratfall/cream pie variety, while Obama's is more the caption-for-the-New-Yorker-cartoon wordplay wit variety.

Mind, neither kind is better; the two can even harmonize quite nicely. (Monty Python did it.) But they are definitely two distinct styles, and people who groove more to one style often don't get the other. So you end up having people who think the wits are "boring" and "humorless", and people who think the broader vaudevillians are just being "stupid" and "crude." Neither case is quite true, though.

....Where's my order of beans? I think I've just placed one...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:01 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Obama can be funny. He was really good on Letterman. (The whole bit about going to Disneyland was good.)
posted by chunking express at 10:21 AM on October 20, 2008


Sarah Palin didn't really do anything on SNL--the writers just made it look like she was saying more than she actually was. Watch it again, she only says 3 or 4 lines in the whole thing, maybe 20 or so words

What amazed me was that her handlers allowed her to reinforce some negative memes. They actually got her to say "Caribou Barbie" with her own mouth, and Alec Baldwin's script had him saying she was "hotter" than Tina Fey - it disturbs me how often the campaign indulges in this "hotness" message (besides which, seeing them moments apart, dressed nearly identically made me come down on a different side of that determination...). So the few lines they did give her were odd choices. Also, SNL's vaunted "backstage reel" of Palin doesn't show a single genuine interaction between Palin and the cast, as she studies her notes standing alone in a group of guards and gets one lukewarm "thanks for being here" from a show staffer.
posted by Miko at 10:50 AM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not getting the sense that Obama has much of a sense of humour.

The Pie thing is funny
The story itself is onlyslightly humorous, but the fact that he's obviously trying to say the word pie as many times as possible is pretty funny. I'm guessing someone lost a bet.

Also the Campaign's behind the scenes in Denver video has some pretty funny unscripted moments. One where he's joking about his daughter being nervous meeting some boy-band is pretty good.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:19 AM on October 20, 2008


The Pie thing is funny
The story itself is onlyslightly humorous, but the fact that he's obviously trying to say the word pie as many times as possible is pretty funny. I'm guessing someone lost a bet.


Yes, he's been repeating the pie/photo story, but it seems that themore he tells it, the more often he mentions pie.

Which just makes me think about weebl. Mmm, pie.

I like pie - actually it is my favorite dessert, and one of my favorite dinners. But coconut cream pie - cream pie in general - they are just wrong. Pies ought to be meaty, or fruity, or pumpkiny
posted by jb at 12:26 PM on October 20, 2008


But coconut cream pie - cream pie in general - they are just wrong

Election thread brings the crazy.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:38 PM on October 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will not stand idly by and let coconut cream pie be maligned. Flagged as insulting to humanity.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:00 PM on October 20, 2008


MSTPT, I don't think it's the cream part so much as the repulsive coconut part.
posted by maxwelton at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2008


I never understood the fuss about pie.
posted by pointilist at 1:24 PM on October 20, 2008


I never understood the fuss about pie.

Terrorist.
posted by scody at 2:00 PM on October 20, 2008


I was trying to think of a pie that I didn't like, and I couldn't until I thought of minced meat pie. That stuff can stay where it is, and be useful, like a doorstop.

But crust, sugar, and something to hold the sugar up....mmmmm, pie.
posted by lysdexic at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2008


We must make the pie higher.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:49 PM on October 20, 2008


Fine -- go right ahead and talk incessantly about pie even though I won't be able to visit my local homemade pie emporium until noon tomorrow. See if I care. I like the cherry there, but the coconut cream is pretty fab as well.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:22 PM on October 20, 2008


Guys, I just ate like seven fucking pies. I sprained my nom gland, it was crazy.
posted by cortex at 3:32 PM on October 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Well, maybe you just need to work harder at putting pie on your family.
posted by scody at 3:48 PM on October 20, 2008


Good idea, scody, I should have inserted an audio link to the "make the pie higher" reference.
posted by Mental Wimp at 3:52 PM on October 20, 2008


In these times of economic uncertainty and political doubt, it's important to havea smaller, more portable pie alternative. Table Talk pies. I've had better pie, but I haven't had a better pie that also fits in my pocket.
posted by billyfleetwood at 4:58 PM on October 20, 2008


Wow, I love the other ones, but I've never seen a Table Talk Pecan Pie. They must ship them all out of Massachusetts, thinking that no one around here would eat one. Might be worth a trip to Worcestercestercestershire to see if I can snag a few from the source.
posted by yhbc at 5:14 PM on October 20, 2008


I was trying to think of a pie that I didn't like, and I couldn't until I thought of minced meat pie.

Are you talking about minced meat, aka hamburger, pie, or mince pies (little small Christmas things, which don't have meat anymore)?

Because both are amazing. Oh god, I could so go for hamburger pie for dinner, followed by a couple of mince pies for dessert.

But not coconut or any kind of cream pie, because I'm not human.
posted by jb at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2008




Oops: Russians reject McCain plea for cash.

Though conspiratorially this could be the Russians paying McCain back for his reaction to Georgia.
posted by drezdn at 6:07 PM on October 20, 2008


...suddenly the owner comes out with the pie. And I say "Sir, I understand you're a die-hard Republican." He says, "That's right."
I say, "How's business?"


Touché.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:19 PM on October 20, 2008


Here's what I think.

If -- IF! -- Barack Obama wins the election, we should have an inauguration-day meetup in DC. Because, honey, I have PLANS to be in Washington when that happens. I refuse to miss this, the plane tickets are already boughtened.

And then we have pie. Lots and lots of pie. In honor of our new, kickass, non-sucky President.

Sounds good?
posted by brain cloud at 6:28 PM on October 20, 2008 [2 favorites]


CNN's John King reports that McCain's "strategy" is to concede Colorado, Iowa, and New Mexico and go for Pennsylvania, where Obama's got a 15-point lead.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:32 PM on October 20, 2008




If -- IF! -- Barack Obama wins the election, we should have an inauguration-day meetup in DC. Because, honey, I have PLANS to be in Washington when that happens. I refuse to miss this, the plane tickets are already boughtened.

Absolutely. I booked my hotel room back in February. If we do a meetup, I'm so there.
posted by EarBucket at 7:15 PM on October 20, 2008


Obama cancels campaign events to go to the bedside of his sick Grandmother.

No! NO! I hope and pray that she pulls through. There are two people above all other people who I want to see Obama be inaugurated, and that is his grandmother and Ted Kennedy.

Please, please get well Mrs. Dunham!!
posted by brain cloud at 7:18 PM on October 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


If -- IF! -- Barack Obama wins the election, we should have an inauguration-day meetup in DC. Because, honey, I have PLANS to be in Washington when that happens. I refuse to miss this, the plane tickets are already boughtened.

Absolutely. I booked my hotel room back in February. If we do a meetup, I'm so there.


What a great idea.
posted by Miko at 9:19 PM on October 20, 2008


braincloud, grate idea, but I (and others I assume) can't be in WDC on Inauguration Day. How about hometown meetups all across the country on that day. I poop out on every meet up in Chicago because I'm a total chicken shit. But I promise to be there if we get this going, and I'll try to drag my sorry-ass brother along (he's one off MeFi's science nerds).
posted by nax at 5:31 AM on October 21, 2008


rrrrrrgh. make that great idea
posted by nax at 7:27 AM on October 21, 2008


Is Sarah Palin in the tank for Obama?
posted by drezdn at 9:30 AM on October 22, 2008


Is Sarah Palin in the tank for Obama?

Depends -- what's her position on pie?
posted by contessa at 9:35 AM on October 22, 2008


Yes, the scarf says, "Vote." And yes, those appear to be donkeys

All she knows is that it cost $6,000 from Nieman Marcus, so it must be good.
posted by taz at 9:51 AM on October 22, 2008


Small town values is apparently code for "I pay full price for everything in NYC."
posted by drezdn at 11:49 AM on October 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Let them eat mavericks!
posted by scody at 12:02 PM on October 22, 2008


McCain's voicemail to Obama
posted by maryh at 12:10 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]






Jesus, that's fucked up.
posted by cortex at 2:37 PM on October 23, 2008


If that happened, that person should be arrested and locked up for 5 years. Currently the news is still using alleged, and I find myself wanting more information. I looked at a couple of the reports, and things sound a tad off to me. If this happened the way this poor woman says, it's awful. I'm confused as to why she would have refused medical treatment after a 6'4 dude carved a letter into her face with a knife. I believe her on the face of it, but I know I'm not the only one who thinks the account is a little off.
posted by cashman at 2:56 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah. There's a lot of ugliness out there. I can't wait for this to be over, because people are getting a little scary.
posted by quin at 2:59 PM on October 23, 2008


Another article with a picture (sfw)
posted by cashman at 3:01 PM on October 23, 2008


"This is what she's telling police," police spokeswoman Diane Richard said. "We can't substantiate it at this time."

http://lifeinthefield.com/users/ashley-todd - her twitter updates are currently there - they've been protected at her actual twitter page (Don't know why - they seem pretty unspectacular in and of themselves).
#atodd: Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers- I'm phonebanking so let's all work together and get John McCain elected #litf08
Thu, 23 Oct 2008 18:55:41 +0000

#atodd: Oh the blog I will be making soon... Its been a rough night #litf08
Thu, 23 Oct 2008 03:52:58 +0000

#atodd: Pretty sure I'm on the wrong side of pittsburgh
Thu, 23 Oct 2008 00:45:59 +0000

#atodd: Stubbornly searching for a bank of america to avoid ATM fees.
Thu, 23 Oct 2008 00:23:21 +0000

#atodd: This traffic in pittsburgh needs to go away!!!! #litf08
Wed, 22 Oct 2008 23:04:06 +0000
Some folks are already thinking that the story is a bit off. Photo here too at Drudge - it's unknown if the photo is reversed or what.
posted by cashman at 3:20 PM on October 23, 2008


This is horrific - Obama needs to denounce this more strenuously than he has, in person, on tv and in the strongest language possible. He needs to say that he will not abide by any violence, that he does not even want the vote of any person who would attack another for their political beliefs.
posted by jb at 3:44 PM on October 23, 2008


So the "B" is backwards? Huh.

I really hope she's going to be OK, and that the surveillance footage from the ATM sheds some more light on this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:46 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


The campaign of Barack Obama issued the following statement:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."

posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:47 PM on October 23, 2008


I guess it could be true, but that is a suspiciously linear set of twitters there.
posted by Bookhouse at 4:00 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Even Malkin is thinking it's likely a hoax. There's so much conflicting information (there's atm video, there isn't atm video), hopefully things get cleared up. But the police seem to be parsing it in that "this might not be true" way.

Fox News just reported it in the same way, saying they have not been able to verify her story.
posted by cashman at 4:06 PM on October 23, 2008


Hmmm, if you carved a B in your own face while looking in a mirror, would you carve it backwards?

This whole thing does not pass the smell test, but even if it is true, it does not reflect poorly on Obama himself I don't think.
posted by Rumple at 4:09 PM on October 23, 2008


This assault is odd. Carving a "B" in the girl's cheek? I imagine that's not the quickest letter to draw by using a knife to cut it into someone's skin. That's three strokes. Two if you're good. It's a pretty legible "B". You have to figure she'd have to have been perfectly restrained for what, maybe 2 or 3 seconds? The guy allegedly never had her pinned down or anything - just "punched and kicked."

You'd have to have some serious kung-fu moves to punch, kick, and then whip out a knife and carve anything more complicated than a loose squiggle onto the face of someone who isn't being held down with some force with your non-writing arm.

Just sayin'.
posted by brain cloud at 4:18 PM on October 23, 2008


This whole thing does not pass the smell test,

Agreed, agreed. I'd keep an eye on any more stories like this, as well as developments on this one. It could be an outlier weird event, but I really doubt it. A lot of things are very unusual. Refused treatment? Somebody carves up your face and you refuse treatment when the police respond? That's...pretty strange. An assailant gets the money he wants at knifepoint, starts to leave, then returns after seeing a bumper sticker? Who notices a bumper sticker when you're hopped up on adrenaline, running away from committing a violent robbery that could have been caught on tape? Carving a letter B? With what - the point of the knife? How would that be possible when someone you have just pushed down to the ground is unrestrained and able to struggle against you? Why would you carve the "B" backwards?

After reading about this woman and seeing her picture, I think there are a lot of explanations for this event, and that one of the less likely ones is that her story is 100% true. It's tragic if true, but also tragic if embroidered. It's really a shame all around and it bothers me that this is the first hint of actual violence - not sign-stealing or shouts at rallies, but violence - seen so far in this campaign. I'd like that genie to go right back into the bottle, right now, no matter who called it out.
posted by Miko at 8:23 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


For fuck's sake; either if you were a crazed black Barack Obama supporter wanting to terrorise a young white Republican girl by carving something into her cheek to scare her and make sure she knew it was all about Barack Obama, or if you were a crazed white Republican girl wanting to make up a huge story about a big scary black man, etc., wouldn't an "O" make more fucking sense?!?!??!!!
posted by yhbc at 8:33 PM on October 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can't handle the weirdness. And the internet makes everything so weird in real time.

Ashley's blog - pileon in progress.

The College Station, TX, News 3 TV station:
Police say they did not take the photo of Ashley Todd that is gaining internet notoriety. The photo depicts a 20-something female with bruises under her eyes, and a red "B" on the right side of her face.

...While many people expressed sympathy online, just as many were voicing doubt about Todd's story.

...Ashley Todd is a member of the Brazos County Young Republicans. The group's president would not comment.
Her cached MySpace, and some ruminations on death and funerals from her MySpace blog...
posted by Miko at 8:55 PM on October 23, 2008


a previous violent incident, not as violent, but scary. (found on random blog while looking for more news of this one)

people need to seriously chill - this kind of thing is just unacceptable. No political contest is worth hitting anyone over.
posted by jb at 9:30 PM on October 23, 2008


Ugh. I hate this. I am trying to believe this person because the benefits of trusting people are worth the risk of being fooled, but it really really really seems staged to me.

Set the stage:
  • The candidate she is excited about, and is away from home canvassing for, is basically getting their ass kicked.
  • She's active in the 'youth' movement of said campaign, and seems fairly well-connected there.
  • Uses Twitter, ps new-media conversant and (I imagine) has witnessed viral things spread through the Twitterverse, et al, more than once.
  • fairly late at night, she goes alone, to find an ATM. Sends messages to Twitter saying she is in a bad neighborhood. This happened here.

  • The incident happens. Either it happens as she says, or she is mugged and sees the opportunity to do the 'B', or she fakes the whole thing. No way of knowing at this time and is sort of irrelevant to this. The end result is:

  • She has a 'B' lightly scratched into her cheek. The wound does not look like it breaks the skin. It looks about like a mild cat scratch. This is not to say that the act is not violent enough to count, nothing of the sort. Only that the mechanics of the wound, judging from that picture, are hard to figure. I guess the perp held her down and did this with a knife, but did not actually cut her? He held her with one hand and 'carved' with the other. Oh, but she could move her head that way, so he probably sat on her chest, held her with one hand and drew arguably the most complex letter in the English language. Superficially, though. Not rbeaking the skin. During this struggle. How long did this take?
  • The wound is on her left cheek. So the perp was probably a lefty? Narrows it down to 7 or 10 percent of the population.
  • Oh, but the 'B' is backwards. So, I guess that means maybe the person was dyslexic?

    OR, did this person, Ashley Todd, scratch the B while looking in the mirror, and thereby become both Mayella and Bob Ewell? It's got race-baiting AND the left-handed thing. She refused medical attention. The picture of her is NOT from the cops, so is out there because she wants it out there.

  • posted by dirtdirt at 9:37 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


    And, again, I feel gross for doubting her.
    posted by dirtdirt at 9:38 PM on October 23, 2008


    There was also this.
    posted by drezdn at 9:48 PM on October 23, 2008


    I love that Ashley Todd story. It reminds me of the Levi whathisname thing about how his friends set up his myspace page without his knowledge (which I believe only if his friends were the Golden Girls, as pretty much nobody else would find the hilarity in falsely reporting that he didn't want kids.)

    First, looking at the time stamps on her updates, how fucking far did she drive, and how much gas did she waste, trying to avoid ATM fees? And how convenient that the moments before the crime were captured on her 'twitter' page? It's like the crime documented itself.

    Second, what a coincidence that someone in in a group called 'College Republican National Convention' and who was in the front lines of the campaign would happen to be targeted in an attack like this.

    In one report: "He said that her attacker became enraged when he saw she had the McCain bumper sticker, and yelled, 'You are one of those McCain people.'" Was he like really intuitive? 'People' implies something more than just having a bumper sticker on the car...unless the bumper sticker was all 'I work for the McCain campaign'.

    Does a robber get money and then turn around and go back to make a political point?

    It's pretty amazing. Less than two weeks before the election, and the most assertive-violent Obama supporter in the world happens to meet up with one of McCain's most dedicated (really, all the way from TX to work a PA phone bank) campaign workers...and not only that, but less than a week after a verified attack on an Obama worker by a McCain supporter.

    The right-wing news is jumping all over this story, and I hope they keep doing it up to the point where it's exposed a hoax, which should be any time now.
    posted by troybob at 10:27 PM on October 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Here's the thing, though: If it turns out that her story is true, then sneering, screeching bloggers digging into the poor girl's personal history make Obama supporters look bad; if it cannot be verified either way, said sneering and screeching still make Obama supporters look bad. If it is verified as a hoax, crowing about it definitely won't make Obama supporters look good. In fact, probably, still bad. So, there's really nothing in this that can help Obama, and a lot that has the potential for harm.

    Any ramping up of anger and negative emotion at this already tense and emotional time can only help the other party, as I see it - because that seems to be mostly what they're running on. I think the best stance to take is exactly what the Obama campaign has already expressed: our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."
    posted by taz at 2:11 AM on October 24, 2008


    this is the first hint of actual violence

    Us Londoners have you beat
    posted by cillit bang at 2:59 AM on October 24, 2008


    Possible explanation: She did get mugged but scratched the B to get some political points for the cause.

    No matter what, there's something fishy about this.
    posted by i_cola at 5:55 AM on October 24, 2008


    Looks like police are hedging their bets.
    posted by Rykey at 6:32 AM on October 24, 2008


    Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said. --Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

    As much as I hate to doubt anyone who says they have been victimized, as soon as I saw the photo, I thought there was something odd about this ... the "B" in particular. Wonder what the truth is on this story?
    posted by Orb at 6:33 AM on October 24, 2008


    I certainly see the strategy`in the Obama campaign's "above the fray" approach. But I'm also very interested in knowing what facts can be known about the story, and I think it's fair that they come to light. Worrying about whether the truth looks bad and for whom is less important to me. I agree that screedy wackos on both sides don't do any favors, but this story should be getting wide attention.
    posted by Miko at 6:40 AM on October 24, 2008


    I disagree, Miko; this story should be getting no attention. This has nothing to do with either the Obama or McCain campaign. If this is true, then there is a sick robber out there. If it is not true, then there is a young college student with a lot of problems. Either way, it's a sad story that has nothing to do with either campaign.
    posted by leftcoastbob at 7:06 AM on October 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


    it's a sad story that has nothing to do with either campaign.

    I don't think it has much to do with either campaign myself. It has to do with the crossroads of American politics and racial fear. So I'm interested in the outcome. If a weird crime story, then, weird, horrific, sad. If it's made from whole cloth, then it may increase skepticism about the appearance of racially based scare stories in heated elections. And given our country's history of the efficacy of those, I think that's important.
    posted by Miko at 7:20 AM on October 24, 2008




    I just mentally keep comparing this campaign worker to Tawana Brawley. Sad, sad, sad.
    posted by leftcoastbob at 7:25 AM on October 24, 2008


    Pennsylvania Judge has just ruled that Barack Hussein Obama is ineligable to run for President of the United States. (PDF)

    Err...this is just a formality, right?


    I see from your link that a motion was filed, I don't see that it was signed. I also see from the docket that the Federal Election Commission filed a motion on Tuesday to have the case thrown out for lack of jurisdiction. Filing a complaint or a motion is not the same as a court order.
    posted by Pollomacho at 7:35 AM on October 24, 2008


    this story should be getting no attention

    I happen to disagree with this, but it reminds me of something I saw on The Today Show the other morning that illustrates the absolute dicktardation inherent to broadcast news.

    On the news* segment of the show, the big story was Madonna's impending divorce-- something that surely has implications for every person on earth. As the segment progressed, complete with in-depth analysis of the couple's troubles, the tiny crawling text at the bottom of the screen blathered on about some obscure fluff that only served to distract from the tragedy at hand. Some stoopid shit about a bailout, or a tanking economy or something.

    Video of the segment was here and here, but looks like it's been taken down.

    *Segment may not contain actual news.


    /derail
    posted by Rykey at 7:41 AM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Yeah, taz, I should have gone for the charitable approach. It's more the frustration of seeing race being used this way, and seeing people eat it up. And yeah, I get that a lot of what the McCain guys and some of their supporters do is to force a reaction from the Obama side, not just their own. Obama's shown the best approach with all manner of stuff like this; maybe by the time he's in office I will have better learned that lesson.

    I also respect the way that Obama doesn't come out and blame the McCain campaign for the more egregious acts of McCain supporters, particularly since anything that shows up on a lefty blog is met by McCain-Palin with the accusation "The Obama campaign is doing this..." (e.g., 'Obama is trying to smear Joe the Plumber', 'Obama is bringing up Palin's personal life'). So I think the tone of Obama's campaign, and the consistency of it, helps insulate him from the 'in the mud' stuff, but it doesn't make me proud to have fallen into that trap again.
    posted by troybob at 7:42 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Pennsylvania Judge has just ruled that Barack Hussein Obama is ineligable to run for President of the United States.

    Dude was born in Hawaii, no?
    posted by Rykey at 7:52 AM on October 24, 2008


    think the tone of Obama's campaign, and the consistency of it, helps insulate him from the 'in the mud' stuff, but it doesn't make me proud to have fallen into that trap again.

    Again, I agree with this as a matter of strategy, but this only works if journalism works. Obama can stay above the fray because he can be confident that the facts will sort themselves out in the public eye and the narrative will move on. But the process of the inquiry and result determines the nature and use of the eventual narrative that emerges. An example would be the Jeremiah Wright issue - Obama did stay above that fray, until the facts created during the flap by Wright himself caused Obama to lose control of the narrative, and had no choice but to address it head on. In that instance, the quality and nature of Obama's response created a new storyline that he then rolled into his campaign. But I think it showed that "above the fray" is Obama campaign policy as long as a story isn't developing along damaging lines. When and if it does, there will be a clear response made. The same pattern prevailed with the Ayres storyline, which Obama finally quelled (for the most part) at the last debate. But Obama needs the investigations to happen in the usual ways and be reported through the usual journalistic channels in order to determine whether it's time to intervene with a counternarrative. We have the luxury of ignoring a story only because the press is there to get its hands dirty with the actual fact-finding and editorial discussion.
    posted by Miko at 8:36 AM on October 24, 2008


    Pennsylvania Judge has just ruled that Barack Hussein Obama is ineligable to run for President of the United States. (PDF)

    Err...this is just a formality, right?


    As I understand it, this is a motion filed by the (batshitinsane) plaintiff that they'd like the judge to sign. You could file a motion declaring someone to be a big fat poopyhead who should shut his stupid face, but it doesn't mean that you'd get a judge to sign on.

    Reading through this document, it appears the TimeCube guy went and got himself a law degree. Good for him!
    posted by EarBucket at 8:54 AM on October 24, 2008


    Also, holy hell, Obama up 48-47 in Georgia.
    posted by EarBucket at 9:00 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]






    Police: Campaign Worker Admits Making Up Story

    Police sources tell KDKA that a campaign worker has now confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter "B" in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.
    posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:02 AM on October 24, 2008


    Boy, is this thread slow to load.
    posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:06 AM on October 24, 2008


    So this makes Ashley Todd, what? The most successful troll we've seen in years? She got a presidential candidate to offer her up his prayers for something that she completely made up for the purpose of causing him harm.

    "Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."

    I hope they come up with something creative to charge her with. Disorderly conduct doesn't seem to fully cover her efforts to start what could have eventually led to all sorts of very real racial and political violence.
    posted by quin at 11:15 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


    Crassly, I could see the story making for a good movie treatment for a political/legal thriller.

    It would begin in medias res with the investigator taking the initial report, streetside. Holy shit...this election's gotten outta control, man. Only the report is slightly more credible. An actual potential perp is id'd...a shady-seeming black guy in a conveniece store nearby fits the description...but is it a case of mistaken identity? A frameup? Wong place at the wrong time?

    The girl herself is enigmatic and troubled but sticks to her story. Pols make much of it on both sides. An investigation ensues, but gradually the pieces don't add up. The DA is suspicious. The hotly contested fictionalized election, with its racial overtones, hangs in the balance. Crowds are picketing, hostilities excalate. The campaign sends in some heavyhanded lawyers to protect the girl... and keep her from saying anything. But is the story or real or made up? Even they don't know, and now, the pressure for answers has to get a little more intense. Is she on their side - or about to sell them down the river? And the suspect - is he what he seems to be? Election Day ticks closer. In the balance hangs one man's freedom...and the fate of a wounded nation.

    "B"

    Opening this Friday at a theater near you.
    posted by Miko at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


    Fox News VP: If McCain Worker 'Mutilation' Story Is a Hoax His Campaign Is 'Over'
    “And now John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News, has commented on his blog that ‘this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election. If Ms. Todd's allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

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

    He titles his posting: ‘Moment of Truth.’ Indeed.”
    posted by ericb at 11:37 AM on October 24, 2008


    in medias res

    Goddamn fancy-pants elitists always throwing around Latin and shit. Go back to your cities!
    posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on October 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA oh dear god what a pathetic human being.
    posted by longbaugh at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2008


    So this makes Ashley Todd, what?

    Overinvested and anxious. I'm conflicted. What she did was pretty obvious from jump. After the report talked about her being cut on the face, I was prepared for something brutal - then to see a light scratch - that was the first hey wtf. You know how when you're young (and sometimes when you're older) you want something sooo bad and you just can't imagine any other outcome? Sometimes there are some good shots of cheerleaders or fans when their team loses, and they're bawling like somebody just vivisected their pet bunny in front of them.

    I think Ashley just got so involved and invested that she went above and beyond and way over the line. However, I also remember Susan Smith and the long and illustrious tradition of doing something to yourself as a white woman, then blaming a mysterious and super dangerous black guy who is 10 feet tall and weighs a thousand pounds. It plays into that fear of black masculinity, that idea that a man is dangerous if he has dark skin, that he cannot be trusted and will be brutal and evil and vile. It shows up on screen all the way back to Birth of a Nation, and still exists today.

    You can see it in the characters in a lot of films where the black male character is ridiculously vile, brutal and dangerous, where even the evil-by-definition characters will get written in such a manner that their humanity is shown.

    So Ashley played into that, perhaps unknowingly. She surely knew what she was doing, but at the same time she probably doesn't fully grasp the depths of the ideas she played into. But I tell you what, I don't appreciate that crap at all. I'd like to hear the accounts of 6'4 black men from the last day or two, who have been getting sideways glances, sneers, scared looks and other nonsense.

    Oh and I want to see what the McCain campaign response to this is, after seeing their statement yesterday. Not that I'm expecting anything honorable. But since they responded in a certain manner when this came out, they need to respond in kind now that she's confessed to being a big liar.
    posted by cashman at 11:43 AM on October 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


    The Ashley Todd story is sad, pathetic and weird.
    posted by dog food sugar at 12:07 PM on October 24, 2008


    The headline on Ashley Todd's now locked MySpace page:
    "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her cloths [sic] off, but its [sic] better if you do."
    Guess she's working for the right campaign.
    posted by ericb at 12:14 PM on October 24, 2008


    Crassly, I could see the story making for a good movie treatment for a political/legal thriller. It would begin in medias res with the investigator taking the initial report, streetside. Holy shit...this election's gotten outta control, man. Only the report is slightly more credible. An actual potential perp is id'd...a shady-seeming black guy in a conveniece store nearby fits the description...but is it a case of mistaken identity? A frameup? Wong place at the wrong time?

    I was thinking "Law And Order SVU" episode myself.

    DOINK DOINK
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:14 PM on October 24, 2008


    AP:
    "[Assistant Chief of Police Maurita] Bryant said somebody charged with making a false report would typically be cited and sent a summons. But because police have concerns about Todd's mental health, they are consulting with the Allegheny County District Attorney. She remained in custody and was awaiting arraignment."
    posted by ericb at 12:17 PM on October 24, 2008


    I was thinking "Law And Order SVU" episode myself.

    My guess is that this ends up with both an SVU and a Criminal Intent, though the SVU will be the easiest write.
    posted by drezdn at 12:22 PM on October 24, 2008


    Crassly, I could see the story making for a good movie treatment for a political/legal thriller.

    I was thinking "Law And Order SVU" episode myself.

    Nope, you're both wrong. This is going to be on Lifetime. And you're going to be surfing around and see it, get roped in and watch it. It's going to have some kind of cheesy title too, like "Cut from the Campaign: The Ashley Todd story". And it'll be ultra dramatic, have awful acting and 35 commercials, and we'll still get sucked in.
    posted by cashman at 12:24 PM on October 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


    It's a shame they already had Stabler's daughter commit a crime, because this would have been the perfect use for her.

    Sadly, I think you're right cashman, or it could end up like the long island lolita story, with each network doing its own take.
    posted by drezdn