The Coming Bloodbath

Two kinds of civil war on the horizon. First up, Iraq:

Via Kevin Drum comes a piece in the NYT looking at the powderkeg of factional tensions in Mosul.

The Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki is squeezing out Kurdish units of the Iraqi Army from Mosul, sending the national police and army from Baghdad and trying to forge alliances with Sunni Arab hard-liners in the province, who have deep-seated feuds with the Kurdistan Regional Government led by Massoud Barzani.

….“It’s the perfect storm against the old festering background,” warned Brig. Gen. Raymond A. Thomas III, who oversees Nineveh and Kirkuk Provinces and the Kurdish region. Worry is so high that the American military has already settled on a policy that may set a precedent, as the United States slowly withdraws to allow Iraqis to settle their own problems. If the Kurds and Iraqi government forces fight, the American military will “step aside,” General Thomas said, rather than “have United States servicemen get killed trying to play peacemaker.”

Question: so what the fuck are we still doing there? And is this why Iraq’s running out the clock on the UN mandate that allows us a patina of legitimacy? That’s up on December 31st, and everyone assumed we’d be there far longer, but it seems like Baghdad has other ideas. You see, Maliki’s been playing silly buggers with the Bush regime again. He’s learned to “negotiate” with the invaders of his country:

What you do is this. You set up a deadline and force the White House to negotiate with you as it nears. You ask for major concessions and never stop asking for them. When the White House demurs, you say loudly to the press that there is likely to be no deal. Eventually, the White House will concede to your demands, but try to structure it in such a way that they can still get what they want. At that point, you agree to the deal, then take it back to your constituents, listen to their concerns, and turn right around and reject the terms.

Fearing political division in the parliament and in his country, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki won’t sign the just-completed agreement on the status of U.S. forces in Iraq, a leading lawmaker said Friday.

The new accord’s demise would be a major setback for the Bush administration, which has been seeking to establish a legal basis for the extended presence of the 151,000 U.S. troops in this country, and for Iraq, which won notable concessions in the draft accord reached a week ago.

“No, he will not” submit the agreement to the parliament, Sheikh Jalal al Din al Sagheer, the deputy head of the Shiite Muslim Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, told McClatchy. “For this matter, we need national consensus.”

I don’t think Maliki is some kind of genius – signing this or really any agreement with the United States at this point would be political suicide. But the idea of “listening to constituents” is something that nobody in this country has bothered to consider when dealing with the Bush Administration for the past 8 years.

They might want to give Baghdad a ring.

It’s a nice idea, but it won’t be Republicons calling. They’re too busy sharpening their knives in preparation for a civil war of their own:

Time will tell the extent to which Republicans have a rough election cycle, but rival intra-party factions are already gearing up for a post-election fight for the future of the party. The message from the base seems rather straightforward: “Screw moderation.”

The social conservatives and moderates who together boosted the Republican Party to dominance have begun a tense battle over the future of the GOP, with social conservatives already moving to seize control of the party’s machinery and some vowing to limit John McCain’s influence, even if he wins the presidency.

In skirmishes around the country in recent months, evangelicals and others who believe Republicans have been too timid in fighting abortion, gay marriage and illegal immigration have won election to the party’s national committee, in preparation for a fight over the direction and leadership of the party.

The growing power of religious conservatives is alarming some moderate Republicans who believe that the party’s main problem is that it has narrowed its appeal and alienated too many voters.

The first battle in the larger war will apparently be fought over the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. Far-right conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh and some state party chairs, are already arguing that they will choose the next party leader, even if McCain wins the presidency.

South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson insisted this is necessary, arguing that “moderating our party is what caused us to lose power” in 2006.

This is not an uncommon sentiment among leaders of the Republican base — they seriously believe voters would be far more likely to support the GOP if party leaders were more right-wing. What’s more, if things don’t go well for the party seven days from now, these activists will push this line very aggressively as the party starts to put the pieces back together, whether it makes sense or not.

Good. Let them battle it out. Our only task will be standing far enough to the side so as not to get hit by the shrapnel. Much like what our military plans to do if civil war breaks out in Iraq.

In Which I Reply to Victoria Jackson’s Unintentional Self-Parody

I think someone needs to sit Victoria Jackson down and ‘splain to her what “uneducated” means:

I don’t want a political label, but Obama bears traits that resemble the anti-Christ and I’m scared to death that uneducated people will ignorantly vote him into office.

Apparently, Victoria was too busy standing on her head reciting poetry to get Tim LaHaye’s memo informing her that Barack Obama, in fact, is not the antichrist. What was that about “uneducated people” who “will ignorantly vote” again?

This is what an upbringing by fundamentalist parents and a few years at Florida Bible College will do to a person. Her critical thinking skills are non-existent. That doesn’t prevent her from misusing words like “cynic.” From the bio on her website:

Well, I’d feel like we didn’t really connect if I didn’t tell you about what I really feel is important. I am a genuine true blue believer…not in Kaballah…not in Scientology…not in the New Age movement…not in Mormonism…not in Buddism…not in Hinduism…not in Catholicism…not in Protestantism…but in Jesus Christ. I’ve studied all those other religions…and as a cynic, and a free spirit…I personally decided to put my faith in Jesus. I’ve read the Bible all the way through….and I believe it is the Truth…the Word of God. Read John 3:l6, Ephesians 2:8,9, Romans 3:23, and Romans 6:23 and tell me what you think. What do you think? Jesus claimed to be “the Lord”…He was either the “Lord”, a liar, or a lunatic. Tell me what you think and why. After all, none of us has died and come back to tell….so we all have our faith in something. What is your faith in? I’m eager to listen and discuss.

Something tells me Victoria wouldn’t be all that eager to “listen and discuss” with the likes o’ me. Because I’d say something like this:


Here’s what I think, Victoria. If you want to bring up the Lord, liar or lunatic talking point to “prove” the divinity of Jesus, my money’s on options two and three. You see, growing up with a bipolar mother and studying forensic psychology led me to draw certain conclusions about Jesus. And this, mind you, is back when I was still nominally still Christian. The parallels between Jesus’s behavior as described in the Bible and the behavior of mentally ill people today were too striking to ignore. So I think that Jesus was either batshit insane, or his biographers added a few embellishments that make him look like a megalomaniacal cult leader.

I think anyone who claims to have read the entire Bible and still proclaims it to be the literal Word of God has dramatic reading comprehension issues.

I think you’re exactly like those people who cleared out of my Comparative Religions class when our Jewish Buddhist professor explained that if you were there to learn about other religions so you can debunk them in favor of Christianity, you needed to drop the class, because we were going to treat all faith traditions with utmost respect. Half the class vanished between one day and the next. I seriously doubt that Florida Bible College taught Comparative Religion as anything other than a sermon on why everybody else is wrong and Christianity is right.

I think you sound precisely like all the other ignoramuses who attend Palin rallies and shout “terrorist,” “kill him!” and “communist.” I excerpted the ridiculous from your statement on Obama, but I refuse to let you spew the rest of that poisonous crap in my cantina. To have someone like you call someone like me “uneducated” would be massively insulting if it wasn’t so pathetically funny.

I think that blind believers like you give faith a bad name. Someone who runs around screaming that Obama is the antichrist has very little separating them from the Islamic fanatics who want to impose Sharia law on the world. Both sets want to force their literal interpretation of their scriptures on the entirety of humanity, and Christian extremeists are no less dangerous than Islamic ones.

I think your invitation to discuss what I believe is a lure meant to proselytize. I’ve known many like you, and what you mean by “I want to listen” is “I want to tell you why you’re wrong, and you’d better listen to me or you’ll burn in Hell.” There is no discussion here. There is no common ground to work from. When you gave up reason in favor of blind faith, you gave up any chance at useful dialogue.

And frankly, the idea of “really connecting” with someone who is so far gone that they believe every bit of right-wing bullshit that hits their email inbox nauseates me. So, Victoria: thanks for the offer, but I think I’ll pass.

I rather meant this post to be light-hearted and funny, but there’s nothing funny about people like this. People like this are a threat. And the most frightening thing is, one of them is the current Republicon vice presidential candidate. People like her are fighting for control of the remnants of the Republicon party. People like her, if they get into power, will see no problem with imposing their appalling version of Christianity on every single one of us, believer and non-believer alike. Because they think they have the Truth of God, they’ll have no compunctions about establishing a theocracy every bit as horrifying as the Taliban.

And they live in a fantasy world that could get us all killed. What do you think true believers like her are going to do if they believe the antichrist’s been elected President of the United States?

Obama’s going to win, barring unforseen catastrophe. Electing him is going to be one of the best things we’ve ever done. But we’re going to have to watch out for the frothing fundies who think he’s a sign of the end times. They’re going to be doing their best to ensure their prophecies are self-fulfilling.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

ABC has priorities:


ABC, which is the only one of the networks that won’t air Barack Obama’s unusual 30-minute special during prime-time tomorrow, has taken a bit of a swipe at Obama and told its viewers not to watch Obama’s appearance.

[snip]

“Wednesday, America, you have a choice,” ABC’s ad says. “Get political with the other networks, or enjoy the Emmy-winning drama full of surprising revelations: ABC’s `Pushing Daisies.”

At the mention of getting “political with the other networks” someone intercedes with an expression of disgust: “Please.”

ABC lost its chance to air Obama’s special tomorrow because it delayed too long in answering the Obama campaign’s request to buy the air time.


So. Let me get this straight. ABC thinks a fucking TV show is more important than Americans being politically informed. That’s responsible journalism, that is.

Maybe they should have a little chat with Republican Governor Charlie Frist, who understands what it means to do the right thing:


I have some friends and family in Florida — I’m a Miami native — and I’ve heard quite a few stories about extraordinary lines in order to vote. One guy I know waited in line for literally three hours — in the middle of a weekday, when one might assume the lines would be
shorter.

To his credit, the governor is actually going to help those who want to participate in the process.


Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday extended early voting hours across Florida to 12 hours a day.

The executive order comes after record early voting turnout has contributed to
long lines at polling sites.

Current Florida law allows for early voting to be conducted eight hours a day each weekday and for a total of eight hours during the weekends.

With Crist’s order, early voting sites will be open the rest of this week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. They will be open a total of 12 hours on Saturday and Sunday, the last day of early voting.

Immediately after signing the order, which declares a state of emergency, Crist told reporters, ”It’s not a political decision. It’s a people decision.”

Given the recent trend — most of the early Floridian voters have been Democrats — the decision doesn’t do McCain any favors, which makes Crist’s decision all the more honorable.


Or these call center workers in Indiana:


But this week, McCain’s anti-Obama attacks prompted a very different kind of backlash, when at least three dozen workers at an Indiana telemarketing call center chose to walk off the job rather than read a McCain campaign script.


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

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

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

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

A second worker at the call center confirmed the episode, saying that “at least 30″ workers had walked out after refusing to read the script.

“We were asked to read something saying [Obama and Democrats] were against protecting children from danger,” this worker said. “I wouldn’t do it. A lot of people left. They thought it was disgusting.”

For these call-center employees, they weren’t just demonstrating character by taking a stand, they were also making a personal sacrifice — by refusing to read McCain’s vile script, these workers gave up a day’s pay.


Those folks know what responsible citizenship is. And it’s not telling an audience of millions to blow off politics for pop culture.

Moving on to the “reaping what you sow” category, Faux News is discovering that their ill-informed viewers are too extreme even for them:


Today, Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher hit the campaign trail on behalf of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for the first time, joining former Bush OMB Director Rob Portman on a GOP bus
tour through Ohio. Stopping at a flag store, Wurzelbacher twice agreed with a questioner who said that “a vote for Obama is a vote for the death to Israel.”

Fox News brought Wurzelbacher on to discuss his claims, but despite host Shepard Smith’s best efforts, Wurzelbacher refused to explain why he agreed with the nonsensical claim:


SMITH: Joe, do you know Barack Obama’s positions on Israel?

WURZELBACHER: Listen, I know you wanna really get some answers on this one, I’m just not gonna help you out here, Shepherd. Let people go out and find, that’s what I’ve been telling people. […] Listen, you don’t want my opinion on foreign policy. I know just enough probably to be dangerous.

SMITH: Yeah, well that’s what I was kinda wondering.


[snip]

Wurzelbacher’s unfounded claims — backed by McCain — were clearly too much even for a Fox News host. Smith grew increasingly exasperated during the interview, and forcefully clarified that Obama is committed to a strong friendship with Israel. At the end, Smith called the whole
thing “frightening.”


Yes, Mr. Smith, it is indeed frightening. You and your network bear a lot of the responsibility for creating such ill-informed, over-the-top, fearmongering citizens. Your most favoritest candidate McCain has fed this crap to these people, and you’ve been happy to feed them more. Not pretty when it comes back at you, is it?

McCain is going to be learning this lesson to his sorrow here in the not-too-distant future. The whirlwind’s already begun:


The internal fight among McCain and Palin staffers got a little more intense over the weekend, when a McCain adviser told CNN, “She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone…. Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all
wisdom.”

Today, the blame game got even uglier. The Politico’s Mike Allen reports:


In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”


I suppose we’ll be hearing even more of this in the coming days, with McCain/Bush loyalists holding Palin responsible for practically all of the campaign’s difficulties.


And, as Steve goes on to point out: this could very well be true. But they, ultimately, are the ones who bear the responsibility for choosing this “whack job” in the first place.

When you create a frothing mob of dramatically misinformed fundies, when you have to rely on that base to elect you, and you have to choose a “whack job” to pander to them, what happens next is nobody’s fault but your own.

Not that the far-right Republicons will ever admit that. They’re too enamored of the blame game to start playing mea culpa any time soon.

The Lives They’ve Saved

A glass of the premium stuff is tipped heartily in the direction of the ATF this morning:

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

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

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

The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.

It can be easy, when police departments are used to crush peaceful demonstrators, when the entire Justice Department is rotting away from the inside due to partisan plants, and when the FBI is haring off after ACORN, among other stupid law enforcement tricks, to forget that these men and women perform a ridiculously hard job. It’s easy to forget the good they do on a daily basis.

The ATF just prevented two fuckheads from murdering a great many people. They’re out there keeping these violent hate groups from making bloody statements. With the frenzy that’s been whipped up lately, and the Republicons pulling resources away so they can go chase voter fraud chimeras, the pressure on agencies like the ATF has got to be insane.

So I want to extend my sincere appreciation to them, and to the Secret Service: all of the officers who work to ensure that Obama doesn’t end up a Kennedy, who bust their asses keeping our abundant supply of domestic terrorists from succeeding in their plots to murder and maim our citizens, and who walk that fine line between democracy and repression with due caution. Muchos gracias, mis amigos.

Salud.

HA HA HA HA! Have Fun, Dino!

This news from the WA governor race tickles me to death:

Here’s a break for Christine Gregoire, not to mention a blow for justice, finally. Via HorsesAss, Dino Rossi is going to be forced to testify, under oath, this Wednesday about his role in illegally coordinating with the Building Industries Association of Washington for campaign contributions.

You’ll remember, this is the same asscrunch who’s so shit-scared of being known as a Republicon that he’s opted to put “Prefers GOP Party” next to his name. Who knows? Maybe GOP really stands for Grand Old Prisoner, which is what I do hope he will someday become.

AZ Poll Porn

Yep. I’ve been viewing poll pornography on the intertoobz. Lots of it. And it’s so good.

Arizona’s just fucking fascinating, which is why I’ve been harping on it for the past three days. Here’s a state that should have been handed to McCain on a velvet pillow, without quibble, and yet poll after poll shows a devastating drop in McCain’s lead. This latest has got to feel like a punch to the gut:

The Arizona Capitol Times has news of an internal Republican poll showing McCain only leading Obama by three points in Arizona:

More disturbingly for Republicans, at least one internal Republican poll conducted toward the end of the week showed McCain clinging to a tiny 3-point lead. McCain is tied in Maricopa County, usually seen as a death knell for any statewide Republican candidate, but he makes up the difference with a strong performance in the northern part of the state.

and:

“This is shaping up to be the worst landslide for a Republican since (former Arizona Senator Barry) Goldwater. I realize the irony in that,” said one distraught Arizona Republican operative who asked for anonymity to speak frankly. “If I were to place a bet today, I’d say McCain loses” his home state.

And it keeps getting better:

Still, other Republican strategists with ties to Arizona said, on condition that their names not be used, that there was reason for concern.

Internal Democratic polls in individual congressional districts in Arizona show McCain dramatically underperforming President Bush’s 2004 numbers.

Dramatically as in double-digits, in many cases. District by district, the news for McCain is nothing but bad. And I lurves bad. Bad is good.

Now might be an excellent time, then, to give Shadegg a sharp kick in the nads:

I’ve been obsessed with this race for two reasons: 1) John Shadegg is the GOP’s topmost conservative in the House, the guy conservative bloggers and publications endorsed for House Minority leader last year, the guy who helped orchestrate the “drill, baby, drill” theatrics in the empty House chamber a few months ago, while Congress was in recess. If you want to decapitate the Republican leadership, he’s our best target in the House. And 2) this was John McCain’s old House seat. I want to rub salt in their wounds.

The latest poll gives a ten-point lead to Shadegg, but early voting totals give a ten-point lead to Lord. Shadegg also just had a supremely embarrassing week. So, you know, if you’re interested in booting out an obnoxious prick of a Republicon and installing a brilliant Dem instead, you could toss a few bucks Lord’s way. He actually does have a chance of winning this thing.

I’ll make a pact with you: if Arizona goes blue, I’ll put up some homemade poll porn. You can all vote on some crazy-ass thing you can make Dana do in celebration of her home state planting a boot right up McCain’s arse. Sound good?

Curses! Tagged Again!

Reader N.B. shares some eerie similarities with my dear friend and co-blogger N.P. The initials, of course, stand out. Both write wonderful blogs: N.P at The Coffee-Stained Writer and N.B. at Secundum Artem. And both seem to take perverse pleasure in tagging me for memes so they can watch me scream.

This, with the election heating up, and my every waking moment spent obsessing over tight races all over the country.

But what the hell. It gives me a prime opportunity to tackle N.P. with a meme instead of being the one on the bottom of the dog pile. And N.B. is a fellow tuxedo cat slave, not to mention having exquisite taste in potty-mouthed political blogs. So why the fuck not?


Here are the rules for the game.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Right, then. Let’s have a rummage around the old brainpan.

Random bit numero uno: I once came within spitting distance of being certified as a pharmacy worker. I threw that over for a brief career in the credit card industry because I couldn’t survive a training class in which the majority of our time was spent watching the instructor stare hopelessly at his computer screen, wondering what he was supposed to be teaching next.

Random bit numero dos: The tuxedo cat who owns me has a disconcerting habit of startling herself awake, meowing at me, and then biting me gently on an exposed limb before jumping off the bed. I have no idea why.

Random bit numero tres: I have a bust of Alexander the Great by my bedroom door. Alexander the Great, in fact, is one of my favorite people of all time. Despite being a conquerer, he was actually an astonishingly nice guy. This is how nice he is: as he lay dying, he was asked when he wanted his subordinates to perform his funeral rites. “When you are happy,” he said. Thinking of his people to the last.

Random bit numero quatro: I used to be an enormous Dukes of Hazzard fan. My bike was named The General Lady. Somehow that squared with my obsession with Knight Rider, which led to me attempting to persuade my mother to buy me a Trans Am when I was eight years old. She was unswayed by my passionate logic that it would be only another eight years before I could drive it. (I did end up getting a Firebird from that era when I was seventeen, so it all worked out.)

Random bit numero cinco: Greatest moment in smoking evah: Years ago, I was having a quiet smoke out in front of the mall where I worked when a woman stumped up and launched into a lecture. “You shouldn’t smoke. That’s going to kill you someday.” I took the cigarette from my mouth, looked at her somberly, and said, “Yes, ma’am, I know. It’s called population control.” Her jaw slammed into the sidewalk, and she did about thirty seconds of a beached salmon impression before the guy who was with her managed to stop laughing long enough to haul her away. Priceless, I tell you.

Random bit numero seis: I used to hate J.R.R. Tolkien, politics, and alcohol. Now I’m a Lord of the Rings fanatic with a political blog who adores tequila and wine. Funny ol’ world, innit?

I do hereby annoint N.P at The Coffee-Stained Writer as my successor. I do not, as a matter of policy, foist these things on others, and so it’s up to the rest of you to annoint yourselves. If any of you tackle this meme, let me know in comments, and we’ll have a special linkfest of a post a bit later on.

Enjoy!

Happy Hour Discurso

Today’s opining on the public discourse.

Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska goes down:


Today, a federal jury found Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) guilty on all seven counts of making false statements on his financial disclosure regarding “$250,000 in home renovations and other gifts he received from an oil contractor.” According to the AP, Stevens “faces up to five years in prison on each count, but under federal sentencing guidelines, he would likely receive much less prison time, if any.”


Looks like we may just be picking ourselves up another Senate seat:


Stevens’ initially took a huge dive in the polls after his indictment over the Summer, falling behind Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich (D) by about 20 points. As the controversy settled down and Stevens vowed to beat the charges at trial, his numbers began inching up again — and a poll last week from local pollster Ivan Moore put him behind Begich by
only one point.

But with Stevens now officially a convicted felon, any good will he built up with voters will probably be falling away very quickly. Over the next eight days, voters are likely to swing heavily to Begich in a state that hasn’t elected a Dem to federal office since 1974. And this also puts the Democrats one step closer to that magic number of 60 seats.


Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Of course, Sarah Palin’s laying the blame for Stevens’ rampant corruption on Big Oil, and she’s just sure that Stevens has learned his lesson, so no need to vote the fucker out on his ear:


Hotline reports that Sarah Palin issued a statement about the guilty decision in the Ted Stevens corruption case:


Thanks for your patience there. It’s a sad day for Alaska, and a sad day for Senator Stevens and his family. The verdict shines a light though on the corrupting influence of the big oil service company up there in Alaska that was allowed to control too much of our state. And that control was part of the culture of corruption that I was elected to fight. And that fight must always move forward regardless of party affiliation or seniority or even past service. And as governor of the state of Alaska, I’ll carefully monitor now the situation, and I’ll take any appropriate action as needed. In the meantime, I do ask that the people of Alaska join me in respecting the workings of our judicial system, and I’m confident that Senator Stevens, from this point on, will do the right thing for the state of Alaska.


Riiiight. Thanks anyway, but I think the people of Alaska will do the right thing for the state of Alaska and run that bastard out of office.

I don’t think we need trust the judgement of a woman who can’t even survive a five-minute chat with the press:


Earlier this month, reporters were told they could attend a Sarah Palin rally, but all journalists would be prohibited from talking to voters who attended the event. A week later, Palin aides told an NBC affiliate in Maine that she’s willing to be part of an interview, but only if the McCain campaign could choose the reporter asking the questions.

Taking this bizarre attitude one step further, Palin offered a CBS affiliate in Des Moines five minutes for an interview. Reporter
Cynthia Fodor
explained the catch: “[W]e had to submit which topics we wanted to discuss ahead of time which is not standard procedure.”

Think about that for a second — Sarah Palin was afraid she couldn’t get through a five-minute interview with a local television station without getting a few hints first.

[snip]

For what it’s worth, the station agreed to Palin’s demands and gave her the topics in advance. Not surprisingly, the interview was dull, and featured Palin rattling off a series of talking points.


Unless she’s talking about clothes, she has to have a script. How fucking pathetic is this?

The McCain campaign, lagging badly in the polls, without a single good idea between them, and running out of slime to hurl, has been forced to resort to screams of “Marxist!” in a desperate attempt to derail Obama. Methinks they should’ve been a little more careful about what accusations they decided to push:

In recent days, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK), has begun referring to Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) as “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” referring to his proposed tax plan that would provide greater tax relief for lower income individuals than those with higher incomes. Obama recently explained his support for progressive taxation, saying, “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Palin contends that Obama’s characterization of his tax plan revealed him to be a “socialist” who wants to “redistribute” American wealth. Palin argues that the Obama tax plan “discourages productivity,” will “punish hardwork,” and will “stifle the entrepreneurial spirit.”

[snip]

But Palin’s criticisms of Obama’s “spread the wealth” remarks are ironic, as she recently characterized Alaska’s tax code in a very similar way. Just last month, in an interview with Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker, Palin explained the windfall profits tax that she imposed on the oil industry in Alaska as a mechanism for ensuring that Alaskans “share in the wealth” generated by oil companies:


And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, here it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs. … It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.


In fact, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) program, which
manages the
redistribution of oil wealth in Alaska, brings in so much money that the state needs no income or sales tax. In addition, this year ACES will provide every Alaskan with a check for an estimated $3,200.


Collective ownership, sharing the wealth…. Soooo, Sarah… who’s a Marxist, again?

Can the news get any worse for McPalin’s failin’ campaign? Oh, indeed it can:


A new Suffolk poll of Florida, which shows Barack Obama ahead 49%-44%, has another statistic that could affect the outcome on Election Day: Among early voters, Obama is ahead by a 60%-40% margin.

Early voting has become a big thing in Florida, and current statistics show that enough early votes have already been cast to equal more than a quarter of the total votes that were cast in 2004. So Obama has already banked a good lead in a major swing state, if this poll is accurate.


Daaamn. No wonder some Rethuglican sympathizers are attempting to lie Dems out of voting:


A phony flier, purporting to be from the Virginia Board of Elections, is circulating in the African-American-heavy Hampton Roads region of the state, falsely informing people that, because of expected high turnout,
Democrats should vote on November 5th.

The election is November 4th.

State election officials informed the local press of the flier, which was posted on the website of The Virginian-Pilot, and is designed to look like an official announcement. It even uses images of the state board logo and the state seal, both of which are available online.


Nice try, whoever did this. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll end up in a cell with Sen. Stevens.