barack obama

Barack Obama’s 30 Minute Infomercial

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Rasmussen calls it for Barack 364-174 SOURCE

FACT CHECK flags new right wing PAC SOURCE

Barack on John Stewart Last Night

Barack with Bill Clinton

Part Two

Barack Obama’s 30 Minute Infomercial SOURCE

All the reason you need for this superb 30 minute look into the heart of the Obama effort, to change the lot of ordinary people not by magic but by common, reasoned effort, is found in the disgusting death rattle of the McCain campaign, a feast of negativism. This is exactly what this campaign has always been about. Moving beyond the Lee Atwater legacy, the impotence of divided government, the bilious lies ground out by the Tucker Bounds’s and read from Crystal City cue cards by the hapless candidate. The following video is moving, truthful and persuasive.

The McCain effort is choking on its transparent incoherence, flailing and lies.

McCain Is Losing Core Groups SOURCE

Consider, instead, three recent polls in the context of the Bush years. Obama and McCain are now in a “statistical dead heat” among born-again evangelicals, those Rovian foot soldiers of two successful Bush elections, according to a recent survey; and the same seems to be true in Sarah Palin’s “real America,” those rural and small town areas she’s praised to the skies. According to a poll commissioned by the Center for Rural Strategies, in those areas which Bush won in 2004 by 53%-41%, Obama now holds a statistically insignificant one point lead. To complete this little trifecta, Gallup has just released a poll showing that Jews are now likely to vote for Obama by a more than 3 to 1 majority (74% to 22%).

And Middle America Has Changed SOURCE

What Is left Is a Sad and Dangerous Core SOURCE

Click the source for a sequence of chilling photos taken at McCain-Palin rallies in PA yesterday. Resentment incarnate, stoked by the Crystal City gang.

Meanwhile Palin faces a NEW ethics complaint. SOURCE

But A Simple Realization Trumps The McCain Effort SOURCE

Call me naive, but I think white males, startled by job cuts and the devastation wreaked upon their retirement savings, are finally getting the point: Someone’s got to pay for this mess, and better those who got rich off the stock market theft than the rest of us.

Can you imagine the uproar now if the McCain-Bush plan to privatize Social Security by linking it to stock purchases had become law? And have you noticed that the Wall Street crooks are not using the bailout money to ease credit but rather to line their golden parachutes? They know how to take care of their retirement.

I don’t think McCain gets that the rest of us could use a bit more lift from the government safety net. That’s the same federal support that GM CEO Rick Wagoner asked about when he went, hat in hand, to Washington on Monday to lobby for a $10-billion gift to keep his company out of bankruptcy. Or is the CEO of GM just another tax-and-spend socialist?

As Barack Said Last Night, We Have A Simple Remedy SOURCE

In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up.

In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future.

In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo.

In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history.

That’s what’s at stake. That’s what we’re fighting for. And if in this last week, you will knock on some doors for me, and make some calls for me, and talk to your neighbors, and convince your friends; if you will stand with me, and fight with me, and give me your vote, then I promise you this – we will not just win Florida, we will not just win this election, but together, we will change this country and we will change the world.

A blog comment from me. SOURCE

October 30th, 2008 at 8:30 am

Niebuhr himself regarded the mainline churches as trivial said little to arrest their decline in influence.

Niebuhr’s neo-orthodoxy failed to articulate a basis for effective Christian action in a polarized and corrupt social and political environment. It led to a sort of stasis.

Reinhold’s brother H. R. Niebuhr said, astutely in 1960, that both liberalism and neo-orthoxy were at an end. He was right. Creedal religion is at an end now.

4. Barack Obama has brilliantly comprehended the potential role of churches in a swiftly secularizing society and may give them a new lease on life and a new theological self-understanding.

5. Niebuhr’s Hamletlike viewpoint has only tangental relevance to the struggles of the last four or five decades.

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John McCain’s Incoherence –Weapon or Nemesis?

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Bush is trying to suppress the vote in Ohio and nobody is paying any attention. SOURCE

Finally Barack Addresses An Issue That Should Be on Every Voter’s Mind

Never have squiggles so delighted me. Look at the Gallup widget at the base of the page. You will see that Barack squiggled up and McCain squiggled down. While everyone else is saying this contest is close and so forth, I say that Barack is winning while the MSM bloviates.

How TV Performed Election Night 2000 — HT 538 SOURCE

ABC rolls up sleeves and takes prevaricating Palin to school SOURCE

Shortcut to the truth:

From what I’ve seen so far, The Beast’s $18 million launch is already waterlogged. I predict they’ll soon do over their lackluster (and intermittently unusable) home page. SOURCE

Zen Obama snapshots. SOURCE

A careful analysis of the McCain medical plan SOURCE

On the face of it, “means-testing” Medicare sounds so reasonable. By contrast, reforming Medicare to raise quality and contain costs would be a tough job. As I’ve discussed in the past, if done right, Medicare reform could serve as a model for national health care reform that included a public sector plan open to everyone. This is just what conservatives fear.

It would be so much easier, they say, to just raise co-pays on more affluent seniors–until finally Medicare becomes a model for nothing. At that point, those who oppose “Medicare for All” can breathe a sigh of relief.

Christian Science Monitor will lead way to total collapse of paper newspapers IMO. I hope they all go on Kindle. 🙂 SOURCE

Drudge on the way down. Can Limbaugh be far behind? (Say I am dreaming, I don’t mind.) SOURCE + ANCILLARY

Here’s hoping Pew is right. SOURCE

Barack’s 30 Minutes of Prime Time — A Preview SOURCE

A First Hand Look at Early Voting in Florida SOURCE

John McCain’s Incoherence –Weapon or Nemesis? SOURCE

Merely because John McCain is nonsensical and incoherent, this should be no reason for complacency. Here is a clear, coherent articulation of the Obama tax results for the middle class. Click to enlarge.

Every rational being who has followed the campaign knows that Obama is not into taxing the middle class. But does that stop McCain? It energizes him. Find a lie to tell about Obama and coherence be damned. Fold it into a passionate, incoherent stump speech and the applause evokes one of those sickly smiles.

For McCain incoherence may be a weapon. If he can depend on dumbing down of both media and public, he just might find a way.

For those of us who see Barack Obama as a clear and persuasive choice, we need to make incoherence McCain’s nemesis.

We need to make incoherence into an advantage for the Obama Campaign.


By lifting McCain’s incoherence to the skies. By suggesting that incoherence describes the likely behavior of a President John McCain.

What is incoherence?

Incoherence is a lack of clarity, cconsistency, cohesion and organization. Incoherence is, in McCain, unintelligible nonsense, distortion and outright lying. Coherence is logical progression, hanging together, one thing following another. Incoherence is an absence of logic, a falling apart, no progression at all.

Incoherence is NOT want we want in the White House. Not because incoherence is necessarily a bad weapon in a conflict, but because, in a John McCain, it is merely one of the methods by which his real ineffectiveness is manifested.

McCain the incoherent will also be McCain the ineffective, whose commitment to freeze spending and enact a series of incoherent policies will muddy up government for another four years, while the nation goes down the tubes.

We have no further time for this.

Next Tuesday we can relegate incoherence to the elite environs of Sedona and wherever else McCain wishes to reside. Just as long as it is not 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Here are a few scattered indications of agreement regarding the incoherence of John McCain. Most see it as a nemesis. Let us hope the American people do as well.

McCain’s Incoherence on Global Warming SOURCE

McCain’s support for nuclear subsidies contradicts his claim that he opposes all subsidies.

It’s also politically incoherent. McCain’s support for doing something on global warming was his best bet for making the claim that he is not like President Bush. Now he risks throwing that away.

Incoherence & Irrelevance SOURCE

As McCain continues to fade into incoherence and irrelevance, the last hope is that he’ll come up with some new game-changing stunt to match his initial pick of Palin or his ill-fated campaign “suspension.” Until Thursday night, more than a few Republicans were fantasizing that his final Hail Mary pass would be to ditch Palin so she can “spend more time” with her ever-growing family. But the debate reminded Republicans once again that it’s Palin, not McCain, who is their last hope for victory.

McCain’s Incoherence SOURCE

If you really think about it, McCain seems to be saying: the “cause greater than yourself” that calls us all to service is “you.”

Of course, McCain hopes that we don’t think about it. We might be reminded of Obama’s warning that in the Republican “ownership society” we are all on our own.

Built on fraudulent premises, McCain’s speech is not like a cup cake without sprinkles or a pie without ice cream.

It’s like sugar coating on a poison pill.

The Utter Incoherence of McCain’s Messages SOURCE

The McCain camp’s recent question “Who is Barack Obama?” is apt, oddly, because the McCain campaign could never decide for itself what the answer was. […] The indiscipline of the message has been a direct reflection of McCain himself — a man whose scatterbrained approach to the world was in full effect last night. He needed a cannon, a single, powerful sustained assault on Obama. Instead, he fired birdshot haphazardly, hitting himself in the foot as often as he stung his opponent.

McCain campaign notable mostly for its incoherence SOURCE

McCain makes much of wanting to get rid of congressional earmarks; everybody wants to get rid of earmarks, except the one that benefits my community or my industry. He proposes an across-the-board spending freeze — during a recession? — and then, in the next breath, proposes new spending. He overestimates the voters’ tolerance for incoherence.

Joe Klein on McCain’s Incoherence SOURCE

It seems to me McCain has to make a choice: reformer or deregulator. Reform means the restoration of a serious, activist regulatory presence–in other words, more government. Deregulation means more of what we’re seeing this week on Wall Street, the excesses that occur when government steps away from its responsibility as referee and guarantor of a fair playing field.

As in recent weeks, McCain has made a bet on the stupidity of the American people–he thinks he can have it both ways. The drift away from him in the polls may be a sign that the public says he can’t.

Althouse footnote SOURCE

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Barack Obama’s Arizona Operation Rocks

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Gallup contraction causes me concern. It says we need a response to the redistributionist argument — yes it is smoke and mirrors, but there is still room to directly refute GOP distortions. I assume Barack’s half hour TV program tomorrow will widen things. Even though I still favor my own wildly optimistic map at the bottom of the page, I take as the moral that every last vote needs to be cast to ensure the victory we have sought these many, many months. My only other counsel is that Barack should smile more.Yesterday’s closing argument was excellent, but SOMBER.

A McCain Chappaquiddick? SOURCE

PUMA like sentiments on Tina Brown’s Daily Beast. SOURCE

Veteran pollster says we will have a landslide (political earthquake) come 4 Nov. SOURCE

Obama’s Safety — Connecting The Dots SOURCE + AP ACCOUNT

Congressman Wolf has a tried and true method of suppressing questioners in Virginia. Hit them with canes and pin them to the wall. Text and video. Times are tough all over. SOURCE Donate to his opponent, Judy Feder. SOURCE Race a tossup. SOURCE

WINGNUTS are trying to turn an abstruse conservative legal point that Barack Obama made in a 2000 radio interview into a cause celebre, an eleventh hour stratagem that will fail. I can see the Chicago adsmiths at work already and expect a 30 second riposte to be grinding the fading Drudge-Limbaugh crowd into the outer reaches of Reductio Ad Absurdum Land. Look for it today or tomorrow.

But Sunstein argued that in the context of a long, legalistic interview, the words referred to the narrower forms of redistribution — education, legal filing fees, legal representation, and other issues — that had been discussed in the case Obama cited and in discussions around it.

A University of Chicago law professor who appeared on the 2001 WBEZ program with Obama, and who also supports him, Dennis Hutchinson, described the interview as “not a bombshell.”

“He’s saying you don’t achieve stable social change through judicial activism,” Hutchinson said. As for ‘redistribution of wealth,’ “that’s what a progressive tax system does,” he said. SOURCE

Much more, from a conservative legal perspective, here: SOURCE

In Florida, some McCain paid volunteers are actually for Obama. SOURCE

Battleground Cheat Sheet SOURCE

Barack Obama’s Arizona Operation Rocks

Late news: Arizonans who will not vote for McCain and why. SOURCE

A revealing glimpse into the sad reality for John McCain in his home state. The main reason the state’s conservatives do not like him is the Lou Dobbs reason. McCain’s position on immigration is sane. This accounts partially for the lackluster campaign McCain is running around the state.

In happy contrast, the Obama effort in Arizona is hopping.

The contrast is striking. The McCain campaign office is devoid of people, but its walls are lined with stacks of unsold yard signs. Meanwhile, the Obama office is filled with volunteers, but signs fly out of the door almost as fast as they arrive. Obama’s Phoenix office was able to fill their waiting list for yard signs and had some leftover stock. Cieslak says, though, that the signs are a high-demand item. They are selling them for $8 on a “first come, first serve basis,” and they expect them to be gone by the time this article is published.

This pattern is true throughout the state. Although Tucson is a blue dot in a sea of Arizona red, we expected the McCain office to be full of home state volunteers working for Arizona’s favorite son, but the McCain office in Tucson has also been empty.

The Tucson Democratic office, on the other hand, is filled with bustling volunteers chatting on the phone with voters, inputting data, making coffee and snacks in the kitchen area, and organizing campaign literature in the back of the office. The phone rings non-stop. Because the office is located on a busy corner, there is also a constant stream of walk-in visitors purchasing campaign materials or volunteering for the campaign. SOURCE

And It’s Close in Arizona SOURCE

AZ: McCain 44, Obama 40 (Myers/Grove-D-10/23-24)

Myers Research (D) and Grove Insight (D) for Project New West
10/23-25/08, 600 likely voters, MoE +/- 4

McCain 44, Obama 40, Nader 3, Barr 2


AZ: McCain 44, Obama 42 (Zimmerman & Associates)

Zimmerman & Associates
Survey dates and sample size unknown.

The Arizona Daily Star reports today:

A statewide poll taken by Tucson-based Democratic pollsters Carol and Pete Zimmerman two weeks out from the election suggests McCain’s lead over Obama falls within the margin of error: 43.5 percent to 41.5 percent, with 10 percent of likely Arizona voters undecided.

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Barack Obama’s Closing Argument — Full Text

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Politico and Drudge lose points for their flub on Ashley Todd. The police did much better. SOURCE

McCain’s applause line bluster is incoherent and disconnected and pitiful. You can see it in the faces of his closest supporters.

Prop 8 — an ugly fight with a Blackwater connection SOURCE

The day after McCain warmly embraces her, Palin becomes ever more a problem for her tutors. Lord, spare us from another Palin political season. Lord, spare us from the voice of Elizabeth Hassle-whatever. SOURCE

An unsung reason for a possible Barack blowout might be a national revulsion against the 2000-syndrome — a massive desire to get an interminable process over and done. This could result in people MAKING SURE the favored candidate wins. Making sure we do not have a Florida which comes down to litigation. Making sure the margin of victory makes protests immaterial. Against such an impulse, based simply on a sort of voter wisdom that does not express itself in polls — as I doubt polls have even asked if this is a factor — the tides of opposition would be powerless.

Another point — the Democratic steamroller argument that McCain belatedly summons up is absurd. Barack has expressed a consistent intention to move beyond divisive politics. His solutions are majoritarian, but centrist. This does not mean he is not a progressive. It means the nation is much more progressive than most understand. It is all in how you frame things.

Gretchen Morgenson Takes the Scab off of Wall Street SOURCE

And David Corn offers some backstory. SOURCE

In other words, whoops—there goes decades of Ayn Rand down the drain.

Democrats on the committee made Greenspan eat ideological crow. And after the hearing, Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein of California released letters Greenspan had written to legislators in 2002 and 2003 that now cast the former chief banker as out of touch with financial reality.

Back then, Feinstein was pushing for regulating financial instruments known as derivatives—particularly those called swaps. In 2000, Republican Senator Phil Gramm, then the chairman of the Senate banking committee, had used a sly legislative maneuver to pass a bill keeping swaps free from federal regulation. (Lobbyists for financial firms had helped to write the bill.) The swaps market subsequently exploded, as financial firms bought and sold swaps as insurance to cover their trading in subprime securities and other freewheeling financial products. In a nutshell: the rise of unregulated swaps enabled the growth of the shaky subprime securities at the heart of the current financial crisis. Greenspan was an ardent supporter of keeping swaps virtually unregulated.

In 2001, Enron, having gone crazy with energy derivatives, collapsed—after the firm had manipulated the California electricity market, costing residents of Feinstein’s states billions of dollars. Following that fiasco, Feinstein decided the derivatives market needed to be reined in. As The Wall Street Journal reported in 2004, “When she telephoned Mr. Greenspan for support, he declined, telling her the proposal threatened the multitrillion dollar derivatives industry, which he considers an important stabilizing force that diffuses financial risk.”

Parrying AKA Telling the Truth

Barack Obama’s Closing Argument

The closing argument will be given later today in Canton, Ohio. And I will publish it here.

In essence, Barack’s advantage over McCain has always been that he had an argument, that it was intelligent and that it was consistent. McCain has been over the map enough to convince many voters and almost all newspapers that he is not up to managing the complexities of our governing. This is apart from differences in demeanor, where Barack has proved the clear winner.

When it comes to a closing argument:

What is most impressive about Barack is his sure-footedness on the economy and Iraq. He pinned Iraq from the gitgo and he articulated a tax message that was massively sensible, maintaining current income and making the actual outlays fairer. My anticipation is that Barack will take into consideration some of the hanging issues out there and wrap up an argument that has been made from the cold days of Springfield to the the closing days of this campaign. Since there is a Clintonian element in his approach, it will also be appropriate for Barack to appear with Bill Clinton in Florida on Wednesday.

The economic notes posted above are consistent with the conviction that Barack should steer clear of advisers who were taken in by, or complicit in, the rape of regulation of the last decade. Those who now call the economic crisis a once-in-a-100-year tsunami have been taken in big time. Such blind folk, as F. Scott Fitzgerald said of the rich, are not like us.

Hopefully we will get through this last week with no major drama and wrap this thing up well next Tuesday.

My consistent anticipation has been that Barack will win more Democrats than McCain will win Republicans and that independents will do no worse than split. Because of the massive differential in party membership, the race has always been Barack’s to lose.

The time when it was McCain’s to win is over and done.

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama (as prepared for delivery)
“One Week” Closing Argument Speech
Monday, October 27th, 2008
Canton, Ohio
One week.

After decades of broken politics in Washington, eight years of failed policies from George Bush, and twenty-one months of a campaign that has taken us from the rocky coast of Maine to the sunshine of California, we are one week away from change in America.

In one week, you can turn the page on policies that have put the greed and irresponsibility of Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street.

In one week, you can choose policies that invest in our middle-class, create new jobs, and grow this economy from the bottom-up so that everyone has a chance to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the janitor; from the factory owner to the men and women who work on its floor.

In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope.

In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need.
Read more…

We began this journey in the depths of winter nearly two years ago, on the steps of the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois. Back then, we didn’t have much money or many endorsements. We weren’t given much of a chance by the polls or the pundits, and we knew how steep our climb would be.

But I also knew this. I knew that the size of our challenges had outgrown the smallness of our politics. I believed that Democrats and Republicans and Americans of every political stripe were hungry for new ideas, new leadership, and a new kind of politics – one that favors common sense over ideology; one that focuses on those values and ideals we hold in common as Americans.

Most of all, I believed in your ability to make change happen. I knew that the American people were a decent, generous people who are willing to work hard and sacrifice for future generations. And I was convinced that when we come together, our voices are more powerful than the most entrenched lobbyists, or the most vicious political attacks, or the full force of a status quo in Washington that wants to keep things just the way they are.

Twenty-one months later, my faith in the American people has been vindicated. That’s how we’ve come so far and so close – because of you. That’s how we’ll change this country – with your help. And that’s why we can’t afford to slow down, sit back, or let up for one day, one minute, or one second in this last week. Not now. Not when so much is at stake.

We are in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 760,000 workers have lost their jobs this year. Businesses and families can’t get credit. Home values are falling. Pensions are disappearing. Wages are lower than they’ve been in a decade, at a time when the cost of health care and college have never been higher. It’s getting harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month.

At a moment like this, the last thing we can afford is four more years of the tired, old theory that says we should give more to billionaires and big corporations and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. The last thing we can afford is four more years where no one in Washington is watching anyone on Wall Street because politicians and lobbyists killed common-sense regulations. Those are the theories that got us into this mess. They haven’t worked, and it’s time for change. That’s why I’m running for President of the United States.

Now, Senator McCain has served this country honorably. And he can point to a few moments over the past eight years where he has broken from George Bush – on torture, for example. He deserves credit for that. But when it comes to the economy – when it comes to the central issue of this election – the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with this President every step of the way. Voting for the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that he once opposed. Voting for the Bush budgets that spent us into debt. Calling for less regulation twenty-one times just this year. Those are the facts.

And now, after twenty-one months and three debates, Senator McCain still has not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he’d do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy. Senator McCain says that we can’t spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change, but you understand that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have failed us for the last eight years.

It’s not change when John McCain wants to give a $700,000 tax cut to the average Fortune 500 CEO. It’s not change when he wants to give $200 billion to the biggest corporations or $4 billion to the oil companies or $300 billion to the same Wall Street banks that got us into this mess. It’s not change when he comes up with a tax plan that doesn’t give a penny of relief to more than 100 million middle-class Americans. That’s not change.

Look – we’ve tried it John McCain’s way. We’ve tried it George Bush’s way. Deep down, Senator McCain knows that, which is why his campaign said that “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose.” That’s why he’s spending these last weeks calling me every name in the book. Because that’s how you play the game in Washington. If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, you distort those ideas and maybe make some up. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make a big election about small things.

Ohio, we are here to say “Not this time. Not this year. Not when so much is at stake.” Senator McCain might be worried about losing an election, but I’m worried about Americans who are losing their homes, and their jobs, and their life savings. I can take one more week of John McCain’s attacks, but this country can’t take four more years of the same old politics and the same failed policies. It’s time for something new.

The question in this election is not “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” We know the answer to that. The real question is, “Will this country be better off four years from now?”

I know these are difficult times for America. But I also know that we have faced difficult times before. The American story has never been about things coming easy – it’s been about rising to the moment when the moment was hard. It’s about seeing the highest mountaintop from the deepest of valleys. It’s about rejecting fear and division for unity of purpose. That’s how we’ve overcome war and depression. That’s how we’ve won great struggles for civil rights and women’s rights and worker’s rights. And that’s how we’ll emerge from this crisis stronger and more prosperous than we were before – as one nation; as one people.

Remember, we still have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We’re still home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and our research facilities. So there’s no reason we can’t make this century another American century. We just need a new direction. We need a new politics.

Now, I don’t believe that government can or should try to solve all our problems. I know you don’t either. But I do believe that government should do that which we cannot do for ourselves – protect us from harm and provide a decent education for our children; invest in new roads and new science and technology. It should reward drive and innovation and growth in the free market, but it should also make sure businesses live up to their responsibility to create American jobs, and look out for American workers, and play by the rules of the road. It should ensure a shot at success not only for those with money and power and influence, but for every single American who’s willing to work. That’s how we create not just more millionaires, but more middle-class families. That’s how we make sure businesses have customers that can afford their products and services. That’s how we’ve always grown the American economy – from the bottom-up. John McCain calls this socialism. I call it opportunity, and there is nothing more American than that.

Understand, if we want get through this crisis, we need to get beyond the old ideological debates and divides between left and right. We don’t need bigger government or smaller government. We need a better government – a more competent government – a government that upholds the values we hold in common as Americans.

We don’t have to choose between allowing our financial system to collapse and spending billions of taxpayer dollars to bail out Wall Street banks. As President, I will ensure that the financial rescue plan helps stop foreclosures and protects your money instead of enriching CEOs. And I will put in place the common-sense regulations I’ve been calling for throughout this campaign so that Wall Street can never cause a crisis like this again. That’s the change we need.

The choice in this election isn’t between tax cuts and no tax cuts. It’s about whether you believe we should only reward wealth, or whether we should also reward the work and workers who create it. I will give a tax break to 95% of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paychecks every week. I’ll eliminate income taxes for seniors making under $50,000 and give homeowners and working parents more of a break. And I’ll help pay for this by asking the folks who are making more than $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rate they were paying in the 1990s. No matter what Senator McCain may claim, here are the facts – if you make under $250,000, you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime – not your income taxes, not your payroll taxes, not your capital gains taxes. Nothing. Because the last thing we should do in this economy is raise taxes on the middle-class.

When it comes to jobs, the choice in this election is not between putting up a wall around America or allowing every job to disappear overseas. The truth is, we won’t be able to bring back every job that we’ve lost, but that doesn’t mean we should follow John McCain’s plan to keep giving tax breaks to corporations that send American jobs overseas. I will end those breaks as President, and I will give American businesses a $3,000 tax credit for every job they create right here in the United States of America. I’ll eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-up companies that are the engine of job creation in this country. We’ll create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, and schools, and by laying broadband lines to reach every corner of the country. And I will invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade – jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced; jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and a new electricity grid; jobs building the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow, not in Japan or South Korea but here in the United States of America; jobs that will help us eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in ten years and help save the planet in the bargain. That’s how America can lead again.

When it comes to health care, we don’t have to choose between a government-run health care system and the unaffordable one we have now. If you already have health insurance, the only thing that will change under my plan is that we will lower premiums. If you don’t have health insurance, you’ll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that Members of Congress get for themselves. We’ll invest in preventative care and new technology to finally lower the cost of health care for families, businesses, and the entire economy. And as someone who watched his own mother spend the final months of her life arguing with insurance companies because they claimed her cancer was a pre-existing condition and didn’t want to pay for treatment, I will stop insurance companies from discriminating against those who are sick and need care most.

When it comes to giving every child a world-class education so they can compete in this global economy for the jobs of the 21st century, the choice is not between more money and more reform – because our schools need both. As President, I will invest in early childhood education, recruit an army of new teachers, pay them more, and give them more support. But I will also demand higher standards and more accountability from our teachers and our schools. And I will make a deal with every American who has the drive and the will but not the money to go to college: if you commit to serving your community or your country, we will make sure you can afford your tuition. You invest in America, America will invest in you, and together, we will move this country forward.

And when it comes to keeping this country safe, we don’t have to choose between retreating from the world and fighting a war without end in Iraq. It’s time to stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq while the Iraqi government sits on a huge surplus. As President, I will end this war by asking the Iraqi government to step up, and finally finish the fight against bin Laden and the al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm’s way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home. I will build new partnerships to defeat the threats of the 21st century, and I will restore our moral standing, so that America is once again that last, best hope for all who are called to the cause of freedom, who long for lives of peace, and who yearn for a better future.

I won’t stand here and pretend that any of this will be easy – especially now. The cost of this economic crisis, and the cost of the war in Iraq, means that Washington will have to tighten its belt and put off spending on things we can afford to do without. On this, there is no other choice. As President, I will go through the federal budget, line-by-line, ending programs that we don’t need and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.

But as I’ve said from the day we began this journey all those months ago, the change we need isn’t just about new programs and policies. It’s about a new politics – a politics that calls on our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts; one that reminds us of the obligations we have to ourselves and one another.

Part of the reason this economic crisis occurred is because we have been living through an era of profound irresponsibility. On Wall Street, easy money and an ethic of “what’s good for me is good enough” blinded greedy executives to the danger in the decisions they were making. On Main Street, lenders tricked people into buying homes they couldn’t afford. Some folks knew they couldn’t afford those houses and bought them anyway. In Washington, politicians spent money they didn’t have and allowed lobbyists to set the agenda. They scored political points instead of solving our problems, and even after the greatest attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, all we were asked to do by our President was to go out and shop.

That is why what we have lost in these last eight years cannot be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone. What has also been lost is the idea that in this American story, each of us has a role to play. Each of us has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families, and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. That’s what’s been lost these last eight years – our sense of common purpose; of higher purpose. And that’s what we need to restore right now.

Yes, government must lead the way on energy independence, but each of us must do our part to make our homes and our businesses more efficient. Yes, we must provide more ladders to success for young men who fall into lives of crime and despair. But all of us must do our part as parents to turn off the television and read to our children and take responsibility for providing the love and guidance they need. Yes, we can argue and debate our positions passionately, but at this defining moment, all of us must summon the strength and grace to bridge our differences and unite in common effort – black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; Democrat and Republican, young and old, rich and poor, gay and straight, disabled or not.

In this election, we cannot afford the same political games and tactics that are being used to pit us against one another and make us afraid of one another. The stakes are too high to divide us by class and region and background; by who we are or what we believe.

Because despite what our opponents may claim, there are no real or fake parts of this country. There is no city or town that is more pro-America than anywhere else – we are one nation, all of us proud, all of us patriots. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women who serve in our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America – they have served the United States of America.

It won’t be easy, Ohio. It won’t be quick. But you and I know that it is time to come together and change this country. Some of you may be cynical and fed up with politics. A lot of you may be disappointed and even angry with your leaders. You have every right to be. But despite all of this, I ask of you what has been asked of Americans throughout our history.

I ask you to believe – not just in my ability to bring about change, but in yours.

I know this change is possible. Because I have seen it over the last twenty-one months. Because in this campaign, I have had the privilege to witness what is best in America.

I’ve seen it in lines of voters that stretched around schools and churches; in the young people who cast their ballot for the first time, and those not so young folks who got involved again after a very long time. I’ve seen it in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see their friends lose their jobs; in the neighbors who take a stranger in when the floodwaters rise; in the soldiers who re-enlist after losing a limb. I’ve seen it in the faces of the men and women I’ve met at countless rallies and town halls across the country, men and women who speak of their struggles but also of their hopes and dreams.

I still remember the email that a woman named Robyn sent me after I met her in Ft. Lauderdale. Sometime after our event, her son nearly went into cardiac arrest, and was diagnosed with a heart condition that could only be treated with a procedure that cost tens of thousands of dollars. Her insurance company refused to pay, and their family just didn’t have that kind of money.

In her email, Robyn wrote, “I ask only this of you – on the days where you feel so tired you can’t think of uttering another word to the people, think of us. When those who oppose you have you down, reach deep and fight back harder.”

Ohio, that’s what hope is – that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better is waiting around the bend; that insists there are better days ahead. If we’re willing to work for it. If we’re willing to shed our fears and our doubts. If we’re willing to reach deep down inside ourselves when we’re tired and come back fighting harder.

Hope! That’s what kept some of our parents and grandparents going when times were tough. What led them to say, “Maybe I can’t go to college, but if I save a little bit each week my child can; maybe I can’t have my own business but if I work really hard my child can open one of her own.” It’s what led immigrants from distant lands to come to these shores against great odds and carve a new life for their families in America; what led those who couldn’t vote to march and organize and stand for freedom; that led them to cry out, “It may look dark tonight, but if I hold on to hope, tomorrow will be brighter.”

That’s what this election is about. That is the choice we face right now.

Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that power concedes. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.

In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up.

In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future.

In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo.

In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history.

That’s what’s at stake. That’s what we’re fighting for. And if in this last week, you will knock on some doors for me, and make some calls for me, and talk to your neighbors, and convince your friends; if you will stand with me, and fight with me, and give me your vote, then I promise you this – we will not just win Ohio, we will not just win this election, but together, we will change this country and we will change the world. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless America.

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Ashley Todd Story (Almost) Bites The Dust

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The Gallup Daily 9 point margin persists for the second day in a row. See it by scrolling down to the widget below. Increases in the margin might reflect more Republican desertions with the intent of voting for Obama.

Palin’s biggest accomplishment does not exist SOURCE

EXITING Iraq one way or another SOURCE

Live blogging Meet The Press. John has a good make up job. How long will the composure last. Ouch. NBC clips that say McSame. John on the defense and now tries to put the McSame charge off to selective media coverage. Now a damning poll on how Obama outstrips McCain on issues. John says he disagrees with the poll. John lobs a minor kitchen sink that distorts Obama positions. It is hard for John to have a conversation. Awwww. Now the $42,000 slur. Now John ranges himself against Volcker and Buffett as a rational judge of Barack. Now Brokaw plays McCain refutations of McCain. He calls Brokaw my friend. Will Brokaw ask him how he would have paid for Iraq? Nope. John has the cause of the crisis wrong. Russert would call him on it. Brokaw doesn’t. He allows John to deliver a stump speech. Now Brokaw asks about John’s $3 billion bailout. John’s answers are breaking up now. John is beginning to make a fool of himself from an every-viewer perspective. Transparently garbagy. Now to Palin. Now to a confrontation with Brokaw. We are not halfway yet. His response is strong though. Palin is said to be jumping ship. What is truth? Ouch the Powell issue flummoxes John who is massively defensive about a minor senior moment. It is beginning to be Gene Hackman-like. Laughing anything devastating off as the slide continues. Cut to Vietnam. John is given the chance for another stump speech. Ah, he is now finished. Only 30 minutes. Give him a B for effort and composure. A D for analytical capacity. Give Brokaw an A for charity and a D for Russert Chops. End of live blog.

Biden deflects media bullying in FLA SOURCE

Latest state-by-state from CQPolitics SOURCE

John Podesta Roundly Rejects New York Times Report that he Wrote Barack’s Inaugural Address SOURCE

While I appreciate Senator McCain’s plug for my book, the Power of Progress, his charge is a complete fabrication. He bases this claim on a New York Times story which distorted and confused a chapter I wrote last spring, for a book that was published this summer, with work I am doing this fall on behalf of Senator Obama.

The inaugural address in the “Power of Progress” was a literary device I used to sum up the arguments in the book. It was completed well in advance of my work for Senator Obama and has nothing to do with the Obama campaign or pre-transiton. No one involved in pre-transition work has written one word of any address inaugural or otherwise.

This is exactly what is needed in an environment where the media is lackluster in attention to important nuances and details and where the McCain Campaign is desperately grasping at any straw they can find, as the entire sad Ashley Todd Story, noted below, attests. Given the alarm I expressed about this yesterday and the swift response, underlined yesterday evening by Matt Iglesias, I would say the Obama campaign is once again doing more than parrying, to borrow an inaccurate suggestion in today’s Times. It is dealing with a flopping fish in a bowl that needs help in finding its way. Were Barack merely parrying, McCain would not be so permanently livid and dismissive.

Ashley Todd Story (Almost) Bites The Dust

A cursory search of my main sources is showing almost complete silence regarding Ashley Todd. Here is the ongoing Huff Post link for Ashley Todd stories and it appears to have gone cold two days ago. Media Matters records numerous McCain-related campaign atrocities, but nothing about Ashley Todd. Finally Josh Marshal of TPM obliges, in a post from yesterday. It warrants a full read. SOURCE Here’s some of it:

Our reporting did not find any direct evidence that the McCain campaign’s national headquarters played a role pushing the story.

However, the national campaign has now come forward and lied about what happened in Pennsylvania. McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers has now told NBC that alleged quotes from the McCain campaign in early reports of the story were actually the product of “sloppy reporting” and that they were actually quotes from the Pittsburgh police.

This is simply not credible.

Initial reports specifically quote the McCain campaign. And at least two sources involved in the contemporaneous reporting have come forward and said on the record that the quotes came directly from the McCain campaign. To believe that two separate local news organizations made the identical mistake with the same quotes and are now both covering it up is simply not credible. But that is what Rogers is now claiming.

The McCain campaign’s after-the-fact lie about its role in this hoax makes it essential that it provide a complete and honest account of both the local and national campaign’s role. As I said above, we did not find direct evidence of the national McCain campaign pushing this story. But Gov. Palin did call Todd after the purported attack, as did Sen. McCain. And news of these calls was provided to the press.

This story cries out for more than an explanation — which the McCain campaign is hardly likely to give. It cries out for some attention to a salient truth:

This incident alone could have been a national game changer. The fact that it was not was due almost entirely to the ineptitude of its execution and the admirable patience of the Pittsburgh police, who smelled a hoax and refused to play media games with it, while treating the “victim” with requisite respect.

If one recollects past incidents of this sort, they have all dominated the attention of the public for weeks on end, rightly or wrongly, but always demonstrating the power of the racist mythology which is, or was, ingrained in the national consciousness from the beginning.

Shall we then say that, like many myths, this too has been changed by the remarkable chemistry of this election?

Perhaps. But how close did we come? A smarter simulation of having been attacked, a McCain loyalist in charge of the police investigation, a more clever McCain spin operation — the prospect of what could have happened induces a shudder, as though an expected tsunami had somehow dematerialized by magic.

Perhaps most people figure the contest is over and we need to sweep the politics of the past under the rug. Fine. But my take on this is that vigilance and a nearly-unforgiving attention to detail is what is required.

If a minor McCain official tried, in a fit of enthusiasm, to game the press with the hoax, we need to know much more than we do.

If the young woman, Ashley Todd, was operating Smerdyakov-like on someone’s suggestion, we need to know who the Ivan figure was. SOURCE

And if I can indulge in a McCain-like meanness, just who IS Ashley Todd? It’s a fair question.

Whether she is a special needs child or not, I would like to know more,

We need a top-tier investigaton. Not because it is juicy or salacious or cruel, but because, just as we needed to know the ending of the Stuart and Smith cases, we need to know the end of this.

It was a potential game changer, threatening to push us backward to a nightmare brink. No wonder we prefer silence. No wonder we’d like to dismiss it as part of an unsavory past.

Well and good. Say Whew and move on.

Jesus once said that no secret will go unrevealed. Foucault said we may discourse until we drop.

Don’t drop the ball on this. In the era of the four hour news cycle, this story is still alive.

McCain Campaign Tried Using Assault Hoax to Slime Obama <a href=”
” TARGET=”_blank”>SOURCE

Yet a double standard is obvious based on the amount of coverage this incident received prior to any suggestion that it might be a hoax. The story was pushed hard by the Drudge Report, and most conservative talking heads ran with it. Sean Hannity devoted most of his Thursday afternoon talk radio broadcast to the topic, broadcasting live from Pittsburgh. Local news stations around the country featured the story on last night’s evening and late night newscasts.

Compare this with how little attention has been paid to a recent wave of politically-motivated, violent acts perpetrated by McCain-Palin supporters, several of which occurred in North Carolina and were covered on HuffPo earlier this week.

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

Tonight McCain spokesman Brian Rogers denied the campaign gave out those quotes, telling Countdown, “They came from the police and were attributed to the McCain camp because of sloppy reporting.” An account that does not explain why two television stations both quoted the McCain campaign, or the fact that one of them, KDKA Pittsburgh, specifically followed the McCain quotes with the line, quote, “Police, however, have not confirmed that.” And tonight Countdown asked the reporter from the other station, WPXI, to check his notes. He says he got those quotes first, 4:08 pm yesterday, from McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director. SOURCE

“Somehow between her initial police report and the story on Drudge this became a national political and racial football that attempted to slander Obama supporters, the ever-ready “dangerous, angry black male” and the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

I want the details on how that happened.”SOURCE

Rick Sanchez Calls Out Media That Fell For “Mutilation” Hoax SOURCE

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Barack Obama’s Post-Wall Street Vision

Huff | About | Nov. 4 | Sources | Kindle | Twitter

McCain lies through his teeth in describing Barack’s respectful conversation with Joe of plumber fame. How can someone who might want to finish his criminal campaign with at least a shred of honor, keep on lying? The answer is simple. He has forgotten the difference between truth and falsehood. The MSM does not call him on it. And the gullible viewer does not connect the dots. Does anyone besides Keith Olbermann care about setting the record straight?

ALERT: Colorado Voter Interference by GOP Operative SOURCE

McCain wrongly suggests Obama has already written his inaugural. SOURCE

John McCain is grasping at straws and the New York Times has obliged by implying that Obama has written his inaugural address, a presumptuous thing indeed, and at complete odds with his stance of fighting until the last vote is in. The item in question is a broadside written by John Podesta when he was still supporting Hillary Clinton for the nomination. It has already been published. It represents no request from Barack Obama for a draft of an actual inaugural speech.

The New York Times yesterday ran an article by Peter Baker and Jackie Calmes that stated Barack Obama would not be writing his own inaugural speech. I must not have been paying attention when the information was made public that Barack Obama can’t form words into coherent sentences and paragraphs. The idea is patently asinine. Baker and Calmes join with commercial writer and wingnut clown Jack Cashill in claiming there’s no way a Havard Law Scool graduate and United States Senator can write. What a bunch of dumbasses.

Baker and Calmes at least have the confused notion that John Podesta has already written the inaugural speech. John Podesta is working on the transition team that will place Obama in the White House. He did in fact write a draft of an inaugural address, which appeared in the back of his book The Power of Progress. That speech was written by Podesta over a year ago, while he was still supporting Hillary Clinton. The claims of Calmes and Baker can at least be blamed on shoddy journalism.

I imagine Podesta will write a clarification to the Times.

Yesterday I carried on my little Gallup Daily commentary. Scroll down to see the widget. Just as predicted Barack ascended a point today to an exalted 51, expanding his lead by one. I still do not think McCain’s message has attacked a convincing coherence, largely because it is based on outright lies about Barack’s tax plan and commitments. This is good news and will probably maintain Barack’s present margin. If more hesitant Republicans declare for Barack, I would expect the margin to increase. With Barack back on the trail and aggressively calling McCain on his errors, I think he is holding even and countering any sympathy that McCain might get for having essentially failed to organize a coherent campaign.

A window on Barack’s Hawaii trip SOURCE + PHOTOS

McCain stokes fires of racism — academics say stop SOURCE

Obama holds a 7 point Ohio edge (PPP) SOURCE

Barack sends volunteers to Georgia SOURCE

Barack Obama’s Post-Wall Street Vision

Having read tons of analyses of what we are into, let me offer my own.

The reason the global economy is staggered is that the entire system — in which a massive portion of the populace manages to be paid for doing little or nothing productive — is coming to an end.

Corporate bureaucracy, whether governmental, philanthropic (non-profit) or business, is about to be transformed by necessity.

The sheer volume of allegedly educated souls who trained to make money and went into finance and related enterprises is being reduced. Wall Street minus 300,000. And so forth.

When Barack is in, there will be a similar trim in the government.

Churches and other “charitable” enterprises have been downsizing for decades — at least the mainline, which makes no claim to divine blessing for pursuits such as war and control of the body.

And because we are dislocating big time, we need to ask what will be put in its place?

The answer was first given to us by Hillary Clinton in her evocative phrase, It takes a village.

The masses of the downsized must reconstitute themselves as the entrepreneurial creators, designers, managers and developers of new human settlements, experimental, car free, schools within a half-mile, cyber-enabled, multiple use facilities for worship and other gatherings, economies of scale built in so they can be fully green, recycling and powered by wind and sun and the products that come from recycling on site.

The entire building that stems from automobile and highway culture will need to coexist with this world, as the once-pervasive horse once coexisted with cars, until the proven advantage of bringing green to scale is demonstrated.

We need contests, diversity, no one-size-fits-all, no big brother intimations.

All this is somewhere in Barack’s mind, a cocoon from which the new will begin to fly. It is somewhere in David Wilhelm’s mind. It is somewhere there. It is also out here.

Beyond the retro-monuments Halliburton and Enron, where gaming the system was the rule and failure did not matter because there was always the deep well of the government or those deluded people out there.

We are about to kiss goodby to the lumpen-manageriat.

We are also saying goodby to the global indecision to crassly emulate everything lethal and nasty in our culture.

In particular, to our addiction to oil and our willingness to sacrifice the entire planet to the highway and the private automobile and everything that that has come to mean and be.

If the oil-car-road economy was economically viable, we’d have won the world 100 times over.

But today’s crisis is telling us different. The $100 trillion fantasy upon which our economic ruination is built was the etherial product of cubicles filled with deluded Wall Street wannabes.

Cheney would like this dying world to win. That is what he planned in secret and what the Bush regime has tried to float.

But our newer world will run on no drama. On some common sense. On some attention to the insistent realities of righteousness and justice, values that have no place in the world of Bush, where democracy is trampled in a succession of impatient efforts to co-opt what belongs to God and squeeze it into compliance with the thoughts of small and deluded minds.

The freed player of the once high-riding Wall Street fantasy game will begin to see the utter idiocy of sprawl-culture that has transformed the environment into its depressing generic form no matter where you land, no matter what murky ocean you look into. He or she will no longer be riding from the same generic airport to the same predictable downtown or journeying to to a countryside whose options are to be a wasteland or maybe a theme park.

What has value? Democracy does. Tolerance does. Helpfulness does. The supreme value is to accept that one is not God and to also accept that one has within the spark of universal connectedness that leads to God. This is the grounding of community, of common dreams. These are fundamental values, trumping patriotism and honor and worship of phony strength and hapless violence.

We are in a crisis of humankind, a crisis of not knowing what to insist upon.

It is a situation worthy of Barack Obams.

And he is right.

It will take everyone experiencing a burst of freedom and responsibility. And beginning to forge a world where a measure of renewed trust enables the creation of more habitable and peacable neighborhoods.

Sic Transit Idiocy

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