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collage: Flickr / videocrab / transplanted mountaineer

Obama Buys His Own TV Special

Flush with cash, Barack Obama has purchased air time on at least two networks for a half-hour special to air a week before the election. No word yet on how much a half-hour of prime-time sweeps air costs, but it’s certainly more than Ross Perot paid back in ‘92.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


The ‘New Multilateralism’

The issues that have fueled Russian-American tensions in Europe in recent months, and European tensions with both Russia and the United States, have suggested a willingness on all sides to reignite tensions that on the face of it serve no one’s real interests. Recent developments could change all that.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



Citizens Against Government Waste, and for McCain

During the first presidential debate, John McCain gave a high-profile shout-out: “I suggest that people go up on the Web site of Citizens Against Government Waste, and they’ll look at those projects.” The group quickly returned the favor—its political action committee is calling McCain a “taxpayer hero” in TV ads airing over the next two weeks in Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Shealah Craighead

Is Paulson Going Bank Shopping?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, with much prodding from Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, is thinking about using some of that $700 billion to buy ownership stakes in shaky banks. The scheme would ostensibly give taxpayers a share in the fortunes of the bailed-out institutions.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Jim Bourg, pool

Third-Party Blues

Ralph Nader is right: The two-party system is failing America. There isn’t time between now and Election Day to create a viable third-party candidate, and so the sad reality is one of two deeply flawed men, the byproduct of a deeply flawed political system, will serve as president for the next four or eight years.

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Kill the Media

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Posted on Oct 9, 2008 READ MORE


Honor Won and Lost

Nothing in the presidential campaign so far has been as instructive as its swift descent into the politics of personal destruction. Although voters have probably heard little lately that they did not already know about Sen. Barack Obama, they have learned something very important about Sen. John McCain.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


What McCain and Obama Don’t Know

Uncertainty is the backdrop for a presidential campaign whose last month is being conducted over the shakiest terrain. What we didn’t know yesterday, last week, last month suddenly reshapes the contours of our lives.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


The Real Stars of the Debate

In the second presidential debate, the questioners seemed to understand better than either candidate that we are in the midst of a national emergency as grave and possibly more far-reaching than the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


McCain on O.J.

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Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE    


McCain’s Brain and the Second Debate

Penny for John McCain’s thoughts? Keep it, that’s what YouTube is for.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


Open the Debates

The reviews are in, and the latest U.S. presidential debate, the “town hall” from Nashville, Tenn., was a snore. One problem is that in a debate it is important for the debaters to actually disagree.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE



Democrats as Big Brother?

A lobbying powerhouse with an emphatically pro-Republican political action committee is pounding Democratic Senate candidates for supporting legislation that would make it easier for workers to unionize. The ads portray Al Franken in Minnesota and Tom Allen of Maine as backing Big Brother-style surveillance of American workers.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE



starwoodhotels.com

AIG Execs Enjoy Sun and Fun on Your Dime

What’s $85 billion if you don’t get to spend it? Just days after taxpayers saved AIG from ruin, executives of the insurance giant spent $440,000 pampering themselves at the exclusive St. Regis resort in Monarch Beach, Calif.

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 READ MORE


Nowhere for McCain to Go

Tuesday night’s debate, a town-hall discussion dominated by economic questions, made it clear that John McCain’s effort to change the campaign’s focus to the culture wars of the 1960s is not going to work.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Bush at the White House
AP photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

A Plague Upon the White House

I am not a conventionally religious man, or even a very superstitious one, but I do wish George Bush would stop asking God to bless America. Every time he does, we seem to be visited with another plague, suggesting divine wrath over our president’s evil ways. How else to explain the persistent calamity that has marked this administration?

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE



gizmodo.com

Here We COINTELPRO Again: FBI Changes the Rules

With everybody’s eyeballs and earlobes focused on the economy and the election, the Justice Department pushed through rule changes that allow the FBI to go back to the bad old days of spying more aggressively on Americans. Civil libertarians and even some lawmakers are in an uproar. The Center for Investigative Reporting has a must-read report that explains why.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


President of NBC

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Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE    


Eastwood
AP Photo / Lionel Cironneau

Eastwood Confused, Dismayed by Today’s ‘Perverted Politics’

Seasoned film star and “Changeling” director Clint Eastwood says American politics aren’t what they used to be; in fact, the grizzled sort-of-libertarian thinks they’re even a little “perverted”—but not like that.

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE



Collage: Flickr (seiu_international) and electoral-vote.com

Obama’s Poll Surge Continues

With the campaign headed into the final weeks before the election, new polls pop up every day, and they continue to show a strong trend in favor of Barack Obama. Depending on the survey, Obama is ahead or tied in as many as 10 states won by George W. Bush in 2004, including faux-purple Florida and ruddy Indiana. But just being ahead in the polls doesn’t mean Obama will win. Update

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Keith Olbermann

Olbermann Turns the Tables on Palin

If guilt-by-association is a game Sarah Palin wants to play, Keith Olbermann is more than happy to go head-to-head. Rev. Muthee, the witch vanquisher, anyone? How about secessionist Joe Vogler?

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 READ MORE


Republican Economic Policies Don’t Add Up

Many Americans believe, despite the current financial crisis, that Republicans are generally better at managing the economy. History tells a very different story.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


Weapons of Mass Distraction

John McCain and Sarah Palin are going to try their best to make us talk about anything but the big issues facing our country, because most Americans think Barack Obama’s solutions are better.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Resorts to Atwater’s Dirty Tricks

To understand where the presidential campaign is heading in the four weeks still ahead of us, look back 20 years. The remarkable transformation John McCain has undergone since 2000 is itself an unsettling tribute to the lasting poison Lee Atwater poured into the political waters.

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE


McCain and Palin
AP photo / Ron Edmonds

Bill Boyarsky on McCain’s Low Blows

Truthdig’s chief political correspondent weighs in on the week in politics. From “pallin’ around with terrorists” to Tuesday’s debate, Team McCain is “going for the gut,” but will it work?

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 READ MORE



AP photo / Susan Walsh

Dennis Kucinich on the Democrats’ Bailout Betrayal

The passing of the $850-billion bailout pulled the plug on the New Deal. The Great Society is now gasping for air, mortally wounded, coughing up blood. It will not recover. It was murdered by the Democratic Party.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE



DoD / Michael L. Casteel

British Commander Calls Taliban Unbeatable

Victory in Afghanistan? That’s “neither feasible nor supportable,” according to the outgoing commander of British forces there, who tells The Times of London that the Taliban “seems relatively impervious to losses.” The Afghan government must instead reach some political settlement with more moderate insurgents, concluded Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


Palin Perfect

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Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE    


Drill, Baby, Drill!

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Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / buddhakiwi

McCain Sticks With Terrorist Claim Despite Media Criticism

“Americans need to ask themselves if they’ve ever befriended an unrepentant terrorist,” says McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds. The AP called similar remarks by running mate Sarah Palin “racially tinged” and Time said the claim was “simply wrong,” but the McCain campaign shows no signs of backing down from its new strategy.

Posted on Oct 5, 2008 READ MORE


With Palin, McCain Is Gambling With the Country

The key to understanding how John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate was provided by The New York Times last weekend when it described an episode in which he “tossed $100 chips around a hot craps table.”

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Saying ‘No Deal’ to This New Deal

The marriage of American capitalism and democracy has always been a Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee affair—stormy and erratic since its hasty wedding. But during the debate over a Wall Street bailout this week, we watched that matrimonial knot unwind into a tangled tale of terror.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



commons.wikimedia.org

Bailout Gains More Support in the House

The Bloomberg news service counts 10 lawmakers who may be ready to switch their votes when the bailout proposal takes another run at the House of Representatives. The original measure failed by only 23 votes and has since been substantially fattened by the Senate.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



collage: realclearpolitics.com / destination360.com

Florida Republicans Hold Secret Meeting

With several new polls showing Florida breaking for Barack Obama, the state’s GOP leadership convened a secret meeting of top party and campaign officials. Florida GOP Chair Jim Greer, who organized the powwow, said, “It was just to ensure the ship is on its proper course. ...”

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Who Cares

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Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE    


Palin’s Biggest Fans

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Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org

Evangelical Leader Goes All In For McCain

And to think that anyone thought James Dobson would sit out this presidential race. The Christian right leader and his advocacy group, Focus on the Family Action, are planning a multistate strategy to help elect McCain, and to prevent Democratic gains in Congress while they’re at it.

Posted on Oct 2, 2008 READ MORE


Making the Bailout Less Toxic

The initial failure to pass bailout legislation reflected a political system as bereft of confidence as the financial markets.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


The Next President’s Supreme Legacy

The 44th president could replace as many as three of the four moderate and liberal justices of the Supreme Court. You do the math. If Obama is elected, the court will stay pretty much the way it is. If McCain is elected, Katie bar the door.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Sarah Palin the Sideshow

There is something about Sarah Palin that gnaws at me, and it isn’t that the Republican vice presidential nominee has wilted under the soft light shone upon her by CBS’ Katie Couric.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Debate Preview: Biden and Palin Answer ‘Vice Presidential Questions’

CBS asked the two VP candidates (roughly) the same questions about Roe v. Wade and the separation of church and state. As you might imagine, their answers differ, both in content and coherence. Palin’s apparent unfamiliarity with the Supreme Court had the rumor mill buzzing for days prior to the release of this interview.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



Flickr / Qfamily

Bailout Bill Skates Through Senate

Well, that was easy: While the House had to contend with round-the-clock negotiations and a last-minute revolt, the Senate just threw more money at the problem. That was enough for 74 lawmakers to say yes to the $810-billion package. The House will take another crack at it on Friday.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE



White House / Susan Sterner

Senate Fattens Up Bailout Package

The House couldn’t swallow the $700-billion bailout proposal, so the Senate added about $100 billion of incentives—mostly in the form of tax cuts. The Senate will vote on the proposal tonight and the House could decide as early as Friday whether $700 billion is too much, but $800 billion is just about right.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Steals Another Obama Cliché

First John McCain hopped on the change bandwagon, and now he sounds like he gave the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. The money quote in this new ad is better in the original Barack Obama.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


McCain Categorically Rejects Criticism of Palin

During an interview with The Des Moines Register, a miffed John McCain reiterates his fundamental disagreement with and categorical rejection of the idea that Sarah Palin is somehow unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Maybe he just hasn’t seen this, this, this or this.

Posted on Oct 1, 2008 READ MORE


Palin

Couric Stumps Palin With Question About Reading

Katie Couric asked Sarah Palin about a number of controversial topics during the latest installment of her interview—evolution, abortion, homosexuality—but the VP nominee appeared to have the hardest time when pressed to say what newspapers and magazines she has read: “Um, all of them, any of them that have been in front of me all these years.”

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE



npr.org

Unions Unleash the Troops for Obama

The nation’s most powerful labor unions are ratcheting up their efforts to elect Barack Obama with massive voter outreach campaigns. Both SEIU and the AFL-CIO have said this year’s efforts will be their largest voter mobilization campaigns ever.

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE


Blame Game

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Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE


The Liberator

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Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE    



Flickr / IowaPolitics.com

Politico: Biden Will Go Soft on Palin

A campaign source tells the political rag that Joe Biden will avoid roughing up Sarah Palin during the debate Thursday, focusing his energies instead on John McCain. That might have something to do with a new poll, which suggests that most people think Biden will prove to be much more knowledgeable, but much less likeable.

Posted on Sep 30, 2008 READ MORE


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