Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Friday, October 31, 2008

So, McCain Campaign...

So McCain campaign... How and why are any of us supposed to respect any of you at all at this point?

I don't think there's been a single significant claim made by McCain, Palin or anyone associated with the campaign in the past three weeks that hasn't been highly deceptive if not an outright lie.

And seriously, it's hard to keep up with all those lies. Even the full-time bloggers can’t. (Your habit of repeating the same debunked and ineffective smears over and over does make it a bit easier, though.)

Let's take one example. Anyone who accuses Obama of being a "socialist" is either an ignoramus or a liar. Or a combination of both.

See also, hmm, lessee, Hilzoy 1, Hilzoy 2, Hilzoy 3, Hendrik Hertzberg, Digby 1, Digby 2, Maha, Thers, Driftglass 1, Driftglass 2, David Gergen and Stephen Colbert. Plus maybe some basic history or political science books.

Look, I know this socialist smear crap, fear-mongering and demonizing has gone on for a very long time. But this stuff is really pathetic. It has all the integrity of Ann Coulter and Jonah Goldberg, if that. And this is a presidential campaign.

Driving home Thursday night, I heard key McCain advisor Nicole Wallace on NPR first try to dodge a question several times, then offer a horrible analogy. Then I learned via John Cole that this same horrible analogy has been circulating in a GOP forwarded e-mail and in recycled "letters" to the editor. Now, I wouldn't be surprised if some GOP operation started the chain e-mail, which is sad enough, but otherwise, much as they abruptly made "Joe the Plumber" a centerpiece of their campaign, the McCain gang is now taking their talking points from anonymous e-mails. Did I mention it's pathetic?

Still, all that pales besides this TV appearance by Michael Goldfarb. Keep in mind he's the deputy communications director for the McCain campaign, paid to blog for him, and normally works for neocon rag The Weekly Standard:

That may be the weakest performance I've ever seen. Palin's interviews come close. But Goldfarb definitely makes the Hall of Infamy.

John Cole calls it "douchebaggery." Publius calls it the "Platonic ideal of d***ness." Several people rightly call Goldfarb's smears McCarthyism.

CNN already debunked the smears against Rashid Khalidi, and Scott Horton points out that McCain actually has stronger ties to Khalidi than Obama does, but since Khalidi is an admirable figure, that's hardly an issue. As Horton points out, the crux is that:

Khalidi is also a Palestinian American. There is no doubt in my mind that it is solely that last fact that informs [Andrew] McCarthy’s ignorant and malicious rants.

Seriously. Because Khalidi is a Palestinian American, Goldfarb, Palin and others are implying - or in some cases, outright accusing - Khalidi of being anti-Semitic. It's amazingly sleazy, but completely believable from this crew.

Rick Sanchez should have challenged Goldfarb to support his outrageous accusation against Khalidi, but give him some credit for pressing Goldfarb, and some leeway for being thrown by Goldfarb's ludicrous responses.

But I also don't see any point in being polite with Goldfarb at the end other than the bare minimum (some commenters think Sanchez was being sarcastic). I understand you can't call him a lying asshole on television, but that's precisely what he is. There simply has to be a way to call him out more forcefully. Maybe there were time restraints here, and Sanchez certainly wasn't expecting this. But Goldfarb is offering absolutely nothing of value. It's preposterous to pretend he's speaking in good faith. He is a smug asshole who can't even lie effectively. He's trying to scare Jews away from voting for Obama. That's it. That's all. And it does the public a grave disservice to give Goldfarb a platform unless on that platform he is hammered in a conscientious, prosecutorial fashion and he leaves (metaphorically) crying and bleeding. What Goldfarb did was unconscionable and immoral. The faults of the MSM are well known in the liberal blogosphere (more on this in "The Bullshit Matrix" and "False Equivalencies"). Their main motive is profit. But there's certainly commercial value in ripping a scoundrel to shreds on TV (the problem is the person probably won't come back). The MSM has to have a way – or has to be pushed to have a way for the public's sake – of holding scumbags like Goldfarb accountable. Sheppard Smith was actually quite good at challenging ignoramus "Joe the Plumber" when he tried something similar. There has to be a steep cost for lies and smears like this. At the very least, Goldfarb should be made a laughing stock. He's certainly helped that goal with a performance that would be perfect for a series called "Hackdom Don'ts." Now this video has to spread, and the chattering class needs to start chattering and do what they do best – clucking disapproval. The despicable tactics of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove will always be tried until the shit they're flinging is made to bounce back on them and everyone can tell who's stinking.

And that's one of many reasons this election is exciting. It won't kill sleazy politics, but an Obama victory would repudiate those tactics. It'll push them back at least a little. I know liberals and conservatives that used to think John McCain was a pretty good guy. They're not news junkies, and haven't followed every development. But they've seen enough to lose a great deal of respect for him. Meanwhile, I have to say, some of the moves I've observed from McCain are among the sleaziest, if not the sleaziest, I've ever seen. The sex ed ad was especially deplorable. The constant lying and distortions, even after being corrected, are despicable. Some of these comments are better suited for a post-mortem, but it's not as if we don't know the general story now. McCain was always running mainly on his persona, not policies. His policies almost all stink, and many would be disastrous if enacted. McCain has revealed himself to be more clueless on policies, government and the world than many people would have believed (myself included). Palin is literally a national joke, except among her rabid fan base. Meanwhile, McCain showed how erratic he was with his campaign "suspension" and squandered his fake "honor" in public with all his nasty attacks, despite his own rabid fan base. His carefully constructed persona was all he really had going for him, and it's been progressively crumbling.

Former conservative John Cole says "the GOP just needs to be destroyed," and he's right. The sane rule-of-law and pragmatic Eisenhower conservatives need to take their party back. The current authoritarian movement crew have little to nothing of value to offer the country or public debate. All they have is shrieking accusations of anti-Americanism and an ideology which amounts to nothing more than, "give more riches and power to the rich and powerful." They have every right to their opinions, and liberals fight to protect the civil rights of all people, even the scumbags (in contrast to the eliminationist attitudes of the far right). but of all the mistakes of the MSM that liberal activists shouldn't repeat, the biggest is probably an unwillingness to make qualitative judgments, and to call bullshit. Doing those things is one of the best ways to honor "values" and "morality" in service of "the real America."

I leave you with one last insightful passage from the Poor Man Institute:

This is the problem. It’s not just the McCain campaign’s problem - although their inability to pick a narrative and stick to it is a special kind of inexcusable - it’s a problem for the entire wingnut noise machine. Obama is a Marxist Muslim Arab Jesus Black White Terrorist Technocrat Racist Do-Gooder Liberal FDR Stalin Hilter Commie Fascist Gay Womanizing Naive Cynical Insider Noob Boring Radical Unaccomplished Elite Slick Gaffe-Prone Pedophile Pedophile-Seducing Liberation Theology Atheist Etc. & Anti-Etc. with a bunch of scary friends from - wait for it! - the Nineteen Hundred And Sixties. It makes no sense. It’s a jumble sale of fears and scary associations from 50 years of wingnut witch hunts and smear campaigns, a flea market of pre-owned and antique resentments, and if one does detect a semi-consistent 1960’s motif running through it all, that’s because that’s when most of these ideas were coined. While it is great fun for wingnut yahoos to relive the glory days when National Review was still taken more seriously than liberal blogofascists by the people who matter, most of this stuff is obsolescent (or at least unfashionable), and people suffering from the material problems caused by 50 years of right-wing ascendancy aren’t going to drop everything to listen to fuguing conservatives spin disjointed yarns about how much better everything was back in their day. Nobody gives a fuck.

All the more so because they're incompetent, lying assholes.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Eclectic Jukebox 10/30/08

Golden Earring – "Twilight Zone"

Somewhere in a lonely hotel room there's a guy starting to realize that eternal fate has turned its back on him.

I think this and "Radar Love" are their best. Back in the 80s, this one made quite a splash (at least at our school) as one of the first really cool videos, and the censored-in-the-States nudity helped the chatter. This version is the crispest currently on the web, although there's one unfortunate and unintentional skip early on. You'll also hear the standard radio-version edit during the instrumental break, since the full album version runs about 7 minutes.

Eclectic Jukebox

An Election Lullaby




And Nod:

[ Find Your Polling Place | Voting Info For Your State | Know Your Voting Rights | Report Voting Problems ]

(Thanks to Karl Frisch for the voting tags.)

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)


I like these "real" Americans more, somehow. (Via Digby.)

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CA Proposition 8: Outlawing Gay Marriage

California ballot proposition 8, designed to outlaw gay marriage, is the one that's justifiably garnered national press. While California is solidly in Obama's column, twelve state propositions are on the ballot, and a strong turnout is essential to ensure a No on 4 and a No on 8 (here's a rundown on the entire twelve). If the "Yes on 8" movement succeeds, it'll be a serious setback for gay rights. Somehow, despite plenty of gay marriages here in California this year, the sky has not fallen, and despite allowing gay marriage years ago, Massachusetts is still intact and maintains the lowest divorce rates in the nation. Considering anti-gay ballot measures were a key method for getting out the conservative vote in 2004 to defeat Kerry, it'd be rather poetic if 2008 saw both an Obama victory and a defeat of Prop. 8.

The actual language of the summary is:


• Changes the California Constitution to eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry in California.

• Provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.

I'd suggest reading the arguments and rebuttals. The Yes on 8 crew actually claim that Prop. 8 "is about traditional marriage; it is not an attack on gay relationships." That must come as news to some of its backers, and no one has ever offered a convincing argument for how gay marriage imperils "traditional" marriage. So why is this proposition even necessary? I'd also recommend the No on 8 site, which allows donations and a helpful Fact vs. Fiction page on the most common false claims by the Yes on 8 movement.

False Claims

The greatest fear-mongering from the Yes on 8 crew has been about the threat of gay marriage to the poor, defenseless children. From the aforementioned page:

Fiction: Teaching children about same-sex marriage will happen here unless we pass Prop. 8.

Fact: Not one word in Prop. 8 mentions education, and no child can be forced, against the will of their parents, to be taught anything about health and family issues at school. California law prohibits it, and the Yes on 8 campaign knows they are lying. Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley has already ruled that this claim by Prop. 8 proponents is “false and misleading.” The Orange County Register, traditionally one of the most conservative newspapers in the state, says this claim is false. So do lawyers for the California Department of Education...

Fiction: A Massachusetts case about a parent’s objection to the school curriculum will happen here.

Fact: Unlike Massachusetts, California gives parents an absolute right to remove their kids and opt-out of teaching on health and family instruction they don’t agree with. The opponents know that California law already covers this and Prop. 8 won’t affect it, so they bring up an irrelevant case in Massachusetts...

Fiction: Unless Prop. 8 passes, CA parents won’t have the right to object to what their children are taught in school.

Fact: California law clearly gives parents and guardians broad authority to remove their children from any health instruction if it conflicts with their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

The Sacramento Bee gives a similar overview. Here's Education Code Section 51890-51891. You can see that "marriage" is barely mentioned. Johnny California rounds up most of the other relevant statutes. Sex ed is decided on the local level, parents are informed of the curriculum, and they can opt out with their kids. What I find most interesting is Cal Ed. Code 51933(a)(7), which states "Instruction and materials shall teach respect for marriage and committed relationships." This only comes into play if sex ed is taught, but you'll notice that this particular line seems designed to appease people who feel students must be told to marry and stay monogamous. So a piece of law likely insisted on by conservatives is something they now claim will undermine the fabric of society. Interestingly enough, the law does not mention "gay" anywhere. That particular line is about monogamy, not about sexuality.

The No on 8 site also covers false and ridiculous claims about churches losing their tax-exempt status if they refuse to perform gay marriages. You probably won't be surprised to learn that the Yes on 8 crew has distorted, 180 degrees, a statement by a law professor to support this claim.

I want to return to the "teach gay marriage in schools" thing, though, because it's always seemed like an extremely misleading charge to me even if one buys some of the Yes on 8 gang's false premises. Some of it might be a generational or state education thing, because no one I've asked remembers being "taught" about marriage in school, whether in sex ed or otherwise. But say the schools did – what does "teach gay marriage" actually mean? They'll tell the kids the truth, that it exists? Don't homophobic families teach their kids that gay marriage exists as well, just that it's evil or unnatural? So what really is the issue?

The implication is what it always is from homophobes. Teachers will advocate for homosexuality somehow, convincing kids who aren't gay to try it out. Many socially conservative homophobes believe that homosexuality is a choice versus something innate, while other social conservatives do believe it's innate, but something sinful to be resisted. In either case, but especially with the "choice" folks, the notion of temptation is key. They hold the same general belief for most sin, that human beings are incapable of choosing what's right by themselves – for instance, they might have sex for pleasure versus procreation – so they must be controlled. In the case of homosexuality, many social conservatives truly believe, deep down, in "gay cooties." Homosexuality is like a disease you catch, and if you can just keep it away, you can stay straight and safe. In their world, little Oscar was a happy little straight boy until someone introduced him to Broadway show tunes and teh gay sex and he was corrupted and lost forever. Or, little Sylvia already was a budding lesbian, but the school didn't say that was wrong, so she was never shamed off that path (and pushed into living a lie in an unhappy marriage that would fall apart years later). Oh, and Ted Haggard was "cured" of his gayness. It's probably true that most teachers outside of extremely conservative areas are unlikely to condemn homosexuality as evil or unnatural, but that's hardly a bad thing. LGBT kids often have a hard enough time as it is, and depending on their circumstances, their schools may be more tolerant and accepting than their homes. Schools won't "make" a kid gay, but they may – one would hope – be accepting of a kid who is. That's really the issue for the Yes on 8 folks when it comes to schools – the schools might not be intolerant in the desired ways, and somehow basic tolerance of an individual's identity is seen as advancing an agenda (I delve more into arguments about social tolerance here, if it's needed). Somehow, the basic reality of a free society, that other people are free to make choices one might not agree with, is deemed shocking or radical.

Still, all of that assumes that those pushing Yes on 8 are arguing in some smidgen of good faith (intolerant thought that faith may be), and they're not. Even if their false claims were true, they haven't explained why changing California's educational codes, a far easier and less radical step than amending the state Constitution, wouldn't fix the problem. The Yes on 8 campaign has been unrelentingly dishonest. They have consistently pretended that there are no opt-out policies in California public schools for disapproving parents, and the main reason they're bringing up schools at all is a smokescreen to scare mildly homophobic parents with outright lying. Most of the Yes on 8 ads are targeting those parents and preying on some combination of four fears: One, you might have to talk to your kid about sex; two, you might have to talk to your kid about gay sex; three, your kid might be gay – and might come out; four, the schools will somehow turn your kid gay.

None of those fears are entirely rational, but the misleading Yes on 8 attacks tap into what can be deep-rooted discomfort, embarrassment and shame about human sexuality, most of all homosexuality. That can be hard to combat, even if progress has been made for basic tolerance and comfort with sexuality. I think the most successful ads for No on 8 to date have humanized being gay, have shown people who support equal rights for their gay children or friends, or give the message that, it's okay if you're not entirely comfortable with gay marriage, but do you support stripping people of their rights? Prop. 8 is about stripping rights, not about teaching or churches.

Unfortunately, the vote currently looks like it's going to be close, and not only are highly misleading Yes on 8 ads running constantly, the Yes on 8 movement is engaging in some astonishingly low tactics.

I'll link the No on 8 site again for more information, including how to volunteer and to donate. Meanwhile, blogs Mombian and PageOneQ have organized a blogswarm for No on Prop. 8: Write to Marry Day, October 29th. To participate, write a blog post in support of gay marriage opposing Prop. 8 today or tomorrow, and submit the post information here. You can also download and use the graphic below, created by Mike Tidmus.

Ad Watch

Feel free to skip this last section if you like. I find the ad wars interesting, especially because I've seen these ads around the clock and some of the Yes on 8 ads struck me as extremely fraudulent (and lo and behold, they are). If you don't live in California, you probably haven't seen these, apart from on blogs or perhaps in a news story. Not all of them have aired on TV, and if they're over 40 seconds, they're probably web-only. However, there are some that I've seen multiple times a night.

No on 8 "Gavin Newsom" ad (posted 9/10/08):

I believe this longer piece was web-only, but it outlines the stakes nicely.

No on 8 "I Decide" youth vote ad (posted 9/15/08):

There's a nice youth vote, tolerance and freedom message to this one.

Yes on 8 "Whether You Like It Or Not" ad (posted 9/29/08):

This ad ran around the clock (I believe before it was posted to the web). Newsom sounds pretty sinister, doesn't he? The claims being made in this ad struck me as preposterous, and they are. See the Fact vs. Fiction page for the debunks. My favorite line is the wounded "It's no longer about tolerance. Acceptance of gay marriage is now mandatory." Um, so apparently, there's a type of "tolerance" of gays that doesn't allow them equal rights under the law and requires changing the state Constitution? I take it this is the "We allow you to exist as second-class citizens and won't kill you, but don't push it and get in our faces with your gay-ness" type of tolerance. It taps into the attitude that gays are uppity and encroaching on the rights of others. Of course, no one's suing churches for not performing gay weddings, or anything like that. Anyone would still be free to disapprove of those gay people and their fabulous weddings, they just couldn't outlaw them.

No on 8 "The Thorons – Don't Eliminate Marriage for Anyone" ad (posted 9/22/08):

This ad aired on TV fairly often after the Yes on 8 "Whether You Like It or Not" spot. I think this is one of the best ads, because it really personalizes the issue and the stakes. It turns out the Thorons wrote the argument against Prop. 8 in the Voter's Guide, and Sam is the former president of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Yes on 8 "It's Already Happened" ad (posted 10/7/08):

This is my favorite of the Yes on 8 ads, and by "favorite," I mean the really loathsome ad that makes me chuckle sardonically. I've seen this one on TV more than any other ad, I think. As we've already covered, the charges this ad makes are misleading or outright lies. Still, what's key here is the subtext – if you don't vote yes on Prop. 8, the schools will turn your daughter into a lesbian!!! Aaaaah!!! The little girl also flubs her line, and her "mom" ain't a great actress, either. (The little girl in the Spanish version is better, actually.)

No On 8 "Conversation" ad (posted 10/8/08):

This ad aired a fair amount. It's a smart spot, because it allows people to admit discomfort while pointing out the real stakes.

No on 8 "Lies to Scare You" ad (posted 10/9/08):

This was a good one to add to the mix, especially because it points out the two biggest lies of the Yes on 8 ads.

No on 8 "Hello, I'm No On Prop. 8" ad (10/13/08):

I think I've only seen this online, but it's a fun spot with two followups.

No on 8 "Ellen Degeneres" ad (posted 10/14/08):

This is probably the most effective of the celebrity ads, because Ellen Degeneres is so well known and has won mainstream acceptance. It personalizes the stakes.

No on 8 "No Discrimination" ad (posted 10/15/08):

This is an okay ad which has aired a fair amount, and it's good to have a spot focusing on the core principles in the mix, but I think the more personal ads are far more effective.

Yes on 8 "Everything To Do With Schools" ad (posted 10/20/08):

As we've covered, this is a horribly misleading ad. Unlike Massachusetts, California has opt-out policies for parents. It's a sleazy spot.

No on 8 "Nothing to Do with Schools" ad (posted 10/22/08):

This is a key ad. I also have to note that the online "rebuttal" by the Yes on 8 campaign is awfully weak. Read the whole piece for greater context, but check out this gem:

Specifically, the discussed [sic] whether schools are "required" to teach anything about marriage, and states that they are not.

By this logic, presumably, they would argue that no one in California is required to have a drivers’ license, only the people who want to drive cars are.

If kids weren't required to receive some sort of schooling and instead chose to go or not, this analogy would make more sense, but the entire piece falls apart for other reasons as well, most notably because parents can have their kids opt-out of sex ed. If the Yes on 8 campaign introduces a law that allows one to opt out of getting a driver's license to drive a car legally, we can revisit this analogy, but funny, it would still fail.

No on 8 "Itzhak Perlman" ad (10/22/08):

Another celebrity ad. I like all the ads in this vein, because they put a human face on the issue.

No on 8 "California Clergy" ad (posted 10/22/08):

I haven't seen this one on TV, but I appreciate that it points out that Yes on 8 is not the only "religious" position.

Yes on 8 " Truth" ad (posted 10/24/08):

This is another extremely misleading ad. The Sacramento Bee has a little on the wedding in question, and The San Francisco Chronicle has a longer piece (as well as an op-ed by John Diaz claiming this was a dumb move by Gavin Newsom, who officiated). The kids didn't attend the wedding; they surprised their teacher, who was getting married, outside City Hall. The trip was arranged by two parents (Diaz calls them "well-intentioned but politically naïve"), and crucially, two of the students from the class stayed behind because their parents requested that. I agree that this was an unwise move politically, but even given that, the Yes on 8 crew is pretending kids were forced to attend when that was not the case at all. Oh, and it turns out that Brad Dacus, a key member of the Yes on 8 campaign, "promotes California’s broad opt out law, which allows parents to pull their child from any school activity that violates their religious or moral beliefs."

You can read the cited webpages here and here. We've covered them in general terms already, but you can see that marriage is barely mentioned and it's pretty standard sex ed stuff. The Yes on 8 claims are grossly misleading. As usual, when it comes to matters of curricula, teachers and superintendents are a more reliable authority than, oh, activists with a track record of lying.

You may have also noticed another interesting claim in this ad. It's that "A leading Prop. 8 opponent has warned parents cannot remove students from this instruction." The ad doesn't name this "opponent," who also didn't appear to be mentioned in any of the campaign's press releases as of this writing (if you can find it, let me know). Furthermore, the ad doesn't say this claim is accurate, only that this "opponent" made it.

No on 8 "Moms" ad (posted 10/24/08):

Another human, personal approach.

No on 8 "Ferrera, Plana & Ortiz" ad (posted 10/25/08):

I haven't seen this on TV yet, but I imagine the Spanish version is getting more play.

Parents Demand Prop. 8 ad Taken Down (posted 10/26/08):

This is web only, but it reaffirms the point that parents can opt out of their kids going on field trips (or receiving sex ed, for that matter).

While the lies about education are a smokescreen, they do need to be rebutted, and I think it's important to understand both the mentality of the Yes on 8 crew and who they're trying to target. Prop. 8 is the real radical move here – it would change the state Constitution to deny rights to a specific minority group. The Yes on 8 campaign has consistently lied in furtherance of this goal. Prop. 8 has nothing to do with education or churches – it removes rights. While some of the other California ballot propositions are important as well, Prop. 8 is likely to have the greatest national impact. No on Prop. 8.

Won't Someone Please Think of the Children?

As I was finishing up this piece, Glenn Greenwald posted the following Yes on Prop 8 video from "Clay Music Ministry":

Yikes. As Tim Gunn puts it, "Unattractive." Clearly, Yes on 8 endangers children. And this video obligates a response. So hey, everyone on the Yes on 8 crew!

- I know gay musicians who can kick your ass in song-writing.

- If you think "man" and "eight" rhyme, you really could use some more schoolin' yourself.

- I'm not sure "This Old Man" will help you sell Prop. 8 or your presidential choice on November 4th.

Feel free to add your own response in comments, and please work to ensure a No on 8.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

CA Proposition 4: Parental Notification

I'm dismayed to see this one come up again, because it's the third time in a four years, its proponents are very deceptive and its consequences could be dire. Here's the official summary:


Changes California Constitution to prohibit abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent or legal guardian.

Permits notification to certain adult relatives if doctor reports parent to law enforcement or Child Protective Services.

Provides notification exceptions for medical emergency or parental waiver.

Permits courts to waive notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or best interests.

Mandates reporting requirements, including reports from physicians regarding abortions on minors.

Authorizes damages against physicians for violation.

Requires minor’s consent to abortion, with exceptions.

Prop. 4 endangers teens, and is opposed by The American Academy of Pediatrics (California District), The California Medical Association, The California Association Of Family Physicians, The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists (District Ix), The California Nurses Association, The California Teachers Association, The California Association of School Counselors and Planned Parenthood.

Calitics has a few posts on this, and Digby in "Punishment For Being Human" really covers it all:

It is very dispiriting that California's Prop 4 requiring parental notification for abortions seems to be in danger of passage considering how how high the stakes are for some of the most vulnerable people in our population. It seems that the anti-choice forces are on the verge of another successful chipping away of a woman's right to own her own body and choose her own reproductive future…

…Let me just say that it is a tragedy for any teenager to be forced to bear a child against her will. And that is a very likely outcome for some girls if this proposition passes.

Everyone would prefer that a young woman or girl would have a relationship with her parents that would allow her to seek their help and support if she became pregnant. Many girls probably have that. But an awful lot of them don't. They have abusive parents or those whose values would require them to make an irrevocable decision to bear a child against her will. Girls are, by definition, immature and don't always understand how time works --- they live in denial past the moment when they can explore all their options. Being kids, they don't fully understand the consequences of failing to face reality, and if they have to confide in their parents they may wait longer than they otherwise would, out of embarrassment or fear. And, of course, there is the problem of incest and abuse, which makes it nearly impossible for some girls to tell their parents…

The bottom line is that if this passes, a lot of girls lives are going to be ruined because they couldn't tell their parents, or thought they couldn't tell their parents, and they waited until it was too late. It's just how teenagers are. It could result in a new form of back alley abortion, with girls going to dicey, unregulated practitioners so they don't have to face their folks. It will cause tragedies in any numbers of ways.

Digby has more on how this measure fits into the larger anti-abortion movement and its agenda of social control, so I'd recommend reading the whole thing.

Here's the No on 4 website, which allows you to donate to the cause.

Prop. 4 Ad Watch

For what it's worth, I believe I've only seen one of these air to date. There are Spanish versions of some of them as well.

Yes on 4 "Sexual Predators" Ad (posted 10/2/08):

As Digby notes, the sexual predator ad is a "dishonest, manipulative piece of garbage." The No on 4 site and their rebuttal in the Voter Guide explains why.

No on 4 "Jane's Journey" Ad (posted 10/9/08):

Although it's low-tech, I think this does a good job of explaining the practical obstacles this law would impose.

No on 4 "Bubble" ad (posted 10/14/08). This is the only one I think I've seen air so far:

A similar ad ran back in 2006. I think it gets right to the point.

Yes on 4 "Bubble" Ad (posted 10/15/08):

No on 4 "Gloria Molina" Ad (posted 10/21/08):

No on 4 "Room" Ad (posted 10/22/08):


The Voter Guide and No on 4 have more information, but this Mercury News Editorial (linked by the No on 4 site) really highlights how deceptive the backers are and the consequences:

From top to bottom, Proposition 4 is the most deceptive measure on the California ballot this fall.

It might look like yet another well-meaning but misguided effort - the third in four years - to force minors to notify their parents before seeking an abortion. But this year's version is more insidious. Voters should run to the polls in November to reject it.

The proposition's misleading nature starts out with its name: Sarah's Law. Supporters want you to hear the sobering story of "Sarah," a 15-year-old girl who didn't tell her parents she was pregnant and then died after an abortion. Except "Sarah" didn't live in California. She lived in Texas and was considered to be married under Texas law, so any parental notification law wouldn't have applied to her. And her name isn't Sarah, it's Jamie Garcia Yanez-Villegas.

Most telling of all, her tragic death took place in 1994. That means when Proposition 4 backers went looking for a story to illustrate the need for a parental notification law, they couldn't find a better example in the last decade.

The need for this kind of law in California is wildly exaggerated. Less than 3 percent of California's teenage girls become pregnant every year, and it's well-documented that the vast majority tell their parents. Those who don't often have a good reason. They fear violent reactions or being thrown out of their homes. They are also the most likely to be victims of rape or incest.

These are the girls who most need help. But Proposition 4 threatens to make their tragic circumstance worse by giving them two choices - one worse than the other.

Girls can go before a judge and try to persuade him or her that their parents shouldn't be informed. Navigating the courts scares the bejabbers out of most adults, let alone already frightened teenagers. And delays while they think it over could pose a threat to their health.

That's bad enough, but the alternative offered by Proposition 4 represents a new low. It says pregnant girls can tell "certain adult relatives" - but to be able to receive an abortion, they also have to tell a doctor in writing that they have been victims of child abuse. That would automatically trigger a response by police. So a girl trying to deal with a pregnancy could quickly be mired in a child abuse investigation involving the parents she was afraid to talk to in the first place.
Given those options, teenagers are far more likely to take matters into their own hands, either seeking an abortion in another state or, worse, looking for a back-room abortion. In the old days before Roe v. Wade established a woman's right to choose, these back-room, often unsanitary procedures were common. Many girls and women died or were left sterile as a result.

California has a proud history of putting the health and safety of a child before a parent's right to know - not just for abortions but in cases of drug abuse, mental illness and sexually transmitted disease.

Reducing the number of teenage abortions is an excellent goal. The way to make that happen is through education and effective contraception - not by preying on the most troubled of pregnant teens to make a political point.

I understand and am sympathetic to parental anxiety, but I'm also familiar with how parental anxiety can lead to very bad decisions with dire consequences – in some cases, the precise opposite of what was intended. Meanwhile, when a group lies as much as the Yes on Prop. 4 does, it's a little warning sign not to trust them. A family with trust and communications doesn't need Prop. 4. Girls without that type of family – and especially those subject to physical and/or sexual abuse – will be greatly harmed by it. No on Prop. 4 and this underhanded, dangerous effort yet again.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

True Dat

Unlike Fran, I sorta liked the cheerful stupidity of the original ads (one of my brothers friggin' loved them), but like Fran, I like Wassup 2008:

Fran's also got some bayou music for Barack and a peace sign project for all you damn hippies.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ol' Fred's Homespun Pitch

Hey kids, it's rich lobbyist and 'jes folks' character actor Fred Thompson! (He's readin' sumthin', which proves he's smart 'n' stuff, not matter what Nixon said about him). I wonder what he has to say!

Uh, okay. "Responsible" change is the essence of conservatism?!? Obama's really, really liberal? Basically:

If you're nostalgic for Reagan's fake folksy bullshit, and you're fond of Fred's fake folksy bullshit, then you might be just the type who's attracted by Sarah Palin's fake folksy bullshit and McCain's phony populist crap, especially all the fake folksy bullshit he's shilling about his new BFF, Joe the Plumber, who, besides not being a licensed plumber, would - like the vast majority of the country (95% plus) - benefit more under Obama than McCain. But hey, vote the wrong way and those scary furriners might getcha. So vote for McCain.

That is, if you can forget eight years of fake folksy bullshit from George W. Bush.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Campaign for America's Future

I'm currently doing some guest posting over at the Campaign for America's Future, not that the crew over there needs much help - if you want some good posts on the current economic crisis or other policy discussions, it's a helpful site to visit.

In any case, this is my latest excuse for sporadic posting, although I'm planning to do some original posting here at VS and BH as well.

My one previous post over there is from almost exactly one year ago:

"Hogwash" (10/26/07)

Meanwhile, here's the current crop:

"Pre-Emptive E. Coli" (Monday, 10/20/08)

"The Cheney Rules" (Friday, 10/24/08)

"And a Power Plant in Every Home" (Wednesday, 10/29/08)

"Play Dumb and Keep Moving" (Thursday, 10/30/08)

"Karl Rove and the Atwater Legacy" (Friday, 10/31/08)

"About That Clear "Center-Right" Mandate" (Thursday, 11/6/08)

"Using Justice Against Us" (Friday, 11/7/08)

"Order To The Executive Branch" (Monday, 11/10/08)

More original pieces next week.

I may just update this post rather than linking each individual new entry, but I may change my mind on that. Ha! Just try and stop me!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eclectic Jukebox 10/23/08

The Red Elvises – "I Wanna See You Bellydance"

With all this talk of socialism and the "real America," really, there was only band to feature…

(Bonus: Here's the best version currently posted of "Drinking with Jesus," although it's hard to make out the lyrics.)

Eclectic Jukebox

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

CA Ballot Propositions (Fall 2008)

As I've written before, because California isn't a battleground state, we don't get many national political ads, but every election, we're absolutely deluged by ballot proposition ads. Most are fairly well made from a technical standpoint (the benefit of being in a film industry state), but some are simply propaganda, ranging from the clumsy to the slick. Here's some information for voting.

The California Secretary of State's voter guide online has the specific ballot language, fiscal impact, arguments for and against, and links to the for and against websites. Click on the individual ballot measures in the left hand column for more information. If nothing else, I find it useful to see who's for and against different measures.

On Which Way LA?, a local NPR show, host Warren Olney leads discussions on individual measures, inviting proponents for each side on. Scroll through to find a specific discussion.

The Los Angeles Times and Sacramento Bee don't have comprehensive guides up yet, but do offer some stories on individual measures.

Perhaps of most use to liberal Californians is Calitics, a site for progressive California politics. Here's a snapshot of their endorsements:

(Click the image for a slightly larger view.)

The actual entry explains their positions, and other posts in their endorsements category go further in depth.

I plan to cover some of the other propositions in greater depth myself (especially Prop. 8), but here's a start.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Joe the Plumma!

As soon as John McCain mentioned "Joe the Plumber" in the debate, you knew there was going to be a media scrum. Hey, after falling for faux cowboys like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, and faux warriors like – well, George W. Bush – did anyone think Chris Matthews and other millionaire reg'lar folks could resist? McCain using Joe in ads full of misleading tax information doesn't help any for ignoring Joe.

There are many posts on Joe, but I agree with Thers' take that some of the personal information that's been posted (divorce records) is irrelevant and crosses the line. But, as Thers also says:

There is I think a legitimate question about how accurate he is on the specific grounds upon which he decided to challenge Obama face-to-face. He depicted himself as an Everyman who would be hurt by Obama's tax proposals. He made a specific claim about his economic status and ambitions, relative to what a candidate for president was saying. To that extent he made his own personal economic position fair game -- he brought it up, and clearly intended to put Obama on the spot in that confrontation through this kind of personalization. "Here is me, you don't get me."

There is, after all, a legitimate political and policy issue here. Will Obama's tax proposals, if enacted, do harm to actual or potential small business owners?

The fact that "Joe" was full of shit about this particular point is therefore relevant. And here are the relevant data:

In 2009 about 35 million tax returns will report some income from small businesses, according to Roberton Williams, principal research associate at the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. Of these only about 660,000 tax units — or 1.9 percent — would see an increase under Senator Obama’s tax proposal.

I don't really think you need to go much past that, frankly. This is a person who wants to go on wingnut media as the champion of an entire class of people who will be disadvantaged by a policy proposal, but the inescapable point is that even taking him at his word he would represent 1.6% of a relatively small slice of the entire middle class of Americans. That he wants to babble about "socialism" when the real issue is merely jiggering with the tax code is gravy. Carazy gravy, but gravy.

Thers also explains why the attention on "Joe the Plumber" isn't like the right-wing campaign against Graeme Frost (and yes, Michelle Malkin railing about personal attacks on Joe is absolutely ridiculous), but surely only Howard Kurtz would fall for that sort of false equivalency...

As with the number of John McCain's houses or his "100 years" remarks, Joe the Plumber himself isn't that important, but if he's used to move to the real issues and something substantive, fine. The media typically covers issues of wealth in a misleading fashion when they cover them at all, and the GOP sure as hell isn't going to help supply helpful, accurate information. For more, see Robert Borsage's "The Next Fight" and Bill Scher's "Smearing Tax Cuts As Handouts." There are plenty more where they came from and given the economic woes facing us, we need all the good discussion we can get.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Ah, that Scent

Is it the stench of desperation or madness that wafts to us over the intertubes? Something rotten is at the house of Bill Buckley. Over to Roy Edroso:

END TIMES. These are dark, dark days at The Corner, where they now insist that "consorting" with Bill Ayers "alone disqualifies Obama from being president." Mark Levin cries:

How can anyone who actually follows this stuff, who reads Freddoso, Kurtz, and scores of other reliable sources of information, conclude that Obama is not some wild-eyed radical?

This is rather like saying, "How can someone who lives in a urinal not smell like piss?"

Levin was responding to an exasperated query by David Frum, who hasn't been dazzled by Palin Fever, and wrote:

Does anybody really seriously believe that Barack Obama is a secret left-wing radical? And if not, then what is this fuss and fury supposed to show?

As Hilzoy demonstrates, Levin has plenty of company in seriously believing this crap. She remarks, "The crowd at The Corner seems to have gone well and truly insane." (Like others commenters, I would only take issue with "seems" and "have gone.")

Conservatives often spread crap, but in some cases they know it's crap, in others they don't, and in many they simply don't care. I'm not convinced a lying scumbag is better than a delusional scumbag, but good luck rebuilding that party, Republicans, if this is the way you're going.

Then there's the latest ravings of Michelle Malkin, whose response to being calling an angry, mean loon is to... act like an angry mean loon, of course. Thers dissects Malkin, and then points out:

I'm not sure how more blunt I can be. The McCain/Palin campaign has in the past weeks begun talking the language of the Right Blogosphere, and this has caused their candidates to plummet in the polls and to make even their nominal allies blanch in terror at the sheer lunacy on display.

Ah, but they're hard on the scent of a big story the MSM just will not cover!

Somehow, the ravings of Jonah Goldberg, Mark Levin, Andy McCarthy, Michelle Malkin and the gang call to mind a short piece by Charles Baudelaire:

The Dog and the Scent-Bottle

COME HERE, my dear, good, beautiful doggie, and smell this excellent perfume which comes from the best perfumer of Paris.

And the dog, wagging his tail, which, I believe, is that poor creature's way of laughing and smiling, came up and put his curious nose on the uncorked bottle. Then, suddenly, he backed away in terror, barking at me reproachfully.

"Ah miserable dog, if I had offered you a package of excrement you would have sniffed at it with delight and perhaps gobbled it up. In this you resemble the public, which should never be offered delicate perfumes that infuriate them, but only carefully selected garbage."

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Obama is Intolerant of Angry Bigots

(A NYT photo analyzed by BagNewsNotes.)

If you've been following the liberal blogosphere the past few days, you're bound to have seen video of angry, and in some cases bigoted, McCain-Palin supporters (BH and C&L have posted pretty much all of them, I think). You may have missed this gem though, from Friday 10/10/08. Here's Mark Murray at MSNBC's First Read:

Earlier today, Obama remarked on recent outbursts of "Traitor!" "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" at McCain campaign events. "It's easy to rile up a crowd," Obama said. "Nothing's easier than riling up a crowd by stoking anger and division. But that's not what we need right now in the United States."

In response, McCain senior adviser Nicolle Wallace released this statement, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports. "Barack Obama's assault on our supporters is insulting and unsurprising. These are the same people obama called 'bitter' and attacked for 'clinging to guns' and faith. He fails to understand that people are angry at corrupt practices in Washington and Wall Street and he fails to understand that America's working families are not 'clinging' to anything other than the sincere hope that Washington will be reformed from top to bottom."

"Attacking our supporters is a new low for the campaign that's run more millions of dollars of negative ads than any other in history."

*** UPDATE *** McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers adds in another statement: “Barack Obama’s attacks on Americans who support John McCain reveal far more about him than they do about John McCain. It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn’t understand regular people and the issues they care about. He dismisses hardworking middle class Americans as clinging to guns and religion, while at the same time attacking average Americans at McCain rallies who are angry at Washington, Wall Street and the status quo."

Ben Smith at Politico supplied the next paragraph to that Rogers statement on Obama:

Even worse, he attacks anyone who dares to question his readiness to serve as their commander in chief in chief. Raising legitimate questions about record, character and judgment are a vital part of the Democratic process, and Barack Obama’s effort to silence and shame those who seek answers should make everyone wonder exactly what he is hiding.

'It is clear that Barack Obama just doesn’t understand regular people and the issues they care about' – like, I dunno, lynching the Evil Other consistently demonized by their parties' leaders and flacks. These campaign statements appear to have been issued before McCain defended Obama as a "decent man" to some of his more rabid supporters, but they're still pretty despicable (and apparently "Arabs" cannot be "decent men"). Yet while McCain deserves some credit for defending Obama, let's be honest – he really had to in these instances. Video of McCain affirming the most virulent and inexcusable of smears against Obama would be deadly to him with journalists and independents. The success of this sort of smear campaign depends on innuendo, code words and deniability when it enters the mainstream.

McCain's continued his long tradition of policy reversals, of course. This past Friday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis contradicted earlier McCain rhetoric by claiming that McCain 'blew up' the initial economic package (when McCain "suspended" his campaign). That's newsworthy on its own, but it deals with policy and McCain's shifting bullshit. Far more stark and more TV-friendly is the obvious contradictions in the rhetoric of McCain-Palin when it comes to smearing Obama. It's honestly hard to keep up with all the articles and posts on the subject, because they just keep coming. But here's a few samples.

Via the post "Rage" at Balloon Juice, we learn that CNN reported on Saturday:

McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said that he didn’t know who those people were and if they were there as supporters or to disrupt the rallies.

I suppose those would be the same Obama agitators that Obama was "insulting" on Friday. Meanwhile, by Sunday, Rick Davis was using the P.O.W. defense. He was also demanding an apology from Barack Obama for remarks by Congressman John Lewis, who stated:

As one who was a victim of violence and hate during the height of the Civil Rights Movement, I am deeply disturbed by the negative tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse.

During another period, in the not too distant past, there was a governor of the state of Alabama named George Wallace who also became a presidential candidate. George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.

As public figures with the power to influence and persuade, Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are playing with fire, and if they are not careful, that fire will consume us all. They are playing a very dangerous game that disregards the value of the political process and cheapens our entire democracy. We can do better. The American people deserve better.

So, to recap, Rick Davis demanded an apology from Barack Obama for a statement by John Lewis condemning language that McCain himself implicitly condemned... but Sarah Palin has continued. At this point, I guess the crowd aren't agitators anymore, they're back to being good, honest 'Muricans, and so is McCain. Man, that's one schizophrenic campaign. The "honor" line really doesn't wash. Time magazine reports:

If John McCain is as serious as he says about running a "respectful" campaign against an opponent he considers "a decent person," word hasn't yet trickled down to his newly opened storefront field office in Gainesville, Virginia...

With so much at stake, and time running short, [state GOP Chairman Jeffrey M.] Frederick did not feel he had the luxury of subtlety. He climbed atop a folding chair to give 30 campaign volunteers who were about to go canvassing door to door their talking points — for instance, the connection between Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden: "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon," he said. "That is scary." It is also not exactly true — though that distorted reference to Obama's controversial association with William Ayers, a former 60s radical, was enough to get the volunteers stoked. "And he won't salute the flag," one woman added, repeating another myth about Obama. She was quickly topped by a man who called out, "We don't even know where Senator Obama was really born." Actually, we do; it's Hawaii.

We also have:

Digby: Honorable Putz

TPM: "McCain Campaign Now Attacks Michelle Obama Over Ayers"

Obsidian Wings: "The GOP's Sorcerer's Apprentice Problem" and "His Love-Hate Affair With His Racist Clientele*"

Balloon Juice: "I Feel Like Rich Lowry" and "Beyond Ugly"

Sadly, No: The Right doesn’t merely promote violence when they’re about to lose power"

And that's exactly right – it's not as if this violent, bigoted, eliminationist rhetoric is anything new to anyone following the right-wing blogosphere for a few years. I recently re-read some older posts - "A Recap of the Sliming of Graeme Frost", Howard Kurtz' whitewashing of that shameful campaign, a "Torture Watch" post, and "That Damned Liberal Racism," which chronicled some of the early articles selling this Obama-is-a-Muslim crap. Other blogs have documented right-wing smears far more relentlessly. But the only thing new, really, is that more mainstream outlets are actually taking note this time.

I've seen many writers say the McCain campaign is "playing with fire," or refer to Pandora's Box, or wonder how to get "the hate genie" back in the bottle. It's hard to keep up with all of those pieces, just as it's hard to keep up with the shifting bullshit of the McCain campaign and all the examples that expose them as hypocrites, liars and dishonorable people. I suppose we should be grateful some of the press is noting that and reporting it (although if they could stop the ridiculous false equivalencies, we'd be better off). David Brooks has copped to his party's obvious anti-intellectualism and hatred of merit and competency (see the ObWi posts above), but his move reeks of an attempt to salvage his credibility by stating what's long been obvious to those in the reality-based community. I have to admit I'm pretty irked as well, and side with those who have intoned that should (god forbid) harm fall on Obama, it will be on the heads on McCain, Palin and the many hate merchants of the Republican Party. To them, I'd say, this shtick has gone far beyond annoying and mendacious – it's become genuinely dangerous. To the MSM, I'd say, the liberal blogosphere has pointed out this violent rhetoric time and time again, and you've largely ignored it or minimized it. The more you report it accurately now, the better.

As Digby points out, if Obama wins, he'll face tough challenges from the right-wingers and the press corps. Those challenges might be a bit easier with each victory now. But the challenges also cut in another direction – the McCain campaign, the Michelle Malkin wingnut crowd, and the angry mobs at the rallies all risk further alienating swing voters from the Republican Party. And you'll have to excuse me if I laugh at the McCain campaign complaining that the Obama campaign is intolerant of McCain's smears and appeals to bigotry and fear.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

The Undecided Vote

Some people are still sincerely struggling over their choice for president, and there are some voters who haven't had the time before now to look carefully into the candidates on the major issues. Okay. (I would think most people at least would have a take on Iraq and the economy, and know the candidates' positions on Iraq, but okay.) Engaged but undecided voters are one thing, but proudly or lazily ignorant voters are another matter. These days, it's possible to catch up on the debates online. Anyone can read the candidates' websites for key policies. The media's actually been doing some fact-checking, and good blogs certainly do so. Obviously the hard-core yellow dog voters are going to vote for their party regardless, and added to that, the authoritarians of movement conservatism aren't big on the whole 'merit and competency' thing. But I know I speak for many when I say I'm really sick of worshipping the "undecided voter." Yes, it is a key voting block. But good grief, why is this choice so agonizing? There's this guy named Bush who's been in the White House for almost eight entire years, his party's been in power for most of that time, and it's hard to miss that their reign has been kinda a disaster – actually, multiple disasters. One of the candidates, McCain, has voted the Bush line over 90% of the time and has nearly identical policies on major issues. Fer gawdssake, is it this really so goddam hard?

(Side point – if you're like me and a fan of a certain sports franchise, one bit stings, but it actually becomes funnier the more they pile on. SNL accomplished the same in their debate spoof with Bill Murray's cameo and the same target. It's a good comedy note.)

Charles Blow at The New York Times has a more serious breakdown on swing voters (via Amy at Incertus), and Thers examines Ann Althouse's comically tortured voter's constipation. But let us also turn to Atrios:

Let's face it, just about anyone who is an undecided voter at this point is... well, not especially bright. Some are genuinely stupid, and some may be smart people who just don't think paying attention to current events is a valuable use of their time. Obviously from the perspective of predicting election outcomes it's useful to know what these people are thinking. However, it's not clear why handing a debate over to 80 of them and letting them write the questions (chosen by Brokaw, of course) is supposed to enlighten the rest of us.

And it's hard to top Miss Britt, who notes that "There is a big difference between being undecided because you don’t have all the information and being undecided because you are still trying to decide which issues and priorities mean the most to you," but also writes:

If you are still undecided because of lack of information*, the fault is not with either candidate. The blame for your lack of knowledge lies with you.

If you don’t care, admit you don’t care. If you’re unsure because you’re waffling on which plan is best, then say you’re not sure which plan is best.

But don’t say you don’t know because you haven’t been told.

We only allow adults to vote in this country. You, as the voting public, have been told everything you could possibly want to know. You’ve been told about more than personal biographies and mud slinging. You’ve had access all along to more than speeches and one liner quips.

The question, 60 days from the next presidential election, is no longer WHAT WILL THEY TELL YOU? The question is, what responsibility will YOU TAKE in listening to what they’ve already said?

Get Informed. It’s a verb.


One Seriously Pissed Off DECIDED Voter

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Eclectic Jukebox 10/9/08

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

You'll recognize the tune. Via Brave Sir Robin. (I think Paul Anka's cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" works better than their version, but their rendition of Morricone music from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is worth checking out.)

Eclectic Jukebox

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"That One"

(Click for a larger image.)

Well, can you really blame old Saint Johnnie – it's a hard, lonely campaign trail when you're behind.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Roundup 10/7/08

Religulous: Reviewed by skippy and Dennis Hartley.

Winks and Starbursts dissected by Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings , Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast, Marlene H. Phillips, Kathy G, Sadly, No, LG&M, Fighting Liberals and Steve Audio. Plus, Blue Gal expresses her undying luv for that dreamy Joe Biden.

Bonus: If you missed Rebecca Traister's much-discussed piece on Palin, do check it out (it pretty much sums up my take), John Cole states what should be obvious about the "real" Sarah Palin, and Jill considers the Palin 'Rapture Fever' angle.

Finally, there's the Campaign for America's Future's latest national debate ad: "Even the Rope We're Hanging Ourselves with is Made in China"

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)

Obama Ad on McCain and the Economy

As we've discussed before, an ad being "negative" often isn't a problem - the real issue is whether it's accurate and pertinent or not. An accurate, fair, and relevant "negative" ad gives voters key information, while a deceptive smear does not. I think this one's pretty fair and very much on target.

(Cross-posted at The Blue Herald)