July 2008 Archives
Obama's Hat-Tip to German Design
shadowcampaigner at meaningfuldesign blog notes that the design of the Obama flyers handed out in Berlin that have the right wing bloggers in a bit of an uproar are actually a thoughtful nod by the Obama graphic design team to a influential German design movement of the 20th century.
Obama gets a lift from the king
Time admits it: John McCain is a long shot
Obama's Trip - The Day in Images
ARG: Bush's Job Approval Rating Drops to 21%
It's happened. ARG is reporting that "George W. Bush's overall job approval has dropped to 21% as 76% of American say the national economy is getting worse" according to their latest survey.
Among all Americans, 21% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 72% disapprove. When it comes to Bush's handling of the economy, 17% approve and 77% disapprove.
Among Americans registered to vote, 22% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 71% disapprove. When it comes to the way Bush is handling the economy, 18% of registered voters approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 77% disapprove.
A total of 76% say the national economy is getting worse, 61% say their household financial situations are getting worse, and 68% say the national economy is in a recession. Of those disapproving of the way Bush is handling his job, 84% say the national economy is getting worse, 73% say their household financial situations are getting worse, and 79% say the national economy is in a recession.
The results presented here are based on 1,100 completed telephone interviews conducted among a nationwide random sample of adults 18 years and older. The interviews were completed July 16 through 19, 2008. The theoretical margin of error for the total sample is plus or minus 2.6 percentage points, 95% of the time, on questions where opinion is evenly split.
More charts and stats available at their site.
Brzezinski on Obama and Afghanistan
Dkos diarist route66 has an interesting post about the Financial Times interview with Zbignew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor for President Carter, on Afghanistan and Obama. Route66's analysis adds some interesting historical perspective on Brzezinski and Afghanistan that will be of interest to those not familiar with his tenure in the NSA.
Gristmill's roundup of blogosphere reaction to Gore's call for 100% renewable electricity in 10 years
Sara Barz of Grist's blog The Gristmill has put together a comprehensive survey of the blogosphere's reactions to Al Gore's call on Americans to join a crusade for 100 percent renewable electricity use by 2018. Lots of good reading in store.
Frank Rich on McCain: It's the Economic Stupidity, Stupid
Frank Rich lays out the goods on McCain in his column today in scathing terms.
White House Accidentally E-Mails Story - Have the freshmen taken over?
Maybe it's because of this:
... the dwindling days of the Bush White House, a time when vacancies are growing ever more difficult to fill and fresh-faced aides barely out of college are reveling in big promotions and flying around the world on Air Force One.
"The 30-somethings have now left, and we're down to 20-somethings," said Paul C. Light, a political scientist at New York University and the author of a recent book on presidential transitions. "It's kind of like a summer job in college."
"A realignment year not unlike 1896 or 1932"
thereisnospoon has a thoughtful post up on dkos titled "Why The GOP Is Seriously Screwed if Obama Wins". Excerpting wouldn't do it justice ... just go read.
Funniest campaign blog: Go donate $8
Responding to despicable Republican 9-11 billboard ad
Sen. Andrew Rice has written a powerful first person story that addresses directly the despicable billboard ads in Florida.
Bonddad does the Proof: Dems Are Better For the Economy
Bonddad has the goods in language that non-economists can understand.
This still happens
Imagine living in a community where the water main installed in 1956 stopped a couple hundred feet short and despite repeated requests to elected officials, didn't get extended until 2003 after a lawsuit was underway. You don't have to imagine though. It happened in Muskingum County, Ohio.
Dennis Ross Returns
Obama adds Dennis Ross to his team of foreign policy advisers.
Even before Barack Obama says a word upon his arrival in Israel next week, close observers of America's role in the region will get a message from the presence in his delegation of a tall, slightly disheveled diplomat well known to the power players of the Middle East. In a region where simple words and gestures can be taken as weighty indicators of intent, Arabs and Israelis alike will see much meaning in the return of Dennis Ross.
In one way, the message is simple: Ross, a career foreign service officer, was lead negotiator on Israeli-Palestinian issues for Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and he got the two sides as close as they've come to a peace deal before stepping down after the 2000 election. His presence alongside Obama in Israel, the Palestinian territories and Jordan is designed to signal the senator's intent to resume the active pursuit of the peace process, which Obama claims President George W. Bush has derailed through inaction.
McCain raises $62.5 million through public finance loophole
So much for public financing and straight talk. Let's see how long it takes all the media types who've been excoriating Obama for his alleged change on public financing to start in on McCain. Hint: don't hold your breath while waiting. From The Jed Report:
...according to FEC reports filed on July 15, through June 30, John McCain had raised at $62.5 million in private funds that can be used for his general election campaign -- even though he's already committed to accepting public funding for the general.
Moreover, based on my own analysis, of that $62.5 million, three-quarters -- $46.3 million -- comes from a total of 1,803 wealthy individuals who made five figure contributions averaging $25,664 each.
So not only is John McCain blatantly violating his public financing pledge, but he's doing it in grand style, raising money in increments of up to $70,000 per donor -- more than thirty times the amount a donor can give to Barack Obama's general election campaign. [...]
First, ten days before Barack Obama announced his decision to forgo the public finance system, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis told McCain supporters that the campaign had discovered a way around the campaign finance system that would allow McCain to raise at least as much money as Obama -- if not more.
Second, of the $62.5 million in private funds that McCain can use in the general election, $54.1 million -- 86% -- was raised before Barack Obama's decision.
So it is absolutely clear that even as the McCain campaign was telling reporters one thing about their intention to stick by the public financing pledge, they were actually raising tens of millions of dollars from private sources for the general election campaign.
In short, the McCain campaign brazenly lied to the media.
The issue isn't that John McCain will withdraw from the public finance system -- he won't -- but rather that he's devised a way to spend tens if not hundreds of millions in privates funds even as he takes $85 million in taxpayer funds. (Talk about a bridge to nowhere.)
Jed has lots more info ... do go read.
How many troops remain in Iraq
Though the surge is evidently now over, that does not mean that we have cut the number of troops in Iraq to pre-surge levels. This AP story at TPM has the details.
NYT - Sloppy Journalist Redux
Comedians on Obama or not
It seems the comedians are having a tough time developing a hook or a frame for Obama humor.
Ta-Nehisi Coates on Jesse Jackson
Ta-Nehisi had an interesting post on Jesse Jackson and his relationship to the Obama campaign and pointed out something that I didn't know.
One constantly overlooked fact about Jesse is that he--quite literally--made Barack Obama possible. People often say this in a really hazy, metaphorical way, pointing out that Jesse "paved the way" or "knocked down doors" for Barack. But those sort of weak homilies actually understate how much Jesse did for Barack.
After losing in 84 and 88, Jackson's people, Harold Ickes being principle, fought for proportional representation in all states: [...]
If you recall in the primaries, half of Barack's strategy was to keep it close in states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, thus keeping Clinton from rolling up tons of delegates. It helped, of course, that Clinton's people basically ceded the caucuses allowing Barack to roll up huge leads in those states. Still, I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that had Jesse Jackson not fought for those rule changes, Barack wouldn't be the Democratic nominee.
Speaking of coattails
Maryland Representative John Sarbanes has a great little clip on how to use my.barackobama.com including organizing joint Sarbanes - Obama events. Talk about coattails.
FL: 106,508 new Dems vs. 16,686 new Reps
Could be that Florida isn't quite as red or pink as many of the polling maps show these days. Per the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com, Voter registrations in Florida show 'huge swing' toward Democrats from January through May of this year.
WaPo doesn't mince words on McCain Math
The Washington Post editorial starts with this:
SEN. JOHN McCain says that President McCain would balance the federal budget by 2013. The plan is not credible.
The editorial goes on to shred his plan into little bits. When McCain said he really needed to be educated on economics, he meant it and evidently, it hasn't happened yet. The education that is. If you missed them the first time around, Rachel Maddow has a round-up of his economic misstatements on Countdown.
Frank Rich: The Real-Life '24' of Summer 2008
Frank Rich discusses Jane Mayer's new book The Dark Side in his NY Times op-ed column today along with some chilling observations on how the current state of national security lines up with what was happening in 2001:
And so we're back where we started in the summer of 2001, with even shark attacks and Chandra Levy's murder (courtesy of a new Washington Post investigation) returning to the news. We are once again distracted and unprepared while the Taliban and bin Laden's minions multiply in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This, no less than the defiling of the Constitution, is the legacy of an administration that not merely rationalized the immorality of torture but shackled our national security to the absurdity that torture could easily fix the terrorist threat.
He quit rather than lower flag for Helms
Doing unto Fox News what they did to the NYT reporters
Countdown: FISA Capitulation
Rachel Maddow and Jonathan Turley cover the current state of the FISA bill in the Senate which is due to be voted on today.
It's a sad day for the rule of law in America; codifying that the President of the United States is indeed above the rule of law.
H/T to noweasels at dkos and videocafeblog on youtube
NYT reporter takes on Fox News
"Want some torture with your peanuts?" Stun bracelets for all airline passengers
From the Moonie Times comes this incredible story in which a senior DHS official
...has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.
This bracelet would:
• take the place of an airline boarding pass
• contain personal information about the traveler
• be able to monitor the whereabouts of each passenger and his/her luggage
• shock the wearer on command, completely immobilizing him/her for several minutes
The Electronic ID Bracelet, as it's referred to as, would be worn by every traveler "until they disembark the flight at their destination." Yes, you read that correctly. Every airline passenger would be tracked by a government-funded GPS, containing personal, private and confidential information, and that it would shock the customer worse than an electronic dog collar if he/she got out of line?
H/T to John Cole
Ex-EPA official: Cheney meddled on climate change and public health testimony
Cheney strikes out at the American people again. How? By eliminating nearly half the testimony being offered by the CDC on climate change and public health because he feared it would "make it harder to avoid regulating greenhouse gases".
Poll: The Voters on Science
Sefora and the SHARP network have done a poll of voters concerning science and public policy. Seems the majority of people do care about science.
First Person: Rescuing a kid
Two roads has an extraordinary personal story posted at Daily Kos about his foster son, how he met him, and what their journey together has been like. It's sprinkled with lots of factoids as well. Go read and learn.
Clarifying Obama's stance on abortion and choice
John Campanelli has posted a thoughtful diary that clarifies just what Obama said and didn't say in the interview that has had so many purity trolls frothing at the mouth in the left blogosphere. I appreciate the straightforward and nuanced statement that Obama has provided.
Devilstower has an important post about Peak Metal. Those in manufacturing as well as us consumers should pay attention. It will have the same effect on those items and the economy surrounding them as running out of oil will have and we'll run out of them far sooner according to knowledgeable predictions.
Bonddad does it once again in his post about what's really going on in the economy and how it's being discussed in the media and right-wing blogs. Then he adds a large dose of reality from that 'most liberal' of institutions, the Federal Reserve. Definitely worth your time.
McCain's elitism problem
Matthew Yglesias fills us in on McCain's elitism problem.
What? You didn't know about it? It's that darn "liberal" media again demonstrating their cuddle-up-to-the-right-wing tendencies so no one accuses them of telling the truth.
TPMCafe: One Small Step For Equality
TPMCafe points out a report of success for some and failure for others of the change in focus of admission policies to elite universities. Seems that eliminating tuition at Harvard for children of families making $60k or less annually has increased the competition for children of higher-income families who otherwise would likely have been admitted under the prior arrangements.
Disrespect: a homework assignment for John McCain
Before McCain speaks again about being dissed, he needs to read karateexplosions' His Military Service Was Not Honored. That's a story of disrespect.
Steve Benen on Obama's government and religion initiative
Steve Benen brings some much needed perspective to the discussion.
One of dkos's best
One of dailykos's best diarists, OrangeClouds115, does today what she does for us all on many days: point out the poor state of the media coverage on food and food production related items. In the post Did I Mention I'm a Republican? she exposes the illogic behind the latest Monsanto press release and stenographer-like coverage by mainstream media.
The judges quote Lewis Carroll
Something about this is just satisfying. It's so re-affirming to hear a federal appeals court point out just how absurd the Bush administration is. From the New York Times:
With some derision for the Bush administration's arguments, a three-judge panel said the government contended that its accusations against the detainee should be accepted as true because they had been repeated in at least three secret documents.
The court compared that to the absurd declaration of a character in the Lewis Carroll poem "The Hunting of the Snark": "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true."
"This comes perilously close to suggesting that whatever the government says must be treated as true," said the panel of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
Now, if only people had been less credulous in 2002.
KABOBfest: A day in the life of Juan David
Alternet: The 10 Most Awesomely Bad Moments of the Bush Presidency
It's tough to argue with Brad Reed's choice of lowlights of the Bush administration at alternet. Just underscores why W is the worst president ever.
What to do if you get push-polled or message-tested
Desmoinesdem has an excellent post up about of those phone calls that pop up during every election season.
Hayes: The New Right-Wing Smear Machine
Hayes did a good job on it and it probably should have gotten wider play than it did when it was written. H/T to Ben Smith.
McCain, Clark and the SBVT Liars
One of Andrew Sullivan's readers has the best take on the Clark-McCain kerfuffle. What's disturbing though is McCain's reliance on the SBVT liars for his defense. As Beachmom documented earlier, McCain repudiated the SBVT liars. Now that an election is at stake, his standards of truth and honesty have changed.