Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Turning to the US presidential election.  To The Contrary's Bonnie Erbe (US News & World Reports) notes, "The only prediction I have made, and with which I shall stick, is that Tuesday is going to be a long, long night."  Erbe also notes, "If nothing else is obscene about this presidential election (and plenty is IMHO), then the fact that together the candidates will be spending $8 per vote to win the White House clearly meets and exceeds the obscenity descriptor."  Erbe's referring to the Democratic presidential ticket and the Republican ticket only.  There are other candidates.  But starting with the Republican presidential ticket, John McCain is the nominee and Sarah Palin is his running mate.  Scott Conroy (CBS News) reports Palin's agenda today was "six cities in five states" and that she flies late tonight back to Alaska to vote Tuesday morning only to fly to Phoenix later Tuesday.  At the McCain - Palin '08 blog, Matt Lira offers:
This is a historic election and, because of your activism and support, we will achieve victory on Election Day. Our campaign has defied expectations, not because of beltway pundits, but because of people like you who have always been there when it mattered most.

Click here to find your voting location and to get out the vote for John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.
Cindy McCain (disclosure, I know and like Cindy) is John McCain's spouse and they have four children  -- one of whom, Meghan McCain (McCainBloggette), wrote the following at her site yesterday:

"America is worth fighting for" is my favorite line of my father's speech. I think it is so poignant, and essentially, it captures the reason why I have always loved, supported and believed in my father. It is why I believe he would be the best President for our country now, at a point where we face many challenges abroad and also at home, where so many of our fellow Americans are going through difficult times. The fact that our country is and always will be worth for fighting for is the essence of why I have been so inspired to participate in this campaign, and throughout this process I have been even more inspired by the people and the places I have encountered along the way, around our great country.

We are truly the luckiest people in the world, and I have been very fortunate to be a part of this experience on the campaign, and to be able to share it with so many of you. The next three days will fly by and no doubt be pretty crazy, so let me just say thanks right now for getting involved too. This is what was at the heart of what I hoped to achieve with my blog, and it has gone beyond my expectations. Stay tuned for more from the trail tomorrow!

John and Cindy McCain issued a statement today: "We offer our deepest condolences to Barack Obama and his family as they grieve the loss of their beloved grandmother.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to them as they remember and celebrate the life of someone who had such a profound impact in their lives."  Meanwhile Brian Montopoli (CBS News) reports that Democratic Party presidential candidate Barack Obama finally found an 'issue' he could sink his teeth into: "Having said that, brothers should pull up their pants.  You are walking by your mother, your grandmother, your underwear showing.  What's wrong with that?  Come on."  Come on, indeed.  Barack with an issue that matters to him and finally a concrete plan for an issue.  It only took until the day before the election for the fashionista and Men's Vogue cover boy to find an issue.
But the press bias towards Obama doesn't represent a simple revulsion for the Republican party. It was on display in the Democratic primaries with the persecution of Hillary Clinton. Worst of all, in the primaries, the press let the Obama campaign get away with continuous insinuations below the radar that the Clintons were race-baiters. Instead of exposing that absurd defamation for what it was - a nasty smear - the media sedulously propagated it.
Clinton made the historically correct and uncontroversial remark that civil rights legislation came about from a fusion of the dreams of Dr Martin Luther King and the legislative follow-through by President Lyndon Johnson. The New York Times misrepresented that as a disparagement of King, twisting her remarks to imply that "a black man needed the help of a white man to effect change". This was one of a number of manipulations on race by the Obama campaign, amply documented by the leading Democratic historian, Princeton's Sean Wilentz. Clinton came close to tears in a coffee shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which many thought helped her to win an upset victory there. MSNBC television gave a platform to the Chicago congressmen, Jesse Jackson Jr, where he questioned her tears and claimed that she'd not shed any tears for the black victims of Katrina, and that she'd pay for that in the South Carolina primary, where 45% of the electorate would be African-Americans.
In fact, MSNBC ran a non-stop campaign for Obama propelled by the misogyny of its anchors, Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and David Shuster. Chelsea Clinton joining Clinton's campaign prompted Shuster to report she was "pimping" for her mother.
Meanwhile Democrat Jerry Nadler raised the issue of Jeremiah Wright in Florida.  Jake Tapper (ABC News -- link has video) quotes Nadler stating, "Think of the history here.  You have a guy who's half-white, half-black.  He goes to an Ivy League school, comes to Chicago . . . to start a political career.  Doesn't know anybody.  Gets involved with community organizing -- why?  Because that's how you form a base.  OK.  Joins the largest church in the neighborhood.  About 8,000 members. . . . Why did he join the church? . . . Because that's how you get to know people.  Now maybe it takes a couple years [before Barack's thinking] 'Jesus, the guy's a nut, the guy's a lunatic.'  But you don't walk out of a church with 8,000 members in your district. . .   He didn't have the political courage to make the statement of walking out."
Ralph Nader is the independent presidential candidate and Matt Gonzalez is his running mate.  Tomorrow Ralph will be holding a one-word response press conference:

Contact: Marc Abizeid, 202-471-5833, marcabizeid@votenader.org

TUESDAY, NOV. 4 - Nader to Hold One-Word Response Press Conference


Special questioning/interview opportunities for members of the foreign media

In deference to the sound bite journalism that dominates presidential political media coverage, independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will host a press conference at which he will only issue one-word responses to questions for the first 30 minutes.

Who: Ralph Nader

What: Special One-hour Press Conference. For the first half of the Press Conference, Mr. Nader will answer all questions with just a one-word response. For the second half of the press conference, foreign press credentialed media will be given priority.

Where: National Press Club, Murrow Room, 13th Floor - National Press Building, 529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

When: 12 Noon, Tuesday, November 4

Many people will be breaking the two-party strangle-hold.  Team Nader periodically highlights voices who have made the break and here is the latest:
My name is Pat and I am a resident in Nutley, N.J. Today, I took my ten year old son to the Nutley Public Library, where a mock election was being held for all elementary school students. Over the last two weeks, flyers came home with my son's homework about the event. The flyer promoted the event to kids and told them they could have their photos taken with their favorite candidate.
My son, who is aware of my support for Mr. Nader, said me "Dad, I bet they don't have a picture of Mr. Nader there at the library." I agreed with him and he deceided he wanted to participate in the mock election on November first.
We left for the library with our camera in hope of seeing Mr. Nader. Upon arrival, we were directed to the Stockton Room, where the election was being held. As we entered the room, two life sized cardboard cutouts of Sen, Obama and Sen, McCain were in the center of the room. I laughed to myself when I saw that Sen. McCain was standing on the left and Sen. Obama on the right. Mr. Nader's cardboard cutout was nowhere to be found. We were greeted by two women and a young girl, who were poll workers.
They greeted us and asked my son his name. They had him sign his name in a book and proceeded to give him a ballot. This ballot contained only two names: John McCain and Barack Obama. Again, Mr. Nader's name was not on the ballot. The children were not even given a place for write in candidate. After giving my son the ballot , he was directed to one of three voting booths, where he could make his selection. From behind the cutrtain my son called to me, "Hey Dad, how do you spell independent." I told him I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T. He told me he wrote that below the other choices and placed a large check mark next to the word. He also wrote down Mr. Nader's name and placed his ballot in a collection box.
Upon emerging from the voting booth, my son was asked if he would like to have his picture taken with his candidate. He said he would and he stood off to the far left away from the two cardboard cutouts, next to an American flag standing in the corner. As, I flashed the picture, the two women said, "No, stand next to your candidate and take the picture" With that my son said, "But my candidate is not here" All we heard from the women was a puzzled "Oh!!"
Teach civics in the schools.
-- Pat Sweeney
  Nutley, NJ

Independent journalist John Pilger (Information Clearing House) speaks the harsh truth many so-called 'independent' journalists refuse to: 
Obama's job is to present a benign, even progressive face that will revive America's democratic pretensions, internationally and domestically, while ensuring nothing of substance changes.
Among ordinary Americans desperate for a secure life, his skin colour may help him regain this unjustified "trust", even though it is of a similar hue to that of Colin Powell, who lied to the United Nations for Bush and now endorses Obama. As for the rest of us, is it not time we opened our eyes and exercised our right not to be lied to, yet again?
And finally, Cynthia McKinney is the Green Party presidential candidate and Rosa Clemente is her running mate. We'll again note Kimberly and Ian Wilder's "Vote Green Party On Tuesday!" (On The Wilder Side):

November 1, 2008
This is an exciting time for us! The Green Party has never been as relevant

as it is today. As Congress offers trillion-dollar bailouts to Wall Street,
people living on Main Street struggle to stay in their homes and pay for
basic needs. Why is Congress bailing out corporations while the public
slides into economic insecurity? Because the industries that will benefit
from the bailout are some of the largest campaign contributors to political campaigns.
But never fear because you can VOTE GREEN on Tuesday and choose People Power over corporate power. Support
Cynthia McKinney for President and
Rosa Clemente for Vice President; and, support other Green candidates
running in your community. Greens are running for office across the
country for 60 types of office. Check them out! To find out who's
running in your community, click here.
Once elected, Greens will not betray the public interest for corporate

cash. We accept no corporate money because we believe corporate
influence is what's wrong with politics.
If you believe healthcare is a right for all, not to be governed by the

profit motive of insurance companies, support the Green Party and
our campaign for Single Payer Healthcare.
If you believe offshore drilling furthers our national addiction to fossil

fuels; and want to see positive solutions like renewable energy, local food production, local businesses and better public transportation- Help
elect Greens who will make it a reality.
If you believe every vote must be counted, that higher education should

be available to everyone, that climate change is real, that the war on
drugs is racist, and that the privatization of public goods and services
is wrong and that we need to BRING OUR TROOPS HOME NOW stand
up and support the party that will stand up for you The Green Party.
If you want to see a clean, healthy future for our children, make sure

we have a strong Green Party today