The Obama blog:
This change in focus means we have an entirely new set of calling campaigns to use, replacing the previous ones. These new Get Out The Vote calling campaigns are designed to provide our supporters with key voting information: location of polling place, hours of voting, and the motivation to cast a ballot. You'll also be able to record which supporters have already early voted, which will help our team on the ground narrow the universe of voters they have to contact. To get started, just select the state you'd like to help impact on our national call map.
You'll have access to all the key battleground states. These calls are targeted to our supporters, so they are easy and fun to make ‑‑ they're also an incredibly important part of our field plan. Of course, sometimes you'll encounter non‑supporters on your lists, but don't worry ‑‑ no list is perfect, and every conversation is an opportunity to win over a new supporter.
These new Get Out The Vote campaigns will continue through Monday (more on Election Day operations later.) The key thing to remember is that the more calls you make, the more voters you'll reach and the bigger difference you'll have in the outcome of this election.
We've been waiting (and preparing) for this moment for a long time, and now it's here. Thank you again for all you do.
Personally, I despise making phone calls, but I love working on the street. Find what you love to do, and then do it. Do something.
This is priceless:
Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama's associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate's free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.
"If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations," Palin told host Chris Plante, "then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media."
She's George W. Bush without the intellect. God, I hope this woman is a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination in four years.
Over a million people lining Broad Street today. Lots of sirens. Between the inevitable knucklehead behavior at the parade and the opportunistic criminals out in the neighborhoods, I'd hate to be a Philly cop today.
But like I said before, it's his only shot, but it's almost certainly not going to work. He might save himself from a total rout, though. And the unintended consequence may be, if Obama does raise some taxes and the economy improves, of undermining the effectiveness of the "tax and spend liberal" attack in the future.
If you live in a state that is not in play and want to come help out in a battleground state, go here and volunteer. We need your help this weekend and on election day.
From the guy who did this:
This, "A Poem for the Youth Voter":
John Rogers at Kung Fu Monkey:
Maybe this is true. Sometimes when people win or lose, others make up stories that explain what happened. Did Obama make a 30-minute ad to bore people into voting for him? Or was it just that the campaign has millions to spend and decided to buy up all the available advertising time between now and election day? As someone else said, every day we're talking about a half-hour campaign ad is another day John McCain can't reach the people he needs to persuade.
Forget what I said yesterday, Obama at least has two new radio ads running in the Philadelphia market.
The first is an attack ad featuring three or four real people, all women who give their names, and who go after McCain on everything from taxes to health care to abortion rights, then praise Obama's policies and character. The women all sound like they could be middle-class Philadelphians. The phrase "I trust Barack Obama" is used.
The second is a positive ad voiced by Obama. He talks about getting past partisan divisions and reducing the influence of special interests. It concludes with his statement that we can ensure "better days ahead", a phrase he's been using since October 8th. ("Better days ahead" = "It's morning in America.") I expect to hear those words a lot in the next five days.
Tomorrow afternoon, I am going to go into the local Obama office and help prepare the walk packets for the GOTV canvassers in my ward. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, I am going out canvassing from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election day, I am poll watching from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
There are lots of volunteers like me in Philadelphia and around the country, but this election is an enormous job and we need everyone to help. Can you clear your schedule for several hours in a row this weekend? How about all day? Sign up here to volunteer.
People going nuts here. Poured out into the streets started making their way up to Broad Street, cheering. Impromptu rally and parade up to City Hall. The real parade will supposedly be Friday.
My biggest contribution to the campaign so far: I suggested that the I and the N be blue. Genius.
Strange suits stand next to television reporters as mystified volunteers continue working in the background. Important men we've never seen in the office before talk about (their) leadership.
A visiting Congressman interrupts and says he doesn't want to interrupt. We stop work to receive a pep talk. He uses the word "commitment" and leaves.
Cameraman shooting filler to young woman volunteer: "Just keep doing what you were doing. ... Could you do that again?"
I heard a new joint McCain/RNC radio ad this morning. The gist of the first half was that Obama was corrupt and gave your tax money away to his friends, and the second half that Congress was eager to raise your taxes and asked who would stop their crazy plans.
It was a pretty good ad in terms of effectiveness - direct, to the point, no sources cited for the facts presented, just assertions made in the most frightening way possible. It had a nice racist overtone that the black guy would get into office and then start showering all his friends from the 'hood with cigars and hos and new Escalades, only now the 'hood means every major city in the country with a significant African-American population. Good stuff.
Getting out the vote (or "GOTV") involves three basic steps: (1) creating a list of registered voters who are likely to be for your candidate or persuadable, (2) asking those voters who they intend to vote for, and (3) getting the confirmed supporters to the polls on election day.
If you're interested in learning how the Obama campaign collects and processes the GOTV data, there's a long explanation after the jump.
I've received my poll-watching assignment for election day. It's a barber shop about as far west in West Philly as you can get. I don't know yet how many people are registered there. In 2004, only about 400 people voted. I imagine this time there will be more.
I'm a little disappointed not to be going somewhere I could expect real trouble, like the Northeast or South Philly, which have large numbers of Republicans. The biggest potential problem where I am going is that we'll have too many voters. The horror. Lines could get long if there aren't enough machines or one of them breaks, or if the board of elections has really screwed up and a lot of people have to vote provisional ballots. Given that it's probably a 90% African-American population, I don't think it'll be hard keeping people in line no matter what happens.
There are about 1,670 divisions in 66 wards in Philadelphia. I don't know yet if each division is getting an Obama poll watcher. It seems unlikely, but who knows?
However many we are, later this week, we will pick up our poll watcher's credentials and respective voter lists. I need to arrive at the location on Tuesday at 6:30 a.m., having picked up a Box 'o Joe (the coffee) for the judge of elections and friends from Dunkin Donuts. Polls open at 7 a.m. I'm done when the total numbers come out and are certified sometime around 8:30 p.m. In between, probably after lunch, I need to slip back here and vote at my own polling place.
As people come in to vote, poll watchers will check them off the list electronically, so the field staff have an up-to-the-second picture of where we need to send more people out knocking on doors. We are supposed to call it in if anything illegal happens, and let the Obama counsel for Philadelphia work it out with the board of elections, or failing that, the courts. If the line gets too long, or the poll workers run low on paper provisional/emergency ballots, we can call to get help. Ideally, if turnout is going to be very heavy, I would love to have someone working outside to keep people comfortable, with folding chairs, water and snacks, an umbrella or two, rain ponchos if needed, Obama buttons, and a polling place list to help people from other divisions who don't know where to go.
Oh, and I'm also bringing a bottle of champagne.
This site doesn't dispense legal advice, but in no jurisdiction I am aware of is it okay to use deadly force to stop someone from stealing a sign from your front yard:
I predict he'll walk. (The clue is how they chose to charge him. If they were serious, they'd have charged him with attempted murder and plead him down to felonious assault.) He's lucky he didn't kill anyone, because then even Ohio Republicans wouldn't be able to save him from jail time. Under Ohio law, a conviction for felonious assault carries a minimum 2-year prison sentence.
The U.S. military has warned Iraq that it will shut down military operations and other vital services throughout the country on Jan. 1 if the Iraqi government doesn't agree to a new agreement on the status of U.S. forces or a renewed United Nations mandate for the American mission in Iraq.
Many Iraqi politicians view the move as akin to political blackmail, a top Iraqi official told McClatchy Newspapers on Sunday.
In addition to halting all military actions, U.S. forces would cease activities that support Iraq's economy, educational sector and other areas - "everything" - said Tariq al-Hashimi, the country's Sunni Muslim vice president. "I didn't know the Americans are rendering such wide-scale services."
Al-Hashimi said that Army Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. military commander in Iraq, listed "tens" of areas of potential cutoffs in a three-page letter, and he said the implied threat caught Iraqi leaders by surprise.
"It was really shocking for us," he said. "Many people are looking to this attitude as a matter of blackmailing."
Is this a real threat? Will the Iraqis cave, negotiate or call Bush's bluff?
(Via Laura Rozen.)
Certainly, if this comes to pass, it will be because the Right has helped. But let's turn it around: Obama has not given them an opening to attack him successfully because he's explicitly rejected the labels of left and right. This, of course, has driven some liberals crazy, because they want to confront and defeat conservatism.
Obama is arguing for progressive policies without calling them progressive. He's trying to make the case that they accomplish the end they are designed to accomplish, that they work, and the ideological pigeonhole they fit into is secondary or even irrelevant. This is, frankly, the only way to sell them to a skeptical public. People who have never considered themselves ideological in their whole lives - probably a plurality of the electorate - are not going to go into the voting booth on November 4 and say to themselves, "I think I am a progressive now." They are going to vote for the guy who they think has the plan which will work.
Conservatives won by demonizing liberals and painting themselves as champions of virtue and strength. Some liberals want to simply turn that around and prove that we're the virtuous ones. (Because we are!) Obama has a different approach: Associate the Democratic party with the instinct of independent voters; namely, that ideology is bunk. Of necessity, Obama is saying that the government can help make things better, which makes him a progressive. But he's not saying conservatism is always and everywhere wrong, just that it has failed. In doing so, I think, he is repositioning the Democratic Party as the party of the center of American public opinion.
If that's right, it is a very shrewd move, and one that might well and truly wreck the conservative movement. With the Republicans helping, how can he fail?
It's the highest-profile felony conviction in a sweeping four-year federal investigation into corruption in Alaska politics, and an almost-unprecedented conviction by a jury of a sitting U.S. senator.
Jurors found that Stevens, 84, willfully filed false financial-disclosure forms that hid such gifts as renovations that doubled the size of his home. Those gifts, valued at as much as $250,000 over seven years, came mostly from his former friend Bill Allen, the star prosecution witness in Stevens’ trial and the former owner of Veco Corp. The oil field-services company was one of Alaska's largest private employers before Allen, caught up in the federal corruption probe, was forced to sell it last year.
It'll be interesting to see whether he wins his election.
Obama draws a crowd of 100,000 in Denver, Colorado, yesterday:
The thought that this is an opportunity to watch history unfold in a positive and inspiring way brings people out to see him.
The media reports on the crowds, and undecided voters around the country realize the importance of the moment. They lean toward supporting Obama, too.
Obama appears at a rally somewhere within 100 miles of where they live, and they make the trip, so that they can say that they were there to watch history unfold.
Eight days left.
Cue the calliope:
Wow. She just took off. I understand, her dad died, but someone from the family could make a phone call. No? Okay.
Apparently, the prior problems with Juror No. 9 have calmed down, after Judge Sullivan gave the whole panel a sermonette on "civility and mutual respect".
I would have imagined this is good news for Stevens, but apparently not:
I wouldn't mind a conviction on Friday. Otherwise, take your time, guys.
On one hand, Mark R. Levin at National Review Online:
Hussein heil! What a maroon.
*quizzical expression* Hope? Change? I seem to remember those fluffy, amorphous campaign themes. "Kill the kulaks", I do not remember.
"Joe the Plumber! Community Reinvestment Act! Lazy blacks who got white taxpayers to buy them a house! Arggahahaglglgglggggh."
Yes, anyone who nets over a quarter mill a year is going straight to the camps - er, rather, see their top marginal tax rate rise 4 percent. Joe the Stalin would be so pleased.
Mark, call your doctor. I suggest a half milligram of benzodiazepine as needed and a weekly visit to a therapist.
On the other hand, we have these people over at Puma Central:
If the Democrat Party had nominated the candidate who won the majority of Democratic votes in the primaries, we’d be in exactly the same position today* — and Hillary would have been working the phones for HOLC as well as Hank Paulson’s golfing buddies, unlike The Lightbringer.
Of course, Hillary might not have gotten Colin Powell’s endorsement.
But so fucking what?
And Puma commenters:
Unlike Levin, these people aren't even amenable to medication or therapy.
So, the Right thinks not only that Obama is a Marxist Nazi (or something), but that a large percentage of Americans are so brainwashed by him that they'd support nationalizing the means of production and outlawing dissent. The Hillary dead-enders and people who portray themselves as "real progressives" (unlike the rest of us fake ones) think Obama is a crypto-Republican who is going to block all the good and necessary economic and social policy changes the American people are demanding, citing as their primary evidence the fact that Obama is winning over people who used to support Republicans. Compelling and not at all insane. Most entertainingly of all, the "real progressives" believe that Hillary Clinton - and more specifically, the presidential campaign run by Hillary Clinton - would be doing just as well as Barack Obama's campaign, because Obama's success is totally explained by the economy, not possibly by anything that his campaign has done, outside of being crypto-Republican.
All of these people, left and right, are a combination of crazy and stupid, and worst of all, unrealistic. It takes some creativity to come up with a crazy theory that fits the facts, but since they can't, they pick the facts that they like and ignore the rest.
The truth is more mundane, like it often is: America has suffered under eight years of the worst presidency in the history of the Republic, which featured astonishingly bad policies that wrecked our national security, moral standing, civil rights, and economy. All of these bad policies were pursued using a series of unjustifiable lies and immoral actions. This created an environment in which a good Democratic candidate would have the advantage. At this point, it seems likely but not by any means assured that that candidate will win.
Obama's success so far is not explained totally by the economy or the war. He's run an extremely competent campaign, shockingly so for a Democrat. He and his strategists both planned and executed that plan very well. On the marketing side, the Obama campaign made certain that the candidate's persona and messaging matched up with the policy values of the campaign from the outset, something that seems simple only in retrospect. The messaging has been extremely disciplined, also. People noticed way back in January that everything down to the font used on the rally signs was selected to convey the right impression, and then not deviated from except on purpose. It's this competence that alarms people like Levin and lambert, Levin because it's unnerving to him that Democrats should get their act together and lambert because competence is something only Republicans do. Purists and martyrs don't like winning.
Outside of the marketing, the technical aspects of Obama's fundraising and vote- and volunteer-getting has been remarkably well done. Key to all of this is an instinctive grasp of the possibilities of internet-based technology to allow people to organize themselves, and to tap into the network of support in a way that generated far more funding from small donors than ever done before, and more than relying on large donors and bundlers would have.
It's not the case at all, as I explained before, that Obama supporters are Obamaniacs. His support isn't hero-worship, it's a desire to see an able liberal work to undo the disaster of the past eight years and to make progress in the areas that have been too-long neglected, such as health care. It's also not true that Obama's campaign has made no mistakes over the past twenty months, but one of the heartening things has been the tenacity and speed with which the campaign has corrected its mistakes or turned them around to the candidate's advantage.
Contrast this with the Hillary Clinton's campaign. They started out by projecting an air of inevitability as the central strategic message, which worked pretty well until Iowa and then Super Tuesday, when they were owned by the Obama team in the caucuses, which they didn't even see coming. Having had the aura of inevitability punctured, the Clinton campaign never really recovered. Worse, it turned out that the incompetence and short-sightedness that led to the caucus disasters did not end there. For example, Hillary's national field director did not understand the mechanism by which she could have racked up points in congressional districts with an even number of delegates.
Seemingly stunned, the Clinton campaign tried to stop the bleeding by lurching from message to message, looking for something that worked, just like McCain is now. What emerged was a tactic of using race-baiting and rightwing talking points about guns that completely contradicted the values of Hillary's campaign, which also parallels the laments now about the McCain of today not being the McCain of eight years ago. Desperation moves almost never work against a prepared opponent, and the Obama campaign was prepared.
The purpose of recounting this history is to show that it is stupid and crazy to say that Hillary would now be doing as well or better than Obama against McCain. The facts just don't support that conclusion. Hillary ran a bad campaign and lost; Obama is running a good campaign and is winning. Not to mention that the Pumas conveniently forget that Bill and Hillary Clinton are still huge lightning rods for social conservatives who would have fired up the right-wing base for McCain and allowed him to play to the middle far more effectively. If Hillary were the nominee, fewer people would be saying that "McCain has changed", because he wouldn't have needed to.
Let's not fool ourselves, though. Even though Obama is running a very good campaign, even though McCain's campaign is appalling dishonest and disorganized, even though the Republican party leadership have been exposed as thugs and kleptocrats, and even though the last eight years have been a series of disasters for the country, Obama could still lose, and not just because he's black. A single campaign doesn't undo 30 years of right-wing propaganda. The reason why Obama has had to be more moderate in his rhetoric than is pleasing to the liberal purists and marytrs is that he can't get too far out ahead of the public, and win. For example, while single-payer health care may be the right solution both from a fiscal and health outcomes perspective, the public is just still too susceptible to right-wing noise about rationing and losing their doctors to stake out that position, for now, so Obama has proposed expanding Medicare without attacking private insurance more aggressively. If I can't get somewhere I want to go in one step, usually I'm willing to take two or more. But not the purists and martyrs.
If Obama wins, the good news is that the raving loons from both left and right will probably be undermined. People like Levin will be unable to get much traction if a President Obama governs as competently as he's campaigned. And people like the Pumas don't have a party following and don't understand how politics works, so they were irrelevant except as noise anyway. All they do is blog and forward emails, because they think that words are action. The right-wing crazies had the money to buy the talent that brought them to the top of the power structure in the GOP, but winning seems to have set them on the path to self-destruction; their Democratic counterparts want to be heralded as seers but not work for power, so they'll never get it, fortunately. All of which is potentially good news for the country.
If Obama wins. If you have a grip on reality, you know we can't do anything unless we win. So go volunteer. You can make phonecalls into battleground states right now. We especially need help this coming weekend and all day on election day. Take the first step, and then take another, until we get to where we need to go.
Bad news, comrades! The champion of Real America has slipped the chain and is threatening to go rogue:
Every time Palin opens her mouth and something off-message comes out, McCain's numbers drop. And that probably suits his running mate just fine. What an astute move. She's so smart, I am sure glad she's not the top of the ticket, because then it would be "Obama who?"
Yes. Sarah Palin is definitely "a charismatic, hawkish conservative leader with the potential, still unrealized, to cross over to attract moderate voters." I think I speak for every liberal Democrat when I say I am absolutely terrified that Palin will be the GOP nominee in 2012. We'd be destroyed!
Heh. Ha ahahahahahahaha. Sorry. Ahem.
This logic is iron-clad. Palin spent days in hiding trying to bone up on the issues, but clearly she is too dense mavericky to do anything but deliver folksy catchphrases. She would have appeared much smarter if they let her talk from day one. Right? And clearly Palin enjoys the attack dog role more than anything. The evidence supports the idea that the public is really interested in more personal attacks this election cycle, right? All they had to do is let her talk more about Obama's connection to people with dark skin, just like terrorists who have dark skin, and McCain would have had this wrapped up. You betcha.
All this just goes to prove one thing: John McCain used to be a maverick, but isn't any longer. Sarah Palin is the true maverick. She's so mavericky, she realized McCain was no longer a maverick a millisecond after the convention, long before anyone else. She's the ultimate maverick, immune to coercion, restraint, prudence, education, facts, intelligence and common sense. She goes her own way. That's just what the country is hungering for: A combination of early-Alzheimer's Reagan and George W. Bush circa Katrina.
Oh no! Not Palin in 2012! There's no way Obama can win a second term now. We're doomed.
Start with this:
John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director [Peter Feldman] told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.
John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."
People are strangely eager to exonerate McCain's national campaign:
TPM's Greg Sargent wrote
this afternoon that McCain Pennsylvania
spokesperson Peter Feldman pushed local television outlets to cover
Todd. So far there's been nothing to link McCain headquarters to the
But Peter Feldman is also the person who uttered these words:
“The fact is that once Governor Palin was elected and had an opportunity to look closely at the [Bridge to Nowhere] project, she killed it. She fought for Congress to kill the provision, but they sent the funds anyway. Palin fired the kill shot by not using a dime of that money on the bridge. ”
(Palin campaigned as a champion of the bridge when she was running for governor. The project was killed a year before she took office. )
Feldman has also commented on the two campaigns' joint 9/11 statement, McCain's New Jersey Latino outreach, and on the first debate to New York media. He's elsewhere described as "regional communications director" or "McCain campaign spokesman in New York and New Jersey."
The point: He's not some single-state flack, he's a high-level campaign official who is authorized to speak on behalf of McCain on a variety of issues. He simply served as cut-out for this particular op.
Then consider this:
The email was sent by the Pennsylvania Republican Party and was signed by top Pennsylvania Republican fundraisers, including a former state supreme court judge.
Mr. Ayers was quoted in the Sept. 11, 2001 edition of The New York Times, printed before the attacks, saying he believed that his group, The Weather Underground, “didn’t do enough.” The Weather Underground had bombed several government buildings in the 1970’s that resulted in several deaths — including those of three police officers. He was not referring to Al Qaeda or the Sept. 11 attacks.
And, working off of a common refrain of Mr. McCain that Mr. Obama had once described Mr. Ayers as “just a guy in the neighborhood,’’ the letter goes on to ask, “If a known terrorist lived in your neighborhood, would he just be a guy in your neighborhood, or would you be calling the FBI to have him removed?”
The campaign says the email "had been released without their authorization and that they had fired the strategist who helped draft it, Bryan Rudnick." Mr. Rudnick claims it was authorized. I believe him.
To sum up, the McCain campaign and the Republican party in Pennsylvania have implied that a vote for Obama is a vote for Hitler, and that black Obama supporters will beat, sexually assault, and mutilate McCain supporters. They have done it in a way that leaves all the heat on local operatives, and insulates the national campaign.
The best part: I predict McCain will drop 5 points in the polls here over the weekend.
Tags: 2008 U.S. Presidential election, Barack Obama, Bryan Rudnick, John McCain, John Verrilli, Pennsylvania Republican Party, Peter Feldman, Republican smear merchants
So, as you undoubtedly will not be surprised to learn, that story cratered:
Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker; now she's facing charges. ...
"She indicated that she has prior mental problems and that she does not remember how the backward letter B got on her face," Pittsburgh Police Spokeswoman Diane Richard told reporters today.
Referring to my volunteering experience this year is already old, but I am going to do it again: Of all the social subgroups I encountered while doing voter registration, thugs were perhaps the least interested in politics. Street criminals don't give a rat's ass about the presidential election, not least because they're stone-stupid. You want me to believe that a mugger is so inspired by Sen. Obama's message of hope and change that he's willing to carve someone up for supporting McCain? You might as well tell me three little old ladies left the house on a cold morning in order to stand in line to vote and didn't wear coats.
Oh, I know: It's not really a story about a criminal who is so attracted to a politician's message of social unity that he's ready to cut anyone who gets in the way. It's really a race-war story. You can expect to hear the same thing before and after the election, in slightly more sophisticated form, from the slightly-less-crazy members of the Republican party. For example, the voter registration fraud thing? Black people breaking the law. Obama raising crazy campaign money? Foreign and fraudulent donations, probably from swarthy types. Tax cuts for the working class? Welfare for lazy minorities.
As for Ashley Todd specifically, I don't blame McCain or the Republicans for her particular mental problems. Every campaign attracts the loons, and the Obama campaign is no exception, believe me.
I read in today's paper what a woman wrote explaining why she's a Democrat. Let me tell you why I'm not. I'm a Republican because:
I believe in a sovereign God who sometimes gives us what we deserve.
I believe Muslims are our enemies.
I believe in life. A baby is not just a fetus, but a living being no matter where it resides.
I believe there is a good reason for the death penalty.
I believe in fiscal responsibility, for the government and for us.
I believe the government is way too big and rife with greed and corruption.
I believe in the truth. People believe lies because it's much easier than finding the truth.
I believe in personal responsibility. That includes spanking your children.
I believe American women should raise their own children and American men should be men enough to pay for children they've produced.
I believe a man and woman make marriage. Period.
I believe in America first and foremost and we ought to take care of our own people, our own land, and illegal aliens should go home.
I believe in guns and knowing how to use them properly.
I believe war is a fact of life and we should always win.
I believe in lower taxes. I know how to spend money better than Congress any day of the week.
I believe in voter ID.
I believe there is a moderate and a socialist in this election. I agree with a two-party system, but Obama isn't a messiah or a democrat.
He's a Muslim socialist.
Marcia Stirman, Alamogordo
What a good Christian she is. More on the party of Lincoln:
The head of a New Mexico Republican women's group is being pressured to resign after calling Barack Obama a "Muslim socialist" and claiming that "Muslims are our enemies."
Marcia Stirman is the head of the Republican Women of Otero County.
She included her criticism of Obama in a letter published Tuesday in the Alamogordo Daily News. In a separate interview with The Associated Press, Stirman said she didn't trust Muslims because "they are our enemies." She added, "Why we're trying to elect one is beyond me."
Obama, who is Christian, has been forced to deny rumors that he is a Muslim throughout his campaign.
The head of New Mexico's Republican Party said that Stirman's comments do not reflect the party's values and beliefs.
Of course her comments represent the party's values and beliefs. The Republican base are ignorant bigots.
Shorter Michael Gerson:
I swear to god I am not making this shit up.
Update: Duncan in comments informs me Ron Howard had nothing to do with Gump. Why did I think that?
Ben Smith relates a story received by email from an early voting station in Cincinnati. It's a heartwarming tale of how three little old ladies were denied the right to vote because they were wearing Obama shirts, until a big burly gentleman lent each of them his coat in turn, allowing them to cover up the shirts and go in and vote. The twist is that the large man did not intend to vote for Obama. Then:
Such a nice ending! I don't believe a word of it, of course, but as apocrypha it does the job. I don't believe it because this morning in Cincinnati it was 28 degrees, and the morning low hasn't been above 38 degrees since the 18th. If these grannies are like little old ladies I know, they aren't traipsing around in the cold with just a t-shirt on. They would all be wearing coats.
But it's a good fake story about the "right side of history" thing I was talking about.
(Via Laura Rozen.)
Eleven of the 12 have asked the judge to toss one of the other jurors. This is on the second day of deliberations:
The juror in question, No. 9, works for the National Guard as a bookkeeper.
The judge read from the note the jury foreman sent him, which began, "We the jury request that juror No. 9 be removed from the jury."
"She is being rude, disrespectful and unreasonable," the note said. "She has had violent outbursts with other jurors and that's not helping anyone. The jurors are getting off-course. She's not following the laws and rules that are being stipulated to in the main instructions."
A complex trial almost always results in the jury eventually getting testy with each other at least. But that usually requires some time, locking them all into a small room for several days. That's normal. When things start bad, it's not normal. It's a sign you're heading for a mistrial.
Yesterday, when they broke early because things were getting "stressful", I guessed there was one juror who wanted an immediate acquittal. In my mind, though, the profile was male, although the bookkeeper thing fits perfectly. There are these people who, when presented with complex situations - like parsing an 80-page jury instruction after listening to lots of evidence - shut down and come to a conclusion without reference to facts. Again, I am just guessing, but I think what's happening here is a person who isn't too bright is feeling overwhelmed and hostile - and finds that as a juror, she can lash out and no one can readily tell her to stop.
I would say the judge is in a tough spot. It seems clear to me if he leaves No. 9 on the panel, they will hang. But he can't just remove someone because they're disagreeable. He has to wait to see if they can work it out, but the longer he waits, the tougher it will be on the rest of the jury when No. 9 is eventually replaced. This unpleasant person has a view - not guilty, is my guess, but whatever it is - and she's making enemies of the rest of the jury. The longer the judge waits, the harder it becomes for the jury to start over with an open mind, because they won't be able to forget that No. 9 was in favor of that view.
If I were the judge, I would wait until tomorrow in case the jurors can work something out among themselves. If it doesn't get better, then I'd bring each of them in individually with counsel present and ask whether the situation is preventing the panel from deliberating. If I can find grounds to toss No. 9 without getting overturned on appeal, I'd do it. Obviously, if I were Stevens's counsel, I'd fight like hell to keep No. 9 on the panel and then hope for a mistrial.
Whatever happens, when this is all over, the authorities need to find out if anyone built a house for No. 9 recently.
The outside of the mailer depicts the view from inside a building, with people looking out at the view, and what do they see? The front of an airliner. My first reaction when seeing the image was that it depicted tourists on a skyscraper observation level seeing a plane about to crash into the building. Upon closer examination, it appears to be a scene from an airport, with a plane parked at a gate and the people inside with luggage.
That's the plausible deniability part: It's just an airport. But the emotional reaction they were going for is the one I had. It reminds you of the horrifying scene that many people must have imagined happened on 9/11, with people inside the World Trade Center helplessly looking out as the hijacked jet hurtled toward them.
The caption - in ransom-note letters - to the image on the outside says "Terrorists Don't Care Who They Hurt."
And when you open the mailer, the page facing you says, "Barack Obama. Not Who You Think He Is."
This mailer has gone out to voters in Virginia. It is a clear attempt to associate Obama with the hijackers of 9/11. He's "not who you think he is" - he's a secret Muslim terrorist in league with al Qaeda. If politics is TV with the sound off, then it's also the imagery and large print portions of mail pieces like this, where people don't bother reading the small type, just as they don't follow what people on TV are saying.
Twelve days left.
I heard for the first time a radio ad by the American Federation of Teachers which features the voices of students who back Obama for his positions on education spending and student loans. It's pretty well done. I expect the idea is to prevent middle-class moderates with kids from listening to the "Obama will raise your taxes" smear coming from McCain.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I will be poll-watching and so unable to attend, but City Paper is holding an election-night party in Old City at the Plough & the Stars, offering free Plough snacks and beer from Yards Brewing. RSVP.
City Paper wants to reward you for doing your civic duty with a free beer and a place to celebrate with your fellow voters.
Join us on November 4th from 5:30 to 8:30 PM at the Plough and the Stars (123 Chestnut Street or click here for directions).
Cry for joy (or sadness) every time you hear the words "With 65% of precincts reporting, we are now able..."
Free beer from Philadelphia's own
Yards Brewing Company
Snacks from the kitchen of
the Plough and the Stars
Door Prizes compliments of
Warner Bros and Lionsgate
Bring all your friends and pace yourselves - it's going to be a long night.
RSVP at http://citypaper.net/wherewereyou and enter our Electoral College Bowl!
Are you a member of the punditocracy? Do you have a color-coded map of the United States on your bedroom wall? Then you might have a chance at winning our Electoral College Bowl!
Enter your red and blue Electoral College split for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the world premier of Terrence McNally's "Unusual Acts of Devotion" at Philadelphia Theater Company (AND we'll throw in a DVD of "Blue State" from MGM Studios!)
Hmm, seems the 12 are not playing nicely:
Four hours after beginning deliberations in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), jurors sent a note to the judge requesting a break because things are "kind of stressful."
"We need a minute of clarity for all," the jury foreman wrote in the note, which was read aloud in court by U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
Sullivan then sent the jury of eight women and four men home. The jury, which will return to deliberate this morning, was given the case yesterday after hearing a lengthy set of instructions from Sullivan and listening to a month of testimony.
I'll just take a guess here. No strong leader has emerged in the jury room, so they're casting about for a method to get a handle on the voluminous jury instructions and evidence. There may be a wacko who declared he was for acquittal the moment the door shut behind them, too.
I would be encouraged if I were on Stevens's team right about now.
Update October 23rd: Uh oh.
Because he needs to get locked up:
A Missouri Democratic Party employee who videotapes Republican gubernatorial candidate Kenny Hulshof on the campaign trail was assaulted by an unknown man at an event Tuesday in West Plains.
Vinay Vaz, known on the campaign trail as Hulshof’s “tracker,” was pushed and accosted by a man in a suit at a public park.
Vaz videotaped the incident and it was posted on YouTube this morning.
Update: West Plains, Missouri, is also the place where someone put up this billboard:
DocJess at DemConWatch is an Obama volunteer. Chester County is one of the Philly suburbs:
Chester County was originally divided into 5 zones by the Obama campaign. The internal borders have shifted somewhat, but now we have additional satellite offices. In our zone, we have two. The one I’ve been at this week is about a block and a half from the Paoli train station. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything to you, but here’s why it matters. Earlier this year, Barack Obama got on a train in Philadelphia, came out the Main Line, and stopped at various train stations, including Paoli, to make speeches.
One of the women at the phone bank told me that it was that day, and that speech, that made her decide to work her first election. Turns out that on Valentine’s Day, 1968, her grandfather was attacked and killed on the platform at the Paoli train station for being black and “not knowing his place.”
Many Obama volunteers are motivated by such things, especially but by no means exclusively, the African-American volunteers. I'm white. I grew up about 30 miles from here, in the suburbs. When I was about six, I remember seeing what looked like an official-looking street sign attached to the post under the speed limit. The sign said, "This Neighborhood Patrolled by the KKK." If a black man walked down my street, every phone on the street would start to ring. By the time he got to the end, he would likely have been jumped and beaten.
The people who did that kind of thing, who called themselves the Klan, are still alive. That knowledge and that memory is one of the reasons why I am a volunteer. I am out to defeat them.
So last night, at the Paoli location, we had a leadership team meeting. We heard the plans that we would implement for our little corner of the world: the remaining planning, the final weekend of regular canvassing, the final push, Election Day.
Driving home, I realized that the identical meeting was being held by local teams across the country. Maybe the night before, or after, but the plan was the same. It’s one of the two greatest strengths of the campaign: have a plan, work the plan. (The other greatest strength is the message: define it, refine it, adhere to it.) Believe me when I say this was no local organizing meeting. Nope.
This folks, is the ground game. And when all is said and done, and the historical evaluations of the 2008 campaigns are viewed with 20/20 hindsight, the ground game is going to be the big topic.
Yep. And McCain has nothing to counter it, except yard signs and robocalls, and the kind of people who used to call themselves the Klan on my street. They're all going to lose, if I have anything to say about it.
How about you?
Sean Quinn at 538:
What's a Hub Director? In essence, Hub Directors are full-time volunteers who manage the inflow and outflow of volunteers for get-out-the-vote (GOTV) canvassing efforts. Because there are such an enormous number of volunteers for Barack Obama's GOTV efforts in NoVa, the regular field offices simply cannot physically accommodate all the people. (Obama's DC suburbs operation is not alone in this happy logistical challenge.) As GOTV kicks in, separate physical staging locations have mushroomed all over the state and country. These are offices dedicated entirely to GOTV, and in turn many have their own satellite locations. ...
It's the same here in Philly.
[O]ne of the wall lists that adorn every Obama office [has] positions like "Data Trainer," "Phonebank Captain," "Master Trainer," and so forth, with names, numbers and shift times filling the wall sheets. As Peyser managed "runners," those volunteers responsible for going back and forth from the Hub Director team to the GOTV staging locations with information, literature refills, and any other items needing to be shuttled, she told us about the GOTV shift plans.
On Election Day, beginning at midnight until 3 am, Obama canvassers will quietly drop literature at the houses of sporadic voters who commute long distances beginning as early as 4 am. A small reminder piece of literature about Election Day needs to hit those voters at a precisely-timed moment: before they begin their long workdays. Another canvassing shift goes from 5-8 am, another no-knocking lit drop, but timed to voters who would be ideally caught at their cars and met with a smile and a reminder about which voting location is his or hers.
Remember, these are highly targeted GOTV-universe voters, ones that have been identified through the massive voter contact effort and/or profiled with Catalist, the Obama team's advanced datamining tool, so these are voters the campaign thinks will vote their way, provided they go vote. Actual knocking on doors will likely begin at 10 am on Election Day. Peyser said that the average canvasser will do a three-hour canvassing shift and be given turf with 30-40 doors, depending on the compactness of the turf. High-density turf will likely have more doors. Turf with more doors will be given to the better, more efficient longtime canvass volunteers. ...
Man, what a tough gig to do that in the suburbs. All the turf in Philly, as you can imagine, is highly compact. A single block is 30 doors. No wasted time walking long distances between addresses.
Adjacent to the Hub Director space is an entire room dedicated solely to walk packet assembly line operations. Priscilla Mendenhall, another full-time volunteer who'd started a walk packet assembly operation at the Fairfax office and moved up to create one in Falls Church, demonstrated her organization. She manages approximately 20 regular volunteers and a myriad of others who assemble 700 walk packets a week. Some come from Maryland, DC, and some are local, people who aren't as comfortable going to the doors but who want to work and help.
Almost all of this is being run by volunteers who have stepped up and taken on the responsibility.
The Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed Barack Obama, then appended a wingnut dissenting endorsement - reflecting the views of a minority of the editorial board - for McCain.
Today, the story came out that Brian Tierney, the Republican operative who took over the Inquirer a few years back, engineered the move:
[A]nother member of the Editorial Board, who asked not to be identified because of possible repercussions, said that it was Mr. Tierney who pressed the case for Mr. McCain. After arriving at the meeting, the board member said, “we went around the room” and Mr. Obama was the “overwhelming winner.”
At that point, the person said, “Tierney weighed in and made the case for McCain.”
His paper, his shout, right? I guess, but he had promised not to do that:
Mr. Tierney, an advertising executive who in the past had been involved in Republican politics, was among a number of business executives who bought the Inquirer and its sister paper, the Philadelphia Daily News, from the McClatchy Company in 2006 for $562 million.
At the time they bought the newspapers, Mr. Tierney and his colleagues, aware of concerns over whether they would be accused of catering to their business interests, pledged not to interfere in the running of the newspapers.
At the news conference the day the the sale was announced, Mr. Tierney said all the investors had signed a pledge that they would not attempt to influence or interfere with either the news coverage or the editorial pages of the papers. In an interview, he said the pledge would extend to the papers’ endorsements of political candidates.
“I understand the concern, but we don’t want to be involved in that,” he said.
Republicans lie. Always.