The second opinion.

My NPR affiliate is doing a piece on the Free Press’ endorsement of Barack Obama. They’re running down its bullet points as I write this. It’s not a long piece — it’s over now — but still: I am agog.

Never mind the dog-bites-man element here. The Freep has a left-leaning editorial page; for them, endorsing the Democrat is like the Wall Street Journal editorial page touting free enterprise. OK, it’s Monday, slow news day blah blah blah — that is, if you consider the unraveling of world financial markets, coupled with a potential GM-Chrysler merger that will likely be the death blow to the local economy, just two of today’s stories, “slow.” Never mind that. I have worked for newspapers, and I know how the endorsement process works, and all I can say is, why should the public give a shit who any editorial board thinks should be elected to any office?

Endorsements made sense when there were more newspapers in the world, and they had real authority, and great people behind them. Then, you wanted to know who Charles Foster Kane was backing for job one. Whether or not endorsements actually changed a single vote has always been a pretty theoretical question, and even the most generous estimates put the number of endorsement-led voters at tiny-to-miniscule. And yet, newspapers continue to make endorsements, like Brits gathering for high tea nomatterwhat. Looked at one way, it’s sorta charming. Looked at another, it’s a symptom of the problem at the root of the industry — their maddening, “this is the way we do it because this is the way we’ve always done it” attitude.

As I recall, editors like making endorsements about as much as readers like reading them, i.e., not so much. People don’t realize what goes into them; they think it’s all about gathering around a pastry-strewn table and arguing, when what it really involves is weeks of interviews with some of the most boring candidates you’ve ever met. Because the paper doesn’t just endorse for the big races — those are only the ones that make the news. No one writes about the ones headlined: “For 4th District village council: Herminghausen.” And to get to that endorsement, the editorial board chatted up Herminghausen and his opponents, Schiller and Grubman. Before that, if there was a primary, they might have talked to Herminghausen, Schiller, Grubman, Czerny, Skolnik, O’Reilly and Killeen. Multiply that by however many races there are, and you see why endorsement season is extra-martini season on the ed page.

When you think about it, the endorsements that you should pay attention to aren’t the ones that make news. Really, do you feel the need for a second opinion to make up your mind about the presidential race? But how much do you know, really, about the Court of Appeals, or the township assessor, or the 4th District rep? That’s where an endorsement can help, to the extent it says, “This person appeared before us, didn’t wet his or her pants and impressed us with at least rudimentary competence.” There are always a few spots on any ballot you just couldn’t get to in your research. That’s when you need to know Herminghausen got the paper’s endorsement.

Or, as Alec Baldwin’s character said of marriage in “The Departed:” Marriage is an important part of getting ahead: lets people know you’re not a homo; married guy seems more stable; people see the ring, they think at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch; ladies see the ring, they know immediately you must have some cash or your cock must work.

Well, he delivers it better. But you get the idea.

The Detroit News’ editorial page leans right. Now, if they endorse Obama, that’ll be news. We’ll see.

“The Cemetery Precincts” wrapped shooting last night. That means all we have to do now is the editing, the sound, the scoring, the this and the that. Then we have to fight about it, and change it all around, and do it all again. Listen to me: “We.” Most of this stuff will be done by others, but when a production is this small, it’s everybody’s baby, and you sweat every step of the process. I volunteered to put on zombie makeup and be a back-rank zombie, but somehow I got recruited to be the lead in the big gross-out scene, which is so unbelievably gross I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it. The prep:

(I suspect there was a lot of K-Y in that mix.) Thanks to our genius gross-out guy, Dan Phillips, who crafted the effect and signs his e-mails, “Stay scary, Dan.” I’ll say.

Not much bloggage today, but this: One of the things I like about Jon Stewart is his willingness to talk back to one of the nastiest myths of red-state America (at the moment, anyway), that people who live in cities aren’t the real America, or pro-America, or whatever. And he does it so well.

The rest I leave up to those of you who paid more attention to the news this weekend. I’m off to study Russian.

Posted at 10:13 am in Current events, Media, Movies |
 

42 responses to “The second opinion.”

  1. moe99 said on October 20, 2008 at 10:43 am

    Did you see that not only did the Chicago Tribune break with its tradition and endorse Obama, but so did the Salt Lake Tribune? I’m sure Rush will tell us that they are no better than Colin Powell.

  2. brian stouder said on October 20, 2008 at 10:44 am

    one of the nastiest myths of red-state America (at the moment, anyway), that people who live in cities aren’t the real America, or pro-America, or whatever.

    Well, doggonit, doncha just know that ol’ Sean Hannity ran VOLUME II about the “REAL” Barack Obama last night, and I had to watch it (sorta like when you have an ouchy, and just can’t leave the darn thing alone).

    Doin’ that Zombie film sure sounds cool, but I can’t imagine doin’ such a thing myself. Palling around with a buncha cultural elites and terrorists like y’all isn’t somethin’ that Americans like us would ever do anyway, am I right? And just once, can’t you folks even ACT like you want (real American) folks like ME to WIN on election night?

    And, for gosh sakes, I’m thinkin’ of buyin’ the Detroit Free Press someday, and whenever I DO, I sure don’t want my TAXES to go up! Why should I be punished, for my success, doggonit?

    Yeah yeah yeah – I actually don’t pay any taxes at all right now, and Uncle Sam has a lien against me for that, and I don’t have any money (at all) with which to buy an AmWay product package, let alone the Detroit Free Press; but still, that’s my plan and its a GOOD plan and if lightening strikes or a flaming comet crashes into my car and I somehow obtain lots and lots and lots (and lots) of wealth, Real Americans like me STILL shouldn’t have to pay any taxes, am I right?

    Doggone RIGHT I’m right!

    I kill me!!

    Kill!! Kill!! Kill the Cultural elite terrorists!!!

    Ahhhhhhhh. I feel better now! Don’t you?!

  3. Gasman said on October 20, 2008 at 10:59 am

    I heard Palin over the weekend droning on about how Obama and Biden were “pointing to the past, where the blame is.” Of course she then chirpily declared that she and McCain were the candidates of the future and that’s where they were “lookin’.” This gem from Adlai Stevenson seems applicable to Palin’s non-sequiturs regarding time and tense:

    “We can chart our future clearly and wisely only when we know the path which has led to the present.”

    How the hell are they going to be “agents of change” if they don’t acknowledge the past? Precisely what are they going to change? It’s pretty apparent that Palin knows not the path that has led to the present. By all means, we should let her chart our course.

  4. brian stouder said on October 20, 2008 at 11:33 am

    for what it’s worth (or, “I am shocked! Shocked I say! to learn there’s gambling in this establishment!”)

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fraud20-2008oct20,0,3842357.story

    an excerpt –

    The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud. State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.

    and

    The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP

  5. moe99 said on October 20, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Brian,

    where is Claude Rains when we need him?

  6. Snarkworth said on October 20, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Nance, just saw this in an AP story about early voting (sorry, no link):

    “Leonard Goeglein, 80, a Fort Wayne retiree, said he made sure to get his vote in for McCain before he headed to Florida for the winter.”

    Could this gentleman be a relative of your pal, Tim?

  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 20, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Well, this is bad news — http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2008/10/18/opus/

    Pthhhppttt.

  8. derwood said on October 20, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    I still have my Opus-n-Bill for President 1984 T-Shirt. He will be missed once again. I still tear up when I watch “A Wish for Wings That Work.”

    d

  9. Laura said on October 20, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    The Columbus Dispatch (a McCain endorser, just as Kirk called it) has a hilarious photo of McCain on the front page today. He looks like a hand puppet or a bobblehead–I can’t decide which. I’d link y’all, but I’m lacking mad computer skills. Could someone help out?

  10. moe99 said on October 20, 2008 at 1:47 pm

    http://www.fayobserver.com/article?id=307949

    Note to self: Do not drive car w/ Obama bumper sticker to N. Carolina.

  11. Jolene said on October 20, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    Andrew Sullivan is keeping track of Obama endorsements from unlikely sources. Two more newspapers: The Idaho Statesman and The Bryan/College Station Eagle and The Idaho Statesman.

  12. moe99 said on October 20, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    http://tinyurl.com/6ax6kb

    Note to self: Don’t ever vote in N. Carolina

    (hope coozledad can give us an update sometime soon)

  13. brian stouder said on October 20, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    this story – which is now out of date, only tells you the breaking news from this morning.

    http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081020/LOCAL03/810200286

    Fort Wayne successfully avoided our own Kwame debacle. The GOP candidate for mayor last year, Matt Kelty, got blown away in the election cycle when all this broke, and the breaking news this hour is that today he copped a plea, when some surprise mystery-emails suddenly surfaced Sunday.

    If he’d a’ won, we’d have our own mini-MoTown meltdown type event, right about now…as opposed to the mildly tragic laugher that we see instead

  14. Linda said on October 20, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I read a good piece in the last couple of days–I believe, by Nate Silver of five thirty eight:
    http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2008/10/general-powell-endorses-obama.html

    in which he posits that endorsements do have clout when dealing with races and candidates people generally don’t know about, but little influence for offices like the presidency, where people have heard a lot and already have lots of information or prejudices to form their own opinions.

  15. nancy said on October 20, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    Copped a plea? How amusing.

    What’s the word about the e-mails? Can’t get the JG site to load and, as usual, the NS part of FW.c is fucking useless.

  16. brian stouder said on October 20, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    Money quote from Indiana News Center (aka channel 21)

    Jury selection in his trial in Fort Wayne was to begin today at the Allen County courthouse. But that was postponed this morning for 24-hours after damaging emails surfaced this weekend that prosecutor Dan Sigler planned to introduce at the trial but which Kelty defense attorney Robert Gevers said he had never seen and needed time to review.

    http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/31293299.html

    So far, it’s anybody’s guess what is in the e-mails, but it must have been a pretty smoky gun…!

    PS – Bob Gevers was one class ahead of me at good ol’ South Side (30 years ago, cough cough!!) and he was valedictorian….and he spent years as the county prosecutor hereabouts…and now he’s a class-A defense attorney.

    The JG ran one of their patented interesting Sunday long-form stories, about a barfight at some God-forsaken hole-in-the-wall gin-joint, wherein a guy was horribly impaled and slashed by a lunatic with a broken bottle, and all his medical challenges since then, etc etc. The assailant was ACQUITTED – and his defense attorney was (you guessed it!) Bob Gevers!

    Things that make me go “Hmmmm”….

  17. joodyb said on October 20, 2008 at 4:55 pm

    wow. that’s not gonna help mccain in indiana.

    i just read that the actor Michael Hitchcock is from Defiance, OH. sadly, i learned this in Lauren Dombrowski’s obit.

    i seem to have entered some kind of pre-election dream state, i have so many factoids to keep straight, but did anyone else track the 600M+ new registered Dem voters in Fla? did i hear that right? i’m not finding it in my cursory searches.

  18. brian stouder said on October 20, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    joody –

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/state/content/state/epaper/2008/10/04/1004_newvoters.html

    says that 430,000 new voters are registered in Florida, and 58% are said to be D

  19. Julie Robinson said on October 20, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    Here’s the JG link: http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081020/LOCAL03/810200286

    Pertinent info is this: “The pleas, to false informing, a Class B misdemeanor, and two Class D felony charges of filing fraudulent campaign finance reports, resulted in a one-year suspended prison sentence, a $250 fine and 80 hours of community service.” I was really hoping for more.

  20. LAMary said on October 20, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    Off topic: Happy Infection Control Week. I got an email from our infection control department, sharing infection control week wishes and inviting all of us to an infection control open house in their office. Yum. Bet there will be no double dipping in that salsa.

  21. Dexter said on October 20, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    I was very surprised at the Trib’s endorsement of Obama so I emailed a few people including my brother who has lived there for 42 years, to check the vibes. Every one of the respondees to my email expressed delight and surprise at the endorsement.
    I don’t know if there are ways the political scientists can track the process from the editorial board meeting rooms to the poling booths, but at least it is good news .

    McCain mocks Obama in the new ad…saying something like all Obama wants to do is “share the wealth.” Why yes…in a goddam country where 1% has the total wealth of the lower FIFTY percent…that is HORRIBLE !

  22. Dexter said on October 20, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    LA M: “Happy Infection Control Week. ”

    Do you have an infection? I have an infection TOO !!

    Wash yer hands, ya filthy pricks!!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0zCzuKiYu4&NR=1

  23. Dexter said on October 20, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Randi Rhodes (America Left, Powered by Air America) said McCain usually stays at his AZ ranch and Cindy McCain lives in a beach house somewhere, and they barely ever see each other in daily life sans campaign season. Now I learned something today.

    I have a granddaughter who is in high school on Las Vegas NV.
    She works in a pizzeria. I ran across this video while copying the hand-washing video a few minutes ago.
    I ain’t Mister Safety but I sent her this safety video regarding dough rollers . I have watched thousands of YouTubes…NEVER shocked half as bad as THIS one shocked me! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8NEFmdeOAA&feature=user

  24. Dexter said on October 20, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Randi Rhodes (America Left, Powered by Air America) said McCain usually stays at his AZ ranch and Cindy McCain lives in a beach house somewhere, and they barely ever see each other in daily life sans campaign season…so I learned something today.

    I have a granddaughter who is in high school in Las Vegas NV.
    She works in a pizzeria. I ran across this video while copying the hand-washing video a few minutes ago.
    I ain’t Mister Safety but I sent her this safety video regarding dough rollers . I have watched thousands of YouTubes…NEVER shocked half as bad as THIS one shocked me! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8NEFmdeOAA&feature=user

  25. Jeff Borden said on October 20, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    In an homage to Nancy and her zombie film, my wife and I are attending a Halloween party on Saturday night as GOP zombies. The hosts always have a theme –last year it was to dress as either the seven deadly sins or the seven heavenly virtues– and it’s political this year.

    We were going to tag-team with the neighbors as the Palins with the woman next door putting a big pillow under her blouse to be the very pregnant Bristol. I was rather psyched about being First Dude Todd, but my wife is balking at dressing up as the moosekillin’ momma, even temporarily, so it’s zombies for us.

    I suppose we actually need very little makeup to depict the 28% or so GOPers who still support that little weasel from Crawford. . .just dead eyes and some drool on our chins.

  26. moe99 said on October 20, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    http://www.citizen-times.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200881020067

    Note to self: Do not be a bear in N. Carolina.

  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 20, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Wow. I mean, the bear thing was stoopid (like the chief of security’s quote at the end), but i just keep seeing the identical design for newspaper websites at link after link after link. May be that they’re all Gannett papers and it’s a branding strategy or something else i can’t understand without a marketing degree, but it seems to scream “we have no idea what we’re doing, but we’re following the lemming in front of us wherever they go!”

    (Yes, i know that’s another Disney lie. Fight the power, down with the mouse.)

    And i don’t know what’s dumber — Biden’s quote, or McCain trying to use it as a campaign point. And Bush says he’s “open to another stimulus package.” All i can say is that i’m proud of both our Ohio senators (not agreeing with all of both, but satisfied with the decency and focus of either), but Congress and the White House are both beyond clueless. They are a clue-free zone.

    Spent part of our board meeting for our local housing/homelessness coalition (www.lcchousing.org, happy to have your contributions) explaining the conservative, even neo-GOP argument for single payer national health care policy. If we stayed away from the names of candidates, we all agree nicely and they astutely agree with me (i’m only board president for another year, though). We have R and D, bankers and lawyers and community organizers and insurance execs and building industry officials, and they ALL want it to be Nov. 5 so bad it isn’t funny.

    The most cogent point — the more we have politicians from both parties coming through central Ohio talking to roaring crowds about how “devastated” our economy is and running down our future and potential, the more we fear a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. Hey, it’s bad enough, but don’t gin it up to make a quickie political point, and then walk away, with possible investors walking away with you.

    I’m ready to vote for Nader if i can’t write in Palin (and i’m still peeved at the utterly unfair slams at Gov. Sarah, who has twice the clue factor of Sen. Plagiarist Hairplug….but she rocked Alec Baldwin’s world).

    Look at me, i’m going all calibanish on y’all. But this is just getting ridiculous on both sides. I promise everyone i won’t vote for Barr, at least.

  28. coozledad said on October 20, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    That photograph reminds me of battering chicken livers at Eno Fish Camp. That was a horror movie in itself.

  29. moe99 said on October 20, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Sarah Palin’s candidacy reminds me of really attractive co-workers who were on the rapid promotion track with our male bosses, who lacked major clues as to the substance of what the office responsibilities and goals were, but they were ‘just so nice.’ TBogg has a wonderful piece on it:

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2008/10/19/show-us-your-tits/#more-11607

  30. Gasman said on October 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Jeff(tmmo),
    In this instance, I am content to agree with Colin Powell who said that Sarah Palin was not ready to be President. McCain cannot contend that Obama is inexperienced and not ready and that Palin is (Powell kind of nixed that argument too). Palin has shown herself to be inept when not talking from a script or a teleprompter. She has clearly never confronted any national or international issue until about 6-7 weeks ago.

    moe99,
    I have had suspicions that Palin has replaced Ann Coulter as the conservative male’s stimulus plan, if you know what I mean. I think that Ann just wasn’t getting it done any longer for Lowry, Limbaugh, Kristol, O’Reilly, et al. She’s gotten so damned strident, shrill, and harpy-like. But Palin, all looks and no brains; the conservative male’s wet dream come to life. Kristol referred to Palin as his “heartthrob.” I don’t think that it was his heart that was throbbing. And she kills stuff too! I wonder if she knows how to use a whip?

    Jeff,
    And you really should lay off the plagiarism crap with Biden. By the way, when did McCain stop beating his wife? I also heard that he eats puppies.

  31. Gasman said on October 20, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    Jeff(tmmo),
    Thanks to Mom for this longish exposé debunking the reformer, maverick mythology surrounding Sarah Palin:

    http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-10-08/news/the-book-of-sarah

    The Village Voice article names names, quotes folks on the record, and does what few other media bios concerning her have done so far. The portrait of Palin that emerges is a ruthless opportunist that aligns herself with winners (that is, until now). Morality and ethics haven’t had a damn thing to do with her rise to prominence in Alaska. It sounds like she has made so many enemies in AK, even – maybe, especially – in her own party, that I doubt that she will survive. Oh she’s mean enough, but I don’t think that she’s smart enough.

    McCain keeps whining about how it’s telling who Obama associates with. According to the article above, just about everyone near Palin appears to be tainted in some way. What does that say about her?

  32. del said on October 20, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Moe99, that TBogg piece was great. The bit about guys “pitching a tent for Sarah” is right. But in fairness to Jeff (the mild mannered one), I read an article in an offbeat Detroit offbeat newspaper a few days ago that posited that some men are aroused by her religious belief and perceived piety — we all know that such public women are, in private, anxious to . . . please. Wink, wink.

  33. alex said on October 20, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Jeff tmmo, you sure that’s Lisinopril you’re popping? I could drop acid and still have the presence of mind to know that woman’s not fit for office. She’s the driving force behind most Republicans who’ve told me they’re defecting.

    Your unflinching loyalty amazes me. If this is about abortion, I hope you’ll hold Obama’s feet to the fire as regards his promise to bring people together from both sides to work on ways to minimize demand. As you yourself have said, that’s the best that can be hoped for.

  34. Gasman said on October 21, 2008 at 12:53 am

    NPR did a story this morning on Los Alamos resident peace activist Ed Grothus.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95736154

    His nuclear salvage yard, “The Black Hole” is something that must be seen to be believed. I’ve been there many times and am an admirer of Ed’s. I also know Steve Stoddard who’s quoted in the story, but I don’t agree with Steve’s assessment of Ed. I used to live just across the street from The Black Hole and would walk my dogs past his shop virtually everyday. Back in 2003 I wrote a letter to the editor lambasting Bush and received praise from Ed the next time I was in his shop. He helped build bombs and then his conscience made him stop. He has been a consistent voice for nuclear disarmament here in the temple of nuclear weaponry for nearly 40 years. Hardly a month goes by without at least a couple of letters from Ed in either/both the Los Alamos Monitor and/or the Santa Fe New Mexican. Taking my cue from Ed, I might be a close second to him in recent submissions to the New Mexican.

    Please, either read or listen to the story. He is a true iconoclast.

  35. del said on October 21, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Grothus is right. We need to think differently.

  36. moe99 said on October 21, 2008 at 1:10 am

    Biden has two instances of plaigiarism to his discredit. The first, and worst imho, occurred in law school but he had to repeat the course. Probably did not help in his class rank. I will tell you that John Y. Brown, the big whiz behind KFC graduated last in his class at UK lawschool and ending up employing the guy who graduated first in the class. John Y. also was governor of Ky but hell, that’s not necessarily a recommendation (anyone remember Phyllis George Brown? now there was a looker) Anyway, back to Biden: the second instance of plagiarism was on the campaign trail in a stump speech where he had used the quotes but always attributed them to the English politician he was quoting. He forgot once, and that was all it took to unleash the hellhounds on him. I remember being pretty down on Biden for that and it was not until this time that I learned the whole story.

    Furthermore, I thought that the Christian god, the one I visit every Sunday in my little Presbyterian church (I know my mother is saying buckets of rosaries for my soul–St. John’s parish in Defiance, Allen), and the one that keeps Jeff (tmmo) occupied, was a god of forgiveness (and this goes double wrt Bill Ayers, who by gosh and golly has gone through a horrific gantlet these past few weeks and has not said one word in his defense–that takes some restraint, I would think). But I guess that forgiveness comes only for McCains BFF, G. Gordon Liddy, even though he was convicted (unlike Ayers) and spent 4 years in prison and when he got out was still full of “let’s kill them all’ kind of rhetoric.

    But hey, It’s ok if you are a Republican. It’s been the theme of my family of origin since before I was born.

  37. Gasman said on October 21, 2008 at 1:30 am

    moe99,
    Phyllis George was from Denton, TX – where I attended graduate school – and considered the biggest of local celebrities. I remember seeing her in a Grandy’s fried chicken restaurant gettin’ greasy with her young daughter in the mid to late 80’s. It was not long after that that she made her infamous remark asking a rape victim and the then recently exonerated perp to “hug and make up.” That killed her career on the spot.

    I agree with your more recent assessment of Biden. Surely, the statute of limitations has run out on his student faux pas. As to the other, it was a lack of attribution, not plagiarism. And by having to withdraw from the presidential campaign, he certainly paid for it. The man may be a bit of a blowhard, but you cannot fault his basic human decency and dignity. He survived the tragedy of losing a spouse and child and then was a tireless single father for quite some time.

    Anyone may disagree with him on the issues, but he is a man of substance and character.

    As to the Ayers nonsense, he had his day in court. He was not convicted, but that is due to the legal incompetence and meddling of John Mitchell and Mark Felt, aka “Deep Throat.” Shall we tar and feather everyone whom ever associated with Ayers? That seems to be the current rubric employed by McCain/Palin. Let’s remember that Liddy wanted to assassinate Jack Anderson. Real proud Republican. I’ll take Ayers’ post criminal life to Liddy’s any day. By nearly anyone’s account that has had anything to do with Ayers in the last couple of decades, he has contributed much to society. What the hell has Liddy done?

  38. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 21, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Alex, on “his promise to bring people together from both sides to work on ways to minimize demand,” i’m fairly hopeful that some dialogue on reducing abortion in actual and comparable numbers can happen. If Obama does sign the FOCA bill as his first act, it will make it very hard (essentially impossible in the first two years), but that may have been one of those “rally the base” statements that you don’t actually intend to do.

    Moe, Biden has never admitted responsibility for the Kinnock speech thing; he has staff say it was just a one-off mistake, but he did it at least half a dozen times in Iowa alone (see Slate.com), putting himself directly into the story with first person pronouns. (Which i can’t stand among preachers or politicans alike, for the same reasons.) “He paid for it” by being effectively forced out of the race isn’t accepting responsibility by a long shot — and in academia, we have a HUGE plagiarism problem . . . which has been discussed in this neighborhood before. Unrepentant means unforgiven in my admittedly Arminian lexicon; your Calvinist interpretation may vary!

  39. brian stouder said on October 21, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Speaking of terrorism, abortion, and McCain, there’s this – which (paraphrasing Sh*t-for-brains Sean Hannity, et al) McCain should have to explain in detail to the American people, because we gotta know; we gotta know

    http://rawstory.com/news/2008/Olbermann_McCain_guilty_by_association_1009.html

    an excerpt

    Olbermann ends up dissecting the implications of McCain’s appearance at a fundraiser for the the ultra-right wing Oregon Citizens Alliance in 1993. Earlier this week, RAW STORY reported that McCain shared the stage with Marilyn Shannon, who during her own speech praised a local woman who had shot a doctor because he performed abortions. “Unlike Ayers who did not endorse terrorist activities during his meetings with Obama, this woman, Shannon, said of the shooter — as McCain sat there — quote ‘she’s a fine lady,'” Olbermann said. “A judge who later sentenced his fine lady for a campaign of yes, bombing women’s clinics, said quote, ‘Though I am loathe to call anyone a terrorist, you are a terrorist.'” As Jed Lewison notes Olbermann’s segment does not mention that McCain voted against making abortion clinic bombings a federal crime three months after the OCA appearance.

    As has been said about others, so it must be said about McCain: How can we trust this man, who pals around with terrorists – and who PROTECTS terrorists from federal criminal liability?

  40. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 21, 2008 at 9:10 am

    All rants and rhetoric and reasoning aside — prayers if you’re so inclined for the Obama-Dunham family; reports this am are that his grandmother Madelyn Dunham is very ill (not sure of her age), and that Obama will go to Hawaii this week to be with her. She was apparently as much a mother to him as his mother was (more than most grandmothers), especially in his teen years, and this is a dreadfully hard spot for anyone to be in.

    (Theologically, i wouldn’t laugh at anyone who looks at the last few weeks of “external” events as they’ve affected the campaign and says “God doesn’t want McCain to be president.” My theology doesn’t quite swing that way, but i’d take the point quietly, willing to be confused with assent.)

  41. Connie said on October 21, 2008 at 9:24 am

    Dorothy! Another Sarah Palin mask, this time a monster version. Also available: McCain, Hannity, Kissinger, and others. http://www.ep.tc/intro-archive049.html

  42. Catherine said on October 21, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Jeff, do you think God is concerned about our election? I don’t.

    Seems to me the present poll numbers are due to folks being completely fed up, and brilliant organizing by Obama’s campaign. More of a tide in the affairs of men…