News Round-Up

Stories from the past week that stood out.

July 17

July 21

Serious Soldier

July 22

John and Cindy McCain

July 23

  • Cindy McCain robot gets new head.
  • Well, I called the Obama campaign several weeks ago and said that I’d like to go and my invitation has apparently been lost in the mail.
  • “What I’m afraid of is that if Sen. McCain picks one more relatively boring, normal, mainstream Republican white guy… he just makes the ticket seem boring compared to the level of energy and drive and excitement that Obama has.”
  • Blackwater affiliate Greystone Ltd, registered offshore in Barbados, is an old-fashioned mercenary operation offering “personnel from the best militaries throughout the world” for hire by governments and private organisations. It also boasts of a “multi-national peacekeeping programme,” with forces “specialising in crowd control and less than lethal techniques and military personnel for the less stable areas of operation.”
  • The political controversy that has swirled around Pastor Hagee reminds me of one of the unique lessons in the Bible about leadership. In Greek mythology, the leaders were flawless and virtual demi-gods. It was impossible for mere mortals to try to emulate them. The heroes of the Bible, however, are humans, great humans, but with human failings.

Obama,Tiergarten, Berlin

July 24

Ex-Gay Billboard

July 25

  • “Obviously one is interested in a candidate looking towards the future rather than the past.”
  • The entire world drafted an open letter to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) today, asking him to drop out of the U.S. presidential race and concede the presidency to Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois).
  • White House gave FOX commentators talking points.
  • “For those who oppose the death penalty and want to see it end, our best bet is to vote for Barack Obama because his supporters have been working behind the scenes to end this practice.”
  • ACLU releases three new documents on the government’s torture program. “If a defendant acts with good faith belief that his actions will not cause such suffering, he has not acted with specific intent. A defendant acts in good faith when he has an honest belief that his actions will not result in severe pain or suffering…Although an honest belief need not be reasonable, such a belief is easier to establish where there is reasonable basis for it.”
  • “He got up there in front of 200,000 people and he glommed on to one of the most ridiculous and one of the hateful stereotypes about America, which is that we torture. The fact that he did that on foreign soil I think is absolutely atrocious.”

Banksy, American Influence

July 26

Karl Rove

July 27

News Round-Up

George Bush and Nancy Pelosi

If the terrorists are smart, they will give up on trying to attack us and just sit back and wait, because eventually our entire country is going to be so stupid that people will start sticking their tongues in wall sockets just to see what electricity tastes like. [Link]

Stories from the past week that stood out.

July 13

July 14

July 16

July 17

George Bush

July 18

July 19

July 20

John McCain

90% Negative Correlation: Dow Jones, Barack Obama

News Round-Up

Sam Javanrouh: Yonge street, north of Eglinton

A selection of headlines from the last week or so, give-or-take, that grabbed our attention:

June 7

June 12

June 27

June 29

July 1

July 2

July 3

July 9

July 10

July 11

July 12

July 13

Obama/Lincoln; Jackson/Jackson

Obama/Lincoln

I’m deeply outraged and disappointed in Reverend Jackson’s reckless statements about Senator Barack Obama. His divisive and demeaning comments about the presumptive Democratic nominee – and I believe the next president of the United States – contradict his inspiring and courageous career.
     Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.)

(Link, via Slog)

McCain: One of the 10 Worst Movies of All Time?

John McCain ( Over at Shakesville they’re reporting that Greg Jenkins, a former White House official and Fox News producer, ha been brought in to “produce” McCain’s events, and that the candidate himself has a coach “to improve his speech and performance.” One of the first goals will be to eliminate “my friends,” which always reminds me — and apparently no one else — of Criswell from Plan 9 from Outer Space (“My friends, we cannot keep this a secret any longer, let us punish the guilty, let us reward the innocent, my friends, can your hearts stand the shocking facts about grave robbers from outer space?”). And none too soon.

Zogby announced today that although Obama’s national lead in the polls is only 6%, if you go state by state, he’s leading in electoral votes, 273-158. (This sounds eerily like the Democratic primary, where Clinton focused on the votes and Obama focused on the delegates. Is Obama the only one with math majors on payroll?) The Zogby also showed that Bob Barr (Bob Barr!) was polling at 6%, and could conceivably cost McCain Georgia and (if he doesn’t get his shit together) other southern states as well.

Barack Obama: Good with Kids

One of the things that has inspired me most about Obama has not been the speeches or the policy positions — don’t get me wrong: I’m glad we have a potential President who can speak his native language and make himself understood to reasonably educated human beings — but I’ve been most inspired by Obama’s and Dean’s 50-state strategy. Clinton’s top-down, business-as-usual, play-to-the-Establishment scheme may or may not prove to have been the right strategy, but it made me tired.

Cartophilia (Thanks!) pointed me to Robert David Sullivan’s June 30 op-ed piece in the Boston Globe (“Changing the polarized electoral landscape”).

Though the contest between Bush and Kerry was tight at the macro level, only 29 percent of voters lived in counties where the victory margin was less than 10 points – where the winner wasn’t evident within an hour of the polls closing. That’s lower than the 32 percent who lived in competitive counties in 2000; the comparable figures were 46 percent in the Carter vs. Ford race of 1976 and 34 percent in the Kennedy vs. Nixon race.

The Dean-Obama strategy promises to shake this up and help voters throughout the US feel as if their votes did count. That’s something worth believing in, something worth losing an election over.