Friday, October 31, 2008

So Stupid She's Dangerous

Sarah Palin whined today that she feared that her First Amendment rights were being violated by reporters asking questions.

ABC News
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."
Palin is so stupid she's dangerous, to herself and to the Republic. To start with, the First Amendment guarantees the right of freedom of speech. It doesn't block the right to criticize, and unfortunately it doesn't block the right to say stupid shit in public, either. Palin has it ass-backwards, as usual. The First Amendment gives me the right to say she's an ignorant fool (and why should I miss an opportunity to say so again?), and it gives reporters and columnists the right to question and to criticize her. The First Amendment also explicitly guarantees the right to a free press, and a free press is one that would ask Palin "what the hell are you talking about?" every time she opens her mouth. Fortunately, the media is (mostly) doing that.

Glen Greenwald:
This isn't only about profound ignorance regarding our basic liberties, though it is obviously that. Palin here is also giving voice to the standard right-wing grievance instinct: that it's inherently unfair when they're criticized. And now, apparently, it's even unconstitutional.

According to Palin, what the Founders intended with the First Amendment was that political candidates for the most powerful offices in the country and Governors of states would be free to say whatever they want without being criticized in the newspapers. In the Palin worldview, the First Amendment was meant to ensure that powerful political officials such as herself would not be "attacked" in the papers. Is it even possible to imagine more breathtaking ignorance from someone holding high office and running for even higher office?
I can't WAIT until Tuesday.

Stop Me If You've Heard This One

John Cole:
I received the following email on one of my “conservative” email lists the other day:
"Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read 'Vote Obama, I need the money.' I laughed.

Once in the restaurant my server had on a 'Obama 08' tie, again I laughed as he had given away his political preference—just imagine the coincidence.

When the bill came I decided not to tip the server and explained to him that I was exploring the Obama redistribution of wealth concept. He stood there in disbelief while I told him that I was going to redistribute his tip to someone who I deemed more in need—the homeless guy outside. The server angrily stormed from my sight.

I went outside, gave the homeless guy $10 and told him to thank the server inside as I ‘ve decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy was grateful.

At the end of my rather unscientific redistribution experiment I realized the homeless guy was grateful for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn even though the actual recipient needed money more.

I guess redistribution of wealth is an easier thing to swallow in concept than in practical application."

A simplistic argument against socialism, right? The sort of stuff that goes directly to "Trash" in my email account. This particular fable has got some legs, though. This anonymous, fictitious, bullshit conservative story is being spread by wingnuts near and far, appearing on numerous blogs, letters to the editor, and chain emails passed from wingnut to wingnut. I did a Google search for the phrase, "Today on my way to lunch I passed a homeless guy with a sign that read 'Vote Obama, I need the money.' I laughed." I got 14,000 results.

We've seen the coordination between right-wing radio and the Republicans for more than two decades now, that's nothing new. Rush says it, and a thousand idiots repeat it in truck stops, offices, bowling alleys, strip clubs, duck blinds, poorly written blogs warning of the coming Apocalypse, and letters written in crayon and addressed to the editor of the local newspaper. What's new is that now Republican presidential campaigns spew verbatim this wingnut crap that usually travels by email and fax: McCain PR flak Nicole Wallace passed along this story in an NPR interview today.

It's becoming readily apparent that if McCain loses, the Republican party will immediately declare civil war, and spend (hopefully) the next congressional session in destructive and pointless internecine warfare. The signs are already there: Republican intellectuals like Noonan and Hitchens endorsing Obama, saying that the party has lost its way; the dangerous rabble-rousing happening at Pain rallies, and Palin herself tossing her hat in the ring for 2012; the open disdain between the paleo-conservatives, the neo-cons, and the evangelicals.

Cole again:
The McCain campaign, once again, is just a symptom of the real problem- an intellectually incurious and lazy movement in the final ugly spasms of death. The McCain campaign is now, in their interviews with the press, spreading what we can all recognize as wingnut email chains.
We can all hope for a protracted civil war, the better for the rest of us to address the myriad problems facing America today. Let the wingnuts fight over the bones of the Republican party; we've got to begin rebuilding the nation for the 21st Century.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

New Heights (Depths?) In Stupidity

Ta-Nehisi Coates has the latest on the newest wingnut obsession:
So the new rumor is that Barack is actually the son of Malcolm X. No seriously. Dude look at the resemblance! And they actually have a very similar speaking style.

Where do these fools come from? And how do we send them back?!

Maybe He Can Get A Job With Norm Coleman

After all, Michael Goldfarb (here being slapped around by CNN's Rick Sanchez) does seem to have a high quotient for shame...

Norm Coleman Lawsuit: "Not Unlike Ted Stevens' Case"

Several news sites today reported on a lawsuit against Norm Coleman filed by Texas businessman Paul McKim, alleging that he was forced by long-time Coleman friend (and alleged "Suit-gate" benefactor) Nasser Kazeminy to make $75,000 in secret payments to the senator's wife, Laurie:

The Nation:
In March 2007, Kazeminy began ordering the payment of corporate funds to companies and individuals who tendered no goods or services to DMT for the states purpose of trying to financially assist United States Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota. In March 2007, Kazeminy telephoned B.J. Thomas, then DMT's Chief Financial Officer. In that conversation, Kazeminy told Mr. Thomas that "US Senators don't make [expletive deleted]" and that he was going to find a way to get money to Coleman and wanted to utilize DMT in the process...Kazeminy told Mr. McKim that he [Kazeminy] would make sure there was paperwork to make it appear as though the payments were made in connection with the legitimate transations, explaining further that Senator Coleman's wife, Laurie, worked for the Hays Companies, an insurance broker in Minneapolis, and that the payments could be made to Hays for insurance. When Mr. McKim made further objections, Kazeminy repeatedly threatened to fire Mr. McKim, telling him "this is my company" and that he and Thomas had better follow his orders in paying Hays. Subsequently, Kazeminy caused Hays to produce a document entitled "Disclosure of Service Fees" which purported to legitimize the basis of the payments to be made to Hays by DMT.

In other words, the same guy that was allegedly buying Norm his suits was also funneling large sums of money through one of his companies to Norm Coleman through his wife.

This is not unlike Ted Stevens’ case.

Kazeminy, you'll recall, was involved in Norm's "Suit-gate" scandal. Besides being accused of paying for Norm's shopping bills at Nieman Marcus, Kazeminy has also been campaign donor and sometime-travel agent to the Coleman family. I still haven't seen anything that proves that Normie buys his own clothes. I have, however, seen what the Washington Post has called “the most awkward press conference in the history of politics.” And I now have a pretty good idea of what Norm was running away from yesterday, when two investigative reporters from the Star-Tribune asked him questions about the lawsuit.

Since this morning, the lawsuit has been withdrawn, but the Huffington Post notes:
On Thursday, Coleman's campaign manager Cullen Sheehan was asked about the issue during a press conference, He claimed that "the lawsuit was withdrawn," and said he had no further details to offer. "I just know there was a lawsuit filed and it was withdrawn."

Casey T. Wallace, the attorney representing McKim, confirmed the withdrawal and said he would have more comment later in the day. A person familiar with the case, however, emphasized that while the complaint may have been withdrawn, the charges contained within it were still valid.

"It doesn't affect that," said the official. "By withdrawing the complaint and withdrawing the petition, we are not saying now that our allegations are false."

Requests for comment from McKim and the Coleman campaign went un-returned. But lawyers familiar with Senate ethics law say that if the complaint turns out to be true, Coleman could be in hot water, possibly facing a trial and potentially jail time.

Meanwhile, Brian Melendez, Chair of the Minnesota DFL, in a statement today, said:
"These allegations of criminal behavior are serious and deeply troubling. The Plaintiff has verified those allegations — meaning that he will go to jail if he’s lying. Senator Coleman has a duty to the people of Minnesota to explain why those allegations aren’t true before the voters go to the polls on Tuesday."

Norm is just bad news for the people of Minnesota. He needs to go.

Campbell Brown Rips Dole A New One

I almost didn't believe it, but there's an ad this political season that dirtier than anything even Norm Coleman has said about Al Franken. North Carolina's Elizabeth Dole, fighting for her life against Democrat Kay Hagen for her Senate seat, came out with an ad accusing Hagen of not believing in God. Hagen is a Sunday School teacher and elder in her church. Unbelievable!! Dole has nothing else but lies like this; she certainly can't run on her record. So far three North Carolina newspapers have editorials out asking Dole to take down the ad, and Hagen is seeking a cease-and-desist order to force her to do so.

Campbell Brown gave Dole the award for nastiest campaign ad of the season on her "No Bias, No Bull" show last night. Watch her give Dole hell:

The Economist Endorses Obama

I wonder if Caribou Barbie has read the latest issue of the Economist:

It is impossible to forecast how important any presidency will be. Back in 2000 America stood tall as the undisputed superpower, at peace with a generally admiring world. The main argument was over what to do with the federal government’s huge budget surplus. Nobody foresaw the seismic events of the next eight years. When Americans go to the polls next week the mood will be very different. The United States is unhappy, divided and foundering both at home and abroad. Its self-belief and values are under attack.

For all the shortcomings of the campaign, both John McCain and Barack Obama offer hope of national redemption. Now America has to choose between them. The Economist does not have a vote, but if it did, it would cast it for Mr Obama. We do so wholeheartedly: the Democratic candidate has clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence. But we acknowledge it is a gamble. Given Mr Obama’s inexperience, the lack of clarity about some of his beliefs and the prospect of a stridently Democratic Congress, voting for him is a risk. Yet it is one America should take, given the steep road ahead.

I've said it before: the whole world wants an Obama presidency. The Economist goes on to smack McCain upside the head for his divisive and disjointed campaign:

...the Candidate McCain of the past six months has too often seemed the victim of political sorcery, his good features magically inverted, his bad ones exaggerated. The fiscal conservative who once tackled Mr Bush over his unaffordable tax cuts now proposes not just to keep the cuts, but to deepen them. The man who denounced the religious right as “agents of intolerance” now embraces theocratic culture warriors. The campaigner against ethanol subsidies (who had a better record on global warming than most Democrats) came out in favour of a petrol-tax holiday. It has not all disappeared: his support for free trade has never wavered. Yet rather than heading towards the centre after he won the nomination, Mr McCain moved to the right.

Meanwhile his temperament, always perhaps his weak spot, has been found wanting. Sometimes the seat-of-the-pants method still works: his gut reaction over Georgia—to warn Russia off immediately—was the right one. Yet on the great issue of the campaign, the financial crisis, he has seemed all at sea, emitting panic and indecision. Mr McCain has never been particularly interested in economics, but, unlike Mr Obama, he has made little effort to catch up or to bring in good advisers (Doug Holtz-Eakin being the impressive exception).

And The Economist doesn't like Palin any more than I do:

The choice of Sarah Palin epitomised the sloppiness. It is not just that she is an unconvincing stand-in, nor even that she seems to have been chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues, notably abortion. Mr McCain made his most important appointment having met her just twice.

Or, in American English: "What the fuck was he thinking?!" But rather than cowering before the fear-mongering of the McCain campaign, The Economist chooses the hope that an Obama presidency offers:

Is Mr Obama any better? Most of the hoopla about him has been about what he is, rather than what he would do. His identity is not as irrelevant as it sounds. Merely by becoming president, he would dispel many of the myths built up about America: it would be far harder for the spreaders of hate in the Islamic world to denounce the Great Satan if it were led by a black man whose middle name is Hussein; and far harder for autocrats around the world to claim that American democracy is a sham. America’s allies would rally to him: the global electoral college on our website shows a landslide in his favour. At home he would salve, if not close, the ugly racial wound left by America’s history and lessen the tendency of American blacks to blame all their problems on racism.

Of course, they have their worries about Obama, but on the whole, they offer a ringing endorsement of his campaign:

Our main doubts about Mr Obama have to do with the damage a muddle-headed Democratic Congress might try to do to the economy. Despite the protectionist rhetoric that still sometimes seeps into his speeches, Mr Obama would not sponsor a China-bashing bill. But what happens if one appears out of Congress? Worryingly, he has a poor record of defying his party’s baronies, especially the unions. His advisers insist that Mr Obama is too clever to usher in a new age of over-regulation, that he will stop such nonsense getting out of Congress, that he is a political chameleon who would move to the centre in Washington. But the risk remains that on economic matters the centre that Mr Obama moves to would be that of his party, not that of the country as a whole.

So Mr Obama in that respect is a gamble. But the same goes for Mr McCain on at least as many counts, not least the possibility of President Palin. And this cannot be another election where the choice is based merely on fear. In terms of painting a brighter future for America and the world, Mr Obama has produced the more compelling and detailed portrait. He has campaigned with more style, intelligence and discipline than his opponent. Whether he can fulfil his immense potential remains to be seen. But Mr Obama deserves the presidency.

So now the world has weighed in on the election. Five days to go before we see if Americans have as much sense as the rest of the planet, and choose Barack Obama.

Palin Declares For 2012

"I'm not doing this for naught", says the queen rat.

I thought she'd at least wait until Tuesday night to turn on McCain! Totally classless. Guess you can take the backstabbin', lyin', second-rate skeezer out of the shithole, but, hmmm.....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here It Is

The Obama infomercial, in its entirety:

"In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up.

In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future.

In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo.

In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history.

That’s what’s at stake. That’s what we’re fighting for. And if in this last week, you will knock on some doors for me, and make some calls for me, and talk to your neighbors, and convince your friends; if you will stand with me, and fight with me, and give me your vote, then I promise you this - we will not just win Florida, we will not just win this election, but together, we will change this country and we will change the world."

Thanks to Crooks and Liars for the transcript.

Yeah, She Rocks!

Andrew Sullivan is right, Helen Philpot rocks:
My name is Helen Philpot. I am 82 years old. My grandson taught me how to do this so that I could “blog” with my best friend Margaret Schmechtman who I met in college almost 60 years ago. I have three children with my husband Harold. Margaret has three dogs with her husband Howard. I live in Texas and Margaret lives in Maine.
And Helen has a few choice words for Sarah Palin:
Sarah Palin is an ignorant, ranting, whining bitch. There I said it. But lots more are thinking it.

Please take your ridiculous hair, your over lipstick-smacking mouth, your Lenscrafter look smarter glasses and your poorly fitted designer jackets back to Alaska. And when you get there, shove a piece of the pipeline up your considerable ass. I’ll be damned if we’ll put our children’s future in your hands. And the same thing goes for McCain - the ass wipe who gave her this national platform effectively pushing the woman’s movement back into the dark ages - knowing McCain that might have been his plan all along.
I hope I'm that sharp, funny, informed, and opinionated when I'm 82!

Once More, For The Slow and Stupid...

...Obama won't raise your taxes, unless you make over $250K! How hard is this to understand?

Thanks to the Jed Report.

Cognitive Dissonance

A U.S. flag flies above the Confederate Stars and Bars, with an Obama sign on the front yard, in Martinsville, Indiana.

Thanks to Politico's Ben Smith.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"A Whack Job"

Watching the Straight Talk Express lately is like watching a Roadrunner cartoon. Wile E. Coyote tries one dumbassed trick after another, but the Roadrunner gets away every time, usually leaving the hapless coyote to be blown up, fall out of the sky, sliced and diced, slammed into canyon walls by giant rubber bands, and otherwise demolished by various Rube Goldberg-inspired devices. Lately, watching the perambulations of the Straight Talk Express as it careens toward Election Day is like watching a coyote-inspired contraption shudder across the political landscape--leaking oil, random parts falling off onto the highway, and flames shooting from the engine compartment as it veers wildly across the highway, destined to never quite win the race, much less reaching the finish line intact.

Today a senior McCain adviser, according to Politico, called Palin "a whack job." Wow, that's one-upping the previous description of her as a "diva," and less than a week after she was declared to be "going rogue!" Meanwhile, Obama is ahead in the polls by an ever-increasing margin, and the Republican party itself is poised for post-election civil war. An unvetted, fatally incurious, fundamentalist fanatic running with a maverick-turned-neocon party hack, with recriminations and lamentations coming from all sides as the campaign draws to a conclusion, is surely a recipe for disaster.

We wait daily for the next calamity to hit the campaign: will Joe the Plumber say that Obama is "death for Israel"? Will Palin ignore her talking points and keep "Wardrobe-gate" alive for yet another news cycle? Maybe an adviser will admit that the McCain health care plan is a fraud? The wheels are falling off, the spell is dissolving, and McCain is looking through the fourth wall at us with the same expression of resigned inevitability that Wile E. Coyote wears, just before the boulder crushed him into the ground.

Maybe the prayers her preacher offered to protect her from witchcraft weren't that crazy after all.

Obama Ahead In Florida & Ohio

The LA Times:

In Ohio, a state that has been battered for years by unemployment and plant closings, Obama is leading McCain by 49% to 40% among people likely to vote.

In Florida, a state that was considered a likely win for Republicans not long ago, McCain is trailing, 50% to 43%.

In both states, Obama, a Democrat, has opened commanding leads over McCain among women, young people, first-time voters and blacks and other minorities.

Great news, but not enough to make me feel secure. We need double-digit leads to counter Republican voter suppression and some unknown amount of the Bradley effect. With all due respect to Nate Silver, I think it's still there, especially in the more benighted parts of the country (Sarah Palin's "Real America"). Still, it's a good sign going into the last seven days before Nov. 4th.


Crist To McCain: F** You!

Charlie Crist must still be pissed at being passed for for VP:
Florida Governor Charlie Crist, to the shock and dismay of Florida Republicans, just moved to extend early voting hours, a move likely to widen the Democrats' lead under a program on which the Obama campaign has intensely focused.

"He just blew Florida for John McCain," one plugged in Florida Republican just told me.
And, as Kos noted, funny how the unnamed Repug as much as admitted that they can't win in a fair election. With early voting running heavily in Obama's favor, maybe Crist is making nice with an Obama White House ahead of time?

Norm Coleman: "Thanks But No Thanks, I'll Keep The Cash"

Norm Coleman joins the lengthening list of Republicans calling for convicted Alaskan Sen. Ted Steven to resign. However, as MNPublius writes:
But… Norm Coleman still has not returned all the money from Ted Stevens PAC.

And… Norm Coleman still has not returned the money received from the same, corrupt VECO executives.
Maybe Norm needs the cash to print some more comic books?

McCain Giving Up On Minnesota, Too

McCain seems to be giving up on he already has on Colorado:
Behind in the polls with a week to go, Republican John McCain is pulling back from the Minnesota television airwaves.

According to an Associated Press examination of Twin Cities ad records, McCain has scaled back his presence by diluting previous ad buys.
Thank Gawd! I was getting sick of seeing 'em.

What's Old Is New Again

The Campaign for America's Future ran its final ad in the New York Times today:

Some of these things have been forgotten, by the people, and by their leaders. Listening to Sarah Palin bitch that Barack Obama is "socialist," one realizes that her claims don't hold much water when a lot of people are wishing that they could get some of that wealth spread their way. Watching the McCain campaign recite its ever-changing list of charges against Obama misses the point when many Americans are looking for help. And it just doesn't resonate with people, thank all the gods!

There's more to the American tradition than war and taxes. For instance, there is the tradition of pulling together when times are tough. That's why I think this current Republican assault on the term "spreading the wealth" is going to fall on deaf ears. (They would have been better sticking with the "socialism" boogeyman since most people don't really know what it means.) "Spreading the wealth" just doesn't sound like a threatening unamerican idea. It sounds like ... fairness. The kind of thing you teach little kids --- the kind of thing that some people used to call Christian values.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Headed For The Big House

Alaskan Sen. Ted Stevens is convicted on seven felony counts.

In Memorium: Paul Wellstone

This Saturday marked the sixth anniversary of the deaths of Paul and Shelia Wellstone, their daughter Marcia, three campaign workers, and the two pilots of the aircraft on its fatal flight. Paul was a teacher, mentor, and inspiration to me. His energy, commitment to progressive causes, and sheer humanity is irreplaceable, but we can honor his memory by continuing the fight for the causes he championed.

Belying the sentiment of some local idiots, Al Franken has a touching tribute to Wellstone on the front of his website:

Dear Friends,

Today marks six years since the plane crash that took the lives of Paul and Sheila Wellstone, their daughter Marcia Wellstone Markuson, Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy, Will McLaughlin, and pilots Richard Conry and Michael Guess.

Six years, and we miss our friends more than ever. But just as we still feel the sting of their loss, we are still inspired by their passion, their courage, and their vision for what this country can be, expressed so simply and eloquently by Paul when he said, “We all do better when we all do better.”

Just about every Minnesotan who had the privilege to meet Paul and Sheila has a story about them. The one I’m remembering today happened the last time I saw Paul.

It was just a few weeks before he passed away. At the time, my mom was in a nursing home in Minneapolis. And when I saw Paul at an event I was doing for him, he was locked in a fierce and close campaign, but the first thing he said to me was, “How’s your mom?”

I said, “She’s not so good. Yesterday, I went to visit and I couldn’t even have a conversation with her.”

He nodded, put his hand on my shoulder, and said, “You know, touch means so much.”

The next day, I went back to the nursing home. My mom still wasn’t doing well. But I took her out into the garden and just sat with my arm around her for a while. And I don’t know if it meant anything to her – but it meant the world to me.

That was Paul. He used to say that politics wasn’t about winning or losing, it was about the improvement of people’s lives. I know a lot of people – Democrats, Republicans, folks who could care less about politics – who feel the way Franni and I do: our lives were improved immeasurably, simply by knowing Paul and Sheila.

We will continue to miss our friends -- but we will also continue to be inspired by their leadership, and we will continue to strive to live up to their courageous example.


Paul, we miss you, and we will win back your seat.

thanks also to MNPublius and Jeff Fecke

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pennsylvania GOP Rediscovers Godwin's Law

Reductio ad Hitlerum, also argumentum ad Hitlerum, or reductio (or argumentum) ad Nazium – dog Latin for "reduction (or argument) to Adolf Hitler (or the Nazis)" – is a modern informal fallacy in logic. It is a variety of both questionable cause and association fallacy. The phrase reductio ad Hitlerum was coined by an academic ethicist, Leo Strauss, in 1953. Engaging in this fallacy is sometimes known as playing the Nazi card.

The fallacy most often assumes the form of "Hitler (or the Nazis) supported X, therefore X must be evil/undesirable/bad." The argument carries emotional weight as rhetoric, since in most cultures anything relating to Hitler or Nazis is automatically condemned. The tactic is often used to derail arguments, as such a comparison tends to distract and to result in angry and less reasoned responses. A subtype of the fallacy is the comparison of an opponent's propositions to the Holocaust.


The Associated Press reports that an email is being sent to Jewish Pennsylvania voters that equates Barack Obama's presidential campaign to the rise of Adolph Hitler:

Pennsylvania Republicans are disavowing an e-mail sent to Jewish voters that likens a vote for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to events that led up to the Holocaust.

"Jewish Americans cannot afford to make the wrong decision on Tuesday, November 4th, 2008," the e-mail reads. "Many of our ancestors ignored the warning signs in the 1930s and 1940s and made a tragic mistake. Let's not make a similar one this year!"

A copy of the e-mail, provided by Democratic officials, says it was "Paid for by the Republican Federal Committee of PA - Victory 2008."

It warns "Fellow Jewish Voters" of the danger of a second Holocaust due to the threats to Israel from its neighbors and touts Republican presidential candidate John McCain's qualifications over those of Obama.

State GOP officials disavowed the e-mail and said the strategist who helped draft it had been fired.

Need I say anything more?


From Kos:


Myers Research (D) & Grove Insight (D). 10/23-24. Likely voters. MoE 4% (No trend lines)

Likely voters

McCain (R) 44
Obama (D) 40

Early voters (34% of the sample)

McCain (R) 46
Obama (D) 47

Friday, October 24, 2008

It's A Hoax

It was so transparently obvious to me that I didn't even write about it earlier. Ashley Todd, the McCain campaign worker who claimed that she was beaten, robbed, and had a backwards "B" carved into her cheek by a "six-foot-four black man," was lying. From the first this sounded too much like too many other, similar cover stories and alibis to me: first, a large black man is identified as as the culprit (it's never a short brother, always some guy six-foot-two or more), and an innocent white woman is said to be the victim. I've watched this Pittsburgh story unfold over the last few days, and as I thought would happen, the story unraveled as the black assailant was proven to be imaginary, and the white female "victim" was this time revealed as a mentally ill woman, now repenting her guilt over the original accusation. We've heard this one before, and if you like it, I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell to you.

What I found interesting was the reaction in the rightwing blogosphere to the alleged crime. Almost as one, the wingnuts were falling over themselves in an almost gleeful reaction to the story. The usual suspects, Drudge, Hannity et alia, intoned the usual expressions of fear, disdain, and warning. But no one descended into the darkness of this story as much as Faux News. Faux Executive VP John Moody blogged the following (emphasis mine):
Part of the appeal of, and the unspoken tension behind, Senator Obama’s campaign is his transformational status as the first African-American to win a major party’s presidential nomination.

That does not mean that he has erased the mutual distrust between black and white Americans, and this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election.

If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.
I guess that's it for McCain, then. Ohhh, the gnashing of teeth at Faux News when this story was proven to be false! The sturm und drang, the crocodile tears! And though McCain and Palin both called Ashley Todd after the alleged incident, neither one has had a word to say to her, the public, or the press since her lie was discovered. I find this reprehensible, and a telling indication of guilt.

What has emerged is the role of McCain campaign workers in spreading this hoax to the Pittsburgh media. Friday evening, Talking Points Memo's TPM Election Central directly identified the McCain campaign's communications director for Pennsylvania as personally responsible for spreading "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." Local police were understandably angered when the facts came out, correctly citing that possibility that the alleged attack could have mushroomed into "a national incident." Fortunately, they weren't fooled, and were suspicious of Ashley Todd, the alleged victim, from the beginning.

Make no mistake, McCain & Co. besmirched their reputation with their role in this farce. Dave Neiwert at Orcinus gets it:

Fox exec John Moody has it precisely right: the "Obama fan attacked McCain worker" hoax in fact does "forever link" the McCain campaign to race-baiting -- especially with news emerging of Team McCain's role in pushing this story out in the first place.

However, it's not just McCain. The entire Republican Party this year has been revealed as the Party of Racial Fear. Nor is it anything new: Republicans for years have tried to make hay off of racially incendiary cases that turn out to tell us more about the motives and worldviews of the torch-bearing mob than anything they might be chanting.

Along with John McCain, their credibility has just sustained a serious body blow. Couldn't be happening to a nicer bunch.
Exactly so. No matter how the wingnutosphere may try to claim that Ashley Todd was a "secret Obama supporter," the response of the McCain campaign revealed a willingness to plant the seeds of racial discord a little deeper, an urge to water the vile plant of racism a little more. Would they have rushed out talking points on this attack if the Democratic nominee was Hillary Clinton? Hell no! What were they thinking? Didn't they calculate the consequences if this story was false? No, just spread more fear, fear, fear!--it's the only thing they seem to know how to do, anymore.

The McCain campaign has demonstrated, ever since the selection of Sarah Palin, a willingness to try to draw to an inside straight, hoping to find that one card that will turn a fistful of crap into a winning hand. And as any dealer will tell you, never draw to an inside straight. The erratic behavior in the face of the financial meltdown, the ever-changing attacks on Obama, the recent news that campaign workers are now acting like rats deserting a sinking ship--all this speaks to a fundamental lack of intelligent planning, an inept emphasis of focusing on passing matters of the day rather than formulating a coherent, successful strategy, and a lack of persuasive reasons to vote for the ticket.

They know they have nothing, and they're grasping at every straw that floats by. And like Ashley Todd, in their hearts, they know it's all a lie.

McCain Advisor Jumps Ship, Endorses Obama

Charles Fried, a highly respected professor at Harvard Law, former Solicitor General under Reagan, and McCain campaign advisor, has endorsed Barack Obama. Best of all, he cites Sarah Palin as a major factor in his decision.
This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."
Also, former Massachusetts governor William Weld also announced his support for the Obama-Biden ticket. Josh Marshall calls this a "flight to quality," I call it rats leaving a sinking ship.

"What's The Word? - Tinklenberg!"

This is great! Owing a debt to Gil Scott-Heron's Johannesburg, this video is a smack upside Michele Bachmann's pointy 'lil fascist head. Thanks to MinnPost and the Huffington Post.

"Obama Should Fly Coach" Payback

A reader writes that:
I created a special Obama-Biden donation page in response to (Brad) Blakeman crossing the line, mocking Obama for "taking a 767 campaign plane to go visit Grandma." It's a way for people to send Blakeman a little message, and far more importantly, make a donation specifically in honor of Sen. Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham.
I think this is an excellent idea, in the line of Daily Kos' "Make 'Em Pay" donations page. I say, let's send 'em a message that their lies and malice will cost them every time.

Here's the link:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Arne Carlson Endorses Obama

Former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson, a Republican, has endorsed Barack Obama.
Carlson said Thursday that the Illinois senator's stances on the Iraq war, the economy and green energy goals won him over. Carlson, who served from 1991 to 1998, also cited recent comments by GOP Congresswoman Michele Bachmann questioning whether politicians have "pro-America or anti-America views."
Michele Bachmann, the gaffe that keeps on giving! Sullivan and Marshall have more. This is another crack in the dam: traditional, sane Republicans deserting the GOP ticket of McSame and McNut and endorsing Obama. Expect more.


What did I just say? Scott McClellan has come out for Obama, too:
McClellan made the endorsement during a taping of Comedian D.L. Hughley's new show that is premiering on CNN this weekend. The former Bush administration official said he wanted to support the candidate that has the best chance for changing the way Washington works and getting things done.
Sinking ship, rats = Republican ticket, GOP politicians.

GOP Flack: "Obama Should Fly Coach"

Republican talking head Brad Blakeman countered a question about the $150,000 Palin wardrobe by questioning Barack Obama's use of his 767 campaign plane to fly to Hawaii to see his seriously ill grandmother.
"This guy should be humping his bags on a commercial plane or taking a smaller plane."

Watch the clip as the anchor laughs out loud at his ridiculous line of argument:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Gee, Sarah and Norm Shop At The Same Place!

The Atlantic links Norm Coleman to Sarah Palin's $150,000 "wardrobe malfunction." Seems that Palin's personal shopper was none other than Jeff Larson, the guy that gave that cozy rental arrangement to Norm. Seems that Larson, like Normie, favors the suits at Neiman Marcus, too, for men and women both. Now if I can just figure out where Nasser Kazeminy is in all this...

Bachmann's On Her Own: NRCC Dropping Its Ad Support

First posted on the Huffington Post, and confirmed by TPM Election Central, the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its all its advertising for Michele Bachmann. Bachmann's lunatic Hardball appearance seems to have finally cost her the support of Republican leaders:
Bear in mind that Bachmann was heavily favored to win re-election before this whole mess happened, but since then her Democratic opponent has received $1.3 million in online donations and another $1 million in commitments from the DCCC. The national party is now directing its attention to other races.

Bachmann could still potentially win, as this district voted 57%-42% for George W. Bush in 2004. But she's now on her own. It's a rare thing for a national party to totally cut off an incumbent, so this should give you an idea of just how unpopular Bachmann is among Washington Republicans right now.
Bachmann's really screwed the pooch this time. Can you say "Representative Tinklenberg"?

Levi Stubbs, 1936 – 2008

Levi Stubbs, lead singer for the Four Tops, passed away last Friday. RIP.

How Much Lipstick Can A Pig Buy With $150,000?

Kagro X at Daily Kos writes:
$150,000 shopping sprees (at all the best "elitist" shops, no less), on the Republican National Committee tab.

$21,012 worth of free flights
for her daughters, charged to the state.

All this, when she already makes $125,000 a year as governor and pockets an extra $22,883 in energy extraction royalties.

Sarah Palin is a chisler supreme.

All of which makes the fact that she charged $16,951 in expenses charged to the state, including 312 per diem allowances for staying in her own home just that much more amazing.

A dual income family, with Sarah earning $125K. Free travel (even for the family), and now free clothes, hair and makeup. They can actually go out in her backyard and shoot a moose, keeping her family in free mooseburger for a year. And still she feels the need to cheat. Shoot that moose for free and still charge the state $60 per burger. And she claims she deserves every bit of it.

I am flabbergasted at the hubris, the chutzpah, the sheer arrogance it takes for Palin and McCain to call Barack Obama elitist, while she runs up $75,000 at Nieman Marcus alone, in a shopping spree paid for by the Republican National Committee. $75,000. At one store alone! $150,000 in all, so Caribou Barbie, the First Dude, and all their brood can look good for the cameras. This is how a "typical hockey mom" dresses herself and her family? This is the mooseburger-eatin', wolf-shootin', Walmart shoppin', just-like-you&me Everywoman they've been presenting to the public since September? Did she not have any clothes of her own, before accepting the nomination, or is everything she owns made of bear- or moose-hide? Why were the kids included in this shopping spree, including $295 for baby Trig, and how do they justify $4,716.49 on hair and makeup?

These are the same people who dogged John Edwards about a $500 haircut, and now, in typical Republican fashion, they've excelled in committing the same offense. I wonder how a donor to the RNC feels right about now. Some Joe Sixpack who took $25 or $50 out of the family budget, because they believed the McCain-Palin campaign rhetoric about reform, curbing Wall Street greed, cutting spending, and limited government. I wonder if they're hearing about this now, and are beginning to realize that they've been conned? I wonder if the Republican fatcats who donated megabucks to McCain's campaign realize now that he picked a backwoods Paris Hilton for veep, not a credible running mate, and are starting to become angry?

$150,000 for clothes and accessories isn't as much as a single outfit that Cindy McCain wore during the RNC convention (the infamous $300,000 outfit), but she paid for it with her own money. I've noticed how Palin's hair and clothes have markedly improved since the convention, but I thought that perhaps Cindy was paying for it, not the party. Even knowing Palin's capacity for corruption, dishonesty, and greed, I never imagined that her new threads were bought for her by the RNC. And if you think those clothes will be donated to charity after the campaign, as reported, then I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell you.

What this will do to Palin's unfavorable ratings, already tanking, is hilarious. What this will do to further destroy voters' opinion of the McCain-Palin ticket, however, is justified. And what this will do to the chances of the Republican ticket being elected, is priceless.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin: "The Vice President Is in charge of the United States Senate"

Palin flunks Civics 101...again:

Worse, what does the dumbass reporter do when faced with this ignorance? "Thank you, Governor Palin, blah blah blah..." Whatever happened to journalistic integrity? (I know, I know, but that's another post at a later date) To paraphrase Andrew Sullivan, "could Palin pass a citizenship test?"

I foresee a short but bright future for the Governor as a contestant on "Are You Smarter Than A Third-Grader?"

This Is Why We Have To Win, Part III

"The horror, the horror." Echoing Kurtz's final lines in Conrad's Heart of Darkness, the Wall Street Journal editorial board contemplates the catastrophes that a Democratic-supermajority Congress and a Democratic President would bring. Blogging at the Campaign for America's Future, Robert Borosage sums up the fears of the fatcats at the Journal:
Voters will be registered. Workers organized. Banks regulated. Health care provided for all. Government investment will drive a green revolution that generates millions of jobs. The wealthy will pay more in taxes. Guantanamo will be shut down; torture will end. Net neutrality will be mandated. Citizens may even be able to sue corporations that negligently do them harm. They don’t even mention the war in Iraq ending.
In addition to these horrible possibilities, the Journal's plutocrats also sounded the alarm for the possibility of DC residents finally gaining representation in Congress, "national, election-day voter registration...a long-time goal of Acorn, windfall profits tax on oil companies, prescription drug price controls," and other liberal evils.

Oh my Gawd, health care for all?! Banks regulated? The wealthy paying higher taxes?! It's SOCIALISM, I tell you! The sky is falling!! Borosage goes on to note that the Journal offers to frightened plutocrats the hope that
Perhaps Democrats will divide. Perhaps the entrenched lobbies, the interest of the corporations and the wealthy will buy enough support to stand in the way of the tumbrels.

And that defines our job pretty clearly: to organize engaged citizens to hold Democrats accountable to the promises that have been made and the agenda the country needs.
Yes, that's exactly what we need to do. We need to repudiate the failed policies of the last eight years--no, the last twenty-eight years, ever since Saint Reagan propagated the false and destructive idea that government is itself the problem. We need to restore the true American Dream: not the fascist nightmare of "small-town values" and small-minded prejudice that Sarah Palin yearns for, not the false, failed "trickle-down" economics that rich Republicans have foisted on the middle class and the poor, not the divisive apartheid fantasies that demagogues like Limbaugh and O'Reilly have spewed across the airwaves for far too long.

We need to restore the promise of America that is embodied in its Constitution: "to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity." We need to truly work towards becoming the "Shining City on a Hill"--one image, at least, that Reagan got right. But Reagan and his successors were and are wrong in thinking that America was already that City. We're not yet; we've come far, but we still have a long way to go. With a progressive majority in Congress and a President Obama, we might come closer still to that promise.

Polar Bears 1, Palin 0

Defenders of Wildlife has another video out, this time slamming Sarah Palin for her vicious policies towards polar bears:

Obama Suspending Campaign To See Ill Grandmother

Barack Obama is suspending campaign activities Thursday and Friday to see his seriously ill 85-year-old grandmother in Hawaii. Obama will miss rallies on those days in Iowa and Wisconsin, and will resume campaigning on Saturday.

“In the last few weeks her health has deteriorated to the point where her situation is very serious,” (spokesman Robert) Gibbs told reporters aboard Obama’s campaign plane.

His grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, “has always been one of the most important people in his life,” Gibbs said. “Along with his mother and his grandfather, she raised him in Hawaii from the time he was born to the moment he left for college.”

I wish Sen. Obama and his grandmother all the best.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fareed Zakaria Backs Obama

Fareed Zakaria gives Barack Obama his endorsement for the presidency. I cannot overemphasize my respect for Zakaria, and his endorsement gives greater legitimacy to Obama's foreign policy ideas and credentials. Zakaria joins a growing throng of foreign policy experts who support Obama.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Powell Cites Bachmann As A Reason For His Endorsement Of Obama

Michelle Bachmann's rantings seem to have had quite an impact--for her opponents. Colin Powell cited the wingnut from Minnesota's Sixth District as part of the rationale behind his endorsement of Barack Obama:

And this business of, for example, a congressman from Minnesota who's going around saying let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America. We have got to stop this kind of nonsense and pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity. And so that really was driving me. And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers, these trivial issues for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorists' inclinations, I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond. And then to sort of throw in this subtle Muslim connection. You know, he's a Muslim and a terrorist. And it was taking root. And we can't judge our people and we can't hold our elections on that kind of basis. And so yes, that kind of negativity troubles me and the constant shifting of the argument.

Meanwhile, El Tinklenberg's campaign reported earlier this evening that campaign donations since Bachmann's appearance on Hardball Friday night have exceeded $620,000. Oh, thank you, Michelle!--and I'm sure that El Tinklenberg thanks you, too--by spewing your insanity and hatred across the airwaves, you've sown the seeds of your own defeat.

Palin on Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live last night--Tina Fey as Sarah Palin, and Sarah Palin's own appearance on SNL's Weekend Update. I love the moose in the second clip!

Tinklenberg Raises Close To $500,000 since Friday Afternoon

Michele Bachmann's hateful, divisive comments on Hardball Friday afternoon have caused a nationwide outpouring of donations to challenger El Tinklenberg's campaign. So far, over $488,000 has been raised by outraged Americans responding to Bachmann's desire to resurrect McCarthyism, according to the campaign's communications with Daily Kos.

Speaking earlier to Politico's The Crypt blog, Tinklenberg campaign manager Anna Richey said
"I can absolutely confirm that we have had in the last 24 hours donations from hundreds and hundreds of people from all over the country...It's coming in so fast I can't get a hold on it and can't give a precise number. It's still coming in." At minimum, she said, $150,000 has so far been donated and she expects the total, which the campaign will release later today, to be far higher.

"It's overwhelming," said Richey. "I've gotten 600 e-mail messages into our info e-mail account in the last 12 hours. People are outraged." She said a number of the e-mails decried Bachmann's call for the investigation as modern-day McCarthyism. "People shared personal stories of how their parents were discriminated against" during that time, said Richey.
Meanwhile, Bachmann appeared on WCCO this morning, trying to distance herself from her outrageous remarks, claiming that she didn't say what she said. "That was a misreading of what I said," she said.

Yeah, right. You can find the interview itself here.

Please donate to El Tinklenberg here:

Colin Powell Endorses Obama

And about damn time, too!

One Picture Says A Thousand Words

Norm Coleman and Todd Palin at a Coleman rally at Gander Mountain outside of Duluth, MN. The sign reads "Charles Manson Was A Community Organizer."

Friday, October 17, 2008

Michelle Bachmann Loses Her Mind (Again)

Minnesota's own batshit-crazy congresscritter, Michelle Bachmann (R-Theocon, MN-06), has done it again. Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball, Bachmann called for an investigation of Congressional liberals, and accused Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of "anti-American views," and of "having the most liberal views in the Congress." Bachmann "called into question what his (Obama's) true beliefs and thoughts are," and accused Michelle Obama, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Rev. Michael Pfleger of having "over-the-top anti-American views." Conflating liberal politics with "anti-American views," Bachmann called for a media investigation of "anti-American members of Congress."

Bachmann described Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Sen. Obama as a "troika" having "far-leftist views." However, when pressed by Hardball host Chris Matthews, Bachmann declined to go so far as to equate "liberal politics" with "anti-American politics." Bachmann went on to claim that Obama's associations with Rev. Wright, Rev. Pfleger, Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, and surprisingly, community organizer Saul Alinsky (who died in 1972, when Obama was 8 years old), were "troubling", and that they held "un-American" views. Repeatedly saying that she found "(Obama's) associations with people who hate America troubling," Bachmann nonetheless equivocated on calling all liberals anti-American.

Matthews questioned Bachmann on her interchangeable usage of liberal, leftist, and anti-American, asking her "how they all fit it." Bachmann stalled, then went on to express her concern that Obama and other members of Congress "might have anti-American views." Matthews then asked her exactly "how many members of Congress are in that 'anti-American' crowd you describe?" Bachmann weaseled out of the question by saying "you'd have to ask them, Chris." Bachmann ended by calling for a "penetrating expose" by the media of congressional liberals.

Will no one rid us of this troublesome theocon nutcase? Donate to El Tinklenberg's campaign today!


Katrina vanden Heuvel appeared later on Hardball, shaken and angry at what she'd just heard (thanks to Stiffa at Daily Kos):

Update 2
As of 00:30 tonight, this story has hit all the major liberal blogs, the Rachel Maddow Show, and who knows what else! The netroots have responded by reaching into their pockets, and as of this moment, Tinklenberg's ActBlue page has raised over $82,000....over $1,000 in the last five minutes. Keep it going!

The Angry Man

The third and final presidential debate took place Wednesday night, and I think it was obvious to even John McCain that we were looking at the next president of the United States, Barack Obama. And the final reason why Obama will win might just be McCain's own self-realization that he has lost the election to Barack Obama, that it pisses him off, and that his inability to resist the public display of his infamous bad temper will turn voters against the idea of a McCain presidency.

Feeding upon itself, McCain's anger made him angrier during the debate. Watching him seethe and fume Wednesday night like a cranky old man yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off him lawn, showed the public why he's temperamentally unsuited for assuming the presidency. Just the idea of this angry old man in possession of the nuclear attack codes makes anyone with a modicum of rationality and reasonableness think twice about electing him president. Add to that McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate in an obvious attempt to pander to the Republican base, his demonstrable and self-admitted lack of knowledge and experience on the economy, his repetition of failed GOP free market policies as a fix for the global financial meltdown, and the general tone of his campaign--the emphasis on character instead of issues, the re-ignition of the culture wars, the focus on what are basically sideshow matters instead of the day-to-day problems facing Americans--and you get a very unappealing and out-of-touch candidate and campaign.

McCain spent the night in an angry mood, spewing lies about William Ayers and ACORN, totally dismissing the issue of womens' health, and playing to "Joe the Plumber" (one Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, who, as further investigation revealed, is neither a licensed plumber nor a humble working man, and owes the state of Ohio $1,200 in back taxes) and his wingnut base. McCain's hostility and contempt for Obama were on full display through the night, as he attacked Obama repeatedly. McCain angry and condescending eye rolls, grunts, and facial expressions displayed McNasty at his contemptuous best.

Americans wanting to hear how the next president will protect their jobs, their mortgages, their college funds for their children, and their retirement savings, instead were treated in the first third of the debate to an array of debunked charges and Republican talking points. McCain then went on to remind women of his disdain and unconcern for their health, then launched into a series of personal attacks on Obama.

As Arianna Huffington noted,
McCain's contemptuous reactions were so intense and frequent, they've already been turned into a YouTube video. The disdain McCain feels for Obama was unmistakable. It's as if Obama is not just blocking his way to the White House, but robbing him of his destiny.

By contrast, every time McCain was on the attack, Obama was smiling. And the nastier McCain got, the brighter Obama's smile became. It was the non-verbal equivalent of Reagan's disarming "There you go again" -- and it served to underline McCain's need for anger management. The angrier McCain got, the more unruffled Obama appeared.
McCain's flailing for a coherent campaign theme was never more evident than it was in this last debate, as he veered wildly from Ayers and ACORN, to Columbia and the drug trade, then to Iraq and the economy, interspersed with frequent shout-outs to "Joe the Plumber". He seemed to become angrier yet more unfocused as the evening went on, his eyes shining brightly with rage and confusion. He couldn't make Obama angry, and he couldn't stop his own rage. At the last, he seemed to collapse into a bubbling cauldron of anger; bitter, defeated, and confused.

It's a sorry beginning of the end for what had been an illustrious career in politics. McCain, however, went into this campaign with open eyes and grasping hands. His lack of preparedness, and his self-evident need for anger management training, is no one's fault but his own. As the final weeks of the campaign unfold, John McCain will be forced to face the fact that his own lack of self-control is what's the most likely reason for his defeat.

The Third Debate - Brief Thoughts

Anger does not make a politician popular, and sarcasm does not befit a leader.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tinklenberg Closing the Gap With Bachmann

El Tinklenberg is catching up to Michelle Bachmann in the race for Minnesota's 3rd District. A new poll released by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Bachmann with only 42 percent of the vote to Elwyn Tinklenberg's 38 percent, and 15 percent are undecided. As Jeff Rosenberg at the Twin Cities Daily Liberal notes:

With all those undecided voters, this one could be Tinklenberg’s for the taking. Bachmann’s in so much trouble that the NRCC has dumped Erik Paulsen to try to save her. With her war chest and help from the NRCC, she’s got a lot more money than Tinklenberg, but she’ll have to account for her absenteeism.

Bachmann's infamous thousand-yard stare is well known to watchers of CNN, and her far-right theocon beliefs are anathema to most residents of her district. After spending more time kissing Bush and appearing on Larry King than she's spent representing her district, Bachmann needs to go. El Tinklenberg needs our support to beat her; please take a moment to donate to his campaign on his ActBlue page.

And here's a reminder of why Bachmann needs to go: