“What would Don Draper do?” From an advertising standpoint – which I am about to get into, once again – and an existential standpoint, that is the question for my friends in the McCain campaign. The Mad Men season finale, which will be much picked about on NWN, is Sunday night on AMC. This is lead actor Jon Hamm, in character, in part of his hosting chores on Saturday night’s Saturday Night Live.
** OBAMA TARGETS “CLOSING ARGUMENT” FOR MONDAY IN OHIO. Seeking to lock down the Buckeye State four days before the arrival of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Barack Obama will deliver a speech on Monday in Canton, Ohio that lays out his economic program and why it is best for Ohio and other deeply troubled Heartland America states in this time of serious recession.
Quantum of Solace, sequel to the smash 2006 reboot of the Bond franchise, Casino Royale, opens in the UK on October 31 and in the US on November 14. The film starts about an hour after the conclusion of the previous picture.
** ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGH: OBAMA DRAWS BIGGEST RALLY OF CAMPAIGN SUNDAY IN DENVER. Presidential frontrunner Barack Obama, out to lock down red state Colorado, drew over 100,000 people to his rally today in the capital of the Centennial State. His previous high was 100,000 last weekend in St. Louis, the biggest city in another red state he hopes to lock down, Missouri.
Obama also drew 85,000 to his Democratic nomination acceptance speech in Denver at the end of August, with thousands more outside Mile High Stadium trying to find a way in.
The freshman Ilinois senator also drew over 200,000 to a speech in Berlin over the past summer.
** HITCHING IT. Old NWN friend Marc Cooper notes lefty-turned-neocon-turned Obama backer pundit Christopher Hitchens’ recent media appearances slagging Sarah Palin, John McCain, the troubled Republicans, and his erstwhile pals on the right. Nice, but, at this point, obvious, as NWN readers are well aware.
** A FUTURE SCENARIO FROM FUNDAMENTALIST LEADER JAMES DOBSON. This is “Letter From 2012 In Obama’s America,” sent out to millions of Christian fundamentalist voters around the US by Colorado-based right-wing fundamentalist leader James Dobson and his Focus On The Family. The fundamentalist right has a long history of providing extreme scenarios on the eve of presidential elections, but this one is particularly in the sci-fi realm.
October 22, 2012
I can hardly sing “The Star Spangled Banner” any more. When I hear the words,
O say, does that star spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
I get tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Now in October of 2012, after seeing what
has happened in the last four years, I don’t think I can still answer, “Yes,” to that question. We
are not “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Many of our freedoms have been taken
away by a liberal Supreme Court and a majority of Democrats in both the House and the Senate,
and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more. …
Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed
margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the far
left policies that had marked his entire previous career. They were wrong. …
Finally the far-left had the highest prize: complete control of the Supreme Court. And
they set about quickly to expedite cases by which they would enact the entire agenda of the far
left in American politics – everything that they had hoped for and more just took a few key
The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme
Court’s stunning affirmation, in early 2010, that homosexual marriage was a “constitutional”
right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex marriage violated
the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Suddenly homosexual marriage was the law
of the land in all 50 states and no state legislature, no state Supreme Court, no state
Constitutional amendment, not even Congress had any power to change it. …
After that decision, many other policies changed, and several previous Supreme Court
cases were reversed rather quickly — raising the question, “Is America still the land of the free?”
(1) Boy Scouts: “The land of the free”? The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an
organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision
that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with
young boys. …
(15) Freedom of Choice Act: Congress lost no time in solidifying abortion rights under
President Obama. In fact, Obama had promised, “The first thing I’ll do as President is sign the
Freedom of Choice Act” (July 17, 2007, speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund).21
This Federal law immediately nullified hundreds of state laws that had created even the
slightest barrier to abortion.22 Now states can no longer require parental involvement for minors
who wish to have an abortion, or any waiting period, or any informed consent rules, or any
restrictions on late-term abortions. The act reversed the Hyde Amendment, so that the
government now funds Medicaid abortions for any reason. As a result, the number of abortions
has increased dramatically. The Freedom of Choice Act also reversed the Partial Birth Abortion
Ban Act of 2003, so that infants can be killed outright just seconds before they would be born
(18) Pornography: “The land of the free”? It’s almost impossible now to keep any
children from seeing pornography. The Supreme Court in 2011 nullified all Federal
Communications Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and TV
broadcasts, and television programs at all hours of the day now contain explicit portrayals of
sexual acts. …
(19) Guns: “The land of the free”? It is now illegal for private citizens to own guns for
self defense in eight states, and the number is growing with increasing Democratic control of
state legislatures and governorships. …
In his role as Commander in Chief, President Obama has been reluctant to send our
armed forces to any new overseas commitment.
(21) Iraq: “The home of the brave”? President Obama fulfilled his campaign promise and
began regular withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, completing it in the promised 16 months, by
April, 2010. 31All was peaceful during those months, but then in May, 2010, Al Qaida operatives
from Syria and Iran poured into Iraq in a flood and completely overwhelmed the Iraqi security
forces. A Taliban-like oppression has now taken over in Iraq, and hundreds of thousands of
“American sympathizers” have been labeled as traitors, imprisoned, tortured, and killed. The
number put to death may soon reach into the millions.
Al Qaida leaders have been emboldened by what they are calling this American “defeat”
and their ranks are swelling in dozens of countries.
(22) Terrorist attacks: “The home of the brave”? President Obama directed U.S.
intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first
obtained a specific court warrant for each case. Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being
tried in military tribunals, are now given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be
allowed access to a number of government secrets to prepare their defense.
Since 2009 terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing
hundreds, and the entire country is now fearful, for no place seems safe. …
(23) Russia: “The home of the brave”? As Vice President Joe Biden had predicted on
Oct. 20, 2008, some hostile foreign countries “tested” President Obama in his first few months in
office. 32 The first test came from Russia. In early 2009 they followed the pattern they had begun
in Georgia in 2008 and sent troops to occupy and re-take several Eastern European countries,
starting with the Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. …
Then in the next three years Russia occupied additional countries that had been previous
Soviet satellite nations, including Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Bulgaria, with no military response from the U.S. or the UN. Meetings of NATO heads of state have severely
condemned Russia’s actions each time but they could never reach consensus on any military
(24) Latin America: President Obama has also moved to deepen U.S. ties and U.S. trade
with Communist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela, and Bolivia, regimes that had long enjoyed the
favor of far-left factions in the Democratic Party. Several other Latin American countries now
seem ready to succumb to insurgent Communist revolutionary factions funded and armed by
millions of petrodollars from Hugo Chavez in Venezuela.
(25) Israel: “The home of the brave”? In mid-2010 Iran launched a nuclear bomb which
exploded in the middle of Tel Aviv, destroying much of that city. They then demanded that Israel
cede huge amounts of territory to the Palestinians, and after an anguished all-night cabinet
meeting, Israel’s Prime Minister agreed. Israel is now reduced to a much smaller country, hardly
able to defend itself, and its future remains uncertain. President Obama said that he abhorred
what Iran had done and he hoped that the UN would unanimously condemn this crime against
humanity. He also declared that the U.S. would be part of any international peacekeeping force if
authorized by the UN, but the Muslim nations in the UN have so far prevented any UN action. …
And, you get the gist. It’s Hell on Earth. All because enough young evangelical voters failed to recognize Obama as what he really was. Not that, in the real world of politics, young evangelical voters will actually make the difference in this election.
** FRINGE RIGHT LAWSUIT ABOUT OBAMA CITIZENSHIP TOSSED. That wacky theory that Barack Obama isn’t really an American – remember all the Sargasso Strait conspiracy theories about “Manchurian candidate” Obama – was tossed yesterday in court. The poor soul bringing the suit couldn’t quite decide whether Obama is really a Kenyan or an Indonesian. Not to mention whether his birth certificate in Hawaii is real.
We’ve seen this sort of nonsense before here in California, when the far right Republican candidate for state attorney general against former Governor Jerry Brown let loose a lawsuit by a far right Republican Party official claiming that Brown isn’t really a lawyer. That got laughed out of court, too.
** NEW HAMPSHIRE POLL: OBAMA BY 15. The brand new Boston Globe poll of battleground New Hampshire shows Barack Obama leading John McCain, 54% to 39%. This state has gone Republican in most presidential races. McCain won the primary there twice, the first time vaulting himself into the front ranks of national politicians, the second time reviving his candidacy for 2008. All to no avail. Sarah Palin is a major drag on the Republican ticket in this last bastion of Yankee conservatism.
This is another red state pickup for Obama. In addition, my former Hart for President colleague, former Governor Jeanne Shaheen, will pick up a Republican seat in the U.S. Senate for the burgeoning ranks of Senate Democrats.
** VIRGINIA POLL: OBAMA BY 9. The brand new Public Policy Polling survey of battleground Virginia shows Barack Obama leading John McCain, 52% to 43%. The last time this red state went Democratic in presidential politics was in 1964. The McCain campaign has done a wonderful job of insulting the state, where my forebears are from, with the candidate’s brother describing Northern Virginia – where the candidate lives – as “Communist” and one top aide saying Obama isn’t ahead in “the real Virginia.” Actually, he is.
** IOWA POLL: OBAMA BY 15. The brand new poll of battleground Iowa by Research 2000 for an Iowa newspaper chain shows Barack Obama winning easily over John McCain, 54% to 39%. This will be an easy red state takeaway for Obama and the Democrats, notwithstanding McCain campaigning there this weekend in a vain attempt to make up for red state losses to Obama. The Hawkeye State, of course, is where Obama won his breakthrough victory on January 3rd.
** SUNDAY – WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Denver and Fort Collins, Colorado, working to lock down the Centennial State as a takeaway from the red state column. Obama drew a crowd of 50,000 yesterday in Albuquerque, another key state in the Democrats’ Western strategy.
Joe Biden: is in Wilmington, Delaware, off the campaign trail.
John McCain: is in Cedar Falls, Iowa and Zanesville and Lancaster, Ohio. What he’s doing in Iowa is rather mysterious, as you’ll see from new polls. But it remains one of his very few chances for a blue state takeaway in which the Republicans are bleeding red. However, it’s not a real chance. Obama wins Iowa.
Sarah Palin is in Tampa and Kissimmee, Florida and Asheville, North Carolina.
** OBAMA HAS HIGHEST FAVORABLE RATING OF ANY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IN AT LEAST 20 YEARS. Barack Obama has a 61% favorable rating in the latest Gallup tracking polling. John McCain has a 57% favorable rating.
The attacks on Obama, much touted on the far right, are simply not working. And McCain retains a degree of affection from most US voters. What he does not have is anything approaching a lead, as the polls are showing Obama cementing a significant lead in the national soundings.
** GLOBAL OBAMA: BIG OPPORTUNITIES, BIGGER CHALLENGES. If he wins, Obama will have the global popularity that no American president has had in a great many years. But what sort of challenges will counter the global opportunity that an Obama presidency might afford America? … From my Friday column.
** SATURDAY – WHERE THEY ARE TODAY.
Barack Obama is in Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Obama, back from visiting his critically ill grandmother in Hawaii, is moving to bolster his lead in key Mountain West battleground states.
Joe Biden is in Suffolk, Virginia. The Democratic ticket is working to lock down longtime red state Virginia.
John McCain is in Albuquerque and Mesilla, New Mexico and Waterloo, Iowa. McCain is trying to come back in two battleground states where he currently trails; one of them, Iowa, where he is way behind Obama.
Sarah Palin is in Sioux City and Des Moines, Iowa, Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Tampa, Florida.
** FROM THE ARNOLD FILE. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presents the trophy at the 25th Running of the Breeder’s Cup at Santa Anita. The race goes off on ABC and ESPN Saturday afternoon. The presentation is expected at 3:45 PM.
** TV AD WARS: MCCAIN’S JOE THE PLUMBER CAMPAIGN (SERIOUSLY). With two weeks to go, it looks like John McCain is going with Joe the Plumber as the advertising centerpiece of his campaign. Still. That seemed in question to me yesterday, as the fellow’s vogue of last week is already fading. But it may be, that absent some fantastic new character attack against Barack Obama, it’s the campaign’s best shot left at attempting to drive an economic message. Talk about your “mad men.”
So McCain has flickery ads with grained-up up the footage, with a message making it sound like Obama will raise everybody’s taxes. I guess that’s what they think they have to do to punch through when Obama is out-gunning them 4 to 1 on the air. You can see one version of a Joe the Plumber ad above, and one below.
McCain has lately been playing that Joe the Plumber card hard, invoking him more than running mate Sarah Palin, who polls show has become a liability outside the conservative Republican base. That means scaring voters about Obama and his “socialist” policies, as McCain put it the other day, as a big tax-and-spender. But in this environment, most voters probably want government to spend in order to stimulate the economy and provide more of a safety net. So the success of this tack depends on the McCain campaign’s ability to convince people that Obama would raise their taxes, and not the taxes of rich people and corporations. … From Tuesday’s column.
** INSIDE THE “BRADLEY EFFECT.” Barack Obama has won all three presidential debates over John McCain. He has a solid lead in the polls. What could go wrong for him? Well, many say the polls could be wrong, skewed by a hidden racist vote.
The “Bradley effect” — the notion that white voters lie to pollsters when a black candidate is in the race — has become widely known. But what you think you know from the campaign that gave rise to the phrase, then Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s ultimately near-miss race for governor of California in 1982, isn’t so.
I was in the middle of that, doing opposition research for Bradley’s campaign. I vividly recall election day that November, as reports from the exit polling done by California’s leading polling organization, the Field Poll, circulated. It seemed that Bradley, the first black mayor of Los Angeles, was headed for a big win as California’s first black governor. … From my Huffington Post column at the end of last week.
Ukrainian supermodel Olga Kurylenko stars in the new Bond film.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer, bringing you English-language, jargon-free, fast-paced coverage of global and Russian news from the new Russia Today channel. You probably already know about CNN International, BBC World, and Al Jazeera. Russia Today, which also features culture, entertainment, and sports, is based in Moscow and is owned and operated by the TV Novosti division of Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti.
While it’s quite foolish to expect to see, say, criticism of Vladimir Putin on Russia Today, which I know as a former DemRussia advisor, the channel is very interesting nonetheless. With U.S. cable news chattering away as it does, this sort of respite can be informative. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** SCHWARZENEGGER’S CALIFORNIA. Here is my series of five columns on the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger for the Los Angeles Times in debate with Pulitzer Prize-winning former Times reporter/editor Bill Boyarsky, whose columns are also included.
Among them is what I’m sure is the first piece examining Schwarzenegger’s legacy as governor of California. Since he will actually be governor of California until 2011. No technology known to be disruptive to the space/time continuum was used in its preparation.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. After crashing over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, crude oil closed Friday at $64.15 per barrel.
OPEC, meeting in Vienna, announced a 1.5 million barrel per day production cut. But, with stock markets slumping further in Asia and Europe, this move has failed to arrest the oil slide.
Deutsche Bank issued a forecast last weekend that crude oil will trade at $60 per barrel in 2009 amidst a possible “major global recession.”
The drop of over $83 per barrel since the record high three months ago comes on acknowledgment that the weak US economy will cut future demand and on the easing of geopolitical tensions in the Middle East. It is clear that that, contrary to much chatter, neither the US nor Israel is about to launch a strike against Iran. And the Russian war with Georgia, confounding much speculation and reporting to the contrary, actually decreased the geopolitical risk premium in the oil market.
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