Friday, October 24, 2008

No, No, No, No, No, No, No, No!

And my fav so far:

Surreal Life: The McCain Series

Fox News VP: If McCain Worker 'Mutilation' Story Is a Hoax His Campaign Is 'Over'
Ashley Todd Fake "Mutilation" Exposed
Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.

At a news conference this afternoon, officials said they believe that Ashley Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.

Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.
Maybe, they figure if they're going to lose, they might as well lose big?

An Apple A Day…

Keeps the homophobes away. From Apple's start page:
No on Prop 8
Apple is publicly opposing Proposition 8 and making a donation of $100,000 to the No on 8 campaign. Apple was among the first California companies to offer equal rights and benefits to our employees’ same-sex partners, and we strongly believe that a person’s fundamental rights — including the right to marry — should not be affected by their sexual orientation. Apple views this as a civil rights issue, rather than just a political issue, and is therefore speaking out publicly against Proposition 8.
Great products, great politics. I'm proud to be a user.

False Equivalencies Falling Away?

One of the surprising (and amazing) things to happen this election cycle is the push back by many in the media against false equivalencies—that is, the obsessive need to report both sides as being equally complicit in an act, for example, when in fact, both aren't. It's the fruit of the Right's generation-long tactic of working the ref; hammering mainstream media types as liberal so much and so often that they internalize the beating and will do anything to disprove their alleged liberal bias. 

It's been the cause of frustration for liberals and just straight up reasonable watchers for years now, but we've learned to live with it like one does smog. And it's finally changing. 

In this table talk, Andrew Sullivan and Marc Ambinder discuss their takes on the phenomenon and—bonus—Sullivan's love for Sarah Palin:

Opie Goes After The Geriatric Vote

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Mad About Mad Men

I've written about the relatively new AMC show Mad Men before and will write about it in greater depth at some time, but I need to get this out of my system now.

Never mind the stellar acting, the exquisite writing, the piercing social critique, the slow, careful way each scene unfolds, and the finely-tuned, impossibly-accurate set designs, any show that stimulates this kind of intelligent discussion is one that you just shouldn't deny yourself. Take some time to read the post and comb through some of the 90+ comments. Then ask yourself why the hell you haven't gone out of your way to watch what is undeniably the best drama on TV (and in today's post-Soprano's/ post-Six Feet Under cable climate of The Shield, BSG, Breaking Bad, etc., that's saying something. I mean it.). 

Listen, you're my friends, I wouldn't steer you wrong on this. Do us both a favor and watch this show.

Less Is Fewer

Being a word lover, I'm fascinated by the English language, its rules, the way people break them, and the way they shift over time. English is an incredibly vital, alive language. It's constantly evolving, growing, absorbing, becoming. 

The meanings and pronunciations of words change from place to place and time to time in ways that can be both fascinating and/or frustrating. Ultimately, I'm a populist when it comes to usage. That is, while I hew to most grammatical rules and believe in using language carefully, I love the fluidity and the democracy of the language. I'm certainly not a grammar Nazi insisting people use words in a narrow, particular way. 

Still…I was reminded this weekend as I overheard a conversation at a restaurant, that I have my pet peeves. Misspoken phrases or mispronunciations or misuses that drive me up a wall. 

For example, even though double negatives have a history of grammatical correctness before Samuel Johnson began codifying grammar in his famous dictionary, they sound uneducated and wrong to me. 

There a couple others I can't think of now, but the misusage that really drives me up a wall—the one that really raises my hackles and makes my skin crawl—is the use of less when fewer should be used. This happens all the time and I just can't fucking stand it. (I never say anything, of course, because no one likes a grammar Nazi, but the teeth clench.)

Example? "You know less people than I do." No, I know fewer people than you do. Jackass.

It's a pretty simple rule to follow actually. Here's the deal, courtesy of e-Learn English
The words fewer and less are commonly confused in English. You'll be less confused and make fewer mistakes after reading through this lesson.

Fewer is used with countable nouns: people, animals, chairs, shoes.

There should be fewer books on the table.

I have fewer ideas than everyone else.

Fewer of us show up each year.

Less is used for uncountable, usually abstract nouns: money, happiness, snow, idealism.

I hope less snow falls this year.

We need more money and less debt.

I have less computer savvy than you.

You should spend less of your time complaining.

Less is also used with adjectives and adverbs:

I'm less happy than I used to be.

He runs less quickly than you.

The Bottom Line
Just remember that if the noun can be preceded by a number (one person, three dogs, six of us, nineteen problems), it should be modified with fewer. Otherwise, less is best.
Put another way, via Language Rules!:
Fewer should be used when the things you are describing are able to be counted. 
Less is used when is describes an adjective or when it is referring to something that is not countable; it is used to describe abstract or imprecise things like time, speed, quality, etc. 

A good rule of thumb, while certainly not hard and fast, is to look at what you’re referring to; if it’s singular, use less; if it’s plural, use fewer.

Wet Dream, V

Today's Polls, 10/23: McCain on Life Support

As a result of all of this, there is now no perceptible rebound for John McCain; in fact, the race may still be trending toward Obama, although the safer assumption is that it's flat. Meanwhile, Obama's electoral position appears as strong as ever. John McCain's chances of winning the election have dwindled to 3.7%, down from 6.5% yesterday.

(Click the link for the latest state polls which is what they're referring to by "all of this.")

Wet Dream, IV

Via Daily Kos, the GOP's latest "Death List."

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"I Want To Rear My Little Head"


Wet Dream, III: I'm Melting!

Why the silly, disgusting (yet heretofore successful) tactics that have worked for the Republicans for 40 years suddenly don't work anymore.

Glenn Greenwald attempts to suss it out:
What is happening to GOP electoral tactics?
There's clearly something interesting -- and different -- happening here. It's not that right-wing politicians are accusing liberals and Democrats of being unpatriotic, anti-American subversives. There's nothing new about that. To the contrary, that McCarthyite accusation has virtually been a central plank -- one could say the defining plank -- in the GOP platform for the last three decades, at least.

What's different -- markedly so -- is that once they do it, they feel compelled to backtrack, deny they said it or meant it, rescind it, and -- in the case of Palin -- actually "apologize" for it.…Apologies in general are viewed as marks of weakness on the Right and are extremely rare; but in particular, the idea that any of them would apologize for insulting liberals or impugning their patriotism is simply unfathomable.

Yet in a period of one week, that's what all three of these right-wing candidates have done -- quite abjectly. Clearly, the standard right-wing electoral tactics simply aren't working this year.

Perhaps most significantly of all, the views typically attributed to Democrats and liberals to justify the "unpatriotic" and "radical" labels -- particularly those in national security -- are now views shared by the majority of Americans. I thought one of the most illustrative moments of the campaign was when Sarah Palin, in her debate with Joe Biden, snidely accused Obama of wanting to wave the "white flag of surrender in Iraq." That taunt -- an old, reliable favorite GOP trope -- fell flat on its face. How do you convince Americans that Democrats are weak, America-hating radicals by virtue of views which a majority of Americans themselves embrace?
We're gradually seeing not only the demise of the right-wing faction that has dominated the Republican Party for decades, but also the death of their ugliest and most toxic tactics. When numerous right-wing figures crawl across one's television set desperately denying and abjectly apologizing for attacks on the patriotism of Democrats and liberals, that is potent evidence that, at least as a matter of political rhetoric, a genuine sea-change is taking place.
The New Yorker's George Packer sums it up like this:
End of an Era
The Republican Party’s immediate post-election future will be a bloody struggle over Palinism. It’s already started at National Review online, where the growing hysteria of the posts signals that the roof is falling in on conservatism. Everything that worked for forty years has suddenly not just stopped working, it has become self-defeating. Republican candidates, strategists, and pundits are like witchdoctors who keep repeating the old incantations over and over, their voices rising in furious shock, to no effect. That’s the sound of an era ending.

What A Real President Acts Like

A report from Joe Klein on Obama's first meeting with General Petraeus. Choice cut:
General David Petraeus deployed overwhelming force when he briefed Barack Obama and two other Senators in Baghdad last July. He knew Obama favored a 16-month timetable for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq, and he wanted to make the strongest possible case against it. And so, after he had presented an array of maps and charts and PowerPoint slides describing the current situation on the ground in great detail, Petraeus closed with a vigorous plea for "maximum flexibility" going forward.

Obama had a choice at that moment. He could thank Petraeus for the briefing and promise to take his views "under advisement." Or he could tell Petraeus what he really thought, a potentially contentious course of action — especially with a general not used to being confronted. Obama chose to speak his mind. "You know, if I were in your shoes, I would be making the exact same argument," he began. "Your job is to succeed in Iraq on as favorable terms as we can get. But my job as a potential Commander in Chief is to view your counsel and interests through the prism of our overall national security." Obama talked about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the financial costs of the occupation of Iraq, the stress it was putting on the military.

A "spirited" conversation ensued, one person who was in the room told me. "It wasn't a perfunctory recitation of talking points. They were arguing their respective positions, in a respectful way." The other two Senators — Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed — told Petraeus they agreed with Obama. According to both Obama and Petraeus, the meeting — which lasted twice as long as the usual congressional briefing — ended agreeably. Petraeus said he understood that Obama's perspective was, necessarily, going to be more strategic. Obama said that the timetable obviously would have to be flexible. But the Senator from Illinois had laid down his marker: if elected President, he would be in charge. Unlike George W. Bush, who had given Petraeus complete authority over the war — an unprecedented abdication of presidential responsibility (and unlike John McCain, whose hero worship of Petraeus bordered on the unseemly) — Obama would insist on a rigorous chain of command.


Notice how he's circled back to his central theme of pulling together and the no red and blue America language after a couple of months of tacking toward specifics and substance (all while keeping it fresh by using current events as foils). This guy and his campaign will prove to be a textbook study of how to run a campaign for the next generation. Fucking brilliant on every level.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wet Dream II

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos reports:
When your adversaries are praising you, you must be doing something right.

Listen to this from one top Republican campaign official who says Barack Obama's ground game is unlike anything we've ever seen before:

"This is the greatest ground game they've ever put together," he told ABC News on the condition of anonymity. "It's scary."

He said Obama holds a considerable ground game advantage over McCain and suggests the Democratic nominee has hundreds of paid staffers in each state.

"It's a whole different game," he said.

Karma, Sweet Karma

From Sam Stein at HuffPo: 
GOP Pulling Its Ads From Bachmann's Race, Media Buyers Say
Five days after Rep. Michele Bachmann went on a McCarthy-esque rant suggesting Barack Obama was unpatriotic and urging the major newspapers of the country to investigate anti-American sentiment in Congress, the national Republican political parties are running for cover.

Two sources aware of ad buys in Minnesota say that the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its media purchases from Bachmann's race. If true, it is a remarkable fall for a congresswoman who, until recently, seemed relatively safe in her predominantly conservative district. The race had become closer in recent days -- the NRCC had transferred funds from Rep. Erik Paulsen (MN-03) to Bachmann a little over a week ago.
Her opponent has since raised more than a million bucks in response.

In case you missed the asshattery:

Wet Dream I

I'm starting a new series of posts, for news items detailing the potentially catastrophic year Republicans may have. Here's a piece from U.S. News and World Report's "Washington Whispers" showing that Repubs are bracing for tough year:
"Death List" Predicts Democratic Blowout in the House
The document provided to Whispers is no gag: It comes from one of the key House GOP vote counters. The source called it a "death list." The tally shows several different ratings of 66 House Republicans in difficult races or open seats held by retiring Republicans. "Rating 1" finds 10 Republicans "likely gone." Those districts are New York 13, Alaska, Arizona 1, Virginia 11, New York 25, Illinois 11, Florida 24, Michigan 7, Nevada 3, and North Carolina 8. Under "Rating 2," nine Republican seats are listed as "leaning Democratic." Under "Rating 3," some 22 GOP seats are listed as "true toss-up." The fourth rating, "lean Republican," finds 15 seats in the category that comes with this warning: "If there's a wave, some could be in trouble." The last "likely Republican" rating finds another 11. Only three Democratic districts are seen as "hopeful" GOP pickups. They are Florida 16, Pennsylvania 11, and Texas 22. Another 10 Democratic seats are listed as "possible" pickups. The loss of 34 House GOP seats is among the most dire predictions in Republican circles. Most analysts have suggested a drop of at least 20 seats and at most 30 seats. A key Democratic official refused to provide his own list but said, "I'd rather be us than them."

An Early Voting Story

Courtesy of Politico:
Here's an early voting story from a medical student in Evansville, Ind.:
I squeaked in just before the 7pm deadline to find two very frustrated poll workers and a line of a couple dozen people, due to problems with the computerized voting system not accepting people's driver's licenses. It was taking about 7-10 minutes per person just to get the computer to accept them as valid and to print out their ballot, causing very long delays.

For me the most moving moment came when the family in front of me, comprising probably 4 generations of voters (including an 18 year old girl voting for her first time and a 90-something hunched-over grandmother), got their turn to vote. When the old woman left the voting booth she made it about halfway to the door before collapsing in a nearby chair, where she began weeping uncontrollably. 
When we rushed over to help we realized that she wasn't in trouble at all but she had not truly believed, until she left the booth, that she would ever live long enough to cast a vote for an African-American for president. Anyone who doesn't think that African-American turnout will absolutely SHATTER every existing record is in for a very rude surprise.

There were about 20 people in front of me but remarkably not a single person left the room without voting over the 2 hours it took to get through the line.

More On Prop 8

It's a Daily Dish kind of day. Sullivan explores the connection between LDS and other evangelicals and their funding of Prop 8: 
The Mormon Church vs Civil Marriage Equality
The main reason the ban on marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples has been able to finance a massive advertizing campaign is that the LDS church is bankrolling the entire effort. Up to 40 percent of the financing comes from Mormons, who have also sent countless volunteers to the state to canvass door to door. It's all legal, and totally within their democratic rights, but it is striking that one single religious grouping could invest so much in attempting to strip civil equality from gay couples:

This strong alliance between the Mormon church and the Christianist evangelicals on the marriage issue in California goes back some way. Mitt Romney explained the Mormon-Falwell connection in Christianity Today:
[S]everal months ago, not long before he died, I had the occasion of having the Rev. Jerry Falwell at our home. He said that when he was getting ready to oppose same-sex marriage in California, he met with the president of my church in Salt Lake City, and they agreed to work together in a campaign in California.
If you can, please help with the push back. There are always cross currents in politics, even when the dominant trend is strong. Let's not let this become one of them.

Update: Ellen chimes in, cutely.

Poor Bill Buckley

Sullivan ponders conservatism's future: 
How Anti-Intellectual Is Palin?
Here's one way to look at the question: how has Palin brought up her own kids? Her eldest son is a high-school drop-out. Her eldest daughter has had, so far as one can tell from press reports, very uneven attendance in high school, and no plans for college. Her other daughters seem to spend a lot of time traveling the country with their mom at tax-payers' expense. I've seen them at several rallies with the Palins this fall. Are they not in school?

Sarah Palin's own record of several colleges over several years - ending with a degree in sports journalism - tells you a lot. So does her interest in policing the Wasilla library as mayor and using the town's money for a sports stadium. She cut funding for the town museum and opposed building a new library. So does her amazing ignorance about the constitution. She is, in my judgment, the final rebuke to what Buckley tried to do for conservatism. She is burying it as an intellectual tradition and returning it to the pre-Buckley era. With the eager encouragement of a now Buckley-free National Review. Yes, the karma is overpowering. This is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare. [emphasis mine]
If Sullivan is right—and I think he is—this year will prove to be better than I could've ever imagined. This is a wet dream without the sex! (Though I suppose, someone's getting fucked.)


Yesterday, I posted this. Today, Obama says this: Obama says McCain offers 'willful ignorance'

Hey Obama campaign, since it's clear you're reading my blog, yes, I'm available for a consulting or speech writing position (or even just copy editing your already-stellar speech writer). I love you guys!

Well, I'll Be...

For the credit where it's due department, look at this. There actually are sane, thoughtful McCain supporters willing to stand up to the troglodytes in their midst (a Herculean task, no?) Who'd a thunk?

Best Epic Fail Ever?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Proud, Willful Ignorance

This is, as Sullivan editorializes, Chirsitianism personified. It's also pathetic as hell. 

Q: What about voting against your husband's economic interests? A: God will take care of us. Yeesh.

This woman's myopia reminds me of the story of the guy who's stranded on top of his house after a flood, who refuses three rescues attempts, explaining that god will save him. After drowning and going to heaven, he questions god about his failure to save him and god says something to the effect of "Well, I tried three times; you ignored me."

These types of people never seem to get that their god maybe, just maybe, gave them a brain so that they can reason through issues and that it's wasteful and disrespectful to leave the faculty untouched. Or, put more simply (for their sake), what about the old adage "god helps those who help themselves?"

Ignorance is one thing, but proud, willful ignorance is inexcusable. And these mental and spiritual midgets disgust me.

An Example We Big-City Elitists Could Learn From

Jason Jones explores the capital of Real America™.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dwellers On The Threshhold

A good reminder from Al Giordano of The Field:
Stay Cool
It's becoming evident to almost everybody on all sides that America is at an historic threshold: this is very much like that moment in a wedding when it comes time to say, "I do."
Except that the next two weeks are the part where those who might object are encourage to "speak now or forever hold your peace."
We've already seen today various wedding crashers: Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan outright seethed that Powell endorsed Obama only because, they say, he's black. There is an uptick of anecdotal information - in the media, from canvassers and volunteers, etcetera - of increasingly ugly statements of naked racism and aggression against Obama and his supporters.
It's exactly what happened late in the primaries last spring, only now that the prize is not just a nomination - a mere step toward state power - but state power itself, a certain segment of the population is beginning to freak out and blurt out its racist ideations and fears in public.
I'll argue, based on my own experience, that this is not bad news, strategically and tactically, nor a moment for panic: We've always known these people and that they exist. The academia-fueled "political correctness" wave since the 1970s has not served to change them, or society, one iota. It has, rather, repressed such expressions deeper down, turning them into a more compact and explosive compound, which will come spewing out now at the moment of greatest pressure.
 As Lenny Bruce said, "it is the suppression of the word that gives it its power."
And we all ought to know that very similar person deep inside every one of us, no matter what pigmentation is our personal wrapping paper.
Universal racism is the result of 5,000 years of social engineering: the powerful have always sought to divide and conquer the workers along such superficial lines, and the toll has been heavy on all. It's the dirty secret of America - and, frankly, all lands - that festers in the collective closet: fear of The Other.
Read the whole thing. It's great.

How Dare You?!?

An fascinating article on the evolutionary benefits of taking offense (sort of) from Slate's Emily Yoffe. 

Choice cut:
Study the topic of "taking offense" and you realize people are like tuning forks, ready to vibrate with indignation. So why do humans seem equipped with a thrumming tabulator, incessantly calculating whether we are getting proper due and deference?

Since the 1990s, building on the work of E.O. Wilson, father of sociobiology, a disparate band of researchers, from psychologists to zoologists, have been studying the origin and expression of moral emotions—our instinctive feelings of right and wrong. 
They say Homo sapiens did not invent morality; instead, we come equipped with it. Yes, we have to teach our children accepted rules of conduct and proper character. But Marc Hauser, a professor of psychology at Harvard, argues that they are readily able to learn because a moral template is already there, just as linguists believe children quickly pick up speech because they are born with intrinsic language-learning ability.

A paradox of human life is that the evolutionary forces that have made us cooperative and empathetic are the same ones that have made us prickly and explosive. Jonathan Haidt, a psychology professor at the University of Virginia, is a leading theorist in the field of moral psychology. He says the paired emotions of gratitude and vengeance helped us become the ultrasocial, ultrasuccessful species that we are. Gratitude allows us to expand our social network and recruit new allies; vengeance makes sure our new friends don't take advantage of us.

You could say our lives as social beings are ruled by the three R's: respect—the sense that proper deference has been paid to our status, reputation—the carefully maintained perception of our qualities, and reciprocity—the belief that our actions are responded to fairly. In other words, high school may be the most perfect recapitulation of the evolutionary pressures that shaped us as a species. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008

He Covorts With Terriers

Somehow I missed this last week.

Miss the crazy McCain lady on the first go-round? I'm here for you:

I actually feel bad for that woman. (Not quite as bad as I feel for our country, though.)

Sidenote: Is it me or this election bringing the crazy out in people (or is it the bringing the crazies out) more than previous elections? 

This Is Why…

I love this guy and why he's going to win:

Not A Real American

Well, according to my best interpretation of the McCain-Palin (Bachmann-Pfotenhower) camp anyway.

This is the photo that Colin Powell was referring to in his endorsement this morning.

Update: Here's his quote if you haven't watched it. It deserves highlighting.
"I'm also troubled by - not what Senator McCain says - but what members of the Party say, and it is permitted to be said: such things as, "Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim." Well, the correct answer is he is not a Muslim. He's a Christian; has always been a Christian. But the really right answer is, "What if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?" The answer's "No, that's not America." Is there something wrong with some seven-year-old Muslim American kid believing that he or she could be President? Yet, I have heard senior members of my own Party drop the suggestion he's Muslim and he might be associated with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.  
"I feel strongly about this particular point because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay was of a mother in Arlington Cemetery. And she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone. And it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star; showed that he died in Iraq; gave his date of birth, date of death. He was twenty years old. And then at the very top of the headstone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It had a crescent and a star of the Islamic faith. And his name was Karim Rashad Sultan Kahn. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey, he was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11 and he waited until he could go serve his country and he gave his life."

Two Words: New Hampshire

Concern over cockiness is in the air. 

The Powell Endorsement

On the one hand, I find it hard to muster any excitement over the endorsement of the man who helped legitimize the Bush Administration's flagrant lies to get us into the debacle of the Iraq War. Really, why is this man still considered respectable? (Or Kissinger or any of the other flagrant abusers of power, for that matter?) I mean, who cares what these guys think? 

On the other hand, he is still influential, especially in moderate Republican circles and if his opinion has some sway among those who are finding it difficult to switch, then great, we'll take it. 

Whatever else it is, it's a major diss to McCain, and that it has R*sh L******gh's dander up is just icing on the cake. 

Here's the endorsement from Meet the Press:

But this interview outside the studio is better still:

On The Other Hand

The conservative newspaper endorsements just keep rolling in. This one from deep in the heart of ... Texas(!):

In the past 50 years, The Eagle has never recommended a Democrat for president. We made no recommendations in 1960 and 1964 -- when Texas' own Lyndon B. Johnson was on the Democratic ticket -- nor did we in 1968 -- although we did praise Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey's position on the Vietnam War. We did not in 1976 and 1980. In 1972, The Eagle recommend Richard Nixon, in 1984, Ronald Reagan. We recommended George H.W. Bush in 1988 and 1992 and his son in 2000. We recommended Bob Dole in 1996.

This year is different, in large part because of the very difficult challenges facing this nation after eight years of a failed Bush administration. We are faced with a choice between Sen. John McCain, who claims to be an agent of change but promotes the policies of the past, and Sen. Barack Obama, who also wears the change mantle, but offers a vision for the future, even if he has yet to fully explain how he would carry out that vision if elected president in little more than two weeks.

Every 20 or 30 years or so, a leader comes along who understands that change is necessary if the country is to survive and thrive. Teddy Roosevelt at the turn of the 20th century and his cousin Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan -- these leaders have inspired us to rise to our better nature, to reach out to be the country we can be and, more important, must be.

Barack Obama is such a leader. He doesn't have all the answers, to be sure, but at least he is asking the right questions. While we would like more specificity on his plans as president, we are confident that he can lead us ever forward, casting aside the doubts and fears of recent years.

Also of great concern is McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. Like Obama, she has little experience in governing, but unlike the Illinois senator, she is a candidate of little intellectual curiosity who appears to be hopelessly unready to be president.…

We also are dismayed by the tenor of the McCain-Palin campaign. If their goal is to severely wound an Obama presidency should that come to pass, they are dangerously close to succeeding.

It is time for America to look to its future with hope and optimism. It is time to say we can be better. It is time to redefine who we will be as a leader of nations. With hope in our hearts and confidence in our choice, The Eagle recommends a vote for Barack Obama for president.

Update: The Houston Chronicle, too. Interesting pull quote:
Perhaps the worst mistake McCain made in his campaign for the White House was the choice of the inexperienced and inflammatory Palin as his vice-presidential running mate. Had he selected a moderate, experienced Republican lawmaker such as Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison with a strong appeal to independents, the Chronicle's choice for an endorsement would have been far more difficult.
McCain killed himself with her selection. 

Update II: From a couple of Texas Daily Dish readers:
A staggering endorsement? [referring to the College Station endorsement] Staggering does not begin to describe it. College Station is home to Texas A&M University, with possibly the most conservative student body outside of Utah or Bob Jones University. I went there and am quite proud to have my degrees from there, but the idea of a paper from that area picking any democrat over a decorated war vet is much more than staggering. I'm looking for plagues of locusts, raining frogs, dogs and cats living together, and mass hysteria.
Another shocked Texan reader writes:
For your edification and that of your readers, College Station is the home to Texas A&M, founded as an agricultural college and still reveling in its ag tradition.
Its student body population is 95 percent white and more than that conservative. We in the rest of Texas refer to College Station as "Berlin on the Brazos." A&M is still home of the corps of cadets, an ROTC program on steroids that still sends young men and women into the active armed services with commissions.
On top of all of that, A&M's student body is among the most racist groups I have ever encountered. University of Houston athletes are still called Cougroes and Cougar High because UH was the first major school in the south to integrate.
For the Eagle to endorse Obama is just shocking, far more so than the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News (if they do) or Chicago Tribune. This is Palin's country here.

Don't Forget. He's Definitely Black. And He May Be A Terrorist

A reality check from TPM:
Race to the Bottom
By Josh Marshall
If you're thinking to yourself that there's little more than two weeks before election day and Obama has a solid lead in the polls, don't be so sure.

Yes, it looks good for the Democrats. But you need to play close attention to the McCain campaign's final weeks' strategy under and just above the radar. McCain's final strategy relies on two pillars. The first is aggressively playing to voters' fears of electing a black president. Make no mistake: not just his campaign in a general sense, but McCain himself and his top handful of advisers, are banking on the residual racism in a changing America to get them over the finish line. The second is an aggressive use of innuendo to convince casual voters that Obama is in league with Islamic terrorists bent on killing Americans.

Many people have asked whether enough Americans really care any more about the cultural convulsions of the 1960s. The answer? It doesn't matter. For the McCain campaign, Bill Ayers has nothing to do with 60s radicalism. Ayers is nothing more than a tool that permits McCain, Palin and all their surrogates to use the noun "terrorist" in polite company in the same sentence as "Obama," over and over and over again. It allows them to cobble together a 'respectable' version of those Obama smear emails they can push in commercials and robocalls and surrogate talking points every hour of every day.

Stripped down to its components McCain's message to voters is this: "Don't forget. He's definitely black. And he may be a terrorist." That's the message. The nuts and bolts is a concerted effort to keep Democrats from voting -- through intimidation, by striking new voters from the rolls, which is going to happen to lots of them, clogging polling stations to create delays that keep late day (predominantly) Obama voters from voting altogether. Smears in the air and voter suppression on the ground.

Many people say, well ... all this stuff just hasn't worked. But the truth is that the really corrupt and vicious part of McCain's effort only comes now because it's only in the last couple weeks that you can pull stuff that the press won't get to call you on before election day -- after which it doesn't matter. Will it take Obama down? So far McCain's gutter campaign has hurt him more than helped. But there's no reason to be sure it will continue that way. And many Obama supporters, sure the election is basically wrapped up, appear ready to slack in the stretch and let McCain smear and cheat his way into office.

Despite the polls and trends, the debate victories, the gobs of money ($150 million in Sept.) and the stellar organization, we ought not get too sanguine. It's not over yet.

The Race Is On

Bad news:

Well, at least he's an honest assclown.

And good news:
W.Va. polls tighten, race takes back seat
LOGAN, W.Va. — West Virginia's Democratic leaders on Saturday embarked on a winding, eight-county bus tour through the south of the state, and in one small mining town after another, they sold Barack Obama to small crowds of Democrats with remarkable directness.

"He is black" was the first thing Kenny Perdue, the state's AFL-CIO president, said. "The gentleman that's in the White House and John McCain — they're white men. And I'm absolutely ashamed of what George W. Bush has done to this country."

The president of the United Mine Workers, Cecil Roberts, spoke after Perdue in a parking lot set in the flat plateau below the remains of a strip-mined mountain.

"I'd rather have a black friend than a white enemy," he said. State Democratic Party Chairman Nick Casey spoke, too. Casey, 57, grew up Irish Catholic in Charleston, and he said the bus was following John F. Kennedy's bus route in the 1960 Democratic primary.

"There's a lot of people out there think you're a bunch of inbred, redneck racists," he told a couple dozen people wearing union hats and jackets. "They say you won't vote for a man who's black."

"The rest of the country thought when Kennedy ran we were a bunch of ignorant, inbred religious bigots," he said. "They were wrong, and we made Kennedy president."
[emphasis added]
It's like a struggle for the soul of the country. Oh wait, it is a struggle for the soul of the country. You know who I'm betting on winning.