“Execrable” takes on brand new dimensions

One cannot watch this must-see-to-believe clip without a sense of wonder that someone we once thought was basically a “decent” guy has allowed his campaign to sink to the level of pure, unmasked, unashamed and deranged McCarthyism. And that is not a word to use frivolously. This is one of those times when it’s called for.

The reporter does what reporters should do, except for one thing: he allowed the unctuous spokesperson to smear an innocent scholar, labeling him an anti-Semite. The reporter should have debunked the smear and demanded evidence. At least he pointed out the fact that “John McCain served as chairman of the International Republican Institute during the 1990s which provided grants worth $500,000 to the Center for Palestine Research and Studies which Khalidi co-founded.” Bastards.

Just a few more days of the most torturous race in history. I repeat my pledge: If McCain wins, I’ll stop this blog the next day, probably forever.

______________

Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 40 Comments

Sen. McCain entered this race with an image as being among the most principled Republican’ts in the field. He lost that reputation, whether it was deserved or not, and will not regain it.

October 31, 2008 @ 10:42 am | Comment

Any bets on another see-I-told-you-so terrorist attack early next year if Obama wins?

http://winnipeg.indymedia.org/item.php?25498S

October 31, 2008 @ 11:56 am | Comment

I’ll stop this blog the next day, probably forever.

Either you will, or you won’t. At least you’ve given yourself some wiggle room.

October 31, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Comment

They are already starting to seed the propaganda in people’s mind:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/30/mcconnell.terror/index.html

I don’t really like CNN, but I read it from time to time, to check for the new propaganda themes. This morning, something funny and ironic happened. On the front page there was a headline about the 7000 job loss at American Express, but the link was wrong and it was pointing on an article detailing how high and unchanged the current national unemployment level was right now.

And right now, poof… Gone from the entire website. But other news site are reporting on it.

Mixed message…

And about Mc Cain, it’s scary as well, Obama’s advance is “magically shrinking” as we get close to the election day, many news are surfacing about possible fraud (even on mass media sites), etc…

October 31, 2008 @ 1:06 pm | Comment

Bao, Obama’s lead is not shrinking. That is false. In terms of electoral vote count, he is further ahead today than ever. If the lead fluctuates between 8 and 12 percent, Obama has smooth sailing, and he is comfortably within the margin of error

October 31, 2008 @ 1:57 pm | Comment

And Gordon, if it makes you happy I’ll be more specific: If McCain wins I will stop blogging for at least three months, and then will come back and announce whether it’s going to be permanent or not.

October 31, 2008 @ 1:59 pm | Comment

That might be enough, but if not there’s always Canada!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMiqfusRWM4

Caution; non-bitter video.
I can’t open the link to eschaton, for some reason.

October 31, 2008 @ 2:20 pm | Comment

Maybe I misunderstood what I read then (honest question)?

Obama lead drops to 5 points

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE49J0LF20081026

Obama leads McCain by 49 percent to 44 percent among likely U.S. voters in the daily tracking poll, which has a margin of error of 2.9 points. Obama’s lead has dropped over the last three days after hitting a high of 12 points on Thursday.

October 31, 2008 @ 3:22 pm | Comment

Yes Bao, you misunderstood what you read. You can never point to one poll and make a conclusion. I strongly recommend you go to this site for a really intelligent analysis of the polls. The electoral balance as of this moment is Obama 346.5 vs McCain 191.5. National polls are of debatable significance, because the national numbers are far less significant than the state breakdown; the balance of electoral votes is what matters.

Also, Zogby, who tends to be Dem-friendly, called it dead wrong last time when he said the ’04 race was trending toward Kerry, I’m afraid.

Fascinating to note that only 18 hours earlier – 18 hours! – the exact same poll had this to say:

New York – Democrat Barack Obama has inched forward again, once again expanding his lead above 50% and moving outside the margin of error as rival John McCain slipped more than a full point, the latest Reuters/C–SPAN/Zogby daily tracking telephone poll shows.

Imagine, in 18 hours the nation changed its mind so dramatically. You have to read polls with a big grain of sea salt. Most importantly, you need to look at them in the aggregate.

Sam, if the Eschaton link isn’t working, try here: http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=13074

October 31, 2008 @ 4:48 pm | Comment

You are right Richard, I just got a crash course about the US election system from a colleague, and he stated the same thing you just said.

Meanwhile, I just found a funny website about the vote stealing:

http://www.stealbackyourvote.com/

There is even a comic book that you can download.

“For many years, top investigative reporter Greg Palast and I have been exposing voter suppression.

This is a deliberate strategy to keep minorities from voting, senior citizens from voting, young people from voting in an effort to suppress the vote and maintain their hold on power. Our concern is not partisan. We need every American to vote: Democrats and Republicans.

You can do all the campaigning you want in a battleground state like Ohio or New Mexico, but if your voters aren’t counted, you’re going to lose the Presidency–and
our democracy.”

Not sure about the credibility of these “investigators”, I don’t know them, but surely somebody from the US would know.

October 31, 2008 @ 5:30 pm | Comment

Actual voter intentions = (.8)Polling – 24/7 news cycle need for ‘compelling’ close race story

October 31, 2008 @ 9:59 pm | Comment

McCain credibility = (Past reputation – Palin – Lies – Smears – McCarthy – Fear – Joe the Plumber – “my friends”) < 0

October 31, 2008 @ 10:06 pm | Comment

It’s much better for the Neocons if Obama wins.

See if Obama wins, then all they have to do is have another national emergency early in his presidency, preferably something like a terrorist attack. Then, they can point the finger and say: “See, I told you so!”

They’ve already labeled Obama as a muslim terrorist. If Obama doesn’t support the war on Iran and martial law, then it’s merely validation that he’s a closet muslim, closet terrorist. Obama will have to get with the programme, or else. In one swift blow, the opposition is coopted. Obama is the perfect patsy as up to now, he’s caved on everything—funding for the wars, telecoms immunity, the financial bailout.

October 31, 2008 @ 10:14 pm | Comment

But, on the other hand, if McCain wins, then people are likely to be very scared and simply shut up out of fear and hopelessness. Either way, they win.

October 31, 2008 @ 10:30 pm | Comment

I repeat my pledge: If McCain wins, I’ll stop this blog the next day, probably forever.

If McCain wins I will stop blogging for at least three months, and then will come back and announce whether it’s going to be permanent or not

What exactly would that accomplish? It would be your choice, but imagine the impact if all Democrats did that. Silence doesn’t change anything.

At the very least I would hope you’d keep blogging on China.

FYI I can’t watch any video here – may try to watch at some point later.

====

Bao, you made the mistake of reading a single poll. You want to look at polling averages, such as on realclearpolitics. They’ve got a great map as well that shows where the electoral college votes are likely to go.

November 1, 2008 @ 1:26 am | Comment

Buck, you give Obama too little credit and the “neo-cons” too much. The latter certainly do not cause terrorist attacks. Even if they could, they wouldn’t give Obama the opportunity to look strong by giving him a crisis to deal with. Look at Bush – his approval ratings soared after 9/11 and arguably he didn’t do anything to get there other than look sombre and promise “action”.

As for Obama, no one would think ill of him if he didn’t go to war with Iran for the sake of it. How he would deal with a nuclear Iran or an Iran about to get nuclear weapons is a tough question. Certainly he would have to do something and that might have to include military strikes – or it might not. But just as he might get criticised for not being tough enough, McCain might have been criticised for going in too hard if he won.

I’m not sure why Obama has changed position on a number of issues, but on foreign policy at the least he clearly did not want to look weak at a time where he couldn’t just ignore what was happening around the world. I really hope he bins any suggestion of military action in Pakistan because that would be worse than attacking Iran. Pakistan might not be able to retaliate by trying to stop oil shipments, but US allies would sit up bolt-upright and wonder if they might not be next one day. If America wants more action it can restrict or cut off aid.

November 1, 2008 @ 1:33 am | Comment

And as I told Richard previously, Raj you are also clearly underestimating the GOP and their approach toward Obama. Hint: Bring this concept to another level, past memories of failed attempts and hopes?

The thing right now is to figure out what is the real game. But my question is: Who is the third voter

November 1, 2008 @ 2:28 am | Comment

No… But who says that they ain’t all in on it together??? Left versus Right is merely a tool used by the elites??? Last time Bush was their man in the office and this time it’s Obama.

See, you are still stuck in this left/right frame of mind.

November 1, 2008 @ 2:51 am | Comment

McCain clearly has thrown in his lot with his handlers. How else can one explain his “erratic” behavior, his indecisiveness and his reversal on many positions vis-a-vis his political history. I personally don’t he is a war hero (not that being a hero would qualify him for anything other than the gratitude of a nation), but he had appeared to be someone willing to go “across the aisle” and behave in a centrist fashion along traditional GOP lines. Now, despite his pretense of “country first” he has capitulated to the neocons and the religious zealots of the far right wings of the Republican Party and made a mockery of his own career and reputation. How can anyone seriously consider putting a person like that into the office of President of the United States?

Judgement? Leadership? Ability to understand and deal with current issues? I’m afraid McCain is severely lacking in all of these areas. His running mate wouldn’t even understand my comments let alone deal with them.

November 1, 2008 @ 5:56 am | Comment

“If McCain wins, I’ll stop this blog the next day, probably forever.”

I hope so.

November 1, 2008 @ 7:11 am | Comment

Raj,

But if the value of the dollar tanks and there’s hyperinflation, then the price of oil goes through the roof. Either the US sends in the troops to get the oil, or the US and world economy is destroyed. Obama will have to support the move, and so will China. If he stands in the way, then he’s “Barack ‘HUSSEIN’ Obama”. Obama’s record is one of total capitulation, just like the rest of Congress.

The US Congress is completely incapable of overseeing the mammoth, worldwide National Security State (the Secret Government). Our congressmen are idiots who can’t even supervise themselves. They spend most of their time trying to raise money for reelection. It’s gotten so bad now that even congressional subpoenas are just mocked and brushed aside.

The ostensible government and political process is mostly theater. The real action takes place backstage. The whole process is corrupt. They’re going to do whatever it is that they want to do. It’s just a matter of how contemptuous they are of Congress and the American people. If they’re really contemptuous, then we’ll get McCain/Palin. McCain’s now 75 years old, with one foot in the grave. We’ll end up with Palin who’s a psychopath. She’ll NUKE ‘EM….

November 1, 2008 @ 7:13 am | Comment

Raj wrote:
“Buck, you give Obama too little credit and the “neo-cons” too much. The latter certainly do not cause terrorist attacks.”

But that’s not the way that it worked with Hitler was it? As I recall, Hitler didn’t plan anything. He just told his ambitious sychophants what he wanted and told them to “think outside the box” to achieve it. People were rewarded on the basis of their ability “to think outside the box.”

November 1, 2008 @ 8:11 am | Comment

What exactly would that accomplish? It would be your choice, but imagine the impact if all Democrats did that. Silence doesn’t change anything.

It is strictly a personal issue. I wouldn’t be silent – there are plenty of blogs for me to comment on or contribute to. But I I don’t have enough time or enthusiasm to run a blog through another Republican regime. It would be a selfish but justified decision, as Republicanism is bad for my health and blogging for yet another Republican crew would probably lead to a nervous breakdown.

November 1, 2008 @ 10:58 am | Comment

It would be a selfish but justified decision, as Republicanism is bad for my health and blogging for yet another Republican crew would probably lead to a nervous breakdown.

And you couldn’t just blog on China? If that’s the way it has to be, ok.

Buck, have you considered seeing a psychiatrist? Or do you avoid them because you know they’ll install a chip inside your head to turn you into a productive drone?

November 1, 2008 @ 8:45 pm | Comment

And God knows psychiatrists have been busy since 1999, I heard they are giving sessions in stadiums now.

But don’t worry Raj, the world is very normal and gray. It’s not like we really see anything real that could enhance our sense of paranoia.

And if you are American, don’t forget to vote in a couple of days, your vote is important!

November 1, 2008 @ 11:17 pm | Comment

An interesting article by British blogger and political better Mike Smithson – his website is always worth visiting, though of course it focuses on UK politics.

http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2008/11/01/why-all-the-polls-could-be-wrong/

An Obama victory is still the most likely situation, but the poll/ECV leads could be wrong.

November 2, 2008 @ 1:24 am | Comment

One thing I wonder now: Why is it that every single issue that matters in this world always ends up being at ratios such as 49 to 51% ?

Does anybody here truly believe that we are all so much balanced, non divided ? That the world is truly black and white ? And that every time we deal with a big issue for the nation or any other critical questions, there is no possible outcome else than a close match ?

Why don’t we ever see data such as 30-70%, or 10-90% ? Where there is a clear majority. Why is it that the “common” trend point us to a more divided choice when you look around you and watch the real life trends?

It’s a pattern, and for me it’s just the key to manipulate the opinion. If you hang int the uncertainty then you can pass whatever you want.

I think the answer lies in the cognitive dissonance trick. Google it.

It’s just strange.

November 2, 2008 @ 1:39 am | Comment

I am sick of this 50-50 approach.

I really hope people realize this absurd phenomenon and do something about it. Anybody with an ounce of logic knows that it doesn’t make any sense.

(sorry for the double comment that I was not able to put into a single post)

November 2, 2008 @ 2:10 am | Comment

Why don’t we ever see data such as 30-70%, or 10-90% ?

You mean like in the 2000 election when Al Gore won New York by 25%? Or in 2004 when Bush won Indiana by 25%?

It’s just strange.

What, that people think differently?

Dude, go see a shrink – you could really do with it.

November 2, 2008 @ 6:37 am | Comment

Sorry, I meant to say when Bush won Indiana by 20%.

November 2, 2008 @ 6:37 am | Comment

Ah, Bao – I didn’t mean the crack about the shrink. :)

But I think you’ll find people get split less evenly all the time. But across national lines in mature democracies, especially when you have just two big parties like the US, that is counter-acted.

November 2, 2008 @ 6:52 am | Comment

Bao,

Do you think it’s possible that this is related to the Gaussian distribution? There is some middle ground where one is perfectly balanced (the mean), such that this person believes both sides of the ‘issue.’ (dude on fence guy) Then you get the extremists on either side, and also with the majority distributed along some std. devs within the mean… So that could explain it. When one votes your going to vote according to which side of the mean you are on, because by the nature of this voting thing, it’s black/white.

November 2, 2008 @ 7:13 am | Comment

They don’t need to put chips in our heads. Watch a PBS documentary:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3505348655137118430

November 2, 2008 @ 9:42 am | Comment

Do you really want to know what’s “crazy”?

“Crazy” is creating a totalitarian movement within the United States.

It is estimated that 25% to one third of the American public supports Bush, Jr. (and now McCain/Palin) and that this group of people’s minds can never be changed no matter how much one reasons with them or how bad the economy and the military situation deteriorates. These people’s minds are DOMINATED—this is the very definition of totalitarianism.

And then they put these people in organizations that make them ambitious sycophants and instruct them “to think outside the box”, like Hitler did.

“The Jake program is really about what our Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, emphasized in numerous statements on April 21st with the Air Force and at West Point when he said to these young servicemen: “I’m asking you to be part of the solution and part of the future.” He emphasized that we must be more creative and think “outside the box”.”

November 2, 2008 @ 10:41 am | Comment

Pseudorandom

Also explained by the the law of large numbers, that would explain why our society try to mute the extremists (the good and the bad ones), as if their mass reach a critical point, then they can truly change the course of things to come.

Otherwise, we’ll always end up in 50-50 alike scenarios.

The US still have some very polarizing issues such as gun control, religious freaks, abortion, etc. But if you look at Canada, it’s the perfect example of what an average distributed society can look like. There is no real issues, nothing to get polarized about. The result is that, one government after another, you won’t see any major differences. So basically you can vote for whoever you want it won’t make a single iota of difference in the long run.

And no wonder why Harper rushed the recent election, he knows this very well, why wait for the end of his term ? When the global politic and economic canvas will probably be very chaotic, and might at this point polarize people in their choices. It was the good move to do, making sure he can stay in power before the waves start rocking the boat.

Raj

No offense, my comments can be very caustic sometime as well… ;)

November 2, 2008 @ 2:40 pm | Comment

Was not sure if I shoul post this or not, but here we go.

Just posting to notice the people that I will change my moniker (haven’t decided yet on it).

I googled my moniker and my pseudo email address that I am using on this site (Bao@Bao.com)… And it scared me a bit.

http://www.bao.com

very sketchy site and I don’t want to be affiliated to it in any ways.

Wtf is a mahomet live webcam, no idea, but it sounds weird. I just want to make it clear that I have no link to this site.

November 2, 2008 @ 11:36 pm | Comment

No worry! I’m working the phones election day in my home town to get out the vote. I feel like its a part of history. I’m taking my camera.

I’ve been getting vile robocalls all day from the RNC — Rev Wright ads are funning on TV — they’re desparate. If you saw McCain on SNL last night, you could see he knows the end is near. And can laugh about it. He was great it was a funny piece. The Repubs just hit a perfect storm with the wind against them and Obama just rode that wave. We really have a shot to turn this ship around this week. It’ll take years and no small amount of sacrifice, but this country is READY!

November 3, 2008 @ 6:38 am | Comment

Ellen, I am really happy to hear you’re actively involved in the getting out the vote for the Democrats. I know Obama was not your No. 1 choice, which makes your efforts even more admirable.

November 3, 2008 @ 9:18 am | Comment

Ellen wrote: “If you saw McCain on SNL last night, you could see he knows the end is near. And can laugh about it.”

Well, McCain is 75 years old.

One sign that the Repugs think that “THE END” is near is that they’re busy working to spend all of the US$700 billion financial bailout money as fast as they can before Obama takes over. It’s like the colonial power looting the colonial government treasury before they turn over the keys to the safe to the natives.

November 3, 2008 @ 10:07 am | Comment

Before the Portuguese left Angola, they were kind enough to go so far as to pore cement down the elevator shafts of buildings.

Hopefully, the Repugs won’t do the same in Washington, DC.

November 3, 2008 @ 10:37 am | Comment

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