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No wiggle room

  • Matthew Price
  • 30 Oct 08, 11:47 PM GMT

End of the day in Mentor. Joe the Plumber turned up again. He gets a huge cheer. McCain's supporters see him as a real hero. McCain says he's the only person that's managed to get a straight answer out of Obama. Which doesn't say much for McCain's debate performances, I'd argue.

I met several people today who said they believe the tax message will get through, and is doing so. I also met people who said they had initially been excited by Obama and had considered voting for him, but as they heard more about him they were turned off. The messages questioning his patriotism, branding him a socialist, linking him to Ayers et al have worked with some.

I suspect, though, with fewer than McCain needs.

So McCain devoted a whole day to just Ohio, and will do the same again tomorrow. He's told voters here he has to win this state, otherwise he won't win the election. McCain has no wiggle room. One failure and he's done for. There's nothing to show that the polls here are moving significantly in his favour. I wonder what he talks about on that bus, when he's finished the day's campaigning?

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  • 1. At 00:56am on 31 Oct 2008, Stephen Derry wrote:

    I do not understand how McCain gets away with repeating "Senator Obama will raise your taxes" when 19 out of every 20 people will see a tax cut.

    Can someone explain? Is his audience really only 1/20 of the electorate?

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  • 2. At 01:21am on 31 Oct 2008, Dayvine wrote:

    Politics is an odd game.

    The situation in the presidential race and the feelings people from respective camps must be having exactly tally with the most minor of elections here in the UK.

    I my previous role as an election organiser I have been in a situation somebody in the Obama camp must be in now (albeit on a miniscule scale).

    You look at your polling data, you look at your voter ID data and you tally everything with your projected promise targets and your worst case scenarios - and it all looks too good to be true.

    The numbers say you are home free, but you have a nagging feeling which wont go away and will stay with you until the count is done.

    If you are on the other side, of course, your job is to keep going and to sow the seed of doubt, whilst banking that half of the people who were enthusiastic about your rival will think they have already won and so don't turn up. This can be a hard trick in itself as you must allow the opposition to revel in success without deflating your own support.

    If this is McCain's surprise, however, it doesn't look good as Obama, by all accounts, has the biggest Get Out The Vote operation in the history of Democracy.

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  • 3. At 01:23am on 31 Oct 2008, billyhitchcock wrote:

    Remember to mention that Joe the Plumber seems to be an absurd fraud who claimed to be a plumber affected by increased taxes for those earning morethan $250k a year and is a.not a registered plumber and b. is currently earning about $40k a year,

    And yet this desperate campaign still seeks to deploy this halfwit.

    Joe and Palin for 2012!!

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  • 4. At 01:26am on 31 Oct 2008, Rickowausa wrote:

    As I understand Joe the plumber, he is not a licsensed plumber,he owes back taxes and wants to buy a plumbing company with two employees. I am a co owner of an electrical contracting firm that does on the average gross of 1.5 to 2 million dollars a year. I don't make 250,000 per year or anyway near that. The middle income is a lot less than 250K. and I don't know where John McCain gets off with coming off with this as well as siding up with Joe the Not Plumber

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  • 5. At 02:56am on 31 Oct 2008, NYCKATE wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 04:29am on 31 Oct 2008, faris_jawad wrote:

    I feel sorry for you, Math. You have been unlucky being with McCain's boring campaign.

    I wish you Find your way to Obama camp where celebrations are taking place, and enjoy the race,

    at least for the last 4 days !!!

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  • 7. At 05:00am on 31 Oct 2008, paul939 wrote:

    I don't know of any plumber who make 250K a year. He might be a fake, or someone planted by the republican party.

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  • 8. At 05:37am on 31 Oct 2008, Cartponybefore wrote:

    So McCain decided to give Pennsylvania the day off, did he?

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  • 9. At 05:38am on 31 Oct 2008, califbob wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 08:27am on 31 Oct 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    Dear califbob,

    The BBC is an objective, impartial news organisation and its reporters and journalists are outstanding. Your message sounds like sour grapes. You can feel the election results slipping away from you and are therefore clearly angry so you appear to be lashing out and blaming the BBC and Obama supporters. May I suggest an anger management course? If you disagree with the BBC then perhaps you ought to try other blogs perhaps American ones which reinforce your prejudices.

    There is no point in you trying to instill fear in to would be Obama supporters. I would rather have a Harvard educated, articulate, young, inspirational leader like Obama any day compared to the diminutive, shrunken, geriatric, blundering, inept McCain.

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  • 11. At 09:06am on 31 Oct 2008, Belmons wrote:

    So McCain's in Defiance, Ohio. To people of taste and discernment, the really important thing about Defiance is, it was the birthplace of Wild Bill Davison!

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  • 12. At 09:14am on 31 Oct 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #9; califbob wrote: "Obama is a close friend of former PLO terror spokesman Rashid Khalidi"

    No he's not. He met the guy at a public function, that's all. Can you tell me why McCain donated nearly $1 million to Rashid Khalidi's Center for Palestine Research and Studies?

    "and unrepentant former domestic terrorist Bill Ayers".

    He's not a "close friend" of Bill Ayers either. He served on a committee with him, as did several Republicans.

    Get a grip.

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  • 13. At 09:18am on 31 Oct 2008, FinMember wrote:

    This blog demonstrates that loyal (stupid republicans) will vote the mccain sp ticket no matter what lies or silly tactics they use. sp is being described as a whack job by her own advisors, what does that tell you.
    The BBC is only reporting what happens on the campaign trail and if it makes the gop look ineffective and desparate that is not their fault. Gop realists can see the results of a bad campaign with a very poor choice of running mate.
    Look at education history, sp had to go to 5 different schools to graduate as a journalist BA. Did she keep switching to find a school with lax enough standards that she could graduate from. mccain was 795th in a classs of 800.Obama is aHarvard grad and was president of the Law Review.
    Who do you think is better educated? We can't even discuss realative intelligence.
    America needs its best to govern not it's folksiest (wink,wink).

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  • 14. At 09:30am on 31 Oct 2008, blogbag wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 15. At 09:36am on 31 Oct 2008, Nephtis wrote:

    I've found the whole election perplexing. Neither candidate has truely shown any originality in policy decisions, the only difference is that Obama comes across in interviews as an intelligent, thoughtful person - something lacking from American politics for the last 8 years.

    Secondly I really don't see the fear Americans have of taxing the top 5/10% of the financial elite (a group who are so removed from day to day life, and yet so revered by the general populace) and improving services to all. Does the mottot love thy neighbour not expand ot helping him as well, or is helping somebody 'un-American'.

    Finally as an ex-pat watching this from abroad I have been horrified at the level of televised ignorance being touted by the Republicans (not to say there are no idiots on the democrat team but they at elast seem to realise they are idiots and refrain from saying anything).

    They are relying on fear and scare mongering. Its even emerged they are starting to call on the usual dirty tacics of voter fraud, however no evidence is forthcoming, even though studies show that this is hugely uncommon and committed equally by both parties supporters. (The Politics of voter Fraud by L C Minnite).

    A dissatissfied and increasingly horrified ex-pat.

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  • 16. At 09:36am on 31 Oct 2008, Belmons wrote:

    califBob has chosen an extraordinary name for himself. It sounds horribly like Caliph Bob. He'd better watch out or he'll be lined up in Sarah's sights!

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  • 17. At 09:55am on 31 Oct 2008, worldwideryan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 09:59am on 31 Oct 2008, James Maxwell wrote:

    It's a straight choice. Do you want someone with fresh ideas, who can be an inspirational leader, who builds confidence and enthusiasm in everyone he meets, who happens to be black (as if that makes a difference), and who will bring America out of the funk it is currently in (both domestically and internationally)? Or do you want someone who is tired, can't seem to keep up, is visibly wilting on the campaign trail, makes blunders, bizzarely described the American economy as being strong, is forgetful, desperate, deceitful, vivious, and above all utterly resistant to change?

    Right-wing Americans resent that Obama is the overwhelming choice outside America. They say that foreigners have no right to opine on who Amercans should pick as their president, and the argument goes that Obama's foreign tour, speaking in front of rapturous crowds in Berlin and other cities, hirt his campaign. This is absurd. People in other countries or not inherently more left wing or right wing than Americans, they can just see what is self-evident: America urgently needs a drains-up change in the way it goes about its business - in terms of its foreign policy, its economic choices, the way it treats its own citizens, especially those who are poor. Only Obama can provide this change.

    For America's sake, and for the sake of us all, I sincerely hope they vote in Barack Obama next Tuesday.

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  • 19. At 10:09am on 31 Oct 2008, TimFHayes wrote:

    While McCain is concentrating his scarce resources in Ohio, Obama is opening up his lead in the other marginal states. McCain is indeed plain out of options.

    But the real victim is the Republican Party itself. Their brand of politics is 20th Century Reaganism, which may have worked in the cold war but does not suit the 21st Century.

    Obama is not from the loonet left. He represents the same policies as European Social Democrats. Not all bad, especially for some 30 million without healthcare.

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  • 20. At 10:12am on 31 Oct 2008, tenzone86 wrote:

    Last night a republican strategist, Cheri Jacobs, said repeatedly something all voters in this election should sit up and take notice of: "Obama wants to raise our taxes so that he can give it to people [95% of Americans] who don't deserve it, people [95% of Americans] that dont pay any taxes!"

    So during this time of financial crisis, made by bankers and the Bush deregulatory government, 95% of the people suffering most in America do not deserve a tax break... why..? So that McCain can fund his tax cuts for big corporations and for the rich. The US economy desperately needs some spending power to go out of the vast savings accounts and gold deposites of the super rich and into the hands of ordinary voters.

    Any working or middle class US citizen that votes for McCain because he represents the 'average Joe' is a complete idiot, and they are exactly wrong.

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  • 21. At 10:12am on 31 Oct 2008, Bobsy26 wrote:

    It seems increasingly common for people to brand a media outlet as "biased" simply because they report on things they might not agree with.

    The BBC has got blogs and news coverage for both the Obama and McCain campaigns. If ever it seems that Obama's getting more attention then consider if this is because his campaign is simply more active. It's not surprising - he's got funding up the wazoo and can afford to be doing more, like the half-hour commercial aired the other day.

    If there is no news, you can't report it.

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  • 22. At 10:19am on 31 Oct 2008, fearlessbritabroad wrote:

    Even though I'm a Brit and living in central Europe I have been folowing this election with real fascination. Last night I watched Question Time from the US and I keep getting back to a place where I think Americans are just not politically savvy people. They find it difficult to debate in a coherent manner (one poster summed it up brilliantly on Justin's blog, they debate IN CAPITAL'S). Most were clueless about what is important for America right now.

    And then I often see interviews with 'real Americans' who say they were Hilary Clinton disciples but will now vote for McCain because of Palin. WHAT! How radical a policy shift is that? Are you really serious? Is celebrity so important to you that you'll jump the chasm of political ideology.

    I desperately want America to vote Obama, but I do have shivers of doubt everytime I see interviews with 'real Americans', and this Matthew is McCain's wiggle room.

    I just cannot see how anyone could vote for a ticket that has Palin's name on it, and I do not know one person in my immediate circle of friends and colleagues who thinks she is fit for office. But I'm not American and I'm not obsessed with celebrity, but Joe the Not Plumber, exposed as a fraud, still gets huge cheers and has become a Z list celeb. Enough said methinks.

    I imagine every politcal leader in the world is hoping to wake up on Wednesday and see a President-elect Obama, otherwise they will all be embarking on 'How to summit with the stupid' courses run by the UN, when they have rather more pressing matters to attend to.

    McCain/Palin will be a disaster, not only for America, but for the rest of the world too.

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  • 23. At 10:22am on 31 Oct 2008, ceh_65 wrote:

    what seems so shocking to me is that McCain has been able to convince some people that a top rate of tax increase is so abominable. As has already been mentioned by another poster only 1 in 20 Americans will be affected by the tax increases. For most of the population the proposed tax cuts will put more money in their pockets. Add to this the spending on health care and other public services that Obama is campaigning for and in fact the vast majority of Americans are made better off by Obama's proposed plans.

    How is it that for so long the Republican Party has managed to get vast swathes of working class/ middle class America to vote against their own interests?

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  • 24. At 10:24am on 31 Oct 2008, Prof_use wrote:

    To respond to #7. Joe the plumber is not called Joe, is not qualified as a plumber and as such should not be doing plumbing work in his state, has not made and is unlikely to make 250K by buying a plumbing business and owes tax money. He is a relative of a Republican that was invloved in some financial scandal many years ago. If McCain can't get better supporters than Joe he is doomed.

    Ironically Obama's tax regime would benefit 'Joe' as he has a low income

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  • 25. At 10:42am on 31 Oct 2008, RomeStu wrote:

    How can anyone be calling the BBC biased to the left, when Matthew writes...

    "I met several people today who said they believe the tax message will get through, and is doing so. I also met people who said they had initially been excited by Obama and had considered voting for him, but as they heard more about him they were turned off. The messages questioning his patriotism, branding him a socialist, linking him to Ayers et al have worked with some."


    The word "message" is ingenuous as in this context it implies conveying information that is true or valid.

    It has categorically been shown that:-

    a) Obama's adding 3% to the tax band above $250K will not hurt average Americans. It will benefit them.

    b) Obama is not unpatriotic

    c) Obama is not a socialist (just look it up)

    d) does not "pal around" with terrorists (read Sankari #13 - republicans were also on the Ayers committee).


    Instead of "messages" , the word is unsubstantiated lies.


    Now, Matthew, I understand that you are bound to be as neutral as possible at the BBC, but this gives undeserved credibility to the negative campaigning of McCain.

    Perhaps if Mr McCain gave us some firm ideas of what he would do .....

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  • 26. At 10:45am on 31 Oct 2008, Roger Cary Oliver wrote:

    My personal opinion is that Mc Cain is definitely not Abel!

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  • 27. At 10:59am on 31 Oct 2008, Talleyrand wrote:

    Mind if I give some of the right-wingers who invent things about Obama a bit of their own medicine?

    There is footage of McCain in Ohio somewhere on Countdown yesterday (I believe). He is waving at his fans by very clearly and repeatedly TOUCHING HIS HEART WITH HIS RIGHT HAND....

    That is EXCATLY how it's done in MAROCCO and ALGERIA!

    I Think McCain is a TERRORIST. He was SIGNALING to the TERRORISTS to take over WASHINGTON and swamp our country. And Palin is just waiting to have her Burkha cut out for her...

    Please laugh at least...

    Cheers.

    It's Halloween!!!

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  • 28. At 11:02am on 31 Oct 2008, Snookmic wrote:

    The McCain campain has been grasping at straws for some time. Their only real campain push is for Joe the plumber and most people are intellegent enough to know that they don't make more than 250K and will benefit more in Obama's tax plan. Tell me why the 95% of Americans that don't make more than 250K wouldn't want the other 5% to kick in more?

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  • 29. At 11:06am on 31 Oct 2008, RomeStu wrote:

    Re post #18

    Please read this.

    If "a small child" can work this out, then everyone should be able to follow it.

    Out of the mouths of babes....

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  • 30. At 11:07am on 31 Oct 2008, Nephtis wrote:

    I seriously can't believe that people think Obama is a terrosist.

    As he himself quite elegantly joked during the charity fundraising dinner. 'My middle name was obviously chosen by somebody who didn't think I would be running for president'.

    Apparently its fine to point out the deficiencies in the way Democrats follow whatever is said, but its a different story for Republicans.

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  • 31. At 11:17am on 31 Oct 2008, Cambodiacalling wrote:

    What is so surprising about the McCain campaign is the utter lack of consistency with his approach - one minute he's relaxed and not reading from the auto-cue and doing well and the next minute he's stiff and uncomfortable reading the same tired speech we have all heard 100 times before without any spontinaity or feeling. One day he's going negative with the most ludicrous accusations and the next he is focused and precise (like his recent - erroneous nonetheless - attack on Obama's tax plans). It just all points up what a shambolic mess he's made of running his campaign so how anyone would think he would run the most important office in the world in a more consistent 21st century manner is just beyond me. Obama has shown consistency, integrity and intelligence throughout his campaign - why there is not a greater margin between the two candidates is just beyond me! Here's hoping and praying that Tuesday offers up the change America and the rest of the world needs!

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  • 32. At 11:27am on 31 Oct 2008, weebison wrote:

    #21

    "It seems increasingly common for people to brand a media outlet as "biased" simply because they report on things they might not agree with."

    Well said.

    Example: didn't the media fawn over Sarah Palin initially? Now many people claim she's been strung up by the same media. But to me it seems clear that she dug her own grave. She demonstrated an astonishing ignorance of foreign policy issues, couldn't deal with even very simple questions (e.g., the Couric newspaper debacle) and has shown no aptitude for improving this (e.g., the more recent joint interviews with McCain). But to many McCain supporters who feel understandably let down, it is easiest to blame the messenger-- the media.

    The problem with McCain's campaign is not media bias, its their complete fumbling of their campaign. And it all started months ago when they took what was special about McCain (his eagerness for an open line of communication with the media, and by extension, the voters) and cut it off.

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  • 33. At 11:52am on 31 Oct 2008, tenzone86 wrote:

    #23 How is it that for so long the Republican Party has managed to get vast swathes of working class/ middle class America to vote against their own interests?
    --------------------------------------
    Kind of like Turkeys voting for Christmas isn't it...

    I notice that a number of the arguments put forward by John McCain during the debates, and by other republicans over the past few weeks, have not only been wrong and misleading but complete reversals of the facts. The idea of a rich man selling tax cuts for the rich as the 'American dream'... ffs... and then there is the fall back position of experience... by the foriegn policy expert that voted for the Iraq war...

    As #22 put it, the US voters are generally just not politically savvy.

    Are there any reasonably minded US voters that could enlighten us on why so many of the working classes vote for tax cuts for the rich?

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  • 34. At 11:54am on 31 Oct 2008, bluejoetheplumber wrote:

    Americans All!
    Do it for the magic kingdom!
    The world wants the light to shine from the capitol again...
    Enough Already!!
    Vote for the Magic Kingdom!
    Vote for America!
    Vote Obama-Biden

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  • 35. At 11:54am on 31 Oct 2008, stwl wrote:

    As someone with generally centre-right political views, I tend to agree that the BBC is currently running with a systematic bias to the left. However, with regard to the Presidential election, that doesn't bother me. I don't honestly see it as a choice between left and right, more a choice between a credible ticket and one that is not credible.

    If McCain tried to run the kind of campaign he has run lately anywhere in Europe, he would be banished to the ranks of the loony political extremists, not just by the 'liberal media' but by the sheer force of public demand.

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  • 36. At 11:57am on 31 Oct 2008, usdeeper wrote:

    I find it insulting that they still refer to 'Joe' as a plumber.

    "I do not understand how McCain gets away with repeating "Senator Obama will raise your taxes" when 19 out of every 20 people will see a tax cut."

    Its the standard political approach. State a lie often enough and people start to believe it. The problem is, that only a small number of swing voters will buy the lie this time. There are too many angry and informed voters for this election for lies and negative attacks to work.

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  • 37. At 12:32pm on 31 Oct 2008, Bobsy26 wrote:

    "Joe the Plumber" isn't a person any more, he's a fictional character, a marketing asset, an inflated mascot suit with a bitter, manipulated man trapped inside.

    I'm actually started to feel sorry for Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher. When he first turned up he was sceptical of both candidates; economic policies. Now he's been manipulated as being a figurehead for an out-of-breath campaign that's in desperate need of an edge over its rival.

    And he's being trotted out in front of the same easily-manipulated Republicans who will screech "socialist!" the way brits might say "paedophile".

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  • 38. At 12:43pm on 31 Oct 2008, silverjews wrote:

    A number of people have commented on the irrational fact that a number of lower and middle class Americans consistently vote against their economic interests. This is perhaps summed up by the fact that an increase in taxation on higher earners has come to be seen as 'wrong'.

    Here is an interesting theory I heard the other day. In the USA, the 99% of people vote against their economic interest because they believe that at one point in time they have the opportunity to join the 1% and therefore do not want that 1% to pay higher taxes. Instead of voting according to their current interests, they bet on the possibility of becoming 'rich'. This is essentially what we call the 'American dream'.

    Ironically, an Obama victory will only help to reinforce this cultural phenomenon.

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  • 39. At 12:48pm on 31 Oct 2008, chris wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 40. At 12:52pm on 31 Oct 2008, peteinamerica wrote:

    I doubt that any of this will have an influence on the election result. The truth has been written before. Based on performance, both by the current government and in comparing the two campaigns, BO should be leading by a landslide.

    That he isn't, and that every casual slur against him gains immediate acceptance amongst a large section of citizens, must surely be down to racist reasons. This is McCain's secret weapon - and why it must remain secret. He dare not spell it out.

    We have to hope for everyone's sake, both inside and outside the US, that enough Americans are able to move beyond their prejudices and make the sensible decision.

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  • 41. At 1:08pm on 31 Oct 2008, blogbag wrote:

    Califbob wrote that the BBC is basically bias in favour of Obama and that they don't challenge what he is about. Turkishdelight attacks Califbob and says he needs anger management and is just bitter and the BBC is a fine organisation. I defend Califbob and say that the BBC is not really neutral. I also say that Turkishdelight is the one with the problem as he attacks MCCain because he is old and decrepit unlike the young MCCain. Both my blog and Califbob's blog is removed yet Turkishdelights is still there. I think that this demonstrates the point about the BBC - ie it is biased in favour of Obama and smears MCCain.

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  • 42. At 1:47pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    I am currently watching Sarah Palin live on Fox news and she has yet again accused Barack Obama of being a 'socialist'.. This is after her own boss John Mc stated on Larry King that Obama was NOT a socialist.

    She is now talking about Wars and Victory. I am sick and tired of the republicans espousing John McCains' POW record as a reason for being elected. John McCain stated that he knew how to win wars and he had the experience to win wars. I am sorry, but he was a POW in a war that america LOST!!!!!!!!. There were hundreds of other POW's who don't need to shout it about from the rooftops as though they were the only 'heroes' in that conflict.......

    Sorry if this upsets any one on this site,
    I am not trying to denigratre John McCains' service to his country... just trying to put it in perspective.

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  • 43. At 1:50pm on 31 Oct 2008, Stephen Derry wrote:

    Perhaps it is time the American Dream is relabelled the American Delusion?

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  • 44. At 1:53pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    are the moderators out to lunch?

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  • 45. At 2:15pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    re 41:

    Blogbag.......

    The BBC does not smear people, it leaves that to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly et al.........

    I'll even add SP to that list as I have just heard her repeat the 'preposterous' allegation that Obama is a socialist........

    Or how about the young lady who was on Fox about an hour ago, who continued to allege that Obama is a terrorist because he knew Bill Ayers... and he met some guy named Rashid

    If that makes Obama a terrorist, then by the same logic, John McCain is also a terrorist as his group gave funding to mr khalides' organisation......

    So before you accuse a reputable news organisation of being biased, take a look at some of the coverage in your own 'fair and balanced' media

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  • 46. At 2:23pm on 31 Oct 2008, BarbInMichigan wrote:

    I have for the first time in all of my 46 years contributed $$ (even though I have seen my paycheck flat line) and I actually went out to knock on doors to help the Obama campaign get out the vote. I can only hope that my enthusiasm for Obama is matched by those folks who I had a chance to talk to over the past month. I have yet to meet a McCain supporter who is truly excited about casting their vote for McCain. If what I see in rural Michigan (strong Republican area) is happening across America, then maybe we will see Obama as President and maybe we can finally put the last 8 years of idiocy behind us.

    Obama/Biden

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  • 47. At 2:24pm on 31 Oct 2008, rjbdg02 wrote:

    I notice that there are hose who feel that Sen Obama should be far far ahead of Sen McCain, although he has shown a constant separation for the last several weeks.

    If you are a student of history, you would realize that the popular vote is not an assurance of winning. The prime example is Bush and Gore, when Gore finished with 500,000 votes more but lost on the Electoral college Count.

    Currently, the ECC indicates a possiblity for Obama of at least 292 vs 163 for McCain. Other estimates have Obama with into the 300's. The differential is certainly promising to be different than Bush-Gore, when Bush won by 5.

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  • 48. At 2:26pm on 31 Oct 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    the irony of it all is that Joe the Plmber would actually get a tax cut under Obama, and not McCain. Under McCain's plan joe the plumber will probably see his neighbors lose their jobs to outsourcing, and he will probably be left high and dry if he ever needs to see a doctor for himself or his daughter.

    another example of members of the middle class voting against themselves because they have a pipe dream that one day they may strike it rich and be in the position of the wealthy people they stand up for when they go to the polls.

    McCain's spending freeze would sink joe the plumber.

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  • 49. At 2:39pm on 31 Oct 2008, Kristopher wrote:

    10 states ... Obama gets 10 states at most.

    The Democratic Party is going to learn the hard way that Americans will not elect a socialist President ... regardless of what color his skin is.

    As a Republican, I breathed a heavy sigh of releif the day that coalition of Kos-kiddies and the Chicago Machine canned Hillary ... she would have whipped McCain like a rented mule.

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  • 50. At 2:46pm on 31 Oct 2008, moderate_observer wrote:

    peteinamerica #40 ive never seen so many slurs hurled towards one candidate before. Ive never heard a candidate being accused of not being a 'real american' and 'is not like us', that to me seems like efforts to try to highlight Obama's race.

    Somehow because he is black, and one of his parents was not american then somehow its acceptable to imply he is not american enough, to question his birth certificate, to accuse him of being sympathetic to foreigners and so on,

    i think this insults many americans who does not have 3 or 4 generations of americans in their ancestry.


    the same people who accuse him of being a muslim also complain about the church he went to. i dont know what sense that makes. muslim is the new word for black apparently. All his detractors has to do is ring up something negative about him and his critics will cling to it and run with it.


    McCain himself has admitted Obama is not a socialist but he has not been to keen to broadcast this opinion in front of a large audience because he is benefits from the negativity.


    I cant see the same questions being raised about obama if one of his parents were british instead of african, it just wouldnt be an issue.

    i generally believe this tone of xenophobic campaigning is appalling to most americans but not surprising.








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  • 51. At 3:00pm on 31 Oct 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #41; blogbag wrote: "Califbob wrote that the BBC is basically bias in favour of Obama and that they don't challenge what he is about. Turkishdelight attacks Califbob and says he needs anger management and is just bitter and the BBC is a fine organisation. I defend Califbob and say that the BBC is not really neutral. I also say that Turkishdelight is the one with the problem as he attacks MCCain because he is old and decrepit unlike the young MCCain. Both my blog and Califbob's blog is removed yet Turkishdelights is still there. I think that this demonstrates the point about the BBC - ie it is biased in favour of Obama and smears MCCain".

    Last time I checked, Turkish's post was gone; removed by the moderators. Look at post #10.

    Now what are you going to do?

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  • 52. At 3:03pm on 31 Oct 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    Can "blogbag" in message number 41 please be a little more observant? My member name is "akaTurkish_delight" and not "Turkishdelight". The latter name belongs to another person and was already taken when I applied. For your information, the prefix "aka" is an abbreviation and means also known as.

    I cannot understand why my message has been referred to the moderators? It was polite and articulate. Perhaps it touched a raw nerve with McCain supporters and my fellow members "califbob" and "blogbag" that they felt the need to complain about it and have it removed?

    In message number 29 is RomeStu serious? Just because a member chooses to have the name "a small child" doesn't mean that they are actually a small child. I very much doubt that a small child could have written that blog - incidentally, I agree with everything that "a small child" has written. That particular blogger with the odd name will get a good school report from me.

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  • 53. At 3:11pm on 31 Oct 2008, paulsullivan wrote:

    "No wiggle room", "one failure and he's done for..." Mr. Price we in America seem to think he's already done for...

    Dallas, Texas USA

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  • 54. At 3:13pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    kkbarrett, which polls are you looking at????

    And again why do you keep insinuating that the dem candidate is a socialist?????

    Even John McCain doesn't believe that......... you probably wouldn't recognise a socialist if one came up and bit you on the *ss....

    By any rational measure, the policies of Barack Obama could be classed as 'social conservatism' but never socialism... . how anyone can consider a policy that reduces taxation for 95% of the population as 'socialist' needs to take 'poli sci 101' and maybe if you studied the history of some of the nations that some republicans insist on denigrating, you may have a better understanding of what actually constitutes 'Socialism'

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  • 55. At 3:16pm on 31 Oct 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    I feel we are on the brink of history here. I sincerely hope that the American people think carefully before they cast their vote - it is of the utmost importance.

    The results of the American election is not just contained within the territorial borders of America. It will have an impact on the rest of the world. Hence the reason for the international media coverage. America is a superpower and thus major events which happen there have repercussions in every other country in the world. So, I say to the people of America, the whole world is watching you and relying on you to make an informed decision.

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  • 56. At 3:24pm on 31 Oct 2008, MarkW wrote:

    #49 kkbarrett

    "10 states ... Obama gets 10 states at most."

    Nice to see McCain supporters haven't lost their sense of humour.

    I think Obama will get 375+ EVs, possibly including McCain's Arizona.

    Joe the plumber stood McCain up yesterday. A one admirable senator (now resorting to smears and innuendo) looked a sad picture.

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  • 57. At 3:26pm on 31 Oct 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    moderate_observer (#50), I agree that the tone of McCain's campaign is appaling to many, if not most, Americans, but it is surprising to me that there are also many reasonably educated and civilized Americans who are willing to overlook this to support a Republican. Discourse on US television has become less civilized in recent years, which, I suppose, gives this sort of thing a kind of legitimacy.

    I understand that there were some pretty nasty presidential campaigns in the 19th century, but that was before my time. This one is by far the worst in my memory, which for political purposes starts in 1956.

    Of course, the internet and world wide web have a lot to do with this. In 1960 it was far more difficult to distribute hate literature. Now any crank can post this stuff on a website and even create his own site for the purpose.

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  • 58. At 3:28pm on 31 Oct 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    In the house rules, it states that if a message is removed, "you will be sent an email informing you why your message has been failed."

    Well, I have yet to receive an email from the moderators explaining why my message number 10 which incidentally was posted at 08:27am has been removed.

    I believe you have my email address, so I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity.


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  • 59. At 3:29pm on 31 Oct 2008, chris wrote:

    There is video evidence that Joe the Plumber didn't even turn up to the McCain rally in Defiance, Ohio. The latest internet sensation is Cory Miller the Texan well driller.

    When is the New Apostolic Reformation going to hit the mainstream media here ? The New York Times has referenced talk2action, which appears to be the main source of information on this stealth dominionism movement.

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  • 60. At 3:35pm on 31 Oct 2008, RomeStu wrote:

    #52 akaTurkish_Delight
    "In message number 29 is RomeStu serious? Just because a member chooses to have the name "a small child" doesn't mean that they are actually a small child. I very much doubt that a small child could have written that blog - incidentally, I agree with everything that "a small child" has written."


    Of course I didn't think it was really a small child..... I also don't think you are a sticky rose-flavoured jelly.
    I'm British. Sometimes we just can't switch off the irony.

    Glad you agree though.....

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  • 61. At 3:40pm on 31 Oct 2008, travellingpaddy wrote:

    What happens if Obama doesn't win. Thats what i worry about he leads every poll even McCains. If Obama makes no mistakes and loses this election what will we as the rest of the world think of the USA. What will people in the US do. US elections are pretty shaky at best and i feel that an Obama loss would rip that nation apart. A McCain win may mean the end of the US as we know it.

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  • 62. At 3:42pm on 31 Oct 2008, Nephtis wrote:

    Once again the agression being shown here is disturbing. this is the BBC, disagreements over its neutrality are going to happen. however one tries to remove ones own political bias, its almost impossibole to come ot an objective opinion (hence the qualitative revolution in the social sciences, of which politics is one - check philosphy out from the modernist point to current thinking if you feel inclined).

    I've asked on various forums, even registered on the McCain website and yet not one republican has answered me - what is so wrong with socialism? People who feel most strongly against it are those who 'apparently' believe in the love 'thy neighbour' rhetoric from a well known book and yet this does not extend to helping him?


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  • 63. At 3:42pm on 31 Oct 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Is it just me, or does this whole "socialist" "terrorist" thing not smack of an attempt by the McCain campaign to very deliberately fire up a moral panic, or at least some sort of deviancy amplification spiral?

    Obama says he will "redistribute" the tax burden, placing a bit more load on the top end.

    McCain says Obama wants to redistribute wealth, which isn't good, because of the trickle down, etc., etc. Palin turns it up, saying, OK, so he's going to redistribute wealth, isn't that really just (eeeeek!) socialism!

    Fox News, et. al. then start connecting the dots. Say, here's a scratchy old tape of Obama the academic speaking about negative liberties in the US Constitution, the limited role of the courts, and, dum dumm dummmm ... the redistribution of wealth. Look out America! Obama wants to tear up the constitution, abolish the supreme court, and take your hard earned dollars and give it to those lazy bums who don't pay taxes anyway! He's a socialist menace!

    Suddenly, a small tax increase on those earning over $250,00 (net!) is an assault on basic American institutions and values.

    The salient question may be: why do these ludicrous charges gain traction? Is the availability of a liberal (yes, liberal, in the sense of those pesky enlightenment ideals of critical self reflection, a balanced assessment of facts and probabilities, etc.) education limited by cultural factors or income levels to so many citizens of your great republic?

    Yours,
    A Quizzical Pinko Canadian

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  • 64. At 3:46pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    do the mods know what has happened to Justin W. he doesn't seem to have new blog today?

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  • 65. At 4:06pm on 31 Oct 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    Can "Sankari" in message number 51 please not refer to me as "Turkish's" when you have no problem referring to my fellow bloggers "califbob" and "blogbag" by their correct member names. My member name is "akaTurkish_delight" and not "Turkishdelight". The latter name belongs to another person and was already taken when I applied. For your information, the prefix "aka" is an abbreviation and means also known as.

    "RomeStu" thank you for your message number 60 - by the way, the confectionery Turkish delight is not "a sticky rose-flavoured jelly". There are many other flavours besides rose.

    What a pity, post number 10 was articulate and in defence of Obama. Once I hear back from the house rules committee as to why they felt the need to remove it I may be able to re-post it after modifying it so that the objectionable element (whatever that may be) is no longer there.

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  • 66. At 4:24pm on 31 Oct 2008, Bobsy26 wrote:

    In the next few weeks we're going to start reflecting on the legacy of this election. I think one of the important things to take away from it is the worrying level of misinterpretation given to certain buzzwords throughout the election.

    I find the negative connotations given to the word "socialist" highly worrying. In many developed countries the major left-wing party goes under the name "socialist".

    But it's not half as worrying as the way that "liberal" seems to be becoming a dirty word among certain sectors of the American right-wing.

    America, land of liberty, is starting to distrust liberty.

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  • 67. At 4:56pm on 31 Oct 2008, chris wrote:

    Just to clarify my previous comment : Sarah Palin is a key figure in the New Apostolic Reformation. This is a worldwide movement, which has rapidly become the largest protestant denomination with barely a mention in the mainstream press.

    By any criteria this is an extremist movement with beliefs even more irrational than the premillenial dispensationalists (rapture-ready cultists). Not content to be wafted up to heaven before the Tribulation, adherents of this relatively new movement actively seek to take power at every level to create the conditions for the Second Coming.

    Their theology explicitly rejects the separation of Church and State, whilst incorporating beliefs in witchcraft, miraculous powers, etc.

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  • 68. At 5:01pm on 31 Oct 2008, Sankari wrote:

    Post #65; akaTurkish_delight wrote: "Can "Sankari" in message number 51 please not refer to me as "Turkish's" when you have no problem referring to my fellow bloggers "califbob" and "blogbag" by their correct member names. My member name is "akaTurkish_delight" and not "Turkishdelight". The latter name belongs to another person and was already taken when I applied. For your information, the prefix "aka" is an abbreviation and means also known as."

    I know perfectly well what "aka" means; I simply abbreviated your name for the sake of convenience.

    It was nothing personal.

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  • 69. At 5:14pm on 31 Oct 2008, blogbag wrote:

    akaTurkish_delight

    Think I got the name right now. Hope that keeps you happy for the mo.

    Yes I just wonder why my perfectly reasonable submission was removed as well, perhaps it wasn't the Beeb but someone else........ heyhoe. I would not dare to accuse fellow bloggers or B.O. worshippers of attempting to stiffle robust debate. That would be rather coarse.

    BTW I didn't think your submission was either intelligent or articulate - rather rude and disparaging about a fellow blogger and a decorated presidential candidate if you ask me. I like to respect people no matter their opinions. I am not rude or crude about B.O. (a rather nice chap), rather I question the fact that he is not really subject to enough scrutiny by the 'weak as water' BBC journos.

    Sankari

    I intend to do precisely nothing - clearly the moderators are attempting to cover up their original misdeed by disproving my theory and by doing so they have in fact re-inforced it.

    Purpleincredulous

    A reputable news organisation - that is a matter of opinion - what about Andrew Gilligan then? In fact I live in the UK and not the USA, as you have assumed. Over many years the BBC has been found to have strong left wing sympathies. One only has to look at the recent affair with Osborne and Mandelson and the oligarch to see where their sympathies really lie.

    BTW I think its a bit over the top to accuse McCain of terrorism - I think he fought for his country whilst B.O. was still in short trousers in Malaysia. I don't watch Fox.



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  • 70. At 5:29pm on 31 Oct 2008, chronophobe wrote:

    Re: my post #63, above.

    Mea culpa. The last paragraph should read:

    The salient question may be: why do these ludicrous charges gain traction? Is the availability of a liberal (yes, liberal, in the sense of those pesky enlightenment ideals of critical self reflection, a balanced assessment of facts and probabilities, etc.) education *denied* by cultural factors or income levels to so many citizens of your great republic?

    I also apologize for the tone (and the wordiness!) of that paragraph. Upon sober second thought, it sounds a bit smart a**sed, as though we in Canada don't have our own problems with the quality and availability of a good liberal education. We do.

    For you in the States, however, the problem of education is all the more significant because of your nation's global importance. If, as it appears he will, Obama wins, I wish him well in his effort to bring a "world class" education to every US citizen. Much depends upon it, me thinks.

    Yours,
    A Contrite Canadian Pinko

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  • 71. At 5:35pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 72. At 5:57pm on 31 Oct 2008, jon_in_sf wrote:

    #66 Bobsy26 wrote:

    "But it's not half as worrying as the way that "liberal" seems to be becoming a dirty word among certain sectors of the American right-wing."

    For reasons I've never been able to understand, 'liberal' has been the worst slur you can cast at an American politician for a long time now. I remember the first Bush throwing it at Bill Clinton during one of their debates, and thinking at the time "so what?".

    But of course, I'm a socialist Brit and proud of it, so it will always seem bizarre to me that being accused of what I think of as politically middle-of-the-road is seen as being so extreme.

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  • 73. At 6:13pm on 31 Oct 2008, rockSimon1 wrote:

    #66 - that is a very good point.

    As a Brit, the other thing I find fascinating is the use of the term "middle class" in the US which seems to be used as a term for the ordinary person in the street. In the UK middle class refers to the likes of accountants, senior managers and even bankers. I guess this is because in the UK we have an upper class which is basically the aristocracy which the US does not have.

    So who are the working class in the US or does noone want to be classified as belonging to this group? And if the US is looking for an upper class they can have our aristocracy and in particular the Royals.

    The other thing I find really interesting is that the word "maverick" has positive conatations while in the UK it refers to someone who is totally unpredictatable, unreliable and flakey. Noone would ever get elected to power who proclaimed themself a maverick in the UK.

    Wait a minute McCann is quite right...he is a maverick.

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  • 74. At 6:24pm on 31 Oct 2008, Westlake72 wrote:

    This election was always going to be impossible for the Republicans to win once the economy tanked. Even before the credit crunch George W Bush's popularity was so low that a Republican victory was always going go be unlikely. The country would simply not have gone for another Christian fundamentalist right winger after Bush junior. The the only chance the GOP had was to select a candidate with as much distance from Dubya as possible this they sensibly did by selecting John McCain a relative moderate with enough distance from the religious right . Their chances where given a further boost when the Democrats selected a black candidate - enough Americans being out and out racists or at least carrying enough prejudice to be vulnerable to scare tactics to tip the balance in a close race. This coupled with Mcains war record and experience gave him a considerable advantage, if this was to be an election where national security was to be the prime issue, over a young and inexperienced candidate

    McCain's problem was that though his distance from the religious right was necessary for him to reach out to independents, wavering Democrats and moderate Republicans he also needed to enthuse the religious wing of the party as these tended to be the people who did the ground work in an an election campaign. His task was to present himself to mainstream America as a relative moderate whilst also enthusing a religious base who where sceptical of him. This was always going to be tricky but when he appointed Palin he appeared to have pulled of a master stroke. She immediately enthused the base whilst also appearing charismatic and personable so also looked like being able to reach out to some wavering democrats who had favoured Hillary over Obama in the primaries. Then she opened her mouth coming across as, quite frankly, an imbecile, scaring even moderate republicans that, due to McCain's age, this women could actually become precedent. The Republican ticket started leaching support as independents, wavering Democrats and moderate republicans recoiled in horror. Possibly fatally McCain had damaged two of his strongest suits: his judgement and his integrity (nobody could honestly believe he selected a woman who belived dinosaurs and people coexisted for any other reason than a cynical play to enthuse the a Christian fundamentalist base). If this had remained a War election and McCain had been more willing to play the race card (without appearing to do so) he may still have had a chance...

    But then the economy tanked, the war became less of an issue as the election became primarily about the economy and at a time where America faces the prospect of a long and painful recession after 8 years of Republican rule who would vote for a candidate who admits he doesn't understand economics? This coupled with an opposing candidate who has more money, an enthused base and who has run a near faultless campaign appearing calm and composed whilst McCain has appeared erratic means McCain has no chance.

    James Westlake

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  • 75. At 6:33pm on 31 Oct 2008, UppLeftCoast wrote:

    I predict:
    1. So-called "moderate" Republicans will continue to dessert the party in droves and either join the Dems or go with the libertarian brand;
    2. The Republican Party will be a marginalized far-right national party composed of the culture warriors, bigots, and the extreme right-wing rich;
    3. Its marginalization will create a self-fulfilling feedback loop encouraging the insularity of these people and forces, creating further marinalization.
    4. The result is that the Republican Party will be a genuine proto-fascist national political party, with a likely titular figurehead of Palin or someone similar.

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  • 76. At 6:45pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    blogbag, if i mistakenly assumed you were from over the pond, then I do of course apologise( my hackles had been raised by watching Sarah Palin spouting half truths and blatant lies)

    I take the point about Andrew Gilligan but you can't really say that was a case of left wing bias as it was a Labour government that his story was about. As for George and Mandy, I think if George had kept his mouth shut about what was a private conversation, there wouldn't even have been a story.

    If you read my post carefully, I never accused McCain of terrorism, and I did say that I wasn't denigrating his service( anyone who is willing to put their life at risk for their country deserves respect), the point I made was that he said he had the experience to 'win wars'. I merely pointed out that the war that he based his qualification on was a war that America lost.

    Anyway, McCains' military record has been discussed ad nauseaum on this and other blogs and I would only refer you to the rolling stone article that others have frequently linked to....

    My quarrel with him is that he uses being a POW as a badge of honour, when there were hundreds of others who made the same decisions as he did( i.e. not agreeing to be released) but they don't use it for self -aggrandisement......

    I too am from the UK but I watch CNN and Fox to try and get a balanced view. I would suggest that if you did watch Fox even once, you would see that there are news organisations that are far less objective than the BBC.....

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  • 77. At 6:47pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    and blogbag, if you take a look you will see that even I have had a comment removed by the mods, so they are fair after all

    LOL

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  • 78. At 6:47pm on 31 Oct 2008, davidnewyork wrote:

    My question is : what is so wrong with "spreading the wealth"?

    We have a tiny number of super rich people, Spread it around. what's wrong with that?

    The pathetic 19 century hoakum of McCain having Gulliani- (is it possible that America has seen thru that egotistical fraud?) -help him out is just pure desperation.

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  • 79. At 6:49pm on 31 Oct 2008, purpleincredulous wrote:

    though i don't know why? it has been so long since I posted it that I can't even remember what it was or why it might have been removed...

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  • 80. At 7:06pm on 31 Oct 2008, RomeStu wrote:

    #67 chris wrote:
    "Sarah Palin is a key figure in the New Apostolic Reformation. This is a worldwide movement, which has rapidly become the largest protestant denomination with barely a mention in the mainstream press. "



    I'm amazed I've never heard of it. I though I was up to speed on the major nutters of the world.

    I just googled New Apostolic Reformation and Sarah Palin and got some pretty scary links .... scary unless you're involved in it of course ....

    It reads like bad science fiction.

    Should we be bothered?

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  • 81. At 7:20pm on 31 Oct 2008, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    ULC (#75), if the Republican Party became a fringe party to that extent (which certainly looks possible), more likely the moderates would start a new party based on old-fashioned Progressive Republican principles. More likely than that, in my view, is that moderate Republicans take control of their party again.

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  • 82. At 7:49pm on 31 Oct 2008, chris wrote:

    For goodness sake, even McCain has admitted that Obama is not a socialist.

    Note to low info participants : Blair wasn't a socialist either - he explicitly repudiated socialism; Brown isn't a socialist either; he was forced into nationalisation of banks to avert financial meltdown, same as Bush; Sarkozy isn't a socialist; Merkel isn't a socialist.

    However, all those Euro pols are well to the left of Obama, whose policies are only slightly less lame than McCain's. I appreciate if you've been weaned on Murdoch's propaganda (support whoever regulates News International less), you may be under the impression that Fox is really fair and balanced.

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  • 83. At 8:10pm on 31 Oct 2008, Cartponybefore wrote:

    Matt, I liked the Ohio piece today even if it did make the election seem a bit closer than it seems to me to be. That was very funny that old guy trying to say Obama's name! I wonder how they will cope if/when Obama wins.

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  • 84. At 8:16pm on 31 Oct 2008, Cartponybefore wrote:

    So was Joe the Plumber actually doing some plumbing for a change? No wonder McCain was thrown!

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  • 85. At 8:30pm on 31 Oct 2008, Stephen Derry wrote:

    America is so narrow-minded about it's style of government. It used to be said that the Democrats are the equivalent of the UK Conservative Party, and we don't have anything quite like the Republicans. That was before both UK parties took a drastic swing to the right.

    In the UK and most of Europe, Obama would be considered centrist at best, probably a little right-of-centre. Republicans really have to stretch definitions (which, in all fairness, they don't really understand) to paint him as a socialist, communist or Marxist.

    Socialism is quite common and quite respected within Europe. Socialist governments and Presidents are elected quite often, but taxes stay at around the same level, and they invest in public services a lot more than the right-wing parties ever do (too busy giving tax breaks to their rich friends!).

    And yet, in Europe despite the philosophical gap between the major parties being exponentially larger than between the American parties, there is rarely hysteria, our democracy continues to flourish (even if our liberties are gradually disappearing, whoever is in charge), and most people see elections as an inconvenience rather than an opportunity to drastically change our culture.

    It's a common phrase here, "it doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in." It has to be amusing to watch with European eyes as people in America seem genuinely afraid that one candidate will lead you into World War III and the other will lead you into a new Peoples' Republics of Soviet America.

    Seriously, America isn't THAT important!

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  • 86. At 10:28pm on 31 Oct 2008, akaTurkish_delight wrote:

    As I write it is 11:16pm and I still haven't had an email from the moderators as to why they felt that my message number 10 broke the house rules?

    In the house rules, it states that if a message is removed, "you will be sent an email informing you why your message has been failed."

    I believe you have my email address, so I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest opportunity.

    P.S. What is the point of having rules if the moderators can remove messages but then they themselves do not abide by the rules which they have set out and send an email to that person explaining the reasons behind their action?

    P.P.S. I would much rather be joining my fellow bloggers in debating Obama versus McCain then writing repeated messages to the moderators but I am genuinely puzzled as to why my message 10 was removed and even more puzzled as to why no explanation has been forthcoming.

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  • 87. At 11:02pm on 31 Oct 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#81Garyahill

    I agree that the moderate and reasonable Republicans will begin to regain their party. It is important that they do so.

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  • 88. At 11:04pm on 31 Oct 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#85Stephenderry

    We are not all that crazy.

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  • 89. At 11:10pm on 31 Oct 2008, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#86Akaturkishdelight

    I have sympathy for you but it is useless to argue with the moderators. I call them 'The Powers That Be.'

    If you try and re-word your post it might get through. It is my experience that you do not always get an explanation about why a post is blocked.

    Try restating it in different words if you can.

    Good Luck!

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  • 90. At 05:36am on 01 Nov 2008, Uriel wrote:

    For rockSimon1, who commented:

    "As a Brit, the other thing I find fascinating is the use of the term "middle class" in the US which seems to be used as a term for the ordinary person in the street. In the UK middle class refers to the likes of accountants, senior managers and even bankers. I guess this is because in the UK we have an upper class which is basically the aristocracy which the US does not have.

    So who are the working class in the US or does noone want to be classified as belonging to this group? And if the US is looking for an upper class they can have our aristocracy and in particular the Royals."

    Americans tend to break our classes down into rich, middle class, and poor. All classes usually have to work, so the term "working class" usually sounds odd to us, and we don't automatically connect it to "poor" unless we are familiar with how you use it.

    The average American usually IS middle class, or at least self-identifies as middle class. Our classes are generally based on income alone, and you may spend time in all of them in your lifetime, depending on where your financial circumstances take you -- a little different than the British class system, where behavior and attitude seem to factor in more than finances. So you just have to be above the poverty line to fall into the broad category of "middle class". The upper boundary with "rich" is a little more nebulous, but you probably hit it after 6 figures.

    Few Americans like to admit to being poor, as lack of success is stigmatized as being your own fault for not working hard enough (a cultural thing). Being rich also has its stigmas, oddly enough. So most people actually prefer a middle class identity -- it's neither shameful or pretentious.

    "The other thing I find really interesting is that the word "maverick" has positive conatations while in the UK it refers to someone who is totally unpredictatable, unreliable and flakey. Noone would ever get elected to power who proclaimed themself a maverick in the UK."

    "Maverick" really has few negative connotations in the US. We like our iconoclasts, and people who are willing to blaze new trails or go off on their own tend to get our admiration ... although we like to wait and see how they fare before following after them. I think we like to reward people who are willing to take chances more than other cultures. Of course, our history is also littered with spectacular failures, but you have to give them credit for trying!

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  • 91. At 12:22pm on 01 Nov 2008, Mark_W_Elliott wrote:

    StephenDerry wrote:
    America is so narrow-minded about it's style of government. It used to be said that the Democrats are the equivalent of the UK Conservative Party, and we don't have anything quite like the Republicans. That was before both UK parties took a drastic swing to the right.


    I would say that rather then both UK parties taking a drastic swing to the right I actually think that both parties moved to the centre ground (I would think that most people would agree that the Tories under Thatcher were further to the right then they are under Cameron)

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  • 92. At 1:07pm on 01 Nov 2008, Stephen Derry wrote:

    Sorry Mark, I was contemplating an earlier time - Thatcher was undoubtedly right wing and led her party out to the edge, where it has stayed until only recently, to the despair of a succession of leaders who were unable to control their party.

    This was of course the same time that Labour was ejecting it's militant tendency, excising Clause 4 and quietly and efficiently reinventing itself as a centrist rather than left wing party. Once Blair took power, the government (not necessarily the party) undeniably drifted further right.

    Brown and Cameron are both redressing the balance and heading away from the right, but I think any electable party these days has to sit within a very narrow band at the centre.

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  • 93. At 03:05am on 04 Nov 2008, BorkaGoose wrote:

    > Just to clarify my previous comment :
    > Sarah Palin is a key figure in the New
    > Apostolic Reformation.

    This is rubbish, and has been dealt with in the NYT. They reported that, as a child Palin attended a church that was geographically convenient to her family's home. This happened to be an Apostolic church. It has been reported that she has no specific ties to this church.

    Note: It is frequently observed that persons with generalized/non-specific Christian religious interests will often attend whatever Christian church happens to be convenient, while not specifically adhering to the exact tenets of the given church.

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  • 94. At 03:18am on 04 Nov 2008, BorkaGoose wrote:

    > I just cannot see how anyone could vote
    > for a ticket that has Palin's name on it,
    > and I do not know one person in my
    > immediate circle of friends and colleagues
    > who thinks she is fit for office.

    This is absurd to say; she has, in actuality, a level of experience that is easily proportional to Obama's, despite the typically vehement, and fact-free arguments to the contrary made by Obama's supporters.

    Most absurd of all, and conspicuously logically-fallacious, is the oft-made argument that the campaign itself be considered part and parcel of Obama's experience, and fitness for office.

    Typical smoke and mirrors; the hallmark of Obama's campaign; a lightness of logic, and masses of supporters who have not expended any effort to make any sort of critical examination of what they are told by the media.

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  • 95. At 03:57am on 04 Nov 2008, BorkaGoose wrote:

    > Obama says he will "redistribute" the tax
    > burden, placing a bit more load on
    > the top end.

    It depends what one means by "a bit," and where the "top end" is. He initially defined the "top end" as income >= $250K. He has since reduced the lower bound to $100K, which in many states is middle class income.

    This doesn't seem that unlike what the Republicans have done in the past, e.g. tax the middle class. The problem is that the middle class is no longer as stable as before. Most are already up to their eyebrows in taxation, with no palpable benefit.

    One wonders where/to what will the proceeds of this new tax plan be applied. Education? Quite doubtful. The education system is flush with cash, yet less effective than ever. Health care? I have U.S. government health care coverage, and it is so tangled up in bureaucracy that after 3 years I have yet to extract any actual coverage from it.

    Obama claims that he is going to change/fix the Healthcare System? I truly wish he could. Unfortunately the simple truth is that he has not presented a single cogent explanation of how he plans to accomplish it, other than talking about a simple-minded and ineffectual tax credit for healthcare coverage. Is this where the new harvest of tax money will go?

    I don't understand why Obama is always given, a priori, the benefit of the doubt, while his plans, when examined critically, are typically quite ambiguous, and less than brilliant, and in whole little different from those of any other politicians.

    Does celebrity count for so much these days that content is secondary?




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