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Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A renowned scholar decided try to find out the origin of the Obama is secretly Muslim rumor and traced it back to some douchebag. The article ends:

"Citizens and political scientists must face the fact that the Internet has enabled a new form of political organization that is just as influential on local and national elections as unions and political action committees," she says. "This kind of misinformation campaign short-circuits judgment. It also aggressively disregards the fundamental principle of free societies that one be able to debate one's accusers."

For proof of this, Allen says, she need look no further than her e-mail inbox. After months of research, a new chain-mail smear against Obama arrived with an innocuous subject line: "Food for thought."

Your Brain Lies To You- neuroscience may help explain why such rumors take hold.

Political Freelancers Use Web to Join the Attack

This year, the development of cheap new editing programs and fast video distribution through sites like YouTube has broken down the barriers, empowering a new generation of largely unregulated political warriors who can affect the campaign dialogue faster and with more impact than the traditional opposition research shops.

Hopefully this isn't true:

The Telegraph has learned that the former president's rage is still so great that even loyal allies are shocked by his patronising attitude to Mr Obama, and believe that he risks damaging his own reputation by his intransigence.

A senior Democrat who worked for Mr Clinton has revealed that he recently told friends Mr Obama could "kiss my ass" in return for his support.

The guy's brilliant, but unbelievably immature.

this (poorly lit) video is worth watching- David Plouffe gives the presentation he's been giving to donors and Clinton supporters

WTF!? (short vid)

Obama's challenge w/ working class women

My mother, who was an hourly wage earner until she died, always said to her daughters, "Don't marry him until you see how he treats the waitress."

She was talking about picking a husband, but it's a good test for picking a President, too, and one likely to be used this year by working-class women of every age.

Seymour Hersh thinks the Bush Adm. is prepping for war w/ Iran

Vincent Bugliosi thinks
Bush should be tried for murder:

These people deliberately and knowingly took this nation to war under false pretenses, and therefore they are murderers. I don't like to see anyone get away with murder, never mind over 100,000 murders. O.J. Simpson got away with two murders, and I was outraged, so I wrote a book about it. I do not like people who commit murder.

In the [Scott] McLellan book which just came out, he called the war in Iraq a serious strategic blunder. A blunder is a mistake, and people who make mistakes are innocent and not guilty. George Bush, I believe and I argue, is guilty.

Here's a great rant by E.L. Doctorow
- (Gilbs I think you in particular will enjoy this)

In April 2007 in Washington there was a joint meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society on the theme of "The Public Good: Knowledge as the Foundation for a Democratic Society." E.L. Doctorow's keynote address was titled "The White Whale."

An Evangelical and former member of the Bush Admin defends Obama from Dobson's recent attack:

Dobson paraphrased this as "unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe in." But that's not what Obama was saying at all. Rather, he was arguing that in a pluralistic nation like ours, politics depends on people of faith being able to persuade others based on common and accessible ground and appeals to reason -- which sounds entirely reasonable. Christians who oppose abortion can make an effective case by talking about sonograms, fetal development and the moral imperative to protect the most vulnerable. That doesn't mean one's faith shouldn't inform the question of abortion -- or, for that matter, war, poverty and other issues. After all, President Lincoln's argument against slavery was partly grounded in faith. But appeals to the Bible or church teaching aren't sufficient in a pluralistic nation. That's why Lincoln talked primarily about the Declaration of Independence.

If Christian conservatives want to be taken seriously, they need to make serious arguments and speak with intellectual integrity. In this instance, Dobson didn't. He has set back his cause and made some of us who are evangelicals and conservatives wince.

Scholars say the political influence of Evangelicals may be waning. Thank God:
Evangelicals got credit for helping put George W. Bush in the White House, but religious and political scholars say they won't have nearly as much influence in this year's presidential race.
Evangelicals no longer seem to be the monolithic voting bloc they were a few years ago. A growing number don't think it's their place to politicize their faith, and many young believers are not interested in the traditional evangelical battlegrounds of abortion and gay rights; their focus is turning toward environmentalism and social justice.

In May, 70 Christian leaders signed "An Evangelical Manifesto," which calls for less politicizing of the faith and knee-jerk identification with the Republican Party. When Christianity is politicized, the manifesto said, "faith loses its independence, the church becomes 'the regime at prayer,'" and Christians become "'useful idiots' for one political party or another."

A new political geography

Your abbreviated pundit round-up can be found HERE

Finally, this is a bit off topic, but this Bill Moyers intv w/ Douglas Blackmon is pretty stunning. He wrote a book called "Slavery By Another Name," which is about how blacks were forced into labor all the way up until WWII. It's definitely worth your time. (it's about 20 min)

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