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Saturday, November 15, 2008

that's the ticket

So it's (clean, articulate) Biden

commentary here and here and here

NYT analysis here

pictures of today's rally here

Biden video clips here and here

Biden's history of racial gaffes may actually be an advantage as it allows Obama to emphasize racial reconciliation and shows that nobody needs to walk on eggshells just cuz he's black.

Overall I think it's a good choice, although Jeff pointed out to me that we can expect to see "OSAMA/BInaDEN" stickers shortly

The media may (finally) be catching on to McCain's non-stop P.O.W. references (which he even used to defend his choice of ABBA's 'Dancing Queen' for favorite song)

A fellow P.O.W. who was with McCain at the "Hanoi Hilton" weighs in:

John McCain served his time as a POW with great courage, loyalty and tenacity. More that 600 of us did the same. After our repatriation a census showed that 95% of us had been tortured at least once. The Vietnamese were quite democratic about it. There were many heroes in North Vietnam. I saw heroism every day there. And we motivated each other to endure and succeed far beyond what any of us thought we had in ourselves. Succeeding as a POW is a group sport, not an individual one. We all supported and encouraged each other to survive and succeed. John knows that. He was not an individual POW hero. He was a POW who surmounted the odds with the help of many comrades, as all of us did.

I furthermore believe that having been a POW is no special qualification for being President of the United States. The two jobs are not the same, and POW experience is not, in my opinion, something I would look for in a presidential candidate.

I can verify that John has an infamous reputation for being a hot head. He has a quick and explosive temper that many have experienced first hand. Folks, quite honestly that is not the finger I want next to that red button.

(emphasis mine)

was it really torture?:

Cheney denies that McCain was tortured; as does Bush. So do John Yoo and David Addington and George Tenet. In the one indisputably authentic version of the story of a Vietnamese guard showing compassion, McCain talks of the agony of long-time standing. A quarter century later, Don Rumsfeld was putting his signature to memos lengthening the agony of "long-time standing" that victims of Bush's torture regime would have to endure. These torture techniques are, according to the president of the United States, merely "enhanced interrogation."

No war crimes were committed against McCain. And the techniques used are, according to the president, tools to extract accurate information. And so the false confessions that McCain was forced to make were, according to the logic of the Bush administration, as accurate as the "intelligence" we have procured from "interrogating" terror suspects. Feel safer?

the government of the United States now practices the very same techniques that the Communist government of North Vietnam once proudly used against American soldiers. When they are used against future John McCains, the victims will know, in a way McCain didn't, that their own government has no moral standing to complain.

A writer for NYT Mag examines Obamanomics:

I have spent much of this year trying to get a handle on what is sometimes called Obamanomics and have come away thinking that Obama does have an economic ideology. It's just not a completely familiar one. Depending on how you look at it, he is both more left-wing and more right-wing than many people realize.

This WaPo article on Obama's childhood looks really good (I haven't had a chance to read it yet)

Another Obama music video (pretty cheesy but whatever)

final thought: here's hoping the convention this week turns into a scorching assault on not only McCain's policies, but also his character and fitness for office. Sounds harsh I know, but as the saying goes politics ain't beanbag. Theda Skocpol had some harsh words for Obama last week, and I share her concerns, but if he's been biding his time until the convention to pull out the big guns he may know what he's doing afterall.

Here comes Denver.

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