Newsweek: The Moderate Voice: Inflammatory GOP Robocall Contradicts McCain On Ayers Last Night

Newsweek: The Moderate Voice

Inflammatory GOP Robocall Contradicts McCain On Ayers Last Night

The McCain campaign continues its descent into the kind of politics that is now surpassing in sleaziness what Karl Rove Co. did to McCain in South Carolina in 2000. The Politico: A harsh new robocall at least the third in a series attacks Obama for having worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers whose group killed Americans. Robocalls are a relatively inexpensive way to deliver a negative message, and used to be seen as an under-the-radar way to do it, though that’s no longer really true. The ad comes just hours after McCain dismissed the issue: I don’t care about an old, washed-up terrorist, he said. Click on the link and you can listen to the call. And a link to two more calls. What more can be said?

Newsweek: TalkLeft: “Joe the Plumber” Compares Obama to Sammy Davis, Jr.

Newsweek: TalkLeft

“Joe the Plumber” Compares Obama to Sammy Davis, Jr.

Via Politico : In Katie Couric’s post debate interview with Joe the Plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher, Joe said Obama has a “tap dance…almost as good as Sammy Davis, Jr.” “McCain was solid in his performance,” he says. “I still don’t know where he stands,” he says of Obama. “I’m middle class. I can’t have my taxes raised any more.” He also says he actually isn’t in the bracket where Obama would raise his taxes — but he’s worried that Obama will shift the bracket down. He also said that, in his encounter with Obama, the Illinois Senator [has] “a tap dance…almost as good as Sammy Davis, Jr.” Bye, Joe.

Weekly Standard Blog: Charting Pennsylvania’s Racism

Weekly Standard Blog

Charting Pennsylvania’s Racism

It’s more volatile than the stock market!

Yesterday, western Pennsylvania was a “racist area” according to its Congressman John Murtha.

Today, it’s no longer racist. Whew!

He issued the following statement today: “I apologize for making the comment that ‘Western Pennsylvania is a racist area.’ 

“While we cannot deny that race is a factor in this election, I believe we’ve been able to look beyond race these past few months, and that voters today are concerned with the policy differences of our two candidates and their vision for the future of our great country.

Newsweek: The Stumper: The ‘Evil’ Eye

Newsweek: The Stumper

The ‘Evil’ Eye


Pop quiz, hotshot: Whose peepers are peeking out at us over the words “America Must Look Evil in the Eye” on this new mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia?

Not sure? Either am I. And that’s probably the point. 

The mailer hits “Democrats who want to control Washington“–translation: Barack Obama–for wanting to appease terrorists and rogue leaders, so it’s natural that some readers would conclude that it’s Barack Obama in the picture. Then again, the pamphlet also boasts glamor shots of Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and Hugo Chavez, so others might assume it’s Osama bin Laden. Either way, when TPM’s Greg Sargent asked Virginia GOP spokesperson Gerry Scimeca whether the photo was bin Laden or Obama, “he couldn’t immediately say.” Based on side-by-side images of the two figures, both guesses seem reasonable. 

That ambiguity is sneaky–to put it mildly. Virginia Republicans could’ve chosen to use a full facial photograph on this page of the mailer–just as they did with Chavez, Kim and Ahmadinejad. That would’ve cleared up any possible confusion. Referring to either Obama or bin Laden in the text, like the party did with “the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea,” would’ve accomplished the same task. Given that they didn’t–deliberately, I’m assuming–I only see three possible readings of the photo:

1) It’s an image of Obama cropped to evoke bin Laden (no mouth, no hair, no identifying characteristics)–in which case the Virginia GOP is explicitly equating Obama with “evil.” Strikes me as highly unlikely.

2) It’s an image of a random, unidentifiable dark-skinned individual–in which case the Virginia GOP is implying that anyone with darker skin (a group that would include both Obama and bin Laden) is an “evil” threat. Still not sold.

3) It’s an image of bin Laden cropped (and darkened, much like Time magazine’s famous O.J. Simpson cover) to plausibly pass as Obama–in which case the Virginia GOP is explicitly (and appropriately) equating bin Laden with “evil” while implicitly (and inappropriately) equating Obama with bin Laden. By far the most likely explanation. 

Again, the Virginia GOP could’ve easily preempted any confusion by either a) showing a full headshot on this page (just like they did with Chavez, Kim and Ahmadinejad) or b) identifying either Obama or bin Laden in the text (just like they did with the other people pictured). That they didn’t–and, when asked, refused to confirm or deny that it was an image of Obama–suggests that the ambiguity was intentional. There’s already a small group of right-wing extremists who seem attached to the idea that the Illinois senator is, in fact, an evil Islamist. McCain supporters have shouted “terrorist!” at rallies; the Sacramento County GOP ran a “The Only Difference between Obama and Osama is BS” web ad. With that in mind, it’s hard not to conclude that Virginia Republicans are deliberately appealing to the worst elements of their party here. 


Politico: Rep. Zach Wamp: The radical elements in Islam already are using Sharia-compliant tactics for global financial arrangements


Rep. Zach Wamp: The radical elements in Islam already are using Sharia-compliant tactics for global financial arrangements

What single issue apart from the economy is most in need of attention in the final days of the campaign.


Zach Wamp, Rep. (R-Tenn.):

Without question the single greatest difference between these two candidates is the sacrifice and service of Senator McCain over the novice and sometimes arrogant actions of Senator Obama. From Pakistan to 
North Korea, and from Iran to Russia, we face the most extraordinary security challenges of our lifetime.

The radical elements in Islam already are using Sharia-compliant tactics for global financial arrangements and Islamic law to challenge the laws of nations in Europe, and will soon be challenging U.S. law. These realities must be a part of the final decision of the American people or we will live to regret the outcome of this landmark election.


FoxNews: Hip-Hop-Dancing Colin Powell Fuels Speculation He’ll Endorse Obama


Hip-Hop-Dancing Colin Powell Fuels Speculation He’ll Endorse Obama

Colin Powell showed off his hip-hop moves at an ‘Africa Rising’ celebration in London Tuesday, fueling speculation that the former secretary of state is about to endorse Barack Obama for president.

Colin Powell has his dancing shoes on, fueling speculation that he’s gearing up to do the Obama Two-Step.

The normally staid former U.S. secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff performed an impromptu hip-hop dance alongside well-known rap stars Tuesday following a speech at a festival in London celebrating African-American music and fashion. 


His address at the “Africa Rising” celebration inside London’s Royal Albert Hall fueled speculation that an endorsement of Barack Obama is imminent. 

Powell — who has yet to back a candidate — told the audience: “I stand before you as an African-American. Many people have said to me you became secretary of state of the USA, is it still necessary to say that you are an African American or that you are black? And I say yes, so that we can remind our children.”

“It took a lot of people struggling to bring me to this point in history,” Powell told the audience. “I didn’t just drop out of the sky. People came from my continent in chains.” 

Powell has said in the past that he has been hesitant to make an endorsement until he hears more from both candidates.

Political pundits have speculated that his endorsement might come shortly after Wednesday night’s presidential debate at Hofstra University, during which both Obama and John McCain will square off on domestic issues.


PFAW RightWingWatch: Racist GOP Newsletter in California

PFAW RightWingWatch

Racist GOP Newsletter in California

If people are up in arms over the latest mailing from the Virginia GOP, they ain’t seen nothing yet. 

Check out this report from The Press Enterprise in California:


The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.

The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”

The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.

The group’s president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club’s meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

“It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don’t want to go into it any further,” Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn’t my attempt.”

Sheila Raines, an African-American member of the club, was the first person to complain to Fedele about the newsletter. Raines, of San Bernardino, said she has worked hard to try to convince other minorities to join the Republican Party and now she feels betrayed.

“This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party,” she said. “I’m really hurt. I cried for 45 minutes.”



Colorado Independent: Hickenlooper says ‘no’ to Amendment 46

Colorado Independent

Hickenlooper says ‘no’ to Amendment 46

Today at 2 p.m., Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper will speak out against the Colorado Civil Rights Initiative, a ballot measure that will destroy public affirmative action programs statewide.


Hickenlooper will speak on the front steps of the City and County Building in Denver.

Late last month, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter also slammed the measure during a press conference, calling it a “California import.” The initiative has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Ward Connerly, a California businessman who is attempting to ban affirmative action state by state.

While similar projects in other states failed this year, both Colorado and Nebraska electors will vote on whether they’d like to cut preferential treatment programs for women and minorities

Talking Points Memo: Did Virginia GOP Mailer Shade Pic Of Osama To Look Like Obama?

Talking Points Memo

Did Virginia GOP Mailer Shade Pic Of Osama To Look Like Obama?

A bunch of you have written in to say that the cropped image in the Virginia GOP flyer depicting Dems as appeasers of terrorists, which we posted on below, is actually Osama Bin Laden.

Here’s a stock picture of Osama, next to the flyer’s pic:


If this is indeed the source of the flyer’s picture, note that in the flyer’s reproduction, the skin is darker, the words artfully cover up the nose, which is faded, and the beard appears much lighter, so that it’s like a facial shadow.

Keep in mind that the chair of the Virginia GOP was the one who made national news the other day for comparing Obama and Osama by saying that “both have friends that bombed the Pentagon.”

Given that, it seems fair to at least wonder if this is an Osama pic shaded to ambiguously resemble Obama.

As noted below, we asked a Virginia GOP spokesperson who the image is, and he couldn’t immediately say. We’ve checked in with him again to ask if the pic is a photoshopped version of Osama, and we’ll let you know when we hear back.


Talking Points Memo: Virginia GOP Mailer Depicts Dems — And Obama? — As Appeasers Of Terrorists

Talking Points Memo

Virginia GOP Mailer Depicts Dems — And Obama? — As Appeasers Of Terrorists

In the race’s final stretch, much of the real sludge and slime that floats to the surface will be the work not of the campaigns but of under-the-radar operations run by state parties and the like.

Here, for instance, is a new mailer from the Republican Party of Virginia that has to be seen to be believed. It hits Dems — and by extension, Obama — for wanting to appease terrorists and rogue leaders.

But the key is the last page, which displays a man who looks like Obama but with the same dark and sinister aspect as the bad actors depicted elsewhere in the mailing. Note the words superimposed over his face (click on the images to enlarge)…