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That Time The Wall Street Journal Claimed Obama Misspoke and Misquoted Him at the Same Time

Mary Anastasia O’Grady explains to us some interesting things about Colombia. While it’s more than a little oversimplified it is interesting. However, she misquotes Obama from the third debate. O’Grady claims that Obama said “they’re assassinating labor leaders in Colombia and there have been no prosecutions,” adding in a harsh tone, “that is a flat out lie.” The lie however is that Obama said “no prosections.” What the video and transcripts show is that he said, “The history in Colombia right now is that labor leaders have been targeted for assassination on a fairly consistent basis and there have not been prosecutions.” [1] While this may appear the same on the surface they are quite different and it gets my English degree blood boiling. There is a huge difference between “no prosecutions” and “there haven’t been prosecutions.” One means not once, not ever. The other means there have been assassinations that have gone without prosecution (not all but some, maybe even a lot), which is something that O’Grady admits to herself. Guess which one Obama said.

In the end there is only one flat out lie here, and its O’Grady’s. News organizations should make sure to properly quote someone, especially when they are attacking that quote. Maybe Rupert Murdock had The Wall Street journal lay off most of their fact checkers, because there is no excuse for screwing up something this simple.

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Watching the Debates Online Outside the US

Don’t live in the US? Then you are probably out of luck. Most video sites ban viewers from outside the US. For TV shows this is annoying but understandable due to “licensing constraints.” However, political debates are not property and those don’t fall under the licensing constraint umbrella. Here in Japan I found myself looking far and wide online to see the debates. Even YouTube wasn’t turning up reasonable results. Hulu and the like banning viewers outside the US is insidious. As an American citizen living abroad it is important to me that I can take part in the political discourse of my country— especially the presidential elections.

For anyone looking for a way to watch the debates outside of the US, try iTunes (search “presidential debate 2008”). You can download video podcasts of the debates from CBS. Thank you Apple and thank you CBS.

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Who is the Real Obama

As Jon Stewart pointed out on The Daily Show, the question we should be asking is— Who is Palin? We’ve had lots interviews, debates, a book, etc etc that help us know Obama. We have next to nothing about Palin. The McCain campaign has kept Palin hidden behind a curtain. We’ve heard so little from her of content from her that it scares me. When she has spoken it’s been vacuous, vague, or pointless folky chit-chat. I want to know more about a woman that could be president. I know plenty about Obama, as much as know about McCain anyway. Or should I say knew about McCain? McCain has changed since he began his last desperate attempt to become president. So there is another good question— who is McCain now?

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A Nice Summary of McCain's Lies

I’ve officially lost all respect for McCain. I feel really sorry for him because he went from being a man a someone could kind of admire to being a man that seems grotesquely obsessed with becoming president to the point where he’s no longer even a shadow of his old self. I would never have expected these things of him. It must have been a slippery slope that McCain found himself on.

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Vote McCain for President of Laughs

A recent article on CNN talks about the McCain campaign’s use of “humor” in its attacks on Obama.

Lighten up, responded Republicans. There is an “important role for humor in all campaigns,” said senior McCain adviser Nicolle Wallace. “I think all of us would slit our wrists if it wasn’t for that.”

Clearly Nicole Wallace doesn’t understand that politics is serious. It’s okay to tell a joke, to have fun, but the business of running the country isn’t a joke. It is terrifying that a senior official in McCain’s campaign thinks that what they are doing is just “humor.” It isn’t jokes, they are mean spirited attacks thinly veneered in a “joke.” Come election time Americans are not voting for the person who made them laugh, we’re voting for the person who can take the job seriously and run this country in a way that will make us proud of the US. I want the US to get the national pride and respect that Mr. Bush destroyed back. At this point, though I never would have thought it possible a year ago, McCain seems completely incapable of this important task.

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Last Note to John McCain

American’s don’t need you give us an opinion about Obama. We don’t want to hear how you feel about Obama. We are capable of forming our own ideas. We want to hear how you plan help America through a very tough time. There are huge problems in America and in the world, address these. Solutions are the only thing worth voting for.

PS. And if you insist on staying the course at least stop calling everything politics. You’re both politicians for goodness’ sake. Everything you do is political.

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Rick Davis is a Dick

Anyone who turns away from intelligent debate in favor of mudslinging not worth the dirt they are standing on. So that makes Rick Davis utterly worthless. Davis is the head of McCain’s campaign and rather than engage in a sincere and thoughtful discussion of the two candidate’s positions and explain why his candidate is the best he’s decided that an ad that comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton is better. It is outrageous to compare two messed up blonde fads with an honest political candidate.

Obama has clearly demonstrated an intelligence and seriousness that demands at least an ounce of respect. Davis clearly wants to deny him that. More disturbing is the cocky, “so-what” attitude Davis displayed in responding to CNN’s questions about whether the ad’s are negative (which they clearly are). Asked Davis says, “Will people think of this as negative advertising? Look, it’s the most entertaining thing I’ve seen on TV in a while. I wouldn’t anticipate anything about this being negative.”

Apparently Davis thinks very little of American’s ability to discern what is real and important. That he makes a point to mention entertainment value is completely disheartening. Politics aren’t supposed to be treated as “entertaining,” they are supposed to be treated as serious business that effects our lives— because that what it is! I’m no fan of McCain’s recent tactics (which is sad since I used to respect him), but this goes beyond everything else. It is an insult not only to Obama but to the intelligence of Americans in general.

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McCain is Looking Out for the Little Guy

Are you a minor millionaire? Worried about your future? Don’t worry! McCain is looking out for all those folks making a quarter of a million dollars every year ($250,000), unlike Obama who’d like to tax them a bit more. Of course to do this McCain also needed to reverse his previous outspoken opinions.

Obama would rather give the middle class a break, cutting taxes and creating government programs. While McCain would rather give trickle down economics one more try and give tax breaks to corporations. Because trickle down has always worked so well. Just look at us now! It’s time to recognize that trickle down only trickles down in a rich persons portfolio and not into the middle and lower class pockets. Rich people are still getting richer in America while the middle class has been shrinking and the lower class has been growing. The gap between the upper and middle class has been getting wider and wider [1] [2].

I say it is time to try trickle up economics. The middle and lower class needs money to spend money. We’re the ones that buy the things that keep the economy moving. You can give a business a tax cut, but unless they sell something, that extra money is worthless. One thing is for sure, the businesses certainly aren’t going to use that McCain tax cut to lower prices, hire new staff, or give folks a raise during a McCain sponsored recession.

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Republican & NRA Humor

I know, wouldn’t it be funny to joke about a presidential candidate getting shot? Mike Huckabee sure thinks so. During his NRA speech he made a distasteful joke about someone pointing a gun at Obama. The “funny” part of the joke being that the pointed gun caused Obama to hit the floor for cover. Huckabee seemed to want to imply that Obama was somehow chicken-shit. I’d like to see Huckabee stand in front of a stranger pointing a loaded gun at him. It isn’t funny. This is what the NRA is, mostly crazy gun-toting jerks laughing about shooting people.

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