Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Some weekend headliners

I've been busy for this past weekend, helping out two friends. For one friend, I've been helping her digitize her advertising portfolio--taking digital pictures of some ads she worked on as a creative director in New York some years past. It has been a fun, and interesting, project. And a learning project as well, in which I'll be looking at digitizing some of my West Valley College Norseman photojournalism stuff in the next couple of months.

For my second project, I've helped design a simple blog for another friend, who we will call da' divinely beautiful butterfly--she likes e.e. cummings. She is going to be working at FEMA, signing the government contracts for disaster aid that will be sent throughout the disaster areas in the U.S. And since she will be traveling a lot, she wanted a communications platform to keep in touch with everyone about what is going in her life. In short, beautiful butterfly needed a blog. And since I've been writing this blog for almost three years, maybe I know something about creating a simple blog for butterfly? And so Monday was a day for setting up a simple blogspot template, and showing butterfly some of the tricks she can use for her blog. The blog is called Fastidious Facts from a FEMA Flygurl, and you can find her at www.femaflygurl.blogspot.com.

And so while I've been doing some personal stuff here, there have been some serious political news taking place over the weekend. So I thought I would write a headliner post to talk about the weekend political news.

Colin Powell endorses Obama: This has got to be the biggest political news story that took place over the weekend. Former Bush Secretary of State Colin Powell broke the GOP party line and endorsed Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain. Powell gave his endorsement on NBC's Meet The Press:

I think Powell just gave the moderate and independent vote to Obama. While Powell's reputation, as a politician, may have been destroyed in his selling the Bush administration's war in Iraq to the American people, Powell still remains both a respected military leader, and a statesman, for both political parties. John McCain has given plenty of praise for Powell, both during his career in the military, and during his time as Secretary of State for George W. Bush. However, Powell expressed disappointment in the McCain campaign's use of excessive negative attack ads against Barack Obama, and John McCain's vice presidential selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. That is what sent Powell over to the Obama camp. Powell's endorsement of Obama is huge. He provides a sense of security to the moderates and independents who may be reluctant to vote for Obama, but also do not like the direction the McCain campaign has been heading. If a man like Colin Powell, who was the former chairman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff for George H.W. Bush, during the First Gulf War, could vote for Obama, then perhaps it is okay for the undecided moderates and independents to also reconsider Obama.

Rush Limbaugh calls Powell's endorsement of Obama "Totally about race:" I found this through ThinkProgress, where conservative wacko radio host Rush Limbaugh accuses Colin Powell of using race in his endorsement of Barack Obama. From YouTube:

has Rush taking too many of his painkillers? It is like he's getting way too wackoed out in thinking the brothers Obama and Colin will be taking over the house. And so what does Rush do? He uses his radio show to incite a subtle racism within his listeners against both Obama and Powell. I don't know how effective Limbaugh will be, with the exception of inciting the base conservatives, but it is interesting to note just how fractured and self-destructing the conservative wing of the Republican Party has gone.

McCain's robocalls: I've seen several stories on the McCain campaign's use of robocalls in GOP and swing states over this past weekend. Keith Olbermann has a great roundup on the McCain robocall story here:

So what is going on? Again, the McCain campaign is flailing. All they have left is to go negative in attacking, trying to drag the election deep into the mud in divisive politics. The goal here is to incite fear into the American voters, where Barack Obama is the evil bogyman, and that you should vote for McCain instead--even as the entire country is going to heck, and McCain is just another Bush term. And with McCain being forced to defend once Bush-friendly states in 2000 and 2004, the only way McCain can do this negative mudslinging is through robocalls, even when McCain once denounced such robocall attacks against him by George W. Bush in 2000. Only now, the McCain campaign is using the same Republican company, FLS Connect, that once generated the robocall attacks against McCain in 2000, to conduct robocall attacks against Barack Obama today. This just shows the depth that John McCain will go in his slimed attacks against Obama.

Obama raised a record $150 million in September:
This is just WOW! CNN is reporting that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has raised "$150 million in donations in September, setting a new high-water mark in campaign fundraising." This record haul came from "632,000 new donors gave to the campaign, with the average contribution under $100. More than 3 million donors have given so far." The McCain campaign has been attacking the Obama haul, where McCain campaign manager Rick Davis is calling such donations "secret," speculating that "they're being kept secret by the Obama campaign, for no good reason." Again from Countdown:

Barack Obama has perfected a new means of campaign fundraising, by tapping into an extremely large donor database, for small campaign contributions of $200 or less--certainly less than what the Obama campaign will have to list to the FEC. And this has given Obama both a huge fundraising advantage over McCain, and has unencumbered Obama from the political, and special interest, groups that will demand something from the Obama administration in return for their contributions. In a sense, we're looking at a means of public financing through regular, small donations by everyday Americans. And this is completely alien to the Republican Party, which probably gets even more in donations by businesses, corporations, and the ubber-rich. This type of small-time, big-payoff, Obama fundraising scares the McCain campaign, and the GOP, since the McCain campaign can't even compete against such a huge haul. So the McCain campaign is trying to produce a "secret" scandal of the Obama campaign legally gathering a large amount of small campaign contributions.

GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann calls for a McCarthyite investigation of "un-American" liberals: Minnesota GOP Representative Michele Bachmann was on MSNBC's Hardball, where Bachmann told Chis Matthews that liberals should be investigated for activities that are "un-American." From MSNBC:

I really don't know what else to say, except that Michele Bachmann is completely batshit crazy, and hopefully the Minnesotans in her district will kick this loon out of office. Of course, right after Bachmann made her "un-American" comment on Hardball, her Democratic challenger, Elwyn Tinklenberg, raised $640,000 in campaign contributions. Bachmann then lied, telling WCCO News that she never meant to say that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's views were "un-American."

Olbermann's Special Comment on divisive politics: Michele Bachmann's declaration that liberals should be investigated for un-American activities prompted Keith Olbermann to give a Special Comment on Monday:

You can read the transcript here.

Sarah Palin in Saturday Night Live: And finally, it was only a matter of time before Republican vice presidential candidate, Governor Sarah Palin, would appear on Saturday Night Live--certainly as former SNL member Tina Fey has been wickedly playing Palin over the past three weeks. Palin put in two appearances on SNL, one walking past Tina Fey, both wearing the same outfit, to step before a press podium to announce the trademark opening line, "Live, from New York, it's Saturday Night!" The second SNL Palin appearance was a Weekend Update appearance, saying she would not do the segment "because it would be "bad for the campaign." This prompted SNL cast member Amy Poehler to launch into an extended rap piece, complete with Eskimos, Todd Palin and a moose that gets shot onstage. Palin rocked back and forth, pumping her arms to the music. Palin's SNL debut drew in around 14 million viewers, with 17 million in the first half hour. It is all in good political fun. The political pundits are speculating whether Palin's appearance in Saturday Night Live will hurt the McCain campaign. Personally, I think that is a bunch of bull crap--I suspect that the American public knows that when a political candidate is going on Saturday Night Live, they are doing so for the joke and the humor. I doubt that their appearance on SNL will help, nor hinder, their political campaign. However, their SNL appearance will generate more exposure to their campaign, and the buzz surrounding the SNL skit. And that is fine. Sarah Palin was a good sport in appearing on Saturday Night Live. I hope she comes back next week to do some side-by-side skit with Tina Fey--or have Sarah Palin impersonate Tina Fey as Tina Fey is impersonating Sarah Palin.

Here is Sarah Palin's opening SNL act:

And here is Sarah Palin's SNL Weekend Update act:

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