Monday, October 20, 2008


Kinship Circle - 2008-10-15 - Aug-Oct Updates - 08 (Sarah Palin) by smiteme.


Sent to Chill Baby, Chill by Dan Suffoletta

Tribune Endorsement: Barack Obama for President
2:33 PM CDT, October 17, 2008

However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America's slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln's extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.
In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven't experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It's a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn't forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.
On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.

The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.


On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.
Many Americans say they're uneasy about Obama. He's pretty new to them.
We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.

The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.


This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause - the Republican Party. The Tribune's first great leader, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the GOP. The editorial page has been a proponent of conservative principles. It believes that government has to serve people honestly and efficiently.
With that in mind, in 1872 we endorsed Horace Greeley, who ran as an independent against the corrupt administration of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (Greeley was later endorsed by the Democrats.) In 1912 we endorsed Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party candidate against Republican President William Howard Taft.
The Tribune's decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.
We see parallels today.
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.
We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party's course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq.
It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush's tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.
McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate - but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin's exposure to the public. But it's clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment's notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.

Obama chose a more experienced and more thoughtful running mate - he put governing before politicking. Sen. Joe Biden doesn't bring many votes to Obama, but he would help him from day one to lead the country.


McCain calls Obama a typical liberal politician. Granted, it's disappointing that Obama's mix of tax cuts for most people and increases for the wealthy would create an estimated $2.9 trillion in federal debt. He has made more promises on spending than McCain has. We wish one of these candidates had given good, hard specific information on how he would bring the federal budget into line. Neither one has.
We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect.
We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him. He builds consensus. He was most effective in the Illinois legislature when he worked with Republicans on welfare, ethics and criminal justice reform.
He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois - not popular with some Democratic constituencies.
He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate - not popular with Washington politicians.

His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a "University of Chicago Democrat" - a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets.


Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.
He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions.
When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren't a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.

It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation's most powerful office, he will prove it wasn't so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama's name to Lincoln's in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.



In the increasingly unlikely outcome of an Obama loss in November, the Democratic presidential candidate might want to consider a career as a Mad Man: Last week, he edged out Apple,, Nike and Coors to win's 2008 marketer of the year. "I think he did a great job of going from a relative unknown to a household name to being a candidate for president," an AOL executive told AdAge, while BusinessWeek columnist Jon Fine attributed the candidate's success to social-networking campaigns. "It's a fuckin' Web 2.0 thing," he said. One executive who voted for Coors disagreed with Obama's marketing win, charging that political campaigns ran "false and misleading" ads and that political advertising in general went against the ANA's mission. Still, he's sexier than a Mac. Does that make McCain PC?


Generals aren't the only ones who make endorsements. There was a time when the voters were fairly ignorant about politics and needed newspapers to tell them how to vote. Those times are gone (well, the second part, anyway). Nevertheless, the newspapers keep trying. It is not clear how much effect these endorsements have, except possibly when a strongly Republican newspaper endorses a Democrat or vice versa. One surprising endorsement came yesterday when the Houston Chronicle, the leading newspaper one of the reddest states in the country, endorsed Obama. Another surprise was the Obama endorsement from the Salt Lake Tribune the leading newspaper in the reddest state of them all, Utah. Other papers endorsing Obama are the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the NY Daily News. McCain's major endorsements have largely come from papers such as the San Francisco Examiner, the New York Post, the Columbus Dispatch, and the San Diego Union-Tribune, but all these are Republican oriented and all endorsed Bush in 2004. Editor and Publisher keeps score on endorsements. The current tally is Obama 105 to McCain 33. Here is the complete list. For comparison purposes, the final endorsement score in 2004 was John Kerry 213 over George Bush 205.


What's at Stake

Nation Forum: A panel of legal analysts assesses the damage the Bush presidency has done to the judiciary--and what the next administration must do to repair it. 11:49 ET


One of the great untold stories of this race so far is just how much McCain is being damaged on health care.

As Ben Smith has noted, Obama is blasting his rival on the airwaves primarily on this topic (Anybody who watches TV or listens to the radio in Washington, D.C. can testify to this.)

And McCain has not pushed back with any major ad campaign. His campaign aides have denounced Obama's claims through the media, but, in yet another example of how the Democrat's financial advantage is coloring the race, the shots have been unanswered on the air.

So many, many voters now are concerned about what will happen to their healthcare were McCain to be president.

According to a NYT/CBS poll earlier this month, 54% of voters surveyed said they were not confident McCain would "make the right decisions on health care." Only 10% said they were very confident he'd do so.

Further, there is anecdotal evidence that Obama's paid media onslaught has gotten people thinking about health care.

McCain held a conference call last night with Nevada voters and what is he asked about twice? His health care plan


by: Evan Halper and Michael Rothfeld, The Los Angeles Times

Voter registration poster.
(Image: North Carolina Voter Education Project)

YPM, a group hired by the GOP, allegedly deceived Californians who thought they were signing a petition. YPM denies any wrongdoing. Similar accusations have been leveled against the company elsewhere. Sacramento - Dozens of newly minted Republican voters say they were duped into joining the party by a GOP contractor with a trail of fraud complaints stretching across the country. Voters contacted by The Times said they were tricked into switching parties while signing what they believed were petitions for tougher penalties against child molesters. Full Story Here»