Friday, October 27, 2006

Morning News Roundup (27 October)

Quote of the Year
  • Middle-class voters who deserted the Democratic Party a dozen years ago are now giving the party its best chance to reclaim the House since the GOP swept Democrats from power in 1994.
    "I don't care if I vote for Happy the Clown, just so it's not who's there now," said Mary Nyilas, 51, an independent voter from Cologne, N.J., who said she would do everything she could to "vote against the powers that put us in this situation" in Iraq. [AP via Yahoo!]

  • And here he is:

    Happy the Clown

Domestic Potpourri
  • "Pro-traditional-marriage organizations ought to give a distinguished service award to the New Jersey Supreme Court," said the Rev. Richard Land, head of the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Land and other conservative religious leaders predicted that the court's 4 to 3 ruling (saying that gay couples are entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples), which was handed down Wednesday, would boost turnout of social conservatives in the midterm elections, particularly in the eight states that have constitutional amendments against same-sex marriage on the Nov. 7 ballot. [WaPo]

  • Rush Limbaugh has smeared Michael J. Fox, claiming that he exaggerated the symptoms of his Parkinson’s disease in an ad supporting embryonic stem cell research. (He also mocked Fox by impersonating tremors associated with the disease on air.) In an effort to deflect criticism, Limbaugh told Katie Couric the following: “I believe Democrats have a long history of using victims of various things as political spokespeople because they believe they are untouchable, infallible, they are immune from criticism.”

    Last night on CBS, Fox fired back, telling Couric, “I could give a damn about Rush Limbaugh’s pity or anyone else’s pity. I’m not a victim.” Watch it over at ThinkProgress.

  • President Bush, “who has not been talking about gay marriage” in recent weeks, “took pains to insert a reference” to gay marriage during an appearance yesterday in an effort to use “to rally dispirited conservatives to the polls.” [ThinkProgress' ThinkFast]

  • The new documentary, Shut Up & Sing, chronicles the hostile and sometimes threatening conduct directed towards The Dixie Chicks after one of the group's members criticized the Commander-in-Chief, President George W. Bush, during a 2003 concert. [...] According to Matt Drudge (a phrase that does not roll out of one's mouth easily), both NBC and the CW Television Network (the joint venture of CBS and Warner Brothers that combines the WB and UPN Networks) are refusing to air ads promoting Shut Up & Sing on the ground that the ads are "disparaging" to our President. [Glenn Greenwald]

  • If you've ever fantasized about what it would be like to eavesdrop on our president chatting with some of his strongest fans in the media, then your decidedly odd dream has come true. President Bush met with eight leading conservative columnists on Wednesday afternoon, and a transcript has just been released.
    Another revealing moment comes when Bush flatly declares that only "25% or so" of Americans want the U.S. out of Iraq. In fact, a Gallup poll released this week shows that the number is actually 54% who want us out quickly -- within a year at most. Bush also mischaracterizes the war opponents, saying they "just don't believe in war," as if they are all pacifists. [Editor & Publisher]

  • What is Rob Portman talking about? In an interview today with the Financial Times, the White House budget director warns that if the Dems win Congress on November 7, the U.S. will enter a new era of irresponsible government spending. That's right. Ignore the fact that federal spending has skyrocketed under Bush, with the sharpest growth per household in decades. Portman goes on to specifically accuse the Democrats of pushing for higher spending on non-defense discretionary expenditures. Huh. Perhaps he should have a look at this chart, where - again - non-defense discretionary spending has grown sharply in the past few years - under the Republicans. I know it's just electioneering as usual, but how misleading is (it) to try to spur supporters to the polls by accusing your opponents of the deeds of which you are most guilty? [Foreign Policy's Passport]

BushCo's Wars
  • In the past 30 days, support for the Iraq War among white evangelicals has fallen from 70 percent to 58 percent.

    These numbers matter because evangelicals are a quarter of the people who actually bother to vote, and 78 percent of them voted Republican 2 years ago. Only 58 percent say they are satisfied with the party now, and Iraq and the Foley scandal are driving the discontent. [Juan Cole's Informed Comment]

  • Police officers acting on a tip about several kidnapped colleagues rode into deadly insurgent ambushes near Baquba on Thursday, resulting in two intense battles that left at least 42 people dead, including 24 police officers. Five American service members were killed Wednesday in Anbar Province, the military command reported Thursday, raising the American death toll in October to at least 96, one of the worst monthly tolls of the war. [NYTimes]

  • With his chorus of critics expanding deeper into Republican ranks, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told detractors yesterday to pull back as U.S. and Iraqi officials grapple with the uncertainties of laying out Iraq's course. "You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it's complicated, it's difficult," Rumsfeld said, appearing unusually combative as he sparred with reporters at the Pentagon. [WaPo]

  • Wild pigs may have spread deadly bacteria onto a California spinach field, sparking an outbreak that killed three people and sickened more than 200 others nationwide, investigators said yesterday. Samples taken from a wild pig, stream water, and cattle on the ranch, where boars trampled fences that had hemmed in a spinach field, tested positive for the same strain of E. coli implicated in the outbreak. [BoGlobe]

Obama Watch
  • As far as 2,500 people stuffed into a gymnasium were concerned, Barack Obama, Superstar, lived up to the hurricane of hype surrounding him.

    The Illinois Democratic senator, author, potential presidential candidate, cover-boy celebrity and political phenomenon had a partisan crowd cheering almost his every word Thursday, even though they missed a lot of what he said because they were cheering so loudly. He could have read pages from the phone directory and they'd have applauded. [Seattle P-I]

[ posted with ecto ]


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