CNN and Associated Press cross the line
On Sunday CNN ran an online poll asking if Barack Obama has enough patriotism to be president! With this stupid idiotic poll, CNN behaved just as badly as those right-wingers who specialise in smear campaigns, sending hoax emails, spreading rumours and lies and claiming they are "facts." They are trying to affect the election outcome by bringing false charges into the campaign conversation. Shame on CNN!
And double shame on the Associated Press for not properly vetting Nedra Pickler's irresponsible reporting. Pickler deliberately perpetuated a Republican congressman's false claim and asked Roger Stone - a Republican caught making threatening phone calls to New York's Democratic governor's elderly father - if Obama "has a patriotism problem." "Yes," responded Stone, who established an anti-Hillary group named for a rude term for the female anatomy. An impeccable
scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel source, right?
Pickler also said Obama's refusal to wear an American flag lapel pin made observers question his patriotism. Shades of the McCarthy era paranoia. Or perhaps Nazi Germany? Since when does one need to wear a cheap plastic flag pin to signal patriotism? Do we need to see little flags to remind us of our country? Pickler's reporting is shoddy, careless and unethical pulp. How could her editors at the AP release such garbage?
And to think there's nine more months of this mud-slinging lunacy...
Meanwhile, Obama took the high road in his response to the inane talk about American flag lapel pins. Saying Republicans "have no lock on patriotism," Obama noted:
"A party that presided over a war in which our troops did not get the body armor they needed, or were sending troops over who were untrained because of poor planning, or are not fulfilling the veterans' benefits that these troops need when they come home, or are undermining our Constitution with warrantless wiretaps that are unnecessary? That is a debate I am very happy to have. We'll see what the American people think is the true definition of patriotism."
THIS is presidential behaviour?
In Rhode Island on Sunday, Sen. Hillary Clinton again was behaving like a kindergarten kid in a schoolyard mocking Sen. Barack Obama as naive and suggesting his ideas are fantasies."Now, I could stand up here and say, let's just get everybody together, let's get unified — the sky will open the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect! Maybe I’m just lived a little long but I have no illusions about how hard this is going to be," she said. "You are not going to wave a magic wand and have the special interests disappear!"
No, Sen. Clinton isn't going to have the special interests disappear, particularly as they're funding her campaign. A group of her wealthy supporters have formed a 527, trying to skirt campaign funding laws. The so-called "American Leadership Project" will accept unlimited contributions from individuals. ABC News reported that the group is seeking 100 Clinton supporters to give $100,000 each to fund a $10 million effort to promote Clinton and "contrast" her positions with Barack Obama's.
Can't wait to see if she continues this Mark Penn-instigated negative, aggressive tone in Tuesday night's debate. I think it is getting her nowhere. Who wants a president who alternates between losing her temper and mocking her opponent? She can dish it out, but apparently she can't take criticism, regardless of her claims to the contrary.
Update 7:45 p.m. - Aides to Sen. Clinton today e-mailed a photo to the DrudgeReport, calling attention to the African roots of Obama. The 2006 photo shows Obama dressed as a Somali Elder (looking like a Muslim, apparently) during his visit to Wajir, an area in Kenya where his father was born. Obama’s campaign responded, calling the Clinton campaign behaviour "shameful offensive fear-mongering" by circulating the photo as an attempted smear.
I can't imagine why Hillary Clinton would agree to such racist, divisive and underhanded tactics. Her behaviour the last few days smacks of desperation. Do we really want a leader who will try to slam a candidate in any way possible, just to win the nomination?
Electronic Frontier Foundation helps track election issues
This year the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is helping keep track of election issues. EFF has long opposed using closed, unverifiable voting technologies, bringing litigation to investigate faulty voting machines and challenge bad practices. The group also has backed legislation towards more accurate elections.
This month EFF successfully tested a beta version of Total Election Awareness (TEA), a web-based application designed to help election monitoring efforts collect and analyze election-related incidents in real time. The first field test took place on "Super Tuesday" February 5th. Working with the Election Protection Coalition, TEA helped volunteers staffing Election Protection call centers (866-OUR-VOTE) in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. They recorded over 2,200 incidents, as well as inquiries from voters from across the country. TEA also recorded details of 600 calls in the Potamac primaries.
The project's next phase involves preparing the tool for use in the November general election. In addition to improving the quality of the data recorded as part of the Election Protection process, EFF is planning to make the November data available to the public in real time. TEA is being developed as a free open-source project so other election monitoring efforts will be able to use the tool.