If we thought Jim Vandehei's and Mike Allen's piece of Politico schmuck pom-poming how DC establishment had turned against the Obama Administration, was bad enough, just read Charlie Cook's latest article. He outright tells GOP "[a]s a tactical matter, a subterranean campaign will score more direct hits on the president." Anyone who still thought there is a shred of integrity anywhere left in our corporate media, should erase that from their mind.
Republicans would be much wiser to pursue a third option: Dig up as much damaging information as they can about the Obama administration and leak it to reporters they know will write tough stories that won’t be traced back to the source. That way, the public won’t see the GOP as being obsessed with attacking the other side and playing gotcha at the expense of the big issues facing the country—the ones voters really care about.
Meanwhile, everyone in Washington will watch polls for signs of blood in the water, indications that the controversies or scandals—depending upon your perspective—are taking a political toll on Obama’s job-approval numbers.
So the job description for our journos is to catalyze bloodsports. It's not new, but now it's brazen. They don't care if their bias is blatant...
I am expanding a comment I made earlier this PM to a diary that charged the Obama campaign with "refusing to give up data to help other Democratic candidates". The diarist relied solely on POLITICO's breathless slant on the status of the Obama voter Database without considering the full ramifications of simply "handing over voter data to Democratic candidates".
The diarist should have known better than to rely on GOP-shilling POLITICO for information that they took from Craig Timberg's and Amy Gardner's Nov 20th Washington Post article without giving credit.
I am not a member of the Obama campaign team and am not privy to internal documents nor discussions. However, while the information currently made public (here, here, here, here, here, and here) about the new ground that the Obama for America campaign broke in this election in integrating voter profiles with behavioral data, and donor details using cutting edge technologies, has set beltway denizens abuzz about who gets access to the coveted database, the unique nature of and transferability of this data is a complex issue about privacy, ethics, campaign finance laws, as well as yet to be written election laws.
If you voted this election season, President Obama almost certainly has a file on you. His vast campaign database includes information on voters’ magazine subscriptions, car registrations, housing values and hunting licenses, along with scores estimating how likely they were to cast ballots for his reelection.
In other words, the OFA database is not just a list of Dem voters, graphs of support intensity, and donor information. Integrated into the voter lists is a rich trove of personal data, plus behavioral information that proprietary OFA technology was able to mine. They succeeded in doing this partly as a result of unprecedented access that Obama voters willingly gave to the campaign. It is information that even consumer/commercial entities are forbidden by law from collecting. This is such sui generis data that the FEC itself has yet to make rules to regulate.
So considering the depth of intrusion into voters' private lives that the Obama campaign was able to achieve (probably without supporters being aware of the full implications of the access they were granting OFA), as well as the potential for abuse of both this souped up data and the technologies of collecting said data, don't we think there has to be a careful discussion about future uses of this data? More importantly don't we think voter CONSENT has to be thoroughly debated, especially since her on Dkos we rise up against the patriot Act, and corporate abuses of consumer privacy?
Let's go over the squiggley love-lines to examine the database brouhaha in some detail...
If there was any doubt that the Obama administration means business about the Bush Tax cuts expiring on incomes over $250,000, here's news: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner just drew a distinct line in the sand: No rate hikes no Deal. Period.
Sec Geithner on @meetthepress: “Only thing standing in the way” of a deal is R refusal to accept rates have to go up on the wealthiest
— Treasury Department (@USTreasury)
Geithner made the Sunday-coddle-Repubs shows (ABC, FOX, NBC, CNN) and said explicitly that the Obama administration's recent offer to Congress was balanced and the fiscally responsible thing to do. He insisted that there HAD to be rate hikes (not some fancy accounting gimmick) on the top 2% before the WH would consider any deal.
Here's the video from CNN State of the Union (N.B. there's an ad preceding the actual interview)
Once again, I got back last night to my state from next door Ohio, canvassing to nudge Obama voters to the polls. This time we were dispatched to deep red and sometimes rabidly Tea Party neighborhoods in Hamilton County. And boy was it quite the experience. As we drove into the Delhi subdivision where our staging site was located, my canvass partner (a 72-yer old bundle of energy who carpooled with me on the drive to Ohio) and I quickly realized that this was gonna be challenging on several counts. The visual overload of seeing an endless sea of not just Romney/Ryan signs but angry bold Tea party diatribes – i.e. Brown kills Jobs, Obama threatens religious FREEDOM, Defend Bill of Rights, Save the Constitution—required all the intestinal fortitude we could muster.
In the midst of all this, we made the turn to the final street and voila, our eyes were richly rewarded with the calming Obama-blue signage & buntings that festooned the OFA volunteer’s house-turned-staging site for this final GOTV push. T’was a sight to behold and even more soothing as we and other Kentucky volunteers crowded into this warm cottage-style house to receive our instructions and canvass packets while the aroma of chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies wafted through our nostrils. Took a few bites of course.
As OFA’s memo released on Nov 3rd stated, we were part of the volunteer army being deployed to do the final stage GOTV. There are:
5,117 get-out-the-vote (GOTV) staging locations in the battleground states that will decide this election, they began to execute the final phase of a ground game unlike any American politics has ever seen. These staging locations are even more localized versions of our field offices – set up in supporters’ homes, businesses or any area that can serve as a central hub for a team’s GOTV activities in the final days….From these hyper-local Obama hubs, volunteers have signed up for 698,799 shifts to get out the vote over the final four days of this campaign , a number that grows by the minute as organizers continue assigning supporters who have expressed an interest in volunteering.
If we didn't already know that this election is the mother of all battles to protect our fragile Democracy from the plutocratic wrecking crew, especially when billionaires like Leon Cooperman dropped the hint in his circulated whine-letter last year about President Obama hurting the fee fees of the super-wealthy, now there is absolutely no doubt we the 99% are shackled to the guillotine.
Chrystia Freeland in this month's New Yorker Magazine pens an extended report asking a question that boggles the mind: Why is it that a small class of people that has benefited the most from the upward transfer of wealth extracted from the poor and middle classes over the last 30 years; the only class that also profited the most from the government rescue of the financial sector crash in 2008, is also the one feeling most aggrieved? They have it ALL yet it is not enough for them? Plus they demand that we the 99% and especially the President show deference to them, to boot! Else what?
So I decided to get off my butt yesterday (Saturday Sept 29th) early morning to join the team of Obama volunteers from my state of Kentucky who "invaded" one of OFA's 106 offices in Ohio yesterday to help GOTV for Early Voting which starts on Tuesday October 2nd. Our local OFA staffer said from now until election day, volunteers would be going to Ohio from neighboring states, (many of them non-competitive this cycle) -- Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia, New York, Maryland & even Pennsylvania, each contingent arriving at the OFA office nearest their state.
This was my very first time doing door to door canvassing and boy was it a memorable experience for me! As a naturalized citizen, President Obama was the first American candidate I cast my vote for in 2008. At that time, I got involved by phonebanking from home, donating money, and doing data entry at the local Obama for America office during the primaries, and subsequently, the general elections. My experience may be old hat to many of you experienced campaign volunteers/workers, but it was novel for me.
I say, there's nothing that quite compares to the visceral experience of walking the canvassing beat to get the feel for voter mood at the granular level. Nothing beats the myriad conversations we volunteers shared amongst us as we car pooled in near convoy to Ohio.
My story is anecdotal, but there isn't a single Obama supporter, regardless of income status who doesn't know the issues that our President stands for inside out, as well as ready to DEFEND his policy accomplishments. And President Obama draws the most diverse supporters, bar none. No matter circumstance, everyone was doggedly focused on one goal and one goal only...DEFEAT ROMNEY and show his campaign the exit door come Nov 6.!!!!!
So here's how it went...for me... on the other side of the lovetangled squiggleys
Surprised? Naw. The emperor REALLY has no clothes. Many of us have suspected that the pom pom festooned announcements each month about "huge money haul" was all hooey. Now we know. Romney's campaign does not have the money we've been made to think they have. New York Times reports:
Romney aides released informal dollar figures that lumped several pools of money — some available for his use, others not — into a single figure, providing a perception greater than reality: $106 million in June and $101 million in July, far more than Mr. Obama and the Democrats.
Yet those figures obscured the fact that most of the money Mr. Romney was raising was reserved for those other political entities like the Republican National Committee.
And the party committee, which Mr. Romney helped propel to record-breaking receipts in July, is allowed to spend only about $22 million on advertising that is coordinated with Mr. Romney.
Yes you read right. The reason Washington Post in Chris Cillizza's piece -- Why we aren’t moving Ohio to ‘lean Obama’ -- won't shift Ohio to "Lean Obama" on their electoral map, despite the EVIDENCE from various polls, is because it would prematurely show Romney losing. Their reason is NOT because Pres. Obama's lead is within the margin of error, or that there's insufficient polling available from different polling outfits. No. Among 3 mindboggling reasons, They are NOT changing their electoral map because of this reason (I kid you not):
Romney’s campaign simply will not walk away from Ohio. They understand that to pull money out of Ohio would be regarded as something between capitulation and panic — neither words they want associated with their candidate in the final 50 (or so) days between now and the election. Ohio is the crown jewel — electorally speaking — of the industrial Midwest, a region hit hard over the past decade by the collapse of the manufacturing sector among other economic hardships. Putting aside the symbolic importance of Ohio, there is also a practical reason to believe that the Romney campaign will spend every dime they have to try to win the state. With neither Michigan or Pennsylvania seemingly where the GOP would like them to be in terms of competitiveness, Ohio’s 18 electoral votes become all the more critical.
Folks this is a very short diary just to give folks the heads up. If you find the corporate media coverage galling, then watch the DNC livestream which starts at 3:00 PM EDT.
As Hopefruit warned us in his diary yesterday media have gotten their marching orders to negatively spin the Democratic National Convention to prevent any possible poll bounce for us. You can see their hyperventilation about imaginary "problems" especially since the voters' verdict on Romney's speech was sub-Bob-Dole level. They will be in overdrive to smear our side.
Thomas Edsall’s brilliant piece this morning provides one of the best syntheses of the cynical and cruel bets that the Bircherized GOP is making this election – that White Middle & working class voters are very ripe for the ultimate coup of giving up the Social Safety net and willfully committing economic suicide. By choosing Paul Ryan, the GOP are signaling that they have the best agent and loudest megaphone to amplify White working class economic insecurity into weaponized racial resentment to yield political gold.
As Edsall shows, GOP already counting on winning the election with energized White voters only, now cynically signal to use Paul Ryan (the very architect of dismantling the social safety net) to score high marks with White blue collar workers. They are counting on converting Ryan from the flesh and blood congressman with an actual dismal legislative trail, into an airbrushed cipher to accomplish this feat; a retroactive Rorschach Test.
We liberals see Ryan posing the ultimate conundrum for blue collar White workers: fall in love with their executioner or preserve their own economic interests.
But GOP are betting that they have the Corporate & SuperPac backed mirage machinery ready to steer the outcome, facts be damned.
Long before their notable public sparring during the "Massacre in Baltimore" when Pres. Obama laid to waste the entire House Republican caucus at their Jan 29, 2010 retreat until now, Paul Ryan fancied himself the conservative star who will "take down" President Obama. He was one of those present at the infamous meeting that took place the night of President Obama's Inauguration where they decided to totally obstruct the incoming president. Ryan's entire conduct since then, evidenced in his voting "NO" on every single bill regardless of content, underscores his scorched earth ideological agenda.
Freudian slip or not, when Romney introduced Ryan yesterday as "the next President of the United States", it symbolized for all intents and purposes a palace coup, the completion of the hostile takeover of the Republican Party. The hard right thinks the stars are NOW aligned perfectly in their favor to spring the ultimate coup d'etat on our democracy using the perversion of the democratic process itself to dismantle our commonweal as we know it. As the Kochs' golden young gun groomed to deliver the extremely cruel Bircher ideological agenda with slick gelled hair, Ryan's paymasters think he's ideally suited for a Cheneyesque catbird's seat keeping tabs on a nervous GOP congress while also muzzling ceremonial head-of-state Romney.
At this point, Paul Ryan's inflated sense of self comes from how he thinks he can leverage the status elevation that earlier newsmaking public exchanges with President Obama granted him. So even though he is NOT Pres. Obama's direct counterpart in the race, like the GOP did with Palin, the media narrative will be forced to pitch the Prez in split screen with Ryan. The GOP is counting on those optics to bamboozle the electorate with all manner of subliminal messages. That's the plan...
...Well not so fast. President Obama's campaign and the entire Democratic Party have been chomping at the bit not only to put the Ryan budget under blinding public Klieg lights for all to see the cruel document that it is, but judge the ENTIRE Republican party too. Ryan should know this because we all saw him over and over again these last 3.75 years get a bitter taste of President Obama's smackdown of his and the radical Republican agenda.
On the eve of Israel's election, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has shocked everyone by scoring the most coveted American endorsement. Yes, I'm talking about Hollywood's faded action star, Chuck ...
there's something about how we've been acting and it's bothering me. A lot.
So I'm going to be brutally honest with you. In all my sparkling whiteness to your incandescent, glowing whiteness. Every ...