You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 1, 2008.

Watch out Tina– guess you’re not the only one who resembles Sarah Palin. It looks like the VP candidate was all over the country last night– participating in everything from parades, to office parties to trick-or-treating. Take a look at Halloween’s most impressive Sarah Palin costumes.




Caption: 23/6, Article Observer


“The greatest threat to American democracy today arises from a militant authoritarianism that has become a cancer upon the nation.”

 

So says psychology professor Robert Altemeyer, who provided Wateregate whistle-blower John Dean with forty years of study on the authoritarian personality type that roughly 28 percent of Americans proudly call their modus operandi.

John Dean:

    During the 2008 presidential campaign, Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin, the Republican candidates, have shown themselves to be unapologetic and archetypical authoritarian conservatives. Indeed, their campaign has warmed the hearts of fellow authoritarians, who applaud them for their negativity, nastiness, and dishonest ploys, and only criticize them for not offering more of the same.The McCain/Palin campaign has assumed a typical authoritarian posture: The candidates provide no true, specific proposals to address America’s needs. Rather, they simply ask voters to “trust us” and suggest that their opponents – Senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden – are not “real Americans” like McCain, Palin, and the voters they are seeking to court. Accordingly, McCain and Plain have called Obama “a socialist,” “a redistributionist,” “a Marxist,” and “a communist” – without a shred of evidence to support their name-calling, for these terms are pejorative, rather than in any manner descriptive. This is the way authoritarian leaders operate.

    In my book Conservatives Without Conscience, I set forth the traits of authoritarian leaders and followers, which have been distilled from a half-century of empirical research, during which thousands of people have voluntarily been interviewed by social scientists. The touch points in these somewhat-overlapping lists of character traits provide a clear picture of the characters of both John McCain and Sarah Palin.

    McCain, especially, fits perfectly as an authoritarian leader. Such leaders possess most, if not all, of these traits:

    * dominating

    * opposes equality

    * desirous of personal power

    * amoral

    * intimidating and bullying

    * faintly hedonistic

    * vengeful

    * pitiless

    * exploitive

    * manipulative

    * dishonest

    * cheats to win

    * highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic)

    * mean-spirited

    * militant

    * nationalistic

    * tells others what they want to hear

    * takes advantage of “suckers”

    * specializes in creating false images to sell self

    * may or may not be religious

    * usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

    Incidentally, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney also can be described by these well-defined and typical traits — which is why a McCain presidency is so likely to be nearly identical to a Bush presidency.

    Clearly, Sarah Palin also has some qualities typical of authoritarian leaders, not to mention almost all of the traits found among authoritarian followers. Specifically, such followers can be described as follows:

    • submissive to authority

    • aggressive on behalf of authority

    • highly conventional in their behavior

    • highly religious*

    • possessing moderate to little education

    • trusting of untrustworthy authorities

    • prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals and followers of religions other than their own)

    • mean-spirited

    • narrow-minded

    • intolerant

    • bullying

    • zealous

    • dogmatic

    • uncritical toward chosen authority

    • hypocritical

    • inconsistent and contradictory

    • prone to panic easily

    • highly self-righteous

    • moralistic

    • strict disciplinarians

    • severely punitive

    • demanding loyalty and returning it

    • possessing little self-awareness

    • usually politically and economically conservative/Republican

*By “highly religious,” Dean means religious in the traditional, evolutionary religion sense; which must be distinguished with religious in the sense of spiritual understanding, which has little or nothing to do with religious affiliations.

    The leading authority on right-wing authoritarianism, a man who devoted his career to developing hard empirical data about these people and their beliefs, is Robert Altemeyer. Altemeyer, a social scientist based in Canada, flushed out these typical character traits in decades of testing.
    Altemeyer believes about 25 percent of the adult population in the United States is solidly authoritarian (with that group mostly composed of followers, and a small percentage of potential leaders). It is in these ranks of some 70 million that we find the core of the McCain/Palin supporters. They are people who are, in Altemeyer’s words, are “so self-righteous, so ill-informed, and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds.”

Hmm. Kind of mirrors the 28 percent that still think Dick Bush is doing a heckofa job. Kind of sounds like John McCain’s “base” supporters; a wonderful double entendre.

    If Obama is rejected on November 4th for another authoritarian conservative like McCain, I must ask if Americans are sufficiently intelligent to competently govern themselves.

And you will have already been answered.

    I can understand authoritarian conservatives voting for McCain, for they [refuse to] know no better. It is well-understood that most everyone votes with his or her heart, not his or her head. Polls show that 81 percent of Americans “feel” (in their hearts and their heads) that our country is going the wrong way. How could anyone with such thoughts and feelings vote for more authoritarian conservatism, which has done so much to take the nation in the wrong direction?

I think Dean overlooks the fact that authoritarian McCaniacs think America is headed in the wrong direction because the others who feel we’re headed in the wrong direction support Obama, or anyone not espousing authoritarian Mavericky Shit-Pie that passes for the Republican Manifesto.

    We will all find out on (or about) November 5th.

Perhaps. Or we could be headed for another vote fraud debacle that has McCain-Palin ahead by a few hundred votes nationally, and the Supremes get to pick another authoritarian asshole and his sidekick.

People like William Ayers— who considered himself a true patriot— will start blowing shit up again.

Or.

The Supremes do the right thing, and we can get on with excising the cancer from America’s heart and soul.

Source: Urantian Sojourn

“Did somebody call for a plumber?”

“Oh gosh, Joe” exclaimed a startled Sarah. “I didn’t hear you there. I was so busy reading the press and the media. You know, all of them.”

“Permission to come aboard the Straight Talk Express?”

“Granted!” she cried, nasally.

The unlicensed Plumber, his plunger erect, boarded the bus and slid into a seat next to the unindicted Governor.

“I don’t know about you, but my polls sure could use a bump,” he whispered into her ear.

“For sure,” purred the Governor, sliding off her $800 spectacles. “Whaddayasay this time, we play ‘Obama and Ayers’?”

“That’s not working so great anymore. How about ‘Obama and Khalidi’?”

“Ooh, go on,” said the Governor, undoing her Valentino blouse, $2,000 button by $2,000 button.

As the Plumber explores her North Slopes, the Governor ran her manicured fingernails across his manly small-town chest, tracing the embroidered name on his uniform: “SAM.”

“Good golly, Joe, I haven’t felt muscles like these since that moose I shot, skinned, gutted, and dressed–while giving birth to Piper. Or was it Track?”

As the Governor donated the rest of her clothing to charity, the Plumber covered her in kisses, striving to keep her red places red. But just as she reached down to touch his ever-growing capital gains, there was a cry from outside.

“Mom! Mooom!!!!”

“Aw heck,” muttered the Governor. “What do you want, Bristol?”

“My water broke and my contractions are 5 minutes apart. Are you sure I should be taking a campaign bus tour across Pennsylvania?”

“You’ll do it and Florida, too, young lady!” barked the Governor. “Now fly back to Alaska and get ready.”

The Governor turned back to the Plumber, who was ready to fill her pipeline.

“Come on, baby,” he moaned. “Wave your white flag of surrender.”

“Oh yes, Joe, yes! My gosh,” she exhaled in ecstasy, “I think I can see Russia.”

But suddenly, their preconditioned negotiations were interrupted by an angry voice.

“What the hell is this?”

The two of them shot up, decoupling.

“John!”

“Senator!”

“Porking… on my own campaign bus… when we’re down so many points in Ohio…” the Senator hyperventilated, staggering around, clutching his heart. He dropped to the floor, murmuring his last words, “My friends…”

The Governor gazed in horror at the man before her, lying in a very un-pro-Life position.

“Oh doggone it,” she exclaimed. “What the heck do I do now?”

Source: 23/6

Liberals have long laughed off any suggestion of liberal media bias, but this week, Politico.com reveals that the perceived media slant against McCain is absolutely real. They cite a study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism that shows that over the last six weeks, John McCain got four times as many negative stories as positive ones while Barack Obama received more than twice as much positive coverage as McCain. Why? The McCain campaign is a shambles. It has failed to achieve any of its goals and its steady collapse may spell trouble for the future of the GOP. No reasonable person would disagree. Yet, is that any reason for such negative coverage? The media’s continued insistence on reporting the facts about the disgraceful McCain campaign is liberal bias, pure and simple.

And it’s not just politics. Liberal media bias is everywhere. For example, let’s take a look at coverage of the new movie, Saw V. As of this writing, Metacritic.com, which aggregates music and film reviews and assigns them a weighted score based on the severity of criticism, currently gives the film a score of 20 out of 100. A similar site, RottenTomatoes.com, reports that Saw V has received negative reviews from 86 percent of critics. What gives? Just because the movie is by all accounts a ponderous, contrived mess, is that any reason for the press to so blatantly showcase its bias? It’s this kind of treatment that links the Saw V and the McCain campaign. Sure, one is a disappointing and gruesome spectacle filled with blood-spattered bodies and shocking images that force viewers to turn away in disgust, and the other is a bad film. But they have more in common than you might think.

Similarly, consider the case of the Idaho child molester whose probation was revoked after he gained access to the Internet. The media’s attitude toward this sexual deviant has been almost uniformly negative. Whatever happened to telling both sides of the story? Isn’t that the media’s job? Instead, we get a completely lopsided account that makes this convicted sex offended look like a monster, simply because the facts of the story bear that out.

Remember that the next time you read another smear piece about how infighting, mismanagement and bad decision making put John McCain’s presidential dreams in the toilet. Just because it’s true is no reason to ignore the other, untrue side of the story. We urge the media, for once, please stop doing your jobs, and let’s get back to the kind of evenhanded-at-any-cost journalism we all enjoy.

Source: 23/6

http://www.o2bama.com/

 

No, this is not some Halloween stunt. That guy you see over there being held accountable is actually the vice president of the United States.

The U.S. District Court in D.C. ruled today that Vice President Dick Cheney will have to let his deputy chief of staff, Claire O’Donnell, give testimony in a lawsuit over his records.

Cheney, with his well-known passion for secrecy, had argued that a vice president need only preserve records central to his job as the official who presides over the U.S. Senate or records relating to specific tasks assigned by the president. That would narrow the pile considerably.

A group of historians and others at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have filed a lawsuit, concerned about their eventual access to the vice president’s records. In a second round victory, the court today denied Cheney’s move to block discovery in the case.

Anne Weismann, CREW’s chief counsel, hailed the decision.

    Today’s decision, allowing CREW discovery in our case against the office of the vice president, moves us one step closer to ensuring that important historical documents will not be lost to future generations. CREW looks forward to deposing Cheney’s Deputy Chief of Staff Claire O’Donnell to get to the bottom of what exactly the administration has been doing with documents that belong not to the vice president, but to the American people.

The vice president’s office declined to comment, noting that the case was still in court. Where Cheney may well file an appeal

Source: LATimes, HP

Just days after Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman reached an agreement in a lawsuit filed against him for allegedly illegally purging voters from the state’s voter roll, Coffman purged an additional 146 voter records from the list.

According to the Denver Post a federal judge angrily ordered Coffman Friday afternoon to stop purging names from the statewide voter registration list. U.S. District Court Judge John Kane said if Coffman didn’t stop the purges “he’ll be listening to me personally.”

Coffman was sued by Common Cause of Colorado and two other groups who claimed the state violated the National Voter Registration Act by illegally purging some 20,000 voters from its registration list within 90 days of the general election. The plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction that would reinstate the purged voters and prevent the state from purging anyone else before the election.

The NVRA prohibits states from purging an already-registered voter from a list during that timeframe unless a voter has died or been declared unfit to vote or notifies officials that he has moved out of state.

Aside from those categories, and outside of the 90-day-timeframe, election officials must notify voters before they remove them from the voter list. Voters whose names are matched to death or convicted felon lists can be removed without notice. But voters who are suspected of having moved must be sent a notification that they may be dropped from the list. Even then, a state cannot purge the voter from the list until the voter fails to vote in two consecutive federal elections.

Coffman maintained that he followed the law for purging the names of convicted felons and people who died, moved, or had duplicate records on the list. He also said only duplicate records had been purged during the 90-day period.

But Linda Townsend Johnson and her husband, James Edward Johnson, testified at a hearing that they were removed erroneously within the 90-day period. After moving to Colorado in May and registering to vote, they had received confirmation of their registration as well as absentee ballots in the mail. But the state removed them from the voter list after two people signed voter registration applications in their names in September, using a different address.

When the county clerk’s office sent mail to the address registered by the two people in September, it was returned. Officials then removed the Johnsons from the voter roll, in violation of the NVRA.

On Wednesday night, shortly before U.S. District Judge John Kane was to rule on the case, Coffman and the plaintiffs reached an agreement that would allow all of the voters whose names had been removed from the list since May 14 to cast provisional ballots in the election. They would be presumed to be eligible to vote and would have their ballot counted by default unless there was “a showing by clear and convincing evidence that a voter is not eligible.”

The secretary of state also agreed to compile a complete list of every voter removed from the role since May 14 and provide it to county clerks and the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

Coffman said the settlement agreement didn’t require him to stop purging voter names.

He said the new purges were duplications or voters who had moved out of state or died. Half a dozen names were purged because the voter had withdrawn his registration application, was a convicted felon or wasn’t a U.S. citizen, implying that all of the 146 purges were legal cancellations under the NVRA. Nonetheless, Coffman agreed to comply with the judge’s order.

“My office and the county clerks were in full compliance with the judge’s original order,” Coffman said in a statement. “As required after today’s court order by Judge Kane, I’m instructing the county clerks to reinstate the registrations cancelled since 9 p.m. Wednesday evening.”

Source: Wired

The big worry is that the Republicans will attempt to steal this election. By cheating to get in George Bush – we get a lower quality candidate – or more in this election – it’s the best person to lead the country in these economic times. McCain’s view is backward looking, at best he would have made a better president back in 2000, but George W/Rove dirty tricks sealed his fate. In this election he has a person as his VP, who has been deemed unqualified to hold higher office, by the majority voting public. To steal the election – would send the wrong message to the world and put America on a course, which it may not recover from for some time. John McCain has surrounded himself with lobbyists, all lobbyist can’t be bad, but it seems that his focus will be on the interests of these lobbyist over the interests of the average American. These include oil lobbyist, of which he plans to give EXXON Mobil a tax credit – although they made record profits – over giving the poorest workers, and the middle class a tax break. The polls have indicated that people have selected Obama as the best person to steer the county on a new path, while giving high priority to the the interests of the average person who wishes to do well in America. The Republicans propped on the belief that their belief in God/ gives them priority over all others, even those believing in the same God, that this gives them the right to cheat, steal, lie, smear, deceive and manipulate to win an election, by any means, disenfranchising those honest voters, and making a mockery out of the democratic system. Republicans, don’t need to steal this election, what they need, is to steal away and rethink what it means to be Republican – not the racist, hateful, bigoted bag of tricks they have been promoting, not the war mongering blinded by addiction to oil and obtaining the next fix by military means strategy, but a meaningful this is who we are, this is how we want to present ourselves and here’s what we hope to achieve or how we think we might do it better. Alternatively maybe they should select who among them would like to go to prison – for their larger supremacist goal.    

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Barack Obama’s campaign said Democratic voters were piling up imposing early voting totals in battleground states, warning that John McCain must win big on election day on Tuesday to catch up.

“The die is being cast as we speak,” Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe said in a conference call with reporters, saying the Democrat was running strong in swing states Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and others.

“So Senator McCain, on election day is going to have to not just carry the day but carry it convincingly,” Plouffe said.

Plouffe also said that the campaign would expand its advertising in the frenetic final days of the campaign into Republican McCain’s home state of Arizona, following polls which suggest the race had tightened there.

The campaign would also take out advertising spots over the final weekend in normally Republican states like Georgia, after being encouraged by early voting figures and North Dakota, he said.

Plouffe said that in the crucial swing-state of Florida, Democrats had built a 200,000 strong gap over McCain after early and absentee voting — reversing the trend from 2004 when President George W. Bush beat John Kerry in the state.

“In 2008, as of last night, we had just about a 200,000 vote edge over the Republicans, which is, obviously, a big change from 2004,” Plouffe said.

Republicans went into election day that year with an edge of around 40,000 votes.

In the western swing state of Nevada, 43 percent of Democrats who voted early were either new voters or sporadic voters — a prized demographic as campaigns seek an edge in close fought states, Plouffe said.

In North Carolina, Plouffe said, 19 percent of Democrats who voted early had never voted in a general election before, bolstering Obama’s hopes of bringing large numbers of new voters into the process.

“We very much like what we’re seeing in early vote. And obviously, in states like Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina.”

The McCain campaign scheduled its own conference call later on Friday to address the state of the race, four days before election day.

“The pundits have written us off much as they have done before, but we are closing my friends, and we are going to win Ohio,” McCain said in the crucial midwestern battleground state on Friday.

“We’re a few points down … but we’re coming back strong.”

Source: Raw Story

Newly obtained computer schematics provide further detail of how electronic voting data was routed during the 2004 election from Ohio’s Secretary of State’s office through a partisan Tennessee web hosting company.

A network security expert with high-level US government clearances, who is also a former McCain delegate, says the documents – server schematics which trace the architecture created for Ohio’s then-Republican Secretary of State and state election chief Kenneth Blackwell – raise troubling questions about the security of electronic voting and the integrity of the 2004 presidential election results.

The flow chart shows how voting information was transferred from Ohio to SmarTech Inc., a Chattanooga Tennessee IT company known for its close association with the Republican Party, before the 2004 election results were displayed online.

Information technology expert Stephen Spoonamore believes this architecture could have made possible a KingPin or “Man in the Middle” (MIM) attack — a well-defined criminal methodology in which a computer is inserted into the network of a bank or credit card processor to intercept and modify transactions before they reach a central computer.

In an affidavit filed in September, Spoonamore asserted that “any time all information is directed to a single computer for consolidation, it is possible… that single computer will exploit the information for some purpose. … In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga before sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM.”

Not everyone agrees. RAW STORY also sent the schematics to computer science professor David L. Dill, a longtime critic of electronic voting machines. In an email message, Dill said he’s skeptical that an attack of the sort described by Spoonamore could have been carried out undetected.

“It seems that the major concern is whether routing election results through a third-party server would allow that third party to change the reported election results,” Dill wrote. “These diagrams haven’t answered my basic question about that idea. The individual counties know the counts that they transmitted to the state. If those results were altered by the state or a middleman, I would think that many people in many counties would know the actual numbers and would raise an alarm.”

Spoonamore has now filed a fresh affidavit (pdf), in regard to a case involving alleged Ohio vote tampering, which asserts that the schematics support a “Man in the Middle” attack having been implemented in Ohio in 2004. Ohio provided the crucial Electoral College votes to secure President George W. Bush’s reelection.

“The computer system at SmartTech had the correct placement, connectivity, and computer experts necessary to change the election in any manner desired by the controllers of the SmartTech computers,” Spoonamore wrote in the affadavit.

“Overall, my analysis of the two Architectures provided is the following,” he added. “They are very simple systems. They are designed for ease of use during the one of two times a year they are needed for an election. They are not designed with any security or monitoring systems for negative actions including MIM or KingPin attacks. These systems as designed would not be sufficient for any banking function, credit card function, or even or many corporate email systems needing a high degree of confidence. They are systems which will work easily, but are based on a belief all users and the system itself will be trusted not to be hacked.”

He continued, “There are obviously many parties willing, with motivation, and able to hack an election for a desired outcome.”

Inconclusive Evidence?
Dill told Raw Story the schematics are inconclusive and that he continues to have questions after reading Spoonamore’s latest affadavit, although he cautioned that he himself is not an expert in Spoonamore’s specialty of network security.

“Basically, the whole thing seems highly speculative,” Dill said. “It’s important to distinguish ‘possible’ from ‘probable’ here. I don’t even know if this is possible. More details about how the tabulators worked in those particular counties, who was managing them, how the results were uploaded, whether they were all the same kind, etc. would help establish that.”

“As to ‘probable’ — I don’t think that’s been established at all, unless one starts with the presumption that the election was stolen and works backwards from there,” he added. “I don’t think Spoonamore has made the case that SmartTech and Triad ‘.. reversed the outcome of the 2004 Ohio Presidential Race.’ I don’t know that it DIDN’T happen, but, at this point, I think we need to demand better evidence.”

“Neither I nor Spoonamore have any special knowledge on exit polls or Ohio voting patterns in judicial races,” Dill continued. “I’d urge you to take a close look at what skeptical political scientists have written. It’s been a long time, but I was left with the impression that proof was lacking.”

RAW STORY has posted the schematics here for 2004 and for 2006 see below.

2006 schematics/click to enlarge

The Connally Anomaly
Spoonamore notes that on election night in 2004, he observed what he calls the “Connally anomaly,” in which eight Ohio counties that had been reporting a consistent ratio of Kerry votes to Bush votes suddenly changed at about 11 pm and began reporting results much more favorable to Bush. Election tallies in these counties, plus a few others, also showed the unlikely result of tens of thousands of voters choosing an extremely liberal judicial candidate but not voting for Kerry.

Spoonamore immediately suspected that a Man in the Middle attack had occurred but had no idea how it could have been carried out. It was not until November 2006 that the alternative media group ePluribus Media discovered that the real-time election results streamed by the office of Ohio’s Secretary of State at election.sos.state.oh.us had been hosted on SmarTech’s servers in Tennessee.

“Since early this decade, top Internet ‘gurus’ in Ohio have been coordinating web services with their GOP counterparts in Chattanooga, wiring up a major hub that in 2004, first served as a conduit for Ohio’s live election night results,” researchers at ePluribus Media wrote.

By then, SmarTech had become embroiled in the White House email scandal, during which it was discovered that accounts at rnc.com, gwb43.com, and other Republican Party domains which were hosted by SmarTech had been used by White House staff,, instead of their official government email accounts, to avoid leaving a public record of their communications. When subpoenaed by Congress, the White House said the emails had been accidentally deleted.

Remaining Questions
Dill further noted after examining the schematics, “The 11/02/04 diagram has several computer icons in the upper left for EN Results entry of various types. I don’t know how this works, but given that counties are using different software to prepare their totals, I suspect the data is entered by hand into web forms or that spreadsheets are uploaded. Such an entry method would not easily lend itself to corrupting the original data. … Even if data can be changed at the county servers, many pollworkers and possibly others know the results that were reported from their precincts, and someone would probably notice if the numbers reported by the county or state differed from those.”

Dill said it would be helpful to have more information regarding the computers used and how they were connected.

“It would be a great idea to get some more definitive information about how the computers were connected and run in those counties,” he wrote. “Messing with disks might help cover up evidence after the fact. But the first thing that had to happen was that county-level results had to be changed in such a way that no one could compare the precinct results with the announced totals.”

Spoonamore said tampering could have been accomplished without broad knowledge.

Some have said “that local County Elections officials had been instructed to fax final results to confirm them, but this action would not have mattered if the local elections boards computers were already under the control of the KingPin,” he wrote. He said the ultimate results faxed to the Secretary of State from Ohio counties could have been inserted by SmarTech, providing “a smokescreen” that would “mask the already hacked results and provide an illusion the tabulators were not reporting results over the Internet.”

Source: Raw Story

What was Fox News thinking – there were two men recently arrested in a foiled plot to assassinate Obama -somehow you get the impression that Fox News is almost detached from the real news – only the news they try to generate. To place Obama on a shooting range – after there have repeated calls for his death at Palin and McCain rallies is irresponsible – and dangerous. This crosses the line on commonsense.

From CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Check out CNN’s Electoral Map. (CNN) — Some tough news for John McCain in his own backyard, as his home state of Arizona moves from “safe McCain” to “lean McCain” in the latest CNN poll of polls.

And the Republican nominee continues to lose ground in reliably-red areas, as North Dakota moves from “lean McCain” to “toss-up” – meaning three electoral votes that had been counted for McCain are now considered up for grabs.

But there’s some good news for McCain down south: Louisiana has moved from “lean McCain” to “safe McCain.” And the movement on the map is far from done.

Barack Obama now leads McCain by 131 electoral votes, up from his 128-vote lead yesterday. CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 291 electoral votes and John McCain 160. There are 87 electoral votes up for grabs. Again, 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.

The CNN Electoral Map is based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit and takes into account a number of factors, including polling, state voting trends, ad spending patterns, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns, parties, and political strategists. The list will be updated regularly as the campaign develops over time.

Source: CNN Politics

Wolfe Blitzer interview Barrack Obama Part 2

Wolfe Blitzer interview Barrack Obama Part 3

So has John McCain’s big play for Pennsylvania, where he’s hoping to poach 21 electoral votes out of the Democratic column, been paying off in the opinion polls?

The answer: Not in any way to speak of — even though McCain and Palin have have each visited the state many times in the last two weeks, and Palin is herself spending all of today there.

McCain’s own level of support has recovered somewhat from a deep hole he was in weeks ago — when the economic crisis hit, he was down by as much as 15 points — but his gains haven’t significantly weakened Barack Obama’s position. McCain has simply grabbed back some of his lost support from the undecided column, but Obama hasn’t actually lost much from what he gained during the same period.

The graph from Pollster.com illustrates the situation very clearly:

Only two polls in the last week, from Mason-Dixon and Strategic Vision (R), have put Obama below 50% support, while most others have him above that key level. For example, CNN has Obama up 55%-43%, and the local college Franklin & Marshall has him up 53%-40%.

Obama should still be expected to score a decent-sized victory here, unless the polls turn out to be drastically wrong or show a dramatic swing to McCain in the next few days.

Source: TPM

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