NDN Blog

Ad Wars: Guilt by Participation

The RNC continues to hammer at Obama's past association with Weatherman Bill Ayers in a new ad.  There's no new information in this ad, only new graphics-- which, at times, are a little overwhelming-- and new headline clippings, which are, at times, a little hard to read.

10/13 Roundup: Failing McCain, Economic Time Bomb, Faulty Rumors

McCainLeader: Failing McCain

- There's a growing sense that John McCain has lost control of his campaign and of this race. The GOP is freaking out after last week. Bill Kristol tells McCain to fire everyone. Republican strategists think the race is within reach for McCain... if he focuses all out on the economy, and renounces everything he's ever believed. Jonathan Alter writes that his pick of Sarah Palin was the first admission that he was totally out of touch with the Republican base. In addition to 53% of the electorate, history is also against McCain.

- The Democratic Strategist thinks Republican desperation will initiate in the "mother of all smear jobs." McCain may be gearing up, with his announcement that he's planning to "whip Obama's you-know-what" at Wednesday's debate.

- Walter Shapiro at Salon can think of four ways McCain might still win.


- The Independent describes the derivatives market as a time-bomb worth 10 times the value of total world output.  The bomb is going off, and nobody knows how big it will be.

- As Simon blogged yesterday, Nobel Prize Winner Paul Krugman says Gordon Brown and the UK have shown remarkable leadership in response to the bailout. 

- James Surowiecki explains the financial crisis as a "trust crunch." Cass Sunstein also points out the importance of psychology.

Election '08

- As DemFromCT at Kos reports, Obama is inching ever closer to a 10% lead across the board. Newsweek is saying the same. 

- John Heilemann writes in New York that Barack Obama found his voice on the economy just in time.

- Howard Fineman laments that it is politically impossible to suggest a bit of economic belt-tightening.  Writing for the New Republic, however, Robert Gordon and James
Kvaal see the possibility for this downturn to spark a reinvigoration of the civic spirit and a renaissance of civic duty.

- One of the most persistent falsehoods dogging Barack Obama is the rumor that he is a Muslim and an Arab.  The New York Times traces those lies back to one man.

- As McCain's rallies become increasingly unruly, race has begun to play a bigger role in the discussion surrounding the election. Andrew Romano at Newsweek writes that Obama's race might actually help him. Pollsters aren't sure what to do about it.

- Sarah Palin made the triumphant announcement that she has been cleared of all wrongdoing.  Not surprisingly, she was lying.

- Ryan Lizza, writing for the New Yorker, analyzes why Obama picked Joe Biden as his running mate.

- Last, Betty White talks to Craig Ferguson about her life as a McCain speechwriter.


Ad Wars: The Chicago Way

The assault continues, as a new RNC ad links Barack Obama to three "shady" politicians. Bill Ayers makes another appearance. Tony Rezko is a new face in these ads-- he was convicted of fraud and bribery earlier this year, and surely represents some of what is worst in politics. Obama has called his association with Rezko "a mistake." The third is William Daley.

As Big Bird would say: One of these things is not like the others.  

The other two are criminals, but Daley, as the ad says, is nothing more than "heir to the Chicago machine." Seems a little harsh to lump him in with the other two.



9/10 Roundup: Stocks Surge (Downward), Bloodthirsty Anti-Socialists, The Foo Democrats

- Stocks Surge in Baghdad! Blares the front page of today's New York Post. 

- Unfortunately, New York, London, Tokyo, and pretty much every other city on earth has been less fortunate, economically-speaking.  Stocks fell for the seventh consecutive day in the U.S., pushing the Dow below 9,000 for the first time in five years.  The S&P 500 is down 42% from a year ago, and 22% from a month ago. The index is on track for its worst year since 1937. Doing what they do best, USA Today has a fun infographic illustrating the departure of capital. 

- Paul Krugman writes "now is the time to act," and points to the British model as a good act to follow. 

- The political world is going sour as well. John McCain is now directly attacking Obama for his connection to one-time domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. More disturbing are the people showing up to McCain's rallies.  Slate's John Dickerson calls the crowds "bloodthirsty," and chronicles the way they whip into a frenzy. Politico covers the same territory: People angry at the "socialists" trying to take over America. Joe Klein has heard some even crazier things shouted at rallies.

- Josh Marshall at TPM attributes it all to John McCain's moral cowardice.

- Obama's admitted cocaine use is now being used against him

- Despite it all, conservative pundit George Will is just about ready to give up on McCain. A Yale economist is predicting 52% of the vote going to Barack Obama.

- State of the Union has a graph (at right) that lays it clean: McCain's fall has closely mirrored the fall of our markets.

- Perhaps the most intriguing announcement of the past 24 hours: Barack Obama has purchased half an hour of network airtime a few days before the election. At 8pm on October 29th, CBS and NBC (and perhaps others) will air a 30-minute ad from the Obama campaign. Take note: half a minute costs something like $100,000. Sounds like fundraising is going well at the Obama camp.

- Ben Smith at Politico writes about McCain's unpopularity among Hispanics.  NDN President Simon Rosenberg is quoted!

- If there's one article you read this week... Make it George Packer's essay in the New Yorker giving voice to Ohio voters. Even if you don't trust my judgment, surely you can trust Ezra Klein.

- Esquire magazine is supporting a candidate for the first time.  Guess who it is?

- The Foo Fighters would like John McCain to please stop using their music.

- You've seen Ralph Nader talking to a parrot.  You've seen his first encounter with Obama Girl. Nader keeps it weird with his second spot, co-starting the Obama Girl.

McCain Links Obama to Ayers in New Web Ad

The McCain campaign has put out a 90-second web ad linking Barack Obama to Bill Ayers, a domestic terrorist in the 1960s, and associate of Obama's. This is part of a broader recent effort by McCain and Palin to exploit some of Obama's relationships with characters who might be unsavory to the public.

The issue, according to the spot, is Obama's judgment and character.  But the ad as a whole suggests something different.  Like previous McCain ads, the mood is dark, with spooky music and a behind-the-scenes feel that makes the viewer feel as though they're being let in on a secret.  Clearly, the McCain campaign is trying to depict Obama as someone untrustworthy, menacing, and even dangerous.

10/9 Roundup: We're All Socialists Now, Keeping Banks in the Black, Palin v. Palin

- The global economy has continued its tumble. The NY Times reports that the government may take an ownership stake in some banks, to help restore investor confidence.

- Britain announced a similar plan yesterday.  The Telegraph led with the headline "We're All Socialists Now, Comrade." Funny or no, it's not too far from the truth.

- The Times takes a closer look at the legacy of Alan Greenspan.

- John McCain's plan to keep people in their homes made an overnight transformation.  Now it's a plan to keep banks in the black.

- Brad DeLong blogs that McCain's new plan is worse than he had imagined possible.

- The Times has a very disturbing report that thousands of voters have been illegally purged from voting rolls in six key swing states.

- Meanwhile, ACORN is under investigation for questionable voter forms.

- DemfromCT at Kos continues to report huge leads for Obama in the polls. Yesterday's Gallup is the hugest yet, giving Obama an 11-point edge. We could be seeing some post-debate momentum...

- Still, Joe Klein at Time wonders if Obama can keep it up.

- Skepticism may be in order.  Mark Blumenthal writes that pollsters face a perfect storm of unknown variables.

- General Petraeus is on a victory lap, and spoke at the Heritage Foundation yesterday.  Spencer Ackerman thought it sounded like Petraeus was campaigning for Obama.

- The Times calls the McCain campaign "one of the most appalling we can remember."

- Conservative commentator David Brooks called Sarah Palin a "fatal cancer to the Republican Party." Dang that's harsh.

-  If not for the Republicans, Palin is good business for NBC. Fueled by their political satire, Saturday Night Live's ratings are up 42% on last year.  

- And SNL may yet double down on that bet--  rumor has it Palin herself may appear on the show.  Perhaps we'll get to see her debate herself.

- Last, a video.  John McCain addresses his fellow.... prisoners?

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in.  Thanks!

What One Hand Giveth...

Traditionally, Republicans have headed their campaigns with talk about taxes.  Democrats, they say, will raise your taxes, so vote for us. The McCain campaign hasn't been any different.  What is different this time around is that Barack Obama's tax plan is dramatically better for middle-income families. Accordingly, Obama's been hitting back.

His latest ad, "Taketh," lays the truth on thick. While John McCain's rhetoric about "tax credits for health care" may sound good, Obama points out the fine print: McCain's plan will levy a tax on employee health benefits for the first time ever.

10/8 Roundup: "That One" vs. The Other Guy, Sliding Markets, Sarah's Doodles

- Barack Obama and John McCain squared off last night for the second of three debates.  Who won the town hall-style showdown in Nashville?  Barack Obama.  Or so says, well, everyone:

- The CNN instapolls hand it to Obama, 54% to 30%.  CBS instapolls agree.

- Mark Halperin of Time gives Obama a B+.  McCain gets a B.

- With the stakes so high for McCain, Politico says he lost by not winning.

- Josh Marshall of TPM thinks the debate reassured everyone that Obama is the better candidate.

- Noam Scheiber of TNR saw Obama as professorial (in a good way).

- Not a game changer, says Chris Cillizza at the Fix. The WIndy concurs.

- John Dickerson of Slate writes that McCain needed a knockout, and didn't get one.

- McCain referred to Obama as "that one" in the debate, which Ezra Klein thinks made him seem cranky.  Klein also wrote that McCain looked like a guy who's about to lose an election.

- The economy was the major focus of the evening.

- And (still) with good reason.  The Nikkei is down nearly 10% today. European markets are all down 4-5%.  Hong Kong's Hang Seng index is down over 8%.

- The Fed and its European friends cut interest rates by half a percent, to slow the fall of the markets.

- The British government will announce their own bailout today, spending 50 billion pounds to partly nationalize failing banks.

- McCain proposed a plan to renegotiate mortgages. His campaign backed it up with details.

- Cindy McCain tells the Tennesean that Obama has waged "the dirtiest campaign in history."  Zing?

- Even in Alaska, more and more people dislike Sarah Palin.

- Last, Sarah's doodles are well-worth a look.

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in.  Thanks!   

10/7 Roundup: Exciting Monday, Mudslinging, Tonight's Debate

- Remember that bailout bill from-- when was it... last week?  Turns out the markets aren't so bullish on the idea. 

- Free Exchange, by the Economist, comments on our exciting Monday.

- Jacob Weisberg writes for Slate about the fundamental challenge to capitalism posed by the current crisis.

- Jonathan Chait at TNR, likewise, foresees the end of conservative economics.

- DemfromCT at Kos reports on the latest poll numbers: McCain seems to have hit a ceiling, and Obama continues his surge. CNN polling comes to similar conclusions, with Obama doing well in key swing states.

- Confronted with their candidate's slide, the McCain campaign has gotten nasty. He's taking the "low road," says Walter Shapiro for Salon.

- Palin, likewise, launched some nasty attacks in Florida yesterday. 

- The mudslinging has been going in both directions.

- Arianna Huffington writes about McCain's desperation.  (Speaking of whom, there's a great profile of Huffington in this week's New Yorker)

- Early voting hasn't been wildly popular so far.

- The second Presidential debate is tonight! The Caucus tells you what to watch for.

- The format will be town hall-style, and you can read about the agreed-upon rules here.

- John Dickerson at Slate warns the candidates how town hall debates can go horribly wrong-- watch out for ponytail guy!

10/6 Roundup: Everything You Thought You Knew is True

- The theme of today's news: Everything you thought you knew is, in fact, true!  The economy is still in shambles-- not just here, where job losses are piling up, but in Europe as well.  (Europeans can take some solace in the fact that they cleaned up in this year's Nobel Prizes for medicine)

- Howard Fineman of Newsweek projects trouble for the next president, when faced with budget shortfalls caused by the bailout.  Jonathan Cohn of TNR thinks an Obama administration should not give up its agenda because of the bailout.

- The Economist reports that the financial crisis is proof that governments increasingly need to work together.

- The presidential campaign continues to slide in Obama's direction. Even Karl Rove is projecting an Obama victory. 

- Sarah Palin was in Nebraska over the weekend, trying to keep Obama from stealing one electoral vote from that state.

- Newsweek has a deeply damning cover story on Sarah Palin.

- Rolling Stone does the same on John McCain.

- Palin will be in Florida today, perhaps trying to rescue her image among Jewish voters there.

- John Heilemann of New York analyzes how McCain lost his maverick brand and his favor with the press. John Schaffer writes in TNR that, after the election, the press will forgive McCain.

- Disappointed by McCain's withdrawal from the state, one Michigan GOP leader had some choice words for the campaign.

- The McCain campaign's latest attempt to defame Barack Obama consists of tying him to the radical Bill Ayers.

- Sarah Palin told Bill Kristol that Rev. Jeremiah Wright should be back in the discussion, too.

- Howard Wolfson says the tactics won't work.  "It's over," he says.

- Barack Obama called the attacks "out of touch." 

- Paul Begala thinks Obama should shoot back, and fight fire with fire.

- It looks like he'll get what he wants, as the Obama campaign cleared tactics to highlight McCain's rule in the "Keating 5" scandal.

- The Decemberists released a new track called "Valerie Plame."  It's pretty good.

If you come across an article, blog post, video or anything else you think should be in the Daily Roundup, send it to me, and I'll try to get it in.  Thanks!  

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