Monday, October 20, 2008

It Ain't Over Yet


1. The polls may be wrong. This is an unprecedented election. No one knows how racism may affect what voters tell pollsters—or what they do in the voting booth. And the polls are narrowing anyway. In the last few days, John McCain has gained ground in most national polls, as his campaign has gone even more negative.

2. Dirty tricks. Republicans are already illegally purging voters from the rolls in some states. They're whipping up hysteria over ACORN to justify more challenges to new voters. Misleading flyers about the voting process have started appearing in black neighborhoods. And of course, many counties still use unsecure voting machines.

3. October surprise. In politics, 15 days is a long time. The next McCain smear could dominate the news for a week. There could be a crisis with Iran, or Bin Laden could release another tape, or worse.

4. Those who forget history... In 2000, Al Gore won the popular vote after trailing by seven points in the final days of the race. In 1980, Reagan was eight points down in the polls in late October and came back to win. Races can shift—fast!

5. Landslide. Even with Barack Obama in the White House, passing universal health care and a new clean-energy policy is going to be hard. Insurance, drug and oil companies will fight us every step of the way. We need the kind of landslide that will give Barack a huge mandate.

If you agree that we shouldn't rest easy, please sign up to volunteer at your local Obama office by clicking here:


Monday, September 18, 2006

Civil society in Iraq - Dead or Alive?

Violence Changes Fortunes Of Storied Baghdad Street -

Lately I've been noticing a conservative and/or liberal hawk commentators trumpeting the free press of Iraq as a piece of evidence that all the bloodshed in Iraq is worthwhile. I'd really like someone like Juan Cole to weigh in on just how free and vibrant the Iraqi press is. Perhaps the reader might take in the Iraqi Press Monitor, a project of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting to get a sense of it.

But it's hard to imagine how a free press can survive under the conditions outline in this heartbreaking Washington Post article about the decline of a street of booksellers in the heart of Bahgdad. Where will the writers of the future Iraq come from, when their teachers, their mentors, their peers, have all fled for their lives? How can the apologists for this war refute this ?