Friday, October 10, 2008

McCain, Obama, ACORN, Ayers, Character, and the American Election

Here in America, we have to endure the presidential campaigns for a little less than four weeks. I wouldn't mind them so much, if the candidates and their promoters would give straight answers a little more often.

For example, a reporter, interviewing an Obama campaign worker, asked for a response to the McCain campaign's assertion that Obama's connection with ACORN was a problem. The Obama supporter, in response, explained that the world was in a severe economic crisis: which Obama could solve, and McCain couldn't.

The Obama promoter didn't say something like 'ACORN? What ACORN?' Asked (several times) about Obama and ACORN, he discussed the global economic situation, Mr. Obama's excellent opinions about it, and McCain's appalling ones. In a courtroom, a witness who was that unresponsive would probably be in trouble.

Well, that's politics.

McCain is in trouble, too. Voters think he's running a negative campaign, according to a recent poll:

Candidate Positive Campaign? Negative Campaign?
Obama 56 percent 21 percent
McCain 27 percent 51 percent
(source: Opinion Dynamics poll for FOXNews, October 10, 2008)

American Leadership and the War on Terror

I've made the point before, that leadership is important in war time: and that's why I sometimes discuss American politics in a blog that's about the War on Terror. Now we've got a global economic snafu on top of the War on Terror.

Since there's an economic angle to any war (or social program, for that matter), what's going on in the American lending and housing industries will have an effect on how America and other countries try to keep terrorists from killing people.

Whoever wins the election will have to deal with the economic snafu, too, so the November 4 vote is even more important than it was before.

Character, Schmaricter: As Long as He Says the Right Things?

I'm one of those people who think that character counts.

I'd be very concerned, if one of the candidates in an election had a platform with all my favorite issues in it, and had a voting record to match, but had a record of short-changing his employees, cheated on his taxes, and acted as though double-parking was a constitutional right of representatives.

Saying the right things is one thing. Doing the right things is something else.

Which brings me back to McCain's negative campaign, and Obama's associations.

The word "association" can be a bit tricky. It often means "the act of consorting with or joining with others" - but it can also mean "a relation resulting from interaction or dependence".

Being associated with something or someone doesn't necessarily mean there's cooperation. As an extreme example, I'm 'associated' with the KKK. So is every other Catholic. And so are Jews and blacks. That association is a bit like that of a fox and a hound, but it is an association.

Mr. Obama's association with ACORN is a little closer than that. The Obama campaign gave an ACORN subsidiary $800,000 to register voters for the 2008 primaries. ACORN's political wing endorsed Obama in February of this year.

Vote Early, and Often

ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) has, arguably, given Mr. Obama quite a bang for his buck. In Lake County, Indiana, ACORN turned in about 5,000 voter registration cards.

Those 5,000 voter registration cards were delivered just before the October 6 registration deadline. The Lake County Elections Board stopped processing the ACORN cards: just because the first 2,100 they went through were phony. Bogus. Genuine as a three dollar bill.

Dead people were registering to vote, and Jimmy Johns wanted to vote, too. Jimmy can't, because he's a fast-food restaurant.

An argument could be made, that excluding dead people and restaurants from the right to vote is unconstitutional, but Sally LaSota said that the forms were fraudulent. She also said that whoever filed them broke the law. And she's a Democrat.

So far, 12 states are conducting investigations into what ACORN's been up to.

Maybe the Associated Press, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Canada Free Press, and the Springfield News-Leader are all part of the vast right-wing conspiracy. But I doubt it. And, I don't think the ACORN situation looks like an isolated case of an over-eager worker or two.

Promoters of Mr. Obama 'answering' questions about Obama and ACORN with talking points about the economy aren't helping the Democratic candidate look good.

He's No Terrorist, He's My Neighbor

Meanwhile, someone else associated, one way or another, with Obama is in the news. A Yonkers Councilman, John Murtagh, isn't happy about his family's home being firebombed, during the Vietnam war. The Weather Underground seems to have made that incendiary statement, and Mr. Murtagh doesn't appreciate former Weather Underground member Bill Ayers' support of Barack Obama. At least, that's what he says.

And yes, Mr. Murtagh is a Republican.

Bill Ayers isn't with the Weather Underground now. He's a professor in Chicago.

The Obama campaign has addressed the Ayers connection. Apparently, Ayers is just some guy in Obama's neighborhood.

Election Fraud: Yes, it's Important

Growing up when and where I did, I'm not even all that concerned whether or not a voter can read or write: although I think those are useful skills. I do think it's vital that every voter has a pulse.

Some recent posts on the American election: In the news:
None of the investigations of ACORN voter registration fraud have been brought to court, and probably won't be until well after the election. This sort of thing takes time. So, season this post with 'allegedlys,' according to taste.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.