Happy Halloween Conflucians!! What are you dressing as today and tonight? I hope you all have a great Halloween.
Other than bats in the belfry, let’s see what else is spooky out there. Some fun yesterday was the Steward/Colbert rally yesterday. I quite liked Jon’s sentiment at the end. He basically echoed what we’ve been saying for a long time. Namely that all this crap and mud slinging and race baiting and nastiness on both sides is causing great harm. He called progressives out as much as he called wingers out. Which was such a change where we tend to only ever see wingers called out and hardly ever progressives called out except here and a few other places. More of that please. It was also nice to see his message of hope about how real Americans are out there working together and get things done, unlike people in washington or in the MSM. I liked it. Here’s a bit of the Miami Herald’s take:
“This is not . . . to suggest that times are not difficult and that we have nothing to fear. They are and we do,” Stewart said as he turned serious in his closing remarks. “But we live now in hard times, not end times. We can have animus and not be enemies.”
He lambasted the cable TV news mentality that amplifies outrageous statements, stokes fear and seeks out confrontation, singling out the left-wing media for equating tea partyers with racists and the right-wing media for “the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims.”
“The press can hold its magnifying class up to our problems,” he said. “Or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire. . . . The press is our immune system. If they overreact to everything we get sicker.”
The message struck a chord with the large throng of people; the National Park Service no longer provides official estimates of crowds, but the National Mall was densely packed with many tens of thousands of people.
“It’s the first time a message like this has resonated with me,” said Jonathan Dugan, 37, a product engineer who flew from San Francisco to stand on the mall on a sunny fall afternoon. “We need to get people to talk to each other in a meaningful way.”
So as you’d expect, politics is in much of the news. WaPo has a bit about Obama’s “closing arguments” for the election:
Obama laid out a sharp contrast between his party’s agenda and the GOP, saying that Republicans have done little but play politics as his party has made hard choices to revive the economy, change the health-care system and regulate the finanical industry.
“We don’t want to relive the past. We’ve tried what their selling and we’re not buying,” he said. “We’re not going back.”
While Obama told supporters that the election two years ago wasn’t about him, Democrats are betting that his lingering appeal among first time voters, African-Americans and Hispanics will boost turnout – in Philadelphia volunteers handed out leaflets with a picture of Obama and his wife on one side and a plug for Rep. Joe Sestak, running for the Senate, and Dan Onorato, who is running for governor, on the other side. Polls show Onorato trailing behind Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, and Sestak gaining ground on former Republican congressman Pat Toomey.
But the best part, and why I didn’t think of this before, he’s now out talking about, wait for it, party unity after the election, sort of:
Whatever the outcome of Tuesday’s election, it’s time to put aside partisanship, President Obama is telling Democrats and Republicans.
Yet his appeal for unity includes a jab at GOP leaders in the House and Senate for comments that the president said were troubling.
House minority leader John Boehner of Ohio “actually said that ‘this is not the time for compromise,’ ’’ Obama said yesterday in his weekly radio and Internet address. The president added that Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky “said his main goal after this election is simply to win the next one.’’
The address was released shortly before Obama left Washington for a day of campaigning in Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Conn., and Chicago. The three states have competitive House and Senate races, as does Ohio, where the president was slated to hold a rally today in Cleveland.
In the weekly Republican address, Boehner said Obama has failed to deliver the change he promised. The man who probably would become House speaker if Republicans win control of the chamber also promoted party pledges to cut spending and keep taxes at current levels.
Meanwhile Bill Clinton is out campaigning his ass off. He was in Youngstown yesterday:
Clinton spoke to a crowd of 1,800 to 2,000 people, most of whom stood rather than sit during his speech, at Mr. Anthony’s.
The former president urged the audience to vote and urge others to do the same for the Democratic slate, particularly Gov. Ted Strickland.
“Where’s the enthusiasm gap? Where is it?” yelled Yvette McGee Brown, the Democratic lieutenant governor nominee. “You guys do us proud. We are winning on Tuesday because of you! I just want to tell you, this has been a long year. There are people who counted us out just like people counted out the Valley.”
National polls have shown that those most likely to vote lean Republican.
But Strickland said momentum is swinging in favor of Democrats at the right time.
Republicans “won this race in August,” he said. “We’re going to win this race in November, when it really counts.”
And Bill is returning to Orlando to help Meeks again in his campaign. You know, the guy the media lied about and said Bill pushed out of the race, even though everyone disagreed before they ran those stories. The Miami Herald article includes some of that:
Clinton will join Meek and the state’s other major Democratic Party candidates at a last-minute voter rally Monday night in Orlando, the Democratic Senate candidate’s campaign said Saturday.
The announcement comes after two days of media reports over whether Clinton privately asked Meek to step aside and endorse Crist, who left the Republican party to run as an independent. Meek and Clinton have denied those reports, even those confirmed by Clinton’s spokesman.
Both Meek and Crist trail Rubio, the tea party-backed Republican. To win, Crist would need at least some of the Democrats who plan to vote for Meek.
Meek has accused Crist of starting the rumors about Clinton and says Crist directly asked him to withdraw.
“I think he’s a nice guy, but I don’t think that that plays a role and I think it’s wrong to try to paint me into the corner and say that I’m the reason why he’s not winning,” Meek told reporters at Wilton Manors city hall, where he and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz were courting early voters. “I don’t blame the position of my campaign at any time on any other opponent.”
It was Meek’s only public event Saturday. He was resting up for 24 hours of nonstop campaigning across much of the state, beginning Sunday night in Tampa.
Meek said the rumors about him possibly dropping out of the three-way race have energized his supporters.
“What some meant for bad ended up being for good. People are now awakened of their responsibility to get out to vote,” he said. “Because now the ant bed has been kicked. Folks are highly disappointed.”
The other big news of the day was the apparent terrorist plot to blow up some synagogues in the Chicago area. It’s now being reported that Yemen has made some arrests:
Yemen has arrested a female student suspected of mailing the explosive parcels from the country to the US that sparked a global security alert, sources say.
The arrest took place on Saturday in the capital, Sanaa, after security forces surrounded a house where the suspect was hiding.
The woman’s lawyer said she was a “quiet student” with no known links of religious or political groups. Her mother was also detained, but was not a prime suspect, the lawyer said.
A Yemeni security official said the woman, a medical student in her 20s, had been traced through a telephone number she left with a cargo company.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president, confirmed her arrest, saying: “Yemen is determined to fight terror but will not allow anyone to intervene in its affairs.”
Security officials have been on high alert since the UK and the United Arab Emirates intercepted two packages containing explosive material that were being shipped by air from Yemen to synagogues in Chicago.
Who’s to know if that person really had anything to do with anything. They need an arrest and need it now. I’m not sure the truth really matters. But we’ll watch the events unfold. BBC has a list of Sunday papers with stories on this issue.
In other news of the world, Brazil is having elections, and with all the economic problems, the main race is about which candidate is the crazier religious wacko:
The pocketbook is battling the pulpit in Brazil’s presidential elections Sunday, as government candidate Dilma Rousseff faces opposition leader Jose Serra in a runoff election to lead this burgeoning economic power of 190 million people.
Issues that most Brazilians thought didn’t belong in national politics — in particular, abortion — have taken center stage, and both candidates are catering to the concerns of evangelical and Roman Catholic voters.
By abandoning her previous public stance on liberalizing the country’s anti-abortion laws, and attending church before the television cameras, Rousseff, a former atheist, appears to have outmaneuvered Serra. A national poll Thursday night gave her a 13-point advantage over the former governor of Sao Paulo state.
That’s some crazy shit. And I thought my congressional race was bad.
That’s a bit of what’s in the news. Chime in with what you’re doing for Halloween and what else you’re finding in the news.