Okay, let me move on to Team Nader:
Galluping Through the Spin
Gallup's spin is, "We include Nader's name, but the media exclude him." Nice try Gallup. That's 50.5% true. Big media excludes Nader. But over 99.5% of the people Gallup poll never hear the name Nader--or any of the other third party candidates for that matter.
Gallup had been asking: McCain, Obama, Neither, or Other. Less than 0.5% say "other," compared to 3-5% who say 'Nader' when his name is included in the main question.
Last week, we asked you, our supporters, to contact Gallup to ask why they were not including us in their poll question.
Hundreds of you called Gallup directly.
Gallup listened to you. They had Nader and the other third Party candidates listed by name in their poll out this week.
Support for third party candidates explicitly named, increased tenfold over Gallup's previous methodology employed in their daily polls, which had third party candidates registering less than half a percent combined vote.
The Nader Team
No surprise on that here. I've written (and talked at Third during roundtables) about how my mother is polled by the same outlet (paper and network) every presidential election year and how Ralph's not an option in the polling. If he was, she'd probably say his name. (She's voting for him.) I say "probably" because as the primaries ended when she said "other" in her poll (or maybe "none of the above," I'd have to ask her), the person doing the call expressed surprise that my African-American mother was not supporting (bi-racial) Barack. My mother felt like she was getting the third degree. So when they call her for the poll since, she just says "Barack" to avoid the third degree.
2008 is going to be a close election and I don't know who is going to win but I don't think the polls are correct. I think there are a lot of people doing what my mother is -- saying "Barack" just to avoid the hassle. (Or maybe they're worried about how it will look?) They only poll what, 800 or 900 people, so how many people in America is my mother representing? It's in the millions.
I do think Ralph has a real chance. And I think he will be a strong candidate. I think this will be his best year. And if enough of us have the guts to stand up and do what's right, it will no longer be "Ralph Nader, consumer advocate," it will be President Ralph Nader.
I think that's possible. I think it's very possible. I do not target Cynthia voters at work. If they're voting for Cynthia McKinney, I'm thrilled. I was in an office that was all Barack. It was only when I was out on the road campaigning for Hillary that this started to change. My office is primarily African-American. No one, repeat no one, is voting for Barack now. Those who are not voting, I will talk up Ralph too. And there are now ten voters for Ralph. I never insult Cynthia or steer anyone from her. Cynthia McKinney is a worthy candidate and if someone has the guts to break with the two-party system, I am happy just for that.
And I will give credit to C.I. for that. There's never been a need to trash Cynthia from C.I. And if something even might be construed as that in an editorial we're doing, C.I. will say, "Wait, wait! Let's word that better."
I also have people in my office (yes, African-Americans) who are voting for McCain.
I don't think Barack grasps how he has pissed off some African-Americans. The attacks on fathers has not helped him. That is probably the most often cited reason for African-American males in my office for turning against him. The broken promise on FISA and public financing didn't help but the tide especially turned when he attacked African-American fathers. I also think my boss was talking while on was the road. In my office, it was "Hillary is a racist!" and just feeding off those false charges that all of the Barack surrogates kept pushing (with his permission). Because I was supporting Hillary, it was hard to repeat those without question and I think my boss had several conversations at work while I was on the road because when I came back (after the Puerto Rico primary), the office would point out it out every time Barack tried to play the race card.
So those are my election thoughts.
And I do not forget our Oklahoma community members. This is from the McCain-Palin campaign:
Statement by John McCain on General Motors Plant Closings
ARLINGTON, VA -- McCain-Palin 2008 today released the following statement by John McCain on reports of pending General Motors plant closings:
"I'm disappointed to hear of the upcoming General Motors plant closings. Hardworking people are paying the price because our country's leaders have put Washington corruption and Wall Street greed before Main Street's interests for too long. Change is coming. I know families across America are hurting and as president, I will lead members of both parties in a fight to keep and create good jobs in communities across the country. Now is not a time for words and platitudes. Now is a time for action. That is why I supported auto industry loan guarantees and will continue to work to create opportunities for American auto companies to build the car of the 21st century and put Americans back to work."
(This issue is discussed in Third's "Roundtable.")
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Vatican Radio: Concern is growing once again over violence against Christians in nothern Iraq where, in the last week alone, seven of them have been killed in the city of Mosul. Attacks have tapered off amid a drastic decline in overall violence nationwide but these latest killings have sparked renewed fears. The Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, Luis Sako, has condemned the violence.
Archbishop Sako: In Mosul the situation is terrible especially for the Christians and many families left the city, children cannot go to the school and also people cannot go to work they are staying in their houses. Just a real tragedy for them. I made an appeal to the Mosul population because I am from Mosul -- I lived years in Mosul, in a parish -- and I had many, many relationships with Muslims most of them so I made a call and an appeal. This appeal has been delivered in all the local medias. This could be helpful to encourage Muslim moderates to react and to do something.
Tensions continued over the weekend between Iraq and it's northern neighbor Turkey. China's Xinhau notes, "The Turkish General Staff said in a statement posted on its website that this was the seventh time that the Turkish warplanes have bombed 31 PKK targets in northern Iraq since Oct. 4." BBC explains: "The Turkish government accuses Iraq of failing to stop the guerrillas - who are fighting for greater autonomy in south-east Turkey - from using the mountainous area as a safe haven." Hurriyet reports: "Turkish President Abdullah Gul is also expected to pay a visit to the neighboring country in the coming weeks, accepting an invitation from Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, himself a Kurd. Following the first contact between Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish officials, which was held after another PKK attack late in 2007, the northern Iraq administration took several steps but those were not satisfactory." Last Thursday's snapshot noted the meeting of the Higher Board of Counter-Terrorism in Turkey for "about six hours" and that it would meet again tomorrow. While Turkey's Higher Board of Counter-Terrorism is scheduled to meet Tuesday, that's not the only meeting planned for tomorrow. Reuters reports that a Baghdad meeting between Iraqi officials and a Turkish delegate is scheduled for tomorrow. Reuters also notes that, facing criticism from northern Iraq, Tureky's Prime Minister Erdogan has stated, "At the moment there is no need for a buffer zone." Reportedly officials from northern Iraq are not currently invited to attend the Tuesday meet-up in Baghdad.
CBS and NBC no longer keep a correspondent in Baghdad year-round.
"It remains important and it remains interesting," said Alissa J. Rubin, the New York Times' acting bureau chief in Baghdad. "But what's in front of us now is almost a static situation. There's not a clear narrative line. The stories are more complex."
A financial system always devolves, without heavy government control, into a Mafia capitalism -- and a Mafia political system.
A self-regulating market turns human beings and the natural environment into commodities, a situation that ensures the destruction of both society and the natural environment.
Who is this speaking?
It is the Hungarian intellectual Karl Polanyi, author of the influential book The Great Transformation (1944).
Polanyi fled fascist Europe in 1933 and eventually taught at Columbia University.
Remembering Polanyi, former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges writes today:
"I place no hope in Obama or the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is a pathetic example of liberal, bourgeois impotence, hypocrisy and complacency. It has been bought off. I will vote, if only as a form of protest against our corporate state and an homage to Polanyi's brilliance, for Ralph Nader. I would like to offer hope, but it is more important to be a realist. No ethic or act of resistance is worth anything if it is not based on the real. And the real, I am afraid, does not look good."
We live in difficult times.
But one man has shown the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the corporate state -- Ralph Nader.
For most of this year, Ralph has been barnstorming across the country -- bringing a message of hope and resilience to a troubled America.
And now it's time to step up and support Ralph Nader and the shift the power platform he has gifted to the American people.
We are less than $17,000 away.
Please, give $10, $50, $100 now -- whatever you can afford -- up to the legal limit of $2,300.
And if you donate $100 or more now, we will send you an autographed copy of Ralph's classic -- The Seventeen Traditions (HarperCollins 2007).
This 150-page hardcover book details the seventeen traditions that Ralph grew up with and is the closest thing so far to a Ralph Nader autobiography.
So, don't miss out on this limited edition offer. (This offer expires tonight at midnight.)
We need 170 of you -- our loyal supporters -- to step up and snap up The Seventeen Traditions.
And we will meet our goal.
So let's crank it up today.
And get it done.
After you have contributed, check out Hedges' article here.
Onward to November
The Nader Team
Three weeks from now, you will choose a new President. Choose well. There is much at stake.
The next President won't have time to get used to the office. He won't have the luxury of studying up on the issues before he acts. He will have to act immediately. And to do that, he will need experience, courage, judgment and a bold plan of action to take this country in a new direction. We cannot spend the next four years as we have spent much of the last eight: waiting for our luck to change. The hour is late; our troubles are getting worse; our enemies watch. We have to act immediately. We have to change direction now. We have to fight.
I've been fighting for this country since I was seventeen years old, and I have the scars to prove it. If I'm elected President, I will fight to take America in a new direction from my first day in office until my last. I'm not afraid of the fight, I'm ready for it.
I'm not going to spend $700 billion dollars of your money just bailing out the Wall Street bankers and brokers who got us into this mess. I'm going to make sure we take care of the people who were devastated by the excesses of Wall Street and Washington. I'm going to spend a lot of that money to bring relief to you, and I'm not going to wait sixty days to start doing it.
I have a plan to protect the value of your home and get it rising again by buying up bad mortgages and refinancing them so if your neighbor defaults he doesn't bring down the value of your house with him.
I have a plan to let retirees and people nearing retirement keep their money in their retirement accounts longer so they can rebuild their savings.
I have a plan to rebuild the retirement savings of every worker.
I have a plan to hold the line on taxes and cut them to make America more competitive and create jobs here at home.
Raising taxes makes a bad economy much worse. Keeping taxes low creates jobs, keeps money in your hands and strengthens our economy.
The explosion of government spending over the last eight years has put us deeper in debt to foreign countries that don't have our best interests at heart. It weakened the dollar and made everything you buy more expensive.
If I'm elected President, I won't spend nearly a trillion dollars more of your money, on top of the $700 billion we just gave the Treasury Secretary, as Senator Obama proposes. Because he can't do that without raising your taxes or digging us further into debt. I'm going to make government live on a budget just like you do.
I will freeze government spending on all but the most important programs like defense, veterans care, Social Security and health care until we scrub every single government program and get rid of the ones that aren't working for the American people. And I will veto every single pork barrel bill Congresses passes.
If I'm elected President, I won't fine small businesses and families with children, as Senator Obama proposes, to force them into a new huge government run health care program, while I keep the cost of the fine a secret until I hit you with it. I will bring down the skyrocketing cost of health care with competition and choice to lower your premiums, and make it more available to more Americans. I'll make sure you can keep the same health plan if you change jobs or leave a job to stay home.
I will provide every single American family with a $5000 refundable tax credit to help them purchase insurance. Workers who already have health care insurance from their employers will keep it and have more money to cover costs. Workers who don't have health insurance can use it to find a policy anywhere in this country to meet their basic needs.
If I'm elected President, I won't raise taxes on small businesses, as Senator Obama proposes, and force them to cut jobs. I will keep small business taxes where they are, help them keep their costs low, and let them spend their earnings to create more jobs.
If I'm elected President, I won't make it harder to sell our goods overseas and kill more jobs as Senator Obama proposes. I will open new markets to goods made in America and make sure our trade is free and fair. And I'll make sure we help workers who've lost a job that won't come back find a new one that won't go away.
The last President to raise taxes and restrict trade in a bad economy as Senator Obama proposes was Herbert Hoover. That didn't turn out too well. They say those who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Well, my friends, I know my history lessons, and I sure won't make the mistakes Senator Obama will.
If I'm elected President, we're going to stop sending $700 billion to countries that don't like us very much. I won't argue to delay drilling for more oil and gas and building new nuclear power plants in America, as Senator Obama does. We will start new drilling now. We will invest in all energy alternatives -- nuclear, wind, solar, and tide. We will encourage the manufacture of hybrid, flex fuel and electric automobiles. We will invest in clean coal technology. We will lower the cost of energy within months, and we will create millions of new jobs.
Let me give you the state of the race today. We have 22 days to go. We're 6 points down. The national media has written us off. Senator Obama is measuring the drapes, and planning with Speaker Pelosi and Senator Reid to raise taxes, increase spending, take away your right to vote by secret ballot in labor elections, and concede defeat in Iraq. But they forgot to let you decide. My friends, we've got them just where we want them.
What America needs in this hour is a fighter; someone who puts all his cards on the table and trusts the judgment of the American people. I come from a long line of McCains who believed that to love America is to fight for her. I have fought for you most of my life. There are other ways to love this country, but I've never been the kind to do it from the sidelines.
I know you're worried. America is a great country, but we are at a moment of national crisis that will determine our future. Will we continue to lead the world's economies or will we be overtaken? Will the world become safer or more dangerous? Will our military remain the strongest in the world? Will our children and grandchildren's future be brighter than ours?
My answer to you is yes. Yes, we will lead. Yes, we will prosper. Yes, we will be safer. Yes, we will pass on to our children a stronger, better country. But we must be prepared to act swiftly, boldly, with courage and wisdom.
I know what fear feels like. It's a thief in the night who robs your strength.
I know what hopelessness feels like. It's an enemy who defeats your will.
I felt those things once before. I will never let them in again. I'm an American. And I choose to fight.
Don't give up hope. Be strong. Have courage. And fight.
Fight for a new direction for our country.
Fight for what's right for America.
Fight to clean up the mess of corruption, infighting and selfishness in Washington.
Fight to get our economy out of the ditch and back in the lead.
Fight for the ideals and character of a free people.
Fight for our children's future.
Fight for justice and opportunity for all.
Stand up to defend our country from its enemies.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. America is worth fighting for. Nothing is inevitable here. We never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.
Now, let's go win this election and get this country moving again.
the new york times
alissa j. rubin
the los angeles times