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Obama heads into Berlin Germany leaving behind the what is being described as a successful series of days covering Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel. Up next is Berlin on the 24, followed by Paris on the 25, and the wrap-up destination London on Saturday 26 July.

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In a matter of days Obama will be heading off to Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, a meeting with Palestinian leaders and a stopover in Europe including Germany, France and Britain. According to Rachel Maddow this trip is risky but brilliant.

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Team Obama appear to have the grass/netroots organisation, numbers and smarts to be able to deal with any Rove-stlye GOP electoral interference on Nov. 4. Considering the depths to which the GOP have previously descended in order to cling to power and thereby maintain their access to the Federal Trough, worst case scenarios should be fully prepared for, indeed, expected.

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Jesse Jackson lobbed some criticism at Barack Obama resulting in the The New York Times citing the incident as ‘a real generational shift in power and leadership underway within African-American politics‘. In effect, Jesse’s criticism seems to be strengthening Obama’s position in that he is not being embraced by the hard line black political core. While the Jackson/Obama drama had all of the ingredients for a two-day news cycle, John McCain managed to take the talking points when he switched the identity of football teams when recounting his experience during torture in Vietnam, and in doing so raising some interesting questions in the media. On top of this his top economic advisor and National Co-Chair refers to Americans as a bunch of whiners for complaining about an economy that is only in a mental recession. But that’s only scratching the surface of John’s bad week.

MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow provides a summation of the week that was.

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From The New York Times …

The normally voluble Senator John McCain found himself at a loss for words Wednesday when he was asked aboard his campaign bus on its way to Portsmouth, Ohio, whether he thought it was fair that some health insurance companies covered Viagra but not birth control.

“I don’t usually duck an issue,” he said, “but I’ll try to get back to you.”

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Australians from far and wide are in the wilderness looking for a new home. While there is a bunch of work to do to get plugins loaded and other techo stuff – this is a start.  Our header image is a composite created from a shot of Barack Obama by Saul Loeb (AFP) and an photo of John McCain by Carolyn Kaster (AP). Info about the site and how we go forward is referenced under a separate thread. In the meantime – this thread is about the general election.

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