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The Rhyme of the Ancient Aviator or, The Dead Albatross Sketch

A few days ago the Idiot Decider ‘decided’ that the economy was, well, “uncertain”:

It is uncertain, there’s no question about it. Wall Street got drunk, it got drunk, (it’s one of the reasons I asked you to turn off your TV cameras.) It got drunk and now it’s got a hangover. The question is how long will it sober up, and not try to do all these fancy financial instruments.

Bush at Pete Olson’s fundraiser, July 18th 2008

But who was mostly responsible for letting this fandango of ‘fancy financial instruments’ go into a wild frenzy?

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Obama in Berlin, Paris and London

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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Obama in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel

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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Electoral Fraud: Can Diebold do it again?

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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A Bumpy Couple of Days on the Campaign Trail

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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John McCain, Sex, Drugs and Insurance

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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Open Thread

Welcoming the AU/US Political Contingent

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.