Monday, July 14

OUTLYING PRECINCTS

Think Progress - Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) regularly hypes the threat posed by Iran, saying they are "intent on acquiring nuclear weapons" and even attacking Democrats for allegedly not recognizing "the threat posed by an Iran with nuclear ambitions." But when ABC’s Charlie Gibson asked McCain if an Israeli strike against Iran would be "jusified" in light of Iran’s recent missile tests, McCain said that he couldn’t determine "the nature of the threat" from Iran: "I can’t know whether a strike would be justified because I don’t know the progress or the significance or the nature of the threat. I know the threat is growing because of the continued development of nuclear weapons." Later in the interview, however, McCain insisted that the Iranian threat was nevertheless "serious."

A new poll ranks the first words that come to people's minds when you mention either of the two top presidential candidates. For McCain, in order, it's old, military service and record (or qualifications). For Obama it's outsider (or change), lack of experience and dishonest. Not a great start for the new Jesus and a reminder of how different voters' views can be from either campaign spin or media myths.

John Nichols The Nation - In other countries, such as France, presidential debates are open not merely to the two most prominent candidates but to the nominees of all parties that display a reasonable measure of national appeal. The discussions are livelier and more issue-focused, and they tend to draw the major-party candidates out -- providing insights that would otherwise be lost in the carefully-calculated joint appearances that pass for fall debates in the U.S. The corrupt Commission on Presidential Debates -- which was set up by former chairs of the major parties and their big-media allies to limit access to the most important forums for presidential nominees -- has made mockery of the democratic process. And some, admittedly very foolish people, have actually convinced themselves that one-on-one "debates" organized by party insiders to fit the schedules of friendly television networks are meaningful.

Fair Vote Massachusetts has became the 20th state legislative chamber to pass a national popular vote bill.