Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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McCain Concedes Defeat; Magnificent, Gracious Speech Marred By Jeers From Republican Crowd

3.35pm AEDT – 11.35pm US Eastern – John McCain has conceded defeat in the US presidential election.

In a magnificently gracious speech, the Arizona senator reached heights of compelling emotion not seen in his ragged campaign performances.

The speech was marred by frequent jeers from the Republican crowd at the mention of Obama’s name. McCain rose beyond this bigotry and boorishness in one of the great concession speeches. [Read more…]


Obama On Track To Win Presidency

12.55pm AEST / 8.55pm US Eastern

Senator Barack Obama is within sight of becoming the next President of the United States.

Obama is well ahead in Pennsylvania, the state regarded as the key to a McCain win. He is also leading in Florida, 51-48%, with 41% counted. Without these states, McCain cannot win.

Obama has won the traditional clutch of Democratic states in the north-east: Vermont, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

McCain has won Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Oklahoma, all traditional Republican states.

Obama is holding his own in North Carolina but is well behind in Virginia, the state where he has been predicted to win for some weeks.

The Democrats have picked up extra Senate seats in Virginia and North Carolina.


London Observer Endorses Obama

The Observer, the Sunday companion of London’s Guardian newspaper, has endorsed Barack Obama in this week’s presidential election.

This is the text of The Observer’s editorial.

Barack Obama is a President for modern times

The 21st century began late for America, on 11 September 2001. Before that day, the US still defined its role in the world with reference to ideological triumph in the Cold War that had dominated the century just passed. It was the planet’s only superpower and saw itself as a popular champion of global democracy. Few expected the nation to come under attack, least of all the man who had been installed in the White House a year earlier. In 2000, George W Bush was uninterested in foreign affairs. He was ill-equipped to be the first US President of the new millennium. [Read more…]


New York Times Endorses Obama For President

New York Times Endorses Barack Obama for PresidentThe New York Times has given its 2008 presidential election endorsement to Senator Barack Obama.

The Times described Obama as a candidate who “has met challenge after challenge, growing as a leader and putting real flesh on his early promises of hope and change”, in contrast to Senator John McCain who “has retreated farther and farther to the fringe of American politics, running a campaig on partisan division, class warfare and even hints of racism”.

This is the text of the New York Times editorial.

Barack Obama for President

Hyperbole is the currency of presidential campaigns, but this year the nation’s future truly hangs in the balance.

The United States is battered and drifting after eight years of President Bush’s failed leadership. He is saddling his successor with two wars, a scarred global image and a government systematically stripped of its ability to protect and help its citizens — whether they are fleeing a hurricane’s floodwaters, searching for affordable health care or struggling to hold on to their homes, jobs, savings and pensions in the midst of a financial crisis that was foretold and preventable.

[Read more…]


The New Republic Endorses Obama

The New Republic has published an editorial endorsing Senator Barack Obama in next month’s presidential election.

The endorsement is the latest in a growing list of media recommendations of the Democratic contender against his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain.

This is the text of The New Republic’s editorial.

Obama for President

The past eight years have been like watching a TV makeover show in reverse. We entered the Bush era a ravishing beauty attracting envious stares. We leave it a gum-smacking sad sack with split ends and an empty social calendar. Over the course of George W. Bush’s second term, in particular, the images of our country have not just been unattractive but virtually apocalyptic: a major city destroyed; cars raining into the Mississippi from a crumbling bridge; swaths of exurbia dotted with foreclosed homes; a financial system in ruins; angry emotionalism flooding politics. [Read more…]


Eloquent Support For Obama From Colin Powell

Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

Powell, a Republican, is a former Secretary of State in President George W. Bush’s first term, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the man who led Operation Desert Storm against Saddam Hussein, and National Security Adviser to the first President Bush.

Powell’s eloquent depiction of Obama as a “transformational figure” came in an interview on NBC’s Meet The Press:

This is the transcript of General Colin Powell’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama. The transcript of the full interview is available from NBC’s Meet The Press.

MR. BROKAW: General Powell, actually you gave a campaign contribution to Senator McCain. You have met twice at least with Barack Obama. Are you prepared to make a public declaration of which of these two candidates that you’re prepared to support?

GEN. POWELL: Yes, but let me lead into it this way. I know both of these individuals very well now. I’ve known John for 25 years as your setup said. And I’ve gotten to know Mr. Obama quite well over the past two years. Both of them are distinguished Americans who are patriotic, who are dedicated to the welfare of our country. Either one of them, I think, would be a good president. I have said to Mr. McCain that I admire all he has done. I have some concerns about the direction that the party has taken in recent years. It has moved more to the right than I would like to see it, but that’s a choice the party makes. And I’ve said to Mr. Obama, “You have to pass a test of do you have enough experience, and do you bring the judgment to the table that would give us confidence that you would be a good president.” [Read more…]


Obama And McCain Draw Laughs At Dinner

In what was probably their last joint appearance before the November 4 election, Senators Barack Obama and John McCain have spoken at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York.

Al Smith, (1873-1944) was a four-time Democratic Governor of New York. As the Democratic candidate for President in 1928, he was the first Catholic nominated by a major party. [Read more…]


For First Time In 161 Years, Chicago Tribune Endorses Democratic Party Candidate

The Chicago Tribune has joined a growing list of American newspapers that have endorsed Senator Barack Obama’s candidacy in the November 4 presidential election.

It is the first time in over 160 years that the Chicago Tribune has endorsed a Democrat.

This is the editorial published by the Chicago Tribune.

FROM THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL BOARD

Tribune endorsement: Barack Obama for president

However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America’s slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln’s extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.

In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven’t experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn’t forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.

On Nov. 4 we’re going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.

The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.

———————–

On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign. We wrote that he would celebrate our common values instead of exaggerate our differences. We said he would raise the tone of the campaign. We said his intellectual depth would sharpen the policy debate. In the ensuing 22 months he has done just that.

Many Americans say they’re uneasy about Obama. He’s pretty new to them.

We can provide some assurance. We have known Obama since he entered politics a dozen years ago. We have watched him, worked with him, argued with him as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

We have tremendous confidence in his intellectual rigor, his moral compass and his ability to make sound, thoughtful, careful decisions. He is ready.

The change that Obama talks about so much is not simply a change in this policy or that one. It is not fundamentally about lobbyists or Washington insiders. Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.

———————–

This endorsement makes some history for the Chicago Tribune. This is the first time the newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party’s nominee for president.

The Tribune in its earliest days took up the abolition of slavery and linked itself to a powerful force for that cause–the Republican Party. The Tribune’s first great leader, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the GOP. The editorial page has been a proponent of conservative principles. It believes that government has to serve people honestly and efficiently.

With that in mind, in 1872 we endorsed Horace Greeley, who ran as an independent against the corrupt administration of Republican President Ulysses S. Grant. (Greeley was later endorsed by the Democrats.) In 1912 we endorsed Theodore Roosevelt, who ran as the Progressive Party candidate against Republican President William Howard Taft.

The Tribune’s decisions then were driven by outrage at inept and corrupt business and political leaders.

We see parallels today.

The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office — and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008. The Republicans lost control of the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 because, as we said at the time, they gave the nation rampant spending and Capitol Hill corruption. They abandoned their principles. They paid the price.

We might have counted on John McCain to correct his party’s course. We like McCain. We endorsed him in the Republican primary in Illinois. In part because of his persuasion and resolve, the U.S. stands to win an unconditional victory in Iraq.

It is, though, hard to figure John McCain these days. He argued that President Bush’s tax cuts were fiscally irresponsible, but he now supports them. He promises a balanced budget by the end of his first term, but his tax cut plan would add an estimated $4.2 trillion in debt over 10 years. He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.

McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate–but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. His campaign has tried to stage-manage Palin’s exposure to the public. But it’s clear she is not prepared to step in at a moment’s notice and serve as president. McCain put his campaign before his country.

Obama chose a more experienced and more thoughtful running mate–he put governing before politicking. Sen. Joe Biden doesn’t bring many votes to Obama, but he would help him from day one to lead the country.

———————–

McCain calls Obama a typical liberal politician. Granted, it’s disappointing that Obama’s mix of tax cuts for most people and increases for the wealthy would create an estimated $2.9 trillion in federal debt. He has made more promises on spending than McCain has. We wish one of these candidates had given good, hard specific information on how he would bring the federal budget into line. Neither one has.

We do, though, think Obama would govern as much more of a pragmatic centrist than many people expect.

We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him. He builds consensus. He was most effective in the Illinois legislature when he worked with Republicans on welfare, ethics and criminal justice reform.

He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois–not popular with some Democratic constituencies.

He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate–not popular with Washington politicians.

His economic policy team is peppered with advisers who support free trade. He has been called a “University of Chicago Democrat”–a reference to the famed free-market Chicago school of economics, which puts faith in markets.

———————–

Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.

He has risen with his honor, grace and civility intact. He has the intelligence to understand the grave economic and national security risks that face us, to listen to good advice and make careful decisions.

When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren’t a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.

It may have seemed audacious for Obama to start his campaign in Springfield, invoking Lincoln. We think, given the opportunity to hold this nation’s most powerful office, he will prove it wasn’t so audacious after all. We are proud to add Barack Obama’s name to Lincoln’s in the list of people the Tribune has endorsed for president of the United States.


Washington Post Endorses Obama

The Washington Post newspaper has endorsed the Democratic Party candidate, Senator Barack Obama, for President of the United States. [Read more…]


McCain On Attack In Final Presidential Debate With Obama

John McCain and Barack Obama have met in the last of three presidential debates.

McCain was more forceful than in previous debates, attacking Obama over his economic policies. In contrast, Obama absorbed the attacks and methodically restated his positions.

The debate will likely be well-received by the Republican Party but may not have any electoral impact. For at least two weeks, Obama has been extending his lead in polls in crucial ‘battleground’ states and appears on track for a comfortable win on November 4. [Read more…]