For the love of everything holy in this world. And I mean that in all sincerity.

(I will be honest: I am a fairly ardent liberal. But scroll down for some non-partisan websites to ground this discussion.)

One of the blogs I follow posted a creepy video created by creepy Obama supporters as evidence for why we should all rush to vote for the Old Guy and his Running Mate from Alaska, and she turned off comments, and I am just upset about it. Yes, the video was totally creepy (you can’t see it any more there, but you can see it on her website – apparently it turned private on YouTube). It was totally like brainwashed Chairman Mao, Cultural-Revolution-era songs. Creepy, right? But the campaign did not produce that video, and it is totally unfair to use that as evidence for why it is a bad idea to vote for him, unless you think that a Good Way to make political decisions is to judge a candidate’s supporters.

On the other hand, we need only to look at Palin or McCain’s recorded INTERVIEWS themselves to find evidence for why we should not vote for him: so, say, for Palin’s incompetence, see Couric video, and be sure to see part II, where she could not put two meaningful words together to articulate a policy position on ANY topic, or see the Gibson interview, where she did not know what the Bush Doctrine was (has she been living under a ROCK? – Bush only completely redefined the concept of appropriate and justified military action – hello pre-emptive war?), or for arguments against McCain, see oh, say, the point at which he confused Iraq and Iran. Or his questionable judgment, in that he chose PALIN (not a perfectly intelligent Republican woman – and there are very many of them – if he wanted a woman) as his running mate. Or his complete lack of connection with the country – like his plan to provide Americans with a $5K tax credit to pay for health insurance. See, that would be awesome, if the people who needed health insurance actually PAID taxes. Most of the people who desperately need health insurance do not make enough money to file taxes – and it requires that they first pony up the cash to buy health insurance before they are reimbursed.

Does this make sense to ANYone?

And anyone who has visited an ER in the last several years will be able to clearly see where people are getting their primary care. It sure isn’t in a physician’s office. And it sure doesn’t have follow-up treatment with it.

And it sure isn’t being paid for by the person who is getting the medical care.

It’s like putting a bandaid over a fire hose to stop the gush of water.

So let’s be honest about the candidates. I am so tired of the mudslinging from both sides, and the inaccurate “facts”, and the posting of ridiculous propaganda videos, labelling it as voter “education”. It’s not education.

I am going to post some BIPARTISAN websites below that really offer some facts about what the candidates believe, how they’ve shifted, and what they’ve lied about. But please, people, do NOT make your decisions based on videos produced by anyone OTHER than the campaign. There are crazy nut-jobs out there who are trying to frame the debate in a million different ways. *They* are not articulating the policies you should be evaluating. And if the candidates are not voicing their clear opinions on a topic you care about themselves, DEMAND ANSWERS. Call campaign offices. Find out from them what Obama or McCain believe.

Please visit these sites for *accurate* information:

My personal favorite: Politifact
* Analyzes the veracity of attacks, the veracity of claims, and whether the candidate has flip-flopped on issues.
*Produced by the St. Petersburg Times and the Congressional Quarterly. The CQ is a very well-regarded publication of political news.
*This is nonpartisan, but the representation of candidates shifts depending on who is being more attacking. Visit more than once and you will see that it really is nonpartisan. (As a side note: McCain, in general, lies more than Obama. The reason I can say this is that I am a loser, and I watch a TON of news channels and I read the NYT and Washington Post pretty much obsessively. When I get a life, I will be less able to say something like this with accuracy, but I can assure you right now, McCain attacks more and lies more than Obama. Frankly, I wish Obama would pick it up a little. People seem ready to believe anything they hear.)

Factcheck.org:
*A nonpartisan website from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
*I find this way less fun to read than Politifact.

OnTheIssues.org:
*This website, although I liked it when I glanced through it initially, totally sucks.
*This has a not-so-fun quiz you can take to see who you should vote for based on your political opinions, but the tool is really odd and flawed (click on the items in the quiz to make sure you’re voting for what you actually believe). Because of its bias, I no longer recommend it.  However, this other blog I follow posted a similar quiz that sounds better – go check it out!

OpenSecrets.org:
*I will be honest: I find this site incredibly banal and boring. However, I should probably find it interesting. I’ve used it for lots of policy papers in the past. It provides the funding sources for political candidates on the national stage.
*Its twin, Follow the Money, helps track the money that funds state politics, which is really actually very fascinating if you get into it.

If you find all of these to have a “liberal slant”, that is really sad. I’m so tired of hearing the the media has a “liberal” slant. Yes, because everyone has an opinion, there is a slant to everything. Fox has a “conservative” slant, which in some recent years, has made it sound like it is supporting a new communist state in its crazy support of the Bush administration’s policies of nation-building. CNN tends to be more liberal, although if you watch the crazy Nancy Grace, she is all over hauling in prisoners and stringing them up on death row – which is really *not* a liberal approach to crime or crime prevention.

Katie Couric even re-interviewed Palin WITH McCain after her disastrous showing last week – *that* is the liberal slant? Not that Palin really said much during that interview – it was a little patriarchal, in my opinion, but hey. It was another shot.

And if the media is saying something negative about *your* candidate (either one), look harder at what they’re saying. Why are they saying what they’re saying? What is the *whole* story? What is the context? If you are appalled by Jeremiah Wright, you obviously haven’t been in a Black church. If you are appalled by a gun-totin’ woman with a dead moose, you obviously haven’t been to Alaska. Context matters. Go educate yourself and get the real story.

DB likes to say that neither Republicans NOR Democrats hate this country – they are both doing the things that they think will make this place a better place. He has a point, although it would appear that the most recent 8 years of loving our country have really taken a toll.

The point is: Neither party is out to sabotage the country. Stupid policies, however, will destroy it.

And lastly, if the media is really all that liberal, why did we elect a moronic Republican president twice in a row? (Or at least once, the second time. I won’t get into that.)

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