Daily Flog: Doom day — Election shakes, global bombings, massive firings


You can only pray that Tuesday’s election won’t be bollixed too severely by ridiculous voter-ID rules and other GOP-driven schemes designed to thwart democracy.

That is voter fraud, not the “voter fraud” that Republican operatives are braying about.

What’s scarier than the election shakes, the continuing financiopathic mood swings, a staggering loss of jobs (“Layoffs Sweep From Wall St. Across New York Area,” New York Times), and the hoarding of billions of dollars by hedge funds? A new wave of bomb blasts and bad behavior across the planet:

L.A. Times: ‘Suicide bomber penetrates Afghanistan government ministry, killing 3’

Irish Times (Dublin) ‘At least 29 die in bombings across northern Somalia’

BBC: ‘Chaos grips major DR Congo city’

Voice of America: ‘Serial Bomb Blasts Rock India’s Assam State’

And to top it off, we find out that many hospitals are doing a poor job of easing our pain. As McClatchy’s Robert S. Boyd reports, in “Adequate pain care sorely lacking for patients”:

Medical science has learned a great deal about the causes of pain and ways to relieve it, pain experts say, but for a host of reasons, the treatment of pain and suffering has improved hardly at all in recent years.

John Seffrin, the president of the American Cancer Society, calls this “a national health-care crisis of under-treated pain.”

Back to election bellyaching: Just the latest of many warnings come this morning not only on the macro level — L.A. Times: “Vote watchdogs warn of troubles on election day,” — but also on the local level — Evansville (Indiana) Courier & Press: “Voter registry concerns emerging.” Dateline Evansville:

Expectations of a record voter turnout Tuesday are being tempered by concerns about the accuracy of new registrations and whether local election officials are doing all they can to encourage voting.

The “accuracy of new registrations”? Some reporters mistakenly assume that the GOP-driven “fraud” propaganda points to a huge problem, but the second part — whether local election officials are doing all they can to encourage voting — is the real concern.

Meanwhile, some people even fear an assassination attempt on Barack Obama (cf. Martin Luther King Jr.). Paul G. Buchanan‘s essay — “Campaign Rhetoric As An Invitation To Violence” — via the New Zealand news site Scoop may be bloviated claptrap, but it’s interesting bloviated claptrap:

” . . . The subject is ugly, unthinkable in polite society, and impolitic to mention. That is the possibility of political assassination, specifically that of Barack Obama. Let us discuss it here. . . .

“In their negative campaigning, in the tone of their vitriol, in the repetition of false accusations and smears that lead their followers to believe that Obama is un-American, treasonous (for which the penalty under US federal statutes includes death, particularly in wartime), that he is a closet Arab, disguised Muslim, foreign born, etc., what the Republican campaign managers and their media surrogates are doing is something much more dangerous than trying to win an election.

“Elementary discursive analysis reveals the not-to-subtle cues to direct action embedded in the Republican campaign rhetoric. Put bluntly: by demonising Barack Obama, it is a subliminal invitation to murder. . . .”

Speaking of the devils, the Presidential Prayer Team — given God‘s well-known sense of humor, He/She definitely does not listen to entreaties from this donation-hungry crew — reminds us:

As we count down to the presidential election on 11/4, pray for God’s will to be done in our nation through the votes of citizens — that each one will consider the profound privilege and blessing of their vote and will cast it in a way that honors God.

Don’t get off your knees yet:

As dedicated intercessors gather at courthouses and public areas across the country for solemn assemblies and prayer gatherings on Sunday and Monday, Election Eve, pray for them as they meet, asking the Holy Spirit to guide and direct. Pray for safety for every gathering, for the powerful presence of God to graciously visit each one, and for many to be strengthened in their efforts. Are you aware of an election-oriented prayer gathering?

If not, you can do this from home:

Pray for First Lady Laura Bush as she celebrates her 62nd birthday with the President this weekend at Camp David; this year, her birthday falls on Election Day, 11/4. Pray for God’s richest blessings on her as she prepares for the next chapter of her life, giving thanks for the profound impact she has had for the past eight years, serving the nation and the world with strength, grace and dignity.

Yes, best wishes, Laura. Now get outta here. Seriously. Leave.

The rest of you? Keep clicking . . .


China Digital Times: ‘Experience the Censored Chinese Internet at Home!’

Washington Post: ‘Early Voters Breaking Records: Poll Shows 59 Percent of Ballots Already Cast Are for Obama’

Slate: ‘The Liberal Media and How To Stop It: You can’t. But these days, how much does it matter?’ (Jack Shafer)


Scoop (New Zealand): ‘Campaign Rhetoric As An Invitation To Violence’


“A Staten Island mom accused of killing her fire-marshal husband was so drunk after the shooting that statements she made to a EMS captain should be thrown out, her lawyer told a judge yesterday.”

Guardian (U.K.): ‘Chancellor demands cheaper petrol as Shell posts record profits’

Washington Post: ‘Treasury, FDIC Near Deal on Mortgage Aid’

McClatchy: ‘Private sector loans, not Fannie or Freddie, triggered crisis’

N.Y. Times: ‘Government Said to Be Discussing Plan to Aid Homeowners’

Guardian (U.K.): ‘The Triumph of Ignorance: Why morons succeed in US politics’

N.Y. Times: ‘Aggressive Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate by a Half-Point’

McClatchy: ‘Fed slashes rate again, nearing uncharted waters’


IRIN: ‘Israel tries to block Gaza health conference’


Hurriyet (Turkey): ‘U.S. embassy in Syria shut over demo threat’

“The U.S. embassy in Damascus said it will be closed on Thursday due to the threat of demonstrations over a deadly American helicopter raid on a village near the Iraqi border.”

New Yorker: ‘Red Sex, Blue Sex: Why do so many evangelical teen-agers become pregnant?’

N.Y. Times: ‘A Question for A.I.G.: Where Did the Cash Go?’


“Ben Bernanke’s wild-pitch rate cut bounced off Wall Street with a thud.”

New Yorker: ‘Odd Man Out: Chuck Hagel’s Republican exile’

New York: ‘Time Inc. to Restructure, Lay Off 600 Workers’

Guardian (U.K.): ‘Hedge funds contemplate safer climate in US’

“A new front is opening up in the battle between London and New York to be the world’s dominant financial centre.

“Hedge funds, and the thorny question of where they decide to do business over the coming months, could mark a turning point in the delicate balance of power between the two market capitals.

“Despite widespread fears that hundreds of funds are poised to collapse, any shake-out in the industry will still leave hundreds of healthy firms with billions to invest.”

Financial Times (U.K.): ‘Outlook is bleak, say US chief finance chiefs’

Times of London (U.K.): ‘Hedge funds fear bankruptcy after Porsche squeeze’

Financial Times (U.K.): ‘Shock: Drudge loses his grip on US media!’

N.Y. Times: ‘Army and Agency Will Study Rising Suicide Rate Among Soldiers’

BBC: ‘Blind S Korea masseurs win case’

“A South Korean law which states that only the visually impaired can be licensed masseurs has been upheld in the country’s Constitutional Court.”

Times of London (U.K.): ‘US presidential rankings — numbers 32 to 22’

BBC: ‘China toxic egg scandal spreads’

BBC: ‘Second Gaza activist voyage docks’