I’ve just started reading Newsweek’s Secrets of the 2008 Campaign series and I haven’t come to the part that the Telegraph refers to in, “Sarah Palin Blamed by the U.S. Secret Service for Death Threats Against Barack Obama.” Normally I’d wait and pull my quotes from the source, but this has agitated me so much I want to post about it now because I’m sure there’ll be much more to agitate me in the Newsweek.

The Republican vice presidential candidate attracted criticism for accusing Mr Obama of “palling around with terrorists”, citing his association with the sixties radical William Ayers.

The attacks provoked a near lynch mob atmosphere at her rallies, with supporters yelling “terrorist” and “kill him” until the McCain campaign ordered her to tone down the rhetoric.
But it has now emerged that her demagogic tone may have unintentionally encouraged white supremacists to go even further.

The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs Palin’s attacks.

Michelle Obama, the future First Lady, was so upset that she turned to her friend and campaign adviser Valerie Jarrett and said: “Why would they try to make people hate us?”
The revelations, contained in a Newsweek history of the campaign, are likely to further damage Mrs Palin’s credentials as a future presidential candidate. She is already a frontrunner, with Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, to take on Mr Obama in four years time.

I don’t know which disturbs me more – that this may well be true, or that it’s so easy to believe that it could be true.

It’s truly a shame to see the Republican Party continue it’s decline because of politicians willing to behave like this. Yeah, you just heard me bemoan the degradation of the Republican party, and no, I’m not on any prescription painkillers tonight.

It genuinely saddens me to see the way the party has highjacked by Evangelicals and xenophobes. Vigorous political discourse is dependent on a spectrum of perspectives and ideals and while those discussions occur between individuals, political parties serve an important role in our society. I’m not saying we need only two, I’m not saying that the religious should stay out of politics, but religion and narrow-mindedness and hate have no place in American politics and Republicans are the only ones who can fix their party and work to heal the damage that the last decade has inflicted on it, and on all of us.

This Telegraph piece came to my attention after the Queen of Spain tweeted it. Checking her site I see she’s got a good post up reacting to the report.
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The video wherein an insider claims Sarah Palin thought Africa was a country, etc. on FOXnews keeps disappearing as fast as I can find new sources and embed new links. Let’s just wait for the Daily Show or Countdown and grab it from there. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I’ve checked about two dozen papers now, plus CNN. President-Elect Obama is a real and for-true thing. It makes me cry all over again.

I refuse to think about how Ted Stevens possible victory in Alaska could bestow upon the nation Senator Palin.

No, I’m going to go back to reading all of the happy stories, like the New York Times, “Obama Is Elected President as Racial Barrier Falls” and the Washington Post, “Obama Makes History” and FOXnews, “For President-Elect Obama, a ‘Steep’ Climb Ahead”. The Onion gave us, Daily Beast and Huffington Post.

What a good day.

I’m saying it right now: we can only (semi)comfortably accommodate 10 out of town guests for the Inauguration and Jungle and Mrs. Pete have already claimed the best spots so make up your minds sooner rather than later.

Do you know anyone else who could accidentally end up at an election-watching/victory party for McCain-Palin?

I didn’t think so.

In my own defense: not all of our neighbors wear their yardsigns on their sleeves. Before you tell me “every Virginian is a redneck republican” crap, I’ll remind you that Alexandria went to Obama by 72% and the only surprise has been that it wasn’t higher. This is Communist Northern Virginia I’m in, not Real America Virginia.

My brain was off in NaNoWriMo World when they invited me and it took me a few minutes to realize that I was in the belly of the beast. You’d think the lifesize cardboard cutouts of McCain and Palin would have tipped me off, but I thought they were being ironic. I believe, much to my horror, that I actually pronounced them cool. My memory may be playing games on me, but when reality dawned on me it seemed like the moment in a horror movie when one realizes that one is at a party of aliens. Or satanists.

I’m not referring to Republicans as satanists. Only Sarah Palin supporters.

Only kidding.

No I’m not.

Maybe I am.

At any rate, I had to make small-talk for a while and the 1st rule of cocktail party chatter: no politics, was moot. Ditto the second rule: no religion. I did the only thing I could think of: I talked a lot about the sex-toy give-away. I felt like a lizard discarding it’s tail to create a distraction so I could escape a predator, but whatever. I didn’t want to burn any bridges – not even the bridge to nowhere.

That, kids, is why you don’t take candy, or martinis, from strangers. Or neighbors who you don’t know as much about as you think you do.

Starbucks, Krispy Kreme, and Ben and Jerry’s are three of the bigger names giving away treats today to voters. If you’re in New York or Seattle, you can also get a free sex toy:

If the Maverick rhetoric in the presidential campaigns is doing anything, we hope it’s motivating everyone to get out and vote. Which is why we’re giving away a real Maverick, absolutely FREE to all voters. All men, not just Joe Six Pack, love the Maverick sleeve ($20 value). He’s always there to lend a hand, he works for every man, and he bucks the status quo.
Wait, it gets better. We’ve got one more enticement. A free Silver Bullet ($15 value), because that’s what our country needs right now, a magical solution to difficult problems. Babeland’s most popular compact mini-vibe feels fantastic and is a great stress-reliever during these troubled economic times!

The promotion is good through November 11, details on the site. I think the link is safe for work, although the site probably isn’t worksafe in many offices.

Last night we only had time for one (so-called) fright flick – House of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff is back, but now in the role of mad scientist Dr. Niemann, who got in deep trouble with some villagers for transplanting the brain of a man into a dog. Or the brain of a dog into a man. Or something. Ygor seems to have stayed dead after Ghost of…but Bela is nowhere to be seen. The role of Dracula is now played by John Carradine, who can keep a straight face through pretty much anything. This one must have seriously tested his limits.

House of Frankenstein is where the Frankenstein mythology picks up a hunchback, who Karloff’s Niemann takes with him in the most improbable jailbreak ever and then forces to do his bidding by promising a new and improved body.

Niemann and his sidekick get control of a traveling Horror Show and cart their skeleton of Dracula to the Village that threw Niemann’s ass in the dungeon in the first place. Niemann removes the stake in Dracula’s heart and then wanders off to chip the Wolfman and Frankenstein out of the ice they’ve been preserved in since the end of Ghost. Lon is back as the Wolfman and Glenn Strange makes his debut as the Monster.

Intent on reviving the Monster, Niemann promises to cure the Wolfman by transplanting his brain into a new body. How that’s going to cure a werewolf is never explained, especially after we get the latest twist on the werewolf mythos – that it’s not enough to shoot him with a silver bullet, the gun needs to be fired by a woman who loves him. Luckily there’s a love triangle between a beautiful gypsy girl, the hunchback and the Wolfman, and Pretty Girl is quite the expert ammunition forger.

I won’t spoil the ending, mostly because I have no idea what happened at the end. Also because these movies are good goofy fun and I wouldn’t want to ruin it for you. But mostly because I have no idea what was going on.

Then we watched Countdown, The Daily Show, Colbert, and skipped through the Saturday Night Live special, which wasn’t especially special. I’m still agitated by this chilling Sarah Palin monologue.

One last thing – Hooray for Samer, who was featured as the DCist Election Day photo of the day!

John McCain got through the opening of SNL without falling on his face, but it wasn’t especially funny, even with Tina Fey doing the heavy lifting. “Alec Baldwin visits the View” was hysterical, though:

And if you watch Countdown, Ben Affleck’s Keith Olbermann was fantastic:

We went to bed right after the Olbermann sketch and I haven’t skimmed through the rest of the episode yet because Husband has been engrossed inn the Sunday morning talkers all morning.

First up, was Barack Obama. Then, Bride of Frankenstein. I’d forgotten how wooden the preamble is. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Shelley, and Lord Byron gather on the proverbial dark and stormy night to babble about Mary’s unpublished novel. Mary is certain it’ll be published one day. Lord Byron rapturously summarizes the major beats of the story while the viewer sees a montage of these very same events. They suspiciously resemble the arc of the film, not the novel. Fortunately, it’s over in mercifully short order and Mary begins to tell a new tale, the story of the creation of the Bride of the Monster. Elsa Lanchester, who had a lengthy and varied career (all those Disney movies!), plays both Mary Shelley and the Bride.

Bride of the Frankenstein features the creepy scene where mad Dr. Pretorious shows Dr. Frankenstein his success growing tiny, Barbie-sized people who he keeps in Bell Jars. What makes the scene particularly disturbing is the whimsical music, it underscores the complete of Pretorius and his complete disconnection with that funny little thing called sanity.

It’s a fine film, once you get through that preamble (it’s only a few minutes long, use it to open a bottle of wine), Director James Whale was truly an artist. The fictionalized film about Whale’s death, Gods and Monsters, takes it’s name from a line in Bride of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff is terrific as the Monster. The pop culture image of the Monster is that of a lumbering, emotionless creature. The Monster of the book, and the first two films, is anything but. The scene with the blind man in the cabin, where the Monster cautiously makes his first friend, is quite moving.

Next up, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which was on at 10 instead of 8 because of the Obama-thon.

I watched Son of Frankenstein and have already posted about it and about the epic decline in quality the franchise suffered after Bride, so I pushed ahead to 1942’s Ghost of Frankenstein. In Son of Frankenstein, the Doctor’s son, Wolf, inherited the castle, the crazy hunchback, Ygor, and, of course, the monster. (Who is now played by Lon Chaney, Jr).

In Ghost, Wolf’s brother, Ludwig, takes up dear old dad’s work after the villagers capture the monster, who it turns out escaped with Ygor at the end of Son. Wackiness ensues. Or maybe that’s the wine talking.

After an intermission to watch Obama on the Daily Show, I planned to move on to House of Dracula, except I realized it hadn’t arrived yet. I also realized that I don’t really care so I skipped on to House of Frankenstein. I should note that House of Dracula marks the debut of Glenn Strange as the Monster. Lon Chaney, jr remains, but now plays Lawrence Talbet/the Wolf Man. John Carradine plays Dracula. Bela is nowhere to be seen. This cast remains the same for House of Frankenstein, and I should mention that Lionel Atwill gamely continues to play the Inspector.

Three Frankensteins were enough for one night. Plus, I was out of wine, so I watched Rachel Maddow and went to bed.