OBAMA SAYS: Be Cool.
UPDATE: WASHINGTON — With a deadly hurricane aimed at Texas, Barack Obama cancelled his appearence on Saturday Night Live this evening, spokesman Jen Psaki in a statement. “In the light of the unfolding crisis in Texas, Senator Obama has decided it is no longer appropriate to appear on Saturday Night Live tomorrow evening,” she said.
WALL STREET JOURNAL: Barack Obama will make his second appearance on “Saturday Night Live” this weekend for the season premiere, hosted by Olympian Michael Phelps. “The details of the sketch are still being worked out,” an Obama campaign spokesperson told People Magazine on Thursday. It will be Obama’s second appearance on the show. He appeared last November in a Halloween Party skit where he came dressed as himself. “I have nothing to hide,” he said in the skit. “I enjoy being myself. I’m not going to change who I am just because it’s Halloween.” The question over who will be cast to portray Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has prompted a public call to bring back SNL alum Tina Fey to play the Alaska governor, if only for a cameo appearance. Lorne Michaels left open the possibility of Fey appearing in a conference call with reporters Thursday saying talks were “ongoing” according to Newsday. MORE
NEW YORK TIMES: Senator Barack Obama will intensify his assault against Senator John McCain, with new television advertisements and more forceful attacks by the candidate and surrogates beginning Friday morning, as he confronts an invigorated Republican presidential ticket and increasing nervousness in the Democratic ranks. Mr. McCain’s choice of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate and the resulting jolt of energy among Republican voters appear to have caught Mr. Obama and his advisers by surprise and added to concern among some Democrats that the Obama campaign was not pushing back hard enough against Republican attacks in a critical phase of the race. MORE
OBAMA CAMPAIGN: “Today on “The View,” John McCain defended his campaign’s latest ad campaign, which has been debunked repeatedly as both false and sleazy. In running the sleaziest campaign since South Carolina in 2000 and standing by completely debunked lies on national television, it’s clear that John McCain would rather lose his integrity than lose an election.”
HUFFINGTON POST: Despite denials by the Palin campaign, new evidence proves that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin had a direct hand in imposing fees to pay for post-sexual assault medical exams conducted by the city to gather evidence. Palin’s role is now confirmed by Wasilla City budget documents available online. Under Sarah Palin’s administration, Wasilla cut funds that had previously paid for the medical exams and began charging victims or their health insurers the $500 to $1200 fees. Although Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella wrote USA Today earlier this week that the GOP vice presidential nominee “does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test…To suggest otherwise is a deliberate misrepresentation of her commitment to supporting victims and bringing violent criminals to justice,” Palin, as mayor, fired police chief Irl Stambaugh and replaced him with Charlie Fannon, who with Palin’s knowledge, slashed the budget for the exams and began charging the city’s victims of sexual assault. The city budget documents demonstrate Palin read and signed off on the new budget. A year later, alarmed Alaska lawmakers passed legislation outlawing the practice. MORE
• Almost 75% of Alaskans have experienced or
know someone who has experienced domestic
violence or sexual assault.
• There were over 6,000 reported cases of domestic
violence in Alaska in 2005.
• 524 forcible rapes were reported in Alaska in
2005, representing almost 13% of all violent
• The Alaska rape rate is 2.5 times the national
• Child sexual assault in Alaska is almost six times
the national average.
• Alaska has the highest rate per capita of men
• Almost 30% of Alaskans were not able to access
victim services or encourage others to do so
because there were no services available in their
area at the time.
HUFFPO: In November 2006, then gubernatorial candidate Sarah Palin declared that she would not support an abortion for her own daughter even if she had been raped. Granting exceptions only if the mother’s life was in danger, Palin said that when it came to her daughter, “I would choose life.” At the time, her daughter was 14 years old.
But it’s not just abortion policy that has Democrats up in arms over Palin. In that same 2006 questionnaire, the soon-to-be governor said she would fund abstinence-only education programs in schools. “The explicit sex-ed programs,” she added, “will not find my support.” The stance, which reflected the priorities of the GOP, nevertheless led to an incredulous editorial in the Juneau Empire.
“Abstinence may be a laudable goal, but failing to educate teenagers about how to protect themselves from disease or unintended pregnancy is tragically misguided. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, abstinence-only programs do not reduce sexual activity, teen pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. Every day 10,000 U.S. teens contract a sexually transmitted disease, 2,400 get pregnant and 55 contract HIV. Unintended pregnancies happen to Republicans, Democrats and people of all faiths.” MORE