From the HuffPost:
WASHINGTON â€” Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.
In all, the two men whom officials describe as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people _ 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, “shooting at him from the windows,” the court documents show.
“Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt,” the court complaint states. “Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt.”
Hey, you got bacon in my mayonnaise!
As someone whoâ€™s spent a lot of time arguing against conservative economic dogma, Iâ€™d like to believe that the bad news convinced many Americans, once and for all, that the rightâ€™s economic ideas are wrong and progressive ideas are right. And thereâ€™s certainly something to that. These days, with even Alan Greenspan admitting that he was wrong to believe that the financial industry could regulate itself, Reaganesque rhetoric about the magic of the marketplace and the evils of government intervention sounds ridiculous.
In addition, Mr. McCain seems spectacularly unable to talk about economics as if it matters. He has attempted to pin the blame for the crisis on his pet grievance, Congressional budget earmarks â€” which leaves economists scratching their heads in puzzlement. In the immediate aftermath of the Lehman failure, he declared that â€œthe fundamentals of our economy are strong,â€ seemingly unaware that he was closely echoing what Herbert Hoover said after the 1929 crash.
But I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, Iâ€™d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. And this has worked to Mr. Obamaâ€™s advantage, because his opponent has run a deeply unserious campaign.
Nonetheless, a campaign is a test of leadership. Mr Obama ran his superbly; Mr McCainâ€™s has often looked a shambles. After eight years of George W. Bush, the steady competence of the Obama operation commands respect.
Nor should one disdain Mr Obamaâ€™s way with a crowd. Good presidents engage the countryâ€™s attention; great ones inspire. Mr McCain, on form, is an adequate speaker but no more. Mr Obama, on form, is as fine a political orator as the country has heard in decades. Put to the right purposes, this is no mere decoration but a priceless asset.
Mr Obamaâ€™s purposes do seem mostly right, though in saying this we give him the benefit of the doubt. Above all, he prizes consensus and genuinely seeks to unite the country, something it wants. His call for change struck a mighty chord in a tired and demoralised nation â€“ and who could promise real change more credibly than Mr Obama, a black man, whose very nomination was a historic advance in US politics?
We applaud his main domestic proposal: comprehensive health-care reform. This plan would achieve nearly universal insurance without the mandates of rival schemes: characteristically, it combines a far-sighted goal with moderation in the method. Mr McCainâ€™s plan, based on extending tax relief beyond employer-provided insurance, also has merit â€“ it would contain costs better â€“ but is too timid and would widen coverage much less.