Debate Day 3. So what are people talking about?
* The head of John McCain's transition team lobbied for Saddam Hussein. Really. Really.
* The Supreme Court has refused to hear the case of Troy Davis, set to be executed in Georgia in the absence of forensic evidence (no weapon, fingerprints, or DNA) and solely on the word of nine witnesses, seven of whom have since recanted their testimony and another of whom is the other primary suspect in the case. More at MeFi.
* Rats-leaving-a-sinking-ship Watch: Matthew Dowd, chief strategist for Bush-Cheney '04, walks away from Team Maverick™.
"They didn't let John McCain pick the person he wanted to pick as VP," Dowd declared during the Time Warner Summit panel. "When Sarah Palin got picked instead of Joe Lieberman, which I fundamentally believed would have given John McCain the best opportunity in this race... as soon as he picked Palin, that whole ready versus not ready argument was not credible."* The Oliver Stone W film comes out this weekend. Here's an interview from the Times, where Stone doesn't hold back.
Saying that Palin was a "net negative" on the ticket, he went on: "[McCain] knows, in his gut, that he put somebody unqualified on the ballot. He knows that in his gut, and when this race is over that is something he will have to live with... He put somebody unqualified on that ballot and he put the country at risk, he knows that."
Stone has said repeatedly that if Bush had fought on the ground in Vietnam he would never have gone to war against Iraq (he also maintains that if Bush had been president during the Cuban missile crisis, “we would have been in a nuclear war. Definitely. Wiped out. We wouldn’t be here talking.”). So I ask him what he makes of John McCain. After all, the Republican presidential candidate was both a supporter of ousting Saddam and a long-time resident of Vietnam’s “Hanoi Hilton” POW camp.* Nouriel Roubini says the economic hurt has only just begun.
“I think McCain’s a very special story because he was never a soldier,” Stone says coldly. “He’s said he never saw the results of his own bombing. I saw the damage we did, I saw the corpses, the decay, I smelt the flesh, I saw people who’d been napalmed, people who’d been killed by shrapnel, mutilated. I saw horrible things. McCain was a prisoner and he has a siege mentality. He doesn’t see a balanced portrait of cause and effect – there’s something missing in the man, mentally."
* Biden says we'll win West Virginia. And he has a little bit of fun with it.
According to NBC's Mike Memoli, Biden asked the crowd in St. Clairsville, Ohio, "Which way is West-By-God-Virginia?" He then said, "I want to send a message to West Virginia -- we're going to win in West Virginia! ... We're going to shock the living devil out of y'all!"* The latest CBS/NY Times poll says we'll win everywhere.
Obama 53 (48)* They're still yelling out awful things at McCain/Palin rallies.
McCain 39 (45)
* And the Paradise Up North continues to hang with a bad crowd.