Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Latest Non-Scandal, and Why We Don't Need it Now

The ink was barely dry on the indictment against Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich when NewsMax ran a headline "What did Obama know, and when did he know it?" For the past week, the rant-wing noise machine has striven mightily to implicate anyone connected to Obama in the developing scandal.

Of course there was contact between the Obama team and the governor's office. Obama did leave a vacant Senate seat, that the governor had the authority to appoint someone to fill. I would be extremely disappointed if he hadn't shown a passing interest in his replacement and discussed recommendations with the Governor. Its a matter of tying up loose ends, and as we have seen, Obama is thorough. So far there has been no hint of impropriety on the part of the Obama team. All indications at this point are there was no quid pro quo from Obama. He's too smart an operator.

The Republicans will no doubt continue to flog this dead horse for all it is worth, as illustrated by this report from Ploitico.com:


As General Motors announced the temporary closure of 20 plants Friday, Republicans who fought a White House-backed bailout plan want Americans to blame the United Auto Workers and think about Rod Blagojevich.

The GOP strategy, previewed in an “action alert” sent by a Republican lobbyist and outlined by Republican aides, is based on the idea that the best defense is a good offense — and the hope that the taint of the Illinois governor will rub off on organized labor.

“This is the Democrats’ first opportunity to pay off organized labor after the election ... a precursor to card check and other items,” said the memo. “Republicans should stand firm and take their first shot against organized labor, instead of taking their first blow from it.”


Its too early to determine if there is any substance to the allegation that the SEIU cooperated with Blagojevich, or if he was just ruminating about what he could shake them down for. I hope it is the latter, but Andy Stern has been known to make deals with the devil before. The EFCA is very important to all working Americans, and the Republicans will do whatever they can to defeat it. If the SEIU is implicated, it would be the worst setback for American workers since Taft-Hartley. It is too important to give Republicans any leverage against.

But one major difference between recent Republican and Democrat scandals is the speed which the Democrats rid themselves of the Cancer. Republicans tend to cling to power until they become so odious they have no choice but to step down; Trent Lott, Tom Delay, Ted Stevens. Other than William Jefferson, Democrats step down early. Eliot Spitzer resigned quickly, If John Edwards hadn't the decency to drop out of sight before the Super Tuesday Primaries, John McCain would be president elect. The Illinois State Legislature (which presumably includes some Democrats) just voted unanimously on a resolution to impeach Blagojevich.

Blagojevich needs to go quickly and as quietly as possible. He needs to be out of the news cycle by inauguration day. I really hope Andy Stern is also exonerated, but if he is implicated in wrongdoing, he needs to become the next Jimmy Hoffa.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Michael "Weiner" Savage is an Ignorant, Racist Piece of Shit

Michael Weiner is what is wrong with America. Michael Weiner represents the side of the Republican party that should be ashamed of themselves. Michael Weiner is a steaming pile of shit that needs to be scooped from the litter box we call Right Wing radio and thrown into the trash. Michael Weiner is the reason the "Fairness Doctrine" was even considered. This man is a sick, pathetic, lying, egomaniacle assbag that should be strung up and stoned to death.

Don't believe me? Watch this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Health Care Research Project

I saw Michael Moore's Sicko a couple weeks ago, and thought it left one major question unanswered. Nowhere in the film did they mention the tax burden of a universal health care system.

The Canadian system offers us an easy comparison. My hypothesis is that even though Canadians pay more in taxes than US residents, they do not have the equivalent of monthly car payment for health insurance, so the costs wash.

To test the hypothesis, I am looking for people to prepare tax Canadian tax returns, and compare them to their US taxes. The following link is for Quick Tax, the Canadian version of Turbo Tax

CLICK HERE

I would like to see how this works out for various income levels, types of income, and family sizes; taking the deductions you are eligible for in both countries. I also suggest we only make known our net results, and perhaps gross income ranges instead of actual incomes. Would anyone like to participate?

I'm also open to suggestions to make this study better. For example, in addition to Federal Income Tax, Canadians also pay provincial income tax, and GST (national sales tax)

Monday, November 17, 2008

The "Dubya" in all of us

The title of this article is linked to an editorial in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (click the title to go to the link)

Walt Kelly's Pogo Possum famously said: We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Dr. Mihaloew's column is a welcome change to the pablum we have been getting for such a long time. It is not only us who enable the Dubya's of the world, the Dubya's of the world enable us. The defining moment, when George Bush lost me totally was after 9-11, when of all the things he could have said to comfort and rally the nation, he told us to go shopping. SHOPPING?

But really, what could he have said? This is America, the land of the entitled. Where 5% of the worlds population consume over 30% of the world's resources. The average household has more material goods than the Pharaohs took into their tombs. Occasionally, even right wing pundits like Charles Krauthammer get it right. His column on the bailout of the auto industry contains the following gem:

"One of the reasons Detroit is in such difficulty is that consumers have been resisting the smaller, less powerful, less safe cars forced on the industry by fuel-efficiency mandates."

They were only giving us what we wanted. Isn't that how business works?. Sacrifice? That's for other people. That's Jimmy Carter wearing a cardigan and telling us energy conservation is the moral equivalent of war.

I just listened to Barack Obama's weekly address on U-tube, and was struck by one sentence in the last paragraph:

"Doing all this will require not just new policies, but a new spirit of service and sacrifice, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other."

It will only work if we deny our inner Dubya.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The "Loyal Opposition" Has Begun!

What a good old fashioned ass-whipping!

Those of us who have taken one (or more) in our lifetime know that there are really only two options: stay down, or come up swinging. Most of us that are on the side of life, democracy, and freedom have taken a pretty good licking and been demonized badly during the past year or so. And so for now we sit back; watching with humor and grace as you enjoy your extended political orgasm. Because your drunken, back-seat romp with the ugly person from the bar was fun while the sun was down, but WOW are you going to have a massive hangover in January.

Because this time, your blind and condom-less foray into political activism has screwed all of us. You’ve delivered us an unprepared, morally vacuous, and self-serving megalomaniac to the most powerful office in the land. A true enemy of Capitalism and fairness. And someone who has unmatched potential for crippling this great country.

So drink up for now, but get your Tylenol ready because the party and the high won’t last long. And as for those of us that have just taken a beating: out of fear and necessity we have begun pulling our money out of the markets, closing businesses, laying off workers; setting ourselves up for riding out the next four years. I would recommend that you start buying Congressional votes for 2010 now, because without the villainous silhouette of GWB and without your charismatic snake oil salesman chanting “Change Change Change”, your young and first time voters will once again retreat into obscurity. And you will have your asses handed back to you. The “Loyal Opposition” has begun.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Going GREEN


I promised you all a post that gave you tips on transitioning your office and home into a more environmentally responsible place to work and live. In my research, I found a site, www.epa.gov/climatechange, that said it all and so I am copying the information from that site to this post. Remember, even a single light bulb change to an ecobulb can give you a savings of up to $93 a year. I did this in my own home and saw an instant savings on the power bill. From an average of $205/month, the bill dropped to $145 and I went a step further and unplugged all appliances such as unused televisions, computers, lamps, printers, etc. and it went down again to $91. What a savings. Did you know that a desktop computer uses the same amount of energy as a refrigerator?
Actions You Can Take at Home:

1. Change 5 lights: Change a light, and you help change the world. Replace the conventional bulbs in your 5 most frequently used light fixtures with bulbs that have the ENERGY STAR and you will help the environment while saving money on energy bills. If every household in the U.S. took this one simple action we would prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions from nearly 10 million cars.
2. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products: When buying new products, such as appliances for your home, get the features and performance you want AND help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products in more than 50 product categories, including lighting, home electronics, heating and cooling equipment and appliances.
3. Heat and cool smartly: Simple steps like cleaning air filters regularly and having your heating and cooling equipment tuned annually by a licensed contractor can save energy and increase comfort at home, and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When it's time to replace your old equipment, choose a high efficiency model, and make sure it is properly sized and installed.
4. Seal and insulate your home: Sealing air leaks and adding more insulation to your home is a great do-it-yourself project. The biggest leaks are usually found in the attic and basement. If you are planning to replace windows, choose ENERGY STAR qualified windows for better performance. Forced air ducts that run through unconditioned spaces are often big energy wasters. Seal and insulate any ducts in attics and crawlspaces to improve the efficiency of your home. Not sure where to begin? A home energy auditor can also help you find air leaks, areas with poor insulation, and evaluate the over-all energy efficiency of your home. By taking these steps, you can eliminate drafts, keep your home more comfortable year round, save energy that would otherwise be wasted, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
5. Use green power: Green power is environmentally friendly electricity that is generated from renewable energy sources such as wind and the sun. There are two ways to use green power: you can buy green power or you can modify your house to generate your own green power. Buying green power is easy, it offers a number of environmental and economic benefits over conventional electricity, including lower greenhouse gas emissions, and it helps increase clean energy supply. If you are interested, there are a number of steps you can take to create a greener home , including installing solar panels and researching incentives for renewable energy in your state .
6. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle: If there is a recycling program in your community, recycle your newspapers, beverage containers, paper and other goods. Use products in containers that can be recycled and items that can be repaired or reused. In addition, support recycling markets by buying products made from recycled materials. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your home helps conserve energy and reduces pollution and greenhouse gases from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal.
7. Be green in your yard: Use a push mower, which, unlike a gas or electric mower, consumes no fossil fuels and emits no greenhouse gases. If you do use a power mower, make sure it is a mulching mower to reduce grass clippings (PDF, 8 pp., 1.59 MB, About PDF). Composting your food and yard waste reduces the amount of garbage that you send to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. See EPA’s GreenScapes program for tips on how to improve your lawn or garden while also benefiting the environment. Smart Landscaping can save energy, save you money and reduce your household’s greenhouse gas emissions.
8. Use water efficiently: Saving water around the home is simple. Municipal water systems require a lot of energy to purify and distribute water to households, and saving water, especially hot water, can lower greenhouse gas emissions. Look for products with EPA's WaterSense label; these products save water and perform as well or better than their less efficient counterparts. There are also simple actions you can take to save water: Be smart when irrigating your lawn or landscape; only water when needed and do it during the coolest part of the day, early morning is best. Turn the water off while shaving or brushing teeth. Do not use your toilet as a waste basket - water is wasted with each flush. And did you know a leaky toilet can waste 200 gallons of water per day? Repair all toilet and faucet leaks right away. See EPA's WaterSense site for more water saving tips.

Spread the Word Tell family and friends that energy efficiency is good for their homes and good for the environment because it lowers greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Tell 5 people and together we can help our homes help us all.

Actions You Can Take on the Road:

1. Buy smart: Before buying a new or used vehicle (or even before renting a vehicle), check out EPA's Green Vehicle Guide and the jointly-run EPA/DOE Fuel Economy Guide Web site. These resources provide information about the emissions and fuel economy performance of different vehicles. The Green Vehicle Guide provides detailed information on emissions (including Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gas scores for each model) and the Fuel Economy Guide focuses on fuel efficiency (including side-by-side fuel economy comparisons and a customized fuel cost calculator). These Web sites are designed to help you choose the cleanest, most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your needs. There are a wide range of cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles available on the market today that produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
2. Drive smart: Many factors affect the fuel economy of your car. To improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, go easy on the brakes and gas pedal, avoid hard accelerations, reduce time spent idling and unload unnecessary items in your trunk to reduce weight. If you have a removable roof rack and you are not using it, take it off to improve your fuel economy by as much as 5 percent. Use overdrive and cruise control on your car if you have those features. For more tips to improve your gas mileage, visit the Fuel Economy Guide Web site.
3. Tune your Ride: A well-maintained car is more fuel-efficient, produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions, is more reliable, and is safer! Keep your car well tuned, follow the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, and use the recommended grade of motor oil. Also check and replace your vehicle’s air filter regularly. For more details, including potential savings from these actions, visit the Fuel Economy Guide Web site.
4. Check your tires: Check your tire pressure regularly. Under-inflation increases tire wear, reduces your fuel economy by up to 3 percent, and leads to increased emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. If you don’t know the correct tire pressure for your vehicle, you can find it listed on the door to the glove compartment or on the driver's-side door pillar. More details are available on the Fuel Economy Guide Web site.
5. Give your car a break: Use public transportation , carpool or walk or bike whenever possible to avoid using your car. Leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year. Whenever possible, combine activities and errands into one trip. For daily commuting, consider options like telecommuting (working from home via phone or over the Internet) that can reduce the stress of commuting, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save you money.
6. Use Renewable Fuels: Both E85 and bio diesel are renewable fuels that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from your vehicle. E85 is a fuel blend containing 85% ethanol that can be used in certain vehicles called Flex Fuel Vehicles (FFVs). FFVs can be fueled with E85 or with traditional gasoline. There are approximately 6 million FFVs on the road today. To find out if you own one of them, check the inside of your car's fuel filler door for an identification sticker or consult your owner’s manual. If you own a diesel vehicle, consider filling up with a bio diesel blend such as B5, a fuel blend containing 5% bio diesel. Bio diesel is a renewable fuel made from agricultural resources such as vegetable oils. The Department of Energy’s Alternative Fueling Station Locator can help you locate both E85 and bio diesel fuel stations in your area.

Actions You Can Take at the Office:

1. Manage office equipment energy use better: Office equipment and electronics use energy even when idle or on stand-by. To save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at work, always activate the power management features on your computer and monitor, unplug laptop power cords when not in use and turn off equipment and lights at the end of the day. Consider using a power strip that can be turned off when you're done using your computers, printers, wireless routers and other electronics.
2. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified products for the Office: When buying new products for your office at work or at home, get the features and performance you want and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other harmful air pollutants. Look for ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment, such as computers, copiers, and printers, in addition to more than 50 product categories, including lighting, heating and cooling equipment and commercial appliances.
3. Ask your office building manager if your office building has earned the ENERGY STAR: ENERGY STAR-labeled buildings provide safe, healthy, and productive environments that use about 35 percent less energy than average buildings. Their efficient use of energy also reduces the total operational cost of the building.
4. Use less energy for your commute: Switch to public transportation, carpooling, biking, telecommuting and other innovative ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions on your way to and from work. Encourage your employer to offer commuter benefits that address limited or expensive parking, reduce traffic congestion, improve employee recruiting and retention and minimize the environmental impacts associated with drive-alone commuting. If you do drive, find out the fuel efficiency of your vehicle using EPA's and DOE's fuel economy Web site, and make more environmentally-informed choices when purchasing your next vehicle by using EPA's Green Vehicle Guide.
5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycle office paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Reducing, reusing, and recycling in your office helps conserve energy, and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from resource extraction, manufacturing, and disposal. You can reduce, reuse and recycle at the office by using two-sided printing and copying; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling used printer cartridges. For your old electronics, investigate leasing programs to ensure reuse and recycling or donate used equipment to schools or other organizations.

Actions You Can Take at School:

Students:
1. Bring science to life: Explore the Climate Change Kids Site and watch Climate Animations that bring to life the science and impacts of climate change. The site also provides games that help students, their parents and their teachers learn about both the science of climate change and what actions they can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
2. High school students check your school's climate impact: High school students can investigate the link between everyday actions at their high school, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Using EPA's Climate Change Emission Calculator Kit (Climate CHECK) (WinZip of Excel spreadsheet, 3.4 MB) students can learn about climate change, estimate their school’s greenhouse gas emissions and conceptualize ways to mitigate their school’s climate impact. Students gain detailed understandings of climate-change drivers, impacts, and science; produce an emission inventory and action plan; and can even submit the results of their emission inventory to their school district.
3. Get Involved your College or University: College students can play an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions at their colleges or universities by reducing their emissions from energy they use in dorm rooms. Students can also work with school administrators to: increase energy efficiency on campus, reduce their school's greenhouse gas emissions by using green power, create a campus climate action plan , or develop an inventory of their school's greenhouse gas emissions.

Educators:
1. Teach students about climate change and ecosystems: Use the Climate Change, Wildlife and Woodland's: A Toolkit for Teachers and Interpreters to learn about the science of climate change and its potential effects on our nation’s wildlife and their habitats.
2. Engage middle school students in estimating emissions: Enhance critical thinking skills by introducing the Global Warming Wheel Card Classroom Activity Kit (PDF, 1 pp., 86 KB, About PDF) to middle school students. A hand-held wheel card and other resources help students estimate household greenhouse gas emissions in order to encourage students to think about ways to reduce their personal, family, school and community contributions to climate change. If you are an informal educator, simply use the Global Warming Wheel Card as a part of your field activities.
3. Learn from other educators: Investigate what other schools and organizations are doing to educate their audiences on climate change by clicking on Educators’ Links, a searchable database offering links to resources such as lesson plans, videos, books and toolkits.
Administrators
4. Save money and the environment: The least efficient schools use three times more energy than the best energy performers. By partnering with the highly successful ENERGY STAR for K-12 program, school districts can serve as environmental leaders in their community, become energy efficient, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money!
5. Estimate your emissions and take the challenge: School Administrators can also work to reduce their school's greenhouse gas emissions by developing an inventory of their school's emissions or by taking the 2006 College and University Green Power Challenge.
6. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Recycle school or classroom paper, newspapers, beverage containers, electronic equipment and batteries. Reducing, reusing and recycling at school and in the classroom helps conserve energy, reduce pollution and greenhouse gases from resource extraction, manufacturing and disposal. You can reduce, reuse and recycle at school or in the classroom by using two-sided printing and copying; buying supplies made with recycled content; and recycling used printer cartridges. For your old electronics, investigate leasing programs to ensure reuse and recycling or donate used equipment to schools or other organizations.
I think you will all agree that this site provides a lot of useful information and I hope that it inspires you to go GREEN. If anyone would like to suggest more useful ways to go GREEN, please use the comment section.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Blue Man Cometh


This map from the New York Times is a great indication of the swing of the country from when Kerry ran in 2004. This illustrates how effective the Democrats' strategy ended up being.

Barack Obama owes his Presidency to three major things:

First, the economy. The economy reached a point of failure on the very day McCain announced, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong." This shifted the middle in Obama's favor and the daily tracking polls never looked back. Unfortunately, neither has the economy. Mr. Obama has a large plate of problems to digest in his first few months. It will be a true test of his ideas.

Second, the ground game/fundraising effort from the Obama campaign. This election is historic in many ways. One of these was the enormous amount of money raised by small donors by Obama. Obama ended up with THREE MILLION individual donors bringing in a whopping $650 MILLION dollars. It is very difficult to win an election running against those types of numbers. Revisions to campaign finance reform will likely result, due to this.

Third, Howard Dean's 50 state strategy. The person not getting credit where credit is due? Howard Dean. Howard Dean implemented his 50 state strategy in February of 2005 when he became the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee. When he first announced his strategy he was met with harsh criticism from many in the Democratic party. However, once the 2006 rout of the Republican Party became evident, many began to support the idea. It was this borrowed GOP post-Watergate idea that sealed the deal for President-Elect Barack Obama. Man I love saying that...

I will leave out what I believe is the fourth reason, Sarah Palin, out of respect. I am endorsing Sarah Palin in 2012 for the Republican Presidential nomination so I cannot, in good conscience, list her as a reason.

Onward to January 20th, 2009 - The End of an Error:

For many, "still President" George W. Bush is a lamest of lame ducks. Nonetheless, Mr. Bush has announced that he will make the next 70+ days of his Presidency about transition. I admire his stance on this and he should be praised for his dedication to the seating of a new First Family. Unfortunately, his transition rhetoric is not without flaw. "Still President" Bush could not leave office without attempting to scare the pants off the American People. Bush warning that terrorists “would like nothing more than to exploit this period of change" is another Rovian attempt to scare the American People in a time of triumph and euphoria. Perhaps he is not wrong in doing so. We should never be complacent again.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

How are the mighty fallen

It wasn't so very long ago that the pundits were predicting the durable Republican majority. Democrats were to be reduced to a beleaguered, regional minority. How are the mighty fallen!

But lest we boast too much; regardless of electoral college totals, Obama won only 52% of popular vote. George Bush, with a slightly slimmer majority went on to govern with impunity, pretending there was no opposition. From the beginning, he shut out any dissenting voices. The energy policy was written with input from oil companies only. Labor found itself completely disenfranchised. Even moderates within the Republican Party were routinely shouted down. Soon, they began to believe the echo chamber, with disastrous results. Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Even though many Democrats (me included) remember the swaggering Republican arrogance of the last eight years, the fear-mongering, the pandering to the lunatic fringe, the attempted politicization of the Justice Department, the thousand insults and questions about our patriotism from right-wing radio; and are in no mood to be magnanimous in victory, for our sake, Obama needs to be. So far, he shows every indication that he will follow this course. I think his cabinet choices will also confirm this.

While holding fast that arrogance, racism, and bigotry have no place in his administration, there needs to be room at the table for dissent. Otherwise, Congress is liable to revert to Republican control next election, and we will be back to gridlock.

I think one of the first issues where we will see this played out is the Employee Free Choice Act, which was a great sleeper issue in this election. The EFCA is the Roe vs. Wade issue of the Labor Movement.

The Dems owe Labor big time on this, but it is vehemently opposed by business groups. Without a filibuster proof Senate majority, I doubt EFCA will pass.

Instead, as a union member, I hope to see the replacement of Bush appointees on the NLRB with more labor friendly faces, a crack down on labor law violations by companies, stiffer penalties, and speedier resolutions of grievances.

This is the spirit of compromise that I hope to see in Washington during an Obama Administration. I don't expect Republicans to roll over and let every Democratic initiative become law of the land. The eagle needs both the left wing and the right wing to fly, so here's to our opposition. Long may they live, for they keep us honest.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

VICTORY for Obama!

VICTORY!
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Senator Barack Obama has now, in my opinion, clinched the presidency of the United States with a win in Ohio. Our world has now changed for the better.
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Let's be clear, though. This is not a victory for me. This is not a victory for the Democratic Party. This is not a victory for a liberal or progressive ideology. This is a victory for America. This is a victory for the middle class. This is a victory for every man, woman and child who ever saw a rough spot in life. A victory for those who have been less fortunate that most. A victory for all Americans who have trouble getting proper health care. A victory for the entire planet. A new world order can now begin.

The people of the world will wake up tomorrow smiling, proud of what America has accomplished. The people of the world will know that the horrific history of slavery that has eaten away at the hearts of the American people for many, many years may now finally be put to rest. This does not mean racism is gone...but it certainly means the path of healing may now finally begin.
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With this victory I begin to cry
With this victory I am able to sing
With this victory I start to laugh
With this victory LET FREEDOM RING!
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Congratulations, President Elect Barack Obama! The world is proud of you, proud of America and proud of you and me.

Hatred Has Reached My Home

I live in King, NC. I had an experience while on vacation in Tennessee that was full of racism, hatred and obvious disdain for the 1st amendment. This experience changed me forever. I still remember pulling back into King and being happy. I was happy that I had made it home. I was happy that my little redneck town did not act like the racist bigots in Tennessee. I was happy to be home and happy to be living in King, NC.

I am not happy anymore.

My Mother's Experience:

In her own words.

Last night Joe (my dad) and I went out to eat and stopped at a stoplight in King. There was a pickup truck behind us. I have a small (about 4" by 4" Obama sticker on my car that has a picture of Obama with "Vote November 4th" superimposed over it. It was dark and the sticker would be hard to see BUT the folks in the pick-up saw it and decided to react badly. They started shouting at us in unison - there were three guys in the truck - "F##K YOU" and "NoBama" - fortunately we weren't stopped at the light too long and pulled away from them before they decided to get out of the truck and do something worse. This is why I'm sure we won't win in North Carolina.
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Here I was, thinking I lived in a place of tolerance. I thought I lived in a place that believed in the freedom of expression. I thought I lived in a place that may have been a little "redneck," but accepted the views of others without allowing emotion to show true colors. Everything I have thought about my hometown has been shattered. The "silent hatred" I endured as a King resident has now been vocalized. I fear for my country.
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I know there are many good people in King, NC. I know there are many good republicans and conservatives in King, NC. However, if we are to free our country of the polarization, the hatred and the bigoted racism, then we must teach our children not to fear change. Do not fear what you do not understand. Do not be angry with someone else's beliefs. Instead, embrace the ideology that we can all believe whatever we wish, without retribution. If we cannot do this, we cannot survive as a country.
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I must now work, but I have hope that "hope and change" will shine through today.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Election Map FINAL Rollout!

Well folks, here we go! It's one day before the election and all final polling data has been released. I have eliminated all states with a 5% or less margin for Obama and below are the results.



Dare I be smiling at this point? I don't know...but I do know that everyone needs to be getting out the vote tomorrow. USE YOUR PHONES. Call everyone in your address book. Have everyone you call to call everyone in their address books. We are oh so close, so let's win one for the middle class and the future of our children.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Did you know?...

I was watching a series on the History Channel called" The Presidents" and was enlightened to a fact that made me angry. Did you know that it was a Republican Congress and Senate that successfully defeated Pres. Woodrow Wilson's (Dem.) League of Nations proposal and the Treaty of Versailles that would have prevented the eventual rise of Adolf Hitler? Yes, the Republicans helped to bring this man to the forefront and into another World War. So, let me repeat; had the proposal passed and we became part of The League of Nations and held Germany to the Treaty of Versailles, Hitler would have never been able to get as powerful as he did. I have no respect for anyone that thinks that being a member of the Republican Party is an honor after hearing this. The History Channel is a reputable source and does extensive research and I, for one, am a fan of its historical chronicling. Hitler was one of the worst people that ever lived and had it not been for the defeat of the Treaty and Woodrow Wilson's League of Nations, which would have united most of the European nations at that time and would have added strength to Europe and the U.S. and held Germany accountable, Hitler's regime would never have gained the strength, man power, or influence to become history's worst dictator and millions of Jews would have never been exterminated in Death Camps. I wonder if any Republican would ever win again if the American people were educated about that very important fact every time an election was held?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Greatest Election Hoax of All Time

A funny thing happened today. Canadian radio pranksters, Masked Avengers, were able to bypass Sarah Palin's security by pretending to be French President, Nicolas Sarkozey.

This absolutely proves that Sarah Palin is ready to be president.

Studs Terkel Obituary

Studs Terkel, the great American chronicler of the struggles of the common man died yesterday at the age of 96.


Click HERE for the link below.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-studs-terkel-dead,0,2321576.story

Friday, October 31, 2008

Fake Outrage

The history of fake outrage by the Republican campaign has been ridiculous. We've all seen the outrage over mini happenstance. The latest was the outrage over the girl with a B carved in her face. Of course, once it was found out to be true where was the outrage towards her? It was non existant.

Morning Joe:

I'm an avid watcher of Morning Joe and have been a fan since they started. It's part of my morning routine and I enjoy the dose of right wing banter that it gives me. I've always liked Joe, despite his possible murder of an aide in his office, Lori Klausutis. His spirit is in the right place even though his politics are in the wrong direction.

This morning Joe Scarborough's sidekick Willie Geist headed out to a neighborhood in Manhattan wearing a McCain/Palin T-shirt. He had an obvious video crew and was attempting to give out McCain/Palin T-Shirts. Nobody wanted one.

He got answers ranging from "Is this your Halloween outfit?" to "I don't like McCain, he stands for everything I'm against."



The video was light hearted and fun to watch if you're an Obama supporter. Willie did manage to get 2 McCain supporters to stop after hours of waiting. Unfortunately for him, they were the only two. It wasn't the video that got my blood boiling...it was the response from Joe Scarborough and Mike Barnacle.

After the video finished Joe Scarborough was outraged saying, "Aren't liberals supposed to be open minded?!?!" Mike Barnacle got his own jab by saying that we are "humorless" and to "LIGHTEN UP!" He's kidding right? They send Willie Geist to the most liberal part of New York City and expect people, 5 days before an election, to laugh and joke about something as serious as a possible McCain/Palin administration? Yeah, right.

Fake Outrage:

I grow weary of the fake outrage from the right wing talking heads. I grow weary of them constantly trashing Obama and then being "outraged" at every little thing they can. There is one simple word to describe it. PETTY.

Pettiness may lose them this election. I, for one, hope it does.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are Obama Supporters Going To Hell?

According to an article by Janet Porter on WorldNetDaily, anyone voting for Barack Obama next week is going to hell. It is apparent from the article that anyone voting for Barack Obama is not a Christian.

Here is a great quote from the article.

To all those who name the name of Christ who plan to willfully disobey Him by voting for Obama, take warning. Not only is our nation in grave danger, according to the Word of God, so are you ... [T]his election is not about race. It's not about the economy. It's about obeying God.

And more...

Be forewarned: If you willfully disobey God on life and marriage because of race or false hope for the economy, you will usher in the kind of change that brought the Soviet Union to collapse.
But the warning goes far beyond that. To those who think that God's grace gives them license to willfully disobey Him without consequences – think again:

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)


It seems Christians only have one choice this year. Vote for John McCain or you can kiss your Christianity goodbye!

"To those who call themselves by the name of Christ who ignore what God says about life and marriage, who and are clinging to a fantasy of economic gain, think again ... Then obey Him in the voting booth and out of it. If not, do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian. "

Is this woman insane? Why would anyone feel that the person they voted for affected their religious stance anyway? I'm pretty sure that anyone could quote scripture till they were blue in the face and could not find ANY valid interpretation that would lead them to believe that a vote for Obama is a vote that will send you straight to hell.

Let's skip the fact that Janet Porter has a mental problem. Let's assume, for the moment, that she is a sane individual with a normal thought process. If, by some other standard of insanity, that is true, then why would any normal Christian say such a thing? Isn't Christianity the religion of tolerance? Isn't it the religion of peace? Isn't it the religion of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?" If that's the case, then Janet Porter, not Barack Obama voters, could be on the fast track to "Hell."

Please...someone...anyone tell me in what world would the Right Wing let us get away with saying anything REMOTELY close to what Ms. Porter is saying? The double standards MUST STOP. This MUST be widely reported. I have faith that the American people can smell a bullsh*tter when they have to. WorldNetDaily should be ashamed of themselves for allowing that article to be posted. Then again, when's the last time you saw a Conservative be ashamed of anything they do?

Saying anyone who votes for Barack Obama is not Christian is wrong, immoral and totally against what Christianity is actually trying to teach. Someone PLEASE tell her this!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is there Media Bias?

Politico just came out with a great new article on Media Bias regarding coverage of the McCain campaign vs. the Obama campaign. It reminded me of an argument I had with a conservative on The Progressive Movement a few weeks ago. I will now take parts of that discussion and elaborate on it.

The meat of the Politico article is this:

OK, let’s just get this over with: Yes, in the closing weeks of this election, John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting hosed in the press, and at Politico.

And, yes, based on a combined 35 years in the news business we’d take an educated guess — nothing so scientific as a Pew study — that Obama will win the votes of probably 80 percent or more of journalists covering the 2008 election. Most political journalists we know are centrists — instinctively skeptical of ideological zealotry — but with at least a mild liberal tilt to their thinking, particularly on social issues.
So what?

Before answering the question, indulge us in noting that the subject of ideological bias in the news media is a drag. The people who care about it typically come at the issue with scalding biases of their own. Any statement journalists make on the subject can and will be used against them. So the incentive is to make bland and guarded statements. Even honest ones, meanwhile, will tend to strike partisans as evasive or self-delusional.

Here goes anyway.

There have been moments in the general election when the one-sidedness of our site — when nearly every story was some variation on how poorly McCain was doing or how well Barack Obama was faring — has made us cringe.


And my favorite part of the article:

As it happens, McCain’s campaign is going quite poorly and Obama’s is going well. Imposing artificial balance on this reality would be a bias of its own.

I'm sure the Conservative nutjobs will be screaming media bias about the above even while Politico screams it themselves. Take a look at the list below and then at my 'out of the box' ideology behind it.

TV's Talking Heads:

First let's break down the major TV news outlets in America and let's see how biased they are.

FOXNews: Biased Conservative
MSNBC: Biased Progressive
CNN: Equally partisan (despite what FoxNews watchers say)
NBC: Non Partisan - Brian Williams has zero outspoken bias.
ABC: Biased Conservative
CBS: Biased Progressive
FOX: Biased conservative

The Written Word:

The major newspaper outlets.

The New York Times: Biased Progressive
The New York Post: Biased Conservative
The Washington Times: Biased Conservative
The Washington Post: Biased Progressive
The Chicago Tribune: Biased Conservative
The Wall Street Journal: Biased Conservative
The L.A. Times: Biased Progressive
Houston Chronicle: Biased Conservative
The Boston Herald: Biased Progressive

and let's not leave out the magazine world:

Newsweek: Biased Progressive
Rolling Stone: Biased Progressive
The Weekly Standard: Biased Conservative
The American Conservative: Biased DUH.
The National Review: Biased Conservative
The Nation: Biased Progressive
Time: Biased Progressive

Now based on this list, I'm thinking the media bias isn't quite as bad as Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity make it out to be. They always claim "media bias" when a story doesn't fit their conservative agenda. They have done this SO well in the past that they've actually caused media outlets to not report the truth and their analysis for fear of being "biased."

Thankfully news organizations are waking up. They now list things as Opinion and don't claim that news has a bias. They report it, then comment on it. There is ZERO lack of reporting going on with very few exceptions where, for example, the Bush Administration does not allow Press access or the obvious lack of access to Sarah Palin.

Conservatives, I know you'll likely argue about CNN (as you call it, the Clinton News Network) being progressively biased but every panel they've had for every debate has had equal democrats and republicans. Just because the little meters they show have Obama winning and Biden winning in the debates doesn't mean they are biased. It means they are HONEST.

Me? Yes, there is a "liberal media bias:"

All that being said, I think the liberal media bias does exist. However, quite simply, it exists because those that are closest to the powers that be (journalists) see BS just like us average "Joe Sixpack" folks do.

You ever reach outside of the box to think that maybe the media is liberally biased is because liberal ideas are the ideas of change? The ideas of tolerance and the lack of bigotry allowed in our society? Maybe they are biased because more and more journalists are waking up.

Maybe journalists see the truth that is the neo-conservative movement. They are fighting back against an idea that all humans are NOT created equal. They are fighting back against the idea that running a smear campaign against a very respectable man (Barack Obama) is the only way to win. They are fighting back against the idea that to enable stupidity by putting an "Aww shucks" and "You betcha" hockey mom into national office with no vetting is the way to "recharge a campaign." And maybe, just maybe, they are fighting back against the corporate greed, corporate welfare, ethical nightmares and downright fraudulent activity.

When people say "the media is biased" they never stop to think that maybe its that way for a reason. Maybe enough journalists have seen enough bullsh*t and can't continue reporting objectively without selling their souls. Maybe having a media bias isn't a bad thing. The conservatives have their lie machine called Fox News. I'll stick with a "media bias" more than I will a station full of lies and outright false claims guised in "fair and balanced" journalism.

One day people will wake up and realize that "media bias" is there for a reason. If you have confidence in the average American...then have confidence in the media, as well. If good, honest journalism leans progressive...I still stand behind the reasoning 'outside the box' that I have listed.

Here is a great video from Politico.com from the media bias article.

Things we never had to worry about.... until now

I have been working on a draft of this post for about a week now, but today's news of the Secret Service foiling a white supremacist plot to kill Barack Obama and a lot of other people has made the topic urgent.

One of the greatest benefits of living in the United States is that we don't have to worry about violence on election day. Our elections come off without bloodshed. There are no bombs at polling places, no rioting, no general strike called by the opposition after a loss. No matter which party is in power, members of the opposition didn't have to worry about secretive para-military organizations bashing in the doors to their homes; family members taken into custody, never to be seen again.

One of my wife's conservative friends just filled in her absentee ballot. She and her husband reluctantly voted Obama because, "We are voting for vice presidents this year. If Obama wins, he will be assassinated, and if McCain wins he won't live out his term. We'd rather have Biden as president than Palin."

While a "no confidence" vote against McCain/Palin is as good as an Obama vote, their reasoning scares me. Last summer, when I overheard two black men on the bus talking about how "they" wouldn't let Obama become president, it was easy to ignore it. I read Redwing's post about traveling through Tenneessee, it became harder to ignore. It hit home when a couple of rednecks on a country road cursed out my wife for having an Obama bumper sticker on her car. I've heard the internet rumors about cities putting extra police on patrol for violence on election day. Now I am hearing it from middle aged, white Republicans.

They are military people, reasonable, moderate, conservative. Not the rabid trolls this site seems to be attracting recently. But they are picking up the same vibes from the fringe community as we liberals are. They are appalled by the unreasoning rancor and hatred at Republican rallys, the cloaked (and increasingly uncloaked) racism, they read internet blogs, listen to right-wing radio, and they are scared for the country.

The Republican party has relied on pandering to the lunatic fringe to give them the edge that put them over the top in the last two elections.After eight years of failed policies,and a lackluster candidate, in desperation, they have returned to the tried-and-true; the only thing that worked for them. It may not work this time, and I'm scared of the aftermath.

I fear that by appealing to the basest of human nature, the Republicans may have unleashed a Frankenstein they may not be able to control. Maybe its time to start worrying.

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Map: One Week to Go!

I am a cynic and this is how I see the electoral map with one week to go. It's looking like New Hampshire could be the state to watch this time around! Come on New Hampshire, Barack the vote! I will give another electoral map update on Friday. Let's hope it changes!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Swift Boating John McCain

John McCain's military service record has led many to believe that he is a hero. Personally, in many ways, I believe he is. However, so is John Kerry and that didn't stop the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth from slandering him with lies, half-truths and propaganda. Most of the information herein can be found here. I have summarized some of the relevant points but there are many more in the article. After reading this, make up your own mind on Barack Obama's character. He could have easily let the far left run ads on what I'm about to summarize for you. Obama takes the high road. He doesn't allow such character attacks on McCain's military career, no matter how horrific some of the details are.

Former General Wesley Clark made an attempt to set the record straight about John McCain's military service, but was met with harsh criticism from the conservatively biased media. Apparently, John Kerry's military record is up for scrutiny but John McCain's isn't.

The facts remain that none of the people imprisoned with John McCain are out on the trail campaigning for him. Has anyone ever asked themselves why? Have you ever wondered why none of his crew mates from the USS Forrestal are campaigning with him? Well I did, and what I found will surprise you and perhaps even cause you to question his record yourself.

McCain - Man of Honor?

In the spring of 1974, Navy commander John McCain has returned home from his horrific experience in Hanoi. While on the grounds of the Fort McNair military base, McCain runs into John Dramesi, an Air Force lieutenant colonel who was also imprisoned and tortured in Vietnam.

However, there is a difference between these two men even though they shared a similar experience in North Vietnam. Some call it an "honor gap." Understandably, John McCain cracked under the torturous conditions as many before him had. He offered a "confession" to his North Vietnamese captors. Mr. Dramesi, on the other hand, not only attempted two daring escapes but he never uttered a single solitary disloyal word. Dramesi was tortured daily for over a month with sessions that nearly killed him. In fact, for his heroism, Dramesi received two Air Force Crosses, on of the branch's highest distinctions. Even McCain calls him "one of the toughest guys I've ever met." This, in my opinion, proves Dramesi's an honorable man who, when given a chance, will tell it like it is.

That's unfortunate for McCain, as Dramesi recalls a conversation he had with McCain while discussing a trip abroad that each of their college's sponsored. Here is the conversation:

"I'm going to the Middle East," Dramesi says. "Turkey, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran."

"Why are you going to the Middle East?" McCain asks, dismissively.

"It's a place we're probably going to have some problems," Dramesi says.

"Why? Where are you go.ing to, John?"

"Oh, I'm going to Rio," said McCain

"What the hell are you going to Rio for?"

McCain, a married father of three, shrugs and says, "I got a better chance of getting laid."

You'd think that Dramesi would have been shocked by his chauvinistic banter, but he wasn't. Dramesi had this to say about the comment made by McCain.

"McCain says his life changed while he was in Vietnam, and he is now a different man," Dramesi said recently. "But he's still the undisciplined, spoiled brat that he was when he went in."

So, as we can see, an adulterous nature has been established by a fellow servicemen. Could he be lying? Sure he could...but unlike the Swift Boat Veteran's for Truth attacks (SBVT) on John Kerry, Dramesi was actually where he claimed to be. Many in the ads by the SBVT were not even in the area of John Kerry while claiming the moronic stories they did. Once one piece of their ads or the book Unfit for Command come out, it is difficult to trust anything else that is said by the same source. Unfortunately for Kerry, the American people just heard the headlines...not the evidence of outright falsehoods that came after.

Educating John McCain:

John McCain III was the son and grandson of high level military. His grandfather, John Sidney "Slew" McCain was a 4 star Admiral and commanded a U.S. carrier force in World War II. His father, "Junior" McCain was also a 4 star Admiral. It is perhaps in this revelation, that McCain's anger and frustration took root. Always feeling the pressure of his father and grandfather's accomplishments, but not quite having the brainpower to match them. McCain was a lousy student, barely passing classes, at times.

His sophomore year was his first recorded temper tantrum. When McCain tried picking up a pair of women while cruising with a friend, he was laughed at by the ladies, obviously not interested. McCain yelled and cursed them so fouly that he found himself in court on a profanity charge. Throughout his educational career he would drink until hammered and treat girls as poorly as any drunk you've met in your lifetime. Had McCain's parents not intervened he would have been expelled from Annapolis for excessive demerits.

McCain's First Airplane Crash:

Let's all not forget that Mr. McCain was a pilot. He wasn't a commercial airline pilot, either. He was a bonafied "Maverick" from Top Gun. At least according to him. Unfortunately, he's the only one who thinks so highly of his flight career.

An excerpt from his book is a good way to begin:

"I enjoyed the off-duty life of a Navy flier more than I enjoyed the actual flying," McCain writes. "I drove a Corvette, dated a lot, spent all my free hours at bars and beach parties." McCain chased a lot of tail. He hit the dog track. Developed a taste for poker and dice. He picked up models when he could, screwed a stripper when he couldn't."

I'm pretty sure that, at the time, he wasn't thinking about running for President. Back to his flight issues, according to those he flew with, McCain had issues with stalling his plane mid flight. It was at a training camp in Corpus Christi Bay that his first "crash" occurred. During a routine practice landing the plane stalled, and McCain was knocked out on impact. Thankfully, he came to, as he had landed underwater. He swam to the surface and was rescued. After the experience, instead of taking it easy and learning from his mistakes, McCain decided to still go out for the evening after a taking some painkillers.

"Crash" Number Two:

McCain's second "crash" came about due to his youthful addiction to gambling. Many of those that served with McCain would relish in their stories of Mr. McCain's gambling addiction, including himself. He was a craps player and used the term "addictive" to describe it.

One day, while flying over Spain, John McCain deviated from his designated flight path, apparently viewing the casinos from a lower perspective. According to the report, John McCain flew too low to the ground and he ended up slicing through a power line, bringing darkness to much of the surrounding area. Apparently, the military has a stricter code on what they consider a "crash." It could also have to do with his self described, "daredevil clowning" that led to the designation.

Most pilots would have lost their wings after the first crash, and almost all of them after a second crash. But thanks to the ole "family pull" he remained a pilot. Had he not been, he would never have endured the torture of a Vietnamese prison camp.

Crash Number Three:

The third crash from Mr. McCain came while flying back from Philadelphia. He was there on a date with his former model girlfriend, and soon to be wife, Carol Shepp. He was landing his plane at a refueling stop in Norfolk, Virginia when his plane stalled...again. This time, however, he managed to bail out at around 1000 feet and survived with no injury. The same could not be said for the plane, however.

This pretty much sealed the deal on his flying privileges. They were now, apparently, irrevocable.

Vietnam:

First, I cannot begin to understand the pain and suffering the John McCain suffered for our country. He did so with honor and I commend him for his decision to stay at the camp until the other prisoners were allowed to go with him. However, his decision to throw the military Code of Conduct that governed POWs was clear; "give no information. . . which might be harmful to my comrades." Under the code, POWs are bound to give only their name, rank, service number and date of birth. They are to give no statements that are disloyal to their country.

After McCain's fourth crash in Hanoi, he was captured. After what was probably a horrific period of pain and discomfort he proclaimed to his captors, "I'll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital." McCain now insists that he was "bluffing" the Vietnamese in order to get hospital treatment. However, according to Dramesi, who as we recall from earlier, did not give up any information, said McCain tried justifying his behavior while they were still prisoners. "I had to tell them," McCain insisted to Dramesi, "or I would have died in bed."

It is understandable that he was to give up the information, but lying to the American public about it, is not. I will end with this:

"Dramesi says he has no desire to dishonor McCain's service, but he believes that celebrating the downed pilot's behavior as heroic — "he wasn't exceptional one way or the other" — has a corrosive effect on military discipline. "This business of my country before my life?" Dramesi says. "Well, he had that opportunity and failed miserably. If it really were country first, John McCain would probably be walking around without one or two arms or legs — or he'd be dead.""

Conclusion:

Now I don't know if everything I have summarized is true. But I do believe some of it is. I believe John McCain has cheated on his wife, wasn't a very good pilot, and was not as honorable in his actions as he claims.

Any of you who have not read this article must read it now. I have only covered HALF of the article to keep this post from being too long. Please take the time, think about it objectively, and make your own decision before you cast a vote for John McCain.

We learned from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth that a man's military record is not off limits. We found out it was okay to question a man's bravery, a man's purple heart and a man's entire military service. We found out it was okay to outright LIE to the American people by using veterans who were not even stationed anywhere near John Kerry. What we found out thanks to the SBVT was shameful and completely below the belt.

What we have found out about Obama is that he refuses to allow an attack based on military service. He refuses to let the 527 groups run attacks against McCain's military record. I believe that if every voting American were to read the article I referenced, McCain would not even have a chance in this election.

Please take a moment to view this video:

Welcome to the Lion's Den

My name is Darryl, and I’m voting Republican.

If this sounds like a 12-step program introduction, there is a reason for it. But for now, Redwing has graciously invited me to post to this blog and I am glad to do so.

I read the entry entitled “What made you a liberal or conservative?” and it made me think. Not many things really do that these days: I either get fed Anti-Obama news from Fox News or a Pro-Obama diet from CNN. You can read my response to the column under that entry.

McCain has been out of this race since Hillary conceded the Democratic nomination: he’s not really a factor. For the most part, you are either voting for Obama, or you are voting against him. And as much as I wanted to believe otherwise, I have concluded that I am among that group. Which means I don’t really give a damn about John McCain. Substitute in Donald Duck, and I’d vote for him. Because like millions of progressives, I’m voting against Barack Obama, not for John McCain.

Why? Because it comes down to a simple concept: character. I don’t think Senator Obama has it. I don’t think he can define it, and he may not even be able to spell it. Does he have the intelligence and vision to lead the country? Probably. But without character, it doesn’t matter. I don’t trust him, don’t believe what he says, and I believe that he’s a charismatic opportunist that has bamboozled an otherwise smart and well-read electorate. I can overlook an outlier, but Obama has too many of them: his associations with the likes of Ayers and Wright indicate a man willing to align himself with whoever can give him credibility. Ayers fit the bill for the ultra-liberal crowd, and Wright gave him that same credibility with the Black community. And now that he’s being called on it, he’s retreating like a coward from both of them. He’s less than truthful, and he’s gullible and malleable. And that, with his lack of character, makes him unfit to lead this great country.

So like I did in 2000 and 2004, I’ll hold my nose and pull the Republican lever. And in my heart, I know that the Democrats deserve to lose this election. While I am supporting John McCain for President and am proud that conservatives have finally nominated a moderate, I am not as excited about his candidacy as I am fearful of Obama’s. Another pompous, out of touch ultra-liberal that is less than truthful but full of empty bravado. It failed twice before, and is likely to fail again. And when it does, all of the crying and moaning about the “stolen” election won’t change the fact that they will have once again nominated the wrong man.

Another man lacking in substance. But most of all, lacking in character.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What made you a liberal or conservative?

Education did it for me.

I grew up in a politically mixed family. My father was a Republican, and my mother voted Democratic in every election since 1942. She was in the Navy. Her CO authorized time off for them to vote, and the next day, anyone who didn't vote found themselves restricted to post. At 88 years old, she just cast her mail-in ballot for Obama.

My first presidential election was 1972, I voted for Nixon. I voted Ford in '76, because he pardoned Nixon, effectively ending the Watergate mess; allowing the country to move on. And also because of the Mayaguez incident.

1980 was my year for youthful idealism, when I voted the Anderson Coalition. Remember John Anderson? One of his platform planks was to place a fifty-cents a gallon tax on gasoline. The tax would artificially inflate the cost of gas, and stimulate a demand for alternatives. Revenues from the tax were to be plowed into basic research on alternative fuels, public transportation improvements, etc. Where would we be if these programs were instituted in 1980?

But it was morning in America, and no politician has successfully run on a platform to raise taxes, no matter how noble the purpose. Anderson turned out to be the Ralph Nader of 1980. He received about 7% of the popular vote, Carter received 41%, and Ronald Reagan took office with 51%. My youthful enthusiasm helped pave the way for the Reagan era.

Because of some other bad decisions, I ended up in a nowhere, dollar above minimum wage job after getting out of the service. My income was low enough I qualified for government tuition assistance. If I skimped and saved, I could live on part time work and my GI Bill while I attended school.

Reagan went on a binge of cutting government spending, and PELL grants were among the first to go. I had to drop out of school. Luckily, I had finished my AA which got me a slightly better job, and kept going to school part time. It took me 10 years to get through college.

To me, it was extremely shortsighted to cut education funds. Because of my education, I have a better job. I am less likely to be out of work, and when I am, I am able to find work sooner. The government will not have to take care of me as much as it does an unskilled man. In my lifetime, I will pay several times the amount in taxes that it would have cost the government in tuition aid. Taxes they wouldn't have gotten from my bottom of the food chain job which was outsourced to the Third World.

I began to realize these same principles applied to a lot of social problems. Help people get on their feet, spend a little on education, health care, etc. Enable people to improve their lot, and it pays off in the long run. I have been a Democrat ever since.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Why its time for a change

Whether it was the Great Depression, World War II, or 9-11,Americans have always pulled together, rolled up their sleeves, tightened their belts, and did whatever it takes, as long as there was a perception of shared sacrifice; of everyone doing their part, we're all in this together.

This sense of shared sacrifice has been lost. Most Americans have seen their wages stagnate, their health care costs skyrocket, and their retirement savings in ashes, while Wall Street tycoons bail out in golden parachutes. Our military families bear the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan while war profiteers rake it in.

Whenever America faced a crisis, a great leader has arisen to pull us through: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt. Sometimes that great leader told us stuff that we didn't want to hear Stuff like we need to share the wealth, it is patriotic to pay your taxes, there are no easy solutions, we may have to sit down and talk to our enemies, we have to take responsibility for our own lives. I have heard each of these messages from Barack Obama. Great leaders talked to us like we were adults, not petulant children who throw a tantrum if we don't get our way. All I hear from John McCain is "Drill, baby drill!"

We are facing multiple crises: war and terrorism, energy and global warming, economic meltdown. All of these call for leadership, and out-of-the box thinking. John McCain represents the same thinking that got us into many of these messes. Its time for a real change. Barack Obama represents change, that's why he's getting my vote.

Ron Howard, Andy Griffith & the Fonz

It appears some of the old cast of Happy Days has decided to get together and make an important statement. This is well worth 3 minutes of your time. If you have any trouble viewing this, click here.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Thursday, October 23, 2008

al-Qaeda endorses John McCain

In a true reversal of fortunes it appears that the Republican smear machine won't be using al-Qaeda against Barack Obama like was done to John Kerry in 2004.

2004:

In 2004, John Kerry was bashed by Fox News that Osama bin Laden had endorsed him. They derived this ridiculous attack from a video he released just days before the election. Dick Morris, a Faux News contributor, said "I think that Al Qaeda is voting with its silence for John Kerry." Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) said terrorists "are going to throw everything they can between now and the election to try and elect Kerry."

This is the purest example of Fox News' (and other Conservative media outlets) attempts to brainwash America. They repeatedly make accusations through innuendo and I find it disgusting. I used to be a Fox News junkie. I watched it for hours upon hours during the run up to the 2004 election and the 2006 election. It finally reached a tipping point and I could no longer bare the sadness and disappointment in the "Fair and Balanced" news source.

2006:

We all know that the Bush administration isn't concerned with al-Qaeda. However, I still am and would love to know that there was a team totally dedicated to finding him. It just seems crazy that Bush would say he isn't concerned with him anymore. Osama bin Laden obviously is the reason 9/11 happened. Why would Bush shut down the team trying to find him? This was barely reported on Fox News, as I was still a junkie. I began having to go to other news sources to find factual information. The attacks on the democratic party were monumental. Thankfully, they all came to realize they were going to lose. It's why the election night coverage was so boring. What we've learned is that when Fox News knows its team has lost, they are silent. It was around this time I began watching MSNBC and CNN more.

2008:

Now it appears that John McCain has been endorsed by al-Qaeda supporters. Where is Faux News bashing McCain for the endorsement? Where are the "Fair and Balanced" smears that were put on John Kerry in 2004 that should now be towards McCain in 2008? There is no backlash at all from Fox. Does anyone find this strange? I doubt it. I can't believe they haven't been sued for false advertisement for their slogan, "Fair and Balanced" after watching their Tim Russert and Colin Powell coverage.

Now election time is near and Fox News has continued to grow their conservative base. Gone is the balance and objective reporting they had years ago. I believe they've lost many supporters who enjoyed another viewpoint on the news. However, they have replaced those people with more and more conservative nutjobs who will believe anything they say.

Fox News is like a horrific car crash, you can't help but watch from afar, even though you know it's wrong.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin's Fashion Expose'

Well, SueBeeHonee, another author on this blog posted earlier about Cindy McCain's $300,000 complete outfit worn at the Republican National Convention. The argument got heated and I believe was left with everyone saying it didn't matter because it was Cindy McCain's money and she should be able to do with it whatever she wants. While I thought it was too over the top to pretend you "know people are hurting" the conservative leaning commenter's made their pitch and I will let it stand. But that brings us to what this entry is really about. Sarah Palin's Wardrobe.

List of Charges:

The Republican National Committee has spent over $150,000 to outfit Sarah Palin on the campaign trail. These charges are as follows:

Macy's in Minneapolis - 3 pays totalling..$28,343.13
Neimen Marcus in Minneapolis - ............$75,062.63
Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis & NY - ......$49,425.74
RNC for Hair & Makeup Expenses - .........$4,716.49
Barney's in NY - .....................................$789.72
Bloomingdale's in NY - ...........................$5,102.71

and last but not least:

Pacifier & Steiniauf & Stroller Inc (top notch baby stores) - $295 to outfit baby Palin

The Point:

I know some of you will be asking, what's the point of going through this type of scenario again? The answer is simple, this is not the wife of a Presidential candidate spending her own money on an outfit. This is the McCain campaign & the RNC spending donation money on incredibly expensive clothing for Sarah Palin (and likely McCain, as well). How can you advocate for the poor when you spend money on clothing like that? How can you truly "know the people are hurting," when you so blatantly spend top dollar on unnecessary fashion?

The McCain campaign has answered this charge by saying they will be giving the clothing to charity once the campaign is over. Does anyone else find this to be a bogus claim? So what if they give it to charity, I doubt it will ever get the value it originally cost.

Shouldn't Republicans be upset by this? Shouldn't they be saying the McCain campaign has more important things to spend donated money on? Shouldn't they be saying why are you spending money on Sarah Palin's baby when she is not part of the campaign? Shouldn't they be asking any of those things?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Why Colin Powell's Endorsement Matters

Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama on Meet the Press this weekend. I watched for a bit and decided to watch Fox News for a couple hours when I got home from my grandmother's house. From the time I turned False News on they proceeded to find every African-American conservative pundit they could to come on and refute Powell's decision. It was both ridiculous and hilarious at the same time. I counted 1 African American who favored Obama to 13 that did not. Kinda funny since I've seen polls that 86% to 95% of African-American voters are voting for Obama. But this is atypical of Fox and friends' brainwashing techniques and I'm not here to talk about them.

Colin Powell:

Mr. Powell, former G.W. Bush Secretary of State, endorsed George W. Bush in 2000. Then again, so did Iran. The key is that Bush won, and I feel partly due to Powell's (not Iran's) endorsement. Unfortunately, Bush decided to not play nice with Mr. Powell after his attempt to keep Bush in check caused Bush's Chief of Staff, Andrew Card to ask for his resignation. While this was a significant blow to Powell's ego, he stood firm as a conservative moderate Republican through the 2006 Democrat romping in the House & Senate.

Enter John McCain & Barack Obama:

Colin Powell supported John McCain at the start of the race. He even contributed the maximum to the McCain campaign. He has known Mr. McCain for 25 years and has expressed similar views on homeland security and foreign policy. All of this pointed to Powell endorsing John McCain for president as long as things laid out correctly in Powell's mind. Faux News was already not so sure. In fact, Bill Kristol stated that Powell would endorse Obama and give a speech at the Democratic National Convention. That didn't happen. Afterwards, Powell told CNN News in February 2008 that "I will vote for the candidate I think can do the best job in America—whether that candidate is a Republican or Democrat or an Independent."

In February 2008, I truly believe Powell was leaning towards his Republican roots and was voting McCain. However, Powell is a decisively tactical man. He knew that in order to make an educated decision he would need to see things from both perspectives. This meant he would need to meet with Barack Obama and John McCain to discuss their ideology and how it meshed with Powell's own ideas. Around the end of June, 2008 he did. At the time of these meetings in June of 2008, Colin Powell was still undecided. I believe Powell when he said this was a very tough decision. I believe Powell when he says race had nothing to do with his decision.

Cynics like antisocialism (a favorite conservative commenter of mine) will see this as a man who stuck with the color of his skin. Conservative professional liar & drug user, Rush Limbaugh has also made his feelings known. However, I think Colin Powell said it best when Tom Brokaw asked, "there will be some that say this is an African-American, distinguished American, supporting another African-American because of race." Powell responded, "If I had only that in mind, I could have done this six, eight, 10 months ago. I really have been going back and forth between somebody I have the highest respect for, John McCain and somebody I was getting to know, Barack Obama. And it was only within the last couple of months that I settled on this."

Colin Powell is still a Republican. This endorsement doesn't change that fact. Unlike most Republicans he can cross party lines to support the belief that Obama's qualifications as a inspirational leader, his picking of a good VP candidate who will help in foreign affairs (unlike Sarah "My IQ is 83" Palin -- no, this still hasn't been refuted) and his ability to motivate people in ways that not many other presidents have been able to (i.e. John F. Kennedy).

Some people will say (to borrow from Faux News' brainwashing technique) that Powell was saving this for an "October Surprise." I think that is a bogus claim and here's why. Most political announcements that seek real airtime in the 24hr news cycle time slots we have today will do so on Monday or Tuesday. This allows the news media to hammer hard and spread the story at a much quicker pace. However, Powell did this on the 2nd worse possible news day (1st being Saturday and 3rd being Friday), which is Sunday. Had he been timing this as a political stunt, he would have done so on Mon-Thur news cycles. He didn't. Powell also stated that he will not be campaigning for either candidate. Had this been a political stunt, Powell would have announced it on a Monday and campaigned for Obama afterwards. This is not happening.

Why this Endorsement Matters:

This endorsement matters because of one very simple fact. Colin Powell's endorsement was incredibly well spoken. It showed a gut wrenching decision by a man who was forced, through no fault of his own, to cross party lines to vote. Had Obama been white and McCain still run the same nasty campaign, Powell would have still voted for "white Obama". He sees past color of skin. It is one of the many things that makes him a great man.

Negativity has finally lost, everyone. I am proud of the majority in America waking up to the idea that hatred and negativity are not the way of the future. We need a new world order, and the first step is to bring America together. It's time to look past the time I had in Tennessee and look forward to a future without bigotry and claiming white privilege or the "Bradley Effect." It's time to forget color of skin when picking a presidential candidate.

Please take the time to watch the below video if you haven't seen it. It's well worth spending 12 minutes of your life seeing.