Sunday, November 30, 2008

A dearth of acorns

Once again I'm indebted to John Aravosis at AMERICAblog for bringing this to everybody's attention. It's very, very disturbing:

The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn't find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head.

Then calls started coming in about crazy squirrels. Starving, skinny squirrels eating garbage, inhaling bird feed, greedily demolishing pumpkins. Squirrels boldly scampering into the road. And a lot more calls about squirrel roadkill.

But Simmons really got spooked when he was teaching a class on identifying oak and hickory trees late last month. For 2 1/2 miles, Simmons and other naturalists hiked through Northern Virginia oak and hickory forests. They sifted through leaves on the ground, dug in the dirt and peered into the tree canopies. Nothing.

"I'm used to seeing so many acorns around and out in the field, it's something I just didn't believe," he said. "But this is not just not a good year for oaks. It's a zero year. There's zero production. I've never seen anything like this before."

The article is from the Washington Post and it's right here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday cat blogging!

Black Friday

Oh this is just sickening:

A Wal-Mart worker died after being trampled when hundreds of shoppers smashed through the doors of a Long Island store Friday morning, police and witnesses said.

The 34-year-old employee, a temporary maintenance worker, tried to hold back the unruly crowds just after the Valley Stream store opened at 5 a.m.

Witnesses said the surging throngs of shoppers knocked the man down. He fell and was stepped on. As he gasped for air, shoppers ran over and around him.

"He was bum-rushed by 200 people," said Jimmy Overby, 43, a co-worker. "They took the doors off the hinges. He was trampled and killed in front of me. They took me down too...I literally had to fight people off my back."

The unidentified victim was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m., police said.

It certainly points up the value of movements like Buy Nothing Day.

UPDATE: Here's a comment about the same event that I found on Dependable Renegade:

All else aside, the behavior of the shoppers is directly connected to a situation Walmart carefully engineered, with limited supplies and time constraints connected to some very significant special discounts. They create an atmosphere of severe competition between their customers, a disproportionate number of whom are likely to behave poorly under such conditions -- then they act surprised the doorbuster busts doors and flattens temps.

I hope some crackerjack lawyer gets hold of the point and runs with it.

Family values

Oh my. I just had to nick this from John Aravosis over at AMERICAblog:

Obama's example could have society-altering effects, especially in the African American community. By his example, he telegraphs the following messages: Being smart is good; education is good; being a good father is essential. Being an egghead is cool.

Conservatives insist, correctly, that culture matters. Many liberals think so, too, by the way. Why, some liberals even stay married their entire lives to the same person and raise children to do the same.

You want Ward Cleaver? Meet Barack Obama. Michelle is June Cleaver with a law degree. Family values don't get more traditional than those of the Obamas, who ooze marital bliss and whose adorable daughters make feminist cynics want to bake cookies and learn to smock.

Though we may perish of boredom, the Obamas may do more to elevate the American family than all the pro-marriage initiatives conceived by those who claim to speak for the deity.

It was actually written by conservative Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The food banks need our help

Please, please, please give to your local food bank. Here's what's happening:

Long lines, empty shelves and Thanksgiving chickens are just a few symptoms of the economic downturn's effect on food banks and community pantries across the country.

People are turning to charitable organizations for their Thanksgiving meal this year in record numbers, while donations have dropped significantly and funding has been slashed.

Here in Tulsa I donate at Akin's - a health food store. For every dollar donated, the food bank can make approximately $9.00 worth of food available to needy families. Do find a place in your community where it's easy to donate.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Playing for Change: Stand By Me

Don't stop this too soon; it just keeps getting better!

Description: The Ben E. King classic by musicians around the world adding their part to the song as it travelled the globe.

Here's the transcript of a Bill Moyers segment on the "Playing for Change" project.

Monday, November 24, 2008

GOP operative now has regrets

Well, regret is pretty cheap at this point, pal. Didn't you know at the time that what you were doing was wrong?

As a self-admitted hit man for the GOP, Stone has had a hand in everything from Nixon's dirty tricks to Eliot Spitzer's resignation to spreading discredited rumors of a Michelle Obama “whitey” tape during the 2008 Democratic primaries.
The capstone of Stone’s career, at least in terms of results, was the “Brooks Brothers riot” of the 2000 election recount. This was when a Stone-led squad of pro-Bush protestors stormed the Miami-Dade County election board, stopping the recount and advancing then-Governor George W. Bush one step closer to the White House. Though he is quick to rebut GOP operatives who seek to minimize his role in the recount, Stone lately has been having second thoughts about what happened in Florida.

"There have been many times I've regretted it,” Stone told me over pizza at Grand Central Station. “When I look at those double-page New York Times spreads of all the individual pictures of people who have been killed [in Iraq], I got to think, 'Maybe there wouldn't have been a war if I hadn't gone to Miami-Dade. Maybe there hadn't have been, in my view, an unjustified war if Bush hadn't become president.' It's very disturbing to me."

Now here's the most sickening part:

Nor does Stone regret dirty politicking. Stone still offers his services as a no-holds-barred strategist to domestic and foreign politicians alike, and claims his client list is full.

Why can't we make that kind of thing illegal?

You can read the entire article right here.


Something that concerns me

Frank Ford sent me an article from The Nation by Christopher Hayes that contained the following paragraph:

Not a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive has, as far as I can tell, even been mentioned for a position in the new administration. Not one. Remember this is the movement that was right about Iraq, right about wage stagnation and inequality, right about financial deregulation, right about global warming and right about healthcare. And I don't just mean in that in a sectarian way. I mean to say that the emerging establishment consensus on all of these issues came from the left. There's tons of things the left is right about that aren't even close to mainstream (taking a hatchet to the national security state and ending the prison industrial complex to name just two), but hopefully we're moving there.

I just think it's a hoot that Obama's detractors have repeatedly called him a "socialist", that's all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Well, isn't this a relief?

I found it on Think Progress:

On the Chris Matthews Show today, Matthews argued that one of the major differences between President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama is the fact that Obama is intellectually curious.

Here's the specific posting.

Sunday uplift blogging

In case you missed this on 60 Minutes tonight. Please watch! You won't regret it.

Watch CBS Videos Online

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday cat blogging!

Here's a description of the photo: "Portrait of a female feral cat (Felis silvestris f. catus), made in a public park at Livorno, Italy. The left ear has a cut as a sign that the cat was sterilized by a veterinarian in a cat population control program (left female, right male)."

Isn't she lovely? By the way, I completely support the trap/neuter/release approach to helping feral cats and have participated in it myself. You can donate to many organizations to assist in this effort but here's a particularly good one: Alley Cat Allies. They have been rated a four-star charity (the highest possible) by Charity Navigator, America’s premier independent charity evaluator.

The press

Just because Obama has been elected doesn't change the reality of today's corporate news organizations:

The framers of our nation never imagined what could happen if big government, big publishing, and big broadcasters ever saw eye to eye in putting the public's need for news second to their own interests—and to the ideology of market economics. The greatest moments in the history of the press came not when journalists made common cause with the state but when they stood fearlessly independent of it.

-- Bill Moyers

Silly humor

Here's a joke that was sent out on today's Prarie Home Companion email. The math geek in me really likes it!

Q: Have you heard my new statistics joke?

A: Probably.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Obama Portrait

Isn't this simply lovely? I found it on Democratic Underground and you can see a larger version of it here. The artist, Mimi Tabby, is making signed prints of it available for $40 plus shipping. I really recommend that you explore the rest of her blog. She does incredibly beautiful stuff.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I do love the Guardian

They've published an article entitled "The Apology Bush Owes Dan Rather" . Here's part of what it says:

As George Bush shuffles off to a long absence that is not only with leave but with a heartfelt global sentiment that it is long overdue, he leaves behind a lot of unfinished business. One wonders whether, just in case, he will smuggle in a pardon for himself for his technical desertion and very definite absence without leave from the Texas Air National Guard.

What is really in order is some sort of pardon and apology to Dan Rather, who CBS's cowardly management squeezed from 60 Minutes for telling the truth about Bush's war record.
The investigation carefully did not consider the veracity of the charges against Bush, simply the provenance of the scrap of paper, but by the time it was over, many people who should have known better assumed that the story of Bush's desertion was refuted.

In fact, the evidence was compelling. Many others, myself included in my book,
Deserter, had proved that George Bush joined the Texas Air National Guard with nepotistic backing in order to avoid service in Vietnam, a war that he agreed with. And then he went missing and failed to fulfill the terms of his service, an offence for which other less well-connected people were going to prison or being drafted to the jungle.

Let us consider the sins of Rather. Firstly, he admitted openly what everyone knew – that anchormen are performers not journalists. Secondly, 60 Minutes pandered to the television need for a McGuffin to wave around. However, it is still not proven that
the memo under consideration was a forgery. What has been proven beyond doubt was that the information in it was accurate. The very secretary who said that she had not typed that particular piece of paper attested that she had typed exactly that same message.

I so agree with this. That whole episode made me purely sick. I hope Rather wins his suit against CBS.


Paul Rogers sent me this. Thanks, Paul!

Cheney and Gonzales

By now it has undoubtedly come to your attention that Cheney and Gonzales were indicted in Texas yesterday by a grand jury. Here's what the BBC says about it:

The indictment says Mr Cheney - who has invested $85m (£56m) in a company that holds shares in for-profit prisons - conspired to block an investigation.

The indictment has not been seen by a judge, who could dismiss it.
The three-page indictment also alleges that former US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales "used his stop the investigations as to the wrong doings."

The grand jury wrote that it made its decision "with great sadness," but said they had no other choice but to indict Mr Cheney and Mr Gonzales "because we love our country."

Well, let's see where this goes. I must say, it doesn't surprise me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oh, I just love this!

This was on today's edition of All Hat No Cattle. Well done, Lisa!!!

Hate radio on the rampage

Can you believe this man? Here's something Michael Savage said:

I'm as good an expert as any. I have found in my life that most of the Ph.D. experts on children are either gay or crazy and were never married. Or if they were married, they either tried to kill their wife or were in rehab for a few years, and then came out and went into psychotherapy to find out why they killed, or attempted to kill. And then they washed it all away, and suddenly they're experts on childrearing.

You can read more about it on Media Matters right here.

Something we all need to ponder

This top pie chart describes how the money is really spent:

The pie chart below is the government view of the budget. This is a distortion of how our income tax dollars are spent because it includes Trust Funds (e.g., Social Security), and the expenses of past military spending are not distinguished from nonmilitary spending. For a more accurate representation of how your Federal income tax dollar is really spent, see the large chart (top).

I found this information right here.

Back in the '70s when I was in graduate school I remember discussing the so-called "failures" of our public schools in a philosophy of education class. I remember making the point that somehow we managed to find enough money for the military to make it work. The professor commented wryly that we didn't know whether we could make education really work if we allocated enough money to get the job done because we had never tried.

Can you just imagine what would happen if we really did spend exactly the same money on education as we do on defense? Heck, we'd probably have a cure for cancer as soon as those students we started with entered the work force. Just imagine what we could do as a society!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What would you say is the dominant culture?

Here's Mad Priest's "Thought for the day". I have to say I agree with him:

Liberals and progressives in the Church are constantly being accused by reactionaries and conservatives of being too willing to embrace modern culture. But when you think about it the main cultural trends at this moment in time are individualism, rampant capitalism and invading other countries, all of which are usually supported and adhered to by conservatives. You probably have to go back 2000 years to a small region in the Roman Empire called Palestine and a small group of disparate men and women following a wandering evangelist with big ideas, to find a culture similar to the one most liberals and progressives want to align themselves to. Which is hardly modern, is it?

Mad Priest's place is called Of Course I Could Be Wrong. (Be prepared for just about anything over there!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

For all band music lovers!

I've been meaning to post about this for a long time and I keep forgetting. My good friend, Doug Brown, is the host of a wonderful new radio show called Wind and Rhythm. It is broadcast every Sunday evening at 7:00 (Central time) on Tulsa classical radio KWTU at 88.7 on your dial. Or you can listen on their webite right here. Please tune in. I promise you won't be sorry!

All the racisim out there

Oh dear. Look what the Associate Press reports in an article called "After Obama victory, an outbreak of racial anger":

Crosses burning. Children chanting, "Assassinate Obama." Racial epithets scrawled on homes and cars.

Reports of incidents such as those across the country are dampening the glow of racial progress and harmony that bloomed after the election of Democrat Barack Obama, an African American, to the presidency.

From California to Maine, police have documented a range of incidents, including vandalism, threats and at least one physical attack. There have been "hundreds" of incidents since the election, many more than usual, said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate crimes.

In Snellville, Ga., Denene Millner said that a day after the election, a boy on a school bus told her 9-year-old daughter that he hoped "Obama gets assassinated." That night, Millner said, someone trashed her sister-in-law's front lawn, mangled the Obama lawn signs and left two pizza boxes filled with human feces outside the front door.

"It definitely makes you look a little different at the people who you live with," said Millner, who is black. "And makes you wonder what they're capable of and what they're really thinking."
A black president is "the most profound change in the field of race this country has experienced since the Civil War," said William Ferris, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina. "It's shaking the foundations on which the country has existed for centuries."

How appalling. How tragic. How shameful.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our "cool" President-elect

Just a great paragraph from the Prarie Home Companion guy himself:

The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos, and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can't imagine anybody cooler.

-- Garrison Keillor

It's from an article he wrote entitled "Sitting on top of the world".

"From the old to the new"

I hope this is true of the present time:

A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the sound of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.

-- Jawaharlal Nehru

Hey, ya just gotta laugh

My cat, Henry, enjoyed watching this with me:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

About today

November 13 is World Kindness Day. I didn't know that before this morning. I think having such a day is a really good idea and I particularly like the quotation below. (Unfortunately I was unable to find out any information about Robert Brault. All that's on the internet are lists of his quotes.)

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.

~Robert Brault

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Late January, 2009

Ah, this one's great:

One sunny day in January, 2009 an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush."The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The old man said, "Okay", and walked

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The man thanked him and, again, just walked away.

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here.
Don't you understand?"

The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir."

I do think this is one of the better jokes making the rounds!! :-)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh my. What a picture!

Hat tip to Water Tiger

I guess it's not nice to laugh...

but this is funny:

Sources from the McCain campaign are starting to talk. And they said today that when they were prepping Sarah Palin for the debates, they found out that she thought Africa was a country, not a continent. Now, to be fair to Sarah Palin, it is hard to see Africa from Alaska.

--Conan O'Brien

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Something very, very moving

A plea to the President-elect

Here is an excerpt from an open letter to the President-elect. I found it on Daily Kos and it's by Timothy Lange:

On January 20, I want you to announce to the nation and the world your first steps in restoring the rule of law. Tell everyone that before the sun sets you will sign an executive order renouncing torture and commanding any and all government employees and contractors to cease any torture as defined by the Red Cross, other international organizations and the Geneva Conventions. And say that the United States will never again train, fund, encourage or otherwise assist governments of other nations to engage in torture as it has cravenly done during several administrations. I want you to announce a second order that abolishes the Guantánamo detention center and all the secret prisons elsewhere. A third that ends rendition. I want you tell us that you will immediately seek repeal of the reprehensible Military Commissions Act that tried to paper over lawless rule with legislation that you and most Democrats voted against in 2006. Finally, I want you to announce an investigatory commission – a bipartisan commission – with subpoena power, access to every secret memo and all the time it needs to uncover the whole story of torture and all the associated acts, to fill the gaps in what has already been learned. The first step in keeping these acts from being repeated in the future is to fully understand them and those who ordered them.

We have simply got to make amends to the rest of the world about this. I'm sure Obama knows this and I pray he acts swiftly.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The latest on Republicans and Palin

Oh my goodness. Can you believe this? It's from a Rasmussen poll:

Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin, including 65% who say their view is Very Favorable. Only eight percent (8%) have an unfavorable view of her, including three percent (3%) Very Unfavorable.

When asked to choose among some of the GOP’s top names for their choice for the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, 64% say Palin. The next closest contenders are two former governors and unsuccessful challengers for the presidential nomination this year -- Mike Huckabee of Arkansas with 12% support and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts with 11%.

Heck. And I thought the Republicans were trying to do her in by all the extra criticism she's received from McCain staffers since the election.

Back to the environment

With the campaign taking up so much of my attention over the past several months, I haven't offered you much concerning climate change lately. Fortunately, Frank Ford sent me a Salon article today entitled "Bush's seven deadly environmental sins". Now after each "sin" is described the author, Katharine Mieszkowski, explains what Obama's mission needs to be. Here's the introduction:

Nov. 8, 2008 Somewhere up north, a polar bear, on a melting ice floe, is wiping its sweaty brow, thinking, "Fewer than 80 days before these oil freaks are out of office." It hardly bears repeating that George W. Bush's record on the environment makes his own father look like Teddy Roosevelt by comparison. By taking environmental policymaking away from scientists, and turning it over to industry cronies, Bush has made a mockery of the nation's environmental laws and values.

Bush's myriad environmental sins could have him serving penance for years. But we decided to highlight seven of his most deadly. We also invited leading environmentalists to outline Barack Obama's mission for cleaning up the nation's land, water and air.

I do recommend that you click through and take a look. Very illuminating.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Stewart on Palin

Is this a great picture or what?

Friday cat blogging!


I found this in the comments to an article over at Common Dreams:

We have just elected a person for President who has vision and competence. That Obama's election night speech was sobering should come as no surprise to those of us who are in touch with reality. Stay in the moment and reject the temptation to wallow in cynicism and negativity. Refrain from indulging in expectations. Focus on the work we all are responsible for. Those of us who are seeking instant gratification after years of disastrous skullduggery are only fooling ourselves and wasting our opportunity.

--Suzanne Gentling

We can't afford to be complacent

Good old Jim Hightower gives us a short commentary on the election. Here's part of what it says:

Now is our time!

I don't mean a time to gloat about Barack Obama's sweeping electoral triumph, or a time to savor the demise of the Bush ideologues, as sweet as that is. No, no — this is the time for everyone who holds progressive values (economic fairness, social justice, the common good ... things like that) to be on watch and do the work of democracy. If Tuesday's vote for change is to mean anything substantive, We the People have to be the implementers. And the job begins now.
Wall Street, the war machine, corporate chieftains, Republican Congress-critters, right-wing yackety-yackers, weak-kneed Democrats and other powerful forces of business-as-usual policies will be all over him. They are the insiders and intend to shape him in their mold.

We have to be the counterforce — an aggressive and vociferous Loyal Opposition pushing insistently and persistently from the outside. Obama was the candidate of change, but he'll be the president of change only if we buck him up and back him up.

I so agree with this. I'm concerned that progressives will just sit back and expect Obama to do it all. Not gonna work. Really.

Lest we forget

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Exit polls and electoral legitimacy

Here's something I just found on Headblast:

-- JacksonThoreau reported that the exit polls this time were close to the official results. This is the first time this has happened in the last three presidential elections. Exit polls, in which voters are interviewed as they leave the polling places, have historically been so accurate they have been used to judge whether election tampering is going on in third world countries when the U.S. or the UN monitors elections. But during the Diebold/Bush years, exit polls no longer worked in this country. The networks actually adjusted their exit polls in 2004 to fit the official, fraudulent result. But this time, the numbers fell back into line. Obama won both Florida and Ohio, which had been handily delivered to the Republicans in '04 and '08 by corrupt secretaries of state who were also the heads of the Republican campaigns in their respective states.

That is really, really good news.

Scapegoating Sarah

Well, it looks like the Republicans are eating their own:

Whatever you may have thought about John McCain’s running mate… about whether she was qualified, prepared or experienced enough for the job… try if you can to put all of that aside for just a moment. Because Sarah Palin is who she is. She did not become measurably more intelligent or measurably less intelligent during this campaign. Remember, she was only part of the campaign for a matter of nine weeks. Sarah Palin is who she is.

Which is why I find it so stunning that the very people who introduced us to Sarah Palin… who told us she would make a great Vice President… have now turned on her with a vengeance. They are the top advisors to John McCain’s failed campaign and they are desperate right now to find someone to blame for their long long list of mistakes. They have been launching grenades at Palin and her supporters… some of their allegations we at CNN have found to be patently false. You will hear people say “this is what always happens with a losing campaign”… and hopefully, this is the last time we will be talking about these people. But what they have done just in the last few days to save their own skins is worth a final comment.

To those top McCain advisors who leaked the little story about seeing Sarah Palin in a towel. To those who called her and her family “Wasilla Hillbillies” while using her to stoke class warfare with redmeat speeches and an anti-elitist message. To those who claim she didn’t know Africa was a continent. To those McCain aides who say she is the reason they lost this election… can I please remind you of one thing: you picked her.

The above is by CNN's Campbell Brown and I found it right here on Eschaton.

This is great!

As someone who lived in Virginia for many years, I so agree. I was never more startled or more thrilled than when Virginia went blue. My goodness gracious! Of course, perhaps it's even more amazing that he ended up winning North Carolina.

CNN Quickvote of the day

I really am somewhat concerned about this:

Do you think the world expects too much from Barack Obama?

Yes - 75%

No - 25%

He is just one man and the Republicans are leaving things in a horrible mess. It's going to be a slow, uphill battle. Those people both here and abroad who do not understand how our government actually works have no idea just how hard it's going to be.

Quote of the week

From Sojourners:

We join people in your country and around the world in congratulating you on becoming the President-elect of the United States. Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place. We note and applaud your commitment to supporting the cause of peace and security around the world. We trust that you will also make it the mission of your presidency to combat the scourge of poverty and disease everywhere. We wish you strength and fortitude in the challenging days and years that lie ahead. We are sure you will ultimately achieve your dream, making the United States of America a full partner in a community of nations committed to peace and prosperity for all.

- Full text of a message from Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, to Senator Barack Obama, the first black president-elect of the United States of America.

I was living in South Africa in 1994 when the first free elections were held and Mandela was elected. It was an amazing event - one of the highlights of my life. Our election on Tuesday actually reminds me of that time.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Now this is real vindication! :-)

Sent to me by Cynthia Burgess. I love it! Ha! I predict that fist bumps are really going to take off!

From the acceptance speech

I think this part is really important:

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America – I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you – we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won't agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can't solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way it's been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

Let us also not forget that the right wing backlash will be fierce and has already started. We cannot afford to become complacent.

A reaction from across the pond

Please go over to my friend Mad Priest's place and see what he has to say about this historic occasion. It's good. Really:

Mad Priest's editorial

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

President-elect Obama!

Oh, you HAVE to watch this!

Don't worry. It's short. And don't quit watching too soon. There's still a little bit to go after the screen goes black at the end.

This was sent to me by Chris Rodgers.

Still concerned

This was posted yesterday on Democratic Underground:

DemocracyNow!'s Amy Goodman interviewed election fraud expert Mark Crispin Miller this morning. He said that the most important election news is not Obama, but Mike Connell. Mr. Connell is Karl Rove's computer brain, and has been implicated in the possible vote rigging of the Ohio Presidential election of 2004. He has been ordered by a Judge to give a two hour deposition under oath today. The order comes as a result of an affidavit by Stephen Spoonamore, an expert in computer fraud detection. Spoonamore swears that Mr. Connell et al. used a "Man in the Middle" system to manipulate the votes. In his affidavit he pinpoints the time to around 11p, on election night, 2004.

You can read the rest of the post right here.

So is the mainstream press picking up on this? I haven't heard about it anywhere else.


Well, I voted. I was there before the polls opened and there was already quite a line. This is the first time I've had to stand in line to vote since the 1976 election.

It was a joy to vote. Simply a joy.

I will probably be on pins and needles throughout the day until the returns come in!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Military donations favor Obama

Wow. Look at what I just found. Why hasn't the mainstream news called this to our attention and why haven't the pundits hammered away at this? (Oh, yes. I know. Sigh.)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. soldiers have donated more presidential campaign money to Democrat Barack Obama than to Republican John McCain, a reversal of previous campaigns in which military donations tended to favor GOP White House hopefuls, a nonpartisan group reported Thursday.

Troops serving abroad have given nearly six times as much money to Obama's presidential campaign as they have to McCain's, the Center for Responsive Politics said.

The results also are striking because they favored Obama, who never has served in the military. McCain meanwhile, is a decorated war veteran who spent nearly five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The Arizona senator graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and had a 22-year career as a naval aviator.

This is a serious indictment of McCain. Or the war in Iraq. Or both.

Six times as much. Simply amazing.

Something that is truly worrying

Here's an excerpt from a Greg Palast article called "How McCain Could Win":

Here's an ugly little secret about American democracy: We don't count all the votes. In 2004, based on the data from the US Elections Assistance Commission, 3,006,080 votes were not counted: "spoiled," unreadable and blank ballots; "provisional" ballots rejected; mail-in ballots disqualified.

This Tuesday, it will be worse. Much worse.

That's what I found while traveling the nation over the last year for BBC Television and Rolling Stone Magazine, working with voting rights attorney Robert F. Kennedy Jr. This we guarantee: there will be far more votes disappeared by Tuesday night than the three million lost in 2004. A six-million vote swipe, quite likely, shifts 4 percent of the ballots, within the margin of error of the tightest polls.

Begin with this harsh statistic: since the last election, more than ten million voters have been purged from the nation's vote registries. And that's just the start of the steal.

If the noncount were random, it wouldn't matter. But it's not random. A US Civil Rights Commission analysis shows that the chance a black voter's ballot will "spoil" or be blank is 900 percent higher than a white voter's.

I certainly didn't know that information in the last sentence there. That's beyond reprehensible.

I do hope we have good news sometime tomorrow night.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Pathetic. Just pathetic.

Incredibly clever cartoon, though!

Poverty leads to violence

I wish everyone who votes on Tuesday would ponder these realities:

"Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime."
-- Aristotle (384-322 BC)

"Poverty devastates families, communities and nations. It causes instability and political unrest and fuels conflict."
-- Kofi Annan

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe."
-- Frederick Douglass

Why do the rich not understand that to give justice to the poor is in everyone's interest? While there is grinding poverty in this country, nobody is safe.

NBC prediction

Well, I don't want to get my hopes up too much but here's what they're saying:

With two days before Election Day, the final NBC News map shows Obama remaining above the 270 electoral-vote mark, with a 286-157 lead over McCain. Last week, Obama held a 286-163 advantage. Our changes: We moved Montana and North Dakota (which has same-day voter registration) from Lean McCain to Toss-up. In addition, we moved Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New Jersey (the latter of which we should have moved a couple of weeks ago) from Lean Obama to Likely Obama.

So here’s where we stand:
Likely Obama: CA, CT, DE, DC, HI, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NJ, NY, OR, RI, VT, WA, WI (227 electoral votes)
Lean Obama: CO, IA, NH, NM, PA, VA (59 votes)
Toss-up: FL, IN, MO, MT, NV, NC, ND, OH (95 votes)
Lean McCain: AZ, GA, NE 02, SD, WV (34 votes)
Likely McCain: AL, AK, AR, ID, KS, KY, LA, MS, NE (the rest of the state), OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, WY (123 votes)

Here's what one commenter has said and I agree: "These polls make me nervous...I am worried that the people who say they support Obama, just will stay home thinking they do not want to get on a long line, youth vote not showing up as they said they would...etc. Obama is correct...get out and vote Please! Too much is at stake! VOTE!"

Saturday, November 01, 2008

About that vote

This is what is unsettling about the upcoming election:

Those who vote decide nothing; those who count the votes decide everything.

-- Joseph Stalin

Widespread doubts about Palin

Well, this is encouraging. It's from a New York Times article:

A growing number of voters have concluded that Senator John McCain’s running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, is not qualified to be vice president, weighing down the Republican ticket in the last days of the campaign, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

All told, 59 percent of voters surveyed said Ms. Palin was not prepared for the job, up nine percentage points since the beginning of the month. Nearly a third of voters polled said the vice-presidential selection would be a major factor influencing their vote for president, and those voters broadly favor Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.

And in a possible indication that the choice of Ms. Palin has hurt Mr. McCain’s image, voters said they had much more confidence in Mr. Obama to pick qualified people for his administration than they did in Mr. McCain.

I do so hope this trend continues.