Monday, December 22, 2008


Pastor Rick is my Brother, Too.

By Woodrow Jarvis Hill

To understand why I approve of putting Rick Warren on that stage, I need to go back to an eariler writing of mine, "Abortion is a Moral Choice".
More to the point, I must, first, go back to a section of the article that sparked my writing:

What changed?

I don't remember the day. But that day didn't come until after I'd met people -- surprise! -- who'd chosen abortion. It came after my school friends became parents; after I began having sex and selecting birth control; after I experienced and witnessed sexual harassment.

In short, it happened after pro-choice rhetoric took a human shape. I saw those I loved. I saw myself.


I didn't "switch sides;" I'm against the notion of "sides" in the first place.

One of the hardest things I have to do, is fight and support for a ruling, and it's support network, that I think was wrongly decided and painfully implemented.

Yes, as I've said before, and will say again -- I think Roe. vs. Wade is bad law.

But it's also right. It's what the law should be, by and large. There is no doubt in my mind that Abortion Rights are proper and important -- and if I ever doubt, all I have to recall is the faces of those women who told story after story of lie before the ruling. Of facing not just coathangers, but all manner of barbarous chemical aborifacants, and the ugly hands of Doctors who did the safer of the underground procedures, but at the cost of a women's dignity and money.

You can't pay me enough to go back to that system. And you can't pay me enough to switch.

And yet, I'm fully aware that the ruling left America behind. It was, sadly, ahead of it's time. It is simply the case that the average American was, at that point, still unaware of the horrorshow of underground abortions. They still thought it was a procedure done, by and large, by "bad girls" -- and that the exception they snuck in, was much like the exceptions many Pro-Life folks give themselves, today, when they get Abortions.

If there had been a National push, a dialog, a way to frame Abortion Rights in similar ways that MLK framed Civil Rights, and that, indeed, Feminists developed for other parts of the cause, I think our National dialog on abortion would be much different, today. If "we" had worked to not press the right simply in courts and legislatures, it might have come out much as Miscegenation did; since Interracial Marriage was so closely tied to the growing mass consensus that Racism Is Wrong, even though the majority of Americans were against it when Loving vs. Virgina came down, that law was far easier to integrate (pun intended) into the National Landscape.

There aren't many exceptions with Gay Marriage, but there is one rule. There needs to be a dialog. There needs to be words spoken, in public, over and again. There needs to be communication, not just with the unwashed masses, but also with people who oppose the idea. This is how Racism became a non-no -- not because of laws, but because of words and deeds and actions that alerted a sleeping America that there was a horrid wrong being perpetrated on some of her people. The images of attacking dogs, police beating, and water hoses upon peaceful marches weren't just a side-show, they were the show, and the showcase for why action was needed right now. They were the way to open up the dialog .

And just as the people who led the Civil Rights movements, and movements before and since, had to dialog with people diametrically to them, so now have we a change to open up dialog with Pastor Rick Warren. To shift his words and perhaps even his deeds. To provide him with God's Own Truth as to the results of his words and actions on Gay Marriage -- and so much more -- over the last few years. If he is, indeed, a Christian man, as he says, and the harbinger of a new detante and re-focus for Evangelicals, then we who stand for not just openness, but diplomacy and dialog with most, should embrace this furor, build upon the media fury, and expose him to the honest assessment of America; that a man who speaks hate about people who love is a man who misunderstands his own words, and risks hypocrisy -- a sin mentioned far more often by Jesus than Homosexuality; indeed, any sexuality.

I know what you say, "But Woodrow, what if it doesn't work?" Well, perhaps one should ask a certain M. Etheridge how her attempt went, first:

I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine.

When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future.

And now, Warren's church has pulled the "No Homosexuals Need Apply" language from their website.

"All symbols," you might say. The post noting the pulling even goes so far as to imply Obama might have had something to do with the pulling, with (so far as I know) no evidence.

But the entirety of this fight is about symbols! And if someone who is standing as a symbol, takes pains to stand up, and do things that walk back from the nature of what makes him an unacceptable symbol, what then the symbolism?

Perhaps this is the point where we can stop demonizing our opposition as a kneejerk reaction. This is the point where we understand that they are wrong, yet are too also human. That change doesn't have to be about broad symbols and lines int he sand, but about the slow and painful, slogging work of Just Talking. That we take to our rigtheous and right anger, and descend upon the streets as a last resort, after talking and attempting to understand have failed.

Not every fight, not every social ill, not every opponent can be worked this way. But, perhaps -- just perhaps -- Obama looked at Warren, and saw someone who could be changed, who could be led to understand the pain so many Homosexuals see in the American society -- as got a taste of after McClurkin. And he risked all this displeasure, all this anger, to give him that chance.

It seems to have already paid off. We shall see, going forward, if A Change is Gonna Come, indeed. I close with more of Melissa Etheridge's words:

Brothers and sisters the choice is ours now. We have the world's attention. We have the capability to create change, awesome change in this world, but before we change minds we must change hearts. Sure, there are plenty of hateful people who will always hold on to their bigotry like a child to a blanket. But there are also good people out there, Christian and otherwise that are beginning to listen. They don't hate us, they fear change. Maybe in our anger, as we consider marches and boycotts, perhaps we can consider stretching out our hands. Maybe instead of marching on his church, we can show up en mass and volunteer for one of the many organizations affiliated with his church that work for HIV/AIDS causes all around the world.

Maybe if they get to know us, they wont fear us.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reality sets in...

I have said this over and over in conversations with all kinds of people (particularly my liberal friends)...
Obama is not, and has never been, a far left liberal.
He's a left-leaning centrist. Just like Bill Clinton was.

Just like I am.

It truly baffles me that the left couldn't see this all along.
Kucinich was the hardline liberal candidate.
Edwards was the hardline progressive candidate.
Nader was the radical (and in need of a reality check) candidate.

Obama was always the centrist.
I hate to say this, but you were blind if you didn't see that.

That whole "most liberal senator" meme was a republican construct aimed at derailing his campaign among conservatives and independents.
Ironically, it was liberals and progressives who bought into it.

I supported Obama because I believe that no president can effectively run this country from either the left or the right.
Like it or not, we have all kinds of people with all kinds of ideologies as citizens.
There has to be common ground found in order to get anything done.

Obama is our best shot to get the kinds of policies in place that will satisfy the left-leaning among us without being stonewalled by the right.
Let the man work. He knows what he's doing folks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama to close Guantanamo...

Matt Apuzzo and Lara Jakes Jordan write for HuffPo:

President-elect Obama's advisers are quietly crafting a proposal to ship dozens, if not hundreds, of imprisoned terrorism suspects to the United States to face criminal trials, a plan that would make good on his promise to close the Guantanamo Bay prison but could require creation of a controversial new system of justice.

During his campaign, Obama described Guantanamo as a "sad chapter in American history" and has said generally that the U.S. legal system is equipped to handle the detainees. But he has offered few details on what he planned to do once the facility is closed.

Under plans being put together in Obama's camp, some detainees would be released and many others would be prosecuted in U.S. criminal courts.

A third group of detainees _ the ones whose cases are most entangled in highly classified information _ might have to go before a new court designed especially to handle sensitive national security cases, according to advisers and Democrats involved in the talks. Advisers participating directly in the planning spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans aren't final.

(Full Article)

Bloggers for Obama 2.0

Aw hell,
Who am I kidding? I just cant "drop it like it's hot". :)

The election was just the beginning. The real work is yet to come.

Maybe I'll use this as a forum to put on my "make-believe cabinet advisor hat" and write about my own ideas of where I think the Obama presidency should be going.

I'll also keep up with pertinent news items that I think should be aggregated.

Time to write the next chapter indeed...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Closing shop...

"What a long, strange trip it's been" -- Robert Hunter

Well folks, this is it.
Time to go write that next chapter.

The purpose of this blog was always to help get Obama elected. I never had any plans to continue it beyond that.
How he governs as President will be another matter, but I think that should be left up to the general political bloggers.

Thanks to all of you who took this trip with me!
All of the contributors who wrote such great opinion pieces. Thank you!

To Christopher of "From The Left", even though we didn't always see eye to eye, thanks for being a great supporter and the first to add us to a blogroll.
And to "Big Yellow Forehead", thanks for giving me that boost when I was running out of steam.

I'll leave the blog up, but I probably wont be posting from this point.

Quote of the day...

"Rosa sat so Martin could walk, Martin walked so Barack could run, Barack is running so our children can fly."

I don't know who said this, but it sums it up beautifully.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


WE DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OH + PA = ?

Not gonna jinx it, but we all know what just happened! ;)

A harbinger?

Glenn Adams writes for HuffPo:

Barack Obama came up a big winner in the presidential race in Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, N.H., where tradition of having the first Election Day ballots tallied lives on.

Democrat Obama defeated Republican John McCain by a count of 15 to 6 in Dixville Notch, where a loud whoop accompanied the announcement in Tuesday's first minutes. The town of Hart's Location reported 17 votes for Obama, 10 for McCain and two for write-in Ron Paul. Independent Ralph Nader was on both towns' ballots but got no votes.


Hart's Location started opening its polls early in 1948, the year Harry S. Truman beat Thomas Dewey, to accommodate railroad workers who had to get to work early. Hart's Location got out of the early voting business in 1964 after some residents grew weary of all the publicity, but brought it back in 1996.

Dixville Notch, nestled in a mountain pass 1,800 feet up and about halfway between the White Mountain National Forest and the Canadian border, followed suit in 1960, when John F. Kennedy beat Richard M. Nixon. Nixon, the Republican, swept all nine votes cast in Dixville that year, and before Tuesday, the town had gone for a Democrat only once since then. That was in 1968, when the tally was Democrat Hubert Humphrey eight, Nixon four.

(Full Post)

"Kache" also posted a comment noting the results of the last 3 Presidential contests in Dixville Notch...

2008 - Obama 15, McCain 6
2004 - Bush 19, Kerry 7
2000 - Bush 21, Gore 5

Monday, November 3, 2008

RIP Madelyn Dunham.

Election results post

Maddow on the "modern poll tax"...

RIght on, Rachel!

Coming down the home stretch...

It's been a crazy ride, but it ain't over yet folks!


Even if the lines are long! VOTE!

Even if you think the system is broken! VOTE!

Even if you live in a "blue" state! VOTE!

Even if you've never voted or haven't in a long time! VOTE!




Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Maverick family to McCain: "You're no Maverick!"

Double ouch!

Arizona Daily Star endorses Obama

From the editors:

We see America the way Barack Obama sees America.

Our future requires a steady, intelligent and, as former Secretary of State Colin Powell said, a "transformational" leader to guide us into a new era. Obama brings deep intellectual curiosity, equanimity and discipline.

The ground under America is moving. A generational change is under way with or without Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., or Barack Obama, D-Ill.

The core concerns are more about the future than the past, be it eight years ago or one day ago. They are about the moment and the movement to engage Americans in ways not seen before, especially against a backdrop of economic strife unmatched since the Great Depression.

McCain is correct that it's time to stand up. "Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight. Nothing is inevitable here. We're Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history," he said at the Republican National Convention.

However, the ways of the past, which we believe McCain understands, will not work in this new America. The future requires new tools and new expertise. A premium must be placed on more than just love of country. We must re-embrace American ideals and lead the world on a stronger path to prosperity and peace.

The time is now and the leader is Barack Obama. The Star endorses Obama for president of the United States.
Like a race car driver going into a turn, a leader must see not only what confronts our nation today but envision where we come out on the other side. Obama sees how the United States is connected to other nations through our economic, immigration, national security and energy policies. No one can thrive alone.

Obama sees a foreign policy where force is but one tool. He envisions countries collaborating to confront bad actors and shared challenges such as global warming, poverty, terrorism, disease and religious extremism.

Obama sees a health-care system in which children can go to the doctor and families aren't forced into bankruptcy by medical bills. He experienced the same hardships many American families face. While his mother was dying of cancer, she battled her insurance company for care.

He embraces the strength of the free market, but sees that, in the United States today, the market doesn't meet people's health-care needs. He knows the heavy toll that inequitable public policies take on people's lives. We agree with Obama that health care should be as affordable and accessible to as many people as possible.

Obama sees an economy creating jobs through innovation, helping families stay in their homes and lifting the middle class and small businesses. He would reduce taxes for the majority of Americans and not raise taxes on those making less than $250,000.

Obama sees education as an investment in America's prosperity, political system and national security. He would expand early childhood education and protect funding for public schools. A college education is out of reach for many Americans. He would help make it more affordable through tuition tax credits.

He's proved himself with his nuanced understanding of complicated issues. His vision is not built on rhetoric. He offers substantive, detailed policies and the acumen to make these changes a reality.

He demonstrates leadership by surrounding himself with smart people who will strengthen his administration. For vice president Obama chose Joseph Biden, a U.S. senator with 35 years of experience, a foreign policy expert qualified to be president.

Obama made a responsible, pragmatic and intelligent choice that shows us he puts the nation above party politics.
This moment in history requires courage to change. Our nation must find a way to restore the confidence that our government is of the people, by the people, for the people — all of our people.

We share Obama's vision of America. And we share his urgency.




Woman denies candy to kids of Obama supporters on Halloween...

Seriously... WTF?!?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ron Regan (officially) endorses Obama

From HuffPo:

I assumed most people already knew that I had supported Obama. Anyone who has spent five minutes listening to my program would have known that. But if it helped to make it official, I'm happy to make it so.


Friday, October 31, 2008

Audience participation day...

Some groovy links from our readers...

From Eli B of Pistol Opera, comes a funky "OBAMA" rap:

Mike L sends us this smooth tribute by Ben Sollee, "A few honest words":

Kim sends a shout out for "Voices of Obama".
Write a letter to Barack. Make your voice heard.

Reagan's former chief of staff endorses Obama

Adam Levy writes for CNN:

Former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein told CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week he intends to vote for Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.

Duberstein said he was influenced by another prominent Reagan official - Colin Powell - in his decision.

"Well let's put it this way - I think Colin Powell's decision is in fact the good housekeeping seal of approval on Barack Obama."

Powell served as national security advisor to Reagan during Duberstein's tenure as chief of staff.

Duberstein spoke with Zakaria about his final days in the Reagan White House. The Reagan official, along with Clinton Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, also discussed the transition process to a new administration.

Watch the full discussion on the next administration this Sunday at 1 p.m. on Fareed Zakaria GPS.


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Say it ain't so, Joe!

"Joe the plumber" leaves McCain hangin'...

Summing up the parties

Bill write for Daily KOS:

Dear America,


Mine mine mine.

Me Me Me Me Me Me Me!

Mine mine mine mine mine. Mine. Mine. Mine. Mine!

In conclusion: Fear fear fear fear. Very scary fear!


The Republican Party

P.S. If you liked Joseph McCarthy, you'll love us!

Dear America,


Us. We. Together. Americans. United States.

Hope compassion equality inclusiveness competence.

Brains common sense community respect hard work accountability.

Action change responsibility. More viewpoints, smarter solutions.

In conclusion: Yes we can.


The Democratic Party.

P.S. Vote.



VOTE!, the sequel...

Better late than never...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pot, meet kettle...

Think Progress reports that Palin imposed "Share in the wealth" Winfall Profits Tax in Alaska:

Palin’s criticisms of Obama’s “spread the wealth” remarks are ironic, as she recently characterized Alaska’s tax code in a very similar way. Just last month, in an interview with Philip Gourevitch of the New Yorker, Palin explained the windfall profits tax that she imposed on the oil industry in Alaska as a mechanism for ensuring that Alaskans “share in the wealth” generated by oil companies:

And Alaska—we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs. … It’s to maximize benefits for Alaskans, not an individual company, not some multinational somewhere, but for Alaskans.

In fact, Alaska’s Clear and Equitable Share (ACES) program, which manages the redistribution of oil wealth in Alaska, brings in so much money that the state needs no income or sales tax. In addition, this year ACES will provide every Alaskan with a check for an estimated $3,200.

(Full Article)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hudson Valley for Obama presents an ELECTION EVE RALLY FOR CHANGE!

Come get fired up at Bard College on the the eve of the election as we present a rally for change!

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Multipurpose Room in the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College.

Show your support for Barack and NY Democrats running for office this year.

Speakers include:
Red Hook Town Council candidate Robert McKeon
New York State Senate candidate Ken Dow
Poughkeepsie family court judge candidate Joan Posner
New York State Assembly candidate Anne Rubin
and Bard faculty and staff to be announced.

Multimedia, food and refreshments.

Live Ska/Reggae/Dub performance by Mother Fletcher!

Time: Monday, November 3 from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Location: Bard College

Multipurpose room
Bertelsmann Campus Center
Bard College
Annandale on Hudson, NY 12504

See our event page on for RSVP and directions: Rally For Change!

Ill Doctrine on why we MUST vote!...

McSame in the words of his own surrogates...

Worth a thousand words, part 3...

Obama in Denver

Anchorage Daily News endorses Obama

From the editors:

Palin's rise captivates us but nation needs a steady hand

Alaska enters its 50th-anniversary year in the glow of an improbable and highly memorable event: the nomination of Gov. Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate. For the first time ever, an Alaskan is making a serious bid for national office, and in doing so she brings broad attention and recognition not only to herself, but also to the state she leads.

Alaska's founders were optimistic people, but even the most farsighted might have been stretched to imagine this scenario. No matter the outcome in November, this election will mark a signal moment in the history of the 49th state. Many Alaskans are proud to see their governor, and their state, so prominent on the national stage.

Gov. Palin's nomination clearly alters the landscape for Alaskans as we survey this race for the presidency -- but it does not overwhelm all other judgment. The election, after all is said and done, is not about Sarah Palin, and our sober view is that her running mate, Sen. John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.

Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office. In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Sen. McCain.

Since his early acknowledgement that economic policy is not his strong suit, Sen. McCain has stumbled and fumbled badly in dealing with the accelerating crisis as it emerged. He declared that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" at 9 a.m. one day and by 11 a.m. was describing an economy in crisis. He is both a longtime advocate of less market regulation and a supporter of the huge taxpayer-funded Wall Street bailout. His behavior in this crisis -- erratic is a kind description -- shows him to be ill-equipped to lead the essential effort of reining in a runaway financial system and setting an anxious nation on course to economic recovery.

Sen. Obama warned regulators and the nation 19 months ago that the subprime lending crisis was a disaster in the making. Sen. McCain backed tighter rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but didn't do much to advance that legislation. Of the two candidates, Sen. Obama better understands the mortgage meltdown's root causes and has the judgment and intelligence to shape a solution, as well as the leadership to rally the country behind it. It is easy to look at Sen. Obama and see a return to the smart, bipartisan economic policies of the last Democratic administration in Washington, which left the country with the momentum of growth and a budget surplus that President George Bush has squandered.

On the most important issue of the day, Sen. Obama is a clear choice.

Sen. McCain describes himself as a maverick, by which he seems to mean that he spent 25 years trying unsuccessfully to persuade his own party to follow his bipartisan, centrist lead. Sadly, maverick John McCain didn't show up for the campaign. Instead we have candidate McCain, who embraces the extreme Republican orthodoxy he once resisted and cynically asks Americans to buy for another four years.

It is Sen. Obama who truly promises fundamental change in Washington. You need look no further than the guilt-by-association lies and sound-bite distortions of the degenerating McCain campaign to see how readily he embraces the divisive, fear-mongering tactics of Karl Rove. And while Sen. McCain points to the fragile success of the troop surge in stabilizing conditions in Iraq, it is also plain that he was fundamentally wrong about the more crucial early decisions. Contrary to his assurances, we were not greeted as liberators; it was not a short, easy war; and Americans -- not Iraqi oil -- have had to pay for it. It was Sen. Obama who more clearly saw the danger ahead.

The unqualified endorsement of Sen. Obama by a seasoned, respected soldier and diplomat like Gen. Colin Powell, a Republican icon, should reassure all Americans that the Democratic candidate will pass muster as commander in chief.

On a matter of parochial interest, Sen. Obama opposes the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, but so does Sen. McCain. We think both are wrong, and hope a President Obama can be convinced to support environmentally responsible development of that resource.

Gov. Palin has shown the country why she has been so successful in her young political career. Passionate, charismatic and indefatigable, she draws huge crowds and sows excitement in her wake. She has made it clear she's a force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure politicians and political professionals across the country have taken note. Her future, in Alaska and on the national stage, seems certain to be played out in the limelight.

Yet despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth. To step in and juggle the demands of an economic meltdown, two deadly wars and a deteriorating climate crisis would stretch the governor beyond her range. Like picking Sen. McCain for president, putting her one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world is just too risky at this time.


Friday, October 24, 2008

More details on the "mutilation" hoax

From KDKA News in Pittsburgh:

Campaign Volunteer Faces Charges In Attack Hoax

Ashley Todd told investigators today she "just wanted to tell the truth" -- and was neither robbed, nor attacked
Todd, 20, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) ― A campaign worker who claimed she was the victim of a politically-motivated attack in which she was beaten, kicked and cut, now admits that she made the whole story up.

According to Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard, Ashley Todd, 20, told investigators today that she "was not robbed and there was no 6'4" black male attacker."

Todd initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield Wednesday night and that the suspect began beating her after seeing a John McCain bumper sticker on her car.

Todd claimed that the mugger even cut a backwards letter "B" in her check.

But today investigators say Todd confessed that the attack never happened.

At a news conference this afternoon, officials said they believe that Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.

Police investigating the report said Todd's story began to unravel early on and they administered a polygraph test.

Investigators asked Todd to return to the police station today for more questioning and to help them release a composite sketch of the suspect.

When she did, police say she admitted that she made the whole thing up and that it snowballed out of control.

Todd told investigators today that she "just wanted to tell the truth" – adding that she was neither robbed, nor attacked.

"She indicated that she has prior mental problems and that she does not remember how the backward letter B got on her face," Richard told reporters today.

Todd told police that while she did not remember how the backward "B" got on her face, she may have done it herself since she was the only one in the car.

According to police, Todd said she thought of Barack Obama when she saw the "B" in her rearview mirror.

Officials say they do not believe any other people were involved; and Todd's friends believed the story about the attack – encouraging her to call police.

Todd is now facing charge for filing a false police report.

As of late this afternoon, Todd was still in custody under observation.


CNN exposes the "Mutilation" hoax

The video the RNC does not want you to see...

Help fight the McSame smear robocalls

The Obama campaign has launched a new website to track and report the McCain campaign's misleading and outright false robocalls:

Under The Radar

If you receive, or know of anyone who has received one of these despicable calls, please go to the site and report them!
If we work together, we can fight this!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Goldwater's granddaughter endorses Obama

CC Goldwater tells HuffPo why McCain has lost her vote:

Being Barry Goldwater's granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain 'dyed in the wool' Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.

For a while, there were several candidates who aligned themselves with the Goldwater version of Conservative thought. My grandfather had undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its true meanings.

There always have been a glimmer of hope that someday, someone would "race through the gate" full steam in Goldwater style. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened, and the Republican brand has been tarnished in a shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear. Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and less safe.

When you see the candidate's in political ads, you can't help but be reminded of the 1964 presidential campaign of Johnson/Goldwater, the 'origin of spin', that twists the truth and obscures what really matters. Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it's standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity.

After the last eight years, there's a lot of clean up do. Roll up your sleeves, Senators Obama and Biden, and we Goldwaters will roll ours up with you.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Worth a thousand words, part 2...

Worth a thousand words...

Is this Palin's idea of "reform"?

$150,000 on clothes?!

Jeanne Cummings writes for Politico:

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission's long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

Politico asked the McCain campaign for comment, explicitly noting the $150,000 in expenses for department store shopping and makeup consultation that were incurred immediately after Palin’s announcement. Pre-September reports do not include similar costs.

Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing.

“The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent," she said.

(Full Article)

Sam Stein of HuffPo further reports:

A statement from McCain headquarters released hours after the article bemoaned the triviality of the whole affair.

"With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it's remarkable that we're spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said spokesperson Tracey Schmitt. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

But even the most timid of Democrats are unlikely to heed this call for civility. For starters, the story has the potential to dampen enthusiasm among GOP activists and donors at a critical point in the presidential race. It also creates a huge PR headache for the McCain ticket as it seeks to make inroads among voters worried about the current economic crisis.

Mainly, however, Democrats (in this scenario) are not prone to forgiveness. After all, it was during this same campaign cycle that Republicans belittled the $400 haircut that former Sen. John Edwards had paid for with his own campaign money (the funds were later reimbursed). And yet, the comparison to that once-dominant news story is hardly close: if Edwards had gotten one of his legendary haircuts every singe week, it would still take him 7.2 years to spend what Palin has spent. Palin has received the equivalent of $2,500 in clothes per day from places such as Saks Fifth Avenue (where RNC expenditures totaled nearly $50,000) and Neiman Marcus (where the governor had a $75,000 spree).

Beyond the political tit-for-tat, however, the revelation of the clothing expenditures offers what some Democrats see as a chance not just to win several news cycles during the campaign's waning days but to severely damage Palin's image as a small-town, 'Joe Six-Pack' American.

"It shows that Palin ain't like the rest of us," Tom Matzzie, a Democratic strategist told the Huffington Post, when asked how the party would or could use the issue. "It can help deflate her cultural populism with the Republican base. The plumber's wife doesn't go to Nieman's or Saks."

Indeed, the story could not come at a more inopportune time for the McCain campaign. During a week in which the Republican ticket is trying to highlight its connection to the working class -- and, by extension, promoting its newest campaign tool, Joe the Plumber -- it was revealed that Palin's fashion budget for several weeks was more than four times the median salary of an American plumber ($37,514). To put it another way: Palin received more valuable clothes in one month than the average American household spends on clothes in 80 years. A Democrat put it in even blunter terms: her clothes were the cost of health care for 15 or so people.

(Full Article)

Al-Qaeda endorses McCain?

Pamela Hess writes for HuffPo:

Al-Qaida supporters suggested in a Web site message this week they would welcome a pre-election terror attack on the U.S. as a way to usher in a McCain presidency.

The message, posted Monday on the password-protected al-Hesbah Web site, said if al-Qaida wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, "impetuous" Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This requires presence of an impetuous American leader such as McCain, who pledged to continue the war till the last American soldier," the message said. "Then, al-Qaida will have to support McCain in the coming elections so that he continues the failing march of his predecessor, Bush."

SITE Intelligence Group, based in Bethesda, Md., monitors the Web site and translated the message.

"If al-Qaida carries out a big operation against American interests," the message said, "this act will be support of McCain because it will push the Americans deliberately to vote for McCain so that he takes revenge for them against al-Qaida. Al-Qaida then will succeed in exhausting America till its last year in it."

Mark Salter, a senior McCain adviser, said he had heard about the Web site chatter but had no immediate comment.

The message is credited to a frequent and apparently respected contributor named Muhammad Haafid. However, Haafid is not believed to have a direct affiliation with al-Qaida plans or knowledge of its operations, according to SITE.

(Full Article)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin breaks with McCain on gay marriage amendment

Yahoo News reports:

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin says she supports a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a break with John McCain who has said he believes states should be left to define what marriage is. In an interview with Christian Broadcasting Network, the Alaska governor said she had voted in 1998 for a state amendment banning same sex marriage and hoped to see a federal ban on such unions.

"I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman. I wish on a federal level that's where we would go. I don't support gay marriage," Palin said. She said she believed traditional marriage is the foundation for strong families.

McCain, an Arizona senator, is supporting a ballot initiative in his state this year that would ban gay marriage. But he has consistently and forcefully opposed a federal marriage amendment, saying it would usurp states' authority on such matters.
As governor, Palin vetoed a bill that would have denied benefits to the partners of gay state employees. In a debate with Democratic rival Joe Biden, Palin said she was "tolerant" of gays and said she supported certain legal protections for same-sex couples, like hospital visitation rights.

(Full Article)

McCain: "I hate the gooks"

C.W. Nevius, Marc Sandalow, and John Wildermuth wrote this article in the San Francisco Chronicle in February of 2000...

McCain Criticized for Slur
He says he'll keep using term for ex-captors in Vietnam

Arizona Sen. John McCain refused to apologize yesterday for his use of a racial slur to condemn the North Vietnamese prison guards who tortured and held him captive during the war.

"I hate the gooks," McCain said yesterday in response to a question from reporters aboard his campaign bus. "I will hate them as long as I live."

McCain, a former Navy pilot who spent five years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, was questioned about the language because of a story last month in the Nation magazine reporting his continued use of the slur.

Since then, reports of McCain's language have been circulating on Internet chat sites and e-mails among Asian Americans, many of whom find the the term offensive and inappropriate for an elected official.

McCain's appeal to voters has been as a wartime hero and a feisty politician who speaks his mind and damns the consequences. But his comments on the eve of the key South Carolina primary show the candidate's vaunted "straight talk" in another light.

"The use of a racist slur can't be acceptable for any national leader, regardless of his background," said Diane Chin, executive director of the San Francisco-based Chinese for Affirmative Action. "For someone running for president not to recognize the power of words is a problem."

While McCain's words may have little effect in conservative South Carolina, where few Asian Americans live, they could come back to haunt him in other states.

"Historically, straight talkers who say things off the top of their heads eventually hang themselves with those sorts of remarks," said Bruce Cain, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley.

"While it might not hurt him now, Democrats are not going to have any hesitation about using this stuff to string him up later."


McCain made no apologies yesterday.

"I was referring to my prison guards," McCain said, "and I will continue to refer to them in language that might offend some people because of the beating and torture of my friends."

McCain made it clear that his anger extends only toward his captors. As a senator, he was one of the leaders of the postwar effort to normalize U.S. relations with Vietnam.

Campaign officials do not expect the controversy to hurt McCain, either in tomorrow's South Carolina primary or later in the campaign.

"If people understood the context, they wouldn't be upset," Mike Murphy, a senior adviser to the campaign, said last night.

But the racial slur used by the senator has a long, painful history that is felt by many Asian Americans.

The word "gook" was first used in 1899 by American soldiers fighting Filipino insurgents. During the Korean War, the term was aimed at Koreans and Chinese. It was directed at the Vietnamese when Americans were fighting in Vietnam. It is now used as a slur toward any Asian or Pacific Islander.

The Arizona senator prides himself on running an open campaign. He is surrounded by reporters, television cameras and tape recorders perhaps more than any presidential candidate in history. Reporters are given full access to the candidate between each campaign stop on a customized bus purposefully dubbed the "Straight Talk Express."

The bus, which also carries his top staff and often his wife, Cindy, is crammed with network anchors and local newspaper reporters, who endlessly engage McCain in what amounts to a news conference on wheels.

The comments are usually recorded and always on the record.

Sometimes the questions are pointed and serious. Sometimes they are not.

McCain has declared on his bus, "I hate the French." He often begins meetings with Californians joking, "I hate Californians," noting that they steal Arizona's water and lure his constituents away in the summer.


But those comments are clearly in jest. Yesterday's were not.

McCain was captured after his A-4 Skyhawk was shot down over Hanoi on Oct. 26, 1967. During the time he was held, he was brutally tortured by his captors, finally reaching the point where he was unable to resist signing a "confession."

McCain and his fellow prisoners suffered terribly in the prison camp. In the crowd at yesterday's rally in Greenville was retired Adm. Robert Fuller, who was in prison with McCain at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."

Fuller, who lives in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., spoke informally of the despair of living in single cells, where the only form of contact was by an ingenious code devised by the prisoners. Fuller said prisoners were sometimes tortured for as many as six days. When they returned, he said, the others would send messages of support by tapping on the wall.

"They would be put in ropes for six days, and they would confess," Fuller said. "When they came back to their cell, guys would tap on the wall, `We love you. I wish we could give you a hug.' "

The horrors of the past cannot be an excuse for hurting people in the present, said Guy Aoki, president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, an anti-defamation group.

"If Sen. McCain had been captured by Nigerians, could he call those people `niggers' and think he wasn't going to offend everyone who is black?" Akoi asked. "We can all feel for what he went through, but if that's his level of sensitivity, I'm very disappointed."

McCain usually treats his experience as a prisoner of war as a terrible time in his life, but a period he has moved beyond. At times, he even uses it as a punch line for jokes.

At a pancake breakfast recently, he said he had gone with his daughter to the MTV Music Awards, "and that was the greatest assault on my senses since I was in prison."

Yesterday's comments made it clear that McCain had neither forgotten, nor forgiven, his captors.

"I will call right now, my interrogator that tortured me, a gook," McCain said. "(I can't believe that) anybody doesn't believe these interrogators and prison guards were cruel and sadistic people who deserve the worst appellations possible."

McCain said he does not consider the comment an epithet.

"Gook," he said, "is the kindest appellation I can give."


Seriously people. This needs to be remembered.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tires slashed during Obama rally

Corey Johnson writes for the Fatetteville Observer:

Someone slashed the tires of at least 30 vehicles parked outside the Crown Coliseum on Sunday during a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, authorities said.

Sheriff’s deputies are investigating. The tires were cut while people were inside the Crown Coliseum listening to speeches, said Maj. E. Wright of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

Many of the damaged vehicles were parked on Wilkes Road. Representatives from Obama and Sen. John McCain’s campaigns said they were unaware of the acts.

Susan Lagana, the North Carolina communications director for Obama, said it was extremely disappointing and unfortunate that “people would have to experience something like that.”

Mario Diaz, communications director for McCain, did not respond to a call late Sunday.

Sarah Revis, who lives on Wilkes Road, said the slashed tires left several women, including a single mother and a toddler, stranded and upset. At least four tow trucks were sent to move the vehicles from the Crown, Revis said.

“This is an embarrassment to this city and to me as a citizen,” Revis said. “I’ve seen women out here crying and men cussing. This is a crying shame.”

Lynne Steenstra said she thought that the slashings were scare tactics designed to keep her and others from supporting Obama.

Even though it cost her roughly $120 to get her Dodge Caravan towed and fixed, Steenstra said the act would not intimidate her from voting.

“It hasn’t deterred us one bit,” Steenstra said. “It has only encouraged us more. I just hope whoever did this pays the price.”


W. Virginia voting machines changing Obama votes to McCain

Paul Nyden writes for the Charleston Gazette:

Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain".

In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.

They also blamed voters for not being more careful.

"People make mistakes more than machines," said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

"I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.

Ketchum's son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.

"I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead," Oates said of her experience Thursday.

She said she caught the mistake, called over a worker in the county clerk's office and was able to correct her vote. But she worries other voters may not catch such a mistake.

When asked if she is sure she touched the box for Rockefeller, she said, "I'm absolutely positive."

Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood said on Saturday that he is upset there are "so many negative stories out there and not enough positive ones. We want people to vote. People need to know the facts.

(Full Article)

Arrest made in GOP voter registration fraud case

Evan Halper writes for the LA Times:

The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario over the weekend on suspicion of voter registration fraud.

State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that all signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. His firm, Young Political Majors, or YPM, collects petition signatures and registers voters in California and other states.

Jacoby's arrest by state investigators and the Ontario Police Department late Saturday came after dozens of voters said they were duped into registering as Republicans by people employed by YPM. The voters said YPM workers tricked them by saying they were signing a petition to toughen penalties against child molesters.

The firm was paid $7 to $12 for every Californian it registered as a member of the GOP

(Full Article)

Y'all were saying something about ACORN?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Conservative Chicago Tribune endorses Obama

First Chris Buckley, now the Tribune!...

From the Editorial Board of the Tribune:

However this election turns out, it will dramatically advance America's slow progress toward equality and inclusion. It took Abraham Lincoln's extraordinary courage in the Civil War to get us here. It took an epic battle to secure women the right to vote. It took the perseverance of the civil rights movement. Now we have an election in which we will choose the first African-American president . . . or the first female vice president.

In recent weeks it has been easy to lose sight of this history in the making. Americans are focused on the greatest threat to the world economic system in 80 years. They feel a personal vulnerability the likes of which they haven't experienced since Sept. 11, 2001. It's a different kind of vulnerability. Unlike Sept. 11, the economic threat hasn't forged a common bond in this nation. It has fed anger, fear and mistrust.

On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose.

The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.

(Full Article)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"The blacks will take over"

Lest we forget...

Quickie debate recap...

That, "my friends", was a good old-fashioned ASS-WHOOPIN'!...

McCain: *@#^^%$^#!&(!@%!#&(!%(%!*^@%#!%@^#^!!!!

Obama: Step aside pops. Lemme show ya how it's done.

This was the "hot" debate we've all be waiting for and Obama was on fire.
It was almost painful to watch McCain desperately fumble his way through a botched attack strategy and fall flat on substantive issues.
Obama was so solidly on point that McCain looked like he was going to self-combust due to lack of real details to back up his assertions.

Obama was cool.
Obama was collected.
Obama was thoughtful.
Obama was detailed.
Obama was nimble.
Obama was firm.
Obama was well versed in both candidates' policy points.
Obama showed leadership.
Obama was presidential.

McCain? Was. Angry.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Clueless McCain plagiarizes economic policy from Hillary...

Glenn Thrush writes for Politico:

On Sept. 24, Hillary Rodham Clinton received a surprise phone call from the man she’s often denounced as an economic know-nothing: John McCain.

This was no social call, even though Clinton likes McCain enough to keeps his photo on the wall of her Senate office. The GOP nominee had already chatted with Bill Clinton about the mortgage crisis and wanted to pick the senator’s brain about her new proposal to have the federal government buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate terms more favorable to homeowners on verge of default.

“McCain said he had been motivated by it, he was very complimentary about what she had proposed and wanted to know more,” said a person with knowledge of the call.

Clinton responded coolly: “She didn’t engage him, she just said, ‘Thank you’ and heard him out.”

Three weeks later, at the town hall debate in Nashville, Tenn., McCain rolled out a $300 billion anti-foreclosure plan that’s similar, if not identical, to Clinton’s — and subsequently credited the concept “to a suggestion that Sen. Hillary Clinton made not that long ago.”

(Full Article)


Obama leading among early voters

Survey USA polls show Obama with healthy margins among early voters in states where that is allowed.

Let's keep it up folks! Don't get complacent!
We need every vote we can get form now until November 4th!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BREAKING: McCain transition chief lobbied for Saddam Hussein

Murray Waas writes for HuffPo:

The Washington lobbyist John McCain has named to head his presidential transition team aided an influence effort on behalf of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to ease international sanctions against his regime.

The two lobbyists who McCain aide William Timmons worked closely with over a five year period on the lobbying campaign later either pleaded guilty to or were convicted of federal criminal charges that they had acted as unregistered agents of Saddam Hussein's government.

During the same period beginning in 1992, Timmons worked closely with the two lobbyists, Samir Vincent and Tongsun Park, on a previously unreported prospective deal with the Iraqis in which they hoped to be awarded a contract to purchase and resell Iraqi oil. Timmons, Vincent, and Park stood to share at least $45 million if the business deal went through.

Timmons' activities occurred in the years following the first Gulf War, when Washington considered Iraq to be a rogue enemy state and a sponsor of terrorism. His dealings on behalf of the deceased Iraqi leader stand in stark contrast to the views his current employer held at the time.

John McCain strongly supported the 1991 military action against Iraq, and as recently as Sunday described Saddam Hussein as a one-time menace to the region who had "stated categorically that he would acquire weapons of mass destruction, and he would use them wherever he could."

Timmons declined to comment for this story.

(Full Article)

A nerd we can believe in!

Troopergate goes from bad to worse

Tom Kizzia writes for Anchorage Daily News:

The state Personnel Board investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of Walt Monegan has broadened to include other ethics complaints against the governor and examination of actions by other state employees, according to the independent counsel handling the case.

The investigator, Tim Petumenos, did not say who else is under scrutiny. But in two recent letters describing his inquiry, he cited the consolidation of complaints and the involvement of other officials as a reason for not going along with Palin's request to make the examination of her activities more public.

Two other ethics complaints involving Palin are known. One, by activist Andree McLeod, alleges that state hiring practices were circumvented for a Palin supporter. The case is not related to Monegan's firing. The other, by the Public Safety Employees Association, alleges that trooper Mike Wooten's personnel file was illegally breached by state officials.

John Cyr, the PSEA executive director, said Monday the union plans to amend its complaint to be sure the board investigates "harassment" of Wooten as well.

(Full Article)

So what if Obama were a Muslim or an Arab?

Campbell Brown writes for CNN:

You may find it hard to believe that this remains an issue in this campaign, but it does.

The candidates, both candidates, are still getting questions about Barack Obama's ethnicity and religion. If you are even semi-informed, then by now you already know that of course, Barack Obama is an American.

Of course, Barack Obama is a Christian. Yet just a few days ago, there was a woman at a rally for John McCain incorrectly calling Obama an Arab:

Woman at rally: I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab.

Sen. John McCain: No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about. He's not, thank you.

Now, I commend Sen. McCain for correcting that woman, for setting the record straight. But I do have one question -- so what if he was?

So what if Obama was Arab or Muslim? So what if John McCain was Arab or Muslim? Would it matter?

When did that become a disqualifier for higher office in our country? When did Arab and Muslim become dirty words? The equivalent of dishonorable or radical?

Whenever this gets raised, the implication is that there is something wrong with being an Arab-American or a Muslim. And the media is complicit here, too.

We've all been too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur.

There are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim-Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal average Americans from all walks of life.

These are the people being maligned here, and we can only imagine how this conversation plays in the Muslim world. We can't tolerate this ignorance -- not in the media, not on the campaign trail.

Of course, he's not an Arab. Of course, he's not a Muslim. But honestly, it shouldn't matter.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Why are Republicans so afraid of ACORN?

Troopergate explodes!

CNN reports:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) -- Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her power as Alaska's governor and violated state ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator's report concluded Friday.

"Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda," the report states.

Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan's refusal to fire State Trooper Mike Wooten from the state police force was "likely a contributing factor" to Monegan's July dismissal, but Palin had the authority as governor to fire him, the report by former Anchorage prosecutor Stephen Branchflower states.

However, it states that her efforts to get Wooten fired broke a state ethics law that bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.

Monegan has said he was fired in July after refusing pressure to sack Wooten, who had gone through an acrimonious divorce and custody battle with Palin's sister. View a timeline of the investigation »

Palin and her husband, Todd, have consistently denied wrongdoing, describing Wooten as a "rogue trooper" who had threatened their family -- allegations Branchflower discounted.

"I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins' real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family reasons," Branchflower wrote.

The Branchflower report states Todd Palin used his wife's office and its resources to press for Wooten's removal, and the governor "failed to act" to stop it. But because Todd Palin is not a state employee, the report makes no finding regarding his conduct.

The bipartisan Legislative Council, which commissioned the investigation after Monegan was fired, unanimously adopted the 263-page public report after a marathon executive session Friday.

About 1,000 more pages of documents compiled during the inquiry will remain confidential because they involve private personnel matters, according to the council's chairman, state Sen. Kim Elton.

"I believe that these findings may help people come to a conclusion on how they should vote" in the presidential election, Elton said.

McCain-Palin campaign spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said Palin would cooperate with the Personnel Board investigation. The Palins' lawyer has said an investigator named by that board wants to question them in late October.

Stapleton called the investigation "a partisan-led inquiry" run by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, but hailed its finding that Monegan's firing broke no law.

"Gov. Palin was cleared of the allegation of an improper firing, which is what this investigation was approved to look into," she said.

Stapleton went on to say that the Legislature exceeded its mandate in finding an ethics violation. "Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached, making a tortured argument to find fault without basis in law or fact."

Rep. John Coghill, a Republican who criticized the handling of the investigation, said it was "well-done professionally."

He said Palin "bumped right against the edges" of the state's ethics laws but that he would give "the benefit of the doubt to the governor, though, at this point."

Palin originally agreed to cooperate with the Legislative Council inquiry, and disclosed in August that her advisers had contacted Department of Public Safety officials nearly two dozen times regarding her ex-brother-in-law.

But once she became Sen. John McCain's running mate, her advisers began painting the investigation as a weapon of Democratic partisans.

Ahead of Friday's hearing, Palin supporters wearing clown costumes and carrying balloons denounced the probe as a "kangaroo court" and a "three-ring circus" led by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The state senator managing the probe, Sen. Hollis French, fueled those complaints with a September 2 interview in which he warned the inquiry could yield an "October Surprise" for the GOP. But Palin's lawyers already had begun pushing for the state Personnel Board to launch its own investigation, calling it the proper legal venue for the matter.

"The report speaks for itself," French told CNN Friday night.


(Huffington Post)


(ABC News)


(FOX Noise)

(CBS News)

Monday, October 6, 2008

The New Yorker endorses Obama for president

The editors write:

We cannot expect one man to heal every wound, to solve every major crisis of policy. So much of the Presidency, as they say, is a matter of waking up in the morning and trying to drink from a fire hydrant. In the quiet of the Oval Office, the noise of immediate demands can be deafening. And yet Obama has precisely the temperament to shut out the noise when necessary and concentrate on the essential. The election of Obama—a man of mixed ethnicity, at once comfortable in the world and utterly representative of twenty-first-century America—would, at a stroke, reverse our country’s image abroad and refresh its spirit at home. His ascendance to the Presidency would be a symbolic culmination of the civil- and voting-rights acts of the nineteen-sixties and the century-long struggles for equality that preceded them. It could not help but say something encouraging, even exhilarating, about the country, about its dedication to tolerance and inclusiveness, about its fidelity, after all, to the values it proclaims in its textbooks. At a moment of economic calamity, international perplexity, political failure, and battered morale, America needs both uplift and realism, both change and steadiness. It needs a leader temperamentally, intellectually, and emotionally attuned to the complexities of our troubled globe. That leader’s name is Barack Obama.

(Full Endorsement)

Obama drops the Keating bomb...

John McCain and the Keating 5

Thursday, October 2, 2008

You need to watch this...

From Andrew Sulivan's Daily Dish:

A pretty amazing speech by the AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka. To see a white union man take on racism this way is very moving. Something truly profound could happen in this election, if we want it to:


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Asks To Postpone Friday Debate Due To Economic Crisis

Beth Fouhy writes for HuffPost:

NEW YORK — Republican John McCain said Wednesday he is directing his staff to work with Democrat Barack Obama's campaign and the presidential debate commission to delay Friday's debate because of the economic crisis.

In a statement, McCain said he will stop campaigning after addressing former President Clinton's Global Initiative session on Thursday and return to Washington to focus on the nation's financial problems.

McCain said he wants President Bush to convene a leadership meeting in Washington that would include him and Obama.

"It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the administration's proposal," McCain said. "I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time."

McCain said if Congress does not pass legislation to address the crisis, credit will dry up, people will no longer be able to buy homes, life savings will be at stake and businesses will not have enough money

"If we do not act, ever corner of our country will be impacted," McCain said. "We cannot allow this to happen."

McCain said he has spoken to Obama about his plans and asked the Democratic presidential nominee to join him.

The Obama campaign said Obama had called McCain around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday to propose that they issue a joint statement in support of a package to help fix the economy as soon as possible. McCain called back six hours later and agreed to the idea of the statement, the Obama campaign said. McCain's statement was issued to the media a few minutes later.

"We must meet as Americans, not as Democrats or Republicans, and we must meet until this crisis is resolved," McCain said. "I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so."


Whatcha scared of Johnny?


ABC News/Washington Post poll gives Obama a 9 pt lead over McCain!

(Source: Real Clear Politics)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The "bounce" giveth...

...and the "bounce" taketh away!

McCain's convention bounce now dwindled down to .6 in the national polls with some once again showing a lead for Obama.

Real Clear Politics has the latest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Something's rotten in the state of Michigan, Part 2... Obama strikes back!

Obama campaign files suit over “voter-foreclosure” plans

Ed Brayton writes for the Michigan Messenger:

The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee have filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan over the Michigan GOP’s plan to use foreclosure lists to challenge voters at the polls, as first reported by the Michigan Messenger.

Bob Bauer, general counsel for the Obama campaign, and Mark Brewer, chairman of the Michigan Democratic Party, announced the lawsuit in a conference call with reporters this afternoon. It was filed on behalf of the campaign, the party and three Michigan residents who have had their houses foreclosed upon in recent months.

Bauer called the GOP plan to use foreclosure lists “a new and especially repellent version of caging.” Caging is a technique of challenging voters where they take lists of addresses, mail to them with a “do not forward” marking and if for whatever reason those mailings are returned, they use this as a basis for claiming that the voter no longer lives at the address at which they are registered.

Bauer noted that using foreclosure lists to challenge a voter’s address is “false and illegal” for several reasons. First, because getting a foreclosure notice is not evidence that the person’s address has changed. In Michigan, homeowners have the opportunity to redeem the foreclosure even after a sheriff’s sale has occurred, which means they can stay in the home for many months after a foreclosure notice has been sent. Second, because under Michigan law a person can vote at their old precinct if they lost their home within 60 days of the election.

Brewer noted that in July alone 11,000 Michigan residents received foreclosure notices. The McCain campaign, he argued, “wants to add insult to injury” by denying those residents their right to vote. “The right to vote is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans,” said Brewer, “To try to strip our fellow citizens of their right to vote is un-American and unconscionable.”

Last week, James Carabelli, chairman of the Macomb County GOP, told the Messenger’s Eartha Melzer in a phone interview: “We will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren’t voting from those addresses.” The Michigan Republican Party has denied that Carabelli made the statements that the Michigan Messenger reported, but Bauer said that the complaint includes quotes from Republican operatives in Ohio and other states saying much the same thing Carabelli said and defending the legitimacy of using foreclosure lists and voter caging techniques.

Bauer also said that they expect that the lawsuit will allow them to subpoena emails and memos from the state and local GOP officials that will prove that they had obtained foreclosure lists and were planning to use them for this purpose.


National Organization for Women endorses Obama

AFP reports:
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The National Organization for Women (NOW) said Tuesday it had been pushed by the Republicans pick of Sarah Palin as vice presidential nominee to back Democrat Barack Obama for the White House.

"NOW is going to be endorsing the Obama-Biden ticket," NOW head Kim Gandy told National Public Radio (NPR), referring to Obama and his running mate Joseph Biden.

The 500,000-strong women's movement, which "very, very rarely endorses in a general election", broke with its tradition of neutrality after "the addition of Sarah Palin gave us a new sense of urgency," said Gandy.

"She is being portrayed as a supporter of women's rights ... as a feminist when in fact her positions on so many of the issues are really anathema to ours," Gandy said.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain electrified his party's conservative base when he named Palin, a devout Christian and staunch opponent of abortion, as his running mate some two weeks ago.

The move was seen by some as an attempt by McCain to win over disappointed women voters who had backed Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, and also saw her passed over by Obama in favor of Biden.

"There's no question that a lot of women think it's a great thing for a woman to be running for vice president," Gandy said on NPR.

"But they are completely dismayed when they find out her positions.

"The idea that she opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest -- those kinds of positions are completely out of step with American women and once they find out about those positions, they get a little less excited about a woman running for vice president," Gandy said.

NOW was due to formally announce its endorsement of the Obama-Biden ticket later Tuesday at a news conference.


An addition to "Important Links"...

The McCainPedia tracks his lies and exposes his record on the issues.

Thanks to From The Left for the link!

Something to ponder...

This piece was written by Judge Andy Sonner of Maryland:

If you're a minority and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "token hire."
If you're a conservative and you're selected for a job over more qualified candidates you're a "game changer."

Black teen pregnancies? A "crisis" in black America.
White teen pregnancies? A "blessed event."

If you grow up in Hawaii you're "exotic."
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential "American story."

Similarly, if you name you kid Barack you're "unpatriotic."
Name your kid Track, you're "colorful."

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're "reck less."
A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a "maverick."

If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new African American voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of=2 0the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.

If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with fewer than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, then you've got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.

If you are a Democratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an "arrogant celebrity".
If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are "energizing the base".

If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are "presumptuous".
If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a "shoot from the hip" maverick.

If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are "an elitist-out of touch" with the real America.
If you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate of Annapolis, with multiple disciplinary infractions, you are a hero.

If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an "empty suit".
If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an "experienced executive".

If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are "extremist".
If you believe in creationism and don't believe global warming is manmade, you are "strongly principled".

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
If you have been married to the same woman with whom you've been wed to for 19 years and raising 2 beautiful daughters with, you're "risky".

If you're a black single mother of 4 who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're an irresponsible parent endangering the life of your unborn child.
But if you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.

If you're a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you "First dog."
If you're a 17-year old pregnant unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you "beautiful" and "courageous."

If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter.
If you have an abortion your not a Christian, you're a murderer (forget about if it happen while being date raped.)

If you teach abstinence only in sex education, you get teen parents.
If you teach responsible age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

******Keep up with the political campaign please. You'll see all these to be true. This November we will all be making a critical decision. Do your research and choose wisely.