Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reconciliation - not

Here is a cute poem I found in the comments on Huffington Post:

The Election is Over,
The Talking is Done.
Your Party Lost.
My Party Won.

So Let Us Be Friends,
Let Arguments Pass.
I'll Hug Your Elephant,
You'll Kiss My @ss

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thank the Troops

Even if you don't agree with the war, you can still thank the troops!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

David Cook at Do the Wright Thing at the Hard Rock Cafe

Wow - from the video on Youtube this was a great show. Here is Life on the Moon and Light On. David is a great performer! His album which comes out on Tuesday only got 2 1/2 stars from Rolling Stone, but as many have commented, the songs really grow on you after repeated listening. I am really getting to love Barbasol -it reminds me of the way George Pelecanos writes about music in his novels - something essential to a kind of edgy life. And Life on the Moon is terrific.

Here is the video: (there are more, just search David Cook Do the Wright Thing)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

David Cook on Soundcheck

The full show of David Cook is now up on Soundcheck. The songs featured are: Light On, Barbasol, Lies, Heroes, and Declaration. There is also an interview. Cook sounds pretty good, Light On and Declaration are great, Barbasol is growing on me, Lies and Heroes are ok. The setting is great, and Cook looks good.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Transparency in the transition

Here is a video from Valerie Jarrett, a long-time friend of Barack Obama, who has been named as a senior White House Advisor (her official title will be: "senior advisor and assistant to the President for Inter-government relations and Public Liaison in the Obama White House." ) Her direct, no-nonsense style seems to mesh well with Obama's. As Jarrett mentions in the video, the Obama Transition Team website is

Monday, November 10, 2008 It's a New Day

I happened to like the dress, but I bet Michelle didn't realize how often it would appear after the fact. A historic dress for a historic day. Here is's new video - It's a New Day along with Oprah's introduction. And baby, it IS a beautiful new day!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

More jokes - from Leno, Letterman, Myers, O'Brien, Maher, etc.

As printed in the LA Times:

David Letterman, on ‘Late Show with David Letterman,’ Nov. 5 "At the end of the evening, the electoral vote count was 349 for Obama, 148 for McCain. Or, as Fox News says, ‘too close to call.’"

Jay Leno, on ‘ The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,’ Nov. 3 "According to recent news reports, Bill Clinton has now become an adviser to Barack Obama. Bill Clinton is giving advice to Barack Obama. Do you know who is really upset about this? Michelle Obama."

Conan O'Brien, on ‘Late Night with Conan O’Brien,’ Nov. 5 "Last night, [Sarah Palin] denied rumors that she's getting ready to run for president in 2012. Palin said, 'That’s a long time away. I’ll be a great-grandmother by then.'"

Seth Meyers, on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Nov. 1 "At a campaign rally on Thursday, Senator McCain called Joe the plumber up to the stage, only to discover that he was not at the rally. In fairness to Joe the plumber, he did say he'd be there sometime between noon and 6 p.m."

Seth Meyers, on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Nov. 1 "This Sunday, daylight saving time ends. John McCain quickly condemned it as a redistribution of sunlight.”

John McCain, on ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Oct. 31 “Look, would I rather be on three major networks? Of course. But I’m a true maverick: a Republican without money."

Bill Maher, on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher,’ Oct. 31 "I think this says it all about the difference between the two parties. McCain is campaigning with Joe the plumber, Obama is down in Florida campaigning with Al Gore. One guy won the Nobel Prize in climate science. The other guy can get a fork out of a garbage disposal."

Jimmy Kimmel, on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Nov. 3 "This is a country that waits 18 hours on line for an iPhone. We'll sit for three days in the rain to get Halo 2. We'll camp out on the sidewalk for a week to get the first ticket to see a 'Star Wars' movie that we know is going to be crap. ... If we can wait in line to see the Jonas brothers, then by God, I say we can wait in line to elect the next president of the United States."

Craig Ferguson, on 'Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,' Oct. 31 " Barack Obama hit back at the charges that he's a socialist by joking that since he shared his toys as a child, he must be a communist. To which John McCain responded, 'You had toys as a child? I had to play with dinosaurs.'"

Friday, November 7, 2008

A joke for Democrats only

Sent to me by my friend Gail:

One sunny day in February 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 away.

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, 'Yes Sir! See you tomorrow.'

Last of the Culture Warriors

On November 3rd, Washington Post columnist Peter Beinart wrote his monthly column about Sarah Palin called "Last of the Culture Warriors." Beinart writes,

"Palin's brand is culture war, and in America today culture war no longer sells. The struggle that began in the 1960s -- which put questions of racial, sexual and religious identity at the forefront of American politics -- may be ending. Palin is the end of the line. "

The article continues, [emphasis mine]

"Today, according to a recent Newsweek poll, the economy is up to 44 percent and "issues like abortion, guns and same-sex marriage" down to only 6 percent. It's no coincidence that Palin's popularity has plummeted as the financial crisis has taken center stage . . . She's depicting the campaign as a struggle between the culturally familiar and the culturally threatening, the culturally traditional and the culturally exotic. But Obama has dismissed those attacks as irrelevant, and the public, focused nervously on the economic collapse, has largely tuned them out. "

Beinart's premise is at least temporarily belied by the success of state propositions banning same sex marriages, indicating that traditional culture advocates still prevail. But according to Beinart, culture wars wax and wane with generational change. He believes that

"The long-running, internecine baby boomer cultural feud just isn't that relevant to Americans who came of age after the civil rights, gay rights and feminist revolutions. Even many younger evangelicals are broadening their agendas beyond abortion, stem cells, school prayer and gay marriage."

The problem with "culture war" is that it divides us - across the nation, among friends, even among families - based on what we essentially believe in. At issue in the culture war is not which of several similarly plausible economic policies is best, but the core beliefs that lie directly in the center of our being - is it right to abort a fetus, is it right for two people of the same sex to be married, is it right for people to freely be able to purchase assault rifles, is it right to torture and imprison people without trial. These are not win-win scenarios, as solutions that would satisfy both sides are few and far between.

Beinart ends his article with the hope that the Republican party will choose as its leader for the future someone like Mitt Romney or Bobby Jindall; social conservatives, but not likely to "try to substitute identity for policy ." Beinart believes "Sarah Palin may be the last culture warrior on the national ticket for a very long time." With the increasing revelation of internal strife within the McCain/Palin campaign, and tales of "Wasilla hillbilly" shopping sprees, some factions of the party have already begun to discredit Palin. It will be interesting to see what path the Republican Party chooses to follow into the future.

David Cook Light On official music video

Here is Cook's Light On video. I am disappointed. I have grown to like Light On more and more, but the video not so much. The song has so much dramatic potential - leave a light on - in a window, in a lighthouse, a candle burning, etc. etc. But the video just doesn't do justice to the song. Look at the theme - boy meets girl - how cliche. It is a timeless theme, but the whole bus boy thing is so old fashioned. David is in LA for pete's sake - why not go for some glitz? Or use current events - it would have been really cool to do a soldier packing and getting ready to deploy overseas, asking his wife or girlfriend to leave a light on.

Plus, there are a bunch of flaws that seem to jump right out - lip synching in the acoustic part, sweatshirt on-sweatshirt off, David over-acting a little (points to head).

Take all this with a grain of salt, however - coming from a huge Cook fan. I guess it is like having a kid, you are hyper conscious of what they're doing! Anyway, here is the video:

Light On (Official Music Video)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nelson Mandela's note to Barack Obama

Here is what Mandela wrote to Obama: (emphasis mine)

Senator Barack Obama,


Dear Senator Obama,

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.


N R Mandela

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Text of Obama's victory speech

Here is the text of President-elect Obama's victory speech as prepared for delivery last night in Grant Park. I think it is important to read and re-read this speech, as there is so much to think about in it. One thing is starkly clear - it is not what you expect of a victory speech of a man who won by a landslide, but rather is the speech of a hard-working, humble man who knows there is a steep climb ahead.

God bless Barack Obama - please continue to pray for his safety!

Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama

(as prepared for delivery)

Election Night

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

Chicago, Illinois

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen; by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the very first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different; that their voice could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled – Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who have been told for so long by so many to be cynical, and fearful, and doubtful of what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.

I just received a very gracious call from Senator McCain. He fought long and hard in this campaign, and he’s fought even longer and harder for the country he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine, and we are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. I congratulate him and Governor Palin for all they have achieved, and I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on that train home to Delaware, the Vice President-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last sixteen years, the rock of our family and the love of my life, our nation’s next First Lady, Michelle Obama. Sasha and Malia, I love you both so much, and you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the White House. And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother is watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight, and know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my campaign manager David Plouffe, my chief strategist David Axelrod, and the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics – you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to – it belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington – it began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston.

It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give five dollars and ten dollars and twenty dollars to this cause. It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy; who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep; from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on the doors of perfect strangers; from the millions of Americans who volunteered, and organized, and proved that more than two centuries later, a government of the people, by the people and for the people has not perished from this Earth. This is your victory.

I know you didn’t do this just to win an election and I know you didn’t do it for me. You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime – two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us. There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctor’s bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.

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.

What began twenty-one months ago in the depths of winter must not end on this autumn night. This victory alone is not the change we seek – it is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. It cannot happen without you.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism; of service and responsibility where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves, but each other. Let us remember that if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers – in this country, we rise or fall as one nation; as one people.

Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long. Let us remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House – a party founded on the values of self-reliance, individual liberty, and national unity. Those are values we all share, and while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress. As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends…though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection.” And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn – I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your President too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. To those who would tear this world down – we will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security – we support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright – tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from our the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity, and unyielding hope.

For that is the true genius of America – that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight is about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing – Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons – because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America – the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs and a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination. And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change. Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves – if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment. This is our time – to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth – that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people:

Yes We Can. Thank you, God bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Viva intelligence!

What a joy this election has been! One of the surprise benefits has been watching smart people talk on TV again. Rachel Maddow has had Newark, NJ mayor Cory Booker on several times, what a great mind he has! Also Jesse Jackson Junior, and one of Chris Matthews' guests tonight on Hardball, a state representative from South Carolina, I can't remember his name. But all of a sudden, NUANCE is back! ANALYSIS rules!!! I LOVE IT!!!

I could even watch George Bush, something I haven't been able to do for years.

Viva intelligence!!!

WE WON!!!!

Amazingly, I have had many more tears since we won this election than I had when we lost. There have been so many moving images and experiences.

Here is the video of President-elect Obama's victory speech from Grant Park in Chicago:

Here is John McCain's concession speech, surprisingly gracious at times:

Here is President Bush congratulating President-elect Obama and pledging his cooperation.

Here is Condi Rice's reaction Obama's election:

Monday, November 3, 2008

You Can Vote However You Like

Here is video from CNN of the terrific 6th and 7th grade kids from Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta doing their take of TI's "Whatever You Like." I'm with the folks at CNN, these kids are amazing - smart, funny, musically talented, they've got it all!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

David Cook ROCKS Saturday Night Live

David Cook and his band ROCKED on Saturday Night Live. EW's Popwatch blog is full of kudos for Cook & Co. - a lot of surprised comments from people who couldn't believe that an American Idol winner could actually do rock, and do it successfully on the very tough stage at SNL.

Here is the video of David Cook and band singing "Light On" on Saturday Night Live:

David Cook's second song was "Declaration" here is the video:

And finally, here is a video about Obama with David Cook singing "Time of My Life" in the background. How good does it get? By the way, "Time of My Life" just needs another 30,000 or so downloads to go platinum at 1,000,000. There is a very interesting story behind the song, once you know the story you understand why David embraced it so completely.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Drunken Halloween

A coalition of university presidents has been lobbying to have the drinking age lowered back to 18 to cut down on underage drinking. I guess kids drink when they are underage whether it is legal or not. For example,

Gail Collins is laugh-out-loud funny today

I wish I could post all of Gail Collins' NY Times OpEd piece "Our Election Whopper," which is not about a lie, as I suspected from the title, but about the "super-sized" election. Collins writes,

"Omigosh! It’s almost here. The one and only Election Day! Except, of course, in the 30-odd states where voting has been going on for some time. Nov. 4 is not quite as much of an event there . . .

. . . Our two-year presidential campaign now ends with a monthlong vote, followed by weeks of litigation over provisional ballots. After that, the new president is sworn in and given 100 days to accomplish his legislative agenda, after which everyone will start plotting for 2012.

It is a grand system in that great American tradition that has given us the seven-month baseball season and the half-gallon cup of soda. We have supersized the election. And why not? Barack Obama’s campaign budget is now supporting half the national economy. I don’t know how we’re going to get along without it, unless we can convince Mitt Romney to start gearing up instantly for his comeback."

And then there's this paragraph about why Obama is campaigning in 8 states in 3 time zones in the last 72 hours of the election:

"Obama’s target audience is the 10 percent of voters who told this week’s New York Times/CBS News poll that they did not feel as if they had received enough information to make an informed decision on the presidential race. I believe we have met them before. They are the men and women who get up at a town hall meeting after the candidate had just made a 20-minute opening speech about his/her plans for health care reform, and say: “What I want to know is, what are you going to do about medical costs?” My theory is that whenever they hear someone start to discuss the issues, they cover their ears and make humming noises, the way my husband does when I say it is time to take a look at our 401(k)s."

The Daily Show talks community organizing

Here is a video of John Oliver talking to and about community organizers in the Daily Show's usual hysterical and insightful way. Warning - frequent use of the f%*# word at the end)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Best and worst campaign ads

Over at the WaPo, Chris Cillizza, the Fix is asking for nominations for the best and worse ads of this election season. Elizabeth Dole's "Godless" ad is leading for worst ad (see my post God and Politics for the ad). Here are two of the ads that have been suggested for the best, one from Barack Obama and one from Bill Richardson.

Here is the Obama ad:

Here is one video showing two "job interview" ads from Bill Richardson:

David Cook Walmart Soundcheck Preview

David Cook's eponymous album drops on November 18th. Leading up to that are a bunch of tv appearances and other events, including being the featured artist on Walmart's Soundcheck. (aarrggghhh, yuck I HATE mentioning Walmart.) Anyway, on the Soundcheck
site there are 10 pictures of David with his band. Here is the preview video:

Dave is sounding a little pompous here, hope the album is not pompous. BTW, here are Cook's latest download sales figures from USA Today's Idol Chatter: David C.'s Light On, after falling 43-77 last week, rebounds and then some to 35, selling 34,000, a 123% gain, for a total of 189,000. Meanwhile, The Time of My Life also bounces upward, 118-94, selling 13,000, up 34%, for a total of 970,000.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

God and Politics

Religion has moved to the forefront in this election in a way that I never imagined. Somehow John McCain- not a regular church-goer (I understand Cindy is a Baptist and John attends her church) - has become the darling of the religious right, while Barack Obama, a born-again Christian and faithful church-goer, is portrayed as a Muslim and a socialist. Topsy-turvy.

Then there is Elizabeth Dole and Kay Hagans. This is really close to my heart as Hagans is a Presbyterian, teaches Sunday School, and is an elder in her church. Here is an attack video that Elizabeth Dole put out, accusing Hagans of being "godless."

Here is Hagan's response ad:

I guess in North Carolina you have to be a Christian to get elected. That is a shame.

Then today Jim Wallis called out James Dobson for a "slanderous" letter he wrote about an American in 2012 under Obama. In the preface to the letter Dobson wrote, "Of course, there are many evangelical Christians supporting Senator Obama as well as many supporting Senator McCain. Christians on both sides should continue to respect and cherish one another’s friendship as well as the freedom people have in the United States to differ on these issues and to freely speak their opinions about them to one another." The actual 'fictional' letter, however, goes way over the top, visualizing a worst-case scenario where America is not longer the "land of the free and the home of the brave." The 'fictional' letter concludes:

"Has America completely lost God’s favor and protection as a nation? If it has, is this surprising? How can God continue to bless a nation whose official policies promote blatant violation of God’s commands regarding the protection of human life, and sexual morality? Why should God bless any nation that elects officials who remove people’s freedom of religion and freedom of speech and freedom even to raise their own children? His Word says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34)."

On his "God's Politics" blog, Wallis calls on Dobson to apologize for the letter, saying that the letter "crosses all lines of decent public discourse. In a time of utter political incivility, it shows the kind of negative Christian leadership that has become so embarrassing to so many of your fellow Christians in America. We are weary of this kind of Christian leadership, and that is why so many are forsaking the Religious Right in this election."

Wallis continues to blast Dobson, writing: [links are Wallis']

"Such outrageous predictions not only damage your credibility, they slander Barack Obama who, you should remember, is a brother in Christ, and they insult any Christian who might choose to vote for him.

Let me make this clear: Christians will be voting both ways in this election, informed by their good faith, and based on their views of what are the best public policies and direction for America. But in utter disrespect for the prayerful discernment of your fellow Christians, this letter stirs their ugliest fears, appealing to their worst impulses instead of their best.

Fear is the clear motivator in the letter; especially fear that evangelical Christians might vote for Barack Obama. The letter was very revealing when it suggested that “younger Evangelicals” became the “swing vote” that elected Obama and the results were catastrophic.

You make a mistake when you assume that younger Christians don’t care as much as you about the sanctity of life. They do care—very much—but they have a more consistent ethic of life. Both broader and deeper, it is inclusive of abortion, but also of the many other assaults on human life and dignity. For the new generation, poverty, hunger, and disease are also life issues; creation care is a life issue; genocide, torture, the death penalty, and human rights are life issues; war is a life issue. What happens to poor children after they are born is also a life issue.

The America you helped vote into power has lost its moral standing in the world, and even here at home. The America you told Christians to vote for in past elections is now an embarrassment to Christians around the globe, and to the children of your generation of evangelicals. And the vision of America that you still tell Christians to vote for is not the one that many in a new generation of Christians believes expresses their best values and convictions.

Christians should be committed to the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of America, and the church is to live an alternative existence of love and justice, offering a prophetic witness to politics. Elections are full of imperfect choices where we all seek to what is best for the “common good” by applying the values of our faith as best we can.

Dr. Dobson, you of course have the same right as every Christian and every American to vote your own convictions on the issues you most care about, but you have chosen to insult the convictions of millions of other Christians, whose own deeply held faith convictions might motivate them to vote differently than you. This epistle of fear is perhaps the dying gasp of a discredited heterodoxy of conservative religion and conservative politics. But out of that death, a resurrection of biblical politics more faithful to the whole gospel—one that is truly good news—might indeed be coming to life."

Elective Compulsive Disorder

Elective Compulsive Disorder - this is something all the best people have. I admit to having it. I am admitting it in public, just like I have admitted having OCDCD (Obsessive Compulsive David Cook Disorder). People with ECD endlessly watch the cycle of political shows on MSNBC, frequent sites like and and entered the Pick a President contest at the Washington Post. People with ECD get uncomfortable if they miss a post at The Fix, or the Swamp, or even the Top of the Ticket. They read Politico, Daily Kos, and Huffington Post religiously.

Patt Morrison has a cute little Opinion piece in the LA Times on ECD. She writes,

"I'm just glad I'm not the only obsessive. The Associated Press delivered some advice for the likes of me from Lisa Miller at Columbia University Teachers College. "Turn to those things which are more eternal and more important, such as nature and family," she says helpfully. "It's a great time to go into nature. Go camping."Camping? Like some guy who sees sex in every Rorschach blot, everything makes me think of politics. Miller's advice sent me back 20 years, when vice presidential hopeful Dan Quayle allegedly told voters in American Samoa, "You all look like happy campers to me."

Rachel Maddow is another ECD sufferer. She is travelling in elevated spheres lately; it was Obama campaign staffers who tried to reassure her that early voting is really going okay.

Even Joe the Plumber has ditched McCain

You know how lately there have been a string of Republican endorsements of Barack Obama? Then there were rumors of strife and blame-laying in the McCain campaign. Next came the reports of Sarah Palin going ROGUE.

Well, poor John McCain. According to this MSNBC article, even Joe the Plumber has deserted John McCain.

While it is humorous to think about Joe standing John up, what was not at all funny about the rally that Joe skipped was that hundreds of school children were bussed in to it. According to the article, a school district official reported that "The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, ... in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses." This is incredibly creepy - I would go absolutely through the roof to the point of investigating a law suit if my child were involuntarily bussed to a Republican political rally.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DAVID COOK SNL, IPOD app and more!

It's a big news day for David Cook fans!

  1. There is a new app available with "Light On" downloads that will light up your Iphone or iPODtouch when you play Cook's single "Light On." Nuts to me because I don't have either of those, plus I decided not to download anymore from ITunes after my frustrating experience trying to get "Light On" onto a CD. (What's the deal with spelling these "I" apps, anyway - are they capital or lower case i's???)

  2. David will be appearing on Saturday Night Live this Saturday, November 1st!!! with his new band. The band includes Neil Tiemann and Andy Skib from Midwest Kings, and 2 new guys who were selected by audition. One of the new guys is bass player Joey Clement, check out his MySpace page, he looks a lot like John Mayer to me. The other one is Kyle Peek (thanks, misskatieleigh). Here is Kyle's MySpace page. And if we're doing all this linking, Andy's page. I don't know if Neil has a page.

  3. David has filmed the music video for "Light On" at a football field "somewhere in LA" - the video is below.

  4. David will be appearing on Good Morning America on November 17. And if my friend Lynne signs up on Dave's official website, I might have a chance to win a ticket to the show!

  5. The cover and song titles from David's eponymous album have been available for awhile. Here are the song titles, and below is the cover: 1 Declaration, 2 Heroes, 3 Light On, 4 Come Back to Me, 5 Life on the Moon, 6 Bar-ba-sol, 7 Mr. Sensitive, 8 Lie, 9 I Did It for You, 10 Avalanche, 11 Permanent, 12 A Daily AntheM, and BONUS TRACK The Time Of My Life.

6. Rolling Stone's new article about David is headlined "David Cook Crafts Heaviest "American Idol" Album Yet. "

7. David Cook's upcoming TV appearances: (courtesy of here)

Saturday Night Live - 11/01/2008, NBC, 11:30PM/10:30PMc. David will be the musical guest, singing two songs. Many of us are hoping and praying that he'll be in a sketch, too, since we know how funny he is, so be sure to tune in for (or record) the whole thing!

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno - 11/14/08, NBC, 11:35PM ET/PT

Good Morning America - Fall Concert Series - 11/17/08, ABC, 7AM ET/PT

Live with Regis and Kelly - 11/19/08, Various times and networks

VSpot Top 20 Countdown - 11/22/08, VH1, 9-11AM ET/PT

The Ellen Degeneres Show - 11/26/08, Various times and networks (usually NBC)

MJ's blog has the casting details for the video:

"All American guy. Not looking for a male model. Need someone with acting ability and a great attitude…young charming looks please.” And for the female lead, “All American pretty girl next door. Must having acting ability and a great attitude. Not looking for model.”

Some of the other roles: Young fit All American football hero types. Character actress with an all American Mom look. Punks, skaters, hiphop types, nerds, cowboys. All looks shapes and sizes."

Here is another video, an interview with Entertainment Weekly:

Here is what the lighter application actually looks like - pretty cool~!

TV tonight

What a great night for TV-

8:00 PM on CBS, NBC, and Fox - BARACK OBAMA

8:37 PM on Fox - PHILLIES!!!

11:00 PM on Comedy Central - BARACK OBAMA on the DAILY SHOW with JON STEWART

"With Mother Nature calling the shots, the Phillies and Rays remain tied, 2-2, going to the bottom of the sixth inning. A victory would clinch Philadelphia's first World Series championship since 1980, and though the Phillies grumbled on their way out last night, a possible celebration remains on their minds if they can outlast the Rays.

"That's all that's important to us, that's all that we think about," Manuel said. "We've got 3 1/2 innings of baseball -- we get to bat four times, they get to bat three. We get 12 outs, they get nine. We're definitely coming with the mind-set that we're going to win that game."

Due up for the Phillies will be a pinch-hitter for the No. 9 spot, as Cole Hamels will be lifted from the game, followed by Jimmy Rollins and Jayson Werth. Right-hander Grant Balfour is in the game for Tampa Bay, though Rays manager Joe Maddon declined to say if he was entertaining a pitching change, a distinct possibility with left-hander David Price available. "

VERIFY YOUR VOTE before leaving the voting booth

Here is a video of a touch screen voting machine flipping to a different selection before AND AFTER re-calibration. The audio is hard to hear. Moral of the story: Be sure to verify that the machine registers EXACTLY who you voted for, and IF IT DOESN'T, contact the Judge of Elections at your polling place.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Common Cause is holding an election protection briefing tomorrow

Common Cause is holding a phone briefing for activists and supporters about the "Protect the Vote" campaign. The call will feature Common Cause President Bob Edgar, and members of the election protection team from both the national office and key states. You can click here to go to their website to sign up to participate in the conference call tomorrow, Wednesday, October 29th, at 3:00 PM.

Heyday of Atwater and Rove is over

In the October 27th NY Times, Bob Herbert wrote, "The heyday of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove is over." I sure hope so, but John McCain just didn't get the message. Herbert quotes Obama, “the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington. To end the political strategy that’s been all about division, and instead make it about addition. To build a coalition for change that stretches through red states and blue states.” And then he adds, "John McCain didn’t get it. He seemed as baffled by the new politics as an Al Jolson aficionado trying to make sense of the Beatles."

Judging from the polls, the Atwater/Rove politics of fear no longer sways a majority of American voters, although there are still plenty who buy into it. What will replace the Atwater/Rove Swift Boat-style attack? Please let it not be more Joe the Plumber.

John McCain: You're no Maverick!

I know McCain is not a Maverick because the REAL Mavericks say so, right in this video: (they even sing, too)

Live with less stuff

LIVE WITH LESS STUFF - Stan Cox, a plant breeder and writer has an article on AlterNet that talks about how the financial crisis can have a beneficial effect on the environment if we all are forced to live with less stuff. He discusses the concept that negative economic growth is essential to keeping atmospheric carbon dioxide below 445 parts per million (ppm). Cox writes,

"But in all scenarios, however rosy their assumptions, economic growth will have to be thrown into reverse or else. Everything depends on how that economic contraction is handled.
The US economy declined by about 55 percent in just four years at the start of the Great Depression, with the well-known catastrophic outcomes . . .

There is still time to cure the malignant economic growth that we've unleashed, but the solution won't come from those people and institutions that have managed to wreck both the global economy and the global ecology. A new way of thinking and acting will have to come from the bottom up, and from both hemispheres of this ailing planet. We'd should be ready; the unsettled times that lie ahead may offer the opening we've been looking for."

Brave New Films ACORN support video

The concept that ACORN is committing voter fraud is just like the concept that Iraq was responsible for 9/11: it gets in peoples' heads and just sticks there. The voter registration/vote suppression issue is a little complication, lots of people don't understand it, so they believe the right wing talking points.

Here is a video that presents the vote issue from ACORN's point of view:

Science and McCain-Palin - they just don't get it

Ever since McCain first brought it up, I have been wanting to write about earmarks - how some earmarks, such as those for hospitals, universities, libraries, and municipalities, are actually a good use of money. For instance, this is true of the 3 million dollars for the "overhead projector" that Obama asked for. The projector is actually a plantetarium projector for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, which is used to teach science to kids; the current projector is over 40 years old.

In todays LA Times, Lawrence M. Krauss, from the Origins Initiative at Arizona State, has written an excellent opinion piece about science and the McCain/Palin campaign, called "McCain Science Earmark Error." Krauss highlights three main examples that show McCain and Palin "just don't get" science:
  1. About McCain's comments about wasting money studying bear DNA, Krauss writes, "That may not be the highest item on a presidential agenda, but to claim that it is a waste of money is outrageous. Protecting grizzly bears may be expensive, but many would argue that preserving such a U.S. treasure is priceless."
  2. The second example is the Adler Planetarium projector, about which Krauss writes, "The National Academy of Sciences has targeted science education as a key goal in preserving the economic competitiveness of our nation. Similar "overhead projectors" in Los Angeles and New York have recently been replaced with the help of federal funds. McCain's gleeful attack sends this message: Encouraging science literacy is not worthy of government support."
  3. During her first "policy" speech, Palin also took aim at earmarks as wasting money that could be spent to fully fund government initiatives such as IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). One earmark she ridiculed was for "fruit fly research in Paris, France." Krauss writes, "Maybe Palin also should have been told that a University of North Carolina fruit fly study last year demonstrated that a protein called neurexin is required for nerve-cell connections to form and function correctly. That discovery may lead to advances in understanding, among other things, autism, one of the childhood disorders that has been stressed by the McCain-Palin campaign. " (Palin's nephew Karcher is autistic.)

When the United States lags so far behind other countries in math and science education, this fundamental misunderstanding of scientific research and its importance shown by the McCain-Palin campaign is a red warning flag that they are not equipped to lead the US into the 21st century.

Synchronized debate video

This is a funny, but also intriguing/thought provoking video, which synchronizes footage from all three debates on the candidates' talking points.

Get the latest news satire and funny videos at

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bias in the press

There has been so much written during this election about the press being biased in favor of Barack Obama.

I have to post this video of Joe Biden being interviewed by Florida WFTV anchor Barbara West. You have to love how Joe handled this - firsts refuting her assertions firmly and forthrightly, but after a few questions of similar ilk he asks her if the questions are a joke, and later wonders who is writing the questions for her.

SNL: Solid Like Barack

Here is one of the skits from Saturday Night Live, featuring Michelle and Barack explaining how they're going to fill the half hour of air time the Obama campaign has purchased for Wednesday night.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday, October 26 in the NY Times

Today's NY Times features a must-see special election section. Many OpEd columns were held to appear in this edition. If you can't buy the paper edition, check out the online version.

The OpEds as usual are fantastic. Let's start with Frank Rich, "In Defense of White Americans." Rich's premise is that, contrary to the claims of McCain/Palin (who follow in the footsteps of George "Macaca" Allen), most of us are NOT bigots. At the conclusion of his discussion of Obama's race speech, describing how Obama spoke about his own grandmother's fear of black men on the street, Rich writes, "Such human nuances are lost on conservative warriors of the Allen-McCain-Palin ilk. They see all Americans as only white or black, as either us or them."

For a lighter note, there's Maureen Dowd, who's column "A Makeover with an Ugly Gloss," is about Sarah Palin and her clothes, make-up/hair, and speech coach expenses. Dowd writes, "The sartorial upgrade was bound to turn into a strategy downgrade, as Palin pressed her case as a homespun gal who was ever so much more American than the elite, foreignish Obama, while she was gussied up in Italian couture."

Then we move on to the sad, David Brooks' column "Ceding the Center." Brooks argues that though we have but two parties, there are really three political positions in America: orthodox liberalism, a belief in using government to maximize equality; free-market conservatism, the belief in limiting government to maximize freedom; and the third, progressive conservativism, which understanda and valuea traditional institutions but also seea the pursuit of wealth as a way to enhance America's greatness. Brooks concludes his essay, "McCain would be an outstanding president. In government, he has almost always had an instinct for the right cause. He has become an experienced legislative craftsman. He is stalwart against the country’s foes and cooperative with its friends. But he never escaped the straitjacket of a party that is ailing and a conservatism that is behind the times. And that’s what makes the final weeks of this campaign so unspeakably sad. "

Paul Krugman's OpEd piece is called "Desparately Seeking Seriousness." Krugman writes that he would like to believe that Obama's surge in the polls - which coincided with the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the beginning of the financial crisis - is due to Americans' recognition that "the right’s economic ideas are wrong and progressive ideas are right. " Krugman, however, postulates that economics is not the real reason Obama is looking close to success. He writes, "But I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I’d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. " He points to McCain's inability to speak convincingly about the economy, but more importantly his focus on trivial issues with roots that are well in the past. Krugman likens our current situation to post-9/11:

"But the Barack Obama voters see now is cool, calm, intellectual and knowledgeable, able to talk coherently about the financial crisis in a way Mr. McCain can’t. And when the world seems to be falling apart, you don’t turn to a guy you’d like to have a beer with, you turn to someone who might actually know how to fix the situation."

Like Dowd, Judith Warner also has something to say about Sarah Palin in her OpExtra column, "No Ordinary Woman." Warner's thesis is that, with Sarah Palin, woman have finally reached equality by Bella Abzug's measure - that a mediocre women can be promoted as quickly as a mediocre man. Warner writes,

"... Clinton was a lifelong overachiever, a star in a generational vanguard who clearly took to heart the maxim that women “must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good,” and in so doing divorced herself from the world of the merely average. In that, she was not unlike Barack Obama — taxed by his race to be twice as reassuring, twice as un-angry, twice as presidential as any white candidate . . . Palin is a woman who has risen to national prominence without, apparently, even remotely being twice as good as her male competitors. On the contrary, her claim to fame lies in her repudiation of Clinton-type exceptionalism."

Then there's Thomas Friedman's "If Larry and Sergey Asked for a Loan ..." (which has the terrific line "Some things are true, even if George Bush believes them.) This piece is a warning about some possible consequences of the government taking over banks. In the Larry and Sergey example Friedman uses, a government-controlled bank would not likely have extended the loan needed to launch Google. Friedman concludes,

"Bottom line: We must not overshoot in regulating the markets just because they overshot in their risk-taking. That’s what markets do. We need to fix capitalism, not install socialism. Because, ultimately, we can’t bail our way out of this crisis. We can only grow our way out — with more innovation and entrepreneurship, which create new businesses and better jobs.
So let’s keep our eyes on the prize. Save the system, install smart regulations and get the government out of the banking business as soon as possible so that the surviving banks can freely and unabashedly get back into their business: risk-taking without recklessness. "

The remaining NY Times opinion pieces are Gail Collins' "Blue State Blues," a humorous look at how the Electoral College results in some states being more important than others; Nicholas Kristof's "The Endorsement from Hell," which talks about why an al Qaeda- affiliated website endorsed John McCain (4 more years of non-nuanced American policy toward Islam); and Timothy Egan's "The Party of Yesterday," an indictment that the Republican party has written American cities ("vibrant, prosperous places where a knowledge economy and cool things to do after hours attract people from all over the country") off as not part of "real" America.

(On a totally gratuitous side note, look at the similarity in names between NY Times rural cultural columnist Verlyn Klinkenborg and Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann's opponent Elwyn Tinklenberg.)

Obama close-captioned for the "bad-ass impaired"

I'm going to celebrate Phillies, USC, Penn, Penn State and Cal wins yesterday with a little humor on this beautiful Sunday afternoon.

Extra points for Cal beating UCLA! For one of the reasons I did not want my kids attending Penn State, check out this article about the rioting in State College after Penn State beat Ohio State. USC might be the University of Spoiled Children, but at least they don't behave like this - and most seasons they have a lot more reason to than Nittany Lions fans.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Spreading the Wealth Around

The McCain campaign has being making a big deal of Barack Obama's remark to Joe the Plumber : “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” implying that Obama is advocating socialism, or even communism. As a Christian, I think it is very, very important to "spread the wealth around." As a church secretary, my salary is paid by the contributions of hard-working, dedicated, loving people. As a result, I feel compelled to spend my money in a way that respects those who pay me and honors God. As Matthew 19:24 says, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”

Someone much more articulate than I am, Jim Wallis, has enumerated his "personal faith priorities" for this election on his God's Politics blog.

Wallis writes,
"In 2008, the kingdom of God is not on the ballot in any of the 50 states as far as I can see. So we can’t vote for that this year. But there are important choices in this year’s election — very important choices — which will dramatically impact what many in the religious community and outside of it call “the common good,” and the outcome could be very important, perhaps even more so than in many recent electoral contests."

Here is a condensed list of Wallis' priorities:
  1. fight poverty
  2. turn swords into plow shares
  3. consistent ethic of life
  4. protect the environment
  5. protect human rights and dignity
  6. strengthen families

In his blog, Wallis encourges each of us to develop our own list of "faith priorities." My "1st draft" list looks like this:

  1. universal health care
  2. eliminate hunger at home, then abroad
  3. education - not just of children but adults as well - everyone needs to have higher level thinking skills, especially criticial thinking and analysis
  4. media reform - control of the mainstream media does NOT belong in the hands of 6 companies.
  5. promulgation of peaceful and diplomatic solutions worldwide

Obama: Better days ahead

Here is the latest Obama ad. Thank goodness! I much prefer the ads where Obama talks; I was getting very sick of watching John McCain tell us he'd voted with Bush 90% of the time. Here in eastern PA that commercial runs about once an hour.

Anyway, this new one is much better, though not as stirring as it could be. I think Obama is very, very tense, fearing that something could go wrong in these last few days.

Philly for Obama (and World Series champs, too!)

Here is a very inspirational video of Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter challenging Obama campaign workers to give everything they've got in the remaining days before November 4th.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Who's afraid of the Boogie Man?

Here is the trailer for the film "Boogie Man," which is the story of Lee Atwater, father of sleaze politics. Karl Rove is Atwater's protege. Buzzflash's review says, "For Atwater, politics wasn't personal; it was just about winning by disemboweling your opponent and then desecrating his grave." The DVD will be available on October 28th. You can order it from Buzzflash for a $30 donation (free shipping). I think it is very important to understand this kind of sleaze politics that not only kept Democrats from being elected (and consequently keeping Republicans out of jail) but also almost brought down a sitting US president. That Barack Obama is apparently winning this election is testament to his campaign's ability to minimize the effects of these destructive, "Swift Boat"/Willie Horton-style attacks. Or maybe Americans are finally just getting sick and tired of the sleaze.

Ugly video of protests at last presidential debate

Here is some IWitness video that was taken outside Hofstra University at the time of the last presidential debate. It shows police officers on horseback forcing protestors back onto the sidewalk, crushing and knocking down those in front who could not move back because of crowds behind them. We saw the same technique in Minneapolis and Denver. In the video, Iraq vet Nick Morgan is knocked down, then stomped in the head by a horse. According to AlterNet: "Iraq vet Nick Morgan will undergo surgery at the Veterans Administration hospital in Philadelphia to help repair the bones in his face which were broken when a police horse trampled him at a protest outside last week's presidential debate."

It is appalling that in the US in the 21st century you take your life in your hands when you stand on a sidewalk to protest a war. I don't see anything here that makes you proud of America. The video does make me feel sorry for the horses who are forced into this kind of ugly situation.

SNL: Bush endorses McCain/Palin

Here is the video from Thursday's Saturday Night Live (how weird does that sound) opener, in which Will Ferrell returns as G.W. Bush. Tina Fey reprises her role as Sarah Palin, but -at least in my opinion - she can't quite duplicate one of Palin's more sleazy mannerisms, that "fancy pageant walking" in which her tight skirt reveals way more of a VP candidate than we (ok maybe women and priests) want to see.

Here's the video from THURSDAY Night Live:

How low can you go???

No, I don't mean the tone of the McCain-Palin campaign. Unfortunately, I mean the stock market. According to my "breaking news" e-mail from the LA Times this morning, "In the first minutes of trading, the Dow fell 417.67, or 4.81 percent, to 8,273.58.Broader stock indicators also fell. The S&P 500 index fell 50.26, or 5.53 percent, to 857.85, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 86.75, or 5.41 percent, to 1,517.16."

Right at the beginning of the financial crisis I remember hearing Suze Orman on CNN saying that the market could drop as low as 8000 or 8200 and thinking she was an alarmist. Guess not.

Here is what she said on AC 360:
Anderson: Panic produces paralysis. People need action. How low do you think the markets can go? In terms of stock market, the credit markets matter, but you talked about the 8,000 range for the stock market.
Suze: 8,200, 8,000. Hopefully that is as low as it goes. But I do think we are about 1,000 points from where the bottom should be.

Here is the video if you want to watch it, Suze has some good analogies that make it a little easier to understand the bailout:

Obama: Caring for family, caring for others

Here is the video of Harry Smith's interview with Obama just before Obama left the campaign trail to visit his grandmother. To me, this video confirms that Obama really does care for others the way we as Christians are called to. But others view it so very cynically - doing a search for the video that I had seen last night but didn't bookmark, I came across some comments on the Home Shopping Network Forum that view Obama's trip to Hawaii as just a ploy for more attention. It is very interesting to get glimpses of people's belief-sets through their comments on forums, and also interesting to see what kind of forums people post on!

Anyway, here is the video, and here's to the Obama-Smith bromance!

Here is the transcript for those who have been misquoting Obama, and adding "people will see" to his statement about caring for others.

Harry Smith: Lincoln said, 'All I ever hoped to be, I'd owe to her,' in speaking about his mother. Your grandmother was very much like a mother to you. How important is this trip? Barack Obama: It's very important to me. That - my mother was a single mom, so she raised me with the help of my grandparents. And so, my grandmother, my grandfather, and my mom, they're really the people who took care of me, all throughout my childhood. My grandmother's the last one left. She has really been the rock of the family, the foundation of the family. Whatever strength, discipline - that - that I have - it comes from her."
Harry Smith: You've said in the past that you regretted - your own mother's illness - and her death came so quickly. You didn't have time to get back to see her.
Barack Obama: Yeah, got there too late. ... We knew - she wasn't doing well. But you know, the diagnosis was such that we thought we had a little more time, and we didn't. And so I want to make sure that I don't - I don't make - the same mistake twice.
Harry Smith: Some people say there's risk involved in this, with so little time left.
Barack Obama: Yeah, well - the - yeah, I think most people understand - that if you're not - caring for your family - then - you're probably not - the kind of person who's gonna be caring for other people.

And fuel for the bromance:

Harry Smith: Whoever gets elected president somehow has to put their arm around the whole country and say, 'We're in this together.'
Barack Obama: Yeah.
Harry Smith: Can you do that?
Barack Obama: I can.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A campaign even a telemarketer can’t love

You have to love Gail Collins, OpEd columnist for the NY Times. She's what Sarah Palin wants to be - just like us, only smarter and funnier. Her column today is called "Confessions of a Phone Solicitor." It's just another column pointing out all the lovely ways that Republicans have divided "real" America from "liberal" America, except that her focus in not on the politicians, but on Ted Zoromsky, a telemarketer. Collins' conclusion about the McCain campaign: "Truly, if you can come up with something that would send a telemarketer over the edge, you have really overachieved on the offensiveness front." Great reading!

Huff Post Pick Comment to a GREAT ARTICLE

Robert Creamer has a great essay on the Huffington Post sharing what he believes America and this election are really about. Creamer writes,
"Division and fear are not American values. In fact the "real" American values are the traditional progressive values that have defined the soul of America from the moment that Thomas Jefferson crafted the words of the Declaration of Independence.In the election thirteen days from now, Americans will make a choice of leaders. But they will also determine whether those traditional progressive American values will replace the radical conservatism that has usurped their position as the defining frame of American politics . . .
The decision voters face November 4th is in fact a choice of what will be the "real America". It is a decision about the vision and values that define what America will be in the future.
Barack Obama understands that society is not a zero sum game. He understands that you don't have to be poor for me to by rich; that you don't have to be sick for me to be healthy; that by giving every child a good education, the growing store of human knowledge will make all of us smarter. "
A comment I posted in reply to a comment on this piece was marked as a "HuffPost Pick." Here is the original comment:
barnettkyspr - I have to ask, where does it say that just because I went to school (and actually spent my time learning and taking full advantage of the public education I recieved), then later spent years learning a trade, serving my time as an apprentice, and journeyman at jobs making crappy wages but worked hard, made the sacrifices and took the risks it took to start a very small business and finally made a little bit of a success of myself, that I owe those who AREN"T WILLING TO DO THE SAME a check every month? Notice, I didn't say unable, I said unwilling. From where I come from, you make your own way in this world. Nobody, especially the Government, (which is us taxpayers) owes us a successful life. If being "progressive" means going out in this world and working hard and making something of yourself and then giving away all of your hard earned income to those who aren't willing to do the same, then what is the point of being successfu?. It kind of takes away your ambition doesn't it?
My reply:
HuffPost's Pick
You have a very warped persepective. First of all, paying taxes does not take away "all" of your income, as you state in your comment above. Secondly, it is well-proven by objective studies that those in the upper tax brackets are not motivated solely by money, so increasing the amount of tax they pay will not affect the amount or effectiveness of the work they do. And this is the very top of the income heap we're talking about, not the small businessman making $300,000 but Carly Fiorina with her $42 million golden parachute. Thirdly, much of what Obama is talking about is not actually raising taxes, but ENFORCING the tax laws that we have to close the loopholes that allow many corporations and high income people to pay NO TAX WHATSOEVER or very little tax. Fourthly, are you a Christian? If so, I guess your Bible is missing the part about how it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. Fifthly, whereas no one owes anyone a "successful" life (your words) a decent society provides for the education and well-being of its children, its elderly, and its ill. THESE are the people who will benefit from Barack Obama's policies - not the kind of "slacker" you seem to envision.

I'm the star of ANOTHER video -

I'm LOVING this new technology that puts your name in videos. There's a new one sent to me from MoveOn, starring me - the ONE person whose non vote elects John McCain President. {No way I will not get out and vote - I will be at the polls almost the whole day!} I would post it here, but it starts automatically and that drives me nuts. When (if?) I figure out how to change the code, I'll post it. For the time being, you can click here for the video with YOU as the star, it is REALLY COOL!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obama + Phillies

There are so many things we could talk about today - Sarah Palin's $150,000 wardrobe, the Dow dropping another 600 points, the latest polls. But, since tonight is the first game of the Wolrd Series, let's watch some Jon Stewart talking about the candidates talking about BASEBALL instead:

And for some more interesting baseball talk, read this column in the LA Times by Bill Plashke. He's got some great ideas for the World Series - hold in a warm, neutral location every year; play one game each day for 7 days and designate it World Series Week, featuring national heroes throwing out the first pitches and top musical acts doing the national anthem. Sounds like a pretty good plan to me!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Unbelievable Palin

There is no comment necessary to this unbelievably stupid video.


AARP (American Association of Retired People) has had a great campaign going - Divided We Fail - which states that health care and financial security are the most pressing domestic issues facing our nation. The ads are great and make a lot of sense, the logo is half elephant, half donkey.

Just today I received an e-mail with a video from AARP which I would like to share with you - Just fill in your name and click to view the video. (It is important to fill in your name, but it won't put you on a mailing list or anything.)

AARP 08 Video
Enter your name to see who can bring real change to Washington.
First Name:
Last Name:

Monday, October 20, 2008

McCain campaign staffer confronts anti-Islam supporters

Here is an interesting video posted on Huffington Post today. It depicts McCain supporters and a staffer confronting some folks at a rally who were handing out bumper stickers tying Obama to Islam and socialism. The McCain staffer says that he is Muslim. Several Muslim McCain supporters as well as a Christian argue against discrimination against Islam.