11 November 2008
The verdict is in. I am officially in election-withdrawals. It's 11:00pm and instead of crawling into my warm bed and being glad that I get a few extra minutes sleep, I'm here with my laptop. I'm busily scanning CNN and other news sites, desperately looking for something new and interesting. I still have all the presidential election statistical/polling sites bookmarked, but I haven't visited them. I know I should probably file them away in a folder a little deeper down than the toolbar across the top of my browser. (You know the one - where you file all the sites that you visit every day?) Then again, there isn't another presidential election for 4 more years. Surely there will be other sites (even new technology?) and many amazing advancements in that time. I wonder if the sites I have been checking for months will even exist in 4 years. It's hard to delete them, though. It's difficult to admit to myself that they've served their purpose, and might be no longer useful. Does this mean I'm a cyber-packrat?
05 November 2008
OK, Rant time. My kids have been very interested in the election this year. My biggest ones are going to be old enough to vote in the next Presidential election, so I've tried to keep them informed. We watch debates and interviews, read stories online - I even had one son texting me election returns last night while I was at his brother's football game. I've had to warn them to keep their opinions to themselves at school, because we do live in Collin County, after all. I've personally witnessed some appalling intolerance from adults - I could only imagine what uninformed children would come up with.
Well, I don't have to imagine any more. My children came home from school today with all sorts of stories about the McCain supporters at school. There were high school students who dressed all in black and wore signs proclaiming the end of the world as we know it. Other teenagers who wore shirts with "NObama" on the back - those kids had to remove/change their shirts. Thank goodness for that. Any child can wear a political candidate's name on their shirt (or a button) but it seems that the derogatory ones are not welcome.
Then, there are the discussions. One child is going to move to Switzerland to escape the downfall of this country. Another says that the terrorists have taken over. There is the ever-present "because he's a Muslim" or he's a terrorist" and what day would be complete if some pre-pubescent child didn't proclaim that Obama was worthless because "he's going to raise our taxes and we won't have any money left for anything!!" One young lady at the high school swears that she has video of Obama actually admitting that he's Muslim. Gosh, can you just imagine what Fox News would give to have THAT tape!! She's going to college next year.
The level of ignorance about the facts doesn't really surprise me coming from children - they are notoriously uninformed on many subjects. But, in this case, the information is coming from their parents. Kids don't spontaneously watch news shows and become informed about political issues on their own. It has to start with the parents watching Fox (or whoever) and railing about all the "scary" things that will happen to us if Obama is elected. Then, the children come to school and talk about it with their friends. The viscious cycle is then complete. They all repeat the lies to each other until everyone accepts it as fact because they heard the same thing from 5 different people - it must be true, right?
Not only will my children be voting in 4 years, but SO WILL THEIR PEERS. Yes, the same peers that are so woefully uninformed right now. They are quickly progressing towards becoming part of the over-reactive, blind-faith-based, insult-hurling, mud-slinging Republican base that idolized Sarah Palin. Hopefully having an intelligent leader will help to counteract the rampant ignorance.
Now that the election is over, Sarah Palin is apparently being outed as an idiot. Here's some video from my new boyfriend, Shepard Smith. He was so helpful to point out that McCain's numbers began to tank the day after the Katie Couric interview. Hmm...go figure. And the McCain camp defended her. I can't defend her ignorance, but I can blame the McCain campaign for picking her without proper vetting, thrusting her into the spotlight (along with her borderline dysfunctional family) and then getting mad at her about the bad results on election day.
04 November 2008
03 November 2008
And the winner is.... BARACK OBAMA!!! I would call it a landslide, in fact. The vote tally is Obama 15, McCain 6, Nader 0.
WOO HOO!!! We're off to a fabulous start!
According to fivethirtyeight.com, McCain has a 1.9% chance of winning this election. As one of the bloggers on Daily Kos so brilliantly put it,
if you had standard deck of 52 cards with one Joker, and it was randomly shuffled, and you asked McCain to pick one blindfolded, he'd have to pick the Joker to win.Speaking of jokers, Joe the plumber is on Larry King right now, and I just heard him refer to how "T. Boone Williams" has enough money that he can buy airtime to get his point across, but regular people don't. Who? T.Boone Williams - Is that T. Boone Pickens' cousin? Go back to sleep, Joe.
Anything other than the Joker, and Obama wins.
(And, yes, Governor Palin would be that there joker.)
Yes, Barack's grandma died late Sunday night. As sad as this is, there is a bright spot or two. First, Barack was able to visit with her before she passed. He had said that one of his greatest regrets was not being with his mother when she died. Second, she had already voted absentee, and it will count!
A Seattle newspaper reports that according to Kevin Cronin, chief election officer for the State of Hawaii:
Ms. Dunham’s absentee mail ballot was received and reviewed under the Hawaii standards for processing absentee mail ballots… She was alive at that time. Her ballot will be opened tomorrow, and it will be counted in the same way that all absentee voters would be treated under our law.
The key point appears to be that Ms. Dunham was alive at the time her absentee ballot was received and reviewed, and that it met the standards for review at that time.
Like many other people in cyberspace, I think that if someone is truly "undecided" on who to vote for, they need to just stay home tomorrow. I can't imagine that anyone who has a television/radio/newspaper/friend can actually still be unsure of which candidate that they favor.
Now, that said, I'm sure that there are people who typically vote with their party, but don't like their candidate. For instance, I've heard of people who vote Republican but don't like John McCain (or Sarah Palin), but can't bring themselves to vote for a Democrat. Or, in some of those cases, perhaps they can't bring themselves to vote for a black man. Neither of those reasons qualifies as "undecided." Those are people who know what is important to them, and have most likely researched the issues as much as anyone. What it does mean is that they don't like their choices.
I talked to a friend this weekend - a very conservative friend. He said it looked like Obama would win, and that he wasn't going to vote. I was shocked - I was really hoping to be able to cancel out his vote! His line of thinking is that neither candidate will be any different. They all talk a good line and may have some good theories, but nothing ever really changes. While I'm saddened to think that he has so little faith in our leaders, there's a small part of me that hopes that there are other Republicans out there in Collin County that think the same way and stay home tomorrow. But, there's also part of me that thinks that, no matter the odds of your candidate winning, you should exercise your right to vote.
One vote may not decide this election or any other election, but your one vote with that of a few others might just be enough to make a huge difference.
02 November 2008
01 November 2008
Today, Sarah Palin received this call from a Canadian radio personality posing as Nicholas Sarkozy. She didn't realize that it was a huge joke.
Canadian Press reports:
A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The Masked Avengers, who have a regular show on Montreal radio station CKOI, intend to air the full interview on the eve of the U.S. elections.Haven't we had enough of her yet? Don't her "people" check out these calls before they just hand over the phone? I think that they will start. Take heart - according to the today's Gallup poll, Obama is up about 10 points.
OK, this is sort of old news. I mean, Obama already beat Hillary, and now they're best buddies on the campaign trail - heck, even Bill is shouting his praises. But I found this video, and it's too good to leave behind.
Then, as I was laughing hysterically and blowing coffee out my nose, I saw this one.
Now, just for something a little more current, I offer this collection of rousing show tunes, starring none other than John McCain.
Yeah, I'm feeling lazy today, so it's just videos. I'm still coming down from the Halloween sugar-high from last night. I'll try again later...maybe...
OK, just one more. Again, nothing to read, just lots of really cool pics.
31 October 2008
Sarah Palin this morning during a radio interview, via ABC:
If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations, then I don't know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.
Uh, isn't it the First Amendment that guarantees the media the right to call out a politician for negative campaigning - or anything else, for that matter? I will be SO glad to have an intelligent president in office soon.
Speaking of making things up as you go along, why is it that Republicans refuse to believe the truth when it nearly slaps them in the face?
Democrat: "Polls say that Obama is up by XYZ points in ABC state."
Republican: "If you actually believe that sort of thing."
Democrat: "No, he's not muslim. He's been a Christian all his life."
Republican: "That's not what I heard."
Democrat: "Go to the Obama website and look at his position on the issues."
Republican: "That's all lies."
Republican: "We are gonna win this one!"
And there is a little voter suppression going on down in Georgia. It seems that Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel (R) announced that she would be sending letters to 4,770 registered voters that they would possibly have to cast "challenge ballots" that won't be counted on election day.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that:
The letter from Handel’s office tells the voters that if they appear at their polling place with the issue still unresolved, they will be given a "challenge" ballot —- a paper version of the ballot that appears on electronic voting machines. The ballot will not be included in the precinct’s vote totals, Handel said.
Any voter can challenge another’s qualifications to cast a ballot by notifying a precinct poll manager, Handel said. That voter then would be given a challenge ballot and would have to go before the election board.
At that point, it seems, the responsibility would fall completely on the voter to prove that they are eligible, even though they are already registered. Georgia has a huge minority population, and statistics show that these are people who typically vote Democrat. Currently, according to the polls, Obama and McCain have a statistical tie in Georgia. There's your motivation.
This challenge of qualification of any other voter can also include challenging the citizenship of other voters. With the growing hispanic population, how long do you think it will take for some redneck to call out someone that "looks like a wetback." Haven't we done this before? That old turn-in-your-neighbor-for-un-American-activities thing, all over again.
30 October 2008
Today in Ohio, at a GOP rally, John McCain introduced Joe the plumber as “an American hero, a great citizen of Ohio and my role model.” Am I the only one that sees anything wrong with that?
The funniest part is that Joe never showed up to that rally. It seems that, according to the McCain campaign, there was some sort of "miscommunication".
So, John McCain's role model is an unlicensed plumber who doesn't pay his taxes and doesn't bother to show up. As if I didn't already question his judgment from when he picked Sarah Palin for his VP. Is this a special talent that McCain has that he can pick the biggest whack-job in the room and proceed to inflict that person on the rest of the world?
For a much more intelligent outlook, check out this page by Government Shareholder, a blogger from Daily Kos.
Then, there's The Economist's endorsement of Barack Obama for President. You remember that magazine - it's one of Sarah Palin's favorite reads.
One more thing: Remember that McCain rally in Defiance, Ohio that Joe the plumber blew off?
According to MSBNC,
A local school district official confirmed after the event that of the 6,000 people estimated by the fire marshal to be in attendance this morning, more than 4,000 were bused in from schools in the area. The entire 2,500-student Defiance School District was in attendance, the official said, in addition to at least three other schools from neighboring districts, one of which sent 14 buses.That's pathetic.
I was chatting with my neighbors last night, and the unthinkable happened. The male half of the house admitted that it "looks like your guy's gonna win." wow. I couldn't believe it - he even seemed calm when he said it!! Could this be a break-through??
Then it happened. He went on to re-assert that Obama is a muslim. And he was educated in a madrassa. And he's going to take away our guns. And he will raise taxes on more than who he says. And he will raise the capital gains tax on everyone, including old people that are downsizing. But I think the cherry on top was that Colin Powell is a turncoat. See, that aspect of the "discussion" was amazing. I commented that Powell's still a Republican, and that it would be really great if he were an advisor/cabinet member because he would bring a wealth of information to the table, and what an advantage to have for the new President. The answer I got was that Powell "had no foreign policy experience." HUH? He was Secretary of State, for goodness sake! "3 years? That's nothing. Nothing." How does 3 years of being Sec. of State count as "no foreign policy experience?!?! "The guys' got nothing."
OK, Army General for 20 years, oversaw 28 military "crises," lead Operation Desert Storm (1991), was National Security Advisor (under Reagan), was foreign policy advisor in the 2000 Bush campaign, and Secretary of State during Bush 43's first term (including during 9/11). Yes, I'm sure that there are people in this world who might have more foreign policy experience than Colin Powell, but come on!! I think he's got an enviable resumé that is loaded with foreign policy experience.
Later, I sent my neighbor an email with a couple of links from Obama's website, detailing his view of the second amendment, and another outlining his tax policies. I don't know if it will help or not. The problem isn't that the information isn't out there, or that he hasn't seen it. The problem is that IN SPITE of the wealth of information, he continues to believe otherwise. When confronted with things like factcheck.org, snopes, campaign website info, etc., they are disregarded as bullshit. "The guy can say anything he wants, but that doesn't make it true."
Now, in all fairness, this man is no different than about 75% of Collin County. If I had a nickel for every person who had told me or emailed me about a disproven fact regarding Obama, I'd be rich. And I'd gladly pay more taxes on it, too. This is a college educated man, as are most of the other people who think this way. Why is it that people continue to deny the truth/facts when given mountains of evidence that proves they are wrong?
The "muslim" story has been kicked around forever, and disproven every time, but it keeps coming back. I even asked my neighbor how it could be possible for Obama to be muslim, yet be one of Rev. Wright's minions for 20 years. He can't have it both ways - either Obama's muslim or he's a prodigy of a southern baptist whack-job-preacher. He got a knowing smile, and nodded wisely, "You see? That's what I'm talking about. He's got a plan." WTF?!?!
I read recently that you can't reason with someone who has reached a conclusion by way of something other than reason. For instance, if he has formed his opinions based on fear, hate, racism, childhood trauma, or anything else, then reason won't change his mind. That makes things alot easier to swallow. Otherwise I'm stuck with the thought that all these friends, relatives, and acquaintances that I had assumed to be very intelligent are actually just sheep.
29 October 2008
This is the complete version of Sen. Obama's 30 minute television spot this evening. If you missed it, take the opportunity to watch it. It may not convince you to vote for him, or even win you over, but I think you will learn some things about the man. And maybe you'll give him a chance.
Last Friday Sarah was discussing how all those gosh-darn earmarks are so ridiculous - especially the one regarding fruit fly research. Unfortunately, she stepped in it.
The latest this week on "our Sarah" is that someone in Alaska (Frank Gwartney, a retired lineman in Anchorage) has filed an ethics complaint against her alleging Misuse of Official Position, related to state reimbursed travel for her family:
"Gov. Palin attempted to and in fact did use her official position for personal gain by securing unwarranted benefits for her daughters..."
CBS reports this:
Go Sarah! Heck, she's just gettin' all mavericky on us, ya know. CBS went on to discuss the $150,000 spent on Ms. Sarah's wardrobe in the last couple of months.
Bristol, Piper and Willow, Palin’s daughters, accrued $32,629 in travel expenses while Palin’s husband Todd raked up $22,174 - all billed to the state for a total of $54,803.00."The Governor’s office has expended $54,803.00 in Alaska state dollars for family travel since December 2006," according to the Governor’s Administrative Services Director, Linda Perez.
...FEC officials said purchases for such purposes are prohibited. Campaigns are not allowed to spend donated funds on expenses a person would have had regardless if they were running as a candidate or in office. That includes items like clothing, mortgage payments, country club fees, rent, groceries, etc.Oops. I suppose that's what happens when you get so caught up takin' on your own party and all. You sometimes forget that SOME of the rules still need to be followed. I just wonder how many other rules they forgot about.
26 October 2008
The Anchorage Daily News has an Op/Ed piece in complete support of Obama for president. Interesting. I assume that means that the paper is officially endorsing Obama, since I don't see any byline or other name attached to the column. This is good because an argument that I have heard many times from McCain/Palin supporters is that she is "so wildly popular in Alaska, and they know her best so they must be right." Well, that appears to be true, and they don't so much like her any more, or maybe they never did.
Here's an appetizer.
"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.".
Another good site to check is Dr. Mercola. He discusses everything health-related, not just HPV. It is more of a natural approach, and is not often complimentary of mainstream medicine. Before you dismiss him, though, understand that he is a very well-respected practitioner of alternative and naturopathic therapies. Sometimes he will make a plug for one of his products, but if you ignore it and continue, there is alot of really great information to be found on his site.
24 October 2008
Got this today. It's good information about the HPV vaccine that our Gov. Perry, in all his wisdom, tried to foist on our young girls last year. There are little girls dying from this. Read up on it before you get one - you just might change your mind.
Then, we have this lovely news from the Wall Street Journal...
Obamacans: Prominent Republicans Line-Up Behind Obama
Since Colin Powell crossed party lines to endorse Barack Obama last Sunday, a steady stream of prominent Republicans have endorsed the Illinois senator over rival John McCain.
Former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld is endorsing Obama today at a press conference in Salem, N.H. Weld was a public supporter of Mitt Romney in the Republican primaries. In a statement, Weld called Obama a "once-in-a-lifetime candidate who will transform our politics and restore America’s standing in the world."
On Thursday, former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson endorsed Obama at the state capitol. "I think we have in Barack Obama the clear possibility of a truly great president," he said. "I would contend that it’s the most important election of my lifetime."
Scott McClellan, a former spokesman for President George W. Bush, also endorsed Obama Thursday. USA Today reported that McClellan told CNN in a taping to be aired this weekend that Obama has "the best chance of changing the way Washington works."
Ken Adelman, a prominent conservative on foreign policy matters announced his support for Obama on Tuesday, telling the New Yorker that his decision was based on temperament and judgment.
Adelman called McCain "impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird" in his handling of the U.S. economic crisis. He also was unsettled by McCain’s choice of running mate. "Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency," Adelman wrote.
And then there's the pièce de résistance from The New Republic:
Reagan Appointee and (Recent) McCain Adviser Charles Fried Supports Obama
Charles Fried, a professor at Harvard Law School, has long been one of the most important conservative thinkers in the United States. Under President Reagan, he served, with great distinction, as Solicitor General of the United States. Since then, he has been prominently associated with several Republican leaders and candidates, most recently John McCain, for whom he expressed his enthusiastic support in January.
This week, Fried announced that he has voted for Obama-Biden by absentee ballot. In his letter to Trevor Potter, the General Counsel to the McCain-Palin campaign, he asked that his name be removed from the several campaign-related committees on which he serves. In that letter, he said that chief among the reasons for his decision "is the choice of Sarah Palin at a time of deep national crisis."
Fried is exceptionally thoughtful and principled; his vote for Obama is especially noteworthy.
23 October 2008
This is so typical of the mentality of Collin County. Rich housewives buzz around town in their huge SUVs and water their lawns every day (and justify it because a) they can afford it, and b) if they don't, the lawn will be brown and their property value will go down). In my opinion, these people should have been taken by force to look at Lake Lavon a couple of years ago when it was, what, 20 feet down? It was nothing more than a cracked mudhole, but was supposed to supply water to most of the county's residents. Well, the rain will fill it back up, right? Well, not that year it didn't.
What these people don't understand is that you can't just piss away your resources. If you continue to pour water on your non-native, water-sucking lawn, that means at some point, we will have to ration water in order for everyone to have drinking water.
I think this goes back to an overall sense of entitlement that is rampant around here. People have adopted the mentality that the rules are for everyone else. Fire lane? Well, I'm only here for a minute or 2. Handicapped spot? I just need to pick up a few things, and why are the handicapped spots all so close to the front anyway. Taxes? You can't take my money. Schools lagging? The government should spend more. Roads need to be fixed? The government should do it.
Everyone would like to find that elusive "free lunch," but it doesn't exist. If you want things, you have to be willing to put forth a little effort. Do you want the fire truck to be able to get close enough to a place of business to put out a fire? Then park elsewhere, because they will use their big trucks to shove your Escalade out of their way. Wait until you are old or disabled and try to find a parking spot, and some strapping young man has parked his BMW in the last available place. (hint: they are close to the front of the store for a reason - they are for handicapped people that can't walk very far!) Yes, we all hate to pay taxes, and obviously no one, rich or poor, wants to see theirs raised. We do, however, like public schools, highways, police, armed forces, and government bailouts. The only way to support these programs is to use taxpayer money. Period.
OK, back to my original rant. The author (who shall remain nameless, but if you look on the site, you'll figure it out pretty quick) says that Obama's plan to reduce carbon emissions will essentially shoot us in the foot, because companies will be shipping jobs overseas to avoid having to comply with the new "green" regulations. I suppose that it will then be Obama's fault that we have lost jobs. He then proceeds to point the finger at the federal government as the largest consumer by far, and therefore the biggest waster of resources. Hey, I'm not so bad - look at how much the federal government wastes!! Um...yeah.
What this man and many others doesn't seem to understand is that if you have the entire population of this country conserving even just a little bit, it would make a huge difference. What if each person in this country was able to use 100 gallons less of water every month? At last count, the U.S. population is 305,481,375. The average American uses 2250 gallons of water/month; saving 100 gallons each would save 30,548,137,500 gallons per month! And guess what? That's only using 4% less. How difficult is it to use 4% less of anything? That's not alot.
The problem is that he and many others (like the companies that would ship jobs overseas to save money) are looking at the short-term result. If they would invest in energy/resource conserving technology, over the long term, they would come out ahead. Yes, even the much-derided suggestion to properly inflate your tires would be incredibly helpful (and make your tires last longer as well) and would produce an immediate effect. Let's face it, we are the current custodians of this planet, and we owe it to not only our children, but also our grandchildren and all our subsequent descendants. I would prefer not to be the generation that hosed the planet just because I wanted a greener lawn; that sort of becomes a moot point if the planet is so depleted it can't sustain us any longer.
It was great! There was a small line, but we were in fairly quickly. I went with my friend, Kenlin and her mother. Mom was initially turned away, but we were able to fix that. She changed her voter registration address a few weeks ago, and only had a printout of her card. The "valid from" date is Nov. 2, 2008, and the people at the election office told her that it was too early! We asked a few workers there, and come to find out, she was allowed to vote. The vote is officially for Nov. 4, so it was OK.
I noticed a handwritten sign on the wall while we were waiting. Monday, that office had 13,800 people vote, and Tuesday there were over 15,000!! Those are HUGE numbers for early voting. I'm not sure what the average numbers are for Collin County, but I doubt that's normal. I just wonder what will happen between now and Nov. 4th. Will those numbers continue? What will the polling locations look like on election day? Will everyone have time to get in?
We have decided that we want to make the rounds to various polling places on election day and see how many Obama supporters we can find, and sit with them and bask in being among our peeps. We are SO few and far between around here. It's frustrating sometimes. There are so many people that are in a position to benefit greatly from Obama's policies, but blindly insist that they are voting McCain. I hear how Palin has more experience (I think we've about completely disproved THAT one) or how he's a Muslim (um, yeah.) or now the big one is that he's a SOCIALIST!!! mmwwaaahhaaahhaaa!!!! Whatever.
21 October 2008
Things keep getting brighter. Time.com has this info on the latest poll numbers.
Latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal national numbers show:
Obama 52, McCain 42.
Dates conducted Oct. 17-20. Error margin 2.9 points.
Plus: What is your attitude toward voting for your candidate?
McCain supporters: "Lesser of two evils" 39, satisfied 34, excited 26
Obama supporters: Excited 52, satisfied 33, "lesser of two evils" 14
Plus: ABC News/WashPost tracking poll: Obama 53-McCain 44. Conducted Oct. 17-20; error margin 2.5 points.
I am deeply disturbed by the hatred that I see all around me. It is directed at Sen. Obama and I am not only concerned for his safety, but I am concerned for the future of this country. I'm not sure if we can put ourselves back together again when this election is over.
This blog will contain my observations, various videos and comments that I find to be either interesting or appalling. And guess what? I will also say things that you may not agree with. The nice thing is that it's my blog and I can. Feel free to comment, but know that any rudeness, name-calling, argumentative behaviour, or just general snottiness will not be tolerated.
Thanks for stopping by!