Friday, November 21, 2008

De Facto Clinton Restoration?

Is that what is happening here? What do you guys think? It's practically official; Hillary accepts the State position.
Clinton Decides to Accept Post at State Dept., Confidants Say

I can appreciate Obama's penchant for Lincoln's "Team of Rivals", but now the latest is that Bill Richardson is being considered for the Commerce job? Really?
AP source: Richardson serious Commerce contender

And after picking off all the top Dem players at the federal and state levels for cabinet positions, doesn't this leave openings for the Reps to move in? Not that I'm a big party politics backer, but it does look like the same ol' same ol'. Kinda disappointed but reserving full judgment. I'm sure the conservatives are gagging while having a field day at the thought of being able to drudge up the tired, old Clinton lines again. And Letterman, Leno, Stewart and all the other comedians are screaming, "Thank you, God!"

Why Obama Wants Hillary for His 'Team of Rivals' and all the baggage that comes with it...I have a bad feeling about this.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla

Another selection from Mike (who steadfastly avoids posting anything to our blog directly ;) where Dick Cavett weighs in on the Palin "mystique".

The Wild Wordsmith of Wasilla

Thursday, November 13, 2008

It's Morning in America (Again)!

Hey, just wanted to share the good news. The stock market is up; Obama is President; And my wife and I received a key to our new house, today. What a day. What a month. What a year!

Sitting on Top of the World
Wednesday 12 November 2008
by: Garrison Keillor, The Chicago Tribune

The city of Chicago is celebrating the rise of one of their own to the office of president of the United States. (Photo: Getty Images / AFP)

Be happy, dear hearts, and allow yourselves a few more weeks of quiet exultation. It isn't gloating, it's satisfaction at a job well done. He was a superb candidate, serious, professorial but with a flashing grin and a buoyancy that comes from working out in the gym every morning. He spoke in a genuine voice, not senatorial at all. He relished campaigning. He accepted adulation gracefully. He brandished his sword against his opponents without mocking or belittling them. He was elegant, unaffected, utterly American, and now (Wow) suddenly America is cool. Chicago is cool. Chicago!!!
We threw the dice and we won the jackpot and elected a black guy with a Harvard degree, the middle name Hussein and a sense of humor - he said, "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher." The French junior minister for human rights said, "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes." When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.
The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos, and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can't imagine anybody cooler.
It feels good to be cool, and all of us can share in that, even sour old right-wingers and embittered blottoheads. Next time you fly to Heathrow and hand your passport to the man with the badge, he's going to see "United States of America" and look up and grin. Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama, and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian.
And the coolest thing about him is the fact that back in the early '90s, given a book contract after the hoo-ha about his becoming the First Black Editor of The Harvard Law Review, instead of writing the basic exploitation book he could've written, he put his head down and worked hard for a few years and wrote a good book, an honest one, which, since his rise in politics, has earned the Obamas enough to buy a nice house and put money in the bank. A successful American entrepreneur.
Our hero who galloped to victory has inherited a gigantic mess. The country is sunk in debt. The Treasury announced it must borrow $550 billion to get the government through the fourth quarter, more than the entire deficit for 2008, so he will have to raise taxes and not only on bankers and lumber barons. His promise never to raise the retirement age is not a good idea. Whatever he promised the Iowa farmers about subsidizing ethanol is best forgotten at this point. We may not be getting our National Health Service cards anytime soon. And so on and so on.
So enjoy the afterglow of the election awhile longer. We all walk taller this fall. People in Copenhagen and Stockholm are sending congratulatory e-mails - imagine! We are being admired by Danes and Swedes! And Chicago becomes The First City. Step aside, San Francisco. Shut up, New York. The Midwest is cool now. The mind reels. Have a good day.
Garrison Keillor is radio host and author.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Same Ol' Dems: A View from the Left

Here's a decidedly opposite take on what Obama and the Dems might do, compared to what BRM wrote previously. I mostly agree with the author; however, given that the right and the left view Obama/Dems with suspicion, doesn't that kinda show that Obama will rule from the center? All the hubbub prior to him even being inaugurated certainly speaks to the excitement and opportunity that everyone feels and to what an intense microscope will be on the Obama administration. From
The Democrats of 2002 and 2007 haven't gone anywhere

Federalism as Solution to Abortion and Gay Marriage?

Is it really the solution to just let each state decide? I'm not sure about that, but perhaps that will help the Reps to straddle the fence, as it were, and get more centrist. I'll have to think about this some more, but I did start a short story several years back about abortion in an alternate future. Perhaps I should finish some other writings I never finished. From Commentary:
"The solution is federalism."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Newsweek Behind the Scenes of 2008 Campaigns

Been meaning to send this link of Newsweek's "expose" on Obama and McCain campaigns. Haven't read it all, Michelle told me about some of it, and some of it reads like petty gossip for which Newsweek is well known. Would like to get your opinions on it.
Secrets of the 2008 Campaign

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Recriminations Fester

I would like for us to use this post to collect any and all explanations on why McCain lost, whether it be from the right or the left. Here's an NRO Byron York piece on why McCain lost. No mention of Palin, but actually saying that the conditions were not "fair". Really? Seriously? The last thing I'd hear from a conservative is being the victim. Where is the sense of self-reliance, liberty and entrepreneurship?
What Sank McCain

Sorry to Dampen the Mood...

...but right wingnuts are alive and well and will be in full force against change in America. Check out this brown nugget of hate. America has GOT to be the freest nation on earth for this kind of dirt to be shared on the Internet. I bet you it will be diffcult to get past the first two paragraphs: Blue Man


Greetings from Cleveland. Sorry I've been so quiet on the blog. Life has been quite busy, and I haven't had much opportunity to follow what has been posted, let alone post things myself.

Just wanted to offer my congratulations to you guys on last night. It was a hard-fought race with much nastiness and negativity coming from two candidates who promised at the outset not to do such things. McCain could not have been more gracious, positive, healing, and on-target in his concession; since he lost, all he has are words without responsibility. One might argue that made it easy to say them, but I believe he was sincere and did the nation much good in speaking them. His speech should give pause to anyone who villified him during the campaign. He wasn't my first choice of candidates, but he is a good and honorable man who loves his country and the people in it. Obama spoke beautifully also, which we've come to expect. Unlike McCain, he now has the responsibility to follow through on his words and fulfill his promises of post-partisanship and healing. That has to be something more than, "All you Republicans, come on over here to the far left wing side of politics so we can march together toward posterity in harmony," for that is NOT harmony at all; that is hegemony. Granted, he has a mandate, and all the responsibility that goes with it. How he handles that mandate, though, will determine whether he seeks to be a great president for all the people or not, whether his talk of bringing people together is based in anything more than rhetoric. Publius, in Federalist #10, points out rightly that the suggested solution to the problem of faction in politics of having everyone follow the same line fails because it is unrealistic and impossible to achieve. Rather, we need a multiplicity of interests to cut across our divisions and give us opportunties to come together instead of focusing on what pulls us apart. The job for shepherding that effort inclusively instead of exclusively now falls to President-Elect Obama. As John McCain said, he's now my President. That's the right perspective and how things should be done here in this great democratic republic of ours (though it would take me no time at all on YouTube and Google to come up with countless examples of folks - prominent and not - who failed miserably at this eight and four years ago). I begin this transition to the Obama Administration with nonpartisan appreciation for the great moment in history that took place last night. Thomas Jefferson - philosopher, politician, statesman, President, slaveowner - wrote of the race issue in the United States as like having a wolf by the ears: you can't let go for fear of what it will do to you, yet you know you also can't hold on forever. As much as my vote for John McCain had nothing to do with race, my appreciation for President-Elect Obama's victory celebrates the great step forward on race that we took as a nation in electing him. I pray we will someday see the day when the every voter will cast a ballot for a man or woman of any race based purely on the ideas and policies they profess. While the ideas and policies candidate Obama professed cause me great concern, I hope that his election moves us closer to that ideal. More broadly, though, I hold out hope that President Obama will, indeed, forge a legacy as a unifier and not as a divider. That is up to him, not simply to be skilled enough at manipulation to craft support for his far-left agenda, but to recognize, value, and include what those who hold ideas different from him believe as we move forward together. I believed John McCain would do that as President, and doubted that Barack Obama would. I now wipe clean the messy slate of the campaign and maintain the audacity of hope of that President Obama will include me and others like me in shaping his plan for America, rather than merely offering me the ultimatum of jumping on his bandwagon or getting left behind.

Thanks for all your civic participation through the campaign. This is what it's all about, friends.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Final Campaign Speeches

As testaments to the two great presidential candidates with whom the country was blessed this year, here are links to their speeches for posterity. Obama gave a great speech, and McCain in some ways gave a better speech in conceding, especially this section:

Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain.

These are difficult times for our country. And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.

I urge all Americans ... I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited.

Whatever our differences, we are fellow Americans. And please believe me when I say no association has ever meant more to me than that.

The keyword there being "association" which was a very gracious and subtle reference to move forward and away from the negative campaigning that had been waged. From

Obama Victory Speech (video and text)

McCain Concession Speech (video and text)

The Revolution Has Been Televised!

Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of the United States of America! All networks have called it. The revolution has been televised.

Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Shirley Chisholm, Barbara Jordan, Jesse Jackson, Colin Powell, Douglas Wilder, Condoleeza Rice and any other key figures in African-American history who I have missed, on their shoulders Obama stands as the next president of America! Hallelujah! This is a great day in American history!

Yes, We Can! And Yes We DID!

Hey, Osama bin Laden! America will come after you with Obama-Biden!

Pennsylvania Goes Obama!

MSNBC calls it. The squeeze is on on John McCain...

Indiana "too close to call"... bad news for McCain, as the numbers flow in...

Live Electoral Map Starts at 3 PM PST!

Brought to you by the Daily Kos, Watch Change Happen, LIVE! I hope it doesn't turn into a nightmare...

Electoral Map by Daily Kos

Monday, November 3, 2008

America has forgotten 9/11 by electing Obama?

This op-ed from WSJ is annoyingly dumb. The writer, Bret Stephens who seems to have solid credentials, certainly has a decidedly conservative historical viewpoint that is wholly inaccurate and misplaced in its inferences: From 9/11 to 11/4

In the first paragraph, he makes the claim that the era that Pearl Harbor spawned was brought to a close by the end of the Cold War. From that erroneous thesis, he goes on to argue that 9/11 has already been forgotten by Americans as they are about to elect Obama for president. How so? Because the "War on Terror" is still on, and the terrorists are not "susceptible to transcendence" and will not be "mollified by Mr. Obama's middle name. Nor will Iran be deterred from developing nuclear weapons because a President Obama will restore faith in "brand America." " Huh?

First off, Pearl Harbor drew America into WWII, but it is the ominous climax of WWII by the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan and the subsequent nuclear capability of the Soviets that spawned the Cold War. Pearl Harbor, as far as I see it, has never been nor will ever be forgotten. News flash! We are NOT engaged in a cold war but a very hot war against terrorists in Afghanistan and a misguided war of choice in Iraq. So I wonder if Mr. Stephens is advocating that an escalating war against the entire Muslim world is necessary to truly merit a proper remembrance of 9/11. If so, he must have an insane war-hawk fascination for Dr. Strangelove.

It was al-Qaeda that perpetrated 9/11, and I'd agree with Stephens on his point that 9/11 should be more accurately called an "outrage" instead of a "tragedy," but is it not tragic how so many civilians were killed? It seems that these conservatives will refuse to stop painting with a broad brush. Iraq and Iran did not cause 9/11. The Democrats and Obama understand that al-Qaeda must be rooted out. Don't make some stupid right-wing revisionist historical connection to argue that they will be weak with respect to our national security. How insulting!

Palast: Vote for him - because he's Black

While I don't agree with Greg Palast that we should vote for Obama solely because he is black, I would contend that the conservatives at a fundamentally ideological level just don't "get" the Black-American experience in this country, past and present, because they always argue for race-blindness and against affirmative action. And one of many things that Obama symbolizes in the voters' minds is just that--there are people who will vote for him because he is black, not because of his skin but as a redemptive and poetic justice for the Black-American experience.

It is also important to note that Palast makes the point that he is "wary of" Obama, but I would guess he is for affirmative action. Conservatives are already calling Obama the first affirmative action president. And my and presumably Palast's reply to that would be, "And your point is?"

Vote for him - because he's Black
by Greg Palast for

No question, Mr. Bruce was my favorite teacher in junior high.

I went to this Loser-ville school in the San Fernando Valley. It was all Chicano kids and working class white losers like me. Everyone had to take 'metal shop' so we could work the bottom-end jobs in the Chevy plant.

My brain was dying - until Mr. Bruce showed up, the new science teacher. DOCTOR Bruce, actually - the only Ph.d teacher in the place.

At lunch hour, instead of hanging out in the teachers' lunchroom, Mr. Bruce would invite me and my friends into his classroom. Over coffee made on a Bunsen burner, he would talk about topics from Einstein to Buddha while munching on this strange stuff called "organic" food.

He was simply like no adult I'd ever met - an exceptional guy who could make us dull-brained students sizzle.

My parents had him over for Sunday brunch and he talked about his work as a 'honey-dipper' in the Deep South where he grew up. The honey-dipper was the guy who hunted for lost glasses and whatever else was dropped in outhouse cesspools. Dr. Bruce said he enjoyed the work because it taught him pleasures of quiet grace, of dignified acceptance.

The kids were crazy about him, but not all the parents. Some called to complain about the school hiring him.

So he left. Months later, Mr. Bruce mailed me a letter from Japan where he'd taken a university post.

It's odd, but it was only this year that I put it all together: his exclusion by the other teachers, his job as a honey-dipper, his need to escape America.

Dr. Bruce, of course, is Black.

So, I'm going to do something that Dr. Bruce would think little of. I'm going to vote for the Black man. Because he's Black.

The truth is, I'm wary of Barack Obama. His cozy relations with the sub-prime loan sharks who funded his early campaign; his vote, at the behest of his big donor ADM corporation, for the horrific Bush energy bill.

But there's one thing that overshadows policy positions, one thing he cannot change once in office: the color of his skin. The same as Mr. Bruce's.

I'm going to say something that I know the Obama campaign will just hate; but that many others are feeling but won't say out loud. We must vote for Barack Obama because he's Black.

For four centuries, our nation has poisoned itself with the corrosive venom of racism. From the slave trade, to our still-segregated schools, to the Bush family stealing the White House by cynically, and sinfully, calling Florida Black voters felons; to the exile of a brilliant science teacher four decades ago.

The time has come to cleanse the wound that will not heal.

Greg Palast's investigative reports appear on BBC Television and in Rolling Stone Magazine. Palast is the co-author, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., of "Steal Back Your Vote," the investigative comic book available for no charge at and

Palast is a Nation Institute/Puffin Foundation Fellow for investigative reporting.

Madame Sarah Palin Prank Call with 'Nicolas Sarkozy' - Hilarious!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Late and Lame October Surprise?

I must say that it is endlessly fascinating what goes on in the political blogosphere. Take this story about Obama's aunt (half-sister of his father) who is living as an illegal alien in public housing in Boston. Yet another guilt-by-association grasping-at-straws from the right wing, a rather lame attempt at a Hail-Mary pass to change the campaign momentum, but wait, I thought Palin was the Hail-Mary pass? Anyway, take these two opposing takes on the story itself.

One from the left, Talking Points Memo, that accuses the Bush administration of leaking the immigration status of Obama's aunt. It is interesting to note that the Times of London broke the story on October 30th, a Murdoch newspaper:
Breaking the Law for McCain (the link to which was broken at the time of this writing; it appears the entire site is down, perhaps from a denial-of-service attack from the right ;-)

The other from Michelle Malkin, who's fast becoming my favorite right wingnut, which the article's title says all:
Obama’s illegal alien aunt (and campaign donor!) is a deportation fugitive; Bush administration moves to protect her

The fury and the frenzy! Am I the only one who is amused by all this? Oh, well... I suppose one can hope that some good can come out of this by the candidates actually debating about the immigration policy.