Sunday, November 30, 2008

The McCarthy Gene

Neal Gabler in the L. A. Times:
The creation myth of modern conservatism usually begins with Barry Goldwater, the Arizona senator who was the party's presidential standard-bearer in 1964 and who, even though he lost in one of the biggest landslides in American electoral history, nevertheless wrested the party from its Eastern establishment wing. Then, Richard Nixon co-opted conservatism, talking like a conservative while governing like a moderate, and drawing the opprobrium of true believers. But Ronald Reagan embraced it wholeheartedly, becoming the patron saint of conservatism and making it the dominant ideology in the country. George W. Bush picked up Reagan's fallen standard and "conservatized" government even more thoroughly than Reagan had, cheering conservatives until his presidency came crashing down around him. That's how the story goes.

But there is another rendition of the story of modern conservatism, one that doesn't begin with Goldwater and doesn't celebrate his libertarian orientation. It is a less heroic story, and one that may go a much longer way toward really explaining the Republican Party's past electoral fortunes and its future. In this tale, the real father of modern Republicanism is Sen. Joe McCarthy, and the line doesn't run from Goldwater to Reagan to George W. Bush; it runs from McCarthy to Nixon to Bush and possibly now to Sarah Palin. It centralizes what one might call the McCarthy gene, something deep in the DNA of the Republican Party that determines how Republicans run for office, and because it is genetic, it isn't likely to be expunged any time soon.
I think Gabler is onto something here. I've long said that Palin is merely the modern-day embodiment of McCarthy, wrapped in snark and a tight skirt; the idea that she is the spiritual descendant--through Nixon--of McCarthyism, makes perfect sense to me. It also means that 1) the Republican Party is likely to split along intellectual-rational vs. evangelical-extremist lines, and 2) we won't soon be rid of Palin.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Bloomberg News:
The U.S. government is prepared to provide more than $7.76 trillion on behalf of American taxpayers after guaranteeing $306 billion of Citigroup Inc. debt yesterday. The pledges, amounting to half the value of everything produced in the nation last year, are intended to rescue the financial system after the credit markets seized up 15 months ago.

The bailout includes a Fed program to buy as much as $2.4 trillion in short-term notes, called commercial paper, that companies use to pay bills, begun Oct. 27, and $1.4 trillion from the FDIC to guarantee bank-to-bank loans, started Oct. 14.

The money that’s been pledged is equivalent to $24,000 for every man, woman and child in the country. It’s nine times what the U.S. has spent so far on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Congressional Budget Office figures. It could pay off more than half the country’s mortgages.
So now we finally have the true estimated cost of the bailout, including Monday's bailout of Citigroup to the tune of $25 billion: a jaw-dropping $7.7 trillion dollars. That's seven-thousand seven-hundred billion dollars. That's one hell of a lot of zeros.

That's 137 times Bill Gates' net worth.

That's a stack of $100 bills 5,225 miles high.

7.7 trillion seconds ago is 243,997 years ago, the time of the emergence of Neanderthal Man.

$7.7 trillion is like giving $25,600 to every man, woman, and child in the America.

Or rather, that's how much every individual in the country in in hock for this bailout.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Watch The Unblurred Palin Turkey 'Pardon' With Keith O.

Keith Olbermann sees the Palin Turkey Slaughter for the first time. The unblurred version, too!

Nate Silver Calls It: Franken By 27 Votes

Uber-geek Nate Silver of calls the Minnesota Senate election for Franken by a nose:
...Franken will gain a net of .837 votes for every 10,000 cast. With a total of 2,885,555 ballots having been recorded in the initial count, this works out to a projected gain of 242 votes for Franken statewide. Since Norm Coleman led by 215 votes in the initial count, this suggests that Franken will win by 27 votes once the recount process is complete (including specifically the adjudication of all challenged ballots).

Cross your fingers!

The Scowcroft Factor

Ygelsias about Scowcroft:
On economic issues, moderate Republicans are almost all still to the right of moderate Democrats. But on foreign policy, traditional Republican realists have a lot more in common with liberal Democrats than either do with Democratic hawks. Both are likely to have opposed the Iraq War or soured on it early. Both are likely to be skeptical of the idea that we should base our foreign policy on self-righteousness. Both are likely to appreciate the importance of taking a balanced approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict. And both are likely to be skeptical of the idea that the highest expresion of humanitarian impulses is launching unilateral wars surrounded by high-minded rhetoric.

Under the circumstances, outreach from Obama to Republican realists would constitute a counterpoint rather than an intensification of outreach from Obama to Hillary Clinton’s top level of supporters and advisers.
Brent Scowcroft and Bush41 formulated a realistic and effective foreign policy. Too bad Junior didn't listen to his elders. Being more than a bit of a realpolitik advocate myself, I see several good things about this. There's nothing wrong with emphasis on an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, either. But, on the other hand, I'd still like to see more Democratic foreign policy wonks in the Obama Adminstration.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hillary?? There Go My Chances With the Obama Administration!

Yes, of course I tossed a resume at the trasition team. What am I, stupid? A chance to work for perhaps the most important administration in my lifetime, an opportunity to serve under the first African-American president this nation has ever seen? Of course I sent them a resume!

Then I read a fascinating and disturbing article by Spencer Ackerman, discussing some of the unmentioned consequences of a Hillary Clinton State Dept.: namely, the likelihood that she'll recruit and hire members of the foreign policy establishment, rather than the Young Turks that surrounded Obama during the primaries, like Susan Rice, Samantha Power (no chance in hell that she'll get a job under Clinton, more's the pity), and Greg Craig (now appointed as Special Counsel to the President).
Some progressive Obama supporters think the arrival of Clinton at the State Dept. will mean they’ll be frozen out. That would have implications for their advancement in subsequent Democratic administrations.

“Basically, you have all of these young, next-generation and mid-career people who took a chance on Obama” during the primaries, said one Democratic foreign-policy expert included in that cohort. “They were many times the ones who were courageous enough to stand up early against Iraq, which is why many of them supported Obama in the first place. And many of them would likely get shut out of the mid-career and assistant-secretary type jobs that you need, so that they can one day be the top people running a future Democratic administration.”

In the foreign-policy bureaucracy, these middle-tier jobs — assistant secretary and principal-deputy-assistant and deputy-assistant — are stepping stones to bigger, more important jobs, because they’re where much of the actual policy-making is hashed out. Those positions flesh out strategic decisions made by the president and cabinet secretaries; implement those policies; and use their expertise to both inform decisions and propose targeted or specific solutions to particular crises.
Althought I've never complained about the number of Clintonistas in Obama's developing Cabinet, I have to wonder why he went with his biggest critic on foreign policy--at least in his own party. Now, it's not like he has a large group of recently-experienced people to draw from. The next most recent Democratic administration before Clinton's was Jimmy Carter's. You know, back when Checkoslovakia existed, and Africa was one country. And better to have some experience, I feel, and be wisely led, than to have no experience and wise leadership. Look at how well that worked out for Bill! Someone has to know where the restrooms are, and whether or not the German Chancellor likes shellfish.

But Hillary? Let's be honest, being on a first-name basis with a large number of world leaders doesn't necessarily mean that they'll listen to what she has to say, when she sits down to talk business with them. I'm on a first-name basis with a lot of people to whom I wouldn't give a thin dime! But there she is, or will be, so it seems. And experts and career diplomats like Rice and Power have to sit on the sidelines, or take orders from her? Well, there goes my chances of getting a job at Foggy Bottom this decade.

Charles Brown at the Undiplomatic blog goes on to note that
During the primaries, the Clinton campaign asked foreign policy experts to remain “exclusive” to Hillary (meaning they could not also offer advice to other candidates). That’s not an unreasonable position, even if the other leading candidates (including Obama) chose not to follow suit. I know many people in the foreign policy community who volunteered for the Clinton campaign because they thought she was the best candidate. But I also know a few who, because of ambition, felt that they had to work for her even though they preferred another candidate. When Obama ultimately won, all of them were welcomed by his campaign and integrated into Obama’s existing campaign apparatus.

If Hillary were to become Secretary of State, I presume that she, like most Secretaries, would be given significant leeway in picking most (if not all) of her senior advisors (meaning in the case of State the two Deputy Secretaries, the Under Secretaries, and those Assistant Secretary postions not assigned to career foreign service officers). It would be logical (and not unreasonable) to conclude that she probably would favor those who served her during the primaries.

But doing so could create two problems. First, the team of rivals could turn into rival fiefdoms, with Obama supporters dominating the NSC (and Defense) and Clinton supporters dominating State. Given the fact that the next Administration urgently needs to reintegrate State into existing foreign policy structures (and give it the resources both to achieve its mission and play a more robust role in intra-agency negotiations), Obama needs to end existing inter-agency rivalries, not create new ones.

Second, there was no love lost among the two camps’ advisors during the primaries. The Clintons attacked those it viewed as disloyal (such as Bill Richardson and Gregory Craig), which angered many in the Obama campaign. In addition, I heard from more than one friend that they were warned that they could forget about a role in a Clinton administration should they not support Hillary during the primaries. Given those realities, Obama risks angering those who did support him, and some of his supporters may regard Hillary’s likely selection of her loyalists to senior posts as a betrayal.
Sounding worse and worse. I think I'd have better luck tossing a resume at Citigroup. What? Never mind.

How Well Did You Do?

I scored 87.88% on this quiz. How about you?

Caribou Barbie Strikes Again!

Watch as Sarah Palin gives an interview at a turkey hatchery after her annual pardon of a turkey. Meanwhile, behind her in the frame, other turkeys are being slaughtered on-camera:

According to reports, she knew what was going on behind her, yet replied "No worries!" when a photographer asked her if she wanted to move to another location for the interview. What was that little fool thinking? Of course, the wingnuts are trying to spin this as a positive for Caribou Barbie. Man, did we ever dodge a bullet when this idiot lost!

UPDATE: I've replaced the video with the uncut version. Thanks to TPM Election Central.

The Recount--Now With Extra Weirdness!

Nate Silver thinks Franken is being too nice. I agree. We need Al to be #60! As of tonight, he's closed to within 136 votes of Coleman so far--go Al!!

MPR has coverage as well, and some samples of disputed ballots; it's worth taking a look. And what the hell was this guy thinking:

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fairy Gold

The Dow dropped 444.99 points today to close at 7552.29, its lowest since 2002. The American auto industry is hurting, on the verge of collapse, and looking for a government handout. Citigroup is looking for a merger partner to stave off a crash in their shares' valuation.

When will the GOP admit that the last eight years of "prosperity" was nothing more than fairy gold?

White Men Just Steal Everything!

Mike Huckabee's new book is titled Do The Right Thing.

The Continuing Victory of Intelligence and Common Sense

Politico reports that Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano has been tapped to become the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A-rab, please!

So apparently, al-Zawahri thinks he can talk smack about President-Elect Obama:
In al-Qaida's first response to Obama's victory, al-Zawahri also called the president-elect _ along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice _ "house Negroes."

Speaking in Arabic, al-Zawahri uses the term "abeed al-beit," which literally translates as "house slaves." But al-Qaida supplied English subtitles of his speech that included the translation as "house Negroes."

The message also includes old footage of speeches by Malcolm X in which he explains the term, saying black slaves who worked in their white masters' house were more servile than those who worked in the fields. Malcolm X used the term to criticize black leaders he accused of not standing up to whites.

On a personal level, al-Zawahri and al-Qaida can kiss my ass. And like Ta-Nehisi Coates, I think he needs to keep Malcolm X's name out of his lying mouth. But the best response that I've heard to this crap came earlier this evening, from my sensei:

"House negro? Yeah: White House."

Sect. Clinton....How's That Again?

Josh Marshall:
But I think we should consider that during her time on the national stage Sen. Clinton has been at the helm in two big undertakings -- had two big executive leadership tasks. One was health care in 1994 and the other was her presidential bid in 2007-08. Each was something of a trainwreck from an executive-level management perspective. And the State Department is a notoriously intractable bureaucracy.

I don't get it, either. I don't care how popular she is overseas, I don't think that Hillary: 1) is a team player, and 2) can control Bill. With all their disagreements on foreign policy, I think that if Hillary really needs a payoff for her support in the general election, give her a seat on the Supreme Court instead. State is f'ed up enough after Condi's reign there.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Yes, I'm talking about the Senate Democrats. Today, by a margin of 42-13, the Democratic caucus voted to allow Joe Lieberman to keep his chairmanship of the important Senate Governmental Affairs and Homeland Security Committee. Despite Lieberman's betrayal of the party by campaigning not only for John McCain, but also for down-ticket Repugs like our own Norm Coleman, the cowards and good ol' boys in the party voted for "conciliation", not justice.

Fuck 'em.

Lieberman doesn't deserve that chair, just like he doesn't deserve his seat in the Senate. He's now in a position to stir up trouble for President Obama, and I'm betting that he will. Lieberman is out for Lieberman, only. He's going to spend the next four years being a pain in the ass to us, and then he'll retire to a nice fat lobbyist job, rather than face Ned Lamont in 2012 (Ned hinted that he's planning to challenge Joementum again on tonight's broadcast of The Rachael Maddow Show). He should be so lucky!

Harry Reid showed NO leadership on this one. He should have pushed to have Lieberman stripped of his chair, to rightfully punish Lieberman, and to keep Obama's hands clean. Instead, we're stuck with this traitorous asshole for the foreseeable future.

Monday, November 17, 2008

You've Gotta Be Kidding Me!

Prince is against gay marriage? PRINCE?? From the New Yorker, via Andrew Sullivan:
When asked about his perspective on social issues—gay marriage, abortion—Prince tapped his Bible and said, “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was, like, ‘Enough.’ ”
Man, who does he think he's kidding? That scrawny little punk, with his wispy mustache and platform shoes? The guy with the dildo guitar and the falsetto voice, imitating James Brown dance moves and Sly Stone horn arrangements? What would Prince be without the sexually ambiguous image that he perfected and made famous?--just another talented multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. You can trip over dozens of 'em just like that in Hollywood and New York. It's like Mariah Carey's marriage to Tommy Mottola: he wouldn't be where he is without it.

Gay activist and blogger Joe My God thinks it's insane, too:
The irony, it burns. The pop star who made his name on his effete, androgynous "Is he GAY or not?" persona - now he hates us. Here's a guy who made zillions on some of the most deliciously filthy music in history (Head, Sexy Motherfucker, Erotic City, Darling Nikki) who now says that "people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever" were justifiably wiped out by God. I guess it's time for US to justifiably wipe out Prince from our computers. And the next time your local gay DJ drops a Prince tune, make sure to let him know THIS story.
Ohhh, I will, I will! I've always known that Prince was crazy, but I didn't know he was Christian-Taliban crazy. What a hypocrite! I was already angry with Prince over his stance on downloaded music, but now this? As an African-American, a musician, and a resident of the Twin Cities, he shames me. It'll be a cold day in hell before Prince gets another dime from me!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Congrats to Nate Silver!

The Huffington Post reports that Nate Silver of has signed two book deals. Yay Nate!

What To Do About Lieberman?

My advice?--In brief, kick his ass out of the caucus. He's earned it.

The long answer: Joe Lieberman, for his support of John McCain, his false and defaming accusations against President-Elect Obama, his support of and campaigning for downticket Republicans like Norm Coleman, and his lack of effort as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has earned nothing less than being stripped of his chairmanship. He has yet to apologize for his traitorous actions, as Evan Bayh suggested, and he has shown no interest in being contrite or even reasonable. Indeed, he's acted as if he is the one holding the upper hand here, threatening to leave the Democratic caucus in the Senate if he's stripped of his chairmanship. Should the Senate Democrats acquiese to his demands, in hopes of securing the 60-vote supermajority? Shouldn't we forgive and forget, rather than lose the chance of reaching that fabled goal?

To that I say: Joe, don't let the doorknob hit your ass on the way out the door.

Lieberman has been a thorn in our side for a long time now. I'm sure that the Democratic voters of Connecticut feel the same way now, too. (Lemont 2012!) After the way Joementum has acted, why should he be rewarded for his backstabbing? That's crazytalk! Homeland Security is a premier committee, and its chairmanship should be given to a proven activist Democrat, someone in line with the President-Elect's views and agenda. What has Lieberman done to deserve this assignment? Has he been an aggressive chairman, scouring out corruption and defending the American people, the way his House counterpart, Rep. Henry Waxman, has on his House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform? No! Joe has sat on his hands and done nothing throughout the reign of one of the most wasteful, dishonest, and corrupt administrations in American history. Worse, he crossed the line and campaigned for his friend John McCain, the Republican candidate for the Presidency. And worst of all, he even campaigned for Republican Senate and House candidates!

Joe's even said on CNN that he would vote with the Republicans on any filibusters, so what good is he to us? None! I believe in mercy, but I also believe in justice. Joe Lieberman deserves for his actions to be stripped of his chairmanship. Should he then chose to leave the Democratic caucus, it will be his choice, and it won't hurt us in the Senate. But he's got to give up the chair.

Obama's First Weekly Address

President-Elect Obama's ( I LOVE writing that!) first weekly address. And it's on YouTube, too! Over 643,000 views on YouTube as of the time of this post.

"The sacrificial lamb"?

Marc Ambinder:

A strategist for a rival potential presidential rival e-mails to express amusement with Gov. Sarah Palin's come one, come all PR strategy:

"Fine with us. Let her be the sacrificial lamb for 2012."

Oh please, let's not even get that close!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Think He's Right About This

Josh Marshall makes a case for Bob Gates, and, in the background, Brent Scowcroft:
One thing to understand about Bob Gates is that he's a Scowcroft guy.

Scowcroft, to the best of my knowledge, never endorsed Obama. But he also, very pointedly, didn't endorse McCain either. And going back many months he's been an important player, far in the background and not for public consumption, in the Obama world. Remember, Hagel, who's sort of been Obama's Joe Lieberman (in the good sense) is very close to Scowcroft. He and Powell are close too. He's the guy who brings all this stuff together.

It's also worth knowing that Scowcroft has also been involved in a multi-year rearguard battle against the neocons in the Bush administration, especially in key efforts trying to block sundry wars with Iran, shut down John Bolton, etc.

I have a lot of respect for Scowcroft (even if he did give Condi Rice her first job in politics) and his worldview, and anybody who's been trying to keep the lid on the neocons earns a tip of the hat from me. Add in people like Susan Rice, Anthony Zinni, Samantha Power, and Anthony Lake, and I think we'd have the nucleus of a formidable Obama foreign policy team.

Sign O' The Times


Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Wasilla Hillbillies

Cue the banjo's the GOP circular firing squad!

Newsweek (emphasis mine):
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family--clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost. An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
This is a surprise? Palin has backstabbed everyone who's ever given her a helping hand upwards, and proven herself to be vacuous, venal, and ignorant at every opportunity. The very idea that she could be a leader of the Republican Party is proof-positive of the GOP's detachment from reality, and the bankruptcy of their ideas. But some of the more dimwitted Republicans are seriously suggesting that she be acclaimed a leader of their party.

Kagro X at Kos:
Yes, in the few short weeks we knew her, Sarah Palin turned out to have more hands in more pockets than we could keep track of. She and Joe (the Plumber) were the perfect pair. Instantly famous but for no good reason, pushy, greedy, and all the while cheating behind the scenes, and cheating on the very issues about which each of them complained that regular Americans were getting a raw deal from the elite.

Meanwhile, HuffPost relates this astounding story from Faux News:
According to Fox News Chief Political Correspondent Carl Cameron, there was great concern within the McCain campaign that Palin lacked "a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate, a vice president, a heartbeat away from the presidency," in part because she didn't know which countries were in NAFTA, and she "didn't understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series, a country just in itself."

Cameron relates how McCain aides were terrified of Palin's lack of knowledge of international and national issues, and even basic civics. Cameron reports that Palin was unfamiliar with the concept of "American exceptionalism," and that not only did she not understand that Africa was a continent rather than a single country but also that during debate prep Palin was unable to name all the nations in North America.
That's not stupid, that's Kellie Pickler Stupid.Though it pains me to do so, check out the video below from Faux. The degree of Palin's ignorance is astounding. Listening to Carl Cameron talk about her "knowledgeability", however, helps me to understand how these idiots could like her in the first place:

"Palin in 2012"? Don't make me laugh!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Exhausted For Now, So: Heroes and Villians, The Short List

Been following all the news today with less than four hours of sleep. Lots to think about and say, but not enough coherency to say it all as thoughtfully and eloquently as I'd like.

So, briefly:

Congratulations again to President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden. Yes We Can and Yes We Did!

Thanks to Sen. John McCain for a graceful concession speech last night--I hope that we get to see that McCain again, in the months and years to come.

Thanks also to Gov. Howard Dean, who proved to the Repugs that the Fifty-State Strategy was not only viable, but potent--go ahead and scream if you want, they won't dare say anything this time.

To Rep. Keith Ellison--congratulations on your reelection. I'm proud that you represent me in Congress.

To Al Franken, our next senator from Minnesota--my continued support, prayers, and hopes. 500 votes to go!

To Ashwin Madia--Never give up...semper fi!

To El Tinklenberg--go for it again in 2010!

To Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz--thanks for many amusing hours of watching you pwn Heather Wilson all over cable news.

To Karl Rove, who, with his disciples Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt, misread the mood of the nation and ineptly led John McCain to defeat in the final repudiation of far-right wingnuttery--"I poop on you!"

To "Crazy" Michele Bachmann--we'll be watching you.

And to the worst political joke in a generation, Sarah Palin--there's a lucrative talk show career waiting for you on basic cable. I suggest that you seriously entertain their offers.

I'll be back again tomorrow, feisty, fresh, and at full strength!

Recount For Franken - Coleman Race

The race between Al Franken and Norm Coleman for Senate is going into extra innings. With a difference of just 462 votes, state law mandates a recount. Since "Crazy Michele" Bachmann won her race against El Tinklenberg, and Ashwin Madia was narrowly defeated by Erik Paulsen, this news just pisses me off to no end. Thank all the gods that Obama took Minnesota 55-44, or I'd seriously have to think about moving.

The Light Of The World--Again

New York Times:

"From far away, this is how it looks: There is a country out there where tens of millions of white Christians, voting freely, select as their leader a black man of modest origin, the son of a Muslim. There is a place on Earth — call it America — where such a thing happens."

Yes, I'm still in jubilant shock and awe. And, yes: at last and again, I'm damn proud of my country.

Tonight's Prepared Remarks By President-Elect Obama

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.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We Did It, Baby!!

Virginia Is The Trouble Spot This Time?

There's trouble in Virginia this time:

Voters were lined up by the hundreds Tuesday as polls opened in Virginia, and reports quickly began to mount of malfunctioning voting machines and polling places opening late.

The State Board of Elections said at a briefing there were no "widespread problems" and blamed human error and the rain for those problems that were reported.

...In several suburban Richmond counties, voters and elections officials reported paper jams on some machines and balky touch-screen machines in some localities had local registrars turning to paper ballots.

At one precinct in Richmond's north end, hundreds of people encircled a branch library by 6 a.m., the scheduled opening of the polls. But the line grew for another 25 minutes before the poll workers opened the doors. They said the librarian who had a key to the polling place had overslept.

...In Chesapeake, approximately 1,000 voters stood in line to vote, and some people reported malfunctioning machines.

At George Mason University in Fairfax, Provost Peter N. Stevens wrote in a campus e-mail that a hacker had entered a message into the university system stating the Election Day had been rescheduled.

Also reported on Kos. I'm watching this

Did My Part

We got up this morning early and voted. I felt like crap, but as I told my SO, "nothing in heaven or hell could keep me from voting today." The line was about 90 minutes long, but it was a beautiful fall morning--looks like the weather is on our side, too!


Tomorrow The World Changes

It's been a long two years of presidential campaigns, but finally the quadrennial event of American politics is upon us. For me, it's been a time of elation, frustration, irritation, and astonishment. Tomorrow we may elect the first African-American to the office of President, an event I doubted I'd see so early in my lifetime, if at all. Even more, tomorrow is the first day of the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, for America and for the world.

We have come to a crossroads as a country, species and planet. Things must change from the course they've taken the last eight years, or our country, and, I firmly believe, our species will not survive. We are faced with monumental challenges on every front: the economy, terrorism, racism, global warming, depletion of natural resources, a growing divide between rich and poor, worldwide environmental pollution, nuclear proliferation, and yes, even species extinction. We can no longer take anything for granted: not our jobs, our health, our finances, our neighbors, our safety, nor our future. Events have overtaken human resistance and ignorance to the point that we now face global climate change, changes that would certainly affect all our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren; and ultimately, the continuation of the human species on this planet.

More immediately, an ill-advised and duplicitous war has sapped our resources, our blood and our treasure. Our leaders have lied to us about every facet of their plans, activities, and goals. Our image around the world has changed from being "the shining city on a hill", from the global unity and support we received after 9/11, to the hatred and scorn with which America is viewed by most of the world. Our economy once led the world; now we are the world's greatest debtor nation. Our Chinese bankers have financed our two wars, and sold us cubic miles of plastic crap to offer in our stores, in return. Over a billion Muslims around the world wonder if we are starting a new Crusade, and our homegrown Christian Taliban spreads ignorance and fear in the hearts of uninformed Americans. We argue about gay marriage while neglecting the welfare of our children, and we fight over offshore drilling for oil even when it's crystal clear that Americans have to begin giving up the petroleum habit. We continue to fight about the issues of the Sixties while the Twenty-First century is waiting for us to truly begin living in it.

This election will produce the first truly American president of the Twenty-First century. We have an opportunity to begin addressing our manyfold problems while there's still time to begin fixing them; or we can turn away from the future, and leave it to the BRICs to build that future for themselves, and our children to suffer living in it. Time has run out: the global changes that began four decades ago are accelerating, and we may have passed the point of no return for some things. Our nation can either begin to repair our economy, our reputation, our earth, sea, and sky, and our hearts, or we can continue to descend into darkness. We need to begin repairing the damage at home and abroad; we need to begin building the true new world order; an order not of dominance, but of compassion. And we need to start now.

There is only one choice in this election, only one man running for president this election year who can help us find the path to the world of our dreams, and not to our nightmares. And tomorrow, I will proudly vote for him: Barack Obama.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Few Comments Before The Comments Of The Night Before

Sarah Palin's pet Personnel Board released a report clearing her of all wrongdoing in the Troopergate matter. Yeah, and monkeys will fly out of my butt. Funny how the people who all owe their jobs to her find her innocent.

Also, Palin today--today, the day before the election!--released a one-and-a-half page summary of her medical records, instead of a full medical report, as she had promised. Yet somehow, Mark Halperin at Time thinks that's a full medical report. As Josh Marshall said, "it's fitting that the McCain-Palin campaign ends with a couple of politically motivated pretend nods to transparency." This doesn't answer any of my questions about Trig Palin's birth records. I still think that kid is her daughter's.

Lastly, I agree with Arianna Huffington: "where's the WiFi"? My SO and I plan to have at least three computers running all Tuesday night. To hell with CNN, give me HuffPost, TPM Election Central, and Kos! Give me, Politico, and Ta-Nehisi Coates! Give me the Twin Cities Daily Liberal,, and MNPublius! This year the intertubes have been the place for fast and complete information, and TV just the place where they tell the story to everyone else. Go broadband!

Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's Grandmother, Dies At 86

Madelyn Dunham, Barack Obama's grandmother, lost her battle with cancer today. She was 86 years old, and one day shy of seeing her grandson elected President of the United States.

The Washington Post:

The campaign released a statement from Obama and his sister Maya Soetoro-Ng this afternoon:

"It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

"Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time. It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer."

I wish she could have seen her grandson win the presidency tomorrow. My condolences to Sen. Obama and his family.

"While we live, let us love, for there is so little time."

It's A Bird...It's A Plane..., it's SUPERBARACK! From the Baracky guys--enjoy!

Thanks also to the Jed Report.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Second Suit Filed Against Coleman

Several sources today have reported on a second suit against my favorite corrupt Republican senator, Norm Coleman. The StarTribune reported that a second lawsuit has been filed against Norm Coleman supporter Nasser Kazeminy, again alleging that money was illegally funneled from a Texas company to Norm, through bogus salary payments to his wife, Laurie. This suit, according to court documents, names

News of the second suit was picked up by Politico, which states that "a group of minority investors in Deep Marine Technology are making allegations against Kazeminy and Coleman nearly identical to the lawsuit filed in Houston last week. Politico's article goes on to identify what it calls "the money quote":
The second suit, brought by FLI Deep Marine LLC and Bressner Partners LTD, attributes its allegations to a "confidential source.''

According to the lawsuit, the source was told by Kazeminy in 2007 that "we have to get some money to Sen. Coleman'' because the senator "needs the money.''
Interestingly, the story reads differently on the StarTribune's website when comparing last night to today. MNPublius, covering this story, cited this paragraph from the StarTribune on this second suit:
The lawsuit is very similar to one filed earlier in the week in Houston by McKim. Both actions allege that Kazeminy told executives at Deep Marine that he wanted to provide financial assistance to the Colemans through an insurance consulting arrangement between Deep Marine and Hays Companies. But the second suit cites a “confidential source.” Kazeminy is a longtime friend and campaign contributor to Coleman.

…in a new wrinkle, Deep Marine’s former CEO, McKim, is named as a co-defendant with Kazeminy and several other individuals who were in positions of authority at the company.
However, when you go the story on the Strib's website, those paragraphs are mysteriously deleted. Fortunately, on the Pioneer Press's website, their coverage of this story reiterates the Strib's report, and repeats the information that McKim is named as a defendant in the second suit.

Whether or not the StarTribune is in the tank for Coleman isn't the point, though. What's important is that we've got another suit against Norm making the same allegations--that Coleman illegally received money from Kazeminy. Stay tuned for more.

They're Still Available! Call 1-800-GOP-GTFO

John Scalzi's "The Whatever Blog" has a list of names and occupations that McCain and Palin haven't used yet. Some of them are:
1. Brad the Milkman

2. Sid the Deli Owner

3. Bryan the Surly Indie Music Store Clerk

4. Kim the Overnight Wal-Mart Stocker

5. Hakeem the Halal Butcher

6. Aloysius the Chicken Sexer

7. Carol the Humorless, Cavity-Probing TSA Agent

8. Klaus the Eurotrash A&R Man

9. Craig the Porn Reviewer

10. Markos the Blogger