Recent updates in 'Politics'

Obama’s Feb. 24th Address to the Nation

Conservative Andrew Sullivan gives us one of the best live blogs of tonight’s address and he ends with the best summary of the speech and what is to come:

“But look: the politics and rhetoric are superb, but all that matters is whether he can pull this off. The results are all that matter now. He has this moment; it could make him and the rest of us. It could destroy him or us. It’s our job in this crisis to support him and to criticize him constructively. We need to rise to the occasion he is rising to. And maybe most of us will.”

Hopefully we will.

I’ve voted for Barack Obama

Video via Jon Taplin

I’m not voting tomorrow, November 4th, because I, like millions of others in my home state of North Carolina, have already turned in my ballot. Instead I will be out doing what I can to bring others to the poll to cast their votes for Barack Obama. We may not win in NC but it will be close and I am hopeful that we will win across enough of the rest of the country to make a difference.

Several months ago, I wrote before the Democratic primary in NC of the things that I had never done before but now have done for Obama. I’d never made a donation to a campaign, put a candidate’s bumper sticker on my car or put a sign in my yard. Today, I did another thing that I never thought my quiet introverted self would be doing – knocking on doors for a candidate. I loved it. What I’ve done today and will do tomorrow is nothing compared to what other committed volunteers out there have accomplished, but this is what Obama’s campaign has been built on. Obama has brought in people who have never been part of the process before, not just the disenfranchised but also the previously ambivalent. People have been giving him a day or two or just a few hours and these have been people who have never in their lives felt the need to do this for anyone or anything. These are not Democratic party stalwarts, these are people like me, spending a day or few hours off doing what they think is right. This is what I hope makes the difference tomorrow.

And that is one other thing Barack Obama has made me do that I had not done in a very long time… Hope.

Fucking love this

Thanks to Andrew Sullivan

Some hope…

This gives me some hope in our country:

Via The Huffington Post and the Amercan News Project

McCain Throws Yet Another Hail Mary

WTF? Seriously, what the fuck are they thinking? Is the McCain campaign that cynical? That desperate? Or that stupid? All three? Cancel the debate and run to Washington to try and get in on the bailout negotiations and look like he was in command of the issue? Even the Wall Street Journal is dismissive of this latest grand dramatic Hail Mary move:

“So count us as mystified by Senator John McCain’s decision yesterday to suspend his campaign and call for a postponement in Friday’s first Presidential debate so that he and Barack Obama can work out a consensus bill to stabilize the financial system. This is supposed to be evidence of leadership?”

In all fairness the WSJ criticizes Obama in the same editorial, but this is no surprise, their editorial board has been spewing vitriol about him for months. Does their criticism have merit? Sometimes. In this case, uh no. It’s pretty clear that there is one candidate grandstanding this and it’s pretty clear that this is McCain’s modus operandi for any situation where he is clearly at a disadvantage.

Again, WTF?

Like a lot of others, I had a lot of respect for John McCain. Back six months ago I even proclaimed my willingness to vote for him over Clinton should she succeed in winning the primary. But “had a lot of respect” is the operative phrase. Past tense. Now, I have none. I’d even hold my nose and vote for Hillary over him.

What happened to the man? Does he realize that what people liked about him was that he seemed to be smart and independent. Now he just looks like a figurehead for the bunch of cynical fools he calls his “advisors”. First, they led him down the Palin path and now this. Conservative commentator Andrew Sullivan has basically called the Palin pick the ultimate Hail Mary. His reaction to Katie Couric’s interview yesterday with Palin:

“America is in a profound crisis economically and in two grueling wars. And John McCain thinks that if anything were to happen to him, this person is qualified to run the world. One word: terrifying…”

First Palin, then this “suspending” of the campaign and trying to run from the debate. This so obviously a desperate and cynical move. And it’s not a suspension of the campaign, it’s a calculated campaign ploy. David Letterman hit the nail on the head last night:

“Are we suspending it because there’s an economic crisis or because the poll numbers are sliding?”

The McCain camp was clearly having a bad day. The latest polls look grim, and the NY Times revealed yesterday morning that his campaign manager was getting paid as a lobbyist for one of the recent failed mortgage companies up until last month. Rather than stay on message, the McCain campaign panicked and tossed it up.

So how many times in a football game is a Hail Mary in the last 20 seconds of the game anything but a desperate and failed play? Sure, if you’re John Elway the play works. But if you’re Elway, it’s not a Hail Mary, it’s a good play. He can pull it off. McCain can’t. He thinks he’s making a good move but he’s just throwing it up and praying.

If this is what McCain does just because his poll numbers are sliding or to distract from the corruption of his advisors, what kind of plays could we expect if the American people actually bought his drama queen antics and voted him President?

You don’t throw plays like this as President – it ends up real bad. And everyone loseWeight Exercises that game…

Petition from U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Paulson’s plan

From U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders online petition to Secretary Paulson:

“Any plan to clean up the mess on Wall Street must:

  1. Ensure that middle income and working families are not the ones who are paying for this bailout by
    • Imposing a five-year, 10 percent surtax on income over $1 million a year for couples and over $500,000 for single taxpayers. That would raise more than $300 billion in revenue over five years;
    • Ensuring that assets purchased from banks are realistically discounted so companies are not rewarded for their risky behavior and taxpayers can recover the amount they paid for them; and
    • Requiring that taxpayers receive equity stakes in the bailed-out companies so that the taxpayers’ assumption of risk is rewarded when companies’ stock goes up.
    • Taken together these three provisions will substantially reduce the likelihood that this bailout will end up on the backs of average American taxpayers.

  2. Include a major economic recovery package which puts Americans to work at decent wages. Among many other areas, we can create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and moving our country from fossil fuels to energy efficiency and sustainable energy. Further, we must protect our must vulnerable families from the very difficult times they are experiencing.
  3. Repeal the disastrous de-regulatory legislation that facilitated this crisis.
  4. End the danger posed by companies that are ‘too big too fail,’ that is, companies whose failure would cause systemic harm to the U.S. economy. If a company is too big to fail, it is too big to exist. We need to determine which companies fall in this category and then break them up.”

Go forth and sign the petition.

Sam Harris on Sarah Palin

Sam Harris on Sarah Palin at

“You can learn something about a person by the company she keeps. In the churches where Palin has worshiped for decades, parishioners enjoy ‘baptism in the Holy Spirit,’ ‘miraculous healings’ and ‘the gift of tongues.’ Invariably, they offer astonishingly irrational accounts of this behavior and of its significance for the entire cosmos. Palin’s spiritual colleagues describe themselves as part of ‘the final generation,’ engaged in ‘spiritual warfare’ to purge the earth of ‘demonic strongholds.’ Palin has spent her entire adult life immersed in this apocalyptic hysteria. Ask yourself: Is it a good idea to place the most powerful military on earth at her disposal? Do we actually want our leaders thinking about the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy when it comes time to say to the Iranians, or to the North Koreans, or to the Pakistanis, or to the Russians or to the Chinese: ‘All options remain on the table’?”

(Via Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic and NewsJunk.)

I seriously have to wonder about a country where people can seriously think this woman is a good candidate for small town mayor let alone Vice President of the US. Any remaining goodwill and respect I had for John McCain went out the window with this decision. What a complete joke…

Obama’s Two minute Ad on the Economy

(via Jon Taplin, one of the best political and economics bloggers out there)

Thomas Frank’s “The GOP Loves the Heartland To Death”

Thomas Frank’s The GOP Loves the Heartland To Death at the Wall Street Journal lays bare Sarah Palin and her fake populism:

“If you drive west from Kansas City, Mo., you will find towns where Main Street is largely boarded up. You will see closed schools and hospitals. You will hear about depleted groundwater and massive depopulation.

And eventually you will ask yourself, how did this happen? Did Hollywood do this? Was it those ‘reporters and commentators’ with their fancy college degrees who wrecked Main Street, U.S.A.?

No. For decades now we have been electing people like Sarah Palin who claimed to love and respect the folksy conservatism of small towns, and yet who have unfailingly enacted laws to aid the small town’s mortal enemies.”

(Via The Wall Street Journal.)

51% to 36%…

From Newsweek’s article on their latest poll showing Obama leading McCain nationally by 51% to 36%:

“Barack finally has his bounce. For weeks many political experts and pollsters have been wondering why the race between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain had stayed so tight, even after the Illinois senator wrested the nomination from Hillary Clinton. With numbers consistently showing rock-bottom approval ratings for President Bush and a large majority of Americans unhappy with the country’s direction, the opposing-party candidate should, in the normal course, have attracted more disaffected voters. Now it looks as if Obama is doing just that.”

Very early but still stunningly positive poll news for Obama…

Dave Winer is keeping up with all of this political news via his site NewsJunk – highly recommended. You can also get the latest by following newsjunkies on Twitter.

(Via Dave Winer’s Scripting News and NewsJunk sites.)