Friday, October 31, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Even at McDonalds, you're interviewed three times before you're given a job." source

My Big Fat Pre-Election Blog

I have been thinking so much about the lead up to the election, the election itself and what is going to happen after, that it's been impossible to put all these thoughts into the written word. One huge advantage radio has over blogging is that on radio, I would have hours to say everything that is on my mind. Over the course of hours and days, I could completely flesh out my ideas, thoughts and opinions. If all I did was blog it would be the same. However, to do that I would have to write constantly and edit endlessly. I certainly don't have the time for that, so here is some stuff thrown out there for what it's worth.

THE RACE IS TIGHTENING The McCain / Palin ticket is making up ground in this election and I am very worried. Believe it or not, the negative campaigning, name calling and "Joe the Plumber" nonsense is pushing the button of the very people who are hurt most by Republican policies. There is also real hate being generated out there by the GOP and that's also working. It is beyond sad to see millions still buying into a philosophy that could not have failed more clearly. I have to give it to the Republicans, one thing (perhaps the only thing) they do well is frighten and fool people. If McCain and Palin win - they certainly won't have much of a nation to govern. One half, their half, are intellectually useless ditto heads and the other half will just walk away from the process after seeing hard work, pragmatism and honesty rejected again by the voters.

RESULTS ON WEDNESDAY? Voting day and night will probably be chaotic. Look at the lines now an imagine what it will be like Tuesday. In Red states there will be efforts to prevent people from voting and that will cause problems and delays as well. I doubt we will have a result until Wednesday because I think people will be waiting in lines until after midnight all across the nation and it will take a long time to count the record number of votes. If the race is close, it will take even longer for a winner to be projected. I would not be surprised if a winner was not declared until Wednesday afternoon or evening.

WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF SARAH PALIN? There has been much discussion as to the future of Sarah Palin. Many feel she will be rejected by the GOP and thrown under the bus or will float away due to her lack of gravitas. I strongly disagree. I believe that Sarah Palin will be the symbolic leader of the GOP (if they lose next week) and she will take the party in an even uglier direction. I know it's hard to believe in this day and age, but she has no problem with blatant race bating and fear mongering. She IS another George Wallace and she is not going anywhere. I also suspect that many hard right wingers will move to Alaska, in the event of an Obama victory, and that state will become a hotbed (pun intended) of White Supremacy and other far right activities and strategies. She will begin running for President on her own almost immediately, and will have something close to torch bearing followers standing behind her the whole way.

GET OUT THE KLEENEX. I think this Tuesday and Wednesday will see more Americans crying than any day in history, maybe even including 9-11. Why? Think about it. No matter what, I think most Obama supporters will be crying. If he wins, it will be such a relief, such a change, a real end to our long, long nightmare, it will be impossible not to get emotional about it. If he loses, well there will certainly be a lot of tears too. I don't know about how McCain voters will react. Some might cry if he loses or win, but I expect either anger or obnoxious boasting. Tears not so much.

MQAblog 2009? I have also been thinking about the future of my blog. I have worked hard for more that 15 years on radio and on line to alert people to the dangers of the right wing. I have seen from the start that this is not simply a difference of political philosophy, but a real difference of intent. I believe that the movers and shakers in the Conservative movement don't care about America. They are simply using our democratic freedoms to paralyze people into fear and hatred so they can make billions of dollars and run international policy to their liking. They just say what they have to, to assure loyalty from their misinformed followers. I have long believed that most of their followers are naive to what going on. I have no doubt that I have been proven correct. So if Obama wins, much of my work will be done. That's not to say that the Right Wing will disappear. On the contrary. They will be smaller but much more nasty, hateful and even violent. It will be very, very ugly and will need constant monitoring. But now, with the Internet and blogs, there are many who now see this and can fight this fight. I'm not sure I have the energy to do it any more. If Obama looses then I will really give it up. It will be clear that the American people are not interested in logic and reason and my efforts to enlighten and educate are pointless. Democracy will have failed this country and I, for one, will no longer see discussion and debate as a productive use of my time.

PREDICTIONS I don't have any new predictions for Tuesday. I did predict way back when that Obama would win the Presidency so I stand by that. However, I have seen victory snatched away too many times and with the tightening polls I just fear the worst. I just plead with everybody to go out and vote - no matter how long the lines. While you are standing there, think about what 4 years of McCain and Palin would mean. Think about how Republicans would never fear being held responsible for anything if they are elected to the White House again despite the complete mess they have made. Think about situation we are on and ask yourself if rewarding hatred and lies is the best way to start the nation's healing and recovery.

LAST DAYS OF OLD AMERICA Next week this country and the world will change. One week from now, things will be completely different. Have no doubt about that. We could finally break away from this dark cloud and begin to move in the right direction, or we as a nation, could just fall off the cliff into hopelessness, fear and despair. If the hatred of the McCain/Palin campaign is rewarded, it will increase exponentially throughout the bloodstream of America. Hope would have been defeated and therefore extinguished for a generation. Democracy will have lost it's luster and faith in the American dream will disappear - likely forever. The world will never look at us with respect again and for good reason. However, if Obama wins then it will allow Americans to believe again. Believe that competence is preferred over rhetoric, facts over fear, hope over hatred and unity over divisiveness. Next week things will be completely different. Old America will either start it's resurgence or complete it's decline. Whichever, it will be different, sudden and noticeable. It will be change.

Happy Halloween

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Quote of the Day II

"...When I entered the voting booth today, I didn't base my vote on policy, or ideology, or affiliation. I didn't vote in the hopes of a bigger government, or a more liberal social policy, or for the advancement of a political party. I didn't vote "for" a Democrat or "for" a Republican or "against" the greater of two evils. I didn't vote to change our policy in Iraq, or to get troops into or out of Afghanistan, or to give homosexuals the right to marry or to ban prayer in schools. I didn't vote for experience and I didn't vote for change. I voted for the one thing that has been categorically absent for as long as I can remember noticing: Reason. Anybody can latch on to policies and advance them blindly on faith alone, both sides of the aisle have demonstrated that for decades, but for the first time in my life I feel like I have a leader who would listen to an argument and actually change his position if he were wrong. Naive? Maybe. But what an inspiringly audacious Hope it is." source

Quote of the Day

I'm putting the finishing touches on a pre-election blog entry. It's pretty long and is the first step by me into moving past this election. It should be posted tomorrow. Imagine my real shock, surprise and satisfaction to see this editorial which says almost exactly what I have been saying for 15+ years and almost exactly what I wrote down for my own pre-election blog! While I came up with my own stuff prior to stumbling over this, this writer says it all with greater eloquence than I will. So, even though I will repeat some of these ideas in my own big post, you should know that we are not alone.
For years now I, and countless others, have been attempting to warn our fellow countrymen that the people running the Republican Party right now are not who they want you to think they are. This ain’t your granddad’s GOP, and it hasn’t been for some time. The Neo-Republican charlatans in control have only one thing on their mind — amassing wealth and political/global power (in order to amass even more wealth). Everything else is just theater, and secondary to those goals.

So how have they managed to keep so many — including rank and file Republicans — believing they have the best interest of the country at heart, even as they proceed, step by step, to demolish the middle class, with their “smash and dash” economic policies? Lies, deception, smears, meaningless distractions (lapel pins. pigs with lipstick), phony catch phrases (McCain’s campaign slogan “Country First”), war, terrorism, fear … basically anything they can come up with to keep you from focusing on what truly matters to the future of this country, or your own personal well being.

The Obama Commercial

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Plumber Doesn't Know His Shit

A surreal moment on FOX News this week as Shep Smith confronts the now famous GOP icon "Joe the Plumber". I can't believe Smith held JTP responsible for his own words, showed him to be uninformed and finished off with a comment I'd expect from Keith Olbermann not FOX News. This interview perfectly captures a type of Republican voter, who does not know what the hell is going on, but it cock sure he knows what's right. They vote against their own interests time and time again and are angry at things that don't exist. That's why it's so bizarre to see this on FOX. They have been a prime part of this strategy of getting regular Joe's to just kill themselves at the voting booth every time. Maybe Shepard Smith has just had enough of it all.

Race Still Too Close To Call

Don't Celebrate Yet!

Comedy Break Dance


Remember those Budweiser ads in 2000 where all those guys said "wassssup". Of course you do. Well they're back with an update for 2008. Brilliant!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Closing Argument

"In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of change over the power of the status quo. In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history."

One Week To Go

The election is one week from today. I have the Wednesday following the election off, to stay up all night to watch the coverage. I think it will take all night because the lines will be endless next Tuesday! If early voting has lines every day are 4 or 5 hours long now, what about places like New York that do not have early voting!?! EVERYONE will be going to the polls next Tuesday. Since your employer has to let you vote, I will happily wait in line all day if I have to. I hope the long lines don't deter people. (The Republicans would like that, wouldn't they) I think from now on every one should have early voting.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Last Trip To The Old Stadium

I decided to go on an official tour of Yankee Stadium. It was really great! We first got to go to the press box and see the best view in the park. Then we went to Monument Park where I finally got to see all the monuments to Yankee greats.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Friday

The Vet who did not Vet: A Cautionary Tale

"Amy The Stylist"

Was paid more than $22 thousand by the McCain Palin ticket in just the past two weeks!. Her job? Sarah Palin's stylist. If the working class buys into the GOP's fraudulent sympathy again this year, it will just be plain embarrassing.
An acclaimed celebrity makeup artist for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin collected more money from John McCain's campaign than his foreign policy adviser. Amy Strozzi, who works on the reality show "So You Think You Can Dance" and has been Palin's traveling stylist, was paid $22,800, according to campaign finance reports for the first two weeks in October. In contrast, McCain's foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, was paid $12,500, the report showed.

Quote of the Day

For years, many of the elite conservatives were happy to harvest the votes of devout Christians and gun owners by waging a phony class war against “liberal elitists” and “leftist intellectuals.” Suddenly, the conservative writers are discovering that the very anti-intellectualism their side courted and encouraged has begun to consume their movement.The cause of Edmund Burke, Leo Strauss, Robert Nisbet and William F. Buckley Jr. is now in the hands of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity -- and Sarah Palin. Reason has been overwhelmed by propaganda, ideas by slogans, learned manifestoes by direct-mail hit pieces. E.J. Dionne

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Opie Speaks!

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

McCain Campaign in Disarray?

Chuck Todd is in the top tier of my TV political analysts so what he has to say here is attention grabbing. Of course, I noticed very early the awkwardness between McCain and Palin. I sensed that he didn't think she was grateful enough and she immediately began acting as an independent candidate out mostly for herself. Plus, she misled him and everyone else about her real record. Two "mavericks" - not a good team. Who woudda thunk it?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"Democrats' Gloom Deepens"

The headline comes from this story in Politico which explains that no matter what the apparent advantages Democrats have right now, we are still fearful that we will lose on November 4th. That's for sure! The quote below is from none other than Tucker Carlson:

Wondering if you're really a Democrat? Here's a quick way to find out: Given everything the Democratic party has going for it this year—the overwhelming financial advantage, the legions of new voters, George W. Bush—do you believe the Obama campaign could still somehow, in the final moments, find a way to blow it and lose this election?

If you answered yes, you're a Democrat.

I can relate. I am not thinking that Obama will "blow it", as Tucker says, but I do worry that on election day, millions of Americans will wake up, and decide not to vote for that (black) (Muslim) (Arab) guy after all. It is still a big mystery to me how George W. Bush won either of his elections when it was pretty clear that the guy lacked the resources to handle the job. I am not yet convinced that people have moved beyond voting out of fear. Also, with the well organized voter suppression efforts by conservatives in 2000 and 2004, I have learned that many who plan to vote for Democrats will not be allowed to. I have no doubt that they have some other scheme up their sleeves for this election day. So, from all these lessons of election history, I will wait until it's REALLY over to feel anything close to "Misson Accomplished".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Family Matters

Barack Obama has to fly to Hawaii later this week to check in with his very ill grandmother (pictured above with his grandfather - who he resembles more than I ever knew). Obama will return to the campaign trail Saturday. His grandmother, Madelyn Lee Payne Dunham, raised Obama during much of his life and is his last remaining parent figure.

Church is State, State is Church

The woman in this video is hopelessly ... um ... noninclusive. She insists that people just like her, and ONLY people just like her, are appropriate for elective office. Sadly, the attitude of this woman is multiplied by the thousands across the country and reinforced through hateful and misleading e-mails and through the typical Republican media apparatus designed to build even more distrust and intolerance. They know to have any chance in this or future elections, they need men and women like this. The GOP can't win elections on the facts, economic plans or any record of success. That's why they will continue to spread misinformation to encourage real and deep hatred to divide Americans and corrupt our political process for years to come - no matter who wins the election next month.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Powell Endorsement

Worth watching all 7 1/2 minutes of it.

The Loyal Solider says "Enough!" of G.O.P.

Colin Powell's endorsement today of Barack Obama is huge for a number of reason. First of all, Colin Powell is one of the most respected figures in this country. Second, he is a die-hard Republican who has shown absolute loyalty to his party throughout his life. Finally, the specific reasons he gave for the endorsement are a powerful argument for Obama and against the G.O.P.

Stressing that Obama was a lifelong Christian, Powell denounced Republican tactics that he said were insulting not only to to Obama but also to Muslims. “The really right answer is what if he is?” Powell said, praising the contributions of millions of Muslim citizens to American society. “I look at these kind of approaches to the campaign, and they trouble me,” Powell said. “Over the last seven weeks, the approach of the Republican Party has become narrower and narrower.”
The fact that General Powell came out against the Republican party and the McCain campaign so strongly tells me that this loyal solider understand the peril of four more years of the same old same old. Powell would have never come out for Obama and against the political party that gave him his career, if he didn't sense the real danger of a McCain / Palin administration. I share his fear.

“I don’t believe [Palin] is ready to be president of the United States,” Powell said flatly.

Powell's arguments why Barack Obama would be a good President are persuasive. He likes Obama's intelligence, temperament, curiosity and the people he has chosen to consult with on the issues. Colin Powell has been around and worked for a number of Presidents so when he says that Barack Obama has what it takes - we should take notice.

"Obama displayed a steadiness, an intellectual curiosity, a depth of knowledge," Powell said."He has met the standard of being a successful president, being an exceptional president," he said. ... "I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation coming onto the world stage, onto the American stage, and for that reason I'll be voting for Sen. Barack Obama,"

I hope that this endorsement resonates with voters. It should. Colin Powell is a sober, thoughtful and intelligent man. Any voters sitting on the fence, leaning toward McCain or thinking of skipping the election should take note. If General Powell see the urgent necessity of a President Obama then we should all take that very seriously.

Cartoon Commentary

Friday, October 17, 2008

LICKED! Obama runs the table (and "Joe the Plumber" proves it!)

Wednesday night was the final Presidential debate and it seems that it was another Obama victory. While McCain was more forceful and energetic in this encounter, he also came across as angry almost throughout the contest.

The biggest story of the debate, I guess, is "Joe the Plumber". He was used as an example by McCain throughout the debate. (read: "Don't pay attention to the policies favoring the rich that me and Palin support - look at Joe!! He's convinced he would be hurt under an Obama Presidency!!!!") I'm glad McCain did this.

McCain was trying to show Americans a poor, hard working businessman who would be punished by the mean old Obama economic plans. Apparently, he vetted the honesty of "Joe's" claims as little as he did his VP choice. Like much, if not all, of Conservative narratives, The story of "Joe the Plumber" it's an untrue myth. (These people rely so much on myths, symbolism and stuff that's simply made up, it it's astounding).

Turns out (no surprise) Joe is NOT a registered plumber, he does not make $250,000 and he is a registered Republican, not an undecided voter. Also he is NOT going to buy his boss' business (as he dishonestly said to Obama during their discussion) and even if he did he would not suffer additional taxes because his bosses business is not worth a quarter million dollars. Finally, Joe (that's NOT even his real first name for goodness sake) hates taxes so much, he won't even pay his "low" taxes now under a Republican administration.

So while the fictionalized story of "Joe the Plumber" seems to be the next shiny distraction the Republicans are using to try to persuade (trick?) their voters (again?), turns outs it is almost completely untrue. I know, a real shocker.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Palin As President

You have got to check THIS creative and fun website out.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Leader of the Pack

Andy Martin
Read all aboout the man that "Insane Right" follow.

Final Debate Tonight: 9 PM

This is the final showdown. I expect John McCain to trot out the Right wing smears tonight. I also expect Obama to brush them off like the misinformation that they are. Here are a few topics to look for.

William Ayres: Obama has worked with him a few times but so have Republicans! Look for Obama to bring up the fact that Ayres' educational programs have been funded by conservatives for years. In fact, they have had a much closer working relationship Ayres over the years than Obama does.

ACORN: This is the most recent smear being put out by the Hannity's, Limbaugh's and Palin's of the world. It is nonsense. They pay people to get people to register to vote. Some of them put in fake names. But they are quickly sorted out and of course, Mickey Mouse cannot vote. I am sure I will write about this ACORN smear more, but for now I will say that it symbolizes the re-booting of the Conservative movement. They are going back to the 1970's where conservatives started by "Blaming the Victim". Expect, for the remainder of this campaign and for years to come, to hear that all our problems are because of ... wait for it ... poor people. Yep, the economy would be fine now if it wasn't for them. This is what Reagan hitched his horse to to jump start this era of conservatism. Reagan expertly morphed blaming the poor into the fictionalized "Cadillac Queen"(read: poor black people) and began the tidal wave of vile political discourse we have seen for the past generation. ACORN is also a buzz word for "poor, black inner city people". By using this group, conservatives can hate blacks and be PC about it! Finally, a big reason the hate mongers are building up ACORN is because they want to de-legitimized a potential Obama victory. Barack could win by 500,000 votes and some on the right (Talk radio, FOX) will say the election was stolen by ACORN. Count on it! That's what they are setting up right now. Remember that the conservative movement is built on hatred and the denial of reality. It can only survive if they have someone or something to despise and if they repudiate facts as a liberal conspiracy against them. First, they targeted their hatred on the poor, then the communists, then the Clintons, then terrorists. It's come back full circle to the poor now. Because the number of people buying into the conservative doctrine is shrinking, they need to be even more hateful than ever. In order to do this they will have to deny that they lost the election and portray themselves as victims. ACORN seems to be the straw man of this era. (As a bonus, there is a video of John McCain praising ACORN at a rally a few years ago.)

John Lewis: This black congressman was part of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960's. He remembers how inflammatory words back then lead directly to violence. He recognized, like many of us have, the same type of language coming from Palin and her followers. He pointed it out. The right wing doesn't like that. Lewis compared the LANGUAGE of Palin and her mobs to that of George Wallace. It was an apt comparison. John McCain is trying to claim that he (McCain) was being directly compared to Wallace. He was not. But look for him to bring this up and complain that Obama has not repudiated the comments. The fact is, Obama did disagree with the comments almost as soon as they came out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Quote of the Day

Another Republican for Obama. This time it's Christopher Hitchens:
On "the issues" in these closing weeks, there really isn't a very sharp or highly noticeable distinction to be made between the two nominees, and their "debates" have been cramped and boring affairs as a result. But the difference in character and temperament has become plainer by the day, and there is no decent way of avoiding the fact. Last week's so-called town-hall event showed Sen. John McCain to be someone suffering from an increasingly obvious and embarrassing deficit, both cognitive and physical. And the only public events that have so far featured his absurd choice of running mate have shown her to be a deceiving and unscrupulous woman utterly unversed in any of the needful political discourses but easily trained to utter preposterous lies and to appeal to the basest element of her audience. more

A Kinder, Gentler McCain?

Some are theorizing that John McCain is going to throw another "Hail Mary" today or tomorrow. Whats the plan? To repudiate the hate and lies that he has used thus far, maybe firing the Karl Rove lieutenants that he has running his campaign and (at this late hour) swearing off negative campaigning. I think this will be seen as the act of desperation that it is, but it's better than getting even MORE negative. Now lets see if McCain can control his running mate and the nut cases who cling to the illusion that she should (or even could) be leader of the free world.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Funny

Some have said this cartoon symbolizes the John McCain campaign. I just think it's a funny, classic bit.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life's Unfair. They're Unbalanced.

There is a reason why so many people at the Palin / McCain rallies are feeling hatred towards Barack Obama. That’s is all they hear! Many people watch only FOX and listen to only right wing talk radio. They get a steady stream of fear and hate. These unsuspecting people are brought to such outrage that anger is the only possible escape. John Stewart shows clips from FOX News from just the past 5 days. Imagine yourself seeing this, and only this on a daily basis.

Another Short Film Featuring Sydney, Austrailia

Keith Loutit creates lovely tilt-shifted time-lapse short films. His aim, he says, "is to present Sydney as the Model City, and help people take a second look at places that are very familiar to them. source

Beached from Keith Loutit on Vimeo.

McCain's Regret

John McCain was boo'ed heartily when he did it but he did it. He stuck up for Barack Obama and dismissed the ignorance coming from the people at his rallies.
"[Barack Obama is a] person that you do not have to be scared of as president of the United States. [He's] a decent, family man." ...John McCain
After months of smearing Barack Obama by his campaign and even more so by the Right Wing media, the resulting hatred has been spilling out in the McCain and Palin rallies this week. Yes, John McCain has sold out to the hate mongers to run his campaign,but in many ways he was never comfortable being one of them. I think McCain let is decent side reappear momentarily yesterday when he defended Obama at a rally, because he NOW realizes (like he did in 2000) that hateful words lead, unsurprisingly, to hatred and too often from the Right, this hatred becomes violence or attempted violence. McCain remembers the death threats eight years ago. He knows what it's like going against these people.

The crowds that show up for his rallies these days appear to have little appetite for the talk of bipartisan compromise that had been at the heart of his message around the Republican National Convention. During a rally outside a small airport in Mosinee, Wis., on Thursday, McCain said that "it's time we come together, Democrats and Republicans to work together. That's my record. I'll reach across the aisle." The crowd stood silent.

McCain really looked a bit horrified this week to hear the angry screams from the crowd in his rallies. "Kill him", "Off with his head", "Terrorist" screamed people in the crowd, echoing the standard logic of McCain or Palin voters. He should have been horrified - but not surprised. Talk to someone supporting McCain and chances are they do it for the same moronic reason. They think Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist. They really do! Who can blame them, that's the diet of lies they have been fed fior the past 2 years - what else would they regurgitate?

John McCain, I suppose, is just beginning to regret just how much he has given up his reputation and honor in by hiring the Rovian smear merchants to lead his run for the White House. He coddled up to the Religious Right, and now they are spreading misinformation for him in the churches. He pandered to the talk radio crowd and they are spewing their usual fare of fear and hate to support him. How ironic that McCain finds himself having to defend his opponent from angry mobs who seem ready to break out into a riot. Perhaps McCain has finally recognized the damage he (and his party) is doing to the country, and now that it seems too late to save the election, he may try to undo the damage he perpetuated and now will try to save this country from the ignorance he had fought against most of his Senate career.

Now that would be the old maverick we used to know.

UPDATE: Palin also Tempers Attacks on Obama

Abuse Of Power

No wonder Sarah Palin is beloved by the Right.
"violated state ethics laws and abused her power "

Friday, October 10, 2008

Quote of the Day

By David Gergan, who has advised presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton. This is one of the smartest and most non partisan voices in America today. Even he is scared!
"There is this free floating sort of whipping around anger that could really lead to some violence. I think we're not far from that," he told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Thursday. "I really worry when we get people --when you get the kind of rhetoric that you're getting at these rallies now. I think it's really imperative that the candidates try to calm people down."


Long time listeners and readers know that I believe that there is is a significant portion of the "conservative movement" prone to violence and domestic terror. The record makes this clear. Through the years we've seen assassination attempts, coordinated clinic bombings, creation of armed militias designed to overthrow the government, the Oklahoma City Bombing, lone wolf church shootings and an endless stream of hate and threats coming from the right wing. When frustrated, they don't just try harder to persuade us in the marketplace of ideas, they become angry and resort to violence.

This always becomes more prevalent when these type of "conservatives" have their back to the wall. They feel completely justified in ignoring the law to further their goals or prevent policies they disagree with from advancing. We all remember the dark and dangerous people of violence who reared their heads during the Clinton Administration. Well, their backs are against the wall now and they are really ramping up the hatred!

Talk radio, Fox News and now Sarah Palin and John McCain, are inciting real hatred and anger among their followers that run directly counter to what this country is all about. Make no mistake about it, the very people who ignored our laws over the past eight years and those who continue to support those politicians, will instinctively resort to intimidation, hatred, and even violence. These "movement conservatives" don't negotiate because they believe they have the absolute truth. Even more frightening, many honestly believe that God backs them up on this. That is why violence is an acceptable choice for them. They are told that they are doing God's work and the laws of man - especially if they feel they are "unGodly" laws - are absolutely irrelevant.

So while the majority of Americans recoil at the current behavior of Republicans and the language used by Palin/McCain and their surrogates in inciting this hatred and violence during the last stages of the Presidential campaign, have no illusions that they are creating a dangerous place of us to live - now and in the years to come. All we can do is point it out, condemn it and be very careful.

UPDATE 8PM: John McCain has finally spoken out against the hatred. He was boo'd heartily by his supporters but I do give him credit for trying.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Video of the Day

This video was made only with a cell phone camera on the streets of New York City and Sydney, Australia. It's one of the most powerful uses of this media I have seen.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

My Presidential Debate Analysis

I think it was clear win for Barack Obama. He had a real good night and John McCain had a bad night. In fact, there were times where I really felt kind of sorry for McCain. Gone is the John McCain I liked so much in the 2000 Presidential race. McCain now looks like he should be serving his last months in office, not seeking his first. Time and his complete sell out to the Bush Administration over the past eight years has taken a terrible toll. George Bush ruined it all for John McCain. In more ways than one. No wonder he's seething.

Think about it. In 2000 John McCain was pretty close to being a real Maverick. He railed against the Religious Right who pull the important strings in the GOP, he argued against then Governor Bush's doomed to fail economic plans and he condemned the lie and hate filled campaign that Bush was raging against him. But in 2000 he lost. George W. Bush took away his best chance of ever becoming President.

But it gets worse. In a calculation I still don't understand, John McCain decided to cross sides and join his enemies. He snuggled up to Bush for the general elections in 2000 and 2004. He embraced Bush's policies over 90% of the time. McCain even hired the smear merchants that slimed him for his own campaign in 2008. McCain appeased the fundamentalist with the Sarah Palin pick and got down in the gutter as bad as he got just 8 years earlier. This calculation seems to have failed. So this time, by joining up with George Bush and his people, McCain is having his second and final attempt at the White House going down the drain.

I just wonder how it must feel for him to hear himself now being tied to the failures of the Bush Presidency. He must truly hate the man. Not only did Bush take the nomination from him in 2000, not only did he convince McCain to back bad policies, but he also lead McCain into giving up his maverick status and even his honor this year. George Bush has just about ruined this country and caused immeasurable hardships on millions of people across the world. But John McCain might just have the unique distinction of being hurt by Bush more than anyone else still alive. Now, being (correctly) labeled as "McSame" (as Bush) must be galling beyond belief.

Back to the debate. Of course there were the idiosyncrasies we have all gotten used to. John McCain winking and blinking and saying "my friend" seemingly without control. Barack stuttering and using the word 'notion" a lot. And I would be remiss if I didn't point out that John Mcain's upper lip never seems to move when he speaks. The oddest phrase I heard was "nailing jello to the wall" uttered by McCain. Huh? Is that a common expression? Why would anyone try to nail jello to the wall anyway? Also, McCain blundered greatly when he suggested that people could drive to Arizona to get health care. Tennessee, where the debate was held, is a long way from Arizona and I doubt anyone in the audience saw that as a good idea.

Finally there is the "that one" comment that is big news today. I grimaced as soon as I heard John McCain say that. It sounded racist to me, as in "that (black person)". Now, I do NOT believe that McCain meant it that way or is a racist at all. In fact, I assumed it was an expression from the olden days that he trotted out. But, wow what a mistake to say it! He is catching a ton of flack about it today. Rightly so. Even if it was an honest mistake, a slip of the tongue, an old expression lost in translation here in the present, McCain should not had said it.

As for the aesthetics of the debate, the audience, for most of the event, looked like frightened hostages. They came across as people who were forced to dress in fancy clothes against their will and told not to make a sound. They loosened up a bit as the debate went on but overall looked very uncomfortable. Tom Brokaw, as I expected asked weak questions. Why would he give multiple choice, yes or no questions to complicated issues? Why insist that the candidates prioritize certain issues? And why constantly complain about the time. None of it contributed to the substance of the discussion and Brokaw looked silly and small doing that.

Overall, it was the best of both worlds for me. Barack Obama really looked on his game. He was informed, articulate, energetic and enthusiastic. McCain was pretty much the exact opposite of all that. He was bad even for John McCain. I think it is definitely advantage Obama now. There is one more debate to go (right here in New York) and now less than a month until election day. I hope that Obama can continue the momentum he has going right now.

Commentary of the Day

Here is an excerpt from Tom Friedman's column today about the Vice Presidential Debate that I thought was very good:

... One thing [Sarah Palin] said in the debate with Joe Biden that really sticks in my craw. It was when she turned to Biden and declared: "You said recently that higher taxes or asking for higher taxes or paying higher taxes is patriotic. In the middle class of America, which is where Todd and I have been all of our lives, that’s not patriotic."

What an awful statement. Palin defended the government’s $700 billion rescue plan. She defended the surge in Iraq, where her own son is now serving. She defended sending more troops to Afghanistan. And yet, at the same time, she declared that Americans who pay their fair share of taxes to support all those government-led endeavors should not be considered patriotic.

I only wish she had been asked: "Governor Palin, if paying taxes is not considered patriotic in your neighborhood, who is going to pay for the body armor that will protect your son in Iraq? Who is going to pay for the bailout you endorsed? If it isn’t from tax revenues, there are only two ways to pay for those big projects — printing more money or borrowing more money. Do you think borrowing money from China is more patriotic than raising it in taxes from Americans?" That is not putting America first. That is selling America first.

First Eyes On Mercury

An image of the planet Mercury, made during the flyby of the planet by the Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER) spacecraft.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Tonight: 9PM

Tonight's Presidential debate is in the "Town Hall" format which would seem to favor John McCain. I will be very interested to see if he continues the attacks that he and Starburst have stepped up in the past few days. I will be watching closely to see how the audience reacts if he does. Typically, voters don't like to see smears up close (unless they are Reds) and McCain could be hurt if he goes to far in front of the audience of undecideds. Also, McCain will have to look at Obama this time. It will be fascinating to see how much that pains him.

Obama has a delicate balancing act to pull off tonight. He will have to stay above the fray and address the REAL needs of the voters while trying to simultaneously fight back against the attacks as to not look weak. He has to maintain his advantage of "feeling the pain" of voters without coming across like John Kerry, unwilling or unable to fight back. Not an easy task.

Tom Brokaw is the moderator. I've never been a big fan of his. On 'Meet The Press' he has been very unimpressive and some strong arguments have been made that he leans in favor of McCain. I think that he is professional enough to not let that come through, but if his Sunday morning performances are any indication, he will ask unimaginative and sometimes uninformed questions. This debate is so important that I just hope he doesn't ask stupid questions and that he is as balanced as possible. Also, there will be questions from the audience and the internet. Those are always interesting and often unpredictable.

John McCain needs to do something huge to make up the lead that Barack Obama is building. As we've seen in this campaign, nothing is too dirty or too superficial. Maybe McCain will call his opponent Osama or come out with a Playboy bunny on each arm - who knows? But it will be interesting, and probably and little sad, t0 see what he tries.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Cartoon Commentary

Picture of the Day

Barack Obama poses for a picture with the Marine Junior ROTC members after a rally at Memorial Stadium at Asheville High School in Asheville, N.C. Sunday.

One thing that I have not written about is how I think the Presidential election will effect our military. I believe that if Obama is elected MORE young people will join the Armed Forces than any time in our recent history. I know that young people are just waiting for a chance to serve this country. Many of them (and their parents) would never consider the military under the reckless stewardship of George W. Bush. Similarly, I think that a president McCain would hurt recruitment in a big way. We'll have to wait and see, but from the look at these ROTC students, they seem very willing to serve a President Obama. I really believe that, if called on to serve by Obama, young people by the tens of thousands would gladly answer the call.

The Campaign From This Point On

I've been hearing and reading that John McCain and Starburst Palin will spend the rest of the campaign smearing Barack Obama and attacking his character and patriotism. No real surprises there. I just want to make a couple comments at this particular crossroad in the campaign.

First, as I have written about extensively, If McCain wins through a strategy of lying, smearing and unfairly attacking, he will inherit a nation divided and unwilling to follow him or any other President in the future. The spirit of Democracy, which is what holds us together as a nation, will have been irrevocably destroyed. If McCain wins in this way, he will be The Last American President.

Second, note that Barack Obama, at this moment, leads in the polls and must be considered to be the favorite to win the election. In fact, if the election were held today, he would be the easy winner. So, if McCain comes back, it would be fair to say it will because of the lies, smears and attacks.

Don't do it John. For once in your life, try to live up to your self hype. Put the country first instead of your own self interests. Run on the issues and win or lose on their merits.

In Defense of Rich Lowry

The other day I mentioned the post by influential Conservative writer Rich Lowry about how watching Sarah Palin the other night gave him great ... um ..... self satisfaction. Well Boonman has been a lone voice in defending him. You have to read it!

Equal Time: Photos of Obama's Radical Past

Photos have surfaced of Barack Obama's radical past. In the 1960's he associated with some shady people. I present the evidence to you.

Made it Here

I made it back to New York and am currently at work (more accurately: back at my place of employment). The flight left on time, arrived early and was hassle free. Believe me, I will complain when things go wrong - so hats off today to American Airlines for having everything go right!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Friday, October 3, 2008

The VP Debate

You betcha, I watched and I'm am sure glad I did dont'cha know.

I thought Sarah Palin met the very low expectations she had coming into the contest. She was very able in repeating her lines and coming across as an attractive small town beauty queen turned GOP saviour. Those who like her undoubtedly loved the debate last night.

However, those of us who were looking for substance continue to be frightened of the prospect of Sarah Palin in the White House. She answered questions she wasn't even asked, ignored the topic of discussion and regurgitated the same old Republican talking points I have been hearing my whole life. If anyone watching the debate still buys into Republican ideology , they certainly heard it repeated dutifully by the woman from Alaska. But those who see the need for real change in this country probably did not fall for the "cutsie" factor and certainly did not want to consider the prospect of living through more of the same old Bushonomics and foreign policy ideas. Also, how she could gush about Ronald Reagan over and over while trying to ridicule Biden for criticizing our current President was beyond ridiculous.

So. I agree with the polls that Biden won the debate. Some may once again be fooled by Palin's attractiveness and sunny demeanor, but I think most people are ready to move beyond the superficiality that has defined the modern Republican movement. No more old movies stars or fake cowboys and certainly no "hockey moms". What we need is serious thoughtful people bringing about true reform to this country. Sarah Palin came no where near crossing that critical threshold.

I just wanted to pat myself on the back once again (twice really)for being proved correct - well ahead of the curve.
First, remember here and here where I expressed the concern that Palin was a megalomaniac who wanted to use the office of the Vice Presidency to further her extreme agenda? Well, here is some proof of my correctness. Remember, it is now vogue among Conservatives to say the elections serve as their ONLY check on their power. They believe, once elected, they can do whatever they please. Palin, from her comments last night, does plan on using the position of VP in very powerful and frightening ways.
Second, I have received some grief today about calling Conservatives out for their superficiality. I argued that Palin's good looks and charm have blinded some on the right into not seeing her incompetence and (see above) megalomaniac tendencies. Well, here's a little gift from one of the most influential Conservative writers in America. Rich Lowry wrote this today ... read it and go ewwwwww.

Reaching Across The Aisle

New posts from Jeff!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October 2

Today is my Mom's Birthday. I will be flying down to Miami today to wish her a Happy Birthday in person.

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Bucky Dent Home Run in Boston. Things sure have changed in the baseball world.

With the Yankees out of the playoffs this year my sentimental favorites for this post season are 1. Chicago Cubs, 2. Tampa Bay Rays and 3. Chicago White Sox. Hope that doesn't jinx them.

The big VP debate tonight. I expect Sarah Palin to do better than expected. I just hope people don't mistake someone having 90 good minutes for someone being qualified for the office of Vice President. If the American people were charmed into loving her once, they might be fooled again. (It's not just Americans who fall into the trap either) If she doesn't win the debate tonight, the GOP's ticket chances are over. It's a crucial night tonight and I hope that the truth shines through and superficiality takes a back seat.

Michael Bloomberg is set to announce that he will seek a third term. As I have already mentioned, I support this and still believe that term limits are a bad idea. We'll see what the voters of NYC have to say.

Well I'm off to the airport. Time to take off my shoes for no good reason and now the newest ritual - sitting on the tarmac prior to take off for an hour or more. Still, it is more relaxing than most of my days at work and I get to read and listen to my iPod all day. Yayy! Best of all, I get to go home for a couple days. I'm off.....

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

John McCain: Economic Disaster

Paper Work

Here's a tough question for you.... Do you read any newspapers?  Yes.  OK, now here's a real difficult one for you, name one.  Could you do it?  Could you name a newspaper?  Yes?... YOU ELITIST!!!