Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Even the Conservatives Are Wondering....

The articles are popping up more and more frequently. Right-wing columnists are questioning the Republican Party's VP choice, and the faction calling for Governor Sarah Palin to step down from her VP candidacy is growing larger every public appearance.

This issue really tears me: my optimistic side says that she should stay on, because it will make a Democratic win that much easier, but my pessimistic side wants very badly for her to step down - in the event of a Republican win, I do not want her second in line for the presidency.

However, one must also ask - is a month and change enough time for Palin to step down, and for McCain to choose and campaign a new running mate? We are too close to the election for Palin to step down now, which is both great news and potentially terrible news.

Read more about right-wing opposition to Sarah Palin here.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Smear mail, and what to do about it

This is from an organization called Truth Fights Back. They are providing an excellent new service to counter the smears that the Republicans are sending every day.

John McCain Hopes You Delete This!
If you're like tens of millions of others, you've gotten an email with a subject line like that. A forward of an email with a catchy, titillating subject.

Only they are never about John McCain. They're about Barack Obama. And they are almost always filled with distortions, misstatements, and outright lies.

We started TruthFightsBack.com to deal with smears, and those types emails were a big motivator for us. And, thanks to all of you, TruthFightsBack has been a great success.

But we can do better. We know that when you get a smear email, you want to get the truth fast, and you want it laid out in a way that can convince the undecided, swing voters. So we began a new project of TruthFightsBack.com called the Center for Political Accuracy focused specifically on this aspect of fighting anonymous smear emails in real-time, and we've got an exciting new tool to use in this battle.

You can email me at brian@politicalaccuracy.com with your smear and our system can read your smear and get me our researched response immediately, and I'll email back a reply debunking the original email. This can all happen in 10 minutes or less, so you can be armed with the truth and reply to everyone who got the original smear.

Just copy this email address into your address book, and make sure to email me right away next time you get a smear.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

700 Billion and no oversight

President Bush is at it again. The 700 billion dollar bailout bill that is currently before Congress has this little clause:

“Section 8  Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.“ If you think I’m making this up, you can read it here in the Wall St. Journal blog. 

Yes, the Bush administration is asking Congress to give the Secretary of the Treasury the authority to spend $700 billion as he wishes, without any real oversight or accountability. With respect to Congress, the proposed legislation requires the Secretary to merely submit reports about his activities to Congress. This is like giving your n’er do well brother-in-law carte blanche to your retirement fund, and asking that he just let you know every now and then what he did with the money that you’ll never see again.  

We’ve already been told that this amount of money will likely cripple the American economy (this is on top of the approximately two trillion dollars the war will cost us), but the Administration is trying to, once again, remove Congress from having any say in how the money is spent. 

Contact Stabenow and Levin TODAY and ask them, once again, to stand up to the insanity and keep this bill from passing. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Transparency No More

We've heard it countless times from the Republican Party. The mass media market is a tool of the liberals throughout the country. I wonder if they say the same thing of the Anchorage Daily News in Gov. Palin's home state of Alaska.

In a stinging editorial published Saturday, the Editorial Board of the Anchorage Daily News came right out and stated that the McCain Campaign has taken over the state government. Read all about it here.

"Gov. Sarah Palin has surrendered important gubernatorial duties to the Republican presidential campaign. McCain staff are handling public and press questions about actions she has taken as governor. The governor who said, "Hold me accountable," is hiding behind the hired guns of the McCain campaign to avoid accountability." writes the Editorial Board in Saturday's paper.

What happened to transparency? What happened to accountability? Of course this isn't the FIRST action of the McCain campaign.

"Edward O'Callaghan, who until recently was co-chief of the terrorism and national security unit of the U.S. attorney's office in New York, and a former Palin spokeswoman now working for the national campaign, accused Monegan of a "rogue mentality" and "outright insubordination." They said he had flown to Washington, D.C., without Palin's approval to lobby for more police funding."

BUT WAIT. It gets better. Monegan's "outright insubordination" of flying to DC to lobby for more police funding was approved by Palin's Chief of Staff. Read about the authorization here. Maybe Gov. Palin will now tell voters that she didn't know what her Chief of Staff was doing when he authorized the Commissioner's trip to DC.

That darn liberally-biased media. No bias here. Just the facts. Or in this case, the tell-tale signature.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

Joe Biden, in an email to Obama-Biden supporters:
Right now, this race is neck-and-neck.

And it's all going to come down to what supporters like you do -- or don't do -- in these last 45 days.


Millions of Americans are counting on Barack and me to defeat John McCain and deliver the change this country needs -- but we can't do it alone.

Each of us needs to do our part. What's going to win this election for us is organizing on the ground, person-to-person, and growing this movement.
Biden took the opportunity to highlight the Neighbor-to-Neighbor tool, which is an online mechanism that allows you to get in touch with people in your neighborhood.

Check it out, use it, and spread the word!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Republican Rally

Tonight I found myself at the McCain/Palin rally in Grand Rapids on a trip with my school. My history teacher told me Monday that he had twenty tickets to see speeches from both candidates, and I practically jumped out of my seat to go, mind working all the while on how I could cover the rally for the left side.

Needless to say, I was a bit overprepared tonight - I had with me a voice recorder (yes, I recorded both speeches and the Q & A in their entirety) and a notebook, as well as a camera manned by a Democratic classmate and close friend. I took five pages of notes, front and back, and I hope that I can give you a bit of insight into what the Republican Party's got planned.

Before the doors opened for seating, we got to spend a delightful 20 minutes outside in the sun - an experience made WAY better by seeing our Dems out in full force, lining the streets in protest. In fact, the Democratic protestors were more enthusiastic than the Republicans, and it wasn't even our rally!

Once inside, I was struck by the "well-behavedness" of the Republicans. Isn't this supposed to be a rally? Where's the screaming? Instead, we all filed into chairs and were treated to - oh boy! - country and sixties music. A recurring theme tonight was just how well the Republicans knew who their constituencies were.

Eventually, ten to twenty minutes after the advertised start time of 5:30, Congressman Pete Hoekstra emerged, introducing a few speakers and, ultimately, Governor Palin and Senator McCain. I was possibly alone in that I was irked when Hoekstra made a comment about how the McCain/Palin ticket was going to fight back and finally beat the "radical jihadist" threat. Let's see if we can be any more offensive, Pete!

And this militarism was not only found in Congressman Hoekstra. The all-volunteer Christian school pep band played Anchors Aweigh a total of three times. Yes, we get it, McCain was in the Navy! Cool! Additionally we got to hear God Bless America and My Country Tis of Thee a number of times, as well as reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, singing the National Anthem, and being led in prayer, all of which was a great introduction to the major themes of the night - nationalism, militarism, and blurring the line separating church and state.

It was incredibly ironic how many of McCain's buzzwords and 'quotable lines' were stolen straight from Senator Obama. Right at the beginning of the rally, speaker Ann Schmidt, a collegiate Republican, mentioned that "McCain doesn't see Republicans and Democrats, he sees Americans," to a rousing wave of applause. Is this reminiscent of the 2004 Democratic Covention to anyone else? How about their new slogan, "We Can Do It"? Ring a bell to anyone? To top it off, McCain and Palin both went on and on about change and hope and "no more politics as usual" and a "government on your side." Gee, those ideals sound mighty familiar!

Even the young woman held up as a 'turn voter' testified that she wasn't much of a Democrat to begin with, just brought up that way. Flimsy!

The whole night I heard pandering to one group of voters after another. Nationalism that toed the line, on the other side of which stood rampant imperialism. A blatant disregard for separation that send shivers down my spine straight into my hardcore atheistic boots.

However, my abosolute favorite (read: ironic) quote of the night was when McCain was asked about his plans for defense of the country, and how he would treat defense spending. He responded that he would never cut defense spending. His reason? "We live in a dangerous world!" Wow. A vote for McCain really is a vote for George Bush III.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

John McCain's Not-So-Secret Campaign

The current election is in a bizarre state. In a society so tired of Republican smear campaigns, I have to question what levels of apathy the majority of Americans must have. Has anyone actually been following the news? Does anyone even care?

Barack Obama, according to the National Journal, is the most Liberal Senator in the United States Congress.

The same poll was unable to rate John McCain because he missed more than half of the votes taken in Congress. That's right: more than half. The only Senators to miss more votes than John McCain: a man with a brain hemorrhage, a dead guy, and the guy to succeed him.

That's just a little bit of information I had to get out of the way. Anyway, this election is turning out to be a chapter from a Karl Rove strategy book, circa 2004. The Republican party has, once again, been able to fool the country (AP- John McCain is leading Barack Obama at 52%). The stock market fell 509 pts. Monday, one of the most devastating economic blows in history, thanks to the lax policies ann no oversight of the Bush administration. Strikingly, John McCain has somehow disconnected himself with the policies of George Bush by using the same smear tactics Bush himself used in 2004.

Let me make this perfectly clear: John McCain has voted with President Bush, including supporting his failed Economic policies, 95% of the time. So how can a man who offers no change from Bush's economic plan make people believe he does? Its simple: lie.

Well, ok, that may be a strong word. But John McCain certainly isn't telling the whole truth. Its actually amazing political strategy, I will give the Republicans that: they certainly know how to manipulate. Here's what John McCain is doing, and don't take my word for it: turn on a TV.

John McCain is promising to put the country on a different track, and bring change to America. What's odd is he offers no real plan to do so. Instead of ever offering an actual plan, McCain's speeches go a little something like this:

  1. "John McCain and Sarah Palin will bring change to America!"
  2. 'Backtrack a previous statement'
  3. "They are the real Mavericks in this campaign."
  4. 'insert three slurs about Obama'
  5. "Drill, baby, drill!"
  6. 'insert sexism accusations'
  7. "Experience you can believe in.
  8. 'insert elitism accusations'
No real ideas or plans, no specific solutions; just fancy one-liners followed by hundreds of personal attacks on Barack Obama's character.

In fact, The Washington Post calls John McCain's campaign "A Disgraceful and Dishonorable Campaign" and Time Magazine says he is running "the sleaziest ads...ever seen".

I've had enough of John McCain's series of lies about Obama to distract from actual issues. Even more, I've had enough of the same tactics the Republicans have been using to scare the American public into voting for them. Mostly, however, I've had enough of the implications that suggests about our society. Does John McCain really believe we are that stupid?. Anymore, John McCain's lies are so obvious that even the news pundits are refuting them, citing them as "deception". If the American public is as smart as I believe it to be, why is a strategy this blatant working? How can the American public take a Presidential candidate seriously who tries so desperately to pull the wool over everyone's eyes?

I personally believe America to be a great country full of smart and hard-working individuals. The problem is, many Americans have become too apathetic to politics. Who can blame them, really? The mean, bitter fight that the Republicans have turned Presidential races into is repulsive enough to deter anyone. That still doesn't excuse the fact the fate of this country rests on the outcome of the election: no person in this country will be better off by simply deciding their votes on the one-liners between two candidates.

I implore every American: take twenty minutes a day out of your life to watch some sort of nightly news. There's no possible way to determine who should run our country if you aren't even aware of who is running.

Many political analysts are beginning to wonder whether all of these dishonest statements are going to backfire against McCain. If something doesn't change, I'm not sure it will.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bullying and Bigotry

Though Palin tries to be politically savvy, apparently she didn't get the memo that slurs don't earn votes.

A friend of mine sent me this article, which outlines Palin's extensive use of bigoted terms when away from the microphones. She is described as 'sexist,' 'racist,' 'vindictive,' and 'mean.' Slurs are allegedly a main staple of her vocabulary. To top it off, residents of Wasilla are reluctant to speak or be quoted opposing the GOP - reluctance born from fear of Palin and the Republican Party.

Words can't describe my outrage upon reading this. Freedom of speech and expression, right out the window. A government that essentially suppresses any opposition through intimidation and bullying tactics. Blatant racism heard from a politician.

Monday, September 15, 2008

McCain: Economy fundamentally strong; right, and the Tigers will win the World Series

As of today, Lehman Brothers has filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch has been sold. But try telling that to John McCain.
Democrats are pouncing on John McCain's comments at a Florida campaign rally Monday morning that the economy is “strong,” even as a major Wall Street bank filed for bankruptcy protection and another was sold to Bank of America.
Or does he really think that? Honestly, it's kind of hard to tell what he thinks.
"Today of all days, John McCain's stubborn insistence that the 'fundamentals of the economy are strong' shows that he is disturbingly out of touch with what's going in the lives of ordinary Americans," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said. "Even as his own ads try to convince him that the economy is in crisis, apparently his 26 years in Washington have left him incapable of understanding that the policies he supports have created an historic economic crisis."
Meanwhile, campaigning in Michigan for the first time since earning the nomination for Vice President, Joe Biden earns my nomination for Quote of the Day honors:
"Ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen, I could walk from here to Lansing, and I wouldn't run into a single person who thought our economy was doing well — unless I ran into John McCain," he also said.

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Democrats Increasing Voter Registrations in Central Michigan

Our work is paying off.

According to a recent “Morning Sun” article, central Michigan is witnessing “hundreds” of new voter registrations, and most of them are young college students. This is primarily due to the work of the local Obama campaign field organizers Ted York and Chelsea Neblett, along with their army of volunteers. Alongside the Isabella County Democrats, the Obama campaign is making a huge impact in this area, that, no matter what happens, will drastically affect the Presidential race all the way down to our local races.

I’m one of those volunteers, and I’ve personally gone door to door to various apartment complexes, houses, and dorms with my friends over the summer and throughout the fall. I have met young people, including those who have never really been interested in politics, fired up to vote for the first time. I have met students who are supporting Obama, but lower their voices and say “please, don’t tell my parents.” I have met students who found out how they could get involved in the campaign only after we knocked on their doors, and later found themselves knocking on doors alongside us. I have also met some friendly (and not-so-friendly) McCain supporters. It’s been a very rewarding experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to bring out Obama supporters to the polls in my community.

Our goal is to register over 5,000 new voters before the Oct. 6th deadline. As of this posting we’re somewhere around the 2,000 mark. Regardless of whether we reach our goal or not, it’s already evident, based on this article, that our presence has been felt. For me, this campaign has been a once-in-lifetime experience.

Here is some important information to keep in mind regarding voter registration:

- If it is your first time voting, than you must show up to the polls in person. A valid ID is required.
- Parents will not lose their tax deduction for a dependent if they register in a different area. A dependent’s status has nothing to do with their address.
- Parents will not lose their auto insurance coverage on the vehicles their children take to college.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dress to Kill

We've all seen how Sen. John McCain has proven his ability to relate to the common American people. I mean, which of us hasn't forgotten how many houses we own? We all have brain farts, right? And of course, I'm sure every one of you would agree that someone who makes two million a year, or three million a year, is still middle class - after all, you're only rich if you make five million dollars a year or more.

Maybe McCain has forgotten how many houses he has because he can't remember if he bought a house or an outfit for his wife with that last expenditure.

Tonight I saw an article in Vanity Fair that you might be interested in. While Laura Bush exercises some restraint, stepping out in an ensemble with a pricetag between $3,500 and $4,500, it would appear that Cindy McCain has no such qualms. Her outfit weighs in at almost one hundred times the price of the First Lady's, at around $300,000. Her earrings alone cost $280,000, which is enough to buy a house.

Is the man who spends enough to buy a house and a half on earrings for his wife the kind of 'fiscal conservative' you want in the White House?

Read about Mrs. McCain's outfit here, and read this one to put it in perspective.

When “waffles” is not a verb, but a noun, like Obama Waffles

When the far-right neo-con/Christian (“Let’s take the country back for Jesus!”) folk get together at a quasi religious/political convention, all sorts of amazing ideas and products start popping up. 

People who are not connected with these organizations are kept out or only given limited access to their nutty excesses. Since the mainstream media have all but abandoned investigative reporting, the people who have taken on the task are independent bloggers who are willing to put themselves in uncomfortable situations to get past the PR spinners. A blogger by the name of Larisa Alexandrovna has done just this in this exposé about a racist product–Obama Waffles– that was apparently a hit with Lou Dobbs at last week’s Family Research Council hate-in. You can read her story here.

In addition to the racist product, the comments by good Christian folk that she recorded while not being surprising are none-the-less disappointing in a 21st century America. 

A word of caution: if you have high blood pressure, be sure to take your medication before reading the article. 

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin and Obama: the GOP's double standards

This is a slightly different version of an email I got from Linda. Feel free to pass it on.

Black teen pregnancies? A 'crisis' in black America.
White teen pregnancies? A 'blessed event.'

If you grow up in Hawaii you're 'exotic.'
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential 'American story.'

Similarly, if you name your kid Barack you're 'unpatriotic.'
Name your kids Trig and Track, you're 'colorful.'

If you're a Democrat and you make a VP pick without fully vetting the individual you're 'reckless.'
A Republican who doesn't fully vet is a 'maverick.'

If you spend 3 years as a community organizer growing your organization from a staff of 1 to 13 and your budget from $70,000 to $400,000, then become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review,create a voter regstration drive that registers 150,000 new African Amerian voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor,then spend nearly 8 more years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, becoming chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, then spend nearly 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of nearly 13 million people, sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you are woefully inexperienced.
If you spend 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, then spend 20 months as the governor of a state with 650,000 people, you've got the most executive experience of anyone on either ticket, are the Commander in Chief of the Alaska military and are well qualified to lead the nation should you be called upon to do so because your state is the closest state to Russia.

If you are a Demoratic male candidate who is popular with millions of people you are an 'arrogant celebrity'.
If you are a popular Republican female candidate you are 'energizing the base'.

If you are a younger male candidate who thinks for himself and makes his own decisions you are 'presumptuous'.
If you are an older male candidate who makes last minute decisions you refuse to explain, you are a 'shoot from the hip' maverick.

If you are a candidate with a Harvard law degree you are 'an elitist 'out of touch' with the real America.
If you are a legacy (dad and granddad were admirals) graduate of Annapolis, with multiple disciplinary infractions you are a hero.

If you manage a multi-million dollar nationwide campaign, you are an 'empty suit'.
If you are a part time mayor of a town of 7000 people, you are an 'experienced executive'.

If you go to a south side Chicago church, your beliefs are 'extremist'.
If you believe in creationism and don't believe gobal warming is man made, you are 'strongly principled'.

If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.
If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years with whom you are raising two beautiful daughters you're 'risky'.

If you're a black single mother of 4 who waits for 22 hours after her water breaks to seek medical attention, you're an irresponsible parent, endangering the life of your unborn child.
But if you're a white married mother who waits 22 hours, you're spunky.

If you're a 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton, the right-wing press calls you 'First dog.'
If you're a 17-year old pregnant unwed daughter of a Republican, the right-wing press calls you 'beautiful' and 'courageous.'

If you kill an endangered species, you're an excellent hunter.
If you have an abortion you're not a christian, you're a murderer (forget about if it happened while being date raped)

If you teach abstinence only in sex education, you get teen parents.
If you teach responsible age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

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The Conservative See-Saw

I've heard the term 'flip-flopper' tossed around before. Back in 2004, I could barely hear myself think, surrounded by the din of my impressionable, outspoken, conservative Republican classmates denouncing Kerry. "FOUR MORE YEARS" was scribbled on anything that stood still for long enough, slogans were made up and repeated until you couldn't even recognize that dead thing they were beating as a horse. But the buzz-word, the one flying until the air was thick with it, was 'flip-flopper.'

My classmates brought up issue after issue that Kerry had changed his mind on, until it got to the point where I was glad I was too young to vote. The sheer amount of anti-Kerry claims I heard, coupled with my young (and uninformed) age, drove me away from the Democratic Party to the point where I didn't much care for Kerry, but I still knew I sure as hell didn't want to let Bush keep the reins. As much as I opposed Bush, I didn't know how I felt about having a president who couldn't decide what his platform was. And of course, the relentless chant of "Flip-flop! Flip-flop!" was pounding in my ears all the time.

But, my, how the tables have turned! I can't wait to see how my conservative classmates back up their Barracuda Barbie's indecision. Governor Palin insists that she is fighting pork-barrel spending, and yet she's in the barrel up to her elbows, with both hands - Alaska's request for special spending projects is the highest per-capita figure in the States. "We killed the Bridge to Nowhere," says Palin - but we find that she supported the bridge before it became a national symbol of unnecessary spending. Now that Hillary Clinton is safely off the ticket (and Palin safely on it), Palin is all praise and pity, with pretty speech about Clinton's grace, grit, and determination. However, earlier in the race Palin accused Clinton of whining. Very tactful, Sarah. I'm impressed.

And Senator McCain is backing up his VP candidate, telling borderline lies in her defense. According to McCain, Palin never supported federal pet projects during her term as governor. A brief look at her record tells a very different story.

That's not all. Palin's views are even further to the right than Senator McCain's: among the gems are support of a complete ban of abortion, even in the case of rape, and a staunch opposition to stem-cell research. For contrast, McCain would allow abortions in the case of rape or incest, and supports stem-cell research.

Do we really want a woman whose only continuity lies in choosing the stance that will further her career in a position to be our president? This election, every vote counts. Register yourself and your friends; donate, if your pockets are deep enough; volunteer, if you have time. You can pick up a list of numbers to call at the Obama office, and you can make these calls whenever you have a spare minute or two. Every little thing helps, and we need your support!!!!

Read more about Inconsistent Sarah here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11(TM) and More

Keith Olbermann's comment about the Republican Party's shameless use of 9/11 as a political tool aired last night, and those of you who - like me - didn't see it live should take eight minutes of your time and watch it now. The points Mr. Olbermann raised struck a chord with me, and maybe they will with you, too.

In addition, I saw a string of very interesting articles the other day. BetaNews, an online "nerd news" website, has published profiles of the technological stances of this term's candidates. These profiles provide an interesting peek into some of the technology we may see the government utilizing in the next four years.

Senator Obama
Senator Biden
Senator McCain
Governor Palin

McCain and Voter Suppression

The GOP (Grand Oil Party) is weeping crocodile tears over Michigan citizens who lose their homes to foreclosure. The Michigan Republicans (who receive a great deal of financial support from two large law firms who specialize in foreclosures) are gearing up to stop anyone who has lost a home due to foreclosure from voting. They are focusing on the Flint area which has a high percentage of African-Americans. 

As usual, they are using double-speak (“Election Integrity”) to cover their actions. They have learned well from Bush how to abuse the rights of their fellow citizens then spin it as a favor. 

You can read more about it here

A Palin Primer

In case you have not kept up with news about Sarah Palin, you can fill in the gaps here. Like John (“I have the experience to lead because I was a POW for six years”) McCain, Palin seems to have some problems understanding that what she is against now, she was for until very recently, and vise-versa. 

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Under Palin, Rape Victims Paid

Sarah Palin, the latest icon of Republican “cool,” is turning out to be a bit more troublesome to the ticket than was perhaps expected. It has come to light that when she was mayor of Wasilla, if you were the victim of rape or other sexual assault, you were charged for the rape exam.

According to the Wasilla Police Chief, Charlie Fannon, who was appointed by Palin after she fired the previous chief, has said this was a way to reduce the burden on the taxpayer. My gosh, she really is a reformer!

I’m sure other great tax-saving ideas she had will emerge in the near future...although she still supports the earmark money ($400 to $600 million) for a new bridge that shortens the route from Wasilla to Anchorage. But wait, isn’t she against earmarks? I’m so confused.

You can read more about this here.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Republican No More

I was raised Republican. I was taught that Republicans were the fiscally responsible politicians. I was taught that Republicans were the politicians who were strict Constitutionalists and interested in protecting the rights of the individual. I was taught that Republicans were the only politicians who were truly interested in a strong national defense. I was taught that Republicans had our best interests at heart in any number of issues.

As I grew up I questioned some of what I saw, but was determined to work for change within the party. I even served on the Michigan Log Cabin Republicans Executive Board (the LGBT Republican caucus). However as time marched on I had a feeling I was sold a bad bill of goods. More lies became apparent. More promises were broken. Christian Conservatives, who started their takeover of the party in the 1980's continued to push people like me to the margins. Through George H.W. Bush's administration moderates in the Republican party took fewer and fewer seats at the so called "big tent" of the National Republican Committee. In George W. Bush's administration moderates were given even smaller roles - more lies were told - more promises were broken.

Then along came McCain and Palin. They want the public to leave their families alone, but they want to dictate what defines other families and what reproductive rights remain legal.

McCain and Palin want to continue the agenda of Christian Conservatives to make judicial appointments that will continue to erode the constitutional rights of millions of LGBT Americans simply on the basis of our sexual orientation.

McCain and Palin want to continue our current disastrous path in the Middle East with little to no regard to listening to other countries.

McCain and Palin want to continue the tried-and-failed "trickle-down economics" by giving tax breaks to only the wealthiest citizens and biggest businesses.

McCain and Palin want to continue to erode the middle class by expanding "free" trade agreements.

McCain and Palin wants the American public to think that they stand for change. In reality they want to continue to sell the American public a false bill of goods.

Several years ago I felt myself being pushed out the Republican Party. They don't have to push any longer. I've left it.

I won't say that I agree with everything that is in the National and State Democratic Platforms. I never said that about the Republican Platforms. However when comparing the documents to one another - and more importantly the actions of each party, I have come to the conclusion that I belong in the Democratic Party.

So last month I tore up my Republican National Committee membership and sent it back to the RNC with a note acknowledging that by their actions I determined that I wasn't welcome there and didn't belong.

I welcome my involvement in the Democratic party and more importantly I have been welcomed into the Democratic Party. I look forward to working toward change that will not only positively impact our country but will move to restore our once-stellar reputation among our allies throughout the world and demonstrate to the world that we're not the bullies that the Bush Administration has made us out to be.

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A New Low

Many of us didn't think it was possible, but the McCain campaign has sunk to a new low. First, they've recently released a new ad that completely distorts Obama's record on education. In fact, Obama has a much more substantive record, as the articles that the McCain ad uses even point out (more info about this can be found here). The worst part, however, is the ad's implication that Obama supported a bill that would teach "comprehensive sex education" to kindergarten students.

This is completely inaccurate. The bill in question was actually designed to protect children from child molesters by educating youngsters about inappropriate sexual conduct. This is an effort, I would think, that most parents would support. Apparently Sen. McCain disagrees. The Obama campaign has responded truthfully and forcefully:

"It is shameful and downright perverse for the McCain campaign to use a bill that was written to protect young children from sexual predators as a recycled and discredited political attack against a father of two young girls - a position that his friend Mitt Romney also holds. Last week, John McCain told Time magazine he couldn't define what honor was. Now we know why."

- Obama Campaign spokesman Bill Burton

Finally, McCain has released an ad expressing outrage (outrage!) at comments made by Obama at a recent campaign rally. "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig. "You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink." These comments, of course, were specifically referring to McCain's platform as a whole, and especially his recent claim that he, somehow, some way, represents "change." Instead, the ad suggests that these comments were aimed directly at Gov. Sarah Palin. Given that Obama was talking about McCain's platform immediately before making these statements, it's clear what he was getting at, when looked at in context.

What's even more amazing, however, is that McCain used the exact same "lipstick on a pig" phrase (an old metaphor) himself (video). Apparently, when McCain uses this phrase on Hillary Clinton's health care plan, it's fair, but when Obama uses it to describe the entire McCain platform it's…sexism?

If anyone should be outraged here, it's us. John McCain is insulting our intelligence by assuming that we can't see through this.

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Inside Scoop on Sarah Palin

I don't know if any of you have heard the name Anne Kilkenny bandied about in the past few weeks, but you may be hearing more about her soon.

Kilkenny is a resident of Wasilla, AK, and is well-acquainted with Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin. She penned this letter on Palin's track record in office.

One of the things that appealed to me about this letter is that it is a list of facts. While Kilkenny's opinion does show itself, she makes very few claims that are unsupported by a nice pile of facts and statistics. I think you'll find the letter an interesting read!

Wayne County Judge Ready To Take on Worst State Supreme Court in the Nation

Mount Pleasant Attorney Toni Sessoms makes it clear at the Michigan Democratic Party State Convention where she stands.

Sessoms was among those who supported Judge Diane Marie Hathaway to take on Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor in the alleged non-partisan race in the November election.

Taylor has presided over a state Supreme Court that a recent University of Chicago study ranked last in the nation. The study that reviewed the operation and decisions of all 50 state Supreme Courts ranked Michigan's state Supreme Court dead last.

Judge Hathaway, a Wayne County Circuit Court judge, will face an uphill battle, since the incumbent has put together a campaign war chest well over a million dollars. Many Democrats also fail to complete their entire ballot believing that voting the straight party ticket covers all Democratically endorsed candidates.

But judges run on the "non-partisan" section of the ballot, usually on the back side of most ballots. Some local offices like city commission spots are also on the non-partisan side of the ballot. One study showed that as many as 37% of voters fail to vote in the non-partisan races.

The state party is focusing special attention on ousting Judge Taylor because of his biased partisan, anti-consumer rulings. To see more about Judge Taylor see this feature story in the Michigan Messenger.
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Friday, September 05, 2008

Voting information to college students

With so many new voters in this election coming from college ranks, the issue of residency and where they are to vote is becoming a big issue. There is an article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed about the controversy in Virginia. You can find that article here.

This makes me wonder what students in Michigan universities are being told, and how accurate the information is. Comments? 

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