Wednesday, December 31, 2008

MSF's Top Ten Humanitarian Crises of 2008

Massive forced civilian displacements, violence, and unmet medical needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, and Pakistan, along with neglected medical emergencies in Myanmar and Zimbabwe, are some of the worst humanitarian and medical emergencies in the world, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reports in its annual list of the “Top Ten” humanitarian crises.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Best Year-End Wrap-Up I've Seen So Far.

Uncle Jay Explains: Year-end! 12-22-08

I can't wait to see what 2009 brings.

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Secrets for Enjoying the Holiday Season

Earlier today a friend asked how, despite challenging circumstances, I manage to have so much Christmas spirit. After I shared my secrets to holiday happiness with her, she suggested that I share them with you. So, even though it's probably too late to help anyone this year, here are a few tips to tuck away for November/December 2009.

First, accept the fact that the same laws of the universe that apply
to every other day of the year also apply to the Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa season. Stuff happens, roll with it.

Visit a hospital, nursing home or animal shelter. Get a perspective on how blessed you really are. If you can, take a fruit or gift basket for the staff. Or,
if you visit an animal shelter, take a gift certificate for a Petco or Petsmart. They'll be surprised and really appreciate it.

Make your own holiday tradition. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate most holidays. While there are a few specific religious observances, for the most part, how, where and with whom you spend your holidays is a matter of choice. Choose carefully and don't succumb to emotional blackmail.

Find your spiritual center. Embrace your faith while remembering that everyone else may not share it. If you want a nativity scene put one on your lawn and don't get upset if there isn't one at your City Hall or at the local Target. Conversely, if you're not into the religious aspects of the season don't begrudge those who are.

If squirrels decide that your outdoor Christmas decorations are their winter playground just grab your camera, take pictures and have a good laugh. Who knows, you might have Animal Planet or America's Funniest Videos material. Besides, you really should have put out a few nuts for those squirrels, right?

If a few of your Christmas lights fail, don't worry. Your magnificent display is just a blur to passing cars and your neighbors will not run you out of town if it is not perfect. Seriously, if the view from your living room window looks good, just enjoy it. Why obsess over what strangers think?

Balance your news intake with equal measures of holiday cartoons and movies. While I don't recommend sticking your head in the sand, a soul can only take just so much discussion of political corruption and corporate crime.

Stop trying to find the perfect gift for everyone. Some people aren't going to appreciate your gift no matter what you get them. Shop early and spend a little extra effort picking out gifts for the appreciative people on your list. Then, either buy gift cards for the rest or cross them off the list, entirely. The latter won't remember what you gave them anyway. And you can donate the money you've saved to charity.

Stop waiting for your mother's ( or other family member's ) affirmation. Get used to it. She will never praise your cooking or decorating. This is a law of nature.

And on the subject of cooking ... Don't wait until the last minute and don't feel that you have to cook a traditional menu. If you aren't well acquainted with a certain recipe make sure that you have a back-up plan. If something is inedible, decide if it will make tasty pet food or a treat for the birds and squirrels. If not, it goes into the compost pile or the garbage bin before anyone but you is the wiser.

Instead of making yourself crazy with shopping, clean out your closets and garage. Anything that you haven't used or worn in three or more years probably needs to be given to someone who needs it. Give the really nice items to a local charity. It will make you feel good just dropping off the items.

Surround yourself with all of your favorite things. Wear your best PJs and use your best bed linen, candles, crystals, etc. Reward yourself for being SO good all year long.

If you're really not into the decorations, songs, gatherings and religious observances, save your vacation time and go away. But let's face it, it's hard to escape the holidays. Just make a game plan for getting through them. They happen every year.

And lastly, know who your true friends were for the other 300+ days of the year and keep them close during the holidays. No matter what the holiday season brings, having friends and/or family in your life who really love and care for you will get you through it.

photo courtesy of

Monday, December 22, 2008

Consumer Alert: Beware of Scam Calls Posing As Your Security Alarm Service

It seems that there are always scam artists who are determined to play the Grinch during the holidays.

The current scam involves calls to home security alarm system owners from individuals posing as customer service reps. The caller identifies the call as a courtesy call to see if the homeowner is happy with their security alarm system and if it is working properly. An interesting call to make around the holidays, don't you think?

Fortunately the callers forgot one small but very important detail that tips you off to their game. Caller ID displays the origin of the call as "Out of Area" or "Anonymous Call."

I have verified with at least one Security System, Counterforce based in Houston, TX that their company is making no such calls.

So if you receive one of these calls, do not give out any information. Even if the Caller ID display seems to be legitimate, ( caller ID info can be faked), hang up and alert your security company immediately.

Don't let these scammers ruin your holiday.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Solstice Night Treat: Christmas in Yellowstone ReAirs 12/21 on PBS

Author and photographer Tom Murphy explains why he spends part of each winter camping and photographing in Yellowstone.

Join NATURE for a breathtaking look at wintertime deep within America's first national park

For more information visit:

Friday, December 19, 2008

An Advent Weekend Open Thread on Blago, Caylee, the Auto Bailout and Faith.

Today was one of those days that thrills news junkies and makes persons of faith weep.

Within the span of a few hours a bailout of the auto industry was announced, the President elect held a press conference and addressed a failing US economy, embattled Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich promised to fight until the end, DNA tests confirmed that remains found near her grandparents' home belong to missing toddler Caylee Anthony and by the way, Hanukkah begins on Sunday and Christmas is less than a week away.

While all of this news is great for the 24 hours news organizations I can't help but wonder how all of this is impacting our psyche's and souls.

So what are your thoughts on these stories? Do you feel that all of the bad news is affecting people emotionally or has the public become numb?

Good News Reports on the Reality of the Jobs Outlook

The challenge for millions in Americans in the years ahead may not just be finding another job but learning new skills.

Are you prepared?

GOOD News: Job Outlook Not Good

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Ten Good Reasons Not to Dismiss Caroline Kennedy So Quickly

It seems that quite a few political pundits are dismissing the idea Caroline Kennedy's appointment to the Hillary Clinton's vacant New York Senate seat as nothing more than a form of Camelot nostalgia.

In a recent article for Time, columnist Joe Klein wrote:

" I've met Caroline Kennedy a few times and she seems like a good person. Compared to many children of the rich and famous, she has lived her life quietly, modestly, in exemplary fashion. She has worked hard for worthy causes; those who've worked with her say she is intelligent and self-effacing. Or was self-effacing. You can't really say that she is now, having thrust herself into the midst of the selection process for Hillary Clinton's Senate seat. By doing so, she has displayed an eminently New York quality: chutzpah

If nothing else, Barack Obama's transition demonstrates his intent to launch an era of Real Serious Governance. He has chosen well outside the standard political fast-food menu in some cases--James (OOPs: Steven) Chu, the Secretary of Energy comes to mind. And I'd hope that Governor David Paterson might consider a similar sort of selection--an honorary, non-political (but Democratic) appointee, a person of real, world-class, distinction who would never normally serve in the Senate, to grace the seat until the next election--if he hasn't already been bum-rushed into the Kennedy coronation. Certainly, New York State is filled with extraordinary people."

I agree that New York State is filled with extraordinary people but before everyone dismisses Caroline's bid for office as "chutzpah" or a shot-gun coronation let's consider these ten reasons to think again.

1. Fred Grandy (aka "Gopher" from the TV series "Love Boat") former Congressman from Iowa.

2. Steve Largent, former Seattle Seahawk wide-receiver and former US Congressman from Oklahoma.

3. Jim Bunning former Major Leage Baseball pitcher, former US Congressman and now junior Senator from the state of Kentucky.

4. Tom Osborne, former Nebraska college football coach and Congressman from that State.

5. J.C. Watts, Jr., former quarterback for the University of Oklahoma and later US Congressman for that state.

6. Jack Kemp, former professional football player who began his political career as a Congressman in New York.

7. Sonny Bono, former record producer, musican(?), actor(?) and later Congressman from California.

8. Bill Bradley, Hall of Fame basketball player and former Senator from New Jersey.

9. Arnold Schwarzenegger, (The Terminator) former body builder, actor and now Governor of California ( a state with an economy larger than most countries).

and last but not least ....

10. Ronald Reagan, 40th President of the United States, whose acting career propelled him to the office of Governor of California.

Now I certainly wouldn't question the credentials of the aforementioned list but I would ask just what in their careers as athletes and actors made them more qualified for public service than Caroline Kennedy's experience as a lawyer, constitutional scholar, writer and service on the boards of numerous non-profit institutions.

Caroline Kennedy may not have a long political resume but apparently a little chutzpah and intelligence goes a long way. And it certainly couldn't hurt to be a good person.

None of us chooses the family to which we are born. We can only play the cards that we're dealt. Some might say that Caroline was dealt a good hand but should be held against her.

Maybe she should have played in the WNBA.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bush, Blagojevich and Two Tales of Impeachment

Ironically, while the US media is fascinated by the scandal and possible impeachment of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the man whom many people believe should have been impeached is adding the finishing touches to his legacy.

In his last months in office Pres. George W. Bush is doing just what many Progressives feared he would do ... finishing the job he started. The job of wholesaling America. As Tim Dickinson reported in his article for Rolling Stone Magazine, "Bush's Final F.U.", Bush 43 is busy violating the public trust in every way he can while he can.

Dickinson reports:
" In its final days, the administration is rushing to implement a sweeping array of 'midnight regulations' — de facto laws issued by the executive branch — designed to lock in Bush's legacy. Under the last- minute rules, which can be extremely difficult to overturn, loaded firearms would be allowed in national parks, uranium mining would be permitted near the Grand Canyon and many injured consumers would no longer be able to sue negligent manufacturers in state courts. Other rules would gut the Endangered Species Act, open millions of acres of wild lands to mining, restrict access to birth control and put local cops to work spying for the federal government.

The most jaw-dropping of Bush's rule changes is his effort to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act. Under a rule submitted in November, federal agencies would no longer be required to have government scientists assess the impact on imperiled species before giving the go-ahead to logging, mining, drilling, highway building or other development. The rule would also prohibit federal agencies from taking climate change into account in weighing the impact of projects that increase greenhouse emissions — effectively dooming polar bears to death-by-global-warming. According to Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, 'They've taken the single biggest threat to wildlife and said, 'We're going to pretend it doesn't exist, for regulatory purposes.'"

John Podesta, the transition chief for the Obama administration, has vowed that the new president will leverage his "executive authority" to fight Bush's last-minute rule changes. But according to experts who study midnight regulations, there's surprisingly little an incoming executive can do to overturn such rules. The Bush administration succeeded in repealing just three percent of the regulations finalized before Bill Clinton left office in 2001. "Midnight regulations under Bush are being executed early and with great intent," says Bass of OMB Watch. "And that intent is to lock the next administration into these regulations, making it very difficult for Obama to undo what Bush just did."

Does this surprise anyone? It shouldn't. No one in Washington can say that they didn't see this coming, especially Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

When a vast majority of the American public was ready to see both Bush and Cheney impeached, Nancy Pelosi quickly took the option off the table.

Sen.Russ Feingold (D-WI), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) and Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) certainly recognized the numerous reasons why Bush should have been impeached. It was common sense. If you suspect that a politician is corrupting his office he should be removed before he can do further damage. Just ask the Illinois State Attorney General and State Legislature.

However, except for a minute minority, politicians in Washington chose to let the fox remain in the hen house.

Now, while almost all eyes are focused on Illinois, the "lame duck" President is writing executives orders that will impact generations. If one didn't know better, you might think that the Blagojevich scandal was a diversion for even darker deeds being carried out in Washington. But that would be nonsense, right? The Bush administration has never created diversions or manipulated the media in any way.

Just what were Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats thinking when they took impeachment off the table? Were they thinking that after the Bush Administration broke the economy, millions of Americas were unemployed, millions had lost their homes and the US military was bogged down in two wars, that it would make it easier for the Democrats to win back the White House.

Well, win back the White House they did. But just look at the cost. The full cost of the Bush administration probably won't be tallied until mid 2009. And when it is, it may take decades, (longer than two terms of an Obama presidency) to turn it around.

Was it worth it to let the fox stay in the hen house until all of the chickens were dead?

While much of the 2008 election focused on who was right or wrong about the Iraq War, decades from now historians may be a little more interested in who was right or wrong about impeachment.

I don't know about you but I find it a little ironic to hear all of the voices calling for Blagojevich's impeachment that remained silent about George Bush. It kind of makes me want to take off a shoe and throw it, too.

typos corrected 12/21/08 -- I told you about that late night blogging:-)

Send Your Bush Christmas Card Today

Remind yourself that "Change" did not begin and end in the voting booth.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tell the Chamber of Commerce: Out of the Way of Fair Pay

I just watched a cute little Batgirl video on fair pay for women. Check it out. While you are there join me in supporting the Out of the Way of Fair Pay campaign urging the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to remove their opposition to pay equity reform proposals.

Women should be paid what they are worth and improving pay equity would create substantial economic gains for women and their families.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Broken Government Project Release

A Message from The Center for Public Integrity:

"As the Bush administration comes to an end, the federal government is not functioning as it should. Just how bad is this government dysfunction? In an effort to answer that question, the Center for Public Integrity embarked on Broken Government, an examination of the worst systematic failures of the executive branch over the past eight years.

Broken Government documents more than 125 examples of government breakdown in areas as diverse as education, energy, the environment, justice and security, the military and veterans affairs, health care, transportation, financial management, consumer and worker safety, and more — failures which adversely affected ordinary people and made the nation a less open or less secure place to live.

Click here to read more from our latest investigation.

Want to read more about these widespread failures and how they affect you? Here’s what you can do to learn more:

  • Visit the website to search our database of government failures by category, agency, or view a full list;
  • Suggest additional failures so we can continue this project in January 2009, as well as begin the process of holding the new administration accountable;
  • Pass it on - let others know that Broken Government is now available online;
  • Make a contribution to support this project and help us continue our critical work!

This is just the first step of this groundbreaking project. Keep an eye out for more information from the Center for Public Integrity as we continue our investigation throughout 2009 into what it will take to repair and renew the nation’s government.

Thanks for your support.

Bill's signature

Bill Buzenberg
Executive Director"

Be sure to bookmark this website. It will help you keep score of what the new administration keeps right or wrong. This time we can't afford to not hold Washington accountable. is Open for Questions

Today, the Obama Administration launched a new feature on its website. The feature titles Open for Questions invites you to ask the Transition team questions about their plans to address issues that are important to you.

In addition to posting your own questions you can browse through the questions of others and then check off the ones you think are the most interesting.

The community states that it is committed to maintaining a two-way dialogue with Transition team members.

As Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefield reported for TPMedia:

" The rub, though, is this: The public is able to vote on how much they'd like certain queries to be a priority, and the voting tally is visible -- which means it'll be tougher for the Obama team to not answer questions that participants clearly want answered.

Here's how it works: Users get three options in voting on a question. They can vote in favor of a question being answered; they can vote against it being answered; or they can flag the question as inappropriate.

The Obama team is clearly exposing itself to a bit of a risk here. It could find itself choosing between answering an uncomfortable question and ducking one that the public is clamoring for an answer to. And if the state of the country fails to improve (or gets even worse) over the next few years, the public could also end up registering more and more negative questions."

So here's your chance to express your thoughts to an administration that is actually soliciting questions.

Check out "Open for Questions",

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

C'mon Man!

After hearing about Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's arrest I just had to borrow that line from the ESPN guys.


But all kidding aside. Is this man insane?

As Andrew Malcolm reported for the LATimes:

" According to the 76-page indictment, agents using wiretaps on....

...the governor's home phone and bugs in his office caught the governor talking openly about the opportunity to name Obama's successor, saying such things as, "I've got this thing and its (expletive) golden. and I'm just not giving it up for (expletive) nothing. I'm not gonna do it."

He's also accused of threatening to withhold millions in assistance to a children's hospital without sufficient fundraising for him, with expecting fundraising in return for tollroad contracts and threatening to withhold assistance from the Tribune Co. in the sale of the Chicago Cubs unless the newspaper fired editorial board employees who'd been critical of the governor. (Tribune also owns the L.A. Times.)

All this wide-open bluster from a politician who's known for three years he's under federal investigation.

Just what President elect Obama and his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel needed for Christmas/Hanukkah, an investigation into how much they did or didn't know about Blagojevich's attempts to sell a Senate seat. A Senate seat which will probably be slightly tainted no matter who fills it in 2009.

Will the GOP try to turn this be the new administration's Whitewater?

Of course Blagojevich is innocent until proven guilty but with audio tape evidence I wouldn't invite him to my Christmas party, would you?

The only upsides to this story is that it's given SNL some great new material and Louisianans something to laugh about.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Random Thoughts on a Rainy November Night

A few things this blogger thinks about while recovering from political overload.
Warning: sensitive readers may find a few of these ramblings disturbing.

  • Go Saints Go! The New Orleans Saints really need this win against the Packers. Games like this one are the reason I LUV MNF. These days I just skip the intro. :-)
  • I think that everyone who loves football is happy for both Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre but Tony Kornheiser really has to stop wearing his man-crush for Favre on his sleeve.
  • Also on the subject of football, a sociopath designed the BCS Standings in order to torment football fans into thinking that we're too stupid to understand the system. The rating system makes no sense to anyone in football and I'm sure that fans everywhere would have no problem with seeing it abolished by an executive signing order. If President Bush would sign the order now and lock the BCS Standings creator in Guantanamo he could still save his legacy.
  • A final thought on football. I hope that the Philadelphia Eagles aren't imploding. I'm not a big Eagles fan but I was really looking forward to Thursday night's game against the Cardinals. Maybe the Detroit Lions will be entertaining. LOL Can you say thank God for trytophan?
  • Moving on. I guess that my boycott of the series "24"is over, at least until Jack tortures someone again. Maybe the show's writers have found redemption.
  • I've actually spent nearly three whole days without hearing the name of the Governor of Alaska. Of course, I was mostly watching football, movies and home improvement shows. In fact, I completely tuned out any news on politics. There's only so much a person can take of the "What will Hillary Do?" and "Why the government should or shouldn't bail out the auto industry." From time to time a person just has to jump off the merry-go-round and block out the noise.
  • I'm going to spend most of my time between now and Inauguration Day researching all of the issues for which I'm going to hold the President-elect and the 111th Congress accountable. And I do plan to hold their feet to the fire.
  • Can someone read my 3,000+ emails to me while I sleep? And while they're at it, shred my snail mail.
  • I really like the new site design of It reminds me that I need to do a full holiday site overall for my badly neglected main site PointofView316.
  • Plants really do respond to classical music.
  • When am I going to find time to mail Christmas cards and bake pies?
  • I promise to never let another political campaign consume a year of my life.

Yeah right.

Have A Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 21, 2008

PA Legislature's "Let Them Eat Cake Syndrome"

While every major utility in Pennsylvania is hiking their rates, corporations are freezing wages, mortgages are adjusting upwards, and the average citizen is struggling to make ends meet, the Pennsylvania State Legislature is giving themselves a pay raise. Political activist Gene Stilp refers to this as the "let them eat cake syndrome". I call it the "screw you, as long as I get mine" approach to governance.

Mario F. Cattabiani Inquirer Staff Writer reports:
HARRISBURG - Despite a growing budget deficit, the very real prospect of tax increases, and unemployment rates not seen in years, Pennsylvania lawmakers are about to get a raise.

Come Dec. 1, base salaries of state House and Senate members will increase 2.8 percent, or $2,152, to $78,315. Legislative leaders will see even more of a pay bump.

The extra cash comes courtesy of a law that legislators passed in 1995, setting in motion annual cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs, for themselves and other elected state officials, including the governor and judges.

The legislature replaced the COLAs in 2005 with raises of 16 to 54 percent but, after widespread public outcry, rescinded them later that year and returned to the COLAs.

Gene Stilp, a longtime Harrisburg activist who challenged the 2005 raises in court, scolded lawmakers for continuing the COLAs, especially in such tough economic times.

"The legislature is continuing with its let-them-eat-cake syndrome," he said. "Maybe the citizens need a guillotine."

Through the first four months of the fiscal year, Pennsylvania is digging a deep budget hole, with revenue trailing projections by 7 percent, or $565 million. The state is expected to end the fiscal year between $1 billion and $2 billion in the red.

Gov. Rendell said Wednesday that he was seeking new spending cuts on top of the $300 million already made, and that he could not rule out a tax hike next year. Rendell, whose salary is set to increase $4,806 in January, to $174,956, added yesterday that he was considering forgoing his raise and having his cabinet do the same.

Asked whether the legislature should also consider the option, Rendell told reporters that he needed to work with lawmakers in the final two years of his administration, "so I am not sure I want to necessarily beat them over the head, especially when you guys are all too willing to do it for us."

Legislature to Order Study on Drilling in NC

excerpt from:
Legislature to order study on drilling

Senate Leader Marc Basnight said he and House Speaker Joe Hackney will appoint a commission to study the potential benefits and risks of drilling for oil off the coast of North Carolina.

The legislature has no power to stop the federal government from authorizing offshore exploration, and federal officials have asked for public comment on drilling off the coast of Virginia.

Basnight, a Manteo Democrat, said he strongly opposes drilling, because he said it would provide a relative pittance of oil while risking damaging or destroying the costal ecosystem and economy.

"If the study were to come back and say we have this incredible find and it is larger than anything man has seen, I'd have to look at that," Basnight said.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

EPA Proposal Would Ease Clean-Air Rules for National Parks

This is a terrible blow for the environment and everyone who loves nature and our national park system.

EPA Proposal Would Ease Clean-Air Rules for National Parks

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 19, 2008; Page A06

The Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing new air-quality rules that would make it easier to build coal-fired power plants, oil refineries and other major polluters near national parks and wilderness areas, even though half of the EPA's 10 regional administrators formally dissented from the decision and four others criticized the move in writing.

Documents obtained by The Washington Post show that the administration's push to weaken Clean Air Act protections for "Class 1 areas" nationwide has sparked fierce resistance from senior agency officials. All but two of the regional administrators objecting to the proposed rule are political appointees.

The proposal would change the practice of measuring pollution levels near national parks, which is currently done over three-hour and 24-hour increments to capture emission spikes during periods of peak energy demand; instead, the levels would be averaged over a year. Under this system, spikes in pollution would no longer violate the law.

In written submissions, EPA regional administrators have argued that this switch would undermine critical air-quality protections for parks such as Virginia's Shenandoah, which is frequently plagued by smog and poor visibility.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Practical Pursuit of Political Peace

Can Obama really keep his friends close and his enemies closer?

Only if the America people keep them all honest.

Time will tell but for now, as the song goes, let's give peace a chance.

Headzup: After Prop 8, James Dobson Asks WWJF?

I guess that we all have to have a sense of humor about these things.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Strange Twist Indeed

Andrew Malcolm of the LA Times is reporting that Focus on the Family, the conservative evangelical group founded by Dr. James Dobson, is laying off 200 employees.

Malcolm reports:

    "It's the second time in recent months the influential group that does so much mailing it has its own ZIP code has released workers from its mountainside headquarters in Colorado Springs. The latest cuts leave the national organization with about 950 employees from a onetime high of some 1,500.

    The cutbacks come after Focus, formerly headquartered in California until 1991, spent a reported half-million dollars to successfully support Proposition 8 in the Golden State, overturning a state court decision to allow same-sex marriages.

    After opposing John McCain in 2007 for restrictions on nonprofit political activities in his McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law and Rudy Giuliani for his abortion support, Dobson endorsed ex-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee late in the Republican primary season this year.

    But faced with the choice of McCain or Democrat Barack Obama, Dobson eventually said he would personally support the Arizona senator because the Illinois senator posed such a threat to family values. Since Obama's victory, Dobson has worried online about the direction of the country."

Dr. Dobson was so worried about an Obama presidency that Focus on the Family published and distributed the now infamous "Letter from 2012", a fictional vision of the world after four years of an Obama administration. A letter which the Matthew25 Network, this blogger and millions of non far-right wing, fundamentalist Christians found to be "filled with doomsday projections, is fearmongering of the worst kind - a sensationalist fiction with almost no basis in reality."*
Readers of this site's companion blog, "Get the Facts & Get Involved" may recall the post asking readers to respond to Dr. Dobson's message.

Needless to say I sent my response and, in turn, received the following reply from Focus on the Family (which in all fairness I'll reprint in its entirety):

    Response (Jonathan Bartha) 10/29/2008 02:46 PM

    Thanks for your e-mail. It was good of you to offer your candid reaction to Focus on the Family Action’s "Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America."

    We’ve heard from many people who found this resource helpful; some, like you, have disagreed with our approach. While critics of this document accuse us of engaging in "sensationalist fiction," it’s vital to underscore that we are not claiming to make definitive predictions on what a Barack Obama presidency would produce.

    However, as the "Letter from 2012" makes evident, every scenario outlined in this piece is plausible based on recent documented events, court rulings, the Democratic Party’s stated agenda, and Senator Obama’s voting record and campaign promises.

    We invite you to re-read the introduction of the letter which clearly states that we are neither employing unfounded "fear tactics" nor speaking out with mean-spirited intent. On the contrary, we’ve posted a reasonable projection of what *could* occur with a Senator Obama presidency and a Democratic-controlled Congress. Of course, we hope and pray that none of the possible outcomes described in "Letter from 2012" come to pass.

    It might be beneficial to provide some additional background on our mission to help you better understand our reasons for engaging in the public policy realm. We have no interest in partisan politics; rather, we care deeply about the sanctity of human life, the value of marriage, and the preservation of religious freedom. Dr. Dobson has espoused these crucial issues since he launched Focus on the Family in 1977 and has always encouraged people to consider them at the ballot box. Despite what the Matthew 25 Network and other pro-Obama action groups may say, we contend that Senator Obama’s record *significantly* differs from the pro-life and pro-family policies that many Christians hold dear. Some may label this "fearmongering" -- we call it a sobering, rational assessment based on actual events documented in the letter.

    It might be helpful for you to read a concise summary of four key points that motivate us in our actions:

    1) Senator Barack Obama’s record is well outside the mainstream. For example, he was rated the most liberal United States senator by the National Journal_ in 2007.

    2) A Democratic president, House and Senate has significant implications for pro-family policies. The Wall Street Journal has stated that this election will usher in "one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history" if the Democrats control the White House and possess congressional majorities, including a filibuster-proof Senate. This type of unchecked power, not seen since 1965, demands that voters critically examine the policies advocated by the Democratic Party.

    3) Senator Obama’s commitment to causes championed by extreme liberal groups such as Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), both of which have endorsed him, are a source of great concern. Earlier this year, Senator Obama pledged that if elected president, he would advocate for and sign the "Freedom of Choice Act," which would repeal virtually every federal and state law regulating or limiting abortion -- including parental involvement laws for teenagers, late-term abortion bans, and limits on public funding of abortion. He has also indicated that he will make it a priority to repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act," which allows states to restrict marriage to one man and one woman. In addition, he backs other HRC-supported initiatives including the passage of "hate crimes" legislation and the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act". Similar legislation has penalized Christians who hold a biblical view of sexuality.

    4) Senator Obama’s stated appreciation of United States Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and David Souter -- along with his votes against the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito -- indicate he would appoint judges with a judicial philosophy detrimental to pro-family causes.

    On a final note, organizational endorsements of political candidates wed groups to their candidate in a way that may not lend itself to an honest critique of that individual’s weaknesses. As you’re likely aware, the group behind the Matthew 25 Web site endorsed Senator Obama for president.

    Again, thanks for writing. We hope this response has helped clarify our perspective and explained why we feel the Matthew 25 Network’s version of "choosing hope" without a sober look at the troubling elements of Senator Obama’s candidacy is misguided. Grace and peace to you.

    Jonathan Bartha

    Focus on the Family Action

Well I believe that the majority of Americans made a "sobering, rational assessment based on actual events" when they cast their votes of November 4th. Now it seem that the Focus on the Family organization has to make an equally sobering, rational assessment" and evaluate the cost of fearmongering and what it means to 200 employees and their families.

Ironically, I agree with the idea on focusing more on our families. I believe that an organization which helps families succeed helps the nation succeed. We should all focus more on helping families with adequate housing, jobs, food, clothing, health-care, education, safety and spiritual growth. But when you consider that Focus on the Family spent $500,000 on tearing some California families apart when they could have spent that money on helping their neighbors in Colorado you have to view the announcement of 200 layoffs as a strange twist indeed.

* from "Respond to Focus on the Family Action's "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America"

Monday, November 17, 2008

OpenCongress Launches My Political Notebook

One of my favorite internet political tools is I refer to this site constantly for information on members of Congress, the status of legislation and how various issues are being covered in the blogosphere. OpenCongress also provides tools that allow me to share bill status with readers of my blogs as well as with friends and fellow bloggers.

Today, OpenCongress introduced a new feature called My Political Notebook which I think that you might like.

The following is from the OpenCongress team:

Hi everyone,

As Congress returns today for its last session of the year, we are excited to announce "My Political Notebook". It's a new way to save and share your favorite political content, from OpenCongress and around the web.

"My Political Notebook" allows you to create a personal page of everything you're following in politics: news articles, blog posts, web videos, important files, and more. You can add content with one click using a handy bookmarklet for your web browser, or directly from pages on OpenCongress.

For example, one of the biggest issues in the news is whether Congress will include a bailout of the Big Three Automakers in a new economic stimulus package. "My Political Notebook" gives you a way to collect the best info about this developing story in one place, add your own notes & tags, and share it all with your friends.

To read more about "My Political Notebook", visit our blog announcement today ::

To jump right in and see it in action, check out the notebook of our lead blogger, Donny Shaw ::

Finally, our friends Jay & Ryanne of recently made a great video tutorial on how to use OpenCongress to track all the bills and issues you care about::

This week is Congress' last chance until January to take action on the economy, so there's a lot at stake. On this story and others, "My Political Notebook" gives you a new place to save and share what's really happening in Congress. Let us know what you think!

-David + the OC Team

Remember it's our job to get the facts and stay involved.

The New Holiday Diet or How to Drive Millions of Americans from the Thanksgiving Table

Just when you thought that your Thanksgiving holiday was safe from family arguments over politics, the spirit of Leland Gaunt is saying "not so fast."

The Alaska Dispatch is reporting that "starting Thanksgiving, an ad campaign kicks off to thank Sarah Palin for all she’s done for the nation, an effort led by Our Country Deserves Better, a political action committee that's pumping Palin as the next president."

No, this is not a joke.

Somewhere in the middle of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, one of the football games or maybe even a program remembering JFK, you may suddenly be affronted by an ad thanking Sarah Palin ( not former POW, decorated war veteran and US Senator, John McCain) for all that she's done for this nation. And John McCain thought that purchasing 30 minutes of airtime prior to a World Series game was outrageous.

This is Thanksgiving we're talking about. The biggest family gathering day of the year. The day that some families struggle to get through in peace.

We might have been spared this, if the McCain campaign had just let her make her concession speech. But now we can only consider ourselves warned and
stock up on Pepto Bismol.

Does this group really think that this is going to help Sarah Palin's political career or are they just trying to advance their own agenda? Whatever their intent, running these ads during a holiday season to an American audience that has endured a nearly two year presidential campaign and wants to move on with getting this economy back on course runs the risk of making Sarah Palin look like the "ego-maniacal whack job" that her detractors are trying to portray.

Of course there is a potential upside to airing these ads during the Thanksgiving holiday. They're certain to make millions of Americans pass on those second helpings.

Thanks Amanda for the warning.

Our Country Deserves Bitter
by Amanda Coyne for The Alaska Dispatch

Thought you might be able to eat your turkey and pie and ‘tators without the Thrilla of Wasilla making an appearance? Winking at your men through the pixels? Her perfectly lipped-lined lips forming sentences that need some sort of decoding machine to decipher?

Thought that maybe you might be spared the notion that we should have Gov. Sarah Palin to thank for anything but saving the country from the “real America?"

You know, those real, angry Americans who, on the whole, are white and look very well fed and who drive expensive gas-guzzling SUVs and have costume-built rooms in their basement to store their designer guns. The ones who yelled “Kill Him” at Palin’s rallies, and the ones who brought their cute little stuffed animals with them when she spoke.

Those cute little monkeys.

Think again. Word has it that Palin makes these folks feel good about their anger, even though it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how she does it, or even, what they’re angry about.

Most of those angry people are also disorganized, which makes all that anger a little menacing. Mostly, they’ve resigned themselves to communicating on chat rooms (more on that later) and calling into talk radio to yell about Obama being a Muslim and the anti-Christ.

But there’s at least one group out there that’s angry, and also has organizational structure and money. On Thanksgiving, they’re rolling out a national campaign to thank Sarah Palin for all she’s done for this country. The California-based group, a political action committee, is called Our Country Deserves Better.

The group wants to thank Palin for being an “articulate, straight-forward and uplifting champion of common sense conservative ideals.”

Joe Wiezbicki, the PAC’s coordinator, told The New York Times that his group has raised a couple of hundred thousand dollars for the commercials.

During the campaign, Our Country Deserves Better was one of the few shadowy groups that defied John McCain’s pledge not to bring up Obama’s former pastor, Rev. Wright. They spent more than a million dollars on television ads in battleground states doing just that. They also ran ads questioning Obama’s patriotism, linking him to all sorts of terrorist groups, etc, etc…

It’s hard to say if Palin really understands what kind of rough beast her candidacy has borne. People get along fairly well in Alaska, even when they don’t. But her new “base” has no intention of getting along. And they’re thankful that now that they’ve got her as their figurehead, they don’t have to.

Related posts:

A Few Weeks in Castle Rock

Clinton Rally for GA Dem Jim Martin Scheduled for 4PM Wednesday

About that Clinton rally: 4 p.m., Clark Atlanta University | Political Insider

Monday, November 17, 2008, 12:40 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

We now know the place and the approximate time of the Wednesday visit by President Bill Clinton on behalf of Jim Martin, the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate runoff.

The place is Vivian W. Henderson Gymnasium at Clark Atlanta University — which bespeaks a strategic emphasis on turning out African-American voters on Dec. 2.

Doors open at 4 p.m. No word yet on when the actual program starts — last week's Saxby Chambliss rally opened at the same time. But former Republican presidential nominee John McCain didn't show until 5:30 p.m.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Move to Begin Oil Drilling off Virginia Coast - North Carolina Probably Next

excerpt from: | Feds move on Virginia oil drilling

by Barbara Barrett, Washington Correspondent
WASHINGTON - The federal government on Thursday made its first move toward oil and natural gas exploration off the coast of Virginia -- just northeast of the Outer Banks.

The U.S. Department of Interior issued a call for public comments as it begins to consider the potential environmental effect of offshore drilling. The environmental work is the first step in opening 2.9 million acres of waters to a lease sale scheduled for 2011. The area under consideration is at least 50 miles offshore.

The agency's move will be followed closely by environmental groups and states in the Southeast, along with business groups eager for more energy development.

"In some ways, North Carolina is the next place after Virginia that ... the federal government would like to go," said Michael Gravitz of Environment America, a coalition of state environmental organizations. "Virginia is the first chink in the Atlantic Coast armor."

To submit a comment to the US Dept of the Interior go to:

Thursday, November 13, 2008

You Can't Beat This for Hypocrisy

During his 2002 Georgia Senate race, current US Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) ran the following political ad about his opponent, disabled, decorated Viet Nam war veteran former Senator Max Cleland.


Due in part to this ad Saxby Chambliss won that election in what most media outlets reported as a "surprise upset".

Here's how PBS' NewsHour reported the Chambliss win:

" The victory follows a heated campaign characterized by ugly campaign ads during the race's final weeks. One Chambliss ad, according to the Journal-Constitution, attempted to portray Cleland's procedural votes on setting up the proposed Department of Homeland Security as opposition to the president's efforts to defend the homeland.

Sen. Zell Miller, a fellow Georgia Democrat, appeared in a Cleland spot to defend his Senate colleague.

'It's disgraceful for anybody to question Max Cleland's commitment to our national security,' Miller said. Pointing to Cleland's record in the Vietnam War, during which he lost both legs and an arm, Miller said 'Max Cleland is my hero,' and his 'opponent should be ashamed.'

Chambliss backed a version of the homeland security legislation that would set aside employee union rules to allow President Bush to hire and fire federal workers in the new department. Cleland supported a version more favorable to those unions, which contributed heavily to his campaign, the Journal-Constitution reported.

Cleland consultant Karl Struble told Cox News Service the Chambliss ads used 'some of the ugliest stuff I've ever seen,' including 'using pictures of Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein ... They're taking lying to a new art form in that race.' Chambliss media consultant, meanwhile, said Cleland's ads are 'so over the top negative' that they seemed designed to disgust uncommitted voters and keep them from the polls, Cox News Service reported.

On the issues, Chambliss and Cleland also sparred over a potential move to allow workers to direct some Social Security payments into private investment. Cleland was against such a move; Chambliss supported it. They also differed on health care and the president's economic plan."

Of course by 2002 the Republicans were honing their craft and knew that a smear campaign could be effective even if the target was a decorated war veteran. After all, in the 2000 Republican presidential primary, a highly effective smear campaign was waged against former Viet Nam POW and war hero Arizona Senator John McCain.

So in 2002 CNN quoted Senator John McCain as saying the following when heard about the ad that the Chambliss campaign had run against a fellow war veteran:

"I'd never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield -- it's worse than disgraceful. It's reprehensible."

And who did Georgians send to the Senate in 2002? It seems that it was a man who never met a corporate lobbyists that he didn't like.


Now it's 2008 and Senator John McCain, who during the course of this year's presidential campaign reminded us time and time and time again of his war record, is traveling to Georgia to help his "friend" Saxby Chambliss win a run-off election against his Democratic opponent Jim Martin.

You Simply Can't Beat This for Hypocrisy

Sen. Chambliss one young voter ( and millions like him) are determined to shine a light on this hypocrisy and encourage Georgia voters to go to the polls on December 2nd and elect Democrat Jim Martin.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

From Euphoria to Postpartum Blues

As I told fellow blogger Charles Amico earlier today, a week after the election I'm experiencing a form of political postpartum blues.

For nearly two years I, and millions of my fellow Americans, blogged, debated and sometimes argued about a day that has now come and gone.
And now that we've made our cases and either celebrated or licked our wounds, it's time to face the hard cold reality ahead.

If the US presidential campaign was
a very long and very difficult pregnancy and Election Day represented the birth of a "new day in America" then I see the year ahead as being the equivalent of late night feedings, diaper changes, teething, and caring for a colicky, if not downright sickly, baby.

Like all new parents, the majority of Americans are overjoyed, hopeful and anxious to capture every moment of the new political baby's life. Even the overseas relatives are caught up in the joy of the blessed event. However, now that things are settling down it is clear that while the parents were completely distracted a few family members were helping themselves to everything in the house that wasn't nailed down.

As the Washington Post reported yesterday, the US Treasury Department conveniently found a way to slip a few dollars out of the household piggy bank and slide it under the table to the banking industry.

As Amit Paley reported in his article " A Quiet Windfall for U.S. Banks":
" The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

"Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no," said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes. "They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks."

The story of the obscure provision underscores what critics in Congress, academia and the legal profession warn are the dangers of the broad authority being exercised by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. in addressing the financial crisis. Lawmakers are now looking at whether the new notice was introduced to benefit specific banks, as well as whether it inappropriately accelerated bank takeovers.

Meanwhile, those mischievous children over at AIG were once again proving that they simply can't be trusted with the cookie jar.

Craig Harris reported the following for The Arizona Republic:

" Days before American International Group received its latest government bailout on Monday, the troubled insurer hosted a $343,000 conference for independent financial planners at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak resort in Phoenix.

The company said sponsors picked up roughly 93 percent of the tab for the Nov. 5-7 conference, but the spending still drew the ire of a member of Congress and raised questions about how AIG should be operating when it is under such intense scrutiny.

The Phoenix conference was at least the second time since September the company was involved in a six-figure event at a resort. A spokesman Monday said the company has canceled more than 160 meetings or conferences in the past month.

AIG said it decided to host nearly 150 financial planners at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak event because of the valuable training they received and the revenue they produce."
Ok, at the risk of seeming obtuse, can someone explain to me why if these guys are producing so much revenue US taxpayers are bailing out their company. Just a question.

Not to be outdone by anyone, the rich relatives over at Exxon made their own bit of history when they announced their 3rd quarter profits.

CNNMoney reported just a few days before the election:
"Exxon Mobil Corp. set a quarterly profit record for a U.S. company Thursday, surging past analyst estimates.

Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500), the leading U.S. oil company, said its third-quarter net profit was $14.83 billion, or $2.86 per share, up from $9.41 billion, or $1.70, a year earlier. That profit included $1.45 billion in special items.

The company's prior record was $11.68 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

The latest quarter's net income equaled $1,865.69 per second, nearly $400 a second more than the prior mark."

Maybe we should ask Exxon to pick up the tab for AIG.

And finally, membership definitely has its privileges. Christmas came on Monday night for credit card giant American Express when the US Federal Reserve granted their request to become a commercial bank. Now AMEX too can get a slice of the $700 billion bailout pie.

Oh well, so much for election euphoria, I think a dirty diaper needs to be changed.

Christianity, Politics and Gay Marriage

Now that the seemingly never-ending US presidential campaign has ended, I can pick up on a series which I started last February on the relationship between Christianity and politics. And having still not learned to avoid the deep end of the pool, I'll plunge head first into a discussion on the recent vote on California's Proposition 8 - a state constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

As I stated in my post addressing the abortion issue, I believe that Churches have every right to teach the tenants of their faith and parents should continue to instill their values in their children. However, people of faith should stop letting people with political agendas manipulate them. Gay marriage is without a doubt an issue that Karl Rove and the political right used to manipulate the conservative, evangelical, Christians and win two elections for the GOP and now pass Proposition 8.

If I understand correctly, on the one side of this issue you have the gay community which is simply asking that the government (not the Church) to legally recognize their committed relationships in the same manner that it recognizes heterosexual committed relationships, (36% of which end in divorce). While on the other side you have conservative, evangelical Christians who believe that if the government allows gay people to marry it will destroy the institution of marriage which has somehow survived Henry VIII, Zsa Zsa Gabor and Britney Spears.

Isn't it ironic that the Christian bible clearly indicates that God is not thrilled about divorce but you don't see ballot propositions advocating banning divorce.

Yes, I too was taught that God destroyed Sodom because of homosexuality. However as a woman I've always had a bit of a problem with the details of those events:

"Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords,please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night,and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house.Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom,both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him,and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please,let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish;only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

-- Genesis 19: 1-8(NIV)

I don't know about you but if I had been one of Lot's daughters I would not have been too thrilled with my father after that comment. Offering up your virgin daughters to a mob of horny men is not exactly my idea of God pleasing behavior.  And that's the point of this post. Sometimes the people who are so sure that they are pleasing God may be missing the point.

I'm not a theologian, politician or gay. I'm not trying to change your religious beliefs. I only ask you to consider this.  If you are a Christian you were taught that God gave Moses ten commandments. Obviously, these were the ten laws that God thought were important enough to put in writing. Yet our society breaks these rules willy nilly without the fear that society is going to come to an end.

On the other hand, the religious and political right has convinced large segments of the public that our nation will suffer the same fate as Sodom if we allow gay marriage. Even though the bible clearly states that God would have spared Sodom if there had only been ten righteous men to be found.

So ask yourself was it really homosexuality that destroyed Sodom or was it the fact that there weren't ten good people left in the city.

The bottom line to the vote on Proposition 8 is that those who voted Yes did so out of a belief that gay marriage would "destroy" marriage. And based on that belief they threw their gay daughters and sons out into the streets.

Related Posts:

Christianity, Politics and the Issues

Christianity, Politics & Abortion

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Georgia On My Mind - Politically That Is

It's time for election monitors to mobilize and head to Georgia.

excerpt from:
Ga. Senate race may end up in spotlight |

By Jim Tharpe

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Well-polished political celebs and teams of scraggly ground troops from both major parties could invade Georgia over the next few weeks if the U.S. Senate race between Republican Saxby Chambliss and Democrat Jim Martin ends up in a full-blown runoff.

Thousands of votes —- including many paper ballots from Fulton County —- were still being counted late Wednesday, and neither Chambliss nor Martin had broken the magical 50 percent mark required by state law to declare a winner.

The sleep-deprived candidates were still in campaign overdrive the day after Tuesday's cliff-hanger election, even though the state cannot officially call a Dec. 2 runoff before next week when votes are certified.

Chambliss was hoping that a last-minute surge of still-to-be-counted votes would put him at 50 percent plus one. Martin was confident the outstanding votes wouldn't significantly change the outcome of Tuesday's election.

He declared the runoff under way.

Obama wins North Carolina - Go Tarheels!

WBTV 3 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and Programming Guide for Charlotte, NC |
Obama wins North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama has won North Carolina, adding 15 electoral votes to his wide victory and a symbolic triumph in a state that hadn't voted for a Democrat in more than a generation.

The Associated Press declared Obama the winner Thursday after canvassing counties in North Carolina to determine the number of outstanding provisional ballots.

Yes We Did! - A Commentary by Marianne Williamson

" America has had a non-violent revolution.

As long as there are historians writing about the United States, this moment of fundamental re-alignment of our national purpose will be remembered, poured over and analyzed. It will be seen as one of the shining points along the evolutionary arc of the American story. Yet it will never submit itself to being summed up nicely in a little package that reason alone can understand."

-- Marianne Williamson

About Barack Obama
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OH, Now It All Comes Out - Final Thoughts on Sarah Palin

You know that I don't watch FOX News but when I saw this video I had to post it.

While Sarah Palin was traveling across America citing her "executive experience" and demeaning "community organizers" and John McCain was proclaiming that Sarah Palin was ready to lead, McCain/Palin campaign staffers knew that she couldn't name the nations involved in the North American Free Trade Agreement and that Africa was a continent.

Ok, she's not the only person who is a little ignorant about Africa. Sadly. But not knowing the names of the nations involved in NAFTA.

(hint: there's only three)

Now Sarah's buddies in the not-so-liberal media are sharing stories about how Sarah emerged from the shower wrapped only in a towel and how Sarah was on a coast-to-coast shopping spree.

Oh well, Sarah's tough. She certainly doesn't need an East Coast, big city, liberal to say that this sounds a little like Adam blaming Eve for the fall of man.

I'm sure that Elizabeth Hasselbeck and Cindy McCain will call FOX News on their misogyny.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

2008's Versions of the "Hanging Chads"

Innovation |

By Andrew Heining | 11.04.08

Hardly any Americans will pull a lever or punch out chads this election day. But that doesn't mean the problems of the past are gone. 

Computerworld is reporting on issues with touchscreen voting machines in key battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia. The malfunctioning machines caused some polling places to resort to back-up paper ballots, and in some cases those ran out.

Though touch screen machines seem to get the most attention, a marjority of the nation's counties are using optical scanning machines. These require voters to fill out a paper card that's fed into a scanner. A No. 2 pencil isn't required, but the process isn't hassle-free.

Reflections on Voting -- 11/4/08

It really doesn't get better than this.
About Election Day
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost