Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama Victory Speech at Grant Park in Chicago

Take a look at these pictures of the Obama rally in Chicago's Grant Park. It says it all:

Pictures from Grant Park, Chicago

Saturday, October 25, 2008

What happened to ya Republican Party?

A good perspective on "god and country"/"ugly American" crowd seduction of the Republican Party.....

........."50 years ago, Eugene Burdick and William Lederer's book exposed the boorish behavior of some of our citizens when abroad, warning that a "mysterious change seems to come over Americans..." when amid people and cultures seen as "different." While the ensuing half-century proved those in developing countries to be neither less intelligent, less capable, nor less interested in improving their lives than human beings anywhere, this breed of Americans, inclined to "isolate themselves socially," per Burdick and Lederer, seems to have turned inward, chanting "USA, USA!"

As the world prospered behind their backs, this insular strain of American metastasized into swaggering jingoes full of Cold War machismo, content to wave the flag and "Go for the gold." For them, the collapse of the Evil Empire proved the world's sole Superpower could do as it damned well pleased: "We're Number One," baby! Anybody who doesn't like it should get the hell out of the way.

"(L)oud and ostentatious," per the book, this parochial group bequeathed its "mysterious change" to generations of Know-Nothings who stuck to their own, seeing 'difference' as a threat. Dumbed-down by television and wary of anyone lacking sufficient fervor for their triumphant "Christian nation," they made those of different color, heritage, or belief into "the other," a practice encouraged by coded appeals to racism from would-be leaders. With Nixon's "Southern Strategy" and "silent majority" setting the stage, Reagan's "Welfare Queens" and Bush the First's "Willie Horton" spread the contagion while conferring it legitimacy.

Embraced as true conservatives and stoked by hate-radio millionaires, these changelings seduced the Republican Party, laid claim to the flag and launched a "culture war." Adopted by anti-government hucksters, empire-seekers and profligate free-marketeers, they divided the nation with a "God and Country" ethos that declared the Bible inerrant, reviled homosexuality, "permissiveness," liberalism and critical thinking, denied women equal rights, children any at all, and cowed the media into submission.

For them, the horror of 9/11 lay at the feet of the enemy within -- the ACLU, abortionists, pagans, gays and lesbians, secularists. And a stunned public, reeling from the assault and sinking into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, was led into a flag-waving frenzy of revenge-seeking and other-hating that targeted "Rag-heads" and "sand-niggers."

Drunk with power, this mob took heart from W's "you're either with us or with the terrorists," their malignant hostility dividing us more sharply at each iteration, until the enemy became the world of Islam and anyone who disagreed. Forsaking constitutional freedoms in favor of "security," they turned our very nation inside out, with Americans pitted against one another in states red and blue.

And today, while some dream of change, a perfect storm of cultural division, failed leadership, lost principles, military disaster and economic collapse have ripped the mask away, exposing a virus that has undermined and rendered quaint American values of tolerance, generosity, equality and fairness, replacing them with chauvinism, avarice, confusion, fear and despair.

But struggles that have trampled the principles urging America toward greatness are not new. That they have not destroyed us but rather helped us toward maturity is due to some who have called on our better angels and re-inspired the triumph of decency that ennobles our history. Even with chaos at the doorstep people look for hope, for change, for reason to believe that the America of song and story persists.

Yet today, unable to rise to the challenge of hope, would-be president McCain chooses expediency over country, placing the priestess of parochialism, a barb-tongued, inanity-prone neophyte, a heartbeat away from the oval office. Schooled in "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" and "American Idol," she energizes the pitchfork mob, dividing "real America" from the rest of us, reviving faint echoes of white superiority and "manifest destiny" as her sponsor deafens himself to it all.

But there is a remedy for this ugly America; there is reason to believe that the promise can yet survive. There is hope. And there is truth. But we have to demand it."

Read the entire article here

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Goldwater's Granddaughter: Why McCain Lost Our Vote

Why McCain Has Lost Our Vote

CC Goldwater

CC Goldwater

Posted October 23, 2008 | 10:28 AM (EST)

Being Barry Goldwater's granddaughter and living in Arizona, one would assume that I would be voting for our state's senator, John McCain. I am still struck by certain 'dyed in the wool' Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.

Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year. We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics. I learned a lot about my grandfather while producing the documentary, Mr. Conservative Goldwater on Goldwater. Our generation of Goldwaters expects government to provide for constitutional protections. We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket.

My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman's right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930's, a cause my grandfather supported. I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.

For a while, there were several candidates who aligned themselves with the Goldwater version of Conservative thought. My grandfather had undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its true meanings.

There always have been a glimmer of hope that someday, someone would "race through the gate" full steam in Goldwater style. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened, and the Republican brand has been tarnished in a shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear. Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and less safe.

When you see the candidate's in political ads, you can't help but be reminded of the 1964 presidential campaign of Johnson/Goldwater, the 'origin of spin', that twists the truth and obscures what really matters. Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it's standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity.

After the last eight years, there's a lot of clean up do. Roll up your sleeves, Senators Obama and Biden, and we Goldwaters will roll ours up with you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

al Queda Terrorists Endorse McCain

Today, the Washington Post published statements posted on al-Hesbah, an extremist website with ties to al Qaeda, which declared the terrorist group “will have to support McCain in the coming election.” The site said if al Qaeda wants to exhaust the United States militarily and economically, “impetuous” McCain is the better choice because he is more likely to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama and his Grandfather

This image really touched me on so many levels......

Conflict Of Interest? Report Says Goldman Sachs ‘Among Biggest Beneficiaries’ Of Paulson’s Bailout

Conflict Of Interest? Report Says Goldman Sachs ‘Among Biggest Beneficiaries’ Of Paulson’s Bailout»

paulsonwallstreet.jpgIn making his push to administer the largest federal bailout of Wall Street in history, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is seeking unfettered authority. McClatchy poses the question today, “can you trust a Wall Street veteran with a Wall Street bailout?,” referring to Paulson, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs:

But the conflicts are also visible. Paulson has surrounded himself with former Goldman executives as he tries to navigate the domino-like collapse of several parts of the global financial market. And others have gone off to lead companies that could be among those that receive a bailout.

In late July, Paulson tapped Ken Wilson, one of Goldman’s most senior executives, to join him as an adviser on what to about problems in the U.S. and global banking sector. Paulson’s former assistant secretary, Robert Steel, left in July to become head of Wachovia, the Charlotte-based bank that has hundreds of millions of troubled mortgage loans on its books.

Goldman Sachs cashed in under Paulson, with earnings in 2005 of $5.6 billion; Paulson made more than $38 million that year. A 2005 annual report shows that “Goldman was still a significant player” in issuing mortgage bonds. The conflict of interest is increasingly clear today, as Bloomberg reports that “Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley may be among the biggest beneficiaries” of Paulson’s bailout plan:

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley may be among the biggest beneficiaries of the $700 billion U.S. plan to buy assets from financial companies while many banks see limited aid, according to Bank of America Corp.

Its benefits, in its current form, will be largely limited to investment banks and other banks that have aggressively written down the value of their holdings and have already recognized the attendant capital impairment,” Jeffrey Rosenberg, Bank of America’s head of credit strategy research, wrote in a report today, without identifying particular investment banks.”

The conflict of interest provides all the more reason for the bailout legislation in Congress to have more stringent oversight that the administration opposes.

The Wonk Room notes six months ago, Paulson claimed, “our banks and investment banks, are strong.”

Barack Obama's Legislative Record - Very Impressive

Robert J. Elisberg

Robert J. Elisberg

Posted October 21, 2008 | 11:21 AM (EST)

The Little Known Truth of Barack Obama's Legislative Record

As we all know, Barack Obama hasn't passed any major legislation. He's inexperienced, never done anything. We know this. We know it because John McCain and Sarah Palin, bless her accomplished heart, have said so. And so, we know.

Far be it from me not to take their word for it, but I decided to check things out. And doesn't turn out to be true! Really. So, take a guess on how much legislation Barack Obama has sponsored in the United States Senate, which has become law.

C'mon, take a guess.

Nope, sorry, take another guess.

Barack Obama has authored or co-sponsored 579 bills in Washington. And as a state senator, he sponsored 820 laws for Illinois.

That's 1,399 bills in all. Not bad for someone who apparently had done zero - okay, according to his opponents.

I know, I know. Those 820 are just for a "state," so they don't really count. Except...well, wait, a "state" is what Sarah Palin is governor of. (At least for 21 months.) So if sponsoring pesky "state" laws doesn't count, what in the world does she have on her resume then? Other than ethics violations.

Besides, y'know, Illinois is an awfully big state. If someone passes a law there, it does affect the lives of 26 million people.

And, yipes, it turns out that there is a wide-ranging record of bipartisan laws he's co-sponsored, as well, working across the aisles with Republicans. Go figure, who knew?!

Okay, first, let's look at Barack Obama's 579 Senate bills. (To be fair, some of these are pending - the U.S. Senate works slooowly...)

But here are just a few highlights of the ones that have passed.

With Russ Feingold, Sen. Obama helped put together and co-sponsor the Obama/Feingold 2007 Ethics Reform Law, which curbed lobbying abuses. The bill was perhaps the most sweeping ethics reform since Watergate.

Mr. Obama joined forces with Republican Richard Lugar as original co-sponsors of the landmark bill that improved the government's ability to detect and destroy Weapons of Mass Destruction, keeping them from terrorists.

Working across the aisle again, this time, with Republican Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama authored a provision to secure vulnerable nuclear weapons and nuclear material around the world, protecting them from terrorists.

Sen. Obama also wrote the legislation for his Homes for Heroes Act and SAVE Act, that increased services for homeless veterans.

Shockingly, it turns out that John McCain is also wrong about Barack Obama not being willing to go against his party. You see, Mr. Obama sponsored an amendment that required lobbyist disclosures. And as the NY Times wrote, "The disclosure idea's lead sponsor, Senator Barack Obama... 'has not been the most popular person in our caucus in the last couple of weeks,' said a Democratic aide involved in deliberations over the bill."

Gee. Apparently, it seems, Barack Obama has been willing to buck his own party. And work across the aisle. And sponsor and pass important legislation. And there are 574 other bills - some large, some smaller, but all can be found on State Surge.

Meanwhile, his record as a senator in Illinois has an impressive 820 bills that impacted the lives of countless millions, as well. By the way, for fact buffs: the 13th District he represented was alone comprised of 653,457 people - the same as the entire state of Alaska.

In Illinois, with its 26 million citizens, Barack Obama co-sponsored bipartisan campaign finance reforms, that the Chicago Tribune referred to as "the most sweeping good-government legislation in decades." He co-sponsored a bipartisan, groundbreaking ethics reform law and was the main sponsor of the Health Care Justice Act. As co-chairman of a bipartisan committee, Sen. Obama also helped pass predatory mortgage lending reforms, which prevent foreclosures. (Hmm, that was forward thinking. Ya think? But, tosh, it was just a "state" law...) He sponsored laws that raised tax credits for low-income workers, that improved childcare subsidies for the KidCare Program (bringing health care to 70,000 uncovered children), and that reformed welfare. And he co-sponsored the Equal Pay Act for women.

Further, Mr. Obama sponsored bipartisan legislation that made Illinois the first state to require videotaping of capital cases, and bipartisan laws for monitoring racial profiling.

This list goes endlessly on. A total of 820 laws in all. has detailed descriptions.

None of this is to place a value judgment on the 579 federal laws Barack Obama authored or co-sponsored. Nor is it to equate state laws with federal. It's merely to address the false impression that the McCain campaign has tried to put forth that Sen. Obama has sponsored no important legislation in the U.S. Senate, never been able to work across the aisle and largely sat in the Illinois Senate voting "present."

Put whatever value you wish on the 1,399 laws Barack Obama has helped sponsor. Decide for yourself what is a "major" law. From ethics reform to safeguarding WMD to child health care to home foreclosure protection, and much more, you have a great many laws to choose from.

It's up to you to decide if passing laws in a state of 26 million people shows a person's interests, initiative and abilities and helps set precedents. In truth, Illinois state laws do not cover a nation - they just cover 9% of the nation's population.

In the end, there is only one simple point to this. Honesty. That anyone who suggests that Barack Obama has been ineffectual in his 12-year career as an elected representative, sponsoring no important legislation, unable to work across party lines, unwilling to go against his party, and avoiding taking stances by voting "present" - then that person doesn't know what they are talking about. Or is lying.