Sunday, August 31, 2008


Gustav is bearing down on the Gulf Coast, looking pretty much like Katrina. Gustav has already sent over a million people fleeing from New Orleans under a mandatory evacuation yesterday by Mayor Ray Nagin. And, it has only been three years since Katrina hit the Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana coasta, with Mississippi and Louisiana bearing the brunt of it. Many folks displaced by Katrina are STILL displaced. That is to say, those areas are just really getting back to some semblance of normalcy. Louisiana and Mississippi look to be in for hard times.

Joe Biden says we should all pray that the levees hold. Well, yes, we should. That would be good. Obama said that he hopes we have learned our lesson from Katrina, and doesn't want us to repeat the mistakes made during that massive hurricane. Well, okey dokey. I hope so, too.

McCain and Palin have gone to Mississippi at the request of Governor Barbour. McCain said that should Gustav make land fall during the Republican Convention, they would suspend it. He said,
"It just wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a ntural disaster."

I agree. It would be inappropriate. So, the RNC is keeping an eye on the weather, too.

Oh, and Tropical Storm Hannah has the potential to bear down on my part of the world. These are just the kinds of issues with which a president has to contend. Despite Don Fowler saying that Gustav would be helping the Democrats (I am not kidding - he said it), it shouldn't help EITHER party. People's lives and livelihoods are at stake here. Friends and family members of mine, as well as many of you, I am sure. For once, wouldn't it be nice if dealing with an impending disaster wasn't a partisan issue, but an AMERICAN issue?? How about we give that a try - no making hay off of this potential disaster. Just address it as Americans, with compassion, and a desire to help. Let's just give that a shot, Don, Joe, Barack, John, and Sarah. Don't worry about the photo op (talking to YOU, Barack), worry about the people, their pets, their homes, their jobs. Let's worry about the human element, and the affect on our environment (again, one of the reasons Louisiana gets hit so hard is that it's coastal wetlands are largely dead due to human shortsightedness. Without the wetlands to act as a buffer, the hurricane just slams into the coast, with a clear path.).

This is more important than any political campaign. People first, country first, then you can worry about your campaigns later.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

So, What's Next?

One astute commentator at No Quarter last night mentioned how incredibly upsetting it is that Jesse Jackson got all 485 of his delegates on the Roll Call, and Hillary Clinton got only 20% of her almost 2,000 delegates. Upsetting, frustrating, insulting, maddening, disturbing, and demeaning are other words that come to mind. Frankly, if Obama has such a thin skin that he cannot acknowledge that Clinton had almost as many delegates as he did (and would have had MORE had the RBC not acted immorally), then how in the HELL is he going to stand up to the people he claims he wants to serve? He has no business running as the nominee. None. To say he is a lightweight is a gross understatement. And he CANNOT EVEN WRITE HIS OWN SPEECHES!!! Pathetic!! Absolutely pathetic! I reckon he doesn't know that his speechwriters cannot accompany him in the debates, which is probably EXACTLY why he won't meet McCain in Town Hall forums.

Now, not only is Obama going to have to deal with McCain, he is going to be outshone by McCain's running mate who can talk pretty darn well for herself. Without a speechwriter, I might add. Right off the top of her head. Just sayin'. Oh, and for whatever issues I might have with Palin, she DID veto a ban on same-sex benefits as unconstitutional in her first month in office. That counts for something. Yes, there are other issues, but I gotta say - she's a compelling figure.

But, believe it or not, this isn't about Palin. It isn't even about Obama specifically, but peripherally. It is about Senator Clinton. Now that the Fixvention is over, what lies ahead for her? There was an interesting commentary in my local paper recently by Dale McFeatter who addressed this very issue. There are some things I think he could have phrased differently, and one word with which I disagree completely with the writer (oh, don't you worry - I'll point it out in bold), but it is interesting, I think. Here's the article:
Hillary Weighs Her Future
An Editorial/Dale McFeatters (Submitted by SHNS on Wed, 08/27/2008 - 15:30. Scripps Howard News Service editorials and opinion.)

Psychologically, Hillary Clinton faces a demanding fall. If she wants a political future beyond the Senate, the former first lady must not be seen as going less than all out to elect Barack Obama, even though relations between the two camps can charitably described as strained.

Clinton's very gracious and warm speech at the Denver convention, touching all the right notes, including a tactful nod to her husband's presidency, showed that she is fully capable of that role and even of sharing attack dog duties with Obama running mate Sen. Joe Biden. But in her heart there has to be some ambivalence. You know that when she was on the podium with her tearful supporters cheering her name that at same level she was thinking, "This should have been ours,"

If Obama loses -- and the polls indicate that for all the Republicans' woes and the baggage of President Bush, he is not a sure thing come November -- she would have the satisfaction of saying, certainly in private, "I told you so," and the way would be clear for another run for the White House in 2012. Since her health-care debacle, she has proved capable of learning from her mistakes, and a second campaign for the presidency would be freer of the mismanagement and infighting that hobbled her first.

Even though she finished a close but indubitable second for her party's nomination, she is perhaps our most remarkable politician and, even though Obama's people might wish otherwise, Bill and Hillary Clinton will remain formidable fixtures in the Democratic Party. Their approval ratings with the Democratic faithful hover around 80 percent. She came achingly close to being the first woman to be the presidential nominee and retains a dedicated base of support and impressive appeal to blue collar voters.

Recall that she survived scandals -- Filegate, Travelgate, her husband's sexual dalliances -- that would have sunk a lesser mortal and then went on to win a Senate seat in a state, New York, notorious for its convoluted politics, where she had never lived and had no real connection. Her effortless re-election was a sign that she can have the Senate job as long as she wants. If Obama wins and her hopes of another presidential run are perhaps eight years off, the question is: Will she want to?

If Clinton wants to stay in public life, there aren't many options. Her husband has pre-empted one field with his Clinton Foundation. No nonprofit post could match the power and high profile of her Senate seat. Some have suggested that Obama appoint her to the Supreme Court, a job for which she isn't really qualified and one that the Republicans would certainly block. Some have suggested that she might run for New York governor but it's hard to imagine her trading Washington, her home for 16 years, for the administrative grind of Albany.

Or she could return to the Senate and take up the torch that Sen. Ted Kennedy is passing as that body's great liberal lion -- in her case, lioness. She has said she looks forward to passing universal health care and having Obama sign it. And the fact is that Obama, who was less collegial with his fellow senators than she, will need her advocacy in Congress.

A chapter in a gripping American political biography closed in Denver this week but it is far from the final chapter.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service)

All in all, not a bad piece. Did you notice how the writer said Obama will need her help in the Senate since she had more collegial relationships. Wow, really? That isn't what Obama and his minions claimed all the time. But those of us who actually PAID ATTENTION to her record knew better, didn't we? And is she the nominee? No. Not that she ever thought she was the presumptive nominee from the beginning - that was another MSM line to demean her. But she DID have the votes, and she DID have the delegates. Until the DNC stole them, that is. So, she lost the nomination, and we lost the opportunity to have someone we KNOW would be one of the greatest presidents ever.

Well, not this time, apparently. But hopefully, in four more years. In the meantime, Hillary Clinton will continue to do what she has BEEN doing - the people's work. And she will continue to do it with the same passion, brilliance, humor, and dedication she has exhibited her entire working life. We will be there for her, too, because we KNOW she is the real deal.

If you are so inclined, please consider helping Senator Clinton retire her debt. GeekLove, she of the most awesome videos, has a link she has set up for that purpose:

"Thank You, Senator Clinton"

Thank you for speaking for me. Thank you for speaking OUT for me. Thank you for supporting me, my partner, and our community. Thank you for fighting for all people, no matter their race, creed, color, orientation, ability. You care about US, and it shows. Thank you for working for our troops, to bring them home, and to provide care for them when they need it. Thank you for talking about renewable energy, and "green-collar jobs." Thank you for fighting for women's equality, using your own life as a model, and sponsoring legislation to boot. Thank you for your strength, your courage, your grace under fire, your humor, your passion, your compassion, your brilliance. Thank you for trying to break the hardest glass ceiling in the world. The 18,000,000 cracks in it prove you are the one people wanted to lead us. Thank you for all you have done for us, and will continue to do for us. You are an inspiration, and I thank you for taking me, us, on this journey.

Thank YOU, too, GeekLove, for all of your outstanding work.

Let's show Senator Clinton our thanks and help her reduce her campaign debt.

Friday, August 29, 2008

"No Animosity"

So, last night was the Big Speech, in the Greek Temple, by the ONE. What did he do? He decided to channel Hillary Clinton. Oh, and Aaron Sorkin. One of the lines he is getting so much press on is a variation on a line from the movie, The American President. It was the line that the pundits labeled “excellent,” of course. And that was when he said McCain’s problem was “that he just didn’t get it.” I recognized it as soon as I saw it. Wow, I am so surprised that he wasn't the least bit original. Hahaha! Good one, right? Here's the thing, I don't want a poor copy of Hillary Clinton. Someone who doesn't have the passion, compassion, conviction, and intellect of Hillary Clinton. The one who can mouth her words, but not be able to DISCUSS them because he neither wrote them nor cares what the words say. He is a sham candidate, foisted upon us by a sham party. Way to go, DNC.

And one of the people who foisted Obama on us, who backed him but claimed he wasn't until the beginning of June, is none other than my representative, and House Whip, Jim Clyburn. And he did it by demeaning Bill Clinton. You know, Bill Clinton, the one who spoke the other night so eloquently, as only he can? The first "black president"? The one under whom our economy was so good? That one? Let me refresh your memory on what Jim Clyburn said about Bill Clinton, on our "friend," Keith Olbermann's show:

Oh, and Rep. Clyburn? The "WILL OF THE PEOPLE" WAS overturned by the SuperDelegates when they supported OBAMA, not Clinton! So many of the counties, districts, and STATES she won had the SDs go to Obama in clear contravention to the will of the people. So, how do all of those folks who wrote you feel about this NOW, or do they not care as long as THEIR candidate won? DO they not care HOW he got it as long as HE got it?

Oh - and Keith was right - there WAS "traitorous" acts - and they were perpetrated by the RBC of the DNC, and the Obama campaign with caucuses. Whatever. As long as it's not Hillary, right?

Anywho, so during the primary, Clyburn had some tough stuff to say about Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton who has done more for the African American community than ANY other president. That one. After President Clinton's outstanding speech the other night, Jim Clyburn was interviewed by Judy Woodruff. Here is the transcript from that interview in an article, Delegates Rate Speech "Outstanding":
JIM LEHRER: Let's go now to Judy Woodruff, who's on the floor there among the -- the Clinton reaction, Judy?

JUDY WOODRUFF: Jim, I am here on the floor with the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, Representative Jim Clyburn of the state of South Carolina.

What did you think of the president's speech?

REP. JIM CLYBURN (D), South Carolina: A great speech, outstanding. As I said earlier today, I expect for Bill to be Bill. And he was Bill tonight. I really believe that he teed it up well for Barack Obama, and I think tomorrow night we'll -- he'll do what he has to do tomorrow night.

JUDY WOODRUFF: There were some differences between you and some others with President Clinton with some of the language he used during the tough primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the question of whether he injected race into the campaign at a couple of points. Is all forgiven on that front?

REP. JIM CLYBURN: Well, I never had a problem. I made it very clear. I admire and respect Bill Clinton. I think he was a great president. I was pleased to be in the Congress to help with that, so I never had a problem.

I do believe, though, that a lot of things that got said could have had more than one meaning. And it got carried in more than one way.

And so I still think that he is an outstanding person, and I have no animosity toward him at all.

JUDY WOODRUFF: How much will his support -- how much difference will his support make in this general election campaign?

REP. JIM CLYBURN: I think it means a great amount of difference, especially to our base supporters out there. These people love and admire the Clintons. And they really needed to hear what they heard last night and what we've heard tonight.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Jim Clyburn, the House majority whip, thank you very much.

REP. JIM CLYBURN: Thank you.

Well, golly gee, Jim. YOU may not have any animosity toward Bill Clinton, but I imagine he might just have some toward YOU for disparaging him, for demeaning him, for implying (at the very least) that he was a RACIST. Yeah, he might not be too keen on YOU right about now. You tried to ruin his reputation, and YOU have no animosity toward HIm. That's rich. Really rich.

But here's the thing about BIll Clinton: he has class. He may have grown up dirt poor, but the man has class. And integrity. You and your candidate could sure take a lesson or a thousand from Bill AND Hillary on class and graciousness.

You know, now that it is official that Obama is The One, I have said I would vote downticket. But that means voting for Jim Clyburn. Frankly, there is no way in HELL I'm going to support that man after what he did to Hillary and Bill. Hmmm. Looks like I might not even be going to the polls for the first time in my adult life this time around (and before you tell me that I MUST vote for McCain, I assure you - I will give it serious consideration as a way to make clear to the DNC that I will not support a Party that lies, cheats, and steals. I am not there yet. As a lifelong Democrat, that is a hard, hard place for me to go. So can we just leave it at that, that I'll think about it? Great. Thanks.).

The DNC is broken. People like Jim Clyburn helped break it. I can think of no better reward for him than to lose his seat. Or at least being the Whip. Hey, here's a thought - how about Dennis Kucinich being the Whip? He hasn't trashed the Clintons, or painted them as racist. He holds all of the positions Progressives hold dear. Sounds like a good option to me! Maybe he should push for THAT position!! Oh, that would be FUN to watch, wouldn't it? Whoever, however, it would sure be nice for Clyburn to lose that power position he holds, wouldn't it? I think so. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy, IMHO.

Jim, you may not have animosity toward President Clinton, but I sure have animosity toward you for what you did. To quote another line from The American President: "You have bigger problems...You just lost my vote."

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Such A Message

Well, big whoop de doo. Obama has been declared Emperor of the Democratic Party. Great. Tonight, he'll don his toga, rise up onto the stage of his Temple, and speak to the minions, bestowing his gaze upon them...

Okay, I have to stop before I throw up. Here's the thing. Obama "won" the Democratic nomination through theft, bullying, intimidation, coercion, and collusion. Personally, I have a problem with that. Not just because I am a minister-type who specialized in Ethics, but as a human being with a conscience, as a US Citizen, and especially as a (former) Democrat. TO say it offends my sensibilities is a massive understatement.

What is this teaching our young people? What does this say about Americans in general? Apparently, you can plagiarize with reckless abandon, and now university professors will simply shrug it off as no big deal, as long as you are their favorite, I suppose. When did it change that plagarizing would not result in expulsion from an institution? At the very LEAST, the student would be brought up on charges. But Obama does it? No problem - "his policies are pretty much the same as Clinton's anyway - and he is more electable" would be the retort. Well, hell to the yeah they were the same - he would take her policies, and often take them whole cloth as his own. Not even bothering to change a WORD. Then the media would report what HIS policy was, and say Clinton's was similar. Ask each one to EXPLAIN them, and only one could - Clinton. But that's okay, because he is the Hope and Change candidate!! So, stop worrying about those pesky little details already! He just has to read froma teleprompter, someone else's words, and he is their hero. How shallow and superficial can people be that they will accept this kind of behvior from someone who wants to lead this nation? And where will he LEAD us, if this is how he acts?

And bullying. I could have SWORN schools(and hopefully, PARENTS) were trying to teach students that bullying is wrong. It diminishes the one being bullied not just in a physical manner, but in emotional and psychological ways as well. Yet bullying was all too evident in this Primary season, from DNC elites trying to get Hillary Clinton out of the race prematurely (and I contend, she SHOULD be the Nominee even now), to pushing around elderly women and others in caucus situations. The use of intimidation and threats of violence toward Hillary Clinton supporters was off the charts. And it was accepted (promoted?) by the media, the DNC, and the Obama camp. Not just accepted, it was seemingly encouraged, if not a flat out strategy of the Obama camp. Add to that the media's constant refrain that is Obama DIDN'T get the nomination, there would be hell to pay in Denver. Riots would break out, and the young people would DEMAND he be made the nominee. It was an attempt to cower people, and to bully delegates and Superdelegates into selecting Obama.

Then there was the cheating. There were NUMEROUS documented incidents of cheating in the caucuses. Texas alone had over TWO THOUSAND documented complaints. TWO THOUSAND in one state. No doubt, there were more incidents that did not go reported out of fear, people leaving the polling place who had been strong-armed.

But by FAR, the worst offender was the DNC. They did everything in their power to manipulate this nomination from stripping FL and MI 100%, while allowing states more favorable to Obama to go unpunished, to the very worst thing I think a political party, a democratic COUNTRY, can do. They stole votes. They flat out stole votes from citizens in Michigan. THAT was the tipping point - for Obama, for the Democratic Party, and for me. That was when they fully and completely crossed any line of decency. That is when they betrayed not just the citizens of Michigan, but the citizens of the United States. That is when they blew to smithereens their moral compass, and it had already been pretty roughed up by that time.

And there was so much more, so much more that went on this Primary season that others have written about more eloquently, and in more detail, than I can here. We all know what happened, and how it happened.

So, everyone puts on their best frocks and suits, smiles big, and acts like this was all legit. Meanwhile, they expect the vanquished one, the one who should have won, who got the most votes, who did not lie, cheat, and steal, to act as a gracious loser, to step up and support The One whose ascendancy was aided and abetted by the most nefarious means, while The One could act as a petulant, arrogant, vindictive, petty punk. And the loser has to smile, and ask for everyone to get on board with the Selected One. Smiles all around, acting as if none of the immoral, unconscionable acts had not happened.

Well, I won't forget. I DO have a moral compass, ethics by which I live my life. And I will NOT support a candidate or a Party that engages in such immoral acts, that ENCOURAGES such activities by its members. No way. I still have a soul, and won't be selling it for the likes of Barack Obama. Hell to the no. And I know that I am not the first, and won't be the last, to decry what has happened to our political party, to our country, to our young people. But I do know what I won't be a party to it.

And so, my new course is to work as hard as I can to restore the integrity, the honor, the ethics, of the Democratic Party. Or any party that will act in a way that does not demonize and dismiss candidates and their millions of supporters, that acts with integrity and a sense of good will towards others. One that, yes, follows the Golden Rule of treating others as you would like to be treated. Bill and Hillary Clinton demonstrated just that this week. This wil be a long hard battle, the fight to return the Democratic Party to democratic ideals and principles. But fight we must. We cannot allow this travesty to become the standard. I cannot allow it. I hope you will join me. I hope we can make this right. I still have hope - not in Obama - but in human decency.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Feeling A Little Ill...

I have to admit, I am feeling a bit ill this morning. I picked up my newspaper, and there was a lovely photo of Hillary Clinton, with the headline, "Clinton 'proud" to back Obama." Ugh. I know, I know, she is a sitting US Senator, and a Democratic one to boot, so yes, she HAS to say that. I guess. I am still just so dismayed at what the Democratic Party has become this year, I can barely stand it. Like I said, it makes me ill. I never, ever thought I would see this day.

Others have been discussing Obama's "Greek temple" stage, and some of the other Convention shenanigans, so I'll spare you. Except to say this about the FAKE Greek Temple - that should be a little clue to all of you Obama supporters out there of his real mindset. I'm just sayin' - take a good hard look, and then ask yourselves - what the heck were you THINKING?!?!?! Because of ONE LOUSY SPEECH you think this first term senator who has done nothing of note but run for President really DESERVES the highest office in the land?? And you are willing to destroy the Democratic Party, denirgate the only two-term Democratic president in four decades, and any real chance of taking BACK the White House with this man? All I can ask is, WHY??? WHY are you so supportive of him? What has he done that makes you think he will follow up on ANY ONE of his promises?? Why do you dismiss the people with whom he chooses to surround himself?? Why do you keep claiming he has "good judgment"??? I just do not get it. I do not understand any of this.

And then there's Howard Dean. And Donna Brazile. Nancy Pelosi. John Kerry. Ted Kennedy. ESPECIALLY Ted Kennedy, the man who fought tooth and nail for the Democratic nomination has become the one DEMANDING the popular vote winner get out of the race, and shut up already. All of them did not even want Hillary Clinton on the ROLL CALL. All of the leadership at the DNC has to be thrown out if we have any chance whatsoever of re-CLAIMING the DNC. What these people have done, what the DNC has BECOME is anything BUT Democratic.

So, Hillary Clinton's speech is done. I am so going to miss hearing from her. Whoever wins this election, it will be four more years of me not being able to listen to the president speak, that's for sure.

Oh, and one last thing - as others have pointed out so eloquently - HILLARY CLINTON is not responsible for Obama's loss OR win (yeah, right). Stop freakin' blaming your candidate's poor performances on HER. It is ALL about him, which is what those of us who did not drink the Kool Aide have been saying all along. Instead of focusing so much of your energies on Clinton and REAL Democrats, maybe you should have been looking at who Obama realy is/is not. She is not his mother, she is not his handmaiden, she is not the cause of his not getting our votes - HE is doing that all by his own self. So knock it off already and get a clue. Go look at him standing up in his faux Greek temple, and open your eyes. It's too late for this election, though, but still, maybe, JUST maybe, we'll get the Democratic Party back to being one of Democratic ideals - REAL Democratic ideal, not vote stealing, caucus fraud, and all of the stuff you already know the DNC did this year. Yep, getting back to real Democratic Ideas? Now THAT would be change I could believe in.

And this is WHO I believe in:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Eighty-Eight Years

Yes, today is the 88th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment "giving" women the right to vote. And to celebrate this auspicious occasion, Barack Obama chose to have two men, one who is anti-choice (that is, does not believe a woman has the right to choose what to do with her own body), to speak at today's UnDemocratic Convention. Oh, and one of those men is the KEYNOTE speaker. Woo - Happy Anniversary, Ladies!! Ahem.

It reminded me of the following article, which I m reprinting fully here because,w ell, it deserves it: Casting The Vote Of A Lifetime: Dying woman realizes a dream in marking ballot for Hillary, then Bill Clinton sends her a kiss.

By Kevin Woster, Journal staff Sunday, May 11, 2008
They figure the next best thing came April 29 for the 88-year-old Rapid City woman, when she rallied long enough in her bed at Rapid City Regional Auxiliary Hospice House to cast her vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

To a woman born seven months before her gender won the right to vote in August 1920, seeing Clinton's name on a presidential ballot and marking her vote nearby was a dream realized, Steen's daughter, Kathy Krause, said.

"She was just very happy that day," Krause said. "She really rallied and was sitting up in bed talking to people. That was the best day we've had."

There haven't been many good days lately for Steen, who is suffering from congestive heart failure a year after a stroke began her downhill slide toward hospice. But even sliding hour by hour toward the inevitable, Steen found the strength to study and mark the absentee ballot that her daughter brought to her room.

"I had asked her if she wanted to vote, and she said, 'Yes, I really would like to vote for Hillary,'" Krause said. "So I filled out the papers. She signed them, and I went to the courthouse and got the ballot."

To add an air of patriotic celebration to the occasion, family friend Louise Engelstad brought a United States flag from her garden, and she and Kruase draped it behind Steen's bed.

"Then I got mother her glasses, and she sat up. She was very alert, very serious in studying the ballot," Krause said. "And when she marked it, she just kept circling and circling that mark with her pencil. I thought she was going to mark a hole in it."

Krause, who had already voted for Clinton by absentee ballot, said her mother's health has deteriorated sharply since the day she voted.

But the vote set in motion a warm response from both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

When informed of Steen's condition and vote by the Journal, Clinton's campaign staff provided a comment from the New York senator, who appeared in Sioux Falls Thursday.

"I'm so flattered to have the support of Florence and so many like her," Clinton said. "I have met so many women from my mother's generation who come up to me and say they were born before women could vote and now want to see a woman in the White House."

Then, family friends and campaign staffers informed Bill Clinton of Steen's vote, and on Saturday, he sent word that he wanted to meet Krause and her husband, who were at Stevens High School for his speech.

"They called my husband and said the president wanted to meet us," Krause said.

When they went to meet him, "He expressed his sympathy for my mother's failing health," she said. "He said he was really sorry and he understood our loss. He really appreciated that my mom had made an effort to get out and vote for Hillary by absentee ballot. He has great respect for women of my mother's generation."

Krause said Clinton had tears in his eyes when he spoke to her and told her to go and give her mother a kiss for him.

She did just that, though she isn't sure if her mother understands that she met Clinton.

Sitting by her bed every day, Krause remembers a mother who was both comforting and inspirational.

"I suppose everyone who is losing their mother thinks the same thing: She was always there," Krause said. "She taught me to excel in everything I did. She always wanted my daughter and me to be able to take care of ourselves and have an assertive role in our own lives."

Krause said her mother was a survivor, a quality that Clinton has shown in her life and in the presidential campaign.

"I think there are a lot of similarities between them," Krause said. "My mother certainly doesn't have the wealth or notoriety or reputation. But she's been a survivor, just like Hillary. And whether you like her (Clinton) or not, she's a survivor. You have to respect her for that."

Yes. You do.

And so today, on our 88th anniversary, our Congress has only 17% women in it. SEVENTEEN percent. Conversely, Rwanda, you know, the country which is just coming out of a horrendous, horrifying period of massive genocide, in which women were routinely raped, gang raped, tortured, and mutilated, has in their 2003 Constitution that women MUST constitute 30% of the official representatives. In fact, their numbers are closer to 50% (figures taken from the linked article written by Cindy McCain. I know - I was as surprised as you are. It is a very good editorial, actually, about women in Rwanda. Who knew?!?). That number is the highest for any country.

Here we are - 88 years later, and the first major woman candidate, who received more votes than any other primary candidate EVER, is not the Democratic presidential nominee. Despite her years of experience, and legislative accomplishments, she is not the one selected by the DNC. No, she was passed over by the Party Elite for a younger man with no real accomplishments to his name. May we not have to wait another 88 years before we can have equal representation in Congress. May we not have to wait to have the candidate who garners the most votes not be denigrated mercilessly by the Media and Party Elites because she is a woman. May we have the most qualified candidate as our nominee "even though" she is a woman. May we not lose hope. May we not lose faith. May we see these changes in our lifetime. Happy Anniversary, Sisters.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tension at the Convention

As one might expect, things are not all sweetness and light at the Convention (and I will freely admit, up front, that I plan to watch very little of it. No way in HELL do I want to watch Michelle Obama speak, or even Barack, for that matter. I don't need to hear Michelle's arrogant patronizing speech or Obama's patronizing arrogant speech. No thanks. There are really only two people I do want to hear speak: Bill and Hillary Clinton.

It seems, though, according to John Harris and Mike Allen of that there are some major tensions between the Obama and Clinton camps. Now, really, did any of us HONESTLY think it would be any different? Obama treated both Clintons like pure crap, and denigrated one of the best presidents we have had in 40 years, so, uh, YEAH, they might still be a little peeved. Especially Bill:
One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is “Securing America’s Future.” The night’s speakers will argue that Obama would be a more effective commander in chief than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas — emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s.

This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.

Well, he DID poor-mouth them - every chance he got! Obama praised REAGAN and BUSH I, but made every effort to NOT praise Bill CLinton. The lengths to which he went sometimes to avoid that woud make a Cirque Du Soleil performer envious!

And what, you might ask, was the Obama camp's response to all of this? Get ready - I think you might get a good chuckle out of this one:
Some senior Democrats close to Obama, meanwhile, made clear in not-for-attribution comments that they were equally irked at the Clinton operation. Nearly three months after Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the nomination contest, these Obama partisans complained, her team continues to act like she and Bill Clinton hold leverage.

Hahahaha!! Isn't that hilarious? A former TWO TERM President and a two term senator, who, by the way, received the largest number of votes of any presidential candidate EVER, think they have any leverage??? And people wonder why there are "tensions." Well, SOME people do, I don't. I am pretty clear on why there are. Oh, you know they didn't stop there. Here's more:
Some senior Obama supporters are irritated at how they perceive the Clintons fanned — or at a minimum failed to douse — stories that she was not even vetted as a possible vice presidential nominee. This is because she told Obama she preferred not to go through the rigorous process of document production unless she was really a serious contender, an Obama associate noted.

One senior Obama supporter said the Clinton associates negotiating on her behalf act like “Japanese soldiers in the South Pacific still fighting after the war is over.”

Well, golly gee - imagine that. Some of us actually do still care about not engaging in vote theft, fraud, and disenfranchisement! Some of us actually do still care about not co-opting caucuses in ways that border on, if they are not, illegal. Some of us actually care about the POPULAR VOTE WINNER. And some of us still give a damn about the democratic process, something of which we have seen blessed little this election season.

And really, witht this kind of attitude, is there any wonder why so many of us just plain do not LIKE Obama?
A prominent Obama backer said some of Clinton’s lieutentants (sic) negotiating with the Obama team are “bitter enders” who presume that, rather than the Clintons reconciling themselves to Obama’s victory, it is up to Obama to accommodate them.

Holy crap. Did you notice the part about Clinton and the vice presidency? She said if she was not a SERIOUS contender, she did not want to go through the vetting process. Evidently, then, she was never seriously considered, thus proving the point of so many who felt she was being dissed. She WAS (not that I ever, for one skinny second WANTED her to be the VP choice. That, to me, would have been far worse - her having to prop up Obama from a subservient position would have been too much to take. So, I'm with some of the "senior veterans" of the Clinton campaign:
In fact, some senior veterans of Clinton’s presidential campaign do believe this.

“He has not fully reconciled,” said one political operative close to the Clintons, “and he has not demonstrated that he accepts the Clintons and the Clinton wing of the party.”

I think most of us can concur that is indeed a problem for Obama. He, and the other DNC leaders, seem hellbent on eradicating the Clinton wing ("dang Washington outsider interlopers!"). But there is more on President Clinton:
While Bill Clinton remains angry about how he and his wife were treated by both Obama backers and the news media — and he is particularly resentful at what he sees as unfair allegations that he tried to exploit racial divisions for political advantage — he has made the decision that he will put forward a positive face for Obama’s benefit at Denver.

It is harder to do that when the topic is foreign policy and national security, which lends itself to restrained, rather than boisterous, partisan rhetoric.

“That puts him in a terrible bind, because you can’t give a ringing endorsement when you’re talking about foreign policy,” a longtime Clinton adviser said. “Obviously, the hard thing to talk about with Obama is commander in chief, of all his many talents.

“You don’t rah-rah about commander in chief. You rah-rah about hope and change and a new party and all that. So no matter what he does, somebody will find fault with it.”

I sure cannot blame President Clinton for being angry that he was portrayed as a racist by the Obama camp, AND the media. For someone who has worked so hard on behalf of the African American community, it wasn't just a slap int he face. It was a slap in the face AND a knife in the back. Repeatedly. Rep. Jim Clyburn twisted that knife on more than one occasion (and thus leads to my problem of voting downticket, because I am not voting for Obama/Biden, or Clyburn. I don't like any ONE of them, and feel Obama has done tremendous damage to the DNC. I know - you would never have known that about me before this, right??).

Apparently, the good senator is looking at the convention with a more positive eye:
Hillary Clinton, who associates said seems more at peace with the results of the nomination battle than her husband, is treating her speech preparation as an all-hands-on-deck exercise, bringing back longtime aides who worked with her during the White House years and in her Senate office.

Jim Kennedy, a veteran Clinton press hand and now an executive at Sony studios, was recalled to work on a speech draft, as was former White House speechwriter Lissa Muscatine, according to Clinton associates.

Many of Hillary Clinton’s negotiations with the Obama team, aides said, have been led by former White House lawyer Cheryl Mills — a fiercely loyal associate of the Clintons who is known for her relentless and sometimes combative advocacy on their behalf.

Another longtime associate, former White House chief of staff John Podesta, said he has little doubt that Hillary Clinton will easily meet her political challenge in Denver. He predicted that her supporters will “blow the roof” off the convention center with cheers for her, and that she will in turn make a rousing appeal for Obama.

See, another reason why I love Senator Clinton. She is, without a doubt, a class act. She is a Democrat through and through, even to her own detriment. I admire her for that (though I no longer call myself a Democrat - I do not recognize this current party. To me, it looks more like the RNC than the DNC to which I have always belonged.). I hate what the DNC leadership have done to both her and President Clinton. I cannot stand that this unqualified man, with exceedingly POOR judgment rather than the "good" judgment he claims to have, with the numerous questionable associates, who engaged in documented intimidation, fraud, and corruption of the caucus system, and whose secrecy makes George Bush look like an open book, is the one the DNC is pushing. Wow.

So, enjoy the convention, those of you who will actually be watching it. I am going to let my DVR do the work for me so I can just fast forward through until I reach the Clintons. And you can BET it will not be set to record Obama's "victory" speech.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Go Your Own Way..."

Another outstanding video from GeekLove:

This Is Just Ironic...

I got to thinking about Obama's "performance" in the Saddleback Forum last week in terms of his new Veep pick (sigh - Biden - great. What a bold move. Hahahaha.). And I remembered something kinda funny. No doubt, you have all seen the following video of Obama's response when asked about which Supreme Court Justices he would not have nominated. Take another look:

I am not talking about him almost claiming Thomas was too inexperienced. He was. Not only that, he sexually harassed Anita Hill, AND was into pornography, just as claimed. The truth of which came out a few years ago when David Brock (the founder of Media Matters) acknowledged that very thing. (In case you don't know his story, he was a major insider in the Republican Right Wing Machine. He said they knew Clarence Thomas was into pornography, and that he certainly did sexually harass Anita Hill. For good measure, he threw in that Senator Clinton was right - there WAS a right-wing conspiracy against them. When asked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart why he was finally coming forward with this information NOW, he said it was because his conscience was killing him, or words to that effect. You can check out his book, Blinded By The Right for all of the details.) But just guess who was the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that oversaw the Clarence Thomas hearings? Yup - Joe Biden.

Seems I wasn't the only one thinking about the connections between Joe Biden, Clarence Thomas, and Anita Hill. As I was looking around this morning (and AFTER I started this, I might add), I came across the following NY Times article by Kate Phillips, "Biden and Anita Hill, Revisited." In it, Ms. Phillips says:
It was another time and another place, but the issues of race, gender and politics intersected in a volatile way that still may hold resonance today, especially given the interplay of those themes (granted in entirely different ways) during the epic primary battle between Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Some women, invariably of Senator Clinton’s age, who were actively involved in opposing Mr. Thomas’s confirmation in 1991 recall the narrow vote (52-48 in favor) as “a day of shame for the Senate and a day of shame for women,” as one lawyer said this week. The episode in time evoked strong reactions from women across the country, who viewed the judiciary panel as 14 white men who too easily dismissed Ms. Hill’s accusations and who did not allow the testimony of other women who might have corroborated or helped buttress her account to prove a case of sexual harassment.

An interesting theme, meaning one that resonates with today, was apparent in the Hill/Thomas hearings as well:
Ms. Ross, who was one of the lawyers assisting Ms. Hill, asserts that Mr. Biden treated Mr. Thomas too even-handedly because of the racially charged nature of the hearings. (Remember Justice Thomas’ charge that he had been subjected to a “high-tech lynching.”) Ms. Ross said that Mr. Biden “was accused of being labeled racist, so the Republicans were blackmailing him and he pushed the levers to make the case look like there wasn’t a case when there was.”

From not permitting other witnesses like Angela Wright to testify who would have been favorable to Ms. Hill, to not permitting affidavits from an expert on whether a pattern of behavior needed to be established to prove sexual harassment, Ms. Ross concluded: “He did everything to make it be good for Thomas and to slant it against her.” (Mr. Biden and his staff at times indicated that Ms. Wright and others weren’t willing to testify, but the record and books written since appear contradictory, as these women were held waiting in the wings for days.)

Huh. You don't say. Since I was subject myself to the insult of being called a racist just this morning for not supporting Obama, no doubt, Biden was reading the tea leaves correctly. But - such a threat should not hamper one from speaking out the truth, or seeking the truth, no matter what one is called. It was his JOB to do so, especially since Thomas was up for a lifetime position. IMHO, that is.

As one might expect:
Over the years, Mr. Biden has defended his role in the hearings. In “Strange Justice,” a book about the Clarence Thomas confirmation, authors Jill Abramson (managing editor for news here at The Times) and Jane Mayer, author of “The Dark Side” and a writer for the New Yorker, extensively document the internal and external machinations surrounding the hearings and interviewed Senator Biden several times.

He made decisions, they wrote, based on his views of respect for a person’s privacy about what and wouldn’t (sic) be let into the hearings – including the pornography rentals and Mr. Thomas’s thin legal record. (At Saddleback, Mr. Obama, a former law professor at the University of Chicago said, “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation.”)

(At one point, Senator Biden’s aides (sic) and then he told Ms. Abramson and Ms. Mayer that digging in too deep on Mr. Thomas’s intellectual legal prowess would’ve been a problem. One aide said, “it was a racial thing.” Mr. Biden himself said, “There was in fact a concern about whether or not to make the guy look stupid – what would happen if you embarrassed him.”)

In one interview, the two wrote that Mr. Biden said later that he had tried to be a statesman, to uphold decency standards. In the end, however, he conceded that his motivations might have been “misplaced.” On excluding the pornography issue alone, they quoted Mr. Biden as saying that he acted, “in fairness to Thomas, which in retrospect he didn’t deserve.”

Well, he got THAT right.

The irony of all of this just kills me - Obama and Biden. Clarence Thomas and Anita Hill. Wow.

So, it seems we have not moved all that far forward in the past 17 years. Fear of being called a racist, and treating women as less credible than men, has been demonstrated for all to see over the past 18 months. How sad. Sad that we have not advanced further on women's issues (though we do have the Sexual Harassment law now - good luck winning one of those cases, but hey - it does exist!), or being able to speak the truth no matter the color of a person's skin. How sad that so much of this election has been based on those very issues. Seems we haven't come such a long way, baby...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Okey dokey - so the big Veep selection is out, as you have surely heard by now: Joe Biden. Wow. All of this hoopla for HIM?? Frankly speaking, I am not a huge fan of his. Post 9/11, he found every opportunity to get his photo taken with President Bush in the Rose Garden. Oh, and all you one-note Obamarosa* cultists? He voted to authorize the Resolution on Iraq. So put that in your pipes and smoke it.

But here's the thing: the popular vote winner, the one who "would be on anyone's short list," according to Obama - just not HIS, apparently, as she was not vetted (then again, Obamarosa hasn't been either). Huh. I guess he wasn't all that "sincere" after all.

Add to that the incredibly petty, childish, vindictive, flat out punkish move to release this information at 3:00 a.m.. 3:00 a.m., get it?? As in a 3:00 a.m. phone call?? Yeah. That's the way to bring the Hillary supporters into the fold, Mr. Hopey Changey Unity Unicorn Man. Never mind those of us with any sense of decency. It is just plain bad form to drive a knife into the back of the one who bested you in votes. Just sayin'.

The choice alone, as many have pointed out already, demonstrates Obama's GLARING weakness - experience. By him picking Biden (ugh), he is saying loud and clear that he does not have enough experience. Heck - BIDEN said he didn't have enough experience (see this piece at No Quarter).

Funny, that is exactly what the poll done in the South said, too, in this article:
McCain Leads Big In South
Voters say honesty, experience, shared values important
Yep. The voters in the South seem to be taken more with experience, perceived honesty, and demonstrated leadership than "just words." I'll let the article speak for itself:
COLUMBIA — Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain enjoys a 16-point lead — 51 percent to 35 percent — among Southern voters over rival Democratic U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, a new poll by Winthrop University and ETV shows.

And, the further into the South you go, the larger McCain's lead grows, the poll of likely voters in 11 Southern states shows.

Likely voters in the Deep South — those in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina — preferred McCain by a 25-point margin, 56 percent to 31 percent.

Southern voters said what they want most in a president is honesty, experience and shared values. Southern voters rated McCain ahead of Obama in each of those categories.

McCain's strongest support comes from white working-class Southerners — who favor him by a 34-point margin — and white evangelicals — who favor the Arizonan by 54 percentage points.

The poll, which was conducted Aug. 1-17, has a margin of error of (plus or minus) 2.97 percentage points.

While political pundits have made much of Obama and Democrats trying to win over a Southern state or two from the Republicans in November, the Winthrop/ETV poll shows that will prove difficult.

"It's about keeping John McCain from sweeping the South. That's the key," said Scott Huffmon, associate professor of political science at Winthrop and director of the Winthrop/ETV Poll.

Rather than attempting to contest the presidential race across the South, a wiser strategy for Obama would be to concentrate on the closely contested Southern states, Huffmon said. "You cannot fight a regional battle anymore."

Individual state-by-state polls have shown Obama within striking distance of McCain in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia.

Those states account for 70 votes that are up for grabs. The 11 Southern states in this poll will award 161 electoral votes, and 270 electoral votes are needed to win the presidency.

On the issues, McCain trumped Obama nearly across the board in the poll.

The economy easily was the most important issue to Southern voters in the upcoming presidential election. McCain bested Obama on which candidate would handle energy and gas prices better, and who would do the better job on taxes.

McCain also far out-distanced Obama on who would do a better job of handling the Iraq war and terrorism.

None of that surprised Jeanette Smith of Chapin, S.C., who described McCain as honest and decisive, strong on national security and unlikely to be manipulated by a foreign government.

"The economy and national security are neck and neck for me," said Smith, a 54-year-old bookkeeper and mother of four. "In fact, I'm not even sure they are separate issues."

On illegal immigration, sometimes an Achilles' heel for McCain, and moral values, the four-term senior senator from Arizona again stood taller with Southern voters than Obama.

"Illegal immigration needs to be controlled," said 76-year-old Evelyn Perry of Fort Mill, S.C., who was among those surveyed. "I just haven't really understood what (McCain's position) is on that — but it needs to be controlled."

Even without those specifics, Perry said she trusts McCain more. "Overall, I just think McCain understands better."

However, in a glimmer of hope for the Democratic nominee-to-be, more likely Southern voters polled said Obama "understands the problems Americans face in their daily lives" better than McCain does.

However, Deep South and working-class white voters disagreed, saying McCain understands them best.

"Senator Obama has a great deal of work to do if he plans to turn the Southern states in his favor," said Adolphus Belk Jr., who helped design the poll and teaches political science and African-American Studies at Winthrop.

Belk said Obama has to do a better job at defining himself for voters, moving beyond simply being a new face on the national stage. Obama also has to overcome religious and ethnic misinformation that continues to plague his candidacy, Belk said.

That's no short order in the South, either, said Obama supporter John Hines Jr. of Effingham, S.C.. "For older Americans, I think color is still an issue," said the 53-year-old paper maker.

Of those polled, 86 percent said race would not be an important factor in how they choose to vote.

However, a quarter of all likely Southern voters surveyed said that if a candidate had a Muslim parent, it would impact their votes. Obama, who is a Christian, had a Muslim father.

Huh - imagine that. RACE is not that big of a factor down here in the South, despite the numerous attempts to paint us all as racist yahoos. No, not racist, just not willing to back the least qualified candidate ever to grace the national stage. IMHO, that is. Now, if CLINTON was in this mix, I think this story would be completely different. Again, not race, but having TWO qualified candidates from which to choose. (Again, I will say that I am not pro-McCain. I am pro-DEMOCRACY, and that is something the DNC has showed very little of of late.)

The Comments at this article were very interesting too. One said he'd vote for Spongebob before Obama. Others made fun of Obama for talking about McCain's houses when Obama pulled in $4 mil this year. Uh, yeah. Like I said, people in glass houses...And this was before the BIden choice.

So, once again, picking Biden just shows up Obama's weaknesses. I don't think having a Vice President who has the experience is enough. Especially when the inexperienced guy is running against the experienced guy. Huh. I guess the only way to solve this little dilemma is for the Conventioneers to pick the candidate who could actually win against McCain. That's not Obama. Just sayin'.

* Great thanks to "Jeremiah" and asimon for coming up with this name. There was another great comment last night. "Jill L" said she was hoping for Daniel Akaka, then the bumper sticker would be "Obamakaka"! What clever folks at No Quarter!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

"We WIll Not Be Silenced"

I have just watched a very disturbing video. It is a preview, actually, of a documentary coming out about caucus fraud. I am practically speechless. I knew it was bad, thanks to the work of people like Dr. Lynette Long and Peniel Cronin, but to hear and see these people, to listen to their stories, is mind-blowing. There is no doubt that this election was stolen, since Obama's primary source of delegates was from caucus states (and VERY interesting information on Gary, Indiana, too. As many of us suspected, a city and mayor known for voting irregularities did not fail this time, either. There was a reason why they did not report until very late, and it had NOTHING to do with absentee ballots.). It is downright shocking that this is going on in the United States of America, and by the DEMOCRATIC PARTY.

Here is the link to the organization. The documentary preview is about 30 minutes long, but it is riveting. Tell everyone you know about this. We cannot allow this to happen in our country. We cannot.

We Will Not Be Silenced, click on the Preview button on the upper right hand side.

"The Hidden Campaign"

Today, there was a piece in the Washington Post on electronic voting machines, The Hidden Campaign:Ohio Voting Machines Contained Programming Error That Dropped Votes. It was not positive, I'll tell ya. Turns out there WAS something hinky going on with those Diebold machines. Oh, and they don't go by that name anymore, just so you know. Huh uh. They switched to "Premier Election Solutions." Hahahahaha!! Premier!! HAHAHA!! Oh, they do have a sense of humor, don't they? Well, true, they did not say at WHAT they were "Premier" - turns out it is vote manipulation! Woohoo! In THIRTY FOUR STATES!! (Depending upon how many states you think we have - 50? 58? 48?- the latter is the most recent number from Obama - it varies the percentages, so work it out for yourself.)

Just what is the "error"?
A voting system used in 34 states contains a critical programming error that can cause votes to be dropped while being electronically transferred from memory cards to a central tallying point, the manufacturer acknowledges.

It gets better, though:
The problem was identified after complaints from Ohio elections officials following the March primary there, but the logic error that is the root of the problem has been part of the software for 10 years, said Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold.

The flawed software is on both touch screen and optical scan voting machines made by Premier and the problem with vote counts is most likely to affect larger jurisdictions that feed many memory cards to a central counting database rapidly.

Whee!!! Ten years of potentially screwed up vote counts! Wowie zowie! That instills SO much confidence in our elections, doesn't it? Oh, you can just SEE the ad for the GOTV campaign, can't you - "Register to vote! It's your right as a citizen of the United States! Aren't we so lucky??? There is no guarantee whatsoever that your actual vote will be COUNTED, but don't let that dissuade you from tromping down to wherever the hell your polling place is, come rain or shine, or snow, and cast that vote! Isn't it great to be an AMERICAN?!?!" Oh, and make sure there are all these hip looking young people in it who don't have to worry with transportation, or ability issues, with their iPods on, swinging into their funky polling places to get out their vote. It will be sunny, of course, and some great artist will be playing in the background. The ad can be provided by Premier Election Solutions, too, just for giggles.

Ahem. Oh, but get this from their spokesman:
Riggall said he was "confident" that elections officials through the years would have realized votes had been dropped when they crosschecked their tallies to certify final elections results and would have reloaded cards so as not to lose votes. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has said no Ohio votes were lost because the nine Ohio counties that found the problem caught it before primary results were finalized.

Boy, talk about passing the buck!
As recently as May, Premier said the problem was not of its making but stemmed from anti-virus software that Ohio had installed on its machines. It also briefly said the mistakes could have come from human mistakes. Further testing by Ohio elections officials and then high volume tests by Premier uncovered the programming error.

"We are indeed distressed that our previous analysis of this issue was in error," Premier President Dave Byrd wrote Tuesday in a letter that was hand-delivered to Brunner. Premier and Brunner are in an ongoing court battle over the voting machines and whether Premier violated its contract with the state and warranties. Half of the Ohio's 88 counties use the GEMS system. Brunner has been a vocal critic of electronic voting machines.

Both Brunner and Premier said that remedies to the problem will be in place for the November presidential election. A nationwide customer alert with recommended actions was issued Tuesday by Premier. Approximately 1,750 jurisdictions use the flawed system, Riggall said. Both Maryland and Virginia use it, he said, although Virginia does not relay its votes to a central counting point, which is where the problem surfaces, Riggall said. Maryland does use a central count, he said. The District of Columbia does not use the GEMS system.

Well, sure it will! And why in the world would we have reason to doubt them? Because they claimed it wasn't their fault in the FIRST PLACE? Nah - that couldn't be it. I am CERTAIN everything will be A-Okay by November. Cough, choke.

Here's the thing:
The problem is most likely to affect larger jurisdictions that upload multiple memory cards during counts, Riggall said. The GEMS system is supposed to save information from one card at a time to be counted in order as the cards are read by a database that Riggall described as the "mother ship." But a logic error in the program can cause incoming votes to essentially shove aside other votes that are waiting in the electronic line before they are counted. The mistake occurs in milliseconds, Premier's customer notice says.

The mistake is not immediately apparent, Riggall said, and would have to be caught when elections officials went to match how many memory cards they fed into a central database against how many show as being read by that database. Each card carries a unique marker.

Officials in Butler County, Ohio -- north of Cincinnati -- were the first to raise the issue when 150 votes from a card dropped in March. Brunner's office originally said that 11 counties had the same problem but has since revised that to nine. Her office was not able to say how many dropped votes were discovered in those jurisdictions.

Hmmm. Well, I reckon if they cannot tell how many votes were dropped, chances are probably GOOD that they don't know for WHOM those votes were CAST!!! Funny thing about voting. The THEORY is that it helps us to ELECT our public servants. At least that's how it USED to work. Not so much any more, apparently. It sure answers a lot of questions for me about the past few elections, though.

But wait - it gets better:
"I can't provide odds on whether dropped votes were not recognized" during the decade GEMS has been used, Rigall said, "but based on what we know about how our customers run their elections and reconcile counts we believe any results not uploaded on election night would have been caught when elections were being certified."

In his letter to Ohio's Brunner, Premier's president said, "Voters in jurisdictions Premier serves, both in Ohio and throughout the country, can be assured that election officials employing standard canvass and crosscheck procedures will count their votes completely and accurately."

Gee - don't YOU feel reassured?? I know I do...NOT. These people really do think we are freakin' morons, don't they?? Apparently, our concerns about the sanctity of our vote were well placed. With this kind of information coming out now, in between a close Primary season and a presidential election, it raises all kinds of questions in MY mind. I must be some kind of conspiracy nut or something to think this might just have been an issue in this close race. Oh, no - surely not, not when things like the CAUCUSES ran so smoothly...I am sure it was just fine...

And just one more issue:
Unlike other software, the problem acknowledged by Premier cannot be fixed by sending out a coding fix to its customers because of federal rules for certifying election systems, Rigall said. Changes to systems must go through the Election Assistance Commission, he said, and take two years on average for certification and approval -- and that is apart from whatever approvals and reviews would be needed by each elections board throughout the country.

Brunner said she appreciated "the forthrightness" of Byrd in his letter to her and commended Butler County officials "who went above and beyond the call of duty" to pursue the problem.

"FORTHRIGHTNESS"??? Are you KIDDING me??? "Beyond the call of duty?" Seriously?? Oh, wow. Maybe I have been too narrow in my thinking about our elections. I thought they were supposed to be FAIR, that every vote was supposed to be RECORDED, and that the number of VOTES determined the WINNER. Silly me. I can be so black and white in my thinking sometimes...

Well, there seems to be one little piece of "good news" in this whole matter, if you live in Maryland, that is:
"As far as I know, we have not seen that problem," with dropped votes, said Ross Goldstein, deputy administrator for Maryland's State Board of Elections. Maryland counties do upload results to a central system -- which is what generates county vote totals on election night -- but state procedures call for counties to reload every memory card the day after the election to doublecheck results, Goldstein said.

The safeguards that Premier calls for its in customer alert, he said, already are in place in Maryland.

Is now when I mention that Kenneth Blackwell, the former Secretary of State in Ohio, the one who PUSHED for these machines against the requests of REPUBLICANS in Ohio, "accidentally" invested in Diebold? Uh, yeah. Pure accident. How could he POSSIBLY have known. Not like he had any kind of information about ELECTIONS and VOTING MACHINES. Ahem.

So, as we go forward into another presidential election season, with 34 of our states using these machines, which we have been ASSURED will be fixed by then - presuming they get through the respective certifications required, we can rest easy that our votes are going to count this time. No, really! They said! So, make sure you get out there and vote - it might actually count - this time.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"In Loving Memory" of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones

I received two emails today on Rep. Jones. One was from Hillary Clinton. Her's was entitled, "In Loving Memory":

Dear Amy,

Yesterday, we lost a colleague, a friend, an inspiration, and a champion for all of us. I am deeply saddened by the death of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. She was my friend and my sister. She made me laugh, smile and fired up my spirit when I needed it most.

She had a light that shone for the world to see within her and a fighting spirit safely stowed behind her disarming smile. Stephanie had so much integrity and a fiery intelligence that enabled her to become a one-woman force for progress in our country.

Stephanie was a tireless worker, giving a voice to the voiceless and always combating injustice. Stephanie spent much of her life fighting for all Americans and to ensure that everyone had the most precious right - the right to vote.

All of us who were lucky enough to know her and love her can only strive to be as much like her as we can -- to be as passionate, as loyal, as hard-charging, and as joyful every single day.

Stephanie was one of a kind, and we will miss our friend forever.

My family's deepest condolences are with Stephanie's son, Mervyn, her family, and her many loved ones, friends, supporters, and her beloved Ohioans. It is during this tough time that we look back and remember all the memories and blessings that Stephanie brought into our lives. If you have a thought, a story, a prayer, or condolences you would like to share, you can visit our website today so we can rejoice together in the friendship and love that we have for Stephanie. All the notes and memories we gather will be sent to her family on behalf of our extended family.

Send in your thoughts and memories about Stephanie.

Thank you,


Another was from PFLAG:

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
Mourns the Loss of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones

Washington, DC – Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) issued the following statement following news of the passing of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH):

“The entire PFLAG family mourns the loss of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, one of our nation’s true champions of equality. From employment non-discrimination to the military to equality for bi-national couples, Congresswoman Jones was an ardent advocate for the dignity of every American. She never shirked from any civil rights battle, and never failed to stand up and give voice to those who often felt voiceless. Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Jones’ family. Congress, and our country, have lost one of the biggest hearts of the heartland.”

Congresswoman Jones was a co-sponsor of fully inclusive legislation to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from workplace discrimination, as well as of Congressional bills to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law, expand the federal hate crimes statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and to treat same-sex couples equally under American immigration laws. First elected to Congress in 1998, Tubbs Jones was the first African-American woman to represent the state of Ohio. She passed away on Wednesday after suffering brain hemorrhaging caused by an aneurysm.

PFLAG supporters are invited to leave their own thoughts about Congresswoman Jones, her legacy and her dedication to the community, on our blog. To join the conversation, click here.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, 1949 - 2008

GeekLove and Guilda have made a loving testimony to the life of Stephanie Tubbs Jones:

And GeekLove reminded us of one of the all-time best videos of Stephanie Tubbs Jones on "Hardball with Chris Matthews":

She will be missed. My heart goes out to her family, and to her friends, especially the Clintons, who shared a special bond with Rep. Tubbs Jones...

Andyar and Muqimyar

I am addicted to the Olympics. I LOVE sports, and am so happy when the Olympics come along. Sleep deprived, but happy. Anyway, Oxygen is one of NBC's channels (who knew?), and has had different events in the evenings, like almost ALL of the Equestrian events, and synchronized swimming (hey, it's HARD - it takes them over TWO YEARS just to learn how to do the whole hand-under-the-water-keeping-them-moving thing. And they practice for 8 - 10 hours a DAY. PLUS, they have to smile the whole damn time! C'mon already!). On August 19, Julie Foudy, only one of the most awesome women of all time - and a HIGHLY successful soccer player who also fought HARD against the Republicans attempts to dismiss Title IX, had an intense "human interest" story. It was about a young Afghan woman named Mehmoba Ahdyar. She is a runner, and the only woman on the Afghanistan Olympics team (she is a runner). What was particularly intense were the reports of what she has to go through to train, particularly the threats and the taunts. Take a look at the video (I have to say, it was informative to me to hear what they think of Karzai).

But then there was a twist a month before the Olympics. She disappeared. No one had a clue where she was. They had to pull in another athlete, Robina Muqimyar, also a track runner, to replace her. Muqimyar had retired from running, so this came as quite a surprise to her. She came in last.

But what became of Andyar? Well, the video below reveals it all. There is a bit of duplication between the two, but not much, so bear with it:

So now we know. She defected. Why? Because to be a young woman in Afghanistan now, one with dreams and hopes that other young women around the world are encouraged to pursue, means threats against her, and her family. It means the police showing up at the door. It means her family being taken to jail because she is accused of being a "prostitute."

What a mess. What a mess to which we have contributed, and which we have neglected. If only our Congress had some kind of oversight committee for Afghanistan and NATO to help it push forward, and to help push back the Taliban, to...What? What did you say? That Congress DOES have that kind of committee? Well, what the hell has it done lately? Nothing? NOTHING?? Why not? Why would a committee that had oversight over a country in which we are at WAR not done anything? Because the chairman has been busy running for president?? You have got to be kidding me!! Not ONE meeting? Huh.

Now, I gotta tell you, that if HILLARY had been chair of that committee, they would have met a gazillion times by now. She would know who BOTH of these women athletes were, and would have helped them get the training they needed, the PROTECTION they needed. She would have gotten more of our soldiers there to do the job they were sent to do. And she would have gotten some schools built. Oh, you know she would have.

And so, here is one last video for you. It is Hillary Clinton talking about her trip to Iraq and Afghanistan (side note - pay attention to where she said she went when she was over there. Oh, you'll know - trust me!). And just imagine that THIS person is the one who becomes president, not the one who cannot be bothered to chair one single damn committee meeting on European and NATO Affairs, to provide absolutely NO oversight to a country in which we have our TROOPS.

Here's Hillary Clinton, the one who will actually HELP women like Andyar and Muqimyar, and who was prescient about Afghanistan:

And once again, SuperDs, I remind you - there is still time. Just because Obama was selected the Presumptuous Nominee does not mean you have to go along with it. Stand up for democracy, stand up for what is right, stand UP for the person who can actually WIN the White House, and who is dedicated to the country's citizens. You know that is Hillary Clinton, not Mr. "That's above my pay grade and I will ask my wife and grandmother what I should do when I am faced with a difficult decision" Obama. This is no time to worry about pride. This is the time to worry about the COUNTRY. We have serious problems - Iraq; Pakistan, even more now since Musharraf stepped down; Georgia and Russia...This is the time for serious leadership, and that is NOT Obama. It IS Hillary Clinton. She is the one the people want to take care of these situations, and bring our country forward. SHE is the One for whom we have been waiting. Do your jobs - vote your CONSCIENCE, not your bank balance. Stand up. Stand UP.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Sadly, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones has passed away. My deepest condolences to her family.

This just in at

Report: Rep. Tubbs Jones On Life Support
Congresswoman From Cleveland Hospitalized After Suffering Aneurysm

(CBS) This story was written by CBS News reporter Ryan Corsaro.

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, D-Ohio, is reported to have suffered an aneurysm and is not expected to recover, according to CBS affiliate WOIO in Cleveland.

WOIO also reported that the congresswoman is on life support at this time.

The station reported today that she was transported overnight to Huron Hospital in Cleveland after police found her in her car last evening.

The congresswoman's office said in statement that she suffered the aneurysm while driving her car in Cleveland Heights, Ohio last night and that she "has stabilized and she is receiving the best care available."

The congresswoman's office would not confirm that she is on life support.

Tubbs Jones was first elected in 1998, becoming the first black woman to represent Ohio in Congress. She represents Ohio's 11th district.

She was set to be a superdelegate at next week's Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Tubbs Jones was one of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's biggest boosters during the primaries, then threw her support to Sen. Barack Obama in June.

Oh, no. This is terrible. Rep. Tubbs Jones is not just a tireless supporter of Hillary Clinton's, she is a tireless public servant. My thoughts and prayers go out to her friends and family...

"Last Chance, SuperDelegates!"

GeekLove has done it again. This video is very telling, especially so close to the Convention, AND because the RNC has not yet begun to fight. With McCain's massive war chest, andthe RNC waiting to make SURE Obama is the candidate, we are going to see a whole new campaign come September. That is, if the DNC does not come to its senses already!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Seems Like Business As Usual...

For Obama, that is. Larry Johnson has a great piece at No Quarter entitled, "The Obama Messiah Is A Whiner. The title gives it away a bit - it is about Obama's new claim that McCain "cheated" during the Saddleback Church Forum on Saturday night on 8/16/08. Yes, he is claiming McCain cheated, and THAT is why Obama bombed in comparison. It has nothing whatsoever to do with his prevaricating on every single question asked of him, even going so far as to make shit - uh, I mean, stuff up (the guy was NOT in the Senate when the Resolution which led to Bush declaring war came to a vote no matter HOW he wants to spin that one as a "gut wrenching decision. Uh, yeah, Obama - just keep telling yourself you have been in the US Senate longer than you have, sure, go on ahead, that is just peachy keen. No, really - go right ahead. No one will notice that you were not really there for that vote. Yikes. Scary.). Oh, wait - not every single question - there was at least one when you showed your truly narcissistic, superficial side. Wanna guess which one? That's right - about his moral failure was in drinking and doing drugs as a teenager (a TEENAGER - nothing since then!!! Wow, he really IS Obush!!), a direct result of his mother being a poor sharecropper who didn't have a row to hoe----oh, wait - that's not the right meme. No, his mother was a poor, single mother with no resources whatsoever who reared him all by her lonesome living hand to mouth his entire life until he somehow, someway, through his own sheer grit and determination, got into an Ivy League University. The rest, as they say, is history. Hey, wait - he prevaricated there, TOO!! A twofer! Woohoo! In this case, I think it is safe to call that a fairy tale. But never mind - all politicians embellish just a little right? RIGHT? That's all it was, not flat-out lying!!! Oh, sure. Ahem.

Let us put to rest the Obama (false) charge that McCain cheated, and heard Obama's "conversation" with Rev. Rick Warren. Warren HIMSELF said McCain was sequestered away, and could not hear anything. Freakin' enough on that crapola, Andrea (Mitchell, NBC shill for Obama - see link at "cheated" above). Unless Obama has a teleprompter in front of him with a speech written by his 20-something white speechwriter (I am not kidding - CHECK it out for yourself), he does not know WHAT he thinks or for what he stands. Whatever YOU are for, so is he, until the next person comes along and supports the exact opposite. And that is McCain's fault HOW, exactly?? Because he actually DOES know what he thinks and for what he stands (and no, this is NOT an endorsement of McCain - just making a point here)? Yeah, what a JERK!!! No WONDER Obama did so poorly! Harrumph!!

Never mind that in this Forum, ONCE AGAIN, Obama was throwing people under the bus (fleet) left and right. How about the issue of when a fetus is viable? Obama passed on that one in a heartbeat, with his "that's above my pay grade" comment. Because there is no WAY he could have anticipated THAT question coming from a minister. In his church. In a "forum" designed to question the candidates. Heckfire, who could have seen THAT question coming???? NARAL? Planned Parenthood?? Got anything to say NOW???

Or how about throwing gay marriage under the bus - again. I mean, really - in a state that sanctions gay marriage, on the same evening that two of America's most famous lesbians are getting married, he denigrates it, but magnanimously suggests he would be willing to extend civil rights to us. Why thank ya so MUCH, Senator Obama, but they are not YOURS to CONFER (read a whole bunch of expletives right about there).

Oh, but wait - Obama does have SOMEONE who thinks that he did a SWELL job at this event on Sat. night. Yes, Sally Quinn of the Washington Post, in her piece, "Worlds Apart," essentially claimed that while she wants to live in McCain's world, that she thought Obama did a good job. And it wasn't a debate, dammit! She actually said, "There was not a winner or a loser." Um, yeah, Sally, there really was. And it was McCain. The one who reminded you of your father in your recurring dream of him flying in with a winged horse's body to save you from an earthquake (I am NOT making this up, people - I swear, she really SAID this! Click on the link - you'll see!!!!). He was the winner because he was able to talk coherently, succinctly, and knowledgeably. Obama? Not so much. And so what did he do? Attacked McCain as soon as it was over. Gee - who could have seen THAT coming??

Well I can tell you someone who could have seen all of this coming, the attack on McCain as soon as the cameras were off of their big hug. Oh, yes - the person who has seen him for who he is - the sorest loser on the face of the planet. Hell, I have seen athletes in the Olympics who have trained for years and years and YEARS handle defeat with a TON more grace than Obama can even imagine. Yes, that would be Hilary Clinton. Here she is speaking to her supporters after a debate in which she, once again, schooled Obama:

Yes, no doubt she could have warned McCain, as this article shows, Clinton: Obama Going Negative After Bad Debate:
Her explanation for Obama’s recent negativity? A poor performance in last week’s debate. “It’s no wonder that my opponent has been so negative these last few days of the campaign. Because I think you saw a big difference between us,” she said. “It’s really a choice of leadership: I’m offering leadership you can count on. You know where I stand.”

Well, there is no doubt about that. She said what she meant, and meant what she said:
“While my opponent says one thing and his campaign does another, you can count on me to tell you where I stand, and you can count on me to tell you very specifically the solutions that I offer for America,” she said.

While the final quote has to do with a Clinton ad that was about to come out, I think the content sums up the issues surrounding Obama PERFECTLY:
At the same time, the Clinton campaign announced a brand new :30 second ad in PA making the same argument. “He couldn’t answer tough questions in the debate. So Barack Obama is making false charges against Hillary’s health care plan,” says the narrator. “There are more and more questions about Barack Obama. Instead of attacking, maybe he should answer them.

(Italics mine.) Amen. Couldn't have said it better myself. Yes, maybe he SHOULD answer the questions about him (passport? birth certificate??? Citizenship????), and actually tell the TRUTH for once. Now THAT would be a Change (not sure I could believe it though, but hey - I'm willing to give it a shot!). Frankly, we deserve nothing less!

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Constitutional Mandates"

I have written a few times about my Representative, Jim Clyburn. You know, the one who stabbed the Clintons in the back repeatedly? The one who encouraged the race-baiting around Bill Clinton saying that for Obama to claim that he has done anything different on Iraq from Senator Clinton was a "fairy tale"? Here's a reminder for you:

(Geez, I miss the Big Dawg. What an eloquent, passionate, brilliant man he is!)

And then, there was Representative Clyburn who claimed to be "neutral" - you know, the same type of "neutral" that Donna Brazile was. Anyway, this is what Clyburn said about Bil Clinton:

Nice, huh? Never mind that President Clinton has worked TIRELESSLY for the African American community, and has stood with them for years. Nice payback, ESPECIALLY when Clinton did not DO what Clyburn accused him of doing. Yep, real nice, Jim.

Anywho - besides Clyburn clearly being in the tank for Obama, which he finally admitted in June, he is also known in the state of SC for his propensity toward earmarks. This is a subject on which I have written before ("Such Associates..."). Well, just hold onto your seats while you watch the following statement by Representative Clyburn at a forum in March of this year. It will blow you away!

See?? It's a "Constitutional Mandate" for congresspeople to build pork into the budget for their family and friends! What's the big to-do about, anyway?? Now, I hasten to add, I do not share the videographer's political statements, and I am no fan of Senator DeMint, but he DID make a good point in this clip. And that point would be that Clyburn has a, um, well, let's just say, UNIQUE understanding of the Constitution! Hey! Maybe THAT'S one of the reasons he supports Obama! They both seem to have a document with which I am not familiar to which they refer as "The Constitution!" Maybe they made their own. Ahem. So, yes - who the heck knew this was a "Constitutional MANDATE?"

I suppose that explains the following excerpts from article about Clyburn (highlights in bold are mine), Clyburn Quits Museum Board:
Hopes To Sidestep Conflict of Interest:
Clyburn, who tucked an $800,000 earmark for the museum into the federal budget approved late last year, said he decided to resign from the board after learning Friday that his nephew, Derrick Ballard, works for one of the two architectural firms recently hired to design the $70-$80 million museum.

This is by no means the first time issues have arisen regarding Clyburn's propensity for earmarks:
In 2006, Clyburn was scrutinized by The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News for setting aside federal money for the Five Rivers community development organization, which hired the same nephew to design a building and reportedly paid the firm nearly $70,000 for initial work, though the building was never completed.

Five Rivers also employed Clyburn's brother, Charles Clyburn.

Clyburn said the federal money he earmarked for Five Rivers was never appropriated, and he didn't know of his relatives' involvement with the organization, but he said that's just the sort of appearance of impropriety he's trying to avoid with the International African American Museum.

"There was no substance to it, but a lot of headlines," he said.

Ballard works for Antoine Predock of Albuquerque, N.M., a nationally recognized architectural firm that teamed up with Moody Nolan of Columbus, Ohio, the nation's largest black-owned architectural firm, to win the contract to design the International African American Museum. He could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

Rita Scott, vice chairwoman of the museum's board, said board members were unaware the Predock firm employed a relative of Clyburn's when the firm was selected.

Really? They had NO idea that the nephew of an incredibly POWERFUL Congerssional Representative from THIS DISTRICT worked for this particular architectural firm?? Well, of course not! The vice chairwoman continued:
"None of us knew," Scott said. "It was a firm that we unanimously felt was the right firm."


Not that the architectural firm is not a good one, it is:
Predock won the American Institute of Architects' national gold medal in 2006, and Moody Nolan principal Curt Moody won the AIA Ohio gold medal in 2007.

The museum's architect selection committee, which includes Charleston Mayor Joe Riley, unanimously picked the Moody/Predock team in February after interviewing three other finalists.

It is just a tad unbelievable that NO ONE KNEW, especially after the Five Rivers situation. It never occurred to ANYONE to consider that maybe, just maybe, the same nephew from the Five Rivers project, an ARCHITECT, might just have something to do with this other MAJOR project that received a huge earmark? Seriously?? I mean, I know we're here in South Cackalacki with its really, really low academic rating (I'm kinda joking, but sadly too serious abt how far down SC is in terms of education in the country), but still - you would think SOMEONE would have thought to ask the question! Just sayin' and all - you'd think the question would come up.

But, no. The question didn't come up. And now we know that Rep. Clyburn, one of Obama's big cheerleaders, and the HOUSE WHIP, no less, thinks it is his CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE to push pork into the Federal Budget for his district. Wow. You know, come to think of it, maybe it should never have been a surprise that Clyburn would back Obama, and try to tear down both Bill and Hillary along the way. The more I learn about him and how he operates, he seems like the perfect Obama supporter, don't you think?