The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right
Monday 10 January 2011
by: William Rivers Pitt, t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed
To: Palin-lovers, Fox “News,” the “mainstream” media, and the Far Right, et al.
From: William Rivers Pitt
Date: Monday 10 January 2011
Re: The blood on your hands
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords isn’t much older than I am. She served in the Arizona State House of Representatives, and the Arizona State Senate, before being elected to three successive terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She once described herself as a “former Republican,” and is today considered a “Blue Dog” Democrat, meaning she holds a number of conservative political positions. This is not terribly surprising, given the generally conservative political bent of the state she has served for the last ten years. She was married four years ago to a space shuttle commander who had served as a Naval aviator, and who flew 39 combat missions in Desert Storm, before volunteering for astronaut training.
Last Wednesday, she was sworn in to her third term as the Representative for Arizona’s 8th congressional district. One of her first acts in the newly-minted 112th Congress was to read aloud from the House floor, in response to the Republican Party’s recitation of the Constitution, the following lines: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
She returned to Arizona not long after to assist in the implementation of that most vital of Constitutional principles, calling together a meeting of her constituents in a peaceable assembly so the citizens she represents could petition the government for a redress of grievances. Among the gathered crowd were a number of her staffers, a judge, and a nine-year-old girl named Christina-Taylor Green who was born on September 11, 2001.
And then all Hell broke loose.
A man named Jared Lee Loughner waded into the group and fired a bullet into Rep. Giffords’ skull at point-blank range, before turning his weapon on others in the crowd. Christina-Taylor Greene, who would have celebrated her tenth birthday on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, was shot in the chest and killed. The woman who brought her to the event was also shot. Gabriel Zimmerman, who served as Rep. Giffords’ director of community outreach, was also killed. He was 30 years old, and was recently engaged to be married. U.S. District Judge John Roll, who had served on the bench for twenty years, was also killed. Dorwin Stoddard, a church volunteer, died after putting his body between his wife and the hail of bullets. His wife was also shot. Two of Rep. Giffords’ constituents, Dorothy Morris and Phyllis Scheck, were also killed. All in all, 31 shots were fired before several brave souls tackled Loughner, disarmed him, and wrestled him to the ground.
At the time of this writing, Rep. Giffords is lying in a hospital bed in critical condition. The God you Bible-spewing frauds love to flog the rest of us with must have been in that supermarket crowd with her on Saturday, with His hand on her shoulder, because it is nothing short of a full-fledged miracle she survived at all. Doctors are actually cautiously optimistic that she will survive, though the degree to which she will ultimately recover is still sorely in doubt. She can respond to simple commands, according to her doctors, and is marginally able to communicate. If she survives her wound, it is wretchedly certain her life will never, ever be the same.
I just thought you should know a few things about the people you helped into their graves and hospital beds this weekend.
You false patriots who bring assault rifles to political rallies, you hack politicians and media personalities who lied through your stinking teeth about “death panels” and “Obama is coming for your guns” and “He isn’t a citizen” and “He’s a secret Muslim” and “Sharia Law is coming to America,” you who spread this bastard gospel and you who swallowed it whole, I am talking to you, because this was your doing just as surely as it was the doing of the deranged damned soul who pulled the trigger. The poison you injected into our culture is deeply culpable for this carnage.
You who worship Jesus at the top of your lungs (in defiance of Christ’s own teachings on the matter of worship, by the way) helped put several churchgoers into their graves and into the hospital. You who shriek about the sanctity of marriage helped cut down a man who was about to be married. You who crow with ceaseless abandon about military service and the nobility of our fighting forces helped to critically wound the wife of a Naval aviator who fought for you in a war. You who hold September 11 as your sword and shield helped put a little girl born on that day into the ground.
You helped. Yes, damn you, you helped.
The “mainstream” media is already working overtime playing up the “Disturbed loner” angle with all their might. There is no doubt, from the available evidence, of Mr. Loughner’s transformation into a disturbed individual. But here’s the funny part: all the crazy crap he spewed, about the gold standard (a favorite of Glenn Beck, the master of Fox “News” fearmongering…so he can sell his gold scam to suckers) and government mind control and everything else before going on his rampage, is straight out of the Right-Wing Insanity Handbook. His personal YouTube ramblings were a mishmash of right-wing anti-government nonsense…the kind that attracts sick minds like Loughner, the kind that only reinforces their paranoia, the kind that finally pushes them over the brink and into the frenzy of violence that took place on Saturday. The kind that the likes of you have been happily spreading by the day.
He did not act alone. You were right there with him. You helped.
I’m talking to you, “mainstream” media people, who created this atmosphere of desperate rage and total paranoia out of whole cloth because of your unstoppable adoration for spectacle, and ratings, and because the companies that own your sorry asses agree with the deranged cretins you helped make so famous and powerful. It was sickeningly amusing on Sunday to watch Wolf Blitzer bluster and bluff on CNN about how the media owns no responsibility for this disaster. It was like watching a ten-year-old try to explain how a lamp got broken while he was running through the living room, but no, it wasn’t him. It was, in reality, a pathetic display…but that is what you generally get whenever Wolf is on your screen.
“Mainstream” news personalities like David Gergen and John King bent over backwards warning people not to blame Sarah Palin and her ilk for this calamity. It was a sick man who did this, they said. Bollocks to that. I hate to break this to the “mainstream” media know-betters, but words matter. When people like Palin spray the airwaves with calls to violence and incantations of imminent doom, people like Loughner are listening, and prepared to act. The “mainstream” media lets it fly without any questions or rebuttal, because it’s good for ratings, and here we are. Words matter. Play Russian Roulette long enough, and someone inevitably winds up dead.
Remember the run-up to the Iraq invasion, and the subsequent occupation? “WMD everywhere, al Qaeda connections to 9/11, plastic sheeting and duct tape because we’re all gonna die!” was the central theme of the majority of your broadcast schedule for years…until it was all proven to be a lie. You helped the liars, you were the liars, but you knew that. You also got your spectacle, and the corporations that own you got paid a king’s ransom, so everyone was happy, except the dead.
Help fight ignorance. Click here for free Truthout email updates.
Tell me this is any different, I dare you. For the spectacle, the ratings and the pleasure of your owners, you ran names like “Sarah Palin” across the sky in lights, even after she should have faded into well-deserved obscurity, and helped this blister of right-wing rage fester until it finally burst. This was your show, and in perhaps the most wretched irony of all, I would bet all my worldly possessions that your ratings are through the roof right now. You got what you wanted. I hope you are pleased.
And yes, I’m talking to you, Sarah Palin, you unutterably disgusting fraud. You pulled it off your ridiculous website, but it’s out there: you put cross-hairs – literally, cross-hairs – on Rep. Giffords, you blithered about “reloading” instead of “retreating,” and you made this country more stupid and violent with every breath you took. Well, congratulations, you failure, you quitter, you inciter of mobs. You put the cross-hairs on her, and someone finally pulled the trigger. Run from it all you like, Lady MacBeth, but this blood will never be washed from your hands.
I’m talking to you, Sharron Angle, you walking punch-line, who talked about “Second Amendment remedies” being necessary if you didn’t get your way on health care reform during your failed Senate campaign.
I’m talking to you, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, and Bill O’Reilly, and Michael Savage, and Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham, and to every other right-wing tripe-spewing blowhard blogger and Fox News broadcaster. I hope you are proud of yourselves, because this is the day you get to reap what you have been relentlessly sowing since you were forced to encompass the unmitigated outrage of a Black man winning the office of President of the United States.
That’s right, I said it. Anyone who thinks good old-fashioned American bigotry and racism are not the core motivation for a vast majority of these so-called “revolutionaries” should get their heads examined. You’ve heard of the “elephant in the middle of the room?” Well, this is the burning cross in the middle of the room, and no amount of spin will douse those flames.
I’m talking to you, Koch Brothers. Your money to create and spread this disease was well-spent; you now have one less Democrat in the House to worry about, at least for the foreseeable future. Congratulations, you un-American sacks of filth.
And I’m talking to each and every one of you who listened to these traitors and believed the nonsense they spewed at you for no other reason than to pick your pockets for campaign/organization contributions. I’m talking to you who wore your silly fatigues and carried your badly-spelled fact-deprived signs to protests with pistols on your hips and rifles on your shoulders. You who threw bricks through the windows of politicians you disagreed with. You who shot out the windows of Rep. Giffords’ office not even a year ago.
You worked very hard to create exactly this atmosphere in America, and now it has come to be. We have entered the age of the Wrath of Fools, and we now must again exist in an America where the word “assassination” has become all too relevant.
You helped this happen. You.
You know it. I know it. Have the guts to admit it, even if only to yourselves.
I know many Republicans and conservatives, and consider them to be dear friends. The single most influential person in my life (aside from my mother) was a rock-ribbed conservative Republican, and there is no person I respected more than him. I do not count these people, and those like them, among those whom I address here. They are as sickened and repulsed by you as I am.
This is not the end of the story, but is just the beginning. The good people of the United States of America, the true patriots, have finally seen you with your media-painted masks ripped off. They have seen what comes to pass when hate, venom, ignorance and violence goes unchecked and unanswered. You have been exposed, and the fact that it took such an unimaginably horrific act for that exposure to take place only increases the fierceness with which you will be answered. You will be repudiated, not with violence, but with the scorn and rejection you so richly deserve. Spin it as you will, scramble all you like. You are found out, and you have nowhere to hide.
Oh, P.S., if anyone reading this is operating under the delusion that the overheated right-wing rhetoric that went a long way towards almost getting Rep. Giffords killed, and had a strong hand in putting six people in the ground, is some sort of new Obama-era phenomenon, well…
“I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”
- Rush Limbaugh, Denver Post, 12-29-95
“Get rid of the guy. Impeach him, censure him, assassinate him.”
- Rep. James Hansen (R-UT), talking about President Clinton
“We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”
- Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX), Mother Jones, 08-95
“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”
- Ann Coulter, New York Observer, 08-26-02
“We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too. Otherwise, they will turn out to be outright traitors.”
- Ann Coulter, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, 02-26-02
“Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past – I’m not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble – recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin’s penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an ‘enemy of the people.’ The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, ‘clan liability.’ In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished ‘to the ninth degree’: that is, everyone in the offender’s own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed.”
- John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01
“Two things made this country great: White men & Christianity. The degree these two have diminished is in direct proportion to the corruption and fall of the nation. Every problem that has arisen (sic) can be directly traced back to our departure from God’s Law and the disenfranchisement of White men.”
- State Rep. Don Davis (R-NC), emailed to every member of the North Carolina House and Senate, reported by the Fayetteville Observer, 08-22-01
I could go on, and on, and on, and on, but you get the gist.
Most Disrespectfully Yours,
William Rivers Pitt
…and thus I will say what has been brewing in the back of my head for months. The vitriol against President Obama shows that this country was not ready for a black president. Yeah, I said it. The fact that these whackjobs are coming out of the woodwork with no fear of reprimand for threatening the President, or in th…is case hoping for his assassination shows this to be true. Had a white democrat won, I really doubt we’d be seeing such an ugly side of the US’s denizens.
What this idiot apparently didn’t know is that:
Forell may think he’s protected by the First Amendment when it comes to his tweets, but the law begs to differ, specifically 18 USC Sec. 871:
Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Sam Gustin at DailyFinance is reporting that the Secret Service is now investigating Forell’s tweets, with Secret Service spokesperson Max Milien stating: “We are aware of the actual posting and are actively investigating.”
This saddens me, but does not surprise me in the least. People thought I was being overly dramatic when I talked of hoping that Obama survives his first term. Now, maybe with whackjobs like this advocating that the POTUS is killed off, people will listen to me.
“A Message from the Average Black Person”
Via the Huffington Post (Would love to hear what you guys think – Sorry about the cut IT WONT WORK. And if you enjoy this please DIGG it - http://is.gd/1ev4T – and feel free to pass the link along!)
For those folks offended by Dr. Lowry’s words… I can’t change that you are offended that is your right but there’s nothing I can do about it. Don’t come crying to me with your offense at it. If you are so bothered, then take it up him. I’m just giving you some context so you can think about just why you might be offended. I’d posted this in my livejournal but after comment flames I decided to not even try there any more.
For your rememberance, the quote is:
“[W]hen black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”
That is NOT, I repeat and repeat again, is NOT, based on race. Lowry was not talking about white folk, or Asian folk, or Native Folk, or Latino folk. It was NOT ABOUT RACE. That bit? Is based on a popular saying among black people in the 50s and 60s about colorism. It was popular when my mom was a kid, and it was a mean thing. Long story short? It was talking about black people’s variant skin tones and the preference of lighter tones over darker ones. It went as such:
“If you’re white, you’re alright. If you’re red, get ahead. If you’re yellow, you’re mellow. If you’re brown, stick around. If you’re black, get back.”
Basically? The darker you were as a black person, the more you sucked. It’s the kind of shit spawned by the pencil test and the paper bag test and all that other shit that people used to make light skinned black folk think they were better cause they were light. And Dr. Lowry? was playing on that. That’s what the laughter was about.
I think it makes yet another excellent argument against voting for McCain. Please read and think about it, not read and attack someone for a well thought out argument because it doesn’t mesh with your opinions.
Okay, here we are just three days away from the Presidential election. People of strong values on both sides are throwing a lot of mud around. I feel it’s only fair that I chime in with a few facts instead of propaganda. These will be counter points to McCain related points. I know some of you don’t agree with me, but I did the courtesy of reading your posts (more than once in some instances). Reciprocation is all I ask.
First off let me say that John McCain does have some admirable qualities, I will not deny him that. I like the fact that he has never accepted “pork barrel” money. And respect I his service to his country and his time as a POW.
Truth be told, I wish John McCain was the Republican nominee for the 2000 election. I believe that had he been the President during these past 8 years that we never would have initiated the Iraq war. We would have pulled Bin Laden kicking and screaming from his Afghanistan caves, and prosecuted him to the fullest extent of the law. We needed John’s leadership before 9/11, now it’s more complicated. Two wars and a financial disaster later, John McCain is no longer the answer.
The Iraq War was born out of the Bush Doctrine (something Sarah Palin wasn’t briefed on either before or after her nomination). The Bush Doctrine states that we have the right to engage forces where there is a perceived threat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bush_doctrine). That’s like me punching my neighbor in the face today because 4 days from now I “think” he’s going to let his dog crap on my lawn. Sounds pretty stupid when you think about it. We are not talking about more certain threats like North Korea or Iran who we know have nuclear weapons programs and whom would supply terrorists with those weapons. We are talking about a war based on the presumption of weapons of mass destruction. A war initiated with no real evidence to support itself. By going into Iraq we have destabilized the region to the point that it cannot fend off hostile forces. We have wasted trillions on this endeavor. And the greatest toll has been in lives. More Americans have now been killed in Iraq than were killed on 9/11. More than 100,000 Iraq’s have been killed, many are non-combatants. In the realm of politics those people are called “collateral damage.” Now imagine your country being invaded under false pretenses, and someone you love was killed by that invading force. Now imagine that loved one’s death being referred to as collateral damage. Upsetting isn’t it? This is the Bush Doctrine in practice, a doctrine that John McCain subscribes to. The republicans keep calling this national defense, but a more accurate term would be national offense. Frankly, attacking someone without provocation doesn’t seem that different from a terrorist act to me.
Let’s move onto domestic policy.
Tax cuts and “socialism”. The bailout, which went through last month, is effectively socialism. Our government took the problems of a handful of companies who made poor decisions and dumped those problems on the masses without giving them any say in the matter. Spreading a problem over a nation is no different than “spreading the wealth.” And what’s worse is that John McCain “postponed” his campaign to help spearhead this “socialist” bailout. Then the last person who could have stopped this act of socialism (George W. Bush) signed off on the deal. So it’s interesting that the republicans like to refer to Obama’s tax policies as “socialist,” when it would seem that socialism is a good thing if it serves their means. Do I also have to mention that Bush’s economic policies (which McCain agreed with) helped bring about these problems (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkAtUq0OJ68)?
Obama’s tax proposals amount to an additional 3% to those making more than $250,000. If your are making a quarter of a million dollars a year and can’t afford 3% more in taxes then you’ve got a real problem. If we were making $250,000 a year we could easily pay a 50% tax and still be netting 2.5 times our current gross. So it’s hard for me to be sympathetic to those who will have to pay 3% more. Frankly I’d like to think that someone making that kind of scratch isn’t spending every dime they earn. As for the rest of us, I really don’t care if I get a tax cut. Obama’s plan might be overreaching (in lieu of the 700 billion dollar bailout and the 10 Trillion dollar debt the Bush admin left us with). But he’s not going to have that realization till he gets into office, not unlike a certain other (read my lips) Bush. McCain’s tax plans are the polar opposite, he intends to reward already wealthy people. Both ideas could be called “socialist”. Where Obama would help the middle class and add 3% to the rich, McCain’s plan helps those who have money get more, and does nothing for middle class. While offering the (implied) assurance that rich Americans will use that money to build America. That’s a broad assumption, and a rather unfair one considering the wealthy tend to worry about themselves before anyone else. Poor people are notorious spenders, that’s why they’re poor. Cutting their taxes guarantees the money will go back into the economy.
No doubt McCain’s interests are protected in his plan. It warrants mention that his wife only paid 26.3% in federal taxes for 2007 (http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE49G7DM20081018 ). Which based upon the 2007 Federal Tax Rate Schedules (http://www.irs.gov/formspubs/article/0,,id=164272,00.html ) she effectively paid only 1.3% more in taxes than we did. Under the 2007 tax rate schedule she should have paid 35%. So it would seem the rich are already getting a pretty sweet deal. Maybe the McCain’s have to watch every penny. After all, they do own 7 houses, 13 cars, and a corporate jet. But isn’t it also interesting the number of wealthy people who are actually pro-Obama. Billionaire Warren Buffett, Oprah, and dozens of well off reporters from the “liberal” media come to mind, but also the torrent of celebrities who are appearing in the bi-partisan “don’t vote” videos ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhDRVKDcXQo , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TGf2o4qeBo ). It would seem there are some wealthy people who don’t mind that pesky 3%.
With regard to taxes someone said Obama is trying to oppress freedom through taxation and implied that such oppression is a slippery slope, that “religion, guns, and free speech” would be next. What’s wrong with this? First off, the Federal Income Tax was originally instituted to pay for war and on Aug. 5th 1861 it became part of the revenue act of 1861. Though eventually repealed after the Civil War, it was later reinstated in 1894 as part of the Wilson-Gorman tariff, making it the first peacetime income tax. Income tax has pretty much been a staple ever since. My point is that the original reason of the Income Tax was to pay for War, a cause fought for Freedom. Seems kind of hypocritical to imply that Obama’s taxation oppress freedom when the Republicans started wars based on the premise of protecting freedom. Given the national debt having doubled during the Bush administration it’s clear they entered into the wars without any clear and defined means of paying for it. Taxation is the cost of Freedom! As for Obama’s goals leading to the oppression of the of the 1st and 2nd amendments… The concept is beyond stupidity. Amendments have been amended and added to the U.S. Constitution since it’s inception, but the core values of those Amendments have remained in tact. No single man has the ability to make the changes that the republicans are implying. All three branches of government must approve such changes. In order for that to happen, a majority must vote in favor. Indicating that more than 50% of the house and Senate approved such a modification, and then the President. To think that one corrupt man (even the president) has the authority to destroy the foundations of our government is ignorant at best. The (unrealistic) Republican fear is that with a democratic Congress, and a democratic President the odds of this happening are overwhelming, it’s just not true. Keep in mind that the first 6 years of the Bush administration the republicans were the dominant force in congress, and not a single democrat panicked under the minute possibility that they would undermine values we’ve held for 200+ years. The idea of it gets stupider the more you think about it. Someone tries to pass a bill to restrict speech or religion, that’s someone who’s out of a job, regardless of party affiliation.
John McCain has been rather outspoken about a progressive income tax while forgetting that a personal hero of his, Teddy Roosevelt, was a strong proponent of such a tax.
“No man should receive a dollar unless that dollar has been fairly earned. Every dollar received should represent a dollar’s worth of service rendered, not gambling in stocks, but service rendered. The really big fortune, the swollen fortune, by the mere fact of its size, acquires qualities which differentiate it in kind as well as in degree from what is possessed by men of relatively small means. Therefore, I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective, a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion, and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate.” – Republican and former U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt.
One more thing about socialism, every year Alaskan residents are given a stipend ($3,269 in 2007) from the oil companies for nothing more than being in Alaska. Imagine that? A whole state, “spreading the wealth”. Does that make Sarah Palin a socialist? (http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2008/10/28/joe-biden-should-have-told-the-truth-sarah-palin-is-a-marxist/)
Let’s talk about healthcare.
This is another one of those things that apparently makes Obama a socialist. When Michael Moore made Bowling for Columbine he got a quote from some Canadian kids who were skipping school. He asked why they should have healthcare provided by the state. To which a pink haired girl replied, “because everyone has a right to live.” It’s so basic and elegant. And it’s so ironic that the same Christians who drown on and on about the Pro-Life movement really don’t give a damn about their common man who can’t afford medical care. Maybe we should refer to the uninsured as REALLY late term abortions, and then maybe these people can see the error in their judgment. After all didn’t Jesus say, “That you do unto the least of my brothers is that you do unto me”?
McCain wants to give individuals a $2500 tax credit and families a $5000 tax credit so they can go buy their own policy. It sounds nice, but what if you have a good Catholic family with 6 kids? 5K isn’t going to cut it in the majority of cases.
Both healthcare plans are going to run at a deficit, and this isn’t a problem with a black and white solution. Assuming that either of the candidates gets into office and does as promised (reign in government spending), then either plan could be paid for. And if we can withdrawal from Iraq we can more easily afford these plans. As a common sense strategy we should do this, our goal should be the preservation of life. Both war and a deficient healthcare system cause death. And dead people can’t pay taxes. Does that make sense?
Added note: John McCain has never NOT had socialized healthcare in his adult life. As a veteran John has received government-assisted healthcare, and as a U.S. Senator he continues that care paid for by the American Taxpayers.
Obama’s views on abortion are not a departure from the current standard. He has made NO comments indicating a desired change in the current Roe v. Wade inspired laws. Someone misquoted Obama as having said, “I don’t want to see someone who has made a mistake punished with a child.” (http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0308/Stop_these_abortions_.html) It’s intentionally selective quotes like that which the republicans use to paint Obama as a monster. This is his actual quote “Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old, I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby. I don’t want them punished with an STD at age 16, so it doesn’t make sense to not give them information. “. Obama was taken out of context while trying to address sexual education in lieu of Abstinence programs which have a high rate of failure (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/13/AR2007041301003.html) . His position that knowledge of contraception can prevent unwanted pregnancy was twisted into an endorsement of casual abortions. If anything Obama wants less abortions, that’s why he wants sexual education programs. To those who get this stuff from only right wing sources, please consider the source and do additional research before assuming it’s 100% accurate. Google is an easy, wonderful and bi-partisan tool!
Joe the Plumber
Oh man, where do I start? How did this guy become an Everyman? A microcosm of Americans? I’m not so sure. You see Joe Wurzelbacher could have easily had his life ruined by John McCain. Up until John pulled poor Joe into the limelight no one knew he was an unlicensed plumber. Now the whole world knows it! Now call me crazy, but it’s been my understanding that having household maintenance done by unqualified contractor can open up a nasty can of worms, especially if problems arise after a property is sold. Take that into consideration and you can imagine that Joe’s plumbing days are over. Since McCain has destroyed Joe’s ability to continue to work as a trusted plumber he has helped his Everyman status by getting him a publicist, a book deal, and maybe a country western album, I shit you not!
(http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,24581913-663,00.html , http://www.cmt.com/news/news-in-brief/1598224/joe-the-plumber-may-have-country-music-plans.jhtml) But maybe McCain should stop beating this dead horse because my ability to relate to “Joe the elitist author/singer” is eroding with each passing second. Not to mention that someone who already had tax problems probably isn’t the smartest person to dictate tax policy. That’s like asking an oil executive to dictate policy on alternative energy.
Someone said Obama was “embarrassed” by a question from an honest plumber and spent a week trashing the guy. I don’t know what clip they watched, but I saw Obama clearly tell the guy that his taxes would go up. He didn’t lie to him, but Joe did in fact poorly present himself. Obama didn’t spend a week trashing Joe, the media did that. It was all true, and it was easy, because Joe was a fraud. An unlicensed plumber, with a $1200 tax lien, making less than $100,000 a year, and about 0% chance to buy the business he was talking about. If anything Joe has a lot to gain from Obama’s tax proposals. Unfortunately for Joe, the Republican’s keep contesting and purging voters whose information doesn’t quite match up with the Voter register, and his information is skewed just enough that his “provisional” ballot could be worthless. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/uselectionroadtrip/2008/oct/17/uselections2008-ohio)
John McCain’s health
From a statistical standpoint, John McCain at 72 years old is more likely (speculatively 7 times more likely) to die of natural causes during his administration than Barack Obama (http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/lifestyle/health/chi-mccain-lifespan-01-oct01,0,2007761.story) . This is particularly troubling for me because it leaves Sarah Palin at the helm of the world’s most powerful nation. And though she has more formal education (a degree in journalism) than John McCain, she has no foreign policy or economic policy experience. As an added note, John McCain would be the oldest person to ever get elected to the U.S. Presidency. With the runner up’s being Ronald Reagan at 69, and William Henry Harrison whom died 30 days after taking office at the age of 68.
“Willingness to abandon the people of Iraq”
As I said previously our entry into Iraq has destabilized that area so much that leaving now would leave the country open to attack from several outside influences. It’s a mess we got ourselves into, and it’s a mess not easily resolved. Obama is not now nor has he ever pushed for an immediate troop withdrawal. Even when McCain accused him of not approving legislation, which supported our troops, it was done because that legislation was missing a deadline for total troop withdrawal. We cannot just walk out of Iraq and act like nothing happened, but by the same token we need to make our exit. As much as McCain has been resistant to this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfknKVjuyNk) the Iraqi government stated this week that is wants the U.S. out of Iraq by 2011. (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article5032531.ece) So unfortunately regardless of the Republican’s desire to leave when their damn good and ready, they are being shown the door by someone who isn’t Obama. At that time the stability of the region will no longer be our responsibility because that is what the Iraqi people chose.
WOW! Really? Just sit back and soak that in.
Okay. The Office of the U.S. President is the highest leadership role in (probably) the whole world. It’s a role where we as citizens turn to for guidance during tough times. The last 8 years have been the worst 8 years since the Vietnam era. We have been looking to our president to lead us out of war, and recession. We look to our president to come to our aide when entire cities are laid waste by hurricanes and buildings toppled by terrorist piloted aircraft. What we got was a dud. When our president was told about the first 9/11 attack before he still made an appearance at Emma E. Booker Elementary School, he was told about the second attack while at the school. (http://www.historycommons.org/essay.jsp?article=essayaninterestingday ) Our Commander and Chief Sat there like a dumbass for 7 minutes reading “The Pet Goat”, clearly not grasping the gravity of the situation or even choosing to act on it. Flash ahead to Hurricane Katrina. Bush waits 2 weeks to tour the damage. As of this day there are places in New Orleans that still look like a war zone. Bush was briefed on potential levee failures before Katrina, he did not ask a single question, or attempt to act. Iraq, a war based on lies. Osama Bin Laden, whom orchestrated the largest act of terrorism on U.S. soil, still AT LARGE! Bailout, direct result of banking deregulation spearheaded by Bush and the republican party, and a gateway to what’s shaping up to be the worse recession since World War II (http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/news/article.html?in_article_id=456380&in_page_id=2&ct=5) .
Now McCain and his supporters are apt to point out that he is not President Bush. However, you can find him making several statements where he admits that he has voted with the president 90% of the time. What does that tell us? Well, it tells me that what the McCain camp calls a “Manufactured Messiah” is a better hope than one who has supported policies and actions which have doomed America in the eyes of the world. They need that name to try and belie the possibility that Obama might actually do something better than they can. Frankly the bar is so low now that it’s hard to imagine anyone capable of doing a worse job. I suppose when you look at it that way, McCain is still kind of a good thing.
Let’s talk about William Ayers
Bill Ayers was a war activist during the 60’s and 70’s whose actions by today’s standards would be prosecuted aggressively in line with the Patriot Act. His motivations are probably something that few my age could understand since that understanding can only come from living in and experiencing the political environment of that era. By the McCain camp’s definition Ayers is a Terrorist, plain and simple. His acts were certainly reprehensible. However, the McCain camp definition of Ayers is a lie. Ayers WAS a Terrorist who has since reformed and shown no ill intent for nearly 3 decades.
Why does Ayers matter? Because Barack Obama and William Ayers both served on the board of an anti-poverty group called Woods Fund of Chicago. And between 2000 and 2002 the two met 12 times in service to that board. The McCain campaign is trying to imply that these 12 instances have somehow groomed Obama to be a terrorist in the making. The idea that merely being among evil people somehow motivates good people to do equally evil things is as retarded as the idea that homosexuals can convert straight people. John McCain’s connecting Obama to Ayers is equally pathetic. They go on to misquote Ayers as saying “We didn’t do enough.” This is the same pathetic selective quoting they use against Obama with regard to Abortion. Ayers’ actually said, “The one thing I don’t regret is opposing the war in Vietnam with every ounce of my being…. When I say, ‘We didn’t do enough,’ a lot of people rush to think, ‘That must mean, “We didn’t bomb enough shit.”‘ But that’s not the point at all. It’s not a tactical statement, it’s an obvious political and ethical statement. In this context, ‘we’ means ‘everyone’.”
A new addition to the McCain camp’s arsenal. Khalidi is a professor at Columbia University who was a PLO supporter, apparently publicly lavished praise for Obama making it seem as though there is some clandestine connection between Barack Obama and an Anti-Semite. Problem is, the McCain campaign wants to link Obama straight to the PLO and skip Rashid Khalidi all together. Why is that? Because in the 90’s a group that John McCain led (the International Republican Institute) gave Khalidi nearly half a million dollars. It seems as though the guilt by association game is catching up with McCain. How’s it go? People in glass houses….. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/10/28/mccain-funded-work-of-pal_n_138606.html) And would you believe there’s an Ayers connection in there too? (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27461933/)
Look what I’ve done here. I not only gave you my opinions, I gave you non-partisan resources to back up those opinions. Not a single resource comes directly from the Obama camp. Why? Because there is enough empirical evidence to prove Obama’s integrity, sincerity, and humanity without resorting to the hate and fear mongering which has been popularized by the McCain camp.
We have made several campaign contributions to Barack Obama. He is our choice! And barring a verifiable genetic link to Osama Bin Laden, our vote will not change.
I’m a life long democrat, that shouldn’t surprise anyone here. My bit on the lack of support for McCain is so people can understand this isn’t a knee jerk, OMG he’s a Republican so I can’t support him reaction. It’s a reaction to his platform, or rather a lack thereof.
I’m a reasonable, intelligent person(and if you don’t agree THIS isn’t the place to argue that point) and I vote based on who I think will do a better job. I support Obama because he’s had an answer, a laid out plan for what he would do as President. Again, I don’t think he’s a Messiah or has all the answers. No one person can turn around the cesspool that government has become. McCain seems to be using the same catch phrases over and over without ever really explaining his position. All I hear from him is I’ll work for Vets, I’ll keep taxes where they are, we must stay the course in Iraq until we have victory, Obama is dangerous and not ready to lead. He’s never stopped people from claiming that Obama is an A-Rab or has ever talked directly to the Senator in debates. When pressed to repeat some of the negativity in his ads, he turned it back on poor me, they are lying about me and that guy who called me out hurt my feelings, wah.
I’ve got no clear picture on just WHAT McCain would do to reverse the economic downturn we’re in, he wants to keep the war going, he has not said HOW he’d get Bin Laden, just that we’ll stay the course until we win. That’s all well and good but how do you plan to do that McCain? If he’d picked Lieberman as a running mate, and truly stuck to his label of Maverick I’d be a lot more concerned about Obama’s chances next week. As it is he’s picked a woman to capture the vote from disenfranchised Hillary supporters who think with their gender instead of their brains. But as time has gone on, its clear this woman is an opportunist who is willing to toss the party and McCain under the bus so she can step up in 2012 and run.
There isn’t enough space to list all of the things that are wrong with Palin as a VP pick so I’ll give you a few. She is not family focused, she does not understand foreign policy, thinks being next to Russia is a qualifier for knowing about the world, just got a passport last year, exonerated herself and her husband on charges of misconduct as if that is even legal, used Alaskan taxpayer money to fund her family’s travel alongside her on gubernatorial duties, thinks only small towns are the REAL AMERICA and that folks in big cities don’t get it. She questions peoples patriotism if they come from big cities, the folksy you betcha’s are the nail in the coffin. Trying to appeal to the common man with Joe the plumber, Joe Six Pack, etc are condescending to me as a citizen who gets up and goes to work every day.
My other problem with McCain/Palin is that instead of addressing the issues and really hammering the Obama campaign on what they claim are his weaknesses, they are instead just singing the same tune of he’s not American enough, he’s socialist, he’s going to “spread the wealth around” like the bogie man is hiding under our beds that will suddenly jump up and give us all money O_o?! Granted, that selective memory is coming back to bite McCain/Palin; Palin is on record as being proud of the Socialism of Alaska, how they could give back to each man, woman & child in Alaska because they like to spread the wealth. Hmm, forgot you said that Gov?
I want a President that is going to spend the time to address issues. I want them to be able to remain calm, cool and collected. McCain is not that person. Palin cannot wink or you betcha, golly darnit her way out of a G8 summit or arms treaty. I don’t trust either one of them to deal with our allies in a way that will help this country, and I honestly am TERRIFIED of the idea of Palin being thisclose to the Presidency if McCain drops dead.
I’ve had enough of the government treating the country as their personal playground, of them treating the constitution as a whiteboard they can edit as will with no regard for what we, the people want and need from our government.
I urge you to vote next Tuesday, I urge you to do the right thing and Vote for Change.
Day in the Life of Joe Sixpack
Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee. The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards. With his first swallow of water, he takes his daily medication. His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to ensure their safety and that they work as advertised.
All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.
He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs. Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.
In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.
Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for the laws to stop industries from polluting our air.
He walks on the government-provided sidewalk to subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work. It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.
Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards. Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.
If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.
It is noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills. Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system.
Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime. Joe also forgets that his in addition to his federally subsidized student loans, he attended a state funded university.
Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive. His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards to go along with the tax-payer funded roads.
He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.
The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.
He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.
Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good. He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day. Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”
Hmm, seems like that selective memory is coming back to haunt Palin & Co.
Palin allies report rising campaign tension
Even as John McCain and Sarah Palin scramble to close the gap in the final days of the 2008 election, stirrings of a Palin insurgency are complicating the campaign’s already-tense internal dynamics.
Four Republicans close to Palin said she has decided increasingly to disregard the advice of the former Bush aides tasked to handle her, creating occasionally tense situations as she travels the country with them. Those Palin supporters, inside the campaign and out, said Palin blames her handlers for a botched rollout and a tarnished public image — even as others in McCain’s camp blame the pick of the relatively inexperienced Alaska governor, and her public performance, for McCain’s decline.
“She’s lost confidence in most of the people on the plane,” said a senior Republican who speaks to Palin, referring to her campaign jet. He said Palin had begun to “go rogue” in some of her public pronouncements and decisions.
“I think she’d like to go more rogue,” he said.Â
The emergence of a Palin faction comes as Republicans gird for a battle over the future of their party: Some see her as a charismatic, hawkish conservative leader with the potential, still unrealized, to cross over to attract moderate voters. Anger among Republicans who see Palin as a star and as a potential future leader has boiled over because, they say, they see other senior McCain aides preparing to blame her in the event he is defeated.
“These people are going to try and shred her after the campaign to divert blame from themselves,” a McCain insider said, referring to McCain’s chief strategist, Steve Schmidt, and to Nicolle Wallace, a former Bush aide who has taken a lead role in Palin’s campaign. Palin’s partisans blame Wallace, in particular, for Palin’s avoiding of the media for days and then giving a high-stakes interview to CBS News’ Katie Couric, the sometimes painful content of which the campaign allowed to be parceled out over a week.
“A number of Gov. Palin’s staff have not had her best interests at heart, and they have not had the campaign’s best interests at heart,” the McCain insider fumed, noting that Wallace left an executive job at CBS to join the campaign.
Wallace declined to engage publicly in the finger-pointing that has consumed the campaign in the final weeks.
“I am in awe of [Palin's] strength under constant fire by the media,” she said in an e-mail. “If someone wants to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most graceful thing to do is to lie there.”
But other McCain aides, defending Wallace, dismissed the notion that Palin was mishandled. The Alaska governor was, they argue, simply unready — “green,” sloppy and incomprehensibly willing to criticize McCain for, for instance, not attacking Sen. Barack Obama for his relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Palin has in fact performed fairly well in the moments thought to be key for a vice presidential nominee: She made a good impression in her surprise rollout in Ohio and her speech to the Republican National Convention went better than the campaign could have imagined. She turned in an adequate performance at a debate against the Democratic Party‘s foremost debater.
But other elements of her image-making went catastrophically awry. Her dodging of the press and her nervous reliance on tight scripts in her first interview, with ABC News, became a national joke — driven home to devastating effect by “Saturday Night Live” comic Tina Fey. The Couric interview — her only unstaged appearance for a week — was “water torture,” as one internal ally put it.
Some McCain aides say they had little choice with a candidate who simply wasn’t ready for the national stage, and that Palin didn’t forcefully object. Moments that Palin’s allies see as triumphs of instinct and authenticity â€” the Wright suggestion, her objection to the campaign’s pulling out of Michigan â€” they dismiss as Palin’s “slips and miscommunications,” that is, her own incompetence and evidence of the need for tight scripting.
But Palin partisans say she chafed at the handling.
“The campaign as a whole bought completely into what the Washington media said — that she’s completely inexperienced,” said a close Palin ally outside the campaign who speaks regularly to the candidate.
“Her strategy was to be trustworthy and a team player during the convention and thereafter, but she felt completely mismanaged and mishandled and ill advised,” the person said. “Recently, she’s gone from relying on McCain advisers who were assigned to her to relying on her own instincts.”
Palin’s loyalists say she’s grown particularly disenchanted with the veterans of the Bush reelection campaign, including Schmidt and Wallace, and that despite her anti-intellectual rhetoric, her closest ally among her new traveling aides is a policy adviser, former National Security Council official Steve Biegun. She’s also said to be close with McCain’s chief foreign policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, who prepared her for the Oct. 2 vice presidential debate.
When a McCain aide, speaking anonymously Friday to The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder, suggested that Palin’s charge that Obama was “palling around with terrorists” had “escaped HQ’s vetting,” it was Scheunemann who fired off an angry response that the speech was “fully vetted” and that to attack Palin for it was “bull****.”
Palin’s “instincts,” on display in recent days, have had her opening up to the media, including a round of interviews on talk radio, cable and broadcast outlets, as well as chats with her traveling press and local reporters.
Reporters really began to notice the change last Sunday, when Palin strolled over to a local television crew in Colorado Springs.
“Get Tracey,” a staffer called out, according to The New York Times, summoning spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt, who reportedly “tried several times to cut it off with a terse ‘Thank you!’ in between questions, to no avail.” The moment may have caused ulcers in some precincts of the McCain campaign, but it was an account Palin’s admirers in Washington cheered.
Palin had also sought to give meatier policy speeches, in particular on energy policy and on policy for children with disabilities; she finally gave the latter speech Friday, but had wanted to deliver it much earlier.
She’s also begun to make her own ad hoc calls about the campaign’s direction and the ticket’s policy. McCain, for instance, has remained silent on Democrats’ calls for a stimulus package of new spending, a move many conservatives oppose but that could be broadly popular. But in an interview with the conservative radio host Glenn Beck earlier this week, Palin went “off the reservation” to make the campaign policy, one aide said.
“I say, you know, when is enough enough of taxpayer dollars being thrown into this bill out there?” she asked. “This next one of the Democrats being proposed should be very, very concerning to all Americans because to me it sends a message that $700 billion bailout, maybe that was just the tip of the iceberg. No, you know, we were told when we’ve got to be believing if we have enough elected officials who are going to be standing strong on fiscal conservative principles and free enterprise and we have to believe that there are enough of those elected officials to say, ‘No, OK, that’s enough.’”
(A McCain spokeswoman said Palin’s statement was “a good sentiment.”)
But few imagine that Palin will be able to repair her image — and bad poll numbers — in the eleven days before the campaign ends. And the final straw for Palin and her allies was the news that the campaign had reported spending $150,000 on her clothes, turning her, again, into the butt of late-night humor.
“She never even set foot in these stores,” the senior Republican said, noting Palin hadn’t realized the cost when the clothes were brought to her in her Minnesota hotel room.
“It’s completely out-of-control operatives,” said the close ally outside the campaign. “She has no responsibility for that. It’s incredibly frustrating for us and for her.”
Between Palin’s internal detractors and her allies, there’s a middle ground: Some aides say that she’s a flawed candidate whose handling exaggerated her weak spots.
“She was completely mishandled in the beginning. No one took the time to look at what her personal strengths and weaknesses are and developed a plan that made sense based on who she is as a candidate,” the aide said. “Any concerns she or those close to her have about that are totally valid.”
But the aide said that Palin’s inexperience led her to her own mistakes:
“How she was handled allowed her weaknesses to hang out in full display.”
If McCain loses, Palin’s allies say that the national Republican Party hasn’t seen the last of her. Politicians are sometimes formed by a signal defeat — as Bill Clinton was when he was tossed out of the Arkansas governor’s mansion after his first term — and Palin would return to a state that had made her America’s most popular governor and where her image as a reformer who swept aside her own party’s insiders rings true, if not in the cartoon version the McCain campaign presented.
“There are people in this campaign who feel a real sense of loyalty to her and are really pleased with her performance and think she did a great job,” said the McCain insider. “She has a real future in this party.”
Go, read this now…
Uncle Mikey Explains the Inexplicable … Albatross
Full text after the jump
Big ballot boo-boo: Osama for president?
Rensselaer County gaffe makes national news after absentee ballots misspell Barack Obama’s name
By: BOB GARDINIER, Staff writer
First published in print: Saturday, October 11, 2008
TROY — It could have been Ovama or Ofama. Or even Olama.
But with one “s” the Rensselaer County Board of Elections turned a single wrong letter into a national embarrassment Friday.Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s last name is spelled “Osama” on some 300 absentee ballots mailed out this week to voters in Rensselaer County hilltowns.
Is it a Freudian slip, intentional gaffe or a mistake? Voters are sure to have opinions, and one politician pointed out that the letters “s” and “b” are not exactly keyboard neighbors.
“Of all the letters to hit by mistake,” County Democratic Chairman Tom Wade said. “Unfortunately it is a mistake which negatively impacts our Democratic candidate for president.”
The typo was first reported Friday on timesunion.com, and quickly grabbed national attention.
“It was crazy, everybody across the country called,” said Edward McDonough, the county’s Democratic elections commissioner. He said calls came in from The New York Times, the New York Post, Daily News, Wall Street Journal and Court TV.
McDonough said he was one of the people who received a misspelled absentee ballot at home, and he didn’t even notice it.
Elections officials on both sides of the aisle insist a simple typographical error caused the national embarrassment. “It was a mistake innocently done,” McDonough said. “We catch almost everything.”
Republican officials were apologetic. “We have three different staff members who proof these things and somehow the typo got by us,” said Republican Commissioner Larry Bugbee. “We really apologize.”
On Row 1A, Barack Obama’s name is spelled Barack Osama — a name bearing an unfortunate resemblance to terror mastermind Osama bin Laden – but further down on the Working Families line it is spelled correctly.
The Obama camp took the controversy in stride.
“We’re glad officials are working to correct this error and we assume it won’t happen again,” Obama spokesman Blake Zeff said.
McDonough said the absentee ballots with the error went out to voters in Brunswick, Nassau, Sand Lake, Schaghticoke and Schodack. Three voters called to report the error.
By day’s end, officials decided to issue new ballots to all 300 voters. They realized some people might cross out the misspelling and write in the correct spelling.
“Election law is quite clear that any corrections done on a ballot will nullify the vote, so to be safe, we re-issued them,” McDonough said.
One Sand Lake resident who caught the misspelling, and who asked to be anonymous, was skeptical. “It’s a little suspicious and at least grossly incompetent,” the voter said.
District Attorney Richard McNally said the incident is unlikely to produce a criminal investigation.
“Both sides are saying this is an honest mistake, so unless we find out otherwise, I don’t see it going that way,” McNally said.
Rensselaer County is the only county in the state that prints ballots in-house.
“It saves the taxpayers a lot of money,” McDonough said.
Wade said it might be time to rethink that practice.
Inland GOP mailing depicts Obama’s face on food stamp
08:54 PM PDT on Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The latest newsletter by an Inland Republican women’s group depicts Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama surrounded by a watermelon, ribs and a bucket of fried chicken, prompting outrage in political circles.
The October newsletter by the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated says if Obama is elected his image will appear on food stamps — instead of dollar bills like other presidents. The statement is followed by an illustration of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill featuring Obama’s face on a donkey’s body, labeled “United States Food Stamps.”
The GOP newsletter, which was sent to about 200 members and associates of the group by e-mail and regular mail last week, is drawing harsh criticism from members of the political group, elected leaders, party officials and others as racist.
The group’s president, Diane Fedele, said she plans to send an apology letter to her members and to apologize at the club’s meeting next week. She said she simply wanted to deride a comment Obama made over the summer about how as an African-American he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”
“It was strictly an attempt to point out the outrageousness of his statement. I really don’t want to go into it any further,” Fedele said in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I absolutely apologize to anyone who was offended. That clearly wasn’t my attempt.”
Fedele said she got the illustration in a number of chain e-mails and decided to reprint it for her members in the Trumpeter newsletter because she was offended that Obama would draw attention to his own race. She declined to say who sent her the e-mails with the illustration.
She said she doesn’t think in racist terms, pointing out she once supported Republican Alan Keyes, an African-American who previously ran for president.
“I didn’t see it the way that it’s being taken. I never connected,” she said. “It was just food to me. It didn’t mean anything else.”
She said she also wasn’t trying to make a statement linking Obama and food stamps, although her introductory text to the illustration connects the two: “Obama talks about all those presidents that got their names on bills. If elected, what bill would he be on????? Food Stamps, what else!”
Club Member Cries
Sheila Raines, an African-American member of the club, was the first person to complain to Fedele about the newsletter. Raines, of San Bernardino, said she has worked hard to try to convince other minorities to join the Republican Party and now she feels betrayed.
“This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party,” she said. “I’m really hurt. I cried for 45 minutes.”
The Obama campaign declined to comment. It’s the campaign’s policy to not address such attacks, said Gabriel Sanchez, a California spokesman for the campaign.
The newsletter prompted a rebuke from another African-American member of the organization, which is well recognized in the community for its philanthropy and efforts to register and turn out voters in the Rancho Cucamonga and Upland areas.
Acquanetta Warren, a Fontana councilwoman and member of the women’s group, said the item is rude and requires a public apology.
“When I opened that up and saw it, I said, ‘Why did they do this? It doesn’t even reflect our principles and values,’ ” said Warren, who served as a Republican delegate to the national convention in September and is a regional vice chairwoman for the California Republican Party. “I know a lot of the ladies in that club and they’re fantastic. They’re volunteers. They really care — some of them go to my church.”
Warren forwarded an electronic version of the newsletter to the California Republican Party headquarters, where officials also were outraged Wednesday and denounced the illustration.
Hector Barajas, the party’s press secretary, said the party chairman likely will have a conversation with Fedele, and Barajas will attend the statewide California Federation of Republican Women conference this weekend in Los Angeles to handle any news media there to cover the controversy.
Obama in Turban
The newsletter is not the first such episode Barajas has had to respond to this week. The Sacramento Bee on Wednesday posted an image it said was captured from the Sacramento County GOP Web site that showed Obama in a turban next to Osama bin Laden.
It said: “The difference between Osama and Obama is just a little B.S.” The site also encouraged members to “Waterboard Barack Obama,” a reference to a torture technique. The Sacramento County party took down the material Tuesday after being criticized.
Mark Kirk, a spokesman for the San Bernardino County GOP chairman, said he expects Chairman Gary Ovitt to also have a talk with Fedele and to attend the group’s local meeting next week to discuss the issue with members, although the county GOP has no formal oversight role over the club. Kirk said these kinds of depictions hurt the party’s ongoing efforts to reach out to minorities.
“It’s very damaging and we’re going to take steps to correct this,” Kirk said. “Unfortunately, I don’t know what you do to correct ignorance like this, but we will do what we can.”
Assemblyman Bill Emmerson, R-Redlands, and state Sen. Bob Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, both criticized the illustration as inappropriate and irresponsible.
Dutton pointed out that his wife, a member of the club, is of Mexican heritage and has battled criticism that the Republican Party is not the party for minorities. The club’s newsletter undercuts efforts to rise above racism, he said.
“Bias and racial comments and even suggestions are frankly what weakens us as a people. I think we as Americans need to rise above that,” he said.
Emmerson said he was extremely offended and sickened by the newsletter.
Barbara O’Connor, director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and the Media at Cal State Sacramento, said it’s imperative that people speak out about these kinds of depictions no matter how small the organization. She praised Raines for doing so.
“It’s a statement about what is civil discourse and can you get away with doing something under an organizational banner,” she said. “You have to cut it out at the root and the root is often small organizations that are local and they then become larger.”
Reach Michelle DeArmond at 951-368-9441 or mdearmond@PE.com
Warning – hateful image at the head of this & linked post, in case it would bother anyone
Well written post again by Karnythia. Once again articulating what is bothering me about the rage and undercurrent of kill him and race baiting being done by the extremists in the McCain bullpen. The fact that this blogger is claiming he didn’t know he was using racist, hateful, death threat imagery is utter bullshit.
It’s only 3 weeks till election day and as several people have said, I’m done worn out. I don’t know if my nerves or patience can keep me calm until the last vote is counted.
Keith Olbermann breaks this down for the folks:
Palin attempts to link Senator Obama to homegrown terrorism. Except as usual, she’s way off the mark.
Palin claims Obama is palling around with a known terrorist during a campaign stop in Ohio.
Problem with this assertion is that:
a.) Everyone knows that this man did the majority of his “radical terrorist” work when Obama was a tender 8 years old
b.) They have never been close, and haven’t really been in touch since Obama became a Senator in 2005
c.) “But that article concluded that “the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers, whom he has called ‘somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8.’ “
d.) It’s obvious that she and McCain are grasping at straws for anything to tarnish the Senator’s image.
The full article is after the jump for those that don’t click:
Has this been on a news blackout? How is it that no-one has heard of this until now??
On Friday, September 26, the end of a week in which thousands of copies of Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West — the fear-mongering, anti-Muslim documentary being distributed by the millions in swing states via DVDs inserted in major newspapers and through the U.S. mail — were distributed by mail in Ohio, a “chemical irritant” was sprayed through a window of the Islamic Society of Greater Dayton, where 300 people were gathered for a Ramadan prayer service. The room that the chemical was sprayed into was the room where babies and children were being kept while their mothers were engaged in prayers. This, apparently, is what the scare tactic political campaigning of John McCain’s supporters has led to — Americans perpetrating a terrorist attack against innocent children on American soil.
to repeat: Muslim Children Gassed at Dayton Mosque After “Obsession” DVD Hits Ohio
Please, please, go to this link and read the whole thing. http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/9/28/203016/697/536/613742
It was reported in the Dayton Daily News, but not commented on in major media since. The DVDs —28 million of them— were inserted in newspapers in many swing states by a pro-McCain group. And so here we are. A country where hatred is distributed with the Sunday paper. Where children are maliciously attacked because of their religion and no one blinks. Thankfully, no-one died. This time.
I urge you to call or write any major media outlet you know of and disseminate this story. Also, I’m sure the people in Dayton Islamic Society and their members would appreciate a kind word.
26 Josie Street, Dayton, OH 45403 Tel: (937) 228-1503
Here is the email:
Here also is the email for the people that put this sick piece of trash into circulation.
Crossposted to my LJ and snagged with permission from the community obama_blackfolk
Note to self…
When reading others political thoughts:
If they decide to stoop to name calling and outright idiocy, don’t sink to their level
If they decide that by supporting your candidate of choice you are un-American and un-patriotic remember it’s only their opinion.
If they have decided that attacking, arguing and flat out refusal to listen to facts is their MO rather than intelligent discourse; give it up as a lost cause.
If all of the above happens, just stop reading their blog until the election is over.
I love John Scalzi, awesome, awesome man that he is. A not so gentle reminder from Mr. Scalzi to folks to calm the fuck down and stop spazzing out because the GOP got a poll jump after their convention.
The full post after the jump if you don’t click.
John McCain on electoral issues
Sarah Palin on electoral issues
I think my choice is pretty clear cut. I’d rather not have a woman as VP who clearly is stuck in the 1940′s where women stayed home and were baby factories, a woman who hates gays and lesbians with such fervor. A woman who despite her rhetoric of family values has a teenaged daughter that is pregnant out of wedlock. Way to go Palin! Nice way to lead by example.
The inexperience argument is now null and void, and should fall on deaf ears to anyone who can look at Palin’s record of public service versus Obama’s. What was that? Who’s so inexperienced now hmm?
I won’t mince words here. I do Believe in Change, I do believe in the message that Senator Barack Obama is bringing to the nation. I do believe that he can be that agent of change we need to move past the past eight years of war, recession, theocracy and tailspin we have endured as a country.
Let me take a moment to let you know, that no I do not think the good Senator is our next Messiah, I do not think he walks on water and can do no wrong. I do not idolize Barack Obama, and think that he is THE ANSWER for all of our nations ills. No one man or woman can snap their fingers and make it alright. No one man or woman can wade into the mess that is our current administration and sweep it all clean with a word or gesture.
I do believe that he can do it, with work over the 4 years of the Presidential term. He can do it, if people learn that first and foremost we are a nation of strong people, who are willing to do the work to bring America back to its greatness, not just a nation of whiners, not just a nation of “not my fault” irresponsible types but a nation that can band together to make a difference.
I do not believe that someone who does not support the Senator is automatically a racist, because that is just stupid. While I may disagree on choice of candidate, who am I to point the finger of you are racist just because you don’t agree with me? For those who can find fault in his policies, his past actions in Chicago, his relatively short term in Senate as reasons to not vote for him, I can respect that. I may not like it, but I can respect it.
For those women who feel slighted by the fact that Hillary did not make it to the Nomination by the party, suck it up will you? Would you let your bitterness and misguided anger over her loss let you vote for a man who has no regard for women, who called his wife a trollop and cunt when she jokingly teased him over his thinning hairline? Some champion of women’s rights you’re behind now that Hillary is out of the running. To them I do say, Your Whiteness IS showing.
All of that rambling was to state clearly that I support Senator Obama, be it with my time, money or just my heart and ballot come 4 November but I do so with a clear head and cautious mind that while yes, WE CAN do it with Barack, he is still a mere human and fallible. He is still a politician and as such can promise us the moon, but we must hold him accountable for those promises. We as a people must ensure that we get substance along with his style and that we hold his feet to the fire to make the change he has promised a reality and not empty words uttered along the campaign trail.
They called Mrs. Obama a “Baby mamma” WTF! I say again, WTFF! I want to beat Michelle Malking with a stick to make her see some fucking common sense.
I think I love John Scalzi even more for his post on the “baby mamma” idiocy at Faux news
The text of his post is after the jump for the link phobic:
At least I’m not the only one who thinks Huckabee’s latest antics are terrifying. All over the blogosphere, people have been shocked and appalled at how he has blatantly stated he wants the US to become a Theocracy. Or in his own words “Make the Constitution to God’s standards not mans”
Why, oh why is this nutter still even a viable candidate? My friend G thinks he’ll win. I hope to all the Gods that he doesn’t or I’ll be filing for Canadian citizenship. I didn’t sign up to live in a Theocratic union… he’d probably have anyone executed who didn’t join up with his little army of crazed fundie fanatics.
When you vote, please don’t allow this man into office… its the last thing this country needs.
Huckabee: Amend Constitution to be in ‘God’s standards’
01/15/2008 @ 7:31 am
Filed by David Edwards and Muriel Kane
The United States Constitution never uses the word “God” or makes mention of any religion, drawing its sole authority from “We the People.” However, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee thinks it’s time to put an end to that.
“I have opponents in this race who do not want to change the Constitution,” Huckabee told a Michigan audience on Monday. “But I believe it’s a lot easier to change the Constitution than it would be to change the word of the living god. And that’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”
When Willie Geist reported Huckabee’s opinion on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, co-host Mika Brzezinski was almost speechless, and even Joe Scarborough couldn’t immediately find much to say beyond calling it “interesting,”
Scarborough finally suggested that while he believes “evangelicals should be able to talk politics … some might find that statement very troubling, that we’re going to change the Constitution to be in line with the Bible. And that’s all I’m going to say.”
Geist further noted of Huckabee that if “someone without his charm,” said that, “he’d be dismissed as a crackpot, but he’s Mike Huckabee and he’s bascially the front-runner.”
The video is available at the original posting here.
The Illinois Primary is on 5 February. Go fucking vote… I don’t care who you are voting for or against, just go vote dammit.
Every election cycle I get so sick of hearing people bitch and whine about the current administration and what its doing/not doing for the people. The majority of these whiners DID NOT VOTE because they felt that their one vote didn’t matter, or that no matter who won they were going to be overlooked and fucked over yet again.
Well, thats BS to me. The whole idea of voting of the democratic process was to allow the people’s voice to be heard and felt. I know its easy to be cynical after the last two presidential elections and how they were “stolen” (I’m not going to argue for or against that with you all so don’t even start) but that should make you want to vote even more.
Make your voice heard on the 5th. Get your ass out of that chair and get to wherever it is that you are supposed to vote. Don’t let lines deter you, don’t say I’ll go after work and then blow it off. Its your future as a citizen and your responsibility to vote.
Remember, blood was shed so women and blacks could vote. It hasn’t always been a right to be able to vote, and its a hard won privilege that you can vote.
So just go do it… and if you don’t vote then just STFU about what we end up with in office later this year.
/vote or else diatribe