Paper Rules

For anyone who still doesn’t understand why PAPER BALLOTS are better for democracy than ELECTRONIC VOTING, go here to watch the Minnesota Canvassing Board in action.  The U.S. Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken was so close the decision is coming down to the board hand-counting the challenged paper ballots. 

Remember, accurate counts such as this are NOT possible when voters are forced to use unverifiable, black- box voting.

Paper rules.

            

New World Order

I’m a huge fan of Get Your War On by David Rees.  It started as a strip that uses clip art but
it’s now in video format.  Here’s one that’s a nice follow-up to my post yesterday about guns
and the radicals’ reaction to the Obama election.

Warning:  there are a couple expletives in here AND if you’re freaking out about
Obama’s victory, you probably won’t find this funny.

Otherwise, enjoy.

Into the Light

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We’ve been in a dark, scary place for the past eight years.  A place, as Paul Krugman put it,
filled with monsters.

Due to the hard work of many, many people and the awakening of our collective conscience,
we’re now headed into the light.

I woke this morning feeling lighter than I have in years.  I was buoyed by hope and optimism. 
I still am.  I think good things are going to happen.  This country found its moral compass again,
and it will make progress on many fronts.  We will face our problems and take the necessary
bold actions to ensure a sustainable and just environment for future generations.

As a political junkie, I can only hypothesize about the changes to come.  But there is one thing
I know with an absolute certainty:  President-elect Obama will never detain and torture a fellow
human being.

We are leaving that darkness behind, once and for all. 

                 

One Person, One Vote. For All

I’m headed out in a few minutes with my laptop so I can help homeless and working poor people know where to go vote tomorrow.  But first I wanted to put up a voting-related post that included a cool quote or an inspiring story about voting.  So I did a Google search.

I’m so naive.

I didn’t find inspiration.  My search brought me to discussion boards with people saying the most cruel and hateful things about homeless people and their voting rights.  I don’t know whether to scream or cry.

A pox on all the mean-spirited, ignorant people out there. 

And In the meanwhile, I’m joining the ranks of the many volunteers out there working hard today and tomorrow to make sure each and every person’s voice is heard and counted. 

                 

Good Fortune

I almost didn’t open my fortune cookie at the restaurant
tonight because I so badly wanted the fortune
to bode well for Tuesday.  I mean, what if the tiny slip of
paper pointed to an angry old white man in my future? 

But then I took a chance……..

Ahhh………….

             

Productivity

Last night Zippy and I went to our poll watchers training so we’ll be ready to protect voting integrity on Tuesday.
This morning I lifted weights and then made some headway in my quest to find a new venue for next September’s RMC-SCBWI fall conference.
I just finished my 1000 words for the day.
And now I’m off to do data entry for Democrats Work.

I feel so energized and optimistic right now.  Hope you’re all feeling the same!

Remember Who We Are

The Institute for America’s Future placed its final election ad in the New York Times.  I read the ad and decided to post it as a companion piece to today’s earlier photo.  This ad explains why I’m a progressive and why I feel so strongly about Obama not listening to those who will call for him to lead from the center.  There is work to be done.  Our future depends on bold action.

            

A Thing of Beauty

We weren’t at the rally yesterday but this photo brought tears to my eyes.  Colorado isn’t the most politically active state, and I’ve been at plenty of rallies at the capitol that were pretty damned small.  This one was estimated by both campaign organizers and police as well over 100,000.  Seeing all those people gathered together fills my heart with joy.   

             

Writing of a Different Kind

I haven’t been good about updating my progress on my JoNoWriMo goals.  For the record, I am writing.

However, not all writing has been fiction.

Last week I joined other volunteers at Democrats Work in sending out postcards to new voters, urging them to get out and vote.  My hand cramped up and my shoulders got tight, and I quit at 33.  Today, though, I wrote 55 postcards! 

A couple weeks ago I felt guilty for not canvassing but now I’m happy I can be part of the effort without my blood pressure skyrocketing.  Plus, the competitive me enjoys the fact I can get through a list of 30 names faster than the other volunteers. 

It’s the little stuff that keeps me going.

           

Stop Fanning the Flames!

This op-ed from The Baltimore Sun says it all:

McCain’s attacks fuel dangerous hatred

John McCain: If your campaign does not stop equating Sen. Barack Obama with terrorism, questioning his patriotism and portraying Mr. Obama as "not one of us," I accuse you of deliberately feeding the most unhinged elements of our society the red meat of hate, and therefore of potentially instigating violence.

At a Sarah Palin rally, someone called out, "Kill him!" At one of your rallies, someone called out, "Terrorist!" Neither was answered or denounced by you or your running mate, as the crowd laughed and cheered. At your campaign event Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pa., the crowd was seething with hatred for the Democratic nominee – an attitude encouraged in speeches there by you, your running mate, your wife and the local Republican chairman.

Shame!

John McCain: In 2000, as a lifelong Republican, I worked to get you elected instead of George W. Bush. In return, you wrote an endorsement of one of my books about military service. You seemed to be a man who put principle ahead of mere political gain.
 

You have changed. You have a choice: Go down in history as a decent senator and an honorable military man with many successes, or go down in history as the latest abettor of right-wing extremist hate.

John McCain, you are no fool, and you understand the depths of hatred that surround the issue of race in this country. You also know that, post-9/11, to call someone a friend of a terrorist is a very serious matter. You also know we are a bitterly divided country on many other issues. You know that, sadly, in America, violence is always just a moment away. You know that there are plenty of crazy people out there.

Stop! Think! Your rallies are beginning to look, sound, feel and smell like lynch mobs.

John McCain, you’re walking a perilous line. If you do not stand up for all that is good in America and declare that Senator Obama is a patriot, fit for office, and denounce your hate-filled supporters when they scream out "Terrorist" or "Kill him," history will hold you responsible for all that follows.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, you are playing with fire, and you know it. You are unleashing the monster of American hatred and prejudice, to the peril of all of us. You are doing this in wartime. You are doing this as our economy collapses. You are doing this in a country with a history of assassinations.

Change the atmosphere of your campaign. Talk about the issues at hand. Make your case. But stop stirring up the lunatic fringe of haters, or risk suffering the judgment of history and the loathing of the American people – forever.

We will hold you responsible.

Frank Schaeffer is the author of "Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back." His e-mail is frankaschaeffer@

Good Thing I Wasn’t Drinking

Watched the “debate” with the family. Before it started I reserved “my friends” as my BINGO word. Zippy chose “earmark,” Zebu’s word was “maverick” and Wildebeest alternated words throughout the 90 minutes.

If it’d been a drinking game, I wouldn’t be typing this right now. I’d be passed out on my desk, drooling on the keyboard. I lost count at 17 “my friends.”

Zippy was ahead for a while with “earmark” but then fell behind and a few minutes into the program Zebu pointed out “Tom” would’ve been a good choice since McCain and Brokaw were chumming it up.

The menfolk in this household can try to spin the situation all they want, my friends, but I was clearly the official debate BINGO champ!

Double Ack!

During last night’s vice-presidential debate, Gov Palin gave a folksy (gag) shout-out to her brother who teaches at Gladys Wood Elementary.

Gladys Wood Elementary?


I just checked my file and yes, indeed, when living in Anchorage I subbed there. Not only that, the school’s principal called me at home and asked me not to come back the next day after the out-of-control kids complained to their parents about me saying I’d rather take my dog to an assembly than them.

Palin keeps reminding me of so many fond memories of Alaska: yearly oil bribe (Permanent Fund Dividend check), machine gunning wolves from airplanes, whack-job politicians, driving around in the icy dark trying to locate the school for that day’s sub assignment, “hunters” demanding they be allowed to shoot moose from the side of the highways, whack-job politicians, gun racks in every truck . . .

Alaska Women Reject Palin rally

I’m hunkered down in the revision cave but am poking out my head to offer this extremely heartening link:

www.snopes.com/politics/palin/rally.asp

Having lived in Alaska and done my share of political work outside the Loussac Library in Anchorage, I was thrilled to see photographic proof of the profusion of anti-Palin/anti-McCain signs!  Alaska doesn’t rally in big numbers.  Ever.

Since this story isn’t getting much coverage, please feel free to post and forward this information so people understand that the supposed groundswell of support for Governor Palin is a myth.

(Am cross-posting so apologies to those who get this twice)

              

McCain Blamed Collapse of MN Bridge on….

Remember when that bridge collapsed in Minnesota in August of 2007?  Remember 13 people died and 145 were injured as a result of that collapse?  Remember the bridge was 40 years old? 

I bet you do remember all that.

But I wonder if you remember who John McCain blamed immediately following the tragedy?
  
Watch Senator John McCain address this issue on one of his August 2007 campaign stops.

                    

Veterans’ Issues and the Votes

Because I know some people out there are very concerned about veterans’ treatment by both presidential candidates…

Here is the link for the 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) Action Congressional Ratings (The 2008 rating is not yet available).

You might be interested to know Senator McCain received a "D" rating.  Senator Obama received a "B+"

Further, the IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) site states that Disabled American Veterans "reports that Senator McCain only voted for legislation that benefited veterans 20% of the time while Senator Obama supported veterans’ needs 80% of the time."

Apparently an IVAW board member, Adam Kokesh, protested McCain’s speech at the RNC with a sign reading "McCain Votes Against Vets."  As he was escorted out, people shouted at him: "USA! USA!"



        

Complete Sentences!

Not only were there no juvenile faces and barely contained tantrums, there were no fractured sentences about how hard it is putting food on your family or shaking the hand of an Iraqi whose hand had been cut off by Saddam Hussein.

Change I can believe in.

         

Hey, Joe!

Zippy called a few minutes ago to tell me Joe Biden was on the street outside Zippy’s office, buying something from a street cart.  I’m hoping Biden bought a time machine.  The man needs to go back and undo his role in enabling the fear-mongering Bush administration to invade and occupy Iraq.
                             

McCain’s Forevermore Fall-Back

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Found this on DailyKos.com (Image credit ) and had to share since McCain keeps playing that POW card without the “liberal media” calling him on it.

Back in 2004 McCain said, “I’m sick and tired of re-fighting the Vietnam War. And most importantly, I’m sick and tired of opening the wounds of the Vietnam War, which I’ve spent the last 30 years trying to heal.  It’s offensive to me, and it’s angering to me that we’re doing this.”                                          

But when 2007 rolled around, McCain’s political ads highlighted his POW status.

I know he’s a “maverick” and all, but the hypocrisy is wearing so, so thin.

                   

Be Afraid! Be Very, Very Afraid!

Today at the spaghetti dinner I had a conversation with a friend whom I admire in many ways.  Big heart.  Lots of energy.  A recognition that BushCo is a trainwreck of an administration.  Well,  I made the mistake of letting my curiosity get the best of me and so finally asked what it was she liked about the candidacy of Hillary Clinton that motivated her to place three Clinton signs in her yard.

"I don’t like him," she said.  "Because he didn’t put his hand on the bible and he doesn’t put his hand over his heart."

I screamed.

It was as if I was in a haunted house and some creepy, crawly creature jumped out at me; I had no control.  I screamed.  Because I was horrified to meet someone up close and in person who couldn’t tell me anything positive about her chosen candidate yet was casting a vote  against the opposition candidate based on media manipulation and lies.  I know plenty of people have done just that in the past seven years or so (for dawg’s sake, 27% still think Bush is doing a heckuva job), but I’ve resigned myself to them being so adamantly ignorant that nothing could blast them into reality.  My solace was that the majority of the population would use its brainpower regarding the upcoming election.  Wrong.

The whole scene got ugly.  Friend got upset.  I was embarrassed to have reacted so vocally and apologized profusely.  But then it got quieter and the conversation continued.  I pointed out Clinton’s vote on the Kyl/Lieberman Amendment which basically lays the groundwork for invading Iran in a repeat of Iraq, and someone else responded with "The U.S. is already the world’s police, so what’s another country?"

I kid you not.

What is there left to say when people put more energy into their ignorance than their awareness? 

After the fact I wondered if maybe I could’ve changed their perspectives if I’d mentioned Clinton’s vote against banning land mines.

Yeah, right.

                          

This Is the Best The GOP Can Do?

John McCain will be the Republican presidential nominee.  He likes to pretend he’s a moderate, a maverick, someone who gives us the straight talk on all the difficult issues.  As we look ahead to what’s coming in the next nine months, here’s one jaw-dropping example of what John McCain is really all about (from an April 2007 stop on his “Straight Talk” tour):

Caucus Hangover

Last night we caucused in Colorado. 

Our caucus location for our House District is a local high school.  In the past, all forty precincts met around tables in the cafeteria.  During the last presidential cycle a total of 174 people participated and it was slightly chaotic yet energizing to have all those conversations and votes happening at the same time. 

Last night?  Well, 1,570 Democrats showed up to caucus at the high school.  It was full-on craziness.

Especially so in my precinct.  In the last two election cycles about ten people from my precinct came to caucus, and those were considered decent turnouts.  Last night, 76 people from my precinct showed up!

I was the precinct committee person and it was up to me to run the show.  Yikes.  Fortunately, we’d been assigned a classroom but even so, all the desks were taken and people sat on the floor and stood along the walls.  It was rather intimidating looking out at all those expectant faces, knowing how much we were expected to accomplish in the next two hours.  But with the help of Zippy acting as secretary and several kind people who told me throughout the evening that I was doing a fine job, we made it through.

(A big thank-you to[info]sarah_create for sending good thoughts my way.  I’d confessed to her that lately my voice wavers when I’m speaking in front of a group, mostly because I get over-excited and forget to breathe.  And yes, it wavered a little last night but I calmed down and got through everything that needed to be done.  Breathing is so important!)

So here’s how it broke down in our group:  During the non-binding straw poll, Zippy and I voted for Edwards and one woman voted for Gravel.  The rest were for Clinton and Obama, with Obama getting about seven more votes.  Then people gave short little speeches about why they supported their candidates and then we voted the official, binding vote.  Obama got 48 votes (including Zippy’s and mine since our two votes weren’t enough to make Edwards viable) and Clinton got 28.  It was pretty interesting how votes shifted the second time around.

I was thrilled so many people were there to participate but was less thrilled when people started filing out of the room as we voted for delegates to our county convention.  It does not bode well when people are passionate about a candidate for an hour but balk at the idea of spending a day as a delegate for that candidate.   However, we eventually ended up with enough delegates and a handful of alternates so we should be covered.

Another item on the caucus agenda is electing precinct committee people.  Each precinct should have two (ours had just me) and I told the remaining people I’d be happy to continue serving but that in all honesty, I didn’t have a burning enthusiasm for either candidate so maybe there were people in the room who wanted to step up and organize for their candidates.  And two people did just that!  So I’m no longer serving as the very bottom grassroots rung in the Democratic party, and part of me is a little sad but mostly I’m glad to be rid of that pressure.  Something tells me when it comes down to organizing against McCain, I’ll be there on the front lines anyway.

But for right now, I’m very happy the caucus is over and that I did right by my precinct.

                          

No Hope

Just discovered that John Edwards is dropping out of the presidential race today.  While I didn’t believe he had a chance to get the nomination, it was very important that he brought important issues and ideas to the debate.  He held Obama and Clinton accountable.

Now it’s only them.  They can go all corporate and centrist, and no one will be there to call them on it.

Oh yeah, and there’s Romney and McCain, too.

That hope I felt the other day is nowhere to be found.