Tuesday, November 11, 2008

fight the H8

keith olbermann's special comment - california proposition 8

full transcript below

Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.

Some parameters, as preface. This isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics, and this isn't really just about Prop-8. And I don't have a personal investment in this: I'm not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.

And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn't about yelling, and this isn't about politics.

This is about the... human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.

If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not... understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don't want to deny you yours. They don't want to take anything away from you. They want what you want -- a chance to be a little less alone in the world.

Only now you are saying to them -- no. You can't have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don't cause too much trouble. You'll even give them all the same legal rights -- even as you're taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can't marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn't marry?

I keep hearing this term "re-defining" marriage.

If this country hadn't re-defined marriage, black people still couldn't marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal... in 1967. 1967.

The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn't have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it's worse than that. If this country had not "re-defined" marriage, some black people still couldn't marry...black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not "Until Death, Do You Part," but "Until Death or Distance, Do You Part." Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.

You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are... gay.

And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing -- centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children... All because we said a man couldn't marry another man, or a woman couldn't marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage. How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the "sanctity" of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?

What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don't you, as human beings, have to embrace... that love? The world is barren enough.

It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.

And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?

With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate... this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness -- this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness -- share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of...love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out. Just don't extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don't know and you don't understand and maybe you don't even want to know...It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person...

Just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.

This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.

But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:

"I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam," he told the judge.

"It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:

"So I be written in the Book of Love;
"I do not care about that Book above.
"Erase my name, or write it as you will,
"So I be written in the Book of Love."


Good night, and good luck.

Monday, November 10, 2008

it's a new day

will.i.am's new song, post obama victory.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


this map will update automatically as poll results come in.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

obama bucks

warning - this is SO wrong.

Racist GOP mailing depicts Obama surrounded by KFC, watermelon, and food stamps.

A local California GOP women’s organization’s most recent newsletter claims that if Obama is elected, his face will appear on food stamps, rather than dollar bills like other presidents. The group then included a picture of “Obama Bucks” — a phony $10 bill with Obama surrounded by racist imagery.

The president of the organization, Diane Fedele, didn’t understand the charges of racism: “I didn’t see it the way that it’s being taken. I never connected. It was just food to me.” One African-American member of the club said that upon seeing the newsletter, she “cried for 45 minutes.” “This is what keeps African-Americans from joining the Republican Party,” she added. (HT: TPM and Oliver Willis)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

an irreverant and gorgeous prayer

A Prayer for You

I'm happy to announce that this a perfect moment. It's a perfect
moment for many reasons, but especially because I have been
inspired to say gigantic prayer for all of you. I've been roused
to unleash a divinely greedy, apocalyptically healing prayer for
each and every one of you -- even those of you who don't believe
in the power of prayer.

And so I am starting to pray right now to the God of Gods... the
God beyond all Gods... the Girlfriend of God... the Teacher of
God... the Goddess who invented God.

Dear Goddess, You who never kill but only change:

I pray that my exuberant, suave and accidental words will move you
to shower ferocious blessing down on everyone who reads this

I pray that you will give them what they don't even know they want
-- not just the boons they think they need but everything they've
always been afraid to even imagine or ask for.

Dear Goddess, You wealthy anarchist burning heaven to the ground:

Many of the divine chameleons out there don't even know that their
souls will live forever. So please use your blinding magic to help
them see that they are all wildly creative geniuses too big for
their own personalities.

Guide them to realize that they are all completely different from
what they think they are and more exciting than they can possibly

Make it illegal, immoral, irrelevant, unpatriotic and totally
tasteless for them to be in love with anyone or anything that's no
good for them.

O Goddess, You who give us so much love and pain mixed together
that our morality is always on the verge of collapsing:

I beg you to cast a boisterous love spell that will nullify all
the dumb ideas, bad decisions and nasty conditioning that have
ever cursed the wise and sexy virtuosos out there.

Remove, banish, annihilate and laugh into oblivion any jinx that
has clung to them, no matter how long they've suffered from it,
and even if they've become accustomed or addicted to its ugly

And please conjure an aura of protection around them so that they
will receive an early warning if they are ever about to act in
such a way as to bring another hex or plague or voodoo into their
lives in the future.

Dear Goddess, sweet Goddess, You sly universal virus with no
fucking opinion:

I pray that you will help all the personal growth addicts out
there become disciplined enough to go crazy in the name of
creation, not destruction.

I pray that you will help all the personal growth addicts out
there become disciplined enough to go crazy in the name of
creation, not destruction.

I pray that you will teach them the difference between oppressive
self-control and liberating self-control, awaken in them the power
to do the half-right thin when it is impossible to do the totally
right thing.

Arouse the Wild Woman within them -- even if they're men.

And please give them bigger, better, more original sings and
wilder, wetter, more interesting problems.

Dear Goddess, You pregnant slut who scorns all mediocre longing:

I pray that you will inspire all the compassionate rascals
communing with this prayer to love their enemies just in case
their friends turn out to be jerks.

Provoke them to throw away or give away all the things they own
that encourage them to be3lieve that they are better than anyone

Show them how much fun it is to brag about what they cannot do and
do not have.
Most of all, Goddess, brainwash them with your freedom so that
they never love their own pain more than anyone else's pain.

Dear Goddess, You psychedelic mushroom cloud at the center of all
our brains:

The curiously diving human beings reading this prayer deserve
everything they are yearning for and much, much more.

So please bless them with lucid dreams while they are wide awake
and solar-energy-operated sex toys that work even in the dark and
vacuum cleaners for their magic carpets and a knack for avoiding
other people's hells and their very own 900 number so that
everyone has to pay to talk to them and a secret admirer who is
not a psychotic stalker.

Dear Goddess, You fiercely tender, hauntingly reassuring,
orgiastically sacred feeling that is even now running through all
of our soft, warm animal bodies:

I pray that you provide everyone out there with a license to bend
and even break all rules, laws and traditions that keep them apart
from the things they love.

Show them how to purge the wishy-washy wishes that distract them
from their daring, dramatic, divine desires.

And teach them that they can have anything they want if they'll
only ask for it in an unselfish way.

And now dear God of Gods, God beyond all Gods, Girlfriend of God,
Teacher of God, Goddess who invented God, I bring this prayer to a
close, trusting that in these mysterious moments you have begun to
change everyone out there in the exact way they've needed to
change in order to express their soul's code.

Amen. Awomen. And glory halle-fucking-lujah.

(from an email i received; source unknown)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

global electoral college

if the world could vote in this election it would look something like this:

global electoral college

note that the blue countries are all for obama. you can barely see the red countries.

go here to see the interactive map for yourself.

via economist.com

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Great Schlep

The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

stop the sexism!

Commentary: Sexist treatment of Palin must end - CNN.com

I call upon the McCain campaign to stop treating Sarah Palin like she is a delicate flower who will wilt at any moment.

This woman is from Alaska for crying out loud. She is strong, she is tough, she is confident. And you claim she is ready to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. If that is the case, then end this chauvinistic treatment of her now. Allow her to show her stuff. 

Monday, September 22, 2008

palin's witchhunting pastor problem (or why harry potter should not travel to kenya)

palin's pastor problem
Pastor Thomas Muthee, who Sarah Palin credited with "awesome prayers" that helped her become the Alaska Governor, once led a witch hunt in Kenya. Figuratively, you may be wondering. Nope. Unfortunately not. In 2005 Muthee led an actual, old school, Salem-style witch hunt.

in related news: why harry potter should NOT travel to kenya
From Reuters (5/22/08) - NAIROBI - A mob has burned to death at least 11 people accused of witchcraft in an area of west Kenya where traditional beliefs run deep, police said on Wednesday. "Their houses were torched. Eight women and three men suspected of being witches died," Kenya's deputy police spokesman Charles Owino said...

Traditional African beliefs, Christianity and Islam co-exist peacefully in Kenya. But there is widespread suspicion of sorcery, particularly in west Kenya, which has a long tradition of witch doctors and faith healers. Owino said almost all the victims were elderly Kenyans, aged between 70 and 90, although one was nearer 40.

In 1993, eight elderly people from Kisii were also accused of witchcraft and burned to death in their huts by a mob.

yikes. i guess no one does expect the spanish inquisition.

olbermann's take

come for the fishin, stay for the rapin

Get Your War On: Sarah Palin and the Rape Kits - 236.com

Saturday, September 20, 2008

tina fey glasses

best SNL skit in a decade at least.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

vagina monologues weigh in on palin

Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best known for 'The Vagina Monologues', wrote the following about Sarah Palin

Drill, Drill, Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice. Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth, ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices of my lifetime, and should this country chose those candidates the fall-out may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic, the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, 'It was a task from God.'

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction. It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin spoke at the RNC, 'Drill Drill Drill.' I think of teeth when I think of drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler

September 5, 2008

Obama back up in the polls, "Palin factor" short-lived

mccain bounce over
image via political base

McCain Still Tied To Bush, Palin Slips, Obama Leads By 5
Candidates back to where they were before conventions, and Palin pick

Polls taken after the Republican convention suggested that Mr. McCain had enjoyed a surge of support - particularly among white women after his selection of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as his running mate - but the latest poll indicates “the Palin effect” was, at least so far, a limited burst of interest.

The contest appears to be roughly where it was before the two conventions and before the vice presidential selections: Mr. Obama has the support of 48 percent of registered voters, compared with 43 percent for Mr. McCain, a difference within the poll’s margin of sampling error, and statistically unchanged from the tally in the last New York Times/CBS News Poll in mid-August.

White women are evenly divided between Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama; before the conventions, Mr. McCain led Mr. Obama among white women by a margin of 44 percent to 37 percent.

By contrast, at this point in the 2004 campaign, President Bush was leading Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic challenger, by 56 percent to 37 percent among white women.

and in a TOTALLY unrelated story...

Palin's Favorability Ratings Begin to Falter
Palin seems to have lost some of her luster. Since Sept. 13, Palin's unfavorables have climbed from 30 percent to 36 percent. Meanwhile, her favorables have slipped from 52 percent to 48 percent. That's a three-day net swing of -10 points, and it leaves her in the Sept. 15 Diageo/Hotline tracking poll tied for the smallest favorability split (+12)** of any of the Final Four. [UPDATE: The Sept. 17 Diageo/Hotline tracking poll shows Palin at 47 percent favorable and 37 percent unfavorable--an even narrower +10 split.] Over the course of a single weekend, in other words, Palin went from being the most popular White House hopeful to the least.

seems like saying you don't know what the bush doctrine is and contradicting yourself constantly on tv interviews while making the exact same speech at every single political rally has some kind of effect, doesn't it?

so take that, you lyin', pork requestin', lipstick wearin', polar bear killin', feminism-manipulatin', bushian fascist mayor who made women pay for their OWN RAPE KITS!

karma's a bitch ain't it?

My Holiday with McCain

Note: This is an email I received last week from my mom. Demi works with my mother at a psychotherapy institute.  I realize this story cannot be fact-checked (except perhaps mccain's visit to this vacation spot, or the testimony of the other vacationers there), but I thought it a likely enough story to share with you all.  Please note the emphases are mine.  

This story comes from Anasuya Dubey, an American citizen, daugher of a previous Indian Consul General of San Francisco, and a clinical psychologist in California.

It was just before John McCain's last run at the presidential nomination in 2000 that my husband and I vacationed in Turtle Island in Fiji with John McCain, Cindy, and their children, including Bridget (their adopted Bangladeshi child).

It was not our intention, but it was our misfortune to be in close quarters with John McCain for almost a week since Turtle Island has a small number of bungalows and their focus on communal meals force all vacationers who are there at the same time to get to know each other intimately.

He arrived at our first group meal and started reading quotes from a pile of William Faulkner books with a forest of Post-Its sticking out of them. As an English Literature major myself, my first thought was "if he likes this so much, why hasn't he memorized any of this yet?"  I soon realized that McCain actually thought we had come on vacation to be a volunteer audience for his "readings" which then became a regular part of each meal. Out of politeness, none of the vacationers initially protested at this intrusion into their blissful holiday, but people's buttons definitely got pushed as the readings continued day after day.

Unfortunately this was not his only contribution to our mealtime entertainment. He waxed on during one meal about how Indo-Chine women had the best figures and that our American corn-fed women just couldn't meet up to this standard. He also made it a point that all of us should
stop Cindy from having dessert as her weight was too high and made a few comments to Amy, the 25 year old wife of the honeymooning couple from Nebraska that she should eat less as she needed to lose weight.

McCain's appreciation of the beauty of Asian women was so great that David, the American economist had to move his Thai wife to the other side of the table from McCain as McCain kept aggressively flirting with and touching her.

Needless to say I was irritated at his large ego, and his rude behavior towards his wife and other women, but decided he must have some redeeming qualities as he had adopted a handicapped child from Bangladesh. I asked him about this one day and his response was shocking:

"Oh, that was Cindy's idea – I didn't have anything to do with it. She just went and adopted this thing without even asking me. You can't imagine how people stare when I wheel this ugly, black thing around in a shopping cart in Arizona. No, it wasn't my idea at all."

I actively avoided McCain after that, but unfortunately one day he engaged me in a political discussion which soon got us on the topic of the US bombing of Iraq... I was shocked when he said
"if I was in charge, I would nuke Iraq to teach them a lesson." Given McCain's personal experience with the horrors of war I had expected a more balanced point of view.

I commented on the tragic consequences of the nuclear attacks on Japan during WWII – but no, he was not to be dissuaded. He went on to say that
if it was up to him he would have dropped many more nuclear bombs on Japan. I rapidly extricated myself from this conversation as I could tell that his experience being tortured as a POW didn't seem to have mellowed out his perspective but rather had made him more aggressive and vengeful towards the world.

My final encounter with McCain was on the morning that he was leaving Turtle Island. Amy and I were happily eating pancakes when McCain arrived and told Amy that she shouldn't be having pancakes because she needed to lose weight. Amy burst into tears at this abusive comment. I felt fiercely protective of Amy and immediately turned to McCain and told him to leave her alone. He became very angry and abusive towards me, and said "Don't you know who I am?" and I looked him in the face and said
"Yes, you are the biggest asshole I have ever met," and headed back to my cabin.

I am happy to say that later that day when I arrived at lunch I was given a standing ovation by all the guests for having stood up to McCain's bullying.

Although I have shared my McCain story informally with friends, this is the first time I am making this public. I almost did so in 2000, when McCain first announced his bid for the Republican nomination but it soon became apparent that George Bush was the shoo-in candidate and so I did not act then. 

However, now that there is a very real possibility that McCain could be elected as our next president, I feel it is my duty as an American citizen to share this story. I can't imagine a more scary outcome for America than that this abusive, aggressive man should lead our nation. I have observed him in intimate surroundings as he really is, not how the media portrays him to be. If his attitudes toward women, and his treatment of his own family, are even a small indicator of his real personality, then I shudder to think what will happen to America were he to be elected as our President.

*the preface to this email read:

Hi all,

My friend Ana accidently found herself on vacation with John McCain and his wife a few years ago, and she has this to say about her experience with him during his 'off time.'  She is a VERY trustworthy source, someone I know from my training at the Wright Institute, her father was a diplomat, she has lived all over the world, and she is one of my favorite people I've met during my psychology training.  I think this description corroborates many other descriptions of McCain's character and is important for people to know about... feel free to send it on if anyone you know would be swayed by this...

Love to all,


Thursday, September 11, 2008

palin links iraq to 911

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

The idea that Iraq shared responsibility with Al-Qaeda for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself.

via washington post

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

brain rape

link via salon

As a woman who does not believe what Palin believes, the thought of such an opportunistic anti-female in the White House -- in the Cheney chair, no less -- is akin to ideological brain rape. What this Republican blowup doll does with her own insides in accord with her own faith is her business. But, like the worst and most terrifying of religious extremists, she seems very comfortable with the idea of imposing her own views on everyone else.

I did not think that women being downgraded to second-class, three-holed chattel would be a pressing concern in my lifetime. I thought it was like polio, or witch burning -- an inhumane error that had already been corrected. But after eight years of Republican hegemony, and now the potential ascendance of this sheep in ewe's clothing, I am so mortally offended I feel like it is really time for women to be angry, hardcore and disgusted again. Not just with old white Christian patriarchs and their hopelessly calcified, religiously condoned misogyny, but also with the self-abnegating, submissive female Uncle Tommies whose ambitions and eagerness to please the powerful males of their tribe are so desperate that they would sell out their sovereignty over their own bodies. And yours too.


Sarah Palin and her virtual burqa have me and my friends retching into our handbags. She's such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it's easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism.

that's how i've been feeling too... like a jew watching the rise of the nazis in 1936. it's nice to hear from another person who feels the same way.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

trojan moose

Her critics like to say that Palin hasn't accomplished anything. I disagree: in the space of ten days she's succeeded in distracting the entire country from the horrific Bush record -- and McCain's complicity in it. My friends, that's accomplishment we can believe in.

Just look at the problem John McCain faced. George Bush has a disastrous record, and the country knows it. John McCain -- the current one, not the one who vanished eight years ago -- has no major disagreements with George Bush (and I'm sorry, wanting to fire Donald Rumsfeld a bit sooner doesn't qualify) and wants to continue his incredibly unpopular policies for another four years. The solution? Enter Sarah Palin, a Trojan Moose carrying four more years of disaster...

link via huffington post

faux news: obama is an "angry black man"

Note that Stein says Obama is an angry black male without giving any reason or explanation for the charge. Show host Neil Cavuto did not challenge Stein’s claim; instead, he echoes it. Meanwhile, neither Stein nor Cavuto makes mention of John McCain’s well documented anger management issues.

Monday, September 8, 2008

a new anti-feminist low for palin - making woman pay for their own rape kits

link: palin's administration made women pay for their own rape kits

from the diary of prof frink @ dailykos

During her time as mayor she hired a lobbyist linked to the now disgraced and convicted Jack Abramoff. The city of 6,500 obtained $26.7 million in pork-barrel earmarks during her last four years as mayor, that’s a per capita of over $1000 per person, expensive for even Alaska. Steven R has already written a wonderful diary about a policy position of her appointee as Police Chief, Charlie Fannon.Chief Fannon went on the record with his opposition to a law signed in May of 2000 requiring that cities foot the bill for rape kits for victims, essential to the conviction of the perpetrator. You see, until that time, Wasilla expected women to pay for their own kit for $300-$1300, on the premise that the kit would be paid for by the fines and penalties assessed of the eventual convict, assuming a conviction was forthcoming.

    A city swimming in federal earmark money that can’t afford to help ensure that victimized women don’t have to pay for the evidence to seek justice, this is the city that Palin led as mayor. Between 2000 and 2005 Wasilla averaged 2 arrests per year for rape. This number does not count attempted rapes.This also doesn’t account that the DOJ estimates that as little as 26% of rapes go unreported, or those who are never arrested and charged for a notoriously hard to try and convict crime. In 2003, her last budget, Wasilla had a total budget of $12.5 million including capital projects (Ordinance 02-23 (am), 5/13/2002). In 2000, said Chief Fannon, "I just don’t want to see any more burden put on the taxpayer" when asked about the rape kit law.

    Maybe she could have used of the $27 million in earmarks the city had obtained. Just how many rape kits could she have afforded with that? Assuming the maximum price of $1300 per kit, that money could have bought 20,538 kits. Alaska averaged 541 rape arrests per year between 1996 and 2002. That means that just the federal pork money Wasilla obtained could have provided enough rape kits to provide the entire state of Alaska with rape kits for at least 30 years. And yet Sarah Palin’s own police chief couldn’t see the point in "burdening the tax payers" with the costs of the kits for his town’s women.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

more lies from mccain and palin

"How many saw her speech a couple of nights ago? Wasn't it fabulous?" McCain said Friday during a campaign stop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. "You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was purchased by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — and made a profit."

But it turns out the twin-engine Westwind II was a tough sell on the Web — and the state eventually pulled it offline and sold it through an ordinary brick-and-mortar brokerage, for a loss, a spokeswoman said Friday.

link: palin's jet didn't sell on ebay

Friday, September 5, 2008

what we know about palin - week 1

today is the one week anniversary of the announcement of sarah palin's appointment as the republican vice-presidential nominee.  i've put together a listing of bunch of information about palin that has come to light in the last week.

perhaps i'll start a weekly roundup of all the delightful information that comes to light about this ultra-conservative, anti-choice, oil-drilling, earmark-demanding, polar-bear killing, loyalty-demanding bully who's got a sneer that makes dubya look like a benevolent deity.


anne kilkenny, a concerned citizen from wasilla, alaska (palin's hometown - the one she was mayor of) who knows sarah palin well, wrote a letter on august 31, 2008 to a few friends which is now circulating wildly through the internet.

the mccain camp is trying to halt the "troopergate" investigation into palin's firing of walter monegan because of his failure to fire her sister's ex-husband (even though she'd been demanding that her ex-brother in law be fired for over a year!).  "there's a question as to whether [the investigation] should continue" said one mccain/palin advisor.  because she's a woman, no doubt.

palin attended five different colleges in six years before graduating from the university of idaho.  all five schools claim that the mccain camp contacted none of them during palin's background investigation and "vetting process."  it is as yet unknown why she had to switch colleges every year.

though she casts herself as a "fresh face" and "maverick," republican party officials say that she's been being "groomed for higher office" since her run for mayor of wasilla in 1996.

the anchorage daily news has the story about palin, upon securing the mayorship of wasilla in 1996, threatening and then firing the city librarian for refusing to ban books, as well as firing the former police chief, irl stambaugh, an action which violated civil rights laws that prohibit retaliation for politial activity.  she also fired 3 other city directors in the same sweep, and claimed, at the time, that the firings were simply loyalty tests.  

a group of citizens residing in wasilla discussed a recall of palin due to the controversial firings, but decided not to pursue it as they did not want to be "divisive."

politico.com talks about the 2006 research document put together by palin's opponent in the alaska gubernatorial race, describing her overzealous conservatism and micromanaging, bullying governing style.

the seattle times has a lengthy article reviewing many of the issues that have arisen upon palin's propulsion into the national spotlight, including her controversial firings, her vindictive nature, her firing of walter monegan, the public safety commissioner, for refusing to fire her brother-in-law, her rare, bizarre appearances at alaskan gubernatorial debates in 2006, and of course, her flip-flopping on the bridge to nowhere.

mccain video used "stock photo" images of black people

apparently, after they paid to get that rwandan woman to the convention for cindy's speech, they could only afford $1 or $2 for any additional black people.
The Republicans couldn't find very many African American supporters to show on the Big Screen Of Triumph... so they simply put up stock photos of black people...Both these images appeared in McCain's [video] introduction, but you can also buy them for a buck or two from  iStockphoto.com:

story via hunter at daily kos

Thursday, September 4, 2008

check the electoral vote predictor, updated daily

right here

sample map from 9/04/2008
electoral-vote pic sept 4 2008

good take on palin

While you could say a lot of things about Sarah Palin's screed of an acceptance speech, it would suffice to simply note that it's pretty damn rich for John McCain to dispatch a secessionist to criticize any American's patriotism.

To use Palin's formulation: when the delegates have retreated to their Hummer dealerships and gated communities, and when the hockey mom platitudes have faded back to Wasilla, Sarah Palin is still a petty, corrupt, pork-barelling, flip-flopping secessionist terrified of anyone inclined to peel back the veneer on her shady recent past.

via trapper john at daily kos

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

sarah palin gives her best recital ever

watching sarah palin recite her speech tonight at the RNC in st. paul was fairly excruciating, but i'm all in favor of "know thy enemy." so i watched. a bunch of really good speech-writers have clearly been awake for the last 6 days - which is when we first heard of this person, because mccain couldn't decide on a vp until 3 days prior to the convention... more comforting judgment skills there - writing this stunningly mobilizing, red meat-throwing, really mean speech for her to recite. and palin is an incredibly charismatic and well-spoken mouthpiece for the efficient, vicious soundbytes that were contained in that speech... and i'm sure will be in many to come.

of course she's well spoken. i mean, she was ms. alaska after all. her voice is kind of annoying though. some kind of michigan/wisconsin accent but minus the cuteness and plus the smarminess.

in any case, the speech that was written for this former beauty queen to recite (and she gets an A!) was essentially a stream of patent lies and vicious insults. her tone during her recital was sarcastic, smarmy, snide, condescending, nasty. the words though, spouting out of the sweetly smiling mouth of a pretty, "spunky" woman with "moxie," seemed to lose their sarcasm and meanness as they flowed out over the audience of adoring delegates, who transformed them, somehow, into hope and joy, as they responded to this woman who they have been praying will be "the one." and tonight, she seemed to answer their prayers.

they want their obama too, after all. they don't want to miss all the fun this year. and now they get to have a "historic" candidate too, just like the democrats. how proud they must feel!

the delegates weren't very excited before. bad year to be a republican. hurricane on the first day bringing back ghosts of katrina. bush, first sitting president not to attend the convention of his own party since 1972... most unpopular president in half a century. the republican delegates were lackluster. they had no focus. they were confused.

until this woman appeared, as if from heaven, and showed them the light.

oh and by the way, she wasn't being vicious, or mean, no, she was just being a strong woman, and how dare the damn democrats say she shouldn't be strong just because she's a woman? those dems, always fighting against feminism and women's rights... when will they learn?

feminism, used against us by the patriarchal enemies. oh goddess, deliver us!

i think we know why mccain picked her now. she's exactly what they needed, someone to be the nasty republican attack dog while maintaining their grace and charm, without looking like cheney, or rove, or bush. she's damn good at it, that evil bitch.

the other factor is mccain's decision has got to be that poor down's syndrome baby. after palin's recital, when the family and then mccain come out to stand with her, she grabs that baby and hold him right next to her face, so he's in all the camera shots.

it's a perfect pity party... retarded baby and pow veteran who's lost all his teeth and can't raise his arms above his shoulders. if the dems pulled this, the republicans would be calling pity party.

it's disturbing to me the way she seems to throw her children into the ring without a care, using them as political tools. the republicans can threaten the media all they like but palin released the statement about her daughter's pregnancy, and i fervently hope the media will not back down on this, now that they're actually doing their jobs.

the most oxymoronic, hypocritical moment of perhaps the entire convention (competing with her derogatory rant about how obama is the celebrity candidate - when that's exactly what she has become) was when, amongst a stream of nasty insults to obama's character, morality and experience, palin sarcastically accused obama of being "afraid someone won't read them their rights," referring to the evil arab terrorists in guantanamo i guess.

the dirty arabs shouldn't have rights, this much is clear. come on, they bombed, well, there was 911... remember? i know it's been 7 years but we can still manipulate it to our advantage - we're really good at doing it!

so let me just reiterate the obvious here: the entire republican national convention has been centered for days around john mccain's heroism in surviving torture in a vietnamese pow prison camp.

i completely agree that mccain is an amazing person for having survived that, and is to be honored and respected for his service, perhaps particularly for choosing not to be released before other prisoners who had been there longer, a display of great honor.

*as an aside, i'm not sure that's the kind of decision making process that we would want in a leader... someone who would just stay (and keep every single american with him) in a terrible situation, for honor and only honor, denying any other complexities of the situation in favor of the one track he is doggedly set on, not to be deterred. this kind of stubbornness (which the republicans like to couch as being a "maverick") is actually reminiscent of a certain president we know. change? doesn't sound like it.

in any case, this whole week has been a grand ol' "mccain is a hero, he choose to be tortured for us, just like jeebus did" party. and the message about torture has been, pretty consistently, that it is generally a bad thing.

but palin, and i couldn't believe the words were actually coming out of her mouth; it was the closest i've come to breaking the tv set - used as an attack the fact that obama wants prisoners to be mirandized, offering this to her audience as proof that he is clearly the biggest pussy who has ever walked the face of the earth.

that she says this is bad enough. that the line gets a standing ovation is far more disturbing. her statements leading up to that one got good applause, but the "read them their rights" line gets the crowd on their feet, hungry for blood.
"Victory in Iraq is finally in sight ... he wants to forfeit.

"Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay ... he wants to meet them without preconditions.

"Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights?'

(cheers and standing ovation)

why does that get the biggest response? the only rational explanation i can think of is that torturing arab prisoners is somehow revenge for vietnam... how else could such an anti-torture convention cheer for the idea of people being held without being mirandized? i mean besides the fact that they only really care of white people are being tortured.

does she, do they, think that no one should have fought for john mccain and his fellow pows to be treated according to international human rights law when they were staying at the hanoi hilton? or is it like, well, mccain had to go through it, so these bastards do too?

someone, somewhere in the party must realize this glaring hypocrisy. right?

watch the video/read the transcript of palin's recital here. if you think you can stand it.

mccain lolz

mccain lolz
Originally uploaded by scorpiosunset

best lol ever

via warren ellis

republican insiders caught by hot mic talking shit about mccain and the palin pick

on the most critical night of the year so far for the mccain-palin ticket, two republican insiders, mike murphy and peggy noonan, were talking with chuck todd on msnbc. the segment wrapped up... but the mikes were still on.


Chuck Todd: Mike Murphy, lots of free advice, we'll see if Steve Schmidt and the boys were watching. We'll find out on your blackberry. Tonight voters will get their chance to hear from Sarah Palin and she will get the chance to show voters she's the right woman for the job Up next, one man who's already convinced and he'll us why Gov. Jon Huntsman.

(cut away)

Peggy Noonan: Yeah.

Mike Murphy: You know, because I come out of the blue swing state governor world: Engler, Whitman, Tommy Thompson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush. I mean, these guys -- this is how you win a Texas race, just run it up. And it's not gonna work. And --

PN: It's over.

MM: Still McCain can give a version of the Lieberman speech to do himself some good.

CT: I also think the Palin pick is insulting to Kay Bailey Hutchinson, too.

PN: Saw Kay this morning.

CT: Yeah, she's never looked comfortable about this --

MM: They're all bummed out.

CT: Yeah, I mean is she really the most qualified woman they could have turned to?

PN: The most qualified? No! I think they went for this -- excuse me-- political bullshit about narratives --

CT: Yeah they went to a narrative.

MM: I totally agree.

PN: Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it.

MM: You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical.

CT: This is cynical, and as you called it, gimmicky.

MM: Yeah.

a reminder to women about why we should vote

The women were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 helpless women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."

They beat
Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.

For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms. When one of the leaders,
Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because--why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie "
Iron Jawed Angels." It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder...

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized.  And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave.  That didn't make her crazy.  

The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."

              alice paul, suffragette leader                                            lucy burns, 1913

click here for more information on these amazing suffragettes and others in the national woman’s party, 1910-1920