Friday, October 31, 2008
1. Obama is the leadership we need. President Clinton offered Obama's campaign as proof, pointing out that a good President can accomplish what he says he will do and the grassroots movement Obama has built is evidence of this capability. Clinton also made mention of Obama's actions during the economic crisis how, instead of making erratic decisions, he waited until he could gather as much information as possible (including calling President Clinton) before he made any kind of decision. A steady hand at the tiller: now that's the change we need.
2. Obama can only do so much unless he has a fillibuster proof majority in the Senate. Clearly Al Franken's strategy going down the stretch is to tie his electoral hopes to Obama's coattails, and there is a very good argument for why this should work. Clinton noted that "I've been there" and he knows what it is like to have an un co-operative Congress. It is absolutely vital that we put a Democrat back into Paul Wellstone's seat in the Senate, and move one step closer to that magic number of 60.
3. He was an awesome President and is a great public speaker. Seriously, modesty is not his game (but can you blame him?)
The theme for the night was Obama+Franken=Change and after I left the convention hall I couldn't have been more convinced that this is true. It is so extremely-absolutely-essentially vital that we elect Al to the United States Senate.
To sign up to help out for the FOUR DAYS remaining until the election visit GOTVFORCHANGE.COM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
In a recent article on the Huffington Post, Todd Palmer and Rob Pringle dissect this speech and all of it's entertaining ignorance. Some of the juicier bits:
The full article, titled "In Case You Weren't Scared Enough: Palin on Fruit Fly Research" is available here.
It's hard to know where to begin deconstructing this statement. This was a speech on autism, and Palin's critics have pounced on the fact that a recent study of Drosophila fruit flies showed that a protein called neurexin is essential for proper neurological function -- a discovery with clear implications for autism research.
Awkward! But this critique merely scrapes icing off the cake.
Fruit flies are more than just the occasional vehicles for research relevant to human disabilities. They are literally the foundation of modern genetics, the original model organism that has enabled us to discover so much of what we know about heredity, genome structure, congenital disorders, and (yes) evolution. So for Palin to state that "fruit fly research" has "little or nothing to do with the public good" is not just wrong -- it's mind-boggling.
Monday, October 27, 2008
On the heels of breaking news (see below), that two skinheads were caught planning an attack on a gun store which would then lead to a murdering spree of black youths, with an eventual goal of trying to assassinate Barack Obama the Chair of the Tennessee Republican party has this to say:
"Hate is not a political party, policy statement, agenda or ideology - it is a pure evil that no place in civil society," said Robin Smith, Chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party. "Whether it is neo-Nazi skinheads plotting a racist shooting spree targeting Sen. Obama, or West Hollywood liberals hanging Gov. Sarah Palin in effigy and calling it 'art,' or unknown anarchists tossing bricks through the windows of a county Republican headquarters in Murfreesboro, Americans of all political views should be outraged."
You know what would have been good/classy/correct? You could have not said anything, acknowledge the very real threat to 102 of your neighbors and the somewhat more distant threat to a candidate for the presidency of our nation. AT THE VERY LEAST, you could have kept your mouth shut.
Instead you try and compare that plot to this:
An effigy of U.S. Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin hanging by a noose as part of a Halloween display drew complaints on Monday, but local officials said the homeowner was covered by free speech rights.
"People have First Amendment rights (to free speech)," Goss said. "I would speculate that if it's part of a Halloween display then its political satire."
Was the effigy tactless? Yes.
Was the effigy threatening? Maybe.
Was the effigy anywhere near the realm of planning to kill 102 individuals and then make an attempt on the life of a presidential candidate? NO!
For the record, I would be saying the same thing if a group was caught making a serious attempt against anyone and John McCain.
Some people just don't get it!
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says it has disrupted a skinhead plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and kill 102 black people.
From the AP 3:26
WASHINGTON (AP) — The ATF says it has broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree. In court records unsealed Monday, agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target an unnamed but predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads.
We will update as more information comes in.
Update 3:51 AP again:
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of the Nashville field office for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said the two men planned to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another 14. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community."
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
"They said that would be their last, final act — that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama," Cavanaugh said. "They didn't believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
From CBS Horse Race: The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that the Obama campaign has told station WFTV-Channel 9 not to expect any more interviews until after the election.
According to a blog on the paper's Web site, this stems from a satellite interview the Orlando station's Barbara West conducted with Joe Biden on Thursday.
West asked the Democratic vice presidential nominee to defend whether the ticket's policies were "Marxist" and whether Biden's comments about Obama being "tested" early in his presidency were saying "America's days as the world's leading power are over."
So maybe this interview is not representative of every media outlet. Anyway, it's ridiculous. (Massive H/T to Wonkette for being a great repository of great links)
Highlight of the interview:
Anchor: You may recognize this famous quote "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" that's from Karl Marx. How is Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?
Joe Biden: Are you joking? Is this a joke?
Joe Biden: Is that a real question?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
1) CNN clip:
Several McCain advisers have suggested to CNN that they have become increasingly frustrated with what one aide described as Palin "going rogue."
A Palin associate, however, said the candidate is simply trying to "bust free" of what she believes was a damaging and mismanaged roll-out.
McCain sources say Palin has gone off-message several times, and they privately wonder whether the incidents were deliberate. They cited an instance in which she labeled robocalls -- recorded messages often used to attack a candidate's opponent -- "irritating" even as the campaign defended their use. Also, they pointed to her telling reporters she disagreed with the campaign's decision to pull out of Michigan.
"Also, she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: Divas trust only unto themselves, as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom."
"She's no longer playing for 2008; she's playing 2012," Democratic pollster Peter Hart said. "And the difficulty is, when she went on 'Saturday Night Live,' she became a reinforcement of her caricature. She never allowed herself to be vetted, and at the end of the day, voters turned against her both in terms of qualifications and personally.
2)The Humans are Dead
Paul and Sheila continue to guide us as we fight for right and justice.
Friday, October 24, 2008
More Fluff. 'Nuff Said.
From the AP:
"I appreciate a lot of information. I think that comes from growing up in a family of school teachers," she said.
Palin said if she and husband Todd had had a sixth child, they had already picked a name for a boy joining siblings Track, Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig.
"I always wanted a son named Zamboni," she said.
It's not April 1st, I am not making this up. But it is close to Halloween...imagine her your President!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
We only have twelve days until the election, and we're desperate for your help.
Please get in touch with me right away if you want to get involved. Here's what we have going on next week:
1. Study break visits on Sunday 10/26. We're meeting at 9:30pm in Upper Sayles, and then spreading out across campus to distribute voting info/recruit volunteers. This shouldn't take more than an hour!
2. Al Franken on campus, Thursday 10/30. The rally starts at 5:45pm, location TBA. stay tuned!
3. Dorm storming Monday through Thursday from 8-10pm. Carleton straddles THREE different precincts, so it's especially important that we talk with students and make sure they know where they need to vote on E-day.
Finally, this isn't a time to sit back and expect Democrats to take Minnesota handily. The media has been inflating Obama's numbers in Minnesota big time-- internal polling shows that the race here is much closer than people realize. Presidential race aside, statewide youth vote turnout will literally make the difference between electing Norm Coleman or Al Franken to the US Senate. If students don't vote in Northfield, David Bly will lose his State House seat. If students don't vote in Northfield, Steve Sarvi doesn't have a shot in hell of unseating Congressman John Kline. Now is the time to do your part. We need you, and we aren't kidding.
This is the home stretch,
They released this statement:
"We believe he has the will and the ability to forge the broad political consensus that is essential to finding solutions to this nation's problems."
Darn tootin he does!
The grandchildren of conservative icon Barry Goldwater have joined Christopher Buckley, and Colin Powell in moving away from their conservative backgrounds and endorsing Barack Obama. The endorsement was written in an essay (available here) which strongly condemns the McCain campaign. Its worth noting that not only was Goldwater Reagan's ideological mentor, but he was also the Senator from Arizona whose seat John McCain now holds. Read an excerpt here:
My grandfather had undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its true meanings.
There always have been a glimmer of hope that someday, someone would "race through the gate" full steam in Goldwater style. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened, and the Republican brand has been tarnished in a shameless effort to gain votes and appeal to the lowest emotion, fear. Nothing about McCain, except for maybe a uniform, compares to the same ideology of what Goldwater stood for as a politician. The McCain/Palin plan is to appear diverse and inclusive, using women and minorities to push an agenda that makes us all financially vulnerable, fearful, and less safe.
When you see the candidate's in political ads, you can't help but be reminded of the 1964 presidential campaign of Johnson/Goldwater, the 'origin of spin', that twists the truth and obscures what really matters. Nothing about the Republican ticket offers the hope America needs to regain it's standing in the world, that's why we're going to support Barack Obama. I think that Obama has shown his ability and integrity.
After the last eight years, there's a lot of clean up do. Roll up your sleeves, Senators Obama and Biden, and we Goldwaters will roll ours up with you.
A new IBD/TIPP poll released today claims that Obama's lead is down to just 1.1 percentage points from 6.0% as of Tuesday. Should Democrats be worried? No.
Come November 4th it won't matter the slightest who is ahead or behind in the polls. Everything that has been leading up to this point will be nullified by who shows up to vote. We're so close. All we have to do now is Get Out the Vote!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Moving Minnesota toward a system of constitutional amendments to formulate funding would lock legislators and the governor into budgetary decisions that they are elected -- and paid -- to make.Now, this is a valid argument for basic principles of democracy. With a constitutional amendment dictating (at least part of) the budget, the current state legislature cannot accurately claim to be totally representative of their constituents current needs or desires. Their hands would be tied by this amendment.
But isn't that the point? Maybe that's exactly what we need. This is not a political issue but a moral one; There is no red or blue when we're talking about saving Minnesota's green. Amending the state Constitution to include this act would take the issue of funding for environmental protection completely off the table for the annual budget.
There is precedent regarding amendments for allocation of taxes for the public good. In 2006, Minnesota voters passed the transportation amendment which dedicated the tax from all sales of motor-vehicles to improvements in public transportation and highways. State infrastructure is not something to be played around with in each budget. It is just too valuable to be left up to term-limited politicians with un-knowable agendas. It is the same situation with The Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment. We must take this extremely important issue into our own hands.
Let's lock in this amendment on November 4th with a "Yes" vote and seal the future of Minnesota's environmental well-being.
You can find more information about the amendment here.
Remember when Bachmann was a crazy on national tv and said that Barack Obama and congress people are "anti-american"? If not check out, Izzy's post about it.
Also, remember how Republicans pulled out of funding ads for the 3rd Congressional District, so that they could fund Michelle Bachmann?
Since Friday, Elwyn Tinklenberg, her opponent (a very well qualified candidate, who fits the district very well and has had some difficulty fundraising against Bachmann), has reported that he has raised more than $1,000,000 dollars since Friday. The momentum is clearly on his side.
Either becuase they think that Tinklenberg is going to win, or because they are tired of crazy Michelle Bachmann, or because they're running out of money, the Republican National Committee is pulling out of her campaign. This spells doom for Bachmann.
See Tinklenberg's latest ad here:
Donate to Tinklenberg here.
John McCain is on the bad side of momentum. He doesn't have anywhere near the funds Barack Obama does, 538 has Barack Obama winning in 93% of simulations, prediction shares for John McCain winning the election are selling for less than 15 cents on the dollar as the above picture illustrates (compared to Barack Obama's prediction stock which is selling for 86 cents on the dollar). See McCain's prediction stock chart above and Obama's below.
The media continues to analyze the various problems of the McCain campaign while conservative columnist David Brooks sings Obama's praises:
We’ve been watching Barack Obama for two years now, and in all that time there hasn’t been a moment in which he has publicly lost his self-control. This has been a period of tumult, combat, exhaustion and crisis. And yet there hasn’t been a moment when he has displayed rage, resentment, fear, anxiety, bitterness, tears, ecstasy, self-pity or impulsiveness.
Democrats should not forget how easily those things earned can be taken away, and those who can should try to think back to 2004, 2002, 2000, and 1998, when momentum was not with the Democrats. Let's make sure this campaign is beyond the reach of racism, vote tampering, vote repression, bad weather, or bad luck. Let's put it away. The Obama campaign still needs your help. If you go to carleton, please contact Erika or Eddie about helping. If you don't go to Carleton or want to help beyond campus, check out what Barack and Joe Biden have for you on their website here.
More on the big Mo' from CBS Horserace:
There are plenty of signs pointing toward a decisive victory for Barack Obama in less than two weeks. The campaign is now being played out almost exclusively in those traditional Republican states John McCain must win, Democrats hold a huge advantage in new voter registration, he"s being outspent at a rate never before seen in presidential politics and the polls aren"t tightening the way many expected, at least not yet.
In case the McCain campaign needed one more reminder of the position they"re in, consider this: Barack Obama has raised over $600 million for his campaign and the Republican camp finds itself besieged with outrage this morning over a report that they"ve spent $150,000 on a makeover for Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and her family since she was selected for the ticket in September.
This is what being on the wrong side of political momentum looks like. The Politico breathlessly reported last night that the Republican National Committee spent $150,000 in shops like Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue to "clothe and accessorize" Palin and her family for the campaign trail. Spending money on such personal items may run afoul of campaign laws although the McCain campaign says the clothes will be donated to charity after the election.
Click here for a slideshow of her illegally bought outfits.
Monday, October 20, 2008
While we've generally enjoyed the political commentary, and that just repeating things that Sarah Palin says is plenty funny by itself, something's been troubling me about it. Fred Armisen has been portraying Barack Obama. (And his impersonation of Obama actually sounds quite a lot like Pablo!) This past Thursday, Darryl Hammond portrayed Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Both did a reasonably good job of picking up some of the funnier idiosyncrasies of each character, my problem is not with their talent. It's that neither man was Black.
There is one Black actor on the cast of SNL, Kenan Thompson. In fact, there have been fewer than 10 people of color on the cast of SNL in the past decade or so, including Armisen, who is of Venezuelan and Japanese descent.
Well, surprise, people of color are relevant. It would bother me a lot if women were portrayed by men on SNL because they had failed to hire any women. And not just because it looks ridiculous, because I enjoy drag as much as the next liberal college student, but because I really, truly believe that people deserve a say in how they are portrayed.
When TV characters of color are already pushed into pretty little racialized boxes which are racial cones of silence, in which none of them talk to each other about race, it's a problem when White people get to decide what is said about them, how it is said, and what it looks like.
And even though SNL is no longer the representation of the zeitgeist it once was, media representations are seen, and are relevant, and create the images we have of each other. The point is that if SNL wants to portray people of color, they should hire people of color to do it. White people should absolutely not have a monopoly on the portrayal of people of color.
Check out the performances here:
Fred Armisen as Barack Obama
Darrell Hammond as Jesse Jackson
Now, I'm no mind-reader, but it seems to me that what Bachmann's really saying here is that liberals fall squarely into the anti-American camp, while she and her conservative cohorts stand firmly on the side of baseball, apple pie, and the American flag. But since when has affiliation with the opposite political party made one an enemy of one's country? Bachmann's comments, perhaps more so than anything else this election season, epitomize a major problem in the current political climate: the idea that Americans can be classified as either patriots or traitors on the basis of their political support. Liberals and conservatives may disagree, but therein lies the beauty of democracy, and to discourage these differences by throwing around terms like "pro-America" and "anti-America" does our nation no favors. Such a black-and-white mentality will not strengthen and unite us; no, it will only drive us farther apart, and its use by a woman with a distaste for the anti-American makes the situation oh-so-ironic indeed.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I took a few videos of Michelle with my digital camera. Not the best quality, but good enough so you can see what we saw--a smart, passionate woman representing a smart, passionate man who really understands what makes America tick.
First, Michelle thanks the volunteers--just like us!--who have contributed to Barack's success.
Next, a baby is also excited about Obama. (For more pictures we creepily took of excited babies, check out Emily's and my blog, This Week in Babies.)
Third, Michelle explains why Barack is the best man for the job.
Finally, Michelle is gorgeous and YES WE CAN!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Some Links (Not a lot of major coverage yet):
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
IT'S NOT OVER YET!!
I understand that feeling, but we need to make sure we didn't just do enough to get by. We have to crush, we have to dominate. We have to make sure that on November 5th, there is no chance that any of us will say "I could have done more." Plus...
WE MUST ELECT AL FRANKEN TO THE SENATE, STEVE SARVI TO THE HOUSE, AND DAVID BLY TO THE STATE HOUSE!
We have plenty left to do.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A new father has secretly named his baby girl Sarah McCain Palin after the Republican ticket for president and vice president.
Mark Ciptak of Elizabethton put that name on the documents for the girl's birth certificate, ignoring the name Ava Grace, which he and his wife had picked earlier.
You may wonder why?
"I took one for the cause," he said
It would be interesting to learn how many Barack's were born this year?
Last year, Barack was not in the top 1000 names of baby boys born in the USA (which means that there were fewer than 133 babies born with that name, if at all)
Worried that your parents or other "older" loved ones are not voting for Obama? Learn how to have "The Talk" here.
Monday, October 13, 2008
-He is dropping out of high school.
-He is not voting in the election because he missed the registration deadline.
He should move to Minnesota where we have same day registration! Yay MN!
From day to day the polls go back and forth. Generally Obama has been looking pretty good - pulling ahead in swing states and generally polling ahead of McCain where we need him to. The question is: by how much? There has been a lot of talk in the national media lately of the Bradley Effect. This effect refers to the documented research which states that in order to know the true viability of a black political candidate, you must subtract 5-7% from his/her polling data. The research suggests that when a pollster calls a voter, the voter attempts to seem "tolerant" or unaffected by race. But in the privacy of a voting booth, some Americans still cannot bring themselves to vote for a black candidate.
Well if we subtract 5-7% from all the polling data on Obama - we're a bit screwed. It is still possible that he will win, but darn that is not looking as good as it was before this talk of the Bradley Effect infiltrated politics.
I like to think of myself as a political scientist. I love a good old fashion OLS regression and a night of coding data (insert rolling eyes here please). As such a student of this science and an Obama supporter, I would like to think that there are some flaws in applying the Bradley Effect and its research to this particular race. For example, we are talking the presidency of the United States. There has never been any research done on the effect of a black candidate running in a race of this scale in America. It's just not possible. Furthermore, does Obama transcend race? I like to think he does, but our history and reality tells me differently. However, with the economic turmoil facing this country and three wars on our hands, he could. He could transcend race to that voter who, under the Bradley effect, would be unable to pull that lever for a black man but may in November because the opportunity cost of an America in ruins far exceeds any other considerations.
We shall have to wait and see.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Photo: Tom Dahlin
The Carleton Football team (5-0) continued their winning streak by defeating 4-0 Augsberg College (4-1).
This is by far the best the Carleton Football Team has done during my time here. Congratulations Knights.
Real Presidential Debates.
Several sources, including this blog have critiqued the previous three debates as being unproductive and being too loose with the questioning by the moderators. John Harris, and Jim VandeHei called the debate from this week the worst debate ever, from Politico:
But the Belmont University showdown was something entirely different. Place the gravity of the moment next to the blah-blah-blah artifice of the rhetoric and overall insubstantiality of the evening, and this is what you get: the worst presidential debate ever.
The day after leaves behind a puzzle: How the hell did candidates manage to be so timid and uninspiring at a time when American troops are in two problematic wars, the world financial markets are in scary freefall and the Dow has lost 1,400 points since Oct. 1? This is a moment history rarely sees — and both men blew it.
In response, the people mentioned above along with many others have written a letter to both campaigns asking the Senators to allow the moderator to ask follow up questions and to accept more questions from the internet. Read the full letter below:
Dear Senator McCain and Senator Obama,
Thank you for your recent letters affirming our coalition’s open debate principles, designed to make this year’s presidential debates more “of the people” than ever before. As we approach the final debate on October 15, we ask you to proactively implement such principles right away.
The closed nature of the recent debates has been universally criticized. The editors of Politico wrote, “The presidential debate commission’s rules are a scandal” resulting in “a format designed to limit improvisation, intellectual engagement, and truth-telling.” 83% of Obama supporters and 75% of McCain supporters agree that tough follow-up questions were lacking. Even Saturday Night Live spoofed the lack of follow-up questions in the debates, and the watered-down “town hall” questions chosen.
Therefore, we ask you to jointly announce the following in advance of the October 15 debate:
1) That the debate moderator has broad discretion to ask follow-up questions after a candidate’s answer, so the public can be fully informed about specific positions.
2) That after a “town hall” debate full of questions handpicked by the moderator, none of which were outside-the-box, you will allow Bob Schieffer to ask some Internet questions voted on by the public in the fashion outlined in our previous letter – which you agreed to. Existing technology will make this easy.
3) That, as a stipulation of the next debate, the media pool must release all 2008 debate footage into the public domain – as you agreed would be in the public interest. CNN, ABC, and NBC agreed to release video rights during the primary, and CBS agreed more recently. But Fox threatened Senator McCain for using a debate clip during the primary, and NBC invoked copyright law against Senator Obama to stifle political speech recently. The public deserves to know debate video can be reused without fear of breaking the law.
4) That you agree to work with the Open Debate Coalition after the election to reform or create an alternative to the Commission on Presidential Debates, so that the debate process is transparent and accountable to the public. Despite both of your agreement with the open debate principles, the Commission did nothing to implement them – or even to engage in dialogue about potential implementation. Also, the “31-page memo of understanding” with debate rules is nowhere on the Commission’s website, and has not been turned over despite requests.
The signers of this letter don’t agree on every political issue. But we do agree that in order for Americans to make the best decision for president, we need open debates that are “of the people” in the ways described above. You have the power to make that happen, and we ask you to do so.
Thank you for your willingness to take these ideas to heart. If you have any questions, please contact: OpenDebateCoalition@gmail.com
Lawrence Lessig; Professor, Stanford Law School, Founder, Center for Internet and Society
Ellen Miller; Executive Director, Sunlight Foundation
Craig Newmark; Founder, Craigslist
Jimmy Wales; Founder, Wikipedia
Aaron Swartz; Founder, Reddit
Patrick Ruffini; Republican consultant, former Republican National Committee eCampaign Director, and a blogger at TheNextRight.com
Mindy Finn; Republican strategist, former Mitt Romney Online Director, and a blogger at TheNextRight.com
Eli Pariser; Executive Director, MoveOn.org Political Action
Adam Green; Director of Strategic Campaigns, MoveOn.org Political Action
Arianna Huffington; Founder, HuffingtonPost.com
Markos Moulitsas; Founder, DailyKos.com
Roger L. Simon, CEO, Pajamas Media
Eric Burns; President, Media Matters for America
K. Daniel Glover, Executive Producer, Media Research Center’s Eyeblast.tv, and of AirCongress
Jon Henke; New media consultant (including for Fred Thompson, George Allen, Senate Republican Caucus) and a blogger at TheNextRight.com
Matt Stoller; Founder/Editor, OpenLeft.com
James Rucker; Executive Director, ColorOfChange.org
Andrew Rasiej; Personal Democracy Forum and TechPresident.com
Micah Sifry; Personal Democracy Forum and TechPresident.com
Bill Mitchell; Professor, MIT
Josh Silver; Executive Director, Free Press
Carl Malamud; Founder, Public.Resource.Org
Clay Johnson; Director, Sunlight Labs
Robert Greenwald; President, BraveNewFilms
Kim Gandy; President, National Organization for Women
Roger Hickey; Co-Director, Campaign for America's Future
Billy Hallowell, Director of Content, VoterWatch
David Colarusso; Founder, communityCOUNTS.us
Friday, October 10, 2008
CNN, I love you, but please be more careful.
She tells us her role as Vice President will be to clean out and reform Washington. Well, Ms. Palin, people in glass houses should not throw stones.
In response to a supporter saying he's "scared of an Obama presidency"
and in response to an enthusiastic supporter:
Not shown in the video is that when McCain said that "Obama is a decent man" the crowd booed.
John McCain and his campaign are at odds.
Sarah Palin continues to imply that Barack Obama pals around with Terrorists.
Richard Wolffe from Newsweek also claims that internal polls show McCain's negative ratings skyrocketing amid the strategy of stoking fears about Barack Obama (see ad below)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Now there are reports from Harper's that long time Coleman supporter Nasser Kazeminiy (see his donations here 79,000 in the '06 cycle; 34,000 thus far in '08) paid for Norm Coleman's bills at Neiman Marcus in the Twin Cities. See the story here from the Star-Tribune here. How could Norm Colman clear this potentially unethical behavior? Well, he could show receipts, he could disclose everything he bought at Neiman Marcus, OR HE COULD SIMPLY TELL US THAT HE DIDN'T HAVE A SUPPORTER PAY FOR HIS SUITS. Instead we get this from his campaign manager Cullen Sheehan: (please watch it, it's so worth the repetition)
Anyone else smell a rat?
The one very near and dear to me is the Congressional race. The Democrat, Steve Sarvi, is challenging our current Representative (I use Representative loosely here since he votes with Bush 93% of the time and Dubya has the lowest approval rating of any President EVER) John Kline. Sarvi has served in the military for over 20 years and was an extremely effective mayor in Watertown, MN. He left Watertown to serve with the National Guard in Kosovo and Iraq. When he got back to America all he wanted to do is help our community. That's why he is running for Congress. The Democrats have had a really tough time booting Rep. Kline out but Steve Sarvi really has a fighting chance. They are currently in a statistical dead heat. We have to do everything we can! He has come to Carleton a number of times showing that he really does care about the student voice. I have yet to ever see John Kline.
Let us also focus some attention towards State Rep. David Bly. While in the MN State House he successfully voted to get 40,000 MN children health coverage. After completing his first successful term in office, Democrats in Minnesota 25B (that's us!) are determined to keep him there. Two years ago he won by only 50 some votes after a re-count! That means this year we have to give it everything we got. He has come to Carleton too many times to count because he cares about Northfield and its vast student community. Come on Dems, less than a month left!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
How'd it go. THOUGHTS? pleaaaaaaase
I am being, oh, so very polite.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Some 90 percent of city officials in the National League of Cities survey of mayors and leaders of towns of 30,000 people or more say that during the last decade poverty rates have either increased or stayed the same in their towns.A few important facts about poverty in the United States:
- The poverty rate in the United States for all families is 12.5%.
- The poverty threshold for a family of two adults and two related children is $21,027. A full 5% of all Americans live on less than half of their applicable threshold.
- Non-Whites (24% of Blacks, 22% of Hispanics, 10% of Asians) are more likely to live in poverty than (non-Hispanic) Whites (8%).
- Women (14%) are more likely to live in poverty than men (11%).
- 21% of children under the age of five live in poverty, the greatest proportion of any age demographic.
1) They've given up on the race because they're sure Madia is going to win. Given that there was a poll a little more than a month ago that put Paulson up by 3, that would surprise me. The district is Republican leaning, and I would be surprised if they let the Democrats have it. Although, I guess they did that in Michigan.
2) They've given up on this race because they're sure that Paulson is going to win. This would be an even worse calculation that the above, given that a poll from the end of September put Madia up by 5. Madia is very much in this and the pundits are all ranking this race high, in likely hood of party switching.
3) They need the money to protect incumbents who were supposed to win in a breeze. While the NRCC has withdrawn Paulson ads, they have $126,000 dollars worth of ads out for Michelle Bachman. She's become one of the Republicans shining stars, but El Tinklenberg knows that district and is giving her (and national republicans) a great run for her money. I think its this one. November 4th, seems to be shaping up to be a great day for all with a D after their name. Let's make this big. Register today and make sure your friends all have their voting registration/absantee stuff inline.
Check out the Polinaut story here:
The public file at WCCO shows that the NRCC cancled 66 spots that were reserved between October 14th and October 20th. The political committee still has $216,450 in time reserved from October 21st to election day on Paulsen's behalf. The NRCC has also reserved time at KSTP, KMSP and KARE. No word yet on whether the ad buys were scaled back at those stations
Monday, October 6, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Don't forget to catch Poli-Talk today at 4:30 with myself and Ellen Tighe.
We have an exciting show planned (with two interviews!)
Per usual we will be bringing you this week's headlines and bring you the week that was in politics. We will then bring you an exclusive interview with Politico editor-in-chief and fabulous news man John Harris (class of '85).
We will wrap up our show with an interview with Colin Lee, candidate for state house from Minnesota state house district 36A.
All that and more from 4:30-5:00 on KRLX FM 88.1; you can listen live here(4:30 central time). The website is here.
List of reasons why I am terrified:
1. She wants to take away my right to what I want to with my own body. Let's get real people, Roe v. Wade is law that has withstand the test of time. In my view, it is a violation of powers for the President to attempt to manipulate to Supreme Court with the purpose of invalidating Roe v. Wade. I don't even think we should have a liberal court. We should have a centrist court created by differing and dynamic opinions from conservative and liberal Justices.
2. She's a bloody liar. You don't think that homosexuals should have the same legal rights as heterosexuals. You dirty dirty debating liar.
3. My kid will NOT be going to a school where creationism is taught. It is a belief, not a science, that she wants to subject all children in the United States too. Well, each family is different and has a different religion. By making every child be taught a fundamental Christian belief you are expanding the role of government, not decreasing it, you dirty dirty hypocrite.
4. "Drill, baby, drill." No matter what the context around this chant, HOW IS THE CHANT ALONE NOT TERRIFYING? Regretfully, I learned this weekend that the origin of this chant comes from the former Lt. Governor of my home state - Maryland. Shame on you Michael Steele. You spoke at my high school graduation!
5. She can not name a single national newspaper which we found out during the Katie Couric interview. I want a Vice President who is extraordinary, not ordinary.
Want to know the truth?
Barack Obama is tied. Race is an issue. The results will be much narrower than any pollster predicts...because Barack Obama is black. Just like in New Hampshire this year, and as has happened to Jesse Jackson, David Dinkins, and Harold Washington, the American people will show that they want to think that they'd vote for a Black man, but end up finding a reason not to at the end. (Sorry for sucking the hope out of the room).
Christian Progressive Liberal at
Jack and Jill politics has a story about C.H.A.N.G.E that exemplifies this point better than anything I could bring you. (I don't think that the man in question claims to be an Obama supporter, but I think that there are many people like him who are slightly more sophisticated but harbor the same demons).
This is beyond the pale. Some dumb-ass schooteacher in Florida has stolen Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign slogan and put his own interpretation on it. From TV station WJHG, just out of Tallahassee:
The day went as usual at Marianna Middle School, but one thing is different: 7th grade teacher and coach Greg Howard is no longer an employee. He was suspended without pay for 10 days starting Thursday for making racial slurs at presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Our source told us Howard asked his students what “change” stood for and proceeded to write out the acronym “change”- come help a n(word) get elected. (emphasis mine)
Jackson County’s Deputy School superintendent says he’s received conflicting reports, but he can confirm change and the n-word were used.
JJP readers, Greg Howard teaches 7th grade. 7TH GRADE!!! WTF? This junior high school-version of Rush Limbaugh teaches middle school kids and decided he’d get his Ferraro on in the classroom, probably thinking because he’s a teacher, a coach and defacto authority figure, the kids in his class wouldn’t notice or snitch on his ass. As usual, when caught, yahoos like this bigoted bozo just get suspended from the job and required to attend diversity and sensitivity training as punishment:
He was suspended without pay for 10 days starting Thursday…Howard is being transferred to the Jackson County Adult Education Program and some parents say that’s not enough.
He’s still in the school system, y’all.
CPL goes on to discuss the importance of zero tolerance to such acts of intimidation and hatred. I highly recommend the full article. The point that I bring is that the last thing ANY of us can afford to do is become complacent.
It's awesome that Obama has reigned on top of the polls, and it's great that the American people seem to be consolidated around the idea of an Obama presidency. This campaign is FAR from signed, sealed and delivered. Remember C.H.A.N.G.E., remember those Americans who will change their minds in the booth, remember those who will claim that Obama has no mandate if he does not win in a landslide. Let's not make this close. Election day is way too soon!
Friday, October 3, 2008
It loves enfranchisement so much, its professors are giving students extra credit for voting in Virginia on election day, its resident advisers are instructed to educate their residents on voting, and its administration has decided to cancel classes on November 4th. It loves enfranchisement SO MUCH.
Of course, many Liberty students are not Virginians. And we know about how positively conservatives usually feel about college students voting in the state in which they reside three quarters of the year. But, you know, sometimes principles have to be set aside in swing states.
And let's be clear--I am a huge proponent of any measure that better enables all voters--students, workers, parents, everyone--to get to the polls without compromising their studies, jobs, etc. I think it's great that Liberty is empowering its students to vote. I wish it would be equally excited about other schools empowering theirs.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
The article in question was posted on the blog of the VDARE and written by Carleton Alum Paul Nachman. VDare is a right-wing, anti-immigration,
I feel a need to respond because Nachman is a member of the Carleton community and because his comments are about current practices at Carleton.
You can read the full argument at his article here: http://blog.vdare.com/archives/author/paul-nachman/
Nachman, a retired astronomer and "immigration sanity activist" who has put his money where his mouth is for the Republican party and anti-immigrant candidates is very angry at Carleton College (and Grinnell and the U of Chicago). He is angry because we (Carleton) had a diversity survey and are seeking to promote diversity at Carleton, an idea that would have been “fatuous blather" in his day. Specifically, he is responding to an email that he received as an alumni of the college about the Campus Climate Survey, whose results were revealed this term. (You can read more about that survey here). His concern is that Carleton is overemphasizing "diversity" and ditching Western Culture.
To be fair, he never really puts forward a thesis, but he discusses the focus on diversity at some length, he cites articles by Thomas Sowell and Jared Taylor which seem to fall under the umbrella of the fore mentioned statement, and he is responding directly to an email about campus diversity. He commits two major errors, one he does not understand the extent nor the importance of the Campus Climate survey and two he doesn't understand the importance of diversity.
Why is the campus climate survey not “fatuous blather"? Had Mr. Nachman read President Oden's email closely he would have seen that the survey is not directly trying to "do" anything. This entire effort is an excersice in trying to see "the big picture" of Carleton, and trying to see the Carleton that tends to get pushed by the wayside. The campus climate survey asked almost 100 questions of Carleton students and was not trying to determine if Carleton is "diverse or not," rather it was trying to show what being student/staff/faculty at Carleton. There was good news and there was bad news. The good news was that 91% of Carleton students are satisfied with their academic experience while 86% of students are content with the campus climate. The bad news was that 2% of students reported being sexually assaulted (n=34), students of color were the most likely to have seriously considered leaving Carleton (especially within their first two years) and they were least happy at Carleton. While Mr. Nachman might not agree with steps taken to further improve the campus climate, I would hope that he would acknowledge the importance of learning about ourselves, before action is taken at all. Having a positive campus climate and trying to improve the campus environment for as many people as possible, and not being satisfying with 90%, but trying to help the last 10% only makes sense to me. For a thoughtful post on the survey, check out sophomore Robert Martin's take here.
Let's get to the bigger question, why does diversity matter? Why does diversity in colleges matter? According to Paul Nachman,
"Carleton and Grinnell, in contrast, are founts of diversity-babble, which really amounts to a world view based on the devil theory of white people."
Diversity does not mean dumping Western Civ. or old dead white men (Jill Rodde can tell you about how much that remains part of our curriculum). And no, it does not amount to a world view based on the devil theory of white people as Nachman posits. If your concern (Thomas Sowell), is ensuring a solid Western based education, be not afraid that paradigm is still solidly in place. People from all background, including yes "gasp" international students are interested in learning about Western Civilization and American Culture (Carleton has a very popular American studies major). They are also interested in learning about Eastern Civilizations and about aboriginal cultures, and about alternative cultures, and about dead white men, and young black women, and everyone in between. Learning about all of these things helps us gain a holistic, critical view of ourselves and the world and in the end learning about all of these things helps us better people and better able to understand how we think.
So, what is diversity? Diversity is simply the mixture of experiences, ideas, backgrounds, income, academic interests, and life story. This mixing is not natural, it is not always enjoyable, and Kum Ba Yah does not happen right away. But as I think most seniors at Carleton would acknowledge, that mixing does improve your moral fiber, your understanding of other people, and your understanding of the world around you. "Diversity Critics" often question why people consider race a factor in diversity, after all there are rich African-Americans and poor whites, etc? While I am sure that there are a variety of answers to this, the answer that I think most makes sense to me is that in the United States of America, there are few factors that can change your life experience (even within socio-economic groups) as much as the color of your skin.
Why do I think the climate survey is important? I think that the survey was important because it gave us an understanding of Carleton landscape for everyone else. I don't think anyone plans to fix the problems that were shown in the survey in the next week. But I do know that everyone who has seen those results now knows that there are students, mostly students are who different from the others, who feel ignored, neglected, and negatively impacted because their race, sexual orientation, or physical/mental ability.
Diversity can be done wrongly. We all know that. One of the arguments that Nachman suggests President Oden (and the readers of his post) ends with the following statement:
E. Raymond Hall, professor of biology at the University of Kansas, is the author of the definitive work on American wildlife, Mammals of North America. He states as a biological law that, "two subspecies of the same species do not occur in the same geographic area." (emphasis in the original) Human races are biological subspecies, and Prof. Hall writes specifically that this law applies to humans just as it does to other mammals: "To imagine one subspecies of man living together on equal terms for long with another subspecies is but wishful thinking and leads only to disaster and oblivion for one or the other."
Human nature is part of animal nature. Racial diversity, which only whites promote--and always at their own expense--is nothing more than unilateral disarmament in a dangerous world. If current population movements continue, and if the thinking of whites remains unchanged, there will be little doubt as to which group's fate will be the "disaster and oblivion" Prof. Hall so confidently predicts
The author, and this biologist clearly don't realize that people of different races are NOT subspecies of humans. You can read more fully about that here, but the point remains the same, the arguments that Nachman and others are making are relying on specifically on that lack of critical thought which an education with peers and educators of diverse backgrounds provides.