Saturday, September 06, 2008

What Is Roe V Wade All About? Don't Ask Cindy McCain

Cindy McCain may not be the one that is running for President, but when it comes to issues that affect women, you'd think she'd at least know the basic facts of a few issues. One of the most important social debates that Republicans have used effectively as a wedge is abortion rights. Democrats want to keep Roe v. Wade on the books, keeping abortion legal for those that make the choice to have one. So when Cindy went on Katie Couric's show, a simple answer, either wanting to keep the practice legal and disagreeing with her husband and Sarah Palin, or toeing the party line.

Check out what she had to say:

Couric: And do you believe Roe V. Wade should be overturned?

McCain: No. no.

Couric: No. Why not? Your husband does.

McCain: No. I don't think he does.

Couric: He believes it should be overturned. That's what he told me, and that it should go to the states.

McCain: Well, in that respect. Yes, yeah, I do. I understand what you're saying now. It's a states issue.

Couric: So, you believe it should be overturned or shouldn't be overturned.

McCain: I believe it's a states issue. That I do believe.

Oh dear. OH, DEAR. The campaign later clarified that Cindy McCain does not believe Roe v. Wade should be overturned, even though, you might know this already but, it was the express purpose of the Roe decision not to let abortion become a "states issue."

It seems that she doesn't have a clue as to what she thinks. Also, the campaign itself doesn't really know what is going on if they allowed that "opinion" to be clarified that implies she opposes her husband after agreeing with him. It looks like Sarah Palin's mom isn't the only family surrogate that needs a large dose of GOP message control.

Republican Intellectualism At Its Finest

Enough said:

Problems Still Ongoing At Deutsche Bank Bldg

With the 7th anniversary of September 11th fast-approaching, there are still many eye-sores in and around Ground Zero. None is worse than the former Deutsche Bank building, or what is left of it. Those in charge claim it will be taken down by next summer, but with the web of deceit surrounding the operation, who knows when it will truly be done. As you recall, last summer two firefighters lost their lives because of lax supervision of workers who smoked on the job while dealing with hazardous materials. What is worse though, was that FDNY itself did not properly inspect the site and the fact that the water pipes that were meant to fight fires were disconnected and in some places, missing.

After the tragedy occurred politicians and administrators vowed to clean things up, while trying to fend off an independent investigation. Well it turns out that fault lay with many different people and agencies connected to the Deutsche mess. Even with that dirty laundry laid out for all to see, some of the same problems that led to the fatal fire still exist to this day.

From The NY Daily News:

Empty cigarette packs and beer cans were found on several floors last week, triggering a full-tilt probe by fire marshals, two sources familiar with the investigation told the Daily News.

"It is shameful that they would be smoking there. It is a shameful act," FDNY spokesman Jim Long said. "We will take the necessary actions to prevent any further incident."

Joseph Graffagnino Sr., whose son, Joseph Jr., died in the Deutsche Bank fire, said the new revelation was appalling.

"It makes me feel like I want to puke," he said. "They just don't care. They are back to the same old business as usual attitude, which is not the way things should be done."

So 13 months later we still have the same tough talk from the FDNY but obviously no real change to speak of. Why is it that the victim's family still have to complain about the unsafe conditions that led to their loved ones' death last year? The report was a good first step in the direction of accountability. But until those responsible for the tragedy and the unsafe conditions that exist to this day are given their fair share of justice, this is matter will be far from over.

Friday, September 05, 2008

M.T.A. Will Try To Stay On Top Of TS Hanna Disruptions

Wow, well look at this. The MTA is trying to reach out to its riders and the media before the system floods this time. If you can recall from last August, the MTA was virtually shut down from a morning thunder-storm, causing massive delays. I walked several miles in the humid and sweltering heat that day, cursing them with every single step. So it was nice to see this email pop up just now.

From the MTA:

To our customers:

Adverse weather conditions, including heavy rain, are forecasted for this weekend and could impact subway service. We have already begun preparations to safeguard the system from flooding. This includes the cleaning of subway drains, checking all subway pumps and pre-positioning personnel and equipment at flood prone locations. We may also move trains from their storage yards and store them underground instead.

In the event that weather does impact subway service, we will notify the media and post updates on our website. Please listen to local radio reports and check our website Please check for current 'Service Alert' information. Click on the flashing service alert triangle.

Posted on 9/5/2008 5:08:12 PM

How about that folks, was it really hard for them to do this? Now of course the current situation is different from last year's disaster. There is more time to prepare for the storm and it is going to pass through on a weekend. So while this is a good first step, what we really need is for that text message system to come online and to make NYC Transit work like London's Underground. I'm sure we'll never see the latter, knowing the country's current priorities in relation to mass transit but a text message telling me what lines are delayed or stopped with rapid updates is something that is very feasible.

Sarah Palin Can Read A Teleprompter, But She Can't Compete With Joe Biden

This small snippet of video is just a preview of what is to come in the VP portion of this campaign. Palin can deliver pithy statements, but Joe Biden has more passion for the common man in his pinky than her entire body:

Dems Force McCain To Support Women

John McCain and the Republican party think they can pull one over on 51% of this country, but they are wrong. Picking Sarah Palin may be great for the conservative fundamentalists, but women, just like men, care about what you are going to do for the country, not simply how you choose cheap political stunts.

So to help McCain out with women, the Democratic Congress has graciously decided to have a vote on the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to show that the Republican nominee truly cares. Now of course McCain missed the first vote on this bill (like he missed so many other important pieces of legislation) but here is his chance to redeem himself.

From Politico:

Democrats have hammered Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) this summer over his vote against legislation pushing equal pay for women and men. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act will get a second act in September, as Democrats seek to remind voters that McCain opposed it, according to an e-mail from the Democratic Senate message center. It lists "[e]qual pay legislation" as among the issues the Senate will take up in September.

It is one of the many pieces of legislation on the calendar in the last few weeks of the 110th Congress, but it is an important one. John McCain has already shown by his record that he has opposed equal pay for women, citing that the companies will correct themselves by their own accord. Anyone with a half a brain knows that that is a bunch of steaming bull crap. Of course, John McCain being the maverick he is, I suppose he bucks the trend by expecting everyone to fall for his political stunt named Palin while making pathetic excuses over the Fair Pay Act.

Damn, he is mavericky!

Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) Is Either Ignorant, A Racist Or Both

Lynn Westmoreland represents the 3rd Congressional District of Georgia. He grew up there and was alive while it was a segregated land. Code words were well known by everyone regardless of color and everyone knew which ones meant what. So yesterday when he made a statement describing Barack Obama as "uppity" a reporter took notice and asked him to clarify, but he stuck with the code word. Now today, he is claiming ignorance and will not apologize for his racist remarks.

From The NY Examiner:

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Democrats are calling on a Republican congressman from Georgia to apologize for referring to Barack and Michelle Obama as "uppity," but the lawmaker stood by his comments and said he meant no offense.

Speaking to reporters Thursday, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland of Grantville, Ga., described the Obamas as members of an "elitist-class ... that thinks that they're uppity," according to The Hill, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Asked to clarify whether he intended to use the word, he said, "Yeah, uppity."

Westmoreland fully knows what the word means, even before he was told of its significance. He claimed that he was using the dictionary definition of the word, but if he thinks Americans are that stupid, then he has another thing coming to him. It would take a gullibility level of a thousand to not get what he was saying, but in the South, that word comes through crystal clear. Now you'll never hear McCain utter that word or anything like that. If anything it would be much more subtle, but you can count on surrogates like Westmoreland to reinforce the message of intolerance throughout the South and wherever racism rears its ugly head.

A Helping Of Compassionate Conservatism With A Side Of Lies

Yesterday on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Jay Carney of Time wanted to question Palin about her housing crisis line in her speech, but McCain spokeswoman Nicolle Wallace wasn't having any of it. To her it is a travesty that the press would want to ask Palin questions and thinks no one cares for the press to do their job. She thinks that Palin's scripted speech is the same as the politician having a conversation with the American people. Instead she'd rather make erroneous claims about what Palin really said.

McCain and Palin must be glad to have Wallace protecting them from the truth and accountability for what they say to the people.

Obama Responds To Palin's Derision Of Community Organizers

Sarah Palin proved she was a disgrace many times over two days ago. One particular theme that stuck out was the attack on Obama being a community organizer and community organizers in general. People were appalled (unless you had huge partisan blinders on in the Xcel Center) that people who try to make a difference in their neighborhood would be bashed in that manner. Well Obama wasn't about to take that one lying down. First he raised $10 million for his campaign based on her overall hate and vitriol, then he made a statement that made all organizers proud and showed his supporters that he is ready to fight against the GOP machine of fear and manipulation.

From DailyKos:

q. How is community organizing relevant for the presidency?

This is very curious. They havent talked about the fact that I was a civil rights lawyer, or taught constitutional law, my work in the state legislature, or US Senate, they focused on this 3 years where i worked as a community organizer, right out of college. As if im make the leap from 2-3 years out of college to the presidency.

I would argue that doing work in the community, try and create jobs, rejuvenate the communities that have fallen on hard times, bring people together, setup job training programs in areas that have been hard hit where the steel plants have closed. That's relevant only in understanding where im coming from, who i believe in, who im fighting for and why im in this race.

The question I have for them is
Why would that kind of work be ridiculous?
WHO ARE THEY FIGHTING FOR? (emphasis mine)
What are they advocating for?

Do they think that the lives of those folks struggling each and every day, that working with to try and improve their lives is somehow not relevant to the presidency.

I think that is part of the problem, that they are out of touch and dont get it because they havent spent much time working on behalf of those folks.

Palin and her brand new sycophants play right into what Obama has been saying about them. The GOP is out of touch and do not understand the problems that so many Americans have to deal with, especially after eight years of George Bush. Barack Obama is willing to fight for those that are struggling under the economic conditions we are facing. McCain thinks that the fundamentals of our economy are strong, but it just shows how clueless he is. Community organizers have been fighting aginst Bush's policies since the turn of the century and for many, many years before that as well. If they want to attack Americans that work to make a difference in their community, then by all means, go for it. Meanwhile, those organizers will be doing all that they can to elect Barack Obama.

NYC Pols Trying To Repeal Citizen-Enacted Term Limits

Councilman Oliver Koppell is putting his neck out for many of New York's elected officials (and himself too) that want to remain in office past the date that term limits set for them. If you remember, it was the people of New York that voted to set term limits for politicians that get elected to office in our city. Now a little more than half the council is in support of extending the limits by four years (to twelve) and by stroking Mayor Bloomberg's ego, they might just pass the extension. Oh and by the way, their reasoning is pathetic.

From The Gothamist:

Bronx Councilman Oliver Koppell has taken the next (baby) step towards repealing the city's term limit laws, promising to introduce a bill proposing to extend them within weeks. Previously the Council were waiting for Mayor Bloomberg to confirm he would sign such a bill into law. But Koppell is ready to take the lead in extending the eight-year limit to twelve; he tells City Room that limits “cut off people’s careers in politics, which makes no sense.” He would like to see Speaker (and potential mayoral candidate) Christine Quinn introduce the bill, but says he will go forward with it if she does not. The Council would then have sixty days to decide whether to send the bill forward to the mayor, but Koppell claims such a bill could pass through Council "within twenty-four hours."

Um Oliver, you have got to be kidding me on that one right? First of it is the right of the people to change a law that they enacted. To go behind the backs of the voters of this city is at the very least severely unethical. It should go against the city charter and be illegal. Koppell and the rest of the supporters should be ashamed of this. If they really feel so strongly about extending the term limits or abolishing them, then go to the voters. Instead we see this dirty maneuver that testifies to the reason term limits were put established in the first place.

Samantha Bee Exposes Republican Hypocrisy Over "Choice"

There are plenty of reasons Samantha Bee is a part of the Best F*cking News Team, here's one of them:

Thank You Sarah Palin

It seems weird to be thankful for one of the biggest jokes to hit the national political stage this year, but honestly I am grateful that Sarah Palin jumped on board the Straight Talk Cynicism Express. Yeah I know, the conservative whack jobs love her, being one of their own and all. She'll rally the base to some degree with her ridiculously partisan tone and cheap one liners. Though as much as she does that for the religious right, she does it even more so for the rest of us.

Not only does this energize the Democratic base, Palin will help move moderates and Independents over to the party that represents true change. Polls including her introduction to the RNC and her speech are still formulative, but before election day, one of the best ways to show your support of a candidate is from your wallet. So let's see what happened after Palin spoke, shall we?

From Democratic Underground:

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Barack Obama's presidential campaign said it raised $10 million Thursday following the Republican National Convention speech by rival John McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton said Palin's address, heavily laced with digs at Obama, prompted an outpouring of donations from more than 130,000 donors.

"We're up over the previous record and the number is still climbing the more Palin's attacks are covered on cable and network news," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

The Republican National Committee announced earlier Thursday, at mid-afternoon, that it had raised well in excess of $1 million since Palin's speech. Republicans expect Palin to mobilize their donors. But the Obama camp promptly used the speech as a fundraising hook, sending an overnight e-mail to supporters to contribute.

Ten million to one million, or for the benefit of the doubt for the GOP it could be 10 to 1.5. Whatever number you want to put after that decimal point is fine by me. While Palin pleases the GOP base because they were disappointed by the nominee himself, Barack Obama already had his base shored up. Sure there were some PUMAs out there, but most of them were Republicans dressed up as Hillary supporters. When Palin commended Hillary for her campaign, her crowd booed her. Women aren't fooled by this and while Republican women will still vote for the McCain/Palin ticket, Democratic women aren't swayed by a VP choice that is diametrically opposed to the way they view choice, domestic policy and world views. As for moderates and Independents, they are well aware of when someone is trying to placate and fool them.

The real fools here are the Republican leadership that made McCain go with Palin instead of Lieberman. John S. McCain may have the tag line "Country First" but really this is all about winning, at any cost. Whether it comes from the money of the religious right or the metaphorical bank account in his soul, McCain and his base are morally bankrupt...and it shows in real dollar amounts that are evidence for the enthusiasm for one campaign over the other.

Four Nights Of RNC Trickery And Delusion Are Over

Last night John McCain gave a forty-five minute speech and said absolute nothing. In fact, all of the speakers at the Republican convention said nothing. Sure, words came out of their mouths and people heard them, but still, they said nothing. While the Democratic party showed emotion, compassion and the substance of their platform, all we heard this week was more of the same. The same emphasis on fear, the same emphasis on hate, the same overwhelming hypocrisy of the GOP and the same lies that they told four years ago and eight years ago.

I could delve into specifics from McCain's speech last night and write volumes on them. The topics are diverse, such as lying about Palin's record, his time as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, the fact that he has helped lead the herd of special interests and employs lobbyists on his campaign and the fear campaign he especially has going on Barack Obama. The way he talked the corrupt nature of Washington, I could have sworn there was a mirror in those teleprompters and he was just talking to himself.

So yeah, there's plenty of hypocrisy in what he says, but for a while he was dubbed the Straight Talk Express and the media thought he was a nice, honest guy. Now he is hidden away and won't even allow the media to interview his new VP nominee. Frankly, she is a political prop and a gimmick that gave his campaign some life-blood, but that only applies to his base and is exactly why he won't let the rest of us see the real Palin in action. Her scripted speech was full of lies and childish attacks, which is great at the RNC but does no one any good if godforbid she got to live at the Naval Observatory next year.

I will admit though, they did put on a good show. Even Romney's use of red meat on Wednesday night and Giuliani's background of New York was good messaging to the Republican horde. Yet that is exactly what all of that was, a show. They are good at tricks and deluding their followers. The line about reforming Washington sums it all up. They have been running Washington for several years now and have created one of the greatest messes our country has ever seen. We are in more debt, our troops dying in unnecessary wars, the Constitution in tatters and the rich get richer while the rest of us get screwed. For the last four nights Republicans have offered change, their way. In two months time, we are going to get change but instead of it being a political gimmick, President Obama will make it real.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Karl Rove's Debate With Karl Rove

Jon Stewart walks us through Rove's personal battles between his inner scumbag and his inner hypocrite:

Watching To See McCain Fall On His Face Tonight? Join Fellow Liberals At The Tank

Are you in New York City? Are you watching television tonight in hopes of McCain screwing up his biggest speech of the year thus far? Well if you answered yes to both and do not want to risk throwing things at your television, come downtown to the Tank and watch with a few dozen or even a few hundred of your bestest liberal friends, including a special guest, DailyKos' founder Markos Moulitsas.

From The Tank:

Thu, 09/04/2008 - 7:00pm

Special Guest Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, founder of Daily Kos, will be on hand to comment on the GOP nominee’s address (and sign his new book “Taking on the System”) – and drinks will be on hand to help wash McCain’s speech down…as Drinking Liberally offers a drinking game to toast the end of Convention fever.

Tonight is the last night of the convention and then we have a lot of work to do. McCain and Palin must not be allowed to come even close on election day and it'll take millions of us to get it done. But for now, come down to 87 Lafayette St (at White St. just south of Canal) and join us for a lot of fun. Oh and get your signed copy of Markos' new book too!

NY Organizers Demand Apology From Palin

It has already been touched on before that Palin offended many different groups of people last night in her speech. Specifically, she belittled Obama by saying that he was a community organizer, as to elevate her standing as a Mayor of a small exurban town in Alaska. The attempt got a good round of applause from the delgates but outside of the hall people were shocked at what they heard.

One of those groups in her target area was obviously community organizers themselves, men and women that work hard in their communities to make them better places to live and work in. Well rather than let Palin attack and sit down, organizers are beginning to do what they do best, organize....against Palin.

From Organizers Fight Back:

Community organizers across America, taken aback by a series of attacks from Republican leaders at the GOP convention in St. Paul, came together today to defend their work organizing Americans who have been left behind by unemployment, lack of health insurance and the national housing crisis. The organizers demanded an apology from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her statement that community organizers have no “actual responsibilities” and launched a web site,, to defend themselves against Republican attacks.

“Community organizers work in neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by the failing economy,” said John Raskin, founder of Community Organizers of America and a community organizer on the West Side of Manhattan. “The last thing we need is for Republican officials to mock us on television when we’re trying to rebuild the neighborhoods they have destroyed. Maybe if everyone had more houses than they can count, we wouldn’t need community organizers. But I work with people who are getting evicted from their only home. If John McCain and the Republicans understood that, maybe they wouldn’t be so quick to make fun of community organizers like me.”

Though many people are unfamiliar with community organizing, the job is both straightforward and vital: community organizers work with families who are struggling–because of low wages, poor health coverage, unaffordable housing, and other community problems–so that collectively, they can fix those problems and make government respond to their day-to-day concerns. Organizers knock on doors, attend community meetings, visit churches and synagogues and mosques, and work with unions and civic groups and block associations to help ordinary people build power and counter the influence of self-interested insiders and highly paid lobbyists at all levels of government.

Not only are organizers getting involved in this, but our main man has realized the opportunity that Palin gave not only her base, but ours as well. In the middle of last night campaign manager Plouffe sent out an email to raise money because of her senseless attacks on organizers. Republicans may mock his credentials, but the people who do this hard work and the millions of people that benefit from it do not appreciate being laughed at. And they'll show it and sock it to them two months from today....on election day.

How Does The GOP Vet Its Candidates?

I wonder if this was the shop McCain used before selecting Sarah Palin:

Even A Spanish Wind Is Good For New York

Our federal government has been less than supportive when it comes to alternative energy in the last few years. Supplying our nation with those sources takes away from the profits of oil companies so George Bush naturally hampered efforts to reduce global warming. However, New York State wants to get things done and are willing to work with anyone to reduce our carbon footprint in the Empire State, even if the NYSPSC has to make a deal.

From The NY Times:

The Public Service Commission voted unanimously to allow Iberdrola S.A., a Spanish energy conglomerate, to acquire Energy East, a Maine-based utility with operations in five states.

Iberdrola said earlier this summer that it would invest at least $2 billion in wind turbines across upstate New York if the commission allowed it to acquire Energy East, subsidiaries of which supply electricity or natural gas to 1.7 million customers in the state.

The commission’s decision was the final hurdle for the $4.6 billion deal, which had been approved by federal and other state regulators, but spent a year under scrutiny by the commission’s staff, which recommended that it be blocked.

The deal gives Iberdola a considerable acquisition but New York benefits tremendously as well. Spain and Europe as a whole have encouraged wind and solar industries while the U.S. has remained relatively stagnant on the matter. I'd personally love to see American companies taking care of our clean energy needs, but for now this is the way to go.

Connor And Squadron Get Together Again

With less than a week to go until primary day, state legislative candidates are going into full gear in their quests to either attain office or stay in office. One of those contested primaries is the 25th Senate District, compromised of Lower Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn. Marty Connor is the long-time incumbent and Dan Squadron is the young insurgent looking for change. They last butted heads at an event hosted by Democracy for New York City and both came out looking good (though Squadron looked a little green as well), this time around things have changed, Connor was on the defensive and the Brooklyn Heights live blog paints a picture of what went down.

From Brooklyn Heights Blog:

7:42pm: Wow, Connor on the defensive. Getting angry over voting against the smoking ban. Breathe, connor, breathe.
and he’s completely ignoring the question about voting against commuter tax.

7:47pm: Connor blaming commuter tax demise on Giuliani

7:52pm: Squadron defending his brooklyn bridge park position. Doesn’t want to stop the park, just the condos. And the crowd goes wild!

7:56pm: Connor: I got the funds for the park, me, me,me! And the crowd goes wild!

7:51pm: knitting lady update: she’s almost done. I think its a scarf.

8:05pm: talking about education. Really, these guys are on the same side. Connor taking shots at Squadron.

8:09pm: Oh, this is rich…Connor accusing Squadron of using too many posters and leaving around too much trash

Connor to Squadron: get off my lawn!

Oh no, not the "Get off my lawn!" mentality, that does not bode well for Marty at all. Two years ago he had some good competition in Ken Diamondstone, but this time Senator Connor is running scared. While Connor may be on the right side of many issues, this is a race about having the better Democrat in the State Senate and it is looking like a time for change. Whining about Republican control while your record shows compliance with them just isn't good enough.

Message To Palin: Do Not Mock Community Organizers

Sarah Palin may have been trying to get the crowd riled up, but she insulted a lot of hardworking Americans when she mocked community organizers. She forgets that those are the people that make a difference in their neighborhood. She forgets that these men and women fight tirelessly for health care issues, economic issues and myriad ways to benefit the area in which they live.

And most importantly for Palin and McCain, community organizers are the ones that work the hardest to turn out the vote, whether it be for City Council or the Presidency.

Civil Liberties Under Attack At RNC, St. Paul Police And City Council Disrespect First Amendment

Today is the last day of the RNC and hopefully the brutality shown by St. Paul's police force will end before McCain's last lying remark of the night. Ever since last week, a police state has enveloped the Twin Cities and threatened the rights of Americans to protest their government and those that wish to tear it asunder. Now it seems that local City Council wants to get involved in the process, for better or for worse.

From The Pioneer Press:

The St. Paul City Council issued a joint statement today condemning "an organized group of self-proclaimed 'anarchists' who have come to St. Paul with disruption of our city as its stated goal."

The council also said, "we regret that some peaceful demonstrators got caught in the middle of criminal actions and law enforcement activity trying to stop this activity."

Council members Pat Harris and Dan Bostrom, whose son is in charge of RNC security for the St. Paul Police Department, did not sign the statement.

The council will ask police for an explanation of recent clashes between law enforcement and protesters that have roiled the first two days of the Republican National Convention.

City Council President Kathy Lantry said she will request that St. Paul Police Chief John Harrington address the council, likely sometime this month. Lantry said the topics could include everything from intelligence that led to raids on several Twin Cities home prior to the start of the convention to crowd-control tactics used by police.

Actual anarchists are one thing, but those that wish to assemble and protest must be free to express that right. The Council is right to demand an investigation into the thuggish brutality that their police department has shown those that do not possess RNC credentials. The notable arrest of Amy Goodman made some headlines, but for the most part the media has ignored the problem of abusive police tactics.

Instead of reporting what goes on outside the hall, the traditional media has played off the "terrorism" charges that have been levied at groups that have organized protests and marches. That isn't keeping the peace, it is the use of fear and intimidation, just as the Republicans inside the hall speak out for night after night at the Xcel Center, since the campaign season started and years before that as well. If it weren't for independent reporters, bloggers and YouTube, none of this information would make it past the police barricade line.

Palin Puts On A Show, But Its All Smoke And Mirrors

Last night the Republican convention and those watching at home were given quite a large dose of what it means to be a conservative in 2008. All the surrogates hit Obama and tried really hard to sell Sarah Palin and John McCain to the voters. It was a valiant effort filled with lies and innuendo, but nothing did more to their third night than Sarah Palin herself. She really does sum things up for the GOP and what they have been reduced to.

The speech
was meant for Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty and you can hear where they made the changes (i.e. Alaska and Palin). For the most part though, the twenty minutes or so was filled with partisan hackery, blatant lies and a terrible disdain for people that try to make their communities a better place to live.

The lying without a care in the world as she read off that teleprompter was just as funny as it was sad. Some of things mentioned contradict the facts, including the top ten things you might not know about her. Of course, facts never got in the way of a good time at an RNC function. The thing that got to me, well OK two things was the repeated attack on community organizers and the blatant use of newborn Trig Palin as a political prop, I honestly lost count on how many times the cameras went to the cute little baby. Most likely because there was no way to show a diverse crowd like the cable news producers could at the DNC.

Finally, it was that lack of diversity that loved Palin's speech. It has been compared to a student-council rant that goes off on the big meanies across the stage. She threw huge chunks of red meat at the crowd, but no real reason that made it clear she was capable of being Vice-President or god forbid, the President of the United States. She was put there solely for political reasons and nothing more. Frankly, that is all the GOP cares about, pure politics. Leadership is merely a catchword, not something you actually embrace and use to guide the country. We've been flying blind for the last eight years, now it is time for someone to take our hand so we can soar again.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Noonan And Murphy Let Loose On Their Real Feelings About Palin

Ah, to be a fly on the wall of this room, oh wait, we have one!

Shelly Silver's Other Contributions To Lower Manhattan

One positive thing Silver claims to do for his district is that he keeps the pork rolling in. As Speaker of the Assembly he certainly has the power to do it and more so. Though there is more to Silver than meets the eye, even when Sheldon hires a web developer to make neat little Google maps. As Streetsblog laments, the technology used on Silver's website doesn't allow community participation, so they made one of their own.

From Streetsblog:

With New York City's mostly uncontested primary elections less than a week away, attention turns to the 64th State Assembly district in Lower Manhattan, where New York Times-endorsed insurgent Paul Newell is running a long-shot campaign against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. Facing his first Democratic challenge since the coining of the word "cyberspace," the decidedly analog Speaker has joined us here in the Information Age with a fancy new campaign web site, It features an eye-catching Google map illustrating "What Shelly's Doing Near You" with some of the $3 to $7 million in member items he distributes annually.

Apparently, Silver hasn't caught on to the whole web 2.0 user-generated content thing because there's no way to drop your own pins on his Google map. If, for example, you wanted to stick a pin on Canal Street to make note of Silver's complicity in maintaining that street's never-ending traffic jam and Chinatown's third world-level childhood asthma rates, you'd be unable to do that. If you wanted to point out that Lower Manhattan enjoys some of the city's slowest buses and most dangerous streets, thanks, in part, to Silver allowing Rochester Assemblyman David Gantt to deny New York City the use of red light and bus lane enforcement cameras, you wouldn't be able to do that either. And given that the Speaker is known more for the projects and policies that he's stalled and killed (the commuter tax, New York City's Olympic bid, congestion pricing...) than the projects he's made happen, it seems like there ought to be a map showing all the things that don't exist in New York City thanks to Sheldon Silver's handiwork.

So, here it is. To help create a more complete picture of Shelly Silver's citywide footprint, Streetsblog went ahead and built a more interactive "What Shelly's Doing Near You" map. If you've got a contribution, go ahead and add it to the comments section here on Streetsblog. Pin it on Shelly.

Go over to Streetsblog and play pin it on Shelly. If you live or work in the district, it is likely you know of a problem that all residents should be aware of. Silver hasn't done much to correct what is on the map. In fact, he has done a lot of nothing to make sure that nothing happens, such as the Olympics in NYC, congestion-pricing and much, much more.

Republicans Forget About Bush

President George Bush got his nine minutes yesterday at the RNC Convention in St. Paul yesterday, even though he was speaking from the confines of the White House. He got some applause, cheers when talking tough against Democrats and for McCain, then he was done and the delegates went back to other speakers. Those other speakers though, couldn't for the life of them remember that dude on the screen, because his name wasn't mentioned at all. Nope, not even once.

From ThinkProgress:

Not only did the speakers during last night’s Republican National Convention fail to discuss the economy at all, they never once mentioned President Bush. TPM Election Central searched the texts of the speeches and found no mention of the words “Bush” or “president” when connected to Bush. It also notes, “The GOP’s page of speeches, which included the orations of a bunch of unknowns, didn’t even bother including the speeches given by the president or Laura.”

Wow, not even Laura? Man, that is cold. Despite Republicans championing their way of doing things and blaming the Democratic party for everything under the sun, they conveniently forgot who they helped put in the White House for eight tiring, torturous, tenuous but certainly not tranquil years.

Convention Envy?

From the mouths of babes (technically in the singular form here), and with a lot less bias, narrative-seeking and ego:

While Palin Is Wrapped In Controversy, Biden Goes After Bush

Alaska's Governor Sarah Palin has had a rough few days since she started off as McCain's VP choice, in fact rumors are swirling that she could be dropped. While the GOP plays defense over Palin's record (or lack there of) and her atrocious behavior, Obama's number 2 is not sitting back. In fact, Joe Biden is going after the Bush Administration, and we aren't just talking about in the rhetorical sense.

From ABC News:

Looking to the future but with one eye on the past, Biden also promised that an Obama-Biden government would go through Bush administration data with "a fine-toothed comb" and pursue criminal charges if necessary.

"If there has been a basis upon which you can pursue someone for a criminal violation," he said, "they will be pursued, not out of vengeance, not out of retribution - out of the need to preserve the notion that no one, no one, no attorney general, no president, no one is above the law."

That is a sentiment not shared by the current President nor the Vice President. Bush and Cheney are aware of the laws but they most certainly think they are above them. Biden frames the issue perfectly by saying that it isn't about partisan attacks (something the GOP cares about solely, party above country always) but accountability for the actions of those that govern and their crimes against the governed. Biden is well aware of the crimes that the current Administration has committed, but he talks in the manner of someone that wants to take this matter seriously and leave no room for the die-hard partisans on the right to claim that this is anything but the quest for justice.

It is nothing more, nothing less.

How Will Palin Shake Off Her Anti-Semitism Problem?

In Joe Lieberman's speech last night he praised Governor Palin for reaching across party lines in Alaska and for being one maverick to match the other. Joe Lieberman has attacked Barack Obama for knowing Bill Ayers, someone who was a bad bomb-maker when Barack was eight and happened to know Obama when they were both at the University of Chicago. It is a ridiculous connection to make, and it shows the desperation of the Republicans when they feel that they need to make baseless attacks such as that.

Now back to Palin, since we are just getting to know her, interesting things come out all the time about this Village Mayor turned Governor of Alaska. Lieberman, as we already know, had cast his religious principles aside when he stood by McCain's ex-supporter Hagee as he talked shit about Jews. So I won't bother asking his opinion about Palin showing up to hear Jews for Jesus' leader David Brickner and his comments on the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East.

From The Atlantic:

Yes, Sarah Palin sat in a church where this message was given. Two weeks ago. The karma in all this is just amazing:

Brickner also described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" of Jews who haven't embraced Christianity.

"Judgment is very real and we see it played out on the pages of the newspapers and on the television. It's very real. When [Brickner's son] was in Jerusalem he was there to witness some of that judgment, some of that conflict, when a Palestinian from East Jerusalem took a bulldozer and went plowing through a score of cars, killing numbers of people. Judgment — you can't miss it."

Palin was in church that day, Kroon said, though he cautioned against attributing Brickner’s views to her.

Well of course her views may not be the same as Brickner's, but one has to wonder about Palin's judgment in going to hear his "sermon." Now if you don't get your news solely from the concern trolls at the cable news channels, then it isn't surprising that most Jews already support Barack Obama. Though for those that don't, seeing this right-winger on the Presidential ticket has to worry those that are on the fence or who have been supporting McCain.

RNC Co-Chair Shows Her Disdain For Palin

Republican Party co-Chair Jo Ann Davidson probably didn't mean to, but it doesn't take Sigmund Freud to understand what happened here:

Bush Tries To Exploit Gustav For More Oil Drilling

Well I'll be darned, people can change over time, even George Bush. Three years ago as New Orleans drowned (thanks in part to our dilapidated infrastructure and the President's FEMA) Dubya merely flew over the extreme suffering Louisiana faced, and that was three days after he storm hit. Basically, he didn't give one iota to what those Americans were going through.

Now though, here in an election year 2008 George has redeemed himself. He made himself useful by speeding up the levee building process rebuilding New Orleans helping victims recover dropping by the FEMA office in D.C. over the weekend to shake a few hands and give them a thumbs up. Now that Gustav has weakened and thankfully missed New Orleans (planned by Republicans no less) Bush is being pro-active even as the storm is flooding areas to the north of NOLA. No, he isn't doing those things that are crossed out but for his oil buddies, this is way better.

From The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

“One thing is for certain, when Congress comes back, they’ve got to understand that we need more domestic energy, not less,” Bush said in the Roosevelt Room. “One place to find it is offshore America — lands that have been taken off the books, so to speak, by congressional law — and now they need to give us a chance to find more oil and gas here at home.”

Bush, keeping a hands-on profile on the aftermath of the hurricane in contrast to the government’s poor response to Katrina, met in the Roosevelt Room with Vice President Dick Cheney and about 20 advisers, including the secretaries of Interior, Transportation and Energy.

Preliminary indications were that Gustav caused little damage to onshore and offshore facilities, though the full impact likely won’t be known for a couple of days. Some oil companies, rig owners and refiners were already putting equipment and people back in place to resume operations.

Clearly, putting more refineries in the Gulf of Mexico is smart because Hurricanes are becoming more intense as they reach the area, or something like that. Forget the disaster preparation and building defenses for the monster Hurricane that Gustav was thankfully not. It sure is comforting that our President has his priorities in line, whether that line is straight or crooked, that's up for debate.

Palin's Teen Pregnancy Hypocrisy

When the news of Bristol Palin's pregnancy broke I could hardly believe what I was reading. It was hilarious and for a second, I honestly thought it was a joke. Finally when I noticed that there were no "snark" tags on the story I just started laughing again, and making quips about it with every liberal I knew. Of course the second I mention it to an Independent, I got a skeptical response and "the Democrats are certainly not perfect either" line.

However, I tried to explain to said Independent, it isn't about Bristol, it is the hypocrisy of the matter that gets me. Ideologues like Palin can help take care of their teenager's babies all day and night and that is a great thing for the budding portion of their family. What gets me is when they act hypocritically and legislate the exact opposite way for others who are dealing with a pregnant teen. Lo and behold, one day later we find that the caring, compassionate Mom of five decided to slash funding for teenage mothers in her state.

From The Washington Post:

ST. PAUL -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.

After the legislature passed a spending bill in April, Palin went through the measure reducing and eliminating funds for programs she opposed. Inking her initials on the legislation -- "SP" -- Palin reduced funding for Covenant House Alaska by more than 20 percent, cutting funds from $5 million to $3.9 million. Covenant House is a mix of programs and shelters for troubled youths, including Passage House, which is a transitional home for teenage mothers.

According to Passage House's web site, its purpose is to provide "young mothers a place to live with their babies for up to eighteen months while they gain the necessary skills and resources to change their lives" and help teen moms "become productive, successful, independent adults who create and provide a stable environment for themselves and their families."

She opposes sex-ed programs that aren't abstinence only, but as she and her family proved so explicitly, it doesn't work that way in the real world. Oh and guess what, John McCain feels the same way. His exact words? "Ahhh, I think I support the president's policy." So if you are okay with right-wing Republicans being allowed to do what they want while dictating to the public to be "morally pure then McCain/Palin is your ticket. If you want a President and a Vice-President who want to help those that don't always live a perfect Judeo/Christianity life (including the politicians) then you know who to vote for two months from now.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain Gets Pouty Over CNN Asking His Spokesman Questions

McCain declined to do an interview with CNN based on what transpired during this segment between Tucker Bounds and CNN's Campbell Brown.

Oh cry me river McCain!

McCain's NY Chair Plays Dirty Politics That Candidate Himself Supposedly Deplores

Once upon a time ago, way back in April, John McCain said he would run a clean campaign. Since then he has done anything but and his surrogates are on the leading edge of one of the dirtiest operations we've seen since....George Bush's re-election campaign four years ago. Ed Cox, Chairman for McCain's bid here in New York (though technically located in New Jersey) played the henchman role yesterday, when he repeated a talking point that is becoming a pattern for Republicans when attacking Barack Obama.

From The NY Sun:

The chairman of the McCain campaign in New York, Edward Cox, waded carefully into the politics of national security yesterday morning as he warned that the city could face another calamity if voters make the wrong choice this November. Mr. Cox, a lawyer who considered a run for Senate in 2006, made the case that the coming election would turn on national security, contrary to the conventional wisdom that the economy is likely to dominate the campaign between senators McCain and Obama. "This is a serious world situation," Mr. Cox told a New York delegation breakfast here in Minneapolis, before rattling off a list of global crises for which he said Mr. McCain would be much better prepared to handle. "If we don't select the right person as the next president, we're going to have more tragedies like the one we suffered in New York on 9/11," he said. Mr. Cox also suggested that a campaign focused on national security could make New York competitive. "Now that we're having the first national security election since 1988, New York will again be in play," he said. The McCain campaign has sworn off politics at the Republican National Convention in light of Hurricane Gustav, which made landfall on the Gulf Coast yesterday. Mr. Cox began his remarks by noting the hurricane and praising Mr. McCain's decision to curtail the convention. While he made little mention of Mr. Obama, his speech offered a clear argument for Mr. McCain.

Oh there was plenty mentioned about Barack Obama. Ed Cox just did it in his typically sneaky way. First of it is insulting to even allude that one candidate would not fight hard against terrorist attacks on our country. If anything, events before 9/11 show the leaders of one party and the current Administration acting neglectfully of their duty to protect America. It is also laughable that Cox thinks for one single second that the issue of national security could put New York into play for McCain. Of course, he and McCain probably know that, otherwise he might have set up a New York headquarters that was actually in New York.

Newell Doubles Silver's Latest Fundraising Numbers

The odds are stacked against both challengers to the Speaker of the House in Assembly District 64. The man that is one of three in the proverbial room up in Albany is a powerful one and has many strong allies on his side that want to see the status quo continue as is, with pay to play and obstructionism in full effect. Luke Henry and Paul Newell are trying to change that. While we won't know how residents will divide up their votes, but if fundraising in the last period is any indication of things to come on the September 9th, Paul Newell must be ecstatic.

From Paul Newell:

New York , NY- Paul Newell, the insurgent Democrat challenging Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, has raised more than twice as much money as Silver in the most recent filing period -- and has done so without taking any money from the lobbyists and PACs that fill Silver's coffers.

"The momentum is shifting rapidly in this race," said Newell. "Downtown voters understand that change is very much possible in New York State and they have shown that by re-upping their support of an Albany unswayed by corporate contributions."

Newell, who was recently endorsed by The New York Times and the New York Post, raised $40,015 in the most recent filing period compared to Silver's $19,575.

"It is not just the total numbers that are important" explained Evan Hutchison, Newell's campaign manager, "but where the money came from that matters. This is truly a grassroots campaign and these filings bear that out.

There was no money from PACs or special interests for Newell. Silver on the other hand benefits greatly from them, including anti-congestion pricing groups and the despicable Bruce Ratner that has tried to destroy and re-develop Brooklyn.

Unfortunately for Luke, he only raised a fraction of Newell and Silver's amounts, with just $510 in donations with $8,600 going out, leaving him with $9,000 for the last week of the campaign. Since this is a heavily Democratic district, the primary is for all-intensive purposes the final race for AD-64. Hopefully in the last week before the election, the people of Lower Manhattan will take a close look at each candidate and decide if they want more of the same out of Silver, or a new way of doing things with the insurgent candidate.

First Amendment Restricted To A Zone At RNC

If you wanted to speak out at the RNC and utilize the right to assembly afforded to you by the Bill of Rights, remember that things aren't as simple as they were when our liberties were written out. The framers mostly likely assumed that those rights were meant for use within the boundaries of the country, but now it is where the police decide.

Here are some scenes from one of the protests:

Peter King Is Clearly Ignorant About Sarah Palin And Political Parties

While at the Republican convention this week in St. Paul, Minnesota, Congressman King (R-Long Island) has been good about spouting the recently generated talking points for veep choice Sarah Palin. You know, "Obama bad, Palin good, woo hoo!" In the middle though he got off topic and talked about his admiration of Joe Lieberman, and forgot who was in what party when, and where they are now.

From The Daily Politics:

Rep. Peter King revealed this morning that he shared John McCain's reported interest in having Sen. Joe Lieberman run for vice president on the GOP line, but said he understands why the party's conservative base wouldn't stand for that.

"Actually, I was a strong supporter of Joe Lieberman myself; Joe Lieberman's a great guy," King said. "But there is a reality of selecting someone from another party as vice president at the Republican convention. So, I don't think that it's unreasonable that people resisted that."

Well Peter you are correct, Joe is technically in another party, his own. The problem concerns Sarah Palin and her party, or shall I say, parties. While she is currently a Republican, she was part of the Independence Party not too long ago and still keeps ties with them. In case you haven't heard, the Independence Party in Alaska advocates for secession from the United States. Is that something for people to resist as well Peter? So not only is she a corrupt, book-burning ideologue, she's a supporter of a party that favors Alaska seceding from the United States.

Now does that mesh with McCain's new "Country, First" poster?

Meet And Greet With SD-25 Candidate Dan Squadron Tonight

Do you have an interest in local New York politics? Do you like free drinks? Well then I have the perfect event for you, tonight down in the Lower East Side. Young Manhattanite is hosting a meet and greet with Dan Squadron, who is challenging Marty Connor for New York's 25th Senate District. As you know the primary is only one week from tomorrow, so if you live in the district, or are looking to help out some good candidates in the next week or so, then come check Dan out.

From the invite:

Dear Tumblrs, Bloggers, Manhattanites, Brooklynites, Young and Old, etc:

I’m hosting a casual “meet the candidate” reception with free drinks for NY State Senate candidate Daniel Squadron on Tuesday, September 2 at 9:30pm at The Magician on the corner of Rivington and Essex in Manhattan .

The District he’s running for covers Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, DUMBO, western Williamsburg and most of Manhattan below 14th Street other than Greenwich Village. Squadron is a great candidate who’s ready to fight the incumbent disease we know as Albany politics. He has been endorsed by the New York Times, lots of local organizations, Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Schumer and others. You can read more about him here:

With all the hoopla going on in Denver and Minneapolis, we have the opportunity to make change in our own neighborhoods here. This is an election where literally EVERY VOTE COUNTS. Corny? Maybe, but small increases in turnout can swing local elections.

Did I mention free drinks? Hope to see you there. Let me know if you have any questions. Sorry for the late start, he’s debating his primary opponent in Brooklyn earlier in the evening.


I'm not sure if I'll make it tonight, but rest assured, I've met Dan and I like what I see in him and who is a Democrat that is intent on changing Albany, not ascribing to the status quo. He has the support of many prominent people in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. More importantly, he hopes to have your support next Tuesday, so come and get your questions asked in person tonight.

What Is The World Coming To When Amy Goodman Gets Arrested

It is a sad day for journalism and our democracy when one of the most fair and objective members of the media is arrested for merely reporting on the RNC Convention.

Welcome Aboard The Cynicism Express

Eugene Robinson hit it out of the park in today's Washington Post. The McCain/Palin ticket can be summed up in his piece that highlights "The Cynicism Express" and the non-existent record that Sarah Palin has and shows that there is no way to determine if she could be President in case something happened to McCain. He runs through her hypocrisy on earmarks and her push for the bridge to nowhere. He doesn't mention the current scandal and her need to hire an attorney to defend her in case impeachment rears it's ugly head in the Alaska State House, because this is more about McCain than anything.

From The Washington Post:

McCain's political calculation in choosing Palin is obvious. Social conservatives, who had been unexcited by his candidacy, are ecstatic that he has picked a running mate who staunchly opposes abortion, favors the teaching of "intelligent design" in the public schools and generally embraces the agenda of the religious right.

I have my doubts about the other objective of McCain's gambit: to win the votes of blue-collar women who supported Hillary Clinton. For one thing, these voters disagree sharply with Palin on most of the issues. For another, initial indications are that many women were insulted at the notion that they would automatically swoon over any candidate who happened to have two "X" chromosomes. Republicans tend to have a comically simplistic view of how "identity politics" works. They should recall how African Americans reacted when Clarence Thomas was named to the Supreme Court.

Whatever the political impact, so much for the John McCain we thought we knew. In choosing Palin, he cynically did the kind of thing that his party is always accusing Democrats of doing: He selected a running mate based on her potential ability to appeal to targeted segments of the electorate rather than for her honestly assessed ability to lead the nation should the occasion arise.

The other thing we learned about McCain is that he is willing to take an enormous gamble based on limited information. He only met Palin once before summoning her for a final interview. He realized he needed to shake up the presidential race, and that's what he did. But we are reminded, if we did not realize it before, that the three things not to expect from a McCain presidency are caution, prudence and a willingness to always put the nation's interests above his own.

The pick was short-sighted and as we have heard, decided on in nearly an instant. There was no vetting, only the desire to upset Obama's momentum and to pick up voters based on a failed system of thinking. Not only are his targeted voters (Hillary supporters) in disagreement with Palin, he might just lose Alaska in the process. How tragic would that be for the GOP this come November?

Hurricane Gustav Changed Nothing At The RNC

If you thought that a Hurricane would change the Republicans' mood at the 2008 RNC in the Twin Cities this week, think again. Everything has remained the same and the things that wanted accomplished are right out of the old Rovian playbook. Supposedly this was going to be a somber event where Republicans would just raise money for victims of Gustav and nothing more. Obviously this didn't turn out to be the case, the attendees were only reminded to look sad and mute their festivities, not to stop them entirely. The real motivation for the somber plan was to make the party look like it cared, but in the end it was nothing more than a lesson in self-congratulation.

From The NY Observer:

ST. PAUL—The latest word is that Hurricane Gustav has been downgraded to a Category 1 storm and that water levels in New Orleans are receding – strong and encouraging signs that the Crescent City and the rest of the Gulf Coast will be spared tragedy and destruction on the scale of Hurricane Katrina.

And now, at the Republican National Convention, the effort is underway to portray this good news as a triumph of Republican leadership.

Just before 5:00 p.m. (E.S.T.), with the scoreboards in the Xcel Energy Center prominently displaying the words “Country First,” First Lady Laura Bush was called to the stage, where she spoke of the human toll that the storm threatened to exact and the need for support from all Americans for any recovery effort.

She noted that all of the governors of the affected states are Republicans, prompting loud applause from the delegates.

Excuse me while I gag on that while choking on what followed. There wasn't as much that went on as originally planned, but to the GOP, Gustav wasn't about the people affected by the Hurricane, it was only a political opportunity to repair damage done to their brand when they purposefully ignored those who were slammed by Katrina three years before.

With that, the opening day of the G.O.P. convention came to an end. On Fox News, anchor Brit Hume quickly segued to a piece about the various ways in which delegates have put politics aside these past two days to focus their thoughts and efforts on helping the people of the Gulf Coast. On television, one woman noted that her delegation had turned its morning meeting into a prayer session.

But if last night is any indication, not every Republican has gotten the memo.

Damn Sammy, you are truly pathetic...and you fit right in up there in St. Paul.

Monday, September 01, 2008

John McCain's Focus On The Campaign Trail

Whatcha lookin' at John? Wedding ring not fitting quite right?

Thoughts On Labor Day 2008

Today is the day that we remember all those that fought against companies big and small, so that all workers could attain decent rights. Since the ascent of neo-conservatives, those rights have been on the decline, especially so since George Bush took control of the country. Well this is the last of this holiday under his watch and it couldn't come soon enough. We also remember every worker and honor them whether they were in combat with corrupt Pinkertons or not.

Those that are conducting search and rescue operations today will be in our hearts, as they save the lives of people that are being affected by Gustav as I write this. The worst of the storm is coming in now and although the Hurricane is tracking south and west of New Orleans, all those that live along the Gulf Shore need be most careful.

Last time our government failed us as a nation when New Orleans drowned. Now as we are nine weeks and a day from the Presidential election, Republicans are on their best behavior. That does not mean however, that they believe in helping people out if it isn't an election year. The core of their movement believes that government does not work for capitalism and that government must be cut down into nothing but a military and a police force in every locale. They have also been on the side of business when it comes to fighting for the common man.

Although neither side is perfect, the only way to affect change this year and win back the rights we have lost is to cast a vote for Barack Obama and the progressive Democrats running down the ticket from him. He has shown all along that he cares about all Americans, not just the richest among us. John McCain however, well he just went down to Mississippi this weekend for a photo-op. When Katrina hit three years ago and he was not in the spotlight, he was busy eating birthday cake with George Bush. That shows you what kind of President he'll be.