Song of the Week - Ray Charles - America the Beautiful

Saturday, November 8, 2008

In light of the Obama win, I think this song sounds a bit better this week....


The Many Sides of the Sarah Palin Fiasco

I can't lie.   I have had my fair share of laughs on the expense of Ms.  Palin.  Yet, the recent revelations about her, while still amusing, ring about hollow in my ears.   How disingenuous is it for the Republicans to now trash her by leaking out all these details about the campaign?  I think Campbell Brown hit the nail on the head in the video below - YOU PICKED HER!  This is why you have a vetting process you morons.  

The fact that they kept pushing this person as a viable VP after she didn't know that Africa was a continent is worse than her lack of knowledge.   Also, the attacks calling her a hillbilly, etc should (but won't) be ringing in the ears of all the people in "Pro-America" towns.   Now that they couldn't use her to steal the presidency, they have pretty much thrown her to wayside - the exact same thing they do with the needs of the people in "Pro-Americaville" after they get in office.  

These are just pathetic attempts to cast the blame on Palin for McCain's horrible campaign.  Palin should remind them that the only reason why this thing was even as close as it was is because she was on the ticket.  With an astonishing 91% of Republicans having a favorable view of Palin, the loss can not be solely put on her doorstep.   Obama's campaign was certainly one of the best I have ever seen.  McCain's was one of the worst.  His staff members should definitely be looking in the mirror before zeroing in on Palin.

But before anyone thinks I have succumbed to the charms of the winking hockey mom, she is at fault here.  I think of a time when my sister wanted me to babysit my niece.  Her last question to me before she walked out of the door was "Are you sure you can do this?"  It was a signal that she was leaving her only child in my care and if there were any doubts I could keep her, now was the time to speak up.  I said yes, and my niece and I proceeded to have a fun filled night of Disney videos and PB & J.  

Yet, that was just a teenage me in an apartment with my 2 year old niece for a few hours.  

Palin was agreeing to a position that would have made her partially responsible for children and adults of an entire country for four years.  She had to have known she wasn't ready to take on such a responsibility.  A simple "not a this time" would have been a more than appropriate answer.  Instead, she jumped into the role with all the smugness and viciousness that she could muter.  She was all too willing to take shots at Obama, the media, and the Un-American, even though she was woefully unqualified to speak on much of anything.  

Rather than study and research to make up for her lack of knowledge, she pushed forward attacking the media for their hard-hitting questions like "what newspapers do you read?"  She fanned the flames of racism by accusing Obama of palling around with terrorists.  She...well, I could go on for days.  This woman was just not ready to assume the position of VP and she knew it.   In the end, she is even scarier to me than Bush because she's not even as smart as he is (chew on that one for a few minutes).

Beyond that, how scary is her favorable rating?  Another plus in the election ending was that we would no longer have to deal with her.   With her favorable rating being so high, she will no doubt be a player for years to come in the Republican party.  That is good, because i find it hard to believe America would ever vote her in to office.  But it is also bad because it shows just how many Americans agree with this woman and her views (or lack thereof).


Black People & Prop 8

Friday, November 7, 2008

Count me among those letdown by the number of my people that voted for Prop 8 in California. As I keep saying on message boards and the like, deciding civil rights by majority vote always equals bad for minorities.  This was a terrible precedent to set regardless of where you stand on the issue.  It really wasn't that long ago that it was against the law for black people to own homes, get loans, marry outside of the race, etc.  Is it really that big of a stretch to think that people in, I don't know, Alabama, might be able to successfully pass laws to remove those rights from our people?   I think that is something for everyone to go back to the electoral map for Obama and then stop and think about.

That said, was this really all our fault?  I found it hard to believe from the get go that the number of black people in California would really be large enough to completely swing the issue in one direction or another.   A closer look at the numbers appears to support my position.  In a fantastic breakdown over at the Daily Kos, Shannika lays out the facts.  It is a bit long, but well worth the read.  There a number of telling stats in there.

First, black people only represent about 6.2% of the population of California. As she states, "There are 7 times as many white people in California as Blacks. There are nearly 6 times as many Latino people in California as Blacks. And there are double the number of Asian people as Blacks."  We also have to keep in mind that quite a few of the black people in California can not or did not vote and all of them did not vote for this Proposition.

Even bigger was this: "However, we do know that there are, so far, 10,325,615 total votes on Proposition 8, nearly 80,000 less than the total votes for the main event. For Black people to have been 10% of that vote, they would have had to cast 1,032,561 votes on the measure, whether for or against. In other words, Black Californians would have had to both had an electoral turnout at the polls of almost 90% AND have all voted on Proposition 8 (i.e, NONE could have been amongst the 80,000 who just skipped the Proposition on the ballot) to reach that number of votes." I, like others, find it very hard to believe that 90% of all black people voted in California. As the author noted, it just doesn't happen.

There are more stats and analysis in her post.  The bottom line is that while the disproportionate number of black people voting against the Prop 8 is troubling, it is pretty safe to say that is not the reason it passed.

CNN's role in scapegoating black people here can not go unnoticed.

Beyond that, there is the whole view of black people and gays.  I think I'll leave that discussion to Raving Black Lunatic and Ta-Nehesi Coates.  My view is that general problems that all black people have with homosexuality is tied in with our religious beliefs.

I believe in separation of church and state, so religion does not have much impact on how I vote. Obviously, a lot of other people don't see things that way, but does that really make them homophobic?  I've been wrestling with that for a couple of days, but don't want to go down that road until I can speak somewhat intelligently on the matter.


The Obama Aftermath

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What WILL we talk about now?

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are


Obama Gets To Work ....

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So much going on today and I'm too busy soaking it all in to write about it. Luckily, some people went to work today...

The New York Times weighs in
The New York Times editorial sums up the key to Obama's win and surprise, it wasn't just race.
"His triumph was decisive and sweeping, because he saw what is wrong with this country: the utter failure of government to protect its citizens. He offered a government that does not try to solve every problem but will do those things beyond the power of individual citizens: to regulate the economy fairly, keep the air clean and the food safe, ensure that the sick have access to health care, and educate children to compete in a globalized world."

Obama's Transition Team
Obama isn't wasting any time. This is a good sign. He definitely will need to hit the ground running as there is a lot of work that has to be done. His first year will be vital.

According to ABC News, he has put together a transition team.
"Former White House chief of staff John Podesta, Obama family friend/businesswoman Valier Jarrett, and Obama campaign chief of staff Pete Rouse, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, former Clinton Transportation and Energy Secretary Federico Peña, and former Clinton Commerce Secretary William Daley."

Other interesting reads
As Below the Beltway notes, the Republicans must learn from this defeat. I'm definitely not a conservative, but the country needs as many viable political parties as possible.

A Thin Man ponders if we are no longer racist.

The Reaction still revels in it all, but realizes there is tough work ahead.


Ralph Nader...Officially on the S*%t List

You know, it's a shame what a joke Nader now is. He really did a lot as a consumer advocate. But asking if Obama will be an Uncle Tom on the night he was elected President is just ridiculous. And then getting called out about it by Fox News of all networks. And then having the nerve to try to act like Shepperd Smith was out of bounds for pulling his card. Despicable. It is far past time to stop putting this guy on TV.


Jessie Jackson Sums It All Up Last Night

Credit - Mark Lamont Hill, Getty Images...

Naturally, some question his sincerity. But given my own surprising reaction, I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Regardless of his many missteps, this is a brother who has been through a lot. I have to imagine that seeing that brother on the stage took him to another life and what might have been had he taken a different path.


McCain Concedes

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Great speech by McCain, but his crowd was still foul.

Hopefully none of these sour losers decides to do something crazy.


President Barack Obama

I vastly underestimated how hard this would hit me. But seeing and hearing the crowd cheer. People of all colors and ages. All cheering for a black man who wasn't holding, catching, shooting or throwing a ball.


We've got plenty of time to think about the ramifications of this, good and bad.

For now, everyone should just allow themselves to soak in the moment.


A Word From Min. Farrakhan

Definitely don't always agree with him, but I thought this was worth passing along.

"Here's my counsel to you. If brother (Barack Obama) wins, there will be more joy in the hearts of so many. More than we have ever experienced probably in our lives. People my age and older who have lived 75, 80, 85, 90 years will not mind dying because they will say in death, I saw what I never thought I would see in my lifetime.

But then others are going to go out in the street and celebrate with wild joy and revelry as though it was the Philadelphia Phillies winning the World Series, but that's not wise. That's not wise because your joy is somebody else's sadness and in your moment of revelry, there are those who will be so angry they can't get to him (Barack Obama) but they can get to you. And if you're out late at night just walking the street happy and drunk, you smoked a few of those funny cigarettes, you're just so happy and overjoyed.

Then someone rolls up on you, they don't tell you who they are but they're undercover and you're in a spot where they can just take your life. Don't think that some are not willing to do that with what we've heard coming from talk radio about people really hateful and would kill him (Barack Obama), but if they can't get to him and you are out drunk and partying 2, 3 o'clock in the morning when you should have been home.

How many Black people may die on that night across this nation. And just suppose the election is stolen. In your frustration, are you going to go out now and set fires and loot and act crazy. Not only is the S.W.A.T. Team ready and the National Guard but the Federal troops are already "posse comitatus" which forbids the Federal troops fr interfering in domestic affairs that's already put to the side now. If you act the fool you will be slaughtered.

So my counsel to you would be if he wins, rejoice intelligently. Don't overdo it. The Quran says it like this, 'when Allah's help and victory comes and you see men entering the religion of Allah in companies celebrate the praise of Thy Lord and ask His protection.' Well I'm not now talking about a victory in terms of men and women coming to the ranks of Islam in companies. I'm talking about a victory that we never expected but now we're full of expectancy of because we've heard the polls. If you win, celebrate the praise of God who brought us fr a mighty long way and made us in a time like this to ascend to the highest post in one of the greatest countries in the history of the world.

Don't act foolishly because Obama's rise is the rise of all of us who would be risen by his rise. Who would be inspired by his rise. These young children that are here who probably want an NBA contract or an NFL contract and want to be singers & comedians. Now they say well the sky is the limit. I can be what I want to be. Well, that's a key that can't ever go back in the box again."