After the election – a look back as we move forward

At 11 PM EST on Tuesday November 4th, I witnessed history being made when all the media networks said that Barack Obama was the President-elect of the United States. I was watching the TV in my living room – trying to ignore the nattering of the pundits in between return announcements. Then the ominous music and one of the anchors said “Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States.” I cried. It was tears of joy real joy.

I was happy the long road to the election was over. I was happy Obama won. I was happy knowing for sure that the worst President in history would be leaving shortly and our long 8 year nightmare would be over.

Since the conventions I had been growing angrier at the attempts of the McCain – Palin ticket to use fear and falsehoods to try and steal another election. I was happy that most people woke up and took their country back from the near fascism of the Bush administration.

As Paul Krugman wrote in his blog on Wednesday:

Last night wasn’t just a victory for tolerance; it wasn’t just a mandate for progressive change; it was also, I hope, the end of the monster years.

What I mean by that is that for the past 14 years America’s political life has been largely dominated by, well, monsters. Monsters like Tom DeLay, who suggested that the shootings at Columbine happened because schools teach students the theory of evolution. Monsters like Karl Rove, who declared that liberals wanted to offer “therapy and understanding” to terrorists. Monsters like Dick Cheney, who saw 9/11 as an opportunity to start torturing people.

And in our national discourse, we pretended that these monsters were reasonable, respectable people. To point out that the monsters were, in fact, monsters, was “shrill.”

Four years ago it seemed as if the monsters would dominate American politics for a long time to come. But for now, at least, they’ve been banished to the wilderness.

The Monster Years

This election also showed that not only Americans were pleased with the choice but so were the rest of the world. Dancing in the streets and parties took place in major cities ACROSS THE GLOBE.

Let state again – ACROSS THE GLOBE!

People in other nations were and have been concerned about us for many years since Bush took office. Why? Because the US is their ideal about freedom and democracy and if we fuck it up then what the hell is going to happen in the rest of the world. As we have learned the hard way – again – you can’t export democracy at the end of a gun. We have to be the beacon – the light – showing the rest of the world how its done then they can attempt it themselves. We must lead by principle and by example. That got lost in the past eight years.

The other marked change from this election is that our voting finally caught up with the popular view of a majority of American. Not the neocon dumb asses that the media believes is the “mind” of the nation – but a majority of the electorate who are really more liberal in thinking and who finally rejected the fear politics by the McCain campaign. As Eric Alterman writes:

Liberals and progressives, however, are in the opposite position. Obama has proven an inspirational messenger, speaking to and for a public eager to embrace the kind of politics that has been demonized and trivialized for the past eight years by mainstream media desperate to deflect the right’s accusations of “liberal bias.” According to the Pew Center’s extensive national survey, released well before this endless election got under way, roughly 70 percent of respondents believe that the government has a responsibility “to take care of people who can’t take care of themselves.” Two-thirds (66 percent)–including most of those who say they would prefer a smaller government (57 percent)–support government-funded health insurance for all citizens. Most also regard the nation’s corporations as too powerful, while nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say corporate profits are too high–about the same number who say “labor unions are necessary to protect the working person” (68 percent). When it comes to the environment, a large majority (83 percent) back stricter laws and regulations, while 69 percent agree “we should put more emphasis on fuel conservation than on developing new oil supplies” and 60 percent say they would “be willing to pay higher prices in order to protect the environment.”

A Liberal Supermajority (Finally) Finds Its Voice

Does this mean we are done with politics and politicians like George Bush and the GOP?

I would hope so but I won’t assume we will be.

I just want us to move on from the idea that being ignorant of how the world looks or operates is “cool”. I want this country to move forward and not get left back. Right now we are behind in so many areas like education. If we want to be a great nation then we need to take the lead in science and inovation. Dumbing people down – to me – is unamerican.

All a matter of perspective I guess

As we close in on election day, it is important to keep up on the issues and proposed policies of the Presidential candidates. Mark A. Shrider, over on his blog Right on the Mark points out some contrasts between Obama and McCain. Since his look is slanted to the right, I decided to respond to each of his points here:

We get AP investigations into Sarah Palin’s record. We get government computers used to look into “Joe the Plumber’s” private life. Yet, asking a question of Senator Obama’s tax plan or his associations is off limits. Instead of talking about the merits of Obama’s Tax Plan or investigating some of those association the attention is deflected & we never get the answers we deserve.


I don’t think anyone would approve of government workers looking into “Joe the Plumber” but it’s odd hearing complaints from the side of the aisle that approves of weakening all our 4th Amendment rights in the quest to make us “safe”. How ironic.

Sarah Palin’s record was examined just as all the candidates records were examined. If someone wants a job and uses their past record as support for hiring them why should that be off limits.

Palin was further looked at because it seems McCain didn’t vet her long enough before he offered her the job. All he saw was she could appeal to the GOP base (that is white Christian men who fear change). Then to make matters worse for her, McCain’s people tried to pull a Cheney and hush up a real ethics investigation that had started before she was even a blip in the campaign’s eye.

Obama’s tax plan has been questioned by the press – which includes more than the AP. A simple Google search showed at least 552 news articles about in various forms. I also used the tax calculator that is on the Obama website and found out I might get a $550 tax break while my mom would be up for $1000.

The simple answer is Obama plans to cut taxes for those making $250,000 and less. McCain wants to make Bush’s tax cut for the rich permanent

Of course Mark is probably wanting details on the tax plan – meaning what spending will be cut to pay for the tax cuts. I understand why the details are murky – we just put $700 billion on our credit card to bail out the mess left by “free market” conservatives. Who knows what will in fact happen. Obama mentioned that he may have to delay some of his plan until the real numbers are known. I still think Obama’s plan is better for the country as it focuses on the people who are foundation of this country – the middle class and small business – not the rich. We have had 8 years of cuts for the rich so lets try it the other way.

As I’ve said before if associations mean anything then lets talk about John McCain and G. Gordon Liddy, or his involvement with the Council for World Freedom that was involved with the Iran-Contra deal (which included selling weapons to Iran) and Latin American death squads during his time on their board and how about the Keating 5, and his association with the anti-Catholic and antisemitic Pastor John Hagee? Then there is Sarah Palin’s association with the anti-American Alaska Independence Party. 

In this country we have freedom of association and it seems by the poll numbers voters don’t care if Obama knows a so-called domestic terrorist.

While those topics have been in the news there doesn’t appear to be any investigations conducted by the AP as they did with Governor Palin. No use of government computers to look into Senator Obama’s private life as was done with “Joe the Plumber.” Instead, we get some government agencies locking up some of Obama’s private information. Where is the mainstream media? Apparently in Alaska & Toledo checking on the enemy.

Mark seems to forget that Obama’s passport file was accessed by a contractor at the State Department. Frontline did a long documentary about both McCain and Obama’s history. Some reporter found Obama’s brother in Kenya living in a shanty and just tonight Inside Edition had a story about Obama’s aunt who lives in a run down building in Boston. Just because these reports don’t paint Obama as the antichrist doesn’t mean the press hasn’t looked.

Yet, John McCain still refuses to release all his medical records. Knowing he has had several bouts of skin cancer and the fact that the health of a President can drive the stock market – it is important we know if he would healthy enough to complete a term. But it isn’t the first time he didn’t release everything. Back 1999 he did the same thing only release a selection to answer questions about his mental health from his 5 years as a POW.

We got ACORN possibly involved in voter registration fraud & maybe even voter fraud. Obama gave them $800,000. Yet, Obama accuses republicans of plotting to suppress votes. And, while Senator Obama is requiring folks to show ID at his election night event in Chicago, he doesn’t find it necessary to show ID to vote.

ACORN isn’t involved in voter registration fraud and there has not been any voter fraud this election and only 24 cases between 2002 and 2005 out of millions of votes cast. While the GOP has been caught in various suppression efforts just this year (PI sent to homes of registered voters, attempting to use foreclosure lists to bar voters, and telling student voters they would be arrested if they voted where they went to school)…… Comparing evidence it seems the suppression efforts are real and the voter fraud charges are a fraud.

I don’t see the point of equating security of a Presidential candidate with voting. It seems like an apples to oranges comparison.

Even when it comes to campaign issues we’ve heard many times that Senator Obama wants to allow us to buy into the same health insurance he & Senator McCain enjoy. However, he never tells us at what cost. On the other hand, John McCain plans to give each one of us a $2500 tax credit for insurance & $5000 for a family. It seems that McCain is required to give more information about his plan than is required of Obama.

The estimate is $100 billion. It would be modeled after Medicare which seems to be doing pretty well for the past 43 years. We are spending $10.3 billion per month in Iraq. Taking even half of that amount as we ramp down operations there would pay for 60% of the health care plan.

Neither candidate has given specifics and each has twisted the other’s plan in stump speeches. 

And of course, the race card is being played out in the news lately as well. If Obama loses it must be the Bradley Effect due to secret racism. However, the possibility that Obama could get more than 90% of the black vote is called racial solidarity. Nope, no double standard at all.

Racism exists. One only needed to view video of some of McCain’s rallies in the past few weeks to see it. Only people who have a problem with Obama’s race would say that all blacks will vote for Obama. What about all the white people who will vote for McCain? Isn’t that racial solidarity? There couldn’t be any other reason they would all vote for McCain?? Just like there couldn’t be any OTHER reason blacks would vote for Obama?

I think when a campaign can’t win the battle on issues they seem to always go down the cheap road of character assassination. McCain took that road early on and for once it seems a majority of the people are not buying it.

McCain and Palin hope Findlay people are stupid

Sarah Palin gave a stump speech at the University of Findlay in Findlay Ohio on Wednesday. It was her standard stump speech tweaked to give the Findlay faithful a shout out. Unfortunately, many of the items she pointed out weren’t truthful but the crowd responded as if it were true. It’ss ironic because back in June much of Findlay were up in arms when a Washington Post reporter did a story about some people who believed the various false rumors about Barack Obama. I guess McCain and Palin think Findlay people are stupid.

“He got our opponent to state his intentions in plain language. Senator Obama says now he wants to spread the wealth. What that means is government takes your money and doles it out however a policitian sees fit,” Mrs. Palin said to big cheers.

“Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth. Joe Biden calls it patriotic. From right here in Ohio, Joe the Plumber said to him it sounded like socialism,” Mrs. Palin said.

She claimed that Mr. Obama wasn’t happy about the encounter.

“It seems their staged photo op got ruined by a real person’s question,” she said.

Palin hands it to ‘Joe the Plumber’ during Findlay appearance

Both John McCain and Palin have been hammering on this “share the wealth” mantra even calling Obama a Socialist.

What is failed to be reported is that in the exchange with “Joe the Plumber”, Obama didn’t say he would take Joe’s money and give it away or redistribute it. Here is the transcript from the video of the exchange in Holland, Ohio:

Obama: And I do believe that for folks like me who are, you know, have worked hard but, frankly, also been lucky, I don’t mind paying just a little bit more than the waitress who I just met over there, who’s … things are slow and she can barely make the rent. Because my attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s gonna be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you. And right now, everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody. And I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody. But, listen, I respect what you do and I respect your question. And even if I don’t get your vote, I’m still gonna be working hard on your behalf ’cause I want to make sure … small businesses are what creates jobs in this country and I want to encourage it. All right.

Joe The Plumber: A Transcript

Here is the actual video of the encounter. The part I quoted above begins about the 4 minute mark of the 5 and half minute video.

Now if one understands English, the context is quite clear. Obama believes, as many people do that when everybody has money to spend then everyone benefits and that the foundation of economics in the US is the small business. This is the opposite view of people who favor the trickle down idea – giving tax breaks to the rich in the hopes their spending will trickle down to the rest of us. Obama’s view is the bottom up idea. Cutting taxes for those below the $250,000 income level would free up money for a large portion of people.

Cutting taxes for the rich and those who invest doesn’t put money in people’s pocket quick enough to help small businesses – if at all. It isn’t socialism just a different idea on how to fix the economy.

Of course Palin and McCain knows all this. Back in 2000, John McCain said much the same thing that Obama said to “Joe”:

Just another example of how indispensable Jon Stewart and the Daily Show are, catching things the media don’t. McCain and Palin (indeed, the entire GOP establishment) have been bashing Obama as a “socialist” the past few days for having the audacity to propose raising the top tax rate from 36% to 39% while giving working folks (95% of the rest of us) some relief. The only problem: Stewart dug up footage of McCain making the exact same argument a scant eight years ago.

Stewart: “Now you can argue that this country has dabbled in socialism ever since the income tax was introduced, and that calling Obama’s plan ‘socialist’ is a cynical ploy that even McCain realizes is a bankrupt tactic. Or, should I say, realized.”

Audience member: “Why is it that someone like my father who goes to school for 13 years gets penalized in a huge tax bracket because he’s a doctor.”

McCain: “I think it’s to some degree because we feel obviously that wealthy people can afford more.”

Audience member: “Are we getting closer and closer to, like, socialism?”

McCain: “Here’s what I really believe: That when you reach a certain level of comfort, there’s nothing wrong with paying somewhat more.”

Stewart: “That, of course, is the late socialist leader John Mccain. I believe he passed away during the Republican primaries. He will be missed.”

Daily Show Flashback: McCain is a “socialist”, too!

McCain and Palin are counting on Findlay citizens to be stupid and based on the cheers during Palin’s speech, it seems they might be right – or they are hypnotized by her flashy wardrobe.

Tilted election coverage on WBNS in Columbus

WBNS is owned by the same company that owns the Columbus Dispatch, which endorsed John McCain for President on Sunday.

Here is a video from their late news about the day in the election. John McCain was in Westerville, a suburb of Columbus.

A big bag of candy to people who can tell what is wrong with the report:

In case you can’t or don’t want to see the video here are the things that are wrong in the news report:

1. Gave McCain a couple of minutes to express his talking points. They were not based on any truth – like saying Obama’s tax plan is a give away like his plan isn’t or that Obama’s “share the wealth” comment was meant to give away people’s money – it wasn’t. The news report didn’t challenge any of the talking points.

2. McCain said it was a dead heat even though Obama has a slight lead in Ohio it isn’t a dead heat in the rest of the country.

3. The video showing the women marching to Vets Memorial to vote failed to show the size of the crowd while there were many crowd shots of the McCain rally.

4. The part on Obama in NC failed to let him speak. *To me this is the HUGE diss to Obama* so much for equal time.

5. Later in the newscast (not on the video I have) the anchor told about Powell’s endorsement but didn’t once allow Powell to explain why – the piece only had Powell explaining why he still supported going to war in Iraq – which happens to be McCain’s position.

This isn’t the first time WBNS has been “in the tank” for McCain. During the primary season when McCain was heckled about the war at a rally, the talking heads never once mentioned what the protests were about. I sent an e-mail to the news director and he said I was right they should have mentioned why he was heckled.

They have not provided the same amount of coverage for Obama and most of the news stories I’ve seen, Obama never is allowed to speak – the talking heads paraphrase what he says.

Looks like he needs another e-mail about his stations coverage of the campaign. 

The news director’s is John Cardenas