Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Three Things

1.  Today is the runoff election in GA for the Senate seat.  Help support Jim Martin!

2.  Bush admin has apparently hidden "big government" amidst contractors.

3.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Turkey Day!

Letterman's Top 10 excuses for Sarah Palin are pretty good akshully:

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Follow your dreams. Don't let anything stop you." - Brenden Foster

We can't possibly donate to every worthy cause we come across.  In this economy, many of us can't donate to any worthy causes.  For those who can, I'd like to offer the following for consideration:

Brenden died last week but his wish for feeding some of Seattle's homeless was granted.  In tribute to his memory, I am hoping some of you will consider making a donation here (where it says "Donation Options", click the drop down box and select "Brenden Foster's Food Drive").  Alternately, you could make a donation in memory of Brenden Foster to a national or local group who works to feed people in need.  Feeding America gets a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator.

When asked what the best things in life are, Brenden said, "Just having one."

Be seeing you, Brenden.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Action Alert: Georgia Senate Race

The same website Obama used for volunteers to phonebank from home is now set up to help Jim Martin GOTV in GA. Martin faces a December 2 runoff for the Senate seat currently held by Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). Chambliss won that seat by waging a smear campaign against Max Cleland in 2002. At the time, John McCain was against Chambliss' dirty tricks:
McCain: I’d never seen anything like that ad. Putting pictures of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden next to the picture of a man who left three limbs on the battlefield — it’s worse than disgraceful. It’s reprehensible.
Now, not so much.

If you want to learn more about Jim Martin, who seems like a pretty good guy akshully, or help his campaign - visit his website.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stuff to Read - Friday

Keep up on the MN recount results for the Senate race between Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Dem challenger Al Franken. As of this hour, Coleman is ahead by 136 votes.

hee hee: Obama Puppy Drama

The Bush Admin has been holding 5 Algerians at Gitmo since 2001 but a federal judge ruled yesterday that there is no case (and never has been one) against the men and they should be released. The Bush Admin has freed ZERO Gitmo prisoners when judges have ordered their release so this is probably a somewhat hollow victory. Their best bet, along with all the other prisoners there, will be January 20 when President-Elect Obama, who has promised to close Gitmo, takes office.

Fowl on GOP's 2012 Nominee

Sarah Palin is a living mockumentary of her own darn self.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

SC: The Butt of Another Joke

A new report ranks the states in their efforts to fund smoking prevention programs using the money from the gigantor tobacco settlement.  Out of the 50 states, South Carolina is ranked 51st.  *Shakes fist at pesky District of Columbia*

So to what do we owe the honor?  A little history:

The tobacco settlement was reached a decade ago so states could recoup some of costs of treating smoking-related illnesses, with total payments estimated at $246 billion over the first 25 years, according to the report. South Carolina has gotten $912 million in settlement funds so far.

The settlement proceeds were split into four trust funds, one of which was to be spent on health concerns. In 2003, lawmakers withdrew $100 million from the health fund to help offset a budget deficit then, according to the report, and to help with Medicaid. The other funds were designated for economic development, aid for tobacco farmers and water and sewer projects.  [emphasis added]

OK well let's not dwell on the past.  What does Fiscal Year 2009 look like for SC?

For FY2009, South Carolina will receive $1.0 million in federal funds for tobacco prevention and cessation. The state Legislature allocated no funds for tobacco prevention programs for FY09.

Oh.  And:

No tobacco settlement funds have been dedicated to tobacco prevention since 2003.

Well at least we're consistent!  So we got that goin' for us.

Bottom line:  SC will receive $114 million dollars in FY2009 from tobacco settlement payments and our measly cigarette taxes (7 cents a pack - Dang, 51st again).  Of that, we're spending $0 on smoking prevention programs.  But we will pay over $1 billion in smoking related health care costs.  I hate to invoke the Chewbacca Defense but:  That does not make sense.  As someone who lacks health insurance due to the outrageous cost of premiums in SC, I'm jes wondering:  can I get a bailout over here?  

The SC Legislature needs to get their act together pronto.  If they don't, I am considering driving them to Nebraska and dropping them off at a hospital.  Because they certainly won't find any safe haven in my voting booth come election time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

O Thank God - Something to Laugh at

AHAHAHAHA!

And:  

Bizarro Reads

Is anyone minding the store over at Newsweek?

Phyllis Schlafly lets the wacky fly:

The third group that Republicans lost in 2008 was unmarried women. By a colossal 40-plus point spread, unmarried women voted for Barack Obama by 70 percent to 29 percent. 
   
One explanation is economic: The women who cast off husbands look to Big Brother Government to support them. They vote for the party that promises more benefits from the Welfare State. 
   
The other explanation is social: The feminists have carried on a 40-year campaign to destroy marriage and what they deride as the patriarchy. They want to replace it with a matriarchy. 
   
In the 1970s, the feminists achieved unilateral divorce on demand from state legislatures, unilateral abortion on demand from the courts, and unilateral control over children in the welfare class by taxpayer handouts to women that made husbands and fathers unnecessary. 
   

The feminists have continued their campaign against marriage through Joe Biden's favorite legislation, the Violence Against Women Act, which provides a billion dollars a year to feminist centers to promote divorce and oppose reconciliation. The act is based on feminist ideology that women are naturally victims entitled to tax-paid legal and financial assistance, while men are naturally batterers who are not entitled even to due process protections.


The San Diego Union-Tribune printed this Letter to the Editor last week:

Veterans, active duty, retired military – alarm, alarm! President-elect Obama is proposing a National Security Force with allegiance (pay, benefits provided by the executive branch) to him. 

C'mon, some really bad guys have tried that in the past and we know where that went. Not while I draw a breath! 



Monday, November 17, 2008

Stuff to Read

There is still hope that Sarah "I exonerated myself of corruption" Palin will be prevented from appointing herself to replace Sen. Ted "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" Stevens because they are still counting ballots up there in that Alaska, and Stevens' opponent Mark Begich is in the lead.

Recommended for not only a great title but a substantive look at the GOP's prospects: The Next RNC Chair: Captain Of The GOP Titanic?

The NY Times reports that Dan Rather continues to pursue possible Republican influence behind the CBS inquiry which led to his resignation.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Breaking: Bush Effing Sux

Even more than we thought:

With growing talk in Washington that President Bush may be considering an unprecedented "blanket pardon" for people involved in his administration's brutal interrogation policies, advisors to Barack Obama are pressing ahead with plans for a nonpartisan commission to investigate alleged abuses under Bush.

[...]

Constitutional scholars say a pardon of this kind would be an unprecedented move -- the prospective pardon of not just individuals but entire categories of people, perhaps numbering in the thousands, for carrying out the president's orders , which the White House has argued all along were legal.

[...]

"The classic pardon is an identifiable individual; here you are talking about potentially thousands of people involved in illegal activities," explained Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington Law School. A blanket pardon of this variety, Turley said, "would allow a president to engage in massive illegality and generally pardon the world for any involvement in unlawful activity."


Read the full piece at Salon.com.

Dang W, you are like unprecedentedly corrupt. Is it January 20th yet?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jonestown Massacre: Where Were You?

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the mass murder-suicide in Guyana. Where were you when you heard the news? I was sleeping over my cousin Kathy's house. Her Dad had a couple of extra phones which were not in use and we used to play with them. I was usually getting calls from Andy Gibb (What? I was 10!) and Kathy was always on with Shaun Cassidy. (I'm sure Leif Garrett got through on occasion too.) We were listening to the radio when they cut in with the news of hundreds dead at the Peoples Temple in Jonestown. Our mutual reaction: That is so weird.

Sometimes forgotten in the immense tragedy is the mass murder which took place immediately prior to the deaths at the Peoples Temple. A group wanting to leave the cult, accompanied by Congressman Leo Ryan (D-CA), members of the media and others, had left the Peoples Temple and were waiting on an airstrip for their planes to take off. On an order given by Jim Jones, gunmen from the Peoples Temple drove up and opened fire:

NBC cameraman Bob Brown, correspondent Don Harris, San Francisco Chronicle photographer Greg Robinson, defector Patricia Parks and Congressman Leo Ryan were all killed. Eleven others were shot. They survived by pretending to be dead until the killers drove off.


Among the survivors was Jackie Speier, aide to Congressman Ryan. Speier was shot five times and lie bleeding on the tarmac for 22 hours before help arrived. She was flown to Andrews Air Force Base for emergency surgery. Her prolonged recovery included another 10 surgeries. In April of this year, she was elected to represent California's 12th Congressional District - Leo Ryan's old seat.

She used her first floor speech, on the day she was sworn in, to excoriate President Bush's handling of the war and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the likely GOP presidential nominee, for suggesting troops could be in Iraq for decades to come. She was heckled by Republicans in response.

"After I was booed, I really felt like I do belong here," she said.



Speier with Ryan, 1978

News Roundup: Oops Edition

You know T. Boone SwiftboatPickens and his campaign to get the US off foreign oil and on to wind and natural gas? Well apparently Pickens only thinks his idea is good if it can put more coins in his coffee cans:

Billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens is delaying his massive Texas wind project, citing a drop in natural gas prices and the tightening credit market.

[...]

But natural gas prices have fallen from over $12 per million British thermal units last summer to current levels of around $6.

The fall in natural gas prices makes switching to wind power a less certain bet, as utilities would be reluctant to replace natural gas with wind now that natural gas prices are so low.

Pickens said Tuesday that natural gas prices need to be about $9/Btu in order for wind power to be competitive.


And by "competitive", I'm assuming he means profitable for T. Boone Pickens.

***

Hank Paulson is now saying basically that the plans for how to spend the $700 billion bailout package are in the round file:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced Wednesday that the administration had decided to scrap what had originally been the centerpiece of the program _ a proposal to buy troubled assets to get them off the books of banks as a way of promoting increased lending.

[...]

The administration has already spoken for all but $60 billion of the initial $350 billion supplied by Congress, including the $250 billion for direct stock purchases from banks and $40 billion for a new loan supplied on Monday to help stabilize troubled insurance giant American International Group.


***

Speaking of AIG:

A key Democratic lawmaker called Tuesday for the resignation of American International Group's CEO after the troubled insurer held a financial planners conference last week at a posh Arizona resort.

The company responded that the event cost AIG very little and was aimed at boosting income.

AIG had come under sharp criticism for sending executives on a lavish English partridge hunt and a weeklong retreat at a California resort after accepting an $85 billion bailout -- since grown to $150 billion -- from the federal government in September.

[...]

Phoenix TV station KNXV, a CNN affiliate, reported that AIG tried to keep its connection to the 2008 Asset Management Conference a secret by ensuring that no AIG logos were on the property.

Undercover footage shot by KNXV shows top AIG executives, including Larry Roth, president and CEO of AIG Advisor Group, sitting poolside and drinking coffee while conference-goers attended meetings. Another executive -- Art Tambaro, head of AIG subsidiary Royal Alliance -- stayed in one of the resort's two-story villas.

The footage also shows a few executives being shuttled in a luxury Lincoln Town Car one night and enjoying dinner and drinks at a McCormick & Schmick's seafood restaurant, where they spent more than $400, KNXV reported.


AIG's defense on all these luxury junkets seems to be that they are necessary to boost sales. Well maybe in a different economy - one in which US taxpayers are not loaning your company billions to stay afloat - these types of motivational/reward spa holidays might seem worthwhile. But come on AIG, if your people need motivation to sell your product, how about getting in bed with the rest of us and relying on the old If You Want to Keep Your Job motivational tool? And as far as rewards go, why not hop on board the Your Paycheck is the Only Reward You Get train with everybody else in America? I'm sorry but we, the American taxpayers, are now 80% owners of your company. As such, I'm kinda the boss of you AIG. And I'd like to see you in my office. Now.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gov. Sanford on Republican Losers and Fakers

Gov. Mark Sanford (R- SC) has a post-election analysis piece up on CNN.com:

Beyond the presidential race, it goes without saying the Republican Party took a shellacking nationally. Some on the left will say our electoral losses are a repudiation of our principles of lower taxes, smaller government and individual liberty. But Tuesday was not in fact a rejection of those principles -- it was a rejection of Republicans' failure to live up to those principles.


I'm listening. [Gov. Sanford making sense Alert Button on standby]

America didn't turn away from conservatism, they turned away from many who faked it.

Sanford cites Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) as an example. O sure, pick on the convicted felon.

Borrowing from Medicare, Social Security, our grandkids and the Chinese to remedy a problem created by too much borrowing strikes me as odd, and hardly the "change" Americans really want. Accordingly, on these and other issues that involve borrowing to spend, I will work with others to change this kind of change.

[Stand down on the alert. Back to partisanship as usual.]

The thing is Gov. Sanford, the GOP's idea of lower taxes is lower taxes for the wealthy. Trickle down economics has been failing us for years. Or are you in the "fundamentals of our economy are strong" camp?

As far as your party's idea of smaller government goes, we gave that principle a real try with deregulation of the financial industry. Turns out, greedy bastards will not keep their bastardy greed in check when left to self-regulate. Huh, whodathunkit?

And when you talk about individual liberty, I'm assuming you are excluding women, whom your party seeks to deny the right to choose; political opponents, whom your party seeks to smear with McCarthy-esque attacks of guilt by association - even when no substantive "association" exists; and registered voters whom your party seeks to disenfranchise at the slightest hint of dropping poll numbers.

America didn't turn away from conservatism or the principles you mention - they voted down the Republican platform of dismissing the middle and lower classes, enabling corporations to line their pockets while grinding the working man under their heels, and attempting to divide us by color, religion, sexual orientation or whatever other wedge issue your polls show might win your party more votes.

And speaking of fakers, change starts at the top. Your party put at the top of its ticket a man who went back on every principle he ever held, trading in his integrity to campaign with the most unqualified VP candidate in history who drove the Hate Talk Express into a ditch then walked away chuckling about her prospects in 2012. The GOP allowed their rallies to become lynch mob gatherings and sent their mouthpieces on missions to plant the seeds of UnAmerican Activities and faux outrage in the media, in the halls of our representative government and in living rooms across America.

Governor, it's time to do more than scratch the surface of what's wrong with the GOP. Blaming Ted Stevens on his way to prison is a little too convenient. Before you dash back into the open arms of politics as usual and continue your efforts to sabotage the Obama administration before it even sets foot in the White House, you might keep in mind that Americans voted against your party for some tangible reasons. You can deny, ignore or try to spin those reasons at your own risk. Which would qualify, to my mind, as faking it.

Keith Olbermann on Prop. 8

Proposition 8 in CA denies equal rights to gays and lesbians to marry. It passed on November 4. Humanity FAIL.







Transcript available here. An excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here for info on nationwide protests Saturday, November 15.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

President-Elect Obama Links

Not sure when Obama is planning the ninja overtake of the country where we all have to burn our flags, become Muslims and start having abortions, but in the meantime:

Barack Obama's new website

A pdf worth clicking to see how the Obama administration views the US Government.

And from Bark Obama (yeah, we're still going!), a political cartoon with an agenda.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama

Change has come.  Now it's up to all of us to do something good with it.  Keep going.

From Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Chicago last night:

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. 


It can't happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. 


So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other. 


Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it's that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers. 


In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

[...]

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. 

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

[...]

This is our moment. 


This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day Assistance

If you need help:

South Carolina Democratic Party

1529 Hampton Street
Suite 200
Columbia, SC 29201

OFFICE: 803-799-7798
TOLL-FREE: 800-841-1817

***

Nationwide:  1-866-OUR-VOTE 

Barack Obama's Voter Protection Hotline:  1-877-US-4-OBAMA (1-877-874-6226)

***

It's November 4:  ZERO disenfranchised voters.

Monday, November 3, 2008

SC Voter Empowerment Card from ACLU

Download yours to printout here.  Bring it with you to the polls in case you have a question or run into a problem.

November 4:  ZERO disenfranchised voters.

2008 SOUTH CAROLINA 

VOTER EMPOWERMENT CARD

Can I vote in South Carolina?
You can vote in the November 4 election if you’re
registered to vote by Saturday, October 4, 2008.
You can register if you meet all of the following
qualifications:
(1) you’re a U.S. citizen;
(2) you’ll be at least 18 years old on Election Day;
(3) you’re a resident of South Carolina, your
county, and your precinct;
(4) you’re not under a court order declaring you
“mentally incompetent;”
(5) you’re not incarcerated for a felony or
misdemeanor offense; and
(6) you’re not on probation or parole for a felony or
a misdemeanor violation of an election law.

What if I’m a student?
You can register to vote at whatever address you
regard as your primary legal residence. This can be
your school address or your home address.

What if I’ve been convicted of a crime?
If you were convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor
involving a violation of election law, you can vote if
you’re not currently incarcerated or on probation or
parole.
If you were convicted of any other misdemeanor in
South Carolina you can’t vote while incarcerated, but
you can automatically vote when you’re released
from incarceration.
Once you’ve completed your sentence, you can
register to vote. It’s recommended that you include
proof of completion of sentence with your voter
registration form—even though it’s not legally
required that you do so.

What if I’m homeless?
You don’t need a home to register, but you do have
to identify a place of residence (which can be a street
corner, a park, a shelter, or any other place where
you usually stay).

How do I register?
You can register to vote:
(1) in person, by filling out a voter registration
form at your county board of registration;
(2) by mail, by filling out a mail-in voter
registration form and mailing it to your county
board of registration; or
(3) when you apply for services at the Division of
Motor Vehicles and state agencies that provide
public assistance (such as Medicaid, WIC, and food
stamps) or services to people with disabilities. You
may also be able to register at many other state
and federal offices and agencies.
You can get mail-in voter registration forms from
your county board of registration, from most
libraries, colleges and high schools, or online at
http://www.scvotes.org/files/VR_Blank_Form.pdf.

What’s the registration deadline?
Saturday, October 4

What if I miss the deadline?
You won’t be able to vote in the November 4
election, but you can register to vote in future
elections.

What if I’ve moved or changed my name?
You have to update your registration every time
you move or change your name. This form can be
printed online at http://www.scvotes.org/files/
changeofaddress.pdf.
If you moved within the same county before
Saturday, October 4, and didn’t notify your county
board of registration, you can vote by going to your
county board of registration on Election Day. You can
also go to your old precinct and cast a fail-safe ballot
for federal, statewide and countywide elections.
If you moved to a new county within South
Carolina before October 4 and didn’t update your
registration, you won’t be able to vote in the
November 4 election.
If you moved from another state to South Carolina
after October 4, or if you moved from South Carolina
to another state after your new state’s registration
deadline, you can vote a special presidential
(3) your job prevents you from voting on Election
Day;
(4) you’re physically disabled or hospitalized;
(5) you’re away on vacation;
(6) you’re 65 or older;
(7) you had a death or funeral in your family on or
after Saturday, November 1;
(8) you’re in jail or pre-trial facility awaiting
arraignment or trial;
(9) you’re attending to someone who’s sick or
disabled; or
(10) you’re a certified poll watcher or poll worker.

How do I know if I’m registered?
You should receive a written notification of
registration from your county board of registration.
You can also check your registration status online
at https://webprod.cio.sc.gov/SCSECVoterWeb/voter
InformationSearch.do, or by calling your county
board of registration.

Can I vote before Election Day?
Maybe. You can vote by absentee ballot before
Election Day if you’re registered to vote and you meet
any of the following conditions:
(1) you’re a student (or the spouse or dependent
child of a student);
(2) you’re a member of the Armed Forces,
Merchant Marines, Red Cross, USO, a government
employee (or the spouse or dependent child of any
one of these);
absentee ballot by contacting the local elections
office for your old address.


How do I get an absentee ballot?
You can get an application for an absentee ballot by
contacting your county board of registration.
If you apply by mail, your county board of
registration office must receive your application no
later than Friday, October 31. Your request must
contain your name and the address to which you
want the ballot mailed.
You can also apply and vote in person until 5 p.m.
on Monday, November 3.

What’s the deadline for returning my absentee
ballot?
To be counted, your absentee ballot must be
received by county board of registration office no
later than 7 p.m. on Election Day.

When is Election Day?
Tuesday, November 4

When are the polls open?
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You have the
right to vote if you’re in line or inside your polling place
when the polls close.

Can I get time off from work to vote?
Maybe. The law doesn’t require employers to give
their employees paid or unpaid time off from work to
vote, but your employer might have its own policy
allowing you to do so. Ask your employer well before
Election Day.

Where do I vote?
On Election Day, you have to vote at the polling
place to which you’re assigned.
Your assigned polling place will be listed on voter
registration card that you should receive in the mail
when you register.
If you don’t have your card, you can call your
county voter registration office or look up your
polling place online at http://www.scvotes.org/find_
your_precinct.

What if my polling place is not accessible?
If you find this out before Election Day, call your
county voter registration office right away and ask
for a reassignment to an accessible polling place.
You must request reassignment by Saturday,
October 4. You have the right to an accessible polling
place and an accessible voting machine. Or, if you
prefer, you can vote by absentee ballot.
On Election Day, you can send someone into the
polling place to request curbside voting on your
behalf. Poll managers will bring a ballot or voting
machine outside so you can vote.
Otherwise, bring one or more people to assist you.
You have the right to have anyone you choose assist
you as long as the person is not your employer, an
agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your
labor union.

Can I get a ballot in my native language?
Election materials in South Carolina are generally
available in English only, but you have the right to
bring an interpreter with you to the polls or to get
assistance in your language from anyone you
choose, including a poll manager, as long as the
person is not your employer, an agent of your
employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.

What if I need help in the voting booth?
If you need help because of a physical disability or
because you can’t read the ballot, tell a poll manager
when you get to your polling place. You have the right
to vote on an accessible voting machine. You also
have the right to have anyone you choose assist you
in the voting booth, including a poll manager, as long
as the person is not your employer, an agent of your
employer, or an officer or agent of your labor union.

Do I have to show ID?
Yes. South Carolina law requires all voters to show
some form of identification.

What are the accepted forms of ID?
Accepted forms of ID for most voters include a
valid South Carolina driver’s license or non-driver ID
card, or your voter registration card.
If you’re a first-time voter who registered by mail
and didn’t include any identification with your voter
registration application, the accepted forms of ID
also include a current utility bill, bank statement,
government check, paycheck, or any other
government document that shows your name and
address. A voter registration card is NOT an accepted
form of ID if the first-time-voter requirements apply
to you.
If you need instructions on how to use the voting
equipment, ask a poll manager for help. Poll
workers are required to help you at any time you
ask—even after you’ve entered the voting booth.
Check your voter registration status at least 30
days before the election.
Vote before Election Day, using absentee voting, if
you’re eligible to do so.
If you plan to vote at the polls, locate your polling
place at least 30 days before the election.
Vote early in the day to avoid the last-minute rush.
Bring some form of identification.
Read all instructions carefully.
Ask for help if you need it.
Take your time. You may take up to three minutes in
the voting booth.

What if I don’t have any ID?
If you’ve lost or misplaced your voter registration
card, you can get a replacement from your county
board of registration in person, by mail, or by
telephone.
On Election Day, you can cast a provisional ballot.
If you have time and have ID at home or work, it’s
usually better to get your ID and return to the polls
to cast a regular ballot.

What if I’m not on the voter list?
First, ask a poll manager to check the list again
and to confirm that you’re at the right polling place.
If you have shown valid ID, the poll manager must
call the county registration office and give your name
as it appears on the driver's license or other form of
identification. If your name is found and if you’re
eligible to vote, they will ask you to provide your date
of birth. If you answer correctly, you can cast a
regular ballot.
If you’re at the right polling place but your name
isn’t on the voter list and you either lack valid
identification or don’t answer with the right date of
birth, ask for a provisional ballot. You have the right
to cast a provisional ballot, even if your name is not
on the voter list, as long as you’re willing to swear
that you believe you registered to vote.

What if I go to the wrong polling place?
Go to the right polling place. You can ask a poll
manager to help you find the polling place where
you’re registered. You can also call your county board
of registration or look up your polling place online at
http://www.scvotes.org/find_your_precinct.
If you can’t figure out where you’re registered, go
the polling place that you think is most likely to be
the right one and ask for a provisional ballot. You
have the right to cast a provisional ballot even if
you’re not sure that you’re at the right polling place.

What if someone challenges my right to vote?
Ask for a provisional ballot. Election officials will
rule on the challenge before the election results
become final.

What if someone tries to intimidate or harass me?
Tell a poll manager right away. If the poll manager
is the problem, tell a poll watcher, call county voter
registration office, call one of the election hotline
numbers listed at the end of this card, or make a
complaint online at http://www.votingrights.org.

What if I make a mistake on my ballot or the
voting machine malfunctions?
Tell a poll manager before you cast your vote. If
your voting machine malfunctions, you can request a
different machine.

How do I make a complaint?
First, ask for the poll manager at your polling
place. He or she can handle most routine complaints
that arise on Election Day. Candidates, political
parties, and nonprofit groups may also have poll
watchers at your polling place who might be able to
assist you. If any of those people ask you who you
voted for, or if they can’t resolve your complaint, call
your county board of voter registration or the South
Carolina State Elections Commission.
You can also call one of the election hotline
numbers listed at the end of this card or make a
complaint online at http://www.votingrights.org.


SC Election Commission: 803-734-9060
US Dept. of Justice: 800-253-3931
ACLU Voting Rights Project: 877-523-2792
http://www.votingrights.org
Election Protection Hotline: 866-OUR-VOTE

Friday, October 31, 2008

Quickies

ha ha

RCP has AZ in the "Leaning McCain" column.  Wow.

Flip-Flop:  Republicans now for busing school kids!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Know Your Voting Rights

Voter Empowerment Cards are provided by the ACLU for every state in the US. Each state's card contains:
...information on registration, student voting, voting with a disability, early voting, felon enfranchisement, ACLU affiliate chapters, and state election officials.

Print out your state card and stash it in your glove box in case you run into a problem on November 4. Offer copies to friends, family, and co-workers who don't have internet access.

The Voter Empowerment Card for SC (PDF) can be downloaded here.

 
November 4, 2008: ZERO disenfranchised voters. Know your rights and stand up for yourself.

Your vote matters.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Disenfranchisement Express

TPM Muckraker says the GOP is sending thugs to knock on Hispanic voters' doors in NM and threaten them with immigration action if they try to vote. Nice.

HuffPo has a video of vote flipping in West VA.

In black neighborhoods of Philadelphia, fliers have been posted stating that anyone with unpaid parking tickets will be arrested if they try to vote.

November 4, 2008: ZERO disenfranchised voters. Don't let anyone steal your vote. Visit GoVote to find out when to vote, where to vote and what to bring. If you run into problems, visit 866OurVote.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

SC Ballot on November 4

This is what will be on your statewide ballot on Election Day. You may also have local ballot measures (such as tax proposals to fund schools) so you'll want to check for those in advance. And of course your Representatives will vary by district. Here is a list of EveryFrickin'Body on the ballot in the entire state.

In the Senate, the incumbent is Lindsey Graham (R) and the challenger is Bob Conley (D). I blogged a summary of their debate here.

Amendment 1 is explained here:

Obsolete language in the South Carolina Constitution establishes an age of consent of 14 (!) for unmarried girls, giving South Carolina the lowest age of consent in the country. A new referendum would remove this language from the state constitution, essentially establishing 16 as the new age of consent.

If you vote YES on Amendment 1: The age of consent in SC for unmarried girls will be changed from 14 to (probably) 16. (Age of consent will be set by the state legislature which they generally set at 16.)

If you vote NO on Amendment 1: The age of consent in SC for unmarried girls will remain at 14.


Amendment 2 is asking if we want the state government to invest the money in pension plans of state employees in the stock market.

If you vote YES on Amendment 2: The state government will have authority to invest state retirees' pension funds in stocks.

If you vote NO on Amendment 2: The state government can not invest state retirees' pension funds in stocks.


Amendment 3 is asking if we want the state government to invest the money in pension plans of local government employees in the stock market.

If you vote YES on Amendment 3: The state government will have authority to invest local government retirees' pension funds in stocks.

If you vote NO on Amendment 3: The state government can not invest local government retirees' pension funds in stocks.

Monday, October 20, 2008

O Crap - McCain's on to Us

McCain on Palin:  

"She is a direct counterpoint to the liberal feminist agenda for America," he said.

Damn - I thought maybe I'd left my super-secret, for-liberal-feminist-eyes-only Liberal Feminist Agenda on a park bench or at an abortion clinic but apparently it fell into the hands of John McCain.  I am so going to get my liberal feminist ass kicked at our next meeting.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Are You Proud of These People McCain?

McCain-Palin supporter in Ohio:

Surprise, shock and some fear in a local neighborhood, after an anti-Obama display is hung from a tree. The display is at a home at Symmes and Hicks Road in Fairfield.

And the person who put it there says the message isn't political, it's racist. Shawn Ley spoke with the man who isn't shy about his views.

There it is, right above the "McCain-Palin" sign: a make-shift ghost, hanging from a noose. A Barack Obama sign attached upside down. Obama's middle name: "Hussein" spray painted and misspelled above.

Mike Lunsford hung the ghost in his yard.

[...]

Lunsford says he believes Barack Obama is not a "full blooded American." And he says the United States is a white, Christian nation - and only with white Christians should be in power.

Rightey-o wacko, but I won't be publishing the photo of your hate message here.

***

Republican newsletter in California:

A San Bernadino County Republican group apologized this week for distributing a newsletter that depicted Obama on a fake $10 food stamp along with images of a watermelon, ribs, and a bucket of fried chicken. The president of the group, a Republican women's organization that is not part of the state Republican Party, said she had never meant to link the Democratic presidential candidate with any racist stereotypes. "I never connected," Diane Fedele told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "It was just food to me. It didn't mean anything else."

Uh, BS alert! But I won't be printing the image of your racist stupidity here.

***

Also in California:

Earlier this week, a group of Republicans in Sacramento County stirred up controversy by posting a series of violent anti-Obama images on an official state GOP website. Obama was depicted in a turban and paired with images of Osama bin Laden, with a caption that read: "The only difference between Obama and Osama is BS." Below that were the words "Waterboard Barack Obama!" After briefly defending the image, the head of the Sacramento County Republican Party apologized.

O yes, you're sorry all right. I'll grant you that. But I won't be posting your fear mongering photos here.


What I will be posting:





Friday, October 17, 2008

McCain Surrogate Yells Commie in a Crowded Theater

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R- MN) went on MSNBC's Hardball tonight and, after running through the usual GOP Obama/terrorist talking points, dropped this bomb: "What I would say is that the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look. I wish they would. I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out,are they Pro-America or Anti-America?" Dude... what?






OK so presumably McCain will be repudiating these comments immediately. ::holds breath::

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Lessons of Joe The Plumber

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the guy whose last name McCain botched in the debate last night and then referred to as "Joe The Plumber" about a jakillion more times, has been the subject of much discussion, speculation and amateur sleuthing on the blogs today. The MSM has joined in as well cos what the heck, how many loop tapes of McCain rolling his eyes and grimacing can we really get a belly laugh from?

ABC:

The Ohio plumber of 15 years came into the spotlight Sunday when he met Obama as the Democratic senator campaigned in Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher questioned Obama about his plan to increase taxes for incomes of more than $250,000.

Wurzelbacher told Obama he was trying to buy a plumbing business that would put him in that tax bracket and wondered how much he would be taxed if he acquired it.

Joe Biden weighs in:

Joe Biden sounded skeptical of “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher’s working-class credentials Thursday.
[...]
“The Joe the plumbers in my neighborhood, the Joe the cops in my neighborhood, the Joe the grocery store owners in my neighborhood — they make, like 98 percent of the small businesses, less than $250,000 a year,” said the Democratic VP nominee. “And they’re going to do very well under us, and they’re going to be in real tough shape under John McCain.”

To ABC News, JTP:

...acknowledged that he wants to purchase the plumbing business for $250-280,000, not that he would net that much in profits.

He would make much less, he said.

Which would seem to indicate that he would be eligible for an Obama tax cut, not that he would be subject to the tax increase from 36% to 39% Obama would impose on those making more than $200,000 per person, or $250,000 per family.

Yeah that seems fishy to me too. The CNN post (from above) notes:

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage for plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters in the United States in 2007 was $47,350.

The AP reports that JTP does not have a plumbing license because he's an apprentice for someone who does have a plumbing license. There is some dispute over that issue but regarding his business ownership plan, JTP told the AP that:

...he doesn't have a good plan put together on how he would buy Newell Plumbing and Heating.

[...]

"There's a lot I've got to learn," he said.

No kidding. For starters, if you're so worried about future taxes you might have to pay if you buy a plumbing business, you'll prolly wanna clear up the back taxes you owe first. Also, you might not want to piss off your state's AFL-CIO before you even buy your first business. (The OH AFL-CIO says JTP is "not a plumber he's a businessman.")

But at the end of the day, we go back to the beginning. (I saved the best for last.) When JTP met Barack Obama, he was a registered Republican and had voted in his state's primary in March of this year. Obama wasn't likely to get this man's vote. So Obama blew him off and moved on to someone who was swayable? Not at all. He spoke to JTP in a friendly and honest way, not because Obama thought he could get JTP's vote but because that's what a decent guy does. And that's why Barack Obama is my candidate. Spread the Wealth!

Update, 10-17-08:  I don't think I want to start another post about JTP :::yawn::: but I will toss out links as I come across them, in case anyone hasn't had their fill yet:

Racist remark?

Say it ain't so!  McCain is no longer palling around with JTP.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Stuff to Read and Sign

I'm not sure I can give a summary of this - it's too surreal - but you can read about a McCain-Palin rally in VA Beach here.

Color of Change is asking for signatures on an open letter to McCain-Palin, part of which reads:

Today, we're standing together as Americans of all political persuasions to express our deep concern that the decisions of your campaign are contributing to a dangerous atmosphere of paranoia, division, and hate that, as we have already seen, has the potential to seriously harm our country and its progress.

HuffPo reports that the lobbyist McCain hired to head his transition team used to lobby for Hussein - not the middle name Hussein - the actual dictator. I guess it's a good thing that transition team prolly isn't going to be needed.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Stuff to Read

The thrill of irony and the agony of shooting yourself in da feet:



(John McCain at a 2006 event sponsored by his BFF, ACORN)



Salon has a good piece up investigating Palin's ties to the radical Alaska Independence Party (Warning: Leave the lights on.)



Hillary "We so stole your chant thingy and made it better" Clinton: Jobs, Baby, Jobs - O yes she did.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

SC Senate Debate Summary

Goodness me. We in SC are stuck between an 'Oh No' and an 'OMG!'

Last night was the debate between Senator Lindsey Graham (R- SC) and his Democratic challenger Robert Conley. Here is a summary of their talking points and some quotes to the best of my memory (I took notes!):

Robert Conley: mentioned "communist China" and illegal immigrants several times, the latter basically in a "They took our jobs" (a la South Park) kinda way. He is vehemently against any path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Global warming: Conley said it's the "arrogance of man" to think we're responsible for the climate change. (It's the sun's fault, in case you were wondering.)

Earmarks: He would not accept federal earmarks. Said Congress needs to be innoculated against trichinosis. ha ha.

Foreign policy: "If we continue to occupy Afghanistan, it's going to accelerate the demise of the United States." (Dude!)
Also thinks we shouldn't ask our military to be involved in nation building because that's not what they are meant for - "The purpose of our military is to kill people and break things." (Dude! redux)

When asked if there was any sitting Senator who was close to the "ideal Senator", he said no but that he anticipates working closely with Jon Tester (D - MT) and Tom Coburn (R - OK).

Closing statement: several "America first" statements as well as a "no more bailoffs (!) for Wall St."

__________________________________________________________________


Lindsey Graham: mentioned John McCain numerous times and said he hopes McCain becomes President for many reasons but mainly so he can appoint conservative judges.

Social Security: Graham said he makes $160,000 a year and in order to fix Social Security, he'd be willing to accept $10 less per month in his Social Security check so people who make less can get their checks too. (Wow, you sure you want to go that far Senator?) He said the retirement age must be raised also.

Earmarks: Yeah, he'll continue to take 'em but he wants transparency and no earmarks that people don't know about.

The Surge: Strategy.

Closing statement: The idea that by being in Afghanistan "we've made bin Laden mad at us" is "just a bunch of bull".


So there. Dang, where is Bachelor Number Three?

Racist Warmup

Our bigot friend who brought the "Obama" stuffed monkey to the Palin rally in PA yesterday - then shoved it off to some poor kid when CBS pointed their camera at him - was not so shy outside the rally, waiting to go in:

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Stuff to Read and Look at

The Village Voice has a lengthy piece investigating the political career of Sarah Palin. It includes her extensive ties to Senator Ted Stevens (R - AK), lobbyists and big oil, as well as an interesting bit about the mystery "buddies" Todd Palin claims helped him build their house for free.


File under Just for Fun:

Is Barack Obama Muslin?

Yes We Can (Hold Babies)

Yes We Can Has


And lastly, file under Wingnuttery:

The Sweet Sight and Sound of Smackdown!

The Obama campaign squashes McCain-Palin's flimsy smear:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Troopergate Report Released - Palin Abused Power

Sarah Palin - You are guilty of abusing your power as Governor! What are you going to do now? Disneyland? Face a recall, as allowed by the Constitution of the state of Alaska?

Sec. 15.45.510. Grounds for recall.

The grounds for recall are (1) lack of fitness, (2) incompetence, (3) neglect of duties, or (4) corruption.

I'm thinking an ethics violation might fall under #4 but I'm not a lawyer. And I'm not going to Disneyland. I just wonder what, if anything, will result from the findings of this report. The legislature could censure the Governor but that seems unlikely (too).

The McCain-Palin campaign released a response to the report which basically says: See, we tole ya this whole thing was biased - except for the part about where she was found to have broken no laws in firing Monegan (that part was fair and balanced).

If you gots a lotsa paper (and ink), you can print out the pdf of the report or just read it at your computer, hopefully from a comfortable chair.

Troopergate Report: Does Size Matter?

Since Palin has already passed judgment on herself (she gave herself a sparkling review!) in the Troopergate scandal, I am curious as to what is contained in the official investigation's report which is described as being "263 pages long and has 800 pages or so of evidence". Alaskan state lawmakers have been reviewing the lengthy document all day and hopefully will make it public very soon. I'll be updating if/when that happens.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stuff to Read While Waiting for the Troopergate Report

The Troopergate report is due out tomorrow.  In the meantime, Todd Palin submitted his written deposition to investigators yesterday and it was immediately leaked to the press.  Andrew Halcro goes over the deposition here.

HuffPo reports that Obama's got a solid team in place for transition should he win in November.  McCain - not so much.  Maybe he should suspend his campaign in order to get going on this task.

TPM's got a new Obama ad criticizing McCain's shiny new mortgage plan which went over like a lead balloon after he unveiled it during Tuesday night's debate.

Verify Your Voter Registration Today

The NY Times is reporting that "mistakes" have been made by election officials in at least six states resulting in the unlawful purging of voter registrations:

Tens of thousands of eligible voters in at least six swing states have been
removed from the rolls or have been blocked from registering in ways that appear
to violate federal law, according to a review of state records and Social
Security data by The New York Times.

[...]

The screening or trimming of voter registration lists in the six states —
Colorado, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina — could also result
in problems at the polls on Election Day: people who have been removed from the
rolls are likely to show up only to be challenged by political party officials
or election workers, resulting in confusion, long lines and heated tempers.

Verify your right to vote has not been mistakenly taken away from you now - don't wait to find out on November 4th. It only takes a minute. Help your friends, family members and senior citizen neighbors who might not know about the importance of verifying their voter registration in advance. Spread the word!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What I'm Reading This Morning

On the VP debate, Politico says of Palin:

...she got out alive, though there were white-knuckle moments along the way: questions that were answered with painfully obvious talking points that betrayed scant knowledge of the issue at hand, and sometimes little relevance to the question that had been asked.
 

And of Biden:

Biden offered a fluent, self-assured performance of the sort that can not be especially hard for him after two presidential campaigns, 35 years in the Senate, countless appearances on Sunday morning programs. People impressed by references to legislation, or citations of his record in world hot spots from Bosnia to Darfur, got these in spades.
 



ABC reports that Palin's "That is not so..." quick answer was, in fact, so:

Sarah Palin got her facts wrong in Thursday's debate with Joe Biden when discussing where John McCain stands on new protections for homeowners facing foreclosures. 


The Alaska governor incorrectly made it sound like McCain supports giving bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite mortgage payment terms on first homes. 

He doesn't.



The latest on Troopergate:

Action Alert on dKos, (originating at MudFlats) regarding release of the upcoming Troopergate report and the McCain campaign's attempts to squash it.

O Thank God - Something to Laugh About

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Vote!

Don't forget to VOTE. Deadline for voter registration for SC is October 4. The Obama campaign website has a handy-dandy tool that they say only takes about 3 minutes to use. That's less time than it takes to head out to your local gotcha-journalism hotspot (FKA a pizzeria) for dinner and a stump-the-candidate question.

Using this tool you can:
  • 1. Register to vote.
  • 2. Request to vote absentee.
  • 3. Find your polling location.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday Reading

A diary on dKos talks about an "unsung moment of the debate" and fair warning: it's a humbling, I've-got-something-in-my-eye moment.

A conservative columnist hopes Palin will bow out gracefully, before it's too late.

And on Bark Obama!, guess who was on the cover of Life in September 2004?

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Chewbacca Defense: McCain's Only Hope

Presumably McCain is right now speeding toward Mississippi (hunched over the wheel, left blinker on since D.C.) for tonight's debate even though no apparent progress has been made on the bailout deal. Which he said would have to be the case in order for him to debate. I don't know, there is so much funny business going on this week, I can't explain it all. Luckily, I found this clip which offers a reasonable defense of McCain-Palin's recent behavior. Thank you Johnny Cochran for making it all clear.

The Foxes' Henhouse Plan



KATIE COURIC: And, Bob, I understand that John McCain actually floated an alternative plan. What can you tell us about that?

BOB ORR: We're told at the White House Senator McCain offered an alternative plan that would include fewer regulations and more corporate tax breaks for businesses, kind of a private solution. But we're also told those ideas angered and surprised Democrats like banking chairman Chris Dodd who now says he thinks the White House summit was more of a political stunt for McCain.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Barney Frank Outdoes Me - Bigtime

Rep. Barney Frank on McCain's debate bail stunt:

"It's the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys."

*ding ding ding*

Hail Mary!

Amidst all the Chicken Little hysteria from our ah, leaders this afternoon - my beloved Senator Lindsey Graham is on TV right now talking about "financial Pearl Harbor".

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ.

Talkin' Freddie Mac Smack

From Newsweek:

When asked about his own campaign manager's associations with the mortgage
giants, McCain, in an interview with CNBC Sunday night, said that Davis "has had
nothing to do" with the Homeownership Alliance since it disbanded and "I'll be
glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it." (The
Homeownership Alliance was set up and funded by both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to promote the goal of home ownership and counter efforts to impose tighter
regulations on the two federally sponsored entities.)

Turns out, someone(s) did want to look at the record. What they found out:

...Davis's lobbying firm, Davis Manafort, based in Washington, D.C., continued
to receive $15,000 a month from Freddie Mac until last month—long after the
Homeownership Alliance had been terminated.

So in a nutshell, we are back to branding McCain and Davis liars, liars, pantses on fire. Not that we ever stopped.

Also from Newsweek:

Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraud
by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and insurer American
International Group Inc. Additionally, a senior law enforcement official said
Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. also is under investigation.

Soooo, the FBI is checking to see if anything funky might have been going on with these corporations. Ya think? Considering the feds have known that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been cooking their books for years, I wonder what the sudden urgency is? Maybe it's that embarrassing chafing lawmakers are feeling at the idea of giving a trillion dollar blank check to Hank Paulson to bail out these mortgage crooks while their constituents facing foreclosure continue to be kicked to the curb.

Monday, September 22, 2008

No Blank Check to Bail Out Wall Street!

Call me fiscally conservative, but I just don't like the idea of giving $700 billion in taxpayer money to the Secretary of the Treasury with zero accountability. I have contacted my Senators to let them know how I feel and to encourage them not to approve this proposal. I got this sample letter from JRandomPoster on DKos:

September 22, 2008


Dear Senators Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint:

I am writing in very deep concern over the Wall Street Bailout Act, currently entitled as "LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR TREASURY AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE MORTGAGE-RELATED ASSETS".

This is, to say the least, a deeply troubling bill. Specifically:

1. There is little to no oversight. Furthermore, section 8 ensures that any oversight is crippled from the start, as it states, and I quote from the text of the act: "Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency."

2. The floating amount controlled by the Secretary of the Treasury is $700B is effectively a blank check as there is no hard limit.

3. It appears that the power of the Secretary extends to no-bid contracts.

4. It provides no restoration of the provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act, modernized or otherwise, that were stripped away by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. It does absolutely nothing to change the fundamental problems that led us to this situation.

I strongly urge you to vote against this bill. I know that we need to prevent the complete disintegration of our economy, but this is not the solution. This is a blank check to the executive; it is the abdication of the financial powers granted to the legislative branch in Article 1, Section 8 of the constitution.

Sincerely,

***

SC Residents: Find your US Representative here and contact their office too.

Everybody Else: Find your Congressmen here.


UPDATE: Apparently Senator DeMint got my letter and agreed with me (heh):

“After reviewing the administration's proposed bailout plan, I believe it is completely unacceptable,” DeMint, chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee, said in the statement. “This plan does nothing to address the misguided government policies that created this mess and it could make matters much worse by socializing an entire sector of the U.S. economy.”

“This plan fails to oversee or regulate the government failures that led to this crisis,” DeMint added.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

What Say You Alaskans - Recall Palin?

In browsing the Constitution of the State of Alaska (why - what do you do on weekends?), I noticed they have provisions for a recall of the governor and other elected officials:

Sec. 15.45.510. Grounds for recall.

The grounds for recall are (1) lack of fitness, (2) incompetence, (3) neglect of duties, or (4) corruption.

I'm not a resident of Alaska but if I was, surely I'd be wondering if at least #3 and #4 weren't applicable to Governor Palin.

Neglect of duties:

Gov. Sarah Palin has surrendered important gubernatorial duties to the Republican presidential campaign. McCain staff are handling public and press questions about actions she has taken as governor. The governor who said, "Hold me accountable," is hiding behind the hired guns of the McCain campaign to avoid accountability.

Corruption:

[The Troopergate] investigation isn't just examining potential abuse of power by the governor, but also others in her administration...
[...]
Palin is facing another ethics complaint, filed by a former state employee and political activist alleging her office used improper influence to award a state job.

Since Palin's husband and aides refused to comply with subpoenas issued in the Troopergate investigation (I wonder where they learned that?), will Alaskans stand by and accept this We're-above-the-law behavior or will they demand fair and equal legal treatment for all Alaskans by holding the Palin administration accountable?






Sec. 15.45.510

Friday, September 19, 2008

Charlotte Rally 9-21-08

Just got this in my inbox.  Cos you know, Barack and I are e-mail friendees:

This Sunday, September 21st, please join Barack Obama in Charlotte, where he will talk about his vision for creating the kind of change we need. 


Change We Need Rally
with Barack Obama 

Downtown Charlotte
4th Street between S. Davidson Street and S. McDowell
Charlotte, NC 

Sunday, September 21st
Doors Open: 11:00 a.m.
Program Begins: 1:00 p.m. 

  
The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required; however an RSVP is strongly encouraged. 

For security reasons, do not bring bags. Please limit personal items. No signs or banners allowed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Stuff to Read

Speculation on why, when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, the city billed victims for their own rape kits:

The rape kits that Sarah Palin had a direct role in forcing women to pay for
contained emergency contraception.

***

Who ever knew that politics in Alaska was so interesting?

***

And - thank goodness - a Layman's Explanation of AIG vs Bear vs Lehmann

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I Had Not Heard That

This Bush Classic is 6 months old now and I can't imagine why it's stuck on endless replay in my head these days...



Our pump price jumped a dollar (more in some places) overnight last week before Hurricane Ike hit. Funny thing but my boss is not hiking the amount of my paycheck so how am I supposed to compensate? I'm still waiting to be trickled on here in SC. I hope those top 1% of American income earners haven't forgotten about me!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama's Statement on Today's Financial News

From Barack Obama's campaign blog:


This morning we woke up to some very serious and troubling news from Wall Street.

The situation with Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions is the latest in a wave of crises that are generating enormous uncertainty about the future of our financial markets. This turmoil is a major threat to our economy and its ability to create good-paying jobs and help working Americans pay their bills, save for their future, and make their mortgage payments.

The challenges facing our financial system today are more evidence that too many folks in Washington and on Wall Street weren’t minding the store. Eight years of policies that have shredded consumer protections, loosened oversight and regulation, and encouraged outsized bonuses to CEOs while ignoring middle-class Americans have brought us to the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.

I certainly don’t fault Senator McCain for these problems, but I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes to. It’s a philosophy we’ve had for the last eight years – one that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down to everyone else. It’s a philosophy that says even common-sense regulations are unnecessary and unwise, and one that says we should just stick our heads in the sand and ignore economic problems until they spiral into crises.

Well now, instead of prosperity trickling down, the pain has trickled up – from the struggles of hardworking Americans on Main Street to the largest firms of Wall Street.

This country can’t afford another four years of this failed philosophy. For years, I have consistently called for modernizing the rules of the road to suit a 21st century market – rules that would protect American investors and consumers. And I’ve called for policies that grow our economy and our middle-class together. That is the change I am calling for in this campaign, and that is the change I will bring as President.




Saturday, September 13, 2008

Gotta (Still) Love Dick Cavett

Dick Cavett's blog yesterday about Sarah Palin is an enjoyable snarky gem. My favorite bit is Cavett discussing Palin's convention speech:

Watching a woman, slight of build and full of pizazz so thoroughly bedazzle a vast audience is entertaining. Something chimed in my memory when she brought that crowd to its feet with frantic and worshipful cheering.

Ah, yes. I had seen it all before.


It was Judy Garland at The Palace.


And yet no one offered her the vice-presidency. (Fact-checker: Am I right on this?)


Can I just say again: I love that.

Today I'm Blogging at Bark Obama



My posts are here and here.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

AP Puts Pig on Lipstick

Charles Babington analyzes the careening-out-of-control-like-a-covered-wagon-with-a-missing-wheel McCain-Palin campaign claims:

Politicians usually modify or drop claims when a string of newspaper and TV
news accounts concludes they are untrue or greatly exaggerated.

[...]

But McCain and his running mate Palin, the Alaska governor, were defiant this
week in the face of similar reports.


Read the details here.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

McCain-Palin and Troopergate: A Question of Judgment

Sarah Palin was warned to stop trying to get an Alaska State Trooper (who happened to be divorcing her sister) fired as early as 2005. The judge in the divorce proceedings stated that Palin's family's effort to get the Trooper fired "has overridden good judgment".

And she was warned as recently as this summer by an ethics advisor who recommended Palin and her husband apologize for their roles in "Troopergate". The advisor described the situation as "grave" and "told Gov. Palin that she probably couldn't legally shun a legislative investigation".

Although Palin had initially promised full cooperation from her administration during the investigation, she has since flip-flopped, hiring a private attorney (paid for by Alaskan taxpayers) and several of her aides have refused to meet with the investigator. Her attorney wants the state's Palin-appointed, 3 member personnel board to conduct the investigation, not the state legislature.

What kind of judgment does Sarah Palin exercise in official government matters? Does she make her own rules and use her political power to force others to play by those rules? Is this someone we want a 72 year old heartbeat away from running the country? Haven't we already suffered enough these 8 long years under an administration run by President La-La-La-I-Can't-Hear-You?

And what kind of judgment do we credit McCain with for choosing a running mate under investigation for abuse of power in her home state? Word is, he preferred Lieberman as a Veep but caved to political pressure to choose a woman. Will he abandon his own judgment so easily when talking to Iran or Russia? Can he not make up his own mind based on what he thinks is best for the country without considering what's best for an election? O and the woman he ended up choosing - this was the best qualified female candidate in his judgment? Seriously?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

McCain-Palin Ad Forces TRUTH to Jump Off Bridge to Nowhere

A new McCain-Palin ad reiterates the claim that Palin stopped the scandalous Bridge to Nowhere. As has been documented, over and over, that just ain't so. Today the Wall Street Journal adds their voice to the fact-checkers, stating that Palin:

...endorsed the multimillion dollar project during her gubernatorial race in
2006. And while she did take part in stopping the project after it became a
national scandal, she did not return the federal money. She just allocated it
elsewhere.

Read the full WSJ article here.

Maybe Palin should change her rhetoric about the bridge to: That Bridge to Nowhere? I told Congress, 'Yes thanks! And if it becomes politically expedient for me to reverse my position later, I'll keep all the money too!'

RIP McCain-Palin campaign TRUTH. We hardly knew ye.