Category Archives: Election ’08

On this day

I didn’t do anything overt to commemorate it; I just did my job.

Eight years ago, it was different.  I did my job that day as well, but it was far different from today.  Back then, our department had a lot of students from the Middle East.  (Since then, it has been rare for a Moroccan, Saudi or Pakistani student to get into the the country on a visa, much less our program.)  Some of our students knew what was happening, but most of them didn’t tune into the news in the morning and didn’t have access to computers in class.  Us teachers would run up to our offices during the breaks and check on the news.  It was horrifying.  I sent emails to see if a friend who worked in the WTC area had been heard from.

Later, I heard rumors — started by a women I later learned does nothing but lie — that all of our Arab students had walked out of classes in protest.  It wasn’t true.

I spent the next two weeks trying to keep going at work, despite the worry and the questions, and crying as I watched the reports on tv in the evening.

Over the next few years, work was difficult.  Our student population dropped and we had to do some creative things.  It was a difficult and stressful time, but at least I had a job and my friend in NYC was safe.

I remember how Cheney wanted to have a parade on this day a couple of years ago.  Thankfully that was scrapped.  We don’t need this day to turn into a holiday or a day of showing military regalia.  There have always been blogs that have threatened that people will forget, unless we remain afraid and ignorant.  There will always be some who want to politicize this day, despite the families of the victims trying for years — and finally succeeding this year, in turning it into a day of service and remembrance.  (And yes, Michael Berry, President Obama didn’t come up with this idea, but he did finally formalize it — just as the families have been asking for — for years.)

And then there is Glenn Beck.  Fresh off of getting not one but two scalps from the Obama administration, he’s off to the Mall to gather 2 MILLION people to shake their fists at the nation and demand that we all get together and I don’t know, let him be president or supreme dictator or something.  His loyal followers are following 9 things and 12 other things and supposedly they surround me.  I haven’t seen them yet, but I am a private person, so perhaps they are still looking for me.  It also reminds me of another book by Mike Gallagher titled, Surrounded by Idiots.  Perhaps these hosts need a thesaurus?

I don’t have cable, so watching the wall-to-wall Fox News coverage of tomorrow’s get together in D.C. is not an option for me.  Sigh.  I will check in and see if any bloggers claim that the Capitol Police have estimated their crowd size (they actually don’t do that anymore . . .)

Here’s a straight forward and cathartic response to Beck.

Counting on People Not Remembering

Too bad Michael Berry hasn’t been on the air the past few days or I probably would have a nice little blurb from him about the SCOTUS nominee.  As it stands, all of the hopelessly unelectable Republicans have been playing ‘can you top that’ in their own special ways.

It’s always interesting when people who have a history of saying questionable things attack another for saying one single thing. 

Since I posted yesterday, I see that Tancredo has decided that La Raza is just like the KKK.  Given that I lived in a city with a KKK  ‘office’ in a city that long ignored their Hispanic community when I was growing up, he’s hoping I don’t remember.

He’s hoping that I don’t remember the concerts and music festivals I attended and enjoyed that included La Raza.  He’s hoping that I don’t remember the hateful people I went to high school with who had ni**er shooting permits from the KKK and thought it was funny.  He’s hoping I don’t remember when I was dating a guy whose parents were from Mexico and my mom decided that if we married, none of my future kids would know English.  He’s hoping I for get when my parents claimed that my brother’s girl friend wasn’t really “Spanish” because her mom was white, and so she got mor scholarships than my poor white brother to UT.

Yeah, Tancredo.  La Raza is just like the KKK.

Liddy decided to go the female route and bring in menstration.  This argument is so tired, so wrong and so feeble, it could only come from a dinosaur like him.  That his voice is stronger in the conservative community than others only speaks to their continuing disdain of women.  Seriously look at the unelectable voices out there — dominated by men.  Sure, they have their tokens, but seriously, where is the strong female voice?  Palin?  She’s just trying to pay the bills.  The white men in power probably ruined her career.  What happened to Liddy Dole?  Perry has been trashing Kay B. Hutchisen for a while in his dream to be President of Texas.

Wingnuts made a big deal starting on 9/12/01 that pwoplw would forget 9/11/01.  No one did.  That’s how Bush got reelected in 2004, though looking at what happened after 11/04 would work against the reasoning.

I haven’t forgotten my childhood.  I haven’t forgotten all the times wingnuts were racists.   I haven’t forgotten 9/11.  I haven’t forgotten that Newt ahut down the government over a temper tantrum and I haven’t forgotten that all of the scremers will never put themselves in a position to be elected.

As an end note — it must have massaged Bill Bennett’s ego to have been suggested as a VP last year.

True Colors

Rasmusen has been one of those poles that a I pay attention to.  I’ll be straight and say that I think they are using their raw numbers to make President Obama look bad.  They feature a “job approval index” now instead of the four categories they featured under Bush.

By their measure, President Obama has an “approval index” of +6, or +2, or +4.  The smaller the number, the better.  They feature this number on their main page; you have to click through to see their numbers.  They also used to show their sample — how many Dems, Repubs, Indies — but not anymore.

Let’s look at Bush’s approval ratings in the same way as Rasmussen does now.  I won’t subscribe, but I looked at this site everyday.

On January 5, 2009, Bush’s index was: -30.

Oh, here’s a -8, but just because Ras decided that all is good and even fair is good, unlike he did for Congress (fair = bad for Congress).

Despite everything, President Obama keeps working and moving forward.  I feel confidence in him.  He’s making things better, step by step.

There will always be petty people who will either tear our President down 3 hours a day, 5 days a week (or more).  Then there are people who will shamelessly cash in on our President, like Gallagher, Medved and Hewitt.  Can anyone show me where anyone did that with Bush?  Anyone?

“I screwed up.” UPDATED

How refreshing is that? I watched Obama’s interview on CBS first and then changed over to the other three stations to catch just the end. While I have been lazy about changing the channel, I won’t be anymore.

I am part of the ‘wait for it’ community. (Perhaps I am a community of one or two?) Obama will get the bill he wants when he wants it. Letting the Republicans feel their oats is part of the plan. Didn’t anyone else wonder why there were no Obama administration people on the talk shows last Sunday? It’s all about giving them the room to put forward their corporate tax Christmas tree while offering a dry bone to other tax payers.

In the end — which will come soon enough — Obama will sign the right bill.  I have no doubt about that.

From The Corner (which is where they belong, but they haven’t gotten the jole they played on themselves yet):

On Capitol Hill, you can feel the Republicans’ growing sense of confidence.  They’ve scored a lot of hits on the stimulus bill, and now they’re aiming higher.  “We’ll try to make the bill better,” Sen. Jim DeMint said a few moments ago, “but this bill is so bad…you can’t fix it by tweaking around the edges…The best thing to happen would be for President Obama to lead, to call a time out.”  Several Republicans now want to throw the whole bill out and replace it with a package that is nearly all tax cuts — “twice the jobs at half the price.”

Like the 18 million jobs Demint says that the Heritage Foundation says that the Republican tax cuts will generate?  RIGHT.

With that growing sense of GOP confidence comes ramped-up pushback from President Obama.  “In the past few days I’ve heard criticisms of this [stimulus] plan that echo the very same failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis,” Obama said at the Treasury Department today.  “I reject that theory, and so did the American people when they went to the polls in November and voted resoundingly for change.”  Look for Obama and his allies to push the argument that the Republican plan is one-dimensional and insufficient.  If the roof is leaking, they’ll say, Republicans prescribe a tax cut.  If the car is stalled, they prescribe a tax cut.  If the house is on fire, they prescribe a tax cut.  Tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts.

Sure, Mr. York, it’s only coming because the GOP is becoming more confident now.  Feeling their oats.  Living the vida loca.  And anyone who points out that the GOP solution to the economic crisis is TAX CUTS would be correct.  That’s all that’s there.

Smarter GOP types, please.

What a Day!

Unlike others whom I have read about on the web, I spent the really weepy time (election night) by myself and witnessed today as part of a crowd.

The day started off ok but quickly went downhill for the first class.  I had made arrangements for a large room — big enough for three groups — and for a television that could get cable inside the building.  The television wasn’t there on time, and when it finally arrived, it wasn’t cable ready.  I went back downstairs and got the laptop/projector cart, but the network was slow and CNN wouldn’t run.  I got some noise from one of my co-workers, while another just wanted to coast on what I had already planned.

During my off-hour, I tried to watch CNN or ABC in my office, but both of them stalled out.  When I got up to go to my third hour class the whole floor was empty.  It seems that I didn’t get the memo that the Director had decided that everyone could go to one of the areas where the inauguration was being broadcast at the university.

When I got to the auditorium, it was already packed, so I sat on an aisle step just as Obama and CJ Roberts were doing the oath of office.    At the end, the entire room erupted in cheers, whistles and applause.  I didn’t cry like I thought I would.  It was a moment of great pride.

While listening to Obama’s address — having heard Reagan’s twice on right wing radio already that morning — I especially appreciated the part when he stated that it’s not about the size of government, but rather whether or not it works.  (Remember Reagan claimed that government was the problem.  This has been an argument that many of us have had with the “drown the baby” crowd.  Just because there is fraud in the system doesn’t mean that a program is bad — it might, but it might also just need more oversight or fine tuning.

The speech was just right — not too much nor too little.  I’ve heard parts of in since I got home, and I will certainly look back on it in the days and weeks to come.

I stayed for the poem and the benediction — which I loved — especially the shot  of Al Gore with his eyes closed in prayer but with a happy grin on his face.  I know where not happy about the last part of the prayer, but it’s because they just don’t get it.  As I left the auditorium, I felt relieved.  He’s at work and the people around him are competent and we can turn this around.

For those who studiously ignored the events of this day, I pity your pettiness.  For me and a whole lot of people across the country today, it was with pride and hope and a look forward that I see this day.

KHOU’s Investigative Report on Paul Bettencourt

Bettencourt ran last fall and then resigned, saying he got an offer over Thanksgiving weekend.  There’s one thing , though:  he’s being sued over voter registration.  Tonight KHOU has followed up on their pre-election report about Bettencourt’s policy regarding voter role purges.

Wow, the report was better than I thought it would be — better than advertized.  It pulled in Jared Woodfill (the county republican dude) and Gary from my not so favorite PBS show anymore.

It’s another local republican fight.  Unfortunately, it has more to do with democracy and whose vote counts, but they can fight it out.

Hope Meets Reality

I wrote beforeabout the people at Grassfire dot org.  They are advertising a website where people can sign a petition (and sign up their family members!) to “resist” the Obama administration.  Their goal up until last Monday was 1,000,000 by January 20th.

Well, that has been scaled back.  They have been hovering around 300K for a while, and so in a conservative sort of way, they have pushed that goal back to 500K.

It makes me think that the poor advertisers on right wing radio are either getting cheated or getting great rates.  Who listens to them anymore?  I have listened to  them regularly since the late 80′s, but not as a fan.  This one little test seems to show that either their audience isn’t internet saavy or they just don’t really have the audience they claim to.

Now that I’m off vacation, I can listen to Bill Bennett.  I almost felt sorry for him this morning.  He seemed to be floundering because his little trivia game took up half his show.  He should listen to his audience and just either do trivia or say things that they can correct him about and then that would be his show.

Things are changing and I can’t wait for the 20th — not wishing my life away or anything, but it can’t get here soon enough.

I think it’s coming

Disinvestment from Israel.  It’s the only way.  With SouthAfrica (which Israel propped up until the end) and apartheid, it wasn’t until disinvestment that change came to the country.  The government through the ’80′s supported the South African government.  Disinvestment lead to Nelson Mandela’s election.

Our government has backed the Israelis for far too long.  This latest long bombing is just about Israeli elections. 

Having listened to Michael Medved’s “History of the Israeli and Arab Conflict,” I take from it what I did from his Reagan history: skip the bad parts and spin spin spin.

He made a point that the Palestinians are not a people, that the Jewish settlers bought their land from absentee landlords and have never confiscated anything and that the Palestinians are not really from there.  That’s huge spin.

Disinvestment is a tool that has been used with success before.  It should be used now against Israel.  Perhaps then the government will reflect the desire of Israelis.

The Resistance

Grassfire.org is advertising on wingnut radio, hoping to get 1 million signatures on its petition to “resist” the Obama administration before the inauguration.  They have been advertising since the election but haven’t made much progress.  So far, with two different websites, they have gotten 296,127 signatures.  The comercials run throughout the day, presumably nationally, and this is all they get?  It makes me wonder just how many people fall for the work at home schemes, PC add-ons or debt reduction companies  that dominate the station’s ad time.  (Local advertisers are different — two local furniture companies advertise everywhere, one local advertiser is “going green” and none of the scrp metal businesses have had ads on for a while.)

I think it reflects on the audiences.  In Houston alone, their are millions of people and Grassfiresupposedly sponsors the studio that Mike Gallagher broadcasts from in Dallas, which means even more millions.

It’s mostly sad.  Perhaps their audience isn’t very internet saavy, or they would sign up.

Two things — Mike Gallagher helped kill a business in Farmers Branch during the immigration debate and Hugh Hewitt and Kathleen think Twitter is the answer to Republican/Conservative success at the ballot box.  Poison doesn’t grow fruit.

Obama has been deliberate and steady so far and has handled the transition in a pragmatic way.  I was particularly happy with the Salazar pick today for the Interior.  Everything is all good.  Hopefully, Rasmussen won’t get more play than deserved, given how they slanted Bush’s approval ratings for so long — until it got so bad that they just stopped.

Twitter is the Answer!

Your answer to John McCain’s downfall:  he didn’t twitter with Kathleen.

I understand that she has come under an undue amount of criticism, but I will pile on.