Thursday, November 20, 2008

Episode 30: Why Hilary’s A Good Choice

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I needed to think this one out for a bit. I like Hilary. I was on her team before I got to know Obama. However, I wasn’t too sure of how I felt about Hilary Clinton as the Secretary of State.

I came to the conclusion that she would do a pretty good job. I have met her twice (and even was accosted by her secret service!!!) and she was my Senator. She is an outstanding politician, and very hard working. I can attest to this from experience.

But what makes her good for the job is her world status. She is incredibly popular in the international arena. Couple that with Obama’s worldwide superstar status and we’re talking about a completely different foreign policy game here… one in which the world may actually play with us this time around.

We can’t deny her sheer intelligence. What I like about the people Obama has been tossing around, is they are all very intelligent people. This shouldn’t sound strange, but after eight years of absolute incompetence, I welcome brains in our government. Clinton also has the Bill factor. I think in the end, they will all play nice. Hilary has nothing to gain by being a pain in the ass. She can EASILY become president in 2016, especially if Obama has successful terms. I think the Clintons will be invaluable resources. To have a successful president on the team can provide a certain insight no one else can.

Many people make a huge deal of the Obama vs. Clinton battle during the primaries. However, Obama and Clinton agreed 98% of the time about the issues and the solutions. The big problem came (gasp) with their view on foreign policy, when Obama said he would meet the bad guys without preconditions.

However, Obama stuck to his guns, and many, including five former secretaries of state agree with him (which should be noted, they agreed to with him after he said there needed to be preparations first). However, Hilary Clinton attacking Obama’s policy cause him to evolve over the course of the primaries and general election. Because he was challenged, he became a better politician. This is precisely why Obama wants a team of rivals. Like in the TV show House, Obama and his team debate big issues and constant debate helps to focus the lens and make informed decisions. Clinton on the team makes Obama better.

All in all, the media circus is just that – a circus. As much as I enjoy watching and reading the news, they have a horrible tendency to manufacture stories to make them interesting or controversial. How can we blame them? It boosts ratings, sells papers and magazines, and we soak it up like a sponge! I see it… the change we can believe in. Obama is creating a team of people to offer him many perspectives. Obama’s greatest strength his ability to hear many points of view and then process the ideas, and then boil it down to the decisive action. In order to do all the things he promised, he needs that challenge… he thrives from it. So I think we should sit down, shut up, and let the man work!! He hasn’t even sat in the big chair yet! But when he does, I have great confidence that he will make good on at least 90% of his promises. And I think his first 5 appointments/considerations is a clear indicator of the success that is to come.
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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Episode 29: Joe the Traitor?

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I know… another Joe the _____ reference, but this one was so fitting, I couldn’t resist.



Joe Lieberman defected to the dark side of the force when he chose to campaign with John McCain this election speaking. To add insult to injury to all the democrats that voted him in office, he spoke at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul on John McCain’s behalf. In and of itself, speaking on behalf of a longtime friend while alienating his constituency is not a horrible thing, even though he will probably get the stink-eye at from annoyed senators, but openly campaigning against his party’s presidential candidate when promised not to do, is not good.

Still, President-Elect Obama seems to want to let bygones be bygones. And I suppose why not, Obama did win after all. However, when Lieberman questions Obama’s patriotism, questions whether he has Marxist views, and thinks he is na├»ve on foreign policy affairs, should Lieberman really be allowed to remain the chairman of the Homeland Security Dept.?

The answer is yes and no. Lieberman puts the Obama Administration in quite the catch 22. With Ted Stevens down by 3 (!!) votes in the Alaska Senate race, and the Georgia and Minnesota Senate races going into a recount – all three races carrying the possibility – the democrats stand a reasonably good chance of obtaining the golden 60 seats to create a filibuster proof senate. This would give Obama the green-light to enact some pretty bold (and much needed) policy with little opposition. Lieberman does vote with the democrats 90% of the time. But what is the price he pays for going against the future leader of the free world? Does he really get to trash Obama with some very ludicrous allegations and then go back to business as usual? All for the sake of having 60 senate votes?

I think Lieberman should get kicked to the curb. Here’s the deal – if you are a politician, and you vote against good policy that you would normally agree with because you have a grudge to carry out, YOU ARE A BAD AMERICAN and do not deserve a senate seat at all! Kick him out, and really engage in a spirit of bipartisanship by reaching out to moderate and even right republicans to sign on to these ideas! We NEED clean energy. We NEED a better healthcare system. We NEED fuel efficient cars. Every American can sign on to these ideas. So President-Elect Obama (I can’t wait for Jan. 20th… President Obama rolls off the tongue), as much as I applaud your Zen-like calm and affability, I think you should reconsider your stance on Lieberman. If you allow him to caucus for the Democrats, then take away his chair on Homeland Security, or something… anything! Don’t let him get off scot-free!
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Episode 28: Re: Prop 8

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A week ago today, America made history… and a historic mistake.



Three states, Arizona, Florida, and California had ballot measures that called for the banning of gay marriage. All three passed, but one state in particular – California, made major headlines because the passage of the ban repealed an existing law.

A bit of history, the law to ban gay marriage in California was brought up in 2001 and was passed on the basis that marriage is defined by union between a man and a woman. This past May, the California Supreme Court overturned this ruling, citing Perez v. Sharp – a case about interracial marriage that states "equal respect and dignity" of marriage is a "basic civil right." In this brief time between May and November, thousands of gay couples married. Now, that right has been taken away.

I tried to view this issue as objectively as I could. And I can understand why some believe it is an infringement on one’s religious beliefs to have gays marry. The question I have is why does it matter? A far right, ultra- conservative-Christian in Sacramento would never know a gay couple married in Los Angeles. A firm believer of the sanctity of marriage in Maine would never know of a lesbian couple marrying in San Diego. So why are Americans so afraid of gay marriage? I did all my schooling in New York, and I don’t recall ever talking about marriage in school, as it is a religious issue that goes against separation of church and state. I imagine, it should be the same in any public school.

Still, that’s neither here or there… I still say “mind your own business!” Talk about the sanctity of marriage… according to divorcerate.org, there is a 50/50 chance a heterosexual marriage will be successful! So why are we taking away the right to marry from people who truly love their partner? Who ask nothing else but to be recognized by the court of law and have the same rights and benefits as anyone else? Who want nothing more than a shot at love?

Yet, speaking of a shot at love, we see Tila Tequila prancing around the screen in search of the most blatantly superficial “Shot At Love” with strangers she barely knows, chock full of manufactured drama and no substance between her and her would be “lovers” whatsoever. Yet the real life counterpart is struck down in the court. America, we have no doubt come a long way in electing Barack Obama, but we still have a lot of growing up to do. And to all the fundamental Christians and social conservatives, “Love thy neighbor as you would love thyself.”

By the way, much congratulations to Stu Rasmussen on becoming the first America's transgender mayor - the mayor of Silverton Oregon. Maybe there's hope after all.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Episode 27: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

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Martin Luther King Jr. said: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

And on November 4th 2008, America awoke from its 45 year long slumber, and witnessed at 11 o’clock eastern standard time, the realization of that dream. The milliseconds before the clock struck eleven, the psyche of a nation had undergone a dramatic metamorphosis which came to fruition another millisecond later. At eleven, newscasters from around coast to coast proclaimed in unison “we can now project Barack Obama the next president of the United States.” From the 75,000 strong at Grant Park, to the thousands in Times Square, to the living rooms of millions, America and the world cried out in exaltation. We elected the first African American President.

And it wasn’t the kind of photo finish win we’ve seen the past two election cycles. Barack Obama won decisively, earning a total of 364 electoral votes. The victory, doesn’t only belong to President-Elect Obama, but also to Americans, who in one loud voice last Tuesday demanded change, and aspired to a greater America bound together under one banner – the American flag. Obama called for self sacrifice, shared responsibility, a commitment to serve one another, and rebuild a nation. We heeded. As Obama always reminds us, it isn’t going to be easy. We are going to have to work, come together and sacrifice if we are to going to pave the way for a better future for home and abroad. But I know we will rise to the occasion. Americans always do. I have never been filled with so much hope for a better tomorrow. I know the sentiment it shared with millions others.

As a Black American, this victory was especially special for me. I felt a sense of validation, and increased worth. As Whoopi Goldberg said, “I can put my suitcase down.” I have always loved my country, but I really loved my country on Tuesday night. I could not hold back the tears of pride and joy.

Look out world, America is coming to the 21st century table. “The revolution will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised, will not be televised. The revolution will be no re-run brothers; The revolution will be live.” –Gil Scott Heron
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Episode 26: The Scoop - Election Ed.

Here we are folks! Election Day! I cast my vote today... please make sure you all do too! The following is a live update of Election Night:

(times in PST)

9:30pm: Obama's speech was nothing short of amazing. Yes we can. Yes we did. And yes we will.

8:00pm: THEY CALLED IT. OBAMA IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!

7:35pm: Dems' picked up 4 seats in the senate with NC, VA, NM, and NH giving the dems 55. There is still a chance to get to 60 votes, especially in Alaska, but it's definitely too early to tell.

6:51:pm With numbers looking good in NC and FL, and Obama winning of NM, we're looking at Obama winning with well over 300 EVs. As it stands now, Obama is up 200-90, with CA, OR, and WA that brings Obama to 273. Many of the West Coast polls will be closing in a few moments, and then 30 minutes later, we'll start getting those polls.

6:26pm: OBAMA WINS OH! This is locked now. I do not see how McCain can pick up the 20 EVs now.

6:16pm: The Senate race is going VERY well for dems. Kay Hagan won NC... and thank goodness... Dole's "Godless" ad was the WORST attack I've ever seen by a modern candidate. Obama is creeping up in VA as the Northern VA numbers are coming in. So far, McCain is winning all the states he was supposed to win, making the battle for Virginia that much more important at this juncture.

6:03pm Obama 175-70... 95 EVs to go (Cali makes up 55 of those). so far the polling has been pretty accurate, but Louisiana is goign well for Obama...unexpected twist?

5:36pm: McCain has GA... I think Atlanta is not big enough a city to overcome the different between the traditional vote and Black vote. It was a late toss up however, so it's not a big loss... just a loss of a good get.

5:00pm: ...Wow!! 8pm EST brought som big news! McCain picked up West Virginia and Oklahoma. Obama won PA... The McCain strategy is crashed. Obama also cleaned up shop in the New England States. FL, MO, AL, NC too close to call. Should Obama pick up OH and NC, it's an issue of how many EVs he'll win by.

4:00pm: McCain draws first blood... He got Kentucky.

3:55pm: The intereting thing about living on the west coast is having the advantage of watching the whole election in normal hours! The election ends during primetime here, so I have about 7 different sits up, flipping between 3 channels, and texting friends from several different states to get the scoop. So far, Obama is looking good in Indiana. Only 2% of the electorate has voted so far, but the wind is definitely blowing in his favor.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Episode 25: Battlefield America!

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I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!! Election day is tomorrow! It feels like Christmas eve – cool crispy air, the promise of milk and honey the following day, and non-stop TV about the event. So let us talk about the big factors going into the big election.



The Undecided Vote: I took Friday off to do a lot of reading and number crunching to help me understand the polls and the politics. What I came up with is the undecided vote should be considered a non issue. With the undecided vote in the 6% area, I think it will be a three way split. One third will vote McCain because they don’t agree with republican’s but are uncomfortable with a Black president. Another third will vote for Obama because they are uncomfortable about voting for a Black president, but they dislike republicans so much, they’re willing to “take a risk.” The final third simply will not vote… they may be disengaged with politics, or truly indifferent. Therefore, at best, McCain can only pick up a maximum 2-3% of the popular vote.

The Numbers Game: The number of democratic voters outweigh the number of republican voters. Contrary to McCain’s internal pollster Bill McInturff, the numbers will not break in McCain’s direction. McInturff argues that even if all the African American, Latino, and Youth vote comes out, the number of Evangelical Christians will out number them. Because the democrats make up a larger percentage of the voting community, I don’t see how his argument holds any water. One factor that can have a significant impact is..

Vote Troubles: Be it voter suppression, broken machines, hacked computers, and whatnot, the one factor that can hurt Obama is cheating. However, Obama’s massive ground campaign has tons of people on the ground to police the situation, as do the republicans (though in fewer number).

The Battleground States: By my count, Obama wins the election at worst, with 338 electoral votes, at best, 360 electoral votes (states where Obama is leading by a small margin), and at improbable (taking into account all polls where a red state moved from strong McCain to lean McCain to less than or equal to statistically tied), 406 electoral votes.

States Obama will win: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, and Ohio. States Obama should win: Virginia, North Carolina. States I’m nervous about: Florida, Indiana. Good gets: Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, and ARIZONA!

The road for McCain is VERY steep. He needs to win literally everything: PA, FL, VA, NC, OH, and IN. This scenario is McCain 270, Obama 268. According to the polls (see fivethirtyeight.com on the links section), PA is an incredibly unlikely get. Huge urban populations in Philly and Pittsburg make up an overwhelming percentage of the vote which strongly favors Obama. Here’s the deal, I think we’ll know the winner possibly at 7pm EST, 8pm EST tops. Indiana is the first state to close – if Obama wins, the ONLY way McCain can win is with Pennsylvania. An hour after Indian, Ohio and Florida close. If Obama picks up one or both of those states, the race is effectively over; it becomes a question of by how much Obama wins.

Democratic Last Minute Notes: Keep on doing what you’re doing… get the message out to get people to the polls. The only thing that can hurt is the lack of voters – early vote numbers show that the rock the vote campaign has broken records in early voting.

Republican Last Minute Notes: Everyone will keep their eye on Pennsylvania. That is the battleground of battlegrounds. Without PA (this still includes an Obama loss in FL, OH, VA, NC, and IN!!), Obama wins 289 to 249.

My Thoughts: All you have to do is look at the people in attendance at these rallies. Obama rallies have an overwhelming number of youth and diversity, while McCain rallies have an older ago group – 45+ years old. That is what we are voting for my dear readers. The future versus the present. The new ideas versus the old ideas. There is so much symbolism in this election. Obama talks about an America that looks to higher education and technology as the new face of America. McCain champions Joe the Plumber, who is complacency in the status quo personified (literally and figuratively). The choice is as clear as day, and it is my sincerest wish that Americans chose to look to the future. That future, without a doubt is Barack Obama. I am a nobody in the political sphere, but I’m going on the record and offering my endorsement to Barack Obama.

Bitter? Sweet? Or Bitter Sweet?

I love elections, and maps, and polls, and speeches, and rhetoric, and fully exercising my first amendment rights to criticize our government. I loved the CNN, MSNBC, Daily Show, Colbert Report, Letterman, Leno, and SNL jokes. I loved reading the latest news (and to outdo Palin, I’ll name a few – NY Times, WSJ, Politico, Huffington Post I am proud to have raised a lot of money for Obama’s campaigns. Still, it is A LOT of the same news, and I’m ready for The L Comment to move on to some fresh stories! So it is Bittersweet for me! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the post, and your feelings on the campaign! Leave a comment!
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