Category Archives: Election 2008

The Kitchen sink for the 2008 Presidential election

Palin: Cruel, Mean-Spirited, Immature, Unprofessional Jerks

Okay. This is the last time I write about Sarah Palin.

Let me start with the quote Palin gave CNN that set me off.

“That’s cruel. It’s mean-spirited. It’s immature. It’s unprofessional, and those guys are jerks if they came away with it, taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news.”

I agree with Palin. Cruel’, ‘mean-spirited’, ‘immature’, ‘unprofessional’. Anyone who takes things out of context and publicly says them and tries to spread them on national news is a ‘jerk’.

So what cruel, mean-spirited, immature, unprofessional jerk said the following?

“This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America. We see America as the greatest force for good in this world….Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

Palin tells us that President-elect Barack Obama sees America as SO imperfect that he pals around with (plural) terrorists. I have no idea how many times she has said ‘domestic terrorists.’ We’ve rehashed this one so many times, I won’t do it again.

And what cruel, mean-spirited, immature, unprofessional jerk said the following?

“Senator Obama said he wants to quote spread the wealth. What that means is he wants government to take your money and dole it out however a politician sees fit. Barack Obama calls it spreading the wealth. But Joe the Plumber and Ed the Dairy Man, I believe that they think that it sounds more like socialism. Friends, now is no time to experiment with socialism. To me our opponent’s plan sounds more like big government, which is the problem. Bigger government is not the solution. Whatever you call his tax plan and that redistribution of wealth it will destroy jobs. It will hurt our economy.”

She attributes the socialism smear to Joe the unlicensed Plumber and Ed the Dairy Man. But to her, it sounds like big government. I like how she can say ‘I never said he was a socialist.’ JTP and ETDM did. I said he wants to grow big government. We can see how large government grew AFTER George ‘still president’ Bush took office.

She incited ‘the base’ by misrepresenting Obama’s position on abortion. How about the McCain – Palin claim that Obama favored teaching sex ed to kindergarten children? Are these things taken out of context or just plain lies to incite anger amongst her base?

050120-N-1928O-285Secret Service reports indicated that the number of threats against Obama had increased after Palin began inciting the base with her rallies. How many rallies have you heard of where someone in the crowd yelled ‘treason’ about a candidate for the leader of a country?

And that really compares with the comments coming out of John McCain’s campaign where they say she didn’t know Africa was a continent or which countries made up NAFTA. It really compares with the more than $150,000 worth of clothes she purchased for a mere 10 weeks of campaigning and I’m not including the First Dudes duds. It reminds me of the reports that Palin bilked Alaska out of expense money while she stayed at home.

The hypocrisy is running rampant here. She would have been best served by releasing a statement and pulling a BillO. “The statements that I kept the clothes that the campaign wanted me to wear are false and I shall never speak of them again.”

Sarah Palin and daughter with a caribou she shot.  Man that head will look great on the wall - after we clean it up.

Sarah Palin and daughter with a caribou.

For some reason, I think we’ll continue hearing this.  Analysts will waste countless hours trying to determine why the McCain campaign is throwing Palin – who is highly regarded as the future of the party – under the preverbal bus.  Clearly, then the Republicans want nothing to do with the far right ‘religious’ fringe.  Maybe they’ll break into 2 parties.  We heard the same crap after the 2004 election after the Democrats ‘lost’.  I guess this nonsense is better than 24/7 attacks on Obama’s presidency which hasn’t even started yet.

This final note on Palin: She is a cruel, mean-spirited, immature, unprofessional jerk who still thinks she is the captain of her high school cheerleading squad. In 10 short weeks, I went from not knowing anything about this person to hoping I never have to hear about her again. And thanks to her, I will cringe every time I hear the name of Monty Python’s Michael Palin.

Monty Python's Michael Palin and cat

Monty Python's Michael Palin and cat

 

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Alaska at the polls – The numbers don’t add up

It’s strange writing about the political scene in Alaska without the subject being about Sarah Palin.

At first I thought the foul smell coming from the 49th state was a rotting moose carcass shot from a helicopter or maybe the First Dude spent too much time in the tanning bed.

Alaskan politics and corruption are obviously synonymous. But something is seriously wrong with their election.

Incentive to Vote

Alaskan voters had more reason to vote in this election than in recent memory.

Republican Congressman Don Young recently celebrated 35 years in office. This election cycle was to be more difficult for Young as he is under federal investigation for corruption involving VECO Corporation. His challenger was former state House minority leader Ethan Berkowitz who led in every poll before Election Day.

Republican Senator Ted Stevens or should I say Convicted felon Ted Stevens also trailed in the polls to Democratic Mayor of Anchorage Mark Begich. Stevens has been in office 40 years. For those of you living under a slain caribou the last 10 days, Ted Stevens was convicted on all 7 felony charges of giving false statements regarding the investigation involving – you guessed it – VECO Corporation. {An aside: I am sure Stevens will be pardoned by Bush before he leaves office on January 20th.}

If that wasn’t enough to motivate you to vote, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was atop the ticket as the running mate for GOP Presidential candidate John McCain. Polling had McCain – Palin leading by a wide margin over Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

 

By the Numbers

Registration was up in Alaska as it was throughout the entire United States. There were 30 thousand new registered voters since 2006 with this number somewhat split between Republicans and Democrats. There are 50 thousand more registered Republicans than Democrats which would – with all things being normal – have meant a cakewalk for the Republicans at the voting booth.

Alaskans Registered by Party:

RECOGNIZED POLITICAL PARTIES


STATEWIDE
TOTALS

TOTAL

Alaskan

Independence

Party

Democratic

Party

Libertarian

Party

Republican

Party

Nov 4, 2008

496,828

13,828

77,036

6,926

127,446

Nov 6, 2006

466,887

13,412

66,636

8,787

115,397

Nov 5, 2004

473,927

15,581

71,506

7,258

118,008

 

POLITICAL GROUPS


STATEWIDE
TOTALS

TOTAL

No

Party

Affiliation

Undeclared

Green

Party

Republican

Moderate

Veterans

Party

Nov 4, 2008

496,828

77,582

185,320

2,926

3,842

1,922

Nov 6, 2006

466,887

73,081

177,686

3,620

4,752

2,026

Nov 5, 2004

473,927

70,615

179,374

4,470

4,459

But all things aren’t normal this year. All 3 statewide Republican candidates were mired in scandal (Palin is still linked to Troopergate) and the polls support the uphill battles faced by both Young and Stevens. You would figure that at least one of the 2 would have been defeated.

Based on the current results, 305,281 Alaskans voted (early voting, absentee ballots or on Election Day). This is over 8,000 lower than the number in 2004. Add to this, there are 23,000 additional registered voters.

McCain – Palin actually received about 50,000 FEWER votes than the 2004 Bush – Cheney ticket.

This is the second LOWEST turnout for a general election in Alaska behind the 1996 Bill Clinton / Bob Dole race. The other 49 states achieved higher turnouts. How is this possible?

So with 4,000 more early voters this year (a 30% increase) and longer lines at the polls on Election Day, one must wonder how turnout actually DROPPED.

What Could Have Happened?

Did some Democrats stay home on Election Day as the results started filing in hours before the polls closed in Alaska? Not likely since early voting was up this year. In fact, 30% higher than in 2004.

Could voters have decided that with the corruption hanging over their 3 main political figures it was better to stay home to demonstrate their outrage? Actually, apathy would keep the voters home. Anger drives them to the polls to vote for the opponent.

Could the Republican voters have actually remained in support of Stevens and Young and were angry at the witch hunt (Palin pun kind of intended) against the 2 long serving Congressmen?

“Given that interest in this election could not, under any circumstances, have ever been greater this year than it was in other years, it’s almost inconceivable to imagine that the number of votes cast would drop” from 2004.  “It smells to me like you had a really, really, really weird turnout where all the Palin mothers and all the Ted Stevens supporters came flooding en masse out of the woodwork to make a point, and the Dems somehow sat on their hands and enjoyed the presidential news as it filtered up from the Lower 48 through the day,” David Dittman, Alaska pollster said.

Dittman predicted as the polls closed that Begich would beat Stevens by 8 points while Berkowitz would beat Young by 7. Instead, both Begich and Berkowitz trail the incumbents nearly a week later. And Young’s lead over Berkowitz is quite large.

How could he have been so wrong? Dittman has been forecasting Alaskan elections for 38 years!

Afterward, you look at it and say, ‘Holy cow! How could I have seen this coming?” said Dittman.

“I thought it was a mistake on the screen. I was totally surprised. I thought the state had made a mistake and had the candidates reversed,” he said.

We’ve seen strange results in elections for a number of years starting with Florida in 2000. Saxby Chambliss beat incumbent Max Cleland 6 years ago with questionable results. And the John Kerry loss in 2004 is a strange one as well.

And if you weren’t totally convinced that something was afoul, Alaska ballots are counted by Diebold.

Palin has gone back to her governor’s office with whatever Neiman Marcus clothes she could hide – as long as it wasn’t the Michael Jackson Thriller jacket – but the nation will be watching what comes out of the Stevens and Young races.

For more information on the races in Alaska visit:

Shannyn Moore – an Alaskan blogger

Brad Friedman at BradBlog

The ultimate joy ride

Our new president-elect and vice president-elect look pretty happy.  And who can blame them?

Good thing there are lids on their coffees. 

By the way, isn’t that Sarah Palin in that Coach store?

obama_driving

{If you see this picture without animation, click on the picture.}

Gay marriage bans put damper on election results

In California, I can give you 8 reasons why I’m disappointed about last Tuesday.  And in Florida, I can give you 2.

Seriously, in what should have been the most incredible day in politics, bigotry and intolerance had to put a damper on the celebration.  America elected an African American as its president.  Usually red states Florida and Ohio went blue.  Perennial red states Indiana, Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina did as well.  I am proud to say that for only the second time since I started voting in 1980, Florida went blue.

Democrats gained seats in both the House and the Senate making it clear that we want our country back.

So, of course, we have to do something to put a damper on the party.

Gay marriage, the far right’s new favorite wedge issue reared its ugly head in Arizona, California and Florida. 

In California, these close-minded scum took away rights that were already given to gays and lesbians.  I cannot fathom what it is like to have someone tell me that my marriage is no longer valid.  In a world where it is so difficult, not only to find your soul mate, but to have the “til death do us part” actually make it that far, how can anyone keep two people who love each other from the basic right of hearing their loved one say ‘I do’?

In Florida, my home state, Amendment 2 was an extremely vague bill.  Same-sex marriage was already banned but God forbid that the Supreme Court overturn it – we have to put something in the state Constitution.  Every major newspaper in the state urged voters to reject this bill.  In addition to the discrimination against gays and lesbians, this bill takes away rights already enjoyed by all domestic partners (that includes straights and seniors). 

These bills were pushed strongly by the churches.  Don’t get me started on that.  I can write about that for days.  I thought it was illegal for churches to get mixed up in politics – something about separation between church and state.  Couldn’t they lose their tax-exempt status for this? 

What surprises me is the number of African-Americans who remember their struggle during the Civil Rights era, this week actually voted for an African-American for president.  These same people discriminated against another group of people.  Their memories sure are short.

We need to right this wrong.  As far as we came this week, we still have a way to go.

Obama Wins!

landslide

President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.

Need I say more?

And the Winner is . . . Democracy

The results aren’t in yet but that isn’t what I’ve been noticing. Eighty percent turnout is expected in Florida and Ohio. People are coming out to the polls in record numbers. They are calmly standing in multi-hour long lines in order to have their voices heard.

This tells me that our democracy is strong. Beginning tomorrow we can address the issues that will surely be identified from this election.

How do we shorten the wait times? How do we assure that everyone who wants to vote has the ability to do so? How do we make sure that all forms of fraud are eliminated? How do we make sure that the election remains in the hands of the American voters rather than in the hands of attorneys?

These are questions for a later time. Today is Election Day.

The polls are open and I have the Electoral tally at 234 for Barack Obama and 161 for John McCain.

 

McCain tally:

Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arizona (10), Arkansas (6), Georgia (15), Idaho (4), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (9), Mississippi (6), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (8), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (34), Utah (3), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3)

 

Obama tally:

California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (21), Iowa (7), Maine (4), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (12), Michigan (17), Minnesota (10), New Jersey (15), New York (31), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (11), Wisconsin (10)

 

Toss-ups:

Colorado (9), Florida (27), Indiana (11), Missouri (11), Nevada (5), New Hampshire (4), New Mexico (5), North Carolina (15), Ohio (20), Pennsylvania (21), Virginia (13)

 

Obama needs to pick up 36 more electoral votes from the toss-up list and that is all she wrote. But here is the problem that John McCain faces. Pennsylvania has Obama up around double digits. Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Virginia all look like they’ll go for Obama.

Indiana is the first of the toss-up states to have their polls close. Part of the state closes at 6 with the rest by 7. Also at 7 are Florida, New Hampshire and Virginia. When the results start coming in from these 4 states, we will have a good idea of the direction the rest of the evening will take. I suspect New Hampshire will be declared a victory for Obama by 8 bringing him within 32 of the White House.

At 7:30 Ohio and North Carolina close followed by Missouri and Pennsylvania at 8. I suspect that Pennsylvania will declare quickly for Obama bringing him within 11.

At 9:00 Colorado and New Mexico close and those should put Obama over the top.

At 10:00 Nevada becomes the last toss-up to close their polls.

It is a good bet that by shortly after 7 pm we’ll have a really good idea at who will win this election.

Then again, the GOP is already warning us that the exit polls heavily favor the Democrats. Does that mean that we need to worry about the theft of another election? Exit polling is used as a benchmark to determine election fraud around the world. Why is this country the only place where exit polls are flawed?

And for good measure lawyers are positioning themselves in key locations around the country. Are they there to expect trouble or to cause trouble? I guess time will tell.

I will be keeping a close eye on those 11 states and just a glance to the other 40 contests in case there is a surprise – or a trend.

Regardless, today is Election Day in the United States of America. Turnout is very strong and clearly our democracy is great and I hope each of you voted.

Nudists can’t vote – in the nude

From the ‘I swear I’m not making this up’ file. I think I’ll be making this a feature now that the election is almost over.

There will be no special polling place for the residents at Caliente Resort tomorrow. It is doubtful that even by 2010 one would be approved.

What makes this request unusual and even quite amusing is that Caliente Resort is a clothing optional community and the residents wanted Pasco County, which is located north of Tampa, Florida, to approve a request allowing the nudists to have the ability of voting in a clothing-optional polling place.

Read the full story at the St. Petersburg Times.

It gives a whole new meaning to the term polling place.

Pasco County’s supervisor of elections, Brian Corley thinks Caliente is “just doing some marketing hype.” A nude publicity stunt? How clever?

My favorite line in the article:

Plus there are more practical considerations. Nothing in state law prohibits a nudist polling place, but how would the clerks and deputies wear their badges?

I can picture going to the nudist polling place trying hard to keep my eyes on my own ballot.

Wouldn’t you love to see the candidates come down to give a stump speech?

Currently, the Caliente Resort residents have to travel 2 miles to the clubhouse of another community to vote. In other words, they must keep it in their clothes.

County Commissioner Pat Mulieri, whose central Pasco district includes the resort, doubted the need for a new precinct. Creating a new one would cost money, so there would need to be a good reason to do it, she said.

“They can do absentees,” she said. “They can do early voting — I mean, they do leave the place.”

Mulieri had the right idea. It’s not like they go everywhere in the nude. Nudists do wear clothes.

As supportive as I am of nudist rights, I do have my limits. I don’t want them walking around the grocery store in the nude, or dining in a restaurant with me.

I do enjoy a good game of nude volleyball every now and then, but the thought of nude bowling makes me ill.

And I’m sure they won’t get too many takers on the Nudists for Obama buttons.

I have to give a h/t to Barbara Hijek who posted this in the Sun-Sentinel weirdflorida blog

Bet you were looking for pictures. Here is the link to Caliente Resorts.