Archive for the ‘Election 2008’ Category

Sarah Palin as Runner-Up to Time’s Person of the Year?

December 18, 2008

Although Time’s choice of President-Elect Barack Obama as Person of the Year is rather appropriate knowing how he truly made Election 2008 one that was memorable and exciting, it is a matter of who else might have graced that momentous cover if the former Senator from Illinois hadn’t been picked. Motion picture director (and planner of the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics) Zhang Yimou, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made the short-list.

But then, there was also this notable inclusion: Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

But, what did Ms. Palin do to deserve such an honor? You can read Time’s assessment right here. Believe you me, mammals of the two-legged variety are not the only ones scratching their heads on this one. Turkeys, polar bears and wolves are also puzzled why the long-running publication would bestow such an honor on a woman that deserves none–especially when she has gone out of her way to threaten the lives of a sitting Senator (now President-Elect) and his family through the instigation of violence and hatred.

She did provide a lot of fodder for conversation in this country. That is a given. But, her right-wing politics, the near-association to a separatist party in Alaska, and a long, winding list of corruption and scandal designates her more along the lines of questionablity than legitimacy.

But think about this: Time did put George W. Bush on the cover twice. Part of the reasoning was the fact the he was “revolutionary”. Russian Prime Minister (and former leader of Russia) Vladmir Putin had this recognition last year.

When you put Ms. Palin into perspective there’s also something else to consider. The magazine gave Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin this honor as well. By having the two dictators lauded in such a way, the magazine demonstrated that not only “good” or “virtuous” people are deserving of being Person of the Year. There are figure-heads, by virtue of their presence and power when impacting the events of the globe that must be recognized. Their names are indelibly known in the annals of history of residing in the dark underbelly of global events. Despite the drastic nature of their wrongdoing, such persons did indeed make the world sit back and take a long, hard look in terms of humanity and destiny.

Is Ms. Palin to be considered in the same light? Hardly. She hasn’t the same deep resonance in society. But for one to ignore the danger of her message and actions, is to put one’s head in the sand. Therefore, any attempts to legitimize her message should be seen as a warning to what America might have been had she made it into the Vice-Presidency. Putting the Alaskan Governor in the national spotlight should be cautionary instead of laudatory. Underneath the spunkiness and the borrowed clothes, there resides a nefarious, narrow-minded individual who does not have all of America’s best interests at heart. In essence, she should always be a reminder of a road that luckily the United States did not travel upon.

The Drama That Should Have Been Over A Long Time Ago

December 8, 2008

While America is dealing with problems that are poised to mar the very fabric of the country, there is a side phenomenon brewing. It is the reaction against President-Elect Barack Obama’s eligibility to hold office. This aspect has to do with whether Mr. Obama is an American citizen or not by virtue of his birth. Clearly, the Hawaii Department of Health has already declared the former Senator from Illinois’ birth certificate was authentic.

So when the Supreme Court refused to hear the Leo Donofrio case concerning these facts, it might have been a given that the issue was over as far as the highest court in the land had anything to do with it. You’d also think that the posting of Mr. Obama’s Birth Certificate on several sites, including Fight The Smears.org and the non-partisan Factcheck.org would settle this matter once and for all.

But alas, you thought wrong.

There are already a dozen other suits waiting in the pipeline. The next case to be conferenced, filed by Cort Wrotnowski, has been referred to the Supreme Court by Justice Antonin Scalia. The review of the Wrotnowski petition will ironically be held on December 12, 2008–the day the Supreme Court of the United States decided the case Bush v. Gore.

Despite the fact that this issue has been debunked repeatedly, there is a conclusion to be made about why this particular subject continues to have a life of its own: racism and fear.

A lot has been made by the Republicans concerning the fact that President-Elect Obama was not “American” enough. In fact, nothing was done to stop the insinuations of “anti-Americanism” and “terrorism”. Consequently, these ideas were filtered down into Mr. Obama’s middle name. The aspect of his name–shared with his father–continue to set off the connotations of being “foreign” and “mysterious”. Unfortunately, these insinuations also have to do with the perception of “super-patriotism” which was born out of the September 11, 2001 aftermath. In that vein, anyone with brown skin or a funny name was painted as suspect because they did not gibe with the expectations of the dominant culture.

In the end, Mr. Obama is not alone when it comes to challenges such as these. He is one of seven Presidents who had foreign-born parents.

If people are so much in an uproar about whether some of our dignitaries were born in the United States, what about Republican nominee John McCain? Unlike Mr. Obama, the Arizona Senator was born outside of the United States, period.

Edit: made a correction about the number of Presidents who had foreign born parents.

After Twelve Years, Hannity and Colmes Is No More

November 25, 2008

Fox News just released a statement that Alan Colmes, the liberal sidekick to Sean Hannity on the Hannity and Colmes Show, is leaving the show at the end of 2008. Before you act all shocked, the long time commentator is not leaving the FOX family. He has a weekend show in development and is keeping his own radio program. Here’s what it says on Think Progress:

In announcing his decision, Colmes said, “I approached Bill Shine (FNC’s Senior Vice President of Programming) earlier this year about wanting to move on after 12 years to develop new and challenging ways to contribute to the growth of the network. Although it’s bittersweet to leave one of the longest marriages on cable news, I’m proud that both Sean (Hannity) and I remained unharmed after sitting side by side, night after night for so many years.”

Change is definitely in the air.

What do you think about this news?

Just a Short Message

November 20, 2008

The overwhelming tide of emotion that was felt a couple of weeks ago was quite astounding and inspiring. A new day was breaking over the bend. U.S. citizens were feeling a profound sense of not being blocked in a stagnant situation as the last eight years dictated. Now, in progressive circles, the question is being asked what do people do with that feeling of hope and change in the air.

My advice is what I gave to another person in her thread concerning the next step people should take in regards to fighting for an America that we deserve. Her question and comment on this issue was very eloquent and timely. This is my response to her important question:

When Mr. Obama campaigned on change, he gave the U.S. citizens a very valuable gift.

I feel that we should use this time as an opportunity to work towards social change in this country. Unlike Bush and Cheney, Mr. Obama is not looking down at the citizens as if they are peons. He views us as equals. That is a very important concept to think about during this time.

Mr. Obama’s election to the presidency marks a momentous event in American society. His ascension to the 44th presidency released the repression, the anger and the profound shame of the last eight years that was pent up due to fear and silence. It is pretty clear now that we, as American citizens, are not meant to be enveloped within an imperial presidency which borders into authoritarian control. Our penchant for democracy is too vibrant for such heavy-handed control.

We are destined toward greater things in which every one of us can do our part to ensure that the politicians treat us as players in the game instead of onlookers in the bleachers.

Since Mr. Obama promised a more open administration, it behooves everyone to be an active participant in the system. The Bush 43 years only demonstrated that if we are relegated to second-class citizenry, we lose. Now, we’ve got a chance to fight for the future. We can’t squander it.

Keep abreast of the news. Write or call your Congresspersons. Support causes to ensure the quality of life for everyone. Work for issues that call for equal rights for all. Help our most vunerable populations so that they too do not suffer. Never be afraid to voice your suggestions for making this society a vibrant and more sufficient one. Most of all, do not let fear be your master. Fear has no place in this new society that America has inherited.

The only thing we cannot do is let cynicism linger within the midst of these exciting times.

At Last, Some Good News On This Dark Day: Begich Wins Alaska Senate Seat

November 19, 2008

Despite the vote to keep Lieberman within the Democratic fold, there is some brighter news to celebrate. It has been announced that Democrat Mark Begich has beaten Republican rival Ted Stevens in the Alaska Senate race. This win brings the Democrats closer to its filibuster-proof number in Congress.

If you want the complete scoop, please stop by the blogs Mudflats and Just a Girl From Homer (Shannyn Moore). Both are great places to learn about Alaskan politics.

One down, Georgia and Minnesota to go!

President-Elect Obama Debuts New Website.

November 6, 2008

When change is in the air, Mr. Obama means it. A day hasn’t passed and there is a new website which caters to the concerns of America. It is called Change.gov.

This neat and concise site gets down to brass tacks. Not only the agenda is stated, but also it asks the American citizens to state their concerns to the new Administration.

But not only opening the doors to citizen participation is showing that change is in the air. The ball got rolling on the Inauguration too.

The Emotions Are Still Raw

November 6, 2008

A day has passed. Is this real? Is the Bush era drawing to a close? It seems that the darkness has lifted. With each pick President-Elect Obama (does that not sound good?) makes, the die has been cast that there is a shift in policy in Washington. Yet, the tears come. My eyes water when dwelling upon the long road of suffering, pain and racism that Black folks had experienced before the milestone event occurred on November 4th, 2008.

When one sees the footage of people from all colors, races, sexual orientations and beliefs coming together, it showed a glimpse of what the future of American society could be. The hugging, the jubilation, and the cheers could not be denied. Then came the feeling across the country that we citizens do have a voice, a place in government, and have the ability to fight for a future we deserve. But, the tears remain to flow.

These aren’t sad tears. They are tears of joy, remembrance and of hope. The longing that maybe Rosa Parks, Thurogood Marshall, Fannie Lou Hamer, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Dr. King, and many others who had paved the way are looking down on us and watching these occurrences come to pass. Maybe it is the knowledge that their efforts are not in vain, even though it took long enough. It could be the possibility for once in one’s life you can tell the younger branch of your family that nothing is stopping them from achieving anything that they want. Although things aren’t perfect, it is one more step toward being welcomed back into the fold. Mr. Obama withstood the attacks and stalwartly fought to win the Presidential Election with dignity and great composure. The sobs continue that even though we have come so far, there is yet more to do on the path of healing this country.

We’ve got new battles to fight. The GLBT community continues to be discriminated against. We must stand up not only for their civil rights, but for all of us to be treated equally under the law. Racism is not over because Mr. Obama has been elected. In fact, many issues related to race have yet to be discussed, especially when treating diversity with positivity and respect. Sexism is not over. We must continue to fight for women to make strides in United States society. Our economy is in shambles. We must work together to make opportunities for all to prosper. Veterans must be cared for–whether they fought in past wars or coming back from the current conflicts overseas. And of course, we must begin to trust one another in this new frontier. The fear, hatred and derision that erupted from September 11, 2001 must finally be buried. No more pointing fingers and rooting out neighbors. McCarthyism has no place in our country.

The tears flow as the thought comes up whether we, as Americans, had to experience the terror of the Bush era before coming to this point. Is this destiny? Are we part of a larger chess game regarding world history? What I do know is that we are in the midst of a revolution where old ideas don’t work. The zeitgeist has come, and it feels good.

The 44th President of the United States, Mr. Barack H. Obama

November 5, 2008

Tonight, America made the choice to usher in the 21st century. Illinois Senator Barack Obama crossed the 270 electoral threshold 11pm Eastern time tonight. He is now the President Elect with a mandate of 364 electoral votes. Mr. Obama became the first African-American President of the United States of America. He also represents the first American leader of the new millenium.

For Blacks especially, this moment is rather poignant, tremendous, heart-felt and deep. From the tears of Oprah Winfrey to Congressman John Lewis, this was a moment that many thought they would not see in their lifetime. For many, they had waited in line and stood there until they voted. Their act of suffrage was made in the footsteps of their forebears who had to pay poll taxes, endure intimidation, and experience racism. And now, the moment reminded many of the long struggles African-Americans underwent since being brought here in 1619. The White House, constructed with the labor of slaves, will be profoundly changed when Mr. Obama is sworn in as the next President of the United States.

Does it mean that racism (as well as the other -isms) is over? No. Mr. Obama, as well as many people of color, women, and the GLBT community, will continue to work diligently as progress comes across this nation for the better. The ascendance of the Senator from Illinois gives the rest of us courage, pride and a will to fight to make our nation a place truly predicated on equality, dignity and self-worth for all.

Above all else, it took many of us from all walks of life to make this moment happen. It will take the entire nation to bring about a renaissance in America. In the words of President Ford, “The long, national nightmare is over.”

How have these events affected me personally? I am very overjoyed and filled with a sense of profound awe. I felt I had walked in the path of Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, Dr. Martin Luther King, Coretta Scott King, Heman Sweatt, Fanny Lou Hamer, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells and many others who have paved the way to this watershed event. Each have fought to bring us here to see this historic occasion. But after the confetti has been swept away and the ticker tape has been disposed, it is time to roll up our sleeves and work for the changes we deserve.

The text of Mr. Obama’s speech is on-line. Read it and absorb his words on this glorious night.

Two Good Sources For Electoral Maps

November 5, 2008

Just a short update for everyone. If you want to get a good glimpse of how the country is voting, check out these two places:

CNN’s Candidate Polling Map

New York Times’ electoral map

Stay informed! This will be an exciting and long night!

Update: fixed the link on the NY Times electoral map.

Election Day Open Thread

November 4, 2008

I voted at seven this morning at a quiet ballot place. I feel spectacular not only because I beat the lines; I felt like I was casting my vote to shape the destiny of the United States. Before I went to work, my relatives and I helped out the local party office in efforts to get out the vote. Everyone around me was rather peaceful and serene–except for a few hand-wringers. Most of all, I truly felt, like Mr. Obama’s words, I had a part to play in the larger drama of American history.

Whatever happens, this will be a day and night to remember. I personally feel that the cloud of the last eight years will be lifted and that the ugliness of the past will be over.

Above all else, please vote. It is your chance to participate in the system and exercise your voice. If I had to, I would truly walk ten miles to the nearest precinct just to vote. It is that important. Be an instrument of change.

How did you spend your election day? Please engage in civil chat below.

Remember, no spam please. We want to just exchange thoughts and live this wonderful day moment by moment.