Okay, it's done.  Barack Obama will be sworn in on 20 January 2009. We elected a majority of Dems in the House and with some Senate races still in holding pattern or vote counting, we still have a majority.  We won on the pro-choice front also. Two rather destructive pro-life propositions in two different states failed.  That's the good news.   The bad news? Gay marriage failed. In CA prop 8 actually removed the right to marry from gay people in that state. 

There is a lot of rage in the gay community in CA, and even accross the country at this action.  Some are blaming black voters. Wrong answer.  Black people only make up 6.2% of the total population in CA. Not all of them are voters.  The majority that defeated prop 8 are not black.  They range throughout the entire color line in CA as it exists today.  Some are rightly looking at where the pro 8 money came from and finding that most of it came from religious groups, like the Mormons and the Knights of Columbus and other conservative religious groups.  That's good, follow the money, and then show them why they should maybe think twice about flexing their cash dollars in elections.  Elections, as Rachel Maddow says, have consequences.  Boycotting Mormon owned businesses and Utah's tourist industry is not a bad idea(even if the industry is NOT Mormon run, they can effect some leverage on the Church when revenue goes down).  Picketing those nice Mormon Temples and other Churches will show the membership that perhaps voting against one group's civil rights and marriage IS a civil right, has consequences.

Where to go from here? After the demonstrating is done? Back to court for starters. And if the proponents of prop 8 think they've nullified 18,000 marriages retroactively? That makes it federal.  The US Constitution prohibits the passage of ex poste facto laws.  That means retroactive laws folks, and that makes it federal.

Taking it back to the ballot is also another approach and will probably be attempted.  The good news is the defeat was a fairly narrow one.  The bad news? It was still a defeat.  And if it goes back to the ballot, the people who want gay marriage are going to have to do it better than the other side did. They are going to have to counter every single smear about teaching it in school and forcing Churches to marry gays or lose their exemptions.  They are going to have to define what marriage really is legally.  And separate the legal from the religious.  A good starting point is Loving v. Virginia.  Even after it went through, there were quite a few clergy who refused to perform interracial marriages.  They weren't punished for it either.  Their churches did NOT lose their tax free status and boy they really fear the very idea of that.  So yeah that must be countered by the pro gay marriage side of it.

CA is but one state though and quite honestly I want this to hit the Supreme Court after Obama has a chance to get some good young center-left activist judges appointed. If it goes like Loving v. Virginia it will toss out every state's amendments and DOMA laws, and legalise it accross all 50 states. I think it could happen and if it is decided that prop 8 invalidates those 18,000 marriages performed between June and November, it will end up on the docket after it winds through the courts.

We have a new president who will inherit some really crushing issues from the old president.  He has our goodwill and a good percentage of the worlds, but he will have to act to alleviate.  It won't solve overnight, took longer than that to make the mess, but it will solve.  As for the idea that the US is a center-right country? I call bullshit on that. We want a government that works for us.  And the neocons and company failed so miserably  that they may never return to power in my lifetime.  The rightwing needs to recognise, they failed, and they failed badly.  Trickle down economics never worked.  It was a con, a massive con job.  Under the conservatives we got massive deficits, and bigger governemt that was far less effective than it should've been.  We got Homeland Security and the Patriot act, which were both con jobs that took and took and took and gave nothing back. 

President-elect Obama, go bold, get creative.  We'll back you.  

A word to the congress here.  If the republicans threaten filibuster? LET THEM.  And then put it on the air, on the news and C-Span.  Then give interviews about how we can't get things done because they fill the chambers with filibuster hot air.  Show the obstructionism.  Bet ya they get an earful from their constituents and it will not be all supportive. They're hurting too and they want health care and the economic cures. Believe me, I can use email and so can many others in red states who will tell them to STFU and pass the bill. Don't cave on em.  Just let them hang themselves. Oh and Senator Reid? Toss Lieberman out of the Dem caucus, he's a ratbastard who betrayed the party, and he deserves nothing from you, no consideration or respect.  

I am  white American woman.  I was married to a black man. I have biracial children that I never dared tell could become president if they did their best.  Tonight I saw what I never expected to see.  A man of color will place his hand on a Bible held by his wife who is also of color and swear to uphold and defend the constitution of the US that once defined his and those of his 'kind' as 3/5ths of a human being.  I as a white European ancestry female am blown away.  I told my biracial children that I NEVER expected this to happen.  And I cried like a baby when it did.  There is too much about the civil rights movement I remember.  My exhusband was born in Birmingham AL when the bus strike was on in a police car because they picked up his mom to get her to the hospital. She gave her son, my ex husband names after the white cops who delivered him, his names.  

Now we have passed the torch.  To the next generation.  To our children.  And yes we the elder generations need to support the choices made this night. I won't lie, I've had a taste of the wine and all that, but no doubt in my mind he needs all of us. I want him to succeed fro all of our sakes.  I want the future.  And my kids will have it. 
I plan on being a very bad winner next Tuesday night when the election returns come in if my party wins.  I've been waiting 28yrs for a LIBERAL voice to rise that would inspire the people of the US and we finally got one.  I have a very long and vindictive memory when it comes to politics. I hold grudges.  I make no bones about where I stand which is to the left of most of the people I know here in TX.   And I really hope that when it's all said and done and I've sung an aria(yeppers I'm the fat lady!) we get a better government than what we've got over the past 28yrs.

I am looking forward to some real schadenfreude here. I've wanted that unholy coalition of conservative, neo-con and religious right that has indulged in hatefests and exclusion to implode for yrs.  And the worst part?  At one time the republican party was a party I could respect.  That has been untrue for so long my dislike and disdain has hardened over the decades of their abuse of government.  That they are imploding under the widely reviled presidency of GWB, the campaign of an old washed up senator who's ambition is bigger than his so-called honor with the side kick of the couture wearing hockey mom, just sweetens it for me. They are truly in tatters and what comes next may well be a very long exile from the halls of power they swaggered down all the while corrupting those halls to their own uses.  During that exile they will have to examine what they've become and that sort of self examination is always painful.  And then they will have to reinvent themselves.  Hopefully they will come back as a party that is worthy of respect again, but I'm not counting on it.

I've seen too much of what the republicans can and do do to our country for me to respect what they've become. I wrote once they'd been hijacked by the extreme right, the religious right and they drove their own moderates out.  I suspect the day after the election the punditocracy will be pontificating on where they went wrong and how wrong they went.  The rot was there all the way back in 1980 when they nominated and elected a beloved actor, turned crappy governor who thought medicare was a socialist plot by the government.  A man elected who stated that government was the problem.  It was not the problem, bad governing was.  Anyone who tells me that Ronald Reagan was a great president gets an earful from me here.  I grew up in a California he governed and I saw our school systems, some of the best in the country decline.  I saw income, property and sales taxes increase to the point that the voters revolted and passed prop 13(slogan: We're mad as hell and we won't take it anymore!).  A mess that CA still reverberates from, just as the federal government is still reeling from the 'trickle down economics' called Reaganomics.  

Never mind Iran-Contra.  Never mind that the last 4yrs Reagan was most likely suffering the onset of his Alzheimer's.  Never mind that we saw a marine colonel LIE his ass off and the right wing elevated him to saint hood. Never mind that the republicans introduced the politicisation of religion.  The religious right has been a stain on the polity of the US for way too long in my eyes.  Their wedge issues and their outright hate of anything and anyone that does not conform to what they think is right is a stain on our country.  

We saw the advent of divisive politics with the advent of Bush Sr, during his campaign a good man was smeared with slime so bad he never came back from it.  Lee Atwater has some 'splainin to do to God, he's dead now and he did attempt to apologise to his victims.  Will Karl Rove?  And did we really need  such slimy politics? Did we really need candidates who out and out pandered to one segment of the population and demonised another based on religion, ethnicity, and difference?  What happened to inclusion and the melting pot?

We did get one democrat in office during the long exile, but hell he was hamstringed by the republicans who investigated everything he and his spouse ever did.  That he got anything done at all is a miracle!  And impeachment for sex?  WTF??? I understand and remember it was consensual.  The more they hounded Bill Clinton the more I hoped the National Enquirer would dig up some slime on them.  I remember a whole lotta disrespect and the gnashing of teeth on the republican side of it, 'but it's about character baby' stuff that never comes up when their own aren't poly pure.  Oh no it never comes up when Rush Windbag Wingnut gets busted with pharmaceuticals and viagra scrips in another name.  It never comes up when John McCain a self admitted adulterer who married his current for her cash runs.  It doesn't come up when W ran and had a past that included cocaine, booze and all sorts of stupidity.  Fuck character as an argument against; unless it applies equally to both sides.  Until it does, fuck it and the horse it rode in on.

Then we got their coup de grace.  GWB a solid C student at Yale(a legacy student) who never did grow a business.  All of them failed.  And Cheney who if I had to apply a Harry Potter character he'd actually rate as Voldemort.  We got the Patriot Act, TSA and Homeland Security.  WTF were we thinking?  YOU CANNOT TRADE FREEDOM FOR SECURITY!!!  IT DOES NOT WORK.   EVER.  Yet we did.  We got Iraq, with shady intel, and I feel sorry for Powell because he sold it, after he drank the Bushco kool aide.  We got outsourced jobs.  We got tax cuts and consolidation of wealth to the richest of our citizens and we got demonisation of the other.  I could go on but hell it hurts to even think about what GWB and his cronies did to the US.  And the fact that two presidential elections just might be illegitimate?  That folks scares me.  

So now we get a new guy on the scene, who actually got face time before he hit the Senate in 2004.  A man who has dared to speak of hope, not hate.  A man they attempt to smear with such things as 'he pals around with terrorists!', "he's a muslim', he's not one of us'.  No he isn't one of us.  He's better than us.  He's educated, intelligent and quite frankly willing to do the work.  And God he inspires.  He has my kids generation locked up!  They know he's on their side when it comes to our planet, the war, and how we need to be as Americans.  And yeah he has me too.  For the first time in yrs it isn't politics as usual.  There's a guy out there who inspires.  He speaks of our better natures and he means it.  He spoke of something greater than our fear of the other and God knows we love him for it.  

The polls say he can win and probably will win.  I check fivethirtyeight.com every freaking day to ensure he's still up.  And I plan on celebrating with a good healthy dose of schadenfreude here.  I've warned the republicans I know that I plan to gloat.  I plan on celebrating a good bit, then the sleeves will roll up and I will be looking to see what I can do to help Mr Obama make that difference.  It may not be much, and God knows you all are getting the cliff notes here, if I got into women's issues I'd still be mired in the antichoice days of the Reagans, but yeah we mobilised, but this is just a beginning.  We need to carry it through.  My kids, and their kids deserve this.  

Early voting started here yesterday and turnout was heavy.  I have hope that TX might not be such a red state this time.  We have no dog in this hunt as it were.  No one on the top of either ticket is from here, and well I would hope that voters got informed about both major parties candidates.  And honestly we cannot afford more of the same here any more.  I would love to see TX flip over to blue this time.  I don't expect it, but yeah I would love to see it happen.

I for one am waiting to see what the McShame/Palin campaign make of Obama going to HI to see his sick grandmother this week.  Part of me is thinking they can't sink any lower, but then again they've sunk lower than I expected, so yeah ... they can.  I am hoping for Senator Obama's sake that she recovers but that he's going there doesn't look too hopeful at all.  

That said I am absolutely amazed at the sliming of General Colin Powell by the republicans since he endorsed Obama.  I am very impressed with the endorsement and his calling out the republican campaign on their smear tactics but damn this man is beyond party.  He's one who many democrats would've crossed party lines to vote for, had he run himself.  Powell gave a very thoughtful nuanced set of reasons for endorsing Barack Obama and race was not part of it.  He also had a very good answer for the 'socialist' thing they've been laying on Obama.  He made the point that taxes are always a redistribution of money.  Taxes pay our Soldiers, they pave our roads,  they put cops on the street, books in the schools and pay our teachers.  Taxes aren't a bad thing even though no one I know likes them much.  

For people like McCain and Palin to make the statements they make about taxes show me they don't have a flipping clue about what the country needs or wants.  They just need to go away.  I HOPE like hell I don't ever hear of Palin again after this election and I hope like hell that the good voters of Arizona vote McCain out when he runs for the senate again or he just retires on his own.  They are both behaving badly, and we just don't need that right now.  I've developed more than a little contempt for them and their campaign.  Some of the crap Palin has spewed has done nothing but piss me off.  I am appalled at the idea that some parts of the US are more American than others.  I find myself cursing more about the racist subtext of their campaign than I ever did about either of the Bushes, and I loathed W with a passion that only one who'd lost a job thanks to him could feel.  When I voted against W it was damned personal, I liked that job!  But McCain and Palin have hit me to a level of dislike bordering on outright hate that even he could not reach.

When did LIberal become a bad word in the US?  When did the idea of fairness, decency and honor become something to laugh at?  I grew up in a very liberal family.  We loathed Reagan and the voodoo economics he espoused.  We hated the demonisation of Affirmative Action that happened on his watch.  We watched our incomes flatline and our bills increase.  My mother told me once that the assassination of Dr. King broke her heart.  I told her the killing of George Moscone and Harvey Milk broke mine.  And we watched the 'angry white men' have their way and their say with voices like Rush Limbaugh who never ever spoke for me or mine.  Rush Limbaugh, the Josef Goebbels of the right wing.  Gods I loathe that man.  

The republican party is imploding and part of me is gleeful at its' implosion.  They've done so much damage with the divisiveness and bullshit of the Rove machine.  I want them to go away and reinvent themselves and get some credibility.  But mainly I want them to go away.  I want Palin to go home and take care of her kids and shut the hell up about taking my choices and my kid's choices away.  I want McCain to go away and get over himself.  I want the makeup of the Supreme Court changed to a bit more center-liberal.  I want so much for a better polity and I want all that damned hate that they stirred up to die with the generation it appeals to. I want the politics of hope, and as I've said Senator Obama has that.  

Roomie asked me why I support Obama, and I told him it's because he speaks to me.  The white woman who married black.  The veteran who still gets asked at the VA, 'where's the vet?'.  The mother of biracial children who see a biracial man poised to take it all.  And the woman who never thought melanin was all that damned important when the dream exists and the attainment is possible.  Someone who wants our politicians to appeal to our best selves, not the baser selves.  We've already been there, done that.  Time for change.  Time for hope.  And damn sure time for a difference.
No problem here. I DON'T want John McCain in my living room on those pre-emptions. I can deal with Obama.  His voice isn't extreme or unpleasant. A nd his demeanor and public appearance is one I can put up with.  McCain?  Not so much. Am I an elitest?  I really don't think I am, but I don't see Palin as someone I want in charge at all.  She is too ignorant of what is going on in the lower 48 to me.  I can accept the biracial dude because in many ways I understant him.  I raised biracial kids, I know what the color line means to them and why self identifyying one way can and does make a difference.  I also understand nuances.  I understand the 'one drop rule' that makes my blond haired blue eyed son 'black' on his dog tags in the military when his mother is proudly Irish-American and his father has pride in his slave roots.

Was this a game changer for John McCain? Probably not. The trend is already in action and it's against him.  He won't win unless some sort of chicanery hits, and that unfortunately is possible.  It'd already happened in 2000 and 2004.  I truly believe the election process HAS been coopted by the right in the US with voter supression and other means including purging the polls. The accusations against ACORN are just filler here while they work behind the scenes to disenfranchise as many as they can who disagree with them.  Will it work?  God I hope not.

It's time for change.  It is time for Americans to take back their government.  It's time to undemonise certain words, like Liberal and progressive.  It's time to put the people first instead of the special interests.  
I have a bumper sticker from the last election sitting in a drawer here.  I never put it on the car because my roommate is actually a republican.  The slogan? 'Republicans for Voldemort'.  It was popular in the last election.  Roomie's ex wife countered there should be one that said 'Democrats for Umbridge'.  Right about now that bumpersticker is looking more appropriate.

I had the thought earlier that Palin reminded me of Bellatrix LeStrange, but then I realised something.  Bella was actually very competent at what she did.  Batshit insane but bloody competent at being a DE.  Poor Sarah isn't.  Not really.  She claims that because some Alaskans can see Russia and that because her state is bordered by two foreign countries she has expertise in foreign affairs.  Hmm I lived in military housing in Munich Germany for 3yrs.  Does that make me a foreign policy expert? Or does that make me an expert on government housing since I not only lived in it there, I lived in it in Georgia(our state Georgia) and here in Texas.  I don't think so myself, but hey if she can puff up her resume, why the hell can't I? Oh right, it's dishonest.

McCain said he knows veterans and they know him and he loves them and they love him.  Funny that.  The major veteran's organisations give him failing grades for consistently voting against us.  Yes I am a vet as I have stated on many occasions in this journal.  I don't feel the love from a man who has canned his whole Viet Nam experience into a platform to launch himself as a politician.  Most vets I know who went to Nam don't talk much about it.  The vets I know from the first gulf war don't talk much about it, same with the current batch.  He promises 100% honesty in his campaign, he reiterated that on monday in Des Moines IA, but his campaign airs ads that are quite bluntly untruthful and gets downright pissed when called on it.  Swears up and down they are the truth.  Makes you wonder what color his sky is in the morning. He reminds me of Cornelius Fudge, the minister of magic who denied the truth of Voldemort's return for an entire book which gave him time to rebuild his operation and continue infiltrating his government.  

But these are not fictional characters and I find myself less tolerant of them because of it.  To me this yr the republican ticket is frankly scary as hell.  They want us to elect a 72yr old man with 1100 pages of medical records, who has had 3 separate bouts of cancer? And a 44yr old ex beauty queen who governs a state with a population roughly equal to Austin TX? They want us to vote for a man known for a bad temper and a woman who can't string a sentence together that isn't a talking point that makes sense.  A woman who can't even name one periodical she reads regularly.  A man who flailed as I said last week harder than the economy.

And for the first time in years the so called 'wedge' issues just aren't getting the play.  In 2004 they used wedge issues to sway voters when they weren't outright stealing the election.  I heard more in that year about gay marriage and abortion than I'd heard throughout the first 4 yrs of the Bush presidency.  And then they went away.  As soon as he was re-elected they stopped mattering with small bubbles of discontent coming up through the torpor.  San Francisco issued marriage licenses, but got smacked down.  MA legalised it(gay marriage) and the world didn't end but a lot of states said they'd not recognise those MA marriages.  And then recently in CA it became legal again through a court decision that tossed out a state constitutional amendment.  Oh yeah they got Prop 8 right now and I hope that bastard goes down in flames myself.  Right now same sex marriage is a bloody patchwork and I am thinking it's going to take a Supreme Court decision like Loving V. Virginia to solve it.  As for abortion? De facto it's getting harder to get one, and the wingnuts are getting pharmacology degrees so they can deny women their birth control perscriptions.  Uh dude?  You get a job, you cannot just decide to do only part of it.  Birth control pills are not just used for that purpose.  

Now we have an election cycle being driven by something the Republicans cannot run, it's running them.  The economy is in the toilet, and there is blame a plenty to go around.  But they cannot change it, and a fix is not going to be quick or easy.  The bail out voted on last night and passed, is essentially a band aid, and it may not contain it longer than the money the 'masters of the universe' are getting lasts.  We have a few very large financial organisations now that quite frankly scare me.  Merrill Lynch is part of Bank of America which has already gobbled up many smaller banks and become a superbank.  WaMu went under.  Wachovia was sold to Citigroup which used to be Citibank.  And so on.  It's scary times and the only thing that keeps it from getting worse is that Americans have not run on the banks. There is real fear out there.  And someone leadership that is calm is valued right now.  We had cowboy leadership, and it got us war, wedge issues, and this financial mess.  And I know I like others want to see someone go to jail for it.  I suspect we won't.  But I want those 'masters of the universe' to hurt as much as the rest of us do financially.  

And dammit I think this time that bumper sticker is hitting my car.  Along with an Obama sticker.  
I am a registered voter.  I am a Democrat on my registration.  I have been registered as a Democrat for yrs.  And yes I have crossed party lines when I felt the Republican had more to offer.  Party for the most part means something, but there are Republicans who speak my language just as there are Democrats who do not.  I don't think I can categorise myself just on party lines.

I want financial responsibility in my politicians.  I do not want 'tax and spend'.  I want liberal social policies where privacy is respected and my rights as a woman to choose my reproductive future(or past in my case) is assured.  I want my daughter and future granddaughters to have those rights.   I want equality for those who don't have it because when we give equality to others we gain equality ourselves, just as when we dehumanise one segment of the population we enable others to dehumanise us.   I don't mind paying taxes when it benefits us with infrastructure, health care and education.  I do mind waste.  I want a strong defense but not at the expense of our young.  Our best defense has been to be one of the freest nations on the planet, and to have some of the best education going.  

I will be voting Democrat this time again with a candidate who has one hell of a shot at winning because he offers a vision that in this time is as sweeping as anything John F. Kennedy or Franklin D. Roosevelt offered.  He offers change from the failed politics of the Republican right wing, who has literally destroyed an economy and an international reputation using fear of the 'other' as it's basis.  

This time it will not be a vote against.  It will be a vote for

It will be a vote for inclusion which has sadly been lacking since Reagan took office.  It will be a vote for the 'little guy' who never caught a break while the 'masters of the universe' did.  It will be a vote for a woman's right to choose, and be a woman.  It will be a vote for the Muslim who just wants the American dream along with the freedom to wear her hijab.  It will be a vote for the immigrant who came here for the dream, and it's all about that dream ya know?  

It will be a vote for my children.  A son in the military, who is on orders for Iraq, and a daughter who just wants to have a good life with her spouse and the child she is attempting to conceive.  it will be a vote for my ex husband who deals with color every day in a southern state where at 53yrs old he is still referred to as 'Boy' and 'Son'.  It will be a vote for myself, repudiating a hierarchy that thinks that because I am past 40 and not botoxed, drop dead gorgeous, and looking for a man to validate my existence I should STFU and take what my so called betters give me.

I am an American. I am proud of my country even when I can see we can do better.  I served my country in uniform for 5 yrs. I am proud of our diversity where an African-American man can achieve what Senator Obama has achieved. I am also proud that a woman like Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson, and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi can get where they got.  I do not include Governor Palin here, because I think her choice by John McCain was tokenism at its very worst.  I will vote Obama in November because he offers something McCain does not: hope.  

I am a daughter of immigrants who made it.  I am a child who felt that she owed her country for the opportunity and paid back in a uniform.  I am a citizen who wants her country to do right, not just easy.  I want all of us to succeed, and a good percentage of my working career has been in state and federal government because I KNEW it made a difference.  

I love my country.  The country my parents came to, to make a better way for their future and their childrens future, and I am damned if some right wing, 'born again Christian' tells me I don't love my country.  Because they are dead wrong.  Liberals love their country just as the right wing nationalists who think 'my country, right or wrong'.  And that's where it all breaks down.  There seems to be an awful lot of fear in the good ole US of A. And that fear has crippled us in some ways.  That fear of the 'other' has held us back.  We are better than our fears, we have been in the past and we shall be in the future.  We will make history in November no matter which ticket.  Either we elect a man of color to the presidency or a woman to the vice presidency.  Personally I am betting on the man of color.  But history will be made. 

I've been pretty outspoken on my political views here.  Like most Americans I am watching our economy go down the tubes and watching the bastards in DC try yet another attempt at armed robbery.  I remember 1988 and the S&L crisis that happened.  As it is, I lost money because I had a savings acct in an S&L that ended up going under.  Oh yeah FDIC insured it, and I got the principal back less interest.  But yeah we ALL paid for that one.  And now they want another bail out, with a bill written well in advance that they want to ram down our throats ASAP!   With no bloody oversight whatsoever?  They don't want to take away the excessive executive compensation or assist the common guy out there who worries about making that ARM(adjustable rate mortgage) payment.  Umm and they want us, the normal people to pony up money through our hard work and tax dollars on our flattened salaries to support these rich white guys? One question ... why?

I mean it.  Why should we pay for the mistakes of the incompetent? Or the thieves?  Why should we mortgage our grandchildren's future for them to take home their 'golden parachutes'?  We've already sold out our children here.  What does it take for people to say this is so far gone wrong that you're not to be trusted? 

McCain never met a deregulation bill he didn't like.  And he wants us to put him in the White House to preside over the failure of his party's dream, with nothing new to bring to the table except more of the same.  This is a man whos behavior this past week has made me wonder if he's all there mentally.  He's flailed just about as hard as our economy.  Do I want him in charge? 

What really set me off is something I found on the Internet and read recently about him.  John McCain has made his POW experience a central part of his campaign.  His speech at the Republican convention told the story of his capture.  What it did not tell was the lengths he has gone to hide certain things about it.  McCain broke. He broke under torture, and he 'confessed' to 'war crimes' in writing and broadcast for the North Vietnamese.  I can't and won't judge that.  I've never been tortured.  Now this is a man who is third generation military, he grew up with it, he lived in it all his life.  And if he'd never been captured by the North Vietnamese, he'd have probably retired as an Admiral, like his father and grandfather before him.  Instead, he suffered the 'kindness' and 'hospitality' of a country that damaged him physically and I believe mentally.  He never expected to break like he did, and when he did he had to live with the knowledge that he'd given up information that perhaps in the long run meant little or nothing, but to him it was information he should not give according to the Geneva Convention.  A playbook the Vietnamese DID NOT play by. 

This had to have an affect on him emotionally.   Such things have meaning to those in the military, and McCain was raised with the ideal of, duty, honor, country.  Sidney Schanberg has documented what McCain has done since in office concerning the release of any information concerning POW/MIAs from the Viet Nam era.  It's not a pretty story and in many ways I find it terribly dishonorable.  McCain has along with past administrations effectively buried the information that yes, we DID leave men behind and yes we KNEW they were there.  Hollywood and Rambo had it right.  I believe he feels to this day, shame and guilt that he 'confessed' in the POW camp.  I believe such feelings have influenced how he behaved when he got into office and was on a committee to investigate POW/MIA issues in the early 90s.  I believe with that behavior he has in fact behaved dishonorably.  I do not feel he behaved dishonorably while in captivity.  What happened to our men in Viet Nam was beyond the scope of how they were trained to behave as POWs.  I believe he feels dishonor because of it, and that dishonor has informed later behavior.  I believe he's never come to terms with what happened in Hanoi and in a very real way he's still there.  I believe the mental scarring, and physical effects haunt him to this very day, 35yrs after he's come home.  And I believe he is NOT fit to be president because of it.  

Link to Schanberg's article:

Found this article a few days ago.  I will link at the end to the MSNBC reprint of it since it is a New York Times article and they want you to register.

I've had misgivings concerning the Republican ticket ever since John McCain sewed up the electoral votes in the primary.  I am not Republican, but I DO watch them to see what they've got and HOPE like hell they throw off the yoke of the religious right that hijacked them so many yrs ago. They've yet to do it, but one can hope that the party of Lincoln will do it eventually.  When he(McCain) selected Palin as his VP running mate, I went straight to cynical here.  First thought? He chose her because she's a woman, and he's trying to get the more disappointed Hillary supporters to vote his ticket.  Now, I did not support Hillary, but I DO respect her and her supporters and I think I'd be insulted if I were one of her supporters to think that he thinks I'll support his VP candidate because she has the same reproductive system I have. Because Palin is NO Hillary Clinton, not even close.  

Now with McCain his VP choice really is important.  Man is 72. He spent 6yrs in that oh so healthy Hanoi Hilton(he loves to remind us of that!).  He's had several episodes of cancer.  And statistically he could pass away pretty much any time now.  Former POWs have all sorts of health issues and he has some injuries that have never healed from Viet Nam.  So yeah, he could go, and whoever sits in the second seat would be the next president.  So yeah his VP choice IS critical.

So he chose someone that a good percentage of the US had never heard of.  He chose someone who speaks directly to the Republican's 'base'.  He chose a woman who surrounds herself with people who are dependent on her good will to stay employed, and governs using personal loyalty to her, not the state, as a guide to whether you are with her or against her. The article I am linking really does explain that. But if you depend on her to keep your job, you'd better agree with whatever she wants 110% because this woman is thinskinned and vindictive, a double whammy of not good for a politician.  The triple on it? She takes it personally.  If you disagree with her, you are against her, even if the disagreement is not major, you become the enemy.  This is most definitely someone I DO NOT WANT in the White House.  

Her personal views on right to life vs pro-choice piss me off.  Her desire to insert the fundamentalist viewpoint into gvt policy pisses me off. I am all for separation of Church and State.  Her lack of experience at anything outside of state and local politics frankly scares me since she's been running her office as governor as a private fiefdom.  Yeah I SO do NOT WANT her or her partner in shame elected.  The sad part? I once LIKED McCain.  Not anymore.

Here's the link.  Interesting reading.
Sarah Palin=Tracy Flick.

I was wondering why Governor Palin gave me such a bad reaction and someone else in the LA Times mentioned the comparison.  It makes sense.   Reese Witherspoon in one of her earlier movies played a character named Tracy Flick and the movie was about an election.  A High School election.  I remember seeing it on DVD with my daughter yrs ago and thinking that chick is evil.  The character would do and did do just about anything to be elected.  Listening to Governor Palin at the convention last week I had the same sense of revulsion towards her that I had towards Ms Witherspoons character, Tracy Flick.  The movie is called 'Election' and it was memorable. 

Palin will exploit everything and anything in her life to get elected.  That announcement last weekend about her daughter's pregnancy?  Yep, that was an appeal to the 'base'.  Her son serving in the military and going to fight 'God's War'?  Yet another appeal to the 'base'.  She's a politician, she knows how to sell herself and her message.  The plane on eBay?  Nice story, but that's not where the plane was sold.  It was sold at a loss through an offline broker.  The chef?  Sorry, I don't get that one.  Most governor's mansions come with staff.  They are there to make the governor's life easier.  I really don't expect Governor Palin to nip off from work the day some dignatory is coming to dinner to cook for him.  That's NOT her job.  

Policywise she is good at slanting things.  As a mayor she had her hands out open, eagerly for federal earmarks.  In her speech she's against them.  Yeah right.  She does walk the pro-life walk though.  She could've terminated her last pregnancy, but she chose a different path.  I will say upfront that her choice is admirable.  That she wants to remove that choice from everyone else is not.  Her feelings that abstinance only sex ed is the way to go is definitely a fail in my book.   Knowledge is power and can save lives.  Just telling kids no is not good enough.

Sarah Palin does not speak to me politically.  She has opinions that are pretty opposite of my own.  I am pro-choice.  I prefer gun control, but yes I DO know how to use them and have.  She supports the war in Iraq.  Something I never could do, even though my son will be there by the end of this yr.  I support the veterans, I always will.  They're just doing their jobs.  It's the politicians responsibility to do right by them.  Something the Republican Party has NOT done.  

I support Senator Obama.  But he has a huge negative no matter how much spin you put on it.  He's a black male in a country that while not admitting it, is racist.  I think he can win, and I find myself really hoping he does win.  I was enraged with the dissing of his community organiser experience by both Giuliani and Palin.  Do they NOT know what community organisers do?  A line I saw somewhere was that: Jesus was a community organiser, Pilate was a governor.  Made sense to me.  Community organisers are the guys that help old people get benefits they've worked for.  They help poor people with housing and such.  They help sick people get to their doctors and get meds.  And they do this for little to nothing financially.  The responsibilities of a community organiser are the ones they voluntarily take up. They are to be admired, and respected.  The Republican Party shat on people who did not deserve that treatment.

Now my friends, I do not expect you to agree with me 100%.  No indeed, if you support her and McCain, you have your reasons as I have mine.  I do not expect to be defriended for expressing myself either.  If however you wish to, I will be sad because I will be missing the knowledge you bring with the differences of opinion.  But I felt the need to express myself here and say what I feel.  So I did.



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