27 November 2008

Happy Turkey Day

Brent and I are having friends over for the holiday, and then we are off to Placer County tomorrow to spend the rest of the weekend with the in-laws. No blogging until Monday (maybe Sunday). Enjoy the long weekend.

In the mean time, here is a special Thanksgiving mix for ya. It's the perfect soundtrack for your holiday. Enjoy.

Straight Back - Fleetwood Mac
Orange Crush - R.E.M.
Evil Ways - Rusted Root
She's A Lady - Tom Jones
Love Is Just A Game - The Magic Numbers
Ben's Letter - 54 Seconds
I Save the World Today - Eurythmics
Upside Down - Jack Johnson
Inner City Blues - Marvin Gaye
Enjoy the Ride - Morcheeba
Be My Number Two - Joe Jackson
You Know It's For You - Bee Gees

Giving Thanks

I'm not one for the holiday season. Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been way too sanctimonious in my opinion, bringing out the worst in people and showing their penchant for the material in spades.

That said, I can't let the day go by without giving thanks to the late, great Harvey Milk. It was 30 years ago today that the first elected gay official was assassinated, along with San Francisco Mayor George Mascone, at City Hall by Dan White.

Andy Towle:
Harvey Milk was known as the "Mayor of Castro Street", a pioneer and leader in every sense of the word, speaking out for the rights of gay people when it was a far more dangerous and rebellious act than it is today. It was a position that eventually cost him his life...

Were it not for Harvey Milk I am fully convinced the gay rights movement might still be in the dark ages. We certainly wouldn't be on the verge of being able to marry. Long live his memory!
Amen, Brother Andy...Amen!

NBC's coverage of that horrible day, 30 years ago:

Thoughts with Mumbai

The news out of Mumbai is absolutely horrific. My thoughts are with the people of that city on this day.

According to CNN this is still going on, and the city is on pins and needles at the prospect of even more terrorist activity.

In the mean time, CBS News is reporting that the New York City subway system and the Long Island Railroad have been targeted for an attack by al-Qaeda.

Seven years later and we're still thick in it.

Yer doin' a check of job, Georgie.

26 November 2008

Food For Thought

Paul Krugman (hardly a centrist), yesterday on his NY Times blog:
...isn’t it amazing just how impressive the people being named to key positions in the Obama administration seem? Bye-bye hacks and cronies, hello people who actually know what they’re doing.
As I mentioned yesterday, some on the left are up in arms over Barack Obama's appointments (or rumored appointments) to his administration. Hillary Clinton for Secretary of State? Didn't people like me go absolutely bat shit over the possibility of the former first lady as the Democratic presidential nominee? How can a lefty like Obama name a centrist Wall Streeter like Timothy Geithner to run the Treasury? Robert Gates will stay at Defense? Hell, no!

Some bloggers are apoplectic over the shape of Obama's incoming cabinet. Well, let me say right here and right now: Get over it. You obviously weren't listening while Obama campaigned for the presidency. He promised change, yes. But after eight years of failed leadership, that change will come in the form of competence; and that means a solid team of people who know what they're doing.

All one needs to do is go back to the archives of this blog from December to June to see that I was none too pleased with the prospect of a Clinton candidacy. While the financial crisis may have pulled her over the finish line, her popular vote and Electoral College margins would have been paper thin, Republicans would have picked up seats in the House and Senate, and our government would be as divided as ever. And the thought of a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasty made my stomach turn.

HOWEVER...there is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is a stellar pro on matters of foreign policy, and her stature around the globe puts her in the category of "superstar." President Obama, Vice-President Biden, and Secretary of State Clinton? Their names alone will go a LONG way toward repairing our global reputation, so sullied during the Bush years.

As for Geithner and the rest of Obama's economic team, he has put in place a group of economic masters who will give him advice from different corners of the financial spectrum. Tim Geithner and Larry Summers may well be animals of Wall Street, but they will be tempered by Christina Roemer, a UC Berkeley expert on the nation's recovery from the Great Depression.

President-elect Obama is a careful, cautious, pragmatic man who, while liberal politically, is conservative in temperament. He is surrounding himself with capable, competent people. His team will be the cream of the crop. Some will come to the table with contradictory views, but after eight years of "yes men" and unqualified hacks (see "Brownie"), some good, old fashioned debate in the White House is really a good thing. This team will deal with things as they are, not with some rigid partisan ideology as to how they should be.

Am I 100% thrilled with Obama's top choices so far? Of course not. (See yesterday's post about Robert Gates.) But I am 100% confident that our new president is putting together the team he thinks can best tackle the disastrous mess his Republican predecessor will leave behind.

Playlist, 26 Nov 2008

Some tunes for your Hump-Day (just press the play button below).

1. Two - Ryan Adams
2. Almost Hear You Sigh - The Rolling Stones
3. Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac
4. Shower the People - James Taylor
5. Sweet Old World - Lucinda Williams
6. Like the Weather - 10,000 Maniacs
7. Strawberry Letter 23 - The Brothers Johnson
8. Come Back Lover, Come Back - The Sylvers
9. Love Foolosophy - Jamiroquai

25 November 2008

The Gayest Thing You'll See All Day

The Trouble With Gates

Chris Bowers on the possibility that President-elect Obama will keep Robert Gates as Defense Secretary:
...keeping Gates on would only worsen Democratic image problems on national security, as he would be the second consecutive non-Democratic Secretary of Defense nominated by a Democratic President. The message would be clear: even Democrats agree that Democrats can't run the military.
President Clinton's second Defense Secretary was William Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine, who served in that cabinet post from 1997 to 2001. Thus, if Mr. Obama keeps Gates on, there will not have been a Democrat running the Pentagon since late 1996, despite having two Democratic presidents in that 12-year span.

I understand Obama's wish to keep things calm in Iraq and Afghanistan while he tries to tackle the financial crisis the Republicans have left behind. I also understand that Gates is hugely responsible for repairing the battered, bruised, and bloodied military that the incompetent war criminal Donald Rumsfeld left behind. But there are PLENTY of competent Democrats that could take the baton from Gates.

Lee Hamilton, Sam Nunn, John Kerry, Jane Harman, and Jim Webb to name a few.

If Obama's desire is to keep Gates on to help with continuity, then perhaps installing him as a special envoy to Iraq would be a better idea; putting him in charge of any transition that will take place from an American-led military presence to an Iraqi one.

We all know Obama wants to have more than the token Republican in his cabinet. Despite all the current whining from the left (that includes you Rachel Maddow - I love ya sweetie, but come on!), the President-elect ran on a platform of change that included bipartisanship in his White House. That said, why does it always have to be the Defense Department that gets one of the Republican cabinet posts in a Democratic administration?

How about Colin Powell at Education? Chuck Hagel at Veterans Affairs? Maybe Lincoln Chafee and Andrew Sullivan (not a Republican in name, but a libertarian-leaning conservative) as cabinet-level advisers.

Think about it, Mr. President-elect! The Republicans have so thoroughly screwed up America's economy and her military. Like your economic team, don't you think the Democrats deserve the chance to clean up the mess at the Pentagon?

Our "Oh Shit" Moment

Fareed Zakaria on our generation's financial crisis:
Some of us — especially those under 60 — have always wondered what it would be like to live through the kind of epochal event one reads about in books. Well, this is it. We're now living history, suffering one of the greatest financial panics of all time. It compares with the big ones — 1907, 1929 — and we cannot yet know its full consequences for the financial system, the economy or society as a whole.

I'm betting that, in the end, the world's governments will win this battle against fear. They have potentially unlimited tools at their disposal, especially if they act in concert. They can nationalize firms, call bank holidays, suspend trading for weeks, buy up debt and equity, and renegotiate home mortgages. Most important, the American government can print money. All of these tools have long-term effects that are extremely troublesome, but they are nothing compared with the potential collapse of the financial system. And Washington seems to have recognized that it must do whatever is required to shore up that system. Big questions remain. What will it take to stop the fall? How costly will it be? How long before the rescue plan starts to have an effect? But at some point, the panic that gripped world markets last week will end. Of course, that will not mean a return to growth or a bull market. We're in for tough times. But it will mean a return to sanity...

Since the 1980s, Americans have consumed more than they produced — and they have made up the difference by borrowing...

In 1990, the national debt stood at $3 trillion. (That sounds high, but keep reading.) By 2000, it had almost doubled, to $5.75 trillion. It is currently $10.2 trillion. The number moved into 11 digits last month, which meant that the National Debt Clock in New York City ran out of space to display the figures. Its owners plan to get a new clock next year.
The key take away from Zakaria's essay is that we have no idea how long this will last or how deep it will go. My gut hunch is that most Americans (yours truly included) are oblivious to exactly how hard things are going to get. Perhaps we won't see the soup lines and 25% unemployment of the Great Depression, but I think we're all about to get knocked on our asses...hard. After three decades of living beyond our means, all of us are about to get a crash course in living within them, and I suspect for many (again...yours truly included) that will come with a severe case of shell shock.

Update: Andrew Sullivan is thinking along similar lines:
The abandonment of any sobriety in this moment is disturbing. Everyone is acting as if the worst thing that could possibly happen is that we should all feel the full impact of the massive fiscal recklessness of the past decade.

...The truth is: we had this coming. We deserve it. And we deserve leaders who are able to tell us that.
Update 2: Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is glad the grown-ups are back at the table to sort out this mess:
Seriously, isn’t it amazing just how impressive the people being named to key positions in the Obama administration seem? Bye-bye hacks and cronies, hello people who actually know what they’re doing. For a bunch of people who were written off as a permanent minority four years ago, the Democrats look remarkably like the natural governing party these days, with a deep bench of talent.
After eight longs years of incompetent and adolescent leadership, the Obama administration will be a greatly needed breath of fresh air.

You know there's a Democrat in the White House when...

...that asshole Kenneth Starr rears his fat ugly head.

Mother Jones reports that the fascist fuckhead will represent the "Yes on 8" folks when the case goes to the California Supreme Court later in the winter.

You may recall that Starr made a name for himself by leading the investigation that led to the 1998 impeachment of President Bill Clinton over a blow job.

And now Starr wants to take rights away from gay couples.

Seems to me this guy has an aversion to oral sex. No?

I Heart Rachel

How can one not?...

You "Cho" Girl

I heart her, too!


Ann Coulter, fascist hoo-hoo of the right, has had her mouth wired shut.

No Blog Day

Well...at least a "no blog morning." Feeling a bit off today, but will resume later this afternoon or tomorrow.

For a news and opinion fix, feel free to visit any of the sites on the blogroll to the right.

24 November 2008

Obama's Economic Team

President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name his economic team at 9am Pacific time (12 noon ET) today. At first blush it's an all-star team:
Tim Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury

Larry Summers, Chair of the National Economic Council

Bill Richardson, Secretary of Commerce

Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers
It's certainly nice to know that the competent grown-ups are running things again.

The Hate of Prop 8


Catholic Church Forgives John Lennon

Well...thank gawd THAT is out of the way!
The Vatican has finally forgiven John Lennon for declaring that the Beatles were more famous than Jesus Christ, calling the remark a "boast" by a young man grappling with sudden fame.
I mean...could that archaic relic of church be any more irrelevant?

21 November 2008

An Inept Campaign

Terry Letgoff, a former acquaintance and founder of the Gay and Lesbian Business Association of Santa Barbara, on why Prop 8 went down to defeat:
The single biggest reason for the Proposition 8 loss was an ineffective and inept campaign strategy by the leadership of the No on 8 campaign. Despite raising record shattering amounts of money and volunteers who worked their hearts out, the overarching state campaign strategy was a huge flop.

Instead of running a diverse muti-message campaign of persuasion, the [No on 8] media message was emotionless, monotone and uncompelling. In short, the media messages failed to move or even educate voters about the issue and instead appealed to a single abstract principle - equality - that was not sufficiently persuasive or connected to the content of the proposition.

Worse, there appeared to be no effective Black or Latino strategy.

An effective target strategy would have been to send Democratic voters mailers with a picture of Barack Obama and other prominent diverse leaders who oppose Prop 8 and, alternately, to send Republican voters mailers with pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger and other prominent religious and conservative leaders who oppose Prop 8. This is textbook targeting.

Ads never even mentioned the subject matter of the proposition -- gay marriage or marriage equality -- ceding it to the Yes on 8 proponents to define for the electorate. The No on 8 ads never featured simple first hand heartfelt stories of gay and lesbian families talking about what it means to them and their children to have the legal benefits of marriage and conversely, what it would mean to have that right ripped away. They never featured our children and what the legal protection of marriage means to them. And significantly they did not reflect the diversity of our electorate.

End-of-the-Week Levity

Welcoming home total strangers at JFK Airport in New York...

Eye Candy

Good news for my buddy Gil...Wentworth Miller is today's Eye Candy feature. Bad news for Gil...Miller and his fellow "Prison Break" cast members have been asked to tape two additional episodes for the current season so that they can wrap up the story. Fox is planning to cancel the four-year-old serial when it concludes this spring.

Poor George

20 November 2008

The California Supremes

They have put Proposition 8 on the fast track. Andy Towle:
The California Supreme Court today denied requests to stay the enforcement or implementation of Proposition 8, and at the same time agreed to decide several issues arising out of the passage of Proposition 8. The court’s order, issued in the first three cases that had been filed directly in the state’s highest court challenging the validity of Proposition 8, directed the parties to brief and argue three issues:

(1) Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?

(2) Does Proposition 8 violate the separation-of-powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

(3) If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?
Written briefs are due by the end of January, with oral arguments slated for March.

Some think that overturing this in court is a bad move. I'm of the opinion that sometimes the courts need to intercede so that the rule of law trumps the "will of the people." The founding fathers knew this and therefore granted the judicial branch of government the same powers as the legislative and executive branches. Majority rule, in their opinion, could run amok and thwart the rule of law. Case in point: Had it not been for judicial intervention, African-American children would still be in separate schools.

So, I say let the Supremes hear the case. If they let Prop 8 stand, THEN we take it back to the ballot box - and keep taking it there until we sway enough minds to overturn this damn thing.

"You say that I'm not livin' right...

...you don't understand me, so why do you judge my life."

Today's Song of the Day goes out to the fascists of the Mormon Church and the rest of the "Yes on 8" bigots.

"You Don't Know Me" by Armand Van Helden

Missouri's Winning Streak Ends

Although I called it for John McCain 10 days ago, Missouri was only officially put in the Republican column for president yesterday, thus ending the state's winning streak in presidential contests (it had gone with the winner in every election from 1960 to 2004).

So, one last time (just because it looks so damn nice)...the final Electoral College map for the 2008 presidential election:

365 electoral votes

173 electoral votes

Electors (yes...they are actual people) will cast their ballots on December 15th.

The national popular vote won't be finalized for another week or two, when the last of the states certify their results, but here is where things stand as of this morning:


Nader, Barr, Others
That's a margin of victory for Obama of 8,645,538 votes. (Ok, ok...you were right, Ben!) For comparison, George W. Bush LOST the popular vote in his first election by 543,895 votes and won his second by 3,012,497. Obama's margin also beats both of Bill Clinton's (1992 and 1996), as well as the first George Bush's (1988). You have to go all the way back to 1984 to find a bigger margin of victory in the national vote.

More fun facts with the numbers:

-McCain's current total is about 700,000 votes below John Kerry's final total four years ago, while Obama's is about 5 million higher than Bush's.

-Ralph Nader has received 706,209 votes as of this morning. After an equally abysmal showing in 2004, is it possible for him to just go away? Yeah right, who am I kidding?

61 Long Days

The fascist prick in the White House is hell bent on changing as many federal rules as he can before handing power to the Obama administration 61 days from now. Among the rule changes, according to Politico: Allowing loaded weapons into national parks, and loosening pollution standards for power plants.

Great! Just what we need...Yosemite covered in smog while gang-bangers roam the valley floor with loaded pistols. Why not just cut to the chase: A new rule renaming Yosemite "North Central L.A."

I've said it before, I'll say it again...George...step away from the Oval Office, head up stairs to the residence, perhaps read "My Pet Goat" another time or two, and until Mr. Obama arrives on January 20th...


19 November 2008

Two Weeks Ago, Tonight

The crowd at Grant Park in Chicago, watching election returns on CNN, counting down to the top of the 10:00 hour (Chicago time, 8pm here in California) when polls in several states were set to close, when all of the sudden the words "Barack Obama Elected President" fill the screen. Even two weeks later, the moment still leaves a lump in my throat...

Mid-Week Brain Break: The Emily and Ellen Edition

Do yourself a favor and watch this clip. It will make your heart melt.

(Suggestion: Let the clip load, fast forward to the 4:00 mark, and watch from there.)

Fascist Faces

James Hartline, the gay man turned fascist homophobe, has blamed the wild fires in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties on...

...wait for it...WAIT FOR IT...

...the protests against Prop 8:
God keeps trying to get their attention. They, for their part, are shouting so loud for the acceptance of homosexuality, that they cannot hear the thunderous warnings of God: "Repent! For the judgment comes soon!"
Jesus Christ! This guy needs a muzzle in a major way. Perhaps something in the shape of large, fat, uncut penis will do the trick!

On Lieberman

With all due respect to our new president, the decision to keep Sen. Joe Lieberman (Turncoat-CT) in the Democratic caucus and as chair of the Homeland Security committee should have been kept in the hands of the caucus and its leader, Sen. Harry Reid (No Balls-NV). While I sincerely doubt that Obama's push to keep Lieberman on the Democratic side of the aisle changed enough minds to sway the outcome, it wasn't Obama's place to inject himself into the process. Even as a former Senator.

That said, Harry Reid and an overwhelming majority of his Democratic colleagues proved they have no balls; that they're spineless beyond measure. Lieberman has fucked them in every orifice (without lube) for several years now, and they have all just laid back and taken it like the wimpy little bitches they are.

To wit:

-After losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont in 2006, rather than concede with dignity and honor, Lieberman stood up on election night and announced that he would not stand for the results and would run as an independent. He was able to win the general election and, with an even split between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate, caucused with the Democrats to put them in control. In return, Lieberman was awarded with the chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee, where he proceeded to do...nothing. No hearings against Bush's shredding of the Constitution. No hearings to find out why our ports sit unprotected. Nothing.

-Before either party had settled on their presidential nominees, Lieberman crossed the aisle and endorsed John McCain for president. In and of itself, that isn't something to get TOO pissy over. But not only did Lieberman campaign for McCain, he bad-mouthed Barack Obama. And worse yet, it has been widely reported that Lieberman was McCain's #1 pick for the V.P. slot (his aides overturned the idea).

Without a doubt Lieberman should have been punished. If he wanted to stay in the Democratic caucus, fine (he needs that "D" after his name if there is any chance to get re-elected). But to leave him in charge of a major committee? Give me a fucking break! (Personally, I would have told him to leave the caucus as well. The Democrats don't need him.)

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Harry Reid needs to be replaced as majority leader. He may not have a filibuster proof majority, but his party made substantial gains two weeks ago. Either he needs use that stronger majority to be a stronger leader, or he needs to step down and let someone with balls of steel take the wheel.

If she doesn't take a cabinet post, I nominate Hillary Clinton.

Does anyone second my motion?


The New York Post reports that out actor Cheyenne Jackson, who played 9/11 angel Mark Bingham in "United 93," has signed on to star in a Broadway musical based on "the lives and loves of Mormons."

The brains behind the project?

South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

I. Can't. Wait.

Say G'Night, Ted

Two weeks after Election Day, the U.S. Senate race in Alaska has finally been called for the Democratic challenger over the Republican convict incumbent:
Begich (D)

Stevens (R)


18 November 2008

I Don't Fucking Believe It !

Via TPM:
Senate Dems [voted to allow Joe] Lieberman to keep his plum spot [as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Oversight Committee] despite the fact that he has been a disaster at the post, and despite the fact that he endorsed efforts by the GOP to imply that Obama is in league with terrorists, suggested that Obama endangered our troops, and said Obama hasn't always put the country first.

Worse, Reid is echoing an argument he knows is false: That this is only about retribution. Reid and his fellow Senators have made the political decision to leave Lieberman in a job that he was a disaster at, rather than make the good governmental decision to remove him for the good of the country.
Harry Reid, the majority leader in the Senate, is such a fucking putz. This should have been a no-brainer. Not only should the chairmanship have been taken away from Lieberman, the traitor should have been kicked out of the Democratic caucus all together.

And I'll be the first to say "told ya so" when the peckerhead from Connecticut turns around and bites the Obama administration in the ass.

"Diane and Jack went to the movies..."

Your Song of the Day is one of my all time favorites from John Mellencamp; a little known gem from 1999 called "Eden Is Burning." Here he is performing it live:

Calm Down

This past Friday, in the Castro:
...people on both sides of the same-sex marriage controversy confronted each other on Friday night, as police tried to keep the peace. Proposition 8 passed in a close vote and eliminated the right of same-sex couples to marry. Members of the gay community said that almost every Friday night, a Christian group meets at the corner of Castro and 18th Streets. They try to convert gays and lesbians into a straight lifestyle.

This Friday night, the message didn't go over well. Some gays and lesbians reacted by trying to chase the group out of the Castro. "Their rights were respected," said Joe Schmitz, an opponent of Prop 8. "They got a chance to go ahead and pray on the sidewalk and I had the opportunity to express my freedom of speech which is telling them to get out of my neighborhood." San Francisco Police officers in riot gear formed a line and escorted the religious group into a van to safely get them out of the area.
Look...we all need to take one huge collective deep breath, close our eyes, and count to ten. Then, we need to calm down.

Cool, collective reasoning will get us through the day. Mark my words: temper flare-ups and violence will work against us faster and stronger than anything else we do. I'm just as upset and angry as the rest of you, but please...before someone gets killed...calm down.

You may hate to hear it, but the other side has a Constitutional right to free speech. We may hate what they have to say with every fiber of our beings, but the way to counter them is to match their words with our own. Make our point louder and louder, and eventually we drown them out.

Protest, march, make speeches, blog, join the fight to get Prop 8 overturned. But please...before someone gets hurt or, God forbid, killed...before we turn even more people against us...cut the shit.

The First Disappointment

Two advisers to President-elect Obama tell the AP:
[The] incoming administration is unlikely to bring criminal charges against government officials who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the George W. Bush presidency.

..."It's just not good for the intelligence community and the defense community to have people in the field, under exigent circumstances, being told these are the rules, to be exposed months and years after the fact to criminal prosecution," said former White House counsel Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr.
The current thinking on this is that President Bush will wind up pardoning those in question before leaving office, leaving moot the option of prosecution.

None the less, telling a major news organization that you have no intention of prosecuting these criminals is a slap in the face to those of us who wanted to see the Constitution and the Geneva Conventions restored under President Obama. The current administration have wiped their asses with both documents these last eight years, and I don't see how letting the criminals in question go free helps rid the American psyche of such horrendous governance.

You know you're in a recession when...

From the NY Times:
Through war and recession, Americans have turned to Spam, the glistening canned product from Hormel, as a way to save money while still putting something that resembles meat on the table. Now, in a sign of the times, it is happening again, and Hormel is cranking out as much Spam as its workers can produce.
Even restaurants are getting in on it:
Jerry’s Place sells a Spamburger; Johnny’s “Spamarama” menu includes eggs Benedict with Spam; and, Steve’s Pizza put a medium Spam and pineapple pizza on the menu.
And just in case you're wondering, Spam is a combination of ham, pork, sugar, salt, water, potato starch and a “hint” of sodium nitrite “to help Spam keep its gorgeous pink color,” according to Hormel’s Web site.

Wanda Sykes Comes Out

...and slams the bigots who wrote discrimination into the California State Constitution.

'atta girl!

It's Hard Out There For A Bigot

The radical right-wing facsist organization known as Focus on the Family, who helped fund Prop 8 here in California, announced it will cut 202 jobs.

No word yet on whether the right-wing fascist in the White House will offer them a bail out.

17 November 2008

San Francisco at Sunrise

6:29am, this morning...

The Flight Home

A few pics from Saturday's flight home from San Diego:

Catalina Island, off the coast of Los Angeles...

Pismo Beach, between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo...

Highway 1, heading up the coast from Santa Cruz toward Half Moon Bay...

The beautiful redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains...

Stanford University...

Looking north at San Carlos, San Mateo, Burlingame, South San Francisco, and on up into the city...

Signorile vs Gallagher

You go boy!

16 November 2008

Little Miss Chloe

Enjoying the Sunday morning sun...

The Sarah Palin Biography

Saw this title at an antique shop in historic downtown Auburn last weekend, and couldn't help but think of the failed Republican V.P. candidate...

14 November 2008

Wildfire Leaves Santa Barbara In Ruins

A brush fire roared through the foothills of Santa Barbara late Thursday, forcing residents in the infamous community of Montecito to evacuate as flames engulfed multimillion-dollar homes and more modest ranch-style houses.

More than 100 homes have been lost, 2,500 acres burned, and 5 people injured, officials said.

"You can just hear the explosions ... of vehicles, homes," Michaelo Rosso told KCAL-TV as he prepared to leave his home in the area. "It sounds like the Fourth of July out here."
The Montecito area of Santa Barbara includes a large number of multimillion-dollar homes with ocean views, including Oprah Winfrey's infamous 42-acre estate, as well as the legendary Montecito Inn.

Hillary Clinton at State?

I know I said I wouldn't comment on the Obama cabinet rumor mill, but this little tid-bit is worth a mention. From Andrea Mitchell at NBC News:
Two Obama advisers have told NBC News that Hillary Clinton is under consideration to be secretary of state.
The press pool report from yesterday mentions that several minutes before Obama's motorcade left the transition offices, another three-car motorcade pulled out of the building. Sen. Clinton's office confirms she was in Chicago on "personal business" yesterday.

I must say...a real "Team of Rivals"...I am QUITE intrigued!

13 November 2008

Let G.M. Go Under

General Motors is asking to be added to the list of businesses being bailed out by the U.S. Government. And while I understand President-elect Obama is leaning in such a direction (and that politically he probably has no choice but to go along with it) I must say...personally, I would let them go under.

Rather than step up to the plate with innovative engery-saving ideas for the 21st century, the auto companies in Detroit have been running their businesses into the ground for decades with gas-guzzling jalopies. In the mean time, foreign automakers have been raking in the dough with higher gas-mileage hybrid-energy vehicles. And then, when Detroit sees their profits turn into record-breaking losses, they whine like babies.

September 11, 2001 should have been the clarion call for G.M., Ford, and the rest of the domestic auto companies to get to work on cars that would eventually run on very little gasoline. Had they made that conversion, they wouldn't be in the mess they're in today. But they didn't, and now that call needs to come from the collapse of one of their own.

G.M. is as good a place to start as any.

"You know a fella's good for the moolah"

Your Song of the Day is an exquisitely produced dance track from 2000...

"If Everybody Looked the Same" by Groove Armada

Note: This isn't the official video for this track. Groove Armada is signed to one of those record labels with archaic rules about embedding YouTube videos. The video embedded here is an amateur production.

In Alaska

They're still countin' ballots up there in Moose Country and it looks like, also, that Democrat Mark Begich is takin' over that lead there against convicted felon Republican Senator Ted Stevens, bless his heart.

Unpatriotic and Beyond Vile, Part 13

Kids on a school bus in Rexburg, Idaho began chanting
"Assassinate Obama, Assassinate Obama" on the ride to school yesterday.

Ok...Barack Obama is the president-elect now. This is where the Secret Service steps in, interviews the kids, and arrests the parents who taught them this shit.

12 November 2008

Little Miss Chloe

...and her box o' toys.

Nancy & Cindy

When I posted my endorsement for the House of Representatives last month, I predicted that third-party candidate Cindy Sheehan would surprise everyone with a stronger than expected showing.

I was right:
Nancy Pelosi (D) 72%
Cindy Sheehan (I) 17%
Dana Walsh (R) 9%
Philip Berg (L) 1.95%
Write-In (NP) .05%
Pelosi's 72% is her lowest showing since she first won the seat in 1988, and Sheehan's 17% is higher than any of Pelosi's Republican challengers since 1994.

Don't get me wrong...this was still a rout in a strongly Democratic district. But you can't deny that an 8% drop in support for the Speaker of the House in just two years points to a stirring disappointment by her constituents in Pelosi's lack of cajones.

Note: 316 write-in votes were cast in this race. I know for certain that at least two of them were for my candidate. :-) Woo-hooo!

Idiot of the Century

From the Neighborhood

A picture of a home here in San Francisco's Noe Valley (via Andy Towle)...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Mid-Week Brain Break

I'm off to San Diego for a few days to attend a professional seminar. I haven't been there since I lived in Santa Barbara, from where I could drive down on those occasions when my job required me to be there. This will be my first time flying down.

Light Blogging

With the election behind us and Obama's transition team taking it slow, plus the fact that I will be in San Diego for work the rest of the week, blogging will be light from now through the weekend. I'll post daily, but it won't be much.

11 November 2008

One Week Ago, Tonight

Shortly after 7:30pm Pacific Time last Tuesday, I looked at MSNBC's electoral map and did the math. Barack Obama had 207 electoral votes. I knew that if polling held true, the networks would be able to call California (55 electoral votes), Washington State (11 electoral votes), Oregon (7 electoral votes), and Hawaii (4 electoral votes) right at 8:00pm, thus putting Obama well over the 270 electoral votes needed to win.

I told Brent to have the champagne glasses ready to go.

Sure enough, at 8:00 straight up...

You can hear the raw emotion in Keith Olbermann's voice as he calls it. At my house, cheers and tears ensued.

As my buddy Gil said the next day, it's one of those moments where you'll always remember where you were when it happened.


Second-Class Citizens

Keith Olbermann floored me last night with his commentary on Prop 8. Emotional and on the verge of tears throughout, the anchor of "Countdown" picked up the tattered and torn population that is gay California, put them back on their feet, and then looked directly into the camera and confronted those who voted for this proposition on their reasoning. "Why does this matter to you? What is it to you?" he asked.

Although usually right on point, Olbermann's "Special Comments" can sometimes be over the top and mellow dramatic. But not this one. This is spot-on in tone and timbre. Thank you, Keith...thank you a million times over.

Last night's commentary, in full...

As I have said previously, we all need to put this loss behind us and start the job of changing minds. That is how we overturn this. With his emotional commentary last night, it seems Keith changed the mind of Christine, a DailyKos diarist. Read her testimonial here.

Beth's Future Husband

Just one year after signing a $4 million a year deal with NBC, the network and Olbermann have parted ways...

...on that deal, and signed a new one.

Olbermann's contract has been extended through the 2012 presidential election. For $7.5 million a year, he will continue to anchor MSNBC's "Countdown" program, as well as host NBC's "Football Night In America."

Good on ya, Keith!

"They'll be dancin' in Chicago..."

Today's Song of the Day is one of my mom's favorites, so this is dedicated to her. After the announcement was made last week that Barack Obama had easily been elected President of the United States, people around the globe poured into streets to dance in celebration.

Today's song is 1985's "Dancing in the Streets" by Mick Jagger and David Bowie.

10 November 2008

Changing Minds

Gay marriage's true pioneer, on how we move forward:
I totally understand the anger, hurt and pain now roiling the gay community and our families...But it's important to keep our heads. I've been in the middle of this fight for two decades. It's important to remember that we have never had this level of public support for marriage equality before. In eight years in California alone, the majority in favor of banning marriage equality has gone from 61 to 52 percent. Meanwhile, California's legislature has voted for it, 18,000 couples are legally married in California, and legally comparable (if still unequal) domestic partnerships are available. Very soon, thousands of gay couples will be able to marry in Connecticut. The one state with a history of marriage equality, Massachusetts, is showing how good and positive a reform it is. New York recognizes Massachusetts' civil marriages.

Calm down. We are not experiencing a massive, permanent backlash.

The next generation overwhelmingly backs the right to marry, and there is no sign of cultural reversal, even if we have suffered some electoral set-backs. If Obama has taught us anything, it is to keep our eyes on the prize, and not always to react impulsively to hatred, bigotry or simple ignorance by exaggerating its power over us. We are winning. We lost this one, by an excruciatingly small margin. But the whole point of this movement is education in support of toleration. Even though we lost, we persuaded many of something they barely thought about a short time ago...One thing we need to remember is dignity in defeat. That's how it becomes victory.

And we need patience and relentlessness in explaining our lives. And how human they are. It's not fair; we should have it all already. But we don't. And in a democracy, that means persuasion, not fiat.
That 61% to 52% move from 2000 to 2008 leads me to believe that we are actually winning the war. We lost yet another battle, but the momentum is clearly on our side.

I was in Placer County this weekend, a hot bed of fascist conservatism where "Yes on 8" yard signs and bumper stickers were still quite prominent. But laced through out the highway, every now and again, were the "No on 8" bumper stickers. In fact, a co-worker of my brother-in-law's printed out basic "No on 8" flyers, hastily put together in Word and distributed them to colleagues. My brother-in-law taped his to his back windshield. When I saw it, I could barely hold back the tears. With all the violence and hatred that was documented during the election campaign from the "yes" folks, he showed some mighty cajones when he put that on his truck.

But he and his co-worker were doing what we now need to get up and do. We need to get out there and change more minds. That's how we'll reverse this. Whether it be in 2010 or in 2012 or in 2018, it WILL happen. Prop 8 is really only the last gasp of the hate-mongers among us.

Final Electoral College Score

The electoral vote in Nebraska's second congressional district was called for Barack Obama over the weekend (the state allocates their electoral votes based on results in each congressional district). In addition to the states of Indiana and Virginia, Obama is the first Democrat to win any of Nebraska's electoral votes in a presidential election since 1964.

The final Electoral College score for the 2008 presidential election:

Obama/Biden (D) 365
McCain/Palin (R) 173

In the national popular vote, Obama continues to lead McCain by 8 million votes. It will be at least a couple of weeks before we have the final numbers, but with only a handful of ballots yet to be included before vote totals are certified, Obama will easily maintain his wide lead.

The numbers so far:
Obama/Biden (D)

McCain/Palin (R)

Nader, Barr, and other third party candidates make up the final 1%
More fun facts about this election:
Obama is the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 to get more than 50% of the overall popular vote. Carter tallied exactly 50%. Clinton received 43% and 49% in his two elections (the presence of Ross Perot on both ballots lowered the vote totals for both major parties).

In his first election in 1992, Bill Clinton - a son of the South - made big plays for Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida. He lost all three. In the '08 contest, Obama - an African American from the North - won all three.

Obama's 53% is the best showing since 1988.

Obama currently leads McCain by 8 million votes. For comparison, Bush lost the 2000 popular vote by 543,816 votes, and won it by just over 3 million in 2004.

McCain's current total, if it stands, will be lower than Kerry's 59 million four years ago, despite the addition of millions of new voters in this year's election.

08 November 2008

Protest In San Francisco

CORRECTION: The crowd was 25,000 strong.

A few pics from last night's Prop 8 protest march here in San Francisco. KPIX-TV (CBS 5) reports that over 5,000 people joined the march up Market Street from City Hall to the Castro District, blocking traffic and stranding several public and tourist buses. No arrests were made, the march was quite peaceful.

A big, hearty shout out to Gil, Duane, Ben, Daryl, Trevor, and Jim for joining Brent and me last night. A special, giant, super-duper shout out to Row and Maya for making the trek over from Alameda to march with us. You all rock!
What do want? EQUAL RIGHTS!

When do we want them? NOW!

07 November 2008

The Sad State of Affairs In California

Bouncing Back

Matt Cole, on Tuesday's passage of hate and discrimination in California:
Even in famously liberal San Francisco, we had to go through the process of trying to pass a simple domestic partnership law five times, and we lost twice. If you run up an unbroken string of victories in any battle for civil rights, that simply means you waited too long to get to work. Change that matters is never smooth or easy.

It will be important to go over the campaign carefully and learn from our mistakes. But we need to resist the temptation to blame ourselves for the loss. The perfect campaign hasn’t been run anywhere yet. Thousands of very good people worked their hearts out on this, and they deserve our thanks. The victims of an injustice should never be blamed for failing to end it unless they don’t try. And you can’t say that we didn’t try, and try damn hard.

We didn’t lose by much. Eight years ago, on virtually the same question, we could only get 39 percent. On Tuesday, we got over 48. While our opponents may be celebrating now, the handwriting is on the wall. They won’t be able to hold on much longer. There are other states where we’ll be able to get marriage in the next few years, and others where we’ll get domestic partnerships and civil unions.

We’ll be back in California. And we’ll win. You can depend on it.
I understand the anger and deep disappointment over the result of Prop 8. We all seemed to think that here in "liberal" California such an amendment would never pass. The resentment is deep and it hurts like a punch in the gut and a blow to the head. But what we can't do is let these emotions overtake us. Our community can't afford to stay angry. Yes...protest. Yes...let it be known from the Oregon border to San Diego County that we will not let this stand. But then...back to work.

Cole is right on the money: The handwriting is on the wall. We lost this thing by a slim margin compared to the last time such hate was on the ballot. Slowly but surely we're changing minds. Our task following Tuesday's loss is to get up, brush ourselves off, and change more minds.

Californians under 30 voted "no" on Prop 8 in huge numbers, and in them I place some faith in the future. But if we want to overturn this sooner rather than later, we need to not only bring more of the younger voters to our side, we need to show the older generations - the parents and grandparents who seem to be stuck in an antiquated mindset - as well as the African-American community - who voted for this in huge numbers - that these marriages in no way diminish their own, that marriage between two people who love each other and want to make that commitment to each other is actually a conservative value. Rather than lash out at these groups and widen the rift, we need to bring them into our social circles. Getting to know us, realizing that we share the same hopes and aspirations, is the one tried and true way to get them on our side.

It's not going to be easy, and we'll need to expand the base of our fight outside of the normal organizations (with all due respect HRC, you didn't really take on this fight until it was too late); and we'll have to push key politicians much harder (Obama, Schwarzenegger, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton...you all should have stepped up to the plate; and the folks who ran No on Prop 8 should have gone out of their way to solicit the support of those leaders). Rather than wait until another hate-filled initiative is placed on the ballot, we need to get to work now.

So...mourn, get angry (but don't do anything harsh), march peacefully, let the haters know that this will not stand...and then...let's get this thing overturned.

End-of-the-Week Levity

Post-election humor from David Letterman...

Joyous Celebration

On Tuesday night Americans said "enough," and removed the old, evil empire from power. Celebrations in streets, towns, and cities around the globe ensued.

In fact, it looks like the entire galaxy celebrated as well! :-)

The Results So Far

There are still a large number of absentee and provisional ballots being counted, and one electoral vote in Nebraska hasn't been called, but here are the results of the presidential election so far...
64,985,624 (53%)
364 electoral votes

57,125,842 (46%)
173 electoral votes
A 7-point margin and about an 8 million vote lead for the Democratic ticket in the popular vote.


06 November 2008

Channeling Linda Richmond

The "Bradley Effect" is neither Bradley nor an effect.


North Carolina Goes to Obama

If you listen carefully, you'll hear Jesse Helms' head exploding in hell.

And so, three states of the old confederacy have gone for Barack Obama. Anyone with a basic knowledge of American history (that leaves you out, Gov. Palin) will realize what a huge deal that is.

Here is the close-to-final map:

Obama/Biden: 364 electoral votes
McCain/Palin: 173 electoral votes

One vote in Nebraska, where they divide their electoral votes up by congressional district, is still outstanding.

All in all, a very impressive and mighty comfortable win by Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Crazy In California

The result for Barack Obama in California is absolutely stunning. He is the first candidate of either party to win over 60% of the popular vote here in over 70 years. Not even Ronald Reagan in his two elections (1980, 1984), or Richard Nixon in his three (1960, 1968, 1972), won anything over 57% - and this was their home state. You have to go back to Franklin Roosevelt's massive blowout of Alf Landon in 1936 before you find a result over 60% in California.

The preliminary results:
Obama/Biden 61.1%
McCain/Palin 37.1%
California has been reliably Democratic since 1992, but none of the results for Clinton, Gore, or Kerry were ever that massive.

The Obama victory in California was so deep and widespread, he wound up winning such staunch Republican areas as San Diego County, Riverside County, San Bernandino County, Ventura County, and San Luis Obispo County in the south; Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin counties in the central valley; and Butte and Nevada counties up north.

An absolutely stunning victory for our new president.

Take a look at the results and a map of California by clicking here.

We Dodged A Bullet

This election may be over, but...holy crap...did we ever dodge a bullet...


I don't plan on joining the "who will be in Obama's cabinet" guessing game - I'll comment on each appointment as it is made - but I have to speak out about the rumors that Larry Summers is at the top of the list for Treasury Secretary. He's capable and was in the same post during President Clinton's last couple of years in office, but the man has enough baggage that it's possible his nomination could start Obama's presidency off on the wrong foot.

A few years back he came under fire while working as president of Harvard when he said that women weren't as good at math as men. And there is the fact that he is one of the architects of the banking deregulation that helped get us into the massive mess we're in at the moment.

Perhaps President-elect Obama feels that fact may be a plus in understanding how to pull out of this downward spiral, but that other problem - the comment about women - I don't know....that could be a thorny issue.

There are plenty of other highly qualified candidates out there: Laura Tyson, Diane Swonk, Timothy Geithner. Come on, Mr. President-Elect...jump a wee bit outside of the box.

05 November 2008

Celebration and Heartbreak

The Morning After. The last 16 hours have been a rollercoaster ride. The election of Barack Obama is indeed cause for celebration - a much-needed turning of the page, a tremendous relief, a huge shift in the consciousness of the American psyche. At the same time, in a heartbreaking result, millions of California residents deemed it necessary to knock millions more into second class citizenry.


The crowds that gathered in the streets of Chicago, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, and many other cities throughout our great nation, including a healthy crowd outside the White House, recalled those final scenes in "Return of the Jedi" where galaxy-wide celebrations ensued as the old evil empire was soundly defeated by the strong young leader of the progressive opposition. After eight long, dark years of leadership that was lawless, reckless, and incompetent, the voters of America, in record numbers and with hopeful hearts, cast their ballots in this election and said "enough!"

Barack Obama's victory was tremendous. Some facts:
The first black president hails from Illinois, the home of President Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation.

His victory in Virginia is especially sweet. The capitol of the former confederacy voted for a black candidate. That is history of tremendous proportions in and of itself.

Florida, another state of the old confederacy, is in Obama's column.

North Carolina, again...a confederate state...is still too close to call but Obama is leading there by about 11,000 votes.

Obama won Virginia and Indiana - those two states haven't gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1964.

Obama's 52% of the popular vote is the best showing for a Democrat in a presidential election since 1964, and is the best showing for any president of either party since 1988.

As of 8:30am PT, Obama is closing in on 63 million votes nation wide. There are several million more votes yet to be tallied, but already, with those 63 million, Obama has won more popular votes than any president in our history.

Arizona and conservatism, full circle: The modern conservative movement began with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election. That same conservative movement ends with the crushing defeat of Arizona Sen. John McCain - who holds Goldwater's seat in the Senate - in the 2008 presidential election.
But now the work of governing begins. The minute he takes the oath of office on January 20th, Barack Obama will have his work cut out for him. The pile of wreckage the Bush administration will leave behind is bound to take several years to clean up. As such, President-elect Obama needs to name his key cabinet members before the end of this week. His choices for State, Defense, Treasury, Justice, and U.N. need to be named ASAP so that the preliminary work can be done to start confirmation hearings in the new Senate as soon as that body is seated in early January. The lower cabinet and sub-cabinet posts need to be named before Thanksgiving.

If the management of his campaign is any indication, I am certain that President Obama (LOVE the sound of that!) will be ready to go at Noon on January 20th.


I couldn't be more disappointed in my fellow Californians. They went to their polling places yesterday to make sure barnyard animals were protected under state law, yet, in a move that can only be described as abhorrent and vile, they moved down the ballot and sucker-punched millions of fellow citizens - fellow HUMAN BEINGS - in the gut, essentially classifying them as second class citizens by writing discrimination into the State Constitution.

Let me be clear: This will not stand. We will fight to overturn this with every fiber of our beings. It may take several years and it may take millions of dollars, but the tide is our side. Eventually, we will be equal.

What floors me about this result is that it comes mostly at the hands of minority voters. Asians and African-Americans were overwhelmingly FOR something that only a few decades ago stripped them of the very same rights they denied us yesterday. The bigotry and hypocrisy are unbelievable.

But just as those groups were able to fight their way out of that forest of bigotry and hypocrisy, I believe my gay brothers and sisters will do the same. 2008 may not have been the time to do it, but despite last night's results, the dominoes are falling, little by little the wall is being chipped away, we will prevail.

A heartfelt shout out to everyone who gave money to the cause, and an especially large shout out to those who stepped up to the plate, giving their time, their sweat, and their tears: Trevor, Larry, Don, Mark, and thousands of others...you've done us proud. And to Janet and Mike - for risking reputation (and quite possibly a limb or two) by putting those "No on 8" bumper stickers on your cars and doing your part to drown out the "Yes on 8" bigots right there in the middle of ultra-fascist Placer County.

What's done is done. But now we do as our new Vice-President so eloquently spoke of from the campaign trail: We pick ourselves up, we brush ourselves off, and we keep going.

I'll conclude with Andrew Sullivan, our staunchest advocate on this issue, as always, eloquent in the face of defeat:
So we get back to work, arguing, talking. speaking, debating, writing, blogging, and struggling to change more minds. The hope for equality can never be extinguished, however hard our opponents try. And in the unlikely history of America, there has never been anything false about hope.
Amen, my brother...Amen.

The key here is not to let the passage of Prop 8 squelch the hope and joy we all feel today at the election of Barack Obama. The historic win in the presidential contest positions our country for tremendous change. And we need to use the new President's victory as the launching pad for a renewed fight.

UPDATE: Another shout out to Laura, my sister-in-law (no matter WHAT the state constitution now says), who passed an email plea from me around to friends and neighbors.

04 November 2008


In what can only be described as a breath of fresh air - a much needed turning of the page - Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States tonight. The nation's first black president, who hails from Illinois, home of President Abraham Lincoln, put together an Electoral College victory that includes Florida and Virginia, two states of the old confederacy (one of which - Virginia - was its capitol), and eight states carried by George W. Bush four years ago.

As we approach 11pm on the West coast, Obama held very slim leads in North Carolina, another former confederate state. Montana is close as well, but seems to be trending for McCain.

But even without those three states, Obama's tally in the Electoral College is 349, the best performance in that body in 12 years. Among the states in the Democratic column are two (Indiana and Virginia) that haven't gone Democratic for president since 1964.

While tens of millions of votes still have yet to be counted, Obama currently leads McCain by a comfortable 5-point margin in the popular vote (52% to 47%). If that percentage holds, Obama will be the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 to receive over 50% of the overall national vote.

There were tears of joy in our household tonight, for America's decision on this historic day turns the page on one of the most abysmal presidencies in our history.

I'm exhausted (and a little tipsy) and my mind reels. I'll blog more tomorrow, but my fellow Americans, tonight we have taken one tremendous step in the direction of some much needed healing with the election of President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden.

The New President of the United States

The New Vice-President of the United States

It's In the Voters' Hands

Ok...no more blogging from me until later this evening...AFTER a winner is declared. I'll be on the computer, but I'll be watching results and playing with the electoral map to see how the math adds up.

Once someone hits 270 electoral votes, you'll hear from me.

Deep breath, fingers crossed, hopes high...here we go.

Voting In San Francisco

This is the line that greeted Brent and me when we arrived to vote this morning. We waited in line for an hour to cast our ballots, easily the longest I've ever waited in line to vote (although nowhere near as long as many Americans are waiting today).

Gil, a very good friend of mine, called me a short while ago and told me that his polling place down in the Castro ran out of ballots by 8:30am. Replacements arrived within the hour and he was able to vote, but 8:30am???

What the fuck?!

Below, another shot of our polling place, from our spot in line.

There were only five voting booths to handle the crowd at our polling place; so, in an effort to keep the lines moving, the judges permitted voters to sit on the floor of the fire station to fill out their ballots.

Here is Brent, poppin' a squat as he filled in his votes on the forever-long San Francisco initiative ballot...

It's Election Day

You know what to do...

This presidential election is the most important of our lifetime. Please...take the time to vote today. Whether you walk right in and cast your ballot, or whether you have to wait in line for several hours...don't let your vote go uncounted.

Perhaps a little inspiration...

A report from the trail, by way of the Daily Dish:
The lines were orderly and well-disciplined. Everybody seemed to be good-natured and united in purpose, so were willing to endure the wait. Nobody around us got upset if someone left the line to grab lunch from the concession area or to use the restrooms. Wherever they could, volunteers were marching up and down the lines with free refreshments.
So get up and out the door folks. This day is too important and the stakes are too high to sit this one out.

If you live in California, it is absolutely vital that you vote "no" on Prop 8. Whatever your personal feelings on the issue of marriage, writing discrimination into the state constitution is wrong on so many levels. Our state has always been at the forefront of progressive values, always looking forward, taking huge leaps and watching as the rest of the country followed our lead. Let's not lose that quality when we need it most.

Quote of the Week

Ok guys, let's go home. It will be fun to see how the story ends.
-Barack Obama, to reporters on his campaign plane, last night.

If McCain Loses...

...his decision to put Sarah Palin on the ticket will be a huge part of the reason.

Steve Clemons, in his endorsement of the Obama/Biden ticket, nails it:
[John McCain] chose Sarah Palin who I doubt knows much about the very DNA of the nation. I have heard no evidence of her knowledge or awareness of the founding fathers, the Federalist Papers, the Civil War, womens' suffrage, the civil rights battles of our near term history, or many other great debates and challenges in our past. I don't get the sense that she is ready in any serious way to drive the ship of the United States of America. I think had McCain selected Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Joseph Lieberman, or even a Meg Whitman as his running mate -- this race would be tighter. Picking Palin was a reckless move -- amplifying significant doubts about John McCain's judgment.
In my endorsement last Friday, I made the same argument:
By all measures John McCain essentially disqualified himself for the presidency when he tapped Gov. Palin to be his running mate. She is nowhere near qualified for the job...not by a long shot. Her tremendous lack of understanding of the vice-presidency (any third grader could tell you what the V.P. does), let alone the fact that she has little working knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs (a fifth grader is smarter), is more than enough to reject the Republican ticket outright on Tuesday.

The irresponsibility of McCain, a 72-year-old cancer survivor, to add Palin to his party's ticket is unfathomable. His decision to do so - one that could very easily result in a "President Palin" - should shake every American to their very core.

Take Your Kids

When you go vote today, take your kids with you. That one act, casting your ballot with your son or daughter, could go a long way toward beating voter apathy in our future generations.

I remember going to the polling place with grandmother when she voted in the 1976 primary. That has stuck with me since then, and I credit that moment with my strong civic duty at each election.

So please...take the kids with you today when you cast your ballot.